Elevating US Vote Integrity

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

The following timely election commentary is provided courtesy of physicist and Mensa John Droz, Jr., at the Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (WiseEnergy.org):

In the closely contested 2020 US Presidential election, there have been many claims made that cast doubt on the validity of some state-reported results. The response by the supposed winning team is that the objections are simply sour grapes, and that there is no bona-fide evidence of their assertions. The media is also parroting this line.

So, what’s the public to believe?

Let’s consider whether “show us the evidence” is a reasonable request.

On the surface it seems quite rational, but as with many Public Relations matters, it needs a bit more reflection — specifically critical thinking (currently a lost art).

Here are some of the problems in trying to respond to the demands for “evidence” of vote inaccuracies:

1 – What exactly qualifies as “evidence?”

On the surface that seems like a simple question — but it’s not.

First, we need to be clear about what types of “evidence” we are talking about. Some examples are: voting machine results being changed; people voting more than once; non-citizens or other ineligible parties voting; votes submitted in someone else’s name (e.g. a nursing home patient); votes from deceased persons, etc.

It’s easy to bring forward “evidence” of these irregularities (which would all lead to inaccurate voting results), and this has already been done.

However, the first response to such documented situations is:

“They are outliers and extreme exceptions.”

Even when thousands of them are put forward, the second response is:

“The proven cases you’ve provided aren’t enough to change the result.”

2 – Who is the determiner of what is “evidence”?

Ultimately, it’s a judge, as this is a legal matter. Within the peculiarities of the law, the word “evidence” to a judge is something quite different from what citizens mean when they use that term. For example, a judge won’t accept “evidence” if the presenter doesn’t have legal standing — irrespective of the legitimacy of the facts (e.g. documented voting fraud).

As such, requesters should say “legal evidence” to be more clear as to what they’re talking about needing in this matter.

3 – What “legal evidence” is required before a case can move forward?

This is another BIG variable, that’s also up to a judge to ascertain. Even when presented with “legal evidence” the judge will not simply accept it, but rather weigh it in light of other considerations that he subjectively applies — e.g. the cost of a recount, time constraints to allow other parts of the process to play out (e.g. the Electoral College), the loss of public confidence in the election system, etc.

In other words, again, a judge may chose to deny (not act on) “legal evidence” for several reasons that have nothing to do with the legitimacy of the facts presented (e.g. inaccurate voting results).

4 – How much “legal evidence” is necessary?

This is yet another variable that is subjective (i.e. in the eyes of some judge). The problem is that getting voluminous “legal evidence” of fraud (e.g. signed affidavits of individuals to verify that a deceased person has had a vote counted) is extremely time-consuming. There is simply no way to do this in the narrow window of time allowed in the post-election process.

Another option would be to prove that mass changes were made to votes — e.g. by a computer software algorithm. However, it is extremely unlikely that voting results would be manipulated across an entire state, as that would be too obvious. Instead, limited areas (counties, or certain precincts) would be targeted. To find exactly where the software adjustments took place is a challenge.

Second, even after that was done, to get access to the full computer code, of the infected machines, and then find exactly where in hundreds of pages of code that software manipulation was done, is extremely time consuming — and requires the services of highly qualified people. And this examination would proceed under the assumption that the perpetuators haven’t gone and changed the code back.

5 – Is there a much better option?

Yes!  Those who want to manipulate our election results very well know all of the above. They are counting on the fact that normal ways of obtaining sufficient “legal evidence” of voting irregularities is too time-consuming to meet a judge’s standards of very high proof, in the narrow window of time available.

In response, we inherently are always looking for a silver bullet to verify integrity of the vote — but none are obvious to politicians and the public. Again, bad actors are counting on our not being creative to solve this critically important problem.

The good news is that there is a relatively quick, easy, low-cost, two-part solution.

1 – Perform a statistical analysis to identify the most statistically deviant locations in swing states. In other words: identify where the bodies are.

(Note: a statistical analysis is unable to identify specifically what types of mistakes were made — accidental or otherwise — but it does indicate that significant errors of some type are very likely there.)

2 – Then have an audited recount of the ballots in those few select locations identified as statistical aberrations. The state’s certified results would then incorporate the updated vote totals from those audited recounts.

(Note: audited means verifying that all legal votes, and only legal votes, would be counted. If the legality of a vote could not be ascertained, then it would not be counted — or at least put into a “questionable” category.)

Yes, this solution is not perfect — what is in life? (“Perfect is the enemy of good.”)

On the other hand, it is enormously better than what we are doing now, plus it is a reasonable, highly accurate, relatively quick way of identifying exactly where a broad range of innocent or purposeful inaccuracies likely took place.

In other words, it would go a LONG way towards improving voting accuracy — and isn’t that in everyone’s interest who ascribes to the democratic standards of America?

The bottom line is that those who are asking for “evidence” should change their misleading mantra. For those who highly value our freedoms, their refrain should be:

Do an immediate audited recount of statistically deviant locations in swing states.

Note: The above suggestion is something we can do now, for the current 2020 election. Of course, we should also do other sensible things before the next election: like have more state-to-state uniformity, more control and audits of software, more voting machine security, much better verification of the legitimacy of mail-in votes, more accurate purging of voter roles for deceased and moved parties, etc., etc.

The end.