Tag - election fraud

Part II- Rigged Elections for Romney?

Michael Collins

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Part I of this series suggested that there may well have been massive vote flipping for candidate Mitt Romney in the Republican primaries (Rigged Elections for Romney (10/22/12)  The article and the initial research analysis were received broadly.  In addition, highly motivated citizens across the country and a team of high school students contacted the authors for help replicating the research in their states.  The researchers, Francois et al., point out that this can be done with their open source techniques.

The basic argument is straightforward.  If you look at precinct level voting data arranged from the smallest to the largest precincts, you will see Romney’s gains increasing substantially as the cumulative vote increases.  For example, Ohio and Wisconsin show this clearly as do eleven other states presented here.  This extraordinary vote gain from smallest to largest precincts is so out of line, that the probability that this would happen by chance alone is often less than 1 out of a number represented by 1 preceded by 100 zeros and a decimal point, a value beneath the statistical package’s lower limits.  As a result, the researchers termed the suspected vote flipping for Romney the “amazing anomaly.” (The Amazing Statistical Anomaly) Read More

Rigged Elections for Romney?

By Michael Collins

A group of independent researchers caught a pattern of apparent vote flipping during the 2012 Republican primaries that consistently favored Mitt Romney. A form of election fraud, vote flipping occurs when votes are changed from one candidate to another or several others during electronic voting and vote tabulation.  (Image:  Dean  Terry)

Vote flipping is difficult to detect because the vote totals remain the same for each precinct. In one of several possible scenarios, an instruction is given to a precinct level voting machine or to a county-level central tabulator. The corrupted totals from precincts are sent from county election officials to state elections board and published as final results. (Primary documents for this article: Republican Primary Election 2012 Results: Amazing Statistical Anomalies, August 13, 2012 and 2008/2012 Election Anomalies, Results, Analysis and Concerns, September 2012). Read More

“Microsoft 811” – Maqking the World Safe for Voting Machine Vendors

“Microsoft 811”


© 2004-06 Rand Careaga/salamander.eps
With Permission

Making the World Safe

For Voting Machine Vendors

Michael Collins
Scoop Independent News
Washington D.C.

At a New Jersey town meeting this July, Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) said of his bill, House Resolution 811, ”œIt’s not my bill anymore.”

Why shouldn’t the world be safe for vendors?Microsoft in particular?After all, they pay the bills.Just let them have whatever they want and let the rest of us be thankful we’ve got jobs.This is the prevailing philosophy in Washington, DC, your capitol and the supposed heart of modern democracy.

House Resolution 811 (”œThe Holt Bill”) is coming up for a vote this week, word has it.The questions are stark.What will we Congress be voting for?Whose interests are represented in the final mark up of this legislation?

Voting in the United States is hardly inspirational.In fact, it’s become down right depressing for both those who follow it closely or those who keep their distance due tothe dreadful outcomes in terms of legislative performance.

Let’s look at the close up.But first an acknowledgment.It’s hard arguing with those who say they wouldn’t let us vote if it made a difference because it hasn’t.It’s been eight months since the new Congress was seated and where are we?We’re still hip deep in Iraq and the Senate has done nothing to prevent the president from starting his next project, a military attack on Iran.We have no solutions to universal health insurance.and the rebuilding of New Orleans has been paid for but not begun.What a record!No wonder so many people don’t bother to vote.

For those of us who do vote, what is on the line with H.R. 811, the Holt Bill?

The Vendor Protection Act:Microsoft Uber Allis

A cardinal principal of almost all factions of the election integrity movement has been open computer source code for voting machines.Open source code is defined as, ”œ…source code of software that is available to the general public with relaxed or non-existent intellectual property restrictions.”The basis for computerized voting machine software and methods could be examined by any citizen.As a result, it would be much easier to examine those nail biting elections we have so often or simply check on the integrity of any election, no matter how close.For the technically informed, this is one of the key elements required for transparent and fair elections where computerized voting (e-voting) is in place.

Advocates argue that open source computer code in voting machines will give greater access to understand how the machines operate.Quite simply, open source code will make it easier to assure that the votes cast are those counted.Not only will it be easier to check on any private vendor’s voting machine operations, with open source, this inspection will take place on an even playing field.

That was the original idea behind H.R. 811.The 2003 version of Holt’s bill was very clear.It stated:

No voting system shall at any time contain or use undisclosed software.

The bill, as introduced in 2006 was just as clear:

…source code, object code, executable representation, and ballot programming files [shall be made] available for inspection promptly upon request to any person.

The current version of Holt’s bill up for vote this week backs off of the public right to inspect voting machine software, open source code, in a big way and lets vendors keep secret the software and methods that determine your elections.Let me put it another way, you don’t get to see how the voting machines work that elect the officials who govern you ever!

Washington to Citizens:Drop Dead

Citizens of the United States of America still believe that the government is a servant, hence the designation public servants for politicians and government officials.The idea wasn’t for them to serve themselves or private interests, like voting machine vendors.They’re supposed to serve us!

Here’s the new Holt Bill language:

an accredited laboratory that inspects voting machines shall hold the technology in escrow (read hold in secret). The laboratory (a private company, likely) can disclose technology and information to another person, if and only if that person or entity is a government agency responsible for voting, a party to litigation over an election or an academic studying elections. H.R. 811

What happened to disclosure of software and methods upon request of any person?

The Washington Two Step

Here we go again.We elect people to make our laws more open and transparent in order to know what is being done by those whose job it is to serve us.What do they do?They take the most fundamental right that we have, voting ”“ electing our representatives ”“ and they make it secret.Sure, a government agency can look at the software that counts the votes, the agency run by the politicians elected by the machines that need inspection.That will do a lot of good won’t it?Oh, and if you have the six or seven figures required to bring a law suit, you might be able to look at source code.Finally, as if to show that they”˜re not as anti-intellectual as they seem, the bill says academics can look at the source code and other software and methods.That will do a lot of good, years from now …. maybe.

Nancy Tobi of Democracy for New Hampshire wondered how this all happened.The word from Capitol Hill was ”œtake up your concerns with Microsoft and others in the proprietary software industry.”

It’s Official ”“ Voting is Now a Rigged Game Run by the Government

Why not just change the name from elections to voting lotto?Except in this lotto game, the contestants are the very same people who make up the rules, pick the winners, and hand out the cash.It’s all so elegant and logical:

Politicians administer elections that determine whether or not they keep their jobs.They expect us to believe that they’ll catch each other when there’s any cheating going on and that they’ll report it to us right away.But we’re not allowed to see how the game works, how the equipment operates, or who does what behind the scenes.

Can any of you imagine how Mr. Trump would respond to any casino machine vendor who said, ”œLook buddy, it’s our software, our machine, and our game ”“ mind your own business.”The words are (correct me if I’m wrong), ”œYou’re fired!”

Long term researcher and activist Ellen Theisen of Voters Unite has supported the Holt Bill in its various forms since 2003.This is no longer the case.Theisen outlined her objections to the current Holt Bill clearly on June 11, 2007.I recommend a review of this brief but comprehensive editorial.She pulled her support because the current bill leaves some ballots uncounted; endorses secret vote counting and secret voting software; allows some wireless communication to slip through the cracks; and perpetuates the Election Assistance (sic) Commission, appointed solely by the president.

But I’ve saved the most ironic and outrageous aspect of all of this for last.If you’re still reading, check out these articles by voting issues author Michael Richardson.He did a comprehensive series of articles on the laboratories that will have the honor of holding tight the computer software, source code that determines the outcome of our elections.

Here they are, the laboratories who will store voting source code software; the vote taking and vote counting software that elects our representatives:

Banned Lab Certifies Nearly 70% of US voting machine 15 Jan 2007

State Elections Directors approved test labs rejected by National Institute of Standards and Testing19 Jan 2007

CIBER Voting Machine Test Lab Failures is ‘Old News’ Known by Top Election Officials for Years 02 Feb 2007

U.S. Election Assistance Commission Chair, Donetta Davidson, Knew About Problems of Voting Machine Test Labs But Kept Quiet20 Feb 2007

This is not quite as outrageous as giving the president the ability to start a war with Iran, but its damn close.Great legislating Congress!We knew you had it in you.

ENDS

Disclosure: I’m an advocate for an immediate return to hand counted paper ballots.However, since my view has not prevailed, I’m more than willing to discuss and critique improvements in any system in use.

Permission to reprint in part or in whole with a link to this article in  Scoop and attribution of authorship.

 

Notes from the Underground: Why 2004 Still Matters!!!

Why the 2004 Election Matters More than Ever


Notes from the Underground
Richard Jacksties © with permission

Part 1: The Meaning of the Legend

Michael Collins
Initially Published ”œScoop” Independent News
Washington, DC
Part 1 of series on
Election 2004:The Urban Legend

Election Magic

Imagine a night at the theater.* A magician comes on stage with a corpse in tow. A doctor from the audience confirms that it is in fact the very real human corpse of a middle aged white male. The magician passes his hand over the corpse just once. It gets up, dances a gig, and leaves the stage. The reanimated middle age man who was once dead returns for an encore.

You’re aghast! You go back stage and confront the magician, ”œHow did you do that?” The magician responds sincerely, ”œI have no idea.”

Does that make him a magician?

Now imagine that after you question the entertainer, he rolls out another corpse, which is undoubtedly a quite dead middle aged white male. The magician says, ”œJust pass your hand over the corpse once.” You do, and the corpse arises, dances a gig and leaves the dressing room asking the first person he sees where to get a cab.

Does that make you a magician?

*************

On election night 2004, the networks came on the air and announced that George W. Bush had won the presidential contest to become 43rd president of the United States.

Earlier in the day, there were leaked reports revealing the results of the networks’ own exit polls conducted by a distinguished polling firm. The reports had the White House in a panic. Bush was sure to lose given the trends. According to the exits, he was losing his base, the rural segment of the population that had carried him to victory in 2000. Turnout in the Republican suburbs was not much greater than in the country as a whole, and new voters were going for Kerry 60% to 40%.

The final leaked poll was enough to bring broad smiles to the faces of Democratic leaders and committed campaign workers who had gathered in union halls and hotel ballrooms across the nation.

Then, as if by magic, the 11 pm Election Day vote tallies told a different story. These were accepted by the network reporters as an ex cathedra dictate from the American electorate. We were told that the pious Red prevailed once again over the decadent Blue, a replay of 2000 we were told. Bush was reelected.

The optimistic mood of the Kerry campaign and Democratic faithful was crushed in the twinkling of an eye. What happened? What about the exit polls?

The still corpse of the Bush campaign had been reanimated. It arose from the death of certain defeat, danced a gig, and trotted off center stage to do its considerable damage for the next three years: death and destruction in Iraq; dismantling of the United States Constitution; the abandonment of Katrina’s survivors (for all the world to see); augmented by an impressive and elaborate parade of other calamities that are all attributed to this feat of magic on election night.

How Did They Do It?


Steve Rhodes Creative Commons

Quite simply … by magic. According to the final exit poll, the only heat Bush won, he had two million less votes in the rural segment of the population. That segment went from 23% of the electorate in 2000 to 16% in 2004. Bush made marginal gains in the suburbs. He was headed for disaster rolling into the cities. He picked up steam in cities with populations 50,000 to 500,000, by breaking even in 2004 after a 17% loss to Gore in 2000.

But it was big city dwellers that passed their collective hand over the Bush corpse and brought it to life. He was on life supports before the big city totals were factored in. All that Kerry had to do was match the Gore big city percentage and he would be the next president. According to the day after election final exit poll, big city turnout was up 66%, Bush votes increased 153% (Fig. 5) over 2000 there, and white voters (Figs. 6 & 7) in big cities went from five million in 2000 to nine million in 2004.

Had some would-be campaign operative passed his hand over our largest cities and reanimated white males in sufficient quantity to save the seemingly doomed Bush and doom the rest of us?

Election 2004: The Urban Legend

On June 13th of this year, ”œScoop” Independent News published Election 2004: The Urban Legend. I wrote the article based in large part on the research of Internet poster Anaxarchos. The figures cited above from the final national exit pool exit poll and the absurdist conclusions forced from those figures demonstrate that there is no reason to have faith in the final poll result and, as a result, no reason to believe that there is a coherent narrative to justify the election results and the Bush victory.

We’re like the incredulous audience member who went back stage to confront the magician. Even though we can do the trick ourselves by passing our hands over the questionable reported results and the final exit poll to justify continued political life to someone who looked like a sure loser, there’s a foul magic to the process.

Where are the Critics of the Urban Legend?

When the article was published, it received wide spread attention across America’s only uncensored news source, the Internet. Multiple sites posted the article in full, not a common event for a 7,500 word analysis. Major figures in the free and fair elections movement provided their endorsement including Mark Crispin Miller and Ernest Partridge.

We anticipated a full scale assault from friends of the network’s long time polling company, Edison Mitofsky (EM). Nothing much materialized. This was surprising since our reporting and interpretation of the network ”“ EM presentation of the urban results dooms that poll to the status of a failed effort, at the very least, and, more likely, one of the biggest ever failures in public opinion polling.

Anaxarchos Responds to the Missing Critics

Recently, I received a letter (see appendix) from Anaxarchos containing his remarkable comments on the few criticisms offered and, more importantly, an elaboration on the initial article. I’d encourage you to read the full letter (see Appendix) as well as this article.

Anaxarchos:”œHaving looked carefully at the critical reviews, it appears to me that your critics have entirely missed the import of your piece and its underlying analysis. I could review many of the subsidiary points they raise, but that seems unimportant compared to the two larger points that they don’t mention.”

He’s correct. Those who ridicule critics who question the results of the 2004 election were restrained to say the least. This was surprising.The Bush defenders have left no criticism of the election results unturned, particularly those related to the exit polls. Why the restraint?

There were no substantive responses to Urban Legend because there could be none. The claim that turnout in the big cities (500,000 or greater) went up 66% was demolished entirely through simple political commentary. Why would urban residents’ turnout in waves propelling Bush to victory when the rest of the country was only at a 16% increase in turnout? What had Bush done for them to justify this first ever rousing level of support? More importantly, when in our history did an incumbent president lose share and actual votes in his strongest area (in this case, the rural segment) and gain steam and secure an election victory in hostile territory (the big cities)?

The claim of the 66% increase in turnout was also put to a final rest by the incorporation of actual city turnout data made available on election night and finalized shortly there after. Specifically, actual city voting results showed that city turnout increases were only about 16%, (Chart 1) the reported average for the country. These big city results were, in some cases, reported on election eve by the very networks that paid for the exit polls and by the exit pollsters who claim to reconcile their final results to the election results. One must wonder if the right hand was giving to the left the full story.

Could the polling company and their sponsors, the major networks (plus CNN and the Associated Press) have been this ignorant of what was happening in New York City? The results reported on local news outlets owned by the networks showed a 12% increase in turnout? That’s 54 points below the claimed urban increase of 66%.New York is, after all, the headquarters of the television network poll sponsors and near the headquarters of the polling company.Did they simply ignore these results in their haste to produce their version of the final exit poll the day after the election? And why wasn’t there any comment on the more than obvious disparity between the actual results for big cities, particularly on turnout, and the polling results they continued to show long after the certified vote count for big cities became available to everyone. This is a critical question addressing the integrity of the entire exit polling and reporting process for 2004.

The Entire Narrative of the Election

Anaxarchos elaborates the first big error of the exit pollsters and network consortium

Anaxarchos:”œIt seems to me that the most important implications of ”œUrban Legend” are these:

1) The entire narrative of the 2004 election is built on the foundation of the exit polls. There is virtually no other real-time source of data on who voted how, why, and where. Indeed as the critics of the use of exit polls for fraud detection have pointed out on many occasions, this voter survey is precisely what the exit polls are ”œintended” to provide, and why they are funded by the consortium of media outlets, the NEP. The Charlie Cook reference in your piece was typical. The Exits provided the sum total of the data behind his analysis of the election.”

Based on the final exit poll two distinguished analysts, Charles Cook and Ruy Teixeira stuck their necks out in different directions. Cook called the Bush victory a display of political genius and immediately made a fundamental mistake. He claimed that defections from the Kerry camp by black, Latinos, and Jewish voters had done the trick for Bush. Had he examined the data available at the time, he would have known that there were only marginal changes in these groups. Teixeira was more precise as Anaxarchos points out:

Anaxarchos:”œUnfortunately, so committed was Teixeira to the impossibility of widespread election fraud, that he assumed that there was disconnect between urban data as the NEP defined ”œurban” and county data, with the observation that, ”œurban doesn’t mean urban and rural doesn’t mean rural”. Teixeira promised a detailed county analysis to reconcile the differences. Of course, no such ”œreconciliation” was forthcoming. My guess is that Teixeira, like Cook, underestimated the magnitude of the ”œreconciliation” that would be required and also underestimated the final turnout of the 2004 election which only further widened that gap.”

One of the most astute analysts, Cook, jumped to the self-informed conclusion that the Bush urban victory had to be due to a shift in ethnic voting. It’s easy to see why. He was unaware that the white big city vote increased from five million in 2000 to nine million in 2004. We can suppose that it never occurred to him that such a thing could or would happen.Why would we expect him to check the exit turnout rate against actual city voting totals?

Teixeira’s response and follow up are even more perplexing. He’s the author of The Emerging Democratic Majority and a recognized polling expert. After dropping his confusion of terms argument, he promised a county analysis to show how Bush won, a common response of establishment Democrats. But he never produced the study? Why? Maybe he stared into the abyss and the abyss stared right back.

He dismissed claims of fraud based on exit poll analysis by writing ”œ… it is possible that the magnitude of these corrections has been greater than normal.”That depends on what your definition of normal is.What’s normal about increasing turnout by a factor of four (16% actual to 66% claimed) to achieve an absurd result?The basis for the urban data correction (actual city results) was available when he made this statement.Had he bothered to look? We’d like to hear from him on this and the questions we outlined clearly in the original article (presuming he’s given up his role as a Democratic apologist for questions about Bush election integrity).

So what does this mean?

Anaxarchos: ”œ It means at a minimum that either one must try to support the indications of the Exit Polls that the Bush winning margin in 2004 came in the Urban centers, implausible as that seems, or one must craft a new narrative of the 2004 presidential election. Believe it or not, the former option is not nearly as difficult as the latter. Your critics have missed what it means to simply declare that ”œthe Exit Polls must have been wrong”. With that dismissal, much of the supporting evidence for how Bush ”œwon” in 2004 disappears as well.”

For over 30 years, the way we’ve made sense out of ”œwho voted where and why” is through exit polls which are designed to and accepted as answering those very questions. There have been few complaints, other than Florida 2000 when the exit poll showed a narrow Gore victory. Given the trashing of 100,000 mostly minority spoiled ballots, who could criticize the pollsters if they initially showed a Gore victory as a result of interviewing voters in minority precincts whose ballots had been ”œspoiled.”.

If we don’t know how Bush won, ratifying the election results is mindless magic. If we don’t demand an understanding of how he won, then can we dismiss the notion of election fraud made over and over with to an ever widening and receptive audience? Are elections the one area of administration activity that escapes critical analysis? Perhaps the election fraud doubters have been listening to Alberto Gonzales and his crew on these questions.

Anaxarchos offers a compelling case for the election polls failure across the board, not just in the big cities.

Anaxarchos:”œConsider the following:

If the Bush winning margin did not come in the cities, where did it come from? If the urban vote as reported by the Exits is incorrect, then the remainder of the Exit Poll narrative must also be incorrect. It is true that the big city vote underlines the anomaly but take a look at the three-category demographic (Urban, Suburban, and Rural) and you get a slightly more muted version of the same story. If the cities don’t hold Bush’s winning margin, then that clearly means that it must have come from somewhere else. While the erosion of the Bush rural margin is significant, reversing it is not enough. We must also ”œoffset” the loss of Bush’s urban margin in the suburbs and we must do this while constantly living under the overhang of an 18% increase in turnout (which clearly favored Kerry). The result is that the Exit Polls must not only be ”œwrong” in the cities, they must also be ”œwrong” across the board and this to a significant degree. In truth, the degree of this ”œwrongness” must increase as we go from city to countryside because, as we have seen, the Exit Polls weight the Bush urban margin into existence.”

Painful choices regarding the outcome of the 2004 presidential election.

We can accept the official election results simply as reported by discarding or denying any and all questions and anomalies.Doing so makes us no better than the uncritical magician in the opening passage.It just happened. We don’t know why. We agree that it doesn’t make much sense but that’s just the way it is (in this best of all possible worlds). Move along.

We can accept the election results and totally dismiss the exit poll adjustments as indicative of a flawed poll that should be dismissed. Our argument here is no better than in the first option. Its faith based. That’s just the way it is but we’ll discuss it a bit, feign erudition, and impress you with our obscure knowledge of polling methods and math.

Or we can face the reality and the dreadful conclusion. There’s no way to tell if Bush truly won the vote total in 2004 while there are many reasons to doubt that he did. The parallel measurement of the actual vote, the exit poll, can only concoct a Bush victory through egregious adjustments to its own raw data for the big cities. Why would such adjustments be required? Was the measurement off for the smaller cities where Bush gained 17 points over 2000? Was it off for the suburbs and rural segment? What about the voluminous reports of voter suppression and voting irregularities across the nation; reports including consistent vote flipping from Kerry to Bush?

If there were no problems with the actual vote count, problems that the exit poll analysis clearly indicates, why on earth would two thirds of Ohio counties destroy the ballots and election records from 2004 well before the required retention period?

And what about this question, perhaps the simplest of all with the greatest potential for understanding just what happened in 2004? Why does the network consortium refuse to release the raw data for 2004? The raw data has been closely guarded by the pollsters and the networks despite at least two requests for examination of this data by now Committee on the Judiciary Chairman, John Conyers, Democrat, Michigan.

Has that data suffered the same fate as the destroyed Ohio ballots?

Would the handling of the raw data that produced this unbelievable narrative embarrass the networks and indicate that they should have known shortly after the election; that they certainly know by now, without any doubt, that there are huge problems with the final exit poll, the poll the national election pool and its polling company have defended to consistently and vigorously?

Or would the freeing of this privately held data concerning our public election show what many suspect: the real winner of the 2004 election is not sitting in the White House.

You can be sure that the four major networks, CNN, and the Associated Press would be in court right now demanding the release of the exit poll data were it any concern other than them holding back the data from the rightful public review demanded.

ENDS

*Metaphor based on a story from S. John Macksoud, Other Illusions, 1977.Published by the author.

Permission to reprint in part or whole with a link to this article in ”œScoop” and attribution of authorship.

Appendix:Full Letter from Anaxarchos to Michael Collins

 

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