Friday, October 10, 2003

Weird Vote Fraud In California?

Mark Crispin Miller, a once-intelligent media critic gone bonkers after Bush's win in 2000, has a really startling post about a statistical study done on the voting patterns in the just-completed California recall election. The results are a real pause.
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....

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 counties.
The answer is a disturbing yes.

Diebold machines are completely computerised. There is no paper audit trail. And, worse, the software used in the machines is proprietary, meaning that State election officers aren't allowed to see it, much less test it for honesty and integrity. The potential for abuse and fraud is unknowable because the Diebold people won't let you find out.

This subject has also received a whole lot of attention on the computer tech site, Slashdot. Try here, here, here and here. This is not "conspiracy" paranoia, but well-grounded worries about the electoral system. Ballot-tampering has long been a problem in this country from its earliest days, and continues today. Just ask any Democrat.

Or ask Pat Buchanan. It's been alleged, and those allegations have considerable evidence to support them, that he was robbed of votes in the 1996 Presidential elections. Read up here and here. By the way, is a good source on this controversy.

You can also learn more at BlackBoxVoting. Tennessee doesn't have this problem yet, but it is coming. Now's the time to get informed.

Even if you think this is hooey, at least read the Mark Crispin Miller post and think about it.

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