Saturday, November 26, 2005

Chill, Brad

Over in the comments section of my latest post on the Ohio election, Brad Friedman takes exception to my suggestion that he's in the foil hat brigade (remember, shiny side out!). Boy, make one little accusation that someone is a paranoid psychotic and he starts acting, well, all paranoid and psychotic. Go figure.

As for the substance of his allegation about vote fraud in this year's Ohio elections, he still doesn't offer up any evidence for such claims other than the well-known potential problems with various electronic voting systems. But as my analysis shows, there's no evidence that the ballot measures in question did worse in those counties with such voting systems. In fact, most of the measures actually did a bit better in those counties. So if there was fraud, exactly how and where did it occur?

Furthermore, the whole fraud allegation rests on the idea that the Columbus Dispatch mail poll provides an accurate baseline by which to measure the election results. Since the Dispatch poll showed the measures winning handily, then the actual election results must be flawed. Going by that example, Brad, I've got an even bigger scandal for you to pursue. No trivial state referenda here, but the whole enchilada--the presidency of the United States. A respected survey, one that had successfully predicted every election for twenty years, called the election for the challenger in a landslide. But when the "actual" returns were counted, the incumbent "won" with the largest landslide in history.

Yes, Brad, I suggest your time would be better spent investigating how Franklin Roosevelt stole the 1936 election from Alf Landon. The truth is out there!


BradF said...

You'll be stunned to learned that your snippy little dismissal of concerns for the foundation of our democracy has been heard before. Over the past year since the '04 Presidential Election and indeed in the years since the '00 Election. Even Antonin Scalia seems to have trouble with facts (the other day he said it was GORE who brought Bush v Gore into the courts, and told his audience that -- contrary again to the facts -- a consortium of folks who counted the 2000 votes in Florida found that Bush won. Of course, the contrary is true in both regards, but those aren't the droids you're looking for, I guess).

Anyway, the tired and shameful (for you) "tin foil hat" nonsense, has been worked to death. Though it's not heard much these days since studies like the recent GAO report confirming much of what Election Reform advocates have been saying for years has come out.

But it's cute -- if sad -- that you keep trying it out. (Try the "sour grapes" thing too! That's a neat one that you haven't impressed your reader with yet!)

Anyway, thank you again for misrepresenting my comments on all of the above and your disinterest in an open, transparent democracy in which the electorate might have confidence.

And, btw, if you actually give a damn (which clearly you don't), you may wish to take note of how many counties in Ohio count their votes with Electronic Devices which employ secret software which is inspected by nobody (as the GAO Report will point out to you if you bother to read it). The percentage is upwards of 98% or so in Ohio. But don't let that stop you from forwarding misleading information.

There is nothing to concern yourself with at all in any of these matters. Everything is fine. Even in Iraq! And New Orleans!

Keep up the good work, Philip! It's very impressive! In the meantime, you'll pardon me if I actually give a damn about America, democracy, our constitution and the values for which our country (theoretically) stands.

Zach said...

You know, both sides of this "dialogue" seem way out of line. Lots of sarcasm on both sides, not much respectful exchange of facts. I think it's great that Prof. Klinkner has done some actual data analysis on this, which he then undercuts by associating with personal insults. I agree strongly with Brad that this is about more than whether or not an election was rigged, but about the transparency and trustworthiness of a system. This is a major discussion with deserves respectful, non-sarcastic dialogue on all sides.