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Reply #30: well many I've talked to seem to agree [View All]

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garybeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-06-07 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #19
30. well many I've talked to seem to agree
there is a mathematical basis for basing the sample size on the winning percentage. the theory goes... if someone stole an election, that would mean that they lost in reality, and won in the results. so, if they did that, the greater the margin of victory, the more stolen votes there are in the system, and the easier it is to catch, and thus the smaller sample size required. in other words, if someone alters the results to make themselves win 75% of the votes when they really lost 49-51, a relatively smaller sample size is required to find evidence of fraud. On the other hand, if they lost in reality 49-51 and changed the results through fraud to win 51-49, then a larger sample size would be needed to catch them.

this makes sense to me. the only thing that bothers me is that the ultimate goal is just to make sure the correct winner is placed in office, not find any evidence of fraud, whatever it is. In other words if there was "vote trimming" that did not affect the winner of a particular race but had national implications, this sort of sample sizing would not be directed at finding such problems. as well, there could be a variety of computer glitches (not fraud) that could have random affects on the election results, and this likewise would not be aimed at finding such problems. having said that, if the goal is to put the right person in office, I do understand the idea of changing sample size based on several inputs, including margin of victory.

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