In the November 2008 election, the tabulation of votes for California's Proposition 8 --- the controversial ballot measure which resulted in the repeal of marriage equality by, for the first time, amending the state's constitution to deny the rights of Californians --- was "probably corrupted".
That's the finding of a newly released study issued by a coalition of election integrity organizations, as based on their analysis of an Election Verification Exit Poll conducted in Los Angeles on the day of the 2008 general election. "An investigation is warranted," the study concludes, into the evidence which suggests a likelihood that either "fraud or gross errors" occurred in the tabulation of that specific ballot measure.
The poll was conducted on Election Day by Election Defense Alliance, Protect California Ballots, and ElectionIntegrity.org and was designed and researched with the help of at least one well known exit pollster, Ken Warren of St. Louis University's The Warren Poll, for the express purpose of measuring the accuracy of the reported vote count. It functioned beautifully in general, by confirming the results of most of the issues and races on the ballot. On Proposition 4, for example, which concerned a similar hot-button issue --- parental notification for abortion --- polling results and official election results matched within 2%, well within the expected margin of error.
However, for Proposition 8 only, the official results varied from the Election Verification Exit Poll by an average of 7.75% in the 19 precincts polled. In some cases, the discrepancy was as high as 17.7%. That is, of course, far outside of the margin of expected error and certainly worthy of further investigation by officials.
The creators of the poll, along with the analysts of the results and the authors of the study, seem to have gone out of their way to preempt the usual reasons for questioning and/or dismissing the methodology and findings of such polls. For example, as noted in the group's press release [emphasis added]...