Re: Another Diebold impossibility in CA

From: Dennis Paull <dpaull_at_svpal_dot_org>
Date: Tue Oct 21 2003 - 12:37:50 CDT

Hi all,

The election results described in this article can be explained in part
by the ballot layout. The anomalous results can be interpreted as a vote
for the name to the right of a major candidate. The 'bubbles' for the
candidates were to the left of the candidate names so some small number
of voters filled in the bubble to the right of the candidate they
intended to vote for.

This is similar to the problems of the butterfly ballots in FL. It means
that it is VERY IMPORTANT to distinguish between names that are in parallel
columns on a single display. It is why I prefer to have a single column of
names EVEN THOUGH that may require paging up and down a list.

But even if you do have multiple columns, you can use colors and/or
heavy lines AND SPECIFIC WARNINGS to encourage voters to select their
candidates carefully. Some will make mistakes anyway and will fail to
verify their paper ballot. We just can't help that.

Do a little more than required to help folks get it right and then go
on to other important matters.


At 10:16 PM 10/20/2003 Monday , David wrote:
>Wednesday, October 08, 2003
>Long-shot candidates do startlingly well in Tulare County
>My friend in South Carolina writes:
>I ran a number crunch of CA counties that use Diebold machines to
>cast/count votes and found some weird figures that show a skim of votes
>from top candidates to people who were unlikely to affect the outcome.
>I did my hand calculator work on the California election results (from
>the secretary of state's site) when 96% of precincts had reported. The
>website showed:
>Counties using Diebold Touchscreens: Alemeda, Plumas
>Counties using Diebold Optiscan: Fresno, Humboldt, Kern, Lassen, Marin,
>Placer, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Trinity, Tulare.
>There were a total of 1,403,375 votes cast in these counties combined.
>The CA total was 7,842,630 at this stage of the count. Thus 17.89% of
>all the state votes were cast/counted on Diebold equipment.
>I had earlier noticed some lower order candidates (ones who couldn't
>affect the result) were getting unusually large numbers of votes in
>Tulare county. I decided to test to see if the these and other 'fringe'
>candidates might be used to receive skimmed votes in other Diebold
>Method: I added all the votes cast/counted on Diebold equipment for
>each candidate and expressed it as a percentage of their total votes
>cast state wide. The following table lists: Candidate name, votes
>counted for them in Diebold counties, CA state total votes counted for
>that candidate and what percentage of that candidate's total votes were
>counted in Diebold counties.
>It looks like, as one might expect, at the top of the list as if there
>is a slight variance from an even state wide distribution. However many
>'lower ticket' candidates have vote totals that ONLY correlate with the
>use of Diebold equipment! I have included some names chosen at random
>from the result list that show that not all lower order candidates were
>used to receive skimmed votes. Note that Diebold's counties are spread
>geographically over the whole of California.
>I have checked background on the skewed result candidates and they are
>not residents of the counties where they got very high percentage
>results. In one case, Palmieri, the candidate was surprised to hear
>about Tulare county (I emailed him) and had not been there nor had
>family or friends there. In fact, his platform was "Don't vote for me."
>He described this vote pattern as "strange."
>State total 7,842,630. Cast in Diebold counties 1,403,375 17.89% of the
>total votes cast.
>Schwarzenegger 581,145 3,552,787 16.36%
>Bustamante 447,008 2,379,740 18.78%
>McLintock 186,923 979,234 19.08%
>Camejo 39,199 207,270 18.9%
>Huffington 7,498 42,131 17.79%
>Ueberoth 3365 21378 15.74%
>Flynt 2384 15010 15.88%
>Coleman 1869 12443 15.02%
>Simon 1351 7648 17.66%
>Palmieri 2542 3717 68.3%
>Louie 598 3198 18.7%
>Kunzman 1957 2133 91.75%
>Roscoe 325 1941 16.7%
>Sprague 1026 1576 65.10%
>Macaluso 592 1504 39.36%
>Price 477 1011 47.18%
>Quinn 220 433 50.8%
>Martorana 165 420 39.28%
>Gosse 60 419 14.3%
>Based on the very unlikely distribution of votes for some candidates (a
>meteor hit my car twice this week sort of odds) a hand count of the
>affected counties to compare with the machine reported count should be
>done. This would show that the machines had been tampered with to alter
>the results. As we already know, it is not possible to audit
>touchscreen machines because Diebold refuse to allow printing of a
>ballot to be placed in a box as a back up for use in just such an
>apparent tampering with votes.
>For those who are unsure of figures:
>California is huge and has a population similar to many European
>nations. Lower order candidates had little or no ability to spread any
>sort of message to parts of the state beyond their own home and/or where
>they have previously lived. One would expect some of the 'fringe'
>candidates to do well in their home county and then to have a very even
>distribution across the rest of the state. That is not the case. In
>Diebold counties (those who use machines made by Diebold, a corporation
>that supports George Bush) the results are skewed towards low scoring
>candidates by unbelievably large amounts.
>The probability of scoring twice the expected average county % could
>charitably be construed as the upper limit of the possible. Some
>candidates exceed that figure in Diebold counties by a four or five fold
>margin. If you have done statistics, you know that is so far beyond
>what might be expected that you would reject it as defective data. If
>it happened to one candidate in this election, I would be surprised but
>might accept it. There are a large number of candidates who have this
>same systematic pattern of receiving skimmed votes.
>The California recall shows Diebold trying to affect the election
>outcome by moving votes from high ranked candidates to low ranked
>By doing this, Diebold keep the total number of votes cast constant but
>rob some candidate of their votes. Before anyone makes this a partisan
>issue - it could be a Republican victim next time.
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Received on Fri Oct 31 23:17:03 2003

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