by a Thinker, Sailor, Blogger, Irreverent Guy from Madras

Are they going to complain about Electronic Voting Machines?

For last 2 days, there has been a whole raft of exit polls on the 5 state polls in Indian Super Tuesday.  The beauty is that none of them even sparsely agree on how the four way split is going to end up with.

There is also a raft of speculations based on the exit polls and every media house thinks that they have all the bases covered.

It reminds me of the confusion that existed with the opinion polls before the April 2011 elections in my home state of TN.  Though people might later claim they got the results ‘approximately’ right, they did it despite their permutations, combinations and algorithms.  As I have clearly pointed out in Who will rule the fort and Who will storm the fort, there was a lacuna of 30% on how both the opinion polls viewed the results in individual constituencies.

That they could arrive at figures somewhat resembling the eventual, actual results means their errors were much higher.  If they could get 30% results wrong, it does not say much for their analytical and formulated workings, though their ultimate results might have matched the actual.

By one slanted viewpoint, even I could claim that my take on the TN elections were correct, as espoused in Castled is the fort.  But despite my nom-de-plume, my head is screwed on right and have actually pointed out where my assumptions, though resembling the results, were wrong in the same post.

In less than 14 hours, we would know the results of the critical Super Tuesday in India and have a clear idea of the exact split - 4 way in Uttar Pradesh, and 3 way in Goa and Manipur and 2 way in the other 2 states.
I have a gut feeling that despite what the media houses think, they have covered every eventuality; People and politics have a strange way of showing up people; One such instance is going to happen tomorrow, in the Uttar Pradesh elections.

update: (late in the night) - the point is in TN 2011, even with constituency by constituency opinion survey, in each of the 234, by neutrals could not actually predict the *exact* results;  but that is why they could claim to end up with ‘similar’ overall results to actual.  In UP, that level of scrutiny has *not* been done.  The best sampling is around 2000 to 4000 (or maybe double that) in a 403 constituency state, while TN has only 234.  It is laughable to rely on such parse ‘surveys’.

And we are going to have our eardrums damaged with howls about tampering or manipulations of Electronic Voting Machines, which has disappeared over the last 9 months, chiefly because my Chief Minister, Jayalalitha won the TN state elections in April 2011.  I mean you can’t win and election and claim that you do not have confidence on EVMs, can you?

I reiterate what I stated in Super Tuesday in India too - the money and muscle power has been emasculated by the Election Commission and there are practically no reports of booth capturing or election violence - which must be a first for the state - a point which was reiterated almost word to word by the BJP spokesman in Times Now the same night.

I sure hope that it doesn’t happen - the questions about EVMs, I mean.  In fourteen hours we will know; but the whole situation reminds me of the 2004 Wasserman cartoon.


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