Tuesday, January 08, 2008

New Hampshire Results

I want to say something re the New Hampshire results. Brad over at Bradblog is saying Obama shouldn't have conceded so soon.

I was concerned at first too, very much so, because how could all those voters flip overnight? ALL the polls, from news media organizations to campaign polls in the Obama and Clinton camps showed Obama with a large margin.

But the polls that matters most, to me, in terms of verifying the accuracy of our vote, are the exit polls. And the CNN and MSNBC exit polls (which may be the same poll - they looked similar but I'm too tired to compare) showed that of the people polled, about 2% more favored Hillary.

So, barring evidence that the exit polls were manipulated, the results seem, however surprising, legitimate.

Of course, I'd like to know for sure, and that's the problem with electronic voting. It's impossible to be certain our votes are being counted as cast without rigorous auditing of a paper trail. Some states audit a percentage of the precincts after an election, but often in quantities too small to be statistically sufficient for us to have confidence in our vote.

And the really bad news? It's been that way since 1968. Computer voting is not a new development, and ways to game the system have been around ever since such systems were introduced. I'm not suggesting elections have been gamed, only that they could have been, without us ever knowing, because we have no useful way to verify the computer counts.

Still, all that said, at this point, lacking any other information, I see no reason to challenge the NH results.

I suspect strongly that the polls undersampled women, who voted strongly for Clinton over Obama in this contest. And I can understand that. When I saw Hillary get choked up yesterday, it was the first time I found myself liking her. All women have been in that place, in that moment, and I felt an instant bond. I am now strongly in Obama's camp so it didn't change my preference, but if people were undecided, I can see how that glimpse, where she seemed so sincere, so genuine, won her some new supporters.

So my only question now is, were the exit polls reported accurately? They've been altered after election results have been posted in the past. But in this case, again, I have no evidence of alteration, and lacking that, no real reason to mistrust the results.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, the only REAL reasons to question the voting results are the methods and entities involved in tallying them, and the terrifying trend toward open manipulation of the vote, and the media's clear complicity with it that has accelerated over the last decade.

I noticed that prominent among those conducting the pre-election polls cited by Brad (who I admire and read faithfully) is Zogby. While Brad points out the fact that the company doing the exit polls was all too willing to fall on their sword after the 2004 election (which is most likely why they are doing the polls this election) I didn't see any mention of Zogby's pathetic history in Brad's NH reporting. (I skimmed, so I may have missed it.) I found that interesting, because I first learned about it from Brad. On the surface, if I was going to question any results, it would be the Zogby results -- not so much out of any malice, but plain sloppiness.

Brad did also point out that the Zogby results were not isolated headed into the election, but I agree with you on this one (so far). I don't think there is much there... well, not much direct evidence, but there is a pile of circumstantial issues sufficient to warrant extraordinary vigilance. And that's what I would call this right now.

I derive some comfort from knowing that people like you and Brad are staring wide-eyed into this abyss, with megaphones at your sides going into this election. That's the greatest development we've had among citizen activists in years.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Real History Lisa said...


I've also seen data showing that, where votes were counted by hand, Obama was up four points, but where his votes were counted by hand, he was down too. (See here.)

The problem is, that's a summary report.

In the raw data, Obama and Clinton trade places from district to district regardless of the method used to count the votes.

So while I'm hyper alert to anything that would suggest fraud, so far, I'm really not seeing it. And given that Obama is my choice, believe me, I'm on the lookout!

12:54 PM  
Blogger Real History Lisa said...

Let me add too that Clinton's victory came almost entirely from large city areas filled with Clinton operatives. It makes sense she'd win in those areas, but lose in nearly every other area, as she did.

I'm not closing the door on anything. But like I said - I don't want to fan flames of fear where I don't really see good cause yet, either.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you check the hand counted votes against the electronic votes you'll see there is a 7% swing to Clinton. She gained 5% on the machines and Obama was down 2%. When you get a whiff of that fishy smell you gotta conclude something fishy is in the vicinity.
As for the tears, what can I say? She got weepy because she thought she was going to lose. Americans must be very naive to fall for this guff. Hitler used to cry too, you know. Especially when he heard about cruelty to animals. He wept when Bambi's mother died.
I don't care about political parties. Most of them are full of ambitious, sleazy windbags. At present the Republican Party has been hijacked by neocon "warriors" and religious idiots. The Democrats are mostly spineless fools.
Parties exist now simply to deceive the sheeple. If I was an American I'd vote for Ron Paul. He might be a Republican but he's the only one who sounds genuine.
I'm afraid your political system is so corrupt (it was never very clean anyway) that unless you break it apart and start again you are doomed to keep repeating the same mistakes. What bothers me is that when you go down you're going to take the rest of us with you.

6:46 AM  
Blogger Real History Lisa said...

When you get a fishy smell, you have to look for the source. Sometimes, it isn't a fish.

Hand counting was done in the smaller districts where Obama was doing well. Diebold counting was done in the places where the Clinton machine was working in force. So it's possible there's another reason for that swing.

And here are two examples, among many, that prove my point. Hillary won big in some handcounts, like this one:

Boscawen - 738 votes
VOTE COUNT METHOD: Hand Counted Paper Ballots
- Clinton = 328 votes = 44.44%
- Edwards = 105 votes = 14.23%
- Gravel = 0 votes = 0.00%
- Kucinich = 4 votes = 0.54%
- Obama = 255 votes = 34.55%
- Richardson = 36 votes = 4.88%
- Other = 10 votes = 1.36%

Obama won in some Diebold counted districts as well, like this one:

Alton - 979 votes
VOTE COUNT METHOD: Diebold Accuvote optical scan ; contractor: LHS Associates/John Silvestro
- Clinton = 362 votes = 36.98%
- Edwards = 189 votes = 19.31%
- Gravel = 1 votes = 0.10%
- Kucinich = 10 votes = 1.02%
- Obama = 371 votes = 37.90%
- Richardson = 36 votes = 3.68%
- Other = 10 votes = 1.02%

We're too quick to jump to assumptions based on partial data. The raw data does not suggest fraud, to me, and believe me, I was very suspicious when the results came in.

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For exit poll results before the Dark Ones managed to tamper with them see http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=132&topic_id=4017000
We're in a fight to the death here. I'm not sure some of you "liberals" realise how dire the consequences will be if we lose this one. And Hillary ain't gonna save you. She is part of the problem.
The War Party (which includes both Republicans and Democrats) is in full cry.
I used to think there were leaders who might save the day. The last ones who tried were assassinated. But you know that anyway. Anyone else who tries will be dealt with in similar fashion. You don't always have to shoot them. Character assassination is just as effective. And since all men have weaknesses (politicians and religious fundamentalists more than most)sometimes you don't even have to make it up - or at least not all of it.
The trouble is most of these people who clamber up the greasy pole are either psychopaths or demonstrate strong psychopathic tendencies. That's why they are so good at it. A social conscience just gets in the way of ambition and power-seeking. A non-psychopath is always a threat to the power structure. That's why they have to be eliminated. It's got little to do with individual policies as such. A normal person looks for real answers and tries to bring people together. This means, at the very least, a reduction in the number of useless wars and the ultimate threat to the War party of an end to wars. The psychopaths will never tolerate this. In a loving world the psychopaths would be seen for what they are - madmen (and madwomen, of which there are more than a few). No one would vote for them. They'd all be in jail or swinging from the nearest tall tree - after a fair trial of course.
By the way, I bought your book on the assassinations. I'm going to South Africa soon for several weeks. It's a vacation so I will have lots of time to read it.
The political situation there is slowly starting to unwind. Another Zimbabwe is in the works I'm afraid.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. I have to go out now and won't be back until later this evening. Around 9.00pm GMT. I'll check back then.

If you're not angry you're not paying attention.

"We hang the petty thieves and
appoint the great ones to public office." - Aesop

98% of the population is asleep. The other 2% are staring
around in complete amazement, abject terror, or both. - Unknown

"They must find it difficult...
Those who have taken authority as the truth, rather than truth as the authority." - Gerald Massey

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm afraid things are beginning to look like this IS a worst-case scenario. Damn.

Well, the only silver lining I can see here is A) it has been spotted early, and more importantly B) we are going to find out if Obama is the man I think he is. IF so, he will address this issue for what it is, powerfully, clearly, and without flinching.

If I thought Hillary was made of the same stuff as Obama, I'd expect her to withdraw from the race before allowing the fascists to pick her as their opponent through such criminal acts. (No way do I think Hillary's people are behind this.) Perhaps she will surprise me... but I doubt it.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The New Hampshire cover-up of massive voting fraud is unravelling but it won't change a thing because the supine American mainstream media (with possibly a few honourable exceptions) will not report it. And even if they did they wouldn't call for an investigation or for heads to roll.
Some of them (the maistream media) have now altered the original false information they happily printed earlier to conform with the real figures which are now seeping out. But they've altered their reports without commenting on those alterations!
Voter fraud was uncovered in the N.H. town of Sutton when a woman reported that although her entire family voted for Ron Paul the original result showed ZERO votes for him!! It has now been admitted that in Sutton Ron Paul received 31 votes but that a "human error" led to him being awarded a big fat ZERO!!!!
All that is needed for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.
America is going fascist and I fear it may already be too late to do anything about it. When people think that electing a Clinton or an Obama is going to change anything in a meaningful way then, like Daddy Bush, we are in deep doo-doo.
The Israelis are going to put the squeeze on the gormless Dubya to "do something" about Iran - then they will tell whoever is next president (if there is a next) to "do something" about other Middle East countries.
America is now like some big, dumb elephant rampaging through the jungle knocking trees over at the behest of a little mouse whispering nonsense in its ear.
I'm British (Scottish actually). Our disgrace is that out leaders (irrespective of whether they are Labour or Conservative) go along with America's criminally insane foreign and military policy because it gives them a chance to fool around for a time on the world stage and that makes them feel important. The disgraceful Tony Blair told Bush, after the idiot president informed him that he didn't need to send British troops to Afghanistan/Iraq ... "you can support us in other ways", "But I want to." It's easy to be a hero when other men shed their blood to make you heroic.
The first thing you are going to have to do is get rid of ALL the voting machines (electronic or otherwise) and return to a hand counted paper vote. It's not perfect but it makes fraud much more difficult to perpetrate. Why do the American people insist on making it easy for the fraudsters? The electronic machines particularly are hopelessly compromised (see below).

This paper presents a fully independent security study of a Diebold AccuVote-TS voting machine, including its hardware and software. We obtained the machine from a private party. Analysis of the machine, in light of real election procedures, shows that it is vulnerable to extremely serious attacks. For example, an attacker who gets physical access to a machine or its removable memory card for as little as one minute could install malicious code; malicious code on a machine could steal votes undetectably, modifying all records, logs, and counters to be consistent with the fraudulent vote count it creates. An attacker could also create malicious code that spreads automatically and silently from machine to machine during normal election activities — a voting-machine virus. We have constructed working demonstrations of these attacks in our lab. Mitigating these threats will require changes to the voting machine's hardware and software and the adoption of more rigorous election procedures.

See full report at http://itpolicy.princeton.edu/voting/ and scroll down to the story titled "Security Analysis of the Diebold AccuVote-TS Voting Machine."

Best wishes from Scotland.

America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. -- Alexis de Tocqueville

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An interesting video. But I've been told it was removed earlier and had to be re-posted. So better be quick!


4:04 PM  

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