Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Latest on Diebold (Conny Can You Hear Me?)

Carol and I have been following the saga of Diebold and Conny McCormack/LA County.

In addition to Leon County (FL) dumping Diebold earlier this week because of a "successful" and apparently undetectable hack -- oh, my! -- now Volusia County (FL) has followed suit -- my, oh, my!! But not before Ion Sancho, Director of Elections in Leon County "now believes that such a hack occurred in the 2000 Presidential Election in Volusia County, Florida." Aayyyyyy!!

Brad Blog has been covering these stories in detail. Check the posts here and here.

I just downloaded this white paper from titled "Myth Breakers: Facts About Electronic Elections". (Subtitled: Essential Information For Those Entrusted With Making Decisions About Election Systems in the United States") Should be an interesing read and follow-up, since Conny made the outrageous admission last week to our grassroots organization that she was not all that interested in statistical abnormalities (to characterize them lightly) in Ohio elections:
MODERATOR: I don’t want to go over the same ground, but I’ll ask something about previous problems that we’ve noted in Ohio. Various statisticians, including a group writing for US Count Votes, have prepared scientific papers claiming that the outcome of the 2004 election was statistically impossible to have been so different from the exit polls. What do you think of those claims and do you believe any of these reports about that?

CONNY: Well, you know, I’m not a statistician and I’m also not someone who does polls, so again, it’s outside of the area of my expertise. Do people answer polls differently than they vote? I don’t know. I have no idea if they do or not. When an election’s very close are polls ever very accurate? I don’t know. It’s not an area of expertise for me, so I don’t know why I should be expected to know about polls anywhere in California, let alone in Ohio. All I know is we count the votes as they come into us and we count them as accurately as we can and I don’t rely on polls. Polls are just what they are – they’re a poll is a subset of people that responded to the poll. They’re not everybody’s ballots. But, you know, I don’t think it’s a very fair question to ask me about polls in Ohio. Are you – are you done with your questions?

MODERATOR: (faint) I’m sorry, but we were just asking your opinion of whether that seems possible to you—

CONNY: Well, you know, I don’t know. I mean, it’s just not my area of expertise to know whether or not it’s possible or not. I’ve read the same articles. I certainly have read them....

Taking her last comment at face value, she may have read them, but our county's chief election officer apparently didn't think it important enough to get these claims evaluated by our own local experts. Outrageous.

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