Monday, January 31, 2005

TRUTH LEFT OUT: MSM Fail to Report an Important Exit Poll Study By Prominent Experts That Invalidates Mitofsky's Explanation

U.S. votergate media blackout
UNREPORTED BY MAINSTREAM MEDIA

UPDATE #2:

I have found the first comment made by Mitofsky since the damning report by USCountVotes.org refuting his conclusions.



Ready?



It's really short.






Here it is:




The Edison/Mitofsky report was not investigating election fraud. We were looking at how to guarantee the accuracy of exit poll data.
- from Research-Live.com - February 2, 2005




(more blank space for dramatic effect)







I really don't know what to say. That comment says it all. Either Mitofsky is:

1. Completely off his rocker

or

2. Being forced to say these things, which defies all logic and reasoning.


I'll just state the obvious and be as brief as Mitofsky.

How the hell can you guarantee the accuracy of exit poll data if you don't even consider if there was counting error or not????!!!!!

How the hell can you guarantee the accuracy of the exit poll data if your conclusions contradict the data????!!!!

And what's more -- "the integrity of the election process" (what USCountVotes.org is about) does not necessarily equate to "vote fraud".

Or does Mitofsky know something more?

--------------------------------------

UPDATE #1:

Word is slowly, and I mean slowly, getting around about this important report. An article by Judy Bertelson at the Berkeley Daily Planet has made a very astute observation about the Mitofsky / Edison report. She states:
...Furthermore, the Edison/Mitofsky report elides from hypothesis to assertion of fact, without the benefit of confirming data.

Edison/Mitofsky are quoted as saying, “While we cannot measure the completion rate by Democratic and Republican voters, hypothetical completion rates of 56 percent among Kerry voters and 50 percent among Bush voters overall would account for the entire Within Precinct Error that we observed in 2004.”

(Within Precinct Error is defined as “an average of the difference between the percentage margin between the leading candidates in the exit poll and the actual vote for all sample precincts in a state.”)

However, this hypothesis is treated as fact on page four of Edison and Mitofsky’s Executive Summary, “It is difficult to pinpoint precisely the reasons that, in general Kerry voters were more likely to participate in the exit polls than Bush voters.” The hypothesis has morphed into asserted reality.
Are we to believe that a highly respected researcher, such as Mitofsky, has made such an egregious error in logic by mistake? What is the "probability" of that?!

------------------------------

ORIGINAL POST:

I waited a few days to see if any of the MSM would pick this story up. Surprise, surprise -- NOTHING! This report by prominent statiticians and mathematicians across the U.S. has concluded that Mitofsky is simply WRONG with his own exit poll analyses. Based on the numbers provided by Mitofsky in the "investigative" report entitled "Evaluation of Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004", the professors and researchers report that Mitofsky has no evidence to support his claim that the exit poll participation rate was skewed in Kerry's favour. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that the exact opposite was true.

As Newsclip Autopsy has mentioned multiple times before, there are only 2 explanations that could account for the exit poll discrepancy:

1. Significant Systematic Exit Poll Bias

2. Counting Error (benign or malicious)

According to Mitofsky's research, there does seem to be a few variables which points to number 1. However, as I've noted below, the discrepancy still exists when the ideal conditions are met. Unfortunately, the USCountVotes.org report does not address this particular point. It is my belief that this systematic bias was NOT significant enough to account for the overall discrepancy. I have emailed Dr. Freeman (one of the contributers of the USCountVotes.org report) about this particular query, but I have received no response as of yet.

Nonetheless, this new evaluation of the Mitofsky data makes it clear that FURTHER ANALYSES OF THE RAW DATA is needed in order to address this issue and others. So far, none of the media outlets will allow this information to be released.

As for "counting error" of the actual votes, statistician Josh Mitteldorf explains that:
Now we have statistical evidence that these reports were the tip of a national iceberg. The hypothesis that the discrepancy between the exit polls and election results is due to errors in the official election tally is a coherent theory that must be explored.
(from Scoop - January 31, 2005)
Furthermore, the USCountVotes.org report goes on to say that the hand counting of paper ballots showed NO STATISTICAL DISCREPANCY with the exit polls, as was the case with the counting and tabulating with the other machine methods. Mitofsky DID emphasize in his investigation that there was no error difference between e-voting and voting using paper ballots, but he did not compare "hand counting" against "machine counting". Why he did not do this is odd -- considering he had the data for comparison. Afterall, this difference was of major importance during the Ohio recount in December when only 3% of the votes were actually recounted by hand. There were multiple instances when the the hand recount did not match the machine count. By state law, a full hand recount should have taken place. However, with orders given by SOS Ken Blackwell, the machines were replaced with new ones and a full hand recount did NOT take place.

This report proves that Mitofsky DID NOT do his homework properly and HAS NOT adequately explained why a significant discrepancy exists between the exit polls and the official results of the 2004 U.S. Presidential election. It also begs other basic questions not queried by Mitofsky -- supposedly "the father" of exit polling. The USCountVotes.org report is an extremely important piece of work done by highly respected professional and credible mathematicians and statiticians.

When are we going to see this critical analyses in mainstream media???!!!

Indeed, when is the mainstream media even going to release the raw data so that further objective analyses may continue???!!!


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

HALF-TRUTH: CNN Headline at Odds With The Actual Story About "Iraqi Democracy"

This newsclip -- screensaved from CNN.com -- is worthy of a piece on a late night comedy talk show. Hmm: 1) Iraqis don't know who the candidates are; 2) Iraqis don't know where to vote; 3) Iraqis "...are not as interested in talking about the elections as they are about the lack of petrol, gas, electricity and work."

However, the headline screams "Democracy Finds Hope...". LOL!!!

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Thursday, January 20, 2005

TRUTH REPORTED: CNN Gets it Right -- AGAIN!!!

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Here's the update:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

HALF-TRUTH: Mitofsky Solves The Mystery of the Exit Poll Discrepancy

U.S. votergate media blackout
Finally, on the eve of the Presidential inaugauration (timely, wouldn't you say), Mitofsky's conclusions for the much anticipated initial investigation into the exit poll discrepancy for the 2004 election have been released to the public (see his full report here).

As reported by CNN, here are his main assertions as to why Mitofsky believes there was a significant discrepancy between the exit poll numbers and the actual results:
Distance restrictions from polling places imposed upon the interviewers by election officials at the state and local level.

Weather conditions, which lowered completion rates at certain polling locations.

Multiple precincts voting at the same location as the precinct in the exit poll sample.

Interviewer characteristics, such as age, which were more often related to the errors last year than in past elections.
The numbers in the report are, indeed, interesting. For example, look at the numbers for the "interviewer distance from the polling exit":

Interviewer Distance
NOTE: WPE = Within Precinct Error. A negative number indicates that the exit poll differed by the main results in Kerry's favour. Similarily, a positive WPE would indicate that the exit poll overestimated the Bush numbers.

There definitely seems to be a co-relation between Republican voters not completing exit polls due to how far the exit poll interviewers are away from the polling building. What does this mean? What are we to assume is going on here? Do Republicans overwhelmingly park their cars closer to the polling building? Are Democrats more likely to take a bus after voting (the bus stop being in the general location of the exit poll station)? No explanation is given by Mitofsky as to why this phenomenon occurs. Further examination is definitely needed here!

With respect to interviewer age, there also seems to be a slight co-relation with the WPE. That is, the older the interviewer, the less the exit poll discrepancy:

Interviewer Age

So, here Mitofsky insinuates that Republicans are less likely participate with younger exit poll workers (The "contempt for youth" effect). If Republicans tend to discriminate based on "youth", I would love to see the stats co-relating the WPE against whether the exit poll worker was "black" or "white". Alas, Mitofsky did not provide that analyses -- since only 7% of the workers were African-American.

All in all, do these numbers indicate that there was a "shy Republican" effect with the variables looked at in the Mitofsky analyses? It seems that way. However, the most obvious detail of every variable looked at in this study has been completely ignored by Mitofsky and the mainstream media.

THE WPE IS ALWAYS SIGNIFICANTLY NEGATIVE IN THE MOST IDEAL CIRCUMSTANCE.

That is, even if Mitofsky implemented all of the changes he recommends, there still would be a significant discrepancy.

Don't believe me? Look at all of the systematic bias variables looked at above and then look at the most "ideal" situation:

1. Distance Restrictions -- PROBLEM: THE FURTHER AWAY FROM THE BUILDING, THE LESS LIKELY REPUBLICANS WERE TO RESPOND

There was still a -5.3 and -6.4 discrepancy with the mean WPE even when the exit poll workers were "inside" or "right outside" the entrance.

DISCREPANCY STILL EXISTS!

2. Weather Conditions -- PROBLEM: BAD WEATHER MADE REPUBLICANS LESS LIKELY TO RESPOND

There was still a -6.2 discrepancy with the mean WPE when the weather was NOT a factor.

DISCREPANCY STILL EXISTS!

3. Multiple Precincts -- PROBLEM: i) the interviewer was not able to interview voters only from the sample precinct; ii) either the reported vote or the exit poll is not only from the sample precinct alone.

There was still a -6.3 discrepancy with the mean WPE when there was ONLY 1 precinct.

DISCREPANCY STILL EXISTS!

4. Interviewer Characteristics -- PROBLEM: THE YOUNGER THE AND MORE EDUCATED THE INTERVIEWER, THE LESS LIKELY REPUBLICANS WOULD RESPOND

There was still a -7.0 discrepancy with the mean WPE when the age of the interviewer was between 55-64. A similar discrepancy still exists when education and gender is taken into consideration.

DISCREPANCY STILL EXISTS!

Has Mitofsky proven that a co-relation exists between these above variables and the Republicans willingness to participate in the exit poll? It seems that way.

HOWEVER, the big question is this:

Has Mitofsky proven that these variables account for the significant discrepancy between the exit poll numbers and the actual results of the election?

That answer is a BIG RESOUNDING "NO".

According to Mitofsky's results, there would STILL be a significant discrepancy even if all of his recommendations were followed. Why no mention of this extremely important detail? The silence, as we say, is deafening.

A crude analogy would be to say that a bowl of sh*t would taste bad because one put too much pepper on it. However, I think we would all agree that if we take away the pepper, it would still taste bad. (I hope no one argues with me on that particular detail).

So remember: When the editorials from the mainstream give you the pablum that it has been proven by Mitofsky that the exit poll discrepancy was a result of Republicans not wanting to participate (due to the variables listed above) -- please write them and set them straight!!! THERE IS STILL AN "UNACCOUNTED FOR" DISCREPANCY.

I would love for Dr. Freeman to do another follow-up to his yet unrefuted research, showing that these variables listed by Mitofsky do not adequately account for the overall significant discrepancy between the exit polls and the official election results. I'm sure we will hear from him soon!

Mitofsky (and the mainstream media) still assume that there was no significant COUNTING ERROR (malicious or benign). The evidence of widespread irregularites across the U.S. and, most notably, in Ohio, paints Mitofsky (and the press) as being a bit naive (or careless) in this regard. As he states in his report:
It is difficult to pinpoint precisely the reasons that, in general, Kerry voters were more likely to participate in the exit polls than Bush voters. There were certainly motivational factors that are impossible to quantify, but which led to Kerry voters being less likely than Bush voters to refuse to take the survey.
How about this reason: More people voted for Kerry than what was officially recognized.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

TRUTH REPORTED: CNN Finally Gets it Right!!!

CNN Bush Intelligence

Friday, January 14, 2005

TRUTH LEFT OUT: House Judiciary Committee asks for Criminal Investigation into Ohio's SOS, Ken Blackwell

UNREPORTED BY MAINSTREAM MEDIA

Don't hold your breath (for it to be reported or followed up on by the DOJ), but Congressman John Conyers et al. are now pressing for a criminal investigation against the Secretary of State for Ohio.


...Among other matters, the referral is to request an investigation into voter intimidation, improper voter purging, perjury, possible misuse of Help America Vote Act funds, tampering with voting machines during Ohio’s recount and Blackwell’s misuse of the Great Seal of the United States in a campaign letter...
(from The Blue Lemur, January 14, 2005)

Also noted in this article is the fact that Attorney General John Ashcroft

...has not appointed a special counsel during his tenure...

American democracy(?) continues...

Monday, January 10, 2005

HUGE MISTRUTH: Alternet Lowers American Investigative Journalism to a New Low

WARNING: The following blog-post contains crude uncensored angy words to emphasize the obscene nature of the article reported on here.

You know journalism in America is in dire straits when the non-mainstream alternative so-called "left-wing" sites are churning out utter crap like the stuff I discovered today. This Alternet piece has inspired me to take what free time I have today and dedicate it to exposing it's glaring non-sequiturs. There is a problem, though. I don't know where to begin. The ol' "so much to write about, so little time" axiom comes into play here. So what I will do here is expose the mistruth in one section of the story and let you (and other bloggers) comment about the others. The section of the article I will cover is on a particular topic Newsclip Autopsy has been following closely since November 2. Russ Baker, the so-called "investigative journalist" of this report calls this particular subject "the central issue".


The exit polls.
Election 2004: Stolen or Lost

By Russ Baker, TomPaine.com. Posted January 10, 2005.

Charge: Exit poll results were more accurate than actual ballots
Finding: False
Explanation of Problem: Imperfect nature of polls

Now to the central issue: the claim that exit polls, which never lie, showed Kerry winning. Our understanding of this – and the argumentation in the Contest – is based largely on an analysis by Steven F. Freeman, Ph.D. But Freeman is not an expert in polling. According to his affidavit, he is a visiting scholar in the Graduate Division, School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania Center for Organizational Dynamics.
O.k. First off, Baker tries to discredit the exit polling analyses based on Freeman's credentials. Notice he does not mention the fact that no "expert" has ever disputed his conclusions since the report first came out in mid-November. He also conveniently neglects to mention the most recent analyses by STATITICIAN Ron Baiman who confirms Freeman's findings.
To get some insight into this issue, I spoke with a source who, in the common parlance, is "familiar with the thinking of" Warren Mitofsky, the "father" of the exit poll.
Baker's UN-NAMED source is "familiar with Mitofsky's thinking"! How's that for covering one's journalistic back!! Well done, Baker!!!
Asked about Freeman's analysis, my source told me that it is "all wrong." We spent several hours going through Freeman's specific claims, and reviewed how exit polls – and Mitofsky's in particular – work.

Much of the belief that the election was stolen was based on "screen shots" of raw numbers provided by CNN. In exit polling, raw numbers mean almost nothing – since the essence of a successful exit poll is to interview a sampling of voters, and then apply a variety of methods in order to adjust to the most probable accurate assessment. "To say you want the raw data is ludicrous," said the source. "You can't use it until you do something with it. You're talking about a bunch of naïve people that had [only] the first course in statistics."
Forgive my extreme bluntness here, but that is COMPLETE AND UTTER BULLS**T, HORSES**T, PIGS**T -- WHATEVER -- THIS IS THE MOST VILE EXTREMENT THAT I HAVE EVER COME ACCROSS DURING THE POST-ANALYSIS OF THIS ELECTION. Raw numbers don't mean anything?????!!!!! Is this guy on crack????!!!! "You can't use it until you do something with it????!!!" NO FREAKIN' SH******T!!!! Both Freeman and Baiman both adjusted the sample to compensate for gender bias, etc. In fact, it is the final numbers produced by the networks which bear no resemblance to reality. These "final" numbers were adjusted so that they would agree more with the actual results. It's the statistical equivalent to "adjusting the bell curve" when a professor finds that the majority of the students did poorly on their mid-terms. And Baker has the gall to smear Freeman's name a second time by calling him "naive". This is incredible!!!
Bill Leonard, a former CBS News VP who was a polling pioneer, has called exit polls "blunt instruments." The widely circulated notion that they are always right is dead wrong.
BULLS**T, HORSES**T, PIGS**T....MORE UTTER VILE EXCREMENT!!! Exit polls are used by UN organizations all over the world to determine whether an election is fair. The most recent and a most obvious example was the exit polling done in the Ukraine. This exit polling, by the way, was managed by the U.S.!!!! It was also the number one reason why the U.S. disputed the first Ukraine election results, immediately following the outcome. Furthermore, NOONE IS POSTULATING THAT THE EXIT POLLS CAN NEVER BE WRONG!!!! Freeman et al. are merely pointing out that THERE IS A SIGNIFICANT DISCREPANCY -- which cannot be explained by sampling error. PERIOD
The notion that a single definitive number showing Kerry winning ever existed is also wrong. "We never had unadjusted unofficial totals," said the source. "As we get more data, we're always adjusting."

In this case, what most likely happened was that more Bush supporters failed to complete exit poll surveys than Kerry backers. The reason for that can be as trivial as a sampler skipping someone who looks unfriendly or voters not liking the race or demeanor of the sampler.
Nowhere in this putrid piece of journalistic bunk has it been mentioned that Mitofsky -- "THE FATHER OF THE EXIT POLL" -- is doing an investigation into this discrepancy. In fact, Mitofsky was first reported to be doing an investigation into his exit polling in November. I have not heard whether he has reported any findings yet or indeed, whether his investigation is continuing (perhaps someone can provide me with more information about that?). Mitofsky's hypothesis -- which is mentioned above -- is what blogger Joseph Cannon calls "the chatty democrat" theory. Although, the explanation painted above throws a twist on it. Baker mentions that the one doing the sampling could be skipping unfriendly looking voters -- which all happen to be Republicans, of course!!!! Not only is this a politically racist comment (is that a term?) -- it is highly unlikely. In order for this particular theory to hold water it would have to be SYSTEMIC. That is, a significant number of the exit poll personnel would have to have been not only judging the way people look in a similar fashion -- they would all have to be breaking the rules of the "random sample" procedure. The random sample procedure implemented in this exit polling selected people based on a certain number (eg. every 10th person is chosen).
(For what it is worth, I learned that Mitofsky is a lifelong liberal and apparently holds no brief for Bush. But a job's a job, and a professional is a professional.)
Yes, and you, Russ Baker, are doing nothing to strengthen the integrity of your profession in your country.

I will state it again as I stated it before. Freeman and Baiman's analyses state that either:

1. There is a systematic bias (not statistical error) which has skewed the exit polling.

or

2. There was counting error (benign, malicious, or both)

It should be duly noted (which Baker has not) that THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT number 1. The same can also be said for number 2, however, there was not a proper complete random and fair recount done in Ohio.

Mr. Baker -- if there was a journalistic equivalent of being "disbarred" -- you should be be a prime candidate for this dishonour!! Shame on you!!!

Now, does anyone else have any comments about the rest of the crap found in this article??!!

ADDENDUM:

I picked up this little excerpt from www.russbaker.com:
"...Baker is involved in the development of the Fourth Estate Society, a new not-for-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing investigative journalism in America..."

Good luck, America!


Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Name:
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

(If you've got the urge - cut and paste)

info@ap.org; evening@cbsnews.com; comments@foxnews.com; letters@latimes.com; hardball@msnbc.com; nightly@nbc.com; newshour@pbs.org; letters@newsweek.com; nightline@abcnews.com; atc@npr.org; nytnews@nytimes.com; letters@time.com; tips@upi.com; editor@usatoday.com; letters@washpost.com; safire@nytimes.com; dabrooks@nytimes.com; fmanjoo@salon.com; mdaly@edit.nydailynews.com; nicholas@nytimes.com; andrewmsullivan@aol.com; rroeper@suntimes.com; suellentrop@slate.com; editor@weeklystandard.com; online@tnr.com; editor@watchblog.com; bobherb@nytimes.com; davidbroder@washpost.com; froomkin@washingtonpost.com; liberties@nytimes.com; public@nytimes.com; washington@nytimes.com; news-tips@nytimes.com; letters@slate.com; editpg@freepress.com; newsonline@bbc.co.uk;

Powered by Blogger

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com
Listed on BlogShares