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November 19, 2004

The Freeman Paper Revisted

I want to revisit my post from Wednesday night on the paper by Dr. Steven Freeman on the "Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy." First, Dr. Freeman himself posted an answer last night that many of you may have missed (even I did until tonight - I have copied his complete response at then end of this post). Second, several other comments convinced me that my last three paragraphs were not as clear, and perhaps a bit more incendiary, than they should have been.

First, my main argument is that we have not yet seen any empirical evidence in the exit polls to prove the existence of vote fraud, nor any evidence that the exit poll discrepancy can be explained by any such fraud. Warren Mitofsky strengthened that argument when he told the Chris Johnson, of the blog MayflowerHill, that his initial analysis showed no deviation from the discrepancy "in precincts with touch screen computers that don't leave paper trails, or any other type of machine for that matter."

However, as I wrote yesterday - and it bears repeating - the fact that the exit polls show no evidence of vote fraud does not disprove vote fraud. It may have occurred on a scale too small to be detectable by the exit polls.

I realize that I confused this issue with my own language in the third to last paragraph, which began, "So to summarize: Absent further data from NEP, you can choose to believe..." It sounds as if I am assuming there are only two possibilities with respect to the possibility of vote fraud. Obviously, that is not the case.

Had I written that better, I might have said: "So to summarize, if you want to explain the exit poll discrepancy, absent further data from NEP, you can choose to believe..." My point is that there are two competing theories for the discrepancy: The first is that the exit polls were slightly biased to Kerry due to a consistent pattern of what methodologists call "differential non-response" that has been evident in exit polls to a lesser degree for a dozen years (Republicans were more likely to refuse to fill out the exit poll than Democrats). The second theory is that systematic and consistent vote fraud occurred in almost every state and using every type of voting equipment. The first hypothesis seems plausible to me; the second wildly improbable.

Steven Freeman and others are right that no one has conclusively proven either hypothesis, but I never suggested that I offered conclusive proof, only a far more plausible explanation for the discrepancy.

Finally, I realize I probably would have been better off omitting the word "delusional" from the last paragraph. It obviously conveyed a broader judgment than I intended, a conclusion brought home by this comment by reader Anthony England:

Apparently reasonable people cannot ask questions about this issue without being accused of promulgating wild allegations that professional pollsters have "deliberately suppressed evidence of ... fraud" or without being derided as delusional conspiracy nuts.

I did not intend to condemn all who see a "possibility of count errors" as "delusional," as Steven Freeman heard it. Nor did I intend to imply that there is anything "delusional" about simply asking questions. Hopefully, asking questions is what this site is about.   In retrospect, the word "delusional" was a mistake.  Good blogging, I am told, is about correcting mistakes as soon as possible.  My apologies.

One last thing:  Loyal reader CW made this point via email: "Machines that generate no confirming bit of paper for a voter to review are a disaster for public trust in elections."  Fraud or no fraud, on that point I completely agree.

Professor Freeman's complete response:

Hello, Mark:

I’d like to thank you for taking the time for offering this detailed critique of my paper, and more generally for your knowledgeable commentary on polling processes. Since writing the draft you read, I’ve learned a great deal about polling – in large part from reading through your site. I’ll have a revision of my paper out in a few days, which will be much stronger for having read your commentary.

Regarding your post, I’m going to respond to several points and then give a general response to what I see as the big question:

1. Data. I’m happy to make my CNN data available. I have 49 states & DC (only Virginia missing if anyone has that), although for a few I don’t have sample size. Just tell me where you’d like me to send it to or post. (My own personal and University websites have been going down from too much traffic.)

2. High degree of certainty (Your point 1). I agree that I overstated the case, should never have cited Hartmann, and did not understand the logistical challenges you explain. NEVERTHELESS, logic and evidence still indicate that exit polls should be a good basis for prediction, and although I can understand why the logistical challenges would increase the margin of error, it’s not at all clear why they should skew the results.

3. 250-million-to-1 (Your point 2). I see that I did put too much faith in stratification counterbalancing the effects of clustering, and will redo the calculations with the 30% increase. That’s a very good citation. NEVERTHELESS, as you point out, it doesn’t change the finding that **random error can be ruled out as an explanation.** This is really the main point of the first draft, because once chance is ruled out, some other explanation needs to be found.

4. Official “explanations. (Your point 3). My key point about explanations is that all we have -- at best -- are hypotheses. Perhaps Bush-voter refusal is a better hypothesis than I gave credit for, but it still is only a hypothesis. (Too many women would be irrelevant to the CNN data. Male and female preferences are reported separately and thus automatically weighted appropriately.) On the other hand, there are also creditable hypotheses, some with substantial evidence, which could have effected the tally.

I object most to belittling dismissals of these second set of hypotheses and allegations (e.g, Manuel Roig-Franzia and Dan Keating, “Latest Conspiracy Theory -- Kerry Won -- Hits the Ether” Washington Post, November 11, 2004; Tom Zeller, Jr. "Vote Fraud Theories, Spread by Blogs, Are Quickly Buried" New York Times November 12, 2004-Page 1), along with unquestioning acceptance as “explanations” the hypotheses and allegations about poll error.

In summary, I think that perhaps I biased my paper somewhat unfairly towards suggesting count errors as explanations, but that was probably in response to what I still see as an extreme bias at the press in dismissing them.

When you say that suggesting the possibility of count errors is delusional, perhaps you have done the same? (It seems as though you spend a lot of time on the tin foil hat circuit.)

Thinking coolly and scientifically: Is it delusional to question the Bush-voter-refusal hypothesis as conclusive without independent evidence? On the other hand, considering the scores of allegations, the history (especially in Florida), the lack of safeguards with electronic voting, the conflict-of-interest in election oversight, etc…, etc… (and now the Berkeley study) is it delusional to consider that, just possibly, even part of the discrepancy might be due to the possibility of miscount?

Yours truly, Steve Freeman

Related Entries - Exit Polls

Posted by Mark Blumenthal on November 19, 2004 at 11:59 PM in Exit Polls | Permalink

Comments

Mark Blumenthal wrote:
>
> First, my main argument is that we have
> not yet seen any empirical evidence in
> the exit polls to prove the existence of
> vote fraud, nor any evidence that the
> exit poll discrepancy can be explained by
> any such fraud.

Surely the evidence you seek is not of fraud being able to explain those figures, since if there was fraud then any figures are possible. Wouldn't you agree?

Posted by: aaa | Nov 20, 2004 12:44:40 AM

Mark Blumenthal wrote:
>
> The first is that the exit polls were
> slightly biased to Kerry due to a
> consistent pattern of what methodologists
> call "differential non-response" that has
> been evident in exit polls to a lesser
> degree for a dozen years (Republicans
> were more likely to refuse to fill out
> the exit poll than Democrats).

Could you tell us why you think Republicans were more likely to refuse to fill out the exit poll than Democrats? If they were not polled then how do you know they voted for Bush?

> The second
> theory is that systematic and consistent
> vote fraud occurred in almost every state
> and using every type of voting equipment.
> The first hypothesis seems plausible to
> me; the second wildly improbable.

First, why would the fraud have to have happened in every state? It need only have happened in contested states, no?

Second, why couldn't fraud have happened and have stayed within the boundary of error of the exit polls? You yourself say:

Fraud "may have occurred on a scale too small to be detectable by the exit polls."

So why not include that as another hypothesis here?

Posted by: aaa | Nov 20, 2004 12:54:36 AM

I really appreciate your cogent and unbiased analyses. You wrote:

"My point is that there are two competing theories for the discrepancy: The first is that the exit polls were slightly biased to Kerry . . . The second theory is that systematic and consistent vote fraud occurred in almost every state and using every type of voting equipment. The first hypothesis seems plausible to me; the second wildly improbable."

Have you considered an intermediate possibility, that "systematic and consistent vote fraud occurred in several counties or states?" This might be accomplished by hacking vote tabulating software, which counts votes from all types of vote counting equipment, either in advance (by the Republican-supporting companies that provide the software) and/or after the fact (by often partisan election supervisors).

Posted by: Julie | Nov 20, 2004 2:20:32 AM

Mark,

While politeness is certainly an admirable trait, so is straightforwardness. Using the word "delusional" in the following context strikes me as quite the correct usage:

"However, to continue to see evidence of vote fraud in the "unexplained exit poll discrepancy" is more than wishful. It borders on delusional."

Posted by: Petey | Nov 20, 2004 5:39:13 AM

It might be not delusional, but a deperate means of trying to deligitimize the outcome. There are more than two theories to explain the exit-poll discrepancy; and of these the mass vote-stealing premise is by far the most implausible. The account which does have evidence of procedures which are certain to result in erroneous results, is that which points to the impossibly high Latino-Bush percentages, which even go over 100% in sub-regions which do not report complete ethnic proportions for each state. This conclusive evidence of deliberate concealment of discrepancies in the exit poll results, is given in Sailer's "Bush didn't win 44%...", on the web. From this, the source of discrepancy can be inferred; they would have over-sampled minority dominated precincts to such extent, that, even now, they would have to reduce the Latino percentage to 6%, all from Bush respondents, and the black participation from 12 to 9%, and still be one point short of the mark.

Posted by: John S Bolton | Nov 20, 2004 7:49:13 AM

Mark, two things:

1. I agree with your analyses in the last 7 posts, and conclude like you do on the question of fraud that the most likely explanation is that the exit poll results were inaccurate. A lot of the vote fraud charges coming from our side, especially the early one in the immediate aftermath of Nov 2, were irritating and embarassing.

I do not however place the work of the Berkeley and MIT groups anywhere near this lacuna of unreasoned allegations, and I think their efforts are commendable and highlight, at the very least, the crying need for reforms in our ballot counting systems.

I would have to disagree with John Bolton who writes: "It might be not delusional, but a deperate means of trying to deligitimize the outcome." He includes in his "it" anyone studying the problem seriously - and the suggestion that the academics referred to above are "desperately trying to delegitimize the outcome" is simply absurd.

2. This,
=======
I did not intend to condemn all who see a "possibility of count errors" as "delusional," as Steven Freeman heard it. Nor did I intend to imply that there is anything "delusional" about simply asking questions. Hopefully, asking questions is what this site is about. In retrospect, the word "delusional" was a mistake. Good blogging, I am told, is about correcting mistakes as soon as possible. My apologies.
========
is the mark of a gentleman, and is why reading you is always a pleasure.

Keep up the great work.

Posted by: Mark Lupida | Nov 20, 2004 4:40:07 PM

With regard to "we have not yet seen any empirical evidence in the exit polls to prove the existence of vote fraud", how about an 'exit poll' with a 30% sample size which shows unexplained swings in only 2 (president and US senate) of 13 statewide races. What's more the Bush gain in this 'poll' exactly matches NEP's 9 point discrepency which Mitofsy claims, without a shred of evidence, is not due to vote tampering. The state in question is a non-battleground state, North Carolina. But the real kicker is that the "sample" is the actual early/absentee vote. Please check out and explain away, if you can, Ignatzmouse's unofficial audit of the North Carolina results: www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=203x45003#49532.

Posted by: John Kesich | Nov 20, 2004 8:03:14 PM

"What's more the Bush gain in this 'poll' exactly matches NEP's 9 point discrepency which Mitofsy claims, without a shred of evidence, is not due to vote tampering. ... But the real kicker is that the "sample" is the actual early/absentee vote. Please check out and explain away, if you can..."

You're joking, right? No, I guess you're not joking.

If you really can't figure out the obvious explanation, you'll need to find someone with more patience than I to explain it to you.

---

The real shame about all of this is that there really are important ballot issues out there. There is the quasi-legal vote supression the Republicans practice. There is the horrifying no paper-trail voting that must be stopped.

And I thought that after this election, the lefty blogosphere might be able to make some noise about these issues.

But instead, a bunch of irresponsible people have fanned the flames of voter fraud charges that they know full well are wrong. They don't care that these charges are wrong because they think they are creating a propaganda advantage by repeating them.

But, of course, they aren't creating any such advantage. They are merely distracting any chance of concentrated attention being focused on the real ballot issues. And they are publically discrediting the Democrats on these issues.

What a damned shame, and what a waste of an opportunity.

Posted by: Petey | Nov 21, 2004 3:59:54 AM

[T]here are two competing theories for the discrepancy: The first is that the exit polls were slightly biased to Kerry due to a consistent pattern of ... "differential non-response" .... The second theory is that systematic and consistent vote fraud occurred in almost every state and using every type of voting equipment. The first hypothesis seems plausible to me; the second wildly improbable.

Excellent point, and I agree.

But it's worth pointing out there is a third theory somewhere between the other two in probability. In this theory vote miscounting occurred consistently in one brand of a widely used vote counting device.

This theory is more probable that your second theory because it doesn't require a large-scale conspiracy. One fault (intentional or not) in the base software shared by the widely-used vote counting devices would be all that was needed.

The only reason this theory is even possible is that the voting machine companies have failed to disclose their software to anyone. If the vote machine companies had been selling to, for example, the DoD they would have been required to have their software inspected before it was accepted as "trusted".

Presumably NEP will eventually release all their data, including methodologies, and it will be possible to tell if the exit polling discrepancies were isolated to one brand of voting machine.

Posted by: Observer | Nov 21, 2004 6:25:56 PM

Reply to M. Lupida: I wouldn't say that anyone raising questions over some far-less-than-decisive vote counts is desperately trying to deligitimize the elections' outcome. On the other hand, it can't be ruled out that the motivation for hastening to report correlations to machine type in SEFlorida is other than disinterested political science. It is unlikely though; because they would need bigger claims of questionable vote totals for the deligitimizing project to be served. The more likely explanation, as given above, would be that those two counties have had long-standing problems which have only cleaned up recently, as the international stadium lights of publicity shone down intensely upon those exact jurisdictions.

Posted by: John S Bolton | Nov 22, 2004 2:21:31 AM

You state in your response that, "The second theory is that systematic and consistent vote fraud occurred in almost every state and using every type of voting equipment."

This is simply false. Since the year 2000, with the inception of the "Help America Vote" act, the amount of voters voting on electronic equipment has skyrocketed. 44 out of the 51 states have Optical Scanning or DRE as one of its primary voting systems. It is estimated that anywhere between 50 and 80% of our votes are counted by computers or electronic devices.

Please visit votescam.com for an extremely thorough evaluation of why electronic voting is bad. Additionally, please visit chuckherrin.com for some very thorough reserach on Diebold and the people who run it and also how extremely easy it is to hack these computer systems that count our votes.

Posted by: Clint Cooper | Nov 22, 2004 3:17:29 AM

Below is a link to Freeman's latest/revised paper about exit polling deicrepencies(it's 18 pages long vs. the earlier 11 page version).

http://www.appliedresearch.us/sf/Documents/ExitPoll.pdf

PS: I find it amazing and incomprehensible that both "first-world"/industrialized nations (ie. Germany - pg 17 in Freeman's paper) and s-called "third world" nations (Mexico, Former Soviet Repulic of Gerogia, etc.) are able to conduct accurate exit polls of their elections, but somehow here in the USA we have recently not been able to conduct reliable exit polls due to (pick your reason x, y or z) flaws in methodology.

FWIW: Here's the Occam's Razum or KISS hypothisis (Keep It Simple, Stupid):

'For Those With a Flair For The Dramatic: How to SpeedHack The Vote - The FAST Version'
(11/18/04)
http://www.chuckherrin.com/SpeedHackTheVote.htm

FAQ by Chuck Herrin, CISSP, CISA, MCSE, CEH. (A self-proclaimed Republican and "Certified Ethical Hacker" (CEH) who stated the following observation about the current implementation of e-Voting technology used in this month's election:

http://www.chuckherrin.com/HackthevoteFAQ.htm

"What I found truly shocked me, and made me physically ill. That's what is documented on the other page. It IS that bad. I personally don't have conclusive evidence that voter fraud was perpetrated, but I can tell you as an Information Security professional that it would have been very, very easy to do. If I had to choose between someone conspiring with exit poll workers nationwide or someone changing values in an Access Database as the cause of the difference between the poll numbers and the "actual" results, I'll go with the easier, more effective option every time. Why choose the hard way when it's more trouble and you're less likely to succeed? Again, I'm staying clear of making specific allegations - I'll leave that to the activists who are gathering data - but I would be much more surprised if the election weren't hacked than to find out that it was.

It was too easy, the companies were too partisan and unethical, and there was too much at stake for them NOT to hack it. It looked like Bush was going to lose, and they had this tool available to pull out a victory."

Posted by: Observer2 | Nov 22, 2004 11:17:37 AM

Thanks for you continued exploration of these issues long after election day.

Posted by: Reed | Nov 22, 2004 12:53:32 PM

Observer2:

I can understand why people might distrust the Diebold eVoting machine.

What I don't understand is why they ignore that *not a single county in Ohio or Florida* used those machines!:

http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/111004V.shtml

"No Ohio County used Diebold Electronic Voting Machines.

Ohio did not use modern electronic voting machines in this election. Six counties use an older form of electronic voting, which has a means of verifying the accuracy of the vote. In 69 Ohio Counties, punch card ballots were used."

http://www.cuttingedge.org/news_updates/nz1799.htm

"Both Broward and Miami-Dade counties use machines made by Election Systems & Software, while Palm Beach county uses machines made by Sequoia Voting Systems. No Florida counties used touch-screen machines made by Diebold Election Systems, the company whose machines have received the most scrutiny over the last year."


Posted by: David T | Nov 22, 2004 8:13:12 PM

John Kesich:

The report you link to is interesting.
www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=203x45003#49532

To Summarize:
--NC early and absentee ballots accounted for 30% of the vote.
--Results from these early ballots match the overall results in all statewide races within 2.5% except for President and Senate.
--The discrepancy between early ballots and election day ballots is around 7% for Senate and 9% for President favoring Bush on election day.

Why would absentees not match the election day ballots for two but not other races? Seems the combination would need to be:
--Kerry early voting with Bush election day ground game
--PLUS an ~3.5% increase in Dixiecrat voters on election day whereby election day democrats would vote Dem for statewide and GOP for National office.

Nothing strange. Otherwise, this is an interesting analysis.


However, more importantly, this story suggests an exit poll test that strikes me as obvious now:
How did the exit polls do in calling the other races they were tracking including statewide races, propositions, etc?

Posted by: Alex in Los Angeles | Nov 22, 2004 9:41:30 PM

David T wrote:
> I can understand why people might
> distrust the Diebold eVoting machine.
>
> What I don't understand is why they
> ignore that *not a single county in Ohio
> or Florida* used those machines!:
>
> http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/111004V.shtml
>
> "No Ohio County used Diebold Electronic
> Voting Machines.
>
> Ohio did not use modern electronic voting
> machines in this election. Six counties
> use an older form of electronic voting,
> which has a means of verifying the
> accuracy of the vote.

That link does not give a source for its assertion. However, even if it is true, the "older form of electronic voting", whatever it is may be just as succeptible to hacking.

> In 69 Ohio Counties, punch card ballots were used."

Even when punch card ballots are used the machines that do the counts may be hacked. The only way to have a legitimate election is to do a hand count of voter-verified paper ballots with witnesses from each party watching.

> "Both Broward and Miami-Dade counties use
> machines made by Election Systems &
> Software, while Palm Beach county uses
> machines made by Sequoia Voting Systems.
> No Florida counties used touch-screen
> machines made by Diebold Election
> Systems, the company whose machines have
> received the most scrutiny over the last
> year."

Though not Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia are still very dirty:

http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2004/11/9/154444/325/22?mode=alone
http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0404/S00024.htm
http://memes.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=3667&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_U.S._Election_controversies_and_irregularities
http://www.serendipity.li/jsmill/whomakes.htm

Anyway, none of the voting machine software has been made public nor undergone a thorough security audit. They could have easily been hacked. And they don't have paper trails. What a nightmare!

Posted by: aaa | Nov 24, 2004 2:22:32 AM

FWIW: Here's why I do not trust the e-Voting systems and the exit poll vs. vote tabulations in several states, most noteably Florida and Ohio.

Lawsuit filed in Volusia County, Florida.
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/

Please note the below item:

"16. According to a statement by the Supervisor of Elections on November 17, 2004, the GEMS computer is not networked, and is "stand alone." The furnished computer logs show evidence of at least two attempts to remotely access the GEMS central tabulator, which is claimed to be secure. A computer screen shot printout on November 17, 2004 (found in the trash) shows that the GEMS computer at that time had two networked hard drives."

...IMO, this issue a serious Red Flag for those who know what this looks like. Indeed, someone is lying, very badly I might add.

Posted by: Observer2 | Nov 24, 2004 10:47:46 AM

I've taken Dr. Freeman's CNN data published 11/22 and run a Z-test on the 11 battlegrounds. HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT VARIANCE for 9 of 11 battleground. Dr. Freeman only tested 3 states (FLA, PENN, OH)

See my posts on these issues, including comments from Richard Morin of the Washington Post and comments on my analysis by Dr. Parker of San Diego State University. I also contacted and spoke with Liz Doyle of Edison Media Research, which aided my analysis.

Exit Polling 2004: Significantly Variant from Election Result?
http://stones-cry-out.blogspot.com/2004/11/exit-polling-2004-significantly.html

What Went Wrong with the Exit Polling?
http://stones-cry-out.blogspot.com/2004/11/what-went-wrong-with-exit-polling.html

Posted by: Rick Brady | Nov 24, 2004 10:56:37 AM

Attempting to explain why vote tabulations gave Bush several
percentage points more than exit polls in almost all the swing states
the 2004 presidential election, resulting in a decision for Bush instead
of Kerry, Mark Blumenthal [1] cites exit-poll architect Warren Mitofsky's
hypothesis that Republicans responded to exit pollsters at lower rates
than Democrats as an effect that biased exit polls in Kerry's favor,
claiming that it has been known for a dozen years. He quotes Mitofsky
citing statistics to support his hypothesis in a two-year-old article [2].

But if such an effect, supported by statistics from three federal elections,
was indeed known when Mitofsky was constructing his model,
why didn't he use these same statistics to correct for it?

One may guess the answer from Mitofsky's own admission [3] that he
cannot prove that this putative effect accounted for the discrepancy
between exit polls and election results. In the context of an Ohio
election supervised by the Republican state campaign chair in gross
conflict of interest; a context wherein the Board of Elections in
Ohio's populous Franklin County is known [4] to have systematically
starved Democratic precincts of voting machines, a clear abuse of
power causing Kerry voters to wait in line several hours longer tthan
Bush voters; in the context of a recount frustrated by the Ohio Boards
of Elections systematically cherry-picking the recount samples [5]
instead of choosing them at random as statistical and statutory law
both require; in the context of camouflaged "cheat sheets" [6]
designed to circumvent the recount; in the context of the exclusion of
appointed observers from both election [7,8] and recount [9]
contrasting with uncontrolled and illegal access to the ballots by a
Republican vote-tabulating firm [10,11] --and this is just one state,
there're plenty more [12]; in the context, in other words, of pervasive,
lawless contempt for the integrity of the vote on the part of the
Republican party and ruthless manipulation of the process, how is
Mitofsky's unproven theory a more plausible explanation of the
discrepancy than ballot-tampering?

References:

1. The Freeman Paper; Mark Blumenthal; 17 Nov 04;
http://www.mysterypollster.com/main/2004/11/the_freeman_pap.html

2. Warren J. Mitofsky(2003), Public Opinion Quarterly, 67(1):p.51

3. "When asked if the full 1.9% deviation could be explained by non-
response bias (Kerry voters being more likely to complete the exit
poll than Bush voters), he said, 'It's my opinion, but I can't prove it.'"

Warren Mitofsky Uncut; 17 Nov 04; Mayflower Hill;
http://mayflowerhill.blogspot.com/2004/11/mayflower-hill-exclusive-warren.html

4. Mark Niquette reported in the Columbus Dispatch that 22 Franklin County
voting machines stayed in a warehouse while 17 were delivered to
Democratic precincts after the polls had closed. Moreover, these
precincts actually were given 17 fewer machines in 2004 than they'd
had in 2000, despite a countywide increase of 102,000 registered voters.
Meanwhile, Republican suburbs were given an additional 8 machines.

GOP Strongholds Saw Increase in Voting Machines;
Mark Niquette; 12 Dec 04; Columbus Dispatch
http://www.dispatch.com/news-story.php?story=dispatch/2004/12/12/20041212-A1-03.html&rfr=nwsl

5. "Under Ohio law, each county must randomly choose a precinct to recount
by hand and by machine. If the two counts do not match, officials must
conduct a countywide recount by hand. Most county Boards of Elections,
however, chose to preselect the sample precinct, a violation of the law.
Some counties refused to proceed with a full hand recount when
the hand and machine tallies failed to match."

We may Never Know what Happened in the Ohio Vote;
Mark Halvorson & Kirk Lund; 29 Dec 04; Opinion; [Mpls] Star Tribune;
http://www.startribune.com/stories/1519/5158534.html

6. "...attempting to ascertain the precinct to be recounted in advance, and
then informing the election officials of the number of votes they need
to count by hand to make sure it matches the machine count is an
invitation to completely ignore the purpose of the recount law."

Letter from Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee
to Brett Rapp & Michael Barbian, Jr., Triad GSI, 22 Dec 04;
http://www.house.gov/judiciary_democrats/triadltr122204.pdf

7. "After some conversation Garman hung up the phone and informed us that
Secretary of State Blackwell had ruled that all voter records were 'locked
down' and that they now were 'not considered public records'. I asked
what legal authority Blackwell had given for 'locking down' those public
records. Garman responded that it was Blackwell's decision she was
following. I then asked Garman if we could have the requested copies
if we paid for them but she refused. Quinn then handed Garman copies
of the following Ohio Elections Code which required her to comply with our
request for inspection and copying of public election records...

At approximately 4:00 p.m. Quinn and I returned to the employee break
room and Quinn placed a cell phone call while I continued to copy down
names from the precinct books. Garman then entered the room and
physically removed the books from my hands, gathered up the remaining
precinct books and departed the room to go back to her office."

Roberson / Quinn Declarations and Evidence in Support; 13 Dec 04;
Judiciary Democratic 2004 Voting Forum; Columbus, OH;
http://www.house.gov/judiciary_democrats/robersonquinnvoteinfo121304.pdf

Note that the declarations above include documentation that County officials
failed to secure vital election records, exposing them to possible tampering.

8. "On election night, Warren County locked down its administration
building and barred reporters from observing the counting. When
that decision was questioned, County officials claimed they were
responding to a terrorist thread that ranked a "10" on a scale of
1 to 10, and that this information was received from an FBI agent.
Despite repeated requests, county officials have declined to name
that agent, however, and the FBI has stated that they had no
information about a terror threat in Warren County."

Letter from Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee
to Ohio S.o.S. Kenneth Blackwell; 2 Dec 04;
http://www.house.gov/judiciary_democrats/ohblackwellltr12204.pdf

9. "Summit County: Recount witnesses were threatened with expulsion
if they spoke to counting teams. In some instances, they were expected
to "observe" from up to 20 feet away, despite Ohio Election Law
allowing observers to be close enough to actually observe."

The 2004 Recount in Ohio: County Reports; Cobb - LaMarche 2004;
http://www.votecobb.org/recount/ohio_reports/

10."Triad employees possibly accessed computers and tabulating
machines before the recount and out of the presence of board members
and witnesses in 41 counties."

Letter rom Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee
to 2004 Presidential Candidates; 21 Dec 04;
http://www.house.gov/judiciary_democrats/candidatesltr122104.pdf

11."It appears that officials in Fulton and Henry counties have confirmed
that Triad had remote access to tabulating computers controlled by
Boards of Elections."

Letter rom Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee
to Brett Rapp & Michael Barbian, Jr., Triad GSI; 23 Dec 04;
http://www.house.gov/judiciary_democrats/triadfollowupltr122304.pdf

12. A Sampling of Election 2004 News Reports; Voters Unite!
http://www.votersunite.org/takeaction/2004problemsampling.htm

Posted by: Ted Bagg | Jan 4, 2005 12:58:14 AM

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