Re: Fwd: ACM TechNews Alert for Monday, August 23, 2004

From: charlie strauss <cems_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Tue Aug 24 2004 - 15:21:24 CDT

some interesting attributes of this error:

1) in one District 200+ people early voted but ZERO votes were recorded for major races (president, senate), with some votes for minor races.

2) Another District had 589 people early vote with no more than 190 votes recorded in any major race.

3) very oddly, not only were minor races were voted in much larger percentages, one uncontested race received exactly 589 votes. Since uncontested races virtually never get a 100% yes response, this is extremely fishy.

3) the county is massively democrat (80-90% by voter registration, slightly less by actual turnout) and in virtually every precinct in the above two districts in races recording more than a trivial number of votes, gore out polled bush between 2:1 and 5:1. With one glaring exception. In the above precint where there were 380+ missing votes, of the 188 remaining voted found bush out polled gore by 10%.

You can interpet that last paragaph either way you choose. If you beleive that some weird demographic voodoo caused bush supporters to be heavy early voters then you can then believe that bush lost some 420 or so votes in rio arriba (for comparison note bush lost new mexico's state wide vote by a margin of just 350 votes). this would not have changed the outocme since gore would have also lost 380 or so votes in that voodoo scenario. On the other hand you can adopt the more plausible scenario that the Early voters would have voted in the same proportions as the absentee and regular precinct voters. In that scenario gore would have gotten much more than 2/3 of some 800 missing votes and doubled his over all new mexico lead with bush.

So you can now see this error was a hugely consequential error, because that original photo finish 350 vote final diffenence caused a lot of arguments.

I called the clerk this morning to ask about it. He had not seen the story and did not recall any of this ever happening and is not sure where the washington post got the story. Election director Denise Lamb also contradictorally said both that she had no recollection of any significant programming errors in new mexcio (ever in the last 20 years), and that in this case she assumed the votes were all counted but simply misattributed to the wrong machines. This last statment is mind boggling because in New mexico unlike other states their is a three satge audit in which different pairs of eyes compare the paper tapes from the poling machines with the rcorded votes. Thus there is no way for what she claims to happen to have happened. Moreover the fact that minor races did poll near 100% indicates the ballots could not have been mis atributed as a whole.

Are really beauty text-book case of an error. The only shadow at the moment is why the clerk has no recollection of an error. Could it be that the historical record of the vote was somehow incorrectly stored and there was infact no election day error? If I find out I'll let you know
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Received on Tue Aug 31 23:17:18 2004

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