US election blighted by computer glitches and long lines

by Mark Berman, William Wan and Sari Horowitz

As voters flooded polling places across the country on Election Day, some reported problems such as broken machines, long lines and voter intimidation in states ranging from Texas to Pennsylvania.

While voting appeared to proceed without headaches in many locations, election observers said they expect a significant increase in the number of issues reported nationwide. In particular, voters in jurisdictions across the country encountered problems with malfunctioning voting machines, highlighting issues with the aging infrastructure expected to support tens of millions of voters turning out on Election Day.

The first high-profile legal action of the day saw Donald Trump’s campaign headed to court for a hearing in Nevada after filing a lawsuit arguing that polls were improperly kept open late during early voting in Clark County.

According to the lawsuit filed by the Republican nominee, this was done “to help Hillary Clinton,” Trump’s Democratic opponent. Trump’s campaign asked for the voting machines and ballots involved “be set aside, sequestered and impounded” to preserve the status quo “in the event of post-election challenges.”

A spokesman for Clark County noted that early voting records already have to be preserved under state law and said that no polling precincts were improperly kept open. At a hearing Tuesday morning, a skeptical judge questioned the Trump campaign’s attorney and denied the request to preserve evidence in the case.

This lawsuit follows a raft of recent legal wrangling in the days leading up to the election. As the bitter presidential campaign rumbled toward its conclusion, officials across the country have been bracing for the possibility of confusion and chaos on Election Day, owing to a flurry of new voting restrictions and Trump’s calls for his supporters to closely monitor polling places.

Voters in Florida, a key battleground, reported multiple accounts of voters saying they have encountered aggressive, intimidating behavior, according to a nonpartisan group monitoring election issues nationwide.

“In Florida we continue to receive a substantial amount of complaints about voter intimidation,” said Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which is running an independent effort to field voter complaints and questions.

Clarke said her group received reports from Miami-Dade County of “yelling, people using megaphones aggressively.” In Jacksonville, in the northeast corner of the state, Clarke said, “an unauthorized individual was found inside (a) polling place.”

This person was at St. Paul’s Methodist Church, a polling precinct in what Clarke described as a part of Jacksonville with predominantly black residents.

“He was asked to leave and refused,” she said. “Through our intervention and calls, that individual has been removed. Unauthorized individuals have no place in the polls.”

During early voting, Clarke’s group also received reports from Hollywood, Florida, about “aggressive individuals hovering around individuals as they approach the polling site,” she said during a briefing with reporters. “Some have turned away because they did not feel able to freely cast (a) ballot.”

Clarke said her group has received reports from about 80,000 voters since the beginning of early voting and expects that figure to reach 175,000 reports by the time the polls close. In 2012, the group received 90,000 calls total on Election Day.

On Tuesday afternoon, Colorado officials reported what could have been one of the biggest disruptions of the day. A spokeswoman for the Secretary of State’s office said that voter registration system was down in parts of the state, which meant that clerks could not process mail ballots and also meant that in-person votes would be viewed as provisional. The issue was resolved shortly before 3:30 p.m. Denver time.

During a telephone interview Tuesday on Fox News, Trump did not say whether he was expecting to argue with the outcome of the election, but he said he believed there were reports of voter fraud happening across the country.

“It’s happening at various places today, it’s been reported,” he said. “The machines, you put down a Republican and it registers as a Democrat, and they’ve had a lot of complaints about that today.”

It was not immediately clear what accounts Trump was referring to when he mentioned “a lot of complaints” about the issue. A report out of Clinton Township, an area near Pittsburgh, quoted some voters saying their tickets were switching from Trump to Clinton. According to that report, officials there said the machines were fixed and the problem resolved.

There have been other issues with machines, including some cases of them showing incorrect votes, though it was unclear how widespread this was.

Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, said that they are seeing more problems with voting machines than they have seen in past election years.

“There are more machine breakdowns and more malfunctions all over the place,” Weiser said. “It’s really widespread.”

These breakdowns are not a surprise, Weiser said, because 42 states are using machines that are 10 or more years old. There have been issues with machines in South Carolina, New York, Missouri, Georgia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Illinois and Indiana.

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Team Trump is already filled with Washington insiders

By Tal Kopan

Washington (CNN)To shape his administration, President-elect Donald Trump is drawing squarely from the “swamp” he has pledged to drain.

Trump’s transition team is staffed with long-time Washington experts and lobbyists from K Street, think tanks and political offices.
It’s a far cry from Trump’s campaign, which ended only Tuesday night, and message that he would “drain the swamp” in Washington. He has advocated congressional term limits and proposed a “five-point plan for ethics reform” that included strengthening restrictions on lobbying, including five-year bans for members and staff of the executive branch and Congress from lobbying, and expanding the definition of lobbyist to prevent more revolving door activity.
But he has so far fully embraced lobbyists within his transition, and all signs point to a heavy influence from longtime Washington Republican circles on his transition. And with Trump mostly skipping detailed policy proposals during his campaign, they can have a powerful impact on his agenda.
Leaders in his transition include former Rep. Mike Rogers, former Reagan Attorney General and Heritage Foundation fellow Edwin Meese, former President of Heritage Edwin Feulner, former Bush administration official and lobbyist Christine Ciccone, former Dick Cheney adviser Ado Machida, former Senate Budget Committee staffer Eric Ueland and former Sen. Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff Rick Dearborn. The effort is chaired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Trump counts former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Sessions as close advisers.
Lower level staffers assigned with crafting different departments are also heavily drawn from K Street, the center of lobbying in Washington, and congressional staff, according to a staff organizational chart obtained by CNN.
Sources close to the operation say Sessions and the conservative Heritage Foundation have had a strong role in shaping the transition, in addition to staffers from the Bush administration, K Street and Capitol Hill.
At a Heritage Foundation event Thursday, John Yoo, a Berkeley Law professor and scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, got a warm reception from the crowd by cracking about the closeness.
“I’m surprised there are so many people here because I thought everyone at Heritage was working over at transition headquarters,” Yoo said on the panel about Trump’s win. “I asked the taxi cab driver to take me to Trump transition headquarters and he dropped me off here, instead.”
The crowd let out an appreciative laugh.

Insiders seek to sway Trump’s policy direction

Trump’s policy is likely to be shaped largely by Republican stalwarts. Trump’s policy positions throughout the election have been thinner than traditional campaigns, and he has made contradictory statements at times or has changed his state policy goals amid criticism.
Meese told CNN that in general, the transition is going “very well,” and suspected the heavy involvement from key Heritage personnel shows that his think tank will have a strong influence on Trump. With Trump having less experience in some areas of policy, he will have to draw on others’ expertise to craft his positions, Meese said.

2016 Presidential Election Table

Posted on November 10, 2016 by Theodore de Macedo Soares

According to the exit polls conducted by Edison Research, Clinton won four key battleground states (NC, PA, WI, and FL) in the 2016 Presidential Election that she went on to lose in the computerized vote counts.  With these states Clinton wins the Electoral College with a count of 302 versus 205 for Trump.  Clinton also won the national exit poll by 3.2% and holds a narrow lead in the national vote count still in progress.

Exit polls were conducted in 28 states. In 23 states the discrepancies between the exit polls and the vote count favored Trump. In 13 of these states the discrepancies favoring Trump exceeded the margin of error of the state.

2016-presidential-election-table_nov-10-2016

Clinton’s wins in the exit polls of four key battleground states are highlighted in blue. Trump’s wins in the computer vote counts in these same states are highlighted in red.

[1] Exit polls (EP) conducted by Edison Research and published by CNN shortly after the closing of state polls and downloaded by TdMS.  Edison Research conducted one national EP and EPs in 28 states. As these first published exit polls are altered/adjusted to conform to the unverified computer vote counts, the discrepancies shown above are adjusted to near zero in the final EPs.

[2] New York Times reported vote count.  Most states with 99%-100% completed vote counts.  Washington at 72% and Utah at 78% are the exceptions. Last updated on November 10, 2016.  http://www.nytimes.com/elections/results

[3] The margin columns subtracts the Clinton totals from Trump’s.  A Trump win is shown by a positive sign and a Clinton win by a negative sign.

[4] Note that the Margin of Error (MOE) is for the differences between the two candidates (at 95% CI). This MOE is about double the usual MOE for each candidate. MOE calculated with multinomial formula discussed in sections 2 and 4 in:  Franklin, C. The ‘Margin of Error’ for Differences in Polls. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin. October 2002, revised February 2007. Available at:  https://abcnews.go.com/images/PollingUnit/MOEFranklin.pdf

 

READ MORE: 


Check out this little masterpiece:
(To help jump-start the movement for reform, check out electiondefense.org, and please consider making a donation.)
MCM

Here are the unadjusted exit polls for the 2016 election, as compiled by Jonathan Simon author of the indispensable CODE RED: Computerized Election Theft and The New American Century ).

 

These figures make quite clear that this election may have been “rigged” after all, just as Donald Trump kept warning except that it was rigged to make him president, and to maintain the GOP’s grip on the Senate.

 

Thus Donald Trump, and the Republicans, arguably “won” this election just as Hillary Clinton, and the DNC, “won” her the Democratic nomination—i.e., by fraudulently “beating” Bernie Sanders in the primaries. (For the evidence of all those thefts, see “Democracy Lost,” from Election Justice USA: http://www.election-justice-usa.org.)

 

And so what’s needed now is not more windy speculation as to why Trump “won” and Clinton “lost,” or any further guessing as to what might happen next because of those ostensible results, or any more indignant assignation of the blame for them.

 

Since those results were quite possibly rigged, what we need now is (1) a thorough investigation of all this year’s stolen races, and (2) a broad-based movement to get rid of our abysmal voting system, and replace it with one worthy of an actual democracy.

 

MCM

 

Link to Exit Polls:

2016presidentialexitpoll-votecountcomparativesimple

2016ussenateexitpollvotecountcomparison

 

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-1-50-58-pm
screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-1-48-59-pm


We did this interview on the eve of the election—but it’s even more relevant today:

http://www.thomhartmann.com/bigpicture/how-do-we-fixed-our-broken-voting-system-wguest-mark-crispin-miller

 

MCM


Where we are today—a strongman headed to the White House, with his party in control of both the House and Senate—is a direct result of the corruption of our voting system, first through the DNC’s theft of the Democratic nomination, and then through the GOP’s theft of the presidential race.

We therefore need to use this dismal year to mobilize the people for real, radical reform of our whole voting system, top to bottom, with attention also to the problems of dark money, gerrymandering, and the Electoral College. And in so doing we need to work with activists for civil rights, peace, climate balance, environmental justice, reproductive freedom, bank reform, and all the other causes that must fail if our elections are mere periodic rituals.

There’s one group out there working for such overall reform, and doing it in partnership with activists for other of those causes: the National Election Defense Coalition, at electiondefense.org.

Please check them out—and donate if you can.

MCM


In North Carolina and Florida, is the Trump voter suppression plan working?

By Sabrina Siddiquiin Raleigh, North Carolina, and Richard Luscombe in Miami

Mass purging of black Democrats from voter rolls and African Americans’ low early voting turnout raises concerns for Hillary Clinton supporters in swing states

Thousands had gathered in an outdoor field on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, braving the sweltering sun for hours ahead of what was likely Barack Obama’s final visit to the area as president.

With less than a week remaining until election day, Obama’s speech campaigning for Hillary Clinton was marked by a palpable sense of urgency amid a tightening race. But as the US president delivered what has become his routine stump speech for Clinton on Wednesday – branding Donald Trump a threat to democracy and attacking the judgment of Republican lawmakers who support their nominee – he invoked a lesser known name before the fervent crowd.

“I want you think about a woman named named Grace Bell Hardison,” Obama said.

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UPDATE: TRUMP CAMPAIGN PREPARING LAWSUIT Against Broward Co FL Sec of Elections Brenda Snipes

Jim Hoft Nov 4th, 2016

Mike Cernovich broke this story this morning at Danger and Play:

A massive voter fraud operation was discovered in Democratic Broward County, Florida.

According to a former Secretary of Elections Department employee, there is a secret room where Democrat insiders fill out those absentee ballots.

The woman provided her sworn testimony via affidavit.

The affidavit by Chelsey Marie Smith accuses Broward County officials of filling out blank absentee ballots to officials who she saw filling the ballots out at the Supervisor of Elections headquarters.

Here are the updates by Jack Posobiec:
FL State Attorney investigators are actively reviewing Broward County Voter Fraud Case

Brenda Snipes claims staff were “replicating damaged ballots”
So, you opened ballots without official monitors present, Brenda?

Largest swing county in Florida

Link to Affidavit:

Read More:


Could US Elections Be Stolen? Election Integrity Activists Say Yes

‘If it’s a close election, the cheaters are going to win,’ says Mark Crispin Miller, a professor of media studies who’s spent years combing through U.S. election results for evidence of electronic voting machine fraud.

By Kit O’Connel

AUSTIN, Texas — Election fraud is a dangerously real possibility in the United States, but Donald Trump is wrong about how elections could be rigged under the current system.

The Republican nominee has warned his supporters that the election could be rigged against him, and there have already been reports of Trump supporters with guns at polling places intimidating voters.

However, Mark Crispin Miller, a self-described “election integrity activist,” dismissed Trump’s claims.

“It’s basically impossible to vote ten times or fifteen times,” said the professor of media studies at New York University who has spent more than a decade studying election results.

“Under current electronic voting systems, it’s no longer really possible … to get a bunch of immigrants out there to stuff the ballot box. With a computerized system, it’s extremely difficult for many people to vote even one time, much less ten or fifteen.”

Only a couple of incidents of voter fraud or vote tampering have been found during this election, including the case of an Iowa woman who was arrested after she tried to vote multiple times for Trump, but they were quickly noticed by authorities.

“Republicans commit that crime as often as Democrats, as it happens,” Miller said. He explained that this type of voter fraud happens so rarely, and is ultimately so ineffective, that it’s almost a myth. Numerous studies have found that voter fraud, as Trump imagines it, is essentially nonexistent.

However, as Miller noted, that doesn’t mean American democracy is secure and that voters’ ballots are being properly counted.

‘The attack on democracy has become much more sophisticated’

Most voters use electronic voting machines to cast their ballots, though, in a few smaller districts, they may cast paper ballots that are then counted with computerized devices. But electronic voting machines lack a paper trail that could be used to verify that votes are being counted properly, and even the optical scanners used to count paper ballots can be tampered with, Miller warned.

Miller said he believes that rigged electronic voting machines may already have been used to steal elections.

“I’ve been concerned about the vulnerability of our elections since 2000 because of the rising use of computerized voting and vote counting machinery,” Miller explained.

In 2005, he published “Fooled Again,” which documented evidence that the Republicans had used rigged electronic voting machines to tilt the 2004 election in favor of George W. Bush, and against Democratic nominee Al Gore.

In 2008, he edited “Loser Take All,” a follow-up volume containing further evidence of election rigging through electronic voting which was submitted by other electoral integrity activists and scholars. Miller summarized his findings to MintPress:

“The use of electronic voting machines and optical scanners to count votes is every bit as threatening to electoral democracy for all as the old poll taxes and literacy tests. The attack on democracy has become much more sophisticated. It’s a stealth attack, very often.”

Key evidence often comes in the form of comparing exit polls with official election day results. Without a paper trail, this is the only way activists like Miller can compare voters’ stated choices to the final tally. However, some experts have warned that exit polls themselves could be flawed, limiting activists’ ability to definitively prove that fraud has occurred.

While the United States is often considered an exemplar of democracy to which other countries should or do aspire, a 2016 study by the Electoral Integrity Project found the United States trailing behind other Western countries in multiple measurements of the vitality of a democracy. Carried out by researchers from the University of Sydney and Harvard University, the study examined 180 elections held between July 2012 to December 2015 in 139 countries, and found that U.S. elections were vulnerable in multiple ways, from the influence of money in politics to frequent and worrying voting irregularities on Election Day.

“Americans often express pride in their democracy, yet the results indicate that domestic and international experts rate the U.S. elections as the worst among all Western democracies,” Pippa Morris noted in a March analysis for The Conversation.

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It’s not the Kremlin that should worry us, but partisans right here at home.
MCM

US VOTE ‘FRAUD’Edward Snowden shows how easy it is to HACK into a US voting machine with a £24 memory card

In a few simple steps, hackers could change the number of votes for each candidate in the voting computer’s memory

VIDEO BY FELIX ALLEN

EDWARD SNOWDEN has demonstrated how easy it is to hack into an electronic voting machine still used in several states where voters go to the polls today.

He showed his 2.4 million Twitter followers a video in which experts were able to change the number of votes for each candidate in the computer memory – and also alter the paper-trail backup.

READ MORE: 

 

 


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