Talk:2016 Democratic primaries
It's commonly assumed that the candidate who benefited from election fraud was behind it. In the case of the 2016 Dem primaries, the assumption has been that Clinton or the DNC rigged the election. But this is not necessarily true. Numerous groups can have a vested interest in a candidate's victory, and some are more or less likely to be able to influence the elections than others.
The fraud in the 2016 Dem primaries was similar in many ways to fraud in general elections. We saw the same widespread exit polling shifts and corrupt election audits, one of which was actually done by Michael Vu, who oversaw a similarly-corrupt 2004 Ohio recount. So it seems likely that the same election rigging infrastructure was tapped into to steal the primaries for Hillary. This raises a new question: who controls that infrastructure? There are, in fact, competing theories about how election fraud gets organized on a national level.
Bev Harris considers election theft to be built on a patchwork of local opportunities. Election offices are corrupted in the same way that other local offices are, and regional contractors fall prey to this as well. A criminal network willing to fix and sell elections is thus born. Particularly valuable are elected positions like sheriff, prosecutor, judge -- as they control the justice system, including illegal contraband such as drugs -- and county commissioner -- as they can affect contracts that are awarded. See additional info: Black Box Voting attack tree presentation; The Security Ledger, "It’s the Corruption, Stupid: why Russians aren’t the biggest threat to Election Security", 2017/08/07 National party operatives with knowledge of these local opportunities can take advantage of them to steal national elections.
Jonathan Simon concentrates on the vendors and contractors rather than the election officials. He emphasizes that these private companies have a significant amount of control over elections, often programming them on behalf of the county. County officials themselves are usually uninvolved, taking election fraud out of the local political realm and putting it in the corporate realm. The small group of corporations programming elections places electoral control into the hands of a small elite. It's possible to pull off highly centralized election fraud with that level of control.
Bev Harris and Jonathan Simon's competing theories also imply different means of election rigging. Much of Harris's work has concentrated on GEMS, the Diebold central tabulator software specifically designed to enable local election theft. But manipulating elections with GEMS requires a local operative sitting at the computer or planting a malicious script. Jonathan Simon focuses on the vulnerabilities in individual voting machines, especially how they can be replicated onto the machines throughout an entire jurisdiction. Vendors and contractors would be able to rig individual machines, whereas the barrier would be higher for county election officials.
The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. In a large number of jurisdictions, these vendors and contractors do play a significant role. On the other hand, field work by people like Bev Harris, Jim March, and John Brakey has identified several county election offices that operate like criminal organizations: Volusia County FL, Shelby County TN, and Pima County AZ are a couple prime examples. So there could easily be a mixture of centralized control by vendors/contractors and local control by corrupt election offices.
Furthermore, even when election vendors/contractors manipulate elections, they often need some level of local complicity to prevent fraud from being exposed. Jurisdictions with no paper trail or no meaningful audits generally don't have that problem. However, when a recount is called or when the jurisdiction does perform audits, fraud needs to be covered up by the election officials. LHS Associates, for instance, needed local officials to rig the 2008 New Hampshire recount to hide the fraud in the primaries. There are a couple possible reasons that election officials might cover up fraud committed by these private companies:
- They're in on the plan with the vendor/contractor
- They want to avoid controversy and obscure any signs of electoral trouble, making it appear as smooth as possible
- Despite not being involved, they want to preserve their riggable election system to commit their own fraud in local races
As of now, there's no satisfying theory of how nationwide electoral manipulation works. It almost certainly involves vendors, contractors, and election officials working in concert. The fraud would ideally be as centralized as possible, which favors vendor/contractor control and involving as few local election offices as is necessary. None of this conjecture, though, answers who's organizing the fraud. Having an infrastructure in place is one thing, but people need to take advantage of it.
Political operatives are one possibility. Karl Rove, in particular, has been implicated with stealing elections. Whistleblower testimony from people like Dana Jill Simpson and curious moments like Rove's election night meltdown in 2012 suggest that this is true. This kind of fraud shouldn't be restricted to Republican operatives either: corrupt Democrats, like Clinton and those in her orbit, should also have the knowledge and means to rig elections. But this doesn't fit with the consistent trend of GOP shifts in general elections. Although Democratic primaries are often rigged for the corporate Democrat, Democrats have not benefited from wide-scale general election fraud in the computerized voting era.
One possibility is that the Democrats are in an agreement with the Republicans over who gets to rig the elections. Another is that the election infrastructure is partisan enough to only help Republican candidates; the fraud in the Democratic primaries is really done by Republicans to get a weaker opponent. Republicans were initially in control of all the major voting machine vendors. But this isn't as clear anymore. ES&S is still solidly Republican, but Premier and Sequoia are owned by Dominion whose only visible political tie is to the Clinton Foundation, and Hart Intercivic's parent company is tied to both the Romney family and the Clinton Foundation. There are even suggestions that George Soros controls Scytl and Sequoia, though those are fairly dubious. But the Republicans no longer have an obvious stranglehold on the electoral infrastructure, yet the red shift hasn't gone away.
It could also be that rather than being partisan, elections are directly under the control of the deep state. There are a fair amount of deep state ties to the development and introduction of electronic voting. Wealthy powerbrokers in Texas and Omaha began consolidating the elections industry in the 1980s. In the 1990s and early 2000s, financial criminals from Vancouver and Seattle (including an embezzler connected to Watergate perp Egil Krogh) steered Global Election Systems to a dominant industry position. Defense contractors and mysterious vendors with military-industrial/CIA connections were the driving force behind HAVA. Multiple election contractors have questionable potential ties to organized crime and drug trafficking. My article from May 2017 explains this in more detail.
In a 2010 Google Group post, Jonathan Simon goes into his theories on the involvement and complicity of the Democrats. He alludes to being "Wellstoned" and brings up Michael Connell as a reason why election fraud could actually be dangerous to address. Simon has mentioned in Code Red that Cornell Belcher, chief pollster for the DNC, refused to believe that the red shift was fraudulent when Simon brought it up at a panel session, despite his admission that polls showing the Democratic candidate 10% ahead really indicated the race would be a toss-up.
In a 2007 Google Group post, Bev Harris argues that while electronic voting is being used to effect a fascist takeover, it involves both parties and is a loose-knit coalition of vendors, local crooks, election officials, scientists, and national/global fascists:
No, no, a thousand times NO.
Jonathan, I urge and implore you to take the "Republicans" out of your mix. I have come to agree that there is an element that is attempting a fascist takeover, but it includes Democrats, and we have to fight this straight on.
Also, I'm finding more situations of Democrats using the machines to tamper. My bet is that we'll learn it is a Democrat (and I have someone specific in mind) that has turned the Holt Bill into the Patriot Act of elections by forcing people to accept turning elections over to White House appointees in exchange for a paper trail.
You may believe it's a Republican plot. It is not. It's a greed plot.
It's a business plan. It's relentless. It also involves creating vast databases that allow tracking of our votes.
There's an intersection of common local crooks, with some crooked vendors, with a whole lot of honest but gullible public officials, with some "end justifies the means folks", with some scientists who can't bear the thought of becoming irrelevant so they must recommend only those systems that make them godlike, with some shallow activism backers who just want a simple fix, with some infiltrators, with a relatively small but relentless group that wants fascist-style global control, albeit a kinder gentler version than we usually think of, one which lets Jewish stakeholders take part and one which uses propaganda and technological complexity to let people think they are voting.