Clinton Does Best Where Voting Machines Flunk Hacking Tests

(Mentioned in this article is the South Carolina Senate primary of 2010 which I covered extensively. It was a pure hack, election fraud at it’s most obvious. Yet the South Carolina Democratic Party ignored the facts presented before them and allowed the idiot Alvin Greene to represent them in the general election. They did this so the real candidate from the Democrat Party, a man who was not a neoliberal “centrist” would lose to the Republican neoliberal who eventually “won”)

by Doug Johnson Hatlem, Counterpunch

At the end of the climactic scene (8 minutes) in HBO’s Emmy nominated Hacking Democracy (2006), a Leon County, Florida Election official breaks down in tears. “There are people out there who are giving their lives just to try to make our elections secure,” she says. “And these vendors are lying and saying everything is alright.” Hundreds of jurisdictions throughout the United States are using voting machines or vote tabulators that have flunked security tests. Those jurisdictions by and large are where former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is substantially outperforming the first full wave of exit polling in her contest against Senator Bernie Sanders.

CounterPunch has interviewed hackers, academics, exit pollsters, and elections officials and workers in multiple states for this series taking election fraud allegations seriously.  The tearful breakdown in Hacking Democracy is not surprising. There is a well-beyond remarkable gap between what security experts and academics say about the vulnerability of voting machines and the confidence elections experts and academics, media outlets, and elections officials place in those same machines.

In Leon County, Bev Harris’ Black Box Voting team had just demonstrated a simple hack of an AccuVote tabulator for bubble-marked paper ballots. Ion Sancho, Leon County’s Supervisor of Elections, also fights back tears in the Hacking Democracy clip: “I would have certified this election as a true and accurate result of a vote.” Sancho adds, “The vendors are driving the process of voting technology in the United States.”

In 2010, and this reminder will pain those of you who can remember when Nate Silver’s outfit did real data journalism rather than primarily yay-Clinton boo-Trump punditry, a FiveThirtyEight column argued that hacking was one of two possibilities for statistical anomalies in a Democratic Senate primary in South Carolina: “B. Somebody with access to software and machines engineered a very devious manipulation of the vote returns.”

Joshua Holland’s column in The Nation “debunking” claims of election fraud benefiting Clinton rests its case on a simple proposition: why would Clinton need to cheat when she was winning anyway? Apparently, Mr. Holland has never heard of an obscure American politician named Richard Nixon.

More importantly, entering the South Carolina primary, the pledged delegate count was 52-51. CNN’s poll two weeks out projected an 18 point Clinton win. Ann Selzer, the best pollster in the United States, projected a 22 point Clinton win. RealClearPolitics’ polling average projected a 27.5% win. FiveThirtyEight was much bolder in projecting a 38.3% Clinton win. The early full exit poll said Clinton had won by 36%, pretty close to FiveThirtyEight’s call. Tellingly, white people in that exit poll went for Sanders 58-42. But the final results said Clinton won by 47.5%, an 11.5% exit polling miss. And the exit polls had to adjust their initial figures to a 53-47 Clinton win with white Democrats in South Carolina.

Three days after South Carolina’s primary, Clinton seriously outperformed her exit polling projections again in a bunch of states on Super Tuesday, including Massachusetts where she went from a projected 6.6% loss to a 1.4% win. Super Tuesday set the narrative that Sanders had no chance of beating Clinton in pledged delegates.

[read more here]

6 Responses

  1. If democracy is ever to Return to in Amerika, I will begin by people thinking outside the box–the ballot box. I’ve sworn off voting in national elections altogether.

    • It would be more accurate to suggest: If democracy ever made its way to Amerika …

      It may be true that in “the good ol’ days”, before a ubiquitous and distributed electronic surveillance network, robocop police force, secret police and agents every few feet in urban centers, and spy satellites and drones, with the large expanse of free area in the land that became the USA we know, it was possible to be “free” because nobody knew who or where you were and there was not time or interest to find out. Aside from that, there has never been democracy. Elections have always been a competition between competing aristocrats that are decided by which group can outwit the others as the best cheaters. The real votes of the general population have never been more than a final vote score modifier, like a bonus, as there is always substantial effort to guarantee actual votes are not accurately counted.

  2. I meant to say:

    If democracy is ever to Return to Amerika, I will begin by people thinking outside the box–the ballot box. I’ve sworn off voting in national elections altogether.

    (Why can’t we edit these posts after we post them? Other blogs offer this courtesy. I never notice my errors until after I hit “send.”)

  3. And Columbus sailed the ocean blue, for this?

    Royals get the all treasure. The rest of us in this same ‘New World’ get shafted, right along with the Natives—most of us, anyway

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