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Can statistics tell us who wins? Yes according to the American Statistical Association

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Sancho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 02:22 PM
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Can statistics tell us who wins? Yes according to the American Statistical Association
No according to the courts! A very useful article was published in Chance Magazine from the American Statistical Association in 2008:

"Florida 2006: Can Statistics Tell Us Who Won Congressional District-13?"

Some quotes lifted from the article:

"...the conclusion that Jennings was the real winner in CD-13 becomes even surer."
"...it is clear that those missing votes switched the outcome of the congressional race from Jennings to Buchanan."
"The statistical evidence shows, beyond any reasonable doubt, that more voters wanted Jennings than Buchanan. However, there is-as yet-no precedent for a court overturning an electoral 'count' based on a statistical analysis."

I witnessed vote switching machines in 2004 just as many are doing today.
Even though courts accept statistical and eye-witness evidence for DNA analysis and murder trials; they don't want to do so for elections.

As such - it appears that this election is one where direct, concrete proof of election manipulation is required for true election reform to come from the courts:

1.) Impounding the machines.
2.) Pictures or video of switching.
3.) Absolute proof of ballots being destroyed, changed, or miscounted.

I hope that every DUer is prepared to watch and collect evidence if you see it. We don't have to prove all the elections are manipulated, but proving that ONE is manipulated may be the outrage that triggers reform for all of us. Meanwhile, the sheer number of voters must overwhelm the attempts to change the election - so get out there and vote - and keep your eyes open!




:patriot:
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Pooka Fey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 05:02 PM
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1. K&R
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 05:59 PM
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2. Physical evidence is given the highest priority, even when
it's a huge assumption to believe that the physical vote count was accurate.

In fact, the physical vote count is corrupted, yet treated as though it is as solid and unimpeachable as a murder weapon.
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Sancho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 05:28 AM
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4. I'm not a lawyer type (I guess most don't read ASA mags either)...
but it is really tough that analyses can't at least trigger some kind of audit, revote, or serious change in the system.

Here in Florida, too much of the process is in the hands of the election supervisor and many of them stick. Sarasota's Dent is a complete idiot and obviously bias.


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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 08:59 PM
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3. Even better would be actual ballots that statisticians and others could count by hand. nt
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 01:27 PM
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5. Can politicians listen to Statisticians? NOT Likely.
Can the general public understand statistics. NO!!

After the fact statistical analysis has not changed anything yet, not in this race, not in Ohio 2004, not in Florida 2000.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 06:37 PM
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6. That's because there is often no other evidence.
Edited on Thu Oct-30-08 06:40 PM by Bill Bored
The system in Ohio 2004 was designed not to produce evidence. You know that as well as anyone. Once those punch cards were cast in the wrong precincts, there was no way to recover those votes. (Perfect crime.)

But where statistics can play a vital role is in determining how many votes to count by hand to see who won with very high confidence. It's true that not everyone wants to hear about that though. So they end up making crappy laws that count a small percentage of the vote by hand no matter how close the elections are, and the lemmings in our movement accept them like crumbs falling off the table, because they're too timid to even ASK for anything better.

Also, there is a LOT of willful ignorance about this on the part of just about everyone involved, except the hard core who are trying not to depend on software for election results, as opposed to those who just SAY we shouldn't depend on it! (Talk is cheap.)

It's a pretty sad state of affairs.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 07:46 PM
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7. Good points, and it is sad state
Especially since we've come so far only to see that it wasn't far enough.

Hopefully through all this we will have encouraged enough of the stats people to come forward after this election and join with us to insure a complete overview of the count. I think we're all confident that after a complete overview of the count takes place everyone will see the need for the machines to be totally reformed by 2010.
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Sancho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 08:26 PM
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8. In Florida, there is also an effort to avoid any evidence...
We got rid of touch screens, but I'm not sure the optical scanners are much better. The tabulators can still be hacked and there are questions about missing ballots.

Down here, the large undervotes are the first clue to manipulated elections.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-30-08 09:13 PM
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9. Ohio 2004 did produce evidence.
Though the punch cards counted in the wrong precincts are obvious, politicians and public are not statisticians.

That there still is no consequence is a sad state of affairs just before another election.
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