ONTD Political

Hillary Clinton urged to call for election vote recount in key states

1:51 am - 11/23/2016
A growing number of academics and activists are calling for US authorities to fully audit or recount the 2016 presidential election vote in key battleground states, in case the results could have been skewed by foreign hackers.

The loose coalition, which is urging Hillary Clinton’s campaign to join its fight, is preparing to deliver a report detailing its concerns to congressional committee chairs and federal authorities early next week, according to two people involved.

The document, which is currently 18 pages long, focuses on concerns about the results in the states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

“I’m interested in verifying the vote,” said Dr Barbara Simons, an adviser to the US election assistance commission and expert on electronic voting. “We need to have post-election ballot audits.” Simons is understood to have contributed analysis to the effort but declined to characterise the precise nature of her involvement.

A second group of analysts, led by the National Voting Rights Institute founder John Bonifaz and Professor Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan’s center for computer security and society, is also taking part in the push for a review, and has been in contact with Simons. Bonifaz declined to speak on the record.

The developments follow Clinton’s surprise defeat to Donald Trump in the 8 November vote, and come after US intelligence authorities released public assessments that Russian hackers were behind intrusions into regional electoral computer systems and the theft of emails from Democratic officials before the election.

Having consistently led Trump in public opinion polls for months preceding election day in all three midwestern states, Clinton narrowly lost Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and may yet lose Michigan, where a final result has still not been declared.

Curiosity about Wisconsin has centred on apparently disproportionate wins that were racked up by Trump in counties using electronic voting compared with those that used only paper ballots. The apparent disparities were first widely publicised earlier this month by David Greenwald, a journalist for the Oregonian.

However, Nate Silver, the polling expert and founder of FiveThirtyEight, cast significant doubt over this theory on Tuesday evening, stating that the difference disappeared after race and education levels, which most closely tracked voting shifts nationwide, were controlled for.

Silver and several other election analysts have dismissed suggestions that the swing state vote counts give cause for concern about the integrity of the results.

Still, dozens of professors specialising in cybersecurity, defense, and elections have in the past two days signed an open letter to congressional leaders stating that they are “deeply troubled” by previous reports of foreign interference, and requesting swift action by lawmakers.

“Our country needs a thorough, public congressional investigation into the role that foreign powers played in the months leading up to November,” the academics said in their letter, while noting they did not mean to “question the outcome” of the election itself.

Senior congressmen including Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland have already called for deeper inquiries into the full extent of Russia’s interference with the election campaign.

Nonpartisan experts and academics have been in communication with Democratic operatives and people who worked on Clinton’s bid for the White House, who are being urged to officially request recounts in states where a candidate may do so.

New York magazine reported that a conference call has taken place between the activists and John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman.

Both Podesta and the acting Democratic National Committee chairwoman, Donna Brazile, have privately mused about the integrity of the election result, according to two sources familiar with the conversations.

Several senior Democrats are said to be intensely reluctant to suggest there were irregularities in the result because Clinton and her team criticised Trump so sharply during the campaign for claiming that the election would be “rigged” against him.

But others have spoken publicly, including the sister of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s closest aide. “A shift of just 55,000 Trump votes to Hillary in PA, MI & WI is all that is needed to win,” Hema Abedin said on Facebook, urging people to call the justice department to request an audit.

Alexandra Chalupa, a former DNC consultant who during the campaign investigated links between Moscow and Trump’s then-campaign manager Paul Manafort, is also participating in the attempt to secure recounts or audits.

“The person who received the most votes free from interference or tampering needs to be in the White House,” said Chalupa. “It may well be Donald Trump, but further due diligence is required to ensure that American democracy is not threatened.”
Apathy and 'nonviolent anarchism': why did millions of US voters sit out the election?

According to people involved, activists had previously urged Jill Stein, the Green party presidential candidate, to use rules in some states allowing any candidate on the ballot to request a review of the result. Stein is understood to have declined, citing in part a lack of party funds that would be required to finance such a move.

In a joint statement issued last month, the office of the director of national intelligence and the department for homeland security said they were “confident” that the theft of emails from the DNC and from Podesta, which were published by WikiLeaks, was directed by the Russian government.

“Some states have also recently seen scanning and probing of their election-related systems, which in most cases originated from servers operated by a Russian company,” the statement went on. “However, we are not now in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian government.”

Asked on Tuesday whether the agencies had confidence that the election itself had been secure, a spokesman for the office of the director of national intelligence said: “Our colleagues at the department for homeland security are best positioned to address this.”

A spokesman for the department for homeland security, however, did not respond to requests for comment.

Source: The Guardian

I'm honestly not sure what to say about this right now; my brain feels like a big wad of tangled thoughts and emotions at the moment. But this story has been popping up all over the place, and it's nothing if not noteworthy.

IF there is some kind of a recount or audit or whatever, I'm sure the chances of changing the outcome of the election would be a long shot at best. But if there is any credible chance that things were tampered with somehow, I think we need to know, even if we still end up with Pres. Voldemort J. Assmonkey in the end.

Thoughts? Opinions?
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oncloud999 23rd-Nov-2016 08:49 am (UTC)
this is going to end up bad... this election has been too divisive.
nemesid 23rd-Nov-2016 11:31 am (UTC)
Sore loosers, get over it- you lost. What you're trying to push for is a civil war.
invisiblegirlx 23rd-Nov-2016 03:25 pm (UTC)

it's not being a sore "looser" if fraud was committed. especially when your candidate won the popular vote

Edited at 2016-11-23 03:25 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
shortsweetcynic 23rd-Nov-2016 11:50 am (UTC)

i mean, every day, this is a horror that manages to refresh itself. i would dearly love for his ticket to not be the one at the inauguration in january.

but if this were to happen, and it WERE to flip back to hillary...rightful or not, my gut feeling is that his supporters would burn this fucking country down. it's bad now (and they fucking WON!) but it could get so, so much worse.

and yet...if something actually did happen that those numbers were tampered with, that needs to be brought to light. NEEDS to.

i don't know. this whole season and year has been such a fucking mess. i was telling my husband yesterday, it's going to be a long-ass four years of waking up and looking at the news wondering what's gone catastrophically off the rails this time.
eveofrevolution 23rd-Nov-2016 01:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah I think we're fucked either way at this point. At least if Hillary ended up as president, we wouldn't have to worry about white supremacists and evangelicals running everything, but it wouldn't fix the violence and hate crimes that are happening and it would probably escalate them.
hudebnik 23rd-Nov-2016 12:40 pm (UTC)
I think there might be benefit in calling for a recount or at least a security audit, even if it doesn't flip the Electoral College, just to find out whether there was vote-tampering.

As I posted on Oct. 21,

We know that
voting machines can be hacked to produce a total count that doesn't match the actual votes cast (from the documentary "Hacking Democracy"). We know that manual recounts are done (in most places) only when the reported vote total is very close, and even then political appointees may control how thorough the recount is. We know that some jurisdictions in the U.S. use electronic-only voting machines that make a manual recount impossible.

So if I were a security-cracker who wanted to shift the outcome of a U.S. election, I would pick a bunch of states where polling indicated my candidate was losing narrowly. On each voting machine, if a vote is cast for other than my preferred candidate, with 10% probability I record it instead as a vote for my preferred candidate. If the actual vote is 50% Clinton, 45% Trump, that hack is enough to reverse it to 50% Trump, 45% Clinton: a large enough margin to avoid a recount, but not so large as to be completely implausible.

Unfortunately, the suspicious results in this case are a difference between counties that used paper ballots and those that didn't. In the latter, it may be impossible to do a manual recount because there is no record of people's actual votes to recount.

In many parts of this country, votes could be being tampered with right now and we would have no way of knowing. The solution is to manually recount a random sample (say, 1%) of precincts after every election, regardless of how close the results are. If this manual recount shows significant discrepancies, expand it to a manual recount of a random 10% of precincts. If this still shows significant discrepancies, it's time to manually recount the whole state. And if your voting machines make manual recounts impossible, you need to pick better voting machines.

Edited at 2016-11-23 12:48 pm (UTC)
grace_om 23rd-Nov-2016 06:12 pm (UTC)
This essentially agrees with the analysis I was hearing on the news this morning. Also agree that the system is vulnerable to that type of fraud and some kind of audit is a good idea.

All the noise about individual voters, resulting in restricting voter ID access, etc. is a smoke screen for voter suppression. Electronic tampering is how it would be done.
blackjedii 23rd-Nov-2016 02:29 pm (UTC)
Pfff as if Clinton or the DNC would actually fight for amyrhing come on.
invisiblegirlx 23rd-Nov-2016 03:21 pm (UTC)

they should do it. if there was fraud the American people deserve to know. but I doubt the Democrats will fight it cause they have no spine on anything

ponyboy 23rd-Nov-2016 03:53 pm (UTC)
it should be noticed again, that drumpf had servers communicate with a Russian one. i thought hacking the election was just OTT but now? 😟
pairatime 23rd-Nov-2016 04:11 pm (UTC)
one more reason all ballots should be paper and counted using devices that have no online, wifi, or Bluetooth ability.
calinewarkwc69 23rd-Nov-2016 05:02 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm gonna quote Triumph the insult dog here and say "Hey, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, when you rig an election, you're supposed to rig the entire thing."
donaldjdrumpf 24th-Nov-2016 02:52 am (UTC)
Mte, poor Bernie!
eldvno 23rd-Nov-2016 07:04 pm (UTC)
I know it is futile, but I refuse to sit back and accept this, so I am calling and doing whatever I can.
cherriesarered 23rd-Nov-2016 08:36 pm (UTC)
I think that it's unlikely that an audit would change the results, but I wish that they would do it anyway, if only to remove that shred of doubt that I feel when I read articles about voting machine vulnerabilities and weird discrepancies that are probably explainable but could be caused by an outside force. If the results were tampered with, I 100% want to know.

(As others have mentioned, I am afraid for what Donald Trump's supporters would do if an audit happened and it turned out that he lost, though.)
moonshaz 23rd-Nov-2016 09:14 pm (UTC)
Breaking news: Hillary's popular vote lead has increased to 2 million, with several million ballots left to count, which are "expected to be disproportionately for Clinton." Source

In comparison, Gore won the popular vote in 2000 by only about half a million. Has there ever been a case where a candidate lost the electoral college vote while winning the popular vote by over 2 million freaking votes? I don't think so, but I could be wrong.

No more waffling for me: I'm definitely in favor of an audit. This is fucked up.

ETA And more breaking news: Jill Stein is getting involved (and may I say, my respect for her has shot up because of this, since she has nothing to gain personally). As one of the candidates on the ballot, Stein is one of the few people who has the standing to do this, but she doesn't have the money to fund the recount requests and is therefore asking for donations: Jill Stein Pushes For Election Recount In Key States

This is getting interesting, y'all!

Edited at 2016-11-23 09:58 pm (UTC)
mimblexwimble 23rd-Nov-2016 11:20 pm (UTC)
I wish Clinton would just fund it, I'm guessing the campaign has the money.
nemesid 23rd-Nov-2016 11:42 pm (UTC)
Its funny how some inconsiderate people here seriously believe in Russia's involvement. Get real, Russia's a third world country with illiterate population, whose brightest minds are long gone to the West. They cant properly make website for their own government, let alone rig elections elsewhere.

Edited at 2016-11-23 11:42 pm (UTC)
mhfromnh 23rd-Nov-2016 11:59 pm (UTC)
they carried out DDoS on this site. they're fully capable.
zukpager305 24th-Nov-2016 04:06 am (UTC)
I live in PA. My town is exceedingly democratic, yet many votes went towards trump. An audit needs to occur. A friend of mine works with election data. I asked about whether I can check my own vote, since I know my voter number and still have the stub, but was told no. The individual voter cannot check the validity of their own vote. Couple that with all of PA's voter machines being electronic and I cannot shake the feeling that tampering occurred.
hudebnik 24th-Nov-2016 12:30 pm (UTC)
There are good reasons for the difficulty/impossibility of "checking" your own vote after it's cast, having to do with both privacy and vote-buying. Suppose there were an office or a web site or something enabling you to check how your own vote was recorded. Obviously, that system would need pretty heavy security to prevent you looking up how other people voted, a clear privacy violation. Perhaps less obviously, your boss at work might say "things will go better for you if you show me proof that you voted for Joe Schmoe," e.g. by going to the office or web site with the boss present. This is the same reason that "voting selfies" that show how the ballot was filled out are illegal in many states.

I haven't heard that ALL of Pennsylvania's voting machines are electronic-only; I thought that varied from county to county, and that many counties in Pennsylvania use paper ballots counted electronically.
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