Academic Papers on 2004 Election Results

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Since November 2nd at least 6 academic papers have been issued doing statistical analysis and models to justify the claim that


Voting patterns cause "Smoke Alarms" to go on: something is afoot

Several University professors have issued papers pointing out statistical anomalies with voting patterns in 2004. Ironically, the Cal Tech / MIT VTP group has several 2000 and 2001 papers presenting voting anomalies. A curious thing for the group who presented the "Anonymous" papers exposing their contrary views - no anomalities in 2004 - listed below. Even more curious: Unlike the 2004 "Anonymous" report, they signed those 2001 reports.

Jason Lenderman A Note Regarding the Berkeley Survey Research Center's Paper on the Effects of Electronic Voting in Florida During the 2004 Presidential Election last issued March 2005 did a simple analysis that showed that there were simpler models that had better fit to the Florida data analyzed by Michael Hout's team but which led to opposite conclusions. Jason provides a very simple and pretty persuasive argument that Hout's group was chasing a statistical will o' wisp.

Cal Tech / MIT VTP group Up to 6 million votes lost in 2000 Issued January 2001 Authors Stephen Graves, Thomas Palfrey, Ron Rivest, Ted Selker, Alex Slocum, Charles Stewart III PASADENA, Calif.- Though over 100 million Americans went to the polls on election day 2000, as many as 6 million might just have well have spent the day fishing. According to the comprehensive Caltech-MIT study, faulty and outdated voting technology together with registration problems were largely to blame for many of the 4-to-6 million votes lost during the 2000 election.

UC Berkeley Data group The Effect of Electronic Voting Machines on Change in Support for Bush in the 2004 Florida Elections issued Nov 04 Authors Michael Hout, Laura Mangels, Jennifer Carlson, and Rachel Best In his news conference on 11/18/04 at Berkeley Professor Hout analogized the report to a “beeping smoke alarm.” It doesn’t say how bad the fire it is, it doesn’t accuse anybody of arson, it just says somebody ought to have an extinguisher handy. According to Keith Olbermann it’s clear the researchers claim they’ve compensated for all the bugaboos that hampered the usefulness of previous studies.. when you calculate all that, you are forced to conclude that compared to the Florida counties that used paper ballots, the ones that used electronic voting machines were much more likely to show “excessive votes” for Mr. Bush, and that the statistical odds of this happening organically are less than one in 1,000.

University of Pennsylvania The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy issued Nov 04 Author Steven Freeman John Allen Paulos gives us the summary: As Steven Freeman.. has demonstrated in his paper.. the pattern is unmistakable. In Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, the differences between Bush's final tallies and his earlier exit poll percentages were, respectively, 6.7%, 6.5%, and 4.9%. Similarly huge differences between the final tallies and the exit poll percentages occurred in 10 of the 11 battleground states, all of them in Bush's favor. If the people sampled in the exit polls were a random sample of voters, Freeman's standard statistical techniques show that these large discrepancies are way, way beyond the margins of error Suffice it to say that the odds against them occuring by chance in just the three states mentioned above are almost a million to one."

MIT Math prof. A statistical analysis of exit polling conducted for RAW STORY issued Nov 04 Author David Anick The analysis has found the odds of Bush making an average gain of 4.15 percent among all 16 states included in the media’s 4 p.m. exit polling is 1 in 50,000, or .002 percent. Anick reasons that there are four possible causes of the “Bush gains.” (1) Significantly greater lying or refusal to speak to pollsters in Bush voters versus Kerry voters; (2) Consistent/systematic errors in weighting demographic groups; (3) A surge of Bush voters after 4 p.m., in all states; (4) Systematic tampering/hacking of reported vote totals, in Bush’s favor.

No Indication Of Fraud Exist

This "theory" has been mostly on the lay media, yet at least 2 university professors have been vocal promoting it, both members of the Cal Tech / MIT Voting Technology Project (VTP) VTP Home Page . See also VTP's Election 2004 Information. After the Berkeley study was published, VTP's top guy - Dean Charles Stewart - backed off from his previous "no irregularities" claim link

Cal Tech / MIT VTP group Voting Machines and the Underestimate of the Bush Vote issued 11/11/04 No Author This report examines claims regarding discrepancies between exit poll results and the presidential vote in certain states; this VTP Report demonstrates that there is no evidence based on exit poll results to conclude that there was fraud in the 2004 Presidential election. Refuted by VTP's Charles Stewart

Cal Tech / MIT VTP group On The Discepancy Between Party Registration and Presidential Vote in Florida issued 11/10/04 No Author This report examines partisan voter registration statistics and the Bush-Kerry vote in Florida counties, and argues that counties with discrepancies between partisan voter registration statistics and presidential voting are those that are closely aligned with the "Dixiecrat" South. Refuted by VTP's Charles Stewart

Harvard prof. The 2004 Florida Optical Voting Machine Controversy: A Causal Analysis Using Matching issued Nov 04 Author Jasjeet S. Sekhon Professor Sekhon uses a different methodological approach (from VTP's Anonymous paper) and concludes that "there is no support in this data for the contention that optical voting machines had a significant causal effect on the Kerry vote." Berkeley's Michael Hout notes: The Sekhon paper is the most sophisticated approach possible. Unfortunately it excludes Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Stanford prof. Evaluating the Impact of Voting Technology on the Tabulation of Voter Preferences: The 2004 Presidential Election in Florida issued Nov 04 Author Jonathan Wand Professor Wand also concludes "that there was not a systematic bias against Kerry due to a particular voting technology." Berkeley's Michael Hout notes: Our study takes for granted that the critiques of the registration studies. That is why we used votes in the past instead of registrations


1) Cal Tech / MIT VTP Anonymous reports REFUTED by Cal Tech Dean after his review of Berkeley's paper. MIT Arts and Social Sciences Dean, Charles Stewart said "an investigation is warranted" to the The Oakland Tribune. Stewart added he didn't necessarily buy the Berkeley conclusion and still thought there were other options

2)I have A LOT OF misgivings about this VTP project and the two professors who have been vocal in promoting the two "Anonymous" papers who seem to toe to the GOP party line -- law. This is my personal opinion and not necessarily the opinion of the whole Dkos community'

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