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Tchaikovsky Sounds Funny: This News Just In: Kerry Wins Election (Maybe)

Is this where I put in key words such as sex, lesbians, vampires, Christopher Lloyd and others things to which this blog do not pertain, but by putting them here, I may get hits from all the Christoper Lloyd lesbian vampire fans (and you know who you are)? This is the primarily humorous and occasionally rambling writings of Leon Tchaikovsky, humor writer. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

This News Just In: Kerry Wins Election (Maybe)

Tchaikovsky Sounds Funny

The following is my recent request of Rep. John Conyers, Democratic Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee:

It is my hope that a full investigation be conducted to assure whether or not our elections are properly handled. My fear is that we are concentrating on looking at the trees while ignoring the forest. There are likely instances of voting irregularities, as were documented by Greg Palast in Florida in 2000 where Republican elections officials allowed the use of malfunctioning machines in voting areas that were predominantly Democratic, discouraged people with the same last names as felons (who tend to be African American and Democrats) from voting, and did not count spoiled ballots which tended to be Democrats voting incorrectly under the law. The Washington Post has published estimates that these methods, although perhaps legal, cost Al Gore approximately 20,000 votes and thus the election.

What upsets me even more is that there appears to be something far greater wrong with the voting machines. An article buried in the middle of a recent Washington Post article tells there appears to be something amiss with the actual voting machines themselves. An independent audit of the machines estimates that the Florida voting machines accidentally awarded Bush an additional 130,000 votes. Before this appears as another one of these Internet conspiracy rumors, the article mentions that this was verified by a Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Perhaps there is something wrong with their machine auditing methods. Yet, this raises one of the most critical questions of our times, and I believe we need to seriously look at the operations of these voting machines.

I was arguing this position before the recent elections. I can not understand how Ohio would award the contracts for voting machines to a company owned by a man who is an admitted Bush supporter and contributor who did the most ridiculous thing possible by publicly guaranteeing that Bush would win Ohio. Even if he was joking, the fact that he said this and the fact that Ohio voting machines have no paper trails to ascertain voting errors placed the Ohio election results under suspicion even before the election. I believe we need an independent audit of the functioning of these Ohio machines as well.

The fact is: the exit polls in Florida in 2000 more accurately showed the intention of Florida voters than the official voting results. Exit polls have historically had a high degree of accuracy. This year, the exit polls were off by significant margins. A Statistics Professor at Temple University has written in the Philadelphia Inquirer that he calculates that the odds of these exit polls are being off by so much, and mostly skewed in the same direction, and this happening by chance at one chance in one million chances. It is most likely that there was a major error in the design of all the exit polls this year. Yet, there is also a chance that there is a problem with the election results, as has been noted by a study at the Annenberg School of the University of Pennsylvania.

It is important that we rectify the differences between these scholarly findings at MIT, Temple, and Penn and discover what these academic problems are. If there is a legitimate reason why there unusual results occurred, it will be useful for future academic studies to avoid making these same mistakes. If it turns out that these academic studies are correct, then we have perhaps the most important elections investigation event ever.

On election day, in Pennsylvania, there were occasional reports where a person would vote one way on a touch screen and the light would indicate a vote for another candidate. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Pennsylvania voting machines count the votes with a degree of inaccuracy. How does anyone manufacture and produce a machine that does not count the vote properly? I challenged anyone to name a single industry that will accept a machine that operates with such a high degree of inaccuracy.

It is my hope that you will call for an independent evaluation of the functioning of voting machines in Florida, Ohio, and any other state you believe appropriate. A statistically significant random sampling and testing of these machines along with checking how these machines are programmed will go a long way to answering all these questions.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Nader won.

11:18 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or maybe not.

11:18 AM

 
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