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Monday, October 31, 2016
2016: A Hacked Election?
With the proliferation of electronic voting machines across the country, many are nervous about the integrity of our election. Our government has assured us that there's no problem (oh, now I feel better). They promise there''s no voter fraud – just more crazy, conspiracy talk. Of course, they've been proven wrong again and again with the voting dead, absentee ballots, and yes, machines switchingvotes.
Voting irregularities don't always point to fraud, but rigged voting machines are in-our-face vote theft. Unless we've reached the age of the Terminator, where machines have a life of their own, machines have to be programmed by people to steal votes. And no, it's not Russia – it's companies like Dominion Voting, who donate big to the Clinton Foundation. Or Smartmatic, with ties to George Soros, who has consistently fought voter rights.
Donald Trump's enemies (government) will do anything to stop him, so I doubt they'd refrain from tampering with the voting machine's code. Nah! As sure as Hillary's taking a nap right now, they've got their evil, corrupt fingerprints all over these machines.
Okay, it would be naive to rule out vote-tampering, but what can we do to protect our ballot? Sounds like they have a lock, right? Well, if we continue on our present course, yes, they'll at least have a good shot at success. In reported vote-switching incidents to date, a person votes a straight Republican ticket, and before he posts that vote, magic circus, it flips to Clinton-Kaine at the top of the ticket. The voter then reports the problem to a poll worker, who assists to get the correct ballot accepted. Then the process moves on to the next voter.
As Trump likes to say, are we this stupid? If they get the machine to work at all, it doesn't mean the effort to cheat failed; it simply indicates that the switched votes are spaced out or random. How many Republican votes do they have to flip to win that county's election? Every fourth vote? Every eighth? Or are machines programmed to randomly flip a fixed number, thereby avoiding a pattern, indicating a calibration error rather than fraud? These are computers, for God's sake. This is child's play.
If our solution is to identify and fix a single instance of voter fraud, then we're letting them finish their work unimpeded. It's great that someone noticed the changed ballot, but will the next 100 voters be as observant?
The fact is, we never should have allowed these machines in the first place. Some believed the hype that they'd be ahead of the curve with the latest technology. Others bought their new vacation homes with our votes. But whatever the reasons, we need to address this now, this election.
In the true spirit of a totalitarian government, our leaders have once again put the onus on the people to protect our votes, but that's not satisfactory – not now, not in this election. We obviously can't fix it running from poll to poll to "report" switched votes – too sporadic, too unreliable, and too late once the fraudulent votes have been tallied. (The machines that tally votes is yet another path to fraudulent results.)
And no, please don't let the crooks in D.C. send in their corrupt FBI or Department of Justice (DOJ). That's whom we're trying to vote out. Talk about letting the fox guard the hen house.
No, a real effort needs to be put forth immediately. We need a plan that's quick to implement and offers at least partial solutions. There need to be instructions, reminders to every voter to check their ballot as a final step before submitting. This can be done with:
Signs (English and Spanish) in polling places with electronic machines instructing voters to confirm their selections. Miranda rights for voters when they sign in. They have a right to have their vote counted, so check and double-check before casting their votes. If they don't speak English, bag the ballot check and double-check their . If a machine is found to be flipping votes, it needs to be taken offline immediately and investigated or held for investigation. A single reported instance is not to be "remedied" and the machine left in service. That's like arresting one illegal immigrant then turning our backs on the border.
Lastly, the person who programmed the fraudulent machine needs to be found and prosecuted. No matter how long it takes, anyone who is interfering with our elections, "rigging" them, needs to pay a price.
These things can be done right now. Signs can be made and put up. A voter's rights can be available immediately in an email. Here, I'll help:
Please double-check your ballot. Confirm your selections before you vote.
As far as tracking down the scum who's messing with these machines, it's possibly the most necessary action. If there are no consequences other than a big bonus check or pay raise, they won't stop.
I'm not arrogant enough to think this is a perfect plan. It's not. But these are things we can do right now to alert voters to the problems. Most have no idea that their vote can be switched by the machine, either they have very hectic lives and aren't paying attention or they get their news from mainstream media.
If we get through this election, then the last piece of my plan is to get rid of the damned electronic voting machines. I know: many of you on the County Board of Elections thought you were doing the smart thing. You weren't. Some of you knew it was a hotbed of potential fraud but had some private incentive to go through with it.
No matter what your reasons, there's no rationale for putting in machines that can be controlled or manipulated as the method to collect our ballots. That's beyond insane; it's reckless and criminal to setup the American voter for this level of betrayal.
The easiest way isn't always the best. We might have to forego the instant gratification of calling races as soon as the polls close in order to retain ballot integrity, but in the end, it's about our democracy, our Constitution, and our freedom. Might be worth the wait, don't you think?
We've let the voter fraud reach the point where it threatens our elections. There are lots of good people working hard to expose it and prosecute the perpetrators. They're doing a great job on containing many forms of fraud, but these machines are the imminent danger, the immediate threat to the 2016 presidential election. The machines have the ability to flip votes and, if unchecked, to flip the election.
There's a quote most often attributed to Joseph Stalin that says it all. "Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything."
Never has that been more true than now. Make your vote count.