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« Pax vobiscum | Main | You blog what you eat »

September 14, 2004


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Having served as a poll checker in the recent NJ Primary I can tell you that the number of votes cast in error, cast illegally, lost due to equipment failure, and so forth, is a lot higher than most of us would like to think possible.

The system works because a) the errors tend to cancel out in a two-party system and b) the margin of error is usually a lot smaller than the margin of victory. The main difference with Florida 2000 was that (b) did not apply.

This is another argument for a pure popular vote in national elections, since the bigger the pool the more likely that random errors will be cancelled out.

None of the above applies to large scale fraud, which, as a NJ resident I am also all too familiar with. In a nearby town, an election was decided by 11 votes amidst allegations of fraud at a polling place in a senior citizens facility. This was so typical it didn't even make the regional newspapers.

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