Experts Find Evidence of Electronic "Vote-Flipping" in Tim Canova Loss to Wasserman-Schultz, Call for Recount
Weeks after Bernie Sanders protégé Tim Canova went down in defeat in a strong primary challenge to US Representative Debbie-Wasserman-Schultz, professional statisticians say they have uncovered the same kind of statistically unlikely voting pattern which was found in the 2016 Democratic primary between Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. They are calling for a visual inspection of some or all of the actual ballots in order to rule out the presence of electronic "vote-flipping."
Because the two counties involved both use vote-scanning machines which create digital images of the ballots, visual inspection of the ballots could consist of obtaining the digital images held by the counties, and counting the votes using the images rather than the paper ballots.
In her website Holler Back, election integrity activist and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist Lulu Fries'dat published the commentaries of Professors Fritz Scheuren and Elizabeth Clarkson. Scheuren is the 100th president of the American Statistical Association and teaches at George Washington University. Clarkson teaches at Wichita State University in Kansas. Dr. Scheuren said:
“We have to find a way to find out if they were manipulated, and that requires a recount, of at least a sample of locations.”
The vote pattern identified in the analysis of the Canova - Wasserman-Schultz primary, a closely watched race, is uncovered by what election experts call "cumulative vote tally" analysis. This analysis arranges precincts by size, numbers of registered voters, and studies candidate performance along these lines. As with many counties, cities, and towns in the Democratic primaries, the experts found a tendency for the "establishment" candidate to do much better as precinct size increased.
The pattern is suggestive of the electronic version of "ballot stuffing" in larger precincts. The relationship was uncanny, according to the election experts and mathematicians, with no good explanation when controlled for race, income, or any other demographic factor.
The simple and obvious means of testing the hypothesis, say the statisticians, is to inspect the ballots cast in the race.
Tim Canova, a Florida law professor, threw down a challenge to Wasserman-Schultz after Schultz, in her capacity as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was revealed to be blatantly biased toward Hillary Clinton and committed to securing the nomination for her, rather than playing an impartial role as the DNC is supposed to. Canova quickly raised over $3 million and attracted support and large crowds. Nevertheless on election day, Wasserman-Schultz turned in a performance which decisively trounced Canova by 13 points.
Now election experts are wondering if the same mechanism they suspect in some of the Sanders - Clinton primary contests, electronic vote-flipping, is responsible.
The ease with which hackers can change a vote-counting system's programming to add and subtract votes has been amply demonstrated in a number of film documentaries, including the well-received 2006 HBO documentary "Hacking Democracy." In the "Hursti Hack" a hacker shows how one need access only the memory card of many types of vote counting machines in order to reprogram the instructions. Alternatively, machines can be accessed by breaking into the communications networks to which they are connected.
Rather than argue over whether the hacking is possible, election activists contend, it makes more sense to simply obtain the digital ballot images, if they are available, and count the votes. The Florida 23rd Congressional District, for which the Canova - Wasserman-Schultz was held, includes most of Broward County and some of Miami-Dade, two jurisdictions which, according to the election integrity organization Verified Voting, use the Dominion Systems DS200 and DS850. These are two of the three models of machines which automatically create digital ballot images. Together the three models account for nearly half of US voting machines. (Look up your type of voting machine.)
The Broward County elections office is led by Broward County Supervisor of Elections Dr. Brenda Calhoun Snipes. In Miami-Dade, the head elections official is Supervisor Christina White.