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Re: University Researchers Challenge Bush Win InFlorida
From: Paul Schmehl <pauls () utdallas edu>
Date: Sat, 20 Nov 2004 19:16:44 -0600

--On Friday, November 19, 2004 1:15 PM -0600 Bart.Lansing () kohls com wrote:

Paul, do you really feel that as long as the (potentially) fraudulent
votes did not change the outcome (as far as we know...knowing absolutely
nothing for certain at this point) it's perfectly ok that a method for
fixing the e-votes exists and is in use...hypothetically?

Absolutely not. In fact I think that voting systems should be checked *routinely* rather than waiting until just before (or after) an election to suddenly think about it. (And by systems I mean not just the "boxes" but the people and the methodology involved.)

I *hope* that the work being done to determine the security of e-voting systems will continue and result in improvements in both awareness and security of the sytems.

I'm just
trying to understand where you are coming from on this...does it only
stop becoming an acedemic excersize if the shoe is on the other foot?

It's *always* an academic exercise if it doesn't change the outcome.

What I object to is "studies" that purport to be scientific, but in fact are not. For example, the "study" by Berzerley "scientists" that "proves" somewhere between 130,000 to 260,000 "excess" votes for Bush is seriously flawed.

"The conclusion that President Bush was more likely to improve his vote in counties with e-voting is laughable on its face. Using the Excel spreadsheet provided by the authors, I totaled the votes for counties with and without e-voting, and came up with this:

Percentage Change for Bush in Counties WITH E-Voting: 2.25%
Percentage Change for Bush in Counties WITHOUT E-Voting: 2.54%

It looks like e-voting suppressed the President's vote by about 0.29% -- or 7,800 votes!

Taking each of these counties as data points, was the President "significantly more likely" to have increased his support in counties with e-voting? Again, no.

E-Voting Counties with Increased Bush Vote: 13/15 (86.7%)
Non-E-Voting Counties with Increased Bush Vote: 46/52 (88.5%)"

<http://www.patrickruffini.com/archives/2004/11/fisking_berkele.php>

Just because someone or some institution has a credible name does not mean that you accept what they say without even bothering to think about it. Their "study" just invigorates the conspiracy theorist element of society without contributing anything substantive to the debate.

Paul Schmehl (pauls () utdallas edu)
Adjunct Information Security Officer
The University of Texas at Dallas
AVIEN Founding Member
http://www.utdallas.edu

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