Friday, April 15, 2005

Report on Unexplained Discrepancies Between Exit Poll Data and Official Vote Tally

US Count Votes is a non-profit group comprised of mathematicians and statisticians who did an analysis of the 2004 presidential election exit poll data and the official vote tally. They found unexplained discrepancies, of course. Bruce O'Dell, Vice President for the National Election Data Archive Project, urges us to write to our lawmakers about this issue. If the election wasn't "rigged" per se, we have one sloppy, unacceptable and appalling voting mechanism, one that is probably more tied to corporate and political interests than it is to an official, credible outcome. Below you will see Bruce's letter to his Congressman.

From Bruce O'Dell via US Count

The most important thing we can all do right now to assure democratic elections, is to alert politicians before November 2006 to the current state of our voting and elections systems, by mailing each of our U.S. Congressional Representatives and Senators a copy of US Count Votes "Analysis of the 2004 Presidential Exit Poll Discrepancies"

Please feel free to copy and modify this sample letter by Bruce O'Dell and send it to your two U.S. Senators and your House Congressman.

The Honorable Martin O. Sabo

250 Marquette Avenue, Suite 225

Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401

April 1, 2005

Dear Representative Sabo:

I am writing to you as a constituent and on behalf of an organization I work with, the National Election Data Archive Project, along with ten prominent university professors of statistics and mathematics, to urge you to read our enclosed reports on 2004 presidential exit poll discrepancies.

Our final report concludes, “We believe that the absence of any statistically-plausible explanation for the discrepancy between Edison/Mitofsky’s exit poll data and the official presidential vote tally is an unanswered question of vital national importance that needs thorough investigation.”

As you know, 30% of the vote in America is “faith-based”; there is simply no way to independently verify that those votes are counted as cast. Even the 70% of the vote that can be recounted is at risk, since no one audits against the paper ballots if the electronic totals are not particularly close.

Banks know that they face a far greater challenge from embezzlers than they do from any punk with a gun in the lobby. But no state counts its votes as carefully as any bank counts its pennies. Ohio charged the Green and Libertarian Parties a steep fee to conduct its limited recount; would you keep your money in a bank that never audited its books unless you asked them to, and then made you pay dearly for the privilege?

After more than twenty years in financial services and as a computer security professional, to me this is a matter of simple common sense. Would you drive over a bridge that 95% of engineers say will collapse under the weight of your car? Yet a remarkable 95% of computer scientists and software engineers surveyed last year opposed any use of unauditable voting equipment, because the risks of "embezzlement" of the vote are so obvious to us. I find the apparent willingness of state and local governments to ignore an urgent warning so clearly expressed by such a lopsided majority of computer professionals to be totally unconscionable.

I urge you to join with James Oberstar and the other twenty two congressional endorsers of the March 21^st letter to the major voting equipment vendors, demanding they follow common-sense security and audit practices.

I also ask that you endorse our group’s call to fully investigate the still totally-unexplained Presidential exit poll discrepancy, which we’ve noted is comparable to the exit poll discrepancy in the now-overturned election in Ukraine. The reaction here was muted by an unquestioned faith in the accuracy of an official vote count outsourced to a handful of private companies. If that faith is unwarranted, the American Republic itself is at risk. There is no more pressing issue to address.


Bruce O’Dell

National Election Data Archive Project

Vice President, US Count Votes

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