Something's rotten in the state of Denmark

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Two things...

...people have been emailing us about.

First, the Keith Olbermann/Bev Harris disagreement. Keith writes in his blog that he's been greatly troubled by the self-promotional ways of Bev Harris, founder of and a major proponent of examining the Florida irregularities. While we think that Bev Harris has done an excellent job of exposing how easily the Diebold tabulation systems for optican scan ballots could be hacked -- not that they were, but that they so easily could have been -- we also have found that a lot of her tactics and information don't always put corroboration first. Still, she has contributed in amassing much information about the flaws and faults of the voting technologies created by ESS, Sequoia, and Diebold.

Second, many readers have emailed us about the response to the Berkeley paper by Michael Hout, prepared by a Professor B.D. McCullough of Drexel University and Florenz Plassman of SUNY Binghamton. Our initial glances have found that McCullough and Plassman do not succeed in creating substantial doubts about Hout -- at one point, they claim that Hout did not subject his paper to peer review, only, in several stories I read, it was described that Hout and his partners did get peer notes and comments. That said, we'll take some time tonight to review the McCullough and Plassman paper. But we maintain, as Kevin Drum did on his blog for the Washington Monthly, that it's clear that something needs to be explained in Broward and Palm Beach, the two counties which Hout's paper seems to suggest were the true sites of irregularities that have not been explained... and are still not explained in McCullough and Plassmann's paper. (And for those who would suggest we don't like the McCullough paper just because we don't like the results, we remind you that we took a similarly sketpical eye towards a paper sympathetic to the charge of fraud that came from a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.) More on this soon; thanks for your patience.