Advocates call for immediate investigation into whether Californians really voted to revoke marriage equality
(LOS ANGELES) The Election Defense Alliance (EDA) today released a study challenging the election results for Proposition 8. Renowned election fraud investigator and data analyst Richard Hayes Phillips, Ph.D., best known for his investigation of Ohio's 2004 presidential election results, has now called into question yet another high-profile election. The culminating report is hosted at WasProp8Straight.org.
Data was collected through exit polls in 19 Los Angeles County precincts on Election Day, 2008. Voters leaving the polls were asked to fill out a simplified paper ballot anonymously and deposit it into a locked box; 6,326 voters did so, a sample larger than that for the entire state of California in the exit poll used by news outlets around the country to predict election outcomes.
"This poll was designed not to predict outcomes but expressly to check the accuracy of the official vote counts by comparing those results with the polling results at selected sites," explained Sally Castleman, co-founder of EDA, who led the project. "Unfortunately, in light of the well-established dangers of using computers to tabulate our votes, it becomes critically important to validate the official results. Exit polling, though inexact, is one of the few ways left to us to attempt that validation," added Jonathan Simon, another EDA co-founder.
The study reveals discrepancies between official results and exit poll results as high as 17.7%, with an average "within precinct disparity" of 7.75%, far outside the poll's margin of error. The study indicates that the vote against Proposition 8 - and in favor of marriage equality - may have been vastly underreported in L.A. County. "There is no reason to assume the statewide results to be more accurate," said Judith Alter, whose group Protect California Ballots carried out the polling in LA County, "given that the election systems used throughout the state are no less vulnerable to manipulation."
Phillips's analysis addresses four reasons the vote counts and the exit polling results could be mismatched: a basic flaw in exit poll methodology; many voters lying on the questionnaire; a non-representative sample of voters responding; or the official results being erroneous or fraudulent. He then thoroughly addresses the first three, leaving only erroneous or fraudulent results to account for the remaining outcome-altering discrepancy.
Election integrity advocates are calling for an investigation by the Secretary of State's office. The public can write letters of support and read the exit poll analysis at www.WasProp8Straight.org.