29 November 2014

There is significant controversy about whether the 2004 presidential election was conducted fairly and its votes counted correctly. According to results of the major national election exit poll conducted for the National Election Pool by Edison/Mitofsky (E/M), Kerry won Ohio's pivotal vote, though the official tally gave the state, and thus the presidency, to Bush. The conduct of Ohio's election was formally debated by Congress in January 2005.

The National Election Data Archive (NEDA) is the first mathematical team to release a valid scientific analysis of the precinct-level 2004 Ohio presidential exit poll data "The Gun is Smoking: Ohio 2004 Exit Poll Discrepancies Are Consistent with Outcome-Altering Vote Miscount" available at http://electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/OH/Ohio-Exit-Polls-2004.pdf. NEDA's analysis provides significant evidence of an outcome-altering vote miscount.

The analysis is based on the most accurate statistical method yet devised for determining whether exit poll error, random variations, or vote count manipulation cause the discrepancies between exit polls and official vote tallies. This analysis method was made public recently by NEDA in "Vote Miscounts or Exit Poll Error? New Mathematical Function for Analyzing Exit Poll Discrepancy" available at http://electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/Exit-Poll-Analysis.pdf

Exit Polls were conducted in 49 of Ohio’s 11,360 precincts. At least 40% of Ohio's polled precincts show statistically significant differences between Kerry’s exit poll percent and official vote count percent. 35% of these discrepancies underestimated the Kerry official vote share. This is five times the number expected. Three of the most glaring examples are:

1. In E/M precinct 27, with an estimated 100 respondents, Kerry’s official vote count was 29% less than his exit poll share, creating a 58% difference between Kerry and Bush exit poll and official vote margins. There is less than a one in 867,205,500 chance of this occurring due to chance.

2. In E/M precinct 25, with an estimated 62 respondents, Kerry’s official vote count was 28% less than his exit poll share, creating a 56% difference between Kerry and Bush exit poll and official vote margins. There is less than a one in 234,800 chance of this occurring due to chance.

3. In E/M precinct 48, with an estimated 100 respondents, Kerry's official vote was 16% less than his exit poll share, creating a 32% difference between Kerry and Bush exit poll and official vote margins. There is less than a one in 17,800 chance of this occurring due to chance.

There are also two precincts where the Bush official vote count is significantly less than the Bush exit poll share. The number of significant discrepancies and the pattern of Ohio's discrepancy shown in the NEDA report provide strong support for the conclusion that vote count errors converted a Kerry win to a Bush win.

New electronic voting equipment without voter verified paper ballots, implemented under the 2002 Help America Vote Act, makes it easier for a small number of people to manipulate vote counts and nearly impossible to independently audit vote count accuracy. Virtually every county in America today publicly reports its vote counts in a way that hides evidence of miscounts. This allows those with access (whether authorized or not) to manipulate or make mistakes in vote counting with negligible possibility of detection.

Without accurate elections, America is not a democracy. NEDA urges the media to publicize the results of this report and its recommendations, in order to return to the American people their right to determine the country’s leaders.

The National Election Data Archive is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to scientifically investigate the accuracy of elections through the creation and analysis of a database containing precinct-level vote-type election data for the entire United States. By making detailed election data publicly available NEDA furthers its goal of providing the means for independent analysts to evaluate the accuracy of vote counts in time to ensure that properly elected candidates are sworn into office following future elections.

For further information or interviews contact: Kathy Dopp, MS Mathematics, NEDA, President kathy@uscountvotes.org 435-658-4657 or Ron Baiman, PhD, Economics, NEDA, Vice President, ron@uscountvotes.org 708-445-9052