UC Berkeley Questions Florida E-Vote Count

They’ve sent millions of press release e-mails and have scheduled a news conference today

A research team at UC Berkeley will report that irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000 – 260,000 or more excess votes to President George W. Bush in Florida in the 2004 presidential election. The study shows an unexplained discrepancy between votes for President Bush in counties where electronic voting machines were used versus counties using traditional voting methods. Discrepancies this large or larger rarely arise by chance — the probability is less than 0.1 percent. The research team, led by Professor Michael Hout, will formally disclose results of the study at the press conference.

My only question (and one I intend to ask) is who paid for this research – California taxpayers or a sponsor? California is due to come up about $8 billion dollars short in revenues in the current fiscal year, yet the state university system is spending money researching another states voting issues? What would the Governator say about that?

No one has seen the research, which probably means it is of the same high quality as that produced by a certain Dr. Hailey. It’s probably not a good sign for the Bezerkly professor that the lead media cheerleader for conspiracy theories – the ever unquestioning Keith Olbermann – poo poo’s your findings before he’s even seen them.

Update: Their work is available here. A quick scan leads me to believe that there are probably many variables not controlled for; one that they either didn’t use or just plain ignored. Where is the African-American factor, since that’s all we heard about in 2000?

It’s also curious that they didn’t use exit poll data, as unreliable as that may be, to compare the exit poll reported percentage vote for Bush (plus a 3% adjustment for under reporting) as a variable. That is in fact the analysis that that head to the exit poll outfit did. I’ll dig up a link on his quotes ASAP.

Obviously that’s just a quick take, more detailed assessments may follow. If you’re a social scientist, and doing peer review on the UCB work I want your take as well…

Update: I’ve done a more comprehensive analysis.

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