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

Fergal Daly fergald at gmail.com
Mon Aug 1 14:28:27 IST 2005


I'm not disputing anything about margins of error in large secret
votes, they're just not at all relevant to what happened in this case,

F

On 8/1/05, Craig Burton <craig at e1c.net> wrote:
> VoteHere refer to recounts in CA to achieve a margin of error of +-2.5%
> occurring out of sampling as per "California's 1% automatic precinct
> hand-recount."
> http://www.votehere.net/papers/NIST_121003.pdf
> 
> If this test finds different outcomes per county I'm not sure offhand
> whether there is then a larger recount, a re-run or a coin toss.
> Florida's was decided by the courts at one stage I recall :-)
> 
> 
> Fergal Daly wrote:
> 
> >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
> >>>
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> 
> --
> Craig A Burton                    Independent Online Elections
> Director                          Australian, USA and UK management
> Everyone Counts PL                UK ODPM Framework Supplier
> director at e1c.net                  everyonecounts.com
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