Angry Commentators Get the Discussion of Minnesota Ballot Recount Wrong
My point was simple: "The primary problem isn’t the rules. The real problem is the lack of consistency." Mistakes can be made simply because someone is dealing with so many ballots, but mistakes, even if they are not done on purpose, can effect the outcome of this race because it is so close. Silver doesn't address this concern at all in his write up. Instead, he focuses on the fact that the Star Tribune data base made a mistake in classifying one of the ballots and that I relied on that for one of my examples. The fact that my website had already noted this and corrected that one ballot example before his post was put up is never mentioned by Silver. He also incorrectly implied that I hadn't double checked that ballot, but he didn't make any telephone calls or check this point either. It is not surprising that he wouldn't try to check these points out before making his assertions. For those interested, you can see my original post on this website here.
Others have made similar posts. David Brauer with minnpost also focuses on the one ballot misclassified by the Star Tribune and ignores the issue of rules not being applied consistently. He also incorrectly asserts that I did not check on what the newspaper had, but, ironically, he did not bother to check and contact me before he made this claim.
Others have also latched on to me claiming conspiracy. Emily Kaiser at Citypages writes: "Will he still claim liberal conspiracy despite losing his best evidence? Of course." Again, Kaiser also repeated the claim that no additional checking had been done. Silver's claim about a conspiracy is just being repeated. Why is it so difficult to evaluate whether a mistake was made without having to declare that someone did it on purpose? Why don't these blogs look at the systematic errors made by the Canvassing Board?
The Huffington Post has gotten involved in the act and claimed that I was "Blam[ing] Liberal Conspiracy." For those interested in the sock puppet and identity theft history of those who run the Huffington Post please see this post here. The so-called "For the Sake of 'Science'" also talks about me "trying to blame a typo on a vast liberal conspiracy."
All this is actually pretty funny. One person makes a post after I have already pointed out the problem on this website. He obviously misstates what I wrote and uses terms such as "conspiracy" to inflame readers. All these other liberal bloggers repeat these claims without probably even reading what I wrote (it would be worse if they read my piece and still repeated what was in Nate Silver's post).
Again, the original posting and the correction can be seen here.
Update: The MN Secretary of State's Office has told me that they made multiple mistakes in their listing of ballot decisions. I should also point out that before I published the piece being discussed in this posting I had contacted the MN SOS office a couple of times to double check things but was unable to get any assistance from them.