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What happened in New Hampshire? [Updated]

by Migeru Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 05:36:07 AM EST

It's funny how things happen sometimes. After the New Hampshire primary last Tuesday there were some suggestions that the Democratic primary might have been tampered with. I have taken part in some discussions of this on and off the blog, and my basic take was that

  1. the implications are important enough for the allegations to be taken seriously;
  2. "taking the allegations seriously" means carrying out some further tests before jumping to conclusions, especially if you're going to call for an official recall like Dennis Kucinich has done!
    My initial suggestion was to compare the actual vote counts by hand vs. by machine against the exit polls, if an exit poll could be found that aggregated the data according to the vote counting method used in the precinct where the voter was interviewed. Of course this variable was not in the published exit polls. In my enthusiasm I imagined someone in the blogosphere knowing someone in one of the companies that do exit polls, so they could try to get the raw data from election night re-analysed. But see below.
  3. if a statistically significant discrepancy between the vote percentages and the exit polls, aggregated separated by vote counting method, were found, one would have to remember that correlation doesn't imply causation. One could imagine socioeconomic variables correlating independently with both the Clinton/Obama swing and the use of voting machines in a precinct. For instance, rural vs. urban precincts, the size of the town, the average income of the town, whether the local government is democrat or republican controlled, etc. All of these plausible explanations would have to be controlled for before one could claim to have evidence of election fraud.

A very interesting discussion, promoted by In Wales - some intro moved below the fold


Given the impossibility of getting my hands on disaggregated exit poll data and the observation that the exit polls matched the election results (but see below), I decided not to give the issue any more thought. That is, I ceased to take it seriously. Update [2008-1-14 14:21:2 by Migeru]: It appears that Zogby has released some of his pre-election poll raw data allowing aggregation on the basis of whether the voter would have their vote counted by hand or machine. However, the same hasn't been done for the exit poll data, that I am aware. Edison or whomever should do as Zogby has done to allow a precint-by-precinct comparison of exit polls (not pre-election polls) and vote counts.

However, supporters of both Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich among other people didn't lay this to rest and started posting fragmentary statistical analyses of actual voting data. These got more and more elaborate until, earlier today, Drew, who had nagging suspicions and so had been tracking what the blogosphere was saying about this issue, pointed me to a couple of websites that changed my mind, because they contain serious statistical analysis of the kind I suggest in 3) above, albeit performed only on the election data, not on exit polls. But that is actuallyprobably better as I'll also discuss belowit appears exit polls are normalised to match the actual results because their purpose is not to predict results, but to try to show how various socioeconomic variables correlate with vote patterns.

Now I think there is a high likelihood that the vote counts for Obama and Clinton were exchanged by Diebold voting machines. Update [2008-1-14 14:21:2 by Migeru]: However, I have tried to replicate the statistical results detailed below and I have not been able to (see the comments for details), which casts some doubt on the "smoking guns" for fraud. The correlation between Clinton/Obama vote swing and vote counting method is robust, but referring back to the intro, in point 3) I stressed the need for socioeconomic correlations to be studied and this hasn't happened yet - the same point was made by Continuation in the blog post I linked to below. Point 2) seems to be well established, but with the "smoking gun" gone, the likelihood of fraud goes down a notch.

The first indication that something might be amiss came in this comment by ThatBritGuy:

From a comment by "soros" at the big orange monster:
Then there is this other indication from the Election Defense Alliance

Thursday 1/10: Bruce O'Dell writes:

Theron Horton and I have confirmed that based on the official results on the New Hampshire Secretary of State web site, there is a remarkable relationship between Obama and Clinton votes, when you look at votes tabulated by op-scan versus votes tabulated by hand:

Clinton Optical scan 91,717 52.95%
Obama Optical scan 81,495 47.05%

Clinton Hand-counted 20,889 47.05%
Obama Hand-counted 23,509 52.95%

The percentages appear to be swapped. This seems highly unusual.

The coincidence is even more suspicious than it appears as the percentages match to 5 decimal places, as was discovered by a commenter on Brad Blog
COMMENT #57 [Permalink]
... TruthIsAll said on 1/10/2008 @ 10:14 pm PT...

Brad, the coincidence is even greater than that. The numbers match to within .0001% !

Optical Scan
Clinton 91,717 52.9507%
Obama 81,495 47.0493%
Total 173,212

Hand Counted
Clinton 20,889 47.0494%
Obama 23,509 52.9506%
Total 44,398

Let's do a back of the envelope calculation... Let's take the percentages "measured" from the optical scan ballots. Suppose you have a biased coin with a head on each side, Clinton or Obama, and with a 52.9507% probability of coming up Clinton and a 47.0493% probability of coming up Obama. Now take the total number of hand-counted votes. Toss that coin 44,398 times. What do you expect? Well, the expected number of Clintons is 44,398 * 0.529507 = 23509.1 which is exactly as observed for Obama, and the expected number of Obamas is 20888.9 which is also exactly as observed for Clinton. Now, the expected variance of a coin toss will be 0.529507 * 0.470493 = 0.249129, so the expected variance of 44,398 coin tosses is 11060.8 and the standard deviation is the square root of that, or 105.2 so you would expect the observed vote counts to deviate from the expected ones by about 100 votes in either direction. The fact that they match to within 1 vote means that the match is too good to be true. We're talking as unlikely as a 3-sigma deviation. If you're a teaching assistant and a student turns in a lab report with data of this quality you suspect them of doctoring their data to match the textbook answer and call them to your office for cross-examination.

So, these data contain not one but two red flags. The first is that the vote percentages are exchanged, and the second, more subtle red flag, is that the vote counts are too god to be true.

Update [2008-1-15 13:23:36 by Migeru]: This is all well and good, but Drew and I downloaded the official (but provisional) vote counts and the list of precincts using optical-scan machines from the New Hampshire Secretary of State website and were not able to duplicate this uncanny coincidence. Kudos to the stormy present who, in the comments, noted a 3-4 vote discrepancy in the vote totals between the Secretary of State's county summaries and the EDA numbers quoted above. The Election Defense Alliance has subsequently issued a correction:

EDA has subsequently learned that the list of hand-count voting districts in New Hampshire that it used in its initial analysis on January 10, 2008 was outdated; shortly after that list was downloaded a revised list was published by the New Hampshire Secretary of State with fourteen hand-count precincts converted to Diebold optical scan.

Now for the couple of links that I got from Drew that convinced me that something really is amiss by addressing my suggested tests in point 3) above the fold.

The first one is from "Brian" at Black Box Voting:

I wanted to do a quick statistical analysis of the results. This is far from complete, but the results thus far do not contradict our initial suspicions.

First a very basic statistics primer. We assume that our samples are subject to "noise" (random variation). Obviously the percent vote counts are not going to be the same in every precinct, so when we see what we think is a trend (like Obama doing better in hand-counted precincts) we ask, "what is the probability (p) of this apparent trend arising by chance?" If the probability is less than 5% (p < 0.05) we say that the result is "statistically significant."

Ok, now the results.

First I ran a chi-squared contingency table tests with Yates correction. for both the democrat and republican results.

...

Thus we can say with a high degree of certainty that there is a relationship between the counting method and the election results. The probability of the aforementioned discrepancies occurring by chance is less than 1 in 100 billion.

This does not mean however that counting method causes different voting percentages, just that they are correlated. It could be that something else (e.g., size of town) causes both. As a quick control I did the same chi-squared analysis, but looking at just whether people voted democrat or republican. Below, the columns are machine counted, hand counted and the rows are republican, democrat.

...

That is, while the machine counted precincts tended to vote slightly more republican (54.9% vs. 54.6%) this result was not significant (p > 0.05).

If one was cheating by vote substitution one would not want to change republican ballots to democratic or vice versa for obvious reasons. It is interesting that the machine/hand counted precincts have such different results within each election, but are almost identical between the two elections.

The next question is whether other factors can explain the discrepancy. This is very much a work in progress. Preliminary results indicate that neither Obama's nor Clinton's percentages have a significant correlation with precinct size. They both fit a line with slope zero. This would suggest (very preliminary) that the trend of smaller precincts tending to use hand counts cannot explain the discrepancy.

But the one that really blew my socks off was this other one from the blog Continuation:
Some people offered the explanation that smaller precincts tend not to use Diebold machines and also tend to favor Obama, for whatever sociological reasons. As someone put the election data in computer-readable format on the web, and as I am slightly versed in statistical analysis using the R package, I decided to run some tests.

...

In hand-counted precincts, which make up 20.2% of the votes, Obama gets 38.6% and Clinton gets 34.9%. In Diebold-counted ones, Clinton makes 39.6% and Obama gets 36.3%. This is the basis for the initial claims of vote rigging.

Claims which are countered by the observation that precincts where the votes are hand-counted are small, non-urban precincts. Urbanity is, of course, a well-known factor affecting political choices.

...

Actually there is a very significant correlation at p < 0.002 between Clinton's score and the precinct size, and an even better correlation between Clinton's score and voting method, and yet a better correlation between precinct size and voting method.

We cannot say much more without going to multivariate statistics. Fortunately, thanks to GNU R, mere mortals can benefit from multi-variate statistical modeling.

...

These cryptic lines mean that Hillary's score can be computed by 38.59% plus the Democratic size divided by 384911.5 (which is 1/2.598e-6) minus 4.64 percentage points whenever the voting method is by hand.

So it is estimated that voting method accounts for 4.64 percentage points of Hillary's score.

How much variability does this linear formula remove from the data? The standard deviation (on a precinct by precinct basis) of Hillary's score is about 7.8 percentage points.

...

Look at the t value! As you can see, voting method explains a lot better than precinct size.

...

Now let's think a little bit. There could very well be a politically meaningful parameter correlated with voting method besides precinct size. As Diebold has connections with Republicans, it could be that Republicans favor Diebold. Could it be that the Republican to Democrat size ratio explains the voting method?

I'll spare you the R screen dump: the p-value of the correlation coefficient being 0.69, the R to D size ratio doesn't seem to explain anything.

So, after I told Drew that this Continuation guy had hit jackpot, he decided to forward a bunch of these links to the Kucinich campaign to help them with the recount effort. Apparently Drew ended up on the phone with Kucinich, who would really appreciate having a detailed report of the statistical evidence before Monday (US time). And why, oh, why would Kucinich need as watertight as possible a report on so short a notice? Because, as you can see from the PDF press release linked to here
PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY - JANUARY 8, 2008
Results of the Presidential Primary will be posted at the above link after tabulation is complete (Wednesday, January 9, 2008)
Press Release Regarding Republican and Democratic Recounts
the New Hampshire Secretary of State is required to estimate the cost of a full recount, which would have to be paid by Kucinich (at least for the Democratic recount). Kucinich is not exactly swimming in cash, and also he's sticking his neck out on this (he effectively called a full recount on a limb) and has some of his own credibility at stake if the recount ends up confirming the original result.

Here are a bunch of links to other blog posts, media sources and data sources that you are welcome to look at if you are so inclined. I am personally going to go to sleep now and tomorrow I'll run my own set of regressions to try to independently validate the evidence presented here. So, if you have any suggestions on how best to do that, please put them in the comments. And please poke as many holes into this as you can.

reddit [precinct-level data used by Continuation]

BlackBoxVoting Forums 1

BlackBoxVoting Forums 2

CheckTheVotes.com

The Boston Globe [results by town]

BlackBoxVoting Forums 3

New Hampshire Primary: postmortem [hand-counted vs. machine-counted as function of precint size calculator]

list of Accuvote-using NH precints

What the exit polls tell us [Booman Tribune diary by dataguy]

ET comment by Drew J Jones

MSNBC

Bradblog

BlackBoxVoting NH voting tables demographic data by town [excel]

Display:
Have tinfoil hat, will travel.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 12th, 2008 at 11:04:59 PM EST
And all real credit goes to Mig on the analysis, so give it up, people.

No tinfoil hat necessary here, though.  This is pretty obvious.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jan 12th, 2008 at 11:07:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd also like to point out:  I was right, damn it.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jan 12th, 2008 at 11:18:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

Qui vit sans folie n'est pas si sage qu'il croit.
by FPS Doug on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 03:12:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As you say.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 05:39:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In my opinion, the best evidence of tampering is the perfect match, to within one vote in 170 thousand, of the machine-counted ballots with the hand-counted ballots. To me this suggests that someone waited to have a full hand count and then manipulated the machine count to match the percentages before reversing them. This may have happened in a single large county. Drew mentioned that the machine-counted votes took up to 4 hours longer to be released than the hand-counted votes.

The county-level data are quite noisy when it comes to vote percentages, but somehow magically the statewide vote percentages match to 5 significant figures.

I have a really cheap bridge right here under my bed that you might want to buy...

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 12th, 2008 at 11:18:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This situation reeks of manipulation.

The optical counters 4 hours behind the complete hand count?  That staggers the imagination.

The flip-flop in voting percentages to 5 frickin' digits over the total population!?!  That smells like a calculatory artifact.  Getting a .99999 correlation is exceeding rare in the Social Sciences.  Anyone who can get a .97 is ecstatic and the conclusion is considered bullet proof.  

Somebody in those counties need to get off their ass and file a class action lawsuit to force the SecState to a hand powered recount.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:07:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - What happened in New Hampshire?

Optical Scan
Clinton 91,717 52.9507%
Obama 81,495 47.0493%
Total 173,212

Hand Counted
Clinton 20,889 47.0494%
Obama 23,509 52.9506%
Total 44,398

Smoking gun. Or the coincidence of the millennium.

Has anyone posted any of this to the Obama and Clinton campaigns?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 06:33:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama cannot call the recount or he will be skewered as a sore loser by the MSM. It has to be the Clinton campaign that calls for a recount. And the reason has been pointed out downthread. Maybe this was planted by Republicans in order to "discover" it after she gets the nomination.

However, it is possible that the actual ballots were tampered with and that a recount will confirm the results.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 07:04:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe this was planted by Republicans in order to "discover" it after she gets the nomination.

That is very possible. But why make the numbers so bizarre, as if whoever did this thought something like that wouldn't be noticed until several months from now (unless they were incompetent)? Wouldn't they want something that they could disguise for a few months? I'm just thinking/typing out loud.

by lychee on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 07:35:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The fact is, this is too close to being statistically insignificant. If instead of fixing the numbers to the last digit you only fix it to +- 7 votes, it drops below 95% confidence in one of the scenarios. In the other you just need to go to +- 13 votes.

The scenarios are: estimate the probabilities from the machine counts and assume the hand counts are a random sample, or vice versa.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 07:40:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Plus - if this happened, it would have been a Republican scheme. And Republicans are notorious for not being terribly bright when it comes to science.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 07:46:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was thinking whoever did this was bright enough to doctor the data, but not bright enough to doctor it properly.

The easiest way to steal the election is to just reverse the Obama/Clinton counts on a precinct basis. If you do it in every precinct it even gives you plausible deniability - sorry, computer bug! A human error programming the mappings to the database.

But maybe they thought that's easy to reverse and they really want Clinton to win. So they say okay, let's just tamper with the largest county in the state. They could just have reversed the counts and, given statistical noise, the vote percentages would have been similar but to less than 95% confidence. Being a single county, you'd have to go down to precinct level to show all the precincts are switched.

But maybe they thought they needed to eliminate the discrepancy. In statistical parlance, they worried about a one-tailed chi-square test (misfit) but not about a two-tailed chi-square test (misfit or too-good-to-be-true fit).

I mean, it just takes a pocket calculator to get the "correct" vote counts.

Tampering with the count would mean that a recount would give the win to Obama. Tampering with the ballots would confirm the results, possibly with a 200-vote difference from the initial ones.


We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 07:56:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However, it is possible that the actual ballots were tampered with and that a recount will confirm the results.

This is actually quite important. I want to pull it out and emphasis it.

How are the ballots secured after an election? Black Box Voting seems to have some serious concerns over this.

"We have no control over the ballot chain of custody and we have learned the pain from the 2004 Nader recount, in which only 11 districts were counted, chosen by a highly questionable person, and then nothing showed up. Now all we hear is how the Nader recount validated the machines."
http://www.bbvforums.org/cgi-bin/forums/board-auth.cgi?file=/1954/71260.html

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 09:51:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ATinNM:
The optical counters 4 hours behind the complete hand count?  That staggers the imagination.
Well, I have to ask Drew to substantiate that with a link :-)

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 07:17:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/1954/71287.html?1200198688

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 10:42:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This comment by Bev Harris is better:
Black Box Voting : 1-7-08: Silvestro the Cat & New Hampshire Elections
Kicking myself for not tediously taking screen shots of every friggin' municipality in the dumb Googlemap thing. Why can't they just add a table below it?

One noticeable thing on the 59 screen shots I grabbed between 10:45 pm NH time and midnight NH time, is that the ones that had late results (not submitted as of 4 hours after poll closing) -- well, you'd expect them to be hand count locations, right? Nope. Mostly Diebold locations. That's a major red flag to me. How the heck can you not push "print" for four hours??? It normally takes only 30 minutes to wrap things up and print the poll tape when the polls close.

My method was grabbing the municipalities left to right, right to left, starting at the south end of the state and working up. I only got about three rows up. Anyone who has additional time slice information documenting late reporters I'd like to see it.

Late reporters from the first 59 locations I grabbed:

BRENTWOOD - Diebold location - had the Dem results, but no Republican results as of 11:53 pm (polls closed at 7)

CHESTERFIELD - Hand count location - no results as of 11:00 pm

DERRY - Diebold location - no results in as of 11:42 pm

FREMONT - Diebold location - no results in as of 11:48 pm

GREENFIELD - Hand count location - no results in as of 11:52 pm

HAMPTON - Diebold location - results in on time, but I flagged this because every Dem candidate had a result divisible by 5 and for Republicans, Huckabee 217, McCain 1217, Romney 1217, it just looked weird. So much for my statistical capabilities.

HOLLIS - Diebold location - results not in as of 11:54 pm

NEW IPSWICH - Diebold location - results not in as of 10:52 pm

NEWTON - Diebold location - results not in as of 10:58 pm

PELHAM - Diebold location - results not in as of 10:56 pm

TEMPLE - Hand count location - results not in as of 11:26 pm

WINCHESTER - Diebold location - results not in as of 10:46 pm


We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:58:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
How the heck can you not push "print" for four hours???

Weren't these votes machine-counted, by optically scanning paper ballots, rather than machine-voted?

On the othe hand, I see no correlation with number of tallied votes and late reporting:

Brentwood - 838
Chesterfield - 952
Derry - 5230
Fremont - 742
Greenfield - 368
Hampton - 3974
Hollis - 1923
New Ipswich - 717
Newton - 888
Pelham - 2484
Temple - 395
Winchester - 826

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 01:21:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By county, separated:

Rockingham:
Brentwood
Derry
Fremont
Hampton
Newton

Hillsborough:
Greenfield
Hollis
New Ipswich
Pelham
Temple

Cheshire:
Chesterfield
Winchester

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 02:01:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By result, Clinton and Obama percentages:

Brentwood - 39.62%, 36.16%
Chesterfield - 39.46%, 38.52%
Derry - 45.64%, 31.20%
Fremont - 41.78%, 30.73%
Greenfield - 27.45%, 42.93%
Hampton - 42.78%, 32.59%
Hollis - 35.52%, 41.19%
New Ipswich - 38.63%, 29.43%
Newton - 48.42%, 29.17%
Pelham - 50.72%, 29.03%
Temple - 24.56%, 50.38%
Winchester - 48.79%, 28.57%

Not much of a trend.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 03:03:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The sum of these is 43.21% to 33.10%. Looking at absolute numbers, 8356 to 6401.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 03:13:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Significance?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 03:25:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not much I can see. In other words, I don't think the results coming in after 4 hours changed much.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 04:56:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To me this suggests that someone waited to have a full hand count and then manipulated the machine count to match the percentages before reversing them. This may have happened in a single large county. Drew mentioned that the machine-counted votes took up to 4 hours longer to be released than the hand-counted votes.

No, you have to make a more complex hypothesis. Clinton led throughout the evening as we watched results coming in, so at least the Clinton/Obama swapping had to have been done before.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 07:56:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would be really interesting to get precinct-level data including the time at which it was reported.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 08:00:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I add one thing I noticed on election night: during the count, Kucinich's numbers as displayed by New York Times and MSNBC suddenly jumped at the same time Obama's dropped, but a few minutes later, it was back 'to normal'. What happened then?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 08:11:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember that happening on CNN too as I was flipping channels.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 08:18:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Could have been a keying error.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 09:52:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But why would anyone with the capability to manipulate the machine counts (and I'm not saying they did or didn't) do it in a way that screams election fraud?  Why simply reverse the percentages?  Are we dealing with the thieves that stole horse rectums?

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 04:55:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't help.  Wish I could, but Statistical Analysis isn't my gig.

Sorry.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sat Jan 12th, 2008 at 11:50:15 PM EST
If you can help up tie it all together into a coherent story for the public, that would be greatly appreciated.

What I want to know now is: Why was it rigged?  We know who might benefit.  You could say it was the Clinton campaign, or you could argue that it was the Republicans wanting to run in a race they likely perceive to be easier.  We need to find out the political connections, if any exist, of the higher-ups at LHS, the firm responsible for the machines, and a firm whose leadership has a criminal past and (in some states) present.

Now we need to figure out which of those parties was responsible.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:03:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
groan

You guys would come up with this at 10:15PM!

Let me do a quick hit on Google and see what I can come up with.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:14:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mig and I are ET's resident supernerds.  Of course we would! :D

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:27:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm too old for this shit

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:35:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, Kucinich pretty much said we had to put together a watertight case in 38 hours, so I stayed up until 4:30 AM.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 05:46:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's dedication for you!
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 05:51:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought it would take 45 minutes to write the diary... LOL!

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 05:55:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ha not nerdy enough, only stayed up till three waiting for the story.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 06:26:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sigh.  And all us Murkans grumbled to ourselves and went to bed.  What's wrong with this picture?

Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?
by budr on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 01:59:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Damn.  Even a quick hit turned-up Gold.

In last week's program LHS President John Silvestro admitted his staff violated Connecticut security protocols during the 2006 election. Memory cards were swapped by LHS staff members who saw protocols from the State indicating they were not to touch machines.

From here

So you can establish a previous whatchamacallit.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:19:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good find.  Thanks.

These guys are definitely shady.  Black Box Voting has been all over them.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:28:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And this:

Vote fraud expert Bev Harris has warned that New Hampshire's electronic voting machines are wide open to fraud and that even modestly skilled computer programmers were able to identify key vulnerabilities within ten minutes of assessing them as key Democrat and Republican primaries unfold today.

Harris points out that LHS is a private company that will count over four fifths of the New Hampshire vote with no oversight whatsoever.

    LHS is not subject to public records requirements, as the government is, at least, not in New Hampshire. The control over memory card contents is absolute; when cards malfunction or get lost, LHS brings the replacements.

    Since LHS maintains the machines, repairs the machines, and replaces the machines -- often on Election Day -- when they malfunction, they have intimate access to the chips, sockets, ports, communications devices and other electronic components.

A recent CNN report featured on Lou Dobbs' show highlights just how easy it is to hack a voting machine and change how votes are tallied with just rudimentary programming skills. Experts warn that it takes only a minute for an unsupervised machine to be inserted with a virus and hacked.

Should get in touch with Harri Hursti who has been warning about the fraud potential of Diebold machines and LHS.  He has a company in Finland (!) so maybe somebody 'round here knows someone who knows him.  If he holds a press conference and presents the information you've got instant credibility AND it will get picked-up.

Anyway, this establishes:

  1.  Previous pattern of misbehavior
  2.  Previous warnings of the hack potential
  3.  Statistical Evidence of a hack

which is the (IANAL) the prima facie case of wrongdoing.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:33:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ERRATA!  

Hursti has been warning about the Diebold machines but the LHS part is unconfirmed.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:38:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can anyone get in touch with Hurst?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:41:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually...

When I went to the UK Lib Dem conference in September I attended a Lunch "fringe" session on electronic voting organised by the Open Rights Group. I must have the guy's business card somewhere!

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 05:43:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Drew wrote in part:

You could say it was the Clinton campaign, or you could argue that it was the Republicans wanting to run in a race they likely perceive to be easier.

This is actually a nice situation for potential Republican fraudsters: as the more conservative candidate and the candidate less liked by independent voters, Clinton should be both easier to beat and preferable if she actually wins. These two effects tend to oppose one another, giving such a potential fraudster pause; but not this time. Not that I trust Hillary, but given this point and the Republicans' connections to Diebold, I'd expect Republicans as by far the most likely perpetrators.

by Toby Bartels (toby+8190809933@ugcs.caltech.edu) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:35:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's my suspicion as well.  Note that my view, from the start, has been that Sens Obama and Edwards are much stronger candidates for the general election than Senator Clinton.

But the simple truth is that we just don't know the answer yet.  We can speculate, and some arguments seems tronger than others, but it needs further investigation.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:40:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Clinton should be both easier to beat and preferable if she actually wins

Until now, I didn't believe the first part, but I definitely agreed with the second. But that's no longer the case. One reason I used to think that Clinton would not be easy to defeat was that all of the scandals that could be found, or could be invented, to use against her have already been tried, while we've no idea what they could invent against the others candidates.

But that is no longer the case. There is a new scandal, and that's the New Hampshire election. If people like those at the Election Defense Alliance hadn't done their work, this scandal might well have surfaced after the Democratic convention, and dogged her all the way to the general election, if not beyond (once she had a reputation for election fraud, I can see the Supreme Court inventing yet another law, this time to allow recounts that might work against her).

For that reason, it's essential that she clear this up as soon as possible, and I can see only one way to do this. Clinton should call for a recount herself, and then try to turn it against the Republicans if it turns out to be true. If not, it's critical that she not win the nomination, to then go on and lose the general election. Until today, I was certain that I would vote in February for Edwards, but now I'm seriously thinking of switching to Obama, to help make sure that she does not win the nomination.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 03:48:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good points.

Whether or not Clinton had anything to do with election fraud (or would ever do so at all) is inconsequential, once Fox and the rest get the scent of a spectacular story  --even one with an indeterminate conclusion. This is just the sort of smart tactic that has emerged from the Rove machine for a long time. Because it relies on an astute instinct for voter psychology and media weaknesses, it's powerful.

Assume for a moment that the statistical case that got Mig's attention and pushed him and Drew into action can be made solid, and explained in a way that the media can sell.

How to get them to do it?

I think this is the great obstacle, and an almost insurmountable one perhaps.

I suggest that, rather than changing your vote, a far  better tactic would be to get on the phone, get on the net, get in your car and show up at the door of EVERY SIGNIFICANT PLAYER IN THE GAME.

The media are going to decide this.

 They can and will ignore Harry Hursti. God knows they did before, for the most part.

drive them crazy.  

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 05:22:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Assume for a moment that the statistical case that got Mig's attention and pushed him and Drew into action can be made solid, and explained in a way that the media can sell.

On second thoughts, the statistical case may not be that relevant to the point I was making. By the standards of Love Story, Swiftboats, or Saddam's WMDs, the fact that the polls showed Obama winning, while Clinton won in the end is already strong evidence of fraud. That's what we're up against. Like the rest of you, I made the mistake of assuming that facts are what matter here.

On the other hand, I do vaguely remember similar claims being made about her NY Senate victory, so it's just possible that this is yet another made-up scandal that has already been captured by current opinion polls. I would still feel more comfortable, though, if her campaign was doing something to respond to it.


I suggest that, rather than changing your vote, a far  better tactic would be to get on the phone, get on the net, get in your car and show up at the door of EVERY SIGNIFICANT PLAYER IN THE GAME.

I definitely would like to contact her campaign, but I'm trying to think of the best way to do so without being immediately dismissed as yet another person complaining about fraud. Anybody got suggestions for the best way to go about it?

I meant to introduce myself at the end of my previous, first, post, but hit the "Post" button prematurely. As usual, I've been lurking for quite a while, etc.etc.  There was no way for you to know, but I live in Italy now, making showing up at doors and so on rather difficult (I know that "get in your car" is meant metaphorically, but I can't resist the opportunity of bragging that I haven't owned, or even driven, a car for over a decade).

The primary that I'll be voting in will be for delegates for Democrats Abroad. I just learnt that the Italian vote will be on Super Tuesday, so I won't be able to vote in person, and will have to chose between voting by absentee ballot, or over the internet. I'm considering the latter just for the experience, but I am rather dubious about how it will work in practice.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2008 at 06:02:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think that we know that there was fraud. There are some red flags that have been raised.

For me, the point is that computers are not the appropriate technology to count votes. There is a reason why right after the election has closed, the ballot box is emptied in front of witnesses from all competing (as well as other interested parties) factions and counted. The system is designed to eliminate the need for trust.

A computer makes the entire process one of trust - after we have so carefully eliminated the need for trust originally.  Why bother watching the election if you can't watch the designing of the computer program that counts the ballots?


aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Mon Jan 14th, 2008 at 06:36:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And this about Diebold

Walden O'Dell, then-CEO of Ohio-based Diebold, wrote an invitation to a Bush re-election fundraiser in 2003 stating that he intended to help "Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president." Ohio did get counted in the red column the following year, with its result providing the decisive margin of victory for the Republican incumbent.

The uproar over O'Dell's comments, compounded by allegations of voting irregularities in some Ohio precincts in 2004, culminated with his resignation two months ago. Company officials privately acknowledged the impropriety of such partisan remarks by O'Dell, who was also a major donor to Bush's re-election bid.

But Diebold's new CEO, Thomas Swidarski, is also a Republican stalwart. Swidarski was one of about a dozen Diebold executives who helped fund the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004, with Swidarski himself making the maximum individual contribution of $2000.

Diebold has since barred its top administrators from making political donations. But the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported recently that three Diebold executives not covered by the ban have continued to contribute to GOP candidates in Ohio.

Two groups of investors are meanwhile suing Diebold in federal court on the grounds that the company gave misleading assurances about the security of its voting machines. Those allegedly false claims led to artificial inflation of Diebold's share prices, the lawsuits charge. The disgruntled investors complain that Diebold is "unable to assure the quality and working order of its voting machine products."

Taking note of these developments, The New York Times criticized Diebold's "flawed approach to its business" in a December editorial. "The counting of votes is a public trust," the Times declared. "Diebold, whose machines count many votes, has never acted as if it understood this."



Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:44:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The BlackBox people have piddled into the web info pool.

LHS Associates removed their personnel information from their website so I can't do cross-checking.

BTW, we're already on the first page of Google using the search term ["Silvestro" + "Republican"].  That was pretty quick, huh?

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 01:29:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd imagine the site will get a lot of traffic over the coming days.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 02:11:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One angle Kucinich could take is challenge LHS to pay for the recall, to prove their system, if they have confidence in it and promise to pay them the recall costs if everything turns out to have been all above board.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 05:26:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can't you google cache the info ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 08:19:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or use the Wayback Machine.

(Except it doesn't seem to be working.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 09:07:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Black Box Voting has been pumping information out about LHS for months, apparently and those posts have been picked-up by Google.  Their postings have been linked to by other websites which Google also picked-up.  The result: when you run a web search it's difficult (and time consuming) to get 'behind' the BBV information.

A Lexis/Nexus search - which I can't do - needs to be run, tho' I don't expect much to happen with that, either.

Irregardless of the statistical analysis preliminary evidence indicates LHS Associates and John Silvestro shouldn't be in charge of counting votes to elect the officers of the local Gardening Club.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 11:21:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I assume you filtered out those results with bbv, blackboxvoting and black in. (although that dosn't cut out those results that don't reference where they got their info from) and only cuts the number of searches down from 122,000 to 110,000

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 11:41:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.

More often than not, however, even tertiary sources link back to BBV.  A common trail is:

BBV <- BradBlog <- 3rd Source

so the search results need to be manually verified and qualified.  On a dial-up ISP that takes a while.

The 3rd Source is a serious problem as some of those Information Sources are not of the highest intellectual quality -- shall I say.  (The phrase "stark raving bonkers" leaps to mind.)

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:18:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ATinNM:
The 3rd Source is a serious problem as some of those Information Sources are not of the highest intellectual quality -- shall I say.  (The phrase "stark raving bonkers" leaps to mind.)

and yet you hang around here... ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 01:16:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]

That vote percentage swap is crazy! It's certainly indicative that something is amiss, although I'm not sure how indicative it is of fraud, simply because it's hard to imagine why a fraudster would do it that way. (Much more sensible to simply swap the individual votes in the Diebold districts, not bothering to calculate percentages or create a suspicious coincidence.) But what other explanation is there?

I get most of my news analysis from Counterpunch (not because it's the best but because I'm not motivated to spend the time looking for something better); here are a couple of interesting articles from there:

  • an article by David Lindorff on the possibility of fraud; interesting points:
    • even some people who doubt fraud in this case would like vote counting to be audited;
    • dark-horse candidates are important, since the direct victims of fraud don't want to look like sore losers by demanding a recount;
    • on the basis of demographics, you would expect Hillary to do worse and Obama to do better in the Diebold-counted precincts.
  • an article by Bob Wing and Marqueece Harris-Dawson on the Bradley effect; this is (IMO) the obvious alternative explanation that one would want to test against as a null hypothesis (although obviously one should also try whatever other explanations are seriously proposed).
by Toby Bartels (toby+8190809933@ugcs.caltech.edu) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:23:21 AM EST
No, we haven't really thrown the whole thing together and given the full analysis with the demographic data.  Once you hear The StoryTM, it's painfully obvious what happened, and it probably gets worse, but I'll get to that later.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:29:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And, yes, dark horse candidates are critical, as Congressman Kucinich demonstrates.  Senator Obama won't be allowed to call for a recount for fear of being nuked by the press.  He's already being wounded by them in this whole race-baiting thing.  Kucinich knows this, and at least seemed to make it very clear when I spoke with him.

Still, I understand Obama's hesitation, but it deserved more attention than his staff gave it (which was none by the sound of it).  In the big picture, this is a little bigger than a candidate, after all.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:33:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Drew wrote in part:

In the big picture, this is a little bigger than a candidate, after all.

Now, when have you ever known a campaign to put the big picture ahead of the individual candidate? (Well, except for the Kucinich campaign, of course.) ^_^

by Toby Bartels (toby+8190809933@ugcs.caltech.edu) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:40:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Clearly the Kucinich campaign, but I don't think the Obama campaign gave it much thought.  Allegedly a few of the universities were not in session, and so they may have assumed their voters simply weren't there on election day.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:44:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That vote percentage swap is crazy! It's certainly indicative that something is amiss, although I'm not sure how indicative it is of fraud, simply because it's hard to imagine why a fraudster would do it that way. (Much more sensible to simply swap the individual votes in the Diebold districts, not bothering to calculate percentages or create a suspicious coincidence.)

Just as an aside, if I may (I get the feeling what I'm about to write has been written several times already, but I barely survived college statistics and pretty much shut down when I see the phrase "statistically significant," so, apologies to anyone who's said this before). If this turns out to be fraud, whoever did it wanted it to be discovered. It's too perfect. Those numbers in the quotes from Brad Blog and Election Defense Alliance, the hand-counted and machine-counted ballots are mirror images?

That's too perfect and if you want to commit fraud, you don't make it so tidy like that unless you're either stupid or you want people to take notice. "Bait" comes to mind. I agree there could have been fraud on the part of people who want HRC to win because they think she'd lose to an R, but it also could have been someone who wanted to make her look like a fool or someone who wanted to see Dems run around, just to see us react and possibly create more discord between the various candidate camps. I don't think I'm adding any great revelation and the numbers could turn out to have a perfectly logical, non-fraud explanation-- but maybe instead of election manipulation, someone's trying to get a rise out of us.

There is also the distant possibility that it could be someone trying to show how optical scan can be manipulated, although this was a really bad time to do it.

by lychee on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 03:33:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
lychee:
There is also the distant possibility that it could be someone trying to show how optical scan can be manipulated, although this was a really bad time to do it.

This is the only one of these options that makes sense. Every time you do something like this you provide more data to prove that something has happened, and once this is proved then the whole scheme goes out of the window, (Plus it ends up with past results being looked at more closely). If this is happening surely this is the last thing you'd want to happen.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 06:53:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If this is happening surely this is the last thing you'd want to happen.

Huh? I'm not quite sure how to interpret that. :)

In terms of what makes sense, reasons for fraud don't necessarily have to be logical. It's quite possible (again, if it's fraud) that someone did this just to mess with the Dems.

You know, as I think more and more about it, I keep coming back to how glaring this is-- really, if someone's going to commit fraud, they'd want to hide it well, not have numbers that make others stop and stare, unless they want people to stop and stare. This may be one of those "agree to disagree" things. :)

by lychee on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 07:29:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They may just be relying on the only peole stopping and staring are maths and statistics geeks (no offence Mig ;-)) and then assuming that people with those geeky tendencys will not be able to communicate it effectively to the ordinary man in the street and get him to stop and stare.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 07:43:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, it takes too much effort to make the vote counts match in this way.

Maybe New Hampshire just won the lottery, or something.

The probability of the hand count being exactly the most likely value assuming the vote percentages of the machine count are "correct" is smaller than 1 in 250 given the sample size. Now, if you run 50 primary contests, what is the likelihood that at least one will be this "lucky"? Actually 1 in 6.

So something of this sort should be expected to happen ever 24 years :-)

[there are several assumptions in this which overestimate the probability of occurrence. For example: assuming the "correct" probabilities are the hand-counted ones and the machine-counted ones are the ones drawn randomly from the distribution, this is less likely than 1 in 500 and assuming 50 primaries every 4 years it would be a 44-year event].

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 07:36:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In case it's not clear from my (long) comment below, I don't believe the data or calculations yielding the "exact match" percentages are reliable.  Their numbers don't match the NH Secretary of State's numbers, so the percentages they talk about are meaningless.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 08:09:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In another comment I point out that a 7 to 13-vote difference would render the coincidence statistically insignificant. So there goes that.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 08:38:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've emailed the basic storyline to Congressman Kucinich, but any and all additional analysis is fantastic and will be forwarded.  Let's hope we can fix this.

I do want to thank to TBG -- and, by extension, soros -- for bringing this to our attention, as well as Mig for really working his ass off and shining a ton of much-needed light on all of this for me.  You're both Godsends.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 02:30:24 AM EST
Oh, and ATinNM, of course, for some really great leads on LHS and Diebold.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 02:31:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This from the Booman Tribune thread.
bento:
The published exit polls are normalized to match the official tallies, so they are not generally valid for checking those tallies, those if micro discrepancies survive macro adjustment, that would be interesting. However, both Chris Matthews and Bill Maher have stated that the unaltered polls showed Obama strongly ahead. Deeply suspicious in itself, independent of other factors. Like I said in the other thread, if we could just get the media to release raw exit poll data by precinct, we could correlate with counting method ourselves. But I doubt we could do that outside of court, and whether it is possible in court is beyond my knowledge.


We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 05:54:22 AM EST
How did the Republican votes go between the hand counted and machine counted counties?

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 07:04:42 AM EST
It appears there are allegations that Ron Paul had votes stolen. By the way, Ron Paul Recount: Count My Vote

Gardner is preparing an estimate of the recount's cost.

Under state law, if a candidate who asks for a recount finished more than 3 percentage points behind the winner, the candidate must pay the cost of a recount. The cost is refunded if the recount finds that the requester won or finished within 1 percentage point of the winner.

Kucinich sent a letter to Gardner Thursday asking for the recount, citing "serious and credible reports, allegations and rumors" about the integrity of the primary results.

In other words, Kucinich will have to pay for the Democratic recount no matter what, even if irregularities are uncovered.

The Republican Recount is being called by Albert Howard.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 07:12:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Ron Paul site indicates that New Hampshire has alrady agreed to Dennis K.'s request for a recount and that it will commence on Jan. 16th.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 07:28:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Read the press release from the Secretary of State.

Apparently there's a $2,000 application fee to get the SoS to consider a recount. Then they have to estimate the cost of the recount and it would have to be paid by Kucinich. We're probably talking of the order of $100k.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 07:44:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
Apparently there's a $2,000 application fee to get the SoS to consider a recount.

can he say no?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 08:00:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"consider" means to evaluate the cost of carrying it out. The SoS has said that both recount requests satisfied the statutory requirements.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 08:02:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - Comments - What happened in New Hampshire?
My initial suggestion was to compare the actual vote counts by hand vs. by machine against the exit polls, if an exit poll could be found that aggregated the data according to the vote counting method used in the precinct where the voter was interviewed. Of course this variable was not in the published exit polls. In my enthusiasm I imagined someone in the blogosphere knowing someone in one of the companies that do exit polls, so they could try to get the raw data from election night re-analysed. But see below.

Don't the candidates have private polling? Might  Kuchinch have the data thatis needed? or might he have the connections with people in Obamas campaign to get this taken seriously and so get their polling data released to us? OK there might be contractual reasons why this can't be done, but it's worth an ask.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 07:20:15 AM EST
I've little doubt he has connections with the Obama campaign, but remember that O's campaign is going to be very hesitant to get involved with this for fear of sparking a press reaction.  If the recount lacked integrity, and simply verified the results, both K and O would be, well, KO'd.

There's too much of a gamble for the Obama people to get involved.  Kucinich may not have private polling, because that's very expensive and, I think, typically only done by the top-tier candidates (in this case, Edwards, Clinton, Obama and maybe then Richardson).

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 11:36:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Trade magazines now come with video links to new products.   Tin foil hats move over, you can buy an entire EMI proof tent.

As to exit poll credibility I remember seeing a 49% approval rating for Bush.

Media also dutifully featured only their mainstream candidates in their election coverage.

by Lasthorseman on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 07:40:42 AM EST
Without having read the other coments (or to be frank, even having read the diary in detail), I figured I would post this (without having read it in detial either):

National Election Archive Project

A draft analysis of New Hampshire Democratic Primary Raw Data shows that Clinton received a higher percentage of votes when ballots were counted electronically by Diebold, and Obama received a higher percentage of votes when ballots were counted by hand. The pattern is consistent with outcome-determinative vote miscount.

Well, gotta run!

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 07:49:18 AM EST
Ok, now I have had a better look at it.

These are the differences between the Zogby poll data and the reported votes, sorted on hand counted and Diebold counted:


(click for larger)

Clintons votes in Diebold counted has a quite larger difference then anything else.

National Election Archive Project also checked pairs of  likesized precincts in the same county, and looked at differences in Diebold and hand counted votes for Obama and Clinton. Choosing pairs of two likesized precincts in the same county, you get pairs where the demograpic differences should not be that large. Within the pair that is.


(click for larger)

Blue is Diebolds effect on Clinton - mostly positive - and red is on Obama - mostly negative.

Last, but not least:

Two-Tailed Difference of Means Tests by Ron Baiman

This analysis is of a sample of randomly selected 36 comparably-sized machine and hand count precincts
from the "middle of the size distribution" obtained by lopping off the smallest and largest precincts
respectively until equal size samples (36 precincts each) with almost identical average size (762.2 votes
cast for machine, 764.9 votes cast for hand counted precincts) remained in the sample.

The results of a two-tailed difference of means tests (machine count versus hand count for same
candidate) for Obama, Clinton, and Edwards are striking.

In the standard test (assuming both machine and hand counts precincts are randomly selected from the
precinct population):

Odds for the results for Obama, are one out of 437
Odds for the results for Clinton are one out of 1,965
Odds for the results for Edwards are one out of 12

Both the Obama and Clinton differences between their machine and hand counts are highly significant at
well above 99% level. Edwards' result is significant at the 90% level.

This all leading to their conclusion:

We can therefore state that the pattern of hand and machine counts is consistent with switching votes cast for Obama to votes counted for Clinton by the machines.

Do read the whole thing, it is just 4 pages.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 10:26:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Clintons votes in Diebold counted has a quite larger difference then anything else.

However, several others are off by more than the statistical significance even in the hand-counted districts, including Clinton.

Choosing pairs of two likesized precincts in the same county, you get pairs where the demograpic differences should not be that large.

That's a definitely false assumption. Almost all counties include urban, suburban, smalltown and rural precints.

As for the linear fits: the odds of the result are less interesting than the odds of the  linear part of the result, and they don't even give an R-squared. (It seems to me a superposition of a ringing-off sinusoid and a linear would be amuch better fit for Clinton.) I should again re-state the point that there is no control for systematic errors.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:45:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks.

Should have started with a disclaimer of statistics not being my best subject...

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 05:13:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, Mig, I know you've worked hard on this, but I remain unconvinced.  Absolutely, it's worth investigating, but I just don't see a smoking gun.

A bunch of random thoughts and links in no particular order.  (Sorry for the incoherence, I'm still pretty sick and my head is kinda fuzzy.)

My main problem is that few of the sites you link to cite where they got their data, and at least one of those that does cite a source (but doesn't link to it) uses numbers that don't match the source.

Examples:  The guy from Election Defense Alliance says he got his data from the NH Secretary of State web site.  He doesn't link to it, but the data is here.

He says Clinton had 91,717 optical-scan votes and 20,889 hand-counted votes, for a total of 112,606 votes.  But the NH Secretary of State says Clinton got a total of 112,610 votes.  He says Obama got 81,495 optical-scan votes and  hand-counted votes for a total of 105,004 votes, but the NH SOS says he got a total of 105,007 votes.

He also doesn't say how he determined which votes were machine-counted and which were hand-counted.  Here's the official list of machine-counted municipalities, fyi.

The statistical exploration post  you were so impressed with says he got his data from this post at Reddit.  But the very first comment on his post points out that he got the machine/hand count towns wrong, so those data and calculations are useless until he gets those right.

An interesting post that I don't think you linked to gets different numbers and breaks it all down county-by-county.  I will note that he (I assume it's a he) says he got his data from politico.com, which is a commercial political journalism site, not an official source.  I haven't had time to poke around politico to see where their data came from, but if they're not idiots (and they're not) then it probably comes from the secretary of state.  But still, I wonder why the guy would rely on a middle-person rather than go directly to the source.

Also just FYI, this might be interesting to play around with.

Next, here's the AP's take on the matter, citing "experts" (whatever those are) who are skeptical about the claims of fraud.  I link to it because I do think it makes a couple of points.

First, the AP's own numbers don't show this weird percentage-switching either:

An analysis by The Associated Press' Election Research and Quality Control service found that Clinton led Obama by about 6 percentage points in machine-counted towns, where she earned 53 percent of the vote and Obama earned 47 percent. Obama led Clinton by about 8 percentage points in hand-counted towns, where he earned 54 percent of the vote and Clinton earned 46 percent.

I will note that the AP is very good at elections.  They did not call Florida for Bush in 2000.  They have screwed some stuff up in the past, but they take this stuff seriously and have some solid people working on it.

Second, they offer this explanation of the patterns we see, and note that it is not new.

Joe Lenski, executive vice president of Edison Media Research, one of two firms that conduct election exit polling for The AP and television networks, said those numbers fit the pattern.

"If you do a little more statistical digging, you find out that this isn't proving what they think it's proving. It's a pattern that's been around for years," he said.

In 2008, 2004 and 2000, towns and cities using ballot-counting machines skewed toward Democratic primary winners Clinton, John Kerry and Al Gore, while those where ballots are hand-counted went to second-place finishers Obama, Howard Dean and Bill Bradley.

Lenski said it's all of a piece: Education, income and age -- factors that influence voters' candidate choices, also play into where they choose to live.

"We see those patterns in the vote, we see those patterns in the exit poll. It's not surprising we'd see those patterns when we looked at the types of equipment used because it's not randomly assigned, there are reasons why certain towns use paper ballots and certain cities use machines," Lenski said.

Manchester, for example, New Hampshire's most populous city, is largely working class and uses machines at its 12 polling stations. Clinton won there Tuesday, just as previous winners Kerry and Gore did. The small White Mountains towns of Franconia, Sugar Hill and Bethlehem, which hand-count ballots, all went to Obama as they did for Dean in 2004 and Bradley in 2000.

"Clinton, Kerry and Gore all seem to have a similar profile in New Hampshire. Their voters in New Hampshire were older, less likely to be college-educated and had on average lower incomes. For Dean and Obama and Bradley, they're most likely to have college degrees or postgraduate education, they're most likely to be younger and they're most likely to be higher income and higher educated," Lenski said.

"Also in terms of issues, the divide this time was pretty much experience versus change, and that's not too dissimilar from the divide between Kerry and Dean four years ago and the divide between Gore and Bradley eight years ago."

Also, as the AP story noted, there was a recount in the 2004 general election at the behest of Ralph Nader based on similar inconsistencies between machine-counted and hand-counted precincts.  It found no serious discrepancies.

Finally, this NYTimes Magazine piece on voting machines in general is very interesting.  It's not about NH specifically, just the issue of machines.

I have personally got serious reservations about the use of voting machines that don't leave a reliable, verifiable paper trail, and I think their use needs to be discontinued.  I have said this since 2000.

A friend of mine volunteered to staff a voting precinct in the 2004 election, in a suburban county in central Virginia.  He and the other election officers concluded that, despite the fact that they took their jobs seriously and made every effort to ensure that the voting was conducted fairly, they could not in fact guarantee that the results from their precinct reflected the voters' intentions because they couldn't vouch for the machines and there was no way to verify that the results the machines spit out were not tampered with.  He wrote a bunch of letters to the editor, but it got zero attention.  FWIW.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 08:05:13 AM EST
Thanks for this, Stormy.

I personally think Kucinich is right to have called for a recount on principle, but maybe $100k or more is too much money for his campaign and I would have for him to make a fool of himself if the recount finds no irregularities (as in the Nader recount in 2004).

the stormy present:

I have personally got serious reservations about the use of voting machines that don't leave a reliable, verifiable paper trail, and I think their use needs to be discontinued.  I have said this since 2000.
I think in this case we're talking about optical scan of physical ballots with colour-in ballots like the ones people use for multiple-choice tests. So there is a possibility of a recount, which is not there with touch-screen voting. So NH has a good system as far as that goes. Let's not sssume ballot-tampering just yet.

I definitely intend to run a regression on education, income, age, race, gender and town size if I can get my hands on census data. The idea is that after all these effects are taken out there should be no correlation between vote counting method and Clinton/Obama spread.

Examples:  The guy from Election Defense Alliance says he got his data from the NH Secretary of State web site.  He doesn't link to it, but the data is here.

He says Clinton had 91,717 optical-scan votes and 20,889 hand-counted votes, for a total of 112,606 votes.  But the NH Secretary of State says Clinton got a total of 112,610 votes.  He says Obama got 81,495 optical-scan votes and  hand-counted votes for a total of 105,004 votes, but the NH SOS says he got a total of 105,007 votes.

He also doesn't say how he determined which votes were machine-counted and which were hand-counted.  Here's the official list of machine-counted municipalities, fyi.

The guy from EDA has the data aggregated at county level and it shows significant discrepancies only in the two largest counties. I'll post that later. But the issue of sources is important and I intended to get the original SoS data and independently verify all the claims.

Again, thanks for this. Scepticism is what we need. I think Georg Polya said the steps in proving something are to convince yourself, then convince a friend, then convince an enemy. Right now we're in the "convince a friend" stage.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 08:22:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect Kucinich is responding to the generally high level of skepticism (especially among his core followers on the left) about voting machines in general.  He doesn't stand to personally benefit from a recount, which is one reason why I respect his decision to call for one -- the system does need to be examined, and needs to be open to verification.  Anyone who's concerned about the integrity of the system needs to take seriously any serious questions about its reliability.  It has to be able to stand up to scrutiny.  So far, it looks to me like smoke with no fire, but that doesn't mean you ignore the smoke.

I think in this case we're talking about optical scan of physical ballots with colour-in ballots like the ones people use for multiple-choice tests. So there is a possibility of a recount, which is not there with touch-screen voting. So NH has a good system as far as that goes. Let's not sssume ballot-tampering just yet.

Yes, they are optical-scan machines, and NH officials have made it clear that every vote in the state is made on a paper ballot that can be re-counted and manually verified if necessary.  This system is far more reliable and tamper-resistant than some of the other Diebold machines.  If someone were going to intentionally mess with the results, it wouldn't really make sense to do it in a place where the votes can be re-counted.

Yes, it all does need to be examined, and I am looking forward very much toward seeing what you come up with.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 08:40:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
I would havehate for him to make a fool of himself


We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 08:43:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Glad for this.
It's why I come here.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 08:59:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One of my own numbers got eaten!  It should read:

He says Obama got 81,495 optical-scan votes and 23,509 hand-counted votes for a total of 105,004 votes

Sorry for the omission.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 08:26:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was thinking about you yesterday. How's your health?

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 08:29:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Never mind. I see you said you're pretty sick. Hope you recover soon.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 08:38:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, LEP.  I am feeling better than I was, but my energy level is still pretty low.  I'm hoping I've turned the corner, though.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 08:43:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spreadsheeting with the official numbers and polling methods I get:


Clinton, H Obama, H Clinton, M Obama, M
Votes15244179579736687050
% of C+O votes45.9013923254.0986076852.7969373647.20306264
% of all votes cast33.9651673640.0307740340.4563944736.17000943

So, no weird numbers. Fun while it lasted, though.
The numbers for Machine vs. Hand are completely different as well, compared to the strange ones.

Strange numbers, for comparison:
(Clinton Optical scan 91,717 52.95%
Obama Optical scan 81,495 47.05%

Clinton Hand-counted 20,889 47.05%
Obama Hand-counted 23,509 52.95%)

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 09:23:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Arg, too easy to slip up a row in a spread sheet. Double and triple checked values are:

Clinton, HObama, HClinton, MObama, MClinton, TObama, T
Votes15438181449717286863112610105007
% of O+C45.9710559254.0289440852.8008259347.1991740751.7468763948.25312361
% of Total33.9894319739.9471598440.4679307536.174678639.4374187936.77475389
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 10:26:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Regarding the statements from the Edison representative, I would take that with a large grain of salt, seeing how their explanations in 2004 were statistically unsound.

National Election Archive Project - Home

Our statisticians analyzed Edison/Mitofsky's own explanation of their exit poll discrepancies, and found serious flaws in their argument. Exit polls have been used for years to detect corruption of official vote tallies - most recently in Ukraine.

If you do not want to read through the back and forth, Edison/Mitofsky's explanation is pretty much the shy republican voter (who does not want to admit their Bush preference). National Election Archive Project analysis shatters that assumption.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 09:41:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, the National Election Archive Project wasn't that hard on Edison/Mitofsky. You can read it in this pdf.

The position taken by the Edison/Mitofsky group is consistent with professional norms and practices. Election survey analysts ordinarily assume that official election results are the objective standard against which their own findings must be weighed, and perhaps found wanting. We admire Edison/Mitofsky's willingness to find fault with their methods and interview results. However, nothing in their report demonstrates that such errors could account for the gap between the exit polls and the election results.

Furthermore, I read into NEAP's actual arguments against the Edison/Mitofsky hypothesis for the exit poll - election result discrepancy. The hypothesis is, basically, that 56% of Kerry voters but only 50% of Bush voters were willing to respond to exit pollsters. There is no data to test this hypothesis directly. What NEAP did was to check the overall (e.g. Bush+Kerry+Other) rate of exit poll response as a function of the actual vote for Bush. The result was this graph:

However, note: (1) NEAP commits the sin of not conducting a trend significance analysis themselves, (2) something that should have been conducted by taking the different number of precints in the different bins into account, (3) there are a lot of possibilities for unaccounted-for systematic errors (a systematic error is a non-random bias, say correlation with race or settlement type), that is, factors that make people in general and Republicans especially more paranoid of pollsters in less red or blue areas.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:28:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On the sidelines, I also note that those who viewed the Orange Revolution as another colour-coded fake revolution, argued that the exit poll was commissioned by Western-paid NGOs and constituted the sole evidence, what's more, earlier something like that happened in Venezuela, too: the Venezuelan opposition posting ill-sampled exit polls as proof of a Chávezista election fraud with the US-imported (but not Diebold) electronic voting machines.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:32:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My own personal take is that the exit polls were a crock as they were initially given to us (prior to the Zogby data released for study noted downthread).  It smells like ass-covering by the polling firm to me, and, unfortunately, all the news media use the same poll from the same firm.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:48:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scanlan said that New Hampshire's use of electronic voting machines is different than states like Ohio or Florida. The electronic machines are not linked, and all the electronic votes are backed by paper ballots.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/news/2008/01/kucinich_calls_for_recount_in_1.html

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!

by LEP on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 08:21:34 AM EST
I think what you'll see here is sample recounting of several districts which is what D.K.'s $2,000 will buy. If there's any evidence of fraud or irregularities D.K can opt to continue and fork over more dollars. After 11 precincts were recounted in 2004 Nader chose not to continue.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 08:28:32 AM EST
Not really relevant to the facts, but New Hampshire is about the last state in America where I'd expect to find vote fraud.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 08:42:10 AM EST
[ET Moderation Technology™] Lazy linking eliminated!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 08:51:43 AM EST
Where do we stand?

What needs to be done?

Should you have sex on the first date?

(Answer the last, first.)

;-)


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 11:25:06 AM EST
Last, first:

(1) Always.  (I'm reminded of a college buddy of mine who's quote on Facebook read, "I fuck on the first date."  Hilarious guy.  Those were the days.)

(2) I'm not sure where we stand.  Upthread it's noted that we have different totals from the SoS.  However, these could very well be the result of that last 4% of precincts in rural areas that hadn't reported by the end of the night on Tuesday, in addition perhaps to absentees.  The fraud took place in high-population counties, Hillsborough -- Manchester and Nashua (!) -- and Rockingham -- Exeter.  I don't buy that the bit on the percentages not being flipped, because those were verified by many, many watchdog sites and only changed later.

We need this all in a short, succinct message that I can pass on to K for him to give to the Secretary of State tomorrow.  I'm taking a stab at it, but having trouble getting my thoughts together, so it might be a good idea for someone with a bit less adrenaline pumping.

It can be posted at EuroTrib or emailed to me at
jones(dot)drewj(at)gmail(dot)com

I'm very glad to hear John Zogby released his raw exit poll data.  Analysis has already been done on that by a third party, comparing it with the results, and it serves as more evidence of something funny going on.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 11:46:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, I'll take a stab at putting something together and post it here for comment.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:06:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good deal.  Remember, it's gotta be short an dsweet, in language the general public can follow.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:11:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ATinNM vows to eschew logomachian obfuscation.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 12:22:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can hash it out here, or you can also create a writeboard as we've done in the past for collaborative drafting.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 01:00:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just sent you and Drew and email.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 01:56:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't find your writeboard.  Do you have the link?  There's no sign-in page.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 02:15:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm going to start doing my own analysis now (19 hours left until 8AM EST?). The first thing I'm going to do is get the NH SoS data.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 01:15:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quick hack to show where I'm heading.  

Corrections, criticism, brickbats, & etc requested.

====================

The shocking results of the New Hampshire primaries (both Republican and Democratic) have raised grave doubt as to the results.  Investigation has uncovered:

  1.  the failure of Diebold (the maker of the voting machines used in New Hampshire) to fix known security flaws

  2.  admitted "impropriety" by the management of Diebold

  3. warnings from computer security experts regarding the voting machines

  4.  evidence of the ease of 'hacking' the voting machines

  5.  publicly admitted previous wrongdoing by LHS - the company who sold and operated the New Hampshire voting machines

  6.  a history of criminal activity within LHS management

  7.  wide divergence between the predicted and actual outcome of the New Hampshire primary

  8.  evidence of votes not being correctly reported

  9.  evidence of votes not being rapidly reported to the New Hampshire Secretary of State -- allowing time for a 'hack'

9A. witness' observing vote manipulation

  1.  evidence of unqualified personnel having access to the voting machines

  2.  statistical evidence of unusual, if not unique, statewide voting patterns

Any one of these, by themselves, is not significant.  Together they raise serious questions that demand further investigation, if only to lay them to rest.

--------------------------------------------------------
Support for Claims:

  1.  

  2.  Walden O'Dell, then-CEO of Ohio-based Diebold, wrote an invitation to a Bush re-election fundraiser in 2003 stating that he intended to help "Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president." Ohio did get counted in the red column the following year, with its result providing the decisive margin of victory for the Republican incumbent.

The uproar over O'Dell's comments, compounded by allegations of voting irregularities in some Ohio precincts in 2004, culminated with his resignation two months ago. Company officials privately acknowledged the impropriety of such partisan remarks by O'Dell, who was also a major donor to Bush's re-election bid.

But Diebold's new CEO, Thomas Swidarski, is also a Republican stalwart. Swidarski was one of about a dozen Diebold executives who helped fund the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004, with Swidarski himself making the maximum individual contribution of $2000.

Diebold has since barred its top administrators from making political donations. But the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported recently that three Diebold executives not covered by the ban have continued to contribute to GOP candidates in Ohio.

Two groups of investors are meanwhile suing Diebold in federal court on the grounds that the company gave misleading assurances about the security of its voting machines. Those allegedly false claims led to artificial inflation of Diebold's share prices, the lawsuits charge. The disgruntled investors complain that Diebold is "unable to assure the quality and working order of its voting machine products."

Taking note of these developments, The New York Times criticized Diebold's "flawed approach to its business" in a December editorial. "The counting of votes is a public trust," the Times declared. "Diebold, whose machines count many votes, has never acted as if it understood this."

Source here

3.  Vote fraud expert Bev Harris has warned that New Hampshire's electronic voting machines are wide open to fraud and that even modestly skilled computer programmers were able to identify key vulnerabilities within ten minutes of assessing them as key Democrat and Republican primaries unfold today.

Harris points out that LHS is a private company that will count over four fifths of the New Hampshire vote with no oversight whatsoever.

    LHS is not subject to public records requirements, as the government is, at least, not in New Hampshire. The control over memory card contents is absolute; when cards malfunction or get lost, LHS brings the replacements.

    Since LHS maintains the machines, repairs the machines, and replaces the machines -- often on Election Day -- when they malfunction, they have intimate access to the chips, sockets, ports, communications devices and other electronic components.

A recent CNN report featured on Lou Dobbs' show highlights just how easy it is to hack a voting machine and change how votes are tallied with just rudimentary programming skills. Experts warn that it takes only a minute for an unsupervised machine to be inserted with a virus and hacked.

Source:  here

4.

5.  In last week's program LHS President John Silvestro admitted his staff violated Connecticut security protocols during the 2006 election. Memory cards were swapped by LHS staff members who saw protocols from the State indicating they were not to touch machines.

Hajjar [see #6, below] doesn't limit his involvement in the voting machine business to sales. According to an interview conducted by Dori Smith, Hajjar totes memory cards around in the trunk of his car and defends the boggling concept of swapping out memory cards during the middle of elections.

Other LHS staff members we spoke with, including Mike Carlson and Tom Burge, provided similar comments. They said they would open machines up during an election and swap memory cards as needed. This is illegal under Connecticut law and Deputy Secretary Mara told us she has since informed LHS that such actions were in violation of Connecticut election laws.

Source: here

6.  LHS Marketing and Sales Director Ken Hajjar grew up with owner John Silvestro in Lawrence, Massachusetts. They both moved to Londonderry, New Hampshire, where Ken Hajjar was arrested, indicted, and pleaded guilty to "sale / CND" and sentenced to 12 months in the Rockingham County Correctional facility, and fined $2000. As things go for the politically connected, he was then given a deferred sentence and $1000 of his fine was suspended.

Source: here

7.  This needs to be nailed down.  there is exiting polling data here that needs to be qualified and verified

8.

9.

9A.  This comes from Ron Paul people here  we need to nail this down AS THIS IS OUR SECOND SMOKING GUN

10.

11.  NOTE:  This is our 'smoking gun' and Migeru or another qualified person needs to write this section.

------------END-----------------------------

Observation:  the Ron Paul people are really pissed and some were on the scene and witnessed voter count tampering.  These reports need to be verified.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 01:28:43 PM EST
9a.  The head clerk of the New Hampshire town of Sutton has been forced to admit that Ron Paul received 31 votes yet when the final amount was transferred to a summary sheet and sent out to the media, the total was listed as zero. The fiasco throws the entire primary into doubt and could lead to a re-count.

As we reported earlier today, an entire family voted for Ron Paul in Sutton, yet when the voting map on the Politico website was posted, the total votes for Ron Paul were zero.

Vote fraud expert Bev Harris contacted the head clerk in Sutton, Jennifer Call, who was forced to admit that the 31 votes Ron Paul received were completely omitted from the final report sheet, claiming "human error" was responsible for the mistake.

source here

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 01:39:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We need to get in touch with Ron Paul.  The Paul supporters are our eyes on the ground, and they've figured it out.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 02:18:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you should start by n°7, Then 11, 9, 9A, 10, then 1, 2, 3...

It's more logical (and powerful) to start by mentioning what caught our attention first.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 02:24:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think those ar the main things that we bring to the party, most of the earlier  numbers could make us look like we've reached our conclusion and are then bending the figures to fit the details.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 02:28:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what I'm hoping to note in my writing -- a step-by-step on how things came to us, with a short summary at the beginning for the SoS.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 02:34:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have no ego in this.  

You're the one with the contacts into the K campaign, so the final edit should - must - be yours.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 02:45:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The structure reflects a Top/Down General/Specific organization.

Not defending, explaining.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 02:56:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
9. evidence of votes not being rapidly reported to the New Hampshire Secretary of State -- allowing time for a 'hack'

May be, but I repeat: given that we observed Clinton in the lead throughout in the evening, the likely effect of this is limited.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 03:08:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you go back and re-read the US Primaries - New Hampshire Open Thread diary around 10:15 (blog time) we start noting voting reports stopped and it was in districts were Obama was predicted to do well.

What this hiatus means, if it means anything, is beyond me but it was noted in real time.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 03:22:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, Drew was watching for college towns, but there were other districts not yet reporting, too.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 05:00:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Per someone on the ground in NH, the votes are, indeed, in the hands of the cities and townships, not LHS Associates:
http://grannywarrior.chipin.com/recount

However, LHS people were given unauthorized access to the machines, reportedly:
http://www.bradblog.com/?p=5553

CheckTheVotes.com has results by city/town, seemingly showing a statistically significant relationship between results and machine-counting on the Dem side:
http://checkthevotes.com/index.php?party=DEMOCRATS

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 04:18:23 PM EST
How hacking the machines works:
http://people.howstuffworks.com/vote-tampering.htm

That article also links to a Lou Dobbs report covering the same issue.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 04:21:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Deep thanks for the great teamwork you are all doing. One more show that ET is outstanding.

(Before you know it you'll all get a friendly invitation to join a lodge...)

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 05:20:52 PM EST
The NH Secretary of State's website includes both Republican and Democratic datasets.  Within those data sets, we have cross-party votes, too.  Can anyone explain why that is, so that we can understand the data we're using?

Example from Republicans Primary:

http://www.sos.nh.gov/presprim2008/rpresbelk.htm

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 05:24:38 PM EST
LOL! Maybe it is possible to vote "Other - specify"?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 05:38:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, you can mark the "write in" bubble and write a name.

The NH SoS site has sample ballots.


We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 05:43:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think I had an insight, which is increasingly rare in me as I age.

Anyway, upthread the stormy present says:

My main problem is that few of the sites you link to cite where they got their data, and at least one of those that does cite a source (but doesn't link to it) uses numbers that don't match the source.

Examples:  The guy from Election Defense Alliance says he got his data from the NH Secretary of State web site.  He doesn't link to it, but the data is here.

He says Clinton had 91,717 optical-scan votes and 20,889 hand-counted votes, for a total of 112,606 votes.  But the NH Secretary of State says Clinton got a total of 112,610 votes.  He says Obama got 81,495 optical-scan votes and  hand-counted votes for a total of 105,004 votes, but the NH SOS says he got a total of 105,007 votes.

I think she got that figure from the NH SoS "summary of Democratic Primary by county" data set.

However, there is also a "summary of Republican Primary by county" data set, and in it, as Drew says, there is a moderate amount of votes for the Democratic candidates. For instance, Obama gets 1800 votes. Looking at the sample Republican ballot available on the SoS site, it is apparent that these votes are write-ins.

So these cross-party votes (either registered Republicans who wrote in a Democrat, or Democrats who picked up the wrong ballot) might provide a useful control, especially in precinct-level comparisons. However, just for fun, here's the statewide percentages:


     Obama    Clinton    Edwards Richardson   Kucinich       Crow     Gravel    Hunter
     40.39      39.12      15.62       4.29       0.29       0.16       0.07      0.07

of a total of 4456 votes on Republican primary ballots.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 06:36:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hello,

Just signed up.  It's nice to see this issue being seriously debated!

Anyway I re-did the analysis using more reliable data.  Same results.  I then added various combinations of available socio-demographic data (household income, age, education) and so on.

I have found one factor - the percent of the population holding bachelor's degrees - very significantly linked with Clinton's results.  However, it is weaker than the Diebold which effect still remains with about the same strength.

PS.  Thanks to all the persons who cared to post election data.  Nice forum BTW.

by continuation (continuation pretzel ouvaton point org) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 05:45:20 PM EST
Continuation!  I've been trying to hunt you down for two days, Oh Guru of Teh Regression.  Glad to see you.

I have to get an answer to Kucinich tonight, so any help you can offer is greatly appreciated.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 05:49:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I just signed up, too and I've been corresponding with mr. continuation guy via reddit.

I just wanted to alert you to ANOTHER factor (other than social-economic data) which is probably the main reason why some townships have Diebold machines and other do not: their location in the state.

Here is a graph showing where the machines are used:

And, here is a blog post I made to discuss the results:
http://electionstats.wordpress.com/2008/01/14/vote-counting-methods-drawn-on-a-nh-map/

Basically, it kind of looks like there is no fraud, since the machine usage is so biased in terms of location.  BUT, if you only look at townships with 500-800 democrat votes, their usage of machines is close to even split with the hand-counters, AND their distribution in the state is more random.

So, I think we should somehow encourage the NH SOS to only do recounts for these medium sized towns, since the bias still exists, and there are not as many votes to count so it would be a lot cheaper.

by brfox (goto reddit and send message to brfox) on Mon Jan 14th, 2008 at 07:23:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is very interesting. I think I'm going to throw Latitude and Longitude into the regression as explanatory variables.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 15th, 2008 at 03:54:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
> That is very interesting. I think I'm going to throw Latitude and Longitude into the regression as explanatory variables.

Did that (thanks to brfox), doesn't cut the mustard.

I also hand-merged the data, correcting town names, and using official data on voting machine usage.

The percentage of population holding bachelor's degrees is now extremely well correlated with Clinton's score (maybe too well in fact...); the Diebold still has an important effect...

You can get a .tar.gz with R scripts and data from the link on the blog entry:

http://call-with-current-continuation.blogspot.com/2008/01/diebold-effect-sticks-around-need.html

Now this is about the limit of my statistical knowledge so I'll let experts talk.

by continuation (continuation pretzel ouvaton point org) on Tue Jan 15th, 2008 at 06:12:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can you use (Clinton% - Obama%) as the response variable rather than just Clinton's score?

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 15th, 2008 at 06:23:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
> Can you use (Clinton% - Obama%) as the response variable rather than just Clinton's score? OK, here it is: delta = clinton - obama
> summary(model4)

Call:
lm(formula = nh$delta ~ nh$totalpopulation * nh$total * nh$machine + 
    nh$unemploymentrate + nh$percentholdingbachelorsdegree + 
    nh$lat * nh$long)

Residuals:
     Min       1Q   Median	 3Q	 Max 
-0.30281 -0.07168 -0.00144  0.07717  0.40634 

Coefficients:
					 Estimate Std. Error t value Pr(>|t|)
(Intercept)				5.929e+01  1.290e+02   0.459   0.6464
nh$totalpopulation			5.890e-06  7.438e-06   0.792   0.4293
nh$total			       -4.993e-06  7.575e-05  -0.066   0.9475
nh$machine				8.760e-02  3.521e-02   2.488   0.0136
nh$unemploymentrate		       -4.817e-04  2.334e-04  -2.064   0.0403
nh$percentholdingbachelorsdegree       -4.559e-03  6.477e-04  -7.038 2.74e-11
nh$lat				       -1.197e+00  2.982e+00  -0.401   0.6886
nh$long 				8.176e-01  1.805e+00   0.453   0.6510
nh$totalpopulation:nh$total		7.043e-09  1.727e-08   0.408   0.6838
nh$totalpopulation:nh$machine	       -9.572e-06  7.865e-06  -1.217   0.2249
nh$total:nh$machine			1.604e-05  7.627e-05   0.210   0.8337
nh$lat:nh$long			       -1.649e-02  4.171e-02  -0.395   0.6929
nh$totalpopulation:nh$total:nh$machine -6.929e-09  1.727e-08  -0.401   0.6887
(Intercept)				  
nh$totalpopulation			  
nh$total				  
nh$machine			       *  
nh$unemploymentrate		       *  
nh$percentholdingbachelorsdegree       * * *
nh$lat					  
nh$long 				  
nh$totalpopulation:nh$total		  
nh$totalpopulation:nh$machine		  
nh$total:nh$machine			  
nh$lat:nh$long				  
nh$totalpopulation:nh$total:nh$machine	  
---
Signif. codes:	0 `*  *  *' 0.001 `*  *' 0.01 `*' 0.05 `.' 0.1 ` ' 1 

Residual standard error: 0.1159 on 209 degrees of freedom
  (37 observations deleted due to missingness)
Multiple R-Squared: 0.3802,	Adjusted R-squared: 0.3446 
F-statistic: 10.68 on 12 and 209 DF,  p-value: <2.2e-16>anova(model4)
> anova(model4)
Analysis of Variance Table

Response: nh$delta
					Df  Sum Sq Mean Sq F value    Pr(>F)
nh$totalpopulation			 1 0.11603 0.11603  8.6443  0.003650
nh$total				 1 0.00695 0.00695  0.5177  0.472632
nh$machine				 1 0.36967 0.36967 27.5398 3.769e-07
nh$unemploymentrate			 1 0.14791 0.14791 11.0191  0.001064
nh$percentholdingbachelorsdegree	 1 0.62402 0.62402 46.4883 9.718e-11
nh$lat					 1 0.00133 0.00133  0.0992  0.753048
nh$long 				 1 0.37698 0.37698 28.0843 2.940e-07
nh$totalpopulation:nh$total		 1 0.00209 0.00209  0.1559  0.693390
nh$totalpopulation:nh$machine		 1 0.07083 0.07083  5.2769  0.022601
nh$total:nh$machine			 1 0.00024 0.00024  0.0182  0.892720
nh$lat:nh$long				 1 0.00241 0.00241  0.1795  0.672213
nh$totalpopulation:nh$total:nh$machine	 1 0.00216 0.00216  0.1610  0.688670
Residuals			       209 2.80545 0.01342		    
					  
nh$totalpopulation		       * * 
nh$total				  
nh$machine			       * * *
nh$unemploymentrate		       * * 
nh$percentholdingbachelorsdegree       * * *
nh$lat					  
nh$long 			       * * *
nh$totalpopulation:nh$total		  
nh$totalpopulation:nh$machine	       *  
nh$total:nh$machine			  
nh$lat:nh$long				  
nh$totalpopulation:nh$total:nh$machine	  
Residuals				  
---
Signif. codes:	0 `***' 0.001 `**' 0.01 `*' 0.05 `.' 0.1 ` ' 1 
by continuation (continuation pretzel ouvaton point org) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 03:49:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks. This means the following: there are three statistically significant effects. In order of decreasing significance:
  • percentage holding bachelor's degrees - with a coefficient in favour of Obama of 46±6 e-4. Assuming the percentage is expressed from 0 to 100 and not from 0 to 1, each 10% increase in the proportion of people with bachelor's degrees results in a 4.6%±0.6% change in the vote percentage difference in favour of Obama. This is consistent with the fact that this variable explains 22% of the variance as per the ANOVA table, which would not be the case assuming the variable is expressed from 0 to 1. This is an extremely significant effect.

  • machines - the presence of machines results in an 8.8%±3.5% swing towards Clinton. This effect is significant to 98% and explains 13% of the variance.

  • unemployment rate - with a coefficient in favour of Obama of 5±2 e-4. That is, a 10% increase in the unemployment rate translates into a 0.5%±0.2% change in the vote percentage difference in favour of Obama. This is significant to 95% and explains 5% of the variance.

Note that it statistical significance and explanatory power correlate, but it is possible to have statistically significant coefficients not explaining much, and it is possible to have coefficients not significantly different from zero esplaining large fractions of the variance.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 05:57:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Did anyone run gender?
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 06:27:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently that one is missing, as is race. At least they're missing from continuation's regression.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 06:50:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From what I've read elsewhere, it seems there was a significant female swing toward Clinton in NH.  The assumption in leaving it out of these regressions may be that gender wouldn't correlate with geographical distribution, but I'm not sure that would turn out to be true.

Race may not be a huge factor in NH because my anecdotal impression (I've never been there) is that it's pretty darn overwhelmingly white.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 07:24:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The CNN exit polls showed a 57% female/43% male distribution, as pointed out by Dataguy in his BooTrib diary.

That won't necessarily show up on census data, will it? Though it is worth getting the data just in case a 1% shift in the gender ratio from town to town actually explains something.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 07:29:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is not unusual for the gender balance in small towns, rural areas and inner cities to skew in one direction or another.  I'm not sure about NH, though.  But it could also be interesting to see if the exit polls break down gender turnout by region, i.e. to see if urban women were more likely to vote than rural or small-town women, or something like that.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 07:33:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have one nagging concern with all this.

Can you do a correlation matrix of the predictor variables?

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 06:49:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Help me out on your new analysis:  Is the Diebold affect still showing about 4.6% on Clinton's tally?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 05:50:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
> Continuation!  I've been trying to hunt you down for two days, Oh Guru of Teh Regression.  Glad to see you.

Oh no please don't call me like that.  You'll be really disappointed at my credentials.  I was trying to word my findings carefully to avoid this, but let me put here a full disclaimer:

  • I am not a statistician!
  • I did not even take a single statistics course!
  • I only have a minor in math.
  • My Ph.D. is in theoretical computer science, which is very very far from statistics
  • I have an amateur interest and I like to play with R, that's all!

So you'd better take all I say as the rantings of a lunatic computer scientist and find a proper statistician/sociologist.

That being said...

> Is the Diebold affect still showing about 4.6% on Clinton's tally?

Slightly less.  With a coefficient of 3.18 percentage points, Diebold is still the non-political variable having the highest coefficient in the model.

by continuation (continuation pretzel ouvaton point org) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 06:14:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
With the help of Drew I have put together a precinct-level dataset for of unofficial NH SoS Democratic Primary results. The original data is in the form of 10 HTML pages on the SoS website, one for each county in NH. The data set includes vote tallies for the republican candidates (write-ins in the democratic primary - go figure). The file is Comma Separated Value. Because commas (,) appear in the column labels, semicolons (;) are used as field separators. Enjoy.

http://www.eurotrib.com/files/825/NHDemVote.csv [38 Kb]

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 07:11:12 PM EST
I have come to this discussion very late but have been writing a summary of main points as I read down the tread so that I could get a handle on it.  I post it below only as a checklist because it seems to me that many of the early points went up in smoke once it became clear that the Obama/Clinton percentages had not been exactly reversed between machine and hand counted precincts.  

That was our smoking gun, and without it everything is circumstantial.  So the question arises, how come the early figures did show an exact reversal (and hence a smoking gun) and then this vanished.?

However there are other flaws in the fraud argument which became clear when it was noted that the votes were optically scanned using electronically stand-alone machines.  This prevents a mass reversal of votes across all machines unless all machines where physically interfered with before and after the count(to hide the trail)

However the last (political) point remains valid:

"It is in Hilary Clinton's best interests to ask for a re-count.  If it finds nothing is wrong she is a double winner.  If fraud is detected she has absolved herself from blame."


checklist of main points I made going through thread most of which were invalidated later

1.    The fact that the TOTAL Machine and hand counts EXACTLY reverse each other to 5 decimal places cannot be a coincidence by any normal statistical measure.

2.    Even if the Obama/Clinton votes hadn't reversed each other (I.e the results for machine and hand counted precincts EXACTLY MATCHED each other)  this would have been surprising - unless the distribution of Diebold machines was exactly random across all socio-economic types and sizes of precincts.   This is demonstrably not the case.

3.    If the machine counts were manipulated/falsified - to exactly reverse the hand-counted totals  - this could only have been done AFTER the hand counted totals had been calculated.  This would explain why machine counts were declared after the hand-counts.

4.    It would have been simpler to reverse the % for each candidate on a precinct by precinct basis - but that could have led to the "wrong result" if Hilary had actually won.  Thus they had to be sure that Obama was the "real" winner before reversing the votes - hence they had to wait until the hand counts were declared.  Given that there was an 80:20 split between machine and hand counts, any potential fraudster would know well in advance that an exact reversal of results would be sufficient to overturn the overall result - even after variation between the demographics of machine and hand counting precincts had been taken into account.  (Only in the case of an almost exact 50:50 vote split between the two leading candidates would this strategy run the risk of  not actually reversing the result)

5.    Any fraud on this scale would have required a simultaneous change to the programming on every Diebold machine - which in turn would have required an implementation on and communication from a central server.  Was that central server and its communications under any independent audit or monitoring?

6.    If there was fraud, it is unclear how a recount could detect it, given that any programming change made to distort the result could be reversed/erased after the count by the same server.

7.    All of the above does not depend in the slightest on any discrepancy between actual and exit polling results - where all sorts of other hypotheses - the Bradley effect, late swing by women voters angry at media coverage of Hilary's breakdown etc - could indeed come into play.  However these are irrelevant to points 1 to 6 above which rely solely on a statistical and technical analysis of the strange fact that the machine and hand counted percentages exactly reversed each other to 5 decimal places.  

8.    If the machine and hand-counted percentages for Edwards and the minor candidate exactly matches each other, it would make the exact Obama/Clinton reversal even more inconceivable. [it appears that here are also machine/hand discrepancies for other candidates - including on the republican side where these appear to favour McCain and Huckabee at the expense of Romney - do the same socio-economic factors explain this apparent bias?]

9.    Given that votes are machine counted but paper based makes it possible to do a reliable recount provided there has been secure custody of the ballots.

10.    The fact that vote counting (OPTICAL SCAN) are not linked makes a systematic fraud much more difficult to conduct and reverse (to cover all tracks) as all machines would have to be accessed individually at least twice.

11.     It is in Hilary Clinton's best interests to ask for a re-count.  If it finds nothing is wrong she is a double winner.  If fraud is detected she has absolved herself from blame.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 07:22:39 PM EST
This is partly to illustrate why when doing analysis of absolute vote counts, logarithms should be taken.

This is the plot of the number of votes received by Clinton and Obama by precinct

And this is the plot of the same data on a log/log scale

I think it is immediately apparent that the log/log plot is better. The line is the result of the following regression:


Call:
lm(formula = log(Obama..d) ~ log(Clinton..d), data = NHDemVote,
    subset = Obama..d * Clinton..d > 0)

Residuals:
      Min        1Q    Median        3Q       Max
-1.898487 -0.252916 -0.003111  0.249842  1.066195

Coefficients:
                Estimate Std. Error t value Pr(>|t|)
(Intercept)      0.69014    0.10753   6.418 5.41e-10 *
log(Clinton..d)  0.87164    0.01939  44.955  < 2e-16 *
---
Signif. codes:  0 `*' 0.001 `*' 0.01 `' 0.05 `.' 0.1 ` ' 1

Residual standard error: 0.3756 on 298 degrees of freedom
Multiple R-Squared: 0.8715,     Adjusted R-squared: 0.8711
F-statistic:  2021 on 1 and 298 DF,  p-value: < 2.2e-16



We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2008 at 08:46:31 PM EST
So what these graphs are telling us is that Precinct size has no correlation with a tendency to differentially support either Obama or Clinton?  Thus the fact that machine counts are primarily in larger precincts does not explain why they should favour Clinton over Obama with the reverse happening in predominantly smaller hand counted precincts????

If so this would blow the urban vs. rural hypothesis for explaining Clinton's better performance in machine counted votes.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jan 14th, 2008 at 09:30:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A few thoughts on the urban vs rural thing that suggest to me the argument doesn't even make sense on the grounds many out there argue it:

I believe some of the other models attempted to address it, showing precinct size did not explain things.  And think about it:  What black candidate has ever done better in rural precincts compared with urban ones (with the possible exception of Alan Keyes in his loss to Obama in 2004)?

And why, knowing the demographics Clinton and Obama play well with, would we bet that bigger, wealthier precincts (thought to have machines) would support Clinton?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2008 at 10:15:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, the model here has a slope of 0.87 +/- 0.02, or 7/8. Which means for every 8% fractional increase in Clinton's vote count (say, from 100 votes to 108) one would expect a 7% increase in Obama's vote count (say, from 100 votes to 107). And you start at the lower end with 1 vote for Clinton and 2 for Obama. So, for instance, at 100 Clinton votes you predict 112 Obama votes, but at 1000 Clinton Clinton votes you predict 843 Obama votes.

If you use Obama's vote percentage as a predictor of Clinton's vote percentage you get a regression line that's much closer to 1:1 - this is because it is different to minimize the variation in Clinton's vote given Obama's than Obama's given Clinton. The correlation is 93% (explained to be that high because precinct size correlates with both vote counts) and that should be the geometric mean of the two regression slopes.

In fact, linear regression is not the proper tool here as we're not really trying to use one of them as predictor for the other but rather find a relationship between the two that treats them on an equal footing. Principal component analysis would be much better.

In any case, there seems to be a very slight slope here, favouring Clinton in large precincts.

I think I'm going to replace that chart with one in which Machine vs. Hand counting is represented by different colours.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2008 at 11:39:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Could you do a Clinton vote minus Obama vote (in percentage) regression weighted by total vote in the precint?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jan 14th, 2008 at 12:17:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As a different test, will you do what was suggested by stormy's link, a cross-check with Dean/Kerry etc. results from 2004? (I could do that, but only tomorrow.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jan 14th, 2008 at 12:19:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
After the EDA people decided that their voting method assignment was outdated and the one I had been using was up to date, I decided to replace my charts with ones showing the machine counts in red and the hand counts in black. You can see voting method and precinct size correlate very, very well. There are very few "medium-sized" precincts.

Here's a chart of vote percentages:



We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 15th, 2008 at 02:37:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see a smoking gun in those numbers. I was more impressed by the anecdotal signs of "soft" vote rigging in Ohio in 04 - the lack of enough voting booths in some poor democratic precincts, for example.

Diebold's mere existence is a smoking gun, of course. E-voting machines are banned in California for the right reasons. With that precedent, I think a standard political campaign to get them banned everywhere else is feasible. We're going to be stuck in this state of paranoia for as long as this non-transparent system exists.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Mon Jan 14th, 2008 at 04:50:18 AM EST
And keeping people in this state of paranoia/uncertainty is a great way of distracting activists from engaging in the next Primary!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jan 14th, 2008 at 07:33:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Alternatively we could use the Strong Law of Large Numbers (SLLN) to review the results.

The SLLN says that the average of a sample of a population becomes an increasingly good predictor of the true average of the population as the sample size increases, eventually reaching the true mean.

If we assume that the voting population of NH Dems is homogenous, regardless of voting method then the proportion of Obama voters should stay the same across hand counted and machine counted ballots, or that is what you would expect in a fair contest.

So the fact that the proportions exactly flip flopped is suspicious.

From the programming perspective it should be noted that flipping the candidate names is the easiest and least traceable method of stealing the election in the machine. It could be as easy doing a table or alteration.

by joel3000 on Mon Jan 14th, 2008 at 08:11:33 PM EST
Except that hand and machine counts are not sampling the same populations within the state. You would expect left-leaning local governments to resist Diebold machines and Republican-controlled local governments to be early adopters. So there you have a highly nonhomogeneous socioeconomic variable that varies across the state and 1) is plausibly a major predictor of the machine/hand distribution; 2) being a political variable, is plausibly correlated with the Clinton/Obama swing.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 15th, 2008 at 03:46:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So Hilary does better in more conservative/republican precincts?  Sounds like the best explanation yet.  That and the highly non-random concentration of Diebold machines in the South Eastern corner of NH.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 15th, 2008 at 09:49:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is also where the population concentrates. Maybe for smaller precints, we have to take into account the closeness to larger precints (be it as inspiration or something).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 15th, 2008 at 11:04:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Check brfox [our new user, see upthread]'s second graph in this image file (which is too wide to post here).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 15th, 2008 at 11:07:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not very politically savvy but I find this story interesting.
However, I'm just curious why the data at http://checkthevotes.com/primary_dem_New_Hampshire-summary seems to be different than the data in the above analysis.

Not making a judgment, just curious. ;)

by warded on Mon Jan 14th, 2008 at 10:08:28 PM EST
The difference is in the assignment of vote-counting method to municipalities. The original EDA data used an outdated list. See the latest update to the body of the diary.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 15th, 2008 at 01:56:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems to me that we are inexorably coming to the conclusion that the evidence does not support a thesis of systematic fraud.  Perhaps we are even coming up with a series of variables or a theory which CAN explain the Diebold/hand counted variability in vote counts.

It won't please the conspiracy theorists but perhaps we should take the lead and do a new Diary summarising our conclusions - and also explaining the basis 0f Kucinich's successful appeal.

Hint hint - Migaru, Drew, DoDo, ATinNM etc.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 15th, 2008 at 11:19:32 AM EST
The things that haven't been discussed so much are motivation and opportunity - the tools of the real detective. Everything else is forensics.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Jan 15th, 2008 at 11:40:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We're still trying to figure out whether there is a body.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 15th, 2008 at 11:46:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The body politic?

Hey, I've sworn off conspiracy theories after my previous run-ins ;-)

I'm sticking with factoids...

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Jan 15th, 2008 at 11:52:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I may point this out, we're not that far away from 200 comments :-)

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 15th, 2008 at 11:47:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Congrats all of you, you've made it!

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2008 at 08:40:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So having built a selection of Statistical tools to analyse elections, What extra pieces of information are needed so come the next election  we can have the body staked out before fox news has declared the winner?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jan 15th, 2008 at 12:11:39 PM EST
While EDA still thought they had an "uncanny reversal" statewide, they looked at the vote percentages by county, which are all over the place.

Therefore, the hypothesis that vote reversal took place in all machines goes away. Incidentally, that would have provided fraudsters with plausible deniability: "oops, programming error".

However, looking at the percentages and the sizes of the counties, we see that the largest county, Hillsborough, shows a very large near reversal of the percentages. Therefore, EDA has suggested that fraud might have tafen place only in Hillsborough.

Comments on that. The behaviour of the 10 counties is all over the place. Grafton went for Obama more strongly on machine-counted precincts than it dit on hand-counted precincts. Clinton won Coos more strongly on machine than on hand-counted precincts. In Stafford, both of them gote a higher vote share on machines than they did on hand counts.and so on. Now, given that the behaviour of the 10 counties is all over the place, the requirements for statistical significance for having a single county with a reversal are multiplied by 10. That is, the reversal needs to be very much closer to exact than otherwise. Especially because Hillsborough has been identified from looking at the the data. When you test a hypothesis formulated after looking at the data, the requirements for accepting it are stronger. I suppose the next step here is to do the same plot by municipality/ward within Hillsborough county.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 12:03:28 PM EST
This chart should be more Tuftely correct:


We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 05:27:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's do a nonparametric test here. We observe that only two of the ten counties show machine counts favouring Obama. What are the odds of that? This is like tossing a two-headed coin (Clinton on one side, Obama on the other) ten times and getting two or fewer Obamas. The odds of this are 1 + 10 + 10 * 9 /2 divided by 2 to the 10th power, or 56/1024, or 7/128, or about 1/18. This is not quite significant at 95%. Moreover, it would be equally suspicious if machines favoured Clinton in only two counties or less. But for a two-sided alternative the odds of an extreme result are 1/9, so not quite significant even at 90%.

But this suggests repeting the calculation at the ward/municipality level, where there are 300 pairs and the statistical test will be much sharper.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 05:58:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Um... never mind. All the votes in each ward are counted by the same method.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 06:03:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Given that the simplest way of tampering with the results is to simply reverse the counts for Clinton and Obama, this county-level chart would appear to be consistent with fraud in Hillsborough county only. This, in fact was the suggestion of the EDA people when it still looked like their statewide total "uncanny coincidence" held.

So, I did a similar ward-level chart for Hillsborough county. Is there anything in it that jumps out at you?



We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 07:28:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So let's test the hypothesis that the Hillsborough machine counts were not reversed. We start by redoing the above plot, with machine counts reversed. I added warnings to the plot in three different places so people can't say they are being misled.



We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 07:26:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Please be patient with the slower amongst us...

I read the above two charts as saying in chart 1) that clinton's lead is positively correlated both with ward size and count method (machine).

Flipping count method virtually eliminates any correlation between Clinton's lead and ward size.

Ergo - Clinton's lead is actually correlated with ward size, but because that also correlates with count method, it has been confused with the correlation with count method.

Therefore there is no count method fraud.

But why is there such a strong correlation between ward size and clintons's lead?  Can it be explained by demographics, or is it easier to stuff (and hide the stuffing) of a ballot box with extra ballots in a larger ward?

However, for the correlation between Clinton's lead and count size to be so "smooth", the amount of stuffing would also have to be proportionate to ward size.  Do we really think that a fraudster would be that resourceful and clever?

I vote demographic factors...as the more likely explanation, but which ones?  Gender, education, income, race, class.....???  Do we have enough demographic data to come to a conclusion?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 08:09:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It appears just about every democraphic factor that has been tried, including the size of the precinct both as a continuous variable and as a large vs. small categorical variable, has failed to remove the Diebold effect. I am not sure gender has been tried, though. I am also not sure that the regressions involving both size and method have been carried out properly.
However, for the correlation between Clinton's lead and count size to be so "smooth", the amount of stuffing would also have to be proportionate to ward size.  Do we really think that a fraudster would be that resourceful and clever?
No, in this case the suggestion is a simple reversal of the vote counts between Clinton and Obama.

Flipping count method virtually eliminates any correlation between Clinton's lead and ward size.

Ergo - Clinton's lead is actually correlated with ward size, but because that also correlates with count method, it has been confused with the correlation with count method.

No, this is not "flipping count method". It is flipping the sign of the lead between Clinton and Obama for one of the two methods.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 11:19:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As a first test, the distribution of dots is:

      Above Below Total
Black   3    11    14
Red     6    30    36
Total   9    41    50

We can do a two-way chi-square test for the independence of red/black and above/below (unfortunately the 3 is a little too low, but we'll go ahead anyway). The expected values are

      Above Below Total
Black  2.52 11.48  14
Red    6.48 29.52  36
Total   9    41    50

The chi-square contributions are

      Above Below Total
Black  0.09  0.02  0.11
Red    0.04  0.01  0.05
Total  0.13  0.03  0.16

This has a p-value of 69%. That is, a pretty good fit.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 08:23:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For fun, rather than vote differential vs. ward size, I plot vote differential vs. democratic/republican ratio in total votes. Top plot, numbers 'as they are'. Bottom plot, machine vote flipped.
Numbers as they are, opposite trends for machines/hand-count with ratio of dem. votes. Visually quite striking, top vs. bottom.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 09:23:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Top chart shows clinton doing better in predominantly Democratic wards - as one would expect - given apparent independent preference for Obama.

Bottom chart shows clinton doing worse in predominantly Democratic wards - as one would not expect

therefore the vote switch hypothesis is not supported?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 09:35:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Top chart shows Clinton doing better in machine counted dem. wards, and Obama doing better in hand counted dem. wards. Note, this is not strictly dem. wards, it is the ones with more people voting in the democratic primary. Those people could be either registered democrats or independents:
New Hampshire primary - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Undeclared voters -- those not registered with any party -- can vote in either party primary.
...
Additionally, as of 2002, 25.6% of New Hampshire residents are registered Democrats and 36.7% are Republicans, with 37.7% of New Hampshire voters registered as "undeclared" independents. This plurality of independents is a major reason why New Hampshire is considered a swing state in general U.S. presidential elections.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 09:52:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now let's apply the same nonparametric test to the data with the machine counts flipped. The result is quite different:

        Wilcoxon rank sum test

data:  (Clinton..d - Obama..d)[machines] and (Obama..d - Clinton..d)[!machines]
W = 234, p-value = 0.7086
alternative hypothesis: true mu is not equal to 0
95 percent confidence interval:
 -0.10751315  0.07106908
sample estimates:
difference in location
            -0.0175131

This means that one cannot reject the hypothesis that the hand counts and the reversed machine counts have the same distribution.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 11:46:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a nonparametric test of the hypothesis that the two subpopulations, machine and hand counts, come from the same distribution.

        Wilcoxon rank sum test

data:  (Clinton..d - Obama..d)[machines] and (Clinton..d - Obama..d)[!machines]
W = 422, p-value = 0.0001150
alternative hypothesis: true mu is not equal to 0
95 percent confidence interval:
 0.1186801 0.2903706
sample estimates:
difference in location
             0.2027052

The test is astonishingly simple: you rank the combined population and add up the ranks of the elements of one of the two subpopulations, and then look up in a table. This is telling us that the Hillsborough hand counts and the machine counts come from different populations at 99.99% confidence level.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 11:42:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
do there is a 99.99% chance the machine counts were tampered with rather than be explained by random variation.  But since the distribution of machine counts WAS not random, what does it tell us?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 11:49:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That there is a very strong effect, amounting to a 20% swing in Hillsborough county alone.

It doesn't tell us where the effect came from.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 11:58:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Flip 42.7% of 80542 = 34391 votes for called for HRC with 34% of 80542 = 27384 for BO

80542 : total votes in Hillsborough

Adjust for the 7007 difference in the total vote tally - and they flip as well 112000 - 105000 ! And the undoctored handcount percentages - 39.3% for BO and 36.6% for HRC - reappear for the whole state!

Hillsborough has 3 handcounted precincts (Atrim, New Boston, Wilton) reported in the last yellow table, Appendix E of the Paired Precinct study.

Those 3 handcounted precincts have 30% for HRC and 42% for BO. It must be highly unlikely that Diebold precincts within the same county diametrically differ from handcounted precincts.  

Hillsboroug as an urban area would tilt even more towards BO looking at demographics. Rural areas would be less black, less young and more conservative. A female bias in urban areas cannot be that pronounced to override this. Indeed BO's advance is even more pronounced in urban areas.

I bet that the recount will show that the Hillsborough county total was flipped.

One single operation performed by a remote hacker on the biggest county. Couldn't resist the Freudian temptation to leave a clue by taking on Hillsborough for Hillary.. A simple and workable method that could be started at the beginning of the poll evening.
The tactic would survive a first hand recount check that the individual Diebold precincts were correctly reported to the total tally before the additions.

Not elaborate and subtle doctoring precinct by precinct which would have meant a bigger conspiracy, a considerably higher risk and an uncertain outcome. Creating votes out of thin air could probably be detected by uncorrelated turnout documented elsewhere. The flip can also be denied by to be the whim of a computer or a software.
Unfortunately, the Hillsborough flip also flipped the statewise total ! Now, I can't imagine that the flipper would have the nerve to swap the candidates at the TOP LEVEL presentation after the additions, but why not ?

Elling

by Elling (elling@torium.se) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 03:56:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, what we know (in particular the charts I have posted in this subthread) is consistent with flipping of the vote counts at the ward level in Hillsborough county only. But it doesn't prove that is what happened.
Those 3 handcounted precincts have 30% for HRC and 42% for BO. It must be highly unlikely that Diebold precincts within the same county diametrically differ from handcounted precincts.  
Yes, that is really unlikely, but if you have 10 counties that one will be nearly diametrically flipped is 10 times more likely, so the bar is higher: to have 95% confidence that the effect is there in one county out of 10 you need 99.5% confidence for the result in that county only.

However, that the result in the largest county is flipped is equally significant regardless of the number of counties. Unless, of course, you have formulated the hypothesis after looking at the data, in which case the bar rises again.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 04:21:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does flipping Hillsborough machine counted votes change the overall result of the Primary - i.e. does Obama then win?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 06:25:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The original results are
Clinton  Obama
 112610 105007
with
Clinton  Obama
  31928  25525
in the Hillsborough county machine-counted wards. Reversing those gives
Clinton  Obama
 106207 111410


We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 07:28:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank for the corrected exact numbers.

Now , maybe the irregularitites extnds to wards outside Hillsborough. The table contains other 40-34 pairs seeminglynext to each other that are reversed from  hand to Diebold.

Also, the exit polls estimated a double digit Obama win. So the fraudster may have have had to flip more than Hillsborough : Changing 40-34 for Obama into 39-36 for  Clinton would rather mean flipping the WHOLE Diebold count. Is that feasible ?  


Elling

by Elling (elling@torium.se) on Fri Jan 18th, 2008 at 04:48:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The county-level data do not support the hypothesis that the machine counts were flipped in all counties. Only Hillsborough presents a near match.

The total number of Democratic votes was 288055. The preliminary counts gave Clinton 39.1% to Obama's 36.5%. Flipping the Hillsborough machine counts gives Obama 38.7% to Clinton's 36.9%. This also looks like a near reversal, just because of the size of Hillsborough relative to the whole state.

It has been argued that the order of the candidates on the ballot can explain up to a 3% difference between pre-election polls and actual results. Going from 40:34 to 39:37 for Obama due to this ballot placement effect and then to 36:39 due to a Hillsborough flip is not so far-fetched.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2008 at 05:02:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But if it can be verfied that the ballot layout and its ordering of candidates has this dramatic effect, isn't that reason for a replay of elections ?

Who gets to design the ballots anyway ?

Elling

by Elling (elling@torium.se) on Fri Jan 18th, 2008 at 05:19:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, you have to have the candidates in some order or another on the ballot, don't you? In this case it was alphabetical. Have you seen the ballot, by the way? [PDF]

Though I have read somewhere (no link, sorry) that it used to be that each precinct had a different randomly generated ordering so this effect was minimised, except that procedure wasn't used this time around.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2008 at 05:54:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I had a quick look at the NH secretary of state website and the recount doesn't seem to be showing up any significant anomalies.  Are they hand counting the paper ballots that were previously machine counted?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 18th, 2008 at 06:47:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Forgot to say - congrats Migeru - you got another 200+ comment thread to your name - thanks in part to all my stupid questions....

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 18th, 2008 at 06:49:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is the recount page.

Yes, they are recounting the machine ballots in Hillsborough and Rockingham counties, I believe.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2008 at 07:21:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep, that's the page I was looking at - which doesn't seem to be showing any anomolies - which either means there is no fraud, or they are using the same methodology, or their methodology is flawed

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 18th, 2008 at 01:30:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The other hypothesis is that the actual ballots were tampered with.

Black Box Voting : 1-17-08: Ballot boxes found slit; NH stops putting ballots in vault;

No worries, say New Hampshire officials when cuts up to eight inches long are spotted in newly delivered ballot boxes. "The only seal that counts is the one on top."

Except the seal on top can be peeled off without leaving a trace, then reaffixed.

Black Box Voting has been doing a chain of custody exam for the New Hampshire Primary's recount. On Wednesday night, Election Defense Alliance's Sally Castleman mentioned a troubling observation: After following the ballots back to the ballot vault following Wednesday's recount, she had the opportunity to enter the ballot vault, and noticed what looked like cuts, or slits, in the side of many ballot boxes. New Hampshire officials assured us that these cuts, which slice through the tape and seals do not permit access to the uncounted ballots, pointing to a label on the boxtop which they call a seal.
Drew pointed me to this page.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2008 at 01:49:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One remote programmer can make a change to a program to flip results for two candidates and then erase the change afterwards to cover his tracks.  It takes a conspiracy of an entirely different order to enter vaults, slit boxes, and stuff them with exactly the right number of ballot papers per box or ward to replicate the effects of the counting switch - which would require adding c. 7000 Clinton ballots and removing c. 7000 Obama ballots. Is there ANY evidence that could support this hypothesis - other than the amazing fact that NH procedures seem to be so lax as to make it possible?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 18th, 2008 at 02:01:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, there is no evidence of this except that NH's chain of custody is so lax as to give LHS the means and opportunity to do it after the recount was called (which would provide the motive). However, this is highly speculative as far as I'm concerned. There is a pile of circumstantial evidence but no hard evidence any crime was actually committed.

Black Box Voting : 1-17-08: Ballot boxes found slit; NH stops putting ballots in vault;

I confirmed this morning that many if not most of the boxes scheduled to be counted today had slits in them. I went out when a vanload of ballots arrived, and saw that they were slit at the time they arrived by van. Susan Pynchon and I drove to two nearby towns and watched as they handed over their ballot boxes to "Butch and Hoppy", the two men who drive around in the state in a van picking the ballots up. We observed as they loaded boxes of ballots into the van with no slits at all in them. We videotaped each of these up close. They arrived at the destination without slits. The label on the top was affixed, but in some cases was crumpled, or also damaged.


We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2008 at 02:11:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This thread has been a most amazing discussion and shows a great deal of intellectual honesty and statistical virtuosity in developing and rejecting ever more finely tuned hypotheses based on ever more finely analysed data.  The presentation of the results is also amongst the best I have seen.  A credit to all concerned.   I hope something comes out of the Kucinich recount - if only to highlight how vulnerable the whole process is.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 05:50:48 PM EST
Daily Kos: New Hampshire Recount: Already worth it! w/poll
The New Hampshire Primary recount started yesterday.  Paid for by the Dennis Kucinich campaign, the recount may or may not show a change of the winner of the event.  Even so, after one day, we've found enough out to be able to say that the recount is worth every penny!
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 10:04:46 AM EST


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