Friday, June 8, 2012

Did Walker win? Maybe yes, maybe no. Those that know better aren’t talking

Media reports of Scott Walker’s victory and Tom Barrett’s extremely early concession while citizens were still voting in his own hometown certainly may be appropriate and accurate.  Walker could have won.  The problem many are having, and a problem that could have been easily avoided, is that absolutely no one but a few insiders have access to data that could confirm that the results are accurate.

Remember, one side of the political spectrum shouts to the world that Wisconsin and America have a problem with voters misrepresenting themselves at the polls, rampant voter fraud, even though no one can demonstrate that it exists in any significant way.  Certainly no one can show it has swung elections in Wisconsin or at the federal level.

These same people proclaim it to be wrong, even offensive, to question whether official vote counts are accurate.  If final tallies are inaccurate, we should all be concerned.  If inaccuracies are being hidden from the public, this is ELECTION FRAUD, not voter fraud.

There actually is evidence of election fraud in America – a final US media inquiry in 2000 concluded the 2000 presidential election was NOT won by George W. Bush in Florida  (NOTE:  Be careful, many media stories used headlines proclaiming Bush would have won, but if you the read full-story, this is fully-inaccurate)  Around the world, it is widely accepted that it is entirely reasonable to assume or even probable that what we saw in 2000 at the federal level was election fraud - Bush stole the White House.

Ditto for 2004 and while Florida’s numbers are dubious at best in, 2004 as well, Ohio's numbers cannot be accurate.  It is a historical fact that some people went to prison in Ohio after that election because they destroyed evidence that the law demanded be kept to allow the integrity of that election to be verified.  Those results were never properly verified.

There are significant problems with the situation in Wisconsin this year which people should have a right to ask about.  More importantly, the citizens of Wisconsin and our Great Nation, have a right to have these questions and issues addressed.  That is not happening now, a situation that many are having a hard time accepting.

It will not be possible to heal the great divide the Walker administration & republican party has created as long as the public gets lied to about “widespread” voter fraud and absolutely stonewalled on issues related to the accuracy of vote totals – election fraud.

There is a crisis in Wisconsin right now that the media is trying to hide – an unsustainable situation that can be summed up as follows:
  1. Some Wisconsin communities received a very odd proposition – trade in your existing vote tabulating machines and receive brand new ones FREE!  The company is a “one-man-shop” where only this guy knows anything about the software, how it works, and what it is going to do.  Remarkably, many municipalities took them up on the offer.
  2. In Wisconsin, there are computer scanned paper ballots, no electronic voting.  The machines can be easily demonstrated to be error prone and easy to hack.  No one actually looks at ballots – the numbers that roll out of these “black boxes” are just uncritically accepted as “gospel truth.”  Amazing, isn’t it.
  3. Interviews of people immediately after they voted, the exit polls, indicated a 50/50 tie.  The media reported this widely across the state and nation.  The exit polls did not match the unverifiable numbers that rolled out of the “black box” vote tabulators.  This is usually taken as an indication that there is a problem with the vote tabulators or the integrity of the election.  But not in Wisconsin in 2012.  The media quietly “adjusted” the numbers from their exit polls so that they were the same as the unverifiable black box voting machines.  Please do not let anyone, even self-proclaimed "experts" snooker you – rigging the exit poll data to match unverifiable computer tallies is not scientifically or mathematically justifiable and undermines one of the main reasons exit polls are done in the first place.
  4. This story gets worse, despite what certain media outlets proclaim, altering the actual responses of real people so that data matches unverifiable numbers coming out of “black box” vote tabulators is NOT an “adjustment”.  The data was corrupted and this data, now literally fiction, was used to project Walker as the “winner” within a half hour of the polls closing!
None of the 4 points above, by themselves, pass the “smell test” and all indicate a distinct possibility of problems with the vote counts, certainly not voter fraud on behalf of Barrett.  In reality, there was no reason to assume the exit polls were wrong.

It doesn’t pass the smell test that the “winners” here that misrepresent voter fraud as a problem have nothing to say about the integrity of how votes are counted.  It is an objective, literally true, and verifiable statement to say that no one outside of a small circle of political and media insiders actually know what happened.

The public is not allowed to verify that the decision to adjust “exit polls” was correct or even reasonable.  The only thing we know for sure is that Scott Walker, his people, and the media tell us Walker won and the Democratic Party and Barrett seem to agree.

None of these parties are willing to have a reasonable and honest dialog about free, open, and verifiable elections in Wisconsin.  Is this what democracy looks like?

20 comments:

Nan said...
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Publius No. 9 said...

You are right, some counties in Wisconsin have electronic voting machines, machines upon which you cast your vote. However, these are worse than the optical scanners the author mentions, both of which are controlled by companies who keep much of the inner workings secret. However, not secret enough that programmers can make electronic voting machines play Pac-Man in mere minutes. If we can make them play Pac-Man that easy, how easy do you think it is to give a candidate 10,000 votes?

In Wisconsin, even paper ballots are counted by these optical scanners. Only a few counties in Wisconsin hand-count the ballots. While both types of machines are "verified" before every election, much of the verification is secret, and the machines aren't "verified" after the election. So, the machines can be tampered with between the verification and the end of the election and no one would know.

Publius No. 9 said...

I blogged intensely about these issues after the Kloppenburg/Prosser election, but got nowhere. Part of the problem is that no one wants to believe our elections can be manipulated so easily, and the other problem most likely is that some people want them to be manipulated so easily. This information isn't new, they know.

Anonymous said...

Two points;

I also think there is an element akin to 'the Emperors New Clothes' where maybe officials in the minority don't want to appear immature or disgruntled and are afraid to pursue information in order to keep their positions.

One must also remembet that election results aren't canvassed or certified for two weeks after an election now, since the law requiring this be done in 24 hrs was changed last year.

FWIW

Anonymous said...

I think many mainstream media voices lack the guts to go on camera and question the results of an election. If they did, they would undermine the confidence of the people in their elections. So the media is complicit in keeping questions about our election system from being raised and examined. But they have been watching the polls and seeing the exit polls. They are in the best position to know when the resuls look funny. But they never say anything.

We chose to use recall and election as a solution for the problems we have with our "representative" government. Had the recall not been available, perhaps strikes or riots would have been the avenue. Is that what they want? I would prefer the peaceful, orderly resolution of an election. But our election system is too privatized and opaque for me to have confidence in it.

Paul Trotter said...

Every machine must be tested a and verified before and after an election.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Actually exit polls were "readjusted" after the fact. Exit polls showed them in a virtual tie.

Anonymous said...

The fact that you assume a conspiracy of 1000 would be needed to misprogram the machines shows that you're VERY unfamiliar with the issue of voting machine security. Better read up before dismissing

Soluna said...

Anonymous, you are wrong. Kathy Nickolaus is one of the few clerks that has enough skill to manipulate the code. I am not suggesting that she was involved with the fraud this time around, but mainly that most of our clerks are still learning how to operate the machines, much less try anything funny.

As a patriotic American citizen - You should be concerned. It is entirely possible that there is vote flipping code right in the prom packs. Having deceptive code written into the prom pack is as easy as sliding a flash drive into a usb port.

I watched polls that day. Something funky went down in the afternoon. Gop numbers went through the ceiling while Dem numbers plummeted. I grant you that the data that I saw only came from a few precincts - so my accounting is only "anecdotal", but tell me, how do you explain a strong dem area with Dem turnout plummeting by 40% during the afternoon during peak voting hours, when that same precinct started the day with a projected turnout from 130 - 150% of 2010's turnout. Compare that to dem turnout in a neighboring more republican precint, where hand counted paper balloting is allowed. Dem turnout there was 136% of the 2010 turnout.

I only have a small window on this, but voter fraud is wrong - no matter who does it. I am tired of hinky polls that support a prepared conclusion. We exit polls that must be adjusted to conform to electronic results. Since it seems that all over the state that Dem turnout was incredibly erratic (if one cannot accept the possibility of fraud) - how in the h*ll would east coast media have any idea what the election outcome might be four hours before the polls closed?? East Coast media were putting Walker in the lead at 4:00 P.M. our time.

As a multigenerational military family member I am absolutely outraged with the audacity and disrespect with which these Tea Party republicans treat our American right to vote. If you as a American care about integrity - hold these people to higher standard, please. Demand that someone besides Dale Schultz find his or her spine. Demand honesty. Lying, cheating,stealing, and adultery violate the ten commandments. Start there.

As Thomas Jefferson said: All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.

Anonymous said...

When will people be loyal to the USA and NOT to one of our stupid Political Parties ?

Anonymous said...

Right on! Your outrage should be the outrage of every citizen in this state and country.

Anonymous said...

leave it alone already we lost because the good guys always die young

nation.of.gandhis said...

worth revisit since the votes were flipped on OP-Scan machines http://www.bradblog.com/?p=9221

Soluna said...

No doubt in my mind that computer code won the elections. I will not leave it alone. I am not raw from a rigged "victory". I am p*ssed that we are allowing this. We need to start writing letters demanding hand counted paper ballots.

Anonymous said...

How do we prove it? At best these damn things cannot be relied upon...so THEY MUST GO!

Ron Kossik said...
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Political Fodder said...

No this is not unfounded speculation. There are so many red flags from this election even people who don't know much about how easily our computerized voting system are to hack can see it. You apparently don't know much about the voting machines. Check out these videos put together by a Republican computer expert.

Computer expert explains why computerized voting is easily hacked.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAyEfovA404&feature=bf_prev&list=PL7EA9A7F25C837D23

Then read this article about some shenanigans with the Wisconsin voting machines.

Meet Command Central, the People in Charge of Wisconsin Voting Machines
http://wcmcoop.com/members/meet-command-central-the-people-in-charge-of-wisconsin-voting-machines/

After that you might want to read up a bit on the WI GAB website that explains how machines are verified. On the opti-scan machines paper ballots are fed through a scanner and tabulated by the computer. The paper ballots that are stored in the bottom of the machine are not counted unless there is an automatic recount because the election is too close or one of the candidates requests a count.

As an Wisconsin taxpayer and a programmer I say it is unacceptable to just assume that no election fraud took place. Our right to vote and have that vote counted is the most basic of our American rights and whatever measures need to be taken to assure that vote should be employed. To assure our voted are counted and not stolen the ballots should be hand counted for every machine and compared to the total tallied by the machine. The Government Accountability Board should be fired for not doing their job.

What is this supposed to mean "No one has explained how over 150,000 voter-verifed paper audit records spanning hundreds of polling locations could be falsified. If those haven't been falsified, then evidence of election tampering would remain everywhere the counts were falsified. as it made no sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Political Fodder and Soluna, THANK YOU for your persistence! It is SO important that everyone understand how our democracy can and has been undermined too often- We must lose the naivety and find the courage to look at what is a real problem or we will NOT be happy with the outcomes of future elections! ABSOLUTELY hand-count every ballot, within full view of the public.

Anonymous said...

Friends: this is the letter I sent to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, regarding possible Recall election irregularities, with a copy going to the Carter Center, which, as you know, monitors 'troublesome' elections.
*
June 19th, 2012
Wisconsin Government Accountability Board
P. O Box 7984
Madison, WI 53707-7984

I write as a concerned citizen, two weeks after the historic recall election, and as someone unaffiliated with any party—as an ‘independent’— (though I would think that fair-minded folks of any political persuasion would share these concerns).

There has been much talk about ‘moving on’ from the extreme polarization characterizing the past 18 months or so, and as a Wisconsin citizen/student/worker/taxpayer for fifty years, during which time civil communication was not only possible, but taken for granted, I’d be all for that, except that concerns about the lack of verifiability and transparency regarding the election linger, and, noticing an Ethics Division, Elections Data Manager, and Elections Division indicated on the GAB website, it seems appropriate to approach the GAB for information related to these concerns.

Of the many possible ‘irregularities’ (if not outright fraud and electronic vote-hacking), I’ll mention two: after a long day of consistent reporting by media of neck & neck exit poll indications, and with reports of long lines of people still casting votes in Milwaukee and Madison, (which would obviously have heavily favored Barrett), the election was ‘called’ in relatively short order, the infamous ‘red shift’—where’d this avalanche of claimed Walker votes come from? (Some of us haven’t forgotten that Kathy Nickolaus has an apparently well-earned reputation for finding such in her laptop.)

And, allied to this, the allegation, from reputable sources as far as I can tell, that “…forty-six Wisconsin counties and 3,000 voting machines were controlled by a two-person company operating out of a strip mall in Minnesota,” a company called ‘Command Central,’ with a highly partisan reputation. (http://wcmcoop.com/members/meet-command-central-the-people-in-charge-of-wisconsin-voting-machines/
Is it really true that the people of Wisconsin, through their regulatory agencies such as the Government Accountability Board, have virtually no oversight over something as crucial and fundamental to the democratic process as an election?!

If I could trust that ‘the people have spoken’ with the reported results of the recall elections, I could ‘move on’…(it’s not my first brush with electoral disappointment)!
But given the murky circumstances surrounding the election, I think that a large, bright light needs to be focused, to either confirm or dispel the combination of apparent facts and rumors that continue to swirl, and prolong the polarization.

Some will see this as the whining of a ‘sore loser.’ But was the ‘winner’ really the winner?
No paper trail, no verifiability, no transparency…I wonder what Jimmy Carter would call such an ‘election’ in a ‘third-world’ country. And what does the GAB call it?

Sincerely,
Harvey Taylor

cc Carter Center, 453 Freedom Pkwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30307