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Topic: steal the election fair and square
Replies: 13   Last Post: Nov 21, 2000 3:47 AM

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Greg Goodknight

Posts: 1,188
Registered: 12/6/04
steal the election fair and square
Posted: Nov 18, 2000 6:22 PM
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Based on my experiences with computing punch cards (they were on their way
out when I was on my way in) I'd estimate the card readers should be better
than 99.999% of detecting a hole (ie a vote) if there is one, and accurately
keeping count of the number of cards that were in a precinct and comparing
the numbers of cards counted would allow the one real problem, feeding
through the machine, to be caught and the batch redone. "Swinging door"
chads would only be a factor if there was no vote on the ballot for the race
being recounted, and I've no problem with the fairness of those being
manually inspected, even given that voters are instructed to check their
ballots themselves before turning them in. That is not what is being done,
and there do not seem to be any independant checks.

There seems to be at least one charge of a coverup today; a Republican
observer made a public charge that cards that had been identified as Bush
votes (the claim was about 100 were involved) were put in the Gore pile for
counting and the count supervisor (a Democrat) tried to cover up the error.
The manual process in that place was identify who the vote was for, and to
place it on the correct pile. It might be easy to accidentally mess that up
over 10,000 times even if you weren't trying to make one pile bigger. I
can't find it in print just yet.

Here is the LA Times description of the even handedness of process the Gore
team are championing:
"Our goal," said one lawyer as he patiently lectured his new charges, "is to
preserve the Al Gore vote." The volunteers nodded. "It's very, very
important that if you see any kind of mark--a scratch, a dent, a pinprick in
Al Gore's column--that you challenge." When someone then asked what they
should do if they found a Bush ballot with an indent, the lawyer said: "Keep
your lips sealed."
It was hardball that the Bostonians and other imported pros understood
well."
http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/decision2000/lat_dems001117.htm

It was also interesting that a Florida Democrat was found with one of the
publicly owned voting machines in his car.
http://abcnews.go.com/sections/politics/DailyNews/florida_votamatic_001115.h
tml

Finally, on the Fox News, Paula Zahn seemed to be confirming that a
candidate for a countywide judgeship in a recent south Florida election was
denied a manual recount because she lost by 11 votes and the cutoff for a
manual count was 10. They used to believe the machines were very accurate
indeed.

The Florida Supreme Court will probably be an interesting place this week.

-Greg

-----Original Message-----
From: Howard L Hansen <hsquared4@juno.com>
To: math-teach@forum.swarthmore.edu <math-teach@forum.swarthmore.edu>
Date: Friday, November 17, 2000 8:42 PM


>All,
>
>I find it interesting that the discussion of mathematics involved in the
>current election should focus on alternatives to the pluralistic method
>of determining elections when the real issue is statistical. Since the
>voting machines count ballots with a margin of error (does anyone claim
>that they are 100% accurate with or without chad considerations?) it
>seems perfectly clear that if the difference between the candidates is
>within that margin, the election must be declared a tie. Most of the
>pundits make pronouncements as if the voting machines are absolutely
>accurate which is completely ludicrous. Of course the same statisitical
>analysis holds when hand counting is considered. Therefore, since the
>margin of error is greater than the apparent difference between the
>candidates the election in Florida should be declared a tie. Of course
>state legislators in Florida and elsewhere are virtually mathematically
>illiterate and so we will continue to have an unresolvable dispute.
>
>H^2
>________________________________________________________________
>GET INTERNET ACCESS FROM JUNO!
>Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for less!
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>






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