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Thread: US elections: fraud, tampering and irregularities

  1. #1
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    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
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  2. #2
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    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.”
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  3. #3
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    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.”
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  4. #4
    Local talking head LittleFuzzy's Avatar
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    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
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Um, wasn't the purging by Kemp? And pretty well known.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  8. #8
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    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.”
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  9. #9
    Resiste et Mords! Steely Glint's Avatar
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    Truth serves them
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  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
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    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

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  13. #13
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    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

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    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
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    You do know Jeb is a Republican, right?
    Hope is the denial of reality

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

  17. #17
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    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
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    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

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