ARCHIVES
CATEGORIES
Look Who's Linking to PoliBlog:
3cx.org
Absinthe and Cookies
Accidental Verbosity
Admiral Quixote's Roundtable
All Day Permanent Red
All Things Jennifer
Ann Althouse
The American Mind
Arguing with signposts
The Astute Blogger
Asymmeterical Information
Attaboy
augustus
B-Town Blog Boys
BabyTrollBlog
Backcountry Conservative
Balloon Juice
Bananas and Such Begging to Differ
The Bemusement Park
Bewtween the Coasts
Betsy's Page
The Big Picture
BipolarBBSBlog
bLogicus
Blogs for Bush
BoiFromTroy
Boots and Sabers
brykMantra
BushBlog
The Bully Pulpit
Caffeinated Musing
California Yankee
Captain's Quarters
Chicago Report
Chicagoland of Confusion
Citizen Smash
Coldheartedtruth
Collected Thoughts
The Command Post
Common Sense and Wonder
Confessions Of A Political Junkie
Conservative and Right
Cranial Cavity
The Daily Lemon
Daly Thoughts
DANEgerus Weblog
Dart Frog on a Cactus
Dean's World Dear Free World
Brad DeLong
Democracy Project
DiVERSiONZ
The Disagreeable Conservative Curmudgeon
Down to the Piraeus
Drink this...
Earthly Passions
The Education Wonks
the evangelical outpost
exvigilare
Eye of the Storm
Feste
Filtrat
The Flying Space Monkey Chronicles
The Friendly Ghost
FringeBlog
Functional, if not decorative
G-Blog.net
The Galvin Opinion
The Glittering Eye
Haight Speech
Half-Bakered
The Hedgehog Report
Heh. Indeed.
Hellblazer
Hennessy's View
High Desert Skeptic
Robert Holcomb
I love Jet Noise
Idlewild South
Incommunicado
Independent Thinker
Insults Unpunished
Interested-Participant
Internet Ronin
Ipse Dixit
It Can't Rain All The Time...
The Jay Blog
Jen Speaks
Joefish's Freshwater Blog
John Lemon
johnrpierce.info blog
Judicious Asininity
Just On The Other Side
The Kudzu Files
LeatherPenguin
Let's Try Freedom
LibertarianJackass.com
Liberty Father
Life and Law
LittleBugler
Locke, or Demosthenes?
LostINto
Gary Manca
Mark the Pundit
Mediocre but Unexciting
memeorandum
Mental Hiccups
Miller's Time
Mind of Mog
Minorities For Bush
Mr. Hawaii
The Moderate Voice
The Modulator
Much Ado
Mungowitz End
My opinion counts
my thoughts, without the penny charge
My Word
mypetjawa
Naw
Neophyte Pundit
New England Republican
NewsHawk Daily
neWs Round-Up
No Pundit Intended
Nobody asked me, but...
Obsidian Wings
Occam's Toothbrush
On the Fritz
On the Third Hand
One Fine Jay
Out of Context
Outside the Beltway
Parablemania
Peaktalk
Peppermint Patty
Phlegma
John Pierce
PiratesCove
The Politicker
The Politburo Diktat
Political Annotation
Political Blog For The Politically Incorrect
Possumblog
Power Politics
Powerpundit.com
Practical Penumbra
Priorities & Frivolities ProfessorBainbridge.com
Prof. Blogger's Pontifications
PunditFilter
Pundit Heads
QandO
The Queen of All Evil
Quotes, Thoughts, and other Ramblings
Ramblings' Journal
Random Acts of Kindness
Random Nuclear Strikes
Ranting Rationalist
Read My Lips
Reagan Country
Jay Reding.com
A Republican's Blog
Resource.full
The Review
Right Side of the Rainbow
Right Wingin-It
Right Wing News
Right Voices
Rightward Reasonings
riting on the wall
robwestcott
Rooftop Report
The Sake of Argument
Scrappleface
Secular Sermons
Sha Ka Ree
Shaking Spears
She Who Will Be Obeyed!
The Skeptician
The Skewed
Slant/Point.
small dead animals
Sneakeasy's Joint
SoCal Law Blog
A Solo Dialogue
Solomonia
Some Great Reward
Southern Musings
Speed of Thought...
Spin Killer
Matthew J. Stinson
The Strange Political Road Trip of Jane Q. Public
Stuff about
SwimFinsSF
Target Centermass
Templar Pundit
The Temporal Globe
Tex the Pontificator
Texas Native
think about it...
Tiger
Tobacco Road Fogey
Tony Talks Tech
The Trimblog
Use The Forks!!
Varifrank
VodkaPundit
Wall of Sleep
Weapons of Mass Discussion
Who Knew?
The Window Manager
Winning Again!
WizBang!
WizBang Tech
The World Around You
The Yin Blog
You Big Mouth, You!
Zygote-Design
Non-Blogs Linking to PoliBlog:
al.com - Alabama Weblogs

AJC's 2004 Election Politics Sites and Blogs Campaign Finance
Welcome to newcounterculture.com World O' Blogs
Yahoo! Directory Political Weblogs
Young Elephant
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Further Clarification of the Vote Error Issue

By Steven Taylor @ 10:25 am

Comments to the post below on the Ninth Circuit ruling have noted some confusion as to my argument. The point is this: the 40,000 votes cited in the argument by the ACLU before the Ninth Circuit are hypothetical based on known error rates in the election process-and it makes it sound as if changing the tech will guarantee no errors. This is not the case.

My point is manifold:

  • First, there are errors in all elections using all types of technology. Indeed, some will argue that the same voters who are allegedly going to have trouble with the punch cards will have trouble with touch-screens because they aren’t used to computers. The problem here is the same as with the punch-cards, it largely (although not exclusively) is a voter-education issue.

  • Second, since we currently do not have, nor are we going to have, uniform voting equipment across all counties in all states across the US, then the Ninth Circuit’s decision, when driven to its logical conclusion, raises substantial questions about all voting across the country. Because if the issue is equal access to the same error rates, we have never had that and unless there is a multi-billion dollar expenditure to make it happen, we are never going to have it. Plus, it is unclear as to whether it would be constitutional to make all the state use the exact same equipment.
  • Third, even with the same equpment, not all voters are going to have the same probability of properly casting a vote. The illiterate voter is more likely to make a mistake than the literate one, the elderly voter with vision problems is going to have more trouble than the 24 year-old, the more educated voter will have a better time in general than the under-educated one, and so forth. It is, therefore, likely impossible to ever guarantee that every voter’s vote has the exact same chance of being counted.

    This is not a partisan argument-it is a fact that there is always error is every election. There are always votes that don’t get counted and it is impossible to prevent this fact, although it can be mitigated. The only reason we never talked about it much prior to 2000 is that it rarely made any difference in any election. Indeed, the Caltech-MIT voter project estimates that 6 million votes weren’t counted nationwide in 2000.

  • Fourth, the whole thing raises the mathematical question of how much error is too much, and therefore when should elections by stopped?
  • Fifth, there is no guarantee that the new machines won’t have substantial error problems next March-whether from human error by the voter, or by the operators because the tech will be brand new.
  • Sixth, the Bush v. Gore decision was a ruling on differing standards of counting the exact same kinds of ballots, not on differing methods of casting ballots.
  • Seventh, the punch-card system in question has been used for at least 25 years in CA (as I noted before, I have used it myself). It has worked well, and has clearly not created any controversies. The controversy was created in and by Florida-not by an incident in CA.
  • Eighth, from a politico-legal perspective it is noteworthy that none of the litigants who raised the case this go ’round objected to the system (in a legal sense) when it effectively re-elected Gray Davis in 2002.
  • Ninth: voter education is a legitimate issue. It is no doubt the case that with sufficient public education, and training of poll-workers, that the error rates associated with the punch-card system could be reduced. This is a legitimate avenue to pursue. And I say again: after Florida in 2000, it is highly likely that voters are far more aware of the pitfalls of the punch-card ballots and will therefore be more diligent in their punching.

  • Filed under: US Politics
    • OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY linked with ELECTIONS AND ERRORS

    Click here to go to the main page.

    11 Comments»

    1. Truly amazing. Each and every one of Steven’s points are demonstrably wrong.

      Point 1. Steven uses a false premise (“and it makes it sound as if changing the tech will guarantee no errors.”). The legal standard is not to assure there will be absolutely no errors. Instead, the legal standard used was the possibility a disproportionate number of voters in the state would be, in effect, disenfranchised as compared to other voters in the state.

      Point 2. Again, Steven, employs a false premise by noting voting mechanisms vary across counties and states. The legal standard is within one state. If CA were to use punch cards in all their counties, there’d have been no injunction.

      Point 3. A wholly unsupported contention. And one that isn’t germane to the legal standard. Voter error occurs regardless of the voting mechanism used.

      Point 4. A red herring by Steven built upon the house of cards he constructed with his previous points. Again, the issue isn’t that there will be some degree of error; it’s that some voters within a state will be subjected to a greater risk of disenfranchisement.

      Point 5. Steven is merely rephrasing erroneous statements made previously.

      Point 6.Patently and logically false. First, the method in which votes are cast often dictates how they are counted. Second, in FL, the FL SC (and 6 of 9 USSC justices agreed) had ruled that so long as a uniform standard was used to count a certain type of ballot-the method of counting didn’t matter. Bush v. Gore was not a ruling on counting methodology.

      Point 8. Steven uses the term ‘politico-legal’-which is synonymous with ‘making it up as I go along.’ The fact is the recall will involve many times fewer voters than the general election in 2002. Compounding this is the fact there aren’t going to 2-3 candidates but a recall question (yes or no) with a roster of 100 + candidates. As such, one can readily see any error rate factor (if not uniform) will be tremendously magnified.

      Point 9. More unsupported garbage from Steven.

      Comment by JadeGold — Tuesday, September 16, 2003 @ 11:17 am

    2. Gold:

      Do you always make up facts as you go along? There are security issues involved with touch-screen voting and one hijacking or corruption of a single computer could cause a disenfranchisement on a scale never before seen. The facts remain to be seen.

      Comment by d-rod — Tuesday, September 16, 2003 @ 11:34 am

    3. d-Rod, you must have accidently poked yourself in your eye with your bong. I never made any claims one way or another with respect to touch screen voting machines. In fact, I didn’t mention them at all.

      You (and Steven) really ought to do your homework before posting such utter nonsense. A fact you’ve both overlooked is the fact punch card voting machines have been decertified by the state of CA.

      Comment by JadeGold — Tuesday, September 16, 2003 @ 12:47 pm

    4. I haven’t overlooked that “fact” at all, Gold. I just believe the state’s constitution overrules a conveniently timed decertification by the liberal-controlled state. And if the machines are bad now, they were certainly disenfranchising voters when Davis was elected, as he says, “fair and square".

      Comment by d-rod — Tuesday, September 16, 2003 @ 1:29 pm

    5. Okay, Steven, admit it: You’re secretly posting idiotic crap calling yourself JadeGold to spice up the comments, right?

      Comment by James Joyner — Tuesday, September 16, 2003 @ 3:42 pm

    6. No JadeGole is really JohnC in disguise and it capable of posting mountains of idiotic crap by himself.

      Comment by Paul — Tuesday, September 16, 2003 @ 5:39 pm

    7. James-

      I have often wonder if the the whole JG thing is a put-on. However, I sadly can not claim credit for his comedic flair.

      Comment by Steven — Tuesday, September 16, 2003 @ 7:38 pm

    8. Paul,

      While it may be true that John often fails to see the obvious brilliance of my postings, trust me, he ain’t anywhere near JG’s “league”

      Comment by Steven — Tuesday, September 16, 2003 @ 8:33 pm

    9. Nah, JadeGold isn’t Steven nor is he/she JohnC. Jade’s simply an Internet denizen cursed by the Almighty to roam comment boards and post idiotic remarks that make everyone else seem fair-minded and enlightened by comparison ;-)

      Comment by Matthew — Tuesday, September 16, 2003 @ 9:01 pm

    10. James Joyner:

      We all can’t self-describe ourselves as ’sardonic,’ can we?

      You need to work on those self-esteem issues, Jimbo.

      Comment by JadeGold — Wednesday, September 17, 2003 @ 7:47 am


    11. Comment by Anonymous — Tuesday, August 10, 2004 @ 3:29 pm

    RSS feed for these comments.

    Leave a comment

    Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>

    (required)

    (required)


    Take a Look At This!
    • Tabloid News
    • Word of The Day
    • Chronograph Watches
    • Office Shredders
    • Cash Registers
    • Ricoh Fax Machines
    • IBM Typewriters
    • Copy Machines
    • UNIX Consulting
    • Web Design
    Inquiries
    Blogroll


    Visitors Since 2/15/03
    ---

    Powered by WordPress