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Thread: US elections: fraud, tampering and irregularities

  1. #1

    Default US elections: fraud, tampering and irregularities

    With elections coming up in the US, I thought it might be interesting to have another go at discussing the problems of fraud, tampering and assorted irregularities. These subjects come up every single time there is an election in the US and it would be nice to be able to go through the most important facts and arguments before the storm hits. As we know, the greatest predictor of whether or not a person will believe an election was fair is whether or not that person's preferred candidate won. Nevertheless, the topic is objectively important and can be discussed without being partisan.

    I'd like to propose an open-minded but not conspiratorial or partisan discussion of some of the following questions and subjects (not all at once, you can pick and choose and we have plenty of time):

    - what kinds of fraud, tampering and irregularities are there?

    - how can we detect them?

    - how often do they occur?

    - where do they occur?

    - what impact do they have on elections at various levels?

    - how can we prevent them?


    I think that, this time around, we should avoid wasting time on the possible vote-suppressing effects of various voter-ID laws, gerrymandering, voter-roll purges etc because they remain legal and agreement on those issues is unlikely.


    Some familiar topics are:

    - dead people casting absentee ballots
    - ballot-box stuffing
    - security-issues with certain electronic vote-counting systems (known hackable machines, systems where there is no auditable paper trail etc).
    - glitches or more severe problems with registration, addresses etc.
    - ridiculously incompetent election-boards
    - statistical tests based on Benford's law
    - discrepancies between exit polls and final results



    Afaict, although fraud and irregularities seem to occur from time to time in various places at various levels of govt., there is currently little persuasive evidence supporting a significant impact of fraud and various irregularities on the outcomes of major US elections.

    In spite of this, the potential threat to the integrity of the democratic process presented by the use of vulnerable electronic vote-counting systems may be worth discussing and I hope that those of you interested in those matters--security, hacking, software design etc--can weigh in.


    Re. arguments based on discrepancies between exit polls and final results, I think these are problematic because they rest on the assumptions about the validity of exit polls that are not entirely supported by the available evidence. For example, exit polls don't necessarily give you a random sample because not everyone is equally likely to vote in person, not everyone is equally likely to participate, the polls are conducted at specific locations etc. Some more arguments: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/...d-ignore-exit/


    Evidence based on analyses using Benford's law also seems unpersuasive. The validity of using such methods, for detecting electoral fraud or irregularities in US elections, has not been demonstrated. In some cases, there is evidence suggesting that such methods are in fact useless. Although such methods are still used to analyse elections in countries where fraud and tampering are known or strongly suspected to occur at significant levels, I have yet to see evidence supporting their general usefulness in the context of elections. I would expect these methods to be more likely to return false positives and false negatives than to return true positives.


    Given the weaknesses of these arguments, how can we improve our ability to reliably detect electoral fraud, tampering etc?

    Talk amongst yourselves
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  2. #2
    These problems are extremely unnecessary:

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/...idterms-959980

    It's almost as if these jokers don't actually care about securing elections unless they can simultaneously suppress minority voters.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  3. #3
    Very interesting writeup of research on the use of malicious software to interfere with elections in different countries: https://www.washingtonpost.com/ampht...-cyberattacks/
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  4. #4
    So, I've said plenty of times that fraud happens constantly, on a low level. It just A) rarely makes a difference, and B) either can't be definitively proven or can't be tied to particular suspects and so largely goes unspecified.

    If there is a physical recount in Florida and Desantos loses due to Broward County, I suspect A) will not be the case though B will probably still be true.

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/...ick-scott.html

    I can easily see why there an undercount could happen there, with that design. If the undercount suddenly shrinks or disappears, I have to be suspicious, because there is a clear physical reason why there would simply not be a vote cast and it has nothing to do with machine error.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  5. #5
    In Hillsborough County, with 62% of the population voting, the difference in votes cast between governor and senator was 532, out of more than half a million votes counted.

    Broward fucked up for sure. The number of missing votes is greater than the gap between Nelson and Scott.

    So what is Scott suing over?
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  6. #6
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  7. #7
    Um, wasn't the purging by Kemp? And pretty well known.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Um, wasn't the purging by Kemp? And pretty well known.
    More info here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...ing-group-says

    Can't really infer hacking, but the security flaws exposed shortly before the election means hacking still has to be considered. Perhaps more likely that people who were purged from the rolls by Kemp's office (for whatever reason) decided they wanted to vote.

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    So, I've said plenty of times that fraud happens constantly, on a low level. It just A) rarely makes a difference, and B) either can't be definitively proven or can't be tied to particular suspects and so largely goes unspecified.

    If there is a physical recount in Florida and Desantos loses due to Broward County, I suspect A) will not be the case though B will probably still be true.

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/...ick-scott.html

    I can easily see why there an undercount could happen there, with that design. If the undercount suddenly shrinks or disappears, I have to be suspicious, because there is a clear physical reason why there would simply not be a vote cast and it has nothing to do with machine error.
    Don't think anybody disputes that fraud occurs, esp. in local elections. The controversy has been about the extent of voter fraud at the level of individual voters, in-person or otherwise. Floridians are weird but that ballot is real Hall of Shame material.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  9. #9
    Greater than the odds, higher than the stakes
    One shot to change the course, with no room for mistakes
    Bound with stronger will, in the hands of time
    So where's the pawn that turns the tide and keeps the game alive?

  10. #10
    1) it's been known for a while that Trump was going to attack Dem wins as illegitimate.

    2) recounts rarely flip races and they will do everything they can to suppress the counting of provisionals and mail ins. So when this is all said and done, he can claim a victory against the "ineffective and cheating" Dems.

    It's in a tweet cause morons like lewk eat it up like gospel.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    More info here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...ing-group-says

    Can't really infer hacking, but the security flaws exposed shortly before the election means hacking still has to be considered. Perhaps more likely that people who were purged from the rolls by Kemp's office (for whatever reason) decided they wanted to vote.
    There was a study before the election that showed Kemp purged 350k voters who still lived in the same addresses as before.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  12. #12

  13. #13
    Appointed by a Republican. Kept in power by Republicans. Apparently it wasn't a problem before. I wonder what changed.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Appointed by a Republican. Kept in power by Republicans. Apparently it wasn't a problem before. I wonder what changed.
    That was an elected position, she was appointed for a temporary term by *groan* Jeb! Bush in 2003 which was before any of the issues in the article I stated.

    I wonder Loki - are you being deliberately deceitful here or just plain retarded?

  15. #15
    You do know Jeb is a Republican, right?
    Hope is the denial of reality

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    You do know Jeb is a Republican, right?
    You aren't even trying.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    You do know Jeb is a Republican, right?
    Lewk chose the brown pill. He's gone full maga.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    You do know Jeb is a Republican, right?
    Lewk chose the brown pill. He's gone full maga.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    That was an elected position, she was appointed for a temporary term by *groan* Jeb! Bush in 2003 which was before any of the issues in the article I stated.
    And Scott could have removed Snipes after the 2016 election (for incompetency) and appointed someone else, just like Bush did for her predecessor.


    But seriously, WTF Florida?! What's the excuse for this mess? They should have been super vigilant after their 2000 ballot debacle, and followed FEC recommendations on ballot design. And made sure the machines weren't outdated and unreliable. 18 years later and it's still an embarrassment.

  20. #20
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  21. #21
    Not much concern when fraud comes from Republican candidates, huh.

  22. #22
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  23. #23
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    But remember, it's liberals who commit voter fraud..
    Keep on keepin' the beat alive!

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Flixy View Post
    But remember, it's liberals who commit voter fraud..
    The essence of American conservatism is fear of being treated the same way they've treated others—and the desperate drive to prevent that by any means necessary (typically by doing more of the things they don't want done to them).
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  25. #25
    All is fair unless you get caught. And even then what's been achieved is seldom completely reversible.
    .

  26. #26
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  27. #27
    The president of the United States is attacking American democracy. This man is a crook—and entirely unworthy of his office—but the real villains of this story are the dumb, repugnant, proto-fascist shitheads who are lapping this right up. What pathetic fucking morons.

    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  28. #28
    It wasn't enough that Republicans *suppressed* the voter registration and voter ID processes. The Trump administration has been suing states for expanding mail-in/absentee voting during this pandemic. That really matters in swing states like mine (PA) with a (R) legislature and a (D) governor that also have large senior populations, and minority/urban hubs.

    I'm pissed that my local and state RNC 'officials' have messed with my RIGHT to vote, by following the Trumpista and Trumpuppet strategery....that makes me wonder if I should vote in person (even tho I'm in a high risk group and would rather vote by mail) just to make sure my vote is actually counted.

    The County Board of Elections moved my polling place from a nursing home (duh) to a large convention center (huh?) where hundreds of people will be waiting in lines, maybe for hours. Judging by the people around here who don't wear masks EVER -- and the brawls that ensue at restaurants and stores -- it sounds like a potential nightmare scenario.

    I'm angry that we even have a "Plan Your Vote" initiative, where folks are encouraged to bring a lawn chair, an umbrella, water and food (plus our mask and hand sanitizer and medications!) along with our photo ID. Hell, maybe we should wear adult diapers, too? *Because in-person voting might take several hours?!*


  29. #29
    I'm also mad that my son can't figure out if he needs to *apply* for an absentee ballot in NC or PA, since he's moving between those states before election day.

    VOTING SHOULDN'T BE THIS DIFFICULT!

  30. #30

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