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Febble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-05 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. Well do check out
Edited on Thu Dec-01-05 06:31 PM by Febble
your second set of "facts":

2. Late on election day, 2004, with Kerry ahead in the exit polls (scientific polls of voters leaving the voting booth), the corporate news monopolies doctored their exit poll data to fit the results coming from Diebold's and ES&S's secret vote tabulation software. This was not the normal adjustment of exit polls for election demographics. It was a very unusual--indeed, impossible--falsification of the numbers. It has been verified that the real exit polls showed a Kerry win by a 3% margin.

The exit polls were "doctored" not by the "corporate news media" but by those who actually conducted the "scientific polls of voters leaving the voting booth". However this was not "very unusual" - it is what the pollsters do in every election, and, ironically, is probably how they have achieved their reputation for extreme accuracy. Moreover, the "doctoring" was done "late on election day" in the sense that the process started as the first polls closed. This is because the exit poll estimates were as usual, based on three data sources:

How are projections made?
Projections are based on models that use votes from three (3) different sources -- exit poll interviews with voters, vote returns as reported by election officials from the sample precincts, and tabulations of votes by county. The models make estimates from all these vote reports. The models also indicate the likely error in the estimates. The best model estimate may be used to make a projection if it passes a series of tests.

As for your word "impossible" - the discrepancy between the unadjusted poll data and the vote count cannot have been due to chance. That is indeed "impossible". It may have been due to fraud in the vote-count. However, bias in the poll is also perfectly possible. Bias can occur when sampling is not random. It rarely is. UK exit polls frequently show bias - and we know it is bias because we can rely on our count (fully hand-counted paper ballots).

Sadly, you can not. This is a grievous problem. But having unreliable vote-counting methods does not make exit polls magically more reliable. "Impossible" exit polls are only too common, even in clean electoral systems. I am still traumatised by Neil Kinnock's defeat, in defiance of the exit polls, in 1992.

(Edited to add: I do agree with you about Gore/Kerry! I was a Gore fan, and still haven't quite got over Florida 2000. That's why I'm here, actually, making a nuisance of myself....)
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