Friday, April 01, 2005

The Aceville election controversy

Today seems like an appropriate time to revisit a column I wrote for the Communications of the ACM last year about the controversial election in Aceville, Ohio.

"The story of the Aceville elections has received some attention in the national press, but it is worth considering from a Risks perspective. This column is based on reports by AP (Affiliated Press, Unusual Election Results in Ohio Town, 2/30/04) and Rueters (Losers Question Ohio Election, 2/30/04). The Aceville, OH, municipal elections last February -- the city's first time using the SWERVE electronic voting system -- led to the election of the alphabetically first candidate in all 19 races. This is an astonishing coincidence. Furthermore, every winning candidate, and Measure A, garnered 100% of the votes counted."

"Ohio Supervisor of Elections Ava Anheuser expressed no surprise that the alphabetically first candidate won every race. 'Don't you believe in coincidence?' she asked. 'This is an example of Adam Murphy's Law: "If it's logically possible, sooner or later it's bound to happen." AAVM downloaded the totals from the voting machines three times. There's nothing else to recount.' "

On a somewhat different topic, note today's report on the Cisco/Nabisco "merger of equals."

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Comment by Blogger Jim Horning:

And have a look at this article, too!

12:01 PM  

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