Post Number: 11807
Best of Black Box?
Votes: 1 (A keeper?)
|Posted on Saturday, May 11, 2013 - 10:02 am: ||
Could double-vote marks for SC 1st Congressional District Special Election Candidate Elizabeth Colbert Busch have affected the outcome? NOPE.*
* At least, not if you accept on face value that the reported but unverifiable figures are true.
On the South Carolina unverifiable touchscreen machines, the ballot on the screen had one place to vote for candidate Mark Sanford and two places to vote for opponent Elizabeth Colbert Busch. This has raised questions, so I pulled the data; below is a clumsy little combined spreadsheet in case anyone else wants to crunch numbers.
Because Colbert Busch was a candidate for both the Democratic Party and the Working Families Party, her name appeared twice on each ballot, raising two questions:
1) Could she have received two votes from a single voter, inflating her vote count?
2) Would people who were confused by the two spaces, who wanted to make SURE they voted for her and therefore voted in both places, have had their vote disqualified, reducing her vote count?
As to 1), the DRE machines reject or refuse to accept overvotes. Therefore voting in both places will not result in extra votes for Busch.
As to 2), there is a bigger concern. How many rejected double-voted ballots were there, and could those have affected the outcome?
Detailed, spreadsheet-friendly results for this race can be found here:
To create the spreadsheet I uploaded below, I just cut and pasted the information from each of the five county detail spreadsheets from the above link.
Conclusion? "It didn't affect the outcome", with a few assumptions because the validity of the reported votes can never be authenticated by the public, which is a violation of our rights and a violation of the South Carolina Constitution, which requires that votes be counted in public.
Under the theory that having Busch on the ballot in two places might have caused disqualified ballots due to overvote, and under the theory that SOE or the ES&S machine reports are true numbers, we have:
Spread between the candidates 12,639; number of people who cast a ballot but vote wasn't counted, for whatever reason: 418
The news article describing the two-votes-for-Busch problem can be found here:
South Carolina Voters Confused Because Elizabeth Colbert Busch Is On The Ballot Twice , WCBD-TV, 5/7/2013, http://www.counton2.com/story/22183511/why-is-elizab
Here is my worksheet:
The public must be able to see and authenticate these four essential steps for an election to be public, democratic, and valid: (1) Who can vote (voter list); (2) Who did vote (3) The original count; (4) Chain of custody.