If it's broke, we better start fixing it

Published December 16, 2004 10:16PM (EST)

As War Room has noted frequently over the last couple of weeks, efforts to investigate multiple allegations of systemic failure and vote fraud in Ohio continue in earnest. Whether or not evidence will come to light proving that the 2004 presidential election was "stolen" by the Republican Party, it is crystal clear that the national election system is riddled with infrastructural problems, and is plenty vulnerable to manipulation and fraud (potentially at the hands of any major political party). A new nonprofit group, U.S. Count Votes.org, has formed to begin addressing that broader concern.

From the group's mission statement:

"American elections have often had substantial problems with miscounted votes. One means of checking the integrity of voting is by applying statistical analyses to election data to detect whether voting patterns are sufficiently unusual to merit formal investigation.

"We propose to create and analyze -- for the first time ever -- a single database containing precinct-level election results for the entire United States. This rich mine of data will be analyzed by our project's affiliated mathematicians, computer programmers, pollsters and statisticians, as well as by an independent peer-review board. Our goal is to use this data to develop and test mathematical techniques to reliably detect precinct-level vote counting errors worthy of investigation."

Visit the new site (above) for more information on the project, and how to get involved.

By Mark Follman

Mark Follman is Salon's deputy news editor. Read his other articles here.

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