[E-voting] Margin of error - was RE: "Black box" irregularities in the ...

Fergal Daly fergald at gmail.com
Mon Aug 1 12:28:12 IST 2005


Parliamentary votes should not and generally do not have a margin of
error. They involve about 150-600 highly motivated voters in a
non-secret vote and when it's going to be tight the vote is usually
incredibly closely watched. In this US case it seems that party lines
were not being held so there was no expected result, if it had been
Ireland or the UK, if the govt lost a vote it has much bigger
ramifications - elections etc, so tight votes never have errors.

As for larger secret votes, there may be errors but I still don't know
of any election/public vote where this margin is taken into account
and there's a rerun if the result is within this margin. It's imply
not practical. What is the country really divided 50.00001/49.99999 on
an issue that must be decided, how many reruns do you have before
giving up and announcing a result?

F

On 8/1/05, Craig Burton <craig at e1c.net> wrote:
>  Just about all elections have a margin of error.
>  Whether or not it is estimated at the time of the election or is set in the
> local law varies.
>  It is not well defined on wikipedia and I haven't had time to dig it off
> the gov.au site but there's a nice intro to it here as it became relevant in
> Florida in 00.
>  http://www.kband.com/corporate/election.html
>  
>  -------- Original Message -------- 
>  Subject: Re: [Fwd: Re: [E-voting] "Black box" irregularities in the House
> of Representatives?] 
>  Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2005 10:33:13 +0100 
>  From: Fergal Daly <fergald at gmail.com> 
>  Reply-To: fergal at esatclear.ie 
>  To: Craig Burton <caburt at alphalink.com.au> 
>  CC: e-voting at lists.stdlib.net 
>  References: <42ED7FB8.3020605 at alphalink.com.au> 
>  
>  First off, the original story was not an election it was a vote in the
> House of Representatives so running it again would probably have
> produced the same answer (assuming votes are counted correctly) but
> apart form that I know of no system that works like you suggest.
> There's usually some tie-breaker, for example a person who only votes
> in the case of a tie. In the Irish parliament, that's the Ceann
> Comhairle in the UK I think it's the Speaker of the House and they're
> both expected to vote with the goverment. Elections in Ireland have
> frequently been won by a handful of votes or even just 1 vote. I have
> a feeling the returning officer only votes if there's a tie but I'm
> not sure.
> 
> I don't think you'll find a single public political system where
> something can't win by just a single vote,
> 
> F
> 
> On 8/1/05, Craig Burton <caburt at alphalink.com.au> wrote:
> > I would have thought any important election would require a winning margin
> > of error of, say, 1%. If the tally falls within this, its a draw. Do some
> > more politicing and run it again. 
> > It's a procedural issue, right?
> > 
> > -------- Original Message -------- 
> > Subject: Re: [E-voting] "Black box" irregularities in the House of
> > Representatives? 
> > Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2005 02:24:37 +0100 
> > From: Fergal Daly <fergald at gmail.com> 
> > Reply-To: fergal at esatclear.ie 
> > To: tim at birdsnest.maths.tcd.ie 
> > CC: e-voting at lists.stdlib.net 
> > References: <42ECF8B0.5070600 at eircom.net>
> > <200507312211.51498.tim at birdsnest.maths.tcd.ie> 
> > 
> > 
> > On 7/31/05, Timothy Murphy <tim at birdsnest.maths.tcd.ie> wrote:
> > > On Sun 31 Jul 2005 17:13, Catherine Ansbro wrote:
> > > > A major US int'l trade agreement just passed by 1 vote (CAFTA). And
> > > > guess what. One guy claims his vote was not recorded correctly. Even
> > > > though he objected at the time, the law has still passed.
> > > 
> > > I realise this is not a very popular view on this list,
> > > but if an issue is that closely balanced,
> > > I don't think it matters too much if it goes the wrong way.
> > 
> > 215 vs 217
> > 
> > Kerry vs Bush was 50.7 vs 48.2. another closely balanced issue that
> > didn't much matter?
> > 
> > F
> > 
> > _______________________________________________
> > E-voting mailing list
> > E-voting at lists.stdlib.net
> > http://lists.stdlib.net/mailman/listinfo/e-voting
> > http://evoting.cs.may.ie/
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > -- 
> > No virus found in this incoming message.
> > Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
> > Version: 7.0.338 / Virus Database: 267.9.7/60 - Release Date: 28/07/2005
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > _______________________________________________
> > E-voting mailing list
> > E-voting at lists.stdlib.net
> > http://lists.stdlib.net/mailman/listinfo/e-voting
> > http://evoting.cs.may.ie/
> > 
> >
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
> Version: 7.0.338 / Virus Database: 267.9.7/60 - Release Date: 28/07/2005
> 
> 
> 
>  
> _______________________________________________
> E-voting mailing list
> E-voting at lists.stdlib.net
> http://lists.stdlib.net/mailman/listinfo/e-voting
> http://evoting.cs.may.ie/
> 
>



More information about the E-voting mailing list