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New Hampshire Primaries Follow-Up Analysis

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the still-quite-dodgy dept.

Government 315

Dr. Eggman writes "Ars Technica has posted a lengthy follow up analysis of the 2008 New Hampshire Primaries outcome. The article deals with the O'Dell machine/hand-count table that has been circulating through emails. It also points out the combination of factors that resulted in such an odd symmetry of numbers, although the article notes that these numbers have been corrected. The corrections still indicate a discrepancy among the tallies. The article also goes on to talk about the nature of the communities that arrived at these numbers and what/how the handcounts proceeds. This process has been inconclusive; something that does not bode well for the rest of the primaries and indeed the election itself, as only 16 states currently mandate both a voter-verified paper trail (VVPT) and a random manual audit of election results."

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SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22068988)

_0_
\''\
'=o='
.|!|
.| |
follow-up anal [goatse.ch]

Re:SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22069294)

We missed you, Guy Who Posts Goatse!! :D

doesn't matter (4, Interesting)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22068990)

It doesn't matter which way the popular vote goes, the electoral college elects the president... if you really wanted to screw with the election in this country, it would be WAY cheaper just to buy some electoral votes than to try to manipulate tons of ballots which won't have any effect on the actual election outcome.

Re:doesn't matter (1, Interesting)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069106)

It doesn't matter which way the popular vote goes, the electoral college elects the president...
Exactly! Which just goes to show any child born in America can dream about growing up and one day winning the popular vote for president... And still be screwed out of the presidency

The Electoral College... (4, Funny)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069146)

..confusing Democrats for over 200 years. ;)

Re:doesn't matter (5, Informative)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069986)

Can we PLEASE stop this nonsense about a "popular vote" for US President? There simply IS NO popular vote, at least not on a national level.

The Constitution defines how we elect the pres and VP. It says nothing about a nationwide popular vote. The STATES pick their allocated number of electors, and it is those electors who vote for specific people to be pres and VP. It is not even specified in the Constitution that the electors must vote for the people that the state picked them to. Some states don't even mandate that.

It is emotional hyperbole to pretend that someone is "screwed out" of winning a vote that doesn't exist. It makes no more sense to say that someone won the "popular vote" for US president than to claim that someone was elected president of north america because he got more votes for president of his country than others got to be president of theirs.

Whoever it was that started adding up the state-by-state vote counts and calling it the "popular vote" should be shot. Any school that teaches it should by decertified.

Not only is the "popular vote" undefined, it is not a true representation of popularity. People vote not just for who they prefer, but for who they think can win. If you prefer A over B and B over C, but you know that A cannot win, you'll probably vote for B to prevent C from winning. B's good showing in the "popular vote" is biased; no, rather A's low "popularity" is biased based on expected failure. A self-fulfilling prophecy. In any case, in the US, there IS NO popular vote, so wasting time talking about it is just wasting time.

Re:doesn't matter (1)

Tsiangkun (746511) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070352)

There is nothing in the constitution to prevent states from forming a pact to cast their electoral college votes for the candidate with the most votes nationwide.

To get rid of the EC would require a constitutional amendment.

I personally wish there were positive votes and negative votes. So many times I don't believe in the candidate I vote for, and would rather cast a negative vote for the candidate I am most fearful of winning. I think this could open up the system to more than two parties. While the L's vote against the C's, the third party candidates with good ideas could be collecting positive votes from people who believe in them.

Re:doesn't matter (0, Flamebait)

jgarra23 (1109651) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070264)


Exactly! Which just goes to show any child born in America can dream about growing up and one day winning the popular vote for president... And still be screwed out of the presidency


No one gets screwed out of anything, that's just wishful thinking. The truth is much more mundane and less interesting. The system is designed to prevent megalomanical assholes like who you speak of from ruling via their perverted sense of self-importance.

Re:doesn't matter (4, Insightful)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070376)

The Electoral College mitigates the effects of mob rule, which is exactly what it's supposed to do. It gives the least-populous states slightly more power than they would otherwise have, and gives the most-populous states stlightly less power than they would otherwise have. I don't see it as "screwing" anybody out of the Presidency at all. The issue only arises in closely-contested elections where one or both candidates are having difficulty appealing to a broad majority of different regional voter blocs. North Dakota's Electors rarely matter, but when they do, and you fail to sway a majority of North Dakotans...

Re:doesn't matter (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22069124)

It's not about the difficulty of changing the outcome of an election. It's getting away with it.

Re:doesn't matter (3, Insightful)

enjahova (812395) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069126)

Your candidate of choice would still need to get on the ballot.

Re:doesn't matter (5, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069206)

That's not insightful. You need to convince the citizens that the outcome is legitimate or there will be rioting in the streets. Tampering with ballots preserves the illusion of legitimacy. Buying electoral college votes puts the fraud right out in the open, it's basically a big "fuck you!" to the American people. That's the last thing anyone in power wants, the entire electorate questioning their legitimacy.

Re:doesn't matter (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22069380)

That's not insightful. You need to convince the citizens that the outcome is legitimate or there will be rioting in the streets. Tampering with ballots preserves the illusion of legitimacy. Buying electoral college votes puts the fraud right out in the open, it's basically a big "fuck you!" to the American people. That's the last thing anyone in power wants, the entire electorate questioning their legitimacy.
I'm sorry, did you miss the part where George Bush Jr was elected? The people of America rolled over and took it. Where were the riots? If there were any, what effect did they have?

Re:doesn't matter (4, Interesting)

SeanAD (743296) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069540)

I disagree that the message was flamebait. When you have Al Gore receiving -16,000 votes in an area where there are only a few hundred voters and when you have signed off numbers that have Al Gore having thousands votes more than Bush (this is in another district) but the NON signed off tallies have Bush ahead of Gore, and have many, many more examples of such fraud, the people of the U.S. did, indeed, roll over and take it. I'm sure most people here have seen the plethora of examples that suggest, quite loudly, that vote fraud did occur. There are a number of credible documentaries done on the subject.

Regards,

Re:doesn't matter (1)

Brickwall (985910) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069830)

Don't you have scrutineers in the US? In Canada, all major parties assign a person to each poll -that's individual polls, not ridings - to ensure that the votes are counted correctly. If someone tried to manipulate a poll to favour, say, the Liberals, the Conservative scrutineer would call shenanigans, and vice versa. Of course, we still use paper ballots. No Diebold conspiracies here!

Re:doesn't matter (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070016)

Counting the votes is not the problem. Yes, both parties have teams watching the counters with an eagle eye. The problem occurs when you get votes from non-citizens of the community and dead people that vote. They all appear legitimate to the counters. Vote early, vote often!

You sure you don't have that backwards? (1)

spineboy (22918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069842)

Since, in this election the exit polls that predicted Gore to win were wrong the first time ever! (The Dewey-Truman? election was a newspaper screw up)

Re:doesn't matter (2, Insightful)

s20451 (410424) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069464)

Buying electoral college votes puts the fraud right out in the open, it's basically a big "fuck you!" to the American people.

Well, given that most people wouldn't mind having their vote bought [foxnews.com] , it's not so insulting to most people as you might imagine.

The article at the link suggests that a majority of NYU students would give up their right to vote for $1 million. Supposing you could scale that up to the size of the population, for 1/2 * (population of USA) * $1,000,000 = $151 trillion, you could obtain a slate of candidates in each state legislature who would agree to any constitutional amendment you wished to propose.

Given that the GDP of the USA is $13 trillion, that's a reasonably attractive leveraged buyout -- you would earn back your investment in 12 years or so.

Re:doesn't matter (4, Insightful)

timster (32400) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069550)

The GDP is GROSS domestic product. Someone who "owned" the US wouldn't be able to pull a profit anywhere close to $13 trillion per year. The slaves have to eat something.

Re:doesn't matter (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069650)

66% of NYU students, many of whom probably don't vote anyway, is not "most people." And GDP is gross domestic product. Not net.

Re:doesn't matter (1)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070324)

I'm not a NYU student, and I'd have to admit that I'd give my right to vote up for a year for $1Million.

I'd tend to think that the actual rate is quite a bit less, considering that most people don't vote anyways.

Of course, as a fiscally responsible person, I'd be 90% of the way towards early retirement if you handed me $1M. Might be sad, but I wouldn't consider $1M sufficient without having time to figure out my taxes, figure out a budget and investments, get legal advice, etc...

Meanwhile I'm keeping my job for the extra income. Just think - Work an extra year or two and it's like a 10% raise in my life as a retired person.

And I figure I CAN'T get by on my current salary in investment dividends if I retire - gotta remember that I'll have to get health care on my own, spend more on diversions, etc...

Re:doesn't matter (1)

pokerdad (1124121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070060)

The article at the link suggests that a majority of NYU students would give up their right to vote for $1 million.

I don't know about NYU students, but my price would not be the same if it was just me losing the right vs millions of people losing their right; if it was some weird experiment involving just me, a million dollars sounds about right, but if it was an open offer to anyone and everyone who wanted it, I would turn it down (both because the vote I'd be keeping would be much more valuable, and because the hyper-inflation that would result from making most of the population millionaires would make being a millionaire worth a whole lot less)

Re:doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22070200)

People are not selling their vote - just their right to vote. Hence, it's effectively an abstention from the voting process rather than a committed pledge to vote for a certain candidate. The remaining voters would decide the outcome of the election and therefore a $151 trillion buy out is worthless.

Re:doesn't matter (4, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069524)

That's not insightful. You need to convince the citizens that the outcome is legitimate or there will be rioting in the streets. Tampering with ballots preserves the illusion of legitimacy. Buying electoral college votes puts the fraud right out in the open, it's basically a big "fuck you!" to the American people.

You forgot that when you're caught committing fraud (or caught for being completely incompetent), you haul the court system into it. Then, no matter how pissed people are, you can blow them off by saying, "sorry, the courts say *I* won."

Re:doesn't matter (3, Informative)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070388)

All of human history (particularly nations like France) would seem to contradict that. There definitely is a point beyond which courts are powerless against the pissed-off citizenry.

Re:doesn't matter (4, Insightful)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069210)

Most states give all electoral votes to whoever won the popular vote in that state. You can't just "buy" a few votes.

Re:doesn't matter (1)

Jerry Beasters (783525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070222)

In most cases the electors have absolutely no legal obligation to vote by the will of the people. They could very easily decide to defy the will of the people in their state and vote their own way.

Faithless electors aren't so common, or always leg (5, Insightful)

stomv (80392) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069212)

Faithless electors [wikipedia.org] can be punished in 24 states. Furthermore, most electoral college voters are established party faithful -- it'd cost an awful lot of money to start swinging their votes since their political career would be destroyed.

At $1 million each, buying enough would cost $270 million. For that kind of money, why not just run for president and sink it in your campaign like Mitt Romney. How many politically connected folks would throw away their career, their connections, and their source of future income for less than a mil?

Re:Faithless electors aren't so common, or always (1)

hohensee (1215598) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069778)

Rigging primaries is the way to go. Actually, the way to go is validvote VVPT any-PC voting, in the blog as a base64 encoded tarball at www.myspace.com/presidentbyamendment and demoed on YouTube, linked off the above. When you're ready to stop being such suckers... www.myspace.com/presidentbyamendment

Re:Faithless electors aren't so common, or always (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22069804)

Dream American, dream... Your country is a fraud, a tyranny, and a pathetic loser place. Your economy is dead and crumbling to pieces. Crime is rising on all the major metropolitan areas, and the "freedom" and "liberty" you used to be so proud of, is just a fallacy now. Everything is just a big pathetic fraud with ballots BURNING IN FLORIDA. America, and anything it brings to the world is rotten! Let's take America out of the planet earth! We don't need you anymore, we have Europe and China that are more powerful and richer than you are.

Re:doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22069226)

Shhh... You're going to draw too much attention to yourself there.

The manipulation of the electoral votes is a bit obvious (and yeah, they do that on a periodic basis, I think...) and
draws the hoi-polloi's attention to the fact that they don't actually GET to pick anyone directly.

All you're doing when you "vote" on a Presidential candidate is picking which one of the people from your party is
the one submitted by the same and maybe indicating what the electoral college votes should do if they're trying to
reflect the popular desires- instead of voting whatever in the HELL way they want to. In olden days, the system
may have worked the way people think it does, but that was more per gentleman's agreement than law ever stated on
the matter. It works better for the people calling the shots if the hoi-polloi don't realize their real roles
and dinking too much with the electoral college draws attention to the reality of the matter in question.

Re:doesn't matter (2, Informative)

qortra (591818) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069234)

We're way offtopic from the article, but you should probably read the Wikipedia article on faithless electors [wikipedia.org] . Faithless electors can face consequences for their actions. So far, there haven't been severe consequences, but then so far a faithless elector has never turned the tide of an election. If that started to happen, it would be likely that political parties, states, and the federal government would make consequences more severe.

Re:doesn't matter (2, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069258)

That's retarded sir. You'd have to be within a vote or two to actually pull it off, since states can make their representatives sign a contract stating that they'll vote the way the state wants them to vote. If a significant number of electoral college members were to break lines and vote against their state, there'd be massive investigations. You'd also (as mentioned by a sibling) have to get on the ballot in the first place and come close enough that you wouldn't be bribing too many people.

So, if you're willing to risk a few years in jail, the complete destruction of the party that got you close enough to be able to bid your way out of it, and public scorn for decades, you're right, it is conceivably cheaper.

Re:doesn't matter (1)

agrounds (227704) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069790)

They would risk jailtime to put the one person into power that can pardon them of all wrongdoing with a stroke of a pen?

Makes sense to me. How long before this starts to happen? The electoral college is a joke, and still doesn't represent voters evenly across statelines.

Check this out if you would like more information on the discrepancy: http://www.vastlyimportant.com/vastly/files/vote_power.htm [vastlyimportant.com]

Re:doesn't matter (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070172)

They would risk jailtime to put the one person into power that can pardon them of all wrongdoing with a stroke of a pen?
Right, because if they went to jail for being bribed, the person who bribed them wouldn't suffer the same consequences. If only there were 4 months between the election and the swearing in of the president, where things like this could be investigated.

The electoral college is a joke, and still doesn't represent voters evenly across statelines
The electoral college is doing exactly what it was intended to do when it doesn't represent voters evenly across state lines. The needs of people in large cities are vastly different from the needs of people in rural areas. In order to have them both represented somewhat equally, the writers of the constitution artificially boosted the importance of less populous areas.

What's most appalling about electoral college is how it's all-or-nothing in every state. Switching to a proportional system would alleviate a lot of the problems with elections and the two party system.

Re:doesn't matter (1)

njfuzzy (734116) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069296)

That just isn't true. Most electors are bound by state laws that determine how they must vote.

We're talking about Primaries here... (2, Insightful)

ShatteredArm (1123533) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069330)

Before you can even bring the EC into play, you have to actually win the party nomination. And to do that, you have to win the primaries (still not the popular vote, though). And the best way to win the primaries (or to not lose them) is to win one of the first couple of states. I don't think NH was "rigged" by any means, but the motive is certainly there. Obama was riding the wave of popularity, and it may have gotten a little out of hand had he beaten Clinton in NH. She always has the advantage with the superdelegates, but if she doesn't win anything before Feb. 5, she'll have a hard time convincing enough people to vote for her. So winning NH was a great way for her to not only stay in the race but reestablish her position as frontrunner.

Now it probably won't do her much good to go and rig the vote in Nebraska or North Dakota...

Re:doesn't matter (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070356)

It also doesn't matter when all the front runners are clones of each other. And apparently mass [google.com] media [go.com] will have almost as much influence on the election as the electoral college. The whole thing has become a charade.

Don't blame me (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22069116)

I voted for Kodos.

Diebold Effect Persists (2, Interesting)

buswolley (591500) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069144)

I had just submitted this other story about the Primaries in NH to Firehose: Diebold Effect Persists even after statistical removal of demographics covariates. http://scienceblogs.com/developingintelligence/2008/01/the_diebold_effect_hillarys_vo.php [scienceblogs.com]

No! No! Shut up! (3, Insightful)

StarKruzr (74642) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069416)

Just talking about election fraud is tired old conspiracy-theory mongering! Election fraud never happens! Bush really did win! When you claim election fraud, the terrorists win! Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor! That does not make sense!

I really hate how having the idea that a group of people ever sat down to do something bad or dishonest together is immediate cause to be branded a lunatic.

Re:Diebold Effect Persists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22069508)

I would like to know exactly what kind of testing is done on these voting machines, because I can think of a number of nefarious ways to rig and would like to know which to exclude. For example, one could tweak the 2nd sensors or other hardware in the machine to 'overheat' after the machine has been on for a while to miscount votes. This would make most tests match the expected value, since they run through all the votes at once. Or a vote might be swapped only after a certain amount if idle period (say 30 seconds), and this would also cause most testing to give the expected results.

Imo testing should be derived from watching actual polls in various places so that the timing and rate of voting can be recreated, with the same duration and including the ebb and flow around commute times and so on. This kind of data could be obtained from other sources like for instance the DMV driver test (set up a 'ballot measure' for the first N driver's test questions and a 'candidate' for each of the multiple-choice answers).

Re:Diebold Effect Persists (2, Funny)

antoinjapan (450229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070154)

As programmers I'm sure we all know what caused the error, and plenty of programming errors. I speak of the scourge of natural number orientated programmers everywhere, 0 based indexing. As is obvious from the NH results the machines simply swapped the votes for Hillary and Obama. Something like Obama=getVotes(1), Hillary =Votes-Obama... instead of Obama = getVotes(0) and Hillary=getVotes(1)...thats all it was...stupid lazy programmers goddammnit

Romney. (2, Interesting)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069172)

The article doesn't even mention Romney's unusually high numbers when optical scanners counted the vote. Oh, and I support Ron Paul, so arstechnica has called me loopy because of my political beliefs. Looks like there is one more location I won't be going for any kind of news in the future!

Re:Romney. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22069396)

Wow. You must have a real hard on for Ron Paul to internalize any criticism of him like that.

Re:Romney. (2, Funny)

halivar (535827) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069432)

Yeah, you can't be too careful; you might hear a contrary opinion. You must nurture your beliefs, and protect them from criticism. It's kinda like Scientology that way.

And all Ron's people said, "Paul-men."

Re:Romney. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069936)

Oh, and I support Ron Paul, so arstechnica has called me loopy because of my political beliefs. Looks like there is one more location I won't be going for any kind of news in the future!

Yeah, you can't be too careful; you might hear a contrary opinion.


The name calling on the part of the Ars Technica article's author casts doubts about how informed, objective, rational, or intelligent he is when considering the subject under question - with the implication that he might have similar problems with other issues as well. This reduces his value as a source. The "birds of a feather" principle implies that other authors published in the same outlet may have similar problems, even if the problematic signs are not a reflection of the publication's policy.

As to "hearing contrary opinions", supporters of Ron Paul have no shortage of outlets where they can hear themselves called "loopy" or worse.

Their time for collecting information is limited. Why should they waste it on an outlet that is self-evidently warping the information on the subjects of interest to them (intentionally or otherwise), when it might be better spent reading other sources.

Correlation and Causation (5, Interesting)

thermostat42 (112272) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069302)

So, I like a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy. But has anyone who has gotten excited about this even bothered looking for unobserved variables. I don't know say, the affluence of a community and the likelihood that they have expensive voting machines. And that affluent communities might have different voting preferences that poorer communities?

Are we going to start banning ice cream to lower the murder rate next??

Re:Correlation and Causation (3, Informative)

buswolley (591500) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069382)

http://scienceblogs.com/developingintelligence/2008/01/the_diebold_effect_hillarys_vo.php [scienceblogs.com] [scienceblogs.com] --I mentioned it above.

Re:Correlation and Causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22070348)

What was that link again?

Re:Correlation and Causation (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22069522)

Of course different communities have different voting preferences, but one of the big problems with that theory is that the numbers in the electronic voting precincts are out of line with the exit polls, while the numbers in hand counted precincts are much closer. This would mean that for some reason people in precincts with electronic voting machines are prone to lying to exit pollers while people in hand counted precincts are much more honest. This is not impossible of course, just very strange and something which warrants a closer look.

Re:Correlation and Causation (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070202)

1. electronic voting machines might exist in greater numbers in affluent neighborhoods
2. affleunt people might be more reticent in telling an exit polster how they voted

Just like the differences in 2004. Democratic voters are typically younger and/or poorer. Also more vocal. Older/richer voters might not want to give out that info as much.

Just some possibilities. There are probably about 50 other parameters that could affect it.

Re:Correlation and Causation (5, Informative)

neuronomy (1221224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069626)

RTFA. We controlled for % holding bachelor's degrees, median household income, and population density - that's why this is newsworthy. The diebold effect is still significant.

Re:Correlation and Causation (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070382)

RTFA. We controlled for % holding bachelor's degrees, median household income, and population density - that's why this is newsworthy. The diebold effect is still significant.
What about age, sex, ethnicity, job types, distance from polling station, etc? There are a huge number of variables that not only affect which candidate a particular district supports, but also the motivation of those people to vote.

what about the fraud with Ron Paul votes? (5, Informative)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069308)

Forget the "skew", there was clear evidence of fraud in certain towns where they reported zero votes for Ron Paul, and a couple of supporters who lived in that town came forward and said "uh, I don't think so, I KNOW I voted for him, as did several friends"?

The town did a re-count and magically those votes re-appeared. This wasn't a case of "oops, we were off by a few"- every single vote for a particular candidate was GONE. What's fascinating is that all of the news stories I've read about the NH primary concerns have neglected to mention this, and far as I can tell, nobody has done jack shit to figure out why it happened.

Furthermore, if they lost ALL of the Ron Paul votes- how many other votes did they lose?

Re:what about the fraud with Ron Paul votes? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22069504)

I don't get it. How would anyone benefit from hiding Paul-votes? From what I understand (from across the Atlantic) Paul is not a big contender anyway.

You mean the ONE 'human error'? (1)

choseph (1024971) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069578)

Do you have links? I saw that explanation for one single county, and when questioned they looked over the numbers and saw someone wrote down 0 instead of 31 (or something like that). There wasn't a recount, just a comparison of totals vs what got written down on the reporting sheet. Why can't that be human error as they said it was? If I wanted to cheat, I'd put something harder to spot as a mistake like 6 instead of 0.

I'm not saying a recount won't find real problems, but every mistake isn't automatically a conspiracy. Yes it is a shame -- I'd like it if Ron Paul got more votes also -- but until I see the results of the recount I'm not jumping to any conclusions.

Re:what about the fraud with Ron Paul votes? (1, Insightful)

TheSeventh (824276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069642)

This was on the news, and was attributed to 'human error'. Meaning some nonagenarian didn't bother to report those because there was literally a handful (or less).

And supporting Ron Paul is great and idealistic and all, but a complete waste. He has 0% chance of winning anything, especially after those racist newsletters came out with his name on them, regardless if he wrote them.

You don't even need push-polling to destroy him, the media already took care of that, and you can't "un-do" negative publicity like that before the election.

Still trying to vote for him might be loyal, but even the Captain abandons ship once everyone else has left.

Re:what about the fraud with Ron Paul votes? (5, Informative)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070174)

This was on the news, and was attributed to 'human error'. Meaning some nonagenarian didn't bother to report those because there was literally a handful (or less).

In absolute terms, it was a handful: 31. In absolute terms, it was VERY relevant: that number is 7% of the total for that precinct. I know because I checked up on that on one of the vote-watch sites that listed by precinct. I apologize, however, for not knowing how to quickly get back to that so I can post a link; I'm sure you will discover the same, however.

I don't have to tell you what adding 7% of the voters to Ron Paul's *aggregate* NH total would be, do I?

And supporting Ron Paul is great and idealistic and all, but a complete waste. He has 0% chance of winning anything, especially after those racist newsletters came out with his name on them, regardless if he wrote them.

You think this is just about making Ron Paul president? No. This is a long-term fight to move the nation in a more libertarian direction. This surge in grassroots support (compared to what libertarian-minded candidates used to get) is a culmination of all the "internet-only" support the libertarian movement built up beginning in the late 90s, as those younger voters aged, and it's only getting bigger.

The more publicity we can get for libertarian ideas, the better, even and especially of Ron Paul doesn't win. I would know. I'm a local organizer.

The news about the racist remarks worries me, of course, but I think Paul is still at the stage where "any publicity is good" esp. as he gets endorsements from those minorities who have worked with him.

Re:what about the fraud with Ron Paul votes? (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070316)

Voting for the status quo is an even bigger waste.

Re:what about the fraud with Ron Paul votes? (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070358)

Okay, just so you don't have to find it, here's one source [boston.com] , scroll down to Sutton.

Re:what about the fraud with Ron Paul votes? (2, Informative)

Relic of the Future (118669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069678)

I thought it was just one county, and they simply forgot Paul because he was at the bottom of the list when they sent in their report (even write-in candidates beat him). Nothing nefarious, or even electronic, just simple human error.

Re:what about the fraud with Ron Paul votes? (4, Interesting)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070230)

That's strange. He seems to be beating Thompson and Guilliani in nearly every primary. Yet, I continue to see both those candidate receiving significant news coverage. Lots of face time, and constant reports that Guilliani is going to win in Florida (as if that one state can get him nominated). What's more, neither of those two seem to have anything significant to say. Voting for Paul is a least a call for doing things that are significantly different than the status quo.

I can only say that the major media have gone out of their way to actively ignore Ron Paul. When they have provided any modicum of coverage to his campaign, it has been in the form of slander or ridicule. Why did Paul get a derisive question about "electability", instead of the policy issue everyone else was sidestepping, when he had won more of the vote than the proclaimed 'winner' of the debate?

If they'd forgotten Thompson and Guilliani, I might agree, but given the evidence, there seems to be a concerted effort to keep Paul from running at all.

Why are modding lies informative? (1)

nunyadambinness (1181813) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070070)

"Forget the "skew", there was clear evidence of fraud in certain towns..."

Ok, that's a lie, read the story instead of repeating something you heard.

"The town did a re-count and magically those votes re-appeared"

That's also wrong.

"This wasn't a case of "oops, we were off by a few"- every single vote for a particular candidate was GONE"

And yet, it was obviously "fraud" and not a simple omission by ONE worker in ONE location. Oh wait, that's exactly what it was.

"What's fascinating is that all of the news stories I've read about the NH primary concerns have neglected to mention this"

Wait, you post on slashdot, but don't read it? Because it was covered right here.

http://politics.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/01/10/1635225 [slashdot.org]

"and far as I can tell, nobody has done jack shit to figure out why it happened. "

That's because THEY KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. Someone forgot to write down the number. THAT'S IT. Get over your persecution complex, someone's granny had a brain-cramp and forgot to write it down. It got fixed (because a ZERO for a legitimate candidate is a pretty fucking obvious mistake) and life went on. Unless you're SuperBanana, in which case, you're ranting about it still even though it a nothing story.

"Furthermore, if they lost ALL of the Ron Paul votes- how many other votes did they lose?"

They didn't "lose" the votes you fucking twat, stop lying.

YOU are what is wrong with politics in this country, a simple mistake, EASILY identified, and obvious to anyone who isn't retarded turned into "clear evidence of fraud" because your boy was involved.

+5 informative my ass, he got every single fucking fact wrong.

Re:what about the fraud with Ron Paul votes? (1)

Aphex Junkie (633436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070128)

Link or it didn't happen

Re:what about the fraud with Ron Paul votes? (1)

MrLogic17 (233498) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070330)

>Link or it didn't happen

ISO 9000, is that you?

Re:what about the fraud with Ron Paul votes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22070386)

I financially support Paul. I will vote for Paul if I get the chance, but the conspiracy folks really seem to love this X files stuff. It needs to stop.

Voting is an imperfect process, and most of the Paulites are first timers to the process. Paul himself believes the counts jibes with their internal polling [typepad.com] , and any mistakes are innocent.

Move along. Get votes in new states. Paul may have no chance of winning without any fraud needed, but don't doubt the Republicans are listening, despite their public derision of Paul. Paul will show there is support for more libertarian ideas and sensible foreign policy. And when they get thrashed by the Dems, they will be seeking Paulite support, with candidates with less paleo baggage and more appealing personage.

If you really want to change things, stop the black helicopter fretting, and get off your ass and work the local polls. Most of these volunteer jobs go begging and that's why you get these social security mummies working the counts. Poll working is the perfect place for third-parties to start working. Make your job #1 to make the counts in your precinct clean.

Face Facts (1, Flamebait)

thehatmaker (1168507) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069324)

US Elections are so bad, so corrupted, that UN observers wont certify them because they fail to reach minimum standards. And you have seen the programmers testimony havent you? youtube-LHS associates.

I see no choice for you all, you are going to have to, um, rationalise away all that corruption and ignore the facts, just so you can sleep tonight and wake up believing the lie that you are someone who cares about authenticity.

Re:Face Facts (5, Informative)

damienl451 (841528) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069746)

"UN observers won't certify them". UN observers are usually sent to third-world nations and "flawed democracy", not countries like the US or any other Western country for the matter. So, as a matter of mact, UN observers won't certify US elections because nobody asked them to, not because they were there and refused to do it in light of widespread fraud, as your message implied.

Re:Face Facts (1)

colganc (581174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070006)

Link the youtube video of it, don't just claim it exists or tell me to search for it. This is the web and it is easy to provide links. Where's the article claiming they are so bad that UN observers won't certify them? Again, links please. You have made these statements without any obvious facts to back this up. The burden is upon you to cite your sources. Further I hope you will include some kind of information indicating the UN observers were asked to certify the process and had the information required to make an initial assesment.

Big Story Ignored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22069378)

Hillary steals it from Obama and no one cares?

Re:Big Story Ignored (0)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069530)

I hate to feed the trolls, but Barak Obama wasn't even on the ballot in New Hampshire. Neither was John Edwards. The national Democratic party punished New Hampshire for holding their primary early by disallowing all of the delegates. The choices on the Democratic ballot were either Hillary Clinton or uncommitted.

Re:Big Story Ignored (1)

Dues (786223) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069586)

:%s/New Hampshire/Michigan/g

Re:Big Story Ignored (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069692)

Yeah, yeah. I know. I hit "submit" just as I remembered that New Hampshire was a week ago. Oh well.

Read. Think. Research. Post. Not the other way around.

Re:Big Story Ignored (1)

umbra_dweller (797279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069604)

That was Michigan, not New Hampshire.

Re:Big Story Ignored (2, Informative)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069610)

WHOOPS! Michigan was yesterday. /goes off somewhere to hide

Re:Big Story Ignored (1)

teebob21 (947095) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069762)

In all seriousness, at first I thought you were a moron. Now I know you're human. Better luck next time! :)

Re:Big Story Ignored (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069990)

Funny (or scary) thing is, my massively incorrect post got modded "Informative".

Re:Big Story Ignored (1)

Sunshinerat (1114191) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069634)

That was Michigan...

Re:Big Story Ignored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22070086)

That was Michigan, dumbass. If you can't even rant about the right state, don't rant at all.

Re:Big Story Ignored (1)

yoyoq (1056216) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070204)

i think you mean Michigan

Re:Big Story Ignored (1)

Sigismundo (192183) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070270)

I voted in NH, and all the major Democratic candidates were on the ballot, and many others. Maybe the parent is thinking of Michigan.

This would be important for an actual election... (1)

Assassin bug (835070) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069404)

...but these are primaries. I'm just not sure why all the fuss about primary elections in NH when I am sure that Iowa's caucuses were much less accurate [slashdot.org] . And, no, I'm not whining, the candidate I supported in Iowa won.

New Hampshire primary is about media coverage (2, Interesting)

kabloom (755503) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069438)

It's good to know they're doing a public hand recount of paper ballots (which is exactly what they need to do), but the primary result of the New Hampshire primary is the media coverage of the winner the day after, so even if the Diebold machine count was wrong by such a huge margin, the damage is already done because the media has already crowned Clinton as the winner of the New Hampshire primary.

Hillary Bought Diebold (1, Troll)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069596)

Obama and Edwards are great candidates, but I was sure Hillary had an ace up her sleeve to skew the results. You can't skew caucuses where folks have to line up on one side of a room or other. But it's easy to hack the results of a Diebold vote.

Re:Hillary Bought Diebold (1)

Brickwall (985910) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070098)

Oh, please. I'm no fan of Hillary, but the "ace up her sleeve" is she inherited her husband's organization. Thousands of volunteers who phone her likely voters to make sure they actually voted, drivers who will take them to the polls, etc. That's why you saw the discrepancy between pre-vote polls and the actual result; Obama doesn't have as many feet on the ground as Clinton does, and he probably didn't get all his supporters to the polls. This ready made organization is Clinton's big advantage going forward.

Re:Hillary Bought Diebold (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070392)

There's another reason: it's a well-known phenomenon in America that many voters will tell pollsters they're going to vote for a minority candidate even if they're not just to avoid being called racist. The funny thing is that none of the pundits have mentioned it. Either they're not as well educated on the subject as they make out to be or they're ignoring it because it doesn't fit their preconceptions. Either way, it doesn't exactly add to their credibility in my eyes.

Why do you always have this vote counting issues? (5, Interesting)

galoise (977950) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069666)

I have always found it incredibly curious how, of all countries, the United States has such big problems for vote counting. I know that problems like these are everywhere to be found, and that the US hava a very atypical election machinery (with each state presenting votes as they see fit, and other decissions based on a per-county basis, etc etc), but all in all, it should be pretty obvious that you have some serious election problem.

Down in my country (i'm form Chile), the electoral system is incredible clean and efficient. Every vote is hand counted, and the aggregated results of the election are official one or two hours after the last table closes, with a certainty of about 99.9%... and it's not a technological wonder: just ordered hand counting, and coordinated recollection of results. i know, we are a small country, but the voting population is about 4 mill people... more than NH in any case.

And in the event that there's a problem (i don't remember any in the last 20 years), we can track each ballot to the specific table where it was counted and check it all the way down to the ballot.

And Chile is a country with a reputation for chaos and disorder. Should i be amazed for our electoral system, or be amazed for how crappy the united states' system is?

in other words... with all due respect (and i mean it, it's an honet question...), why do you have such a crappy system? wouldn't it be cheaper to implement a low-tech, efficient and accountable sytem rather than risking every election with a thrillion different systems for each district and all this eternal debate about who probably got more votes?

Re:Why do you always have this vote counting issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22069808)

The US mainland crosses 4 timezones, so by the time the west coast polls close and you take your couple hours to finish tallying, you are talking the next day for those on the east coast! People want the result before they go to bed so they know whether they have to get up in the morning or not!

Re:Why do you always have this vote counting issue (2, Interesting)

Brickwall (985910) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070240)

Canada crosses 5 time zones, and we always have a result before midnight EST. And we don't have any electronic voting machines - every thing is done by hand. A couple of hours to tally results? Most polls report results in under an hour after closing. Maybe it's because you have that ridiculous system where you vote for 20-30 offices on a single day. We only have to count for one.

Re:Why do you always have this vote counting issue (1)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070216)

with all due respect (and i mean it, it's an honet question...), why do you have such a crappy system?

Honest answer: because not everyone is aware of the problems. And some of those who are aware don't consider them to be major problems.

So how would we fix it? Elections in the US are run by the states, so in order to implement a consistent, well-designed system nationwide we would have to take that power from the states via a Constitutional amendment - something rather difficult to do without broad support. Or we'd need to hold the states to higher standards than the last major voting law (HAVA, the Help America Vote Act) did. But there would be heavy lobbying by voting machine companies against tightening of regulations, because that would require effort and integrity on their part.

In other words, it's a quagmire. And most of the people who recognize the problems are on the political left, largely because most of the controversies so far have related to (or were decided against, in the case of Bush v. Gore 2000) Democrats.

So wait until an elections anomaly affects the right wing: then you'll get bipartisan support for reforms. (I think you'll even hear right wingers denouncing the Electoral College, if the Republicans ever win the popular election but lose the electoral election.)

Re:Why do you always have this vote counting issue (3, Funny)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070368)

How is graft and corruption ever the have chance in this country if we make it so simple? What would the talking heads talk about if there was a Obviosly, your oblivious to the complication of the American electorate and our diverse needs. Jeesh, dude. Would you think of the CHILDREN?

Re:Why do you always have this vote counting issue (1)

nicklott (533496) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070384)

I always wonder the same thing: for a country that never tires of telling us how great their democracy is, they don't seem too good at actually concentrating on the details of making it work.

The UK hand counts all its votes too, it's not a small country (~60m people) but we still get the results in 4-5 hours after the polls close. The reason always given is that the US is too big, but that's a very poor argument. If you have more voters you also have more counters. There is never a lack of volunteers at elections (or if there is your democracy has bigger problems than this).

I suspect the answer lies, as always, in lobbyists. I don't know but I suspect diebold et al make a good few contributions in the right places. Unfortunately they seem to be trying to muscle into the UK now, and the government, always happy to receive judicious contributions, is pushing it blindly. Luckily it seems that returning officers and judges are against it, so maybe they will be able to kill it from the ground up.

Great, Yet another stolen election in the US (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069668)

The third time will NOT be charm.
It's a pattern!
Wake up USA.

The Muslim religion got hijacked by extremists.
You're getting your entire country hijacked right in front of you!

Re:Great, Yet another stolen election in the US (1)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 6 years ago | (#22069996)

Hillary hasn't won yet.

"random audit" does not matter. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22069940)

In Minnesota the random audit from the last election did not take place with public results.
Each county is supposed to have an election commission that does the random audit of one or a couple precincts. How random? Decided by the county. Where are the results? not posted at
the Sec of State of MN. Not at the County (Hennepin largest population. Did it even take place?
Maybe.

Just like "having a paper ballot" does not mean they get counted by the machines, having "audit" does not mean it is a real audit of an election. It is in the transparency of the process, secret audits are not transparent, not posting results is not transparent.

Shut it proles (-1, Troll)

Sir_Real (179104) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070004)

And be good consumers. Daddy'll tell you everything you need to know about the world. First of all, fear your genitals. For they are evil. Secondly, anything that makes you feel good or relieves a bad feeling, must be strictly regulated by Daddy (including your genitals and especially your womb). Thirdly, all elections are fair and binding. See? A trustworthy corporation stands behind every ballot cast. By questioning the integrity of a corporation you are questioning the integrity of God, Daddy and all of your betters with more money. That kind of thing can have unforseen consequences. Finally, freedom is slavery, and it's most certainly not a concept whereby "people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to daddy a great deal of discretion about what you do."

Now. Daddy's tired. He's gonna go gang rape someone who volunteered to protect him, cover up the crime and then give the medal of freedom to anyone who helped him.

Correlation != causation (2, Interesting)

indros13 (531405) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070100)

First, I have a bachelor's in math and a public policy masters (we took stats classes). So I know enough to know that the kind of analysis I've been seeing is leaving gaps.

Example: What if the precincts with higher proportions of Obama supporters happen to be those with hand counted ballots? This is well within the realm of possibility, and from a statistical standpoint, just as likely a hypothesis as wrongdoing.

So, what's the answer? Regression. Regression not only gives you the correlation (which everyone knows is high), but also explains the significance of that correlation - how much it matters.

The result? I ran regressions of Clinton/Obama total vote percentage against hand/machine counted from the first 150 or so precincts (alphabetically) from the list of results and there were two important figures:

p-value of less than .05 (the relationship between method of vote counting and the final vote breakdown was significant).

Adj R-Squared less than 0.10 (the method in vote counting explained less than 10% of the variation in vote totals).

In plain English: 90% of the variation in results across precincts CANNOT be explained by the counting method.

Furthermore, the even with significance, the model may merely pick up variables related to the ones being used. Perhaps precincts with machine counting are wealthier, and wealthier precints trended Clinton. In that way, machine-counted precincts would skew Clinton but with no sinister activity.

My look wasn't by any means fully rigorous or conclusive, and I can't claim to be expert enough to be certain. And there are probably a few Slashdotters with greater stats skills to puncture my amateur analysis. But I think this is overblown. Let's focus on the real enemy, vote machines with no paper trail.

The scary part about the New Hampshire results? (3, Interesting)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070108)

Americans have been conditioned to accept the narrative that exit polls can be wildly askew from actual results and suspicious results (like Ron Paul's disappearing votes) can be ignored. Properly administered exit polls are highly accurate. Now, I'm not saying that New Hampshire was rigged, but I want to know EXACTLY what happened to change the outcome from a near certain expectation. Only two explanations that I see as viable.

  • Exit polls conducted by amateurs (I heard ONE comment that this might have happened from a witness).
  • High number of undecided or uncommitted voters swayed one way. Problem here is that Hillary would have had to have taken an enormous share of these voters.

anyone who cant steal an election ... (2, Insightful)

peter303 (12292) | more than 6 years ago | (#22070134)

doesnt deserve to be President. Its a time-honored skill we've come to expect in our politicians!
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