EDA works to defend the vote not only at election time, but full-time, year-round. We understand that restoring transparency and public accountability to the electoral process is a major social policy change that will require long-term, sustained commitment.
Election Verification Polling
EDA has conducted and commissioned numerous independent exit polls and voter surveys in counties across the nation during the 2006 midterm and 2008 presidential election cycles, providing an independent means of evaluating the validity of official election returns generated by trade-secret software owned by private corporations. In the absence of direct citizen observation of the vote-counting, or credible election auditing practices, these polls provide a valid means for independently assessing the veracity of intrinsically unverifiable electronic voting results. We continue to refine these methods and will, with your volunteer participation and funding support, continue to conduct exit polls and voter surveys in strategically selected locations in forthcoming elections.
Election Forensic Analysis
In computerized elections, citizens are denied access to the very evidence --ballots marked by voters-- necessary to confirm or deny the validity of officially reported election results. EDA has developed methods for independently assessing reported election results by comparing official precinct and county election returns to historical election baseline data, voter registration figures, pre-election tracking polls, and independently commissioned exit polls on election day. This multifactor analysis comparing reported election results to independently verifiable external measures can identify suspect patterns and internal contradictions in the election results indicating probability of accidental mistabulation or deliberate fraud to a very high degree of statistical certainty.
Media Messaging and Public Education
The unacceptable risks of computerized voting are rising into public awareness, but much more public education and advocacy will be needed to institute change in the U.S. electoral system. EDA is building media messaging capacity to provide consistent, corrective information and to issue alarms as necessary on a national scale.
Election Defense Alliance advocates a proactive, pre-emptive response to pervasive breaches in election security and obstruction of the public's right to know. We are devising legal tactics and assembling evidence to support legal intervention before, during, and after elections to enforce effective security procedures and uphold the public's right to monitor electoral processes and inspect public documents without obstruction.
Support for Local Organizing
Because we recognize that all elections are local, Election Defense Alliance emphasizes electoral integrity action at the level of local electoral jurisdiction. We support those efforts by developing research, fundraising, and publicity capacity on a national level and then channeling those resources where they can be applied most effectively: at the county and township level where elections are conducted.
Although we regard decentralized electoral administration and local citizen vigilance as the best prescription for election protection, EDA recognizes the present opportunity to repair damage wrought by HAVA (the Help America Vote Act of 2002) and avert similarly misguided and harmful federal legislation now and in the future. We will warn against ill-advised nonsolutions, recommend effective measures to counter electronic voting dangers, and promote handcounted paper ballots and manual audits as the solutions necessary to restore electoral integrity.
These and other actions are carried out by an EDA staff of volunteers who depend on your support to continue and expand these protections. Please invest in electoral legitimacy.
For pdf copy please click here
What we got tonight, June 5th, in Wisconsin was the same old stench, coming from the same old corner of the room, even more pungent than usual. If it smells a bit acrid to you, that would be the ashes of your democracy still smoldering. To wit, there was a huge turnout (highly favorable to the Democratic candidate Barrett), in fact they're still waiting in line to vote in Milwaukee and elsewhere nearly two hours after poll closing; and the immediate post-closing Exit Polls had it a dead heat, 50%-50%. But the only place those polls were posted was as a Bar Chart in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Not a single network posted any Exit Poll numbers, though they all have been regularly posting them throughout the 2012 primary season within a few minutes of poll closing. But they all called the race "extremely tight," since they were looking at the same 50%-50% Exit Poll that the Journal Sentinel at least had the courage to post in some format.
Votes counted by partisans in complete secret--is this sane?
Republished as a guest contribution to The EDA Blog with attribution and appreciation to Bev Harris, Blackboxvoting.org
By Bev Harris
Shining a Bright Light on an Undemocratic Tactic
For 10 years, I've been watching a trend to manipulate elections through premature "call" of the race by a media outlet. See below for predictions on what may follow a media call for either candidate in Massachusetts.
The media "call" can be manipulated because the public doesn't know that projected winners come from a system that is not even a governmental source! In fact, the media "calls" elections based on data from just one media outlet -- usually a quiet little division of the Associated Press that occupies a little corner somewhere and answers very few questions.
Volunteers call in result reports to the corporation. The reports are often inaccurate (see below for examples). The names of these volunteers are not part of the public record. We will never get the list of names for those who will call in the 351 numbers which will result in "calling the election" for Tuesday's Massachusetts election.
How the Media "Call" May Ultimately Control PolicyIf Tuesday's Massachusetts special senate election is "called" for Democrat Martha Coakley, expect to see a rush to install her, copying a Republican tactic in 2006 whereby San Diego's Brian Bilbray was seated by the US House of Representatives before tens of thousands of votes were even counted.
'The media "call game" is a political game that can be played dirty,
and in Massachusetts, the media "call" could ultimately control national healthcare policy'
Yes, the Senate can override the actual election results, or pre-empt the real results, and pre-emptively install a candidate based on a media prediction, or a bunch of unofficial tallies, or whatever they want. It can be done. It has been done. And if the media calls the race for Coakley, expect to see it done again.
If the race is "called" for Republican Scott Brown, expect to see a rush from Republican lawyers to claim that Brown has the right to vote immediately, instead of Paul Kirk who is current interim successor to Ted Kennedy. If that fails, look for an attempt to force abstention on the Massachusetts vote while stall tactics play out.
Sixty votes are needed. If Coakley is called and installed, they've got the 60. If Brown is called and stalled, they've got 59. Either way, the media "call" on Massachusetts is going to be under exceptional political pressure.
No matter where you stand on the controversial healthcare bill, be aware that what you see reported on Election Night is not only not "official" or "final", but is not even real, and may not even be the numbers written down by poll workers or printed out by the voting machine.
The Democratic Primaries 2008:
Managing Electoral Dynamics Via Covert Vote-Count Manipulation
By Jonathan Simon and Bruce O’Dell, Election Defense Alliance
Summary StatementWe present evidence supporting the hypothesis that systematic attempts are being made to manipulate the results of the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination contest, through overt means such as crossover voting by non-Democrats, and through covert means targeted at the electronic vote tabulation process itself. The net effect has been to prolong the nomination battle and sharpen its negativity, thereby boosting the prospects of the Republican nominee and making more plausible his “victory” in November—either by an honest count, or through continued exploitation of the proven security vulnerabilities in American voting systems.
IntroductionPerhaps John McCain is, as Humphrey Bogart says of the young Bulgarian who wins the money for his family’s exit visa at the roulette table in Casablanca, “just a lucky guy.”
Lucky that the Democrats find themselves locked into a protracted primary season inexorable in its dynamics and increasingly destructive in its impact. Lucky that Hillary Clinton has been magically revived each time she has found herself on electoral life support, to assume a position just far enough behind Barack Obama to be induced to resort to desperate measures and increasingly-negative ads, yet not so far behind as to be forced to bow out.
Lucky that dynamics ostensibly out of McCain's control have combined to give him such material assistance. Perhaps.
But there is compelling evidence that something other than luck is at work. With 82% of Americans polled convinced the nation is on the wrong track, self-destruction by the Democratic party is the only remaining credible means by which, come 2008, the GOP could sustain the perpetual rule envisioned by Karl Rove. (Rove, of course, has hardly retired and is now working from home, beyond the reach of the mandatory email backup system installed at the White House just before he left to “spend time with his family.”)
The goal of Democratic party self-destruction in 2008 could most reliably be brought to pass by one progression of events, one choreography: if a candidate, Hilary Clinton, known for her sense of entitlement, lifelong ambition, tenacity—and willingness to go negative—could be placed and kept in a desperate but not quite hopeless position, the result would follow, quite predictably.
What the mainstream media have now set up and trumpeted as an epic “blood feud” in the Democratic Party, whether or not it actually undermines the party’s prospects in November, will certainly pre-establish a plausible “explanation” for the defeat of whoever the Democratic nominee turns out to be.
The same is true for US Senate and House races, where Democrats are heavily favored to expand their majorities, given the large number of open seats this November that were formerly held by Republican incumbents and a string of recent special election victories. But Democratic congressional candidates in both houses are arguably now facing the prospect of negative coattails.
By setting the stage for post-election “spin” for the Presidential and congressional races in November, any outcome-determinative electoral manipulations would become much less “shocking,” and that much less likely to trigger investigation and ultimate detection. This jaundiced overview of the Democratic primary season1 is unfortunately supported by a body of evidence that goes well beyond the odd anomaly or two.
When we examine—as the media has steadfastly refused to do—the numbers and disparities discovered in a parade of key states that determined the path the Democratic contest has taken to date, we find a telling pattern. This pattern is consistent with a tactical manipulation of the primary election vote counts in the service of the strategic choreography alluded to above: Keeping Clinton in the race and desperate. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 1 There were significant oddities on the Republican side as well, beyond the scope of our analysis here. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
There are sound reasons why the Clinton campaign itself is not among the suspects: If Clinton’s campaign or supporters had the capacity and the will to alter election outcomes, it is reasonable to conclude that she would have won, or at least be ahead in, the race; and the ownership and operation of electronic voting equipment remains almost exclusively in the secretive hands of vendors (Diebold/Premier, ES&S, Hart, and Sequoia) with avowedly right-wing Republican political sympathies.
Our examination includes the Democratic primaries in the following key states: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, each of which had surprising and unexpected results. In each of these critical elections there was a significant pro-Clinton disparity when comparing pre-election surveys and Election Day exit polls against the official vote counts.
1/8/08: New HampshireThis was the first of the “must-wins” for Clinton. She went into New Hampshire on the heels of an embarrassing third-place finish in Iowa and a 20%+ defeat in Wyoming, had lost momentum, and was trailing by substantial margins in every pre-election poll in the Granite state (the range was from 5% to 13%, with both Obama’s and Clinton’s internal polling also showing a double-digit Obama margin).
Observers consistently reported Obama rallies that were far larger and more enthusiastic. There was no sign of a Clinton groundswell. Yet on Election Night the voters apparently changed their minds, and gave her a 3% victory. The media pundits scratched their collective heads and scrambled to explain this stunning reversal, which would have been remarkable enough if it had been a double-digit shift from a single reputable tracking poll, but was truly staggering when viewed against the backdrop of the entire phalanx of tracking polls.
There was palpable grasping at straws—but never even a hint that perhaps the polls had it right and something was wrong with the vote counts. Nor was there a mention that the first posted National Election Pool (NEP) exit poll had Obama ahead 39.4% to 38.1%, while earlier unposted NEP exit polls put Obama further ahead.
The first posted exit poll was already weighted to a carefully calibrated demographic profile of the electorate, and therefore as reliable an indicator of voter intent as is available. Indeed, that first-posted exit poll may already have been partially adjusted toward conformity with the incoming vote counts, thereby understating the apparent exit poll-vote count disparity.
That exit poll was largely spot-on for the other candidates; only Clinton and Obama's exit poll numbers shifted significantly as votes were tabulated. The mainstream media also did not mention the extraordinary disparity between votes that were counted by hand (Obama + 6.5% head-to-head with Clinton) and those tabulated by computerized optical scan devices (Clinton + 5.5% head-to-head with Obama).
Although the counting method (machine vs. hand) was not strictly homogeneously distributed throughout the state, neither was it clustered in such a way that would readily explain the huge statistical disparity in results. When considering benign reasons for such surprising and unexpected outcomes, conventional explanations all begin and end with the unquestioned belief that the computerized vote counts are valid. Quite an assumption in light of the parade of anomalies, disparities, and machine failures witnessed nationwide since the advent and proliferation of computerized vote counting.
Official election results are assumed valid, even though the votes are tabulated by secret software2 concealed on memory cards immune to inspection and under the strict proprietary control of an outsourced corporate vendor; in New Hampshire, the vendor is LHS, about which unanswered questions abound. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2 Remarkably enough, we know with certainty that the precise model of optical scan voting equipment in use in New Hampshire, Diebold Accuvote OS Model 1.94W, is vulnerable to outcome-altering manipulation by insiders. A live demonstration on that very Diebold model was captured in the HBO documentary "Hacking Democracy". _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
In an on-going epilogue, the New Hampshire primary remains under scrutiny. Investigators are amassing detailed evidence of pervasive mistabulation, focused in certain counties. On the Democratic side, there were an alarming number of polling sites reporting more votes than voters. Recounting was rendered effectively useless by a nonexistent chain of custody, which permitted more than ample opportunity for ballot substitution and revision.
Memory cards were reported as having been erased and were never made available to investigators. Even something as basic as a reconciliation of the number of ballots delivered to number of ballots voted, spoiled, and uncast was lacking. Nor was there reconciliation of number of voters checked in at the polls to number of ballots cast.
At this first critical turning point in the Democratic contest an Obama victory would have, in the view of most analysts, effectively ended Clinton’s campaign. That victory—augured in pre-election polling, exit polls, and hand-counted ballots—vanished into the black box scanners provided by Diebold and programmed by LHS. Instead, Clinton was credited with a stunning comeback, given new life, and the nomination battle continued.
2/5/2008: Super TuesdaySuper Tuesday was essentially a standoff, each candidate doing what was necessary to remain viable. There were, however, several exit poll-vote count disparities far beyond the expected margin of error, each involving a shift toward Clinton.
In Massachusetts, another LHS state like New Hampshire, the shift was a whopping 15.5%, turning a projected narrow Obama victory into a 15% Clinton rout.
In Arizona, site of some of the most dubious counting antics over the past several election cycles, the pro-Clinton shift was 11%, again reversing the outcome.
And in New Jersey, where machines are currently under high scrutiny supported by a court order, the shift was 8.6%.
Each of these shifts was well beyond the margin of error of the respective polls. Each resulted in shifts in delegate count to Obama’s detriment, as well as the loss of two victories that would have put a very different complexion on the outcome of Super Tuesday as a whole. The overall effect was, again, to maintain Clinton’s viability.
3/4/2008: Ohio, Rhode Island, TexasIn the weeks following Super Tuesday, Obama racked up a succession of impressive wins—including every caucus state, where vote counting is often face-to-face, and subject to greater scrutiny. As a result he pulled well ahead in the delegate count, and began to take on the mantle of inevitability.
Once more, pundits were calling the race all but over, and Texas and Ohio were often described as Clinton’s last stand. She needed wins in both states, it was flatly stated, to continue in the race. Even Clinton’s own campaign conceded as much. In the weeks before the election, Obama had closed an initial gap in both states and was running even or ahead in pre-election polling.
OhioIn Ohio once again we are confronted with a discrepancy between exit polls and official tallies. The initial published exit poll, posted shortly after poll closing, showed a 3% Clinton margin (51.1% to 47.9%), while the final official vote count showed a 10% Clinton margin (54.3% to 44.0%). This disparity was well outside the exit poll’s margin of error. The official vote count was also a significant departure from a compendium of pre-election polls, which showed Obama gaining ground and approaching equality.3
Viewed in isolation, Ohio could be explained as a “late Clinton surge” that caught the pre-election pollsters by surprise. Primaries are indeed fluid and volatile, as elections go, and there were reports of organized attempts to encourage Republican crossover voting for Clinton, though the Republican crossover vote may have been less robust than initially reported.
It can also plausibly be viewed as another in a succession of “cover stories” (for example, the massive but phantom after-dinner Evangelical turnout offered up by Rove as a factor in reversing the outcome in 2004) that could well provide a relatively benign explanation for more nefarious operations. But instead there was a parade of contests in important states in the 2008 nomination battle in which a substantial exit poll-vote count disparity worked in Clinton’s favor—including New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey, Arkansas, Arizona, California, and now Ohio and, as we will see, Texas and Rhode Island.
In contrast, we have observed to date no battleground state primary with a significant4 exit poll-vote count disparity in Obama's favor. Some have invoked the so-called “Bradley effect” to account for this string of disparities. According to this theory, some white voters who would not vote for a black candidate in the privacy of the voting booth are “shamed” into indicating to pollsters (i.e., in public) that they chose that candidate.
But research into the Bradley effect has established that it is, at best, an inconsistent and relatively rare phenomenon, very unlikely to account for such a pervasive pattern as identified above. It is only if one is unwilling to consider any possibility of computerized vote mistabulation that such superficially plausible theories as the Bradley effect take their place in the front of the line of explanations. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 3 See http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/poll-tracker.htm 4 In this case, significant means "larger than the exit poll margin of error." _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Rhode IslandThe exit poll-vote count disparity in Rhode Island was 14.1%; the exit poll posted after poll closing had Clinton up 4.1% (51.6% to 47.5%) over Obama, yet the official vote count had Clinton up 18.2% (58.8% to 40.6%). This is far outside the exit poll’s margin of error, and on a par with the similarly perplexing and bizarre 15.5% disparity favoring Clinton in Massachusetts on Super Tuesday. It is reasonable to ask, if exit polls are this far off, why bother exit polling? (Or perhaps just as reasonable to ask, if vote counts are this far off, why bother voting?)
TexasIn Texas there was a relatively modest 4% discrepancy between the first posted exit polls and official tallies—in the usual direction and larger than the margin of error, and also in this case, withheld from the public until more than an hour after poll closing.
While most primary exit polls are posted a few minutes after the polls close, an hour's delay enables ample opportunity for adjustment of exit polls toward conformity with the incoming vote count, and so the posted exit polls may understate the magnitude of the discrepancy.
But the disparity in Texas between early voting results vs. Election Day in-precinct voting was of staggering proportions that seemed to defy explanation. The earliest returns posted on network websites showed a total of approximately 740,000 votes cast in the Democratic primary with 0% of precincts reporting. This was the early/absentee vote tally, which in some states is tabulated and available for release immediately upon poll closing. Obama’s vote at that point was 436,034 to 303,276 for Clinton, or 59% to 41%, an 18% margin.
But by the time the counting was done the next morning, Clinton had a 51% to 48% victory . . . a whopping 21% margin reversal. What was even more stunning, however, was that Clinton had caught up to Obama before even a quarter of the election day vote had been tallied: with 23% of election day precincts reporting and almost exactly as many at-precinct votes as early votes counted, the overall count stood at Obama 711,759, Clinton 711,183 (49%-49%), a dead heat.
To catch up so quickly and produce those numbers, Clinton had to win the at-precinct vote in that quarter of Texas precincts by 59% to 41%...an exact reversal of the early voting Obama landslide. What we saw in Texas were essentially equal and opposite landslides, as if we were observing two not only separate but radically divergent electorates, one that chose to vote early and one that chose to go to the polls.
The early voting period in Texas extends from 17 days to four days prior to the election. Ordinarily explanations for a divergence of such magnitude, particularly in intra-party contests, would be due to time-critical phenomena such as late-breaking gaffes, scandals, debate blowouts and the like. But there was no such occurrence.
During the early voting period the average of 13 pre-election polls showed Clinton 45.6%, Obama 46.7%. In the three days before the election, after the early voting period had ended, the average of eight polls was Clinton 46.8%, Obama 46.1%, a very modest change and certainly not the 21% mega-reversal displayed by the early voting and at-precinct vote counts.
While there is no obvious explanation for the pattern observed, one hypothesis worthy of investigation is that one set of counting equipment (either early-voting or at-precinct voting) was accessed by malicious insiders and manipulated. If the pattern of pro-Clinton shifts were to hold, the place to investigate first would of course be the at-precinct voting equipment and county central tabulators.
Having won Ohio and Texas, Clinton remained viable but still in dire straits, leading directly to the most polarizing and divisive phase of the nomination battle.
4/23/08: PennsylvaniaIn the ‘quiet’ interval during the six weeks prior to the Pennsylvania primary, the effects of Clinton’s revived (but precarious) position had ample opportunity to play out. The Clinton campaign went on the offensive, with the type of personal, negative attacks that both campaigns had previously eschewed. Obama was relentlessly portrayed as elitist and out-of-touch by the Clinton campaign (and by Clinton herself), a depiction the mainstream media began to echo almost as relentlessly.
And, sure enough, incidents emerged that played into this depiction—most notably Reverend Wright’s sermons and Obama’s own quote that seemed to both pigeonhole and patronize the working-class voters of Pennsylvania. These were replayed by the mainstream media in an endless barrage of coverage, all keyed to the theme that Obama might be too out-of-touch, and too close to the radical black fringe, to be president. Obama appeared to successfully counter that round of negative attacks, and it appeared to have little or no impact in his polling support nationwide – nor, indeed, in Pennsylvania.
Obama went into the April 23 primary trailing Clinton by 5% or less in pre-election polls, with no late movement to Clinton detected. It was viewed as essential by mainstream media pundits that Clinton win “by double digits” to maintain her viability and pick up the momentum required to win decisive superdelegate support.
First-posted exit polls5 for Pennsylvania reflected pre-election expectations, with Clinton leading 51.6% to 47.8%, a 3.8% margin. By late in the evening, however, with the count mostly in, it was Clinton by 9.4%--close enough somehow for the morning papers, networks, and websites to lead with Clinton’s “double-digit” win.
As with New Hampshire, Ohio, and Texas, there was a wide range of irregularities, glitches, and vote suppression incidents reported. Again, an exit poll disparity beyond the margin of error. Again, a departure, in the familiar direction, from the range of pre-election polling. And once again the final result was that Clinton received just enough to sustain her campaign, her “double-digit” victory, courtesy of a generous round-off. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 5 Weighted, 1421 respondents, approximate margin of error +/- 3%. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The UpshotJust as with a spaceship's carefully-calibrated mid-course corrections that make an ultimate difference of millions of miles, it does not take much to radically change the course of a multi-election political contest. A few quick bursts from the retrorockets at the right moment(s) will do the trick. Of course the dynamics of a campaign can change legitimately, as a result of the thrust and parry process, exposure of weaknesses, refutation of apparent inevitability, etc.
But the shift in dynamics of the 2008 Democratic nomination contest strongly correlated with a string of election results that raised serious red flags independent of their impact on the race. Glaring discrepancies far beyond the margin of error of exit polls and pre-election polls, and the confounding of the expected electoral dynamics, produced results that had the precise impact of prolonging and intensifying the nomination battle. Had the primary election results jibed with those independent measures and expectations, it would long since have been wrapped up.
Anyone actually in a position to take advantage of the vast array of security vulnerabilities in the computers that run our elections would have an obvious interest in remaining undetected. The safest path would be to take only what you need to achieve your bottom-line goal, and not one vote more. Anything beyond adds risk without reward.
Thus, in keeping with our hypothesis that the fundamental goal of primary contest electoral manipulation was to create “plausible defeatability” for the Democratic ticket in November, we would expect little additional manipulation in the last stages of the Democratic contest. It is apparent that an Obama defeat in November (and more extensive Democratic losses in down-ballot races) can be spun as a plausible consequence of the intra-party strife that has already been depicted as weakening the party and its nominee, and of apparent Obama weaknesses exposed in the course of the grueling nomination battle.
With such a cover story safely in place, even an against-the-odds Republican “victory” in November could be successfully spun and sold to the candidates, their parties, the media, and the voters.
The “Mystery Adjustment” Factor in PollingOne final observation concerning the pre-election polling that sets expectations for candidates, the mainstream media, and the voters themselves. We are deeply concerned that these polls too paint a false backdrop against which the signs of computerized electoral manipulation by insiders will appear diminished in magnitude over time, or even disappear.
The reason for this concern is obviously not that the fraternity of pollsters are knowingly acting to support or conceal systematic computerized electoral manipulation, but rather that pollsters simply cannot expect to stay in business if they consistently fail to predict the “actual” electoral results. The worst problem for a pollster is to be consistently “off” in the same direction.
Put another way, pollsters are not paid for achieving some abstract statistical purity but rather for accurate predictions—however achieved. If one places oneself in the position of a pollster who, time and again, is faced with results that are, say 6 – 8% more Republican than their predictions, or shifted in the direction the right wing would desire, it becomes clear that one would begin making a “mystery adjustment” to whatever data emerges from a clean survey methodology.
Such an adjustment can be easily generated by changes in demographic weighting that can at least in part be justified by reliance on data emerging from previous elections, themselves manipulated. Call it a fudge factor if you will, but it keeps the pollster in business, while failing to make such a correction would be professional suicide.
By way of corroboration of this phenomenon, in public dialogue with a major-party polling consultant, the following shocking admission was made: If the Democratic candidate is not leading by 10% going into the election in their internal polling, they expect the race to be a toss-up. This internal candidate polling is—unlike polls published for public consumption—intended to paint a ruthlessly accurate picture of contest dynamics to help the party prioritize expensive get-out-the-vote drives and last-minute media blitzes.
The fact that even major-party pollsters must adjust their own results to account for the “mystery swing” to the right is a strong indication that much the same distorting protocol is already being employed in public pre-election polling. When manipulated elections serve as the calibration tool for pre-election polling, we lose yet another independent check mechanism on the official computerized vote tabulation process. This only deepens the crisis.
ConclusionElection theft is certainly hard to prove, with virtually all hard evidence withheld as proprietary; and even well-supported allegations by credible journalists, computer scientists, security professionals and election integrity activists are given a wide berth by both the mainstream media and the established political powers of both major parties.
Yet, even with the limited tools at our disposal, we keep discovering evidence—in pre-election polls, exit polls, and published election results–that is consistent with a pattern of widespread covert manipulation of vote counts.
We will continue to investigate and report these anomalies until a thorough and unblinking investigation of suspicious results is undertaken by those in position to collect the additional evidence needed to establish incontrovertible proof.
But since many of those in the best position to investigate election anomalies are themselves elected officials, our best hope may be to follow the recent example of Ireland and the Netherlands—dispense with voting computers, and simply count our own paper ballots by hand.
November 11, 2010
by Jonathan Simon
The American people have voted and spoken. And, if you believe that the 75 million-plus votes that were sent into the privatized darkness of cyberspace emerged from that darkness as cast, then you have before you The American Self-Portrait, taken every two years and carried around in all our mental wallets till the next election.
Perhaps to you it is a grim portrait. Perhaps it doesn’t seem to make sense, given the underlying national realities. Or perhaps it does seem to make sense, in light of the stacked electoral money game and all those polls that predicted and prepared us for this outcome.
It is our sad duty to inform you that, once again, the Portrait appears to be a fake.
At EDA we are still crunching numbers, reviewing disparities and anomalies, and will have much more detailed findings and analyses to report in the coming weeks. But the preliminary indications are clear: a dramatic nationwide pattern of “red shifts” (votecounts more Republican than exit polls) in the Senate and Governors’ races; an aggregate red shift in the contests for the House; a huge catalogue of “glitches” and anomalies, and quite a few “impossible” results across the nation, beginning with the barely scrutinized primaries.
The truth is that America, while increasingly polarized, remains very closely divided. It doesn’t take many added, deleted, or shifted votes to reverse outcomes across the land and to dramatically alter the Self-Portrait that emerges. Examining, for example, the Battle for the House, a total of fewer than 50,000 Democratic votes instead of Republican in the closest contests would have left the House under Democratic control. The red shift we uncovered for the House races nationwide was 1.7% or 1.25 million votes, twenty-five times those 50,000 votes that constituted the national Republican “victory” margin.
There are signs that real-time calibrating of votes needed to “win” targeted races is becoming easier, and the vote processing infrastructure to enable such exploits proliferating. EDA is attempting to investigate these developments, which make it possible to steal more elections while stealing fewer votes, leaving barely a numerical footprint.
EDA is also probing the polling methodologies that have yielded red-shifted polls to match red-shifted elections, making everything seem right enough. We know, for instance, that the now universally adopted sampling protocol known as the Likely Voter Cutoff Model is a red-shifting, methodologically unjustifiable ploy that nonetheless accurately predicted last Tuesday’s results. EDA is asking “Why?” We expect to issue a detailed study of polling distortions and fudge factors in the coming weeks.
We at EDA are accustomed and fairly hardened to nights like last Tuesday by now. The most maddening part for us may well be listening to the Wednesday post-mortem analyses in which very astute pundits on, say, CNN or NPR read the tea leaves with straight faces and 100% faith in the gospel of the official results as their unquestioned premise. Official results that we, sleepless and still crunching numbers in an attempt to keep honest score at home, had already recognized as likely lies.
Excepting Dan Rather on HDNet TV on October 26, there have been virtually no journalists courageous enough to tell this story. Much of our work going forward will be to persuade those same pundits and opinion leaders to scale the towering wall of never-happen-here denial that is putting our nation at such grave risk.
How many more elections can our democracy survive with the use of concealed vote-counting, where there is no meaningful oversight by citizens, election officials, or the media? How many more elections where the will of the public is ignored? Time is running out on our democracy.
We must get the facts about our electoral system into public dialogue to create a foundation for a rational and unblinking examination of evidence and for serious investigation.
If anyone reading this has access to any public figures who might help us get the word out, please write to us at info@ElectionDefenseAlliance.org as soon as possible.
- If you cannot help with contacts, please consider a tax-deductible gift. We need to hire a PR firm as another means to broadcast this news. http://ElectionDefenseAlliance.org/donate.
For a more detailed look at the big picture, see Joan Brunwasser’s OpEdNews interview with Jonathan Simon: http://www.opednews.com/articles/Jonathan-Simon-of-Election-by-Joan-Brunwasser-101027-150.html.
When DailyKos publisher and owner Markos Moulitsas demanded that his pollster produce raw data from the polls Moulitsas purchased, he established a principle of election polling transparency that could open up the checkered history of presidential elections in the United States.
The controversy erupted when Moulitsas (kos) fired his polling company. He was unhappy with their results and demanded that his pollster, Research 2000 (R2000), turn over raw data for review. Moulitsas said:
"Early in this process, I asked for and they offered to provide us with their raw data for independent analysis -- which could potentially exculpate them. That was two weeks ago, and despite repeated promises to provide us that data, Research 2000 ultimately refused to do so." kos
When R2000 either refused or delayed (there's disagreement on that), kos took their actions as a sign of "fraudulent polling practices" (from the kos lawsuit). DailyKos published a searing criticism of R2000 and the National Council on Public Polls supported kos in his demand that R2000 release the raw polling data. Blogger Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com and the New York Times supported kos, as well.
The request by kos is well justified. He'd paid for the polling. Like any customer in this type of arrangement, he had a right to the product of the work done in his behalf.
Reviewing the basis for the polling results, particularly the raw data and the analytic methods, could answer two key questions: 1) were the polls actually conducted and 2) did the techniques used meet the professional standards of other polling organizations.
The president of R2000, Del Ali, defended his polling and denied any and all accusations of improper conduct: "Every charge against my company and myself are pure lies, plain and simple, and the motives as to why Kos is doing it will be revealed in the legal process and not before that." Some of the criticisms of R2000 polling methods have been answered by independent analysis at RichardCharnin.com
We don't know how the law suits will turn out. But without much doubt, the raw data will be released at trial or during the discovery phase.
But there is a much bigger case for releasing raw polling data, one that has a profound impact on our history as a nation. That raw data, requested time and again, is the polling data from the 2004 National Exit Poll, sponsored by a consortium of mainstream media organizations (Associated Press, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox).
The Other Raw Data - Election 2004
The 2004 election was marred with controversy throughout the country. Florida and Ohio received the most attention. Had Democratic candidate Senator John Kerry won Ohio, he would have achieved an Electoral College victory. This had an enduring impact on public confidence in the 2004 presidential election. By September 2006, only 45% of registered voters surveyed were “very confident” Bush won election “fair and square.”
The situation in Ohio was so questionable, an ad hoc congressional hearing was held to examine the irregularities. Current House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) led the congressional delegation. He presented his findings in the report, Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio.
Conyers made requests for the 2004 exit poll raw data but was turned down (Congressman wants 'raw' exit poll data). Without that critical raw data, the results in Ohio and nationwide could not be fully reviewed and analyzed.
Others including Richard Charnin (TruthIsAll) in (Proving Election Fraud), Michael Keefer, Mark Crispin Miller, Steve Freeman, and the Election Defense Alliance provide compelling arguments to question 2004 and subsequent election results (see Landslide Denied, 2006). But like the Rep. Conyers and his 2004 inquiry, they were not allowed to review raw exit poll data from 2004.
At the root of any demonstration of election fairness or fraud is an examination of the raw data and methodologies used by the mainstream media's hand picked polling. This is the only national data that we have. The results of the exit polls are presented after statistical analysis but without full access to the analytic methods used or the actual raw data gathered
When kos asked for R2000's raw data, he made an important and principled demand.
It follows that it's an even more important and more principled demand that, at long last, the mainstream media consortium that controls the 2004 exit poll raw data release that data for open examination (and other years, as well). These aren't their election. They belong to the people. We have a right to verify their accuracy.
Kos will have his day in court. He will see the raw data as a result of his law suit filed on July 1. Now it's time for the people to see the raw data from their elections. Let us determine if the suspicions of election fraud are justified.
But it's been six years since Representative John Conyers and others requested the exit poll raw data to determine if election fraud was responsible for four more years of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
It is now time to release all of the raw data from all the presidential election exit polls to determine if those who claim to spread democracy throughout the world are actually practicing it at home.
As the National Council on Public Polls said, "public disclosure of all the relevant information about the polls in dispute will provide a solid basis for resolving this controversy." The council was referring to the kos - R2000 dispute but the same principle applies to exit poll data controlled by the mainstream media.
It's time to know how our history is made and who's making it.
N.B. The official 2004 exit poll results released by the mainstream media pollsters had to be contorted to show a Bush victory. Their official polling showed that Bush supposedly won 2004 in the nation's big cities, not the Red states, as broadcast to the public: see Election 2004: The Urban Legend.
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The Data Analysis Working Group collects and analyzes exit poll numbers, official election returns, baseline historical election data, and relevant demographic data to evaluate accuracy of reported election results and raise early warning of suspect data patterns suggesting election fraud.
The Data Analysis Group will contribute to the EDA Election Data Project by developing data conversion tools and procedures to standardize election data collected from all electoral jurisdictions in the nation, so that normative election data histories and baselines will be prepared in advance of elections. The group will also develop automated analytic software routines to rapidly isolate and examine anomalous patterns that suggest error or fraud in officially reported election results.
With baseline data and forensic data-checking software in place, comparative analysis of exit poll, election result, and historical voting data can be run in real-time as election results are released on Election Day. Anomalous data patterns indicating the possible presence of voting fraud will be flagged for immediate, intensive analysis. Candidates in affected races will be advised against early concessions, pending further investigation, and preparations for hand recounts will be commenced, drawing on recount funds and trained precinct volunteers.
Coordinator: Harold Lecar CA
Co-Coordinator: Dale Tavris MD
Jerry Lobdill TX
Tom Manaugh TX
Sally Castleman MA
Eugenia Sherman FL
Jonathan Simon MA
Jeremy Lewis NY
Sharon Mullen MA
Mary Edwards CA
Cary Nation FL
Dave Kraig NM
Joanna Herlihy MA
Josh Mitteldorf PA
Vic Bobnick NY
Dave Larson IL
John Wenger CA
William Steve Lang FL
James Q. Jacobs OR
John Belmonte NY
Conrad Sieber OR
Additional others who helped in the 2006 Election Data Project are encouraged to join the Working Group
GO TO THE FORUM (Forum access requires Working Group registration)
Related article: The complete report, Citizen Exit Polls in Los Angeles County: An In-Depth Analysis, by R. H. Phillips
Was California's Proposition 8 Election Rigged?
By Sally Castleman and Jonathan Simon
This report presents evidence that in the November 2008 election the tabulation of the vote for California’s Proposition 8, the ballot initiative repealing marriage equality, was probably corrupted. It is beyond the scope of this study to know if any corruption was due to honest error or intentional fraud. Further investigation is warranted.
Much media attention has been focused on California over the past several years regarding gay marriage, abortion, and other hot-button social issues. In November 2008, two such issues appeared on the California ballot: Proposition 8 outlawed marriage equality (a “yes” vote opposed same-sex marriage); Proposition 4 mandated a waiting period and parental notification before non-emancipated minors were allowed an abortion (similar measures had been defeated twice before).
Election Defense Alliance, a national nonprofit group dedicated to restoring integrity and public accountability to the electoral processes, worked with several other election integrity groups to conduct public election verification exit polls (“EVEP”) in eight states in November. The polls were meant to validate or detect problems with the official vote counts. Ten sites, representing 19 precincts, were located in Los Angeles County, California. This paper presents the analysis of the L.A. County polling results as they pertain to Proposition 8.
Click Here to download the Introduction as a pdf
The following study of suspect Proposition 8 election results in Los Angeles County, CA, is drawn from data gathered in EDA's Election Verification Exit Poll (EVEP) analysis of the 2008 Presidential election, which reports similarly questionable election results in several states.
Although this exit poll analysis cannot provide conclusive proof of election fraud (because such proof would require access to memory cards and computer code accorded proprietary exemption from public examination) it does provide the strongest indirect proof available that election results have almost certainly been altered by manipulation of the computerized voting systems.
Deviations between exit polls and official results far outside margins of error, cannot be explained away by demographics or polling factors. The facts established in these reports cannot responsibly be dismissed or evaded.
Election Defense Alliance calls on legislators, secretaries of state, attorneys general, the voting public, and especially candidates in upcoming elections, to read these reports and seriously confront their implications.
An EDA Investigative Report
'Exhaustive analysis of exit polls conducted in Los Angeles County has led to the conclusion that the vote count for Proposition 8 (the ban on same-sex marriage) appears to have been corrupted.
There were not enough Republican voters to account for the disparity between the exit poll and official results
even if every Republican non-responder voted for Proposition 8.
The Edison-Mitofsky exit poll showed a similar disparity statewide,
indicating that altered vote counts may not be limited to Los Angeles County.'
For the Introduction and Executive Summary:
CITIZEN EXIT POLLS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY: AN IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS
Richard Hayes Phillips, Ph.D.
Exhaustive analysis of exit polls conducted in Los Angeles County has led to the inescapable conclusion that the vote count for Proposition 8 (the ban on same-sex marriage) was corrupted. The data were drawn from questionnaires filled out by 6326 voters at ten polling places scattered across Los Angeles County, and were properly adjusted to match the gender, age, race, and party affiliation of the electorate.
For Proposition 4 (which would have required parental notification and a waiting period for minors seeking abortions), the official results differ from the adjusted exit poll data by only 0.64%. But for Proposition 8, the disparity between the official results and the adjusted exit poll data is 5.74%, enough to affect the margin by 11.48%. Because Los Angeles County comprised 24.23% of the statewide electorate, an error of that magnitude would have affected the statewide margin by 2.78%, accounting for most of the official 4.48% statewide margin of victory. There were not enough Republican voters to account for the disparity between the exit poll and the official results even if every Republican non-responder voted for Proposition 8. The Edison-Mitofsky exit poll showed a similar disparity statewide, indicating that altered vote counts may not be limited to Los Angeles County.