October 19, 2009
Voting is a risky business in Afghanistan. During the period when Afghanis cast their ballots more than two months ago the Taliban launched grenade attacks at polling places. They also punished voters who sported the ink-stained finger that is proof of voting in Afghanistan by amputating that finger.
This Taliban campaign was so effective that turnout was a below 40 percent nationally and as low as five percent in Helmand and Kandahar provinces. Read the rest of this entry »
June 22, 2009
The sign says it all: “Where is my vote?”
Throughout the ongoing street marches in Iran the sign eloquently expresses the underlying sense of many Iranians that their votes were simply not counted. Their voices at the ballot box were not heard.
One marcher eloquently expressed the feelings of many as she was interviewed on TV: “There was so much energy for Mousavi — we knew he was winning.” Read the rest of this entry »
January 11, 2008
The internet has been abuzz since Tuesday night with wild claims that Hillary Clinton “hacked” the NH Primary — or that someone else perpetrated the dirty deed to help Clinton and McCain triumph in the Granite State. Some point to differences between the margins in hand-counted precincts vs. optical scan precincts. Others claim that the pre-election polling could not be so far off from reported results.
Both of these cries of “fraud”, and “hacking” are based on flawed logic — and stunning ignorance or basic misunderstanding of statistics. They also fail to look at the demographic make-up of precincts that produced different margins for the candidates. On the other hand, there has been an almost universal failure to consider whether well-documented problems with the type of optical scan machine used in New Hampshire offers at least a partial explanation of how this happened. Read the rest of this entry »