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Brad Friedman: Why To Be Suspicious Of Every Election

Electronic voting machines have opened up Pandora's box
Sunday, May 29, 2016, 12:26 PM

Long an 'exporter of democracy' to the rest of the world, there is ample evidence that the United States lacks even the most rudimentary, basic protections necessary to preserve voting integrity within its own borders.

Some of the evidence is circumstantial, some is statistical, and some is pretty direct and clear-cut. Taken together, a pattern that emerges strongly suggesting that ever since voting machines, electronic voting machines were introduced in the United States, we’ve had a string of suspect election results that frankly are not consistent with a free and fair voting outcome.

This week, we're joined by Brad Friedman, election integrity analyst to understand better the systems and practices currently in place to collect and tally votes in America. As we gear up to elect our next president, it's clear that numerous concerns exist about the state of 'free and fair' voting in our country:

Trust is different than 'verifiable'. Trust, frankly, has no place in elections. There is no reason to ever trust anybody. We need to be able to verify all of this.

There are basically two different types of electronic voting systems that are currently used today.

One is the touchscreen system that people know about. They’ve seen those votes flipping and so forth. Those machines are, in fact, 100 percent unverifiable -- period. I’ve asked the companies that make the systems many times, if they have any evidence whatsoever that any vote ever cast on one of those machines during an election, for any candidate or initiative on the ballot, if any of those votes have ever been recorded as per the voter’s intent, any evidence whatsoever. They have none -- they are 100 percent unverifiable. Thankfully, many states are getting rid of those and they’re moving to paper ballots.

The problem, however, with hand marked paper ballots is that most of them are run through optical scan computers to be scanned. The problem is, they often don’t work. You can’t tell whether they have worked properly, whether they have accurately recorded the vote, unless you actually hand count the paper ballots -- begging the question of why the hell are we using these optical scan systems in the first place. So when you have a paper ballot, at least it is verifiable if anybody bothers to do a hand count. But we don’t bother to do so in this country; almost never. When problems are found, often they are completely ignored.

So that’s why I’ve argued for years now that the most transparent and reliable way to run an election is to hand count the paper ballots at the precinct on election night publicly in front of everyone with the results posted at the precinct before those ballots are moved anywhere.

Short of that, it really is faith-based elections. We're trusting that they’re recorded accurately, even though we’ve got so much evidence that they often are not. I think it’s a crazy way to run a democracy if you ask me(...)

There is every reason to be suspicious of every election. There's a lot of money at stake, a lot of money, a lot of power at stake in these elections and so people should be suspicious about them.

No matter what you do, people will try to game elections. There's just too much at stake for people to not want to try to do that. That’s why you need a system that is as transparent as possible because people are going to try to game it. The trick is you have as many eyeballs looking as possible to make it as difficult as possible to game the election. That’s the trick; and when you begin to use security by obscurity and hide the way that votes are actually counted and the way that votes are actually cast and the systems that are used to tally them, we have no idea in the end.

I think that’s just absolutely crazy. Every time I come out and make that argument, it depends what election has just happened, but I'm then branded either a Democratic partisan, a Republican partisan, a Bernie supporter, a Hillary supporter -- whatever it is. People don’t like to hear these facts. So I’ve had to go to bat for a lot of candidates who I would have never ever even considered voting for. But I think that their supporters have the right to know whether they won or lost, and have the right to know that the election was tabulated accurately. That’s what we no longer have in this country and it’s ridiculous.

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with Brad Friedman (53m:45s)

Transcript: 

Chris Martenson: Welcome to this Peak Prosperity podcast. I am your host, Chris Martenson. This is a very special and important podcast and I want you to pay close attention to it because it affects everyone. It concerns election integrity in America—or perhaps the lack thereof. Long an exporter of democracy to the rest of the world, there is ample evidence that the United States lacks even the most rudimentary, basic protections necessary to preserve voting integrity within its own borders.

Some of the evidence is circumstantial, some is statistical, and some is pretty direct and clear-cut. Taken together, a pattern that emerges strongly suggesting that ever since electronic voting machines were introduced in the United States, we’ve had a string of suspect election results that frankly are not consistent with a free and fair voting outcome. Now, this spans for me the period of time from the election of George W. Bush in 2004 all the way to today.

Every election has been tainted by statistically indisputable evidence of something going odd in this particular cycle. The tricks used are numerous and they go well beyond simple tally errors and vote flipping that an insecure voting machine or central tabulator might make almost irresistibly easy. There are voting roll purges, poll station delays, loss of absentee ballots, and a host of other dirty tricks.

To speak with us today on this vital matter in a vital presidential election year is a person I have been following closely for years, Brad Friedman. Mr. Friedman has been described as perhaps the most diligent and unassailable election integrity advocate in America and I agree with that assessment. He runs his own website, bradblog.com, and is the host of The BradCast on Pacifica Radio’s Los Angeles affiliate station KPFK 90.7 FM and a long time regular guest host on the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy show.

His achievements and recognition for his work are too numerous to mention here and are piling up fast. What I like best is that he uses data, avoids hyperbole, and sticks carefully to what can be proven without resorting to speculations as to motivations or the usual partisan spins. He cares about election integrity, I do too, and so should everyone. Welcome Brad.

Brad Friedman: Thank you Chris. I really appreciate that kind introduction, and good to be here with you.

Chris Martenson: Well it’s truly an honor to have you with us today. So for our listeners, start with your background. What got you started on covering election and voting integrity?

Brad Friedman: 2004, which you mentioned in your introduction there. I mean what happened in 2004 was horrific. Now, I was of course already concerned about what had happened four years earlier in 2000, when the Supreme Court essentially gave the election to George W. Bush. But I became more concerned as we got closer to 2004 and people were putting out these voting machines—these electronic voting systems—as a response to what happened in 2000. This is kind of ironic, given that one of the big problems that occurred in the year 2000 had to do with an electronic voting system giving negative 22,000 votes—negative 22,000 votes—to Al Gore in Florida, in Volusia County, Florida.

So that caused one of the problems that happened in the first place in 2000. Those electronic voting systems, that one was made by a company at the time named Global. That company was eventually bought by a company named Diebold, which I’m sure you’ve heard of. And then those machines, which helped create the mess in the first place on election night in 2000, were then spread around the country as a “solution” to what happened in 2000. Sure enough, once we got to 2004, those machines began to fail and cause all kinds of problems, not just the machines, as you note, but people being turned away from polling places. People were being disallowed from overseeing the tabulation in a number of counties in Ohio, and other problems that persist to this day with our voting system in America and actually not just the voting systems, but the front-end stuff as well, the voter suppression and so forth.

All of that is getting worse, not better, in the U.S. despite what we have come to learn over the past decade or more.

Chris Martenson: Brad, help me out here. So if we could categorize it, what are the various forms of voting suppression, fraud, lack of integrity, what are the big categories and which are the most important?

Brad Friedman: Well, they’re all important. I recall after 2004, getting some grief from some people, as I was pointing out the problems with these electronic systems. They were saying, “Well why aren’t you as worried about voter suppression and allowing people to get to the polls in the first place?” I had to point out yes, I am concerned about that and yes, I was the one who highlighted this scheme by the Republican party at the time to begin with these photo ID voter restrictions that they are now putting in place all over the country.

That was a scam. That was a scam that essentially came out of 2004 when you had Democrats complaining about fraud in the 2004 election. The Republicans came out and said—they held one hearing, one hearing after that entire mess in 2004. They held one hearing in the U.S. Congress in the U.S. House on what happened in 2004. A fake—an Astroturf Republican, supposedly a voting rights group was... there was one voting rights group to testify. They came forward, they said yes, in fact, there was fraud in 2004, and it was carried out by the Democrats. A group by the name of ACORN, which I’m sure you’ve heard of, and that in fact they were committing massive voter fraud and we have to do something about it and the answer is photo ID voting restrictions.

Now, it turned out the guy who was giving that testimony on behalf of the only voting rights group to testify after the 2004 election in Congress, it turns out that guy— he didn’t mention it in his testimony, but he was the national general counsel for Bush/Cheney 2004. So that’s when they really began in earnest to run this scam concerning photo ID and pretending there was this massive voter fraud going on.

The voters are doing fine, as I tell people. Leave them alone. Voter fraud, though it exists, it does not exist the way the Republicans are claiming. ACORN had nothing to do with any of it, ever, and yet they’ve been very successful throughout the years in getting these laws passed. Certainly more than ever since 2013 when they were able to get the U.S. Supreme Court to gut the voting rights act.

So you have problems with access to the polls in the first place, that is getting worse. We’re seeing a return of Jim Crow. And then you have problems on the backend, being able to not just cast the vote, but also oversee the counting of the vote. That’s really the most critical part. I don’t want to say it’s the most critical part… You have to be able to vote. You have to be able to have access to the polls if you want to, but having all of the access in the world does no good unless you can actually oversee the counting, unless your vote can be counted, counted accurately, and counted accurately in a way that we the people can know that it has been counted accurately. That is really where we continue to run into problems.

Chris Martenson: Run into problems, or is it literally impossible to have votes counted accurately, at least with respect to the optical scanning systems or the electronic machines which some people are thinking of as the Diebold machines? Is it possible, given their current state of technology and controls, for those to be trustable or verifiable?

Brad Friedman: Well trust is different than verifiable. So trust, frankly, has no place in elections. There is no reason to ever trust anybody. We need to be able to verify all of this. There are basically two different types— speaking very generally here—but basically two different types of electronic voting systems that are currently used today. One is the touchscreen system that people know about. They’ve seen those votes flipping and so forth.

Those machines are, in fact, 100 percent unverifiable. Period. So when a vote is cast on those systems, there is no way—there is no way to this day. I’ve asked the companies that make the systems many times if they have any evidence whatsoever that any vote ever cast on one of those machines during an election, for any candidate or initiative on the ballot, if any of those votes have ever been recorded as per the voter’s intent—any evidence whatsoever.

They have none because they can’t have any. They are 100 percent unverifiable. So that’s one system, and thankfully, many states are getting rid of those and they’re moving to paper ballots. The problem, however, with hand marked paper ballots, is that most of them are run through optical scan computers to be scanned. I’m sure your audience knows how those scanners work.

The problem is, they often don’t work and you can’t tell whether they have worked properly, whether they have accurately recorded the vote, unless you actually hand count the paper ballots, begging the question of why the hell are we using these optical scan systems in the first place. So when you have a paper ballot, at least it is verifiable if anybody bothers to do so. But we don’t bother to do so in this country, almost never.

When problems are found, often they are completely ignored. So that’s why I’ve argued for years now the most transparent and reliable way to run an election is to hand count the paper ballots at the precinct on election night publicly in front of everyone with the results posted at the precinct before those ballots are moved anywhere.

Short of that, it really is faith-based elections. We are trusting that they’re recorded accurately, even though we’ve got so much evidence that they often are not. I think it’s a crazy way to run a democracy if you ask me.

Chris Martenson: Crazy, I’ll go further than that, but let me… Here’s what drives me nuts about this Brad. If I go down to 7-11 and I take two dollars out of an ATM, I have a fully verifiable, auditable, recoverable transaction that just happened so that I can buy my slushy. There is more careful thought and traceability put around my slushy purchase than there is around the selection process for the people who are supposed to represent us on very large issues.

I talked to somebody from Switzerland. They vote every six weeks online, totally secure, completely verifiable, and audited regularly. The technology is not hard. It exists either at the corner ATM or online for whole countries, but we don’t seem to have one in the United States and I’m convinced that it’s because we don’t want one, or at least the powers that be don’t seem to want one. Is that an unfair way to look at it?

Brad Friedman: It’s not unfair. It’s just inaccurate. Your friend from Switzerland, if they are voting online, it is not in fact verifiable. Here’s the difference between your slushy example at the 7-11 and voting. OK, when it comes to the slushy or any use of an ATM machine, or credit card and so forth, you can go back and check to make sure that the transaction was carried out correctly. Your bank can go back and make sure the transaction was carried out correctly.

The credit card company can do this and so forth. You can do this immediately. You can do it weeks later. You can do it years later. So there's that type of transparency to that system. The problem is elections, at least in the U.S., use secret ballots. So once you drop your ballot into the box, whether you literally do it with a piece of paper or you cast it in your scenario online in some fashion, on your phone or on your computer via the internet. There's no way for you to—or there shouldn’t be, at least, any way for you to go back and look at that vote again.

It’s a different animal. It’s a different beast and this is something that, I don’t know why it’s difficult for folks to understand, but voting is not like an ATM transaction. It’s completely different because of the secret ballot and therefore, we have to go about it in a completely different way. So your friend, when he says he can verify his vote in Switzerland, well he really can’t.

What he can verify is what the computer tells him he voted. That does not necessarily mean that his vote was counted that way. Furthermore, he might be able to look at his own vote, but he can’t look at everyone else’s vote, and that’s where oversight and transparency for the public comes in. The public has to be able to oversee the election, not just their own vote, but they have to be able to oversee everyone’s vote to assure that everyone’s vote has been tallied as intended by the voter.

So it’s very different from an ATM transaction, slushy or otherwise. Does that explanation make sense?

Chris Martenson: Well it does and thank you for that. That’s a very clear explanation. I love it. This is why we sometimes have to turn to statistical arguments. Let’s go back to 2004 because this is frankly where things went off the rail for me in terms of my trust in the system. So in 2004, we saw that Bush won the recorded vote nationally, 50.7 percent to 48.3 percent. So that’s a 3 million vote margin, but Kerry won the national exit poll by 51.7 to 47 percent, a 6 million margin.

Exit polls used to be the gold standard. If the exit polls and the results matched, the UN would say that was a fair election in some third world country. But they seem to have gone badly off the rails here in 2004. So that bothered me at a national level, but it was that Wednesday morning right after the November 2nd presidential election; Kerry telephones the White House late that morning, so it’s less than 24 hours, and conceded the election after he and his campaign team looked over the voting numbers from Ohio.

So he tosses in the towel. That always bothered me because of the number of voting irregularities that were apparent in Ohio that year. They were astounding and covered a wide range of things. Ohio and Florida were the pivotal states in that election so it was both the results themselves and Kerry’s immediate fall to the mat after a light tap on the chin—that’s where I lost my faith. Was that an overreaction on my part?

Brad Friedman: No, you’re absolutely right. What Kerry did in basically rolling over the next day essentially made the case that Bush and the Republicans had been making throughout the campaign. It was a nonsense argument oh that Kerry, who was a war hero, was somehow a coward, but in fact, that day, as you say, within 24 hours he conceded an election that he should not have conceded, that he said he was not going to concede. They were promising for months before that election they were going to make sure that every vote was counted and counted accurately in 2004, given what had happened in 2000.

But you're right, he immediately rolled over and justified all of the arguments that the Republicans had been making about him. It was absolutely pathetic. That said, I’ll have some quibble with you, if you’d like, concerning exit polls, but I certainly agree with you on your central thesis there that what John Kerry did was just outrageous.

Chris Martenson: Well good, I’m glad we have agreement there. I would love to understand the exit poll piece. Because if we’re within the margin of error, fine, but when certain results are coming back that are several standard deviations away, I look at people running statistics and they say "well, after you add up enough of those, you get results that should happen one in every 100,000 results or more." What do you say to that?

Brad Friedman: Well we have to break down your original argument just a little bit, because you had taken—you were talking about national exit polls. So I’m not sure where you were getting your data, but we don’t run national elections in the U.S., obviously. In the U.S., we go state by state, we have an electoral college, so let’s get rid of, for the moment, any national averages.

But state by state, yes, in those swing states, we did see the exit polls suggesting that John Kerry was going to be the winner and instead, we found out that George W. Bush was the winner, according to the reported results. Now, exit polls, for one thing, they do not release the raw data from the exit polls, at least from the exit polls in the U.S. So they serve as a red flag or a yellow flag that hey, there could be a problem here, but they are not in and of themselves proof that there has been fraud.

By the way, when you have a disparity between the exit polls and the results, there could be other reasons as well. Even if you have a disparity between the exit poll raw data and the results, we can have just errors, miss-programming; these systems fail all the time. So it does not necessarily mean fraud. But yes, it’s certainly a red or yellow flag that should be looked into.

But the case that I’ve seen and the reason I’m sort of reacting this way to the exit polls, is because what I’ve seen this year... A lot of Bernie Sanders supporters who are out there making the case that the exit polls show one thing and the results show another and therefore that means the election has been stolen by fraud and the fraud has been committed by Hillary Clinton—and the fact is we don’t have proof of any of that. All we have is some exit poll numbers that don’t necessarily match the results.

The exit poll numbers could be wrong. The results could be wrong. The exit polls, as I say, are not raw data. It would be a different matter—and I don’t want to get into the weeds on how these exit polls are carried out—but it would be a different matter if we had the specific raw data from a specific precinct and then we could compare it to the results at that precinct. But we don’t have that.

The exit poll companies, who are paid for by the corporate media, refuse to release their raw data. So what happens is, Chris, you and I and everybody else just end up guessing. Gosh, the exit polls don’t seem to match up with the results. There’s this presumption in the corporate media when that happens that, well, the exit polls must have been wrong and the machines must have been right. I’ve seen enough machines and enough errors on those machines—whether it’s through fraud or error or manipulation—to know that no, the results are not the gold standard, not the way that we record them right now.

So there is reason to be suspicious. There is reason to be concerned. There is reason to be troubled because we are not allowed to oversee the tabulation of these votes. But in and of themselves, those exit polls do not necessarily mean that there has been fraud or that someone is stealing the election. Does that distinction make sense?

Chris Martenson: Well it does, but it necessarily means that we would want to go and then verify the results if possible. So let’s make this real. Let’s go to a recent example. The Kentucky governor’s race concluded in 2015; it had a smashing last-day 15-point turnaround for the underdog Matt Bevin who I think was trailing three to five points—wins by nine. It was a pretty big turnaround and I should note here, just for those who like their things served with a little humor, that among his first official acts was to propose draconian budget cuts to the committees for ethics investigations and elections oversight.

A lot of people saying there was suspicious things in that. Is there anything suspicious about his last minute come from behind victory in your mind, and would you think we should be looking into that?

Brad Friedman: Oh yeah, of course we should. Small nuance here, but the difference between the polls you mentioned and the results and whatever it was, 15-point swing, that wasn’t from exit polls. That was from pre-election polling, which is a little bit different than exit polls. But still, they give us an indication of what the results are most likely to be, and yes, there was this huge swing. Matt Bevin was a very unpopular candidate and he was running against someone who was thought to be much more popular. It was very odd that some of the down-ticket candidates on that same ballot—some of those Democrats ended up getting more votes than the Democrat at the top of the ticket.

So there was a lot of reason to be concerned about those results in Kentucky. So normally, when this sort of thing happens, one might say "okay count the ballots." Instead of relying on the computer totals, count the ballots. Well in Kentucky, unfortunately—and this came into play a few days ago on the May 17 democratic primary in Kentucky. In Kentucky, they still use enough of those 100 percent unverifiable touchscreens we mentioned earlier, that there absolutely is no way to go back and find out exactly how the voters intended to vote. It is 100 percent faith based voting.

So in an election like that, as we had on May 17, the democratic primary between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, there was less than 2,000 votes separating the two candidates. Well they use a lot more—a lot more votes were cast on unverifiable touchscreen voting systems than 2,000. So even if you went back and counted the paper ballots in a state like Kentucky, you would still never be able to know for certain who actually won the election.

So that’s why it’s insane to use those type of systems and that was the same problem that we had back in the gubernatorial election in Kentucky—when was that, last year? Yes. I’m losing track of time, it’s so insane. But yes, there is every reason to be suspicious. By the way, there is every reason to be suspicious of every election. There's a lot of money at stake—a lot of money, a lot of power at stake in these elections and so people should be suspicious about them.

No matter what you do, people will try to game elections. There's just too much at stake for people to not want to try to do that. That’s why you need a system that is as transparent as possible because people are going to try to game it. The trick is to have as many eyeballs looking as possible to make it as difficult as possible to game the election. That’s the trick. When you begin to use security by obscurity and hide the way that votes are actually counted and the way that votes are actually cast and the systems that are used to tally them, we have no idea in the end.

I think that’s just absolutely crazy. Every time I come out and make that argument, it depends what election has just happened, but I'm either a Democratic partisan, I’m a Republican partisan, I’m a Bernie supporter, I’m a Hillary supporter, whatever it is, people don’t like to hear these facts. So I’ve had to go to bat for a lot of candidate who I would have never ever even considered voting for. But I think that their supporters have the right to know—whether they won or lost— have the right to know that the election was tabulated accurately. That’s what we no longer have in this country and it’s ridiculous.

Chris Martenson: So let me... you mentioned something about precinct level results before... even if these things are tabulated on a voting machine, I’ll tell you a paper that sort of turned my head. It was back in 2012 and it was by Francois Choquette and James Johnson. It’s about election anomalies, where they are looking at the percentage that a candidate would get by the precinct size, and statistically speaking, those should be pretty flat lines and they had example after example after example where they could detect what they consider to be free and fair elections where they had basically a flat line. There should be no reason for a line to slope as you go across precincts.

Then they found other ones where there were clear signs of actual manipulation. So we can see. That turned my head. Are you familiar with that work and does that idea hold any merit to you?

Brad Friedman: There are signs that are anomalous. I would not say there are signs of manipulation. Again, go back to—it could be simple error or there could be reasonable explanations for it. For example, they have put forward—I’ve seen them do those same studies, mapping out some more recent elections showing, for example, that Hillary Clinton was doing better in one precinct… I’m not doing a good job of explaining it, but she was doing better in precincts where you had a big turnout and so forth.

Well, she’s very popular with African-Americans and in urban areas so there was an explanation for that. Bernie Sanders is more popular in rural areas where you have smaller precincts, so that might explain that. That might make perfect sense. But again, we shouldn’t have to be doing all of this. We shouldn’t have to be doing all this algebra and rocket science.

This is pretty easy. This is pretty straightforward. A piece of paper, a pen, you choose who you want to vote for; you drop it in a box. At the end of the night, everybody has been watching that box all day. At the end of the night, you take out the ballots, you count them in front of the people, and you know exactly what the results are. We should not have to have these types of studies that go back and find these statistical anomalies begging explanation.

But that is what we have. So I understand when people like you look at those studies and are troubled by them. You should be troubled by them. There may be a perfectly reasonable explanation, but the problem is we are not allowed to know.

Beth Clarkson, a statistician Wichita, Kansas, she works at I think its Wichita University out there, she’s very well respected in her field. She did that same study you’re talking about with elections in Kansas, found those same anomalies, filed—and she did this twice. So far she’s been rejected twice by the courts—but filed twice to look at the ballots, the so-called paper trails, the audit logs from the voting machines to try to figure out if in fact this is how people voted or if something went wrong, if there was some kind of an anomaly.

She has been disallowed from looking at those materials. And we’re talking about an election—I think the election she was questioning was from 2014. It’s too late to change the results of that election, to overturn it. Whoever won that election gets to keep their seat. But she’s still a citizen who goes to court twice and is being opposed by the secretary of state and the county clerk wherever she lives, being opposed, not allowed to look at those materials.

Why? How can we run a system like that? Well, we do, and it’s maddening, absolutely maddening.

Chris Martenson: It is. It is Brad and if I remember that case right, I think in one of the rulings the judge said this would violate a voter’s right to privacy. She countered with the idea that "what privacy? They’re all anonymous ballots, I can’t possibly detect who cast what vote," but he stood by the ruling, or she, I don’t know what the judge was, but that was like the most inane sort of ruling. It was almost like… I call it the subprime court, instead of Supreme Court, after the 2000 piece where they use this arcane weird interpretation of the 14th Amendment to say "uh….. Bush." It’s just crazy making because it doesn’t make any legal sense. It doesn’t have any precedence to stand on and it doesn’t even make logical sense but that’s what we have to deal with.

Brad Friedman: Well that’s right. The argument that was put forward, violating voter secrecy, that has been put forward before on the idea that when you have paper ballots, hand marked paper ballots, that somehow somebody might put a mark on them in some fashion that would then somehow be identifiable. But here’s the problem: We’ve got out here in California for example, I think more than half of the votes that are cast are cast via absentee ballot. Vote by mail.

You can already show your neighbor how it is you intend to vote. Vote buying and selling is a serious concern and that is why you should never be—when you go to vote, you should not be handed a receipt for example of how you voted, because that allows you to go out and sell your vote. That’s something else that people don’t understand. "Hey, why can’t I get a receipt when I go to vote?" Well that’s why you can’t, because it leads to vote buying, vote selling, intimidation, your boss tells you "hey, if you don’t come in tomorrow with a Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump receipt, you’ll be fired," that sort of thing. So you don’t want to be able to do that. Still, you have people who are pushing for more and more vote by mail, more and more absentee voting.

I’m in favor of being able to cast a ballot if you’re not going to be there on Election Day. But we see states now in Oregon, for example, going to all 100 percent vote by mail. I think that’s a terrible idea for a number of reasons, but among them, it’s very easy to buy and sell a vote in that case. And yet, you then have election officials saying "well you can’t look at the votes that have been cast because somehow they might identify somebody and violate their privacy," more insanity.

Chris Martenson: It is crazy making. But let me turn the tables on you real quick; let me turn to the skeptics. I’m going to read a headline here, it’s from 2014... It’s essentially the same one I saw in all the major publications, but this one is from the Washington Post and the headline reads... “Seven papers, four government inquiries, two news investigations, and one court ruling proving voter fraud is mostly a myth.” It seems to me that there was a concerted effort to prove to all of us that voting fraud is just an urban myth. The Brennan Center for Justice, a New York University School of Law housed entity, was especially central to promoting that idea and I have something to say about that particular study itself, but what’s your response to these debunking— seven papers, four government inquiries, two news investigations, a court ruling, what you’re talking about is just a myth?

Brad Friedman: Well it’s not what I’m talking about. They’re talking about voter fraud. I’m talking about election fraud. I’m talking about insiders who have access to the machines, who can change the results of an election in 30 seconds flat. I’m talking about the potential for hackers to come in and game the system. Election insiders—that’s the concern when it comes to elections and fraud, not voters. The voters are doing fine. Leave them alone. And that’s what that paper refers to, voter fraud.

The only type of fraud—when you hear these Republicans who are pushing these photo ID voting restrictions, what they are pushing is to deter the type of fraud that almost never happens, as that study—I haven’t read that specific article, but I’ve read enough of those studies they cite, as that article is referring to. So when it comes to in-person fraud, impersonation at the polling place, that almost never happens, and for good reason. It’s insane.

As it is, people are forced to stand in line for three or four hours to cast their votes. I guess the suggestion is after standing in line for three or four hours to cast one’s vote, you’re going to turn around and get back in the line or back in another line for another three or four hours. You’re going to show up and you’re going to give someone else’s name on the presumption, by the way, that they have not yet voted and that nobody at the polling place knows you. And you’re going to do all of this in order to cast a single vote and risk what is, like a $5-10,000 fine and five to ten years in jail for one single vote.

That’s why it’s insane. That’s why it happens so infrequently. So if you want to game an election, all you’ve got to do is get inside the system, inside the election office, hit a few keystrokes and change the entire election and nobody will bother to check it. That’s the problem; nobody bothers to look at it.

Even when we get insane results, even when you had a case back in 2013, a guy by the name of Alvin Greene, you may remember from South Carolina, no one had ever heard of this guy. He was unemployed; he didn’t have a campaign website. He didn’t campaign anywhere. He didn’t even own a cell phone. He lived at his father’s house. He was named the democratic nominee for the United States Senate in 2013 in the state of South Carolina, which by the way, uses 100 percent unverifiable touchscreen voting systems across the entire state. Even with this election of this guy—by the way, he was running against a judge and a former state senator who was well respected, who campaigned in every county in the state, who was spending… who had a big campaign staff, had tens of thousands of dollars in the bank.

That’s who he beat, and nobody—when this happened and it was so clear something went wrong, they still didn’t throw out the election. There was no recount because you can’t recount software vapor. There was nothing to recount and it was allowed to go through. Of course, the guy got his butt kicked in the general election and that was that.

So even when we have these ridiculously anomalous elections, there is literally nothing that can be done about them afterwards. Anyway, that’s a much easier way to scam an election than go one vote by one vote, committing actual impersonation voter fraud at the polling place. That just almost never happens.

If you actually want to commit voter fraud, as opposed to election fraud, again, absentee ballots are the way to go. So there are ways to commit voter fraud. It’s just not done the way that the Republicans are claiming that it is done and they are making that claim for one reason and one reason only, to make it more difficult for democratic leaning voters to be able to cast their vote, period. That’s the only reason why those photo ID laws exist. Every other explanation is complete and utter baseless, evidence-free nonsense.

Chris Martenson: I love that, great distinction there, well said. I did, I skimmed through this paper by Justin Levitt, with 50 pages long. He’s the guy from the Brennan Center and there wasn’t one mention of electronic voting machines. So there was nothing about election integrity in there. It was all just about "oh what if somebody got a fake ID." I felt like I was reading a document that was the equivalent of a little bright shiny thing that a magician might use to keep you off what’s actually happening.

It seemed so insincere. I find it hard to believe that people support looking further into that.

Brad Friedman: Well he was right actually to do that. He has been setting—Justin Levitt has been setting—and he now works, by the way, at the Department of Justice in the civil rights division; the voting division. But he was responding to the claim being made by the Republicans for those photo ID laws that result in voter suppression and the reason those laws exist is in fact to suppress the vote.

So he was responding to that very specific issue, so you need to just keep the difference, because they do both matter. They are two different sides of the same coin. We need to make sure that people can actually access the polls legally as they’re entitled to, and then later, after they cast their vote, we need to be concerned about the tabulation, how it’s counted, and our ability to oversee it and know that it’s counted accurately.

So I wouldn’t be so hard on Justin Levitt and on that study because it was actually a good one. What he ended up finding was that out of—I think it was 30 billion votes, if I’m remembering this correctly, or maybe it was a billion...I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but something like 30 billion votes cast over the past 15 years. They were able to find I think it was 10 or 14 incidents of the type of voter fraud that could possibly even be deterred by photo ID restrictions. Just ridiculous numbers.

There is so little of that type of voter fraud that goes on to justify disenfranchising millions of Americans. That’s what that study by Justin Levitt was focused on. So in that regard, I think it was a good study. He was not looking at the voting machines, but that’s a separate issue.

Chris Martenson: All right, well that’s a fair point and thank you for making that distinction, but what I note is that the newspapers then run with it to say, big headlines, "voting fraud is a myth" and that’s as far as they’re going to look into it. Who is looking into the voting machines and the tabulation errors that we’ve been talking about?

Brad Friedman: You and me Chris, that’s about it. Just make that distinction between voter fraud and election fraud. There are people who are concerned with election fraud, actually Brennan Center, since you mentioned Brennan Center for Justice at NYU; they actually did a pretty good study. I want to say it was back in 2006, I think, concerning electronic voting systems and just how terrible they are, how easily hacked they are, as we’ve seen now in case after case, study after study around the country. Secretary of State Debra Bowen out here in California years ago—she’s no longer the secretary of state, but when she became secretary of state, she did a top to bottom review of every electronic voting system that had been certified in the state of California. She found that every single one of them could be hacked down to the central tabulator in about 60 seconds’ time and could have their elections flipped without leaving any evidence behind. So she did a good job in getting the information out on that and a bunch of machines were decertified in the state of California.

Then the secretary of state of Ohio at the time, Jennifer Brunner, also a democrat, came in and followed it up with her own study called "Everest" and surprise, surprise, found the exact same thing. So there are people out there doing those studies.

The problem is there's sort of a difference between the studies themselves and what happens in reality. I read those studies. I see what goes on in the elections. I try to connect those dots but many people in the corporate media just don’t connect. I remember it was back in 2008, I believe it was, I want to say 2008, and yes it was 2008—The New York Times Magazine did a Sunday cover story on exactly this and on how easy it was to hack a voting machine.

That was on a Sunday just before the New Hampshire primary. Then the New Hampshire primary came, which everyone thought, all the pre-election polls and I believe the exit, yes the exit polls that day said that Barack Obama was going to win and Hillary Clinton ended up being declared the winner. Now, maybe she really did win that, two days later after the New York Times cover story.

But nobody knew that. Nobody could know for a fact unless they actually bothered to count the paper ballots that were cast in New Hampshire, because they were running them through optical scan computers. Either this records them correctly or incorrectly, who knows unless you bother to count them. Nonetheless, even though they had that cover story, two days earlier in the New York Times warning about "oh get ready, these voting machines are going to be problem in 2008," the New York Times was the first one to poo-poo any concerns about what happened in that election in New Hampshire.

They called it one of the greatest upsets in American electoral history when she won that. The exit polls that day showed that Barack Obama was going to win and yet somehow, she won. The newspaper, which reported on the concerns about voting machines, immediately forgot what they had reported just two days earlier. So that’s the disconnect.

There is information about those machines and concerns that are put forward by scientists and engineers and really smart people, and then the media completely ignore those concerns when you have a questionable election. So amazing disconnects.

Chris Martenson: Here’s a quick question for you then: How many people have gone to jail for election rigging?

Brad Friedman: Let’s see, not many. I can think of one guy who was a Republican who wrote a book, his name was Allen Raymond. He wrote a book called How to Rig an Election; Confessions of a Republican Operative. But it wasn’t rigged by voting machines, it was rigged another way with telephone banking and so forth. But very few people, almost nobody—election fraud is pretty safe it seems to carry out.

There was a group of officials in Clay County, Kentucky in 2011 who were sentenced collectively to 156 years in jail for gaming elections in Clay County, Kentucky. For decades they were doing it, they were both buying and selling votes, and then once the electronic touchscreen voting systems came to Clay County, they figured out frankly a really dumb way, but they figured out how to go in and change the votes of voters after they had left the booth on those touchscreen voting systems.

Now if they weren’t—these guys maybe weren’t the sharpest tools in the shed, because they could have just gone back to county headquarters and changed all the votes at once instead of doing it machine by machine, but that’s what they were doing. This was nine top election officials who were sentenced in this case. They were the county clerk—again, so he had access to these machines— the county clerk, a district court judge, the school superintendent of these counties.

These were top officials, well respected in their communities; they were the ones who were gaming the election. So I used to hear a lot when I would bring up these issues, I would hear election officials say "hey, you’re claiming I’m committing fraud." Well I wasn’t claiming you’re committing fraud, but I am pointing out that yes, if you want to commit fraud, again, it’s the insiders. It’s the election officials, they have the best access to do it, and that’s why we, the public, need to be able to oversee everything that those election officials are doing, even the best ones.

The best ones by the way will tell you "don’t trust me. If you can’t see it, it shouldn’t be trusted." That’s what the best election officials in the country will tell you. Unfortunately, not a lot of them say that.

Chris Martenson: I can understand why. So in closing here, first of all, I’ve read a few things that say states are moving away from electronic voting machines. I want to test if that’s actually true, but secondarily, what’s the gold standard? How should we be doing this so if people wanted to get off of listening to this and agitate for appropriate change in their state, what is it that they should be asking for?

Brad Friedman: Well to the first question, when they say they’re moving away from electronic voting systems, what they’re talking about is moving away from the touchscreen systems, the 100 percent unverifiable touchscreen systems that I mentioned. So there is a move away from those in many states. We’re still using them in a lot of states, which means that it’s going to be impossible to verify a whole bunch of elections this November.

Yes, they have been moving away, but when they say they’re moving away from electronic voting systems, they’re not really telling you the truth, because even as I said, on those hand marked paper ballots, those are still run through optical scan computers. For some reason, these people don’t consider those to be electronic voting systems. So no, we are by and large across the entire country still using electronic voting systems and nobody is bothering to verify that they are actually tabulating correctly.

What is the gold standard? Look to 40 percent of the towns in New Hampshire where they—and they’re not the only ones to do it, but there's not a lot of people doing it. But 40 percent of the towns in New Hampshire hand mark paper ballots, they’re pulled out after the polls close. The entire community comes in, they pull the ballots out of the box, the community themselves bring their own chairs and they oversee the counting. In each precinct, it takes place right then and there.

Those results are posted right then and there before the ballots are moved to the county level or the state level. So even if they are gamed, it would be very difficult to get away with it because there are so many people watching and overseeing it. Even if the numbers change between the time they’re counted at the precinct to when they show up online on the web, you’ve got a whole bunch of people who said no, no, wait, I was there, I oversaw it. Those were not the results.

We saw that for example in the Iowa caucuses, GOP caucuses, back in 2012. In fact, the Republican Party, which runs the caucuses there, put out numbers that night showing that Mitt Romney won the Iowa caucus. In fact, he didn’t; it was Rick Santorum back then. The only reason we know is because the Republicans, for their own caucuses, they used hand counted paper ballots.

People were able to see, "no, Mitt Romney did not get 22 votes at my caucus site, as the Republicans are claiming. He only got two." So once the information got out and people took pictures, they had the original tally sheet that could prove it because they had oversight. Because of that, eventually the Republican Party had to change the results and they admitted "yes, it was in fact Rick Santorum; it wasn’t Mitt Romney."

But that was due to the oversight of the hand counted paper ballots that took place. That’s your gold standard. That’s democracy’s gold standard. And that’s what we need to start seeing in every town, city, village, state in this country.

Chris Martenson: Thank you so much for your time today Brad. That was superb. That was really just superb and I want to thank you for the work you’re doing. It’s so important and in this election cycle, I think people are going to understand that it is really important that our votes actually count. I’m shocked and I hope other people listening to this are shocked that the state of voting is so insecure in America and it would not be that hard to make it secure again— accountability, oversight, to re-double paraphrase Reagan: Verify but then recount.

I just love it. So tell people again how they can follow you and your excellent work more closely.

Brad Friedman: Thank you Chris. You can go to bradblog.com where pretty much everything that I do is posted. We have a daily radio show now, which you can follow at bradblog.com/bradcast or you can subscribe for free at iTunes. We’re syndicated actually all over the world at this point, and I’ll show up everywhere else, I write at Salon and everywhere else, but bradblog.com, that’s your main source for all the Bradness you can possibly stand.

Chris Martenson: Well thanks again and we’ll be following you throughout this election cycle and beyond.

Brad Friedman: Thank you Chris, greatly appreciate it.

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50 Comments

Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 2486
Elections?

Here's one approach. Most states have these available now.

Withdraw all consent.

Michael_Rudmin's picture
Michael_Rudmin
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 25 2014
Posts: 708
You can't complain

If you didn't vote, you can't complain. So your answer won't work.

if you voted and lost, you can't complain. You had your chance, and failed. You're a failure.

If you voted and won and YOUR candidate does the opposite of what he said or what you expected, you can't complain.

I have a problem here. I think the name of the problem is Republic. I think the name of the problem is corruption. I think the name of the problem is...

Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 2486
No point in complaining.

Not saying complain. Think TPTB care one iota about anyone's complaining?

Withdraw. Walk away. Remove your physical, mental and spiritual energy and dependance on the system. In ways small and big, any way you can, each and every day, lawfully. Withdraw your consent. Don't pine, don't talk. Do.

Remember the phrase “Derive their just powers from the consent of the governed”.

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 3 2008
Posts: 4075
voting system design

What a great interview.  So many things I didn't know.

Voting is an interesting problem - a lot more interesting than I realized.   Its not just about counting - its also about how to keep the process of counting transparent, with individual ballots still being secret, and at the same time making vote-selling impossible.

His solution ends up being very low tech.  That's because it has to be, to allow ordinary people to be able to verify the process.

This is a problem that absolutely does not benefit from automation.

Given the systems now in place, and the stakes involved, I'm convinced that some number of our elections are rigged at this point.  Its just too easy to do.  I have a sense of the NSA's capability - they could do it without much difficulty.  Given that, and the Deep State's interest in affecting domestic outcomes, anything close will end up going the way they want.  "In the name of national security and keeping America safe."

jtwalsh's picture
jtwalsh
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 254
Small is better

Little Rhode Island has used a combination voting system for a number of years (I know it existed prior to Bush v. Gore)  Each voter gets a paper ballot and must use a marker to make their choices.  The paper is put, by the voter, into a scanner which instantly reads the ballot.  If someone has marked two candidates for the same office, or has put random marks on the ballot, it is rejected, and poll workers will give the voter another one to do over. (Thus no hanging chads or other questionable ballots.)  The system allows the voter to write in a candidate and lets you not vote for an office if you do not want any of the candidates.

The results are calculated by each scanner and printed out in each polling place at the end of the evening. (Write ins will only be calculated later when the ballots are reviewed.) I believe that in recent years the scanners may also download results directly to the Secretary of State so that there is an electronic total just minutes after polls close. Members of both major parties are present in each polling station to review the printout and to seal boxes which will keep the paper ballots if there is need for a recount.

There have been relatively few issues here in recent years and even very close elections have been resolved to most folks satisfaction by doing a recount of the paper ballots.

I was encouraged to hear this presentation as it confirmed a suspicion of mine that the purely computerized systems are ripe for fraud.

A word on voter id.  I have been generally in favor of the idea and have had little sympathy for folks who claimed they had no identification to meet the requirements.  My thought process being that if you cannot figure out how to get an id maybe the republic would be better off without you being part of the process.

The first time I voted under Rhode Island's voter id law I was almost not allowed to vote.  My legal name has Jr. at the end.  When I was getting my driver's license years ago the clerk at the DMV did not require that I use Jr. (At 16 I didn't want to be a Jr.).  My license has never had jr. after my name.  Becoming an attorney, I was required to use my full name.  Purchasing a property with a bank loan required use of my full name.  My voter id matched my full name as I used the property deed to show proof of residence. Even though a couple of the poll workers knew me, they were so concerned about following the law they almost didn't accept my license as valid id. Since that time I have brought my passport and license each time I go to vote and I have  much more sympathy for the people who say the id laws are disenfranchising otherwise eligible voters.

JT

PS.Memorial Day thoughts for all who have given their lives in service of country.  My deepest respect for them and their families.

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5022
You might want to rethink that optical scanner....

jtwalsh wrote:

Little Rhode Island has used a combination voting system for a number of years (I know it existed prior to Bush v. Gore)  Each voter gets a paper ballot and must use a marker to make their choices.  The paper is put, by the voter, into a scanner which instantly reads the ballot.  If someone has marked two candidates for the same office, or has put random marks on the ballot, it is rejected, and poll workers will give the voter another one to do over. (Thus no hanging chads or other questionable ballots.)  The system allows the voter to write in a candidate and lets you not vote for an office if you do not want any of the candidates.

The results are calculated by each scanner and printed out in each polling place at the end of the evening. (Write ins will only be calculated later when the ballots are reviewed.) I believe that in recent years the scanners may also download results directly to the Secretary of State so that there is an electronic total just minutes after polls close. Members of both major parties are present in each polling station to review the printout and to seal boxes which will keep the paper ballots if there is need for a recount.

There have been relatively few issues here in recent years and even very close elections have been resolved to most folks satisfaction by doing a recount of the paper ballots.

I was encouraged to hear this presentation as it confirmed a suspicion of mine that the purely computerized systems are ripe for fraud.

The optical scanners are also ripe for fraud with the only thing standing between a fair and a rigged election is a hand count of the ballots by both sides to confirm what the optical scanner has produced.

I'm glad to hear there have been recounts in your precinct and that the recount and the scanner matched up well.

For a demonstration of just how rigged the optical scanner might be, there's this:

Mark_BC's picture
Mark_BC
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 30 2010
Posts: 388
I'm happy to report that

I'm happy to report that canada still uses paper ballots with hand counting I believe. Wonder how that will last. Haven't listened to the interview because the transcript isn't up yet but my suggestion for voting in the us would be for everyone to show up to the polls but no one cast a single vote, instead put that effort into protesting outside with signs. 

richcabot's picture
richcabot
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 5 2011
Posts: 56
Hacking the central servers in Ohio

Both the 2000 and 2004 presidential election were hacked in Ohio in exactly the same way.  There was a lawsuit about it which I think was buried.  You can read about it at 

http://www.globalresearch.ca/court-filing-reveals-how-2004-ohio-presiden...

It involved setting up a shadow server system across the border in Tennessee which was swapped with the Ohio state election server after the polls closed.  Recall that in both years the exit poll data did not match the official results.  In 2000 everyone was focused on Florida and the Ohio irregularities were off the radar.

There's also an excellent treatment of the whole affair in "Family Of Secrets" by Russ Baker.

richcabot's picture
richcabot
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 5 2011
Posts: 56
Voter Manipulation and Fraud

There's a good article on voter manipulation and fraud at 

http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/08/03/whos-stealing-your-vote-a-documentary/

Grover's picture
Grover
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 16 2011
Posts: 682
Futility

T2H,

Voting is the second most useless thing you can do. Not voting is the most useless. I understand your approach, but it won't be considered as you suggest. They don't care enough to analyze the real reasons for low voter turnout when a simple phrase like " voter apathy" suffices. All non-voters will be glommed into the same bucket.

I find that the more local an issue or candidate is, the more impact my vote has. National elections are governed by the antiquated electoral college. If your State is predominantly blue/red, you are taken for granted. It is only in the "Battle ground" States that it really matters. I remember reading that the 2012 presidential election boiled down to 44 counties. The candidates all have their highly paid political strategists who figure how to game these results. Whatever strategy works is a winning strategy - especially if nobody catches them at it.

Does it really matter who wins? Will any candidate's rhetoric actually see the light of day after the oath has been taken? That person may make an attempt to bring the promises to light, but the political cost won't be worth it. As a result, nobody will be as bad as you fear nor as good as you hope.

Look at the real issues that need to be addressed - we discuss these in just about every thread on PP. The reason those issues haven't been addressed is that there isn't any practical solution available. As long as the bus isn't careening over the edge of the cliff, there is still time to kick the can.

I will vote in November. I can either vote against someone or I can vote for someone. Electorally, my vote doesn't really matter, so I'll likely pick one of the fringe candidates that aligns closest to my views. Am I just throwing away my vote? With all the obstacles to a fair result, who isn't throwing their vote away?

Grover

Rector's picture
Rector
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 8 2010
Posts: 452
We will have the government we deserve

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." John Adams

Sterling Cornaby's picture
Sterling Cornaby
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 6 2012
Posts: 151
Computer super nerds agree, voting machines are not a good idea

Voting machines equals fraud in counting; its inevitable.  As soon as I saw this article I thought of this. (Which confirms exactly what Brad is saying)

Computerphile people know their computing machines, they know the games that they are being asked to play in our behalf.  If the computer 'maker' says his computer is going to miscount your election, and says not to use his counting machines, you should not use his counting machines.

Well, the statements above only apply if you would like the count to be accurate.  If you don't want vote counting accuracy, then it is great to have electronic counting machines.  I guess it is just a matter of perspective.   

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1394
Small Airplanes Are Incredibly Dangerous

Small airplanes are incredibly dangerous, especially in the weeks prior to testifying in a voting fraud investigation.

Michael Connell, the Bush family and Karl Rove’s IT guru, was heading home from Washington D.C. to attend his company’s Christmas party on Friday, December 19th in 2008. An accomplished pilot, he was flying from the College Park, Maryland airport to the Akron-Canton airport in Ohio under unremarkable weather conditions. Yet his Piper Saratoga plane suddenly dove to the ground between two houses in an upscale neighborhood, when he was just 2.5 miles from the airport. The site was roped off, cleaned up within two hours at night against protocol, and the next day his wife found his omniscient Blackberry missing from his still intact knapsack.

From The Ghost of Rigged Elections Past

The Free Press has uncovered crucial documents that shed light on Connell’s mysterious death as the fifth anniversary of his tragic accident approaches. The document reveals that then-Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell had signed a legal Statement of Work (SOW) contract with Connell for IT work on the infamous Election Night 2004.... Connell and Blackwell agreed fourteen months prior to the 2004 election that that Connell would have “remote monitoring capabilities” to the computer counting Ohio’s presidential vote. That means Blackwell planned more than a year in advance for Connell’s private partisan external third party company and a subcontractor to have unfettered secret access to Ohio’s 2004 vote tally.

The newly discovered contract contains an “Exhibit B” which called for a “mirror” website to handle Ohio’s 2004 actual vote count on Election Night provided by Connell’s company, GovTech... to provide a failover solution in the event of failure of the primary installation on Election Day.”

Ohio’s 2004 votes were outsourced to Smartech in Chattanooga, Tennessee, owned by right-wing evangelical publisher Jeff Averbeck, subcontracted by Connell. The vote count inexplicably flipped at 12:21am changing from Kerry winning by over 3 percentage points to Bush winning by over 3 percentage points. Overall, there was an unexplainable rapid 6.7% shift in the vote count.

However, the architecture map of the computer linkage (here and here) shows that Connell's computer was not in a failover arrangement (an emergency back up), but a man-in-the-middle.  The man-in-the-middle is a fraud scam where a middle computer is surreptitiously placed between two other computers where it can secretly read and write into the data stream.

Expert witness Stephen Spoonamore, renowned bank and computer fraud expert and GOP member, concluded from the architectural maps of the Ohio 2004 election reporting system that: “Smartech was a man in the middle. In my opinion they were not designed as a mirror, they were designed specifically to be a man in the middle.”

A “man in the middle” is a deliberate computer hacking setup, which allows a third party to sit in between computer transmissions and illegally alter the data. A mirror site, by contrast, is designed as a backup site in case the main computer configuration fails.

In a sworn affidavit to the court, Spoonamore declared: “The Smartech system was set up precisely as a King Pin computer used in criminal acts against banking or credit card processes and had the needed level of access to both county tabulators and Secretary of State computers to allow whoever was running Smartech computers to decide the output of the county tabulators under its control.

Connell's death came at a moment where election protection attorneys and others appeared to be closing in on critical irregularities and illegalities.

It is very important to remember not to fly in small airplanes while waiting to testify against the elite.

Michael_Rudmin's picture
Michael_Rudmin
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 25 2014
Posts: 708
And as Michael Hastings could tell you,

Sand_Puppy wrote:  "It is very important to remember not to fly in small airplanes while waiting to testify against the elite."

And as Michael Hastings could tell you, when you are all done, you'd best stay away from automobiles, too. 

Come to think of it, bicycles are extremely hazardous too. And so are food processors and toilets.

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 3 2008
Posts: 4075
pilot error

Clearly a case of pilot error.  Which is to say, its an error to be called as a witness in a case that could get a whole lot of people in trouble that are way above your pay grade.

CAF likes to say how "they" (presumably Mr Global and his friends) can kill with impunity.  Another case in point here, I guess.

In my dreams, there will be a massive disclosure of all this stuff, and we'll get to see (like the citizens of East Germany, when the files of the Stazi were thrown open to public inspection) exactly who is doing what.

In the meantime, private planes are probably not a great idea.  Or modern cars that can be bluejacked.  And if you just hide in your home, you might become depressed and commit suicide.

I do get the sense that it isn't particularly safe to be a player in this game.  Working for Mr Global may have its rewards, but as soon as you become a liability, you are removed from the board.

A quote from the Tao of Pooh:

While sitting on the banks of the P’u River, Chuang-tse was approached by two representatives of the Prince of Ch’u, who offered him a position at court.  Chuang-tse watched the water flowing by as if he had not heard.  Finally, he remarked, ‘I am told that the Prince has a sacred tortoise, over two thousand years old, which is kept in a box, wrapped in silk and brocade.’ ‘That is true,’ the officials replied.  ‘If the tortoise had been given a choice,’ Chuang-tse continued, “which do you think he would have liked better--to have been alive in the mud or dead within the palace?’  ‘To have been alive in the mud, of course,’ the men answered.  ‘I too prefer the mud, said Chuang-tse. ‘Goodbye.’”

Like Chuang-tse, I prefer my life in the (figurative) mud.

reflector's picture
reflector
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 20 2011
Posts: 236
not voting isn't the same as not caring

grover, i agree with t2h completely.

i will not vote, i categorically refuse to vote, voting is immoral.

no human being or group of human beings has the right to impose their will on others through threat of violence.

and that's what government is, it's a monopoly on violence within a specific geographical area. don't like what the country is doing? well, you better do your part to support it, otherwise men with badges and guns are going to come and straighten you out, citizen!

when you vote for someone, you give approval and consent, that the person you're voting for, should impose the ideas that you believe in, using threat of violence or actual violence if necessary, to push your chosen agenda. and that's just wrong.

you're correct that you stand more of a chance to make an impact on a local level. however, that impact can and should be based on voluntary cooperation between autonomous human beings that respect each other, not based on the tyranny of the majority (or minority plus media control, campaign contributions, electoral fraud, or whatever the case may be) imposing their will on those who disagree or simply those that just want to be left alone.

we can cooperate, we can organize, we can deal with issues that come up, without involving government (force) in the situation.

government is barbarism, and it is my belief and hope that we will evolve beyond it, that it will be relegated to the dustbin of history much like slavery has been (for the most part).

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Michael_Rudmin
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This is why I disagree that we get the government we deserve.

When the governmental process is prone to being rigged (as it is) regardless of the source government...

... when agricultural-warlike government is the most effective at overthrowing all other governments and itself too,

... when democratic principles are a fraud the world over;

... when Republican representation is a fraud the world over...

... when the only way to conquer such a government is to take it on voluntarily, and then battle it to the death so that one or both die and the surviving government is worse than either antecedent governments...

... then you cannot say that people get the government they deserve, except that you also judge that the living deserve death for the offense of living.

I am not a demon; I do not judge that the living deserve death for the offense of living.

Therefore I say we do NOT get the government we deserve. I say rather that the spirits of this government we have deserve death for taking offense at life.

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locksmithuk
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Voting abstinence

Reflector, I completely agree about voting withdrawal, and I believe it's everyone's right to exercise their thoughtful, considered right NOT to vote. In Australia citizens are legally required to vote in state and federal elections. Imagine the soul-destroying prospect of having to choose (on a 2-party preferred basis anyway) between two lunatics: Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott. Imagine that that's it - that's your very limited choice. Do you choose the banana or the monkey? I believe US is going through the same sort of replay with Trump & Clinton. You poor buggers.

My take on the right to abstain is very closely aligned with the views of the legendary, gone-way-too-soon George Carlin. Out of respect to those with sensitive ears I haven't posted a link to the video below, but "George Carlin doesn't vote" is available on a YouTube search. In it he justifies his abstinence on the basis of 2 things:

1) voting is meaningless - America was "bought & sold & paid for a long time ago". Many have opined the same thing (G. Edward Griffin and the like);

2) if you vote you have no right to complain (an idea opposite to the oft-touted view). If you vote incompetent, immoral, corrupt people into power then it's the non-voters who have the right to complain. Not an entirely unreasonable position, albeit passive.

You raised the theme of local governance. I believe that'll only ever be effective with a financial impact as well. There has to be an active collective will of the populace to break the financial might of huge corporations - perhaps through the emergence of strong local non-monetary economies & a boycotting of corporate products on a massive scale. To change that will you need education on a large scale. Then awareness. Then momentum. Without doubt it'll be a long road.

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cmartenson
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Election Rigging Example #1

There are so many examples of election rigging that should, in a society that values integrity and understand basic math, have triggered immediate and powerful criminal investigations.

But virtually none ever have.

And the cases are really extreme and utterly, completely, friggen obvious.

ELECTION RESULTS DEVIATED SEVERELY FROM THE POLLS WHEN A VOTING EXECUTIVE RAN FOR SENATE

Symbolically speaking, this era was inaugurated by Chuck Hagel, an unknown millionaire who ran for one of Nebraska’s U.S. Senate seats in 1996. Initially Hagel trailed the popular Democratic governor, Ben Nelson, who had been elected in a landslide two years earlier.

Three days before the election, however, a poll conducted by the Omaha World-Herald showed a dead heat, with 47 percent of respondents favoring each candidate. David Moore, who was then managing editor of the Gallup Poll, told the paper, “We can’t predict the outcome.”

Hagel’s victory in the general election, invariably referred to as an “upset,” handed the seat to the GOP for the first time in eighteen years. Hagel trounced Nelson by fifteen points. Even for those who had factored in the governor’s deteriorating numbers and a last-minute barrage of negative ads, this divergence from pre-election polling was enough to raise eyebrows across the nation.

Few Americans knew that until shortly before the election, Hagel had been chairman of the company whose computerized voting machines would soon count his own votes: Election Systems & Software (then called American Information Systems).

Hagel stepped down from his post just two weeks before announcing his candidacy. Yet he retained millions of dollars in stock in the McCarthy Group, which owned ES&S. And Michael McCarthy, the parent company’s founder, was Hagel’s campaign treasurer.

Whether Hagel’s relationship to ES&S ensured his victory is open to speculation. But the surprising scale of his win awakened a new fear among voting-rights activists and raised a disturbing question: Who controls the new technology of Election Night?

“Why would someone who owns a voting-machine company want to run for office?” asked Charlie Matulka, a Democrat who contested Hagel’s Senate seat in 2002. Speaking at a press conference shortly before the election, he added: “Is this the fox guarding the henhouse?”

A construction worker with limited funding and name recognition, Matulka was obviously a less formidable competitor than Nelson. Still, Hagel won an astonishing 83 percent of the vote—among the largest margins of victory in any statewide race in Nebraska’s history. And with nearly 400,000 registered Democrats on the rolls, Matulka managed to scrape up only 70,290 votes.

Hagel had never actually disclosed his financial ties to ES&S, and Matulka requested an investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee. His request was rejected. Equally futile was his call for a hand count of the ballots, since a state law specified that recounts had to be conducted using the very same “vote-counting device” that was used to begin with—in this case, the ES&S optical scanners.

Hmmmm...a former executive of the voting machine company wins in a landslide?  And the results cannot be hand counted - by law?

And those same voting machines and their software have been proven over and over again to be utterly insecure and wide open to corruption?

The wonder of it all is not that election rigging has happened, but that it generates a zero response from the mainstream press or the SEC or the FBI or the state's own criminal justice apparatus.

None.  Nada.  Nothing.  Chirping crickets.

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Election Rigging Example #2

This is the case that Brad talked about from South Carolina. It is so preposterous that it must have been done as a mean-spirited joke just to demonstrate how blatant ‘they’ could be.

I can easily imagine a pair of elderly southern party bosses exchanging a dollar as one exclaims to the other, “You were right Mortimer, we could secure the party nomination for a complete nobody and get away with it!”

The Alvin Greene Case – South Carolina 2010

SHOCKING UPSET

An unknown deadbeat, Alvin Greene, defeated a successful public servant, Vic Rawl, by an enormous margin of 18 percent in the 2010 South Carolina Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate.

UNQUALIFIED PATSY

Alvin Greene was facing obscenity charges for showing pornography to a woman in a college computer lab. He had recently been kicked out of the military. He was unemployed.

Despite his lack of qualifications and income he spent $10,000 filing to run for senator. When Greene asked for a public defender in the obscenity case, many questioned how he had acquired the cash [to file for the election]. There was speculation that he was a Republican plant.

Greene was unaffiliated with local Democrats. His campaign was nonexistent—no website, no yard sign, no public appearances, no fundraising, no advertisements.

CAREER PUBLIC SERVANT

Yet the voting machines showed Greene defeating former judge and four-term state legislator Vic Rawl by 30,000 votes.

Rawl was on the Charleston County Council. He was a respected community leader. He ran an active campaign with hundreds of volunteers. How could he have lost?

STATISTICAL EVIDENCE OF RIGGING

Hand-counted paper absentee ballots showed opposite results compared to electronic voting. Rawl won many of those votes—often by a large margin, a complete flip of what Greene had won on the voting machines.

According to Rawl's campaign manager Walter Ludwig, half of South Carolina's counties had a disparity between absentee and election day votes greater than 10 points. Spartanburg County was rife with anomalies: precincts where Greene received more votes than were actually cast, and precincts where votes appeared to be missing. Rarely did the vote totals match.

Ludwig also reported that a similar discrepancy between absentee and electronic votes "didn't happen in any other races on the ballot."

NO ACCOUNTABILITY

South Carolina is particularly vulnerable to fraudulent results because the entire state uses touchscreen voting machines made by Election Systems & Software. The iVotronic leaves no paper trail, making it impossible to verify elections for accuracy.

A security analysis by the University of Pennsylvania found “numerous exploitable vulnerabilities in nearly every component of the ES&S system.” These vulnerabilities open the voting machines to attacks that could “alter or forge precinct results, install corrupt firmware, and erase audit records.”

STRATEGIC RIGGING

Manipulating a low-attention primary to produce a weak opponent is a subtle way to rig a general election. Was Alvin Greene a legitimate candidate or an unqualified patsy set up for an untraceable electronic rig?

Greene ran in a subsequent election for the state legislature and won a mere 37 votes.

WHO BENEFITED

Jim DeMint and his right-wing backers were the ultimate beneficiaries of Alvin Greene’s implausible victory in the Democratic Senate primary.

DeMint sailed to victory with a massive margin over Greene, allowing his radical views to influence the U.S. Senate—no right to abortion in cases of rape, no gay civil rights, erosion of public health care, and weakening of Social Security.

DeMint later left the Senate to head an ultraconservative group that pushes oppressive voter ID regulations.

So the summary here is that an unemployed, poorly funded, criminally indicted man with no campaign website and no campaign staff managed to somehow defeat a well-liked, well-respected, well-funded and well-staffed adversary.

By 18 points!!

But only in the electronic machine results...the hand-counted paper ballots showed the exact opposite result.

Then this derelict loner was easily trounced in the general election by the Tea Party candidate Jim DeMint…so the summary here is not that Alvin Greene pulled off this stunning feat of election rigging, he was an obvious patsy in the charade.

The real mystery is how such obvious cases go utterly unchallenged. Where’s the accountability?

I also offer such cases as definitive proof against those who make the argument that “large conspiracies cannot exist because somebody would talk.”

That’s just not true. Such conspiracies happen all the time and the US election rigging is about as obvious an area as one could hope to study. Means, motive, opportunity…and reams and reams of statistical evidence that, to me, is ironclad.

Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, but three times is enemy action.

Note that the machines in use in South carolina were made by ES&S, the same company that Chuck Hagel 'left' prior to winning his own massive 18 point 'upset' in Oklahoma.

What is it about 18 to these guys?  Just a vote rigging bug or is that some sort of wink from the bad guys to those in the know?

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davefairtex
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not a mean-spirited joke

Seems like the action resulted in Jim DeMint more or less running unopposed in the general.  Cui Bono = Jim DeMint.

Could also have been a signal to someone else.  "Watch what happens in Carolina.  If you don't play ball, this could happen to you at the next election, regardless of how much funding you get."

Personally, I think people just don't understand.  I certainly didn't, not until this podcast.  In my case I was just assuming everything was under control because "there are people watching over the process."

Except, there aren't.

Or maybe there were people watching, and if they didn't play dumb, they ended up having an accident.

Certainly these two cases seem pretty egregious.

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blackeagle
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we dont always need technology to cheat

No, we don't... just add the non voters as voters... Unpleasantly surprised in 1991 when I came to vote around 7:00PM, I have been told that I have already voted... my wife too. They did not even wait until the closure time (8:00PM). They closed right after that and started the manual counting. Of course, the unshaved bearded guy with flops won the seat... No idea how they managed to keep the observers silent... may be with the help of a promise of a knife and a shroud? I don't know.

Low tech cheating, but it did work. Different place. Different context. Different time. Same goal. Same motivation. Same humans. We are a very special species. wink

Going beyond democracy and elections, I see all these shenanigans as usual tricks to obtain what some people wants. We are conditioned for centuries to believe in justice, honesty, hard work. But look at what the Catholic church did during centuries, what Egyptian dynasties did for millennia, what the roman empire did, etc... keep alive alive some nice concepts within the populace to stay calm and quiet, while doing the real work behind curtains. This is only during shrinking pie times that things are more visible because different groups in power fight for the smaller prize. That's it. Manipulative charmer techniques until he unmasks.

We have got a partial election two weeks ago in our municipality to elect a new mayor. Everything was manual and the process, although a tad protocol heavy, seems to be clean. 

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mjsully999
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Brad Friedman came off like a complete Partisan

As I listened to the intro to this podcast, it was stated the Brad Friedman was not Partisan. However, during the first 10 minutes he bashed Bush and the republican party continually.  Obviously it is fine for him to have this opinion, but he should not have been presented as having a non Partisan agenda.  Clearly he did!

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mjsully999
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Disappointed

Mr. Martenson,

I have been a member of your website since 2009.  I am an avid fan and follower of your analysis. 

Having said that, I am very disappointed at the "Conservative bashing" that has occurred as a result of the this podcast.  Surprisingly, your participated in this bashing via the article you posted

You certainly have the right to do it, However, I thought that this site was above political finger pointing and bashing of individual beliefs. 

I am hoping this is just an odd occurance.

Respectfully,

Mike Sullivan

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KugsCheese
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Voting Has Always Been Rigged

Voting has always been rigged.  It is why TPTB will NOT allow computer voting using anonymous verified token.

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cmartenson
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I'm missing your point...

mjsully999 wrote:

Mr. Martenson,

I have been a member of your website since 2009.  I am an avid fan and follower of your analysis. 

Having said that, I am very disappointed at the "Conservative bashing" that has occurred as a result of the this podcast.  Surprisingly, your participated in this bashing via the article you posted

You certainly have the right to do it, However, I thought that this site was above political finger pointing and bashing of individual beliefs. 

I am hoping this is just an odd occurance.

Respectfully,

Mike Sullivan

Mike, I have no idea what you are talking about.

If by "conservative bashing" you mean pointing out highly suspect election results that happened to be undertaken by a GOP and Tea Party candidates then we have a very different view of the world.  I wouldn't care if it was my own mother that turned in those dodgy results, I'd still be using them as an example of what's wrong.

In your view is it "bashing" to use data and evidence to call into question an election result?

Not in my world.  If you have different evidence, please trot it/them out.  If you want to balance things by putting forward examples of election rigging by "non-conservatives" then please feel free.  But I am not here to support or refute your chosen party affiliations.  Not my job.

However, just to show that I am an equal opportunity basher, and proudly if not sadly so, here's another one to chew on.

In a fair election there should be no drift in the vote percentage line for a candidate when plotted as a function of the cumulative size of the precincts.  An important research paper by Choquette and  Johnson in 2012 demonstrated the sophistication of the current election riggers by noting that:

Historically, we found no significant correlation between precinct vote tally and the percentage success for each candidate. In other words, for most counties and states, the vote result is unrelated to the number of voters in a precinct. There are random variations between precincts, but no definite linear trend from small to large precincts.

In other words, the size of a given precinct should add no 'trending' effects to votes.  Small ones behave like large ones and any differences they do have are scattered about a mean.

Here's what a fair election looks like:

(Source - Choquette and Johnson)

The "cumulative vote tally" refers to the fact that the precincts are arranged by size, smallest to the left, and then each precinct's results are added to the one prior giving a cumulative tally.

Prior to electronic vote machines these lines all pretty much were flat like the ones above.

But then crazy results started to pour in.

Like this one:

Ooops.  That one shows another GOP act of rigging, although it did favor Romney in the primary at the expense of other conservatives, so perhaps that one will be conflicting to a conservative partisan.

But here's a recent example I dug up the other day from the other side of the aisle:

If you go to the paper by Choquette and Johnson you can see example after example of perfectly free and fair flat lines.  

Now the rigging is so pervasive they are hard to find in the major elections and instead of questioning the elections the response has been to drop exit polling because, apparently, it no longer works.  Go figure.  

But, yes, the GOP side has many, many more examples to choose from and I really really doubt that it's merely a coincidence that the major makers of the election machines are all owned by conservatives.  

However, as demonstrated above by the NY Clinton/Sanders results, the DNC is catching up.

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Sterling Cornaby
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Chris you continue to kill my faith with data mining

These graphs you are showing just kill my 'faith' in anything like a 'fair' election.  That's some of the strangest curves centering to a mean with more data counts..  Unbelievable to me.    

I have collected data in X-ray stuff almost every day for somewhere close to 20 years in my 40 years in life and data like that just makes my head spin, it can't be accurate can it?  My brain screams 'bad' or 'compromised' data.  I am trying to think of all the ways you could reasonably get curves that move up like that on getting to a mean value.  The last graph, people that vote for Hillary like to vote at the end of the day by close to 20% margined over Sander's voters? Really? Why?   What demographics could drive that?  It looks like to me the temperature of the voting booth is drifting over time and voters vote differently at different temperatures (says my left brain BS story maker...)  

That data is just really faith killing, " the game is rigged" seems to be a very viable option. 

 2.22.16-George-Carlin-Table-Is-Tilted-Ga

Thanks for sharing (So where is Santa Claus exactly?)

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computer security, elections, "conservative bashing"

People still trapped in the left-right thing tend to see things through that lens.  Wedge issues, prayer in schools, etc.  Deep State is perfectly happy with that outcome.  As long as the "representatives" realize they could lose the next election regardless of popularity or funding, they will stay in line.

Computer security is hard to do right.  Microsoft is trying hard to eliminate bugs, but buying a zero-day back door into a Windows box costs about $100k.  And once you own the box, you can do a whole lot of things.

Failiing this, you can co-opt and/or corrupt (or plant) an engineer at the voting-machine company to write a back door for you.  You don't even have to be the owner.  (If you ARE the owner, its even easier).  And then the engineer can have an accident afterwards.  And then you own those boxes in perpetuity.  Call it a million dollar project, maybe two.  Its a lot cheaper than buying ad time.  A secretive super-pac could fund this easily.

Unlike some massive nationwide conspiracy, doing this right would require only a small number of people.  That's one of the virtues of tech.  It can scale up with automation.  And blabbermouths have plane accidents.

If you could read the Snowden releases the way I can, given what the NSA has been able to accomplish, stealing elections is just not even hard.  I mean, NSA has perfected the MITM attack by having their servers respond faster than the actual servers.

I get periodic updates from the Secret Service about the very latest (ordinary) electronic financial crimes.  They are pretty sophisticated.  Nothing like the Snowden stuff, but still reasonably slick.

Again.  Stealing an election electronically seems easier to me than stealing money.  Or at least, its on the same order of difficulty.  And with no audit trail, nobody really even "knows" if the election was stolen.  Its all just statistics which is not the same as someone standing up and saying "MY BANK ACCOUNT WAS DRAINED."

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robie robinson
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Well, if it made a difference,

(voting) they wouldn't let us do it?  

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Grover
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None of the above

reflector,

You can choose not to vote. You have that choice. That choice will be one back of the second worst choice - to actually vote. You said that government is barbarism. I agree with that. I don't agree that taking a stand by not voting accomplishes your objective.

Governments come about to provide services. That is their reason to exist. Whether it is common defense, championing the rights of the individual, or any other laudable goals ... without a government to protect and promote those ideals, they wither and die. Others who have banded into governments (or gangs, if you prefer) will use their power to take what is yours. Call it eminent domain.

Look at history and point out any time that anarchy reigned. If it did reign supreme, why isn't it the preferred model today? Humans like rules and they need rules in order to cheat. We want the rules to apply to others, not ourselves. We need an organization that is powerful enough to provide a semblance of power. That is why we always form governments.

For right or wrong, our system of government requires its citizens to choose its "leaders." The one with the most votes gets the nod. Your approach to willfully not vote is exactly as useful as someone who is too lazy to be bothered. If you want to make a statement, write in "None of the above" for any/all office(s) on your ballot. At least, your protest will have to be acknowledged by the election committee. If enough people do so, it may get mentioned by someone on TV. Isn't that how thoughts go viral in our modern age?

I'm all for limited government. Apparently, most folks aren't. How can I hope to affect change if I don't vote?

Grover

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Time2help
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Vote to effect change then

Grover wrote:

How can I hope to affect change if I don't vote?

By all means, keep voting.

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davefairtex
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deciding to vote

Arguably, Grover's decision to vote will have a similar impact on society as your repeated posting of the WTC-7 tower collapse video.  Certainly its in the same order of magnitude anyway.  And his action certainly doesn't hurt anyone.  That's a plus.

I have the sense that each of us here each are doing what we think is right, to the extent that we feel we have the capacity.  Many of us here think the other guy is just being silly.

Ah, the irony.

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Bankers Slave
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Posts: 487
Something stinks over here!

After 2 world wars, milliions murdered and killed, billions spent with decades of planning and implementation to bring the EU super state to fruition for the benefit of the usual men in suits...and the UK plebs now get to vote to stay in or leave this corrupt institution, that we were never given a say in the implementation of, in the first place! 

It all looks like an agenda to dupe the people over here into believing that they had a chance to leave, but the vote indicated that they decided to stay instead! A massive fraudulant rouse and divide and conquer tactic if ever I saw one!

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reflector
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i will vote by planting a nectarine tree

Grover wrote:

reflector,

You can choose not to vote. You have that choice. That choice will be one back of the second worst choice - to actually vote. You said that government is barbarism. I agree with that. I don't agree that taking a stand by not voting accomplishes your objective.

grover,

i don't have the right to vote, i don't have the right to support people who would impose my will and my ideas on others. i will not participate in a sham and a fraud.

i will not take, what is not mine to take.

setting a correct example is the highest choice one can make.

Grover wrote:

Governments come about to provide services. That is their reason to exist. Whether it is common defense, championing the rights of the individual, or any other laudable goals ... without a government to protect and promote those ideals, they wither and die.

clearly, governments did not come about to provide services. governments came about when one caveman had a larger club and more muscle than the other cavemen, and found that he could take their food and their women and claim ownership of territory.

even today, the so-called "services" government provides are nothing more than a re-distribution of wealth, government does not produce anything. anything the government does, we could have done more efficiently without them, whether it's building roads, setting up schools, or developing new technologies. you talk about championing the rights of individuals, how ironic, it is the state itself which is the primary oppressor of the rights of individuals.

and those "services" only exist as an excuse for the self-styled owners of the nation to remain in power, not because of some endless fountain of generosity they have.

they are rent-seekers, parasites, they want to skim off the fruit of your labor, the taxes you pay to go through their coffers so that they can have a taste of the action.

Grover wrote:

Look at history and point out any time that anarchy reigned. If it did reign supreme, why isn't it the preferred model today?

so, you are suggesting that for something to be a good idea, that it must "reign supreme"?

you would judge whether something is right and good based on what is common? really?

and yes, anarchy is indeed my preference, it's what i practice in my own life. i believe in the non aggression principle, i believe in respecting the rights of others, i believe in not supporting systems of violence such as government, and i believe in associating with and supporting others who have similar views.

Grover wrote:

Humans like rules and they need rules in order to cheat. We want the rules to apply to others, not ourselves. We need an organization that is powerful enough to provide a semblance of power. That is why we always form governments.

"we"? who is "we"? i have not formed any government.

as for rules, rules are fine by me. however, participation in those rules must be voluntary. i don't have the right to come up with a set of rules and impose it on someone who doesn't wish to participate in them. neither does anyone else have that right.

Grover wrote:

For right or wrong, our system of government requires its citizens to choose its "leaders." The one with the most votes gets the nod. Your approach to willfully not vote is exactly as useful as someone who is too lazy to be bothered.

and your approach to voting is naive and wasteful, like the single mother spending her last $5 on lottery tickets hoping the god of fortune will smile upon her and make a better future for her, instead of getting real and being responsible and using her money, time, and energy to feed her child.

Grover wrote:

If you want to make a statement, write in "None of the above" for any/all office(s) on your ballot. At least, your protest will have to be acknowledged by the election committee. If enough people do so, it may get mentioned by someone on TV. Isn't that how thoughts go viral in our modern age?

I'm all for limited government. Apparently, most folks aren't. How can I hope to affect change if I don't vote?

Grover

as long as you see voting as the way to change, you are dis-empowering yourself, you are saying that rigged system over there will determine my future.

but that doesn't have to be the case. some of us choose to turn our backs on that captured, rigged and corrupt system.

we can choose to be creators of our own reality, to grow our own food, to transact with our own systems - barter, silver, bitcoin, local currencies - to keep our wealth out of the hands of those who would use it for violence and oppression.

we can provide for our own defence and for the education of our children.

we become the change that we are looking for.

their system does not.

reflector's picture
reflector
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Posts: 236
au

locksmithuk,

indeed, george carlin was one of the greats, he may well have done more to inform through his comedy than many of those who call themselves teachers.

i do envy you aussies in one way, though: you have the remarkable wit of clark & dawe to tear your so called politcal leaders to shreds.

i wish i understood the au references. hilarious nonetheless.

reflector's picture
reflector
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brexit

@Bankers Slave,

yes, it is truly sad the way that unelected eurocrats are trying to subjugate britain into being a feudal colony of brussels.

an excellent and informative documentary on brexit:

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davefairtex
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a lot of agreement

reflector-

Well I certainly approve of nectarines, therefore, the concept of planting a nectarine tree sounds great.  Its one of my favorite fruit!

I also like creating my own reality.

I also believe in granting others free will.

I'm not so sure about anarchy, though.  I've noticed that people in general prefer security over chaos, so I suspect you'll have an uphill battle to sell the whole "anarchy is cool" proposition to the common man.

Plus, the whole thing of "a real free market never having existed at a national scale" seems to suggest that those proposing that as a national structure might be either chasing unicorns, or that there is a fatal flaw embedded deep in the design (or in human nature) that has killed it off still-born every time it might have evolved naturally.

But who knows.  Maybe we just never quite got the formula right.

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Grover
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Always look on the bright side of life

reflector,

Your choice to plant a nectarine tree is not mutually exclusive to voting. If that were the case, I'd "vote" to plant a tree. I'm sure that the results of planting your tree will bear tastier fruit than the results of my voting.

Here's a short clip from Monty Python's Life of Brian that captures the effect of organized non-voting:

Is voting going to fix the system? Will it make everything wonderful? Hell, no! I really do mean it when I say it is the 2nd most worthless thing to do. Unfortunately, there is a block of people who vote for more sucre to be delivered by the government and taken from productive folks. If you don't vote, they win. They continually ramp up the largesse until the situation gets as intractable as it is now.

Be pragmatic rather than ideological. Vote against stronger government. Vote against higher taxes on anyone. Vote against the obtrusiveness of government. Will it work? Is it a foolproof solution? Hell, no!

How does not voting fix anything?

Grover

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Posts: 178
Don't show up at the polls today - we have a nominee

A few weeks ago, nominal journalist and all-but-official Hillary supporter, Chris Mathews of MSNBC asserted that he and other talking heads of the MSM would declare Hillary the nominee prematurely to give Hillary a better chance. The idea was to call the race while the polls were still open in California - that way Hillary would have a better chance to win in a big state that she still needs.

And some organization did actually call the race yesterday. They based it on top-secret interviews of superdelegates. Hey, did you know that the superdelegates don't get to vote until the so-called "Democratic" convention in July? The media has been counting those superdelegate votes all along. And now they're saying that if Bernie Sanders tries to "change" the votes of the superdelegates he is being divisive or sexist?????

I'm disappointed in the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, and especially the mainstream media of the USA. How about you?  

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KugsCheese
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Posts: 1278
Voting

"If voting made a difference, they wouldn't let us do it."  -- Anonymous

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Time2help
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Posts: 2486
On Voting

One way to increase your chances of winning an argument is to control both sides of the discussion. What are the odds that the left and right aren't being played for fools?

From Trump's 2005 wedding (with guests of honor):

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sand_puppy
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Posts: 1394
California Democratic Primary. Request for information

This post is mostly to request information from the very bright crowd here at PP.

Several reports of fraud are emerging from the California Democratic Primary voting process.  Does anyone have time, inclination and access to reliable sources of information about this?  I would love to hear an analysis.  This piece of from Alex Jones channel on youtube:

One big issue is How are "no party preference" (NPP) voters handled.  Is it true that they were given "provisional ballots" which were were NOT counted?  Greg Palast advises that the great majority of California's 4.2 million NPP votors favored Bernie Sanders.  These votes were not counted.  Greg Palast calls the provisional ballots "placebo ballots"--they make you think you are voting but you are not.

http://www.gregpalast.com/california-stolen-sanders-right-nowspecial-bul...

How California is being stolen from Sanders right now

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

[Los Angeles] It's not some grand conspiracy, but it's grand theft nonetheless.   Sen. Bernie Sanders’ voters will lose their ballots, their rights, by the tens of thousands.

The steal is baked into the way California handles No Party Preference –"NPP" voters –what we know as "independents."

There are a mind-blowing 4.2 million voters in California registered NPP – and they share a love for sunshine and Bernie Sanders. According to the reliable Golden State poll, among NPP voters, Sen. Sanders whoops Sec. Hillary Clinton by a stunning 40 percentage points.

On the other team, registered Democrats prefer Clinton by a YUGE 30 points. NPP's can vote in the Democratic primary, so, the California primary comes down to a fight between D's and NPP's.

And there's the rub. In some counties like Los Angeles, it's not easy for an NPP to claim their right vote in the Democratic primary – and in other counties, nearly impossible.

Example: In Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, if you don’t say the magic words, “I want a Democratic crossover ballot,” you are automatically given a ballot without the presidential race. And ready for this, if an NPP voter asks the poll worker, “How do I get to vote in the Democratic party primary, they are instructed to say that, “NPP voters can’t get Democratic ballots.” They are ordered not to breathe a word that the voter can get a “crossover” ballot that includes the presidential race.

I’m not kidding. This is from the official Election Officer Training Manual page 49:

"A No Party Preference voter will need to request a crossover ballot from the Roster Index Officer. (Do not offer them a crossover ballot if they do not ask)."

They’re not kidding. Poll worker Jeff Lewis filed a description of the training in an official declaration to a federal court:

Someone raised their hand and asked a follow-up question: ‘So, what if someone gets a nonpartisan ballot, notices it doesn't have the presidential candidates on it, and asks you where they are?’ The answer poll workers are instructed to give: Sorry, NPP ballots don't have presidential candidates on them.’ That's correct: even when people ask questions of that nature, obviously intending to vote with a party.

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Dick
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Posts: 8
Voting futility

"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal."

- Emma Goldman

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sand_puppy
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Posts: 1394
Statistical Evidence of Fraud in Democratic Primaries

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6mLpCEIGEYGSlRsV0IxV1ByXzQ/view?pref=2...

Stanford and Tilburg University (Netherlands) study finds statistically significant evidence for fraud in democratic party primary benefiting Clinton at the expense of Sanders. It does not make claims about who might be to blame, just an analysis the math.

Summary: States with a solid paper trail of ballots went to Sanders, and states with no paper trail went heavily to Clinton. Other factors were controlled for, including comparing with the 2008 election. In caucus states, Iowa and Nevada (which had voter suppression and other fraud) were compared with other caucus states: Iowa and Nevada had much higher support for Clinton (55%) than other states where such issues did not take place (32%). Election results were compared with exit polls: Clinton consistently fared better on ballots than in exit polls.

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Time2help
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Posts: 2486
Just in case there were any holdouts

The "Thumbs Up" button is great for comments, but maybe add a "WTF" button. 

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reflector
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
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Posts: 236
choices

davefairtex wrote:

reflector-

I'm not so sure about anarchy, though.  I've noticed that people in general prefer security over chaos,

dave,  it seems you don't really understand what anarchy is. anarchy is not chaos, unless that's what you personally choose in your own life. most of us who believe in anarchy prefer order, just not the type of order forced on others by men with badges and guns at the behest of an elite group of oligarchs.

with anarchy we can certainly organize, we can come to agreement between people voluntarily.

we can provide for common security, we can build roads, we can engage in trade.

anarchy simply means without rulers; no one has special privileges to rule over others.

davefairtex wrote:

so I suspect you'll have an uphill battle to sell the whole "anarchy is cool" proposition to the common man.

why would i need to convince "the common man" of anything?

anarchy gives us the space to genuinely and authentically express our true selves. if anything, i expect more and more people over time will find the value of anarchy and gravitate towards it, as they become disenchanted with the faux elections, fraudulent markets, and economies devastated by cronyist plunder and war.

it's the free market of ideas, and i think voluntary human interaction is the better idea, and that's why it will win in the end, however long that takes.

davefairtex wrote:

Plus, the whole thing of "a real free market never having existed at a national scale" seems to suggest that those proposing that as a national structure might be either chasing unicorns, or that there is a fatal flaw embedded deep in the design (or in human nature) that has killed it off still-born every time it might have evolved naturally.

But who knows.  Maybe we just never quite got the formula right.

why does a "national scale" matter? do you really feel that if you can't convince everyone else to do what you're doing, then it shouldn't be done? i don't have any grand designs about vast nations, i'm just one man living his life as he sees fit. free market and voluntary exchange between people is what works for me. people who are not quite yet adults and feel that big daddy government should be watching over them may very well not be ready for real freedom and autonomy, and that's ok - who am i to convince them otherwise?

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Posts: 5022
Obama says it's "whining" to consider election rigging

Look, it’s really a very simple thing to understand.

Voting confers power and therefore it’s like money. Nobody in their right mind would leave a big pile of money in an insecure ATM because it would all be gone by morning with no trace of who might have taken it. Voting systems are either verifiable or they are not. That is, either you can accurately recount the votes that people cast or you cannot. If you cannot, then the system is not verifiable.

There are a huge number of states that not only have unverifiable se-voting machines, where there is literally no possibility of ‘recounting’ anything because they were not designed to allow that, but also central tabulators which are similarly unverifiable.

In a system you could verify, and therefore have some trust in, representatives from both parties could stand over a pig pile of paper ballots and recount them to their heart’s content.

The US does not have such a system in place in most locations!!

That’s why these quotes from Obama are toe-curlingly wrong, but also malicious because he’s saying that nobody could seriously question the integrity of our election system.

Obama: Trump's rigged election claim 'whining before the game's even over'

Oct 18, 2016

Washington (CNN)President Barack Obama on Tuesday cast Donald Trump's claims of a rigged election as potentially corrosive to American democracy, insisting that the Republican presidential nominee was griping about an invented conspiracy.

"You start whining before the game's even over?" Obama said during a news conference in the White House Rose Garden, adding that Trump's claim is "not based on facts."

Trump and his surrogates have increasingly claimed the US election system is "rigged," coming after two lackluster debate performances and a drop in poll numbers nationally and in key swing states. He's urged his supporters to monitor polling sites for potentially ineligible voters attempting to cast ballots.

The rhetoric has been brushed off even by Republican governors, who say there are no signs of corruption in their states' voting systems.

Obama echoed those sentiments Tuesday, saying there's "no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even rig America's elections."

Yikes.  Well I am a serious person, I've studied it, and not only is rigging a US election possible, it's happened.  Many times.

Flat out wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. And dangerous because Obama has just marginalized everybody who peeks into the true state of integrity of the e-voting machine and tabulators. Which, trust me, will be getting a solid review by a lot of Trump supporters.

What makes that all especially toe-curling is that Obama just said this a couple of days ago:

Obama decries 'wild west' media landscape

Oct 13, 2016

Pittsburgh (AFP) - President Barack Obama on Thursday decried America's "wild, wild west" media environment for allowing conspiracy theorists a broad platform and destroying a common basis for debate.

Recalling past days when three television channels delivered fact-based news that most people trusted, Obama said democracy require citizens to be able to sift through lies and distortions.

"We are going to have to rebuild within this wild-wild-west-of-information flow some sort of curating function that people agree to," Obama said at an innovation conference in Pittsburgh.

"There has to be, I think, some sort of way in which we can sort through information that passes some basic truthiness tests and those that we have to discard, because they just don't have any basis in anything that's actually happening in the world," Obama added.

The Ministry of Truth comes alive! Only curated truth that everybody can agree on will be allowed, if Obama has his way.

This is beyond frightening folks.  It's also statist and patronizing because it's saying "we can't trust people to think, so we're going to have to set up a curating process to assure they only see approved information."  Said more simply: we here in DC don't trust little people anymore.

If the guardians of the truth decide that anybody that questions election integrity is off-base, then presumably they will be shut down or shut out of the discussion somehow.

But for people like me who use reason, and facts and logic to separate the truth (as much as it can be found) from the propaganda, I find LOTS of things all the time that don’t line up well with what’s being promoted through the mainstream media.

These are very dangerous thoughts that Obama has just linked up here, and I worry that this will all boil over if he’s not more careful. There’s only so far you can marginalize people before they decide there’s not point or room for reconciliation with your point of view.

This is polarizing to say the least.

debu's picture
debu
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 17 2009
Posts: 201
Curating

If what Zero Hedge is reporting is true it appears that the global hegemon is close to curating Wikileaks and Julian Assange out of existence.

I'm hoping that Adam Curtis can make some sense of the increasingly surreal world we live in his new BBC documentary HyperNormalisation. (Yes, the BBC is hopelessly compromised but on occasion good content is produced. It's surprising to me that Curtis is still given a perch there.)

In other news: 2016 as much as 1.25 C Hotter than 1880s Averages.

Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 2486
Why Did Bob Creamer Visit The White House Over 200 Times?

Why Did Vote-Rigging Robert Creamer Visit The White House Over 200 Times During The Obama Admin? (ZeroHedge)

Starting at 9:22:

Wikipedia

Webpage

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5022
How many states without a paper trail? 15.

Take a look.  Any of these seem like critical states?  Be ready for shenanigans in these 15 locations.

(Source - NBC)

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