Elections or “Elections?”

I don’t believe it, you know. I mean, I DO believe that the Biden/Harris ticket won. The part I don’t believe is that Trump was able to increase his base – especially that much. I mean, really? How? To whom did he appeal who wasn’t already on his team? We learned from Lincoln, you can fool some of the people all of the time. Those are the 35% – Trump’s base. (I base that number on the percentage of people who come out to defend him – no matter what – in between elections. That, to me, is the true measure of his base…)

You could convince me that Trump drew beyond his base in 2016 with people angry at the shenanigans of the DNC, people dissatisfied with the incremental baby steps crowd, people who had been conditioned to effing HATE Hillary – viscerally – since 1992, and other disaffected voters adding to the…well, the true believers. But that’s the thing; the “add-ons” were NOT true believers. Once Trump was revealed, the add-ons fell away, quietly but pretty quickly. (I see the evidence of that mostly in people switching their party affiliation from Republican to Independent…)

So if he already had a lock on the bigot crowd and he already had a lock on the fooled-all-the-time crowd (and the one encompasses the other), where did he find the gain? Truthfully, I think the ONLY place he could increase is with children of conservatives, raised in conservative households and reaching voting age before experiencing the real world. And you know what there are NOT? Millions of those…

THEN, his true feelings about our military come out and then Covid-19 hits and Trump just…falls apart. How many old folks do you suppose withdrew their support, what with Trump literally dismissing them as expendable in response to Covid? How many in the military when they heard he considered them “suckers” and “losers” or insulted Gold Star families or abandoned American soldiers and allies? I can see all kinds of places where Trump LOST voters AND I can see that the 35% isn’t going anywhere ever. So how did Trump turn out nearly 50% of the vote?

Right away, on November 4, I started hearing chatter about how the polls were wrong, consistently opining that Trump had “over-performed.” Pollsters knew the polling didn’t reflect the outcome in 2016, either. In fact, polling, it seems has been off-track since the 2000 “election.” After each round, pollsters “adjust” their tactics, assuring us all that THIS year, they’ve got it right. Then it isn’t. Or is it?

I submit that it’s not the polling that is incorrect – it’s the outcomes. I’ve long held that the various computerized voting machines in use allow for vote manipulation like the country has never known (or understood). I’ve long been a proponent of voting by paper ballots to ensure the accuracy of the vote. (I’ve long been ignored on the topic.)

Yes, I know the right is complaining that the process is rigged because we counted the votes. MY position is that the votes we CAN’T double-check are the “rigged” votes. THOSE come from computerized voting machines and I think the worst are known as Direct Recording Electronic systems or DRE’s.

DRE’s employ computers that record votes directly into the computers’ memory. These interfaces may incorporate touchscreens, dials, or mechanical buttons. The voter’s choices are stored by the computer on a cartridge or hard drive. In 12 states, DRE systems are also equipped with Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) printers, which produce paper records that can be preserved to be tabulated in case of an audit or recount. 7 states (In, Ky, La, NJ, Ok, Tn, Tx) do not use VVPAT. 2 states (Ks, Ms) use some DRE’s with and some without VVPAT. (This paragraph was lifted from BallotPedia.org and modified for detail by me…)

I’m told my concerns about those machines qualify as tin-foil hat stuff. In general, Americans believe that the United States would NOT have rolled out computerized voting machines without protections to keep people from manipulating the outcome. It turns out, that’s just a matter of faith. It’s an unsubstantiated belief that keeps them from even considering the possibility that the machines can be used to rig the outcomes.

So before I go too much further, you really should watch this video. Seven minutes. It’s a guy named Clint Curtis who actually wrote code that could be hidden in the operating software and used to secretly flip votes as desired. I offer it as evidence. If you won’t give up seven minutes to watch the Curtis video, you likely won’t surrender and hour and a half to watch HBO’s ‘Kill Chain: The Cyber War on American’s Elections‘ but you really, REALLY should. (Special shoutout to Mrs. Dean. I hope you made it here. I told you the wrong name. ‘Kill Switch’ is a Steven Seagall movie. MyBaconPress regrets the error… )

There are many videos on the web showing just how easy it is. I went to a middling search engine and typed in ‘hacking voting machines’ and came up with a long list. Sure, can’t happen here. Except that 11 year olds can do it in under 10 minutes. So, maybe it’s tin-foil hat stuff. Maybe it’s something we should be aware of and address. Now that we know how easy it is, perhaps we should consider whether anyone might try to use such a system to their own advantage…

You’ve got to give credit where credit is due. Donald Trump really did turn out the vote. Sure, it was mostly hate voting to get rid of him but I truly doubt we would have had the response we had if the subject had been anything other than Trump so…props.

Because Trump chose to ignore Covid-19, states across this once-great nation were forced to use alternative methods for voting and the best practice was paper, mail-in ballots because every state already deals with them at one level or another and already had infrastructure in place. Trump worked as hard as he could against the mail-in ballots. He insisted people couldn’t trust mail-in ballots and encouraged his base to use the DRE’s. As it happens, the politics involved created a one-of-a-kind test run, red vs blue, computer vs paper.

The tallys are still coming in but I believe that when all is said and done, the states where only paper was used will be quite close to poll projections. The states that used machines will be…off. People will shrug and blame the polling techniques but we should at least consider the other possibility.

Perhaps the machines created an avalanche of red votes. I mean that the way it reads. Millions of people came out to get rid of Trump. Millions of people, blue and red, used the machines. The fact that a person can simply push a secret button and flip votes in individual machines (did you watch the Curtis video?) or do it with the dongle at the end of the day means the vote count would tally correctly but the outcome of the election would still be wrong. Such a tool explains how the vote flipping could be targeted so effectively as well. The Republicans don’t need to win everywhere. As we know, they only need to prevail in the Electoral College.

Since I started writing this, a statement was released in response to Republican claims of voter fraud in the machines attempting to assure Americans that the machines did their job properly. “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” said a statement from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. If you’ve watched the videos I’ve recommended here, you know those are weasel words. “There is no evidence…” This is a true statement. The machines are built in such a way that they do NOT provide evidence nor keep records that can be reviewed. But that doesn’t mean the machines are honest.

So the only way to know if the election results were correct is to compare them against election day and exit polls. In most areas, it’s Trump who is said to have “over-performed” not Biden. If anything, the machines helped Trump, not Biden. I’m aware the claims from the right make my position, here, that much more Sisyphean but I maintain that we, the people MUST get rid of voting machines and return to paper ballots across this once-great nation if we’re ever to trust the process again.

We should just dump the machines. Every state, for every election, should use paper ballots. No matter how you slice it, paper ballots can’t be flipped. If a million people vote ‘yes’ on paper, a million ‘yes’ votes will be recorded – and can be recounted if necessary.

So, I guess we all owe Donald Trump a debt of gratitude for exposing the true corruption in the voting process: computerized voting machines. With those machines, Republicans don’t have a “finger on the scale” as the saying goes. They’re STANDING on the scale before anyone else steps up! (And NONE of this even begins to address GOP Gerrymandering…)

Now that Trump’s out, people are going to relax a little. Not so many will turn out next time. Only a small drop-off on the left and the extra weight the GOP brings disrupts an honest process again. I’ll tell you this: I REALLY hope we can get something done about eliminating the machines. I prefer elections to “elections.”

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