'It's not the people who vote that count; it's the people who count the votes' -- Josef Stalin
Last Friday we blogged here about the need to stop thinking about how progressive and Democratic electioneering has failed us, and think harder about how the disloyal opposition has been busy tinkering with our elections. And perhaps not just by suppressing and de-legitimizing voters.
I'm now indebted to the Motley Cow blog for a great online find. Bob Fitrakis, a Green Party congressional candidate in Ohio, also happens to hold a doctorate in statistics. After Wisconsin's disastrous recall election, Fitrakis posted on his campaign blog about the urgent need to investigate the rigging of voting machines, here and in other states.
According to Fitrakis, the discrepancies in the ultimate reported vote totals and exit polling in Wisconsin and elsewhere simply have been too broad and widespread to discount the possibility that someone has been tampering with voting machines to rig outcomes.
It's hard to get traction on this, because even though skeptics and experts have been sounding the alarm for much of the past decade, it just sounds too much like a bad spy movie, too outlandish and over the top. But science and mathematics in particular force no other conclusion. Fitrakis:
One of my favorite mathematicians is Richard Charnin, who on his website using readily available public information, calculates the odds of the so-called ‘red shift” occurring from the 1988 to 2008 presidential elections. The red shift refers to the overwhelming pick up of votes by the Republican Party in recorded votes over what actual voters report to exit pollsters.
In Charnin’s analysis of exit poll data, we can say with a 95% confidence level – that means in 95 out of 100 elections – that the exit polls will fall within a statistically predictable margin of error. Charnin looked at 300 presidential state exit polls from 1988 to 2008, 15 state elections would be expected to fall outside the margin of error. Shockingly, 137 of the 300 state presidential exit polls fell outside the margin of error.
What is the probability of this happening?
“One in one million trillion trillion trlllion trillion trillion trillion,” said Charnin.
More proof of Republican operatives and sympathizers is found in the fact that 132 of the elections fell outside the margin in favor of the GOP. We would expect eight.
Say you have a fair coin to flip. We would expect that if we flip that coin there would be an even split between heads and tails – or in this case, Republicans and Democrats. Election results falling outside the margin of error should be equally split between both parties. Yet, only five times, less than expected, did the extra votes fall in the direction of the Democratic Party.
So what are the odds? According to Charnin, of 132 out of 300 state presidential elections exceeding the margin of error in the direction of the Republicans – one in 600 trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion.
The corporate-owned media does not want to mention that the problems with the exit polls began with the ascendancy of the former CIA Director George Herbert Walker Bush to the presidency in 1988. It is also that year when the non-transparent push-and-pray voting machines were introduced in the New Hampshire primary by Bush ally John Sununu. Bush, who rigged elections for the CIA throughout the Third World did unexpectedly well where the voting machines were brought in.
Sound to you too much like a crackpot? But he's got his facts straight; now we're down to just arguing causes. And there must be a causal factor besides sheer statistical chance, or, if you're a Republican, fantastically beneficial blind luck.
Fitrakis is only the latest in a growing chorus of voices concerned about voting machine integrity. Black Box Voting has been working on this and other election integrity issues since the early days following the 2000 presidential election fiasco. See http://www.blackboxvoting.org
A major presidential election looms. Concerned progressives need to start hammering on this issue, writing their local newspapers, contacting their elected officials, and talking to neighbors. Oh, transmit your concerns to the US Department of Justice, which oversees the Voting Rights Act.
You could also contact the federal Election Assistance Commission, which in theory oversees the certification and reliability of election machines used in federal elections, but some observers have their doubts. Truth is, only a voluntary federal certification for voting machines is part of federal law, and each state has ultimate jurisdiction over certification.
The statistical evidence is alarming. That's not enough to pull the red emergency lever, but it's more than enough to demand that our public officials and the news media -- who sponsor the exit polling that increasingly seems out of synch with what final vote tallies show -- pay closer attention to this potential and existential threat to democracy.