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The Real Issue of 2008: It's the Machines, Stupid (New! Update from Bev Harris)

by Drew J Jones Tue Jan 15th, 2008 at 08:27:49 PM EST

Update #2: BlackBoxVoting

We are finding in New Hampshire: the best of the best in MOST situations, but considerable naivete and in some areas, and an alarming and wilfull negligence.

Among the "best of the best" of New Hampshire situations:

(1) Beautiful, community oriented hand counted paper ballots in more than one hundred jurisdictions.

(2) Very democratic and participatory township structure of government, combined with very high level of representation of local areas in the state legislature

(3) Amazing level of responsiveness of public officials. Secretary of State Bill Gardner, for example, answers questions personally and tirelessly from just about everyone. Many, many high level officials perfectly willing to talk with and answer all questions from the public.

(4) Beautiful, participatory 100% hand counted recounts.

(5) Very good public records laws. If they have it in their possession, they let you see it THAT DAY. Along those lines, Paddy Shaffer did a hand written records request today which elicited some very good information. The dream team here is in the process of editing another request as I write this.

On the almost schizophrenically BAD side:

(1) A reliance on a sole source private contractor that is fully idiotic in nature. Not particularly bothered that the company has private chain of custody during critical points, no policy or even apparent concern with having convicted felons involved in the voting system.

(2) Use of a system with known defects without even taking any mitigation steps

(3) NO REQUIREMENT to even save the memory cards. The explanation is that they get a disk with the "program" on it. VotersUnite attorney Jon Bonifaz questioned the assistant attorney general on this closely today, because federal law requires records retention of 22 months on electronic media. New Hampshire has a truly idiotic policy of allowing the memory cards to be kept, or not, with a chain of custody, or not, shipping back to LHS, or not, and it's perfectly okay with New Hampshire if the memory cards are erased altogether. They profess to believe that they are okay, because the DoJ allows them to, if they just have LHS ship them a disk containing the purported program -- BEFORE the election, when there aren't even any votes registered on the card. No one could even tell us if this is the memory card program, or the GEMS database file, or the optical scan chip. They seem to have no idea what they are doing with this and I would call this wilfull ignorance, not naivete.

(4) Lack of documentation and lack of diligence on keeping documentation or written procedures in key areas

(5) Ballot chain of custody procedures with major holes and a few very creepy areas that will be the subject of a future article.

The upshot will be that New Hampshire could be the role model for the nation, but not until they purge themselves of a limited number of very significant problems.

The problem with chain of custody: You can have a strong, beautiful, stainless steel chain but if one link is broken, the rest doesn't matter.

Update: Word from Bev Harris at BBV is that the chain of custody on the ballots has apparently been privatized. Meaning, the recount is very likely to produce the same result, even if fraud has taken place. Words fail me....

Note: Mig and I haven't yet completed our model and analysis, but others are putting studies out.

The effect is bigger than initially thought.  More regression analysis is pouring out on the New Hampshire primary, and it's not pretty.  While newly-arrived ET'er Continuation initially found Diebold voting machines lending Hillary Clinton about five points of her over 39% share last Tuesday, new analysis by Chris Chatham of Developing Intelligence and Black Box Voting shows a pretty consistent 5.2 increase to Clinton, and 4.2% drop for Obama, attributable to the AccuVote counting method:

So I got a copy of the vote counts, and thanks to Brian London at BlackBoxVoting, the demographic information from each town (most notably, the % holding bachelor's degrees, the median household income, and the total town population). Now, Mark at BlackBoxVoting has provided estimates of the mileage for each district, allowing for the calculation of population density.

To my complete (and continuing) amazement, the "diebold effect" on Hillary's votes remains after controlling for any and all of those demographic variables, with a p-value of <.001: that is, there are less than 1:1000 odds for this difference occurring through chance alone, and that's after adjusting for variability in Hillary's votes due to education, income, total population, and population density.

An economics professor at Dartmouth finds similar results.

Even controlling for "urban-ness," median income, education, and other demographic and socioeconomic factors, the Diebold Effect remains.  And it remains strong enough to, not only swing the election back to Obama, but provide a margin of victory to Obama perfectly in line with the combination of polling data and the tight race among late-breakers that Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post noted in the exit polls on MSNBC.

That is to say, it is perfectly conceivable -- perhaps even likely -- that female voters helped to boost Clinton.  That is consistent comparing pre-primary polling and the raw exit poll data.  But it is also true that the evidence is mounting against those machines.

Stay tuned. I'll use this diary in the coming days to add new findings and add amendments to what is here.


Display:
If it turns out that there is enough evidence to cast suspicion on these machines in the New Hampshire primary, then we should immediately bombard public radio station websites with messages and requests to cover this issue.

In fact I was about to do this this morning (Fresh Air/NPR, On Point, WorldView, Diane Rehm), but then reading Robert Hansen's last update stopped me cold:

UPDATE3: And just for the record, I do not believe whatsoever that anything untoward or suspicious happened in the NH election. This is simply a great exercise in statistical analysis, a great example of the problem that omitted variables cause in regression analysis.

Personally, I have been suspicious of these machines since the 2000 election, and I am very afraid of the potential dangers they pose to democracy, as are many Americans.  But I am completely unqualified to evaluate the statistical evidence of alleged wrongdoing in New Hampshire or elsewhere, and so have to rely on you guys to say if and when there is a serious case worth blasting to friends and public media.

Your fast and hard work is much appreciated, because unlike other topics we often discuss here, this one has an explicit and hard deadline for addressing that is not negotiable.

Good luck.  I am following as best as I can!

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Tue Jan 15th, 2008 at 09:02:53 PM EST
Well, again, Mig and I have yet to complete our work.  But, while I concede that it is possible we have an omitted variable problem, I think that what we're seeing is a gradual knock-down of the reasons the press has handed to us, and it's important for skeptics like Hansen to not take doubt so far that they let fraud slap them in the face.

Again, I can't say with absolute certainty that fraud took place.  My view, for now, is that there is a lot of evidence suggesting that it may have occurred, and that a recount is, therefore, a very good idea.

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Jan 15th, 2008 at 09:30:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There should be paper ballots or receipts in every election in America. There can be machine counting or even touch screen voting but if any candidate requests it there should be an automatic 100% hand recount. This might be very expensive and inconvenient, but it is worth it to restore confidence in the electoral process.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 04:18:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is tempting to conclude that paper ballot voting could  be the only tight and robust voting system. But I wonder, where is competition for Diebold? How is happens that Free Market does not deliver any competitive improvements, or (perhaps) even no demand for fair voting machines?

I am sure there could be technology more handy and more reliable than paper ballots. I have a proposal myself. There seem to be academic specialists working on the problem, though I did not get the impression that their sway is significant or coherent. From time to time "unbeatable" voting schemes are announced, but is anyone listening if it is not on Foxnews?

The technological discussion is alive (witness this review of recent timely Ny Times article). But political decisions (and discussion) are still tightly controlled - as if in USSR.

by das monde on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 05:10:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are other companies that make electronic voting machines. They are just as hackable. The problem in the U.S. is that the 50 states control the voting process. It's not like France, for example, where everything is run by the national government. In France, the government could commission IBM or another company, to create an electronic voting system, with backup paper, which system would be run by the professional bureaucracy. The public would have confidence in that system.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 05:19:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LEP:
The problem in the U.S. is that the 50 states control the voting process. It's not like France,

If it's a Federal election, should not the voter registration, voting and counting processes not be subject to Federal legislation and control?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 06:09:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Elections are a state issue. And then the mechanics can vary by county or even by municipality.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 06:24:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know that, and it has facilitated all sorts of local discrimination, gerrymandering, and downright vote rigging by whoever is in power at the local level.  When the US decided it was time to take the civil rights issue seriously, it had to be done by Federal legislation against a lot of local opposition - e.g. the school busing issue.

If we are to stop whining about vote rigging and start doing something about it, we have to encourage major candidates to adopt a platform of electoral reform to be applied consistently across the US - and that can only be done at Federal level - especially if we also want to remove the Diebold monopoly control of parts of the process.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 07:55:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a very complicated constitutional issue. In the case of civil rights legislation the laws were passed relying on the 14th amendment among others. There is very little basis for the Feds interfering in state run elections. In fact, as far as the Senate is concerned voting is not even required. The state legislature can appoint senators. The same may be true with the electoral college, ie; that the legislature can appoint the electors without a vote. If I am wrong on these assertions someone please correct me.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 09:03:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After checking, I believe you are right. Neither Article Two of the United States Constitution, Clause 3: Electors nor Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution says that the electors have to be elected by popular vote.

Wikipedia says:

The Constitution gives the power to the state legislatures to decide how electors are chosen, and it is easier and cheaper for a state legislature to simply appoint a slate of electors than to create a legislative framework for holding elections to determine the electors. As noted above, the two situations in which legislative choice has been used since the Civil War have both been because there was not enough time or money to prepare for an election.


Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 01:05:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fair enough - as far as the selection of electors is concerned.  But can Federal laws not be written to control how Federal elections are conducted?  Otherwise what is to prevent the wholesale non-registration of minority voters, the systematic under-representation of minority areas in terms of voting booths, and the utilisation of partisan resources/people/machines in the vote counting process?  Is there not a concept of over-arching human/civil rights in the US constitution which can over-ride local and state level discriminary practices in the democratic process?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 01:51:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think if you can make a case that someone is being discriminated against because of race the feds can make a case. If the feds just don't like the way you count, I'm not sure. I have legal training but in no way am I a constitutional lawyer. You might want to email Glen Greenwald if you read him on Salon.com. He is a great constitutional lawyer.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 02:10:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Government Diebold would already be running every election in the country.  

The Fates are kind.
by Gaianne on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 03:57:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The paper trail doesn't matter if the ballots are controlled by the fraudsters, though.  See the update at the top of the diary.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 06:44:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Taking over all the paper ballots in New Hampshire would require a huge conspiracy if it was at all possible. If such a conspiracy could exist it would be almost impossible for it not to leak out. And who would take all that trouble for the Democratic New Hampshire primary? If the Clinton camp did that and word came out she would be finished. For the Republicans, the risk seems hardly worth the reward. Can anyone be so sure be that Clinton is the weakest Democratic candidate?
In my gut, there is more of a possibility that Cheney was behind 9/11 than that there was vote fraud in New Hampshire. On the other hand, did you see the way WT#7 fell?

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 08:20:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what I'm hoping -- that doctoring the actual ballots would simply be too big a job.

I'm not sure about Tower 7, but I don't believe in the whole 9/11 conspiracy.  The evidence I've seen points to it being what we saw, -- a terrorist attack -- and the amount of coordinating necessary would be impossible for the feds.

It's a bit like the line that "Mac guy" has in "Live Free or Die Hard" when Bruce Willis's character suggests the government must have ways of dealing with the Firesale attack on the nation's infrastructure: "It took FEMA four days to get water to the Superdome."

So, no, I don't believe it's possible for the feds to have done it.  Plus, the "Truthers" are pricks.

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 08:40:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not only hacking computers. It's taking control of the physical ballots and changing them, not a simple task. And they are counting now! If Dennis K. is satisfied, then I'll be satisfied.
I haven't mentioned what this would do for the reputation of New Hampshire which prides itself in being the first primary in the country. (This may change anyway.)

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 09:15:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, they're counting now.  Apparently Kucinich paid for the two largest counties (Hillsborough and Rockingham), which would include the "big" cities of Manchester, Nashua, and others.  This is where EDA also suggested the fraud likely took place, since we have such massive changes between hand- and machine-counted votes -- a complete flip in Hillsborough from Obama to Clinton, which itself would be enough to overturn the result, even leaving aside the other counties.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 09:21:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew J Jones:
That's what I'm hoping -- that doctoring the actual ballots would simply be too big a job.

You don't doctor the ballots. Unless I'm missing something, you can simply swap whole boxes of them with boxes full of the results you want after the election.

The original machine counted ballot shows the results you want. Then when there's a recount, the paper trail also shows the results you want.

I'm not sure how strong paper ballot security is, but the only way to keep it watertight is to have representatives from both parties and at least one indepedent observer watching the boxes all the way from the initial ballot to final count to storage. Storage has to be sealed, vetted for political independence, and secure.

I think you'll find few, if any, of these measures were in place in NH.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 10:17:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By the sound of it from Harris, it seems to depend on where you are in New Hampshire.  The state has laws and guidelines, but I think a lot of the decisions are made at the local level, which is deeply troubling, since the public doesn't pay a sufficient amount of attention to state and local politics.  Some of them seem to be secure, while others don't.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 10:25:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If such a conspiracy could exist it would be almost impossible for it not to leak out. And who would take all that trouble for the Democratic New Hampshire primary? If the Clinton camp did that and word came out she would be finished. For the Republicans, the risk seems hardly worth the reward. Can anyone be so sure be that Clinton is the weakest Democratic candidate?

Last bit, first: Yes, the fundamentals on Clinton's candidacy are extremely weak, while those on Edwards and Obama are unusually strong.  Second: Hacking computers doesn't necessitate a massive conspiracy.  It is, as I understand it, sickeningly easy for anyone with even basic programming skills.

Taking the trouble makes sense.  It was being built as "Clinton finished off in New Hampshire."  She'd been humiliated in Iowa, not only getting her rear end kicked by Obama but suffering the indignity of losing to the slack-jawed yokel candidate, Edwards.  That matters a great deal to undecideds who are looking at these candidates, particularly since voters seem to like Obama and Edwards more than Clinton, but are pulled to Clinton based upon experience (via Bubba) and their memories of the '90s.

Now, instead of Clinton being finished off, the entire narrative has changed.  (My personal theory was that stopping Clinton in Iowa was an absolute necessity, and that stopping her in New Hampshire was probably a necessity.)  Now we're back to Hillary As Front-Runner, with Edwards ignored to the point of becoming almost irrelevant and Obama bogged down in this race-baiting garbage.

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 09:00:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Second: Hacking computers doesn't necessitate a massive conspiracy.  It is, as I understand it, sickeningly easy for anyone with even basic programming skills.

Yeah, but the point you are answering is that taking control of and subverting the paper ballots was what would require the massive, impossible-to-conceal conspiracy.

Computers (these ones at least) are easy. Ballots are hard.

Regards
Luke


-- #include witty_sig.h

by silburnl on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 10:07:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
American history you know all it takes is an easy-to-hide conspiracy.  

Yeah, there were doubts.  And there will be doubts after this is over.  But unless the fraud team has REALLY screwed up, there won't be proof.  

Well, here's hoping I'm wrong.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 04:07:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You only need to do it in the largest municipality, or even the largest single ward in the state, really.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 09:03:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If that would be so, statistical analysis would have sput out one single ward that is off, rather than find a debated effect across-the-board.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 06:06:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Look at the chart I made of the county-level effect. No county shows a vote reversal except for Hillsborough, which is the largest county of all.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 06:12:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But all but two counties show a machine-counted vote surplus, and Coös County displays a difference as big as Hillsborough.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 06:14:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I discuss this in the other thread:
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%.


We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 06:19:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's the relevance?

Maybe if the hypothesis is that there was vote reversal in a single county, the odds to calculate is of Obama ahead only in 3. But I don't think such a calculation is realistic by using a binary variable (Obama ahead/Clinton ahead).

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

by DoDo on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 06:26:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is difference from the question of who's ahead. It's the question of which direction the machine effect goes. There are counties in which the machines don't change the lead, but here I'm looking at how many times the machines favour obama or Clinton (regardless of whether it is by enough to change the lead). In fact, the lead only changes in 3 out of the 10 counties. But to study the odds of the lead changing you need a model of the average lead and the variability of the vote, so it is no longer a nonparametric test.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 06:30:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not clear for me from that update that it is the paper ballots which are controlled by the private company. To me it seems he means the memory discs, thus only the machine-counted data.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 06:02:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And if that is the case, the recount should still replicate the original results - or else there is reasonable suspicion of Fraud

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 06:11:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bruno-ken, it doesn't matter whether or not there is EVER enough evidence to indict the machines. The recount is essential, because it's apparent the Secretary of State of N.H. did an absolutely crappy job-- not dealing with chain-of-custody issues, not vetting the company that counts the ballots, ---endless blunders. When confronted with Bev Harris' carefully constructed rtecount demant, he went apoplectic and hid.
It appears he cannot account for the number of ballots printed, the number used, the number wasted, --and therefore it's a farce.
If we canc get this across, it's all worthwhile.  

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 02:26:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is what really angers me -- his little some of a bitch, Gardner, unable to account for a damned thing on who's had the ballots, how many there were, where they came from, etc.

And the fact that Hursti, himself, testified before the New Hampshire legislature, and that no action was taken, is unbelievable.

Stupid friggin' Yankees.

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 02:33:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Carpetbaggers.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 02:43:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
his little some of a bitch

That should read "this little son of a bitch..." obviously.  Christ, I'm so angry I can't even type now that I grok the chain of custody.

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 02:45:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guys, you don't understand.

It's Skynet taking over. You should vote for Schwarzenegger, or all is lost.

by GreatZamfir on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 04:41:49 AM EST
If you havent already; you should cross post at Daily Kos but with a far greater explanation of your methodology and the Dartmouth professor's in order to come to the conclusion the machines were tampered with.
by An American in London on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 11:09:43 AM EST
Kos has some rather "uncompromising" definitions of what can be posted on the site. It seems the whole subject of voter fraud is about as popular as a root canal. Kos himself comers off as a bit threatening, I would say. Brad himself has a diary that illustrates this-- lots of fairly controlled temper there, for which I congratulate him. Even if he talks it to death.
Somehow the whole point of basic confidence being damaged by problems not limited to fraud, but encompassing a whole range of issues has escaped the discussion, except in rare corners, on kos.

Too bad. Kossacks are missing a chance to do a really important thing, I think. As are Hillary, Edwards and Obama.

It's why I like Kucinich.

Imagine a joint press conference, with all the Democratic candidates agreeing that the recount is an essential step in restoring election integrity. If I were advising Clinton or Obama or Edwards, I'd advise them to get behind this thing pronto,--and offer to pick up the tab. What a moral boost for the Dems--and it's real, not contrived. It IS important.

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

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 01:24:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kos tries to hard to be "serious". Talk of election fraud is "unserious".

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 06:13:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the real problem: Kos has become what he and other Kossacks are supposed to ridicule.  He's essentially the MSM now.  But that should've been obvious from his shallow dismissal of Edwards based on financial "problems".  (Edwards is beating the snot out of all the Republicans.)

They're Villagers now.  No sense is hoping to save them.

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

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 07:07:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
About the worst that can happen is that Markos will cancel the post and ban you from the site.  

But every time he does that sort of stunt more people over there wise up.  So it's all good.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 04:15:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is what the vote percentages look like, by county. Hand is black and machine is red. The two largest counties, population-wise, are Rockingham and Hillsborough and that's where Kucinich is asking for a recount.


We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 11:36:41 AM EST
Additional info for the graph: the line marks Obama having equal numbers of votes as Clinton. Above the line: Obama has more then Clinton, below Clinton has more then Obama.

Right?

As can be seen, I am thinking about presentation. The most interesting information is not the line (that the eye is quickly drawn too) but the difference between hand and machine count in same county. Maybe some line to connect hand-machine in same county?

Ok, doing that in my head, I realise it would get messy if you do not remove names of countys. Maybe removing at least one of the names, have a line and mark with a hand in one end and a computer in the other? Or something like that...

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 01:21:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah. Need to remember this is intended to be comprehensible to the people who have real lives, and whose eyes will glaze over with this important but popularly arcane (in fact, incomprehensible) display of data.
The connecting line idea is interesting-- there is a piece of excellent software that evaluates optics for cameras--might work.
hit the link, and then click on testing and performance.

http://www.digitalcamerainfo.com/content/Canon-G9-Digital-Camera-Review-15723.htm

Yes, Mig. (grovel) I'll learn the clean link---tomorrow.
On third thought,-- perhaps a neat way to convey data is beyond our immediate intent. Still, - God, the art is in how you get it across.

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

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 01:41:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think I have an idea of how to display a slightly different set of data.

Total number of votes on the horisontal axis, percentage difference between clinton and obama on the vertical axis, two colors, county names.

Not the exact same data, but easier to understand.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 01:52:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds good. Try it.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 02:30:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I did a terrible job on the last comment. Sorry.
My point was that the software uses the same idea- a line connecting two important and related data points and the eye easily sees the relative length , and gets the point. Good interface.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 01:54:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You know what the difference is between that "testing/performance" data set and mine? That in their data set the pairs of points are much closer together than two distinct pairs are to each other so there are no crossing lines. In my case, adding lines would have been an incredible mess, especially with the labels.

I have improved the chart slightly but I think I will make the other I suggest in the thread.

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

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 02:08:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yaas.
Back to clean links. --Tomorrow.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 02:38:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Improved chart, though I think in this case one can add a little more information to the chart by plotting absolute vote counts on the vertical axis, in logscale. The vertical jumps would still be the same, and the "tie" line would be a diagonal.


We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 05:29:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm still trying to get my head around this whole chain-of-custody thing.  Apparently there have been, in the past, "issues" with companies printing excess ballots with no oversight or record,with strong evidence of ballot-stuffing, removal and substitution.  This was mentioned in Hacking Democracy.  The Kucinich people don't seem to understand it, and Bev Harris and Brad Friedman are practically screaming that the recount is useless if we don't have answers on the chain.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 02:21:15 PM EST
I'd emphasize a few points:

  1. The decisive question is not whether there has been massive fraud: The mere plausibility of massive fraud highlights the unacceptability of deployed electronic methods. They must be rejected.

  2. Voting with paper ballots, hand-counted in a well-organized open process, is a well-established, debugged method. It can give prompt results, etc. (See the rules for hand-counted voting in Canada.)

  3. Compared to paper ballots, there is no all-electronic alternative that can provide a remotely comparable degree of confidence and transparency. "Efficiency" is of insignificant importance.

A primary focus on whether or not there has been fraud in a particular instance can distract from the more fundamental point. Solid evidence should be presented as such, and would be (should be?) explosive. Weaker evidence should be used only to make point (1). Competent fraudsters would make sure that the evidence against them is ambiguous, and we've seen how ambiguous the statistical evidence can be.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.
by technopolitical on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 03:31:23 PM EST
  1. Can you get Chris Chatam's demographic data, for verification? That sounds really interesting!

  2. Is anyone doing a precint-by-precint comparison with the 2004 primary result, as I suggested earlier based on claims by statisticians for AP?


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 06:18:17 PM EST


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