Protecting Our Elections Update

Bob Fitrakis, Cliff Arnebeck and Lori Grace

7:30-10:00 pm, Wednesday May 25, and Friday May 27, 2016, (video above is of Friday’s presentation)

Sunrise Center, 645 Tamalpais, Corte Madera, CA

A Summary of the Evening of May 27th: This evening covered the issues we are all facing as voters in the 2016 election. Lori Grace, on behalf of the Institute for American Democracy and Election Integrity (www.trustvote.org), presented Bob Fitrakis, PhD, JD, and Cliff Arnebeck, JD, two election lawyers she has worked with since 2004. They talked about past challenges to election integrity in our presidential elections, the challenges we face in the current presidential election, and the opportunities we have as voters to create a more honest election.

They showed videos from past presidential elections that point to the problems from those years and discussed what was done about those problems at that time. Then they discussed what problems exist for the upcoming election and what can be done to address them. Overall, our best protection to have a trustworthy election is to be an informed public that will demand more public oversight of elections and exit polling and to have the patience and persistence to deal with a system that currently does not give us the reliability and transparency we need.

A Look at the Upcoming 2016 Election: 2016 is, of course, a presidential election year and problems with voting in the primary elections have already been showing up. Not a good sign for the general election!

In watching the video above, you will learn Learn why the integrity of this November’s election may be of serious concern. Here in the United States, all of our votes are counted by private corporations with proprietary software which they do not want people to examine if there is a problem with the election. These problems could include unwarranted purging of voters, apparent flipping of votes, disappearing of a candidate(s) while voting and disappearing of votes. An examination of Scytl/SOE and ES&S, two vote-counting companies, shows many negative reviews regarding their management of elections. (You can read numerous such reviews by doing a web search for the company name and “reviews.”) In addition, some people may have concerns that companies like Scytl/SOE and ES&S which managed the votes in Kentucky, New York and Arizona, have directors who are also on the boards of other companies involved in wire-tapping, the defense industry and military interrogations. Additional concerns are that some American votes may actually be counted in Toronto, Canada and in Barcelona, Spain.

Still another hurdle also exists when election results appear to be inaccurate and that is at least in California, the election must be certified before ballots can be inspected. That takes in California thirty days so by the time, the apparent winner has already proclaimed and celebrated his or her victory- a difficult situation to reverse or re-examine.

With more states’ primary elections coming up on June 7th, including one in California, which is a potentially decisive state for the two Democratic candidates, The Institute for American Democracy and Election Integrity is concerned that The Media Consortium has cancelled all remaining exit polls for the remaining primaries. Thus, the Institute, a division of Sunrise Center,a nonprofit registered in California, is calling for an exit poll to be held on election day. All raw data will be released immediately for inspection. If an exit poll is funded by a nonprofit, contributions to the exit poll are tax-deductible. Results will give people true knowledge about whether questionable results have occurred in the election. Then audits would be much easier to organize. Happily, California is mostly a paper ballot state. Additionally, a new kind of audit is being launched by Democracy Counts. This will occur on Election Day as well.

Concern has been expressed that the exit polls of the Democratic Primaries for this year, when compared to electronic voting machine totals, seem to show a pattern that might suggest that the electronic vote totals in about ten states may have been shifted from apparently votes from Sanders to Clinton.. In contrast to other nations, exit polls used currently by the Federal Government to assess election fraud in other countries are adjusted continuously on election day to match electronic voting machine totals, rather than to determine whether the electronic vote is accurate. Edison Research which has done all the prior exit polls in this primary has refused to release the raw data, as it has routinely refused since 2004. A lawsuit is being submitted in Ohio about the refusal of both the Media Consortium and Edison Research to release the raw data which would show much more accurately who people really voted for.

 

A 2006 video of security expert, Stephen Spoonamore, talks about the importance of exit polls and how exit polls show very different results from electronic voting machine data in the US than in other countries. Below is a 2016 dialogue with the Chicago Board of Elections about manual tally workers changing total votes for Sanders into Clinton votes to match the electronic voting machine totals. The staff doing the manual county were pressured by their employers who are part of the the Chicago Board of Elections to make their hand counted totals match the machine totals. This video also shows the kind of defensive behavior that Boards of elections frequently demonstrate even when politely challenged.

If you want to see the full hearing, start at minute 27. The article will also summarize the whole story. Click to learn more.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Although we have taken note of the shift here from Sanders to Clinton, we are NOT in any way stating who has done the shifting. WE DO NOT KNOW WHO HAS DONE THE SHIFTING OF THE ELECTRONIC VOTE TOTALS. This situation has galvanized three organizations, The Institute for American Democracy and Election Integrity (ADE) , the Columbus Institute of Contemporary Journalism, and Democracy Counts to set up our own exit polls and audits to track apparent election results in California.

Richard Charnin, a mathematician and statistician and author of the book, Matrix of Deceit, has been reporting on the apparent shifting of electronic vote totals and the non-release of raw data from Edison since 2004. Richard Charnin, well-known for what he calls the “Red Shift” which has been a shift between exit polls and electronic vote total differences of about 4-5% each year. This constitutes a shift to the political right. Although he is unable to analyze the raw data, he has been able to get screen shots of what the exit polls showed minutes before all of the electronic votes have been totaled since 2004. In 2004, when Edison Research initially got exit poll data that said that Kerry was winning and Bush was losing at 9pm on election night and that the reverse was true shortly after midnight, Edison Research made a choice to “adjust” the raw data after that time so that it would match the electronic voting machine totals. Edison Research definitely wanted to keep being hired by the Media Consortium which proposes to tell viewers the true election results but which also chooses to trust electronic voting machine data. That was the last time that the American public has been able to see raw exit poll data.

Unfortunately this year, substantial exit poll differences have been noted in the US primary. In this year’s primary, the Red Shift appears to have become the “Clinton Shift”. See the data below.

trust vote
exit poll 2
As computer security expert Stephen Spoonamore notes in the video above, when exit poll data varies more than 2% from electronic vote totals, the electronic vote totals are questionnable. If fact, 2% is used as the boundary by the US government when determining that the election in another country other than the US has possibly been stolen. Please note the exit poll differences up above that are more than 2%. These differences point to questionable results for the electronic vote totals.

For whatever reason, the Media Consortium and Edison Research have decided to cancel the exit polls for the remaining 2016 primaries. Some suspect these exit polls have been canceled because these exit poll differences have become suspect. Others believe it is because the Media Consortium has viewed these primaries as unimportant with respect to the final results of the primaries for the presidential candidates. Thus the remaining primary elections will not have the larger exit polls to reflect on the accuracy of the electronic vote totals. Although Edison usually receives money from The Media Consortium for conducting primaries exit polling, it will receive much more during the November election, so canceling it is not that great a financial hardship for Edison Research. Maintaining the trust of the American people and The Media Consortium is more important to their company’s financial picture. So, stopping still more questionable exit poll differences is helpful to maintain the trust of the American people in Edison Research and the Media Consortium.

The trouble is that the trust of the American people this year has not been won by Edison Research and the Media Consortium by choosing the cancel the exit polls that appear to show a repeated shift from Sanders to Clinton. The Institute of American Democracy and Election Integrity, The Institute of Contemporary Journalism and Democracy Counts see an opportunity at this time to initiate exit polls and election audits in select locations in California where Sanders has done much campaigning to attempt to give a perspective on the accuracy of the electronic vote totals and to help educate citizens about election integrity.

If you share a concern about the verity of the electronic voting machines and if you would like to help contribute to a more transparent election here in California, you may support the exit poll or the election audit sponsored by the Institute together with Election Justice USA and Democracy Counts. by contributing financially or even volunteering your time on June 7th. If you choose to volunteer, you will get a great introduction into the whole field of election integrity. Our letting The Media Consortium and Edison Research know that there will still be an exit poll and election audit could also be a deterrent to vote manipulation. AND PLEASE NOTE AGAIN we are not saying here that they are altering these election results.

On a more personal note,if nothing else, be sure to take a printed copy of your registration to the polling location if you are not a permanent absentee voter. If you are, and your ballot came in the mail, check your ballot ahead of time to be sure it accurately represents the party in which you are registered, which allows you to vote for the candidate of your choice. If you are NPP, (no party preference) and you want to vote for a presidential candidate, ask for a Democratic or a Republican conversion ballot so that you may vote for a presidential candidate. Do everything possible to not vote provisionally as these are usually counted, if at all, after the election is called. We also recommend physically taking your ballot to the polling location, rather than mailing it, so there is no chance that it gets lost in the mail.

Other things you can do include becoming a poll observer with a modest amount of training. Manipulation of the vote can frequently be minimized when there are people watching the process. Becoming a poll worker is an even bigger step. If you happen to be voting on an electronic voting machine without a paper trail, take a video or snapshot of the screen if you see it was flipped to the opposing candidate or if your candidate of choice fades away on the screen.

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