June 6, 2006

Back to Ohio

Not so long ago I said I was waiting to see if Salon could punch any holes in Rolling Stone's Ohio was stolen article. Well guess what.

Salon casts some doubt on RS, but I don't think it's the complete refutation it presents itself as. For one thing, Salon puts a lot of weight on the fact that it's hard to prove, and sometimes possible to disprove, intentional malice behind a lot of the errors in the Ohio vote — and uses this as a reason to dismiss concern about them. In my original post, I made a point of saying that the theft was a combination of intentional actions and taking advantage of fortuitous errors, and I'm not willing to shrug off that latter part as easily as Salon is. It's still at least possible, if not likely, that the election results did not accurately reflect the will of the people, for whatever reason, and if we want fair elections in the future, the reasons for that need to be examined, not swept under the rug.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


I dunno. "BUSH MAYBE POSSIBLY COULD HAVE STOLEN THE ELECTION, I THINK" doesn't really have the same ring, does it?

Having worked several government jobs, I could actually be convinced that 90% of the problem here was incompetence. When I was in college I worked as a data entry clerk for the 1990 census. This was the year that they hired enumerators in an attempt to count the homeless population in NYC. The enumerators were supposed to walk around and assist homeless people with completing the short form questionnaire. I had the privilege of entering these forms into the main U.S. Census database.

Many of the forms we received were either incomplete or illegible. Others were, shall we say, problematic. For one form I received, under name was written "Unknown (asleep)". The enumerator then proceded to complete the remainder of the form, including the questions on age, Hispanic Origin (Yes/No), Race, and sex.

Despite the obvious problems with some of the forms, our instructions were to enter the information exactly as it appeared on the form. I wouldn't be surprised if there were similar problems in counting the election.

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