A Rigged System, Continued

Lots of people seem to think it's rigged. People who would presumably know.

How about those computers that count your votes? In Georgia, they record your vote on a credit-card shaped device, then wipe it after they transfer the information to the central system. At least, that's allegedly what happens. There's no record of how you voted, and the people transferring the data have nothing to look at that would indicate that the transfer was done fairly. There's also no paper ballot or receipt that could be used for a recount. That doesn't prove the system is correct, but it gives us reason to suspect the system.

In that context, then, here's some sworn testimony from a programmer who says he wrote software to rig elections. There is also a discussion thread at Snopes about him and his testimony.

George Will points out that the IRS scandal is itself proof of official attempts to rig the election against conservatives, by preventing them from organizing or collecting tax-deductible donations, and harassing them with audits.

And of course, as we (and left wing Vox) recently discussed, gerrymandering is the Fire-Breathing Godzilla of vote rigging. My Congressional district is R +27. If I and everyone I know voted Democrat this year, it might fall to R +25. Other districts are just as heavily D +. The same is true of state-level districts.

Of course the vote is rigged, in every way they've figured out how to get away with rigging it. The animating questions should be whether there's anything left that isn't rigged, and what (if anything) we can do about the parts that are. If the answer to that latter question is that we can't do anything that will legally compel the powers that be to back off their vote-rigging, we should start talking about what to do about that.

UPDATE: Another Vox piece demonstrating a proven, actual history of rigging elections -- Jim Crow, of course.

That example is hopeful, in a way, because the Jim Crow system was eventually dismantled (except, arguably, for gerrymandering -- or if you take seriously the complaint that things like Voter ID laws are intimidation efforts). But it's also a telling example for the plausibility of rigging an election. Of course it can be done. It always has been done. It's done everywhere anyone figures out a good way to do it. Often, as in the case of gerrymandering or the IRS scandal, it's done right out in the open.

The question is, what can we do about it?


Anonymous said...


I know what your reaction to the "hot mic" incident was. I want to know what you think of the admittedly partisan analysis in this video, which includes audio, video, and a transcript portion that was left out of the accounts I read.



Grim said...

It's only because of my deep respect for you, Valerie, that I am willing to devote 20 minutes to watching a video devoted to a subject I've no desire to think about further than I have.

1) That the three opening questions were all about the sexual assault brag is clearly evidence that the media wanted to destroy him with it.

2) The only objectionable question was the one in which he is asked, "Do you understand that?" as if he were an idiot. I think the questioner must envision himself as the prosecutor in A Few Good Men, nailing the Colonel who simply fails to understand that he has just confessed to a felony on the stand.

3) Is this, as the author says, not a political question? I don't see how that works. Polls strongly indicate this is the most important question to most women voters -- "the personal is political," feminism has long taught, and while I think that is unwise because it means that the political reaches everything that ought to be personal, it has become received wisdom.

4) Of course she is right that Clinton should be in jail, and her absence from there is proof of corruption of the DOJ and FBI, the State Department and the President himself.

5) Of course that should be more important.

6) It's a plausible point that his acceptance of the married woman's rejection indicates that he doesn't habitually engage in sexual assault. On the other hand, I never thought he did: I thought he thought he was boasting, and perhaps in the context of this audience he was. Maybe this one guy is the kind of guy for whom that would constitute a kind of boast, i.e., the kind of claim that if true could be a source of pride.

7) "Women should not be getting boob jobs." Um. While I have a marked aesthetic preference for the natural myself, I do know at least one woman for whom such a surgery provided a major increase in personal happiness and self-esteem. I think this should fall under matters of personal taste, although were I asked for advice I would probably suggest that artifice -- which Aristotle tells us is intended to perfect nature -- can rarely do so here.

8) The long part of the tape is an analysis of body language. The general analysis is that Trump's body language is appropriately professional: eye contact, no leering, hand shake without other body contact, keeping appropriate distance, engaging in other contact only when invited. All that's true, but at this point the man knows he has a camera pointed at him. This does not prove much except that he knows how to behave on camera. But of course he does: that's her point earlier, he's a professional TV star at this point in his life. The plausibility of the sexual assault allegations against him are from claims at times when he was not on camera.

9) But yes, it's absolutely true: Clinton totally deserves a special prosecutor. She needs to be in jail. And yes, that is also a proper political issue -- one that I agree should be at the forefront of the public mind.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very kindly for indulging me. I wanted to know if I was suffering from confirmation bias, and I figured you would not be. It turns out, I probably am.

To me, the voice overlay turned the entire incident into a big nothing burger, although of course it did not prove its title. I knew the background story of how and when the audio and transcript surfaced, and the huge overreach by those who pushed it. So, I was angry when I saw this video. I was missing your point No. 8, and I should have caught it.



Tom said...

I agree with Grim's analysis, but at the same time, it was interesting seeing the video with more context.

I can't defend some of the things Trump says. However, sometimes he says something fairly innocuous and it seems like the media go out of their way to bend, fold, spindle and mutilate it to something as offensive as possible. For example, in the 2nd debate the media made a big deal of him saying he'd put Clinton in jail -- That's outrageous! He's a dictator! He's going to jail political opponents!

Except, if you listen to the exchange, he said he'd appoint a special prosecutor and follow the law. Then Clinton sneered at him and said it was good a man like him wasn't in charge, and he quipped "Because you'd be in jail."

In that exchange, there's not a single thing he said that I object to. It's clearly not meant as "I'd jail you because you're my political opponent" but rather "You broke the law, you're a crook, so in my honest administration, you'd go to jail."

This has happened a lot.

Tom said...

On the topic of rigged elections, in response to the Vox article, some time back I read an article about this that explained that gerrymandering was in many cases required by law and USSC rulings.

What can we do about rigged elections in general? I suggest two things. I think we need a big, national drive to secure the vote -- paper trails, etc. And we need another that focuses on increasing government transparency, closing the obvious weaknesses the last 8 years have revealed w/ the IRS and Hillary investigations. We need to put some teeth into them. Forget everything else: Just do these two things.

It would be good to have an amendment requiring secure voting methods, but it doesn't seem to directly relate to limiting the federal government, so the Convention of States probably wouldn't take it up. Maybe an independent drive for this amendment would work?

E Hines said...

Further on the subject of rigged elections, it was interesting in last night's debate to see Clinton pooh-poohing the idea that the current elections were rigged shortly after she had done a five-minute routine on how the Russians were trying to rig the elections in favor of Trump. (And disappointing that Trump didn't call her on it. But Trump's no better at debate than was Romney.)

Today's NLMSM, of course, is spiking that discontinuity. As they are Clinton's OPSEC/COMSEC violation (at the least) in naming the lag between a President giving a launch order and the missiles being launched.

Eric Hines

douglas said...

All the concern about computerized voting machines strikes me odd- at least insofar as, if we are to be concerned about it- and we should be- we should have been concerned about it for decades now. Computerized machines at the local voting precinct may be new, but as long as I can remember (and I remember going to the booth with my mother when I was about 8) California has been using optical scan ballots (punch cards or dot-mark ballots). These, presumably, have always been counted by 'machines', which means computers, which means programmed rigging could have been going on since the 70's at least. Are there no safeguards in the programming stage of elections?

At a minimum it would seem that a number of steps should be taken-
-both major parties and perhaps a couple minor parties should have programmers who supervise the programming at all stages, just as we have poll watchers from the parties to insure fairness at the local polls.
-The programming the machines run on must be run from read-only memory so that the code cannot have in it a self-destructing code routine in it, so that the code is reviewable in the event there are any questions later.
-I personally would be in favor of computers only at the central level, with optical or similar ballots used locally. This reduces the number of points that are susceptible to digital tampering. In California at least, we still have paper ballots that are scanned as you insert them into the box, so reporting is faster but there is still a paper record-which absolutely should be mandatory.

I am sure there are more things that can be suggested here, but that's all I've got off the top of my head.

My Dad was a CPA and Internal Auditor for the local Archidiocese for thirty years. You learn a little about human nature and the need to minimize tempatation and to have procedures that make sure people do their work in a way that is transparent to others so that everyone knows someone is always looking over your shoulder, because if it's too easy, even good people succumb to temptation- often thinking it's justifiable if it's for a good end.

As for gerrymandering- good luck with that. So long we as a society think that there needs to be some kind of 'fairness' in things beyond 'there are the same number of people in each electoral district', there's going to be all kinds of requirements, supposedly for our good, used in determining districts, and as such, there will be efforts to bend the application of that to political ends.

Ymar Sakar said...

It takes some time for the Leftist alliance to marshal their considerable resources to adapt to new technology and institutions. Right about now would be when they can turn their 3 million fake votes into 15 million, now that they have the Google squad working with the feds backing the Left, in managing American affairs.

It took so long because conditions were not quite right to promote it.

As for districts, the best ones are small, as local government isn't local when the area is the size of Israel, and just as difficult to travel. Gerrymandering is a problem because it destroys local government, even as the local government appears to still be working. It's an engineered collapse. Without local government, state will have to take over, and when state fails, the feds will take over, ala martial law, Katrina, or other BLM ghetto rioting emergencies.