Trumponder: Rigging

I already wrote a lot about voter fraud before the election. To summarise:

  1. In person voting fraud in the US is rare and ineffectual, carries stiff penalties and would be a waste of time for an organised campaign.
  2. Fraud around absentee ballots is more common than in-person fraud but still not huge and affects mainly smaller elections. Notably supposed anti-fraud measures proposed by Republicans address in-person fraud rather than absentee ballot fraud.
  3. Voter suppression techniques are a much bigger issue.

How big an impact did voter suppression measures have on the election? I doubt there will ever be a clear answer because it is hard to track why somebody didn’t vote. However, Clinton clearly suffered from a reduced turnout and voter suppression measures aim to do that AND the election was close. Americans have reason to feel cheated but the sad fact is that disenchantment with electoral processes can also drive lower turnout, so even Democrats feeling cheated helps the Republicans. Well there is a depressing thought.

Now I don’t have a decent link for the next bit because it was described to me verbally and non-committaly but I’ll sketch something out as a strawman for me to knock down.

Maybe, what-if, perhaps the GOP cheated in some other way than openly via voter suppression. Short answer is all the reasons why it is implausible that the Democrats cheat en-mass:

  1. It is hard for many reasons.
  2. The risks are high.
  3. The rewards are uncertain.
  4. There are better things to do with your time if you are a campaign.

Ok, ok, but maybe, maybe things were different with the Trump campaign because

  1. It was desperate.
  2. It didn’t give a shit about the reputation of the GOP or the long term damage getting caught cheating would cause.
  3. It didn’t have a ground game and maybe cheating is a better use of resources when you are badly organised.
  4. And look – it would explain why the polls were off and why the stories about high turnout didn’t pan out!
  5. Also Trump always projects – he said the Dems would cheat ergo he was planning to cheat!

Yeah but, none of that is actual empirical evidence of cheating.

  1. The polls being simply wrong is a SIMPLER explanation than what would have to be a complex conspiracy. The high probabilities assigned to a Clinton win by most forecasters didn’t account for a possibility of systematic polling failure – mainly because they couldn’t put a number on that. Notably Nate Silver’s figures (wrong but lower) did attempt to account for it. Importantly, even a poll that captures accurately the split in preferences, will have a very hard time capturing who will actually vote. In an election where turnout was key, predicting WHO would vote is a bigger issue than who they would vote for. p(polling error)>p(complex conspiracy)
  2. Yes, Trump projects but we already know how the GOP intended to rig the election because they did it quite openly and at least quasi-legally: voter suppression. It isn’t like they made much of a secret about it, how it would work or what the intended effect would be.
  3. The kind of fraud that would have needed to have taken place would involve electoral officials hiding/not-counting/destroying some votes from particular precincts. OK, that is a theoretical way somebody could fraudulently create the kind of voting impact we saw but it would require the GOP to have suborned multiple officials in multiple states that use different voting systems and voting technology and NOBODY on the Democrat side watching the voting NOTICING and NOBODY giving the game away and NOBODY slipping up in anyway.

In short, it just isn’t plausible and amounts to a kind of Deus Ex-Machina hope of a terrible plot twist twisting back towards a happier resolution. I also doubt it would be a happy resolution – discovering whole chunks of uncounted votes from Democrat leaning precincts would (not unreasonably) be seen by Republican supporters as evidence of Democrat cheating.

The other argument is perhaps more metaphysical and hence beyond empirical considerations:

  1. It’s 2016 man and it ain’t done messing with us yet.

OK spooky-2016 granted, I’ll change my mind in the event of something that looks like something more substantial than wishful thinking.

 

 

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44 comments

  1. JJ

    There’s an interesting analysis here of how well the drop in black voters in North Carolina correlates to the counties where voter suppression measure were instituted.

    Black people are turning out at 91% of their 2012 levels in the counties in which voting has *not* been made more difficult since that election, and in the counties in which voter suppression measures have been enacted since that election, black voter turnout is only 72% of 2012 levels.

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  2. thephantom182

    “Yes, Trump projects but we already know how the GOP intended to rig the election because they did it quite openly and at least quasi-legally: voter suppression. It isn’t like they made much of a secret about it, how it would work or what the intended effect would be.”

    This is a fantasy, Camestros. You are attempting to put the success of a candidate on voter -suppression-, which means the illegitimate denial of the vote to a citizen. That simply is not happening.

    Is the verification of residence in a riding or district supposed to be suppression? Is the creation of voter rolls and the maintenance of same suppression? Is the denial of the vote to non-citizens and incarcerated criminals in jails suppression?

    If so, then Canada is the most vote suppressing nation EVAR!!1!, and yet I did not notice racist/bigot/fascist/homophobe Conservatives rioting in the streets when the Liberals won last year. Even though the fricking Shiny Pony is PM, there were no broken windows or burning dumpsters that I recall.

    You are arguing against the use of voter ID measures that every Western nation uses, -except- the USA, because in some states voter ID reduces the votes of the Democrat Party. And before some earnest endeavor starts squalling about Jim Crow, that was over in the 1960s. Its been half a century, try to keep up.

    If you want to know why the polls were so wrong, check my blog. Silicon Valley company CEO tells anybody who voted Trump to resign. Grubhub. Or, look it up. One idiot was ‘triggered’ enough to say it out loud. How many more were smart enough to do it quietly? Think there’s any future for the guy with the Trump bumper sticker at Google? Nuh uh.

    There’s people literally rioting in the streets because there was a legit, legal, free election. You think they’re going to shrink from cheating to get what they want next time?

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    • camestrosfelapton

      Stopping eligible voters from voting or making it hard to do so is voter suppression. Enacting measures that stop more eligible people than ineligible people from voting is voter supression.

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      • camestrosfelapton

        Yeah, despite the fact that the people who enacted the laws/processes admitted they were to suppress likely Democrat voters, that the impact of the laws/processes was objectively likely to suppress Democrat voters and that what appears to have happened numerically in places were the laws/processes were enacted was the suppression of Democrat votes – none of that could have been voter suppression because in a different country they have different laws with some similarity.

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      • thephantom182

        “Enacting measures that stop more eligible people than ineligible people from voting is voter supression.”

        Yeah, and this is where I say “prove it.” Show me a cow farm in Greenland, baby. I want to see actual people that were actually prevented from voting DemocRat by shenanigans. And not one old lady who couldn’t get a taxi, ok? I mean Brooklyn couldn’t vote. I’m talking the whole township of Moose Antler Kentucky getting shut out. Because that is what you are insinuating here. Some vast conspiracy to disenfranchise an entire section of the US citizenry.

        This is pure 100% propaganda, and you are falling for it. You idiots got LIED TO for a whole election season by the media, and you loved it so much you keep believing their bullshit even after they are exposed as know-nothing -liars-. Proven liars, mind you. In writing, by their own hacked email.

        Clinton at 90% probable to win going in, she gets -slaughtered- in a historic crushing, it took until 3AM for the media to finally admit they were wrong all the way down the line, and you are still singing their song.

        That is amazing. What the hell is wrong with you people?

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      • JJ

        Phantom: Yeah, and this is where I say “prove it.” Show me

        In the first comment, I posted a link to a valid statistical source which did that. We know that the Republicans have implemented voter suppression techniques — they’ve bragged openly and publicly about them, what those techniques are, and how they work. I posted evidence that those techniques are working. You chose, as usual, to ignore that evidence because it doesn’t support your delusional narrative.

        Seriously Phantom, either engage like a rational adult for a change, or wander off to somewhere where facts aren’t required: maybe to a 9/11 conspiracy or birther site. 🙄

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark

        I always had the impression that this Voter ID thing was a peculiarly US invention – I’ve never brought ID to a UK polling station in my life, in fact you technically don’t even need to bring your polling card. Wikipedia claims 10 of the 28 EU countries have voter ID laws. So, more than I realised but it’s definitely still a minority tactic.

        I’ve also only ever seriously queued once in my life, compared to reports of hours-long queues in the US, and that was as a student living in halls when pretty much the entire student body tried to vote in the period between having dinner and the bar opening 🙂

        I think an interesting question would be why does the US have such poor turnout anyway? Pew puts them near the bottom of this league table (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/08/02/u-s-voter-turnout-trails-most-developed-countries/) although 2016 isn’t fully in yet. Are there structural problems i.e. more rural than Europe therefore harder to get to the polls?

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      • JJ

        Mark, voting logistics have been used as weapons to twist results in the U.S. for many years now. Gerrymandering, putting lots of booths into wealthy areas, taking booths away from poor areas (or just eliminating polling places in poor areas entirely), requiring costly IDs to vote, eliminating early voting, failing to deliver absentee ballots based on the voter’s registered party, closing polling places even though voters are still waiting in line, purging voter rolls of “felons” by using a matching algorithm set so loose that if Mark A. Kitteh is a felon, Mark B. Kitteh, Mark Kitey, Marcus Kittey, and Marco Kittie will all be purged as well — all of those things tend to disadvantage poor and minority voters disproportionately, because those people often don’t have extra money, or reliable transportation, or flexible working situations the way that their more well-off white counterparts do.

        What percentage of the eligible voters are suppressed because of these activities is unknown, but it is undoubtedly significant. I’m sure that apathy or a feeling of hopelessness that one’s vote won’t mean anything are contributors, too.

        Gerrymandering is one of the great evils of the American “democratic” system.

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  3. Aaron

    Show me a cow farm in Greenland, baby.

    You’ve already been shown that. All your petulance does not is make you look even more foolish than you already do.

    This is pure 100% propaganda, and you are falling for it.

    Somehow the North Carolina GOP seems to think their efforts to suppress the vote are working.

    Or you could take the Florida GOP’s word for it that their goal is voter suppression.

    This isn’t propaganda. This is a conscious strategy that has been admitted to in almost area that it has been implemented. The goal is to reduce voter turnout, and specifically to reduce voter turnout among Democratic constituencies.

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      • camestrosfelapton

        So now you want a photo to show there is a long established cattle farming industry in Greenland because this will prove…um, what now? You’ve moved your goal posts so far that you’ve forgotten what your point was.

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      • thephantom182

        Camestros, there is a cattle farming industry in Greenland in exactly the same way there is voter supression in the USA. I think the connection is quite clear, and your pretense of not understanding is a shoddy rhetorical trick.

        Greenland is a frozen wasteland and cannot support a cattle industry. If global warming is really happening, that will change. Rapidly, according to you. Warmest temperatures ever, you said.

        So far, zero change. So you can scream “denier!!!” all you want, there’s still no cattle farms in Greenland.

        Some guy with three cows and a bucket isn’t a cattle farm. My grandfather ran more than 20 head of dairy cattle in Ontario, -by himself- in the 1930’s. These days dairy farms have over 1000 head, at the low end. Normal farms have 5000 or greater. Huge machinery, massive buildings, thousands of acres in grain and hay.

        That’s a cattle farm. Show me that, in Greenland, right now. Good luck, there aren’t any. Because it is too f-ing cold, and the growing season is too short.

        America is a free nation and elections are still mostly reliable, despite the best efforts of DemocRats the last fifty years to make it otherwise. Motor-voter being the most egregious of many examples, plus the famous voting dead of Chicago fame.

        So you show me a systematic effort by Republicans to deny the vote to -actual citizens.- Not illegals, not foreigners, not sentenced criminals. Then you will have a legit argument.

        But of course you can’t, because its a -lie.- It isn’t even your lie, you just want it to be true. So here you are, nothing better to do than pretend not to understand the simplest thing. Doubling down, again, on a thing you can’t prove but WANT to believe.

        Vox Day may be a massive tool, but he’s 100% right about you boys. Always lie, always double down. Every single time. Never fails.

        Meanwhile, your American intellectual brothers and sisters are breaking things and burning stuff, protesting their own freedom. Because of even more lies, and of course because many of them are being paid to do so.

        Who wants to end free elections, Camestros? Republicans, you say? Doubt it. Who is rioting to protest a free election, Camestros? Who paid for that riot? Hmm? LEFTISTS, that’s who.

        If I were you, I’d be looking into that. Because if you believe the stuff you say here, those rioters and political apparatchiks are not on your side. You are being taken for a sleigh ride.

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      • JJ

        phantom182: So you show me a systematic effort by Republicans to deny the vote to -actual citizens.- Not illegals, not foreigners, not sentenced criminals. Then you will have a legit argument.

        Phantom, you’ve already been given links to such examples in the comments above, and you’re apparently choosing to ignore them.

        I can only presume that you are being deliberately dishonest here, and have no interest in seeing examples.

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      • Aaron

        So you show me a systematic effort by Republicans to deny the vote to -actual citizens.- Not illegals, not foreigners, not sentenced criminals. Then you will have a legit argument.

        You already been shown multiple examples of this in the links that more than one person has provided. Everyone else who reads this can see them too. The only thing your tantrum is proving at this point is what a complete tool you are.

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      • thephantom182

        “And here in lies the problem. Phantom and his ilk demand evidence, show them the evidence and they just repeat the demand or shift the goal posts again.”

        Gee, I think I said -exactly- this a few weeks ago, and refused to publish links anymore because of it. I think, Camestros, that you have two different standards. One for evidence about things you like, and another for things you don’t like. You and your friends here do not argue honestly. It’s a common theme on the Left.

        Consequences this week, Donald Trump is President and there are idiot children rioting, even though nothing bad happened. Tune in next week as the whole global warming scam gets tossed on the trash heap of history next to cold fusion and pyramid power.

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      • camestrosfelapton

        //I think, Camestros, that you have two different standards. One for evidence about things you like, and another for things you don’t like.//

        Not at all Phantom.
        For example on voter fraud I went to research by the *HERITAGE FOUNDATION* and posted it here. The evidence they had collected to make a case that voter fraud was common. I intentionally looked at the best case the right could muster. That it didn’t add up isn’t somehow magically my fault – I didn’t sneak into their HQ and make their document demonstrate why they were wrong.

        With global warming I repeatedly provide arguments, data and information from the contrarian side. Again, it doesn’t add up because it doesn’t add up.

        I’ve no problem at all pointing at the case the right makes at these issues and providing the links that you can’t.

        Here is the really, really sad thing Phantom – as a consequence I actually know and understand the right wing case against global warming better than you do. Put another way – you don’t even know WHY you are supposed to disagree with global warming, you just tag along with what the elites tell you to believe.

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      • JJ

        phantom182: Gee, I think I said -exactly- this a few weeks ago, and refused to publish links anymore because of it.

        Phantom, you stopped posting links because you could never find ones that actually supported what you were claiming (except for the occasional links to nutter conspiracy sites which agreed with what you said, but were not backed up by real evidence).

        There is one standard here: If you’re going to make claims about gun control, or voting fraud, or climate change, or any similar subject, then you have to provide links to credible evidence supporting your claims. You don’t do that, and then you throw a tantrum when people point out that your links don’t back up what you say.

        Now you’re trying to pretend that the credible evidence you’re given by others here isn’t really evidence because… oh, because you refuse to accept credible evidence that disagrees with your worldview, I guess, and you’re trying to pretend there’s no difference.

        You are either really, really intellectually deficient, or you are incredibly dishonest. I’m leaning toward the latter, but I’m not ruling out the former.

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      • Aaron

        Gee, I think I said -exactly- this a few weeks ago, and refused to publish links anymore because of it.

        No, it is pretty clear that you stopped posting links because you realized people would actually check the links you posted and figure out that you were lying about what they said. You’re an intellectually dishonest coward.

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    • Mark

      Aaron/Camestros, I think the problem here is in accepting the basic premise that you _need_ to show cows in Greenland. There’s no credible chain of logic in evidence that suggests their presence or absence will prove or disprove anything.

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  4. KasaObake

    ” there is a cattle farming industry in Greenland in exactly the same way there is voter supression in the USA. I think the connection is quite clear, and your pretense of not understanding is a shoddy rhetorical trick.”

    Of all the deranged things you’ve ever said, Phantom, I think this is my favourite. If it wasn’t clear as day before that it’s absolutely pointless to try and engage with you on anything, it definitely is now.

    No, there is no link between climate change and voter suppression. Other than the fact that there’s evidence for both, anyway, and yet here you are screaming about the same old things and throwing around wild-eyed accusations.

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    • thephantom182

      “No, there is no link between climate change and voter suppression.”

      You really are incapable of following an argument, aren’t you? Do you want me to explain it again?

      Point is no, there is -not- evidence. For either one. There is zero evidence of systematic voter suppression in the USA, now or at any time since the 1960’s. There is zero evidence of the baseline climate of Greenland changing to match what it was in the Medieval Warm Period. No cattle farms. No grain farms. No pigs and goats, etc. A picture of a guy’s pet cow is not evidence of a farming industry, the same as a picture of a flooded car park is not evidence that Manhattan is underwater.

      Both propositions are -lies- told for political purposes.

      Clearer?

      You should go beat up your college teachers, they ripped you off.

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      • KasaObake

        You’ve been shown evidence for both and dismissed it without bothering to offer proper refutations beyond shifting your goalposts, all the while you scream and whine about systematic, specifically *Democratic party* voter fraud which even stats from republican sources just don’t support. Even the articles *you* cited just didn’t support your conclusions. It’s not my education you need to worry about, but your own.

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      • thephantom182

        “You’ve been shown evidence for both and dismissed it without bothering to offer proper refutations beyond shifting your goalposts…”

        Oh, you mean like weeks ago, I showed evidence of systematic and pervasive media bias against Trump and for Hillary? And y’all moved the goalposts and didn’t accept my evidence because … well no reason given really. Today the New York Slimes is admitting they were 100% in the tank for Hillary, and they’re real sorry.

        I’ve seen Aaron not accept the FBI Uniform Crime Report as evidence, because we all know the FBI is crooked. Except when they find Hillary shouldn’t be charged, of course. That was totes legit.

        There ain’t no cattle farms in Greenland. Duh. Oh, and people did get arrested this year for voter fraud.

        There’s also the little matter of the bought-and-paid-for rioters out there the last few days that none of you boys seem to want to talk about.

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      • camestrosfelapton

        Your problem is not just a lack of evidence but how what you have connects with your claims. For example if I had said there was zero cases of in person electoral fraud, you finding one case would demonstrate that I was incorrect. But that wasn’t my claim and *I* had already cited examples if such fraud.
        My claim was that in person voter fraud was relatively rare – that you can find odd cases here and there SUPPORTS my claim rather than refuting it because my claim IMPLIES that such cases should exist.

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      • KasaObake

        Let’s talk about the bought-and-paid-for rioters! For a start, where’s your evidence that they were bought?

        Also, there are cattle on Greenland, being farmed, so there’s your claim roundly refuted there. You’ve seen picture evidence of cattle being farmed, you just refuse to accept it and keep pushing for industrial level farming. Given that they have a population around ~55,000 on Greenland, and their second largest industry is *fishing* is there even much call for cattle farming there? Also I note you keep harping on about specifically cattle – what about other livestock? You know they farm sheep there too right? And let’s not forget about other types of farming! Their yields of herbs and vegetables have also improved, and they’re able to grow more varieties not normally associated with high-Arctic climates.

        Oh look and here’s a source for ALL of that!

        http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/greenland-reaps-benefits-of-global-warming-8555241.html

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      • Aaron

        Oh, you mean like weeks ago, I showed evidence of systematic and pervasive media bias against Trump and for Hillary?

        You found a single guy with an ax to grind who counted on the back of an envelope and came up with a number that fit your ideological world view. That’s not evidence, that’s pathetic.

        I’ve seen Aaron not accept the FBI Uniform Crime Report as evidence, because we all know the FBI is crooked.

        I didn’t find the FBI Uniform Crime Report useful as evidence for the proposition you were claiming, because it didn’t support it. You don’t seem to understand that citing something isn’t the same as having the citation actually support what you claim it supports.

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  5. JJ

    Okay, so I did a Google search because I wanted to find my comment about how the voter-deregistration name-matching algorithms are rigged…

    … and I discovered that “Mark-kitteh” is actually a Tag on File 770.

    walks away snickering hysterically

    Liked by 1 person

  6. thephantom182

    According to lawsuits filed today in Federal court, 3 million illegals voted this year. Also, there were 4 million dead people estimated to be on the voting rolls. If the estimate is off by 50%, that’s two million.

    What does that do to your “harm” calculation, Camestros? If born out, 3 million illegals means that Trump won the popular vote. 4 million on the voter rolls means there’s a wide margin available for fraud, should someone decide to use it.

    Tell me again about voter suppression. Trump won because he beat the margin of fraud, and he beat it in places that voted Obama in 2008 AND 2012.

    This is where you say “prove it” and I say “cow farm.” You can see how that’s not an exchange destined to get any nearer the truth. The difference between us is that I’d be interested in evidence of voter suppression, if you had any that passed the laugh test. You are ready to reject any evidence that is not a completed guilty verdict with the perp in jail.

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  7. Aaron

    According to lawsuits filed today in Federal court, 3 million illegals voted this year. Also, there were 4 million dead people estimated to be on the voting rolls.

    There is no credible evidence supporting either claim. But do go on not providing links to your “evidence”. It makes you look more ridiculous than you already do.

    The difference between us is that I’d be interested in evidence of voter suppression, if you had any that passed the laugh test.

    No, you aren’t. The evidence has been provided many times, and you haven’t even bothered to read it. You’re an intellectually dishonest coward.

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    • thephantom182

      “There is no credible evidence supporting either claim.”

      There’s a lawsuit filed in federal court that says otherwise, Aaron. If they’ve got nothing, why are they filing? And you’ve seen this lawsuit, and you know they’ve got nothing. Right? Pardon me if I remain skeptical of your assertions.

      The only thing I know for sure is that you have no idea what you’re talking about. Because you get your news from people who had Hillary Clinton at 80% likely to win on November 7th. In your universe Hillary did win, and any minute it’s going to be announced, and angel choirs will sing. Because in your world, while

      As to evidence of things, you will recall Camestros’s recent posting of satellite data, claiming Earth is now warmer than EVAR!!! Well, I just a new claim that the Earth is COLDER THAN EVAR!!1! There’s a lovely graph showing the plummet from the SUPER HIGH temp to the new SUPER LOW temp.

      So, Aaron, do I believe that the Earth’s temperature is shifting like a Buick pushed off a bridge on a bungee cord…
      … or do I wonder if there might be something hinky with the data?

      Particularly at a time when lots of Western nations are talking about a Carbon Tax, and the USA would be getting one except Trump. There’s trillions of dollars potentially moving. Nobody would put their thumb on the scale over TRILLIONS, right? That could never happen, right?

      “You’re an intellectually dishonest coward.”

      I’m getting very tired of this type of thing from you, Aaron. You are a twerp. Your argumentation skills put you at about 20 years old. If you’re older than that, A) I’m surprised and B) you need to go study a lot more. Insults are not an argument. Insults mean you do not -have- an argument.

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      • Aaron

        There’s a lawsuit filed in federal court that says otherwise, Aaron.

        You know there’s no evidence supporting it. Otherwise you would have linked to it. None of us will be shocked when it is thrown out in a couple of weeks.

        The only thing I know for sure is that you have no idea what you’re talking about. Because you get your news from people who had Hillary Clinton at 80% likely to win on November 7th.

        She’s a million votes ahead and counting. Trump has fewer votes than Romney had in 2012. Where is that massive surge of angry guys that you claim was missed by the polls?

        There’s a lovely graph showing the plummet from the SUPER HIGH temp to the new SUPER LOW temp.

        Post a link. Show your work. I’m betting that if you do, it will turn out that your graph won’t show anything even remotely close to what you claim it does, and it will be childishly easy to point that out. That’s the real reason why you never post links.

        I’m getting very tired of this type of thing from you, Aaron.

        Then stop being an intellectually dishonest coward. It is very telling that someone telling the truth about you bothers you this much.

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      • Aaron

        Actually, it is an evidence-based statement. You are an intellectually dishonest coward. The evidence is the content of your comments. The evidence is available for all to see, and is pretty much irrefutable.

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  8. Mark

    An interesting piece from Bruce Schneier about electronic voting – short version is that no attacks have been made yet, but it’s time to get much stronger standards and security in place _before_ anyone tries it on. His point about making sure there are paper records available for verification is a good one – the biggest issue is not actual attempts at fraud but politically-motivated claims of fraud that can be defeated with the ability to run manual checks.

    https://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram/archives/2016/1115.html

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