Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Fair Election? Serious Questions Arise About Trump Vote Totals In Key Swing States

A series of explanation-defying questions surrounding Donald Trump’s victories in key 2016 swing states has prompted a cadre of voting rights attorneys and electronic voting machine experts to consider formally filing for presidential recounts in coming days.
These recount-justifying anomalies go beyond the discrepancies in media exit polls predicting a Hillary Clinton victory on November 8 and subsequent vote counts where Trump won states that have not backed Republican presidents for decades. Recounts could clarify or verify whether several different forms of electronic hacking could have padded state voter rolls and altered resulting counts.
Former state election directors contacted by AlterNet were extremely skeptical of the election theft theories that accompanied the troubling vote-count patterns. They added that the courts would not change election results unless there was overwhelming proof. Spokespeople for election departments in possible recount states also said their voting systems were designed to block hacking, especially after federal intelligence officials this summer said Russia hacked into two state voter registration databases (Illinois was named) and warned states to be vigilant. Russia also was reportedly behind hacks of DNC and Clinton campaign emails.
The count anomalies and possible explanations cited by the team of voting rights attorneys and electronic voting machine experts, whose experience in these issues dates back to the 2000 and 2004 elections, combined a mix of old and new threats. In some cases, known electronic voting machine vulnerabilities may have been tapped to inflate county-level vote tabulations, they said, suggesting those machines should be impounded and examined. Where Russia may have been involved, their theory goes beyond anything imagined in past elections. They posited that last summer’s Russia hacks of voter registration databases could have yielded sufficient information to create large numbers of phantom absentee ballot voters, inflating the Trump vote in certain swing states that helped win the Electoral College.
Recounts and related litigation could explore if either happened, they said. Obtaining and comparing pre- and post-election logic and accuracy reports of voting machinery might begin to trace the “older school” vote-count tampering, where countywide totals are calculated. (American elections are run by county officials.) Similarly, comparing voter lists from states hacked by Russians, such as Illinois where more than 200,000 voter files were taken, to states with very high numbers of absentee ballots, could reveal if phantom voters were put into those state’s databases, they said.

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