Sunday, November 07, 2004

Election Fraud for Fun & Profit

While the Bushies prance, preen, and put together dossiers of their opponents ("Congratulations, you've just won an all-expenses paid trip to Guantanamo Bay!"), a handful of statistics geeks are pouring over the numbers in Florida. And things in the Sunshine State are starting to stink like overripe mangoes.

First, take a look at the charts put together by titled "Surprising Florida Presidential Election Results." (Thanks to Phil H. for this tip.)

Yes, looking at the numbers for more than two minutes will give you a migraine, let alone trying to decipher all those scatter plots, but the skinny is this: In counties where optical scan voting equipment was used, Republicans got a huge spike in the number of votes cast--well beyond the numbers of people in those counties actually registered as Republicans. The Demos either lost votes or broke even in those counties. Overall, the GOP got 600,000 more votes than expected, based on party registration numbers -- nearly twice their margin of "victory" in that state. For this to be true, an enormous number of Democrats had to abandon their party and vote Republican. Nationally, around 90 percent of registered Democrats voted for Kerry, according to exit polls (the same held true for the GOP).

To take one example: In Calhoun County there are 993 registered Republicans. Bush got 3780 votes. There are 6879 registered Demos. Kerry got 2116 votes.

There are only three possible conclusions:

1) John Kerry really did something to piss off Florida Democrats (maybe when he started speaking French from the podium);

2) The Republicans fucked us again, but good; or

3) Voodoo.

Oh yeah, possible reason number four: This is all just another conspiracy theory cooked up by the Liberal Media, and please, pay no attention to those election officials behind the curtain.

Interestingly, the stat wonks at ustogether did not find any significant differences in the more notorious e-voting touchscreens. And the smaller the county where optical scanners were used, the bigger the gains made by Repubs (of course, statistical differences always get magnified when you're dealing with smaller numbers of people).

Wait, it gets better. The folks at IdeaMouth looked at the total votes cast for president versus the total turnout reported for each precinct, and discovered through the magic of mathematics that the number of voters and number of votes cast in 13 Florida counties do not match up. For example, Florida election board records show that 452,000 voters showed up to the polls in Palm Beach (a Demo stronghold) but they managed to cast 542,000 votes for president. Miami-Dade had around 52,000 "extra" votes. Volusia County had about 19,000 phantom voters, as did Osceola; a few more had around 8,000, and the rest of the discrepancies were in the hundreds. (All of these numbers can be found Florida's state-run Web sites.)

So let's recap: We have optical scan results that show a heavy Republican bias defying both logic and statistical probability, something in the neighborhood of 200,000 nonexistent voters, and headlines that say "electronic voting goes smoothly." Smells like Florida 2000 all over again.

But then again, I'm probably just one of those pinko conspiracy theorists.


Blogger Zelph said...

More pinko conspiracy theorists here:

9:38 PM  

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