Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Voter Fraud Myth

NorCo Voting Machine
Blogger's Note: This article has also been published in The Bethlehem Press.

Without offering specifics, GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump has repeatedly insisted that the November 8 election "is going to be rigged."  On the campaign trail, he has said the only way he can lose Pennsylvania is if there is "cheating," so "[w]e have to call up law enforcement. And we have to have the sheriffs and the police chiefs and everybody watching." He has singled out Philadelphia as one city where voter fraud might occur, and has refused to state whether he will accept the election results if the vote goes against him  And guess what? Most Republicans - 73% according to a recent Politico/Morning Consult poll - agree that the election could be stolen from Trump as a result of massive voter fraud. But despite these repeated assertions, there simply is no evidence of any kind of systematic vote-rigging in Pennsylvania. As Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt, himself a Republican, recently said, "The real threat to the integrity of elections ... isn't voter fraud, though it does rarely occur. The real threat to the integrity of elections is irresponsible accusations that undermine confidence in the electoral process."

Remote Hacking Impossible in Pa.

Twenty different electronic voting systems are approved for use in the Keystone State's 67 counties. We read daily stories that banks, major businesses and even the Democratic National Committee are being hacked. On Friday, a major cyberattack paralyzed Internet use along much of the East coast.  So wouldn't it be possible to remotely hack into electronic voting machines and either alter results or cause systems to crash?

Not in Pennsylvania.

At a recent news conference, Secretary of State Pedro A. Cortés explained why. These are all stand alone systems. They have no connection to the Internet, or for that matter, to each other. They have no blue tooth that would permit someone to access them from outside the polling place.

Cortés' remarks have been confirmed by elections officials in Northampton, Lehigh and Dauphin County as well as Philadelphia. Northampton County uses the Sequoia Advantage while Lehigh County uses Premier AccuVote TSX. Philadelphia and Dauphin both use the Danaher ELECTronic 1242. Assuming that remote access were even possible, the hacker would have to penetrate 20 different systems statewide

"I could take this voting machine, drop it off in the middle of Red Square in Moscow, and the Russians couldn't hack into it," Dauphin County Voting Registrar Gerald Feaser told NPR.

Safeguards Protect Against Internal Hacking

So remote hacking into an electronic voting machine is impossible, but what about internal hacking? That's physically possible, but improbable.

First, assuming someone is sophisticated enough to access 20 different voting systems, that person would have to break into every one of them at over 9,100 polling precincts statewide. Philadelphia alone has 4,000 machines, observes Deputy City Commissioner Donald Garecht. Northampton County has at least two machines at each of its 149 polling districts.

Second, before every election, after voting machines are successfully tested for logic and accuracy, they are locked and sealed. A person who wanted to tamper with that machine would have to break a numbered seal and attempt to reseal. Given the thousands of machines statewide, this mischief would likely be detected.

Third, assuming that someone could break into each machine, add votes for one of the candidates and then reseal the machine without detection, it would still be impossible to rig an election without inside collusion. You see, each polling place maintains a numbered list of voters. Ideally, that numbered list should match the number of votes cast on the machines throughout the day. But if someone added 500 Clinton or Trump voterson the voting machine, there would be a major discrepancy with what appears on that numbered list. It would be immediately noticed and reported, unless there was widespread collusion

Each polling precinct has five or more elections workers, and they'd have to be in on it. To be statistically significant, there would need to be a widespread conspiracy among elections workers in numerous polling places. This would require thousands of dishonest elections workers engaging in forgery. Human nature being what it is, do you think that many people would stay silent for long?

Philly and Voter Fraud

Some of you will point to the 2012 Presidential election, in which President Obama received 100% of the votes in 59 Philadelphia area "divisions."  That is damning evidence of  voter fraud, argue some. But is it?

The Philadelphia Inquirer took a close look and discovered that these divisions were almost exclusively black and Democrat. Since President Obama received 93% of the black vote nationwide in 2012, is there really odd or unusual about him getting 100% of the vote in a black and Democratic district?

Reporters were unable to find more than a few of the Republicans registered in these divisions. Most had moved. When they did, they learned that these were Republicans who thought they were Democrats and who voted for Obama.

Incidentally, there are 1,700 divisions in Philadelphia, each with a little over 600 voters. So if you still want to call this voter fraud, it is limited to 3.5% of Philadelphia's voting total.

But ironically, it is the much maligned voting machine that disproves voter fraud in Philadelphia. Once someone votes on a machine, it is impossible to subtract that vote. So if anyone had really voted for Mitt Romney, President Obama's opponent, the vote would be on the machine.

Republicans Sue to Flood Philly With Out-of-County Poll Watchers

Donald Trump has continued to insist that this election will be “rigged” and has called on supporters to watch in places like Philadelphia. But there's little for his supporters to see. Aside from the voters and elections workers, few are allowed inside a polling place. Trump may have called on police chiefs to be present, but state law requires law enforcement to stay at least 100' away because of a concern that their presence will intimidate voters.

So how can a candidate concerned about a rigged election protect himself?

The answer is poll watchers, who serve as watchdogs for candidates and parties. Each party can designate up to three watchers at each precinct. In addition, each candidate may name two watchers per precinct, but only one watcher per party and one watcher per candidate is allowed inside the room at any one time. They must reside in the County they watch. Watchers are entitled to be present from the moment election workers arrive to set up until they leave.

Though a poll watcher is barred from any direct interaction with the voters, he may challenge a voter with the election judge, either because that voter is not who he says he is or does not reside within the district. If a voter is challenged, he must sign an affidavit confirming his identity and must produce another voter from inside the district to vouch for him before being allowed to vote. He may still cast what is known as a provisional ballot, which will be reviewed by elections officials.

According to Northampton County Voting Registrar Dee Rumsey, she's received no requests for poll watcher certificates from anyone. But she expects to be flooded with requests right before the election.

Lehigh County Voting Registrar Timothy Benyo has only received requests for poll watcher certificates from Congressman Charlie Dent. He said that requests for poll watcher certificates after October 25 will only be produced as time permits.

How about Philadelphia and its 1,000,000 voters? According to Deputy City Commissioner Donald Garecht, the City usually receives requests for poll watcher certificates for every party committee member. But his office has seen no deluge of requests.

On Friday, the Pennsylvania GOP filed a federal lawsuit demanding that out-of-county pollwatchers be permitted in cities like Philadelphia. The lawsuit maintains that open elections are crucial to a democracy and that citizens have a "fundamental right to a fair and honest election process."

According to the Electoral Integrity Project, the United States ranks 47th worldwide in election integrity, but not because dead people are voting. The poor rating is blamed on the unfettered influence of money and gerrymandering, not voter fraud.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am sorry but numerous online sources have made it clear that technology exists to swing the election for Clinton. You don't want to admit that because you support her but it has been established. The Trump campaign has a major announcement coming on it.

Anonymous said...

3:45. I call bullshit

Anonymous said...

what about tampering with the machine's algorithms before-hand, like at the factory?

Anonymous said...

Could someone go into all those machines and place a chip programmed with new names, dates, etc? The answer is a guaranteed YES. That chip counts not only how many times a spot was pressed, but where the result of each press goes sand how often in goes into which candidates' basket. So, it CAN be preset to put 1 out of 20 votes into the wrong basket.

This is already reported in Ohio, Texas, and other non-internet connected state machines. Everyone needs to carefully watch their own transaction before leaving the booth, and report all errors!

Anonymous said...

I lived in Philadelphia most of my life and I witnessed voter fraud first hand. The democrats even went so far as to pay people to go to the polls and vote the democratic ticket. They also provided these people with a ride. Absolutely, voter fraud exists.

Anonymous said...

Obama on election fraud ...........

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Wp09JB6Zu4

Anonymous said...

Of course there isn't any voter fraud. It's the only thing in life that is 100% pure and angelic. Noooo, never could happen, it's impossible. Don't concern yourself with it. Just move on and don't even think about it. Remember our computers are un-hackable. It's impossible to hack them. Don't worry about what you read in the media, it's not something that could happen here.

Oh, did one of George Soro's companies make the voting machines? Well, don't worry about it..

Anonymous said...

7:49. That's just a myth that Republicans like the say. Democrats are just people, and they believe in free and fair elections like everyone else. It's just a coincidence that some precincts have 130% voter turnout. They're just very patriotic Americans that want their voices heard. Oh, they vote 100% Democratic Well, that's because our candidate was so much better than that NEO CON and no one believed him anyway, don't worry about it.

Anonymous said...

Electronic voting is the greatest thing since, well.. mothers milk. We don't have to worry about those old mechanical machines we used to use, the one you had to flip a lever on to vote? Remember those that triggered the counters on the back? Well this is sooo much better. It's all computerized you know. Databases now hold the vote totals, no more of that mechanical stuff.

Pushing a hole though a punch card with a pin? Oh those are sooo inacccrate. You remember that mess in Florida don't you? Where the people there didn't know how to push a pin though the card. It was wayy too difficult to vote, especially for the old people who didn't have the strength in their hands...

Marking a piece of paper? You know, putting an "X" or something in a box by a candidate's name? Those take forever to count and you won't have the results for a day or so. We want to get those returns in quickly, so that's why we like the electronic ones. We like that and don't worry, no one could ever hack our machines, they're un-hackable, you know? They're not like all those businesses that get hacked and steal your credit card numbers.. we're not internet connected. But we do have to load software on them. Upgrades and such, but no, no one would ever think of hacking them though the software, just can't happen.. don't even think about that....

Anonymous said...

8.12
try
http://www.snopes.com/george-soros-controls-smartmatic-voting-machines-in-16-states/

"Smartmatic will not be deploying its technology in any U.S. county for the upcoming 2016 U.S. Presidential elections."
" George Soros does not have and has never had any ownership stake in Smartmatic."

so the Soros claim is bogus

Anonymous said...

The Common Sense Conservative FB is pushing fake Hillary add to vote Nov 9th. Once again, they lie, they lie, they lie.

Anonymous said...

http://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2016/10/19/13322270/pollwatchers-rigged-election-law-trump
"To rig an election, you would need 1) technological capabilities that exist only in Mission Impossible movies, plus 2) the cooperation of the Republicans and Democrats who are serving as the polling place’s election officials, plus 3) the blind eyes of the partisan poll watchers who are standing over their shoulders, plus 4) the cooperation of another set of Republicans and Democrats — the officials at the post-elections canvass, plus 5) the blind eyes of the canvass watchers, too.

Then you’d still have to Jedi-mind trick lawyers, political operatives, and state election administrators, all of whom scrub precinct-level returns for aberrant election results and scrutinize any polling place result that is not in line with what they would have expected based on current political dynamics and historical election results."

Anonymous said...

@8:57. You do know why you have anti-virus software on your PC don't you?

Electronic voting machines run on software. Software that is updated each and every time before an election.

Now what is the sum of 1 + 1 = ?

Anonymous said...

DC) Smartmatic is a U.K.-based voting technology company that’s has provided voting technology in 16 states including battleground zones like Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Other jurisdictions affected are California, District of Columbia, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.

The problem? The company has deep ties to globalist George Soros.

http://thetruthdivision.com/2016/10/alert-see-smartmatic-voting-booth-polls-heres-must/

You did notice "Pennsylvania", yes 8:12 ?

Anonymous said...

What I could never understand is that every time you hear of these voting machines recording votes for candidates the voter didn't select, it's always for democrats.

We heard this in 2008 and 2012 when Obama was elected, now again in 2012.

How come they never mess up and record Republican votes?

Anonymous said...

I lived in Philadelphia most of my life and I witnessed voter fraud first hand. The democrats even went so far as to pay people to go to the polls and vote the democratic ticket. They also provided these people with a ride. Absolutely, voter fraud exists.

That's not voter fraud. 1) PAYING someone to vote is not illegal in PA. 2.) Get out the vote operations have always given people rides or looked to offer rides if needed. Again, NOT voter fraud.

The problem with this country right now is no one is educated enough and uneducated people make all sorts of wild accusations and are easily duped by others.

Anonymous said...

In olden days, it wasn't uncommon for candidates to stand outside of the polls and offer free drinks in order to obtain votes.

Anonymous said...

Stop grasping at straws and making excuses - yes, there are some bad apples out there, but the % is simply a drop in the ocean in the grand scheme of things and will have zero effect on who wins or loses in 2 weeks. Those clinging to this line of thought are simply in denial.

The hard truth here is that America has changed - not better or worse - just changed. Whole generations have died or are dyeing off since the 1960's when the "conservative movement" was born. Those generations had different life experiences, points of views and prioritized values differently than younger generations that have come up to replace them. Yes, there are young conservatives out there and there always will be, but the pivot has already happened and the party base is shrinking, not growing.

The next wave of Republican leadership has to take a long look into the mirror and start to rebuild the party almost from the ground up to create a wider base/platform that has a much broader appeal to voters. Some of it may involve throwing out some old planks or drastically shaving them down that will anger and upset some, but ultimately draw in more moderate/independent types.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I think that republicans should start get involved in voter fraud on a massive scale. Hopefully then democrats would be willing to step in and take action.

The only way we really will fix the problem is make it a problem for the Democrats.

Anonymous said...

Tell me again what’s wrong with voter ID?

Bernie O'Hare said...

" lived in Philadelphia most of my life and I witnessed voter fraud first hand. The democrats even went so far as to pay people to go to the polls and vote the democratic ticket. They also provided these people with a ride. Absolutely, voter fraud exists."

aND YOUR NAME IS? If you never had the guts to report it with your name to authorities, you are likely a liar.

Bernie O'Hare said...

10:46, This post has nothing to do with Obamacare. Try taking medication to learn how to focus.

Bernie O'Hare said...



I'll give you voter ID. You give me early voting.

Anonymous said...

11:18 I can't afford medication, my Obamacare premiums are skyrocketing.

Anonymous said...

I'd be more interested in your views on voter intimidation v voter fraud. We've all seen the videos of the militant dressed people with Billy clubs standing in front of polling places. I'm sure you'll say it's legal as long as they "follow the rules " but we all know no words needed be spoken in order intimidate.

https://www.google.com/search?q=black+panthers+voting+intimidation&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiE-5S1-_jPAhWpDMAKHaoJD1cQ1QIIVCgC&biw=1024&bih=600#imgrc=fva-OBSbFlzDCM%3A

Anonymous said...

The specter of large New Blacm Panthers standing outside of polling stations casts a shadow on this election. We've seen them in the past intimidating voters, and the Justice Department condoned that activity.

I'm sure they will re-appear with the blessing of Loretta Lynch.

Anonymous said...

Snopes is a left leaning site. They're not a fair arbiter of truth.

Don't voters have a right to demand a paper ballot?

A government that poisoned the Tuskegee Airmen and spies on its own citizens has earned its citizens' distrust.

Anonymous said...

9.14
try reading the snopes article
"In fact, a search using Verified Voting shows that not a single one of the listed 16 states is using voting machines provided by Smartmatic in the upcoming election — Smartmatic isn't even listed as a vendor of any voting machines being used in any state."

the Soros claim is bogus

Anonymous said...

1.37
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2016/10/24/what-was-fake-on-the-internet-this-election-george-soross-voting-machines/

Anonymous said...

A major problem with electronic voting machines is that not every state does post-election audits. And even some that require them by law, namely Pennsylvania and Kentucky, don’t actually use voter-verifiable paper trails, meaning they have no way to complete an audit.

Without those audit trails, a recount can't be done

Anonymous said...

1.20
try
https://www.texasobserver.org/above-the-law-pamela-elliott-sheriff/

"Gallegos says the county clerk eventually called the sheriff’s office to tell her to pull her officers out of the polls. It was about 3 p.m. and voting had been underway for hours. She believes Sheriff Elliott was attempting to intimidate Hispanic voters in Edwards County, which in the last 15 years has grown from 45 percent Hispanic to 55 percent."

"Romana Bienek, the city secretary who was working at City Hall on the day of the 2014 midterm election, corroborates Gallegos’ account. She says she took nine phone calls from voters intimidated by the presence of sheriff ’s deputies at the polls.

“When I called the sheriff’s office and spoke to the sheriff herself … she said it was really none of [my] business. She told me to write down the people’s names and phone numbers and that she’d talk to them."

"But Wood, the election law attorney, says law enforcement shouldn’t be anywhere near a polling booth unless there’s trouble or violence. “That’s pure and simple intimidation,” he told me. “Only certain people can be in the boundaries of a polling station: voters and election officials.”

Anonymous said...

As long as public employees are telling me the system is sound, I'm good with it. Thanks for a well-cited post!

Anonymous said...

Oh, did one of George Soro's companies make the voting machines? Well, don't worry about it..

Where were you in 2004 when Diebold was making voting machines and were in the tank for Bush? You loved voter fraud then, right Gomer?

Diebold Indicted: Its spectre still haunts Ohio elections

Anonymous said...

I'd be more interested in your views on voter intimidation v voter fraud. We've all seen the videos of the militant dressed people with Billy clubs standing in front of polling places. I'm sure you'll say it's legal as long as they "follow the rules " but we all know no words needed be spoken in order intimidate.

You mean you've seen a SINGLE photo of a SINGLE polling place in a SINGLE city in a SINGLE election.

Anonymous said...

This is a problem which was caused by the Democrats after Gore unsuccessfully tried to steal Florida in the 2000 Election.

After all, those Butterfly Ballots weren't any good. They couldn't recount them enough times to get Gore the vote total he wanted.

So Wolah!!!! .. Electronic Voting.. this is so 21st century.... modern, new, and the best part is that we can steal the election easily.

Just wait folks, the next best thing will be voting over the internet.

Anonymous said...

2.44
try
http://www.cnn.com/2001/ALLPOLITICS/03/11/palmbeach.recount/

"Voters confused by Palm Beach County's butterfly ballot cost Al Gore the presidency, The Palm Beach Post concluded Sunday.

The newspaper's review of discarded ballots found Gore lost 6,607 votes when voters marked more than one name on the county's "butterfly ballot."

"Voters who marked Gore's name and that of another candidate totaled more than 10 times the winning margin Bush received to claim Florida's 25 electoral votes and the White House, the Post concluded. The newspaper said the result was "an indictment of the butterfly ballot, political experts and partisan observers agree."

Anonymous said...

Why mention the Gore deal in Florida? The biggest complaint in Florida in 2000 was people who wanted to vote for Gore ended up voting for Buchannan. The ballots were so confusing people pushed the tab to what they thought was Gore and found out later it was for Buchannan. So stop with the silliness.

Bernie, given the mass hysteria of the alt tea party, it should be interesting when Trump starts his media company after the election. It is reported to the right of Fox News and Am radio. God help us then.

Anonymous said...

If you're too stupid to not know how to push a pin though a punch card, you have no business voting in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Yes, lest go back to poll intelligence testing. That worked real well in the South for decades.

Anonymous said...

These days, Schools in southern cities are better in quality than the ASD

Anonymous said...

"These days, Schools in southern cities are better in quality than the ASD"

Would really love to see some stats on that. Are those the schools that teach creationism as a science?

Anonymous said...

Look up the The Westminster Schools in Atlanta

Anonymous said...

Intimidation was limited to a single p polling place. It also occurred at MULTIPLE sites in 2012


http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/nov/6/problems-black-panthers-surface-pa-polling-places/

Robert Trotner said...

Trump says he has found a way around voter fraud. His solution is to just cancel the election and appoint himself president. That's the only way he can guarantee that there will no fraud or rigged elections.

After all, the best way to prevent vote rigging is to prevent a vote in the first place. And dance the whole country clearly lovers him....

Robert Trotner said...

Trump says he has found a way around voter fraud. His solution is to just cancel the election and appoint himself president. That's the only way he can guarantee that there will no fraud or rigged elections.

After all, the best way to prevent vote rigging is to prevent a vote in the first place. And dance the whole country clearly lovers him....