Re: confederacy of dunces*

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From: Jeff Bone (
Date: Tue Nov 28 2000 - 15:56:45 PST

Lucas Gonze wrote:

> I know about as much about Florida counties as I do about chads. My point is
> that the machines don't have the same margin of error across the entire state,

This is an interesting assertion. Any backup for this claim? And again, I think
the interesting question is really: is the margin of error between dissimilar
machines greater than the margin of error between given machine and hand recount?
Given the shift in the latter in the areas that have been hand counted, I suggest
that it would've been better to leave it at machine counts than to combine
mostly-machine counts with selected --- inherently weighted --- hand counts.

> and we still don't have manual recounts of the areas with the worst machines, so
> the ballots have not been counted and recounted.

They were counted, once, by whatever mechanisms are used by default. They were
counted again, as a matter of process, in every county in Florida --- I believe that
each county, before country-level certification, is required under Florida election
law to do two runs of the count and can only certify the results if the deviation is
within some acceptable margin. (I think I heard this on CNN a day or two after the
election, but I could be smoking crack.) At any rate, we HAD results, using at
least *some* semblance of a standard process, within hours of the election. It's
only after the protest phase got underway, and the political "sampling" of the data
began, that we began to run into all these process problems.


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