No, I'm not talking about Condoleeza Rice. This recent security oversight may be the first in a long line of security breaches. A National Trouser Security Advisor is being considered. The White House is not issuing comments at this time.
But rather than flog the bloggers for rushing to publish the raw exit poll data on their Web sites, we may owe them a debt of gratitude. A few more presidential elections like this one and the public will learn to do the right thing and simply ignore news of early exit poll data. Then perhaps people will start ignoring the bloggers, who proved once more that their spectacular lack of judgment is matched only by their abundant arrogance. [WP]
Professor Hout, UC Berkeley Professor:
A research team at UC Berkeley reported Thursday morning that irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000 - 260,000 or more in excess votes to President George W. Bush in Florida in the 2004 presidential election.
“The three counties where the voting anomalies were most prevalent were also the most heavily Democratic counties, not the [conservative] Dixiecrat counties you’ve all heard about before, but the more heavily Democratic counties that used e-vote technology, including Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties in order of magnitude”. [BuzzFlash]
Charles Stewart III, MIT Arts and Social Sciences Dean:
...a reputable MIT political scientist succeeded in replicating the analysis Thursday at the request of the Herald and The Associated Press. He said an investigation is warranted.
"There is an interesting pattern here that I hope someone looks into," said MIT Arts and Social Sciences Dean Charles Stewart III, a researcher in the MIT-Caltech Voting Technology Project. [Tri Valley Herald]
Yesterday, a UC Berkeley research group found the 2004 results in Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami Dade to be "anomalous," with Bush receiving about 130,000 more votes than you would expect given the registration, demographic, and voting patterns in those counties. The full report is available here: http://ucdata.berkeley.edu/ According to their report, the biggest anomaly is Broward county, where "Bush appears to have received approximately 72,000 excess votes."
The Berkeley study confirms what I've been saying for the past week at online discussion forums: the counties whose 2004 results are inconsistent with the 2000 results are Broward and Palm Beach, not the so-called "Dixiecrat" counties.
My calculations were much more basic than the Berkeley research group's, but according to my calculations, Broward was again the biggest anomaly. Below is my analysis for Broward county. First I'll give the results, then I'll explain the calculations.
Once, twice, three times a voter... Ohio discovers thousands of duplicate votes. [Yahoo/AP]
"I want my 2 dollars!" Last month's 25 buck donation would be nice too. It seems Kerry's got 15 million in left-overs [Yahoo/AP]
We've always known it to be true, but know it's actually legal -- House Republicans approve crime. "House Republicans voted on Wednesday to change their own rules to allow their powerful Majority Leader Tom DeLay to keep his post even if he is indicted in connection with illegal fund-raising activities." [Reuters]
"Falluja was relatively calm on Thursday. Groups of Iraqi men under U.S. military control gathered bodies from the street." Hmm... Falluja calm... I wonder why? Maybe it's because everyone's dead? [Reuters]
There's clearly something wrong with the economy water, when half of a 10 year old grilled cheese sandwich is selling on Ebay for nearly $20,000. [Ebay]
Old sandwiches not your thing? You can get a brand-new customized grilled cheese on Ebay for $75,000. "I will personally create this sandwich for you within 24 hours after the auction ends. Unlike most popular Virgin Mary cheese sandwiches, yours will be BOTH customized AND made to order! You get to choose from among three cheeses (cheddar, Swiss and the ever popular American)." [Ebay]
"When the average citizen hears the phrase 'presidential election,' he thinks of long lines at polling places and agonizing waits as election results are tallied," U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) told reporters Monday. "Putting the election of our public officials into the hands of private industry would motivate election officials to be more efficient." [The Onion]
BLACK BOX VOTING -- Volusia County on lockdown, Dueling lawyers, election officials gnashing teeth, Votergate.tv film crew catching it all. Here's what happened so far:
Friday Black Box Voting investigators Andy Stephenson and Kathleen Wynne popped in to ask for some records. They were rebuffed by an elections official named Denise. Bev Harris called on the cell phone from investigations in downstate Florida, and told Volusia County Elections Supervisor Deanie Lowe that Black Box Voting would be in to pick up the Nov. 2 Freedom of Information request, or would file for a hand recount. "No, Bev, please don't do that!" Lowe exclaimed. But this is the way it has to be, folks. Black Box Voting didn't back down.
Monday Bev, Andy and Kathleen came in with a film crew and asked for the FOIA request. Deanie Lowe gave it over with a smile, but Harris noticed that one item, the polling place tapes, were not copies of the real ones, but instead were new printouts, done on Nov. 15, and not signed by anyone.
Harris asked to see the real ones, and they said for "privacy" reasons they can't make copies of the signed ones. She insisted on at least viewing them (although refusing to give copies of the signatures is not legally defensible, according to Berkeley elections attorney, Lowell Finley). They said the real ones were in the County Elections warehouse. It was quittin' time and an arrangment was made to come back this morning to review them.
To believe Bush won Ohio, you would have to believe that perfectly good Democrats turned Republican. Hundreds of thousands* of Democrats gone bad -- it just isn’t feasible. These numbers don’t add up to a legitimate election. Period.
For days I’ve been poring over Excel sheets trying to figure out what happened in Ohio. If only Ohioans declared their Party when registering to vote, it would be a simple equation; actual vote per County/Party minus expected vote per County/Party divided by expected vote per County/Party equals percent change per County/Party… an elementary equation. But since we don’t have this information, there’s no easy way to suss out candidates likely voters. So, we take the long route –- elections past.
What I’ve done is taken the data from the previous 4 elections [1988-2000], added up the vote tallies per County/Party, divided those results by 4 which gives me an average of votes per County/Party for all 4 elections [2 Republican terms and 2 Democrat terms]. Then, I took the total average votes per County/Party and divided that by the total average votes per County. This gave me the likely voter percentile. From here, I can project the votes for each 2004 candidate by taking the total number of actual votes cast, in the 2004 election, and multiplying it by the likely voter percentile. Doesn’t sound too complicated, does it? Well, when you’re dealing with millions of votes and 2 decades of elections, it doesn’t surprise me that no one else went through the trouble.
The final step is to reveal the percent of change between the actual votes recorded in the 2004 election and the historical trends of voters in each County. To do this, you take the actual votes  per County/Party, subtract the corresponding County/Party projected votes and divide that number by the corresponding County/Party projected votes. Voila -- Percent Change!
Up until now, numbers on the spreadsheet looked just as you’d expect – tons of confusing numbers on a spreadsheet. But this final step is quite revealing, negative percentages of change, across the board, for Democratic candidate, John Kerry, and wouldn’t you know it -- positive percentages of change for the Republican candidate, George W. Bush.
These are not small percentages of change either; they are quite significant –- huge -- more than enough to sway the election in favor of John Kerry. The numbers just don’t lie, statistically; George Bush could not have won this election.
I’ve done my best to present my data in a logical and explainatory fashion -- I want everyone to understand what they are looking at, so please feel free to email me with any questions. The full report can be downloaded as a read-only excel sheet HERE.
George W. Bush is the [unelected] 43rd President [King] of the United States. He was [enthroned] sworn into office January 20, 2001, after a [smear] campaign in which he outlined [deceptive] sweeping proposals to reform [destroy] America's public schools, transform [weaken] our national defense, provide tax relief [for millionaires], modernize [sell out] Social Security and Medicare, and encourage faith-based [religious freaks] and [xenophobic] community organizations to work with [Halliburton] government to help [white] Americans in need. President Bush [the Texecutioner] served [golfed] for six years as the 46th Governor of the State of Texas, where he earned a reputation as a [prick] compassionate conservative who [destroyed the environment] shaped [corrupted] public policy based on the principles of limited [brain cells] government, personal [ir]responsibility, strong families [discreet hookers], and local [media] control.
And they are, but Whitney herself would rethink the line if she were to attend the Fellowship Baptist Creation Science Fair. [EDIT: the link is dead, but archived here]
2nd Place: "Women Were Designed For Homemaking"
Jonathan Goode (grade 7) applied findings from many fields of science to support his conclusion that God designed women for homemaking: physics shows that women have a lower center of gravity than men, making them more suited to carrying groceries and laundry baskets; biology shows that women were designed to carry un-born babies in their wombs and to feed born babies milk, making them the natural choice for child rearing; social sciences show that the wages for women workers are lower than for normal workers, meaning that they are unable to work as well and thus earn equal pay; and exegetics shows that God created Eve as a companion for Adam, not as a co-worker.