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Multiple-precinct polling places in Cuyahoga County

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jmknapp Donating Member (381 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-07-04 09:41 PM
Original message
Multiple-precinct polling places in Cuyahoga County
Edited on Tue Dec-07-04 09:42 PM by jmknapp
There have been several threads on DU covering the ballot mixups in Cuyahoga County leading to erroneous third-party vote totals, as well as undervotes. This happens at polling places with more than one precinct, with a differing ballot order between the precincts.

This chart illustrates the effect:



Of the polling places with only one precinct, third-party vote averages 0.39% and is always under 2%. But with two precincts in the same location, the third party vote averages 0.51% and moreover there are many outliers all the way up to 40%.

That's a pretty clear demonstration of the effect. Not sure why it doesn't get progressively worse with three and more precincts though. Note that this is a log scale and so doesn't show the precincts with zero third party votes.
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Heath.Hunnicutt Donating Member (454 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-07-04 09:44 PM
Response to Original message
1. This is amazing
The fact that the y-axis is log scale makes this information look less startling than it really is.

Damn.

As for the n=2 and n=3 precincts being the peak effects.... How would you go about doing this on purpose? In which precincts would that be possible? If it were done to the counting of a single ballot type in each precinct, would the effect actually tail off (dillution) with increasing n?
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jmknapp Donating Member (381 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-07-04 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Right, here is the linear chart
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truehawk Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-07-04 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Awsome Let me guess,
Let me guess, there are a lot more 2 precinct polling places.

What is the frequency of Kerry third party both haveing the same line?
Pick Kerry get 3rd party 50% max if ballots pairs are randomly determined and all ballots of some precincts are fed with the wrong control card.

Kerry to bush odds, 1/4 push Kerry get Bush
1/4 push Kerry get disqualified

how far back the control card was positioned would control the portion of the deck incorrectly counted.

Were there more ballots "spoiled" where a Kerry vote swapped would go to Bush and Bush lined up as a swap would go to a third party or disqualified?
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RubyCat Donating Member (334 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-07-04 11:31 PM
Response to Original message
4. kick
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emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-08-04 02:15 AM
Response to Original message
5. Juan Gonzalez story on Democracy Now! discussed this
Last Friday, 12/3/04. It's archived at democracynow.org. He discussed that the ballot positions of the candidates were different in each precinct. So where there were two or more precincts in a polling place, voters may have been given ballots meant for a voting machine elsewhere in the room, so the candidate they intended to vote for didn't actually recieve their vote.

I have only heard of this happening in heavily Kerry precincts. Has anyone heard otherwise?

Perhaps some of these thoughts are contained in other posts on this thread, but they're written in jargon I don't understand!
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jmknapp Donating Member (381 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-08-04 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Mixups in Bush precincts
I haven't gone through every flaky precinct in Cuyahoga, but have looked at most of them, and I don't see any mixups that hurt Bush. Of cours, most of the precincts in the county are Kerry precincts!

There is one precinct in North Royalton that was messed up, and that precinct is Bush-leaning, but even in that case the way it works out is that Kerry lost a few votes margin.

It's hard to find precinct data for most Ohio counties. So far I have only found Butler and Warren, both very heavy Republican counties. The results for Warren look very clean (not many 3rd-party votes in any precinct). I don't have information on the polling places, how many precincts at each, etc. They used punchcards so either they administered their polling places much better, or they corrected the results. This is the one indication of a minor mixup I could find in Warren:

pct Kerry Bush Badnarik Peroutka undervote
HAM T NM ADG 158 578 6 1 9
HAM T NW ADH 182 747 3 4 28

The high undervote in the latter (~3%) is a red flag, especially with the high counts for Badnarik/Peroutka. Overall B/P got 0.35% of the vote in the county, compared to 0.84% here. Undervote in the latter precinct was 3% compared to 1.1% across the county. So probably some votes were switched here. Without knowing the ballot orders it's hard to disentangle though.

Similarly in Butler County there were only one or two cases. One precinct in Trenton City registered 30 votes for Badnarik, which is a clear indication of a mixup. there's a precinct in Fairfield City showing high undervote and higher than normal Peroutka votes.

I also have precinct data for Toledo (Lucas County) which went for Kerry. Not any glaring problem there in any precinct. They used optical scan, not punchcards.

I would think that if the recount effort can pick the 3% of the precincts that will be hand-counted in the first run, they should just go through and cherry-pick the high third party and undervote precincts, as they will be practically guaranteed to be due to ballot mixups. The corrected results will then be of such a magnitude as to trigger a statewide hand recount. IMO.
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-08-04 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Hi emlev!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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shaggy briard Donating Member (50 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-08-04 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
7. You are my hero
Every one of your charts is informative and provocative -- only wish that these anomalies constituted "proof" that a public would understand :yourock:
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jmknapp Donating Member (381 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-08-04 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Well, people are mostly visual it seems
So I strive for that. In the end, I suppose it's still eye-glazing to most.


BTW, I also put these graphics (and some related ones) on dKos:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/12/7/22452/6795

Check it out...
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Zan_of_Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-04 02:25 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. eye-glazing for some, eye-candy for others!
Edited on Sat Dec-11-04 02:29 AM by Zan_of_Texas
I love charts. Thanks for those!

Here's the thing. When you put hundreds of voters, some poll workers, and several precincts in one building together, and the ballots are the same color and virtually indistinguishable, there will be some mixing. Especially when there aren't enough machines, and we've already established that there were longer lines in Ohio, especially in black precincts. So, the lines = hurrying and stress and overtaxed workers.

On another thread, someone there stated that if the machines for one precinct were filled up, a poll worker was sending people to the empty ones -- not realizing that they were machines for the other precinct, and that marking one's card on there would mess things up.

So, I guess there would be two ways to mess up in a multiple precinct polling place - you could legally be in Precinct A -- you could accidentally punch your card using Pct. B's machine, and have it read by a Pct. A machine. Or, you could mess it up by voting your Pct. A at a Pct. A machine, and then someone could read the ballot at a Pct. B machine.

Truehawk here at DU found these ballots -- look like actual ballots - that demonstrate what COULD have happened -- real visual.

Look at the second page on each. Imagine them side by side to compare.

<http://boe.cuyahogacounty.us/BOE/ballots/PDF/PARMA08E.p... >

<http://boe.cuyahogacounty.us/BOE/ballots/PDF/PARMA08D.p... >

If you voted for Kerry in Parma 8D and the ballot was read in Parma 8E, you voted for a disqualified spot.

If you voted for Kerry in Parma 8E and the ballot was read in Parma 8D, you got Bush.

Now I don't know if these particular precincts voted at the same polling place or not, but multiple precincts at one location seems to have been common. ...Some combinations of swapped ballots will yield votes for the disqualified space.
--end of Truehawk

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skids Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-04 12:18 AM
Response to Original message
10. kick n/t
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