Berkeley & Penn state published reports they believe fraud is a possibility while a Caltech / MIT Vote project recent report has been saying the opposite..
Keith Olbermann's blog
The Cal Tech / MIT report
.. UC Berkeley.. [reports] that "irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000-260,000 or more excess votes" to.. Bush in Florida..
A joint report out of the CalTech and MIT voting project ["debunking" the discrepancies] had already been countered by a Penn professor's report using the exit polling for Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania
Now it's not just CalTech and MIT versus Penn-- but also UC Berkeley versus CalTech and MIT
Suggests that the much-decried exit polling of election night really wasn't outside the margin of error.. Yet it has several very serious flaws - it's not even signed, i.e, autor=anonymous - and there's also the troubling fact that Cal Tech has received substantial donations from extreme right wing groups
Cal Tech / MIT VTP Nov 11 2004 report
Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project: Flip-Flop
Cal Tech / MIT VTP 2000 report
(by dennisv at Kos)
I thought it odd that the.. report entitled 'Voting Machines and the Underestimate of the Bush Vote' would focus so narrowly on justifying the discrepancy between the exit polls and the actual vote without ever mentioning.. the openness to fraud.. [that they had] delineated in [their own] July 2001 95 page report
A Preliminary Assessment of the Reliability of Existing Voting Equipment
Another Nov 2004 MIT report believes in fraud
- July 16, 2001
Up to 6 million votes lost in 2000 presidential election, Voting Technology Project reveals
PASADENA, Calif.- Though over 100 million Americans went to the polls on election day 2000, as many as 6 million might just have well have spent the day fishing. Researchers at Caltech and MIT call these "lost votes" and think the number of uncounted votes could easily be cut by more than half in the 2004 election with just three simple reforms...
The Blue Lemur:Odds of Bush gaining by 4 percent in all exit polling states 1 in 50,000
And another MIT work debunking the Nov 11 report
A statistical analysis of exit polling conducted for RAW STORY by a former MIT mathematics professor has found the odds of Bush making an average gain of 4.15 percent among all 16 states included in the media's 4 p.m. exit polling is 1 in 50,000, or .002 percent. The analysis, conducted by former [MIT] Associate Professor of Mathematics David Anick
, also ruled out any significance of a variance between electronic balloting and paper ballot states, which RAW STORY reported last week.
Al Franken had an elections expert from MIT on last week. Check Air America's site
to listen to the show -- the MIT guest should be listed Update [2004-11-24 15:0:21 by lawnorder]:
After googling like mad, I still can't find any reference to this paper... It may be just a rumor from someone who called into Al Franken's show -- law
Lies, damn lies and statistics
Curiously enough, the Nov 11, 2004 report, the one with "anonymous" author, doesn't mention the 2001 findings at all.. And the only set of good numbers they have comes from the Blue Lemur / MIT study linked above.
But that was all they had. Their other support, scatter plots, were of no interest, and added nothing to either side of the argument.
Freeman's (U of Penn) paper laid out a lot of data, dissected its own assumptions and asked for peer review. The Techs' schools paper, otoh, seemed like an overloaded tray at an Olde Country Kitchen buffet: overstuffed with random, vapid this-n-that, mostly empty calories
The Nov 11, 2004 paper was very weak on statistics and facts... Apparently only two persons on Cal Tech/ MIT VTP owned up to it: Ted Selker
, MIT's Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences and Charles Stewart who went publicly on NPR to tout the report and state categorically w/o any serious investigation by his part that there's THERE IS NO INDICATION OF FRAUD
One of the "anonymous" study backers, Ted Selker is NOT an expert on computer security, but on user interface, i.e. to build a better mouse, trackball, etc.. (Ted Selker Biography). Yet he has done some work for the military in recent years and has spent the past year lecturing on how "not to loose your vote"...
Cal-Tech/MIT vote project petiton
Published before Nov 2nd, this curious "petition of faith" reads like "We did our best so you should believe us" and fails to mention any concerns...
American Voter Statement
We, American election workers, election supply vendors, voting technology researchers and advocates have worked hard for the last 4 years to improve election accuracy, integrity and security. We are convinced that there is no precinct in America now that has not put effort into making their voting technology and process more careful and transparent than in the past. Most of the worst technologies have been replaced. Where they have not new processes are in place to help ameliorate problems.
Our public debate shows that none of us think the job is done, still, we all believe it is the best it has ever been..
Ties between Cal Tech & Diebold ?
As dennisv had already pointed out Caltech is involved with ES & S
(*) Note: I'm not dissing the entire Cal Tech and MIT schools
"A longtime friend of Caltech, the Ahmanson Foundation has supported the Institute's capital projects, student financial aid, and endowment for academic research and a humanities fellowship...
The far-Right Ahmanson family
"In the early 1980s, brothers Bob and Todd Urosevich founded ES&S's originator, Data Mark. The brothers Urosevich obtained financing from the far-Right Ahmanson family in 1984, which purchased a 68% ownership stake, according to the Omaha World Herald. After brothers William and Robert Ahmanson infused Data Mark with new capital, the name was changed to American Information Systems (AIS). California newspapers have long documented the Ahmanson family's ties to right-wing evangelical Christian and Republican circles".
"According to Group Watch, in the 1980s Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr. was a member of the highly secretive far-Right Council for National Policy, an organization that included Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, Major General John K. Singlaub and other Iran-Contra scandal notables, as well as former Klan members like Richard Shoff Ahmanson, heir to a savings and loan fortune, is little reported on in the mainstream U.S. press. But, English papers like The Independent are a bit more forthcoming on Ahmanson's politics"
Update [2004-11-20 1:32:51 by lawnorder]:
Just the opposite!
MIT has at least 2 more papers arguing just the opposite of "anonymous" (!), signed and presented to the media and for peer review:
1 - Odds of Bush gaining by 4 percent in all exit polling states 1 in 50,000
2 - Al Franken had an elections expert from MIT on last week. Check Air America's site to listen to the show
Even the VTP project itself has good reports in 2000 and 2001. All of them signed by people not ashamed of their content
What I am saying is that it is definitely weird that Cal Tech would let an unsigned paper use the name of the school, for such a shoddy work The analisys looks narrow, contrived and "made to order" to find nothing wrong with the data, while completely ignoring other academic research on the same data and it's own early work on the subject
More on Ted Selker
One of the only 2 VTP guys to talk about the study.
Wonder if he would be partial when defending his own baby (see below)
MIT's Gershenfeld, Selker named to 'Scientific American 50' list of research and policy leaders - MIT News Office
Selker honored for Voting Technology Project. Selker, a professor in the Media Lab and the MIT director of the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project, was honored jointly with his counterpart at Caltech, Professor Michael Alvarez, for 'recommending sweeping changes to overhaul U.S. voting systems.' Selker and Alvarez were selected as Policy Leaders in the computing category of the Scientific American 50.
The Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project was established in late 2000 in the aftermath of the U.S. Presidential election with the goal of preventing the recurrence of the problems with that election. President David Baltimore of Caltech and MIT President Charles M. Vest initiated the project as a cross-disiplinary effort funded by the Carnegie Foundation and the Knight Foundation.
'The project achieved much more than anyone could hope for,' said Selker, an associate professor who leads the Context-Aware Computing Group at the Media Lab. 'We were listened to by legislators, election officials, lobbyists, voters and election machine manufacturers. We have had tremendous successes at bringing new data and analysis to the field, inventing better security approaches, ballot designs and processes. Our work helped motivate the Help America Vote Act and is finding its way into new voting equipment and statements made by the Election Assistance Commission and election officials. With funding and effort, the American voting systems can become exemplary machinery to run democracies.'
An MIT team began reviewing equipment, election data and people's performances with scientists from Caltech early in 2001. By July of that year the team, which included Selker, professors Stephen Ansolabehere and Charles Stewart of political science, Stephen Graves of management, and Alex Slocum of mechanical engineering, had created a groundbreaking report and the beginnings of prototypes."