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Reply #22: Your "600-Million-to-One" Claims Would be Correct [View All]

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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-05 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #16
22. Your "600-Million-to-One" Claims Would be Correct
if you were referring to a random sample of official ballots.

Instead, they refer to an exit polling effort which sampled selected polling places, assigned relatively untrained people and told them to interview every seventh person who exited the polls. The results were then weighted to reflect the voting population.

One is not the same as the other. There's no way to quantify the how well the people were sampled, the response variables, or the weighting. You certainly cannot claim the *same* probability for sampling exit polls as for sampling ballots.

In practice, pollsters always use reported data from as random a sample as they can get. It's not always very representative. They know it's not the same as the actual data. They don't always take pains to make the difference clear, party because it's the same for every poll.

By and large, even pro-Democratic pollsters like Zogby do not believe the discrepancy between the exit polls and the official vote indicates fraud. That should tell you something.

There are situations in which systematic discrepancies would arouse suspicion. For example, if the divergence was greater in evoting polling places or in evoting areas under Republican control, that would be prima facie evidence of fraud. You still couldn't assign a probability to it if it were only based on exit polls.

This is what bothers me. I think it helps the effort much more to focus on qualitative facts that should arouse suspicion rather than making unsupportable quantitative claims.

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