Monday, November 14, 2016

Can We Count On The Election Results?

Another presidential election has run its course and Americans who want to participate in a process that’s democratic, transparent and accountable are left in the dark.
All along the way, there have been dismal failures in our supposed democratic process. That continues today, as election integrity activists point out that the national media’s Election Day exit polls found that Hillary Clinton was ahead in four key states — North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida — but lost the computerized vote count. That’s not the first time a “red shift” occurred between live exit poll results posted on CNN and the later vote count results.
That suggests the exit polls were either deeply flawed, or the vote count was compromised or stolen.
This latest affront comes after other attacks on the process by political insiders and outsiders throughout the race. Before the campaigning began, insiders in 14 Republican-majority states adopted new voting restrictions and barriers such as new ID requirements. In Wisconsin, where Trump was ahead by 27,000 votes, attorneys trying to challenge that state’s new law said upwards of 300,000 residents lacked the required IDs. That early attack was bookended at the election’s close by Republican election officials, from Ohio’s secretary of state to North Carolina county election boards, who gamed the field for brazen partisan advantage. They curtailed early voting, moved precincts, inaccurately purged voter rolls, and made perplexing decisions—as in Ohio—not to activate voting machine audit software, which means the results cannot be verified.
Those assaults were not the only attacks by insiders. Bernie Sanders’ campaign was targeted by top aides to the ultimately disgraced Democratic National Committee chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who worked to undermine his success. But it wasn’t just the DNC. State parties run their nominating caucuses like private golf clubs—they set the rules, which include how votes are weighted, counted (rural areas get more clout, cities get less) and released. Or not, which is what the Iowa party did. It refused to release the raw caucus vote count, allowing Clinton to get headlines that she won a virtual tie. In Nevada’s nominating caucus, the party allowed caucuses on campuses in Reno but not in bigger Las Vegas. That helped her win.

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