From Election Justice USA
July 25, 2016
Democracy Lost: A Report on the Fatally Flawed 2016 Democratic Primaries
You are reading the executive summary of an Election Justice USA report on election fraud and voter suppression in the 2016 Democratic primaries. The full report is approximately 100 pages in length, and will be released on the evening of July 25th, 2016.
Download the full report: bit.ly/EJUSA_Democracy_Lost
On April 19th, a judge in New York grudgingly agreed that someone may have tampered with Alba Guerrero’s voter registration. Judge Ira Margulis changed his decision from moments earlier that Guerrero would be denied the right to vote in New York’s Democratic primary, after evidence emerged that Guerrero’s signature had been forged, switching her to Republican without her knowledge or consent. Had she not been willing to take several hours to appear before a judge that day, Alba would not have been able to vote for Senator Bernie Sanders. Video evidence available online confirms the forgery.
Ms. Guerrero states: “It just boggles my mind that it could happen that easily to so many people and without them even knowing that they are being manipulated like that…I never would have thought something like that could happen.” Guerrero was more than willing to have her story included in Democracy Lost. She added, “This is a problem that obviously has gone for too long and with no consequence.”
A forged legal document cannot be attributed to an unfortunate mistake or a clerical error. Someone intentionally tampered with Alba Guerrero’s voter registration.
Another New York resident, Chloe Pecorino, attempted to register as a first-time voter by submitting the relevant paperwork to the Department of Motor Vehicles in Brooklyn more than a week before the March 25th, 2016 deadline. Attempts to verify her registration status online were unsuccessful. On the day of New York’s presidential primary, Chloe still had not been registered as a Democrat, despite persistent efforts, including more than a dozen calls and emails, the evidence of which spans fifteen pages in Exhibit A of Election Justice USA’s initial New York lawsuit. On the day of the primary, Chloe took several hours to appear before a judge in an attempt to vote normally. Despite ample evidence of attempts to register before the deadline in good faith, the judge denied her request. As a consequence, Chloe was forced to cast her vote for Senator Sanders using an affidavit ballot. As can be seen immediately below, Chloe’s affidavit ballot was declared invalid, like so many others.
Chloe’s affidavit ballot, stamped “INVALID”
Alba and Chloe’s stories are just two of thousands of reports of voter registration tampering, purging, or obstruction recorded by Election Justice USA (EJUSA). Many cases in EJUSA’s database are supported by registration records, emails to and from officials, phone records, or affidavit testimony. Available evidence from Arizona, New York, and California suggests more than 500,000 registrations were tampered with or improperly handled. While Ms. Guerrero was allowed to vote, hundreds of thousands of voters were denied the right to vote or were forced to vote provisionally. A quarter million or more provisional or affidavit Democratic ballots were not counted. Available evidence also suggests that the vast majority of suppressed voters would have voted or tried to vote for Senator Bernie Sanders.
Based on concrete evidence, Election Justice USA surmises that, unlike Alba’s case, the majority of the registration tampering could only have been carried out by computer hackers: in many cases, the changes to voter registrations are provably back-dated in official electronic records. Other forms of direct voter suppression, however, were carried out by partisan elections officials in states like New York and California. In Brooklyn alone, 121,000 voters were wrongly or even illegally purged from voter rolls leading up to New York’s vote. The Brooklyn voter purge disproportionately affected Hispanic voters. Analyses in Democracy Lost show that voter purges also disproportionately affected Sanders’ vote totals: the percentage of purged voters for each precinct was a significant predictor of Clinton’s vote share. New York City’s Board of Elections suspended two high-level employees without pay but has offered no substantive explanation.
Partisan elections officials also targeted specific classes of voters known to support Senator Sanders. In California, for instance, six unique methods were employed to systematically disenfranchise “no party preference” (independent) voters who were legally eligible to vote in the Democratic primary.
The widespread and illegal efforts to manipulate the election results in the 2016 Democratic Party primaries are not the only visible indications of election fraud. EJUSA has also identified irregular patterns in precinct-level Democratic vote tallies which are strongly suggestive of electronic voting machine tampering. In all eleven primaries where discrepancies between exit polling and official results exceeded the margin of error, the discrepancy favored Hillary Clinton. Democracy Lost treats the controversy over exit polling discrepancies with in-depth argumentation and statistical regression analysis.
Exit polling has been used throughout the world as a means to verify election results. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) stated in their 2015 booklet “Assessing and Verifying Election Results,” [e]xit polls are powerful analytical tools … [a] discrepancy between the votes reported by voters and official results may suggest that results have been manipulated.”
Unlike other technologically advanced countries such as Germany, Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Finland, and 53 other countries, election ballots in the United States are not counted by hand and in public. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany (the German version of the US Supreme Court), in 2009, effectively banned the use of computers to count Germany’s ballots. In order to be able to verify the results of their elections, Germany reverted to the hand counting of all ballots in front of citizen observers.
Many US states use touch-screen computer voting systems that do not even generate a papertrail. Almost all ballots, whether paper or not, are counted by computers. All counting is non-transparent and inaccessible for verification by the public. The few states that audit the computer counts by hand only examine a tiny percentage of the ballots and even this count is not performed according to proper statistical procedures. In other words, the results of our elections, based on computer counts, are largely unverified.
Applying the results of the exit polls conducted in these primaries in an attempt to verify the computer counts revealed that these counts differed widely from the exit poll projections. These discrepancies occurred primarily in the Democratic Party primaries but not in the primaries of the Republican Party. This is remarkable, as the exit polls for both parties were conducted on the same day, in the same precincts, with the same interviewers, and used the same methodologies.
Comparing the computer vote counts with the exit poll survey results for the Republican Party primaries, the total survey margin of error was calculated to be 32% greater than the usual statistical margin of error applied to such surveys. Ten of the primaries of the Democratic Party had computer vote counts that differed from the exit poll results by more than the augmented margin of error applied to the exit polls conducted by Edison Research.
The theories put forth in the effort to explain away these discrepancies by the defenders of computerized vote counting are carefully analyzed in Democracy Lost, and shown to fail. No reasonable explanation can be found for why the computer counts matched only the exit poll results for the Republican Party primaries. The possibility that the computer counts were only accurate for one party is the only explanation remaining.
New information, supplied by Edison Research (which conducted the polling in question) directly to the author of the exit poll section of this report, on the adjustments made to the standard and scientific exit poll survey methodology, strongly suggests that the discrepancies between the vote counts and their respective exit polls were likely greater than the discrepancies shown in the tables of this report. The actual discrepancies may range as high as 16%-35% in some of the states. Without access to Edison’s raw exit poll data and a detailed account of the actual adjustments made, the actual discrepancies between the classic exit polls and the vote counts cannot be determined with certainty. The possibility exists that the unadjusted exit polls may show that candidate Sanders may have handily won the Democratic Party primary race.
This report supplies additional evidence supporting the notion that unverified computer counts incorrectly tabulated the votes in the Democratic Party primaries. EJUSA analyzed precinct-level results in the largest counties by population for 35 of 36 Democratic primary states (the state of Arizona does not keep such elections records). These analyses revealed that as precinct size increases, Clinton’s vote share increases. This pattern holds true even when carefully controlling for demographic factors such as race and age.
This method of analyzing data is based on the Law of Large Numbers. As a sample size grows, its average rapidly approximates the average of the population being measured. Toss a coin repeatedly, and, as the number of tosses increase, the increasing sum of the tosses rapidly approaches the average of the two-sided coin—50% of the tosses average heads or tails. The same principle applies to the election results between candidate Sanders and candidate Clinton. As the number of votes accumulate for each candidate, their individual vote share should rapidly approximate their average share of the vote from the entire state. This was not the case in states with large exit polling discrepancies favoring Clinton, however. That Clinton’s vote share rises smoothly with precinct size raises the strong possibility of voting machine tampering.
Fritz Scheuren, professor of statistics at George Washington University and the 100th President of the American Statistical Association (ASA), states: “as a statistician, I find the results of the 2016 primary voting unusual. In fact, I found the patterns unexpected [and even] suspicious. There is a greater degree of smoothness in the outcomes than the roughness that is typical in raw/real data.” Dr. Scheuren is quoted in An Electoral System in Crisis, an independent examination of the accuracy and security of U.S. electronic voting equipment. The report was released by an investigative team led by Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist Lulu Fries’dat in collaboration with Scheuren, and has been invited for publication in the journal of the International Association of Official Statistics. Election Justice USA provided assistance in its research and development. Scheuren further argues that “the difference between the reported totals, and our best estimate of the actual vote, varies considerably from state to state. However these differences are significant—sometimes more than 10%—and could change the outcome of the election.”
The argument Election Justice USA is advancing suggests that an algorithm may have been applied to electronically counted votes. The proposed algorithm would have increased Clinton’s share of the vote and decreased Sanders’ share of the vote by an increasing percentage as precinct size by total vote increased. Because the final numbers would be algorithmically related to the actual vote total, they would remain random in a way that would avoid detection by election fraud analysis tools. The logic is simple: discrepancies and irregularities are easier to conceal in precincts with more votes, and, in cases where a limited number of precincts can be targeted, the larger precincts yield a greater number of votes to work with.
Election Justice USA has established an upper estimate of 184 pledged delegates lost by Senator Bernie Sanders as a consequence of specific irregularities and instances of fraud. Adding these delegates to Senator Sanders’ pledged delegate total and subtracting the same number from Hillary Clinton’s total would more than erase the 359 pledged delegate gap between the two candidates. EJUSA established the upper estimate through exit polling data, statistical analysis by precinct size, and attention to the details of Democratic proportional awarding of national delegates. Even small changes in vote shares in critical states like Massachusetts and New York could have substantially changed the media narrative surrounding the primaries in ways that would likely have had far reaching consequences for Senator Sanders’ campaign.
Democracy Lost is divided into four sections. The first section introduces Election Justice USA, the lawsuits it has filed during the course of the 2016 Democratic presidential primary season, and the legal background surrounding issues of voter’s rights and voter suppression. Section two describes and analyzes, in great depth, the wide variety of election fraud types documented in the 2016 Democratic primary and caucus cycle. Section three discusses the types of election fraud on a date-by-date, state-by-state basis. It establishes lower and upper estimates for more than two dozen states or territories where Election Justice USA’s analyses establish that systematic irregularities or election fraud may have reached a level that affected national delegate totals. Section four concludes by calling for decertification of the 2016 Democratic primary results in over 20 states, while outlining Election Justice USA’s recommendations for the avoidance of election fraud in future US elections, including:
1) Exclusive use of hand-counted paper ballots in all future US elections. 2) Automatic voter registration with same-day party affiliation switching as a mandatory condition for all elections that are publicly funded. 3) Restoration of voting rights legislation which would ensure adequate access to polling sites.
Democracy Lost maintains that these recommendations for future elections, contrary to common claims, save taxpayer money.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/04/19/failure-fraud-and-more-in-new-york-s-punk-rock-voting-disaster.html Last accessed on July 22nd, 2016. Significantly, the changes were back-dated to 2004. Guerrero has provided Election Justice USA with her 2003 federal tax form proving that the signatures from the two documents are still nothing alike.
https://youtu.be/_k6YAEU-eDE Last accessed on July 22nd, 2016.
http://www.npr.org/2016/06/21/482968834/latino-voters-hit-hardest-by-brooklyn-voter-purge. Last accessed on July 22, 2016.
 Federal Constitutional Court of Germany. Use of voting computers in 2005 Bundestag election unconstitutional. Press Release No. 19/2009 of 03 March 2009. (The Court explicitly stated, as one of the main reasons for their decision, “deliberate electoral fraud committed by manipulating the software of electronic voting machines can be recognized only with difficulty.”) Available at: http://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/SharedDocs/Pressemitteilungen/EN/2009/bvg09-019.html. Last accessed on June 12, 2016.
 Deutsche Welle (DW). No concerns over election fraud in Germany. September 21, 2013. Available at: http://www.dw.com/en/no-concerns-over-election-fraud-in-germany/a-17102003. Last accessed on June 12, 2016.
http://www.hollerbackfilm.com/electoral-system-in-crisis/ Last accessed on July 24, 2016.