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Topic: Count all the votes
Replies: 11   Last Post: Nov 15, 2000 11:56 PM

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Greg Goodknight

Posts: 1,233
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Count all the votes
Posted: Nov 15, 2000 4:18 AM
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-----Original Message-----
From: Victor Steinbok <>
>Greg wrote:

>> How many times should each vote be counted? Every Florida precinct has
>> at least two full counts; some have already been counted four times.
>Curiously, each time the stack was recounted, new votes were discovered.
>Apparently some of these ballots have NOT been counted four times,
>otherwise the count would not have changed.

You are taking this as an article of faith. I've seen no test cases run by
either side. I suspect you haven't, either. There is still human error in
moving the right stacks of paper to the right places even when Democrats are
doing the work and that is independent of what the tabulating technology is.
Checking the ballot for hanging or loose "chads" before you leave the booth
is also part of the polling instructions, (at least it was when I lived in
an area that used them).

>> How has it been proven that the hand count is more accurate than the
>> count when the vote is contained on a paper punch card with no particular
>> features?

>Having witnessed Greg Goodknight shill out propaganda of his own, why am
>not surprised to find him swallowing the Republican Party absurd

The question remains, no matter what sort of gratuitous personal attack you
feel compelled to throw in. How has it been proven? I've seen no claim by
anyone that the same card deck run through the tabulating machines will
register differently each time. I would hope the machines are checked with
standard decks before real ballots are fed into them, and the same check
should be made regularly, with all ballots run through since the last check
redone by a different machine that meets the criterion. Do you know if they
are? Or are not? This is the sort of thing that experimentalists (and
engineers) have to contend with all the time.

> The idiocy of this question and its underlying assumption
>can be demonstrated very easily: remember Minnesota? remember New York?
>remember Indiana? remember Scotland? I am sure there were many more
>machine counting fiascoes (Harcourt paid back California how many
>millions of dollars for their testing errors?), but these four in
>particular stand out as monuments to the dangers of standardized testing
>and machine tabulations of scores. It is ironic that there is a link
>between Bush's stance on standardized testing and his stance on the vote
>recount (neither one is really Bush, but who is counting?!)

Were those all failings of the machines? If there were known failure modes
and the folks running them were too cheap or too dull to do it right, would
having the same folks do it manually work better? If the machines are not
the source of the supposed errors, would using them less be proper? Is there
a reason in Florida that the Counties run by Democrats seem to have a harder
time getting it right?


PS I've no problem counting by hand ballots that are human readable,
especially as a check. The punch ballots are not, and are easily damaged
from handling. Easily altered, too. The machines have the added advantage of
being non-partisan.

>Greg, don't forget that the machines are designed by humans, programmed
>by humans and tuned and cleaned by humans. If errors are made along the
>way in machine design and maintenance, the result is an error of far
>greater proportion than anything a single manual counter can create.
>Besides, what would the "Founding Fathers" say? Did THEY have computers
>to tabulate their votes? (BTW, New Hampshire counts ALL its votes by
>hand and it has done so for the past century.)
> VS-)

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