Re: question about hand-held statistical devices in the field

From: Bev Harris <bev_at_blackboxvoting_dot_org>
Date: Fri Dec 21 2007 - 08:58:19 CST

> Does it replace the old system or is it to be used in addition
> to it? How immediate are the results (e.g. seconds after the vote)? Who
> controls the endpoint devices and the central device?

Actually, the Iowa caucus procedures have pretty much been off our radar. They
are not run by the government and are, essentially, a privatized candidate
selection process -- actually, the caucuses are two sets of selections, the Dem
Party "owns" theirs and the Republican Party "owns" theirs. There are no public
records requirements, even though they do use some public facilities, like
schools.

In the past, they've been almost entirely opaque, with central tabulation
happening basically in a smoke filled room behind closed doors at party HQ, and
-- voila! -- an announcement by those party guys to the media as to who won,
without release of the precinct results.

Black Box Voting started examining these procedures and has been working with
citizens in Iowa since October, quietly, behind the scenes, to apply pressure
to open up those precinct results.

Apparently the hand-held devices or cell phone-initiated tabulations have been
in place at least as far back as 1996. There is a report of the Buchanan
results in Dubuque County in 1996 not matching the announced results.

> I assumed the answers to these questions were sane, apparently not. If they
> are using it as a replacement and not posting precinct results that central
> tabulator likely has pretty good control of the results.

Yup.

Bev Harris
Founder - Black Box Voting
http://www.blackboxvoting.org

* * * * *

Government is the servant of the people, and not the master of them. The
people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right
to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to
know. We insist on remaining informed so that we may retain control over the
instruments of government we have created.

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Received on Mon Dec 31 23:17:08 2007

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