election integrity

E2012: Quo vadimus?

E2012:  The Good, The Bad, and The Ironic

December 28, 2012

by Jonathan Simon and Sally Castleman

November 6th:  Celebrations, Riddles, Questions, Context

E2012—another Democratic victory, a lot of cheering in the streets, living rooms, and even some Election Integrity “war rooms” across America—a lot like E2008.  Change you could believe in.   Safe to go back in the water.  Concerns about election theft greatly overblown.  But that was before E2010, when the Tea Party swept in, Democrats and moderates were sent packing, and what seems to be a very long-term blockade of both federal and state governments was installed by those same red-shifted votecounts that had somehow escaped general notice two years earlier when they weren’t red-shifted enough to keep Obama out of the White House.  Who, in December 2008, saw E2010 coming?  Who, in December 2012, is thinking E2014?  (We did.  We are.  We hope you are too.)

What actually happened on Election Night 2012 remains unclear.   In terms of outcome, while the Democrats took what were regarded as the major in-play prizes of the White House and Senate (adding to their narrow majority in the latter), the Republicans maintained a solid grip on the US House (despite Congressional approval ratings hovering in the single digits and despite an overall Democratic victory in the national popular vote for the House, only the fourth occurrence of this win-the-vote-lose-the-House phenomenon in over 100 years) as well as on a sizeable majority of statehouses.  In effect little changed in the actual political infrastructure as a result of E2012, though the election was momentarily seen as a repudiation of extreme right-wing politics and of the impact of vast corporate and Super-PAC expenditures on voter choice.  It is also worth noting that, much as in E2008, it required a dismal campaign run by a feckless, tone-deaf, and unpopular candidate trying desperately and all-too-transparently to Etch-A-Sketch away an indelible impression of extremism left over from the “severely conservative” primary season, not to mention a series of gaffes by GOP Senate candidates ranging from the borderline moronic to the instantly fatal, to bring about even this tepid electoral result that did little more than maintain the status quo.

But the real riddle of E2012 is what was Karl Rove doing on FOX News at the witching hour making a complete and very uncharacteristic fool of himself?  The question remains unanswered.  Shrouded still in mystery is whether a planned massive electronic rig was disarmed and, if so, how and why, at what stage, and totally or partially.

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OWS AND ELECTIONS

WHY OCCUPY WALL STREET MUST INCLUDE
DEMAND FOR HONEST, OBSERVABLY COUNTED, UNRIGGED ELECTIONS


Too many critical parts of our electoral process are controlled by private partisan corporations. The counting of our votes is now controlled by these corporations' software inside computerized "black boxes" – entirely in secret.  
 
Evidence leaves little doubt that computerized election rigging is now rampant in the US and that We The People are consistently being "represented" by candidates we did not elect. 

It is a huge part of how the 1% maintains control. 
 
How can we hope to achieve any of the many demands for change with the ballot box rigged to thwart them?
 
 
The Problem
With mass outrage coming to a head and with Occupy Wall Street exploding coast to coast, people are proposing many specific demands for change. Reform is in the air. Few have yet grasped, however, that we can no longer expect change or reform through the ballot box because our electoral process in America has been outsourced to private, partisan corporations. 
It doesn’t look that way when you go to vote at your local precinct and see the same old community members acting as election workers. You may even be voting on a paper ballot. But don’t kid yourself. More than 98% of the votes in our country are now counted by computers manufactured, programmed, and maintained by a handful of private partisan corporations. The radicals who have commandeered this critical function make no bones about their extreme right-wing agenda; they do not hide what they would like our country to look like.
OUR VOTES ARE MEANT TO BE CAST IN SECRET, NOT COUNTED IN SECRET. But when our votes are counted inside a black box—with  no citizen oversight, so that no one other than the hidden few who have actual control over the counting process can know whether the numbers spit out by the machines are true and accurate—we no longer have a democracy. You heard that right: the election officials, the citizens, and even the candidates have no way of knowing whether the election results “counted” by the machines have any resemblance to how we voted.
We are talking about flat-out election theft through wholesale concealed manipulation of vote counts, made possible and effectively undetectable by the very infrastructure of our privatized, corporate-run, and computer-tallied 21st Century electoral process. Covert election theft is a crime AND a coup—silent, unspectacular, no guns, no tanks, but just as devastating as a violent takeover.
 
Evidence
In study after study, highly respected IT experts, from major universities (Princeton, Johns Hopkins, UCLA, etc.) to the government’s own GAO, have all confirmed beyond the shadow of a doubt that electoral outcomes can be altered, undetectably, by just one person with access to the hardware and/or software. It seems that the equipment itself has been constructed so that there are virtually unlimited ways this can be done. Even with a hand-held wireless device by someone standing across the street from a voting site!  Or by setting the zero counters on the memory cards in optical scan counting machines to, say, +50 for Candidate A and -50 for Candidate B before an election, so at the end of the night the total votes appear to add correctly and the election administrator is thereby satisfied that the election was “clean,” while in fact a net of 100 votes would be shifted in each precinct so targeted. “Trojan horse” software can be inserted into the software that takes every nth vote for Candidate X and gives that vote to Candidate Y. That piece of code can also be made to self-delete 15 minutes before the polls close, never to be seen again. 
Back in 2004 it was demonstrated how anyone with Windows and a PC could change election results at the regional level – nothing has changed since then! In fact it’s just gotten easier—a lot easier.  You don’t even have to pre-program when you can change the totals in “real time” as the votes are “processed” regionally (off-site, and often out-of-state) through privatized, corporate-controlled computer networks, a technology spreading to more and more states. The means of hacking our vote counts are legion, and getting progressively more difficult to detect.
So we know it can happen. Has it happened?  No one, often not even election officials, are allowed to see a cast ballot, a memory card, the software code, or any of the “proprietary” election files and materials owned by the private corporations to whom the states have outsourced our elections. How then could we possibly produce a “smoking gun?” We are reduced to repeating patterns of statistical, circumstantial, and  anecdotal evidence. 
But scholars have produced volumes. Analysts have long since amassed a ton of solid forensic evidence. It always points in ONE DIRECTION. As a body of work, it is extremely damning. Many of these analyses and papers are posted for reference on this website. The consistent shift of votes to the right as compared to tracking-polls, exit-polls, baseline races, and hand counts cannot be random.
The Mainstream Media
But, the mainstream media, with the story of our lifetime dangling in front of it, refuses, and indeed appears to be forbidden, to cover this issue and will not comment on one piece of this scholarly work.  Courageous journalists have written about particular elections with suspicious results and procedural red flags, but it seems that they are almost never allowed to broadcast or publish their stories, and certainly never to follow them up with the dogged persistence—think Woodward and Bernstein—required of investigative reporters .  Small wonder: the major media, after all, is big-time corporate. 
To the extent even the “progressive” media pays any attention at all to election processes, it is all directed at overt tactics for unbalancing the electoral playing field.
It is true that these overt disenfranchisements have blossomed, most recently the allowance for unlimited amounts of anonymous corporate money in our elections, and the new draconian Voter-ID laws selectively eliminating millions from the voting rolls. But those tactics alone are not enough to overcome the actual votes. Something even more insidious is necessary to thwart the public will. And that something is flat-out election theft—votes added, deleted, switched in the darkness of cyberspace where no one is looking or can look.
You heard that right: in many cases, we the citizens are probably NOT electing the extreme candidates we are told we have elected. We the citizens have most likely not, in many cases, voted for all the right-wing positions in the various referenda. We are told those are the results but in about 98% of the cases, not one private citizen has been able to observe the vote count. So it is really unlikely that we are the right-leaning nation we have been told we are since 2000 when the computerized election equipment began to take hold in every state. This disjunction between who we are politically and the representatives and leaders we are told we’ve “elected” and who purport to “represent” us lies at the heart of the bizarre political turmoil now engulfing our nation.
The History
Yes, there has always been election fraud. But it used to be labor-intensive. Each ballot box or lever machine had to be tampered with individually. Now, with the proliferation of computerized voting and/or counting, the scale has changed profoundly. ONE PERSON can change the outcome of THE elections For an entire state (OR MORE) and not leave a trace!   This person can be a company insider, a programmer, or even a malicious hacker. The equipment has been designed so that rigging/hacking/stealing elections is child’s play.
Historically, over time our elections have shown “normal” shifts, sometimes right and sometimes left. Some places more conservative and some more progressive. When things overall veer too far in one direction, our people have historically self-corrected through the ballot box. That is how America has survived this “experiment in democracy” for more than 225 years. We don’t allow the pendulum to swing so far in one direction that the whole system can tip right over and we don’t allow it to be held in place by a hidden fist. UP UNTIL NOW.
With our elections now in the hands of a corporate few, all that has changed and is only getting worse. 
The People’s Demands
So how can any new People’s Agenda come about? Without a return to observably counted elections in America, we can forget about making any progress through our electoral process.  Forget about loosening that corporate stranglehold—which, in fact, will only tighten far beyond our worst imaginings.  
Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Wall Street is hope. OWS isshowing us, at last, who We The People really are —and that we’re not the rightward-drifting mass of willing victims that you’d think we are, judging by our “elections” and even by the polls that have virtually all now (unethically) changed their methodology to be aligned with electoral outcomes.  OWS is beginning to state the sensible and necessary needs and demands of the 99%.  And yet we never will make good on this life-saving movement if we don’t demand immediate and radical reform of our preposterous voting system.
It is time to ask ourselves why Americans appear to vote against their own best interests. Why the vote counts consistently end up to the right of exit polls, pre-election polls, and hand counts? Whythe public, and even election officials, can’t look at the software used to count votes? Why journalists appear to be forbidden to investigate how votes are counted in America? 
As we continue to witness the true believers and profiteers of the Right doing so much to corrupt our democracy and lock in economic unfairness and cruelty, it is time to ask how we can believe it wouldn’t have occurred to at least a few of them to use their control of the vote counting computers to determine the entire political landscape of America.
We must reclaim our U.S. elections from the 1% and for the people. We need to dump all computerized voting systems and go back to paper ballots, hand-counted in full public sight, on Election Night before the ballots have been removed from that sight.  No more secret vote counting inside black-box machines. Our electoral system, the most fundamental of our democratic processes, must be wrested from the control of private corporations whose own agendas can so easily trump the public trust. Our electoral system must be restored to us, the 99%.  
These demands must be unshakeable and non-negotiable—because the promise of this moment will most certainly be lost if we don’t OCCUPY AMERICA’S ELECTIONS.
For more detailed information, background, blogs, films, etc,

 

WISCONSIN AUGUST 9, 2011 RECALL ELECTION DATA

WHAT HAPPENED IN WISCONSIN? WE DON’T KNOW, AND THAT’S NOT GOOD
On Tuesday August 9th a group of volunteers from around Wisconsin conducted Citizen Exit Polls in two of the six senate districts where recall elections took place. A coalition of independent, non-partisan organizations including Election Defense Alliance (EDA), Protect California Ballots, and the Wisconsin Wave helped organize volunteers and advised the group on polling techniques. The exit polls were undertaken in an attempt to monitor the integrity of an election that relied entirely on concealed vote tabulation by computers to count votes and determine outcomes.
The results of our exit polling are presented in the Table below.  In every case there are sizeable disparities between the computer-tabulated votecount percentages and the percentages indicated by our exit polls respondents. And in every case the disparity is a “red shift,” the votecount percentages more favorable to the Republican candidate than are the exit poll percentages.  
It is important to understand, however, that these polls could not be designed to control for response bias—a possible differential willingness to respond of Republican vs. Democratic voters.  Therefore, the disparities presented in our polls could be the result of 1) Computerized mistabulation (i.e., rigging); 2) Response bias; or 3) Both.  We simply have no way of knowing for sure.
When a voter refuses to respond to our poll, we cannot know and adjust for the partisanship of that voter, so we cannot claim that our poll is a representative sample of the voters. To construct such a poll—the kind many are familiar with that is commissioned by the major media and appears on network websites along with the returns in November—requires vastly more data, resources, and funding than we have at our disposal.  Our polls were designed for a comparison of raw numbers, not percentages, and in certain circumstances, not achieved here, would be strongly probative stand-alone red flags.
Nonetheless, the disparities indicated below may be considered "orange flags," suggestive of at least the possibility of widespread computerized mistabulation, and indicative that follow-up voter canvassing is warranted.  In addition, analysis of prior voting patterns, turnout anomalies, and other data is being undertaken.
Our polls were undertaken for several related purposes:  
  • to provide at least an indicator, in the absence of virtually all other indicators, as to what might be happening (that is to introduce at least a dim ray of transparency into our utterly opaque and concealed vote counting process);
  • to determine whether a more strongly probative follow-up canvassing would be warranted;
  • to draw public awareness to the very disquieting realities of concealed, computerized vote counting (for example, many still erroneously assume that because they vote on paper, their votes and all votes are “safe,” even though in 99%+ of cases those ballots will never be examined and the optical scanner could easily be programmed to record a result radically different from what is indicated by the voters of their ballots);
  • and to build the citizen participation that one day can translate to actual human counting of the actual ballots.
It appears that the exit poll project for August 9, 2011 has succeeded in furthering each of these goals. We hope to continue to build the awareness and involvement on the part of citizens of Wisconsin and America that will be needed to preserve our democracy through the restoration of observable vote counting and honest elections.

 
WISCONSIN RECALL ELECTION EXIT POLL - VOTECOUNT COMPARISON, 8/9/2011
 Senate  Polling Locations Vote Count Exit Poll EP-VC Diff.
District Ward #s VC-R VC-D VC-Tot* VC%R VC%D EP-R EP-D EP-Tot EP%R EP%D EP%D - VC%D
14 Baraboo 7, 8,9,10 453 695 1148 39.5% 60.5% 113 364 477 23.7% 76.3% 15.8%
14 Pardeeville 1,2,3 286 426 712 40.2% 59.8% 139 299 438 31.7% 68.3% 8.4%
8 Shorewood 9,10,11,12 484 1349 1833 26.4% 73.6% 155 845 1000 15.5% 84.5% 10.9%
8 Menomonee Falls  14,15,21 1351 605 1956 69.1% 30.9% 421 303 724 58.1% 41.9% 10.9%
8 Butler  1,2,3 397 200 597 66.5% 33.5% 63 63 126 50.0% 50.0% 16.5%
                         
  *includes absentee ballots: Baraboo=97, Pardeeville=40, Shorewood=354, Menomonee=283, Butler not known                      
 

"Proving Election Fraud" by Richard Charnin (TruthIsAll)

By Michael Collins
(First published in "Scoop" Independent
News)
 

Stock deals are rigged for insiders.  Big money runs Congress.  And we've gone to war based on a series of calculated lies.

Are you willing to accept the fact that our elections are subject to the same type of corruption?

If you are, then Proving Election Fraud by Richard Charnin pulls back the curtain and exposes the pattern of election fraud over the past four decades.  It's not a mystery when your look at the numbers and check them against multiple public sources.   The information is all there - if the experts care to look.

Charnin is the widely known internet poster using the name TruthIsAll. He was the first to discover the glaring discrepancies in the 2004 election results shortly after the polls closed.  His internet posts on the mathematical impossibility of a Bush victory were critical in fueling the doubts about that election and those that followed.

His many posts are the basis for a consistent narrative and argument using a clearly outlined and heavily quantified analysis.  The result is a wealth of information about how elections really work and a methodology (the True Vote Model) that allows the interested reader to check the official results of any national or state election.

Charnin's straightforward style fits his subject matter.  For example, early on he makes a powerful point, one of many that appear throughout the book:

"Simple mathematics proves that the 1968, 1988, 2004 and 2008 elections were fraudulent.  The returning voter mix required for the Final Exit Poll to match the recorded vote was not just implausible -- it was impossible.  In each election, more voters from the prior election returned to vote than were alive. The fact that they were returning Nixon, Bush 1 and Bush 2 voters cannot just be a coincidence.  The statistical anomaly has no rational explanation other than election fraud." (p.52)

When the official victory margin includes dead voters and excludes uncounted votes, it's more than reasonable to assume election fraud.

How does Charnin know this?  He took the time to correlate pre-election polls, historical (Census) votes cast and recorded, voter mortality, returning voter turnout and national exit poll vote shares. Using this basic information, he calculates the True Vote for each presidential election since 1968. And he debunks the arguments designed to convince us that Bush actually won while the exit polls "behaved badly," including "reluctant Bush responder," "swing/red shift," and "false recall."

Uncounted and Phantom Votes

Uncounted and "phantom" voters are the basis for much of the analysis found in the book.  Votes remain uncounted because they're "spoiled" or of a separate class, provisional and absentee votes.  Returning "phantom" voters were necessary in order to force the Final National Exit Poll to match the recorded vote in the four elections referenced.

Nixon won by half a million recorded votes, but six million went uncounted.  George H.W. Bush won by seven million and more than ten million were uncounted.  Gore won by a half million with five million uncounted.  And Kerry lost by three million with four million uncounted.  Uncounted votes are typically from minority districts where the vote is consistently 70-90% for the Democratic candidate.  Is that a coincidence?

Had the phantom voters not materialized and had all the votes been counted, history would have changed. In addition, the Clinton and Obama margins would have been significantly higher than recorded, perhaps forcing the hoped for change.  More important, the will of the people would have been accurately measured in what we were led to believe was a fair election process.

Knowledge is Power

Specialization often times advances a particular field of study and produces greater knowledge and more useful theories, services and products.  However, in the case of elections, complexity and specialization are enemies of the people.  They take away access to and participation in the voting process and blind us to the awareness of voting irregularities and election fraud.

Proving Election Fraud dispels the mysteries of modern elections.  It walks the reader through the process of understanding how elections work, provides simple explanations of the principals of election analysis and offers an online resource that anyone can use to develop their own True Vote Model.  Of equal or greater importance, Charmin's relentlessly thorough analysis shows just how outrageous election fraud is and frees the reader to analyze the accuracy of official election results.

There couldn't be a better time than right now to analyze elections.  In 2004, less than 10% of voters thought that the election was rigged.  By mid 2006, two major polls showed that nearly half of the registered voters thought so.  It's time to take an objective and liberating look at how elections really work in order to demand that they work for us.

Proving Election Fraud: Phantom Voters, Uncounted Votes, and the National Exit Poll by Richard Charnin

END

This review may be reproduced in whole or in part with attribution of authorship and a link to this article.

Disclosure:  In 2006, Charnin (known to me then as “TruthIsAll’”) and I collaborated on a three-part series which quantified the risk of fraud in the midterm elections.

More resources onlineThe Election Calculator (contains a True Vote Model);  The Interactive Election Simulator (run your own pre-election projection and exit poll simulations); and the Monte Carlo Polling Simulation - Excel Model.

Hands-On Elections: An Informational Handbook for Running Real Elections, Using Real Paper Ballots, Counted by Real People

An Informational Handbook for Running Real Elections, Using Real Paper Ballots, Counted by Real People

Authored by Nancy Tobi 

Do you believe in secret vote counts? If you don't think secret vote counting belongs in the greatest democracy on earth, and you want to do something about it, then this handbook is for you. 

Hackable e-voting machines began to be used in America's elections in the mid-1960s, then exploded in use after the 2000 election, and they now count the lion's share of America's ballots. With computerization came privatization of our elections as well. Your vote-the right by which all your other rights are secured-is now the private property and trade secret of corporate e-voting industrialists. These for profit corporations seize our ballots, count them in secret, tell us what the results are, and then lock away the records, so nobody can ever verify our election results. 

This is no way to run a democracy! We need to reclaim our public elections. Fortunately for us, it turns out this is something we all can do! 

Using this Handbook you can learn about: 
*voting rights 
*public elections 
*election laws 
*how our votes are or are not being counted 
*the people running our elections 
*how to run real elections 
*how to overcome challenges in taking back our elections 
*the federal government's role in our elections 
*the people making the decisions affecting our elections 
*citizen election watchdog groups

Publication Date:
Apr 12 2010
ISBN/EAN13:
1452806128 / 9781452806129
Page Count:
214
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
7.5" x 9.25"
Language:
English
Color:
Black and White
Related Categories:
Political Science / Civics & Citizenship

About the author:
Nancy Tobi is best known as a leader in the national voting rights movement for her seminal work exposing the dangers and fallacies in various election reform efforts past, present and future. She is co-founder, former Chair, and website editor for Democracy for New Hampshire, founder and Chair of the NH Fair Elections Committee. Nancy is also on the Board of Black Box Voting, and is Adviser to Election Defense Alliance and the Election Transparency Coalition. She is the author of "Weary Grace: The Life and Times of an MS-Endowed Democracy Warrior, "Hands-on Elections: An Information Handbook for Running Real Elections, Using Real Paper Ballots, Counted by Real People" and "We're Counting the Votes and You Can Too". Her article about election reform fallacies is included in the April 2008 book "Loser Take All" edited by Mark Crispin Miller. Nancy's Youtube videos can be seen at www.youtube.com/handsonelections.

 

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