I am pursuing the theory -- backed by a growing amount of evidence -- that the results of the recent election are not trustworthy. Right now, I can't say that I believe with 100 percent certainty that Hillary Clinton won the electoral college, but we certainly have grounds for suspicion.
Alas, as I attempt to look into this issue, I keep running into the same problem: Many researchers into election fraud are BernieBots who believe that the Savior From Vermont was the rightful winner of the Democratic primaries. The promulgators of this ludicrous notion are wedded to the same myths that Kurt Eichenwald so ably demolishes here.
(I really wish that every Bernie die-hard could be strapped into a chair like Little Alex in A Clockwork Orange and forced to listen as the Eichenwald article is read out to him -- perhaps with suitable graphs and illustrations flashing on screen.)
As we have seen, the evidence actually suggests that Bernie benefited from election fraud. The Michigan results are otherwise almost inexplicable. The NY primary was obviously rigged against Hillary through a purge of Hispanic voters.
Sadly, some former stalwarts of truth -- such as Bob Fitrakis and Richard Charnin -- remain mired in the Cult of Bernie. We must solve the riddle of election 2016 without their help. I suppose that I should mount a long, formal rebuttal to all of their claims that "Sanders wuz robbed" -- but I'm not really inclined to do so, since the task would involve a daunting amount of work, and few would read the results. Besides, Bernie supporters have behaved like fanatics -- and everyone knows that you can't change the views of a fanatic, no matter how solid your argument.
That said, there is some good work being done by researchers who know when to keep their knee-jerk Hillary-hate in check. In particular, I can recommend (with some reservations) the investigative videos produced by David Pakman. If you scoff at the very idea of election hugger-mugger, try to keep an open mind as you watch the video embedded at the top of this post. I guarantee that you'll come away at least wondering.
In the video below, Pakman directs our attention to NSA chief Michael Rogers, who claims that Russia intervened on Trump's behalf. Please note that Rogers is not talking about Russian hacking of vote tabulating devices. Please further note that those wacky conspiracy theorists at CBS News did discuss that very possibility, in an article published before the election.
After the election, all such talk suddenly became impermissible. I'm not sure why.
Perhaps the best work is being done by Brad Friedman, the acknowledged expert in the problems besetting America's elections. In particular, you simply must hear his interview with Jonathan Simon, who focuses on the exit polls results in the battleground states.
Here is the key fact which rarely gets mentioned in the media: Those exit polls numbers pegged Hillary as the winner in the very same states that "officially" went for Trump.
Unfortunately, we now face a problem familiar to anyone who recalls the 2004 controversy: Throughout election night, the exit poll results were "conformed" to match the official tallies, on the presumption that the "actual" tallies are sacrosanct. That presumption is a classic example of the logical fallacy of petitio principii, or begging the question. In my view, only the non-conformed exit poll should be of interest. Simon, bless him, tries to take screen caps of the exit poll results the moment they appear online, before people start playing with the numbers.
Oddly enough, when it comes to elections in other countries, a significant discrepancy between the "actual" results and the exit polls is considered grounds for calling an entire election into question. For some reason, nobody takes that attitude when it comes to elections in the United States.
In the absence of countable paper ballots, all we have are the exit polls. There is no other way to check the results.
Nowadays, you often hear pundits say: "Everyone knows that exit polls are unreliable." Funny thing: That line became standard only since 2000, when Republicans started winning "funky" elections.
When I was growing up, there was an election night ritual in which mainstream newscasters like Chet Huntley and Walter Cronkite would patiently explain to the audience why exit polls should always be considered very reliable. News networks would call elections early in the evening based on the exits -- a controversial practice, due to fears that an early announcement would depress voting in the western states. Yet the big news networks never had to backtrack. We never saw Cronkite's cheeks turn red as he confessed that CBS News had relied on faulty exit polls.
Today, exit poll discrepancies (defined as exit poll results which vary significantly from official results) are far more common than they used to be in American presidential elections. Tellingly, they seem to occur primarily in the most closely contested states. And they always favor the Republicans -- in other words, the Republican candidate is the one who seems to get more "actual" votes than the exit polls would indicate.
Doesn't that fact strike you as just a little odd? If exit polling was inherently unreliable, one would expect the errors to swing left as often as they swing right.
One must also ask why such polls were reliable in the 1960-2000 era and became "unreliable" only in the post-2000 era.
Must read: "I hate conspiracy theories. But the Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump vote totals do look rigged." By Bill Palmer | November 20, 2016 http://www.palmerreport.com/opinion/conspiracy-theories-hillary-clinton-donald-trump-rigged-vote/161/
On Wisconsin -- Election night’s unofficial returns found Trump ahead of Clinton by 27,000 votes. But Clinton won only counties using all-paper ballots, the computer voting experts said. In the counties using a mix of electronic and paper-based voting systems that President Obama won in 2012, Clinton lost by 1-2 percent. In the Obama counties using all paperless machines, she lost by 10 to 15 percent.
And...Computer experts who have tracked electronic voting issues subsequently noticed the Florida-based contractor who managed North Carolina’s voter registration database was VR Systems. Earlier this fall, CNN reported that an unnamed Florida-based voting system vendor was hacked by the Russians. To the best of these experts’ knowledge, VR is the only Florida-based voting system vendor.
There's more. And you are right about exit poll discrepancies as a reliable indicator of fraud.
posted by roland : 1:04 AM
I was wondering when you were going to come to this topic, Joseph! have been focused on learning a new job so my time has been so curtailed, but I've been meaning to tell you that you were right Hillary fell into the trap of declaring the election can't be rigged.
On the day after the election, I heard one reporter on the radio claiming to have seen with his own eyes great numbers of minorities (we're going to need a new term soon!) being disenfranchised. Unfortunately, I was being trained so had to turn off the radio before I could even get enough info to look it up myself. I figured it would be a big topic, but I've heard very little since then.
I thought the election night results as they unfolded seemed fishy, but one of your posters nailed another tell: since there was no media fanfare about Donald's impending fraud case after New York shut his "charity" down, no speculation of what would happen if Donald faced jail-time, the entire election coverage has been from Trump's POV....just as in 2000, it was George Bush's "story." Even the Supreme Court, in that "one-time only" decision on 12/12/00 (the day I mourn the loss of our democracy) phrased their decision as "unfair" ...to Bush.
The media spins the narrative, the overarching story. Most people don't even see it. Most people, on both the left and the right, simply regurgitate memes that conform to their established world view. The Berniebots are back with a vengeance, spewing nonsense, and even *priding* themselves on having been for Kucinich, who was worse than Bernie ever thought about being. Dean, on the other hand, was an effective threat to the establishment. He was brought down with a simple perceived "scream." As someone else here coined, it took a village to bring down Hillary.
I think the second Comey press conference created a significant upswing in Republican voters who were not going to vote. Then add in Sheldon Andelson's last ten days, 25 million dollar commercial TV ad blitz, the religious right telling people to vote republican irrespective of Trump but to do it for the sake of the Supreme Court, Insane National Enquirer anti Clinton Headlines seen by perhaps 10 million pairs of eyes in supermarket lines on an almost weekly basis, the attacks on the Clinton Foundation including Haiti that I don't recall were rebuffed by the Clinton Foundation, the Jill Stein Factor, and the criticism and accusation that Hillary Clinton was too ill to actually venture deep into any of the Democrat firewall states and instead focused on the main cities, and all of that could have added up to a scant win in key states. However, how can Trump get away with his FCC, FTC, IRS violations, and the FBI investigating Hillary Clinton but not Donald Trump. Change dot org petition, ReAudit Trump before his Inauguration
Clinton's NAFTA problem cannot be ignored either. One of the reasons she may not have ventured into red territory in blue states was NAFTA. Any concocted controversy, such as better jobs for coal miners meant Clinton was against coal miners being coal miners, would have also occurred regarding NAFTA. The Sanders movement poisoned NAFTA, Don't Ask Don't Tell, The Super Predator comment, and Hillary Clinton apparently accepting 25 million dollars over a 2 year time span for talks on Wall Street. The strangest irony in all of this is, with Barack Obama's blessing, Hillary Clinton could have been the U.S. Ambassador for the Clinton Foundation and gone into the rural areas helping give aid and local improvement during that two year time span when she was giving speeches on Wall Street. None the less, Trump likely violated several Government FCC, FTC, and IRS Regulations and needs to be publicly outed on those points before he is inaugurated. Any time Trump called Hillary Clinton a criminal, he was violating FCC regulations. Any time a local news station showed Trump calling Clinton a criminal, and then did not have the local anchor's correct Trump's comment, the station was in violation as well. These nuances gave Trump a growing advantage as he kept calling Clinton a criminal in every speech he gave.
I find the systematic error, all in the same direction, of the 191 state polls that formed Sam Wang's analysis very problematic. The polls were done by a wide variety of different organizations, using different methodologies, and different likely-voter screens. And there's a consistent "red shift" of 3 to 6% across all of them. Errors, sure. But a systematic bias, all in the same direction? Based on the supposed millions of "shy republicans" who deceive pollsters just for fun?
I find it absurd that the consistent "red shift " appears 2000, 2004, and 2016, and the error is always in the same direction. Always. Either polls and data sampling are are meaningless, in which case billions of advertising and marketing analysis are wasted, or there's something very wrong about the way that votes are counted by Republican-controlled Secretaries of State.
Remember, in 2012 the Romney organization has its mainframes hacked by Anonymous for several hours, taking them off-line, and Karl Rove lost his mind on live TV. This time around, Anonymous was not be seen ... the FBI has been pretty diligent in taking the organization down. In 2016, the head of the NSA openly warns us about active Russian intervention, on all scales, in the US election of 2016. Not just social media. Not just fake Facebook "news".
The NSA, CIA, and even the Russians admit, the day after the election, yes, there was collusion between the DT organization and the Russians. Given Russian expertise in hacking, why is it beyond belief they got into Republican-controlled vote tabulators? The GOP worked behind the scenes with the Iran government in the 1980 election of Reagan, and paid no price for that, even after it was exposed may years later.
posted by ColoradoGuy : 3:52 PM
Do we have comparisons with other exit polls from other years? A rebuttal to the shy rural red voter saying they voted blue would be the shy rural voter who states they voted red when they actually voted blue so that hubby doesn't get upset.
Having said before the election that I was concerned with the Democrats saying that the election would not be rigged, I think that the first step is identifying precincts where the results don't look right and getting boots on the ground to interview all the voters of that precinct. bradblog.com has been discussing this, though I don't know if Friedman is actually suggesting a solution.