BREAKING: Bush Got 130,000 Excess Votes in Florida, Evoting System Challenged, says UC Berkeley Study
This press release was just forwarded to Denmark from a friend in the Venetian Provinces...
This is an invitation to a press conference taking place tomorrow, 11/18 at 10am PST/1pm EST about a UC Berkeley report that’s challenging e-voting in Florida.
Here’s the story: A research team at UC Berkeley will report that irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000-260,000 or more excess votes to President George W. Bush in Florida in the 2004 presidential election. The study shows an unexplained discrepancy between votes for President Bush in counties where electronic voting machines were used versus counties using traditional voting methods. This is the first time that an academic institution has formally challenged the e-voting system, and the University is calling on local voting officials in Florida to investigate. The research team – which comprises some of the top minds in voter research – will disclose full results of the study and the raw data at the press conference tomorrow.
Details about the press conference are included below. It will take place on the UC Berkeley campus, but you can participate via a dial-in number – please let me know if you are interested and I can provide you with that information.
*** MEDIA ALERT ***
UC BERKELEY STUDY QUESTIONS
FLORIDA E-VOTE COUNT
RESEARCH TEAM CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE INVESTIGATION
When: Thursday, November 18, 2004, 10:00 am Pacific
Where: UC Berkeley campus, Survey Research Center Conference Room—2538 Channing Way (intersection of Channing/Bowditch). Parking on Durant near Telegraph.
What: A research team at UC Berkeley will report that irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000-260,000 or more excess votes to President George W. Bush in Florida in the 2004 presidential election. The study shows an unexplained discrepancy between votes for President Bush in counties where electronic voting machines were used versus counties using traditional voting methods. Discrepancies this large or larger rarely arise by chance – the probability is less than 0.1 percent. The research team, led by Professor Michael Hout, will formally disclose results of the study at the press conference.
To attend the conference or request dial-in information, contact:
UC Berkeley Media Relations
I have no other details yet.
But this could be -- well, big. You can read about the Survey Research Center here. It looks like they've been studying and comparing voting technologies a bit this year: "In response to national concerns about voting systems, the Survey Research Center and the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley have worked together to determine which voting systems do the best job of recording and tabulating votes. The survey compares five voting systems: direct record electronic (DRE), lever machine, optical scan, paper ballot, and punchcard." (This is NOT the survey that's being released tomorrow, but instead another recent one dealing with similar interests.)
A study from, bar none, the finest public insitution of higher learning in the country, by people who have been studying voting technologies, displaying a large discrepancy between counties with electronic voting and those without.
This is big, big stuff. Godzilla big.
A reminder: in the most recent tallies, Bush won Florida by less than 400,000 votes.
The presence on the email press release of a contact number for Berkeley's media relations guy makes it clear: this is not some hobby or side project by someone who happens to be a professor. This is a University sanctioned study by people whose training lies in such surveys and subject matter.
Did we mention earlier that the Electoral College isn't meeting until December 13?
Saving my ass disclaimer: If this is a hoax, I'm going into Lou Ferrigno mode. But I believe it's for real.
Update: It's also here and here. No hoax!