How Can We Know Who Won?

I’ve been hearing a LOT since the most recent “election” about all the ballot stuffing going on in California and New York.  Common knowledge says Clinton won the popular vote but Trump won the Electoral vote.  Trump, apparently the most insecure person ever, insists – despite available evidence – he also won the popular vote.  It’s his way.  If he doesn’t get a result he wants he simply insists he DID get the result he wanted.  (It may be his way but it’s delusional…)

If you live outside of the conservative information bubble you see it as quaint – the idea that people are still using ballot-stuffing as the preferred method of rigging.  But if you live inside the bubble, as does 45, ballot stuffing is just a given.  After hearing this several times, I began to wonder why, as in, why would the corporate media feed ballot stuffing into the conservative bubble as the preferred method of election rigging?  Ballot stuffing is so…twentieth century.  But then I realized: so are conservatives.  Well, a huge swath of them, anyway.  Old people.  (I want to call them the ‘calcified brain’ set but I’m told I should be nice…)

Back in the day, if you wanted to rig an election you had to add ballots for your guy or “lose” ballots for the other guy.  These were physical, paper ballots you had to create or destroy accordingly.  Sometimes, this would include a guy voting in a blue hat, then coming back in and voting again in a red hat.  More commonly, it involved taking the five ballot boxes from the polling place and dropping all six off at the registrar’s office for counting.  Alternatively, one might simply switch one or two of the boxes with previously prepared boxes offering much more favorable results for your candidate than might be expected from actual turnout.

That’s the way it used to be done and it’s the way old people still understand, so that’s the way it’s presented.  The presenters even offer “evidence”.  Look, they say, at the number of people on the voter rolls who are a) registered to vote in two places or b) dead.  But I’ve moved house.  I’ve moved between districts, cities, counties, and states.  Never once have I included on my ‘things to do’ list “Update voter status in place I’m leaving”.  (Perhaps an oversight on my part…)  So far, I’ve never died but when I do, I’m guessing the people around me are going to be much more concerned with getting rid of the body before it starts to smell than making sure my voter information is updated and to-the-minute.

So, newsflash to my conservative brethren or, perhaps, to old people: that’s not the way it’s done anymore.  When one has to actually manipulate physical ballots there are significant problems to be worked out, namely, how to get “acceptable” fraudulent ballots into the system and/or what to do with the “unwanted” ballots.  But Diebold solved those problems for “election” overseers with the introduction of electronic voting machines.

Now all one need do is dial in, alter the results to those you prefer, and back out.  Internally, it’s just a spreadsheet.  Sometimes, they simply switch final tallies between candidates.  Sometimes, they add or subtract as needed.  The beauty part is, there’s no paper trail, no evidence of the tampering, no proof of the outcome and no independent way to verify the results.  Well, almost no way.  Around the rest of the world, elections are verified by exit polls.  In America, the land of “Alternative Facts”, we’re told exit polls are untrustworthy.

That’s comforting because when I look at exit polls vs results in America I see that Bernie beat Hillary in the primaries…but I also see that Hillary beat the Donald in the general.  For clarity, I’m saying Hillary should have won more electoral votes than Trump.  Look, I have a chart:

2016-presidential-election-table_nov-17-2016

Clinton “won” in the exit polls in four battleground states (blue highlight) but the computer vote total went against her (red highlight).  There are enough electoral votes associated with those four states that had the official outcome matched the exit polls in any three of the four – as they should have done – Hillary would be sitting in the Oval Office.

Surely, the parties know the machines are vulnerable to hacking…no, built to be hacked.  My suspicion is that they count on it.  Rather than eliminate the machines and return to the days of paper ballots to ensure the integrity of the vote, I suspect each side tries to use the machines to their own advantage.  I have this image in my mind of a room full of geeks furiously hacking away altering results for the Democrats while another room full of geeks is furiously hacking away altering results for Republicans…and the best hacker group wins!

I can almost envision my conservative brethren reading this, seething, preparing arguments explaining exactly how and why I’m wrong while my progressive friends glom on as proof that Trump is not, in fact, a legitimate President.  Here’s the thing: either side could be correct.  The point is, nobody stuffs ballot boxes anymore.  It’s just too much trouble and the risk too great.

I’ll tell you this: as long as America uses these machines for “elections” no American – whether your “team” wins or loses – can actually be confident in the outcome of American “elections”…

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