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Exit Poll Discrepancy could be explained by voter disenfranchisement

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Dolphyn Donating Member (152 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:35 PM
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Exit Poll Discrepancy could be explained by voter disenfranchisement
It occurred to me this morning that the Exit Poll Discrepancy could be fully explained in terms of voter disenfranchisement -- that is, long lines, intimidation, and discarded provisional ballots in Democratic-leaning precincts.

Here is a simplified example to make my point:

(1) The state of Flohio has 10,000 registered voters, of whom 5000 live in the city and 5000 live in rural areas.
(2) Of the city voters, 70% support Kerry and 30% support Bush.
(3) Of the rural voters, 32% support Kerry and 68% support Bush.
(4) Exit polls are set up at one city precinct and one rural precinct, and the results of those two exit polls are averaged to produce the statewide exit poll data. The two precincts are weighted equally, because the exit polling company determined that voter turnout was consistent across rural and city areas in 2000 (say, 66% turnout in both areas) and they predict the same for 2004. So, the exit poll predicts 51% Kerry and 49% Bush.
(5) The voting machines in Flohio are flawless and the votes are counted correctly.
(6) In the year 2004, long lines and voter turnout lead to reduced voter turnout in the city, but overall the voter turnout is increased. Specifically, voter turnout is 74% in rural areas and 64% in the city.

The actual tabulated votes are:
City votes for Kerry: 5000 * 70% * 64% = 2240 votes
Country votes for Kerry: 5000 * 32% * 74% = 1184 votes
City votes for Bush: 5000 * 30% * 64% = 960 votes
Country votes for Bush: 5000 * 68% * 74% = 2516 votes

Bush gets 3476 out of 6900 votes, or 50.4%
Kerry gets 3424 out of 6900 votes, or 49.6%

It would be a worthwhile pursuit to attempt to quantify to what extent voter disenfranchisement altered the results of the election. One way to do that would be use the precinct-by-precinct results from 2004, and "normalize" them by doing calculations based on the year 2000 voter turnout. If the results are in line with the year 2004 exit polls, then perhaps the recount efforts are barking up the wrong tree.

I believe both factors (improper/fraudulent counts and voter disenfranchisement) played a part in skewing the results of the 2004 election, but I'm not sure which was the bigger factor. To my way of thinking, either one should be sufficient to nullify the election.

For more information about voter disenfranchisement in 2004, see these two excellent articles:

"Kerry Won Ohio: Just Count the Ballots at the Back of the Bus"

"The Perfect Election Day Crime"
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Carl Brennan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 05:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. This requires a re-vote or at least allowing those turned away to caste
their ballots.
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rehema Donating Member (184 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 05:56 PM
Response to Original message
2. Interesting Information about Machines Used in OHIO
Three Election Vendors Sign Contracts with Ohio
Sequoia Voting Systems Voluntarily Withdraws
Monday, February 9, 2004

COLUMBUS Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell today announced that Diebold Election Systems, Election Systems and Software (ES&S) and Maximus/Hart Intercivic/DFM Associates have signed contracts with the secretary of state to provide updated voting systems to Ohios punch card and lever device counties. The contracts are pending state Controlling Board approval.

The three vendors were previously qualified by the secretary of state to participate in Ohios implementation of federally mandated election reforms required by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). All three are offering electronic voting devices. Diebold Election Systems and ES&S also are offering precinct-count optical scan devices.

To date, approximately $133 million has been appropriated to Ohio for HAVA implementation.

Sequoia Voting Systems of Oakland, California, also previously qualified by the secretary of state, cited an inability to reach final contract terms and voluntarily withdrew from Ohios election reform process.

The contracts, negotiated by the secretary of state on behalf of county boards of elections, represent the best state negotiated voting machine pricing in the nation. The total cost of ownership per voting system is as follows: Diebold Election Systems AccuVote-TS, $2,964.96; ES&S iVotronic, $2,896.68; and Maximus/Hart Intercivic/DFM Associates eSlate 3000, $2,997.97. Precinct-count optical scan total cost of ownership, also the best in the nation, is as follows: Diebold Elections Systems AccuVote-OS, $4,127 and ES&S Model 100, $5,499. The secretary of state estimates that at least three electronic voting devices or one precinct-count optical scan device will be necessary at each of the states 11,434 precincts.

The total includes a comprehensive package containing all of the equipment and services required to ensure successful elections operations. When considered in total on a statewide basis, the package consists of all necessary voting machines, software, full implementation support, extensive training of over 48,000 election officials and Election Day assistance. In addition, full warranty on all equipment and software has been included for five years (with pricing also negotiated for years six through ten), which is the longest duration contract negotiated at the state level to date.

Four Ohio counties Champaign, Clark, Darke and Licking selected Sequoia under the state-directed implementation process. Election officials in those counties must now select among the three remaining qualified election system vendors. The secretary of states election reform division will provide election officials in the affected counties with all necessary assistance as they consider another vendor.

In determining qualified Ohio election system providers, Secretary Blackwell subjected vendors to an extensive evaluation process, which included the nations most comprehensive electronic voting device security assessment. While no longer competing in Ohio, Sequoia has stated that it will implement Secretary Blackwells requested security upgrades in systems it offers to other states.

What security upgrades did Blackwell recommend?
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