If there was a plot to unseat President Trump through illicit means, it would be in the interest of citizens to bring to light whether or not they still can choose their representatives.
By Pedro Gonzalez November 9, 2020
Something strange is going on in the neighborhoods of Pennsylvania. The dead appear to have arisen from the grave to enlist in the Democratic cause.
A lawsuit filed in the Keystone State before Election Day by the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) claims there were 21,000 deceased people on its voter rolls ahead of the 2020 election, the Washington Times reports. PILF argued that Pennsylvania broke the law by failing to maintain voter rolls. Ninety percent of the more than 21,000 registered voters have been dead for more than five years. Of that number, 12,192 were listed as active.
Odd as that sounds, Pennsylvania’s dead voters are actually dwarfed in number by “ghost” voters nationwide. These are not the dearly departed, reanimated sort who have graciously decided to enlist in the Democratic cause. Rather, “ghost” voters are those who never were. They were never born. They don’t exist. A study of Census Bureau population statistics and state voter registration data by Judicial Watch illuminates this issue.
The study, reported in the Washington Times, found that 352 U.S. counties in 29 states generated 1.8 million more registered voters than eligible voting-age citizens. “In other words, the registration rates of those counties exceeded 100 percent of eligible voters. The study found eight states showing state-wide registration rates exceeding 100 percent: Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
Oddities in the Battleground States
Various and sundry irregularities were, it seems, the norm this election.
In Wisconsin, according to Milwaukee radio reporter Dan O’Donnell, county and municipal clerks and poll workers may have unlawfully altered witness statements on thousands of mail-in ballots across the state. O’Donnell notes that Wisconsin Statute 6.86 provides that an absentee ballot must be signed by a witness, who is also required to list his or her address. “If a witness address is not listed, then the ballot is considered invalid and must be returned to the voter to have the witness correct,” O’Donnell notes.
Instead, municipal clerks and vote counters statewide were instructed by the Wisconsin Elections Commission simply to fill in the witness address themselves so that the ballot would not be invalidated. “Anticipating a legal challenge to this seemingly highly unlawful advice, the WEC instructed clerks to write in these witness addresses in red pen so that they would be easy to find during a recount or audit of the vote,” O’Donnell writes. Thus, thousands of ballots may have been inadvertently invalidated in a state Biden won by a margin of less than one percent.
In Nevada, an election worker’s affidavit claims voters were allowed to cast provisional ballots without a valid Nevada ID or driver’s license provided they could offer proof of an upcoming appointment at the DMV. There are many other examples like those outlined here across the country and they all seem to favor Biden, or at least do not help Trump.
Glendale, Arizona, a city in Maricopa County, saw ballots swiped from mailboxes. The Arizona attorney general’s office reported that a worker at a farm located a stack of unopened mail-in ballots three days after the election and contacted Glendale police.
In Michigan, the state GOP referred a whistleblower complaint to the Justice Department. A Detroit city employee claimed she was instructed to improperly change the dates on ballots, the Washington Examiner reported. According to Laura Cox, the chairwoman of the state’s Republican Party, “the employees directing the whistleblower were working out of Detroit’s TCF Center, which is the main hub where absentee ballots in Wayne County were being counted.”
Something similar reportedly occurred in Pennsylvania.
“Postmaster Rob Weisenbach directed my co-workers and I (sic) to pick up ballots after Election Day and provide them to him,” Richard Hopkins said in an affidavit obtained and released by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Hopkins is a mailman in Erie. He claims Weisenbach ordered staff to collect and submit late ballots, which Hopkins “said supervisors then backdated so that they appeared to have been mailed in time,” the Washington Times reported. “As discussed more fully below, I heard Weisenbach tell a supervisor at my office that Weisenbach was back-dating the postmarks on the ballots to make it appear as though the ballots had been collected on November 3, 2020 despite them in fact being collected on November 4 and possibly later.”
Above the Law?
The most peculiar election irregularities involved Dominion Voting Systems, a company that sells electronic voting hardware and software.
Dominion’s products served 71 million voters in 1,600 jurisdictions in 2016. Georgia election officials in 2019 selected Dominion to provide a new statewide voting system for 2020, against the protests of election integrity activists. A federal judge “expressed serious concerns” about Georgia’s new election system, the Associated Press reported at the time, “but declined to order the state to abandon its touchscreen voting machines in favor of hand-marked paper ballots for the November election.”
The judge’s ruling came as a blow to voting integrity activists who filed a lawsuit against the election system Georgia acquired from Dominion for a handsome sum upwards of $100 million. Vendors like Dominion generally get their way in the courts and hate scrutiny.
“Voting machine companies have been actively seeking to avoid this type of scrutiny,” Jordan Wilkie wrote in The Guardian. “They have sent threats of litigation to academics researching their machines.” Wilkie notes that these companies “have also blocked litigation seeking records from the machines when there were errors in vote counts and have lied to journalists and to elected officials about the fact that some machines could be accessed remotely.” One academic paper by Princeton, Georgia Tech, and U.C. Berkeley professors on the vulnerability of electronic voting systems points out Dominion’s ImageCast Evolution (ICE) product, an optical scan tabulator with a ballot-marking device that allows the voter to deposit a handmarked paper ballot.
Vote-stealing software could easily be constructed that looks for undervotes on the ballot, and marks those unvoted spaces for the candidate of the hacker’s choice. This is very straightforward to do on optical-scan bubble ballots (as on the Dominion ICE) where undervotes are indicated by no mark at all. On machines such as the ExpressVote and ExpressVoteXL, the normal software indicates an undervote with the words NO SELECTION MADE on the ballot summary card. Hacked software could simply leave a blank space there (most voters wouldn’t notice the difference), and then fill in that space and add a matching bar code after the voter has clicked “cast this ballot.” An even worse feature of the ES&S ExpressVote and the Dominion ICE is the auto-cast configuration setting (in the manufacturer’s standard software) that allows the voter to indicate, “don’t eject the ballot for my review, just print it and cast it without me looking at it.” If fraudulent software were installed in the ExpressVote, it could change all the votes of any voter who selected this option, because the voting machine software would know in advance of printing that the voter had waived the opportunity to inspect the printed ballot. We call this auto-cast feature “permission to cheat.”
Dominion does not like to see this in print. Wilkie recalls a speech delivered by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) at an election security conference in Washington, D.C. Wyden said the voting machine lobby of which Dominion is a part “literally thinks they are just above the law, they are accountable to nobody, [and] they have been able to hotwire the political system in certain parts of the country like we’ve seen in Georgia.”
Glitches, “User Errors,” and Other Alarms
As it turns out, Georgia was one place where Dominion machines acted oddly.
The night before the presidential election in Georgia, a software update was uploaded to Dominion’s machines. The update, whatever it was, caused a glitch in Morgan and Spalding counties that temporarily prevented voters from casting machine ballots.
The company “uploaded something last night, which is not normal, and it caused a glitch,” Marcia Ridley, elections supervisor at Spalding County board of election, told Politico.
“That is something that they don’t ever do. I’ve never seen them update anything the day before the election,” Ridley said, yet unaware of what had been uploaded. Something similar happened in Gwinnett County around the same time, affecting at least 80,000 mailed absentee ballots.
The ballots are counted in batches. According to county spokesman Joe Sorenson, 3,200 batches had at least one unreadable ballot at the time. They would be uploaded but likely skipped and not counted in the process.
“The elections board still intends to go back through the batches and check the ballots that can’t be read to see if a voter’s intentions are clear, a process called adjudication,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. “But Sorenson said the decision was made to upload results now with the knowledge that the vote totals would change as they’re looked at more closely.” Sorenson said this was the first time of the three elections since new voting machines were in use that the problem had occurred.
President Trump held a 1.1 percentage-point lead in Georgia over Joe Biden the night of the election. Biden is now nearly 10,200 votes ahead. “Few ballots remain to be counted, though exactly how many is unclear,” the Journal-Constitution reported, a week after the election.
Along with controlling roughly one-third of the voting machine market, Dominion has contracts in all of the key swing states where Trump’s campaign team is mounting legal challenges, plus Nevada and Arizona.
Former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell recently raised alarms over Dominion’s ties to the Democratic Party. Powell pointed out that Nadeam Elshami, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) former chief of staff, became a lobbyist for Dominion last year. Richard Blum, Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) husband, is also a significant shareholder in the company. During an interview, Powell said no fewer than 450,000 ballots have been identified in key states with only a mark for Biden and no other down-ballot candidate.
Like Georgia, Michigan also had a particularly bizarre incident involving the voting systems provider.
“In Antrim County, ballots were counted for Democrats that were meant for Republicans, causing a 6,000 vote swing against our candidates,” state party chairwoman Cox told reporters. “The county clerk came forward and said, ‘tabulating software glitched and caused a miscalculation of the votes,’” Cox said. With roughly 98 percent of the vote tallied, the Washington Times reported, Biden led Trump in Michigan by 2.6 percent, or 147,897 votes.
“Antrim County, a GOP area, was believed to have flipped in support of the former vice president, but after the error was caught, it remained red,” according to the Washington Times.
Jocelyn Benson, a spokeswoman for the Michigan secretary of state, claimed the 6,000 vote swing was a user error, not a problem with Dominion products. But Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel shot back with a call for a statewide investigation. Michigan Republicans argued the election results in Detroit may have been skewed as a result because absentee ballots were tabulated improperly.
Transparency Trumps Conspiracy Theory
For all these irregularities and more, some 71 million Americans are crying foul and demanding transparency. They want answers. For that, they are mocked as “conspiracy theorists.”
But the problem might be in our understanding of what constitutes a “conspiracy.” We are conditioned to view them as baseless allegations, the fever dreams of the deluded and disaffected, rather than as plans formulated in secret—something utterly commonplace.
Machiavelli, the “founder” of modern political science, devotes the longest section of his Discourses on Livy to conspiracies. If one had to guess the reason conspiracies receive the longest treatment in a treatise about republican government, it is that they are all too common in them. Yet all too commonly they are misunderstood, and ruinous both for the rulers and the ruled.
If there was a plot to unseat President Trump through illicit means, it would be in the interest of citizens to bring to light whether or not they still can choose their representatives. If not, then no one should be surprised that our differences become irreconcilable, that Americans lose faith in the ballot box and, in time, resort to blows.