and the evidence continues to mount

This afternoon, a group of researchers at the UC Berkeley Survey Research Center called a press conference and announced the results of a study they’d undertaken to analyze the votes cast for Bush and Kerry in certain Florida precincts. I don’t want to give too much away, but they liken their findings to a smoke alarm. Here’s a clip:

The study shows an unexplained discrepancy between votes for President Bush in counties where electronic voting machines were used versus counties using traditional voting methods – what the team says can be deemed a “smoke alarm.” Discrepancies this large or larger rarely arise by chance – the probability is less than 0.1 percent. The research team formally disclosed results of the study at a press conference today at the UC Berkeley Survey Research Center, where they called on Florida voting officials to investigate.

The three counties where the voting anomalies were most prevalent were also the most heavily Democratic: Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade, respectively. Statistical patterns in counties that did not have e-touch voting machines predict a 28,000 vote decrease in President Bush’s support in
Broward County; machines tallied an increase of 51,000 votes – a net gain of 81,000 for the incumbent. President Bush should have lost 8,900 votes in Palm Beach County, but instead gained 41,000 – a difference of 49,900. He should have gained only 18,400 votes in Miami-Dade County but saw a gain of 37,000 – a difference of 19,300 votes.

“For the sake of all future elections involving electronic voting – someone must investigate and explain the statistical anomalies in Florida,” says Professor Michael Hout. “We’re calling on voting officials in Florida to take action.”

While we’re on the subject, there’s also a very good piece in The Nation today about the New Hampshire recount, why it’s happening, how it came about, and why it’s vitally important. Here’s just a little taste:

Briggs became interested in the numbers when, shortly after the election, she saw a study published on the web about statistical anomalies in non-swing states. New Hampshire caught her attention because of the sizable–15 percent–differential between early exit polls and results. It was easy to study, because the state made its data available online. And because New Hampshire was a state Kerry won, no one could claim that the goal of a recount there was to change the election results….

Once Briggs’s eyebrows were raised, she said, she tried contacting the Kerry campaign to see if officials there would call for a recount. With no affirmative response, on Friday, November 5, she called Ralph Nader–with less than four hours remaining before New Hampshire’s deadline for recount requests. The Nader people didn’t know Briggs, and were wary, but Air America Radio host Randi Rhodes managed to mobilize enough listeners that Nader soon had a twelve-inch stack of imploring faxes. With one minute remaining to deadline, he faxed in a request for a recount. (He also agreed to pay a $2,000 filing fee plus actual costs.)

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2 Comments

  1. Posted November 19, 2004 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Gosh Mark, I was thinking the same thing.

  2. Tony Buttons
    Posted November 24, 2004 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Now, the Ukranians know how to contest a fucking stolen election.

    We could learn a lot from them.

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