Release: Prominent Statisticians Urge Investigation of U.S. Presidential Election Results

From: Kathy Dopp <kathy_at_uscountvotes_dot_org>
Date: Mon Jan 31 2005 - 10:22:05 CST

I hope this is considered "on-topic" for OVC, by shedding light on
today's flawed voting equipment.
Press Release:
Monday, January 31, 2005
http://uscountvotes.org/ucvAnalysis/US/USCountVotes_Re_Mitofsky-Edison.pdf

Headline: Prominent Statisticians Refute 'Explanation' of 2004 U.S. Exit
Poll Discrepancies in New Edison/Mitofsky Report and Urge Investigation
of U.S. Presidential Election Results.

President Bush won November's election by 2.5% yet exit polls showed
Kerry leading by 3%. Which was correct?

"There are statistical indications that a systematic, nationwide shift
of 5.5% of the vote may have occurred, and that we'll never get to the
bottom of this, unless we gather the data we need for mathematical
analysis and open, robust scientific debate.", says Bruce O'Dell,
USCountVotes' Vice President.

The study, “Response to Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004 Report”,
was co-authored by a diverse group of professors and academicians
specializing in statistics and mathematics. The USCountVotes team
included Josh Mitteldorf, Ph.D., Temple University Statistics
Department; Kathy Dopp, M.S. in mathematics, USCountVotes President;
Steven F. Freeman, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar & Affiliated Faculty, Center
for Organizational Dynamics, University of Pennsylvania; Brian Joiner,
Ph.D., Professor of Statistics and Director of Statistical Consulting
(ret), University of Wisconsin; Frank Stenger, Ph.D. Professor of
Numerical Analysis, School of Computing, University of Utah; Richard G.
Sheehan, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Finance, University of Notre
Dame, Elizabeth Liddle, M.A. (UK) Ph.D. candidate at the University of
Nottingham, Paul F. Velleman, Assoc. Professor, Ph.D., Department of
Statistical Sciences, Cornell University; Victoria Lovegren, Ph.D.,
Lecturer, Department of Mathematics, Case Western Reserve University;
Campbell B. Read, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, Department of Statistical
Science, Southern Methodist University. Their study does not support
claims made by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International that
exit poll errors were to blame for the unprecedented 5.5% discrepancy
between exit polls and official 2004 election results.

According to this analysis by a group of senior statisticians, the new
data just released by the exit-pollsters shows that the possibility that
the overall vote count was substantially corrupted must be taken
seriously. “Now we have statistical evidence that these reports were the
tip of a national iceberg. The hypothesis that the discrepancy between
the exit polls and election results is due to errors in the official
election tally is a coherent theory that must be explored,” said
statistician Josh Mitteldorf.

Their paper titled "Response to Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004
Report" notes that the Edison/Mitofsky report offers no evidence to
support their conclusion that Kerry voters “participated in the exit
polls at a higher rate than Bush voters”. In fact, the data provided in
the Edison/Mitofsky report suggests that the opposite may have been
true: Bush strongholds had slightly higher response rates than Kerry
strongholds.

The statisticians go on to note that precincts with hand-counted paper
ballots showed no statistical discrepancy between the exit polls and the
official results, but for other voting technologies, the overall
discrepancy was far larger than the polls’ margin of error. The
pollsters at Edison/Mitofsky agreed that their 2004 exit polls, for
whatever reason, had the poorest accuracy in at least twenty years.

USCountVotes, a nonprofit, non-partisan Utah corporation was founded in
December 2004. Its mission is to create and analyze a database
containing precinct-level election results for the entire United States;
to do a thorough mathematical analysis of the 2004 election results; and
to fully investigate the 2004 Presidential election results.
USCountVotes actively seeks volunteers and accepts donations to help
make this unprecedented civic project a reality – visit
www.uscountvotes.org for further information.

For more information, contact Bruce O'Dell, Vice President of US Count
Votes, in Minneapolis, MN: bruce@uscountvotes.org 612-309-1330

The statisticians' study is available online at
http://uscountvotes.org/ucvAnalysis/US/USCountVotes_Re_Mitofsky-Edison.pdf

The full text of the Edison/Mitofsky report is available at
http://www.exit-poll.net/election-night/EvaluationJan192005.pdf

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Received on Sat Jan 7 22:28:59 2006

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