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Milwaukee: 5600 addresses on voter rolls may not exist

Old 10-28-04, 03:23 PM
  #26  
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Originally posted by JasonF
OCR for typed documents is 90% accurate; I have no idea what it is for handwritten documents, but it's got to be a lot lower.

90% accurate may seem pretty high, but if you take an address like:

John Doe
22 Main St.
Milwaukee, WI 55555

You're going to have about three and a third characters OCR'ed wrong. That's more than three errors in every address (on average). And I picked a short name and address -- when Christopher Kryzewski of 14309 Strawberry Patch Avenue registers, there are going to be a lot more OCR errors.
If that 90% figure was ever true, it's older than hell now. I regularly OCR editorials from IBD and post them here. Accuracy is extremely high, except for a few specific problems. Hyphenated words from the short lines in newspaper columns are a problem, bullets are a problem, and the leading large letter (I forget the technical term for it) in the first paragrapgh. Apart from that, character errors in a ~1000 word article are rare. I wouldn't make the effort if I had to retype 10% of the characters, I can assure you of that. Except for the specific problems I mentioned, even on news print, I think the error rate is < 0.1%

But I don't know programs that do well on handwriting and I think data entry typists normally transcribe it.
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Old 10-28-04, 03:28 PM
  #27  
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Originally posted by bfrank
I agree - this is suck but why did the repubs wait untilt he last minute to file???
I think its a fair question. What did they know and when did they know it. Although it looks like they made an effort (visiting sites, photographic records, voting records) to gather some evidence and not just sling dirt. We don't know their timeline and perhaps they owe us that, but what about 5600 addresses that don't exist but have voters. Does anybody owe us an explanation of that? Or is that excessive questioning of the "other side?"
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Old 10-28-04, 04:20 PM
  #28  
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Originally posted by OldDude
If that 90% figure was ever true, it's older than hell now. I regularly OCR editorials from IBD and post them here. Accuracy is extremely high, except for a few specific problems. Hyphenated words from the short lines in newspaper columns are a problem, bullets are a problem, and the leading large letter (I forget the technical term for it) in the first paragrapgh. Apart from that, character errors in a ~1000 word article are rare. I wouldn't make the effort if I had to retype 10% of the characters, I can assure you of that. Except for the specific problems I mentioned, even on news print, I think the error rate is < 0.1%

But I don't know programs that do well on handwriting and I think data entry typists normally transcribe it.
I happened to meet with an OCR vendor yesterday, so that's where I got the 90% figure from. I dunno -- maybe the vendor is using old technology (doesn't bode well for them!)

The big letter at the begining of an article is called a "Drop Cap."
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Old 10-28-04, 04:38 PM
  #29  
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Originally posted by JasonF
The big letter at the begining of an article is called a "Drop Cap."
Thanks. That's it, I was drawing mental blank trying to think of it. My program always thinks that the drop cap is still part of the headline, 'cause its about the right size.

I can highly recommend Caere OmniPage 14 if you need a good OCR program.
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Old 10-28-04, 04:49 PM
  #30  
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Originally posted by Mordred
My concern is that republicans are generating a list. Is it naive of me to assume that the majority of that list will be voting democrat? Do I think republicans might be willing to overlook a registered republicans improper address? You bet.
Let me address your concern. First, I suspect that Republicans are comfortable knowing that if they target illegitimate voter registrations, they will harm Democrats more than Republicans. Thus, they don't waste time looking for registered Democrats, because, let's face it, if I were going to register illegally so that I could vote Democrat, I would register Republican.

Second, Democrats have every opportunity to do the same thing that the Republicans are doing. Do you think that the hordes of Democrat attorneys will be challenging any Democrat votes comes Nov. 3? Of course not, that's why Republicans have their own attorneys ready to respond. The Democrats are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves, don't you worry.

Finally, Democrats are doing the same thing, except they don't have to generate a list, they just target military absentee ballots. Unfortunately, those ballots are typically 100% legitimate, and true disenfranchisement takes place when those ballots are excluded, not this hypothetical disenfranchisement of voters who can't remember their own address but deserve a vote anyway.
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Old 10-28-04, 09:02 PM
  #31  
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The complaint was rejected. Apparently the Republicans visited 37 sites and found them all bogus, but that wasn't compelling. I guess they needed to prove all 5600 were bogus so the committee didn't need to do any work for their pay.
http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate...4/10032778.htm
City commission rejects GOP complaint on voter rolls

JOHN HARTZELL

Associated Press


MILWAUKEE - The city's election commission voted 3-0 Thursday to throw out a complaint alleging that more than 5,600 addresses on the city's voter rolls may not exist.

The complaint had been filed by Andrew Narrai, supported by the Republican Party of Wisconsin, three minutes before the city's deadline for filing such complaints - 5 p.m. on the Wednesday before the election.

Commission member Victoria Toliver, who introduced the motion to reject the complaint, said the burden of proof necessary to disenfranchise the voters had not been met.

At a special meeting Thursday, the commission heard from James Konawalski of Cedarburg, who said he ran the city's more than 300,000 addresses through tracking software used by the U.S. Postal Service. He said it showed that mail was undeliverable to 5,619 addresses on the list.

Konawalski said he personally only went to three of the addresses to verify whether they existed, and was unsure of one of them because the last digit of the address was missing on the outside of a boarded-up building.

The GOP said it visited 37 of the addresses and took pictures showing vacant lots, a gyro stand, a park and spots between two houses where the addresses should have been.

But Narrai said he personally had not checked any of the addresses and had filed the complaint at the request of his wife, who had worked with the state GOP on voter registration issues but couldn't file the complaint in time herself.

Matthew O'Neill, deputy state counsel for the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, asked the commission to throw out the complaint.

He questioned, among other things, whether some of the mistakes could be the result of typographical errors and others could be addresses of people who registered years ago.

State Republican Party Chairman Rick Graber expressed disappointment Thursday at the election commission's decision.

"That's just not good enough," he said at a news conference in front of one of the addresses in question. "We are trying to protect the integrity of this election. And today people are just standing by, doing nothing."

Graber pointed to the space between Lou's AAA Service and a two-story house.

"There's no house there, there's no residence there," he said. "It's nothing even close."

Graber said the party is considering appealing the city's decision to the state Elections Board.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said his office, the city attorney's office and the district attorney's office were reviewing the matter, saying the registrations "are ripe for challenge."

"I expect to see further challenges on Election Day," he said.

The mayor urged voters to bring identification with them to the polls.

Barrett said part of the problem with the challenge was the people registered at those addresses were not present at the meeting to defend themselves. If challenges are made at the polls on Election Day, potential voters would be there to respond, he said.

GOP spokesman Chris Lato said the party routinely checks voter rolls to purge files and was interested in Milwaukee because of the large number of new voter registrations for Tuesday's presidential election.

"George Bush lost the state by 5,708 votes (in 2000), so these kinds of things do matter," Lato said.

At the news conference, Lato said the party reported some address problems to Ozaukee County and officials there took care of the problems right away.

The party also checked voter registration records in Green Bay, Appleton, Racine and Madison and found similar problems in Madison, he said. But Republicans haven't decided what to do yet, Lato said.

Donald Daugherty, an attorney for Narrai and the GOP, said even if a voter's name was removed as a result of the complaint, people could still register to vote on Election Day by presenting proper identification.

He said no immediate decision had been made on whether to appeal the commission's decision.
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