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November 23, 2005

Pre-Thanksgiving Odds & Ends

Just enough time today to pass on a few odds and ends before taking a few days off for the holiday:   

A New Poll - We have another national public to watch.   It is a partnership of The Cook Political Report and a new a new "bi-partisan" polling and strategic consulting firm called RT Strategies.   The first poll takes a closer look at perceptions of the two "presumptive frontrunners" for each party's presidential nomination:  Hillary Clinton and John McCain.   Charlie Cook reviews the results in his weekly column and the full results are available at the Political Report website.

A New Take on Fraud in Ohio - Hamilton College Political Science Professor Phillip Klinker has posted a "quick and dirty" regression analysis of the Ohio's county level vote on the blog "PolySigh."  Once Klinker controlled for county level variables like race, Kerry's 2004 vote and 2005 turnout, the statistical impact of different types of voting equipment on the level of support for Ohio Issues 2 through 5 was tiny.   If anything, the electronic counting equipment that the fraud theorists argue was used to rig the outcome correlated with higher vote for Issues 3, 4 and 5.   These results imply that if "fraud" occurred anywhere in Ohio, it occurred everywhere, including ballots cast on punch cards or optically scanned paper ballots.  See my last post for why that's important.

[Clarification - I'll agree with commenter Nash on one thing.  My second to last sentence above was poorly written.  Here's a second try:  The results of the regression imply that if a fraud explains the discrepancy between the Dispatch poll and the results, it occurred everywhere at roughly the same level.   That would include counties that used punch cards or paper ballots].

A Thanksgiving break - I'm taking a few days off to rest up and enjoy the holiday with my family.  Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and see you next week!

Related Entries - Initiative and Referenda, Polls in the News, The 2005 Race

Posted by Mark Blumenthal on November 23, 2005 at 02:48 PM in Initiative and Referenda, Polls in the News, The 2005 Race | Permalink


Pre-Thanksgiving Odds that Scare-quoting the word "fraud" when used in the subjunctive case is something akin to a double negative.

"These results imply that if "fraud" occurred anywhere in Ohio, it occurred everywhere,..."

if "fraud" Mark? I think those scare-quotes do not mean what you think they mean.

Okay, Mark, we've "got" your editorial "position" on this. It's "time" to "drop" scare-quote "usage" back to "meaningful" levels.

Posted by: Nash | Nov 23, 2005 7:22:06 PM

Thanks, Mark, for giving it another look.

Posted by: Nash | Nov 26, 2005 1:00:05 AM

Hey Mark, (sorry for the long post)
To truly analyze this, ideally there would be within precinct comparisons possible to study any differences between two voting types, problem is you would still have self-selection issues such as older people being less inclined to use electronic votes if they were more familiar with punch cards, etc.
I truly don't know how this idea of election fraud of 2004 could be proven or disproven once and for all to satisfy everyone, it probably cant. For a while I was fully convinced there was fraud...so much so I set up my own attempt at a website. Fast forward to a year later and now i think fraud is either being pulled off in a smarter more synchronized way, or it was a case of bitter grapes/whatever Gore was accused of, and there was no widescale fraud after all.

I will still believe that the election had monumental problems that disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of people, and either way I still think that if even 1/2 of a percent of votes nationwide aren't counted it is an affront to a true democracy...
But being an unrealistically idealistic college student my voice doesn't matter, especially in an age where most of my peers are too distracted by shiny ipods to pay attention to the world.

Going back to 2005 though, if the tallies were to match, I would hopefully accept them a lot more willingly because "theoretically" (" " are just for good measure) paper trails can't lie, only the tabulations of such trails somewhere later in the system.

Dunno if this gets to you, but I've enjoyed your work on this blog, and you've kept me more skeptical than I otherwise would have been. Happy belated Thanksgiving
Thanks for your work

ps. i'm sure you've seen this, but if you haven't, this pdf: http://democracyreborn.com/downloads/pdfs/snohomish.pdf talks about Snohomish County, WA, particularly the graphs on page 14 were striking to me given sample sizes and yet the shift that shows up, but again I don't know about how academically rigorous this is...thats where more educated people like yourself take the lead.

Posted by: Chris | Nov 27, 2005 3:46:44 AM

I don't know anyone who expected anything else.

The problem isn't the machine- except for the fact that there is no paper permanent record on the new ones.

All of the easy vote fraud and trap doors that a monkey can exploit as shown on video are in the county tabulators - not the actual poll machines.

Posted by: Easter Lemming Liberal News | Nov 30, 2005 1:28:58 AM

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