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Reply #22: OK, let's compare! [View All]

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-04-09 12:58 AM
Response to Reply #10
22. OK, let's compare!
Edited on Sat Apr-04-09 01:20 AM by Bill Bored
"Compare the ED in Chautauqua County (City of Dunkirk ward 2, ED 4) where a candidate for state Senate received 883 votes, although there were only 563 registered voters. The "solution"? Pad the total vote for every race, creating an apparent undervote of 67% in the presidential race. What else were they gonna do: keep checking the back of the lever machine until it gave a plausible answer?"

Uh yeah. That's EXACTLY what they should have done. And they should have done it BEFORE the election too.

Finally! A precinct in the state of NY with a problem! I was beginning to get suspicious that things seemed to be running a bit too smoothly here, what with no electronic vote counting and all. ;)

How's this for plausible?:

First of all, in the race you are referring to (NY Senate 57th) the margin of victory in the county was 19,137 votes. For the whole contest, it was 59,366. This ain't exactly a FL 2000 situation! And it's about half of Bush's 2004 margin for the whole frickin' State of Ohio! So I must conclude that you have been doing a rather exhaustive search for lever-related anomalies, or perhaps that you had some help.

That's fine. All anomalies should be investigated!

Your characterization of this as a lever machine problem may be incorrect though. And they certainly didn't "pad the total vote for every race" by adding phantom votes like the ones that appear in the precinct for the Senate 57 race. No other candidates had more votes than registered voters, and all had fewer votes than for President which was 375 out of 563, or a turnout of about 67%.

So based on the other precincts in this ward, what we have in this precinct is an anomaly of about 1139-375=764 phantom votes FAVORING THE LOSER -- NOT THE WINNER, in a contest with a victory margin of 59,366 votes. The correct total for the loser is probably about 883-764=119 votes (or less, because this race would have had fewer votes than for President), which would be entirely consistent with the rest of the ward. The anomaly reduced the winner's margin of 56.6% by about 0.7%. Not exactly a "landslide denied!"

And you don't commit election fraud by giving votes to the LOSING candidate in a very obvious way such as this, so I think we can probably rule out malfeasance in this case. You make it sound like some sort of conspiracy though. Was there an EXIT POLL that said the wrong candidate won or something? ;)

As to the precise reason for the anomaly, it could be an error in transcribing the number on the lever counter. 883 might have actually been 083 for example, which would still be pretty consistent with the rest of the ward. This should have been caught in the recanvass but maybe they missed it. Or maybe the machine was zeroed to 800 instead of 000 and someone missed that. They test lever machines by casting 800 votes per position and no more than that many voters are allowed to use one in a single election. If someone left the counter at 800, thinking it was 000, and there were 83 actual votes added, that would explain everything. So it may very well be simple HUMAN error resulting from diligent testing of the machine.

But you know, the good news is that the 67% undervote rate for President in this precinct is way too high! I guess someone will try to claim that it's the real thing so they can bash and replace the levers, even though you've proved it's impossible!

As to the 1139 total, well, what can I say? The cover-up is worse the "crime" I guess. But it's also quite possible that could just be a SOFTWARE GLITCH, depending on how their system would have dealt with the reported phantom votes. One way might be exactly as we see here: add up ALL the votes in the race with the highest apparent turnout (over 100% in this case!), and use that to calculate the undervote. In that case, your lever error looks VERY much like a computer to me! And I didn't even have to do a "source code review" to find it!
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