Friday, November 12, 2004

Debunking the debunkers 

This is a reply to Mr. Farhad Manjoo regarding two articles he wrote in Salon.com attempting to discredit the proponents of the view that the machines were hacked in this election:


There are a number of instances of faulty analysis and incomplete presentation of data on your part, that is highly misleading to your readers. First of all, have you read, or studied, Dopp's response to Mebane's email? It is here: http://ustogether.org/election04/dopp/dopp_response.html
There is also Elizabeth Liddle's analysis of Mebane's email: http://ustogether.org/election04/liddle/liddle_response.html
There is also Marc Sapir's response to Mebane's critique: http://ustogether.org/election04/sapir/sapir_response.html

In Sapir's response, he said, "Our statistical group plans not only historical comparisons, but comparisons between the presidential race totals and those of U.S. Senate and Congressional races to explore for consistency or inconsistency. Mebane et al are responding to an article in which the author drew conclusions that the ad hoc investigators here have not made. Mebane et al declaration that there is no evidence of errors is premature. At this time we are investigating the question of likelihood of errors in the opt-scan tabulations in medium size counties many of which are in the center and south of Florida.

The only way to demonstrate or disprove errors in the opti-scan tabulations is to compare our predictions with actual ballot recounts. We hope that Mebane et al will join with us and advocate that a number of the medium size counties paper ballots for the opti-scan system be recounted manually once our group finishes its analyses. "

Dopp, Sapir and Liddle make excellent points regarding Mebane's critique, and, if you were really trying to clearly present the information, you would have referred your readers to her response. While you criticize many for assuming the election was stolen, I think it is fair to assume that you decided it wasn't, and set out to prove that it wasn't, instead of taking in all of the information, presenting it to your readers, and allowing them to make up their own minds. This is what passes for journalism these days, a self-interested, self-proving article, rather than a clear examination of the data.

There is also this data from Beverly Harris regarding New Mexico. Warning, the formatting is awkward:

The truth of the matter is, the electronic voting system can be hacked. For an administration that skewed intelligence to lead us into a war, I put nothing past them. You, apparently, are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Because the system can be hacked, and we have all known this for some time now, and Diebold and many others have fought attempts to require a paper receipt, in my view, they have to prove to me it wasn't hacked. Jeb Bush fought hard for this system to be widely used in Florida. Why? Was it to reward Diebold, a republican supporter? Can you blame democrats for their suspician?

Beverly Harris is calling for the auditing of machines used in this election. Do you support her efforts, or is it asking too much of our "system" for proof of fairness?