Kerry won?

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  • #1
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This is interesting, what do you guys think?

http://www.tompaine.com/articles/kerry_won.php [Broken]
 
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  • #2
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Here's something else that's neat.
http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/11/05/voting.problems.ap/index.html [Broken]
That's just one voting machine so far. Imagine if the same thing happened to 50 other machines....
 
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  • #3
Both links are intriguing. Although I highly doubt the same type of error discussed in the link that Check provided is likely to happen to 50 other machines, its worth looking into. I'm certainly very interested in decibels's link and I am definetly going to do more research on it.
 
  • #4
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Exit polls mean nothing.

Who did you vote for?
Kerry...

Who did you really vote for?
Bush...

Just because exit polls tend to be accurate if you were a Bush supporter who would it make more sense to say you voted for. Say Bush and make Repulicans complacent, overconfident, and then possibly not show up, or do the same thing to the Democrats. Chances are people were encouraged to go out and vote at the last minute because the exit polls made it seem like Kerry was going to win.
 
  • #5
selfAdjoint
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They are adding the total spoilage to the total disputed and counting it for Kerry. Isn't that just slightly silly? I'm all for having the provisional ballots vetted and counted where valid, and only if that shows a really close race would I expect them to go to the spoilage (i.e. the 2004 equivalent of hanging chads).
 
  • #6
Moonbear
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While I'm not happy Bush won, I'm not going to jump on this bandwagon. Look at the two articles together. In one, they chastise Ohio's Secretary of State for running the election with hanging chad punchcards, and in the second, they complain about the errors of the electronic voting machines. The Secretary of State was actually pushing to get electronic voting machines throughout the state, and I was one of the people who wrote to him and asked him to not rush into it. Punchcards have their problems, but the lack of a permanent record of votes that permit a recount on electronic machines is even a bigger problem.

I also would guess the hanging chad and pregnant chad problems would be less in this election than previously, mainly because people know about the FL fiasco now, and would be more attentive to the problem. In addition, there were ads on TV demonstrating how to check for these problems, and information right in the voting booths reminding voters to check the back of the punchcards for hanging chad and to be sure the holes punched out completely. If anyone was still stupid enough to not notice, then it's their own fault their vote isn't being counted. Afterall, just when you think you've made something foolproof, you'll find a bigger fool.
 
  • #7
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Why can’t America just have one, standardised system of voting, controlled by one federal agency? It’s seriously not that hard.

When I go to vote, I get a simple little ballot with the names of the candidates and their parties. Next to the names are very large circles. I simply put a big X in the circle next to my choice, fold up the ballot and put it in the box. No hanging chads, no malfunctioning voting machines. Quick, cheap and easy. The only draw back is that the ballots need to be hand counted. But is that really a bad thing? (Is this the standard in all of Canada? I'm assuming it is)
I guess it would take forever though in the States seeing as a federal election draws over 100million people and in Canada we get about 10million LoL
 
  • #8
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Check, the individual states determine how voting is done in the US...it's written right into our Constitution. The reason is the founders of our country were very fearful of centralized government, so tried to decentralize everything as much as possible.

As for drawing an X in a box, you've clearly never had to grade ScanTron style exams (fill in the bubble). If college students can't follow simple instructions of "fill in only one bubble, do not go outside the lines, fill it in completely, be sure to completely erase if you change your answer," then what hope do we have of the rest of the population managing that? It would be no better than those who can't figure out that that piece of paper dangling on the back of their ballot should be removed. However, even those readers are prone to occassional mistakes...at least one or two in every 300 based on complaints I got from students that the machine scored their answers wrong (I kept the original and gave them a copy so they couldn't change their answers after the fact). I would think hand-counting is actually more error-prone, especially as those doing the counting get more tired.
 
  • #9
dekoi
Bush won.

Everyone knows of the corruption of the American democracy. Should we do something about it? Perhaps we should. But ranting on forums will not get us anywhere.

The government should first raise the question, "What is a democracy?". From then, things should flourish.
 
  • #10
plover
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As for the electronic voting machine, this is a http://verifiedvoting.org/article.php?id=997 [Broken]. It is one reason there were efforts to make a paper trail obligatory. I have no overall sense of how common these problems are, but they have been seen in a good number of elections in the past couple of years.
 
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  • #11
Gokul43201
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I can understand states rights on cultural, (some) economic, and (some) educational policies. I can't see the point in states determining election procedure (especially for a National Election), other than it gives each Sec. State power to influence the outcome. :confused:

Can someone tell me the drawbacks of a Federalized voting system ?
 
  • #12
russ_watters
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Palast is a real kook. Provisional ballots are provisional - traditionally, only 20% or so end up being judged to be valid. Add to that the nuttiness of assuming all of them were for Kerry, and Palast really needs his head checked (or is just an ordinary conspiracy theorist).
 
  • #13
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russ_watters said:
Palast is a real kook. Provisional ballots are provisional - traditionally, only 20% or so end up being judged to be valid.
Where do you get that number from ? In 2000, there were about 100,000 provisional ballots cast in Ohio, and 91% of them were valid.
 
  • #14
BobG
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There's a few different categories for provisional ballots and most do wind up being excepted. Each state is a little different, though.

If the person didn't register, obviously the ballots are tossed. This is seldom the case.

If the person moved, voted in his new precinct, but the voter regristration rolls weren't updated, the voter regristration rolls are corrected and the ballots excepted.

The in between is where there's a lot of variation. If you move across town to at least a new district for your state and local elected officials, and try to vote in your old district (which does happen, strangley enough), obviously voting for the wrong local officials won't count.

If you wanted to enforce the election laws very strictly, you could decide the person's vote for President, Senator, Congressman, etc. doesn't count either since the voter voted outside his precinct. That's a pretty hard sell to say voting on the wrong side of town invalidates your vote for a national office - the same names would be on the voter's ballot regardless of which precinct he voted in. Regardless of how many could technically be thrown out, it's a fight of technicalities vs. common sense. Fighting to throw out every single ballot that doesn't meet the exact letter of the law makes the election officials look pretty bad even if they win.

Yes, Ohio accepted almost all of the provisional ballots for President in 2000 and I don't think any state had the brass to only accept 20% for a Presidential election, but the actual numbers vary from place to place. If the election had come down to the provisional ballots with the outcome hanging in the balance, it would be anyone's guess how many would be accepted - the only sure thing is that it would have come via court decision some time after the election.
 
  • #15
Moonbear
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Gokul43201 said:
Can someone tell me the drawbacks of a Federalized voting system ?
The same potential for corruption that exists in the Secretary of States' offices could still happen on a national level, but would then only come out of one office instead of 50, so there would be even more concern of corruption turning an election in favor of one candidate.
 
  • #16
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Gokul43201 said:
Where do you get that number from ? In 2000, there were about 100,000 provisional ballots cast in Ohio, and 91% of them were valid.
There's no need to worry about the provisional ballots. Ohio state law requires all valid provisional ballots be counted before the Secretary of State certifies the election results. It sure would make for great headlines if the outcome changes based on the provisional ballots, but don't hold your breath expecting it.
 
  • #17
Kerrie
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Moonbear said:
Check, the individual states determine how voting is done in the US...it's written right into our Constitution. The reason is the founders of our country were very fearful of centralized government, so tried to decentralize everything as much as possible.
i believe the states should have the right to determine their method of voting when it comes to state issues...but perhaps the federal government needs to mandate a standard for presidential elections? it would be a lot more consistent that's for sure.
 
  • #18
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plover said:
As for the electronic voting machine, this is a http://verifiedvoting.org/article.php?id=997 [Broken]. It is one reason there were efforts to make a paper trail obligatory. I have no overall sense of how common these problems are, but they have been seen in a good number of elections in the past couple of years.
Just to play devil's advocate with regard to that machine that was reported to overcount the Bush vote...it sounds like the entire overcount is being attributed to Bush, so to come up with the count for Bush, they've subtracted Kerry's votes from the total number of voters. What if it overcounted all the votes...such as counted all of them 5 times or something like that? In that case, Bush might have had even a greater majority in that precinct with Kerry only getting a handful of votes.

This is certainly a problem...how do you know which happened when there's no hard copy of the votes? Depending on who's calling the shots, determining the direction of the error could be biased toward either candidate.
 
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  • #19
arildno
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Now, just a comment from the Norwegian fishpond:

The way we do it here, is that EACH PARTY has its own, SEPARATE, list.
There are few shortcomings of this system, although at times, some voting areas have too few lists for a given party (this may annul the result in that district).

Does any state in the US have this system?
 
  • #20
I should have thought of this when I made my first post. No matter who won the election, the other side would dispute it. Of course the democrats will say Bush did not win, just as if Kerry had won the Republicans would say he did not win. That's politics.
 
  • #21
check said:
Here's something else that's neat.
http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/11/05/voting.problems.ap/index.html [Broken]
That's just one voting machine so far. Imagine if the same thing happened to 50 other machines....
"Franklin is the only Ohio county to use Danaher Controls Inc.’s ELECTronic 1242, an older-style touch-screen voting system."

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6418513/
 
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  • #22
russ_watters
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Gokul43201 said:
Where do you get that number from ? In 2000, there were about 100,000 provisional ballots cast in Ohio, and 91% of them were valid.
I think I read it in USA Today. Not sure though. do you have a source for that number?
 
  • #23
plover
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Moonbear said:
Just to play devil's advocate with regard to that machine that was reported to overcount the Bush vote...it sounds like the entire overcount is being attributed to Bush, so to come up with the count for Bush, they've subtracted Kerry's votes from the total number of voters. What if it overcounted all the votes...such as counted all of them 5 times or something like that? In that case, Bush might have had even a greater majority in that precinct with Kerry only getting a handful of votes.
If each vote counts as an (unknown) n rather than 1, there's still enough information to solve for the original counts, but in this case the answer gives a non-integral count for each candidate.

In any case, the problems I mentioned appear to be random problems with the software, overall no party was favored in previous incidents. Even if several machines showed the same bias toward Bush, to prove fraud it would still be necessary to show that there was some expectation on the part of officials the bias would occur rather than it simply being the same unexpected bug manifesting multiple times.

It's silly for the need for a paper trail to be a partisan issue as anyone could be adversely affected by these crappy machines. These counting problems are only one of the software and hardware failures that have been widespread in recent model electronic voting machines (and from what CloakNight said perhaps in older ones also, though just because the county has some earlier models doesn't mean the problem at hand occurred on one).
 
  • #24
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russ_watters said:
I think I read it in USA Today. Not sure though. do you have a source for that number?
http://www.columbusdispatch.com/election/election-local.php?story=dispatch/2004/09/25/20040925-A1-02.html [Broken] is probably not where I first read it (actually I first heard this on CNN, Judy Woodruff on night of Nov 2), but it agrees with that number.

Observers say there’s no way to predict how many voters may be affected, and LoParo [spokesman for the Ohio Sec. State] disputes the suggestion that it will be a large number. He noted that 93 percent of the 54,137 provisional ballots cast in the 2002 general election were counted, and 91 percent of the nearly 100,000 ballots in 2000.
PS : I also heard the 20% number that same night (from Pat Buchanan) on MSNBC.
 
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  • #25
russ_watters
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HERE it is:
"There are 140,000 provisional ballots. Historically, only 7 to 20% of those would be counted," said Bush-Cheney communications director Nicolle Devenish. "Even if twice that many end up getting counted, he can't close the gap of his defeat in the state. It's desperate."
I have no idea where she got that, and with the new info you guys provided, I'm inclined to believe the >90% figure.
 

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