Ralph Lopez majored in Economics and Political Science at Yale University. He has been published in the Boston Globe and the Baltimore Sun.
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.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
Chet on June 18, 2017:
Why is it, the democrats don't want special id for voting?? They are usually the ones who are caught fraudulent voting.
dan on June 17, 2017:
the quickest and easiest way to "check" this is to admit the demographic differences that lead rural (smaller precinct) and urban (larger precinct) voters to prefer different candidates. Of course, returns are usually reported in this general order anyhow, so it is something people already know. Claiming that this difference is somehow an anomaly of statistics is flat out lying, and does nothing but discredit the pursuit of electoral integrity. Perhaps you feel the ends justify the means, but it's the many people you don't fool who will be turned off to legitimate efforts. In short, you make us all look bad.
Eleanor on June 17, 2017:
Still should check ballots against voting machine tape that way you would get a truer count. Don't trust the voting machines at all so check one way against the other. It you but in a paper ballot then check it against was actually recorded. Then double check on the people checking this, also have both sides watching and filming it.
Betty Lincoln on June 17, 2017:
Democrats have been involved in voter fraud for years which is why they are so against preventing any photo I.D. legislation.
Neal Winblad on June 16, 2017:
And the results should be tabulated into a "write once - read many" type of memory so that they could not be erased and altered.
Actually, we need to go back to having paper ballots...yes, we can count them electronically the first time to get the results on the news quickly...but then the election workers should count the paper ballots before they go home for the night in front of members of both/many parties, and video recorded and posted directly to the Internet as they are counted so there is an audit trail to confirm the early results delivered electronically.
Irene Madrid on June 16, 2017:
Lock up washerman.
Kattherine Conner on February 04, 2017:
Why, this doesn't surprise me at all. The whole thing has been rigged, to keep us dumb, and trusting and for the liberal elites like Hillary Clinton, Wassaman Shultz, Nancy Pelosi, Corey Booker, Diane Feinstein, etc to stay in power.
Jeremy from Grand Blanc, MI on October 27, 2016:
A recount is definitely needed. The numbers prior to the election counted up to a Canova win.
Do you have an official link to the request for recount? That is very important.
Appsforsys Sys on October 27, 2016:
Thanks for calling attention to this race and possible issues with it. So worrying.
munkle on October 26, 2016:
ascjk and Allen: ROM should be used for the operating system and programming instructions. Random Access Memory could be used for recording vote totals.
Yes James Provost is right: only Read Only Memory should be used for the programmed counting instructions.
Allen Scantland on October 26, 2016:
James Provost is bang on: "Why are the machines using Random Access Memory when they should be Read Only permanently programmed Memory Chips?
Whoever built the machines deliberately fixed them to be Hackable."
snafubar on October 26, 2016:
And what do you bet that the "digital ballot images" were deleted or are simply missing?
ascjk on October 26, 2016:
James Provost: "Why are the machines using Random Access Memory when they should be Read Only permanently programmed Memory Chips?"
How would the system record your vote if it could not write to disk?
RBCa on October 25, 2016:
A misleading headline. Experts have discovered "data", not "evidence" of vote flipping. More than just semantics, this data should prompt an inspection of the actual ballots (or images thereof) to determine if there is any evidence of vote flipping. Right now, there is data that is inconsistent with expected patterns, but no true evidence.
stroudart on October 25, 2016:
The "SHEEPLE" are NOT interested..
bob setliff on October 24, 2016:
She already proved she is as rotten as Trump. She should have been forced all the way out of our Party!
James Provost on October 24, 2016:
Why are the machines using Random Access Memory when they should be Read Only permanently programmed Memory Chips?
Whoever built the machines deliberately fixed them to be Hackable.
Duane Townsend from Detroit on October 24, 2016:
Well done Ralph Lopez. Thank you for your work and research.
deg on October 24, 2016:
Soros owns the voting machines. Of course it was rigged.
Virginia Allain from Central Florida on October 24, 2016:
Thanks for calling attention to this race and possible issues with it. So worrying.