Tuesday, November 02, 2004

MARGIN OF ERROR: more last polls, more first reports

Note - I'm going to tag everything election-related as a MARGIN OF ERROR post in the next few days.

The figures, anyway. Fox News (eh?) give Kerry 49%, Bush 44% in Florida. If I'm not very much mistaken that's actually outside the Margin. Yes, MOE=+-3.7%. (Link) Fox's final national has Kerry +2 and +5 among early voters. Marist has Kerry +1, NBC, Gallup and CBS all called it Bush +3 - but the latest CBS had that down to +1.

More emotional porn stories about big queues are coming out all the time, but again, it's anecdotal as yet. The New York Times quotes "nonpartisan election experts" as predicting a monster turnout. It may be significant that exit polls among early voters show a Kerry lead outside the Margin, but this may be a case of the Democrats voting early by preference. There has already been at least one technical breakdown, in Florida where an optical character recognition machine's memory card failed. (Link) As Atrios points out, we'd all better hope the e-voting machines don't use the same kind of memory card.

On the same theme, reports of dirty tricks are proliferating like WMDs. Here we have reports on Republican staffers appearing with Kerry/Edwards signs and "Support Gay Adoption" placards in a false flag operation. In Michigan, there are reports of mass phone calls saying that polling stations had "changed". Others refer to gay marriage and claim to come from Democrats. Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo has a flyer, here, that appears to threaten school massacres if John Kerry is elected. It was distributed by a thing called the Florida Leadership Council. Their domain name is registered to one Mark Mills, who might be a Republican official who was present at the 2000 count as detailed here. Honi soit qui mal y pense!

A brief Google search reveals that a Mark Mills is the spokesman for various rightwing causes in Florida, and that the same Mills is involved in a forged petition signature dispute in Pensacola, Florida. Link! I wonder if perhaps this might be the Mills in question:link
"For 20 years, Mr. Mills’ career has been in the marketing, public relations and communications field in both the public and private sectors. He has served clients in a variety of fields, including politics, media services,global Internet health care, clean-fuel technology and global trade, among others. He was a media relations consultant during the Florida presidential recount last fall. Prior to establishing his own public relations, marketing strategy and media consultant firm in Orlando, Mr. Mills served as staff director of the U.S. Senate Republican Conference in Washington, D.C., which former U.S. SenatorConnie Mack of Florida chaired as a member of the Senate leadership. During his tenure as staff director, Mr. Mills was twice named as one of the 50 most influential Capitol Hill staff members.."
Here's his biography according to his own website.

Not only that, but Mark R. Mills of Tampa, FL is listed as donating cash to Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris's campaign committee. (Link)Now, we don't know that it's the same Mark R. Mills. This Mark R. Mills calls himself the president of Yuma Solutions, Inc, a firm that supplied computer equipment and support to the Bush/Cheney campaign. Now, Yuma has the same address as the WHOIS registrant of that website. (Search results) (4465 W Gandy Boulevard, Tampa) Strangely for a web design firm, it doesn't seem to have a website. But I think on the weight of the evidence, we might be justified in making a risky and sweeping generalisation, and perhaps conclude that the two Republican activists of identical name involved in the same campaign might perhaps be connected.

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