Re: Vote recount begins in Mexico

From: Ed Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Thu Aug 10 2006 - 16:08:29 CDT



            This really has more to do with the naiveté of Obrador and his
supporters than anything else. Someone here in San Diego County is trying
to get all the ballots for the 50th congressional district (Busby vs.
Bilbray) recounted basically based on a ‘retail’ fraud concept. I’ve tried
to convince him that this is rather unlikely given the difficult that would
be involved in retail fraud and have tried to get him interested in
‘wholesale’ fraud like at the GEMS tabulator. When people first come to the
issue of election reform, they came in with a perceptual framework of retail
fraud and it takes a while to convince folks of the unreasonableness of
this. I’m not sure I’ve succeeded as he swears that he specially marked his
ballot and this will somehow show fraud if he can find it. Of course there
are other issues such as machine certification, but this man seems to be
willing to spend in the low 6 figures to prove retail fraud.


Similarly, Obrador and his supporters seem to also be hung up on the retail
fraud concept. Insisting that only recounting all the votes is a pretty
clear indication of this magical thinking. Yes, Mexico has a long and
glorious history of fraudulent elections but lately they have been making
great strides and now should be looked to as an example of how to properly
administer an election.


Thanks, Ed Kennedy



Edmund R. Kennedy, PE

10777 Bendigo Cove

San Diego, CA 92126



-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf
Of Jerry Lobdill
Sent: Thursday, August 10, 2006 12:50 PM
To: Open Voting Consortium List
Subject: [OVC-discuss] Vote recount begins in Mexico


The real questions are:

1. If the 11839 polling booths are really selected at random, and if there
is no actual correlation between fraudulent polling place vote count and
number of votes cast at the polling place, what is the probability that a
recount of these polling places will uncover at least one instance of fraud?

2. What is the actual probability that the likelihood of tampering doesn't
depend on the size of the vote count at a polling place?

3. How were the 11839 polling places undergoing recount selected?

 <> []
[]Posted on Thu, Aug. 10, 2006[]

Vote recount begins in Mexico

The Associated Press

MEXICO CITY - Electoral officials fanned out across the country Wednesday to
begin a partial recount in Mexico's tight presidential election, while
leftists alleging vote fraud blocked bank headquarters in the capital and
vowed to take their disruptive protests nationwide.

Guarded by soldiers and monitored by electoral judges and representatives of
all five of Mexico's political parties, authorities started sifting through
ballots cast at 11,839 polling booths, about 9 percent of the 130,000 booths
used during the July 2 election.

The count must finish by Sunday. The Federal Electoral Tribunal will review
the results and can then declare a president-elect by Sept. 6, annul the
election or order a wider recount.

The initial results gave Felipe Calderon, the pro-business candidate of
conservative President Vicente Fox's National Action Party, a lead of
240,000 votes, or less than 1 percentage point, over leftist candidate
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, former mayor of Mexico City.

The partial count could change those results, but it was considered unlikely
to tip the balance in favor of Lopez Obrador, whose supporters have been
disrupting life in the capital for more than a week to press their
allegation that he was robbed of an election victory by fraud.

Calderon welcomed the partial recount, saying it would cement his advantage.

But Lopez Obrador dismissed the action as a farce and said his loyalists
will continue their demonstrations unless authorities order a vote-by-vote
recount of all 41 million ballots.

Across Mexico, electoral officials sliced open seals placed over doorways
and pulled tape off doorknobs to reopen storage rooms holding the paper
ballots cast July 2.

Officials then began opening sealed polling packages to sift through ballots
and read the tallies from polling stations.

They were looking for mathematical errors, evidence of fraud, ballots that
should have been thrown out or ballots that were mistakenly annulled.

The seven judges of the Federal Electoral Tribunal voted unanimously
Saturday to deny a full review, saying it would violate election laws that
allow recounts only when there is evidence of irregularities or fraud.

They instead ordered the partial recount at polling places where they deemed
that problems were evident.

The decision led Lopez Obrador to call on his supporters to escalate
protests from the tent camps they set up along Mexico City's main Reforma
Avenue and at the central Zocalo plaza July 30, snarling traffic and
commerce and trying the patience of many of the capital area's 23 million

On Wednesday, dozens of Lopez Obrador's supporters blocked the entrance to
the main offices of three foreign-owned banks in Mexico City, where they
chanted, "Vote by Vote!" and "Long live democracy!"

© 2006 Star-Telegram and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

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