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Joe's Graphics of Disenfranchisement, Turnout choked by too few machines
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truehawkDonating member (694 posts) Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Tue Dec-07-04 01:17 AM
Original message
Joe's Graphics of Disenfranchisement, Turnout choked by too few machines
Edited on Tue Dec-07-04 01:52 AM by truehawk

Joe Knapps you are the Master!!!

Franklin County

http://www.copperas.com/machinery /

Effect of Voting-Machine Allocations on the 2004 Election -- Franklin County, Ohio

Despite unprecedented registration and get-out-the vote efforts in Franklin County, with predicted record turnout, only 61% of the county's registered voters turned out in the 2004 general election. Coupled with a time-consuming complicated ballot and the same number of voting machines as in 2000, the system was unable to handle the load of approximately 25% increase in registration rolls and high voter interest in what was billed as the most important election of a lifetime. Indeed, the county did process an increase of 23% in total voters compared to 2000. Many would-be voters were deterred by long lines and hours-long waits, prompting one observer to cite:

Ohio's new poll tax: if you can't afford to wait four hours in line, you don't vote.



The shortage of voting machines was particularly acute in high-Democratic precincts. New registrations and GOTV efforts by 527 organizations were also largely concentrated in these shortchanged Democratic precincts. The lines thus created by the unequal machine allocation throttled the effect of registration and GOTV efforts of ACT, MoveOn and other 527 groups in Franklin County.

This graph shows how there are more registered voters per machine in Kerry precincts



However, Democratic precincts are known to generally have a lower turnout (% of registered voters) than Republican precincts. Rather than basing machine allocations directly on the total registered voters, the Board of Election uses another figure called "active voters" which is the number of people in the precinct who have actively voted in the last two election cycles (8 years). Even by this measure though, it can be seen that Kerry precincts had more voters per machine.





E.g., 30% Kerry precincts had about 200 active voters per machine while 80% Kerry precincts had about 250, on the average. The following chart summarizes the situation:





There was a 5-minute time limit on voting, and people averaged about 4.3 minutes according to some reports. Therefore in the nominal 13-hour polling day (780 minutes), a machine could handle 780/4.3 or about 181 voters. People still in line at nominal poll closing were allowed to vote. In some cases polls were thus kept open until 11:00 pm. In that case about 230 voters could be handled.

Many polling places were operating at or near the maximum throughput based on the number of machines, as the following graph of actual voters in each precinct shows:





With the servers (polling booths) operating at maximum capacity, queuing theory predicts long queues and that was observed all over Franklin County. The above graph does not reflect the number of people who were dissuaded or unable to vote because of the lines. It shows a system throttled by the hardware, not by the desire of people to vote.

Long lines would be expected to have a negative effect on turnout, and the following graph shows:



Lots of scatter above but the moving-average line shows a depression of turnout as the number of voters allocated per machine goes up. At 150-200 active voters per machine, the precincts show a 60% turnout. At 300 active voters per machine, an average turnout of about 48% is seen.

Another way of looking at the effect above is to color-code the precincts, blue for Kerry and red for Bush:





The Kerry precincts would be expected to be the lower turnout ones, so that's not the salient point above per se. Rather that the population of Kerry precincts is shifted to the right, i.e., fewer machines per active voter on the average were allocated in the Kerry precincts. This would be expected to depress turnout in those precincts, more than normal. The Board of Elections has yet to justify these decisions.

The following diagram gives an idea of how the variation in machine allocation was distributed over the county:





The red (greater than 250 active voters per machine) precincts concentrate in the OSU, Clintonville, Linden, Hilltop, Olde Towne East, East Side and South End areas, all high-D areas.

Anecdotal accounts support the conclusion that machine shortages (and thus lines) were greatest in the high-D urban precincts and less in the high-R suburbs. See: Ohio Voter Suppression Hearing, Nov. 15, 2004

What Might Have Been Different

The BOE allocation of machines was inequitable and resulted in suppression of votes tending to favor Republican precincts.



What if they had instead optimally distributed the machines, based on minimizing the number of active voters per machine?

Here again is the machine allocation chosen by the BOE:



If those same 2,798 machines were optimally distributed:



Well, that looks better! No precinct is over 275 or so, and the trendline shows no tendency to favor Democratic or Republican precincts.

The algorithm to produce the optimal result was:

allocate one machine to each precinct
dole out the remaining machines, one at a time, to the neediest precinct based solely on active voters per machine
repeat until all machines are allocated
That allocation is more equitable. There is still the problem that with a maximum throughput of 181 voters per machine during normal polling hours, and up to 275 active voters per machine, even the equitable machine allocation would not have solved the problem of a generally overloaded system. Rather that at least Democrats and Republicans would have been suppressed equally.

The bottom line of this article, in the accounting sense, is what effect did the allocation of machines have on the plurality of votes for Kerry in Franklin County. A total of 515,472 people voted on the 2798 machines, for an average of 184 voters per machine. To a first approximation, in the overloaded situation, a extra machine for a precinct would simply mean 184 more votes for that precinct. Conversely, removing a machine from a precinct would result in 184 suppressed votes.

Kerry won in Franklin County by a plurality of 41,385 votes. Processing all the changes in machine allocation specified by the optimal distribution, and assuming that votes thus lost or gained in a precinct would be in proportion to the Kerry/Bush percentages in that precinct, Kerry's plurality would have been 9,971 votes more, or 51,356. He would have won by an additional 1.9% of the vote.

other links:

)

Thanks to Cliff Arnebeck, attorney with Common Cause, for sending me the data on machine counts in each precinct.


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

Addendum 11/26/04

Elizabeth Liddle of the University Nottingham, UK, suggested the following graph to show the differential of of machine loading on Democratic (blue) and Republican (red) precincts:





While the number of actual voters per machine is approximately linear up to about 180 or so in each case, the curves start flattening out beyond that. Democratic precincts, for whatever reasons, are shown to be more sensitive to machine crowding in this regard. These curves provide a measure of the suppressive effect of machine crowding in general.

As for the differential effect between red and blue precincts, one factor might be a longer time taken to vote on the average in minority and urban precincts.

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Replies to this thread:
The graphics are incredible. However right now they're incred. slow. jamboi Dec-07-04 01:22 AM #1
Sorry about the slow truehawk Dec-07-04 01:26 AM #4
Yes, this post has slashdotted my server jmknapp Dec-07-04 07:08 AM #9
Sorry Joe truehawk Dec-07-04 11:23 AM #19
And don't foget these truehawk Dec-07-04 01:23 AM #2
Now that's a clear bias. No question. Cronus Protagonist Dec-07-04 01:25 AM #3
Yeah if there were no bias the line of voters per machine per candidate truehawk Dec-07-04 04:55 AM #6
Hot stuff! n/t jamboi Dec-07-04 03:41 AM #5
Please don't forget the first-time voting students at Kenyon College... DeepModem Mom Dec-07-04 06:18 AM #7
BINGO! And further... MarkusQ Dec-07-04 06:40 AM #8
Amazing work electropop Dec-07-04 07:22 AM #10
Great Work inchhigh Dec-07-04 08:11 AM #11
details on the Repug outlier chorti Dec-07-04 08:42 AM #13
It's near Worthington jmknapp Dec-07-04 08:53 AM #14
Your post made me go back and examine my own experiences. Virginian Dec-07-04 08:42 AM #12
I am trying to put together a presentation on all the voting Czolgosz Dec-07-04 08:57 AM #15
Send it to NYT myschkin Dec-07-04 09:48 AM #16
Something to read BoogyMan Dec-07-04 10:32 AM #17
Why would Franklin County's bipartisan election board do this? Freddie Stubbs Dec-07-04 11:05 AM #18
Their grandchildren are tied up in a closet? truehawk Dec-07-04 11:25 AM #20

jamboiDonating member (1000+ posts) Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Tue Dec-07-04 01:22 AM
Response to Original message
1.The graphics are incredible. However right now they're incred. slow.

Might I suggest editing your post and using links to help with the site performance problems?

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truehawkDonating member (694 posts) Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Tue Dec-07-04 01:26 AM
Response to Reply #1
4.Sorry about the slow

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jmknapp (211 posts) Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Tue Dec-07-04 07:08 AM
Response to Reply #1
9.Yes, this post has slashdotted my server

Which is only a DSL connection.

Nice thought, but maybe put some links up for the big images?

On the other hand, I suppose the storm will pass...

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truehawkDonating member (694 posts) Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Tue Dec-07-04 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #9
19.Sorry Joe

I can probably mirror them on my site tonight.

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truehawkDonating member (694 posts) Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Tue Dec-07-04 01:23 AM
Response to Original message
2.And don't foget these
Edited on Tue Dec-07-04 01:42 AM by truehawk



Cuyahoga County




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Cronus Protagonist (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Tue Dec-07-04 01:25 AM
Response to Original message
3.Now that's a clear bias. No question.

Statistics CAN have some meaning after all




http://brainbuttons.com/home.asp?stashid=13
Buttons for brainy people - educate your local freepers today!

This is the DU member formerly known as Cronus.

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truehawkDonating member (694 posts) Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Tue Dec-07-04 04:55 AM
Response to Reply #3
6.Yeah if there were no bias the line of voters per machine per candidate

Would be horizontal. The fact that it has a positive slope means suppression. the fact that it occurs repetitively in more than one county is conspiracy. We need a crusadeing democracy loving attorney general.

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jamboiDonating member (1000+ posts) Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Tue Dec-07-04 03:41 AM
Response to Original message
5.Hot stuff! n/t

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DeepModem MomDonating member (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Tue Dec-07-04 06:18 AM
Response to Original message
7.Please don't forget the first-time voting students at Kenyon College...

in Gambier, Ohio, who were allotted two machines, one of which broke down within an hour, and waited 6, 8, 12 hours to vote. Their story made the national news, when the last student voted at 3 a.m.

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MarkusQ (166 posts) Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Tue Dec-07-04 06:40 AM
Response to Original message
8.BINGO! And further...

Bingo! That's exactly the conclusion I've come to. But I don't have nearly so sharp a presentation of my data.

A few points which I have also found:


  • The definition of "active voters" partially hides the problem, since only voters who weren't suppressed in previous elections count against them. This is akin to only reporting rapes of virgins, and ignoring repeated rape of the same individual.
  • Another way in which the same point manifests itself: you state that voter turnout is "expected" to be lower in Democratic precincts. Why should that be? If the answer is "based on historical data" you may simply be showing that the suppression has been going on for years.
  • There is a demonstrable effect of the suppression on the results, since machines come in discrete units. However, "demonstrable" in this context does not mean "obvious"--I'm working on finding a way to make it so.

Thanks again for the wonderful write up!


--MarkusQ

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electropop (86 posts) Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Tue Dec-07-04 07:22 AM
Response to Original message
10.Amazing work

Thank you for sharing the graphics. Awe-inspiring.

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inchhigh (3 posts) Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Tue Dec-07-04 08:11 AM
Response to Original message
11.Great Work

There is one Bush Precinct out there on the far right with over 350 voters per machine and over 60% turnout. Is it possible to identify that individual precinct?

I'm thinking it makes the case stronger if the high Repub percentage turnouts were in low population areas.

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chorti (28 posts) Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Tue Dec-07-04 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #11
13.details on the Repug outlier

Columbus 73J, Albany Commons, 5621 Warner Park Dr.
554 votes for Kerry, 743 for Bush.
624 for the gay marriage ban, 563 against.
2058 registered voters, 172 D, 121 R, 1765 unaffiliated.
2004 - 2058 registered voters, 1938 active voters. (Newly registered are considered active.)
New precinct in 2004. Must be a new sub-division because all other ward 73 precincts also saw voter registration gains. That would also explain all the "active" voters - they must have re-registered from elsewhere.
5 Voting Machines Allocated - 388 active voters per voting machine. Official turnout 1308 - 262 voters per machine, highest in the county. At 5 minutes per person that is 21.8 hours. At 3.5 minutes per person that is 15.3 hours per person. (7 AM to 10:20 PM).
The vote tally is off by 16% from the party declaration in the voter rolls, although with the high number of unaffiliated that is not very accurate.

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jmknapp (211 posts) Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Tue Dec-07-04 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #13
14.It's near Worthington

Just east of Antrim Park.

Other precincts in the ward (73) seemed to lean to Bush also.

That is such a high throughput for those machines. The machine allocation data came from the Board of Elections, but I wonder if it includes any machines schlepped up there if they sounded a mayday.

PS This thread is killing my server. It really needs to be scaled down on the embedded graphics.

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VirginianDonating member (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Tue Dec-07-04 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
12.Your post made me go back and examine my own experiences.

Our polling place, an elementary school, has two precincts. One sets up in the cafeteria and the other in the gym.

The gym precinct encompasses less land mass, the homes are mostly single family detached homes with a few town homes. About half of these homes were built within the last 10 years. A park takes up about one quarter of the land mass. I wish I could tell you the average home value or median income, but I don't know. I do know that none of the single family homes would sell for less than $450,000; none of the townhomes would sell for less than $350,000. Their pollbooks were split into two sections of about 1500 registered voters each. Two and a half machines per pollbook segment. Around 600 registered voters per machine. They had around 1700 voters who used 5 machines.

The cafeteria precinct not only covers more land mass, the single family homes are 90% townhomes and there are numerous apartment complexes and more are being built every day. To my knowledge, all of these homes are less than ten years old. The townhomes are in the same price range. Among the numerous apartment and condominium complexes are a subsidized community and a senior community. Their pollbooks were split into three (approx. 1500 voter) sections. Two machines per pollbook segment. A little under 730 registered voters per machine. This precinct had around 2700 voters (61% of total registered, 72% of active) turn out who used 6 machines.

Both precincts went for Kerry. The Cafeteria went more heavily for Kerry, 58%.

As I saw it, the gym precinct paid higher property taxes and had one voting machine for every 340 voters. The cafeteria, the "poorer" of the two precincts, had one machine for every 430 voters.

The gym had much shorter lines. The longest wait was probably a half hour for the gym. At one point, the cafeteria had to pause checking in the voters at the poll books because the line for the machines had over 400 people in it. At that time, the line to check in was probably around 600 people. At peak, the wait for the cafeteria voters was around one and a half hours.

The lines for both precincts dwindled around mid afternoon. There was no significant line for either precinct at 7:00 when the polls closed.

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Czolgosz (347 posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Tue Dec-07-04 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
15.I am trying to put together a presentation on all the voting

irregularities in Columbus, Ohio (deliberate misallocation of machines, extra votes for Shrub in Gahanna, etc.). Can anyone direct me to "long voting lines" news stories from Columbus?

This is the DU member formerly known as Passport.

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myschkin (145 posts) Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Tue Dec-07-04 09:48 AM
Response to Original message
16.Send it to NYT


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BoogyMan (1 posts) Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Tue Dec-07-04 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
17.Something to read

http://www.wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,65896,00.html?tw...

http://election04.ssrc.org/research/critique-of-hmcb.pd...

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Freddie Stubbs (1000+ posts) Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Tue Dec-07-04 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
18.Why would Franklin County's bipartisan election board do this?

County election boards in Ohio have an equal number of Democrats and Republicans. Why would the Democrats on this board go along with this?

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truehawkDonating member (694 posts) Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Tue Dec-07-04 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #18
20.Their grandchildren are tied up in a closet?

They weren't paying attention?

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