Re: A generic best practice document for New Mexicolegislators

From: Kathy Dopp <kathy_at_directell_dot_com>
Date: Tue Dec 28 2004 - 13:38:34 CST

> At 12:41 AM 12/27/2004, you wrote:
>>3) Innocent anomalies will occur. Without open systems, errors, fraud,
>> and innocent anomalies can appear indistinguishable; for elections to
>> be trustable we have to be confident we can distinguish these.
>

I'm not sure who wrote this (and I may be taking it out of context):

First, voters probably don't care much whether errors in vote counts are
caused by innocent errors or deliberate fraud. The effect is the same -
votes aren't counted and voters are disenfranchised.

I'm not sure what you mean by "innocent anomalies".

If anomalies that are statistically significant are legitimately caused by
people who intentionally cast their votes in some pattern that is not
correlated with demographics, voting machine type, errors in vote counting
caused by human error or intent, then I would agree that they are
"innocent anomalies", although perhaps they can still be shown by surveys
or polls to correlated still with some particular issue and so are "not"
anomalous after all.

Anomalies that are highly correlated with machine type, like those in the
New Mexico data are correlated with pushbutton DREs, I personally would
"not" define as "innocent". Do you agree?

Any statistically significant anomalies should be "explainable" by some
decernible factor IMO and never assumed to be innocent.

i.e. I say "guilty until proven innocent" as far as the necessity of
investigating election pattern anomalies that are statistically
significant. :-) The "prosecution" of election pattern anomalies should
get a fair trial whenever the evidence appears.

Distinguishing what causes anomalous patterns may not always be possible
even with detailed investigations, but noticing them may be important and
cause good things to happen nonetheless.

Kathy

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Received on Fri Dec 31 23:17:20 2004

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