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Fri Oct 19, 2012, 08:43 AM

A Proposal to Prevent Election Theft

This is something that we collectively can accomplish, starting now, to ensure that the results of 2012 Presidential election are consistent with the expressed will of the voters who participate in this critical election. There is a way for us to expose any willful systematic effort to manipulate the tallying of the actual votes cast by the American people for our next President, for illegal partisan ends. We can do this nationwide at very little actual cost. We can do it with complete transparency using data available as public record with methods that can be replicated and independently verified by any organization, public or private, concerned about the validity of our findings. With a large, multi-talented, and widely dispersed national membership, the Democratic Underground can take the lead in protecting a fair 2012 Presidential election. Here is what I propose, it has several basic elements.

We require a database that includes every election precinct in the nation. That database should include the means being used by each precinct to record and tally the votes cast within that precinct. That needs to be as specific as possible. Where voting machines are used the manufacturer of the machines being used should be recorded. Those who are given the legal responsibility to service those machines, and to physically secure them, should also be recorded. How the precinct vote tallies of votes that were cast at the precinct level gets transferred for central tallying should be recorded as well. All of this is public record. So, of course, are the precinct level vote totals themselves as they are initially recorded. As they get announced we need to enter those precinct records into our database. And it is also public record which political party in every precinct controls the government oversight of elections function. That too needs to be recorded into the database.

How votes are recorded in America varies from locality to locality, from State to State certainly, but often the technology used is mixed within States as well. This provides acute observers with an ideal opportunity to detect statistical anomalies among voter returns as they become public. Lots of raw data is available for “crunching”. Not just the voting results, but also the percentage of “spoiled ballots” and of “over votes” etc. In a fair election, the percentage of “problem votes” should be tiny and there should be no pattern of deviation between precincts using the same methodologies.

When and where recounts are conducted, deviations from original announced results should evidence no partisan distortion, in other words mistakes tallying Republican and Democratic votes should happen in both directions at a frequency consistent with the proportion of votes each side initially received. That should hold true between precincts, counties, and even states, just as much as it holds true within individual precincts.

If we compile a thorough enough database, not only can we cast a light on the integrity of the voting process in an individual precinct, county, or State, but we can do so nationwide. It becomes statistically noteworthy, for example, how vote tallies obtained through one voting technology in one area of the nation compare with those recorded in a different area using either the same technology or a different one. Either way comparisons can be insightful, or even potentially explosive if systematic vote manipulation actually is attempted, be that in a handful of precincts in a key swing state, or nationwide through manipulation of the software used in voting machine from certain vendors.

The amount of raw data available to statisticians to work with in America today is staggering, with so much of it readily accessible by computers. For example, a socio-economic region like Appalachia crosses county and state lines. This is well documented in census records and the like. So a cross check that shows counties with very similar socio-economic demographics, very similar party identification rates in registered voters rolls, and virtually identical media markets, registering starkly differing voter preferences in tallied votes in a clear partisan pattern that collates tightly with a difference in the manufacturer of the e-voting machines used, could be eye opening.

Even a pattern of divergences from exit polls, or even from predictive polls, can prove meaningful if that divergence manifests unevenly based on variables (such as voting technology) that should be value neutral.

If our goal is primarily to PREVENT election theft, and only secondarily to expose it after the fact should it occur, then this effort needs to be high profile IN ADVANCE of the actual election. In other words anyone who might consider screwing around with the vote count needs to be put on notice NOW that we will have the capacity to expose them if they attempt anything on a scale likely to effect the outcome of the Presidential election. That would require some help beyond the Democratic Underground in getting the word out – media allies like some hosts on MSNBC and organizations like Organized Labor and national advocacy groups like Move On cooperating in getting advance word out on this.

DU Members having skills that I personally lack would need to design a comprehensive but straight forward database for compiling the information we would need to record. All of us would need to do our homework gathering the info needed both before and after the vote Data analysis is a world in itself but collectively I know DU and our allies have the skill set to document any patterns that may emerge from voting results that would point to election theft occurring.

Yes this would be an ambitious undertaking, but not one beyond our collective means. And the stakes could not be higher.

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Reply A Proposal to Prevent Election Theft (Original post)
Tom Rinaldo Oct 2012 OP
AzDar Oct 2012 #1
GreenPartyVoter Oct 2012 #2
Tom Rinaldo Oct 2012 #3
Tom Rinaldo Oct 2012 #4

Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 08:46 AM

1. Kick (never forget 2004)

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 09:05 AM

2. Other things that can be done on an individual level:

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 09:37 AM

3. One thing I left out

Should something of this sort go forward, we would also need to issue a very conservative, cogent statement containing only the most reputable and documented reasons for concern about new vulnerabilities to voting integrity that electronic technologies expose now us to. Americans rightfully worry about identity theft due to hacking, it happens. Covert software programs have set back Iran's nuclear program. If Republicans are so convinced that individuals can illegally register to vote, why not worry about voters illegally attempting to flip election results. Tests have proven this can be done. Elections were just discovered to have been flipped by "software error" in Florida, etc.

We are only talking about prudent safeguards to protect the votes of all Americans, regardless of Party affiliation.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 05:43 PM

4. I am going to kick this once. I don't think this topic discourages Democrats from voting

If anything it makes us Democrats fight harder to make the margin of Obama's victory more difficult to mess with.T his thread isn't about passively bemoaning how the Republicans cheat, so what's the point of voting. This is an idea for what a few hundred dedicated activists can do to intimidate Republicans against messing with the vote. The time to act is now, not after the fact. Of course we are going to vote. Only activists see threads like this anyway and we are not going to give up no matter what Republicans are capable of trying.

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