Talk:2004 United States presidential election controversy and irregularities/Archive 11

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NPOV Dispute

I have placed an NPOV tag on this article due to its flagrant violation of the "undue weight" provision of WP:NPOV. Phil Sandifer 04:11, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Undue weight is not violated here. This article is about irregularities and controversies surrounding the 2004 Presidential election. The content does not violate undue weight, as it clearly would if the article were titled 'Reasons the election was fraudulent' (which is a decidedly minority view). This article is not, and so, does not. Tag removed. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 04:14, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
It gives undue weight to the idea that there is anything notable to say about the paranoid ravings of the blogosphere. And are you seriously claiming there's no dispute on this article? This article has been under dispute for 18 months now. You've had your fun, and it's time to finally clean the paranoid blog droppings off of Wikipedia. Phil Sandifer 04:17, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
As usual, your hyperbole doesn't make your POV truth. You're entitled to your POV, just keep it off the article page. If you have specific content POV issues, bring them up here. Don't just slap tags and whine.-- User:RyanFreisling @ 04:18, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
So I shouldn't use the tag to indicate that a dispute exists when I dispute the POV? That's a novel reading. Phil Sandifer 04:21, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
You put the tag on first, and your only 'discussion' has been ranting about the blogosphere. The blogosphere didn't cause the massive lines and voting machine problems, or the many irregularities surrounding the counting of the votes. Your 'explanation' is blather. The tag is unjustified and your conduct here does not further substantiate it in any way. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 04:24, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
The extreme body of verbiage on this topic suggests that there is a massive controversy and a massive set of irregularities in the 2004 election. This is a POV. And it is a POV that has been given a truly insane amount of weight. Phil Sandifer 04:26, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Your view of what the 'extreme body of verbiage' suggests is your view. Slapping the tags across all the related articles and post 'merge' notices, as you have done, is against consensus. If you have to resort to such behavior, you are likely acting against consensus and may need to check yourself. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 04:30, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
The point of the tags is to indicate that there is a dispute. If there were consensus, there wouldn't need to be the tags. Phil Sandifer 04:31, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I have removed all the tags on all the articlesas there are no arguments concerning NPOV violation in the articles, just a general rant about the bloggosfeer and if the usage of the tags is justified. No, it is not, unless you have actuall arguments concerning the articles themselves. KimvdLinde 05:25, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

I am baffled as to why I am being accused of adding tags without discussion. My point seems straightforward. The combined length of these articles is around 500 k/b. That is roughly double the coverage of the rest of the election. So our total coverage on the Presidential election is 1/3 coverage of the election, and 2/3 coverage of controversy and irregularities. WP:NPOV states "NPOV says that the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints, in proportion to the prominence of each." Now, considering that the idea that there is any significant controversy or irregularity in the 2004 election is a minority viewpoint, the fact that we have nearly half a meg of text on the subject, and that 2/3 of our election coverage is on the subject, this strikes me as a grotesque violation of the undue weight policy. The fact that the article is still based on local news stories that were not picked up nationally and had minimal local follow-ups, as well as blog posts and reports issued by partisan action groups speaks volumes to the nature of what is being presented here. So my objections are threefold.

  1. The article is grotesquely long compared with the coverage of more mainstream aspects of the election
  2. The article is based on terrible sources
  3. The article stitches together a wide field of sources into something that is original research.

Therefore, I strongly dispute the neutrality of this article, and request that the tag be re-added post haste, as it was a staggering assumption of bad faith to remove it within minutes of its being added without responding to the point I raised, which is that the article was giving undue weight to its aspect of the topic. Phil Sandifer 05:46, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Please note that the WP:NPOV policy and even the very part of it you quote refers to the proper proportion of coverage in a single article. The subject of this article is notable, so therefore should exist. Whether or not its content is large relative to other (arguably more notable) articles is completely irrelevant to the WP:NPOV policy. Since point 1 of your argument rests on this misinterpretation of policy it is not convincing.
It is a needless twisting of NPOV to suggest that if you spin off your discussion to nine sub-articles you suddenly become immune to claims of over-representation. Phil Sandifer 06:04, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, perhaps you should modify WP:NPOV to reflect your POV on the matter, because there's nothing in it about sub articles. -- noosphere 06:08, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Use common sense. It is an obvious violation of the spirit of NPOV to suggest that a valid solution to undue weight is to add so much more that the articles have to be split. Phil Sandifer 06:28, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
If articles have to be split, for whatever reason, then the sub articles still have to be justified on their own, just like any other article. The history of their "parent" articles is completely irrelevant, which is why you won't find them mentioned in any Wikipedia policies I'm aware of. Anyway, as I said, this discussion does not belong here but on that new Wikipedia policy you'll have to write before your arguments along these lines can be taken seriously. -- noosphere 06:51, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
This is a flagrant violation of the spirit of NPOV. Again, the way to deal with the fact that a subject has excessive coverage is NOT to make the coverage even more excessive. Phil Sandifer 21:51, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, I certainly disagree that the spirit of WP:NPOV has anything to do with sub articles. If the sub articles themselves violate that policy then that would be one thing. But there is nothing explicit or implicit in that policy that says you have to take other articles in to consideration when making the determination whether an article violates that policy or not. If you think there's something in it that even implies that other articles should be takin in to consideration please quote the policy. Otherwise, I really don't know where you get this "spirit of NPOV" from. -- noosphere 22:17, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps by actually respecting NPOV as something that is meant to deal with Wikipedia's coverage and respectability, instead of as an annoying obstacle to my POV-pushing? Phil Sandifer 23:03, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
As for point 2, please specify which specific parts of the article you think are cited with questionable sources and why you think that specific source is questionable. A broad brush condemnation like this is useless.
I did this some time ago, and was roundly ignored, to the point of being told that Ben Cohen, an ice cream mogul, is a notable source on election law. Phil Sandifer 06:04, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, then maybe a link to that discussion would be helpful when you bring up this same subject again. Since, without specifics it appears that you are not supporting your claims in any way. -- noosphere 06:11, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
For point 3, if you think the sources are combined in such a way as to violate WP:NOR please give us more specifics. How and why does the article violate this policy? Just accusing it of violating the policy without giving specifics is not convincing either. -- noosphere 05:57, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I just wanted to write the same things. KimvdLinde 06:09, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Find me a general overview of this topic that combines the sources in question outside of this article. Currently this article is taking primary sources and arranging them in a way that is undoubtedly novel - the very definition of original research. To avoid being original research, it would have to find a reliable source that has taken all of the news articles, blog posts, and reports and already compiled them to a general discussion of the controversies and irregularities, i.e. a secondary source. Phil Sandifer 06:04, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
No, not exactly. If that was a criterion for wikipedia, it would be impossible to write an article, as you by definition bring research of various sources together. KimvdLinde 06:09, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Phil, no summarizing, quoting, and citing sources is not "the very definition of original research". In fact, WP:NOR says, in the very first paragraph that "Citing sources and avoiding original research are inextricably linked: the only way to demonstrate that you are not doing original research is to cite reliable sources which provide information that is directly related to the topic of the article, and to adhere to what those sources say." So, citing sources for the claims made in an article is how you keep the article from being original research. I suggest you take a few minutes to re-read that policy, since your argument runs pretty much exactly counter to it. -- noosphere 06:18, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
That same paragraph also warns against novel interpretations and narratives, which this unquestionably is. Look particularly at the section "Example of a new synthesis of published material serving to advance a position." This article may be using coy phrasing to avoid doing this obviously, but it remains an obvious attempt to synthesize tons of crappy sources to suggest that there is a whole lot of controversy and a whole lot of irregularities. Phil Sandifer 06:28, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
So you think the new synthesis is that there are many irregularities and controversies? Can you cite a specific part of the article that asserts that and where that very claim is not supported by the sources it cites? Basically, what you're saying is that certain sources cited do not actually support the claims they're cited in support of. In order to verify that this is indeed true we need to see where in the article those specific claims are made and what sources are used to attempt to support them. So please provide those. -- noosphere 06:56, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't matter if the claim is supported. It matters if it's novel. Are you trying to tell me that you believe that the idea that there were massive controversies and irregularities about the election is not a novel view? That it is a mainstream view? If so, then you shouldn't need to cite so many primary sources - it should be doable entirely with the credible secondary sources that do not appear to exist. Phil Sandifer 21:51, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes, if the sources cited did not themselves claim what is written in the article you'd have a point. However, before we can determine that we need you to quote the specific claim, and not make sweeping generalizations. Where precisely does the article make the "novel claim" you refer to? -- noosphere 22:22, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
You are asking for a specific place of a general problem. This is a petty attempt to bog down in specifics. The problem is that the overall tone and volume of the article is a novel interpretation - not that there are specific lines. The problem is in the grotesquely excessive coverage itself. Phil Sandifer 23:03, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I mean, I could say, "All of Wikipedia is POV, based on questionable sources, and is stiched together in such a way as to constitute original research," and I'd be laughed at if not outright ignored because I did not cite any specifics nor support my assertions in any way. It's absurd. As are the accusations you make against this article. -- noosphere 06:01, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Oh give me a break. You really think this article is A-OK? Phil Sandifer 06:28, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Absolutely. -- noosphere 06:57, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
This ignores the fact that these articles are explicitly a master article with several sections that were spun off to full articles, and that view themselves as a subsection of the larger election article. Phil Sandifer 06:04, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
If you have a problem with this article make your arguments in respect to this article. If you have a problem with the other articles, make your arguments about them. I see nothing in any Wikipedia policy that addresses how other articles have to be written based on the content of a different article. If you can cite such a policy please do so. Otherwise, I really see no point in discussing it here. Perhaps you can write your own policy about sub article content. Then your points would be relevant there. But certainly not here. -- noosphere 06:22, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Again, use common sense. If the problem with an article is that it gives undue weight to a particular aspect of a topic, expanding the coverage of the topic until it has to go into another article very obviously does not fix the problem.
Since you've just repeated your earlier point above, I'll just direct you to my earlier response above. -- noosphere 07:00, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
@Phil: I know that some local stations tend to not meet my standards of WP:CITE, but remember that much of this article, as suggested by the title, is about contraversies. That is not to say that any trash can go in (and I will have a look at this sometime soon to check for that), but that as long as thing proports as facts meet more rigirous source standards than the criticism/accusations, which should still have some (enough to assert their existence, though not necessarily their validy), then the article should be fine.Voice-of-AllT|@|ESP 06:12, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
The issue is less WP:CITE than the way in which they're being used - without exception what we're seeing is small stories that caused no splash getting rounded up and put together. The problem is that there isn't a single good secondary source for this - everything in this article is an attempt to stitch together primary sources to provide a history of election fraud. That's an inappropriate use of Wikipedia. Phil Sandifer 06:28, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
It is normal in wikipedia to split large articles into smaller ones if the article becomes to large. That is not a violation of WP:NPOV. KimvdLinde 06:09, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
It is if the article's largeness is because of a violation of NPOV. Phil Sandifer 06:28, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
So let me get this straight. You think that if an article violates NPOV and splits then splitting the article is a violation of NPOV? Where in WP:NPOV does it say that? Where does it address splitting the article at all? Anyway, if either the parent or sub articles violate NPOV you should be able to give us some specifics. Whether and why it was split is completely irrelevant. If you think otherwise please cite a policy to support your opinion. -- noosphere 07:58, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
If an article violates NPOV because it gives undue weight to a POV, and then that POV expands so much that it necessitates an article split then it is a NPOV violation, because the NPOV violation was never fixed. Phil Sandifer 21:51, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Ah, now we're getting somewhere. If the NPOV violation was never fixed then surely it's still present in the sub articles. If it's present in the sub articles you should be able to point it out without reference to the parent articles. If you can't, then I'm afraid your argument simply has nothing to do with WP:NPOV, which does not even mention or imply anything about sub/parent articles. And, again, if you are going to attempt to point it out please quote the article where you think it violates policy and quote the part of the policy you think it violates. Don't just make sweeping generalizations. -- noosphere 22:27, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
The NPOV violation was that the discussion of irregularities was wildly out of proportion to the discussion of the mainstream viewpoint. Moving these irregularities to their own sub-article linked to by the main article does not solve that. Phil Sandifer 23:03, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps a merge may be in order, that sometimes helps "cruft control" automatically, though I am not sure how much shaky stuff is in these articles right now.Voice-of-AllT|@|ESP 06:12, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Sure, but I would suggest that the first step is to remove everything that is not sourced, second to eliminate everything that is badly sourced and has better sources that show they are wrong, third condense stuff, and finally start talking about merging. KimvdLinde 06:16, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
It is a misunderstanding of WP:V to ask for better sources showing that the claims are wrong. Phil Sandifer 06:17, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, no ad hoc, the burden of proof does lie on the claims, not the discrediting of them. I'll look at this article in next few days.Voice-of-AllT|@|ESP 06:31, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Do not think so. WP:V is about Verifiability, not truth, in other words, is there a source that can be checked (and I see a lot of links to external sources in these pages). Maybe some sources are not reliable, than those have to be addressed in their context. KimvdLinde 06:37, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Since we are using other's information, we are already assuming that it is true...the assumption, obviously, will be based of a)credibility and b)opposing sources. Just because b) is not present, becaused no one cares to rebuttal, does not mean that a) no longer matters. Credibility is the main issue here. How credible are blogs and political opposition (against certain leaders parties) sites?Voice-of-AllT|@|ESP 06:41, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. The main question is: Is this a reliable source. If opposition sourses are not reliable, than government sources are neither. That is part of the big political game. In that case, it becomes the way it is written down at wikipedia, it is no longer a fact, but an opinion. Blogs are in my opinion generally not reliable, just sources to find links to specific topics. KimvdLinde 07:02, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Fortunately, we don't have to rely on our personal opinion as to whether blogs are acceptible references. There's a section of WP:V which addresses the subject of blogs.[1] In sum, they're generally not acceptable, but there are exceptions. But anyway, until we see some specifics regarding these blog accusations all this is academic. -- noosphere 07:53, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
They are, specifically, acceptable as primary sources. If this were an article on the blogosphere's reaction to the 2004 election, they would have a place. But it is not. Phil Sandifer 21:51, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Only acceptable as primary sources? Did you actually bother to read the part of the policy I linked to before you replied? I quote, "...self-published books, personal websites, and blogs are largely not acceptable as sources. Exceptions may be when a well-known, professional researcher in a relevant field, or a well-known professional journalist, has produced self-published material. In some cases, these may be acceptable as sources, so long as their work has been previously published by credible, third-party publications." So, here is an explicitly stated exception that does not restrict citeable blogs only to those writing about themselves. -- noosphere 22:37, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Phil, if you have a problem with a specific citation just point it out, and give us a specific reason why. Saying that every source in an article this size is faulty for some amorphous reason is completely non-productive.
The burden of proof is indeed on the person making the claim, as Voice of All points out. This is due to WP:V. But let's see what that policy actually says on the matter: "The burden of evidence lies with the editors who have made an edit or wish an edit to remain. Editors should therefore provide references." There are references for every claim in that article. If you think otherwise it's you who have to tell us which specific claim is being made where (quote the article please) and show us that it has no references. Then the burden of proof (to provide references) will be with the person wishing for that unsourced part of the article to remain. So far you haven't quoted or referred to any specific part of the article. So I'm asking, where's the beef?
If you accuse the whole article of being unsourced, well, all I can say is that there're plenty of sources in that article, so it's patently false. If you claim sources are not reputable you have to provide some specifics as well. Then we'll address those and come to consensus. Otherwise, this entire discussion is completely useless. -- noosphere 07:19, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
[2]. The article has changed somewhat since this version, but it gives an idea of how bad the sourcing was and is. Phil Sandifer 21:51, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
If I recall, many of your observations then were acted upon - but somehow you remain in objection to this article. Seems like you may want to leave it alone, if you can't find satisfaction in the wikipedia process vis-a-vis this article. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 21:54, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
OK, let's look at the sources again, then. I've used some shorthand. Local means it's a local news source. Unless the story got picked up nationally or widely reported, one-off local news stories do not provide acceptable levels of reliability. POV means that the source is explicitly advancing an agenda.
2. The "4President Corporation." WTF? 2. OK. 3. Another instance of using local news sources instead of national news, suggesting that the story fizzled on a local level. 6. Local paper again. And, again - where's the follow-up? Was this a one-day story? That doesn't wash. 9. Local. 10. Local. 11. POV. 12. POV. 13. POV. 14-15. Blog. 18. Inacessable local. 19. Local. 20. POV. (Also, neither of these come close to supporting the claim that this is an AP correction) 22-24. POV. 25. POV. 27. POV. 28-29. Local. 30. POV. 31-32. Local. Also, by what REMOTE standard is this a notable fact to include? 35. POV. 36. POV. 38. POV. 40. POV. 41-42. Blogged accounts of Michael Moore activity. So much wrong with this. 44. Local. 45. POV. 48. POV. 49. OMG POV. 50. POV. 51. Local. 58. Not sure what this is, but it doesn't scream "reliable major media source."59. POV. Message board thread. This source is a joke. 60. POV. 61-62. Self-published POV. 63. WE ARE STILL CITING AN ICE CREAM MOGUL AS AN ELECTIONS EXPERT. 66-68. POV.
This, of course, notes only the numbered sources. Things like the Freeman analysis are their own problem. It also ignores the horrifying degree to which this article works through insinuation. It is a compendium of things that are barely relevent to the topic (Felon lists discarded months before the election that thus played no part), and things of marginal relevence (tire slashing by a few people). Phil Sandifer 22:42, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
"Unless the story got picked up nationally or widely reported, one-off local news stories do not provide acceptable levels of reliability"? Please quote a policy in support of this assertion. -- noosphere 22:45, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Don't rules-lawyer. It is transparent that if a small, local news source asserts something substantial, and yet no major, notable news source with high-quality editorial practices pick it up, the news source is not acceptably reliable. Phil Sandifer 22:58, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
You don't like the "4President Corporation" source? On what grounds? Saying "WTF" is just not good enough. Please provide specifics. -- noosphere 22:52, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Who are they? What editorial practices do they have? What evidence is there that they are an important source of national news? Phil Sandifer 22:58, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I have no idea. So what precisely is your objection? -- noosphere 23:05, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
OK, we're done here. Nice talking to you, but it's time to let some other people play. Phil Sandifer 23:08, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
So you have no objection to it? You were just asking rhetorical questions? -- noosphere 23:10, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
As to your objections that some sources are POV... according to WP:NPOV itself, "All significant points of view are presented, not just the most popular one. It should not be asserted that the most popular view or some sort of intermediate view among the different views is the correct one. Readers are left to form their own opinions." WP:NPOV does not compel us to find some sort of "objective" source. It acknowledges that different sources may have different POVs. What we want to avoid is injecting POV in to the presentation or description of the source's POV, or taking sides. That's what WP:NPOV is about. It does not prohibit citing POV sources, or articles like the one on the Arab-Israeli conflict simply could not be written. -- noosphere 23:04, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Just for clarity, when I said "How credible are blogs and opposition sites?", I meant politcal opposition, like small sites that try to tear down specificic people/organizations.Voice-of-AllT|@|ESP 23:41, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
To reiterate: The proper place for this discussion is on a VfD. Phil seems to be arguing, not that the article (or sub-articles) contain any POV, but that the existence of the articles themseleves is POV; that the articles don't belong on wikipedia. (as there existence is "undue weight". if that's what he believes, then the proper course of action would be to list those (or that) article(s) on AfD. However, before doing this, he should look to see if there have been any prior AfDs, and if so, what the vote distribution was. That will give him an idea of how likely a VfD is to succeed, and from that he can infer whether an AfD would be friviolous. Kevin Baastalk 18:33, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
No, the proper place to address undue weight is in the article itself. It needs almost a complete rewrite. It is very bead form to remove someone elses NPOV tag without addressing the underlying problem. This article relies and reports a very one-sided view. It also has a problem with reliable sources which is what you allude to above.--Tbeatty 19:13, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
The tag says that the Neutrality is disputed and that is undeniable.--Tbeatty 19:15, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
You need to read the full tag and understand the policy about using it. sweeping generalizations do not meet the requirements for using the tag. Kevin Baastalk 19:17, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
I dispute the neutrality of the entirety of Wikipedia. Does that mean I get to slap every single article with a NPOV tag? -- noosphere 19:31, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
If you wish to dispute all the articles, knock yourself out. This section outlines the problems with the entire article. It is entirely proper to tag it NPOV at the top of the article.--Tbeatty 03:06, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

To be clear, I think cutting down the article, removing badly sourced statements, and merging in the sub-articles would fix the NPOV problems in this article, and therefore suggest it. Phil Sandifer 21:00, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

merging and splitting are not matters of POV/NPOV, they are matters of article length. badly sourced statements would be removed for the sake of factual accuracy, not POV. cutting down the article does not effect POV, it effects article length. Kevin Baastalk 22:47, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
POV can obviously be expressed through what material is presented, and I believe that to be the case for this article in particular, thus removing badly sourced statements is a matter of NPOV. Arkon 23:21, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
That doesn't follow logically as your use of the word "thus" implies. the policy is to add, rather than subtract, to balance out POV. removing unverifiable statements is a matter of factual accuracy (verifiability). Kevin Baastalk 00:11, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Actually it follows quite well. From the NPOV policy: "One can think of unbiased writing as the cold, fair, analytical description of all relevant sides of a debate. When bias towards one particular point of view can be detected the article needs to be fixed." This, again is the case by what material is being presented and who it comes from. In particular their relevance. The undue weight section is also obviously relevant. Arkon 15:10, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
No, the conclusion does not logically follow from the premises of your argument. And see my user page for my personal philosophy with regard to neutrality, which is consistent w/wikipedia policy. Kevin Baastalk 23:50, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Removing statements might be necessary for "undue weight." In that sense, removing the least well sourced statements are preferable to the best sourced statements. Considering that it's all fringe stuff, picking the least well sourced statements is a tough choice. --Tbeatty 00:48, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Undue weight is a matter of proporitionality. the goal of which is to maximize informativeness, interestingness, importance, and verifiability. (a compound metric) to do optimize this, one works towards making each unit of space in the article about as i,i,i,& v as any other - this is what i mean by proportion. weight is an inter-spatial consideration. then, when by such consideration one discovers one needs to expand or contract a space, one can apply the same analysis inside the offending space. This can go on recursively, until one gets to the level where one might, for instance, remove sentences with low significance or verifiability. Since the irregularities and controversies were, with some notable exceptions, not well reported by the mainstream press (much like the issues with WMD intelligence in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq), many of the sources are alternative or non-U.S. media, some of them are congressmen, etc., much like the issues with WMD intelligence in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq. Kevin Baastalk 01:08, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
Prior to the publication of those doubts in mainstream media, the WMD intelligence did not belong in Wikipedia either, even though it, in hindsight, turned out to be true. Phil Sandifer 00:15, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
I think we finally discovered the core of the problem: we're on different planets! Kevin Baastalk 00:34, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Which has been my concern all along. I agree with you that the WMD intelligence was crap. I agree with you that the Diebold machines are a massive scandal that should never have been allowed. However, my agreement and belief that these things are true does not play into my belief on whether they should be in Wikipedia. Whether they can be confirmed in what are widely seen as the reputable and important sources for national news does. We pick verifiability over truth. If you can't phrase the claims in verifiable terms, from reputable sources, then it doesn't matter how true they are. Phil Sandifer 18:40, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
There's nothing in any Wikipedia policy that says that only the mainstream media can be used as sources. -- noosphere 00:14, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
WP:RS screams caution about the sort of sourcing this article uses, on the other hand. Phil Sandifer 00:21, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
There are, actually, plenty of mainstream media sources in this article. So you should be more approving than you let on. And most of your specific objections (if I can use that phrase to refer to single-word objections) to some sources in this article were either that they were "local" or "POV", neither of which is prohibited by Wikipedia policy. I've raised this point numerous times now and you've consistently ignored it. If you've got any specific problems with specific sources, problems that can be supported by specific Wikipedia policies, then by all means raise them. Sweeping generalization, however, will get us nowhere. -- noosphere 01:01, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
This is, I think, the fundamental problem - you stop your considerations at what is forbidden, whereas I look on to see what is discouraged and what is encouraged. Phil Sandifer 01:05, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
No. The fundamental problem is that you're mostly making general allegations and speaking of the article in the abstract whereas we should be discussing specific allegations about specific sources in respect to specific policies. Otherwise we're just going to be going in circles. -- noosphere 03:01, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

the WP:NPOV policy and even the very part of it you quote refers to the proper proportion of coverage in a single article. The subject of this article is notable, so therefore should exist. Whether or not its content is large relative to other (arguably more notable) articles is completely irrelevant to the WP:NPOV policy. Since point 1 of your argument rests on this misinterpretation of policy it is not convincing. this unsigned comment was posted by on 2007-01-28T09:30:40

Spinning off discussion

OK, since most of my explanations are now buried in a pretty pointless discussion with Noosphere, who seems uninterested in moving beyond rules-lawyering, I'm extracting my main points so that people can actually address them. Phil Sandifer 23:14, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Undue weight

The combined length of these articles is around 500 k/b. That is roughly double the coverage of the rest of the election. So our total coverage on the Presidential election is 1/3 coverage of the election, and 2/3 coverage of controversy and irregularities. WP:NPOV states "NPOV says that the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints, in proportion to the prominence of each." Now, considering that the idea that there is any significant controversy or irregularity in the 2004 election is a minority viewpoint, the fact that we have nearly half a meg of text on the subject, and that 2/3 of our election coverage is on the subject, this strikes me as a grotesque violation of the undue weight policy. Phil Sandifer 23:14, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

I think the undue weight argument is garbage. If there are properly sourced facts that are significant and salient to the topic, there is no good reason to leave it out other than minimize what you see as a black stain of falsehood on Wikipedia. --kizzle 23:20, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
You may think that, but the NPOV policy seems not to. Phil Sandifer 23:29, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I see no policy that states that material should be left it out so as to minimize what Phil Sandifer sees as a black stain of falsehood on Wikipedia. I do however, think that kizzle's criteria of "significant" and "salient" are a good estimate of how the dueness of space in an article is weighted, according to WP:NPOV policy. If I recall correctly, it uses the terms interesting and important, which, to me, covers about the same grounds as signifcant and salient. Also, the article should be addressed in it's particulars. one should remove insignificant info and add significant info, and if in the end, the article is a stub, well then it should be deleted. Kevin Baastalk 00:56, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
I am not sure I follow. This may be because you are not actually responding to any of my points. `Phil Sandifer 00:58, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
I believe you are basing your hypothesis on a false premise. Your point was: "the NPOV seems not to [think that]" "If there are properly sourced facts that are significant and salient to the topic, there is no good reason to leave it out other than minimize what you see as a black stain of falsehood on Wikipedia."
because of the conjunction in the sentence ("..., there...") there were two things that you said the NPOV seems not to think. I addressed these two things independantly in relation to the NPOV and what they seem to or not to think. But maybe I missed your point entirely. Kevin Baastalk 01:10, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Ah, I see. Regardless of whether I find the article to be a black stain of falsehood (Since it is immaterial), there exist reasons to remove salient and sourced information - if they are original research, if they give undue weight to a particular point of view, etc. Salient and sourced are among the minimum requirements for inclusion, but they are not the only minimum requirements. A good example of this is John Byrne, where a lot of careful debate has gone into how much to put into the "controversies" section. He gets involved in a lot of feuds. Reporting all of them is excessive and POV, though. A similar principle applies here. Phil Sandifer 14:34, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
And I believe "considering that the idea that there is any significant controversy or irregularity in the 2004 election is a minority viewpoint" is using the wrong metric. it is a minority viewpoint because it was so underreported, that not a lot of ppl know about it. that's why we have encyclopedias. the metric should be, rather, if the majority of people who know the information in the article believe that the information is significant. And there is plenty of evidence of what the minority view of that populace is and what the majority view is in the three VfD's this article has gone through. However, if you still are unconvinced, I suggest listing this article on VfD. Kevin Baastalk 01:05, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Completely wrong. Wikipedia does not exist to fix problems of underrepresentation. You may be thinking of the media. Phil Sandifer 01:08, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Who said anything about underrepresentation? And what do you believe is wrong with my argument? Kevin Baastalk 01:11, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Or underreporting, for that matter. Phil Sandifer 01:25, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Ya, I forgot that I used that word, which is similiar enough. Suffice it to say, it was not my point. I was just using it to demonstrate that your argument seemed to assume that, in general, people were informed about the issue and therefore could have an opinion (view), and that one cannot assume that. By your response I gather that you do not object to that assessment. My argument was that significance of information can only be judged by people who have said information. The only practical samples for that, that I'm aware of, are the VfD's for this article. Kevin Baastalk 03:07, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
You're arguing a different point than I am. My point is that, for whatever reason (As the reason doesn't matter at all for this point), the viewpoint that there is a significant confluence of controversies and irregularities in the 2004 election is an extreme minority viewpoint. Until this viewpoint has become more substantial than it is now, it is inappropriate for Wikipedia to provide this depth of coverage, as it suggests falsely that the view is important. In fact, it seems that this viewpoint has been in sharp decline, being a major issue in the month or so following the election, but now, 18 months, having basically faded from the view of all but a few. Phil Sandifer 14:34, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Somehow you completely missed the part where I pointed out the flawed assumption of that logic. Somehow you missed it again when I reiterated it. Kevin Baastalk 17:10, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it was a major issue immediately following the election. As such it deserves to be documented by Wikipedia. Anyway, the controversies and irregularities made the news on numerous occasions. That is enough notability for there to be an article on them. The two VfDs on this article have made that amply clear.
Whether a majority of people in the world think the issues described in this article are important or are even aware of them is quite beside the point. The majority of people in the world may never have heard of and don't consider Xenu, the Polish-Soviet War, 3D Monster Maze, or Bulbasaur particularly significant or important. However, not only does Wikipedia have articles on them, but they have become featured articles, some on Wikipedia's front page.
The fact is that this article meets Wikipedia notability requirements, and that's what matters. -- noosphere 16:23, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Kevin - by all means, please iterate your point again then. Phil Sandifer 15:23, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

I'll keep it simple: Significance of information can only be judged by people who have said information. Kevin Baastalk 19:00, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

The contrary would be absurd. One would have to say: "I don't think __(there is no subject to this sentence)__ is significant." Kevin Baastalk 19:03, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Unacceptable sources

Over half the numbered sources in this article seem to me inadequate - either because they are heavily biased sources being reported as facts, instead of POVs (And this is before the question of undue weight even comes in), or because they are local news stories that give no evidence of ever having been meaningfully picked up on a national level, suggesting high levels of triviality.

2. The "4President Corporation." What even remotely recommends this source as reliable? 2. OK. 3. Another instance of using local news sources instead of national news, suggesting that the story fizzled on a local level. 6. Local paper again. And, again - where's the follow-up? Was this a one-day story? That doesn't wash. 9. Local. 10. Local. 11. POV. 12. POV. 13. POV. 14-15. Blog. 18. Inacessable local. 19. Local. 20. POV. (Also, neither of these come close to supporting the claim that this is an AP correction) 22-24. POV. 25. POV. 27. POV. 28-29. Local. 30. POV. 31-32. Local. Also, by what REMOTE standard is this a notable fact to include? 35. POV. 36. POV. 38. POV. 40. POV. 41-42. Blogged accounts of Michael Moore activity. So much wrong with this. 44. Local. 45. POV. 48. POV. 49. OMG POV. 50. POV. 51. Local. 58. Not sure what this is, but it doesn't scream "reliable major media source."59. POV. Message board thread. This source is a joke. 60. POV. 61-62. Self-published POV. 63. WE ARE STILL CITING AN ICE CREAM MOGUL AS AN ELECTIONS EXPERT. 66-68. POV. Phil Sandifer 23:14, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Could you flesh this out into a bulleted list, linked to the sources, please? That would make it much easier to discuss. Kevin Baastalk 21:54, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
They correspond to the link numbers in the articles. I do not think it is excessive work to go look at it, since this is now the second time I have drawn up this list. Phil Sandifer 23:25, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
You do realize that now that a lot of references were added the link numbers you mentioned no longer correspond to those that exist in the article today, don't you? This is why it's important to provide a quote from the article, some context, the link itself, and something more substantial as to why you don't like the sources than "POV" or "Local" (neither of which are prohibited by Wikipedia policies, by the way... NPOV applies to how articles present the opinions in the sources, not to the sources themselves, which can be and inevitably are POV... and no policy prohibits using local sources). -- noosphere 01:44, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Innuendo and original research

It also ignores the horrifying degree to which this article works through insinuation. It is a compendium of things that are barely relevent to the topic (Felon lists discarded months before the election that thus played no part), and things of marginal relevence (tire slashing by a few people). The result is to arrange a wealth of minor facts in such a way as to try to paint a picture of large-scale controversy and irregularities. This violates WP:NOR, specifically the section about "novel interpretations." Phil Sandifer 23:14, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

I disagree w/your analysis. But I agree w/you on the two clear and exact sections of the article that you brought up. I couldn't find "felon list" in the article, but I tagged the section with tire slashing in it. There's a long history of discussion on that section, (for instance, the first section on this page) you might want to take a look through the archives to get some perspective of the state of affairs with regard to the content. Kevin Baastalk 20:41, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
I removed the felon list section a day or two ago. Phil Sandifer 15:25, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Ok, link #2 of the article: It gives an overview of the steps in the elections, nothing more and nothing less. Nothing to be disputed. Considered POV by User:Phil Sandifer: 2. The "4President Corporation." WTF?. I am puzzeled. KimvdLinde 23:15, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Not POV - just not an acceptable reliable source. Find an actual reputable place for this information. Simple enough, no? I mean, election procedure is pretty widely known. You should be able to find a source that looks legitimate, and where anyone can explain why they are reliable. Phil Sandifer 23:17, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Wait a minute, YOU were complaining about POV. If this is just not the best source and the content is not disputed, why do you not provide a better link that provides the same information but is a website that you like better? KimvdLinde 23:25, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Not my job. And I did not refer to 4President as POV - I have no idea who the hell they are. That's the problem. Phil Sandifer 23:28, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
You know, Phil, when you're right, you're right. That source is just not acceptible. It does not meet the standards of a reliable source. The claim that it supports is, "On January 6, 2005, the votes were counted by Congress and the results were certified." That claim, along with the unreliable source has now been removed. I hope that pleases you. Cheers! -- noosphere 23:46, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Classic. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 23:26, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

I say...

I'm going to get a lot of flak on this from ms. freisling and k-baas, but if it were up to me we'd scrap the entire article and begin writing it from scratch with Merecat, Phil Sandifer, and the rest of the doubting thomases analyzing sources as we put them up. But just a thought. I expect a full veto. --kizzle 23:19, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

No flak. Just disagree. When you actually look at the article, you can see ways to improve it. Only the merest efforts at working this article editorially have been undertaken, amidst the political attacks of all stripes. The process hasn't really even begun, much less failed. It is possible to address these topics without vitriol and ill-will, and be focused on fact, but it takes good will. That, and not the quality of the content, is what's really at issue here. This article is a lens. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 23:22, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, you know that all I've been doing for the last year and a half is read up on this shit, so I'm definetely for an article. While there are some sources that need to be pruned, I just don't like the layout and what information is focused on, the Ohio article hasn't changed much since KB wrote it the three months following the election, I just feel that we'd get more accomplished by a clean sweep rather than picking apart each sentence. I feel like these articles need a fresh new look, not just fixing what is there currently. It would be fun, I could use a lot of lexis sources I have down and mainstream papers so that we don't get challenges like every week on the validity of the sources on these pages. But, I understand your point of view. --kizzle 23:29, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Please - write this article in your userspace or something. A legitimate subject expert using real sources like Lexis and mainstream papers is what's needed. The current articles formed organically in a haze of news sources many of which petered out but never got removed. It's the sort of thing that demonstrates one of the problems with the Wiki-method for current events - things get added before perspective exists. Phil Sandifer 23:33, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I guess I could do that, I'll put up a link in a few days with what I have, Phil, Ryan, anyone else is welcome to contribute. --kizzle 23:35, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I strongly agree - this article is currently rotten to the core. Scrap it and the sub-articles, and build something that addresses the core and notable issues. Phil Sandifer 23:26, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Scrap the entire article and proceed sentence by sentence and source by source? We'd never get past the first paragraph. Anyway, while Phil Sandifer and Merecat may not have been around during the genesis of this article plenty of other people with similar agendas were. Getting most any source or claim in to this article has been a constant battle, and starting from scratch isn't going to do anything but start the battle from scratch and waste a lot of good research.
Anyway, say we do this and a year or two later have an article that meets the approval of all the editors who've worked on it so far. New editors will come along and demand the very same thing. Some part of the article won't please them, so why not start from scratch?
The fact is that the article as it stands represents the consensus so far. New editors should make specific objections, not attempt to force everyone to ditch all the work that went in to it just because they weren't around to object to the every source at its inception or since they couldn't convince other editors to make the changes they'd liked earlier. That way leads madness.
I do appreciate your trying to find some middle ground here. I just don't think this is it. -- noosphere 23:36, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
"It is assumed that editors working toward consensus are pursuing a consensus that is consistent with Wikipedia's basic policies and principles - especially NPOV. At times, a group of editors may be able to, through persistence, numbers, and organization, overwhelm well-meaning editors and generate widespread support among the editors of a given article for a version of the article that is POV, inaccurate, or libelous. This is not a consensus." - Wikipedia:Consensus Phil Sandifer 23:38, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I think everybody here knows that, Phil. Kevin Baastalk 23:41, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
Kizzle, I don't think it is possible for me to agree more. Arkon 15:22, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
I ended up doing almost a full rewrite of an entire section: the vote suppression section, in attempt to resolve a balance dispute. the dispute is no more. I think rewrites of sections is a good comprimise. I guess if one is really that ambitious though, they could try a full rewrite and put it up for vote. that's a lot of work for a high risk. Kevin Baastalk 20:37, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Fact tags and Thanks.

Thank you for attempting to participate in the wikipedia process, Phil/Snowspinner. The content you marked with 'fact' tags should be removed if unsubstantiated. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 00:18, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Wait a minute, I think that sources should be found for such statements so as to replace Weasel words for non-common knowledge like "it has been estimated", by who? An anti-Bush blog for all I know? Maybe there are good sourced out there, but I think it best, per WP:CITE, that sources be added for them. It should not be that difficult anyways.Voice-of-AllT|@|ESP 00:28, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
By saying 'wait a minute', I infer you disagree with my post - but your comment isn't in disagreement with mine. Accordingly, I'm not sure I understand your point. Can you explain? -- User:RyanFreisling @ 00:33, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes...nevermind...I see, silly me :). I read it too quickly and saw "tags" and "removed". Nevermind then.Voice-of-AllT|@|ESP 00:35, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't know the issues here but I was asked to comment. At first glance, the page is difficult to read because it lacks narrative flow, and it also badly needs reliable, secondary sources. At nearly 7,000 words long, it has only five separate references, only two of which are to mainstream media, and the NYT one looks like an opinion piece. It might be worth setting up a draft page to start working on a new version, making sure that every edit is sourced from the start, preferably to the mainstream media or to scholarly sources. The title also needs to be changed and probably shouldn't have the word "irregularities" in it. SlimVirgin (talk) 01:40, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Paper vs plastic

"Oddly, though, as statistics experts Steven Freeman and Josh Mittledorf noted in an article for In These Times, analyzing the data provided by exit polling companies Mitofsky and Edison, "only in precincts that used old-fashioned, hand-counted paper ballots did the official count and the exit polls fall within the normal sampling margin of error." In those places where computers were used to count the vote, oddly the exit polls showed Kerry winning but the voting machines had Bush winning."[3][4] -- noosphere 06:12, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Oddly is POV. And the reader deserves to know that In These Times is an explicitly political publication, not an impartial news source in the quote. Better would be "In These Times, an anti-corporate magazine that describes itself as "dedicated to informing and analyzing popular movements for social, environmental and economic justice," claims that the exit polls that showed Kerry winning were accurate in precincts that used traditional ballots, whereas they were inaccurate in precincts that used computer ballots, suggesting that the electronic votes may have been tampered with. This analysis was not repeated or reported by any more mainstream sourecs." Phil Sandifer 17:23, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
I've seen this repeated in lots of independant experiments on the internet, with the same results. Kevin Baastalk 17:36, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
A "political publication"? When the NYT is described as part of the "liberal media", what isn't a "political publication"? And as for "impartial news sources", I challenge you to find a single one anywhere. Besides, these sources meet WP:RS, which says "An opinion is a view that someone holds, the content of which may or may not be verifiable. However, that a certain person or group holds a certain opinion is a fact, and it may be included in Wikipedia if it can be verified; that is, if you can cite a good source showing that the person or group holds the opinion". So even though the word "oddly" is POV, it's quite acceptable as part of the article, since we'd be quoting the source. We wouldn't be presenting it as Wikipedia's opinion, but the source's opinion, the presentation of which is quite acceptable.
Your suggested phrasing fails to make it clear that it is part of the source. Phil Sandifer 18:31, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Oh? You didn't notice the quotation marks around it? -- noosphere 18:45, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Now, saying "this analysis was not repeated or reported by any more mainstream sources" would be original research. As such, it would violate Wikipedia policy. -- noosphere 17:49, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
This is a gross misunderstanding of the point of WP:NOR, though not one that surprises me, I confess. Phil Sandifer 18:31, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
"though not one that surprises me, I confess" - Keep it civil, Phil. Do we preface any link to Fox News with "Fox News, the media arm of the GOP, blah blah"? --kizzle 18:45, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Numerous people on this page are arguing with a good faith and sensible understanding of Wikipedia's rules - they understand the concerns and the point of the rules, and are willing to work towards that to the best of their ability. Noosphere has not appeared to be among them, as this flagrant attempt to contort the NPOV policy shows. And if our only source for something is Fox News, I, at least, would be inclined to tag it with a comment regarding their political bias. Phil Sandifer 20:58, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
I would not be so inclined. I would think that the internal link to Fox News would be adequate for any reader interested in the alleged biases of the organization. Kevin Baastalk 21:24, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Phil, as you have done numerous times during the last few days, you've accused me of distorting the NPOV policy, or of going against its spirit, without providing any evidence whatsoever. I quote policy to you, and you accuse me of wikilawyering. Yet you're unable to show anything in policy to support your own opinion. Just accusations without even an attempt to substantiate them via policy. Continuing to make unsubstantiated accusations will not lead us to consensus. So I urge you to reconsider your approach. -- noosphere 21:32, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Excellent point - I'll return to ignoring everything you say. Phil Sandifer 23:22, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Phil, the fact is that "this analysis was not repeated or reported by any more mainstream sources" is a claim. Therefore it needs to be supported with a citation in order for it to be anything more than original research. If you think requiring claims to be supported by sources is a misunderstanding of WP:NOR, why did you add a million fact tags to the article? -- noosphere 18:48, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
No - if you use a crappy source (Which that source is), and there is no corroboration to be found elsewhere, that needs to be mentioned. Without a balancing claim like that, simply put, the claim is too weak to go in at all. Phil Sandifer 20:58, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
There is nothing in any Wikipedia policy that prohibits a claim from going in as long as its properly sourced. Whether there is other corraboration of that claim or not is itself a claim. So, if you can provide a source for your claim, we'll put it in. Otherwise, it's unsourced original research, and violates Wikipedia policy. -- noosphere 21:15, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

How to initiate an NPOV debate?

(copied from Wikipedia:NPOV_dispute) If you come across an article whose content does not seem to be consistent with Wikipedia's NPOV policy, use one of the tags below to mark the article's main page. Then, on the article's talk page, make a new sectioned titled "NPOV dispute [- followed by a section's name if you're challenging just a particular section of the article and not the article as a whole]". Then, under this new section, clearly and exactly explain which part of the article does not seem to have a NPOV and why. Make some suggestions as to how one can improve the article. Be active and bold in improving the article.

Please read the policy and become familiar with it. Kevin Baastalk 20:02, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Did that. Did you miss the "NPOV dispute" numbered 27 in the discussion? --Tbeatty 03:04, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
huh? I was refering to the "Then, under this new section, clearly and exactly explain which part of the article does not seem to have a NPOV and why. Make some suggestions as to how one can improve the article." part. the first sentence there, I didn't think that Phil was being clear and specific enough to enable a discussion on the parts of the article that he believes can be improved. Kevin Baastalk 18:57, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Excessively minority views

I am going through this article and removing things for which no evidence is provided beyond a primary source. I am only doing this for sources that do not seem to me to be prima faciae notable, and for which no claims of notability are made in the article. These views are not significant enough to require reporting viat he NPOV policy. That a few people got together and formed an activist group then put up a statistical analysis does not make that view worth reporting in an encyclopedia (c.f. US Vote Counts). Again, all of this could readily be fixed if this article were written using more reliable sources, and especially if a good secondary source regarding the views of various groups on the 2004 election could be found and presented instead of trying to stitch this together from POV primary sources of questionable notability. Phil Sandifer 15:30, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Not only is that nearly incomprehensible grammar to understand, you may find your deletions (the removal of information not due to it's accuracy, but it's source) reverted, as you haven't provided a valid, comprehensible reason for it. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 15:33, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
What about the paragraph is difficult to understand? I am happy to clarify. Phil Sandifer 15:33, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
The first sentence is quite unnecessarily tangled and arcane. A good editor would bounce it.
Clarified. Thanks for explaining it so I could do something about it. Phil Sandifer 16:15, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
US Count Votes is a very significant source. It is an essential part of the dialog about exit polls, and a neccessary balance to Mitofsky's hypothesis paper. Kevin Baastalk 16:26, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
I recognize that US Count Votes makes a point you think is important. The question is what speaks for their significance beyond the point they make? Why are they a notable source? Phil Sandifer 16:33, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Because they are a key player in the controversy that we are describing. A narrative does not leave out the main actors. Kevin Baastalk 18:05, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

POV pushing through selective deletionism

As it stands, your attribution of 'a few people who got together and formed an activist group' to whatever source you choose is your own POV, and not an objective basis for removal of information. Facts, please. If you have concerns about the information, try to corroborate or disprove it. To seek it's immediate deletion without that effort is to pursue POV over fact. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 15:45, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure how to respond to this. Perhaps if it were rephrased without the accusations of bad faith and in a way that actually addresses the point that there is no reason to believe that US Vote Counts represents a significant point of view, I might have something to say? Phil Sandifer 16:15, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Kathy Dopp, one of the founders of that group, is certainly notable in the realm of the 2004 election irregularities investigation and reform. Your objection is due to partisan causes, not factual ones. Your desire appears to be to silence groups that don't meet your POV, not to inform the reader with the relevant information about the relevant individuals and events of this controversy. That's my point. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 16:20, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
So your point is a personal attack? Phil Sandifer 16:32, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
No, my point is - an editor should understand the factual nature and relevance of a source before they paint it with a 'wingnut' brush, lest they get some of it on themselves. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 16:35, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
I didn't say wingnut. I said small activist group. Which, from all appearances, they are. What they say is irrelevent if they are not a notable source, and there's no reason in the article or on Wikipedia to think that they are. It's not my job to do that homework for you. If you want the information in the article, it has to be sourced better.
Also, on a personal level, I would appreciate the cessation of your efforts to divine my political affiliations. Phil Sandifer 16:42, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
I am glad to have done your homework for you, to say nothing of noosphere and others who have been returning the deleted citations to the sections you have now contested (including your 'fact' tagging of the day of the counting of electoral votes). As far as the rest is concerned, just focus on the article content, please. And try to do some, even cursory research before you throw your edits around with edit comments like 'US Vote Counts is not a notable POV'. Try to be more informed before making such blanket, false statements. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 16:55, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
This is both incivil and inaccurate - it is not my job to take sources that have been cited in ways that in no way establish their relevance and to divine and intuit their significance. I am not obliged to read the tea leaves to figure this article out. It is the job of those who want the sources to stay in the article. Personally, I'd like to see this article reduced to mainstream media sources and peer-reviewed publications, as I think is necessary for an area like US politics where such sources are readily available. Phil Sandifer 17:31, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
It is civil and accurate. You are deleting material to push your own pov, on a controversal page, and it is disputed, and rather than discussing it and meeting the burden of proof that the change is justified, you are simply engaging in an edit war. This is a perfectly civil and accurate description of your behavior. Kevin Baastalk 17:52, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Please to not presume to know my POV. That I disagree with you on the presentation of this article is not evidence of my POV, and it is a sad assumption of bad faith to say that it is. Phil Sandifer 18:11, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm just making an observation. Kevin Baastalk 22:40, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Once again, your criteria are inaccurate and your argument shifts. It is not uncivil to point out that your objection to USCountVotes on grounds of notability is inaccurate. The field of election irregularities investigation is full of real, factual, corroborated and truthful accounts by citizens, private groups and small media outlets alike. Kathy Dopp is indeed a notable figure herein, and her groups' reports are included with good reason. Your dream vision of the article would only portray a small, and incomplete view of the facts of the episode, and so I would oppose it. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 17:52, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
My dream vision of the article would portray the verifiable facts that come from sources that can be shown to be notable outside of their limited context. If you find this worth opposing, I am deeply sorry to hear it. Phil Sandifer 18:11, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Ah, and once again you shift your argument. I made clear what I was speaking about, don't obfuscate it with rhetoric, please. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 18:13, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Regardless of the POV you want to push, USCountVotes is a key player in the controversy, and as such belongs in the article. The article is not supposed to be part of the controversy - and we shouldn't bring the controversy into the realm of edit wars. We should describe the controversy as it exists. As it exists, USCountVotes is a key player. Kevin Baastalk 18:01, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Your say-so is not sufficient evidence that they are a key player. Find me the external source that shows that they're a key player. Find me the NYT or Boston Globe or Washington Post or LA Times or Chicago Tribune or so on and so forth source that talks about them. Find me the journal their findings were published in. Find me something other than your say-so. Phil Sandifer 18:11, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Just off the cuff, here she is on Democracy Now. [5]
Anything not from the openly partisan press? Phil Sandifer 15:16, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
ad hominem. Kevin Baastalk 16:01, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Why don't you do some research? It's kind of annoying to have someone who doesn't seem to know anything about the controversy come here and fight about everything that they know nothing about. there are plenty of resources. take a look at the timeline article. read thru it. i've read every single article in there. We wrote this article while the controversy was ongoing, and we paid attention to everything we could via the internet (including google news searches). that is the basis for my understanding. i'm sure uscountvotes is in there a few times. Kevin Baastalk 04:08, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

But that's exactly the problem - you stitched together an article out of current events from any news source you could find. That's no way to write an article. My objections are not factual ones - as I said elsewhere, I am not saying USCountVotes is a crappy source. I am saying that nothing on their page and nothing in the article explains to me why they are notable. It is not, in fact, my duty to fix every error I find. It is quite acceptable for me to notice errors, tag them, mention them on the talk page, and expect someone who will have an easier time fixing it through greater familiarity with the material to do it. And it's kind of shocking to be so viciously flamed for this.

Also, while I have you here, I asked you a question on the exit polling page that I think is an important one, and I'm looking forward to your answer. Phil Sandifer 15:16, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

now you're shifting your argument again. pick one and stick with it. Kevin Baastalk 15:57, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Would you please consider, instead of making bad-faith dismissals like this, engaging the points I raise? You say to discuss things on the talk page, then ignore the points being raised there. You refuse to let articles be tagged, because discussion and consensus need to be reached, but you simply ignore half the points raised in those discussions. This is obstructionist and counter-productive. I am sure that this is not your intention, so why do it? Phil Sandifer 16:31, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
That's just the thing. I did engage the points you made, then you shifted your argument, then I engaged those points, then you shifted your argument back to the points that I originally engaged. I'm not up for running around in circles. Kevin Baastalk 21:46, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Section disputes

HAVA Section

Calling the Florida election a debacle off the bat is POV. The use of innuendo, such as suggesting that the people who created the voting machines' political affiliations are in some way a part of some irregularity, is particularly egregious. Phil Sandifer 15:36, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Well the florida election was certainly a pain and a crisis for a lot of ppl. It was certainly irregular on the side of things going wrong rather than right. that is fact. if think you can find a better word, give it a shot. But don't slap a POV tag on it for that, try fixing it first, and if there's a dispute, discuss it, and if the dispute doesn't resolve in due time, then slap a tag on it. Kevin Baastalk 18:12, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
The person who discovers an error is not immediately compelled to fix it. Tagging it with a dispute tag and explaining it on the talk page so someone who is more knowledgeable on the subject can fix it is, in fact, a valid response. Phil Sandifer 16:35, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Phil, I welcome the amount of effort you have put forth to try to improve this article. There are many mainstream newspapers that refer to the 2000 Florida election in a very negative light, perhaps spend 5-10 minutes doing a google or lexis search? If you can't find one after that, then each of us will try the same amount of time trying to find a mainstream source that we can use to quote so we can avoid editorializing the description of the Florida election ourselves. --kizzle 17:19, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
The voting machines affiliation is a description of a controversy that exists in the real world. There are ample references to verify this, including members of congress and bills introduced into congress. Kevin Baastalk 18:12, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Then it needs to be explained like that, though. Something like "The heads of all of these companies are Republicans, leading X to claim Y [Z]" Where X is notable and Z is a reputable source. Phil Sandifer 16:35, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
re:bills introduced: I might be getting this confused w/something else, I'll have to re-read the bill i'm thinking of. Kevin Baastalk 18:52, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

alright, we have:

  • Calling the Florida election a debacle off the bat is POV.
    What is the status of this dispute? Kevin Baastalk 15:34, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
  • The use of innuendo, such as suggesting that the people who created the voting machines' political affiliations are in some way a part of some irregularity, is particularly egregious.
    It's part of a controversy. this is about controversies and irregularities. A lot of the groups involved have a real problem with this, esp. coupled with other things like how insecure these machines are, and how the company execs say they are secure when they're not. It certainly doesn't classify as an "irregularity". however, there is a controversy about it. Kevin Baastalk 15:34, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Exit Polls

US Vote Counts does not appear to me to be a significant POV, and thus should not be reported. Phil Sandifer 15:37, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Not true. See above. Kathy Dopp's group 'US Count Votes' is indeed a notable organization, and she a notable figure, in the realm of (2004) election irregularities investigation and reform. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 17:54, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
  • The organization is made up of notable people
  • The organization was a key player in the controversy
    • Says who? Phil Sandifer 16:29, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
      • says ppl who were involved in the controversy. if you want to send a letter in to the democratic staff of the u.s. house judiciary committee, for example, be my guest. Do you, who have not researched the matter, actually presume to know better? The report was posted all over the place on the internet when it came out. It's probably still linked from everywhere. I'm sure it's cited on the congressional record, too. Kevin Baastalk 21:34, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
        • A letter to the House Judiciary Committee would not provide a verifiable citation. I think perhaps you misunderstand me still. I am not trying to argue that there were no controversies or irregularities. I do not know, and do not particularly care. I am trying to argue that this article needs to comply with policies like WP:V, WP:NPOV, WP:NOR, and WP:RS. For these things, only published reports from reliable sources matter. Not your say-so, not unpublished letters from hypothetical representatives. Published reports from major sources. That's what you need for this article. Phil Sandifer 21:55, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
          • Please read my entire post before responding. Thank you. Kevin Baastalk 22:06, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
            • I read your entire post. I only responded to part of it. Phil Sandifer 22:16, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
              • Then we'll consider the matter settled. Kevin Baastalk 22:42, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
  • As evidenced by newspaper articles in the timeline article
    • Where in the timeline? You surely don't expect me to read all 524. Phil Sandifer 16:29, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
      • I did. You can just skim through the timeline, i'm sure it's in the description/title of the article(s).
        • Actually, USCountVotes is only mentioned once, and links to their own paper. Phil Sandifer 21:55, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
          • I remember more than one article on uscountvotes, and they have more than one paper. Kevin Baastalk 22:06, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
  • The ucountvotes gives required balance to Mitofsky's hypothesis papers.
    • Only required if the uscountvotes is a notable viewpoint. Phil Sandifer 16:29, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
      • I believe you are misrepresenting the WP policy on balance. In any case, the uscountvotes' reports represent the POV of a significant majority of those aware of the controversy. Kevin Baastalk 22:06, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
        • And we're back to square one, where I say "Find me some secondary citations instead of primary ones from reliable and mainstream sources then." Phil Sandifer 22:16, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
          • I don't follow. I don't think you follow. Kevin Baastalk 22:42, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
  • The uscountvotes is the most authoritative and valid scientific analysis avialable for these aspect of the exit polls. (including the famous/infamous reluctant voter hypothesis) Kevin Baastalk 16:06, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
    • The moment you declare a perspective the most authoritative and valid, you're POV pushing. Phil Sandifer 16:29, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
        • Of the comparable scientific analysises (which, oddly enough, does not include Mitofsky), it is the only one done by more than one or two people. Kevin Baastalk 21:29, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
          • And? Phil Sandifer 21:55, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
            • That's why i called it the most authoritive (pertinent) scientific analsysis available. Kevin Baastalk 22:06, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
              • You have an interesting definition of authoritativeness. Phil Sandifer 22:16, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
                • How so? would you consider an analysis done by one or two non-notable people (probably students) more authorative than the one done by a number of notable professors? How is it interesting that I don't? Kevin Baastalk 22:36, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
      • Which he is allowed to do on talk pages. The USCountsVotes, while not the most authoritative IMHO, is a key voice in the exit poll debate among others such as MysteryPollster, Elizabeth Liddle, Rick Brady of StonesCryOut, and others. While I do not agree with their conclusions, the fact that they have amassed a dozen people all with impressive educational backgrounds renders them pretty significant in my mind. I know you mean well, Phil, but if you are not familliar with a group, event, or fact, please do not make a knee-jerk declaration of it being not notable. If you have questions about the notability or authority of certain groups or events discussed within these pages, I think you'll find your co-editors more than willing to provide sources and citations to help justify such passages being included. --kizzle 17:23, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
        • Sure. But if "it adheres to the True POV" is his reason for why something should go in an article, that's not good. As for backgrounds, I'm not quite willing to take educational backgrounds as grounds - Jack Thompson has an imperssive educational background, but is a complete quack. Which is why WP:RS demands peer review or other major publications on related fields.
          • Then what about the Edison/Mitofsky reports? They haven't been peer-reviewed. Indeed, they cannot be, because they don't provide any of the data or methods they use to come to their hypothesize; there is nothing to review. By the same logic, that should be removed from the article. But this is not an academic article (for instance, it's not an article on the gaussian distribution), it is an article that documents a controversy. Thus the criteria is different, such that, I contend, both POV's should be included, even though one of them is unverifiable. Kevin Baastalk 21:44, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
            • That they were the official reports contracted by the exit pollsters establishes their notability. And you can contend unverifiable POVs should be included all you want, but WP:V is going to shut you down every time you try. Phil Sandifer 21:55, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
        • As for the willingness of editors, I'm still waiting for some citations on USCountVotes. Or on anything from Kevin, actually. And I've certainly not meant to declare any sources non-notable in a knee-jerk way. I've meant to point out that the article is not giving context for its notability. My apologies if this has been unclear. Phil Sandifer 17:35, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
            • Apology accepted. I hope it remains your goal to 'point out' what the article is lacking, rather than mass tag and revert wars. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 19:53, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
              • Tagging is one of the generally accepted ways of pointing out where the article is lacking, and I have not reverted anything but tag insertion. Phil Sandifer 20:59, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
          • What about the fact that if you do a google search on "USCountsVotes" or "USCV", they are referenced in an SSRC paper you should really check out, MysteryPollster, MediaMatters, Randi Rhodes, and Michael Moore? --kizzle 17:42, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
            • This is considerably more helpful - it would probably be more solid if we were to cite one of those sources instead of using the primary source, though. Phil Sandifer 21:55, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
              • I don't believe so, as I would much rather use a primary source than a secondary source, it lessens the signal-to-noise ratio. --kizzle 22:05, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
                • Yeah, but secondary sources are preferred by WP:NOR for most purposes - and I think this is a case where that's particularly important - especially if we use mainstream secondary sources, thus basically eliminating noise entirely. Phil Sandifer 22:16, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
                  • I must voice my strong disagreement with your characterization of simply quoting a paper written by a dozen PhD's later referenced to by Michael Moore, MediaMatters, Randi Rhodes, MysteryPollster, the SSRC paper, among others, as violating WP:NOR. We should quote the USCV paper but also quote the MysteryPollster contrasting pieces, the Elizabeth Liddle WPE paper "Febble's Fancy Function", Mitofsky Jan 19 report, Stephen A. Freeman paper, and possibly the Jonathan Simon piece on exit polls in order to give the reader a complete picture. Note that I am not trying to push a POV in this case, the MysteryPollster and Liddle papers do a pretty good job of refuting much of the USCV papers, I just would prefer not to censor one side of the debate and leave the other in. --kizzle 22:39, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

  • US Count Votes - Has it been resolved that this is notable? Kevin Baastalk 15:34, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Edison/Mitofsky report - their report's claims are unverifiable, Phil has suggested that their report therefore shouldn't be included. I think their report should be included because it represents a significant part of the controversy. Thoughts? Kevin Baastalk 16:22, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Racial Discrimination

Who is Greg Palast, and why is his POV being reported? The article makes no claims of notability, he does not have an article - what is substantial about his views? This section contains no responses at all to the allegations it raises. Only the POV of those who believe vote suppression took place is represented. Phil Sandifer 15:39, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Palast is also a notable figure in the investigation into (2004)'s election irregularities. I can certainly say that Greg Palast is another noteworthy figure in this context. He is an independent investigator and reporter and he has written a number of articles and books, and conudcted a number of investigations into 2004 and other election irregularities. It is true that he is unabashedly in opposition to the Republican party/Right wing, etc., but he is certainly a notable figure in the context of investigation and reporting of 2004's Election irregularities. And he is certainly not alone in his view that there was a systematic effort to suppress votes, so his POV should be easy to corroborate or replace with something more 'mainstream' as you say. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 17:57, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Where is his notability in this context established? Phil Sandifer 18:44, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
How about this? [6] Or even the Greg_Palast Wikipedia page? Please. To object without even an effort at knowing is to disrupt. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 19:05, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Thank you - perhaps some of those descriptions should actually go in the article? Also, you misunderstand my comments if you take them as objections - if I objected, my statement would be "Greg Palast is a nobody who's not worth citing." I asked a question, because the article did not give me enough information - Greg Palast was not wikilinked, it described him only as a progressive. I am also a progressive, but doubt my notability on this issue. Likewise, I questioned his. Phil Sandifer 20:12, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
I see. Your cause for mass tagging the articles, then revert warring the tags, then revert warring this article's tag, then section tagging, was because it didn't explain more about Palast? And your response, as a self-professed 'Progressive' is to slap the article with tags, rather than even read the WIkipedia article about him? I'm sorry, that's too much argument-shifting for me to view with credulity. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 20:22, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
You seem to be taking the use of NPOV tags as rather a graver insult than I am intending it. Phil Sandifer 20:47, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Greg Palast is an intrepid investigator and reporter (in Europe, if I'm not mistaken). the section contains no responses because, as far as anybody who's edited the article before is aware, they don't exist. Kevin Baastalk 18:19, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
In Europe? Does he regularly investigate American issues, or is he working outside of his field?
He's American. Do some research at the above wikipedia article. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 19:05, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
I guess there are more obvious URLs.. for instance, the ".cfm" is non-obvious. ".html" would have been better. that's all i got. Kevin Baastalk 19:12, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
I think Greg Palast is informative as well for those who actually want to understand the issue. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 19:14, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps that should be wikilinked then? Phil Sandifer 16:33, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Feel free. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 16:34, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Vote Suppression (KB)

"Allegations of voter registration fraud were made by both parties in many states during the 2004 election. Some of the controversies involved the procedure by which workers are paid per registration. In Colorado at least 719 cases of potentially fraudulent forms were submitted. [76] Colorado Secretary of State Donetta Davidson issued a statement saying:"

This is not an example of vote suppression. Disposing, failing to file, or filing registrations incorrectly are examples of vote suppression. Submitting fradulant registration forms does not suppress votes, nor does trying to scam the system for money. This does not belong in this section. Kevin Baastalk 18:34, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Agreed, a voter registration fraud section should be created that mentions Colorado, Sproul and Associates (repub), and ACORN in Ohio (democrat). --kizzle 17:29, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
That sounds like a good idea to me. If anyone wants to go ahead and do this, I don't think they'll get any objections. Kevin Baastalk 21:37, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

"Criminal activity - In Wisconsin, several activists with ties to the Democratic Party were found to have acted illegally, suppressing Republican voters with criminal activity. The son of a Democratic Congressman and four volunteers for the Kerry / Edwards campaign, slashed tires on..."

This is given undue weight. it is way out of proportion with the other items in the section. Furthermore, it's not in the vote suppression article. The paragraph should be moved to the vote suppression article, and a brief summary should replace it on this article. Kevin Baastalk 18:27, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Third AfD page deleted

There was an AfD on this article earlier today. The result was speedy keep. Phil Sandifer closed the AfD. Then I added a note to the top of this page that the AfD took place. Phil Sandifer reverted that part of the note. I reverted it back, since I believed that since the AfD took place and it was soundly rejected there should be a record of that. Now I see that the entire AfD page has been deleted. Is there a way to find out who did this and why? -- noosphere 01:09, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

That'd be me. It was bad faith vandalism from a now-blocked user, and shouldn't be cluttering around looking like it was anything other than bullshit. Phil Sandifer 01:10, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
I have to agree, as much as I dislike the current state of this page, that was a bad faith nom if I've ever seen one. Arkon 01:17, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
I've seen it observed that an admin deleting a page on which they were involved as an editor is at times considered an overly aggressive use of admin powers. Surely if that was obvious bad faith, another admin would have deleted it. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 01:24, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
It might have been initiated in bad faith, but there's no denying that an AfD took place. You voted in and closed it yourself, Phil. If you thought it was vandalism you could have just reverted the whole thing. Instead you let it proceed and the result was a speedy keep, as you yourself have ackgnowledged. Why not allow a record of it to remain? -- noosphere 01:26, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
I closed it before I had looked at Ham and Jelly Butter's contributions and realized that he was a role account troll. Phil Sandifer 01:40, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
But the AfD was a record not only of Ham's actions, but those of everyone who participated in it, including your own actions. And it was a record of the AfD being rejected. As such a record it is not vandalism, though the deletion of such a record might be. -- noosphere 01:43, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
I've inquired of Snowspinner (Phil)'s peers at AN:I, and they back his decision to delete the AfD. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 01:45, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Yep. Looks like Phil did the right thing. I stand corrected. -- noosphere 02:37, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
The talk page remains Wikipedia talk:Articles for deletion/2004 U.S. presidential election controversy and irregularities. Should there be a speedy deletion tag put on it? Шизомби 22:01, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
OK, somebody did. Шизомби 13:05, 12 May 2006 (UTC)


Should Greg Palast really be described as 'BBC journalist Greg Palast'? IIRC he also writes for the Guardian. Should it be 'Guardian and BBC journalist...' (sounds horrible), just 'Journalist Greg Palast', or stay as is? What say ye? Arkon 03:06, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps Greg Palast, a journalist who has written for the BBC and the Guardian. Unless there's other pertinent information to include as well. Phil Sandifer 03:09, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Since Palast isn't exactly a household name for those people who haven't been following this controversy as closely as we have, I think some sort of description next to his name is reasonable. -- noosphere 03:19, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

More NPOV tag revert warring

Once again, Tbeatty and Phil Sandifer are reverting the article tag, despite the fact that not a single POV dispute remains about specific content. The preferability of mainstream media to blogs, and questions about various sources have been asked, but no facts are contested here. Fact tag sprinkling without a supporting conflict doesn't justify an article tag! -- User:RyanFreisling @ 04:55, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

I've added it. Facts are not what is contested in a NPOV dispute. It is Point of View that is contested. It we were worried about facts, we would tag it with fact tags. OR request that it be cited. But this is a POV dispute, not a factual dispute. --Tbeatty 05:00, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Moreover, their empty claims of 'vandalism' and 'a lack of good faith' are just that - empty. My actions in this regard (reverting the article status as it has remained for months in the absence of actual discussion) are clearly valid, and while they may disagree with my actions such attacks are uncalled for. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 05:01, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
You were not attacked in any way. YOur reverts of other editors tags were fairly characterized. AS a well used template test2 says (and it is not against AGF to use). Please do not add nonsense to Wikipedia. It is considered vandalism. If you would like to experiment, use the sandbox. Thank you. --Tbeatty 05:08, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Completely uncalled for. Obvious to all. Nighty-night, now. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 05:09, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Here's the section on the WP:Vandalism page.

Improper use of dispute tags

Dispute tags are important way for people to show that there are problems with the article. Do not remove them unless you are sure that the dispute is settled. As a general rule, do not remove other people's dispute tags twice during a 24 hour period. Do not place dispute tags improperly, as in when there is no dispute, and the reason for placing the dispute tag is because a suggested edit has failed to meet consensus. Instead, follow WP:CON and accept that some edits will not meet consensus. Please stop removing the tags. --Tbeatty 05:12, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Please stop adding them without a dispute in the first place. Moreover, I have consistently 'entertained the prospect of dialogue'. Your willingness to mischaracterize in order to marginalize another editor is stultifying, but ultimately less-than-beneficial to your own argument. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 05:13, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

It seems to me inescapable fact that there is an NPOV dispute on this article. I recognize that you are not happy that people are complaining that the article is POV. I recognize that you believe with great conviction that the article is NPOV. However, there is clearly a dispute. To revert war to repeatedly deny a dispute even exists does, therefore, seem in rather bad faith. And it sets a chill over the whole topic. You refuse to acknowledge that there is a discussion. That makes having one difficult. In face of negotiations and civil dicsussion that have failed for 18 months straight, one has to consider other avenues of dispute resolution. Phil Sandifer 05:17, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

How about actually following WIkipedia process and editing? -- User:RyanFreisling @ 05:20, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes. I'm sorry. I will put down the pile of books I am reading for my dissertation and get right on researching this. Because, after all, it is much more sensible to have me do it than it is for the people who have already apparently done research on this topic to just write a good article instead of a POV pushing one. Which is to say, as I have said before, that finding an error does not oblige one to fix it. Especially when the fix would require extensive research. That is why we have dispute tags, citation needed tags, and other such tags - to ask someone else to fix it. I am specifically asking you to fix it. And yet you decline, while also removing the request so that other editors might see it and fix it. Again - why? Phil Sandifer 05:23, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Ah. So you can't participate as an editor, but you can attack other users directly with (weak, hollow) claims of vandalism, refusal to edit, and bad faith. Sorry, I guess you've got time for that. I guess that's your shortcut to improving the article - attacking the editors. Once again, weak.
Personally, I find vague, unsubstantiated objections unsustainable. Hence the lack of tags on the current article. If you bring 'em back, bring some knowledge, not just vague objections. That's disinformative to the reader, don't you think? -- User:RyanFreisling @ 05:26, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Tell me, Ryan - if I were to go and remove all of the information I added a fact tag to a few days ago on the grounds that citations have not been provided, what would you do? Phil Sandifer 05:29, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Unsubstantiated to whom? They are only as vague as the article is POV. We have given you specific objections. The fact that the objections are broad in scope doesn't mean they are not specific or valid. We have cited the policy that says removing these tags is considered vandalism. Yet rather than address the criticism, you want to revert war over a tag. Why? --Tbeatty 05:33, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Tell me, Phil - do you mean all the ones you added, even the seemingly laughable ones regarding congressional process and historical dates, or just the handful of fact tags remaining? Because right now, I'd respect 3RR, research each of them and bring 'em back to whatever extent appropriate and factual. I'm pretty confident it'd be straightforward - because yours would not the first fine-toothed-comb I've seen go thru this article. Except your comb, to date, has few if any actual teeth.
That's what I'd do. You paint this whole article with an inaccurate brush because of your own biased point of view (whatever it's source actually is). You've hated this article for quite a while, and sought to marshal support for your POV in any way you can, on- and off-wiki. Accordingly, quite honestly, I don't know if I can expect your, or tbeatty's, actions here to suddenly become any more respectful of consensus and Wikipedia process here than they've been to date. Make edits. Don't make vague comments about discontent, claim editing is impossible and slap tags on articles. Night, kids. Play nice.-- User:RyanFreisling @ 05:40, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

NPOV Dispute

The sources used throughout the article are not reputable and do not meet wikipedia standards. Example: ""?? Scientifically reviewd website? I think not. Innuendo throughtout the article is not balanced with factual data. For example, intro alludes to voting systems not being secure. Fails to mention that almost all the states still use these systems and corrections made were minor. No vote tampering with an electronic system has ever been uncovered or reported. The allegations in the first section are not put in context of the entire election nor is presented in a neutral manner. It reads like a blog. The article is in serious need of a rewrite from scratch (or a merge back into the 2004 election as the concerns are very minor). --Tbeatty 04:57, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Your observations are almost to a fault based on a false assumption. Your first is that such a source needs to be 'scientifically reviewed' to be referenced. Your second is regarding innuendo. Please point any unsubstantiated innuendo out. Your point about 'minor corrections' is certainly something than can be addressed in an edit. Your 'no vote tampering' claim is false. Your 'allegations' claim can likewise be addressed with editing. Your 'reads like a blog' comment is just fluff. Edit it, don't tag it. Your merge/rewrite complaint (without action) is an old, old story. NOTHING here warrants the tag. Keep with the sections, and actually do some editing. You may find you feel you have more impact that way. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 05:08, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
As I have said several times, finding a problem does not oblige one to fix it. On the other hand, claiming to be a subject expert but being unwilling to do work to bring an article you've worked on up to expectations is unfortunate, if not indefensible. You present yourself as someone who could do the work to make this one of the best-referenced, best-presented, most neutral presentations of a controversial issue on Wikipedia. And yet you refuse, preferring to have an article full of innuendo (substantiated or otherwise), minor incidents, sources that are, if not wholly unacceptable, at least consistently below the level that is ideal. Why? I honestly can't find an answer to that question that doesn't involve assuming bad faith, and thus I am at a loss. Phil Sandifer 05:15, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Because that's not a question, it's a testimony and a mischaracterization. I don't 'present myself' as anyone. I just edit. You have been consciously making efforts to eliminate this article, without ever actually rolling up your sleeves and doing the hard work yourself. I find it extremely interesting that you would castigate me for something you yourself have not had the guts to do. And finding what you see as a problem, having other editors disagree and demonstrate why, ultimately having their arguments be found more persuasive than yours - and then slapping a tag on it - is not participating in the valid exchange of ideas. It's just petty. Participate in the exchange of ideas.-- User:RyanFreisling @ 05:20, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
If I wanted to eliminate the article - or especially the sub-articles - do you not think that I would have nominated them again for deletion? It's been over a year - it's a reasonable bet that I could rally 2/3 to delete all the sub-articles and merge them in here. I haven't. Consider that before you ascribe viewpoints to me. As I have said, I could do the extensive research needed to fix this article. But, well, I have rather a lot to do in my life. And to devote extensive research to a topic that you, kizzle, noosphere, and Kevin already know about so that I can do work you're unwilling to is, well, not a choice I think it's fair to expect anybody to make. You have the knowledge to fix this article. You have had the problems pointed out to you. You do not want to fix it. Fine - but allow the tag asking somebody to fix it to stand. Phil Sandifer 05:28, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Phil, please quote specific portions of the article you find objectionable and the relevant parts of policy you think they violate. Enough with these vague, unsubstantiated allegations already. -- noosphere 05:23, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
I have. I have a dozen times over. Please actually deal with them. Phil Sandifer 05:28, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
I did deal with them. And you ignored me. -- noosphere 05:30, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
A "scientifically reviewed website"? Where did you get that criteria? noosphere 05:11, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Here. This website purports to be scientific with no review process or other credentials whatsoever. It doesn't appear to be any more authoritative than a blog. This is considered false authority. While it may be correct, it is not reliable. Verifiability not Truth. The article is littered with these. --Tbeatty 05:24, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
I see nothing in section 5, "Evaluating sources", of WP:RS that says anything about "scientifically reviewed websites". Could you please quote the part of that policy you're talking about? And while you're at it, please quote a part of the website that claims it's a "scientific website". -- noosphere 05:28, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
My point is that the website is not scientifically reviewed and that science sources should be from reputable science articles that are peer reviewed. Look harder and you will find it. --Tbeatty 05:33, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Oh, you must be talking about the "Physical sciences, mathematics and medicine" part of WP:RS, which states, "scientific journals are the best place to find primary source articles about scientific experiments, including medical studies." Are you claiming that the Mystery Pollster was performing experiments or medical studies? Where do you get the idea that they claim to be a "scientific website", anyway? -- noosphere 05:48, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
I have made edits. I have done a lot of work to the intro. However, it still has not changed the entire articles tone and POV. It is not NPOV. That's all the tag says. --Tbeatty 05:24, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
I think your POV is making you see the article as POV. If you can't do anything to the article to "fix" what you feel is a problem, that does not detract from the accuracy or discursivity of the article, then you should seriously consider the possibility that it is simply your own bias which is distorting your view of the reality which the article presents. Kevin Baastalk 17:41, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Archive proposal

This talk page has gotten really unwieldy. There's no reason for us to download half a megabyte every time we view/edit this page. I would like to suggest archiving it up to section 27 - "NPOV Dispute", since that seems to be the earliest section in which active debate is still going on. Comments? -- noosphere 05:02, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. Archived. Kevin Baastalk 15:38, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Voter-verified paper ballots (paper trail) is undue weight?!?

Come on. It's a core issue around electronic voting, and a core concern around election integrity. 'No correctable course except deletion'?!? Now you're just being intentionally sinister and overdramatic. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 05:53, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes, it is undue weight considering all the other alternatives to "paper trail." "paper trail" is Democratic talking points. "Paper trail" essentially means going back to a system of tallying paper ballots which is appealing to Democrats for some reason. But there are lots of other non-paper secure and reliable methods which aren't covered at all. Therefore, this is undue weight for one political POV of a solution.
Also, unlike you, I didn't just delete the section that I dispute. That makes it neither sinister or overdramatic. --Tbeatty 06:08, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
In California, support for a paper voting trail was one of the few recent bipartisan efforts in the Legislature. In 2004, SB1438, which required electronic voting machines to produce a voter-verified paper trail in the coming June primary, passed the Assembly on a 73-t0-0 vote. "Without a paper trail, you don't have hard copy to show voter intent, said Pamela Smith, national coordinator of, a group concerned about electronic-voting problems. "Instead, you have electronic copy, which may or may not reflect voter intent." [7] -- User:RyanFreisling @ 06:22, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Moreover, this demonstrates that a paper trail was a bipartisan concern (and there was bipartisan objection to the concern as well) at the time of the election, not just by 'sour grapes' types after the fact. It's a real issue, affecting all the voters. And of course, I didn't delete any 'section'. Just your unjustified tag. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 06:22, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
My comment for the edit was to say that I saw no way to correct the POV problem. I corrected the first few paragraphs. I don't think the article would suffer if the sections I tagged were deleted.--Tbeatty 06:14, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
The Pacific Research Institute, a free-market think tank, has called the paper trail requirement one of the state's top 10 policy blunders of 2005. The new law "may force California to relive the mistakes of America's punch-card voting past, the group said, and will make voting "increasingly difficult and negate the original virtues of e-voting: speed, cost-savings and efficiency. There are plenty of other critics. The main logical argument being that if there is a countable per-voter paper trail, it's the same thing as before electronic voting - i.e. no progress. The second is that paper is much easier to 'hack' than computer voting. --Tbeatty 23:47, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Good stuff - thanks for proving the bipartisan nature of this issue. Do you still think addressing it is undue weight? -- User:RyanFreisling @ 23:48, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
If you're talking about the Vince Vasquez /Sonia Arrison piece, that would be a great find to put in the article, as it's very easily rebutted and would help show why paper-trails are of vital necessity. And I'm sorry, but equating a paper trail with a "Democratic talking point" is just plain ludicrous. The case for proving a stolen election in 2004 is shaky at best. The case for using paper trails, however, is rock-solid at worst. --kizzle 00:17, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
The case for using paper as method of recount is very shaky. It puts us back to Florida. The quote from the paper trail advocate says it all "discerning voter intent". This will be the Florida 2000. Counting ballots by hand is the most fraudulent system ever devised. Couting paper ballots by machine is the second. "Paper trail" is a Dem talking point and it has undue weight in this article.--Tbeatty 14:43, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Please. Florida was caused by butterfly ballots, not just the fact that they were using paper trails. Are you seriously advocating using electronic voting without any sort of physical evidence? That's just plain and indefensibly ludicrous! And umm, how is paper ballots more fraudulent than one system which can alter hundreds of thousands of votes with no trace left behind? --kizzle 03:32, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Since we seem to be in a deadlock with assumptions of bad faith on all sides...

I've raised the issue as an arbitration case. See y'all over there - I won't be editing this page until the case settles. Phil Sandifer 06:02, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

My NPOV Suggestions

I don't have an opinion on NPOV tag, because I don't know enough about the underlying issue. (I'm not making edits at this time for the same reason + laziness). However, I do have some suggestions to reduce POV, which I offer for what they are worth.

  • Rewrite the individual sections a little so that they are in inverted pyramid style -- for example, if I understand the article correctly, there's no evidence that electronic voting machines actually were used to fraudulently affect the vote in any candidate's favor, but there is evidence that (1) if they had been, it would be tough to prove, due to the refusal of some companies to create an auditable paper trail, and (2) at least some of the machines proved to have bugs. I think if you said that at the beginning of the section, it would look a little less POV.
  • If you're going to cite to the Civil Rights Commission Report, read and cite to the Dissent to give the other POV. (If I recall correctly, the dissent was published separately because the chair refused to allow the dissenters to include their views -- the state of the Commission at that point is a fascinating story all its own, but it's safe to say that the two POVs are well represented if you dig up both reports.)
  • Include a section covering concerns about vote tampering, vote fraud, and vote buying, tire slashing, etc. -- the stuff that the GOP raised concerns about. Like most of the stuff already on the page, the allegations are largely apocryphal (and unlikely to have affected the election), but I don't think they're any less credible than some of the stuff that's there.
  • Slice down the introduction.TheronJ 13:43, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Theron - Thanks for the thoughtful ideas. I agree with all of those observations, except your description of the dynamics of the behind-the-scenes at the Civil Rights Commission report and your summation of 'most of the stuff already on the page' as apocryphal. On that line - can you point out something represented as fact, that is not? I'll make another pass thru the article as well and I'll earnestly support edits along the lines you mention. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 00:23, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, Ryan. I don't think there's anything on the page that is demonstrably incorrect, just that I'm not sure that the other side of the debate is fully represented. (Hence POV rather than whatever cutesy abbreviation Wikipedia uses for "wrong".  ;-P) As I said though, I haven't taken the time to research it, so my suggestions are part of a gut level read of the page, plus whatever I remember from 2004. When I say take them for what they're worth, I mean to say I have no idea if they're worth anything. (Except my characterization of the Civil Rights Commission dynamics as "fascinating" - that one you can take to the bank!). TheronJ 02:39, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
On reflection, "apocryphal" might not be exactly the right word, but there's certainly some stuff on the page that is squishy. For example, Black's statement that some unknown party had an organized plan to disrupt the election, or their allegation that Black Box itself was under attack by "various methods" is probably stuff I wouldn't personally include in an encylopedia without corroborating information. But if you do include it, my suggestion is that you run at least a fine a sieve to catch allegations on the other side. (I hope that clarifies rather than obfuscated, but can't guarantee it.) Thanks,TheronJ 14:25, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
I actually don't see any problems whatsoever in including's claims, as long as they're properly cited. They're a notable organization and their claims regarding 2004 election should have a place in this article along with all the rest of the relevant, properly-cited claims by notable organizations. -- noosphere 01:10, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
Oh my god. I do believe TheronJ's are the first constructive suggestions I've ever heard regarding this article. Good job! -- noosphere 02:46, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
How sweet. Arkon 03:04, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
I know, that's what I thought when I saw Theron's comment. --kizzle 04:13, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
....ohh-kay. Arkon 20:04, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Major Vulnerability Found in Diebold Election Machines

"Armed with a little basic knowledge of Diebold voting systems and a standard component available at any computer store, someone with a minute or two of access to a Diebold touch screen could load virtually any software into the machine and disable it, redistribute votes or alter its performance in myriad ways..."[8] by Bruce Schneier, -- noosphere 04:07, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

And lest the source itself be decried as blogfodder, here's the referenced source article in a local news outlet (Ian Hoffman, "Inside Bay Area"): [9]. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 04:12, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Actually, since it's Bruce Schneier even his blog entries can be considered reliable sources. -- noosphere 04:36, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
You mean blogs, reports and websites by notable individuals and organizations can't just be marginalized as paranoid ravings if they are factual, corroborated, and notable to the subject matter in question? Eureka. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 04:45, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
He's more than just notable, he's "a well-known, professional researcher in a relevant field," for which there's a blog exception in WP:RS. -- noosphere 04:51, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
Oh hey, then there's this article (brief excerpt here) in today's NYTimes:
"{...} officials in Pennsylvania and California issued urgent directives in recent days about a potential security risk in their Diebold Election Systems touch-screen voting machines, while other states with similar equipment hurried to assess the seriousness of the problem. "It's the most severe security flaw ever discovered in a voting system," said Michael I. Shamos, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University who is an examiner of electronic voting systems for Pennsylvania, where the primary is to take place on Tuesday.
"Officials from Diebold and from elections' offices in numerous states minimized the significance of the risk and emphasized that there were no signs that any touch-screen machines had been tampered with. But computer scientists said the problem might allow someone to tamper with a machine's software, some saying they preferred not to discuss the flaw at all for fear of offering a roadmap to a hacker. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 04:32, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Without corroboration that the version of machine and version of the software tested by Schneier in 2006 is one and the same as the version in use in 2004, then this link has no probative value to this article. Further, without any information that corroborates this security hole as being known to be present in the 2004 machines, it's an illogical inference to suggest that the 2004 machines were exposed to or subjected to tampering. Merecat 05:05, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

They are Diebold voting machines. Diebold voting machines were used in the 2004 election. So a security breach in Diebold voting machines is relevant to this article. It's true that we don't know whether they're running the same software or the same machines. However, I don't see why we should exclude these articles just because we don't know exactly how similar to the 2004 machines they were. Of course, if you could show that they weren't similar to the 2004 machines, then we'd know it was irrelevant. But until then it seems perfectly relevant to me. -- noosphere 01:18, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

What they fail to mention is that with even less equipment and less knowledge, paper vote counting machines can be altered in much more dramatic ways. --Tbeatty 14:28, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

If those were articles about paper vote counting methods or elections in general then that omission may be relevant. But since they're about security holes in Diebold machines then I don't see why they must start comparing them to other vote counting methods. And besides, even if such an omision were relevant, pointing it out in this article would be pure original research without a supporting citation. -- noosphere 01:22, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
Since the Democrat talking point "solution" is a paper trail, paper vote counting machine problems are very relevant. Or are hand vote counting problems even more relevant? And it is not OR as there are plenty of voter groups that have pointed out this gaping hole in the paper trail. --Tbeatty 03:07, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
These points may be relevant in a discussion on the merits of the various vote counting methods, but not relevant to the articles on the Diebold security vulnerabilities, because... they're about Diebold security vulnerabilities! -- noosphere 03:30, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
Your argument is so flawed I don't know where to begin. TBeatty, just answer me two questions: what is the difference in the maximum amount of votes one person can alter between paper counting and electronic tabulating? Second, is there a difference in the physical evidence left behind vote manipulation between paper and electronic tabulation? --kizzle 03:36, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
With or without manipulating the paper ballot counting machines? A single person can replace whole ballot boxes of paper votes. Entire precincts. And there is a lot more evidence with electronic tampering vs. the old fashioned vote steal. Do you think a "simple component" at a electronic store will not be noticed? Or if an entire ballot box is replaced with a new one that is stuffed with favorable ballots? In my precinct we use paper optically scanned ballots. Every paper ballot for the precinct goes into a single box. Replace that box, and the entire precinct could be tampered with. It would be a lot less votes stolen if only a single balloting machine were tampered with. And it would be a lot harder to replace a voting machine that just a box of paper ballots. Haven't you heard the stories of boxes of paper ballots found where they shouldn't be on election day? New Mexico 2004 comes to mind. --Tbeatty 23:57, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
I'd also point out that no election has ever been stolen with electronic voting. But the Ukraine election which is cited as an example of some sort of vote fraud uncovered by exit polls was a paper ballot. --Tbeatty 00:09, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
Yeah but see the good thing about your "replaced box scenario" is that there is physical evidence to go back on, as given a recount one can verify whether or not the votes are indeed valid. With a computer tabulation system with no paper trail, the word recount becomes meaningless at its simply a "re-read" of a number that could have been changed without a trace. And what are you talking about, replacing a voting machine? You don't need to get a new system, you just have to either remotely dial in to the tabulation center if they're stupid enough to include that feature (which some Diebold models have in the past) or be a malicious or financially troubled programmer and apply an uncertified patch that will trigger later on. Feasible, practical, realistic, and scary. Your ballot box "switch" scenario is much harder to accomplish and leaves behind physical evidence which can be used to figure out the truth. Finally, one cannot say that "no election has ever been stolen with electronic voting," only that "there is no evidence that an election has been stolen with electronic voting." That's precisely my point. Electronic voting leaves no evidence so how are you supposed to prove that an election was stolen when you have no evidence either way? Of course Ukraine was stolen by other methods, including manipulating absentee ballots and the likes, I would never be as stupid to say that paper methods carry certain risks on their own. But put it this way, if Ukraine was using electronic voting in 2004, Yanukovych instead of Yushchenko would be elected because there would have been no way to prove that he stole the election. --kizzle 19:11, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
First, there is no physical evidence if a box is replaced. Second, if they do find that a box has been replaced (or tampered with) the only recourse is to dsicount ALL the ballots as tampered. Can you imagine the conspiracy loons that would come out of the woodwork if an inner city ballot box was thrown out because of ballot stuffing? And Diebold makes ATM machines. Have you ever heard of criminals dialing into ATM machines and stealing or transferring money? All the ATM's have phone connections yet we hear of criminals physically stealing the machines but not electronically. Why do you think that is? Eletronic voting leaves LOTS more evidence than a single paper ballot. There is the evidence in the machine, the tabulator as well as registration information. Each machine talks to the tabulator. Doesn't it bother you that the paper ballot counting machines kept getting different results each time? For the electronic counts they are the same each time. Places that had difficulty were immediately obvious. --Tbeatty 02:22, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Clearly you have not read any of the literature available on the matter before concluding that paper-trails are a "Democratic talking point". Read the RABA Report conducted for the State of Maryland. Where in your logic requires that since Diebold makes ATMs, their voting machine division, which had been purchased from Global Election Systems in 2002, must also be secure? If a box is replaced, the paper evidence is that the votes won't match up in a recount to the poll books nor any individual voters who show up to the counting procedure. The evidence in the machine is not permanent evidence, it can be erased with little effort especially considering the weakness of the auditing mechanisms in place. Hmm, electronic counts "are the same each time"? Yeah right. --kizzle 03:43, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Did you read it? The RABA didn't recommend paper trails at all. In fact, they said paper would make the system less accurate. They highlighted their concerns with software but make it clear that the answer for accuracy lies with electronic voting, not paper. Also, why do you think the poll books wouldn't match for paper ballots? I have yet to see a paper election that had the same results after a recount, even without tampering. The governor of WA won on the third recount, gaining more and more votes after each count. Electronic voting would have prevented the theft of that election. --Tbeatty 16:14, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Accuracy is not the only criteria for a voting system. Security is also a criteria. You are correct in saying that electronic voting systems are theoretically more accurate than paper systems, however, they are only accurate given that the system is secure. What good is a 100% accurate electronic voting machine that any 8th grader can hack into remotely? I'm not saying abandon electronic voting machines at all, I just find your proposal to abandon attaching paper trails to these machines an invitation for disaster. Without paper trails of any sort, voting records can be irreversibly and invisibly altered with no physical evidence to rely upon. What's more, recounts in the way we mean them, not just a re-reading of a number in an excel document, are impossible with paperless voting machines. Electronic voting would have prevented the "theft" of that election? Please. They might have helped the accuracy rate, but with no physical evidence and piss-poor security, who's to know the final tally would have been anything close to the real number? Like I have said before, paperless electronic voting leaves no evidence in the event of tampering. --kizzle 22:21, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
Like I have said before, paperless electronic voting leaves no evidence in the event of tampering Neither does any tampering, if its done well. Be it paper, electronic, or marbles. If the hacker is good, no footprints, same if the vandal is good, he can steal a box (or 1000) replace them, done deal, no footbprints. You can argue that one is easier than the other, but depending on your skillset, the answer will certainly differ. Arkon 23:48, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
The difference is not so much the degree of the difficulty of the hack, but of the difficulty of manipulating the vote undetected. Electronic voting is inarguably easier to manipulate than switching entire ballot boxes, as there literally is no evidence left over once the changes to the hard drive or other memory storage have been made. Replacing ballot boxes is way less feasible; how are you going to know who showed up to vote that day in the prepared ballot box? What happens if there is a recount? What do you have to lose to attach a voter-verified paper trail to electronic voting? --kizzle 00:13, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
there literally is no evidence left over once the changes to the hard drive or other memory storage have been made The only difference between switching out a harddrive and switching out a ballet box is as I said, the percieved degree of difficulty. How would they know who showed up to vote? The same way the theoretical hacker knows who to put on the prepared harddrive. Again, degree of difficulty. All your questions relate equally with any form of voting. The flawed element? People. Arkon 00:24, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
Also, to be clear, I haven't argued for or against adding some paper to the system. I am, however, trying to swat down these odd paper is better than electronic hypotheticals. Arkon 00:26, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

(starting over) You say "only difference" as if its trivial. The degree of difficulty in covering up tampering is entirely essential in why electronic tabulation is very bad. Of course any system of voting is flawed because of its reliance on people. The only difference is that one person with a click of a mouse can change hundreds of thousands of votes whereas one person would have a hell of a time changing that many paper ballots, and even then there would most likely be physical evidence left behind. In sum, yes, the only real difference is the degree of difficulty. But it is precisely this difference, and electronic tampering being around the level of an 8th grader, that makes paperless electronic voting so dangerous. --kizzle 00:43, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

electronic tampering being around the level of an 8th grader Oh, come now. Surely you don't believe this. Anyway, I can tell you it takes being around the level of..well, preschoolers to pick up a box and replace it with another. As I said when I started, the degree of difficulty will vary widely based on the skillset. Arkon 00:48, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
Meanwhile, William A. Arbaugh, an assistant computer science professor at the University of Maryland, College Park and part of the team, easily sneaked his way into the state's computers by way of his modem. Once in, he had access to change votes from actual precincts - because he knew how to exploit holes in the Microsoft software. Those holes should have been patched through regular updates sent to customers, patches that haven't been installed on the elections equipment since November..."There's no security that's going to be 100 percent effective. But the level of effort [needed to get into the system] was pretty low," Arbaugh said. "A high school kid could do this. Right now, the bar is maybe 8th grade. You want to raise the bar to a well-funded adversary." - Stephanie Desmon, Baltimore Sun, January 30, 2004
Surely I believe it. --kizzle 01:43, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
A) Thats from January 04. B) Even the people in that article state it could be fixed by March. C) They had a week with the machines on hand. D)If left alone, Wertheimer said, the machines will count quite accurately - more so than any past voting method. E) But the fact that they could happen makes it impossible to have full confidence in the system, they said. No voting system will ever allow people to have full confidence. Arkon 01:56, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
A) "I think it's the most serious thing I've heard to date," said Johns Hopkins University computer science professor Avi Rubin, who published the first security analysis of Diebold voting software in 2003. "Even describing why I think it's serious is dangerous. This is something that's so easy to do that if the public were to hear about it, it would raise the risk of someone doing it. ... This is the worst-case scenario, almost." - Ian Hoffman, Inside Bay Area, May 11, 2006, which is somewhat recent B) Yeah, except that since the '04 election there have been significant vulnerabilities both in computer tabulations and optical scan machines, meaning they were probably there before. C) So what? D) Geezus, listen to what I'm saying. It doesn't matter how accurate they are if they aren't secure E) Of course, its just some systems give more confidence than others, and paperless evoting machines give about no confidence. --kizzle 02:47, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
I go back to the report you cited. Adding paper for securoty isn't in the RABA report because it doesn't make the system more secure for obvious reasons. The biggest hole being which do you believe when there is a discrepancy? There is no evidence at all that paper is "more secure" than electronic. History, in fact shows the complete opposite. Paper elections have been tampered with and there is proof. There is no proof that any electronic election has been tampered with. And in terms of reounts, accuracy IS security. No system that accepts different counts each time could be considered secure. --Tbeatty 07:41, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
Can you start a new thread so I don't have to go back between both of you and point out what's wrong with your respective arguments? Furthermore, are you referring to paper audit trails counted only upon a recount or paper ballots that are actually counted? And for the billionth time, not only is there no proof that any electronic election has been tampered with, there can't be any evidence because electronic voting machines have little to none auditing mechanisms and serious security flaws. Thus, there isn't any evidence that any electronic vote was conducted without any manipulation. This is what paper trails help to accomplish, and is far from a "Democratic talking point," it's just common sense. --kizzle 08:46, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Please don't feed the trolls. Kevin Baastalk 16:25, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

WP:NPA Arkon 00:32, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry, that's the nicest thing I can think of to say about your insistence of your extremely - uh...unusual - position on computer security. Does it make it easier for people to steal from my bank account without me knowing when a cashier prints out a reciept for my transaction and gives it to me? Frankly, I'm astonished that i'm even asking that question rhetorically. It's so hard for me to believe that you're actually trying to defend the position you are, that, in my mind, trolling becomes a plausible alternative. Kevin Baastalk 21:20, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
It may be helpful if you actually read what is said. Where did I ever state that electronic+paper is easier to manipulate than electonic alone? I didn't you say? Until such time that you respond to what is actually said, we are done. Thank god for arbitration. Arkon 14:06, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
This is directed at tbeatty too: "There is no evidence at all that paper is "more secure" than electronic." how would you like your evidence? on a piece of paper? how about common sense and the concepts of verifiability and write-protection? i have a number written on a slip of paper in front of me. can you change it? no. can you delete this comment. sure. i'm a computer programmer for a city goverment, and writting the code in those machines is a trivial matter for any programmer. concieving all the potential vulnerabilities is just as trivial. furthermore, computer security experts have given these machnes a big fat "F". theere is a preponderance of evidence. the subarticle on voting machines is just the tip of the iceberg. and you insist on the contrary, based on what? i have no idea. i have no idea why you are even arguing. that's what leads me, by process of elimination, to what seems to me to be the only plausible conclusion: trolling. Kevin Baastalk 14:32, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
You might want to try responding to what I said as well, Arkon. --kizzle 16:42, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
Sorry kizzle, didn't see this here. Which would you like a response to? Arkon 21:43, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
A) "I think it's the most serious thing I've heard to date," said Johns Hopkins University computer science professor Avi Rubin, who published the first security analysis of Diebold voting software in 2003. "Even describing why I think it's serious is dangerous. This is something that's so easy to do that if the public were to hear about it, it would raise the risk of someone doing it. ... This is the worst-case scenario, almost." - Ian Hoffman, Inside Bay Area, May 11, 2006, which is somewhat recent B) Yeah, except that since the '04 election there have been significant vulnerabilities both in computer tabulations and optical scan machines, meaning they were probably there before. C) So what? D) Geezus, listen to what I'm saying. It doesn't matter how accurate they are if they aren't secure E) Of course, its just some systems give more confidence than others, and paperless evoting machines give about no confidence. --kizzle 02:47, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
This is directed at tbeatty too. There, fixed for you. I hope he at least said something that this response makes sense to. Arkon 17:00, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Mediation request

I'm going to request mediation (WP:RfM), as a way to resolve the current conflict. Thoughts? -- User:RyanFreisling @ 19:04, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

I'd actually prefer this go through arbitration. I view Phil Sandifer's actions regarding this dispute as disruptive and intimidating, and hope arbcom can address them as mediation can not. -- noosphere 19:11, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
I feel the same way, but since he's refused to recuse himself, I'm concerned that Fred may be more focused on 'shearing the article' and not inclined to address Phil's conduct - at least mediation might provide more effective focus on the article. Sigh. I'll give it some thought before filing (or not filing). -- User:RyanFreisling @ 19:17, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
He's not the only member of arbcom. And even though he's refused to recuse himself, the rest of arbcom may take his expression of bias and refusal to recuse himself in to account. Also, I take his sudden suggestion of and even eagerness for mediation, once his bias was made obvious, as a sign he thinks arbcom is going to rule in a manner not to his liking. -- noosphere 19:21, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
After a moment's thought - I should say that I do not mean this post to imply anything negative about Fred other than the evidence that he has a preconception of what 'needs to be done about this', and this whole thing is made much more difficult because of my concern about the RfAr's possible lack of objectivity. I'll give it some thought. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 19:17, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
I didn't take you to be slighting Fred in any way. And I should say I have absolutely nothing against him myself... all I know of him is that single post you quoted and his comments in this RfA. I've never encountered him anywhere else, nor have I heard anything about him. This is purely about the bias he's expressed against this article.
And I share you concern about how arbcom may rule in this dispute, no matter what the evidence and Wikipedia rules may say. However, I don't think it's a forgone conclusion that they'll make an unfair ruling. I haven't had any experience with arbitration, however... so I may well just be naive. I would like to hear Kevin Baas' opinion on the matter. He's said very little on it so far. -- noosphere 19:38, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
I believe it is a neccessary step in the dispute resolution process. It's simply a question of due process. One must try mediation before arbitration, and abritators cannot accept a case where mediation has not been tried, save extreme circumstances. (The fact that these arbitrators are accepting it only heightens my concern.) I'm surprised that Phil hasn't tried mediation. In any case, yeah, mediation is the proper step, according to policy. Kevin Baastalk 16:44, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Rewrite intro

Hi, I rewrote the intro and moved a lot of information there into its own section. (You know it's a bad sign when the table of contents appears on the second screen.) What I've left is far from perfect and I encourage further edits, but what was there before was less useful. --Deville (Talk) 23:45, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

In use

I'm going to be converting the citations in this article to use the standard reference templates like {{cite news}} and {{cite web}}, so I am putting the {{inuse}} template on the article in hopes of avoiding edit conflicts that could force me to scrap my work. As soon as I'm done I'll remove the {{inuse}} template. Thanks for your patience. -- noosphere 04:31, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Ok... I've done about half the article, and I'm exhausted... I've taken the {{inuse}} tag off, and will continue this reference conversion another time. -- noosphere 08:19, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Alright, I'm back on the job... I'm going to put the {{inuse}} tag on again, so please avoid editing the article for a bit while the reference conversion is going on. If everything goes smoothly I hope to be done with it today. -- noosphere 18:26, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Ok. Finally done. -- noosphere 22:51, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

For anyone wanting to help out in the reference conversion

Just a request, for anyone wanting to help out in the reference conversion, could you use the {{cite news}} or {{cite web}} templates (or other citation templates)? I'm going to be converting the references to those templates anyway, so creating unstructured references (ie. without using the templates) actually makes for more work for me than if they were just left as bare links and I converted them to the templates directly. Thanks. -- noosphere 18:12, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Also, if you'd like to help out in the reference conversion while the inuse tag is on the article please coordinate your edits with me so that we don't run in to edit conflicts. Thanks. -- noosphere 18:28, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
No more need for help. We're all done. Thanks to Kevin Baas for the help! -- noosphere 22:52, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Hyperbole and redundancy much?

Criminal activity - In Wisconsin, several activists with ties to the Democratic Party were found to have acted illegally, suppressing Republican voters with criminal activity. The son of a Democratic Congressman and four volunteers for the Kerry / Edwards campaign, slashed tires on 25 vans rented by Republicans to aid in voter turnout. Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Seth Boffeli said the five were paid employees of Kerry's campaign, but were not acting on behalf of the campaign or party.[1] All five were arrested and faced felony charges. [1]. Four were sentenced to 4 to 6 months in jail, including Sowande A. Omokunde, the son of U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wisconsin, and Michael Pratt, the son of former acting Milwaukee Mayor Marvin Pratt (D). Republican campaign workers were able to replace the vans in time to take voters to the polls.[2]. Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Michael Brennan rejected prosecutors' recommendation of probation and no jail time. "This case had to be a public example of what can happen when you interfere with voters' rights," Brennan said.

Let me take a stab at the political leaning of the person who wrote this... Kevin Baastalk 21:16, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Try this:

Tire slashing - In Wisconsin, the son of Rep. Gwen Moore (D) and four volunteers for the Kerry / Edwards campaign slashed tires on 25 vans rented by Republicans to aid in voter turnout. Spokesman for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Seth Boffeli, said the five were paid employees of Kerry's campaign, but were not acting on behalf of the campaign or party.[1] All five were arrested and faced felony charges. [1]. Republican campaign workers were able to replace the vans in time to take voters to the polls. Four of the five, including Rep. Moore's son, were sentenced to 4 to 6 months in jail.[2].

Kevin Baastalk 21:25, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Neither wording bothers me too much. We can either put in the detail regarding them being sons of Democrats, or not. What does bother me is that this is the only section titled "Criminal Activity", as if vote fraud and voter suppression weren't also criminal. Furthermore, there are sections of this article which talk about Diebold employees being found guilty of crimes like bribery, racketeering, extortion, etc... all much more serious than tire slashing. Yet those reports aren't in the section on "Criminal Activity". -- noosphere 23:12, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
I tend to agree, I don't think there's much content diffence in the wording, although I very much prefer Kevin's rewrite since it has almost the same content but is much more concise. I like terse writing...:) Also, I agree: it doesn't make sense to only put this in a section entitled "Criminal activity" when most of this article concerns criminal activity or potential criminal activity. It does strike me of a "different kind" of irregularity and could be in its own section, what about a section called "Vandalism" or "Property destruction" or similar? -- Deville (Talk) 23:26, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Blog sources

While going through the sources with a fine-toothed comb, I ran in to a few blog sources that I think we should remove and replace with something more in accord with policy. Namely, there are two Boing Boing citations (103 and 104), and one from a guy by the name of James Paterson (114). Thoughts? -- noosphere 23:05, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

I'm never thrilled with blog citations myself, and especially if they're used as a source to establish facts. (I find them more acceptable when they are referenced to back up the claim that some certain opinion exists.) We should be able to find something better than a blog to back up an assertion in the article, is my thinking. -- Deville (Talk) 23:29, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree. If a blog is the only source cited, we should seriously / doubly examine both the validity of the information and the nature of the source in detail. There is value, I think, if the blog's author is a notable figure commenting on a topic central to their notability (like the security expert Noo cited recently), and their opinion is relevant to the specific event or topic at hand. But I'm not to up-to-speed on 'boing-boing'. Time for some 'springy' research! -- User:RyanFreisling @ 23:46, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
Even notable figures blogs' should be treated as primary sources about themselves, not as factual sources. Security Expert Noo should publish his factual findings in a notable, reviewed security journal. If we want to talk about Noo or Noo's opinion, we can use his blog. If we want to talk about security it should be from sources that have editorial oversight.--Tbeatty 02:33, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
Tbeatty, have you actually read WP:V? It says "...self-published books, personal websites, and blogs are largely not acceptable as sources. Exceptions may be when a well-known, professional researcher in a relevant field, or a well-known professional journalist, has produced self-published material. In some cases, these may be acceptable as sources, so long as their work has been previously published by credible, third-party publications." So Bruce Schneier, the security expert who's blog I quoted earlier, would certainly qualify for this exemption. Boing Boing would not. -- noosphere 02:53, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
And this is for secondary sources, by the way. All websites are acceptable as primary sources about themselves. -- noosphere 02:56, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
It is exactly what I said. Please show me where this work has been published by credible, third-party sources. And then I would ask why we don't cite the credible, third party source, rather than the blog. Blogs are certainly more accessible so I don't mind the blog as long as the material has been publihsed before in a credible journal. In the case of security, there are many refereed security journals that are accteptable. --Tbeatty 04:56, 20 May 2006 (UTC)
No, WP:V does not demand that the material in question has been published before in a credible journal. If it had been published in a credible publication there'd be no need to use the blog as a source! Instead, WP:V only asks that "their work" (ie. the expert's work) "has been previously published by credible, third-party publications". That's how you can tell they're an expert or professional journalist. And then what they say on their blogs can be published even when that material has not been previously published anywhere else.
Anyway, I am not defending the inclusion of these particular blogs as sources. Quite the opposite, I am advocating that they be removed, since they don't seem to qualify for the WP:V exemption. However, Bruce Schneier's blog entries would qualify for the exemption, as he's an extremely well-known expert in a relevant field, who's been widely published in credible third-party journals. -- noosphere 05:30, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

Another blog bites the dust?

I wonder if we could get rid of yet another blog source? The "Stones Cry Out" blog (reference 63) has a critique of the Freeman exit poll discrepancy paper. But this critique is from a self-described "planning and development consultant with a background in community, housing, and enviornmental planning." (from the last page of the PDF on his front page). So this does not seem like a "professional researcher in a relevant field, or a well-known professional journalist" which he'd need to be to qualify for the WP:V blog exemption. Maybe we should remove this one as well. Thoughts? -- noosphere 06:32, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree; let's delete this reference, along the phrase it supports ("and for other statistical failings"). He makes some points I haven't seen elsewhere, but we have a better source for the most critical point (about design effects). -- Avenue 02:11, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
Stones Cry Out is a respectable blog, MP cites Rick Brady a lot on his blog, I'd say its notable enough. --kizzle 02:55, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
IMHO, the standard for WP:V and WP:RS isn't notability. Information can be verifiable and reliable but not notable, or notable but not verifiable or reliable. I agree that Mystery Pollster himself is the equivalent of a "professional researcher in a notable field," but WP:V and RS don't broaden to include favorite blogs of professional researchers. I vote to delete per Noosphere. TheronJ 03:02, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Admin who edits contentious articles?

I nominated myself for adminship: Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Kevin Baas, and since a number of users are concerned that I edit a lot of contentious articles, I thought some votes and comments from users that i've interacted with on said articles would be particularly insightful. so feel free to add your votes and comments. Kevin Baastalk 15:10, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Request to Remove Phil Sandifer as Admin to This Article

I've read this talk page and one thing strikes me. Mr. Phil Sandifer is biased, and if anything, that NPOV sticker could better be slapped on his forehead instead of this article. It is my opinion he is abusing his position to disrupt the normal flow of work on articles.

There is enough evidence to support his POV'nes by his frequent use of certain ajectives. Witness his opinion that there simply are no irregularities or controversies simply because there was no mention of it in what he calls mainstream news sources, and that the issue was only raised by 'the paranoid ravings of the blogosphere'.

As a matter of fact, there IS controversy, to name just one example Mitofsky was forced to give a rebuttal to various critiques on the exit poll discrepency. His rebuttal was subsequently shown to have serious flaws by US Vote Count.

Phil Sandifer also does not seem to take US Vote Count's study very seriously, and by his usual argument of never heard them be mentioned in mainstream news outlets are not a valid source. The study is based on nationwide exit polls and ohio precinct level data, is supported by sound statistics and raises many issues, none of which have been explained away. The study is compiled and supported by numerous reputable academics.

And even when hints of something out of the ordinary come mainstream, the government's own study by the GAO for example, the point is ignored.

There are no reasons at all why this article should either be deleted or otherwise be hindered by NPOV tags and such. Of prime importance is to list all the incidents that are under dispute/investigation and cite the sources responsible. Albester 11:13, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

- Agreed.Furthermore, pretty much everything in the present article has been substantiated/corroborated/supported by many sources already. Here is the latest one: By: Psion

Vote-fixing claims on Philadelphia

Just found an MSNBC article on vote-fixing claims in Philadelphia.[10] The article doesn't seem to cover this, so this might make for a good addition. -- noosphere 19:48, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Investigators Find Evidence of Voter Fraud in Milwaukee

Not a whole lot here, but it's another data point.[11] -- noosphere 20:21, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Bobby Kennedy, Jr. Article in Rolling Stone Magazine

Related to the question of the requirement for fair coverage and the 'currency' of the controversy, there's word on the blogs today of an article written by Bobby Kennedy, Jr. in the upcoming Rolling Stone magazine, called 'Was the 2004 Election Stolen'. [12]

The online companion to the magazine article has been posted online here: [13], [14], [15]

A quote from John Kerry: "Can I draw a conclusion that they played tough games and clearly had intent to reduce the level of our vote? Yes, absolutely. Can I tell you to a certainty that it made the difference in the election? I can't. There's no way for me to do that. If I could have done that, then obviously I would have found some legal recourse."
“Any election, of course, will have anomalies. America's voting system is a messy patchwork of polling rules run mostly by county and city officials. We didn't have one election for president in 2004, says Robert Pastor, who directs the Center for Democracy and Election Management at American University. We didn't have fifty elections. We actually had 13,000 elections run by 13,000 independent, quasi-sovereign counties and municipalities.
“But what is most anomalous about the irregularities in 2004 was their decidedly partisan bent: Almost without exception they hurt John Kerry and benefited George Bush. After carefully examining the evidence, I've become convinced that the president's party mounted a massive, coordinated campaign to subvert the will of the people in 2004. Across the country, Republican election officials and party stalwarts employed a wide range of illegal and unethical tactics to fix the election. A review of the available data reveals that in Ohio alone, at least 357,000 voters, the overwhelming majority of them Democratic, were prevented from casting ballots or did not have their votes counted in 2004(12) -- more than enough to shift the results of an election decided by 118,601 votes.(13) (See Ohio's Missing Votes) (15)
“A review of the available data reveals that in Ohio alone, at least 357,000 voters, the overwhelming majority of them Democratic, were prevented from casting ballots or did not have their votes counted in 2004 – more than enough to shift the results of an election decided by 118,601 votes. In what may be the single most astounding fact from the election, one in every four Ohio citizens who registered to vote in 2004 showed up at the polls only to discover that they were not listed on the rolls, thanks to GOP efforts to stem the unprecedented flood of Democrats eager to cast ballots. And that doesn?t even take into account the troubling evidence of outright fraud, which indicates that upwards of 80,000 votes for Kerry were counted instead for Bush. That alone is a swing of more than 160,000 votes -- enough to have put John Kerry in the White House.”
“Indeed, the extent of the GOP’s effort to rig the vote shocked even the most experienced observers of American elections. “Ohio was as dirty an election as America has ever seen,” Lou Harris, the father of modern political polling, told me. “You look at the turnout and votes in individual precincts, compared to the historic patterns in those counties, and you can tell where the discrepancies are. They stand out like a sore thumb.”

It's a very good read. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 20:53, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

I wouldn't get too far in front of Kennedy until you read his cites and confirm his citations. He is very aggressive in his characterization of his evidence. For example, Kennedy's citation for that bolded section is amazingly bad - he would be laughed off Wikipedia in a minute. Kennedy cites a DNC survey analysis that states that according to the survey, 25% of newly registered voters cast provisional ballots, which is what I assume Kennedy bases his statement on. However, the survey doesn't say that this high rate of provisional balloting was due to "GOP efforts to stem the unprecedented flood of Democrats eager to cast ballots." In fact, the survey reports that the two most common reasons respondents had to cast provisional ballots was (1) they changed residence within 30 days of the election or (2) they registered to vote after the deadline. (As I recall, the voter outreach efforts at the time specifically advised people who hadn't registered by the deadline to file a late registation and ask for a provisional ballot). The other sources I checked are similar. TheronJ 21:19, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
'Get too far out in front of' - deliciously Rovian language, my dear friend. :) Agreed. The veracity of Kennedy's claims should be looked at very carefully. It's not looking at these kinds of claims at all for fear that they are 'too extreme' that I'm hoping this piece will further help to discourage. You and I are agreed. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 21:36, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
I hope you're not accusing me of being a Rove sock puppet.  ;-P. ITA that Kennedy provides additional evidence of notability. TheronJ 21:42, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, I'm highly curious as to how he got the "evidence of outright fraud, which indicates that upwards of 80,000 votes for Kerry were counted instead for Bush." Also, one thing to remember when accusing the Republican party, be it the state or national party, of intentionally misallocating voting machines to democratic-leaning precincts: each board consists of 5 members, 2 of each party and a director. From this you may argue that these people are selected by Blackwell to be loyal to him, but even then, Matt Damschroeder, head of Franklin County, one of the counties with the most severe shortages, was no bitch of Blackwell's: he blatently disregarded his rule about registration paper requirements (see "Some election boards ignore new order about registration paper", Andrew Welsh-Huggins, Associated Press, September 30, 2004), not to mention provisional ballot requirements as well, causing Blackwell to threaten to remove him from his post (see "OFFICIALS WARNED NOT TO DEFY BALLOT ORDER", Mark Niquette, The Columbus Dispatch, October 6, 2004). --kizzle 21:49, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
That's the thing, say what you want about low-level boards, Blackwell can fire any of them whenever he wants and he doesn't have to give a reason. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that his reason would sooner be for disobeying orders than for breaking the law. Kevin Baastalk 21:55, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Ya but that's a stretch, because if he could fire them on a whim, why didn't he take them out when they explicitly disobeyed his directives regarding provisional ballots and paper weight requirements? Provisional ballots to Blackwell were like his very own Moby Dick. --kizzle 22:09, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Also, I don't mean to say that disenfranchisement didn't happen, I believe it happened on a massive scale and almost always impacting Democrats rather than Republicans, but from what I have found so far it was due to incompetence rather than intention. With the exception of Blackwell of course, he's a piece of shit. --kizzle 22:11, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Speaking of Kennedy's alleged "evidence of outright fraud," it's kind of funny that he quotes the DNC study elsewhere, but omits its finding that a statistical analysis of the precinct data actually "is, in the opinion of the team’s political science experts, strong evidence against the claim that widespread fraud systematically misallocated votes from Kerry to Bush." Kennedy is fantastically selective -- not only does he cherry pick which sources to cite, he actually cherry picks which facts to cite, and which to omit, from each source. TheronJ 00:37, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Though I do believe that a legitimate case can be made against Republicans securing unfair advantages, and a rock-solid case can be made for paper trails, cherry-picking is unfortunately a common feature of many of the arguments of people who believe that the election was stolen. --kizzle 02:16, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

So then, we are agreed: RFK, Jr's article is an inferior grade hack job. Frankly when I read it, I got the feeling he was trying to copy this article without plagerizing it. Wombdpsw - @ 22:36, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

I think Kennedy's article is very well written. That it uses some of the same sources as this article doesn't mean it was trying to copy this article. There have been plenty of articles covering the 2004 election, and many of them use the same sources, and cover the same issues, like the exit polls. What Kennedy's article does is confirm much of what was written here, and add new information, such as the results of an interview with Blackwell, where he claimed Ohio set a "gold standard" for elections. What a joke. Anyway, you're welcome to your own opinion on the article, but it should be clear that it's far from the only way the article can be seen. -- noosphere 20:05, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
My only advice would be to check Kennedy's source carefully before you assume that anything he says is accurate. That said, he may well put you onto some good leads. TheronJ 22:12, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
According to WP:V, ""Verifiability" in this context does not mean that editors are expected to verify whether, for example, the contents of a New York Times article are true. In fact, editors are strongly discouraged from conducting this kind of research, because original research may not be published in Wikipedia. Articles should contain only material that has been published by reliable sources, regardless of whether individual editors view that material as true or false. As counterintuitive as it may seem, the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth." (emphasis mine) -- noosphere 22:55, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
NPOV would suggest that you should check the other side of the story. RS would suggest that you should consider whether Rolling Stone fact checks its articles. Don't get me wrong -- I'm sure you will, I'm just offering advice.TheronJ 22:58, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
Where does WP:NPOV "suggest that you should check the other side of the story"? Naturally, if there is a significant opposing view that can be substantiated with sources, it should be included in the article. But that's not the same as suggesting "that you should check the other side of the story", which clearly contradicts the part of WP:V that I just quoted.
Second, I am certainly for considering whether Rolling Stone fact checks its articles. I am all for suggestions as to how that can be accomplished, apart from taking in to account its status as a mainstream magazine. -- noosphere 23:14, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
My point wasn't that you should do original research, but that you should read Kennedy's sources, which are themselves verifiable and often offer the opposing POV to Kennedy's article. I don't see why that's objectionable. TheronJ 15:53, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
Reading Kennedy's sources is fine. But saying in the article that "Kennedy's sources aren't good, therefore his article is not good," (or some such) is original research. -- noosphere 08:05, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
If you do read Kennedy's article, be prepared to machete your way through numerous errors of interpretation and his deliberate omission of key bits of data. The first salient omission comes in paragraph 5, when Kennedy writes, "In what may be the single most astounding fact from the election, one in every four Ohio citizens who registered to vote in 2004 showed up at the polls only to discover that they were not listed on the rolls, thanks to GOP efforts to stem the unprecedented flood of Democrats eager to cast ballots." To back up that assertion, Kennedy cites "Democracy at Risk," the report the Democrats released last June.
That report does indeed point out that many people -- 26 percent -- who first registered in 2004 did not find their names on the voter rolls at polling places. What Kennedy doesn't say, though, is that the same study found no significant difference in the share of Kerry voters and Bush voters who came to the polls and didn't find their names listed. The Democrats' report says that 4.2 percent of Kerry voters were forced to cast a "provisional" ballot and that 4.1 percent of Bush voters were made to do the same -- a stat that lowers the heat on Kennedy's claim of "astounding" partisanship.
Such techniques are evident throughout Kennedy's article. He presents a barrage of seemingly important, apparently damning data to show that Kerry won the race. It's only when you dig into his claims that you see what thin ice he's on.

Farhad Manjoo - "Was the Election Stolen? No." --kizzle 23:18, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Great. Finally something we can use in the article! Kennedy's article and Manjoo's rebuttal should both go in. -- noosphere 23:29, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree :) Putting the two next to each other should serve very useful in debunking the crap stories that are put out there while reinforcing those aspects which remain controversial... as he puts it: "One has to wonder what, after all of this, Kennedy might have brought to the debate. There could have been an earnest exploration of the issues in order to finally shed some light on the problems we face in elections, and a call to urgently begin repairing our electoral machinery. Voting reforms are forever on the backburner in Congress; even the 2000 election did little to prompt improvements. If only someone with Kennedy's stature would outline this need." It's a shame Kennedy basically churned out nothing better than an "I believe" thread on when a much better study could have been done. Sure, it might not have been as sexy as "BUSH STOLE ELECTION" and rather "Various forms of chicanery, 95% of which hurting Democrats, some intentional and some due to incompetence, were rife within the Ohio Election", but he could have started something. Pity. --kizzle 23:39, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that's an excellent source for rebuttals for various points on this page, which are currently rather lacking and often not there at all. -- Mithent 01:04, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
The more the merrier, even though Salon is not a mainstream source (at least no more than Wired or CNET). So it'll be interesting to see if Phil accepts the Salon article but makes a fuss about the others like it. -- noosphere 01:13, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Editorial in the Seattle P-I about news coverage of Kennedy's story. Interesting. Derex 19:41, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Most of you are probably reading these already, but MysteryPollster has been beating[16] Kennedy[17] like a rented mule.[18] TheronJ 01:00, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
    • MP is the shit. --kizzle 01:16, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Questionable multimedia

Hi folks. Was scrubbing the dead links in the multimedia section and came across these two entries:

  • 'Stolen Election' - Video made by members of DU (Democratic Underground) RealPlayer
  • The Counter-Inaugural Committee's press conference as broadcast on C-SPAN including Brian Anders of the Washington Peace Center, Gael Murphy of Code Pink and United for Peace and Justice, Basav Sen of Mobilization for Global Justice, David Lytel of ReDefeatBush and Shahid Buttar of the Counter-Inaugural Committee. Lytel reviews what is expected on January 6th in Washington. (video)

The first is a movie apparently done by members of Democratic Underground (a blog) and the second is a video featuring members of a 'counter-inaugural' protest group. I have some opinions, which is why I raise the question here - what are the thoughts of the community regarding the need for these two links? -- User:RyanFreisling @ 17:01, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

IMO, the blog link should go. But C-SPAN is a reputable source, so should stay. What do you think? -- noosphere 23:15, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
I actually had the same overall view, but the content of the DU video is almost entirely existing footage of politicians and election scenes, so I thought it might indeed be 'notable enough' and factually-based (not commentary per-se). However, the source of the video is, in essence, a political blog and the production of the film is attributed to the blog (not, say, an individual filmmaker). And the C-Span piece, while consisting largely of protest groups, is relevant as well (if somewhat less notable / well-known than the average 'mainstream' media point of view). So I have concerns about both but neither conclusively pushes me 'over the top' (hence I didn't just chuck 'em). Other folks' opinions? -- User:RyanFreisling @ 05:33, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Opinion piece in tomorrow's NYTimes

Provides some interesting historical context on the 'paper stock' provision Blackwell tried to pass in '04 and the issues facing '06 - alleging that 'emergency procedures' enacted by Blackwell could shut down voter registration efforts in the state. Here's an excerpted paragraph. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 05:26, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Block the Vote, Ohio Remix

{...} Mr. Blackwell, who also happens to be the Republican candidate for governor this year, has a history of this sort of behavior. In 2004, he instructed county boards of elections to reject any registrations on paper of less than 80-pound stock — about the thickness of a postcard. His order was almost certainly illegal, and he retracted it after he came under intense criticism. It was, however, in place long enough to get some registrations tossed out. {...} [19]

Read the "80-Pound Paper Weight Requirement.doc" I sent you before for even more. --kizzle 05:55, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
That li'l treasure trove has been really helpful. Thanks again for that, Scoop. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 05:58, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Minority viewpoint?

"considering that the idea that there is any significant controversy or irregularity in the 2004 election is a minority viewpoint" - Phil Sandifer

What is the evidence for this statement? Got any polling data? I mean of public opinion, not pundits; the two often disagree. Derex 23:49, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Keith Olbermann cited a figure (WaPo I believe) that stated that 20% of Americans believed that something seriously fishy happened in 2004. --kizzle 00:19, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, that's certainly more than a tiny fringe. To put that in perspective, only 9% of Americans believe there is no God.[20] We definitely need a much bigger coverage of creationism and intelligent design; and that whole evolution thing needs to be trimmed way down here. Talk about POV! Do you have any idea how many more articles we have on science than on faith? The whole damn encyclopedia is a monument to a minority viewpoint. Derex 06:13, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
WaPo? Oh, Washington Post. Doh. Anyway, when was that poll taken? Then? Now? And should Wikipedia articles be written or deleted based on the outcomes of polls like this? Should we, in effect, hand over the editing of Wikipedia to the Washingoton Post or whoever the pollster happens to be? -- noosphere 02:42, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes ;) --kizzle 20:55, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Phil, this article's survival of the two AfDs against it is evidence that you're in the minority in that opinion. The controversies are significant enough to warrant a Wikipedia article about them. That would not be the case if the rest of Wikipedia's editors agreed with you.
Anyway, I challenge you to cite any part of the article which claims that there were "significant controversy or irregularity in the 2004 election". And if you find such a statement I'll be happy to support your removal of it, since I believe we should give the readers facts (meaning the cited allegations, since it is a fact that these allegations were made) and, per WP:NPOV, let them "make up their minds for themselves." -- noosphere 02:42, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Latest opinion piece in NYTimes: "Those Pesky Voters"

Bob Herbert, columnist for the NYTimes, wrote about the irregularities in Ohio in Monday's edition:

Republicans, and even a surprising number of Democrats, have been anxious to leave the 2004 Ohio election debacle behind. But Mr. Kennedy, in his long, heavily footnoted article ("Was the 2004 Election Stolen?"), leaves no doubt that the democratic process was trampled and left for dead in the Buckeye State. Mr. Kerry almost certainly would have won Ohio if all of his votes had been counted, and if all of the eligible voters who tried to vote for him had been allowed to cast their ballots.
Mr. Kennedy's article echoed and expanded upon an article in Harper's ("None Dare Call It Stolen," by Mark Crispin Miller) that ran last summer. Both articles documented ugly, aggressive and frequently unconscionable efforts by G.O.P. stalwarts to disenfranchise Democrats in Ohio, especially those in urban and heavily black areas. [21] -- User:RyanFreisling @ 13:31, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
So a left wing socialist named kennedy makes a fool of himself, what's new?—(Kepin)RING THE LIBERTY BELL 00:18, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
Merecat? -- noosphere 01:05, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
BigDaddy777? --kizzle 01:27, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
Karl? -- User:RyanFreisling @ 02:20, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
Stephen Colbert?-- 05:07, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Mommy? Oops, no, wait sorry, got carried away. Go on about your passive-aggressive accusation of sock-puppetry; nothing to see here. LWizard @ 02:28, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
I thought my sockpuppet accusation was quite forward and plainly obvious rather than passive-agressive. --kizzle 05:26, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Apparently, Lizard seems a lot more concerned about light-hearted sockpuppet-flavored banter than Kepin's one-post combo personal attack against a family (Kennedy), an individual (RFK, Jr), a political 'POV' (Left-wing) and in fact an entire political ideology (Socialism). Frankly I think the light-hearted response here, in light of the persistent trolling by Merecat/Rex and others, is far better than returning trolling attacks with attacks and feeding the fire. In any case, thanks for chiming in and making your views known! :) -- User:RyanFreisling @ 02:33, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

"Some might call it Treason: an open letter to Salon" by Mark Crispin Miller

"One week after Kennedy's article appeared, Salon posted an attack upon it by Farhad Manjoo, the magazine's technology reporter. That piece contained so many errors of fact and logic, and was throughout so brazenly wrong-headed, that several hundred readers sent in angry letters, many of them brilliantly refuting some of Manjoo's misconceptions and mistakes, and quite a few demanding that Salon cancel their subscriptions...

At this point I decided to reply... to attempt an explanation as to why so many reasonable people -- many of them self-described "progressives" -- keep refusing to perceive the copious and ever-growing evidence that this regime has never been elected."

from Some might call it Treason: an open letter to Salon by Mark Crispin Miller -- noosphere 05:58, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Miller's piece makes me mad, someone needs to write a rebuttal to his piece. --kizzle 06:25, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, I have to say that Miller's piece was a little disappointing. I was hoping/expecting that he'd actually deal with, and attempt to debunk, some of Manjoo's points. But he never seemed to get into it at all. Essentially, he's saying "Manjoo is wrong because he is, IMO, wrong and this is surprising because two years ago, again IMO, he was usually right". I personally find this argument somewhat less than compelling. What do other people think? --Deville (Talk) 00:39, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Exactly what I felt. The amount of substantive information or specific points he brings up is sadly lacking. --kizzle 00:41, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, this is not a point-by-point rebuttal of Manjoo. According to Miller that's already been done by the regular Salon readers in their letters to the editor. As Miller said, this article is mostly about why he thinks "self-described 'progressives'" are in denial about the theft of the 2004 Election. -- noosphere 01:19, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

'Conspiracy theories' category added by anon

[22]. I don't believe it's appropriate. No conspiracy is alleged or theorized herein, in my opinion. What do others think? -- User:RyanFreisling @ 23:07, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

I think the theory that the discrepancy between exit polls and the official vote can only be explained by a nationwide conspiracy to commit fraud is a conspiracy theory, while the theory that there were many irregularities in the election is not. So at least one of the ideas on the page is a conspiracy theory. TheronJ 01:23, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree with TheronJ that "the theory that the discrepancy between exit polls and the official vote can only be explained by a nationwide conspiracy to commit fraud is a conspiracy theory". But that idea is not presented anywhere in the article. The article presents the irregularities (such as exit poll-vote count discrepancy beyond the margin of error or machines that registered votes for kerry as votes for bush) and controversies (such as the prudence of using uncertified voting machines for an election - or whether or not the machines were legitimately certified - or whether they are "secure") as they exist.
However, come to think of it, in the debate in congress following the objection to the certification to Ohio's electoral votes, Tom Delay called the reporting of these irregulaties and attention to them a vast left-wing conspiracy. If he had went into enough detail about it and we had an article about his theory that was encyclopedic, that would clearly belong in the conspiracy theory category.
Aside from that, the irregularities are presented as independant occurances - no connections are infered in the article (that would be OR), so no conspiracy is infered. Frankly, I have watched the article to try to make sure that it avoids any conspiratorial allegations. Maybe I missed something. If so, point it out, and we should fix it. It doesn't belong in this article.
If, on the other hand, one wants to write an article about 2004 U.S. presidential election conspiracy theories, I won't be an obstacle, and i would be a proponent of putting that article in the conspiracy theories category.
As the article stands, no conspiracy is alleged or theorized within it. And that's the way it's meant to be. Kevin Baastalk 14:13, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I think you're right, Kevin. I wouldn't have any problem removing this page from the conspiracy theories category, at least pending some explanation by anonymous. TheronJ 14:28, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Kevin and Ryan. There is no theory, conspiracy or otherwise, promoted by this article. All there are are reports of irregularities and controversies. The article does not theorize about them, it just reports them. -- noosphere 15:35, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree as well. As it stands, no conspiracies are claimed here, and this should not be in the Conspiracy Theories category. -- Deville (Talk) 16:29, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I have removed the tag [23]. Thanks all for your opinions, and more are always welcome. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 20:36, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
The section on the voting machine manufacturer's is clearly conspiracy theory. Doesn't make it incorrect, but that's all that section is without some level of proof. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .
I removed the part about voting machine manufacturer's political affiliations in the interest of satisfying concerns. This article is about irregularities and controversies, not conspiracy. I removed the conspiracy category as well. If anyone finds any conspiracy theory material, remove it. Kevin Baastalk 15:11, 13 July 2006 (UTC)


I started visiting the resources listed and one was dead, while others were just link farms, and a preliminary report was listed without the final version. Here are the changes I made:

Rkevins82 04:24, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Good work! -- noosphere 04:30, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Thank you. I was hoping to clean it up while keeping it as NPOV as possible. Rkevins82 04:33, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Study: All Electronic Voting Machines Vulnerable to Software Attacks

"A major new report on electronic voting by the Brennan Center for Justice has concluded that the three most common types of electronic voting machines are all vulnerable to software attacks."[24] from Democracy Now! -- noosphere 20:11, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

More.[25] from CNET. -- noosphere 09:48, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Clinton Eugene Curtis

Video of the testimony of Clinton Curtis.[26] -- noosphere 10:07, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

voting machines subarticle talk

reposting here in case people didn't notice.

  • WaPo
  • USA Today - this was pretty big on the second page of the politics section. (On the first(front) page was blackwell)

Kevin Baastalk 13:50, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Kevin Baastalk 16:35, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Sounds like the rantings of the blogosphere to me. You should be banned for even mentioning it. -- noosphere 17:08, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
You know I'm a sucker for partisan left-wing indy press sources like the Washington Post and USA Today. Kevin Baastalk 17:19, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
And you know I had to search all the way to the front page of the politics section of these marginal newspapers to find tiny pieces on these marginal views held by the minority of marginal partisan non-experts. Geez, my POV is showing; glowing! Kevin Baastalk 17:28, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, good thing these articles are going on "probation", so we can get rid of such blatant partisanship. -- noosphere 17:30, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Section disputes, revisited

HAVA Section

alright, we have:

  • Calling the Florida election a debacle off the bat is POV.
    What is the status of this dispute? Kevin Baastalk 15:34, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
  • The use of innuendo, such as suggesting that the people who created the voting machines' political affiliations are in some way a part of some irregularity, is particularly egregious.
    It's part of a controversy. this is about controversies and irregularities. A lot of the groups involved have a real problem with this, esp. coupled with other things like how insecure these machines are, and how the company execs say they are secure when they're not. It certainly doesn't classify as an "irregularity". however, there is a controversy about it. Kevin Baastalk 15:34, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
    Though it's arguable how notable this controversy is, and so far i only see one source for it, in which "some students" believe there are strong ties. Clearly the political contributions are substantial, etc., but actual political connections? Also, I think this short para in the article is the least important part of the section. Kevin Baastalk 15:19, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Exit Polls

  • US Count Votes - Has it been resolved that this is notable? Kevin Baastalk 15:34, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Edison/Mitofsky report - because their report's claims are unverifiable, Phil has suggested that their report therefore shouldn't be included. I think their report should be included because it represents a significant part of the controversy. Thoughts? Kevin Baastalk 16:22, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Where is the discussion of this? Rkevins82 02:15, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
In the corresponding section above: Talk:2004 U.S. presidential election controversy and irregularities#Exit polls:

Then what about the Edison/Mitofsky reports? They haven't been peer-reviewed. Indeed, they cannot be, because they don't provide any of the data or methods they use to come to their hypothesize; there is nothing to review. By the same logic, that should be removed from the article. But this is not an academic article (for instance, it's not an article on the gaussian distribution), it is an article that documents a controversy. Thus the criteria is different, such that, I contend, both POV's should be included, even though one of them is unverifiable. Kevin Baastalk 21:44, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

That they were the official reports contracted by the exit pollsters establishes their notability. And you can contend unverifiable POVs should be included all you want, but WP:V is going to shut you down every time you try. Phil Sandifer 21:55, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Kevin Baastalk 14:20, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Both should be included, with careful language. Despite what you think Kevin (and I admit you've done more thinking about this than I have, so I leave my comment open for revision), USCount Votes does not appear to be particularly scholarly to me, nor are their studies reported in the media very often. Also, E/M appears to be stepping outside of their specialty in denying vote fraud as a reason for the discrepancies. I would prefer to see a well-worded section that includes both sources. Thanks for pointing the discussion out. Some nice sparring there.Rkevins82 16:22, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

ohio registration rules event


What is going on with this article? Are we supposed to shorten and condense these all, or what? 19:22, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

What gave you that idea? -- noosphere 23:11, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, it is 80 kb long...Rkevins82 23:33, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
The arbcom seemed cranky about it. 05:15, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
The only member of arbcom who got his panties in a bunch over it was Fred Bauder. And he got out-voted by the rest of arbcom. You'll note the ruling says absolutely nothing about aritlce length. -- noosphere 15:36, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Steven Freeman on CSPAN2 now

Steven Freeman is speaking now on CSPAN 2 about whether the 2004 Election was stolen. Check it out. -- noosphere 17:07, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

And now Greg Palast too. Looks like it's a panel on assuring fair elections. And it's being broadcast live. -- noosphere 17:15, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Worst Ever Security Flaw Found in Diebold TS Voting Machine

"This may be the worst security flaw we have seen in touch screen voting machines," says Open Voting Foundation president, Alan Dechert.

Upon examining the inner workings of one of the most popular paperless touch screen voting machines used in public elections in the United States, it has been determined that with the flip of a single switch inside, the machine can behave in a completely different manner compared to the tested and certified version.

"Diebold has made the testing and certification process practically irrelevant," according to Dechert. "If you have access to these machines and you want to rig an election, anything is possible with the Diebold TS -- and it could be done without leaving a trace. All you need is a screwdriver."

That's from an Open Votin Foundation press release.[29] There's also a Slashdot thread going on about this issue.[30] -- noosphere 22:11, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

You highlighted the sinister switch. Now let's see what the real problem is
The most serious issue is the ability to choose between "EPROM" and "FLASH" boot configurations. Both of these memory sources are present. All of the switches in question (JP2, JP3, JP8, SW2 and SW4) are physically present on the board. It is clear that this system can ship with live boot profiles in two locations, and switching back and forth could change literally everything regarding how the machine works and counts votes. This could be done before or after the so-called "Logic And Accuracy Tests".
Let's see, you would need someone to program a boot flash card, you would need to know the boot software, you would need one for every single machine, you would need to install the flash prom on every machine you compromized, you would need to know the ballot. It's not like you throw the switch and the system is hacked. Compared to punch card paper ballots where someone just needs a paper clip to punch through an entire stack. Or for paper receipts you would only need to spoil them. --Tbeatty 17:36, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
Your analysis is original research. Anyway, these machines may well ship with the fraudulent flash chips for all we know. And the other major point of the article is that this could all be done without leaving a trace. -- noosphere 22:23, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Noosphere: Your comment is so hostile towards any sense of common ground, it conveys a message that you are intentionally arguing towards no end. If what Tbeatty said seems true (I think it is) then let's find sources for it. And as for the paperclip contention, are you saying that it's not common knowledge that paper punch ballots can also be punched with a paper clip? Common knowledge non-disputed facts do not need citations. Such as: people are mammals, the sun rises in the East, it's cold in outer-space, etc. Punch ballot cards ccan be punched with the tip of a paperclip. However, if T said that a specific number could be punched at once that way - that would need to be sourced. Clearly though, "an entire stack" is vague enough to be referring to the viability of a known fact, not a specific manifestation of that fact. 23:55, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

If you've ever voted by absentee ballot in Ohio (always punchcards), you've seen the stylus is similar to a paperclip. It's fair to say that one could alter ballots with a paperclip. Rkevins82 03:26, 26 August 2006 (UTC), ok, let's say Tbeatty is right: it's easy to commit election fraud via paper ballots. Wouldn't that make the results of the election even more suspect?
Anyway, I am really not interested in arguing whether paper ballots are inherently more "hackable" than electronic voting machines. If you scroll up you'll see there's already been at least one long argument about this already, just on this talk page. And I don't see such arguments as productive of anything anyway.
So far there is the Open Voting Foundation press release and news articles about their discovery. So their announcement is verifiable information that can go in to the article. Then there's Tbeatty's conjecture, which, until someone finds some sources to back it up, is original research, and as such can not be put in to the article. If you or Tbeatty, or Rkevins, or whoever want to find sources to back up his statements, go right ahead. I'm not against it in the least. I welcome new, relevant, verifiable information we can add to the article. -- noosphere 04:30, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
1) is the Open Voting Foundation reliable? They didn't demonsrate a hacked machine. They speculate. Are you saying they can't get access to a machine and a screwdriver to demonstrate this supposed flaw? Can I use Diebold press releases as rebuttal? They had 100% accuracy (yes, 100%) during the 2005 election in California. 2). How is this even relevant to the 2004 Presidential Election? I don't think this version of the machines was available. And regardless if it was available, there are no reports of hacking it with a screwdriver. --Tbeatty 04:48, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
The OVF is a primary source on what they've discovered, as such they can be used, per Wikipedia policies. Articles about the OVF's announcement can likewise be used, if they come from reputable sources.
Second, whether or not the OVF meets whatever requirements Tbeatty sets (ie. demonstrating a hacked machine, or whatever) is immaterial. The OVF's anouncement is relevant and we can provide an appropriate citation for it. That's what matters, per Wikipedia's standards, not whether Tbeatty's standards have been met.
Third, yes, of course you can use Diebold's press releases. They're perfectly permissible per Wikipedia policies. And I actually do think there are some Diebold memos cited in the article already.
Fourth, electronic voting machines were used in the 2004 election, and this is a discovery about the vulnerability of electronic voting machines. That is why it's relevant.
Fifth, if there was a claim made that a voting machine was hacked with a screwdriver during the election then I'd agree that OVF's discovery would not be an adequate source for that claim. But there is no such claim. There is only what OVF said, which is backed up by the OVF press release and news stories about it. This is absolutely simple, standard Wikipedia procedure. Some notable group or person says something relevant, sources can be provided to verify that it was in fact said, and therefore it goes in to the article.
Once again, whether Tbeatty thinks what OVF said is true is immaterial. In fact, WP:V says, ""Verifiability" in this context does not mean that editors are expected to verify whether, for example, the contents of a New York Times article are true. In fact, editors are strongly discouraged from conducting this kind of research, because original research may not be published in Wikipedia. Articles should contain only material that has been published by reliable sources, regardless of whether individual editors view that material as true or false. The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is thus verifiability, not truth." -- noosphere 20:45, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
I think you need to reread the policy. Primary sources should be avoided. And the reason is deomonstrated here. There is no evidence that this particular model that OVF claims is flawed was used in the 2004 election. There is no secondary source that says this could have compromised the 2004 election. This is "connect the dots" original research and is why we don't use primary sources. --Tbeatty 22:08, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
Which policy are you referring to? Anyway, the way to avoid using a primary source is to find a better secondary source. For example, say, this one: [31] Second, there was never a claim that this vulnerability "could have compromised the 2004 election," so no source is necessary for a claim that was never made. Third, once again, since electronic voting machines were used in the 2004 election, and the articles claim a vulnerability was found in an electronic voting machine, then those articles are relevant. Anyway, there is even evidence this particular model was used in the 2004 election: [32] -- noosphere 23:57, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
And yes, paper ballots make the election more suspect: to wit 2000 election. Whence the Electronic Voting Act which reduces the error of paper ballots. Introducing paper receipts put's us back to the accuracy of paper which we all know sucks.--Tbeatty 04:51, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
I guess its time for me to throw all my books away... Kevin Baastalk 02:31, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Hand recounts of paper ballots are considered the most accurate way of counting. Machines are used to get the job done faster and easier, not better. For example, in the 2004 WA gubernatorial election, the vote and first recount was done by machine, but the second and final recount was done by hand, with a great portion of all ballots being scrutinized by multiple people. While paper ballots are sometiems subject to voters using them incorrectly, problems with this seem less widespread than with the machines this election. Incidentally, the recent edits removing two sources were mine; I forgot to log in.TheDeadlyShoe 21:32, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Tagging this article as a conspiracy theory

User:Kepin has just tagged this article as a conspiracy theory again. I've reverted him, as this is a miscategorization of this article. This has been discussed earlier on this talk page (just do a simple search on this page), and the consensus was that this article should not be tagged as a conspiracy theory, as there is no theory, conspiracy or otherwise, asserted by this article.

I'll also restate my suspicion that Kepin is a Merecat sock, as he registered around the time that whole fiasco was going on, seems to share Merecat's political opinions, and is interested in trolling some of the same articles. -- noosphere 00:03, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

POV dispute

It remains my belief that this article and its sub-articles fall afoul of the excessive coverage provision of WP:NPOV, and that the articles cannot possibly be NPOV until they are merged and consolidated. Phil Sandifer 20:56, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

I've put Moss v. Bush on my to do list. I don't think that it needs to be merged, just improved. It may be lawcruft when I'm done, but there's no reason for it to be POV. TheronJ 21:07, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
As to the article probation generally, does anyone have any ideas how to respond to it? I know Phil would like to see the 8 articles merged and tighted. I don't have an opinion on that, but I do note that a bunch of the articles have collected all kinds of stuff that is either poorly sourced, non-notable, or notable only if you assume the existence of a conspiracy rendering them relevant. Any thoughts? TheronJ 21:07, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
Which is particularly galling, since that ought to be the easiest of the 8 to write. Phil Sandifer 21:17, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Here we go, election 2004 to the memory hole. -- noosphere 01:05, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Personally, I agree that that article in particular is in real need of some attention. However, I disagree wholeheartedly with Phil's 'merge and consolidate due to weighting' strategy, as voiced in his notorious wiki-en posting and in his recent RfAr attempt. The good thing about the ArbCom case is that we learned that so did ArbCom - 'merge and consolidate' is not 'required' in order to fulfill the terms of 'article probation' .
Phil, In the context of your ongoing, avowed desire to eradicate the content and the outcome of your recent ArbCom case, consider that repeating your call for 'merge and consolidate' might not be the most constructive tack you might take to try to reach consensus here. I humbly suggest you try to be more productive and focus on specifics, not novel your own interpretations and projections of 'undue weight'.
Now, It's summertime so I'm not in front of the computer nearly as much as in the rest of the year (and even then I juggle work and school), but I'll make a commitment to take a concerted and fundamental edit pass, sometime in the next 60-90 days. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 03:08, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Why do I feel as though it doesn't matter what I say, because you've already made up your mind that I'm wrong? Phil Sandifer 03:12, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
That's karma, clearly, hitting you where it hurts. When you attacked me (and a number of the other editors here) with your wiki-en posting and ArbCom case, It didn't matter to you what I said, because you'd already made your mind up that I was wrong. Sounds damn familiar to being baselessly accused of 'intimidation' in an ArbCom case when the complainant hasn't even tried mediation.
Now despite all this timely karma, I'm sorry you feel that way - 'cause it's not my intention to ignore you. You could be right on a good many things - one or more of the articles might indeed benefit from consolidation or even outright removal for informativeness or readability - but just as before instead of discussing specifics and editing, you relentlessly steamroller and lobby for your unchanged and draconian view (a 'requirement' due to undue weight) in 'talk' spaces and article tags and complain 'wikipedia process is broken'.
If you really feel as you claim, show me you what you have to say, don't steamroller and assume that this article is something that 'has to be done about' as you did so fruitlessly before. Find consensus. Work. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 03:31, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
How about we kick the civility up a notch here? This is counterproductive in the extreme. Arkon 03:34, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree completely, Arkon. Civility is good.
I don't agree that my comment that I agree to some degree with Phil, etc. was 'counterproductive in the extreme' as you suggest, but we'll agree to disagree - and in addition, I don't believe my post was uncivil, when read. However, apologies if you felt otherwise. And let's all do as Arkon suggests - let's all be civil and respectful and seek consensus. Thanks Arkon! -- User:RyanFreisling @ 03:43, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Just to be clear, my comment was in regards to this section as a whole. Arkon 21:03, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
The problem, as I've said before, is that the specifics are a tarpit that get away from the issue. It's not as though there's a list of five things. The article is a death by a thousand cuts. There's no one cut that's a big problem. It's the sheer mass that's the problem. And so the call for specifics is, ultimately, a piece of misdirection. There aren't specifics - the heart of the matter is that there's just too much stuff here. Phil Sandifer 06:07, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
And as I've said before, you cannot reduce content, reflect the subject matter more accurately, and increase readability without editing. Continually promoting your view and claiming you cannot edit in good faith is, quite frankly, counter-productive - as it is not the consensus view. Wikipedia process requires editing - that's not misdirection, that's basic. To many, the 'meta'-discussion (and mass deletion) you seek is not warranted, and not consensus. I repeat my request to you to stop decrying what cannot be and edit. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 12:03, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
IMHO, Phil's entitled to his opinion that the articles are too long. I don't happen to agree with it at this point, but he's certainly entitled to it. To Phil's credit, he hasn't started deleting stuff, so the best response might be just to improve the articles. I'll post some suggestions when I can. TheronJ 14:15, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Improvement suggestions

Here is what I think should happen to improve the articles. In general, they all need a couple good edit passes with the following principles in mind.

  1. Reliable sources: Two years after the election, there are a lot of good published sources that didn't exist in the months after the election. Most or all of the blog quotes and sources can probably be replaced with published accounts at this point.
  2. Neutral point of view: I don't think that nearly the same level of scrutiny has been applied to left-wing data as right-wing data. For each accusation, at a minimum, someone should see if reputable publishers have come to a conclusion and lead with a weight of authority statement, similar to the global warming pages. For example, if the Democratic Party has concluded that statistical data doesn't show a discrepancy between electronic voting machine results and other voting methods, maybe that should be the lead fact in any discussion of electronic voting machines and 2004?
  3. Notability: There is a bunch of stuff in the articles that is notable only if there was a national conspiracy to sway the election, if at all. At the very least, it should be tightened.
  4. General historical review: There have been a bunch of good overviews published. These articles could be tighted to be readable, accurate discussions of the 2004 election controversies.

To clarify, I don't have any interest in deleting the articles, or injecting a POV -- I just think they could be a lot better. TheronJ 14:24, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

These sound like solid suggestions. I was involved with this page and the Ohio article a while back and, though it was sometimes frustrating, I found that the editors involved were willing to find compromises. I worked as a poll observer for the Elections Protection Project in Akron, Ohio in 2004, so I'm interested in this topic. I have my own opinions about the election, which vary in some areas from the article, but I would love to contribute by adding proper citations. If anybody disagrees with parts of the article (or would prefer a better reference), please tag the area and I will see what I can do. Rkevins82 15:47, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Agree with point 1 and 4. Not sure about point 3 (Notability) w/r/t conspiracies. Can you give me an example to chew on? As far as point 2 (NPOV) - I don't know if you can assign 'left/right' identity to all of the data - but putting that aside, there's no doubt that the 'left wing' sources have provided a lot more information on these occurrences than have the 'right wing' sources. All of it should be put to the same (rigorous) analysis. Your suggestion for 'leading with a weight of authority statement' is right on and strikes me as particularly appropriate for the edits before us. Thanks again for your well-thought-out and reasoned approach, TheronJ. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 16:24, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't think that TheronJ is addressing the left-right sources, but rather the focus of the data itself. As I stated below, there are a lot of these articles on the 2004 election, and they all leave one with the impression that Republicans are the party of voter supression and fraud, when in fact, the only people who have ever been convicted in court related to supression, fraud, or just plain incompetence in the 2004 election, have been Democrats. I don't even find reference to those convictions. Why is that? I know I added some myself to more than one article some time ago, but I sure can't find them. - Crockspot 13:25, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
"when in fact, the only people who have ever been convicted in court related to supression, fraud, or just plain incompetence in the 2004 election, have been Democrats":
  • Firstly, the "when in fact" part implies a logical causality when there is none. When something is first stolen, be it a lighter from a grocery store or what have you, nobody is convicted in court for the theft of the item, and it often happens that they never are convicted at all. This does not mean, however, that the lighter or what have you was not stolen, or that the thief did not commit a crime. It does not follow that not being convicted of a crime means that no crime has been committed.
  • Secondly, this statement is false. Republicans have in fact been convicted in the 2004 election of much larger crimes than a few delinquents slashing tires. Namely, flooding democratic get-out-the-vote phone banks. This was a deliberate, coordinated effort by adult republicans. And come to think about it, it is a glaring ommission in the article.
  • And finally, if you want to learn about how republicans may or may not have affected the outcome in ways that are not well-regarded by the public, there is - as you have pointed out - plenty of information out there about it. The information about how democrats may or may not have affected the outcome in ways that are not well-regarded by the public, is also available.
  • Consider the following:
    • If election polls showed irregularities that favored the democratic nominee; i.e. if election polls showed a more positive result for bush than the vote count showed, beyond the margin of error of the poll - this information would be readily available, and it would be presented in the article.
    • If precincts that predominantely voted republican received fewer voting machines this election than the previous election, even though voter turnout was expected to be higher, while democratic precincts, right next door, had well more than neccessarily, this information would be available, and it would be noted in the article, as an irregularity that favored the democratic candidate.
    • If, in said hypothetical republican precincts, poll workers telephoned the secretary of state, asking for more voting machines so that the registered voters in that precinct could vote, and they were told that none were available, when in fact, extra voting machines were available, I assure you, this would be noted in the article.
    • If there were recorded instances of voting machines switching votes for bush to votes for kerry -- well we all would agree that this would constitute an "irregularity", and it would certainly be mentioned in the appropriate article.
However, as you well may note, none of these things happened. That's why they are not mentioned in the article. Kevin Baastalk 22:45, 28 July 2007 (UTC)


I edited for readability (I read the discussion page first) and I don't believe I removed anything anyone would take exception to. If I did, sorry, and please reinsert. --PTR 21:25, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

more votes than registered voters

The JS-Online article is murkily written. It is my belief, based on reading the official report and the JS-online article, that the JS-online article actually refers to move votes being cast than were recorded by poll workers as having been cast - which is a different ballgame entirely than more votes being cast than registered voters. TheDeadlyShoe 06:34, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Then we should add another sentence or sentence fragment describing that and put the source in there, rather than just removing that rather interesting and important information altogether. Kevin Baastalk 17:37, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Alleged irregularities

I'm not going to revert but there were definitely controversies and in the first sentence it states "alleging irregularities" so the irregularities would be alleged. --PTR 17:46, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't know if you meant to say this, but it sounds like you're saying that reality follows fiction; that writing something makes it true. One can write oxymorons, but that doesn't make them sensible. For example, it is not "regular" for there to be more votes in a precinct than there are elgible voters in that precinct. That is an "irregularity" because it is "irregular", and it is a clear hard fact of the matter. It does not constitute an allegation. Kevin Baastalk 17:55, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

I was saying that the first sentence said "alleging irregularities" so the next sentence would need to read "alleged irregularities". It was a copy edit. Also, now the intro sentence reads as if the article is mainly about the comments made and an into para should briefly encapsulate the article. --PTR 18:09, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Well it's better than before. If you got any ideas, they're welcomed. Kevin Baastalk 18:15, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Actually, after looking at the article, I've got an idea, myself. Why don't we just make the "Controversial or irregular aspects of the 2004 election" section the intro? Kevin Baastalk 18:18, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree and I think it reads much better now. --PTR 18:30, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
What to you think about moving the table of contents above the map and inserting an "Issues" heading above the sentence "The concerns included..." --PTR 18:32, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Good idea. Go for it. I did some more reorganizing and removed some redundancy, comments on that are welcome. Kevin Baastalk 18:37, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Magnificent. Kevin Baastalk 18:49, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

The subpoena section for Moss v. Bush

From: [33]\

"Richard Conglianese, Ohio Assistant Attorney General, is seeking a court order to protect Blackwell from testifying under oath about how the election was run. James R. Dicks, Miami County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, filed a motion to block a subpoena in his county while Conglianese filed to block subpoenas in ten key Ohio counties.

President George Bush, Vice-President Richard Cheney and White House Political Advisor Karl Rove received notice that they will be deposed Tuesday and Wednesday, December 28 and 29. The trio’s Ohio attorney, Kurt Tunnell, so far claims his clients have not been properly served. Under Ohio law, the Republican-dominated Ohio Supreme Court is responsible for serving the three with subpoenas."

Kevin Baastalk 18:04, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

how big is this article?

when i edit the article, i get the message "Note: This page is 77 kilobytes long. It may be appropriate to split this article into smaller, more specific articles. See Wikipedia:Article size.", but Dfeuer just changed the notice i put on top of the article to 44 say kilobytes (diff), saying "Adjusted page size notice: the page seems to have shrunk considerably.". is it 44kb or 77kb? Kevin Baastalk 18:16, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Main 2004 election article does not accurately represent the bulk of information in this article

Someone should try and come up with a better and more accurate, yet extremely concise, summary of this article than what currently exists on the main article about the election. Wikipediatoperfection 07:19, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

  • There are a bunch of these articles related to the 2004 election that read like Democrat propaganda. One would think by reading them that voter supression and fraud is a Republican pastime, when in fact, the only people who have been convicted in a court of law for voter fraud and supression in the 2004 election have been Democratic operatives. I know that I added reference to the tire-slashing trial in Ohio to some of these articles, but for the life of me, I can't find those entries anymore. It's pretty shameful, and straightening it out would take more time than I have to devote to it. Crockspot 13:12, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
I see now the reference to the tire slashing incident, it was Wisconsin. I just think the entire topic of a mass conspiracy to steal the election is POV itself, because it tends to implicate the right. There have always been isolated instances of wrongdoing, and there always will be. When you look at who actually gets convicted for these types of activities, the implication goes the other way. There is a set of these related articles that are far from NPOV. - Crockspot 13:52, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
There isn't a topic of a mass conspiracy to steal the election. There is a topic of the very real irregulaties that occurred in the 2004 presidential election, and the very real controversies surrounding them. And also the related legal cases such as Moss v. Bush, Nader v. Blackwell, and various other related matters. If you're looking for conspiracy theories, you won't find them here. Only encyclopedic, verifiable information. Regarding the rest of your comment, for the sake of avoiding redundancy, see my response here. Kevin Baastalk 23:15, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Deletion of external links

By these edits, RWR8189 removed a large number of external links. The stated reason was "per WP:EL #11". Under that guideline, we normally avoid links to "[s]ites that are only indirectly related to the article's subject".

Many of the links were to video clips, which I haven't looked at because it would take too long on my dialup. I looked at a couple of the print resources: Election 2004: Theories and Countertheories and - 2004 election fraud. In both cases I found them to relate directly to the subject of the article. The URL's or descriptions of many of the other deleted links strongly suggest that they, too, are relevant.

Some pruning of the links may be in order. For example, the link to November 2nd Truth is dead. In general, however, it seems to me that this sweeping purge of links was far too broad, and that most should be restored. JamesMLane t c 00:58, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

A new report on the 2004 election

Just want to bring attention to a new report on the 2004 election, in case it needs to be attached to the main article.


Rosalea 15:07, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Voting Machines

In general it seems this section doesn't really relate to the 2004 United States presidential election, but instead is just saying "voting machines are bad." Without agreeing for disagreeing, I tried to make it accurate. Maybe at some point someone can consider making the section more relevant to the article. There is significant relevant information missing.

  • HAVA was only in part because of 2000
  • Added wiki links
  • updated machine #'s with accurate ref
  • tried to update paper comments for terminology accuracy
  • "Votes tallied on an electronic voting machine can be electronically altered, possibly without detection."
This is just POV and not supported by the references. "Experts" warning of insecurity, and demonstrated attacks do not equal a damning of all electronic voting. At least not in an Encyclopedia. Also, which of these references has support for "without detection"?
  • VVPAT is not universally accepted as answer. Qualified and added notable supporter (to avoid weasel)
  • "Government agencies that purchased voting machines were usually denied access to the manufacturer's proprietary software, and the official certifications were routinely bypassed by the failure to perform manufacturer-prescribed tests, the failure to apply instructions intended to safeguard their integrity once purchased, or the use of uncertified software and updates"
This just isn't supported anywhere with the 3 references provided and it's mostly false as well. I updated for accuracy and ref support
  • The Bev Harris article on Doug Lewis wasn't relevant to any of the content
  • Updated CIBER info
  • Open source info is totally irrelevant
  • Remind people that "electronic voting" means opscan as well (that's what the Ian Sanch\Bev Harris\Harri Hustie movie attack was anyway)

--Electiontechnology 08:12, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Would like a section added on what the US Constitution has to say on depriving people the right to vore

The text below is from the 14th Amendment and states that if right to vote is denied or in any way abridge then the state shall lose a similar proportion of its population when determination is a made as to how many seats in the House of Representatives each state shall have.

The language specifies voters at the age of 21, to indicate that the language refers ONLY to voters and does not include non-citizens or citizens too young to vote. In other words if half the age 21 voters are disenfranchised, then the states population will be cut in half with respect to determining how many seats it has in the House of Representatives.

I don't believe this law is being followed, but if it was the states would have a significantly higher incentive to keep elections honest. The loss of one or more House seats because of election fraud would give a SEVERE wakeup call to clean up elections.

In the case of Ohio a disenfranchisement rate of 5% would probably result in the loss of 1 seat in the House of Representatives. A 4% rate would cause a loss of 1 seat in Florida and a 2% rate would cause of loss of 1 seat for California.

2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State. 04:17, 21 August 2007 (UTC)


There is a very similar article about this topic, Summary of the 2004 United States presidential election controversy and irregularities, but there isn't any reference from either of these articles to the other one. Why is this? Should these be merged? Bonus Onus 01:24, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

As an encyclopedia this article surely should be a summary of the 2004 United States presidential election controversy and irregularities, ergo at least one of these articles is redundant. It'd be a heck of a job to merge the content though. There's also 2004 United States election voting controversies - technically that's about voting and not the wider issues in the election though. There's also 2004 United States presidential election controversy, voting machines, 2004 United States presidential election controversy, vote suppression, 2004 United States presidential election controversy, vote suppression and 2004 United States presidential election controversy, exit polls which deal with subtopics, as well as the regional entry for 2004 United States election voting controversies, Ohio. This is in addition to 2004 United States presidential election recounts and legal challenges. I suspect there is some redundancy in all these but due to the lengths of these articles merger would be difficult (note that 2004 United States election voting controversies, Florida has been merged into another article and Timeline of the 2004 United States presidential election controversy and irregularities has been deleted). I may be WP:BOLD enough to nominate the "summary of..." article for deletion... TheGrappler 02:23, 2 November 2007 (UTC) 02:20, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Reference to be integrated in the article

This books can probably be used to add more RS references to the article. The author seems very credible considering his background: "How to Rig an Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative" by Allen Raymond (Simon & Schuster 2008) [35] MaxPont (talk) 16:54, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

If I recall correctly the author of that book was a main guy in the DoS attack on democratic get-out-the-vote phone banks. In any case, the fact that it's a book means we don't have one-click access to it. Therefore, those that have the book (which includes the poster, i presume) are encouraged to integrate the information in it into the article (and/or appropriate sub-articles). Kevin Baastalk 19:28, 13 March 2008 (UTC)