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Sunday, November 07, 2004

There has been lots of speculation about the role of "black box voting" in the 2004 election, albeit mostly on the more liberal blogs. Josh Levin tries to put some of that angst to rest:

Joseph Cannon, who runs the blog CANNONFIRE, makes a similar argument: The states that "offered the best, safest opportunity for manipulation of the final count" were Ohio, Florida, and New Mexico. "In other states, the exit polling matched the final results rather well. In Nevada, Illinois, and New Hampshire, computer votes do have paper trails—and in those instances, the exit polls tracked the final totals. To recap: In three states with no paper trails, we have exit poll/final tally disagreement. In three states with paper trails, we have exit poll/final tally congruence."

Cannon's analysis doesn't jibe with Slate's exit-poll numbers. A comparison to the latest vote tallies shows Slate's final exit numbers in the paper-trail states of New Hampshire (undervalued Bush by 5 percent) and Nevada (undervalued Bush by 3 percent) were less accurate than those in Ohio (2 percent off), Florida (3 percent), and New Mexico (2 percent). The other state Cannon lists, Illinois, won't require a paper trail until 2006.

Like most people, I am not one to subscribe to the various Diebold conspiracy theories. However, I do agree with the left that there should be enormous concern about the integrity of a system that allows electronic logging of a vote without providing a paper trail for each individual ballot. The repercussions of such a system could be very dangerous, regardless of the party with which one associates.


.: posted by Dave 12:26 AM

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