Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Berkeley Researchers Analyze Florida Voting Patterns

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the everyone-has-an-angle dept.

United States 1237

empraptor writes "Researchers at UC Berkeley have crunched numbers and determined that 130,000-260,000 excess votes went to Bush in Florida. They have held a conference and posted their findings online. You can find articles on their research from CNet, Wired News, and many other sources. While the research used statistical analysis based on past elections and demographics, how else do you verify that a paperless voting system is working properly?"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Is there a choice of what to vote with? (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867433)

"Without a paper trail, statistical comparisons of jurisdictions that used e-voting are the only tool available to diagnose problems with the new technology," the researchers stated in the report.

WHY WERE THERE NO PAPER TRAILS? Why are we allowing voting to go on in a system that has NOT been proven safe? We aren't allowed to view the code, we aren't allowed to audit our vote except via what is shown to us on the screen, and we have to invest an enormous amount of trust in two large entities that have proven they are NOT worthy of our trust.

Were people permitted to use paper and pencil/pen or more trusted/tried solutions instead of these machines? I certainly would have opted against using one of the e-voting machines knowing what I know and being the paranoid individual I am.

Until the voting machines and their code are open to the public for audit and there is a paper trail I will refuse to use them. This MUST be an option for everyone. I don't see why it can't be the case.

Some places are requiring a paper audit trail by 2006 but that doesn't help the fact that there could have been some hanky panky going on right here in THIS election.

Paper trail not enough (5, Insightful)

downward dog (634625) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867514)

The problem is that if a voting machine is programmed to cheat, it is easy enough to fake a paper receipt. I could cast a vote for A, have the screen verify that I am voting for A, receive a printed receipt that tells me I voted for A, and STILL have that vote count for B within the black box.

The paper trail is a red herring, if you ask me. What is really needed is publicly-available source code that anyone can view.

Re:Paper trail not enough (3, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867550)

The paper trail is a red herring, if you ask me. What is really needed is publicly-available source code that anyone can view.

What's to stop them from changing the code on enough of the machines to win? We'd never know what happens after we inspect the code. In the right area they COULD possibly win with only a handful of doctored machines.

Re:Paper trail not enough (4, Insightful)

BW_Nuprin (633386) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867682)

There should be digital signatures on all voting machines that confirm that the code is the same code as on all other voting machines. Either that or do a binary comparison of the ROM after the fact on machines that are suspected of being tampered with.

Re:Paper trail not enough (2, Interesting)

greechneb (574646) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867568)

And who is going to watch to make sure the same exact code is going to go on the machine?

Re:Paper trail not enough (4, Informative)

beeplet (735701) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867578)

The point of paper receipts is that you don't keep it, you verify it and then put it in a regular ballot box. That way if there's any question about the electronic tally, there can be a manual recount.

Re:Paper trail not enough (5, Insightful)

j0nb0y (107699) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867666)

Certainly recount if there's a problem, but the machines should be randomly audited as well...

Re:Paper trail not enough (1)

NetNifty (796376) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867620)

Yes but at least if there is any controversy over the result, a count of recipts would show that the voting machine isn't counting correctly. Open sourcing voting software would help slightly, but its still difficult to show that the code running on the machine is the same code being displayed publically.

Re:Paper trail not enough (2, Informative)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867621)

The point of paper trails is that you keep them -- if there are any questions later, you count those by hand and see if the machine is correct. And, like other have said, you can't tell if the code running on machines is actually the publicly-available source you can view (even if you compile it yourself on the machine before you vote - the compiler could be tainted)

Re:Paper trail not enough (0, Redundant)

gUmbi (95629) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867681)

I could cast a vote for A, have the screen verify that I am voting for A, receive a printed receipt that tells me I voted for A, and STILL have that vote count for B within the black box.


The printed receipt should be returned to the voter, who should check that it contains the correct info. and then deposit it in a traditional ballot box. The ballot boxes should remain sealed except in the event of a recount.

Jason.

Just fix it! Support the bills that will! (5, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867529)

A frequent charge levied after the 2000 election was voter disenfranchisement and ballot spoilage due, in large part, to antiquated, malfunctioning, or broken mechanical voting equipment. Legislation was introduced guaranteeing a minimum standard for the equipment and processes associated with voting in all jurisdictions. Since we are living in the 21st century, electronic systems were specified. $3.9 billion was set aside under HAVA to replace all mechanical punch card systems with electronic systems by 1 January, 2006. The goal is to ensure a consistency and fairness in the appearance and operation of the voting systems, both for voters and local election officials.

After the 2000 presidential election, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) [fec.gov] :

To establish a program to provide funds to States to replace punch card voting systems, to establish the Election Assistance Commission to assist in the administration of Federal elections and to otherwise provide assistance with the administration of certain Federal election laws and programs, to establish minimum election administration standards for States and units of local government with responsibility for the administration of Federal elections...

The putative reasoning for going with electronic systems was likely that since we have managed to design accountable and reliable electronic and computing equipment for the management of our power, medical care, money, etc., it likely was more or less assumed by the legislature that such accountable systems could also be applied to voting.

A bill has been introduced to amend HAVA. H.R.2239 [loc.gov] and its twin Senate counterpart S.1980 [loc.gov] , discussed further here [verifiedvoting.org] , will amend the Help America Vote Act such that there is "a voter-verified permanent record or hardcopy" attached with each and every ballot cast by every voter, and that "any voting system containing or using software shall disclose the source code of that software to the Commission, and the Commission shall make that source code available for inspection upon request to any citizen".

Additionally, the three electronic voting manufacturers already have the ability to add permanent, individual voter-verified paper audit trails to their products. Some e-voting critics make it seem like vendors are resisting. However, it is the local election boards that are resisting (as well as the slow march of bureaucracy). The e-voting vendors will build - and sell - whatever municipalities will buy.

MOD PARENT DOWN. REPEAT POSTING! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867667)

Mod the parent down. He is repeat posting for karmawhoring.

See here [mhttp] for his other post on this topic and please note his disclaimer.

Re:Is there a choice of what to vote with? (1)

amalcon (472105) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867538)

Technically, yes, people were permitted to use pen-and-paper ballots -- but they had to be absentee ballots. That option was probably not convenient enough for all voters, but some almost certainly exercised it.

Re:Is there a choice of what to vote with? (1)

meganthom (259885) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867542)

Generally speaking, you could always vote absentee to avoid using the computer system. Then there would be a paper trail. The problem is that the absentee ballots often go uncounted unless the election is otherwise too close to call. I imagine that if they implemented the ability to choose between paper/pen and computers on election day, the results would be similar. With our desire for instant results, only the computer results would be counted automatically, with all the paper ballots reserved for close races.

Only game in town (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867549)

Until the voting machines and their code are open to the public for audit and there is a paper trail I will refuse to use them.

Why do you think early and absentee voting was at record-high levels this year? In some places it's the only way to dodge the touchscreens.

Re:Is there a choice of what to vote with? (4, Interesting)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867565)

You're nuts. Paper and pencil are NOT more reliable than computers. Haven't you ever heard the term "ballot stuffing?" Physical media such as paper are also fraught with security concerns. They boil down to the same thing as computers: do you trust the election officials running them? Who has physical access to the vote once it has been cast? Etc. I'm not saying they are the same, but c'mon, all of a sudden the old paper method is the gold standard? No way.
The trouble with voting security is that it requires authentication, anonymity and ability to verify later. The verification necessarily must be done by the voter himself, or else somebody else will know how you voted.
Here's my idea: after you vote, you get a random ID and password associated with your vote. Later, you can log onto a website and verify that your vote is as you cast it, without divulging your identity. Make the process for getting votes from the machine to the central data repository open-sourced, open, open open, totally so that we know exactly what is happening.
Hey, it's a start. But I'm in favor of these voting machines. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Re:Is there a choice of what to vote with? (-1, Flamebait)

johndeeregator (549310) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867606)

The fact that we are even discussing what "researchers" at Berkeley think about an election is unbelievable. These are the same people who have elected a congresswoman (Barbara Lee) who illegally met with Fidel Castro and the Communist politboro. What a joke.

Re:Is there a choice of what to vote with? (0, Offtopic)

liquidsin (398151) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867618)

Fuck! I wish I was on the fucking blacklist [slashdot.org] goddamnit!

Two things (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867435)

A. They neglect to factor in the "Hurricane effect." The President's visits and aid raised him popularity in the area.

B. They performed the same study on Ohio and found no irregularities.

Hurricane Effect (1)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867562)

This is absolutely positively true. You can't use statistics accurately in this way, especially if something important (the hurrincane) has happened in between earlier studies and the 2004 vote. At the same time, this paperless thing is no good. At least let us look at some sort of database of who voted for which party (with serial numbers of course so you can't trace it back to the person, just like a real ballot). Maybe they did do that. I don't know the exact details. There might not have been any tampering, but it's impossible to tell and this system needs to be improved. With a poll this important, keeping some information on paper is an acceptable innefficieny.

how else do you verify : +1, Patriotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867579)

Very Easily: Faith, Values, and Family [whitehouse.org]

Seditiously as always,
Kilgore Trout

Re:Two things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867647)

If this were true then how would you explain counties with a paper trail being the ones within statistically expected error but without a paper trail there were much more votes for bush?

Some thoughts (5, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867437)

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=239735 [go.com] (video [wisc.edu] )

Doug Chapin, a nonpartisan election analyst, finds the claims to be baseless. "There were no problems that would lead me to believe that there were stolen elections or widespread fraud," he said.

"There was no overwhelming reason to cast doubt on the outcome of this election," seconded Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, the campaign manager for Al Gore's 2000 campaign. "George Bush got more votes this time."


http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/11 /10/internet_buzz_on_vote_fraud_is_dismissed/ [boston.com]

Much of the traffic is little more than Internet-fueled conspiracy theories, and none of the vote-counting problems and anomalies that have emerged are sufficiently widespread to have affected the election's ultimate result.

Kerry campaign officials and a range of election-law specialists agree that while machines made errors and long lines in Democratic precincts kept many voters away, there's no realistic chance that Kerry actually beat Bush.

''No one would be more interested than me in finding out that we really won, but that ain't the case," said Jack Corrigan, a veteran Kerry adviser who led the Democrats' team of 3,600 attorneys who fanned out across the country on Election Day to address voting irregularities.

''I get why people are frustrated, but they did not steal this election," Corrigan said. ''There were a few problems here and there in the election. But unlike 2000, there is no doubt that they actually got more votes than we did, and they got them in the states that mattered."

''I think it's safe to say that on the votes that were cast in Ohio, Bush won," said Dan Tokaji, a law professor at Ohio State University who is working with the ACLU to challenge Ohio's use of punch-card ballots. ''If the margin had been 36,000 rather than 136,000, we would have seen another post-election meltdown."


http://www.sacbee.com/state_wire/story/11436220p-1 2350492c.html [sacbee.com]

All three said their networks had set up investigative units to review any claims of voter fraud or problems with electronic voting technology this year, but that nothing significant had appeared anywhere to affect the election's outcome.

"A lot of the allegations we've looked into, they're just not true," Shapiro said. "Believe me, I'd love a juicy story about the election as much as anybody. Florida was a great story, but it's just not there this time."


A frequent charge levied after the 2000 election was voter disenfranchisement and ballot spoilage due, in large part, to antiquated, malfunctioning, or broken mechanical voting equipment. Legislation was introduced guaranteeing a minimum standard for the equipment and processes associated with voting in all jurisdictions. Since we are living in the 21st century, electronic systems were specified. $3.9 billion was set aside under HAVA to replace all mechanical punch card systems with electronic systems by 1 January, 2006. The goal is to ensure a consistency and fairness in the appearance and operation of the voting systems, both for voters and local election officials.

After the 2000 presidential election, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) [fec.gov] :

To establish a program to provide funds to States to replace punch card voting systems, to establish the Election Assistance Commission to assist in the administration of Federal elections and to otherwise provide assistance with the administration of certain Federal election laws and programs, to establish minimum election administration standards for States and units of local government with responsibility for the administration of Federal elections...

A bill has been introduced to amend HAVA. H.R.2239 [loc.gov] and its twin Senate counterpart S.1980 [loc.gov] , discussed further here [verifiedvoting.org] , will amend the Help America Vote Act such that there is "a voter-verified permanent record or hardcopy" attached with each and every ballot cast by every voter, and that "any voting system containing or using software shall disclose the source code of that software to the Commission, and the Commission shall make that source code available for inspection upon request to any citizen".

Additionally, the three electronic voting manufacturers already have the ability to add permanent, individual voter-verified paper audit trails to their products. Some e-voting critics make it seem like vendors are resisting. However, it is the local election boards that are resisting (as well as the slow march of bureaucracy). The e-voting vendors will build - and sell - whatever municipalities will buy.

As for exit polls, often brought up in the context of electronic voting, here is one expert's view [wm.edu] :

I think the important thing about exit polls is they show us why people won and the dynamics of the race. The mistake most people make is they see polls as a horse-race, but they are actually the explanation of what happened.

The polls may have been wrong about who won, but they were right about explaining why people voted the way they did. If you don't have polls, you allow the elites and candidates to interpret the elections in their own interest. Polls, in many ways, are crucial to democracy.

If you look at previous elections, you can see that exit polls are always different the day after the election. Exit polls ultimately are always right, though they are never right originally. This is because polls have to be weighted with the actual vote to be completely accurate. The vote, of course, can't be factored in until the election is completed. If the exit polls are not "corrected" in this way, then the analysis of the election will always be flawed. So after the polls have closed, exit polls are always weighted for demographics and for the actual votes.


Regardless of one's political leanings, I think we can all agree that it is a good idea to be able to verify the results of an election.

Instead of concentrating on fantastical conspiracy theories, when even if there was fraud (which is inexcusable), it wasn't enough to alter the outcome of the election, it would seem that the logical course of action for a person concerned with potential abuses, failures, and the lack of a paper trail would be to support the bills mentioned above, which will simply and manifestly solve the problem.

Ironically, there are current ACLU lawsuits in Ohio challenging the use of not electronic voting systems, but of - you guessed it - paper punch-card ballots, and certain counties' resistance to moving to electronic systems! I guess they can't win.

(Disclaimer: some of this was taken from recent messages I've written on this topic, and was compiled before the article was posted, since I am a subscriber.)

Bush is bad (Default Slashdot Political Comment) (-1, Troll)

s1283134 (660354) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867439)

Slashdot is so bias. Never is there anything saying that bush did anything right.

Re:Bush is bad (Default Slashdot Political Comment (1)

Tobias Luetke (707936) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867563)

If he did you would read it here first

Get over it [n/t] (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867441)

already.

No. (2, Insightful)

Megaweapon (25185) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867598)

Any possible fraud should be investigated, no matter how numerically insignificant. (For the record, I dispise both Bush and Kerry, so I'm not on the "Kerry Really Won!" bandwagon).

There needs to be some paper trail (3, Insightful)

letxa2000 (215841) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867448)

I am 100% behind electronic voting and I think it can be made secure and very tamper-proof. But it has to be open source, with the code verified by both parties before the election. And there has to be a way to audit the votes without giving up secrecy of individual ballots.

Re:There needs to be some paper trail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867645)

with the code verified by both parties before the election

I'm not in either party you insensitive clod!

Statistical? (3, Insightful)

LEgregius (550408) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867452)

So they used demographics and past elections to show that Bush got too many votes? Wouldn't counting the actual votes be the way to tell if he got too many votes? Perhaps it should say that Bush got 130-260k more votes than expected?

Re:Statistical? (5, Informative)

arodland (127775) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867508)

Read the abstract, if not the actual paper; it's a little deeper than that. It says that Bush got more votes than expected, and that the counties where he got larger-than-expected numbers of votes are the same counties that used electronic voting, to a statistically significant level.

Re:Statistical? (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867526)

Wouldn't counting the actual votes be the way to tell if he got too many votes?

Tough to do that when the votes were counted by machines that have no paper audit trail. If you are saying that we should trust the data "gathered" from the machines themselves then you have missed the point.

I do agree that their methods were silly and pointless but the fact that we SHOULD have had paper audit trails AND the option to NOT use these machines is inexcusable.

Re:Statistical? (1)

BlacKat (114545) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867528)

Yes, counting ALL the votes would be a great way to tally up an election to ensure the winner, well actually WON.

However, there is a small problem... see, the nice new "e-voting" machines have one fatal flaw... THERE IS NO PAPER TRAIL... period.

So, when you want to do a recount, you just have to *trust* the numbers the machine gives you are right. :(

Ah well, unless someone actually gets a clue expect to see many more presedintal appoint... erm, elections.

No paper trail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867533)

Ehm, if you had bothered to actually read the article you'd know that not being able to count the votes is the problem.

To spell it out again, there is no, I repeat, no paper trail of the votes, so there is no way to verify the results other than using something like the people from Berkley used.

Re:Statistical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867555)

But it's impossible to count the actual number of votes. The only data available is a number in a database supposedly coming from the election machines. Do you see the problem?

How suprising.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867453)

How suprising

Neat idea! (5, Funny)

gtrubetskoy (734033) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867454)


Totally the way to put all the electoral college debates to rest and to eliminate all issues relating to electronic voting security once and for all! Just calculate the election outcome using the ordinary-least-squares regression model (OLS) with and without robust standard errors, exactly as the paper says. Why couldn't we think of this sooner?

OLS? (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867646)

What is the OLD thing exactly? I tried Googling, but can't find any simple explanation.

Re:Neat idea! (4, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867654)

Well, I for one welcome our new statistically-selected overlords.

At least it seems likely that I do.

UC Berkeley (5, Funny)

ruiner5000 (241452) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867455)

We are lucky that these results come from the most non partisian and level headed learning institution and region in the nation.

Re:UC Berkeley (-1, Troll)

El (94934) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867535)

It's no longer called "UC Berkeley". Haven't you heard? The students have decided to change the name of the institution to "The People's Republic of Berkeley."

It's a damn shame (3, Insightful)

ThomasFlip (669988) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867461)

that mainstream media won't cover this, or make a big deal out of it.

Bad source. (0, Flamebait)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867462)

Researchers at UC Berkeley have crunched numbers and determined that 130,000-260,000 excess votes went to Bush in Florida

If it came from a less biased source I might believe it. Also 130,000 to 260,000 is a large gap for a statistical study.

argumentum ad hominem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867632)

The person presenting an argument is attacked instead of the
argument itself. This takes many forms. For example, the
person's character, nationality or religion may be attacked.
Alternatively, it may be pointed out that a person stands to
gain from a favourable outcome. Or, finally, a person may be
attacked by association, or by the company he keeps.
http://www.datanation.com/fallacies/attack .htm

Re:argumentum ad hominem (1)

ifwm (687373) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867686)

But what if it's true? What if the source is biased?

Re:Bad source. (4, Insightful)

dema (103780) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867672)

If it came from a less biased source I might believe it.

And if electronic voting came from a less biased source [diebold.com] I might believe it.

Re:Bad source. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867674)

reading the analysis, they clculated up to 130,000 votes less than expected- possibly reflecting those votes counted for bush, or 260,000

It's not a gap at all (2, Interesting)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867680)

a quick scan of the paper reveals that they're saying that there were 130,000 abberant (for lack of a better word) votes.

If you want to think those votes are ghost votes (perhaps they would have gone for Nader) then subtract 130,000 from Bush. If you want to think those votes should have gone to Kerry than subtract 130,000 from Bush and add 130,000 to Kerry.

If you don't buy into their statistical modeling, then don't do anything. But isn't it curious that the largest disparity between expected and actual e-voting results occurred in heavily democratic counties?

Why Berkeley? (2, Insightful)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867471)

Berkeley has a fine school and all, but don't you think that it's liberal reputation (deserved or not) might provide the argument that the research is partisan?

Re:Why Berkeley? (4, Insightful)

notcreative (623238) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867587)

A liberal reputation does not "prove" anything about the argument. Read up on "ad hominem" logical fallacies. Their evidence is publicly available and the research paper makes a statistical analysis. If you want to attack their conclusion, please make a comment relevant to the analysis or its assumptions.

Re:Why Berkeley? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867604)

Oops! I bet they forgot to uncheck the "partisan" box in SPSS before they statistically analyzed the data.

Re:Why Berkeley? (2, Informative)

eyeye (653962) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867627)

All schools are liberal because intelligent people work and visit there.

Dumbasses are generally republicans.

Re:Why Berkeley? (1)

iceperson (582205) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867642)

Did they run out of crap to freeze [sfgate.com] ?

Lies, damned lies and statistics (-1, Troll)

stankulp (69949) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867473)

When one controls for these factors, the association between electronic voting and increased support for President Bush is impossible to overlook. The data show with 99.0% certainty that a county s use of electronic voting is associated with a disproportionate increase in votes for President Bush.

Would we be concerned about any of this if John Fraud Kerry had won?

I think not.

Re:Lies, damned lies and statistics (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867510)

The people who are legitimately concerned about the voting systems would still be concerned.

Slashdot wouldn't care, though. Just like they aren't concerned with DRM or product activation or trusted computing when Microsoft is doing it, and they wont be concerned with the MPAA's sprawling evil or Lucas' disregard for his fans when the next Star Wars hits theatres.

Re:Lies, damned lies and statistics (1)

qwerty75 (775323) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867558)

"Would we be concerned about any of this if John Fraud Kerry had won?"

Doesn't the fact that everybody is so concerned that Kerry lost show that maybe the wrong person won. Or there is enough doubt that the election was fairly won that serious investigaitons are not without merrit.

Re:Lies, damned lies and statistics (1)

stankulp (69949) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867648)

Doesn't the fact that everybody is so concerned that Kerry lost show that maybe the wrong person won. Or there is enough doubt that the election was fairly won that serious investigaitons are not without merrit.

No, all it shows is that the losers are sore losers.

Again

HOW GEORGE BUSH STOLE ELECTION 2000

"Al, this is David Boies [time.com] of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP [boies-schiller.com] , America's richest trial lawyers. I apologize for calling so late, but this won't wait."

"Look, I know you've already conceded, but I've been talking to some folks in Florida and they think they can find enough extra votes down there to give you the state in a recount."

"Just a recount in Volusia, Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties, though."

"If it goes statewide our people will be spread too thin to keep things under control."

"Do you want to give it a try? At this point you've got nothing to lose."

"That's great, Al. I'll give 'em a call and we'll get this show on the road."

"Call Bush right away to let him know you've changed your mind."

"On second thought, call a press conference first."

"Talk to you later, Mr. President."

Re:Lies, damned lies and statistics (1)

Jason Hood (721277) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867576)

By chance was UCB involved in the exiting polling that had Kerry's camp believing they had won at 400pm election day?

Re:Lies, damned lies and statistics (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867589)

Considering the way you name him John Fraud Kerry, I rather imagine you would.

Such obvious biasedness betrays your inability to take a step back and realise the facts (whatever they may be).

Re:Lies, damned lies and statistics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867636)

Would we be concerned about any of this if John Fraud Kerry had won? I think not.

Yeah, when CBS came up with probably fraudielant papers on Bush, people and the press did absolutely nothing. Likewise, after attack on 9/11, the press did not stand behind Bush. Likewise, when Bush took us into invading Iraq, the press fought against Bush.

I take it that you went to a texas school with GWB?

Earth to Berkeley... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867475)

Lots of us voted for Bush because Kerry is a worse candidate than Clinton, Dukakis, Mondale, or Gore.

How do you subject that to statistical analysis? Presume that Democrat voters are a bunch of mindless drones who wouldn't vote for a Republican even if they fully believed that the Democrat candidate was a cowardly traitor?

Not out of character (0, Flamebait)

Augie De Blieck Jr. (13716) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867486)

Wow, a UC Berkeley study that's AGAINST a Republican? What's next? MicroSoft releasing a survey that shows Linux doesn't have any market share?

Re:Not out of character (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867590)

Wow, a slashdot comment that completely ignores ANY purported facts or analysis and instead resorts to prejudicial sarcasm!

At least it didn't have any unintentional spelling errors.

This is a great development! (3, Funny)

brian6string (469449) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867489)

Maybe we can eliminate eVoting and voting entirely and have some university researchers tell us who will win. That would save everyone a lot of hassle.

Re:This is a great development! (1)

mveloso (325617) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867652)

"When the statistics and reality disagree, trust the statistics."

If you substitute "priests," "scientists," "referee" for the word "statistics", you'll see how ridiculous those statisticians really are.

Ohio would be better (3, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867495)

I really do think that Florida went to Bush.

The question is Ohio. It has been a stuanch Democrat state. It lost 10's of thousands of jobs under Bush. And it voted for him in a close election? So why are these researchers looking at Florida?

Re:Ohio would be better (2, Informative)

Megaweapon (25185) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867534)

It has been a stuanch Democrat state

Huh? I live in Ohio and I can tell you it isn't "staunch" for the Democrats.

Re:Ohio would be better (2, Insightful)

mgs1000 (583340) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867600)

The question is Ohio. It has been a stuanch Democrat state.

It wasn't in 2000.

Answers (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867637)

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=239735 [go.com] (video [wisc.edu] )

Doug Chapin, a nonpartisan election analyst, finds the claims to be baseless. "There were no problems that would lead me to believe that there were stolen elections or widespread fraud," he said.

"There was no overwhelming reason to cast doubt on the outcome of this election," seconded Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, the campaign manager for Al Gore's 2000 campaign. "George Bush got more votes this time."


http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/11 /10/internet_buzz_on_vote_fraud_is_dismissed/ [boston.com]

Much of the traffic is little more than Internet-fueled conspiracy theories, and none of the vote-counting problems and anomalies that have emerged are sufficiently widespread to have affected the election's ultimate result.

Kerry campaign officials and a range of election-law specialists agree that while machines made errors and long lines in Democratic precincts kept many voters away, there's no realistic chance that Kerry actually beat Bush.

''No one would be more interested than me in finding out that we really won, but that ain't the case," said Jack Corrigan, a veteran Kerry adviser who led the Democrats' team of 3,600 attorneys who fanned out across the country on Election Day to address voting irregularities.

''I get why people are frustrated, but they did not steal this election," Corrigan said. ''There were a few problems here and there in the election. But unlike 2000, there is no doubt that they actually got more votes than we did, and they got them in the states that mattered."

''I think it's safe to say that on the votes that were cast in Ohio, Bush won," said Dan Tokaji, a law professor at Ohio State University who is working with the ACLU to challenge Ohio's use of punch-card ballots. ''If the margin had been 36,000 rather than 136,000, we would have seen another post-election meltdown."


http://www.sacbee.com/state_wire/story/11436220p-1 2350492c.html [sacbee.com]

All three said their networks had set up investigative units to review any claims of voter fraud or problems with electronic voting technology this year, but that nothing significant had appeared anywhere to affect the election's outcome.

"A lot of the allegations we've looked into, they're just not true," Shapiro said. "Believe me, I'd love a juicy story about the election as much as anybody. Florida was a great story, but it's just not there this time."

Keyboard error? (4, Funny)

mortram (761154) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867496)

Probably just a stuck "enter" key for a Bush ballot...

verb agreement..? (1, Troll)

dustinbarbour (721795) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867502)

What the hell? UC Berkeley publishs papers with typos in it?

In our research we used ordinary least squares and more sophisticated linear modeling approaches to assess the statistical properties of e-voting. In particular we develop models that predict both the percentage of the votes registered for the incumbent - President Bush - and the amount that percentage changed between 2000 and 2004.

English majors these guys are not!

Re:verb agreement..? (1)

dustinbarbour (721795) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867539)

And before you go thrashing me.. yes, I have noticed the typos in my post.

I'm glad this is happening. (5, Insightful)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867507)

Making people realise that paper audit trails are necessary is a lot more important than having your choice of Kerry or Bush for the next 4 years.

Based on past elections and demographics (0, Troll)

overshoot (39700) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867509)

Bush rigged every district in every State. Including the ones with paper trails.

This was the highest turnout election in decades, and contrary to Democratic expectations (one might almost consider it an article of faith) the increase didn't favor them. This, according to exit polls.

Something is funny about this last election no matter how you slice it.

How about a nice cup of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867639)

STFU, bi-atch. [time.com]

Re:Based on past elections and demographics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867658)

No, actually, you're wrong.

When more voters turn out, it's not an automatic win for the Democrats. You see, more voters voted, but out of the "higher" amount, more Republicans came out and voted too. I don't know why all you Dems assume that when you get "more voters" they will all be Democrats.

Look at it this way:

If you had X voters in 2000, and we had Z voters in 2004, the difference would be Y. So:

X + Y = Z

Now, if Y is the difference, Y is not going to be all Democrats. If you think the Republicans didn't work just as hard to get people out to vote, you are nuts. If Y = even 50% Republicans, and 50% Democrats, then it turns out that Y is a big help to the Democrats.

But, as it turns out, Democrats don't actually think that things might not go the way they want them too. More voters turned out, but a lot of them voted Republican. There were those people who wanted to make sure that 2004 was not a repeat of 2000 by MAKING SURE THAT THE PRESIDENT WAS THE CLEAR WINNER THIS TIME.

But yet Democrats just can't fathom something like that.

They're never going to give up, are they? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867512)

1) Kerry conceded.
2) The controversial state this time was Ohio, not Florida. Let's stop living in the past. ;)
3) Bush won the popular vote handily, even without the "contested" Florida votes, so all you whiny crybabies who were so quick to point out that Gore won the popular vote last time don't really have a leg to stand on.

Bush won. Get over it.

Re:They're never going to give up, are they? (2, Insightful)

NetNifty (796376) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867665)

We shouldn't stop investigating e-voting just because the elections are "finished for now" - if theres controversy over it now theres a significant chance it'll happen again next time, whoever the voting machines decide wins then.

A legal question (2, Interesting)

Nijika (525558) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867516)

Not sayin' it is so... but HAD the election been accidentally given to Bush, now that Kerry has conceded, what would the legal recourse be??

Re:A legal question (1)

notcreative (623238) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867650)

The electors don't caste their votes until Dec. They would change the ballot of electors that FL sends to the College, and the new ones would vote for Kerry. I don't think his concession would have anything to do with it, legally. If they vote for him, he'll serve.

Kerry Could still Win...sort of. (2, Informative)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867660)

Not sayin' it is so... but HAD the election been accidentally given to Bush, now that Kerry has conceded, what would the legal recourse be??

Bush hasn't really won until the electoral college vote is done, which I believe is in December. If Kerry won a court battle in Florida the electoral votes could still go the other way. It is up to the free will of the electoral represenatives. The point of this article is moot anyway, even if Kerry got 260,000 extra votes, it wouldn't matter, Bush won Florida by about 400,000.

Re:A legal question (4, Informative)

Rufus211 (221883) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867671)

conceeding means nothing legally, it just means "ok, I'll shut up now." The only thing that matters legally is what the electoral college votes. According to wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :
Each state's electors meet in their state capitals in December , 41 days following the election, at which time they cast their electoral votes. Thus the electoral college never meets as one body. The electoral votes are then sealed and sent to the President of the Senate (i.e. the sitting Vice President of the United States), who retains them until the new Congress convenes in January. At that time, the votes are opened and counted in the presence of both houses of Congress. The candidate who receives a majority of electoral votes for President becomes President, and the candidate who receives a majority of electoral votes for Vice President becomes Vice-President.
So we have about a month for the electoral college to change its mind.

Re:A legal question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867678)

The concession was political, not legally binding. If the election had been accidentally given to Bush, but was later found to have been for Kerry, Kerry would become president.

Re:A legal question (1)

mopslik (688435) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867684)

HAD the election been accidentally given to Bush, now that Kerry has conceded, what would the legal recourse be?

I imagine that a proper recount (somehow) in your scenario would declare Kerry the winner. A concession is not legally binding. See here [msn.com] . If your scenario was the case, Kerry would be the president.

ummmm (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867518)

fuck bush!

You know, I'd love to refute their claims... (5, Insightful)

Quinn_Inuit (760445) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867531)

but I _can't_, because there's no way to do so. Because of paperless voting, we have no way short of standard polling techniques to tell if these machines were even close to accurate.

I agree with the previous posters (1)

gambit3 (463693) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867532)


so, you don't allow for changing of opinion?

Paper vs Electronic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867543)

I only glanced at the results, but, in comparing paper to electronic voting, I don't think you can assume the paper results are 100% correct.

The same article could be interpreted that counties having paper ballots wrongly favored Kerry.

Possible explanation -- the values voters (1, Insightful)

donutz (195717) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867547)

"The Berkeley analysis uses voting patterns by county from 2000 and 1996, income by county, total population, and Hispanic population to try to explain voting patterns in 2004"

Hispanics are largely Catholics. Catholicism says that abortion and gay marriage are wrong. President Bush believes that same thing. A major issue in this election is values, which these get lumped into.

Did the Berkeley analysis take into account Hispanics voting Republican because they have compatible values? It may explain the discrepancy that Berkeley claims to have uncovered.

Re:Possible explanation -- the values voters (4, Insightful)

csimicah (592121) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867673)

Did the Berkeley analysis take into account Hispanics voting Republican because they have compatible values? It may explain the discrepancy that Berkeley claims to have uncovered.

Couldn't even be bothered to read the half-page summary, eh?

Re:Possible explanation -- the values voters (1)

Enry (630) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867677)

Catholicism says that abortion and gay marriage are wrong.

Only I'm raised Catholic and think the Catholic church is wrong on both issues. But I'm not Hispanic.

My observations (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867583)

1) The study is worthless. Using a simple statistical algorithm to predict a chaotic system like this will yield highly irregular results. Especially when the system is intelligent (broad definition, not narrow) 2) All systems that are this important need an incredible amount of verification built in. There should be a much stronger audit trail. Even the appearance of impropriety needs to be avoided. I work for a financial institution. You wouldn't believe the records/audit trail we must maintain. Should a political election be held to a lower standard than your savings account?

Utterly Believable (1, Insightful)

randall_burns (108052) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867585)

Bush and the GOP appear to have used Diebold voting machines to steal yet another election--and Democrats have such a history in promoting lower tech vote fraud they are too cowed to say anything.

When there are open source voting systems around(one was actually used in Australian elections) there is no reason to allow corporate control of voting software.

Now, what is needed is creating a system that has better hard encryptian and authentication. Paper ballots are subject to various forms of tampering--but hard encryption can make any tampering very easy to detect.

The Diebold system was designed with really only one thing in mind: allowing fraud by making recounts impossible.

Not just Florida? (1)

doom (14564) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867594)

Some people have been saying that this is a wider problem than just in Florida. It's been claimed that the famous discrepancy between exit polls and election results depends in general on whether electronic voting was in use: This Berkeley study is the first attempt I've heard of to dig a little deeper into this issue.

Reality Check (0, Redundant)

mcg1969 (237263) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867599)

1. Kerry lost. Period. Even he thinks these miscount conspiracies don't add up.
2. My vote (no pun intended) is for stateless touchscreen voting machines that print out readable paper ballots which are counted in a traditional manner.

A statistical analysis proves exactly what? (0, Troll)

HBI (604924) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867624)

Nothing, that's what. The whole premise has holes you could drive a truck through. If statistics are so good at measuring voter sentiment, then why do we bother having elections?

Hint: Because they aren't effective!. They don't capture voter sentiment and they don't explain why people voted as they did. They're just old numbers rehashed.

It's a bunch of partisan bullshit from one of the most left-wing schools in the country. They can't figure out why less people in Florida voted for Kerry than voted for Al Gore. Could it have something to do with his attitude? Naah. It's not like it's a Southern state or anything.

I hope they like being marginalized, because that is what is about to happen.

It's not like the lameass attempt to delegitimatize the President is not clearly seen. This isn't 2000. Dig your hole again if you wish...i'll be happy to win another election or three on the back of this idiocy.

A letter I sent to the Washington Post (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10867641)

I sent this letter to the editor of the washington post a few days ago on the evoting topic (wasn't published)...

re: In ATMs, Not Votes, We Trust
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articl es/A556 91-2004Nov16.html

I'm a programmer a major corporate bank in Manhattan.
Anne Applebaum's analogy of e-voting to ATM and credit card banking was misleading and uninformed.

Users receive regular bank statements, with each ATM transaction itemized.
Cross-checks of all transactions can be validated by the user through this method or
at any time with a phone call or with web access.
This is a paper trail.

For a credit card, it's the same deal, of course.
Again, there is a paper trail.

Increasingly e-voting machines have no paper trail requirement.

This is highly troubling.
Anne seemed to label this as "conspiracy", but it is no such thing.
To say so is irresponsible.

There is no way for the individual to verify that their vote was counted as they registered it, as you
can at an ATM, with or without a receipt. Do you find this troubling? I do.
This is just one short-coming in the system, among many.

As a computer programmer and security expert, I know how easily computers can be manipulated.
It is a fact that the coding on these machines could literally do anything.
We're irresponsibly putting our votes into a black box, and don't even have an audit trail.

This issue has nothing to do with whether fraud occurred in this particular election or not.
Glitches frequently occur due to human and machine errors.

An audit trail is a minimum necessary requirement -
And this is just the beginning of the problems with e-voting as currently implemented.

I'm surprised that the Washington Post allowed such a flimsy analysis to be published.

Berkeley? (1)

holzp (87423) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867664)

If researchers from UC Berkeley found that Bush didn't get enough votes, then I would think conspiracy! As is all seems right according to plan...

If this study is serious, why bother voting? (2, Insightful)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 9 years ago | (#10867669)

I mean, the essential premise of saying "researchers at UC Berkeley have crunched numbers and determined that 130,000-260,000 excess votes went to Bush in Florida" is that their algorithmic methods of predicting are more accurate than actually counting them. Is it not?

So why not just stay home and let the computers decide?

Personally, I'm inclined to believe that mathematically predicting the decisions of human beings is at least as far off as artificial intelligence.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?