In article <3A13F3D9.6CFB15D9@lboro.ac.uk>, Thom Baguley <email@example.com> wrote: >Herman Rubin wrote:
>> What are the true totals? More than 90% of the ballots are >> correct, but the question is about errors, Machines cannot make >> certain types of errors, but can improperly reject ballots. >> Hand counting of ballots can introduce major biases, in the >> common meaning of the term.
>I think that is a very good point. In our elections we have a pretty clear >idea of what constitutes the "true" counts. Counting is by hand and the >procedures for deciding when a ballot is spoiled are well specified. In most >cases recounts continue until all candidates are satisfied with the result. I >know of know case where a UK election has been disputed because of biased >counts. All candidates are allowed observers during the count and the count is >conducted by independent non-elected local government officials.
We do have non-elected government officials, but can we find that many? Also, most of these non-elected officials got their positions by political appointment at some stage. Even the civil servants are under political pressure. I doubt that most Americans would trust these so-called independent officials. We have had a case where the counters from both parties agreed that Bush ballots were moved to the Gore pile overnight in the locked counting room; the punch card nature of the ballots made this easy to spot.
We have the case also in Florida where the counters are attempting to assess the intent of the voter, and counting ballots if there is a dent (not even an incomplete punch) in one place. Ballot rejection has been challenged when there is no question that the voter voted for more than one candidate, as "illegal confusion". In most of these cases, the ballot design was by Democrats. These ballots were voted for two candidates, or for the "wrong" candidate. This is not a machine counting error.
And there has been one county using a type of paper ballot in which the observers could only watch through a window, and the newspapers have reported that they saw ballots counted which were so badly marked up as to be completely invalid.
And machine voting was originally introduced in the last century because of fraud.
-- This address is for information only. I do not claim that these views are those of the Statistics Department or of Purdue University. Herman Rubin, Dept. of Statistics, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette IN47907-1399 firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (765)494-6054 FAX: (765)494-0558