Monthly Archives: January 2011

A Belated Reply to Nate Silver’s “Ten Reasons Why You Should Ignore Exit Polls”

A Belated Reply to Nate Silver’s Ten Reasons Why You Should Ignore Exit Polls

Richard Charnin (TruthIsAll)

Oct. 29, 2010

Nate, this is a reply to your November 2008 post.

I realize it is two years after the fact, but with the midterm elections next week, I thought it would be instructive to review what you said about exit polls. I for one would like to know if you feel the same way about them. By the way, I’m still waiting for your response to these twenty-five questions I posed back in July. But after reading your “ten reasons”, I can come up with ten reasons why you have never responded.

You begin with this: Oh, let me count the ways. Almost all of this, by the way, is lifted from Mark Blumethal’s outstanding Exit Poll FAQ. For the long version, see over there.

Your first mistake was to believe all those discredited GOP talking points. Now I will count the ways.

Are you asking us to ignore a) the final exit polls or b) the unadjusted, preliminary state and national exit polls? If it’s (a), then you must believe that election fraud is systemic since the final is always forced to match the recorded vote, even if it is fraudulent.
If it’s (b), then you must believe that election fraud is a myth. Based on your sources, it must be (b) and you probably believe “voter fraud” is real.

1. Exit polls have a much larger intrinsic margin for error than regular polls. This is because of what are known as cluster sampling techniques. Exit polls are not conducted at all precincts, but only at some fraction thereof. Although these precincts are selected at random and are supposed to be reflective of their states as a whole, this introduces another opportunity for error to occur (say, for instance, that a particular precinct has been canvassed especially heavily by one of the campaigns). This makes the margins for error somewhere between 50-90% higher than they would be for comparable telephone surveys.

RC: Exit polls have a much smaller margin of error than pre-election polls. That should be obvious by now. Even Dick Morris agrees. Exit pollsters Edison-Mitofsky state in the National Exit Poll notes and the NEP Methods Statement that respondents were randomly-selected and the overall margin of error was 1%.

Adding a 30% cluster effect raises the calculated 0.86% MoE to 1.1%. It stands to reason that exit polls are more accurate than pre-election polls because a) those polled know exactly who they voted for and b) in pre-election polls, respondents might change their mind – or not vote. You need to distinguish between the bogus recorded vote (that you use in all of your analysis) and the True Vote (that you never discuss). Apparently, to you there is no such thing as Election Fraud. Here is the simple equation:
Recorded Vote = True Vote + Election Fraud factor

2. Exit polls have consistently overstated the Democratic share of the vote. Many of you will recall this happening in 2004, when leaked exit polls suggested that John Kerry would have a much better day than he actually had. But this phenomenon was hardly unique to 2004. In 2000, for instance, exit polls had Al Gore winning states like Alabama and Georgia(!). If you go back and watch The War Room, you’ll find George Stephanopolous and James Carville gloating over exit polls showing Bill Clinton winning states like Indiana and Texas, which of course he did not win.

RC: Of course the Democrats always do better in the exit polls than in the recorded vote. Read about it here:

But did you ever consider why? Could it be due to the fact that millions of votes are uncounted in every election? And that the vast majority are Democratic (over 50% are in minority districts)? The U.S. Census reported over 80 million net uncounted votes since 1968.

You make the false assumption that the recorded vote is the True Vote. Uncounted votes alone put the lie to that argument. Not to mention votes switched at the DREs and central tabulators. It is also contradicted by a linear regression analysis: non-response rates increased going from the strongest Bush states to the strongest Kerry states which suggests that non-responders were Kerry voters.

3. Exit polls were particularly bad in this year’s primaries. They overstated Barack Obama’s performance by an average of about 7 points.

RC: Did you ever hear about Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” in which he advised Republicans to crossed over in the Democratic primaries and vote for Hillary Clinton? His objective was to deny Obama the nomination. Are you aware that Obama easily won the all the caucuses in which voters were visually counted? Read about it here:

4. Exit polls challenge the definition of a random sample. Although the exit polls have theoretically established procedures to collect a random sample — essentially, having the interviewer approach every nth person who leaves the polling place — in practice this is hard to execute at a busy polling place, particularly when the pollster may be standing many yards away from the polling place itself because of electioneering laws.

RC: You should read what the exit pollsters say about random samples. Exit pollsters Edison-Mitofsky state in the notes to the National Exit Poll that voters are randomly selected as they exit the polling booth. What is your definition?

5. Democrats may be more likely to participate in exit polls. Related to items #1 and #4 above, Scott Rasmussen has found that Democrats supporters are more likely to agree to participate in exit polls, probably because they are more enthusiastic about this election.

RC: You quote a biased GOP pollster who never did an exit poll? There is no evidence that Democrats are more likely to participate. In fact, 2004 exit poll data shows just the opposite. You are resurrecting the reluctant Bush responder (rBr)? That was disproved by the exit pollster’s own data back in 2004 when you were predicting baseball scores.

6. Exit polls may have problems calibrating results from early voting. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, exit polls will attempt account for people who voted before election day in most (although not all) states by means of a random telephone sample of such voters. However, this requires the polling firms to guess at the ratio of early voters to regular ones, and sometimes they do not guess correctly. In Florida in 2000, for instance, there was a significant underestimation of the absentee vote, which that year was a substantially Republican vote, leading to an overestimation of Al Gore’s share of the vote, and contributing to the infamous miscall of the state.

RC: Are you aware that Edison-Mitofsky stated that their 2004 precinct design sample was near perfect? You mention Florida, but ignore the fact that there were 180,000 spoiled punch card ballots that were never counted – and that 70% were for Gore? Are you aware that GOP election officials discarded Democratic absentee ballots and included GOP ballots filed after the due date? Have you heard of the butterfly ballot? Do you really believe that Bush won Florida in 2000? Read about it here:

7. Exit polls may also miss late voters. By “late” voters I mean persons who come to their polling place in the last couple of hours of the day, after the exit polls are out of the field. Although there is no clear consensus about which types of voters tend to vote later rather than earlier, this adds another way in which the sample may be nonrandom, particularly in precincts with long lines or extended voting hours.

RC: You apparently were unaware that Kerry was leading by a steady 3-4% at 4pm (8649 respondents), at 730 pm (11027) and at 12:22am (13047) after the polls closed. As a stat guru, you should ask how it was that Kerry led by 51-48% at 12:22 am but that Bush led by 51-48% in the Final at 1am – after just 613 additional respondents? Are you aware that all final reported exit polls are always FORCED to match the recorded vote? Of course, Kerry also won the final undjusted National Exit Poll by 51.7-47.0% of the full 13660 respondents. But the pollsters had to switch respondents from Kerry to Bush to force a match to the bogus recorded vote. Read about the final 5 million votes here:

8. “Leaked” exit poll results may not be the genuine article. Sometimes, sources like Matt Drudge and Jim Geraghty have gotten their hands on the actual exit polls collected by the network pools. At other times, they may be reporting data from “first-wave” exit polls, which contain extremely small sample sizes and are not calibrated for their demographics. And at other places on the Internet (though likely not from Gergahty and Drudge, who actually have reasonably good track records), you may see numbers that are completely fabricated.

RC: You quoted Matt Drudge of all people? Guess you were unfamiliar with his political leanings. Anyway, Kerry led by a steady 51-48%s from 4pm (8349 respondents) to 9pm (11027) to 12:22am (13047) to the final (51.7-47.0%,13660). See point # 7. Read about it here:

9. A high-turnout election may make demographic weighting difficult. Just as regular, telephone polls are having difficulty this cycle estimating turnout demographics — will younger voters and minorities show up in greater numbers? — the same challenges await exit pollsters. Remember, an exit poll is not a definitive record of what happened at the polling place; it is at best a random sampling.

RC: Kerry won 57-62% of new (mostly young) voters, depending on National Exit Poll timeline. At least you agree that exit polls are indeed random samples. Glad you corrected point #4.

10. You’ll know the actual results soon enough anyway. Have patience, my friends, and consider yourselves lucky: in France, it is illegal to conduct a poll of any kind within 48 hours of the election. But exit polls are really more trouble than they’re worth, at least as a predictive tool. An independent panel created by CNN in the wake of the Florida disaster in 2000 recommended that the network completely ignore exit polls when calling particular states. I suggest that you do the same.

RC: Surely you jest. Exit polls are more trouble than they are worth? I suggest you do some research. Are you aware that in the 1988-2008 presidential elections, 126 of 274 state exit polls exceeded the margin of error – and 123 red shifted to the Republican? Do you have any idea what the probability is? It’s 5E-106! That’s 105 zeroes to the right of the decimal. At the 95% confidence level, 14 of the 274 exit polls would be expected to exceed the MoE in an unbiased sample. Read about it here:

Nate, your problem is that you refuse to believe that Election Fraud is systemic or that it even exists. You apparently believe that the recorded vote accurately depicts what really happened and therefore the exit polls were in error. Son, you have it exactly backwards. Tell that to Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow next time you guest on their show.

Why don’t you tell the folks at the NY Times that election analysts want to see the 2010 unadjusted exit poll data? We are still waiting for the 2008 numbers – because it would confirm that Obama won by more than double his recorded 9.5 million vote margin. We know that he won by approximately 22 million votes based on the National Exit Poll vote shares. Read about it here:

Update: We have the 2008 numbers. Obama won the unadjusted National Exit poll by 61-37%. He won the unadjusted state exit poll aggregate by 58.0-40.5% – matching my True Vote Model.

This is the only spreadsheet database reference of its kind in existence: The 1988-2008 unadjusted state and national exit polls:

This historical overview of Election Fraud may be of interest:

Of course, the impossible returning voter mix had to be changed to a feasible one. You would agree that 103% turnout of living 2004 Bush voter is impossible, yes? And you would agree that the NEP inflated the number of returning 2004 third-party voters by indicating there were 5 million although only 1.2 million were recorded? And you would agree that there could not have been 12 million more returning Bush voters than Kerry voters – especially since Bush won the recorded vote by 3 million and Kerry won the True Vote by 10 million?

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Posted by on January 15, 2011 in Rebuttals


New York State of Denial

Response to Howard Stanislevic’s “Watching and Waiting for a Return to Innocence”

Richard Charnin (TruthIsAll)
Updated Jan. 21, 2011

Howard claimed that NY State made a big mistake in replacing Lever machines with optical scanners. He wants the levers back. But he did not realize that levers had the biggest exit poll discrepancies by far of all voting methods.

I updated this post to include New York State recorded votes by county for the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.

It has not escaped our attention, or that of our readers, that our last post was over a year ago, when it first became evident that New Yorkers would lose their voting system and have it replaced by a software-based system that our legal system is incapable of regulating. We called that post “The End of Innocence” and it covered quite a lot of ground.

“Our legal system is incapable of regulating”. What are you saying, Howard? That the legal system is corrupt? Then why don’t you focus on the corruption, rather than shill incessantly for a return to lever machines? Yes, the 100 year history of lever machines was truly the “Age of Innocence”: New York voters were innocent of the fact that their votes cast on Levers were tabulated by corrupt humans and rigged computers .

There hasn’t been a need to post anything more since then; we would just be repeating ourselves. We’ve met with the powers that be in both houses of the State Legislature responsible for making election law, and they have taken our suggestions under advisement. No laws have been passed to verify election results. But we’ve seen lots of interest in the National Popular Vote (NPV), Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) and other practically unverifiable voting methods. Even Internet voting!

That is commendable, but what makes you think that NY politicians were ever for fair elections?

Perhaps in light of the state’s highest court’s Dec. 20th denial of a hand count in the NY State Senate District 7 race in which computers — rather than voters — determined which party will control the Senate, it’s time for a quick review of how we got here.

Computers don’t decide anything. Humans do. You need to change “computers” to “election officials”.

New York has become the Florida of the Northeast when it comes to elections, or perhaps worse since we don’t even attempt to count thousands of undervotes reported by the ballot scanners. Our new machines don’t even warn voters of the effect of casting overvotes, which Florida has corrected after their unfortunate 2008 experience.

So you are concerned about election officials not doing their jobs to hand count the paper ballots produced by optical scanners. You could never accuse them of not counting the paper ballots produced by mechanical levers. There weren’t any.

There is plenty of blame to go around so we’ve tried to summarize it for your convenience as we keep watching and waiting for a Return to Innocence. Those who are responsible for our current situation know who they are, although they may be in denial about it.

Here’s what happened:
1. New York has a history of paper ballot fraud (Tammany Hall) which lever machines were effectively designed to prevent. We don’t trust PEOPLE or PAPER unless they can be watched. We do trust machines that can be locked against tampering, observed when opened, and that work on simple observable mechanical principles such as gravity and that can’t switch votes during elections the way software can. They are part of a voting system and a legal system designed to prevent fraud. Reinventing that system to deal with computers is a lot harder than most people think. In fact, it’s never been done!

2. Over the last several years, our public officials have heard very little from New York’s precinct-count optical scanner (PCOS) advocates and “good-government” groups about the need for software-independent elections (software-independent voting systems are only the beginning!). The opinions of National Institute of Standards and Technology experts and other computer scientists about the need not to trust software, the ineffectiveness of the “certification” of software, BUGS in New York’s actual voting system software, etc. have never been widely disseminated except in testimony to a few legislative committee members by people such as us and a few election officials, and on Internet mailing lists and blogs not read by the general public. We’re sorry to say there are very few of us making the case against allowing computers to “decide” election results. We are unfunded and practically alone. Compared to the push for Instant Runoff Voting, National Popular Vote, and even PCOS itself, we are voices in the proverbial wilderness. And that’s a shame.

3. The same lack of informed consent applies to the so-called manual auditing of elections counted by computers, which is the only way to restore some trust and the NYS-constitutionally required bipartisan administration of elections (that explicitly includes vote-counting). That constitutional requirement has been undermined by the use of vote-counting software. But almost no one wants to hand-count more than 3% of the vote. Counting substantially more than this means the machines were a waste of money. No one wants to hear this after spending $50 million on them, plus the recurring costs of ownership which will be much more over time. One notable exception is Columbia County in which, prior to the elections, both election commissioners agreed to conduct 100% hand counts. Before an election is the best time to make such an agreement since partisan disputes over winners and losers of contests will not arise. You can read more about that good news here, thanks to Commissioner Virginia Martin.

Waiting for a return to innocence? You mean waiting for unverifiable levers? Just who is in denial?

“New York has a history of paper ballot fraud”. Once again, we get to your true agenda: you don’t trust paper ballots, but you love those mechanical levers. Howard, how quickly you forget: New York votes were CAST on levers; they were tabulated COUNTED on central tabulators. That is how votes cast on levers were switched. You must be aware of this fact yet you continue to ignore it. You are an engineer and this ain’t rocket science. So what is your explanation? We have been waiting a long time for it.

After a seven year investigation, the NIST has finally agreed that WTC 7 fell at free-fall acceleration – and yet still claim that it collapsed due to fires. You referred to “simple observable mechanical principles such as gravity” above. And we are supposed to believe the obviously politicized NIST? What can you tell us about the “bugs” in the central tabulators that were used to COUNT the votes CAST on levers? You claim to be a “voice in the wilderness” as you continue your quixotic campaign to bring back those UNVERIFIABLE lever machines while ignoring the facts that votes were CAST on levers but COUNTED on central tabulators.

Finally, we can agree on something: we need a robust manual hand-count of the votes CAST Optical scanners that are COUNTED on computers. Sound familiar? So why don’t you admit that the voting system in which votes CAST on mechanical lever machines and COUNTED on central tabulators is INFERIOR to the current system in which the PAPER BALLOTS can be hand-counted?

Columbia County is to be commended. It was the only NY county which does a complete hand count of the optical scanned paper ballots. Columbia had just 26,000 voters in 2000 and 2004. This confirms that Columbia is serious about having fair elections: It was the only NY county of 67 in which Bush’s vote share DECLINED from 2000 to 2004!

New York State 2000 and 2004 recorded votes are provided for each county in the tables below.

One other interesting point to mull over:
In 2000, 2004 and 2008, the Democratic share of late votes recorded after Election Day was 7% higher than the Election Day share! Was it because the late votes were cast on paper ballots and Election Day votes on Levers?

New York City and the suburbs were the focus of massive Bush 2004 election fraud. I provided EIRS data showing that in heavily Democratic NYC, long lines and faulty machines disenfranchised voters:

In 2004, there was a 17% increase over 2000 in the national recorded vote (105 to 122 million). Kerry captured 57-59% of new voters!

So how are we expected to believe the Bush vs. Kerry recorded vote changes in the most heavily populated New York Democratic counties as displayed in this graph?

Recorded vote changes from Bush/Gore 2000:
1. Kings (Brooklyn): Bush +75% and Kerry +5%!
2. Bronx: Bush +59% and Kerry +10%!
3. Queens: Bush +36% and Kerry +5%!
4. Nassau: Bush +30% and Kerry -2% decline!
5. Rockland:Bush +29% and Kerry -9% decline!
6. Orange: Bush +27% and Kerry +9%!
7. Staten Island: Bush +40% and Kerry -9% decline!

4. Instead of the facts about NOT trusting computers to count votes, what our public officials and the media have been told is that:

New York has the most “rigorous software certification process”;
paper ballots would be “available” for audits and recounts, “if necessary”;

NY would “RELY on the paper ballots”;

NY has a 100% “recount” law (the Election Law § 9-208 “recanvass,” which never required recounts of ALL paper ballots, but only absentee, emergency and provisional ballots, and was recently amended only to require some form of ballot accounting).

All of the above provided New Yorkers who did not fact-check these statements with a false sense of security about our voting system, our election laws and our ultimate “reliance” on paper ballots to “verify” elections.

In other words, New Yorkers have been sold a bill of goods and the Legislature and Judiciary have heard very little to correct this record.

Right. So let’s start by recognizing that the fault lies not in our machines, but in our corrupt election officials and judges who refuse to hand count the optical scanned paper ballots counted by CENTRAL TABULATORS (I.E. COMPUTERS). And remember that there were NO paper ballots in the LEVER/COMPUTER voting system in which the votes were ALSO counted by CENTRAL TABULATORS.

Have you been reading my posts? I already wrote about voters having a false sense of security in the UNVERIFIABLE levers:

With respect to the SD 7 no-recount case, perhaps the attorneys should have had a computer scientist such as Ron Rivest or Rebecca Mercuri testify about the need not to trust software to count votes. But the judge didn’t even want to hear testimony from an election auditing expert.

And please remember, the lawyers in the SD 7 case were working for the NY State Senate — who also have their OWN lawyers who have written some of the very election laws in question in this case! This is part of the same Legislature that has not been properly educated about the risks of computerized vote-counting in the first place — only to have it come back and bite them in their bids for re-election.

But first you must recognize the facts about NY central tabulators. Compare Oregon (which mandates random hand-counting of paper ballots to check the machine counts) to New York, where votes that were CAST on levers and MISCOUNTED by computers could not be verified since there were NO PAPER BALLOTS TO RECOUNT.

And now that NY has optically scanned paper ballots, the corrupt election officials and judiciary REFUSE TO COUNT them as a check on the central tabulator (i.e. computer) machine counts!

Now why don’t you call out the corrupt NY officials who refuse to count the paper ballots and stop whining for a return to the ancient, corrupt, unverifiable, paperless, nontransparent, Lever machines which can be rigged by shaving the gears, not counting past 999 and which break down in highly Democratic districts, disenfranchising thousands. And those lucky enough to have their votes CAST can still have them miscounted on CENTRAL COMPUTERS – and never know it.

Do you get it yet?

The future for election integrity looks pretty bleak in the Empire State, but we’ll keep watching and waiting. The other major bright spot is of course Nassau County’s bipartisan lawsuit to return to the lever voting system, which is ongoing.

That is a bright spot? To bring back an UNVERIFIABLE voting system in which votes CAST on LEVERS only to be COUNTED on CENTRAL TABULATORS? Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

These are the facts that you conveniently ignore:
1. NY votes were cast on levers
2. The votes were counted on central tabulators
3, Central tabulators are computers
4. There were no paper ballots to verify the machine counts
5. The lever voting system was never transparent!
The 2004 NY exit poll showed a massive 12% discrepancy in Kerry’s margin. The exit poll timeline indicated that Kerry won NY by a constant 64-35%. But the recorded vote was 58-40% (the exit poll margin of error was less than 2%). According to the Census Bureau, there were more than 300,000 uncounted votes in NY State, the vast majority for Kerry:

Kerry’s New York margin was reduced by nearly 1.0 million votes due to election fraud. In California, his margin was cut by approximately 1.4 million. Bush won the recorded vote by just 3.0 million, so approximately 80% of his “mandate” came from the two biggest Democratic states.

Kerry won the national aggregate of the state unadjusted exit polls by 52-47%, but lost the recorded vote by 50.7-48.3%. The average exit poll discrepancy (WPE) was 7.4%. The WPE for mechanical lever precincts was 11.6%. It was 7% for DRE and optical scanners, but just 2% for votes cast on paper ballots.

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Posted by on January 14, 2011 in Rebuttals


Calling Out the NY Lever Shills

Calling Out the NY Lever Shills

Richard Charnin (TruthIsAll)

Jan. 12, 2011

Democratic Underground Posters “Bill Bored” and “Wilms” have been shilling non-stop for years as advocates for NY lever voting machines. The levers were replaced by optical scanners in 2010.

They want the levers back.Their mantra is that, unlike Optical scanners, levers cannot be rigged through software. Yet they have never coherently addressed the fact that votes CAST on levers are COUNTED on UNVERIFIABLE central tabulators; there are no paper ballots.

Unlike votes cast on lever machines which are lost in cyberspace, the optically scanned paper ballots can be manually recounted to check the machine counts – assuming politicians, judges and election officials wanted to recount. But they didn’t want fair elections with the levers and they don’t want fair elections now that they have the scanners.

Bored and Wilms might as well be writing for the mainstream media; they assume that readers don’t do their homework and are oblivious to the facts. Instead of focusing on the real problem (corrupt NY judges, politicians and election officials who refuse to do robust hand-counts of the paper ballots) they continue their non-stop campaign to bring back the levers.

And they mislead readers by claiming that no one can explain how votes could be switched on levers. It has been pointed out to them numerous times, but they continue to ignore these facts:

1. NY votes were cast on levers
2. The votes were counted on central tabulators
3, Central tabulators are computers
4. There were no paper ballots to verify the machine counts
5. The lever voting system was never transparent!

Bored calls the 2004 exit polls “crap” because they showed a massive 12% discrepancy in Kerry’s NY margin. The exit poll timeline indicated that Kerry won NY by a constant 64-35%. But the recorded vote was 58-40% (the exit poll margin of error was less than 2%). According to the Census Bureau, there were more than 300,000 uncounted votes in NY State, the vast majority for Kerry.

Kerry’s New York margin was reduced by nearly 1.0 million votes due to election fraud. In California, his margin was cut by approximately 1.4 million. Bush won the recorded vote by just 3.0 million, so approximately 80% of his “mandate” came from the two biggest Democratic states.
Nationwide, Kerry won the aggregate of the state exit polls by 52-47%, but lost the recorded vote by 50.7-48.3%.

The average exit poll discrepancy (WPE) for all voting machine types was 7.4%. It was 11.6% for mechanical levers, 7% for DREs and optical scanners – but just 2% for paper ballots (see

I provided EIRS data showing that in heavily Democratic NYC, long lines and faulty machines disenfranchised voters:

This graph depicts the implausible 2004 Bush gains over 2000 in the 15 largest New York counties.

In 2004, there was a 17% increase over 2000 in the national recorded vote (105 to 122 million). Kerry captured 57-59% of new voters!
So how are we expected to believe the implausible recorded vote changes in heavily Democratic counties?

1. Kings (Brooklyn): Bush’s recorded vote increased by 75% and Kerry’s by just 5%!
2. Bronx: Bush’s recorded vote increased by 59% and Kerry’s by just 10%!
3. Queens:, Bush’s recorded vote increased by 36% and Kerry’s by just 5%!
4. Nassau: Bush’s recorded vote increased by 30% and Kerry’s declined by 2%!

But now they have gone too far. They resort to outright slander.

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Posted by on January 7, 2011 in Rebuttals

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JFK Conspiracy and Systemic Election Fraud Analysis