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Febble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-20-05 02:50 AM
Response to Reply #157
172. the poster asked
why this compilation of evidence had not been reported on.

My answer was that a lot of it had, and that the report itself was a Wikipedia piece. Nothing wrong with that, but it's not itself a published report. Which might explain why it hasn't been reported on as a piece, although it contains material that has been reported and critiqued fairly widely, on the internet. In fact the piece cites some of the media reviews that the material has received.

As to the substantive material in the report, well, as I said, some of it's stuff I did myself (on machines in Florida), so I could comment on that. The issue of whether touchscreen or optical machines benefited Bush or Kerry in Florida is difficult to resolve as touchscreens were not used in small counties, and optical scans were not used in very large counties, so there was a major demographic confound. I looked at mid-size counties only, in order to compare counties where both types of machines had an equal chance of being selected, which also eliminated most panhandle counties, where it had been suggested a "Dixiecrat" effect might be a confound. Mitteldorf and I concluded that Bush did significantly better that expected in counties that used optical scanning. However there were significant demographic differences between the two groups of counties even so (percentage of party registrants; percentage of ethnic groups), so the differences cannot be clearly attributed to the machines. Moreover, Hout's Berkeley team found that when the whole state was considered, and a large regression model was used, it was the E-touch counties that looked suspicious. But it turned out they had omitted a crucial term (interaction between machine type and county size).

So regarding machines in Florida, I think machine type doesn't tell us much, except that statistics is an enfuriating field, and doesn't give the unambiguous answers people would like. The evidence certainly doesn't rule out fraud - as people here have pointed out, any machine can be used to implement fraud, and in any case, if it's the central tabulators that were hacked, then the voting machine type won't be the critical factor.

So there's my comment on the one bit of analysis cited that I know something about - because I did it.
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