Re: The 11 days of Florida

From: Kathy Dopp <kathy_at_directell_dot_com>
Date: Wed Dec 01 2004 - 20:56:50 CST

Keith Copenhagen said:
> Florida's election supervisors, impressed by the success of early
> voting, proposed dramatic reforms Tuesday that would eliminate Election
> Day, replace it with an 11-day election season and do away with
> precincts.


Interesing Keith,

FYI, A few of USCountVotes statisticians (off list but cc'ing me) have
been discussing the Miami Herald "recount" of 3 opscan FL counties and
have noted several things:

1. The Miami Herald did not report the method they used to recount the
ballots (did they only examine over-voted ballots by hand & use machines
to recount the rest or count them all by hand?)

2. The Miami Herald did not report which of the precincts they recounted
of the 60% precincts in Suwanee County, and that there isn't a set of
precincts in Suwanee whose votes add up to that reported by the Miami
Herald as the official vote total in Suwanee. It would be easy to slant
the count by selecting the wrong precincts, so the Suwanee county recount
is meaningless.

3. The Miami Herald chose op-scan counties to recount that would not
likely (according to what some of these statisticians thought) yield big
errors. (I myself would have selected Dixie county and a couple of others
instead of any of the 3 the Miami Herald selected.)

4. The Miami Herald reported that the results of its recount did not
indicate that the election results would be overturned, yet mathematical
extrapolation of the % change in votes that Kerry picked up in those 2
counties times the total number of votes cast for president in FL "Would
have changed the results of the FL election". Of course anyone realizes
that this gross calculation is not accurate or meaningful because you
can't extrapolate like that.

Another member of our group noted that the reported recount of New
Hampshire by the Boston newspaper also claimed that the NH recount didn't
show anything significant but failed to report any actual numbers at all
that would allow one to judge that analyses.

The full mathematical study at the precinct level, as soon as can get the systems in place to obtain all the election
results and recount data and normalize it into a database, will be very
interesting indeed.

The newspapers' recount reports are more enlightening for what they're
"not" reporting. It will take a project like to
truly shed light on this election.

I wonder how the early voting will affect the accuracy of future FL

Kathy Dopp
US Count Votes
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Received on Fri Dec 31 23:17:01 2004

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