Connell, "Ghost in Machine," Deposed in OH 04 Election Inquest


Source: RAW STORY, 11/03/08
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Scarborough_warns_ghost_in_machine_could_1...

Scarborough Warns 'Ghost in the Machine' Could Upset Obama Victory

The Ghost in our Election Machine might well be a man named Michael Connell, or one of his colleagues. What this article does not mention is the fact that Connell is an advisor to the McCain Campaign and Karl Rove's top IT guru.

Michael Connell was deposed [Monday] in Columbus, Ohio by Cliff Arnebeck, lead lawyer in the civil lawsuit King-Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association v. Brunner (Blackwell).

This news story was covered in national news by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now and Thom Hartmann on Air America. Transcripts and mp3s should be available at their respective websites. News from the deposition which began at noon today is expected soon.

Connell was first subpoenaed in the case in after Stephen Spoonamore, a renowned cyber-sleuth and information security expert, came forward as an expert witness.

On Democracy Now this morning, Mark Crispin Miller, a professor of media culture and communication at New York University and author "Loser Take All: Election Fraud and The Subversion of Democracy, 2000–2008" described Spoonamore as

"…a very unusual and particularly unimpeachable kind of whistleblower. He is a conservative Republican. He is a former McCain supporter, but above all he is renowned and highly successful expert at the detection of computer fraud. He works for big banks, he works for foreign governments, the Secret Service, his job is to figure out how computers are used to steal money or information, or votes."

4 Actions Anyone Can Do to Protect the Count

NEW Black Box Voting videos added: Actions 2, 3, 4 -- See Below

WHAT TO DO ON ELECTION NIGHT - Protect the Count!

"Plan to be out in the field for 90 minutes on Election Night." While everyone's watching the VOTING, not enough people are watching the COUNTING!

Black Box Voting was asked by YouTube to prepare an easy-to-follow plan to Protect the Count on election night and the days that follow. In collaboration with Videothevote.org, Election Defense Alliance, and YouTube, Black Box Voting has created a YouTube channel called Video Your Vote. This Protect the Count video series contains important information and several video clips never before made public. Every citizen needs to take initiative to protect the count. Actions vary according to the counting system used in your location.

EASY INSTRUCTIONS:

1. View the 4 Protect the Count videos on this page and choose the action that best matches the voting system used in your locale. 2. Then read and download the complete Protect the Count action descriptions and instructions here: http://www.ElectionDefenseAlliance.org/Protect

Action 1. Video the Precinct Tally Tapes (4 min)

This action applies to most locations in America, and is the most important thing you can do to Protect the Count. The printed poll tally tapes show the voting machine vote totals BEFORE they leave the polling place. If citizens record the tally tapes as shown in this video, it will kick the legs out from under man-in-the-middle server substitution attacks.

This video moves a mile-a-minute, so be prepared to hit the "pause" button for a closer look. This Precinct Poll Tape action takes 90 minutes on Election Night. Go to your local polling place and make a video record of the precinct tally tapes posted on the poll doors at close of election. Then upload your videos to http://videothevote.org
Post links or comments for what you find in the state and jurisdiction folders at http://www.blackboxvoting.org

If you live anywhere in America that has polling place results tapes, please also watch video # 3 (below) which shows what to look for to identify tampered poll tapes and the kinds of small errors on tapes that can appear with memory card tampering. Continue reading for Parts 2, 3, and 4 of the Protect the Count self-directed election monitoring plan.

Please distribute immediately and as widely as you can.

You can easily E-Mail this page by clicking the "E-mail Page" link at at the foot of this article.

WARNING: Straight-Party Ballot Option a Danger to Your Vote

Voters Beware in These 15 "Straight-Party" States:

Alabama Indiana Iowa Kentucky Michigan New Mexico North Carolina Oklahoma Pennsylvania Rhode Island

South Carolina Texas Utah West Virginia Wisconsin

OVERVIEW

Voters are warned that use of the "straight-party" ballot option to be offered on voting machines in 15 states this November may result in the loss of votes cast for president and US senate. In 2004 reports of aberrant electronic voting machine behavior resulting in the cancellation of votes for president and senate were associated with the "straight party" mode of casting a ballot for an entire party-based slate of candidates.

Careful study of 2004 election incident reports (EIRS) revealed that the effects of straight-party machine voting in New Mexico in 2004, reported in this original investigative study by EDA Coordinator Judy Alter, were subsequently identified as having occurred in the same fashion on voting machines in other states that also offered the straight-party ballot option.

The straight party ballot option is a known and continuing danger in this upcoming presidential election. Given the proven risks, EDA urges voters to avoid using the "straight-party" option when casting your ballot. Cast your selections for each office individually.

Save R Vote Report Prompts Audit of Riverside Co. Election Department

 

Riverside County (CA) Board of Supervisors today ordered an immediate probe of the Riverside County election department after recently hearing the SAVE R VOTE report on the June 3, 2008 election deficiencies.

This is a sweeping victory for SAVE R VOTE and the Election Integrity movement and an opportunity to learn much more about the election process and to help us to help others. My thanks to all the members and supporters of SAVE R VOTE, many who have worked tirelessly for three and a half years. We are finally being heard. This has the potential to be a model for other counties in CA and throughout the U.S. But then, we need to see how comprehensive and sweeping the audit will be. I suspect there will be a lot more revealed than SAVE R VOTE could have EVER uncovered on our own. Stay tuned! -- Tom Courbat Executive Director, Save R Vote EDA Coordinator for Election Monitoring ========================= NEWS COVERAGE Announcing Audit California News Service (CANS): A County Launches Election Probe Of Registrar Of Voters Office LISTEN to CANS radio story READ CANS news article The Desert Sun – Former DA Hired to Oversee Audit of County’s Registrar of Voters Office http://www.mydesert.com/article/20081007/NEWS01/81007040/-1/rss The Press Enterprise – Former DA to Oversee Vote Audit http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_S_audit08.3de8d... ABC Ch3 – KESQ-TV – Palm Springs – Election Probe Begins During Early Voting http://www.kesq.com/global/story.asp?s=9141827 =========================

Download the Save R Vote Report on the CA June 08 Primary Election that Prompted the Audit:

"Broken Chains of Custody"

CA News Service Report on the Riverside Audit: Audio download and Print Report http://www.publicnewsservice.org/index.php?/content/article/6673-1
Read More About the Save R Vote Election Monitoring Project:

http://electiondefensealliance.org/SaveRVote

Save R Vote Poll Watcher's Guide -- an Election Monitoring Training Manual

http://electiondefensealliance.org/files/SaveRVote_Election_Monitoring_Guide_2008.pdf

The Spoonamore Revelations: The Rig is In to Steal 2008


Credits: Introduction below from Mark Crispin Miller's blog, News from Underground. Investigation and videos by Velvet Revolution.

Here, in this shattering new interview, Stephen Spoonamore goes into harrowing detail about the Bush regime's election fraud, past, present and--if we don't spread the word right now--to come. Since he's the only whistle-blower out there who knows the perps themselves, and how they operate, we have to send this new piece far and wide.

Spoonamore

Here Spoon tells us that McBush's team--i.e., Karl Rove and his henchpersons--have their plan in place to steal this next election: by 51.2% of the popular vote, and three electoral votes.

He also talks about the major role played by the Christianist far right in the electronic rigging of the vote.

And he defines our electronic voting system as a major threat to US national security, calling for it to be junked ASAP, in favor of hand-counted paper ballots.

Since Spoon is a Republican and erstwhile McCain supporter, as well as a noted specialist in nosing out computer fraud, his testimony is essential--not only for its expertise, but, no less, for the impact that his views will surely have on those Republicans who have been loath to see what Bush Co. has done to our election system.

That whole story's just about to break . . . starting with today's news on a breakthrough in the lawsuit that Spoon's testimony has enabled, and on other aspects of that all-important case.

--MCM

Uncounted - Election Day 2006 (Landslide Denied)

This excerpt from the documentary film Uncounted features EDA co-founder Jonathan Simon describing how newsmedia collusion in exit poll manipulation covered the electronic theft of 3 million votes in the 2006 midterm election -- and why we can expect more of the same in the Nov. 2008 presidential election.




Comprehensive Guide to Monitoring Computerized Elections

EDA is pleased to present for general public access, possibly the most thoroughly detailed election monitoring manual in the country. The primary author, Mickey Duniho, is a member of the Arizona Election Transparency Project and of AUDIT-AZ, an EDA affiliate organization co-founded by EDA Investigations Co-Coordinators John Brakey and David Griscom.

This manual was commissioned and published by the Election Integrity Committee of the Arizona Democratic Party.

Although prepared with specific reference to Arizona election law and procedure, this manual can be recommended as a guide to election monitoring anywhere in the US. This is because the electronic voting systems in use in the vast majority (well over 90%) of U.S. electoral jurisdictions overwhelmingly determine the conduct of elections, and vary only in slight details between the various E-voting vendors.

In-person Training Video Presenting the Monitoring Procedures Covered in the Manual

NOTE: This frame is the full 87-minute presentation in one take. Scroll further down for the presentation
divided into 7 shorter segments.

Whether or not every voting system feature or electoral procedure described in this manual correlates to a feature or procedure in your local electoral jurisdiction, this manual identifies the kinds of voting process information that must be checked and shows you where, when, and how to find and monitor these points in any computerized election process.

Save New York's Lever Voting System

Prevent Secret Vote Counting on Theft-Enabling Computers From Becoming A Reality in New York

 

Tell the New York state judiciary to uphold our constitutional right to a transparent, secure, theft-deterring electoral system. New York voters do not consent to voting on undetectably mutable, software-driven voting machines.

Click here to sign a PETITION

to be presented to the New York Supreme Court. Please also indicate if you would also like to be listed as a plaintiff in this groundbreaking lawsuit invoking the New York State Constitution's safeguards for voter rights.

 

 

To learn more go to Re-Media's Election Transparency Coalition blog, http://re-mediaetc.blogspot.com/

Want to do more? Volunteer!

Click here

to see what you can do to prevent our birthright from being stolen.


AZ Judge Orders Release of Past and Future E-Vote Databases

"IT IS HEREBY ORDERED granting Plaintiff's Motion for Disclosure of All Election Data Files, including future elections, which disclosure shall be made no later than the recording of the official canvass and the declaration of election results."
-- Judge Michael Miller, Arizona Superior Court, Pima County, May 23, 2008


SIGNIFICANCE of RULING, IN BRIEF:

* All of Pima County's Diebold election database files going back to 1998 are to be released to the public.

* Database files in future elections are to be made available as soon as Pima County announces the official canvass results (no sooner than 6 days, or later than 20 days, following an election.)

* The ruling appears to require Pima County to be prepared to release the complete election database on CD/DVDs immediately coincident with the final canvass announcement.

* Release of final canvass results begins the 5-day period during which any election challenge must be initiated, as prescribed in Arizona state election law.

* The E-voting machine databases contain crucial direct evidence necessary to challenge suspect election results.

* The Pima County release order is the most far-reaching electronic voting database disclosure yet obtained in the nation. The only prior precedent was a one-time release of the 2004 election database for the state of Alaska, obtained by the Alaska Democratic Party.

* * * * * *
In-Depth LINKS
News Article and Case History
The Court Ruling

Managing Electoral Dynamics Via Covert Vote-Count Manipulation

Published by EDA, May 21, 2008.
Click to download a PDF copy of this article.


The Democratic Primaries 2008:


Managing Electoral Dynamics Via Covert Vote-Count Manipulation

By Jonathan Simon and Bruce O’Dell, Election Defense Alliance

Summary Statement


We 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.

Introduction


Perhaps 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 Hampshire


This 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 Tuesday


Super 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, Texas


In 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.

Ohio


In 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 Island


The 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?)

Texas


In 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: Pennsylvania


In 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 Upshot


Just 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 Polling


One 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.

Conclusion


Election 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.

Syndicate content