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Time for change

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California Called for Clinton While 800,000-3,000,000 Ballots Remain Uncounted

Greg Palast warned us that this would likely happen. Palast is the investigative reporter who more than anyone else documented how George W. Bush stole the Florida 2000 Presidential election that gave Bush the final electoral votes he needed to win the election. On June 1st 2016 Palast wrote of the coming Democratic primary in California that some poll workers have been told to give No Party Preference (NPP) voters provisional ballots rather than regular ballots. He urged voters to demand a regular Democratic ballot because, as many of us know, provisional ballots are usually not counted.

I did phone banking for Bernie. My job was to contact NPP voters and tell them that they had to ask for a Democratic ballot (or a Democratic “crossover” ballot) when they go to the polls, or if they’ve already been sent a “non-partisan” ballot (which doesn’t give them the opportunity to vote for President) they have to bring it to the polls to exchange for a Democratic ballot. The goal was to provide these instructions to all NPP voters in the state. But so many calls go unanswered – what percentage of NPP voters actually get the correct information?

The importance of this to the Sanders campaign was huge. Record breaking new voter registrations in California resulted in 4.2 million registered NPP voters by Election Day. Polls show that these voters vote for Sanders by a margin of approximately 40%.

But when California was called for Clinton on Wednesday morning, a bare minimum of 800 thousand ballots remained uncounted – including provisional ballots and late mail-in ballots. The 800 K number was arrived at by 11 California counties that reported solid numbers of uncounted ballots. But there are 58 counties in California. Nobody knows at this time the total number of uncounted ballots. Estimates of uncounted ballots range from 1 million to 3 million. And these estimates don’t even include the many eligible voters who were turned away from the polls on Election Day without even being given a chance to vote provisionally.

The official vote count had Clinton ahead by about 440 thousand votes. How can they call the election with so many votes uncounted, especially when most of them are disproportionately likely to be for the candidate who’s losing?

Election Day, June 7 in California

The reality of Election Day in California turned out to be far worse than even Palast was warning of. Investigations show an aggressive attempt to disenfranchise Sanders voters. Palast wrote on Election Day, June 7:

In some counties like Los Angeles, it's not easy for an NPP to claim their right to vote in the Democratic primary – and in other counties, nearly impossible. Example: In Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, if you don’t say the magic words, “I want a Democratic crossover ballot,” you are automatically given a ballot without the presidential race. And ready for this, if an NPP voter asks the poll worker, “How do I get to vote in the Democratic party primary”, they are instructed to say, “NPP voters can’t get Democratic ballots.” They are ordered not to breathe a word that the voter can get a “crossover” ballot that includes the presidential race. I’m not kidding. This is from the official Election Officer Training Manual page 49:
"A No Party Preference voter will need to request a crossover ballot from the Roster Index Officer. (Do not offer them a crossover ballot if they do not ask)."…

If an NPP voter doesn’t say they are “surrendering” their NPP ballot, the clerk can take it and count it blank instead of giving the voter a new one… Election Justice USA filed still more declarations with the courts of poll workers being told to give NPP voters “provisional” ballots even if they say the magic words, “I want a crossover Democratic ballot.”

Poll worker Jeff Lewis, who was abhorred by the training he received, filed a description of the training in an official declaration to a federal court:

Someone raised their hand and asked a follow-up question: ‘So, what if someone gets a nonpartisan ballot, notices it doesn't have the presidential candidates on it, and asks you where they are?’ The answer poll workers are instructed to give: ‘Sorry, NPP ballots don't have presidential candidates on them.’

Another California poll worker, Ashley Beck, complained:

I was told that all NPP voters are to be given provisional ballots. I was bothered by that, because I was always told that NPP voters in California can vote for Democrats and their vote would be counted…. We all know what happens most of the time with provisional ballots. They are not being counted.”

The Los Angeles Times announced hundreds of reports of additional problems in an article titled: ‘It was just chaos’: Broken machines, incomplete voter rolls leave some wondering whether their ballots will be counted. As if the impediments to obtaining a Democratic “crossover” ballot weren’t bad enough, some counties ran out of them, thus ensuring that NPP voters wouldn’t be able to vote on a regular ballot. Other counties demanded that first time voters (likely Sanders voters) show official voter ID, even though California law doesn’t require it. And as we’ve seen all through this primary season, many would-be voters are complaining that their voter registration was purged or changed to Republican (which prohibits them from voting in the Democratic primary) without their knowledge, and most of these would-be voters are Sanders would-be voters.

So why did they call the election with so many votes uncounted

The reason the election was called with so many votes uncounted is not hard to understand. It is exactly the same reason why our corporate “news” media timed their false announcement of Clinton “clinching” the Democratic nomination for the day before the California and five other Democratic primaries. It is the same reason why all of the powerful establishment forces within and outside of the Democratic Party have done everything they can since day one to prevent the nomination of Bernie Sanders. Their status, power, and wealth are vested in the status quo. The Sanders campaign is all about disrupting the status quo – leveling the playing field and giving the American people more control over their lives. It’s that simple.

Efforts are currently underway to force a counting of the uncounted California ballots prior to certification of Tuesday’s election. We will see what happens. If they are not counted, this should come up at the July Democratic National Convention.
Posted by Time for change | Thu Jun 9, 2016, 02:20 PM (117 replies)

About our Corporate “News” Media Premature Announcement that Clinton Clinched the Nomination

Anybody who’s paid attention knows that our corporate “news” media is nothing but a conglomerate of highly paid shills dedicated to nothing so much as maintaining the status quo in our country – and has been so for many years. But yesterday’s announcement that Hillary Clinton clinched the Democratic nomination for President has to be one of the most blatantly ridiculous things they’ve ever engaged in – coming on the heels of one of the worst episodes of voter suppression we’ve seen in a long time, in a primary season that has been sickeningly filled with such episodes.

Hillary Clinton has NOT clinched the Democratic nomination, and our corporate “news” media knows that. To win the Democratic nomination a candidate needs 2,383 delegates. Clinton is currently more than 500 pledged delegates short of that, and she will still be short that number going into the Democratic National Convention in July. In order to arrive at the “conclusion” that Clinton clinched the nomination yesterday, our corporate news media had to add in unpledged delegates (i.e. Superdelegates) who say that they will vote for Clinton but who won’t actually vote until the Convention in July. Therefore, the claim that Clinton has clinched the nomination is essentially based on a poll – of Superdelegates. So our “news” media may as well have awarded her the nomination before the first vote was cast, based on national polls that showed her far ahead of any other Democratic candidate.

We could argue all day about the wisdom of including unelected Superdelegates in the nominating process, and I’m not going to argue that here, one way or the other. Suffice it to say that the rationale is to give Democratic Party leaders more say in the process, especially in the event that they feel that the leader in pledged delegates is too weak to have a good chance of winning the general election. That is exactly what they are facing in this case. Hillary Clinton has unprecedented negative net favorability ratings for a major party nominee, and she is involved in major scandals that could end up in indictment and conviction on criminal charges at worst, or just continued revelations that cause her favorability ratings to plummet further at best. That is also unprecedented for a major party nominee. Furthermore, a substantial amount of evidence has accumulated that election fraud may be the primary basis for her current lead, and this issue may or may not come up at the Convention, I don’t know.

In any event, the bottom line is that the Superdelegates have not voted yet, and they will not vote until the July Convention. Arguments will be made at the Convention, and then they will decide. A lot can happen between now and then. As is the case with all polls, the Superdelegates who currently say they will be voting for Clinton could change their minds before it’s all over.

Posted by Time for change | Tue Jun 7, 2016, 11:09 AM (43 replies)

Election Integrity Organizations Plan Exit Polls for California Democratic Primary

In response to the cancelling of TV network funded exit polls just prior to the Kentucky and Oregon Democratic primaries, citizen funded exit polls are now being planned for the California primary:

Because network funded exit polls have been cancelled for the remaining 2016 primaries, a number of organizations including Protect California Ballots, California Election Protection Network and Election Defense Alliance have organized to conduct citizen exit polling.

These organizations are looking for volunteers to conduct the polling. Please check out the Facebook link above for details if you are interested in volunteering.

The announcement continues:

Exit polling is important for safeguarding the integrity of elections. So far in the 2016 election cycle, some state primary results do not match exit polls within the survey sampling margin of error. Such discrepancies are often indicative of election fraud. Why would the networks that traditionally fund exit polls cancel exit polling for the remaining primaries?

Around the world, exit polls have been used to verify the integrity of elections. The United States has funded exit polls in Eastern Europe to detect fraud. Discrepancies between exit polls and the official vote count have been used to successfully overturn election results in Ukraine, Serbia, and Georgia…

The {recent cancelling of} exit poll reporting and the lack of an explanation for their absence has only added fuel to voters’ speculation regarding election fraud.

Actually, the statement that “some {Democratic 2016} state primary results do not match exit polls within survey sampling margin of error” is quite an understatement. The discrepancies between what the exit polls have predicted and the official Democratic primary results have exceeded the statistical margin of error in 10 states this primary season and all of them favor Clinton in the official results compared to the exit poll predictions. Beyond that, the consistency of the discrepancies has been quite remarkable, favoring Clinton in the official results compared to exit poll predictions in 20 of the 23 primaries since March 1 where exit polls have been conducted. The chart below shows that in graphic form (Note especially the last two columns).

The Inquisitr points out that:

Exit polls had become the source of suspicion of so much election fraud {in the Democratic primaries this year} that the hashtag “#ExitPollGate” surfaced on social media. Primary after primary, exit polls were not aligning with election outcomes in the Democratic primaries…

Voter advocacy groups have pointed to exit polls as a red flag that election fraud may be occurring, because the United States has used exit polls as a measure of fraud in elections in other nations. So why did the TV networks suddenly cancel them for the rest of the primary season right before the Kentucky and Oregon primaries?

Election Fraud Watch 2016 has a simple explanation:

The exit polls have not matched the official results OUTSIDE the margin of error in many states in the Democratic primary election. It has been a red flag for fraud. WHY are the networks canceling exit polls in the remaining upcoming primaries? Simple. They do not want to provide a means of evidence to document the theft.

But haven’t we been told by our national news media that exit polls aren’t reliable for the purpose of identifying fraud?

Yes, we’ve been told by our national corporate news media over and over again that exit poll discrepancies aren’t a reliable measure of election fraud. They tell us that for the same reason that they fail to tell us so many other things. They are wedded to the status quo and they don’t want to rock the boat. Have you ever heard them discuss that our election system is ranked LAST among the established democracies in the world? The fact of the matter is that as explained by Jonathan Simon at the Election Defense Alliance, whenever we see exit poll discrepancies that are highly suggestive of fraud, they always favor the more conservative candidate in the official vote count compared to what is predicted by the exit polls. Our national corporate news media is fine with that and they want to make sure that we all know that anyone who takes exit polls seriously as a means of monitoring elections will be labeled a “conspiracy theorist” – as if election fraud couldn’t possibly occur in our country. And yet, almost every expert on the electronic voting machines that are used to count our votes acknowledges that they are highly vulnerable to vote rigging.

As an example of our news media trying everything they can to get our mind away from exit polls, let’s consider Nate Silver’s “Ten Reasons Why you Should Ignore Exit Polls”, as I believe that Nate is the most frequently quoted pollster on this subject. He is far too intelligent to write something with so much fallacious reasoning, so I am assuming that he was heavily persuaded to do it. I discuss his ten points in detail in this post. Here I will just summarize why we should ignore his advice on this:

1) Some of his reasons to ignore exit polls (2, 3, 5, and 10) clearly exhibit circular reasoning. He says in various ways that we should ignore them because they have been shown to be wrong in the past. But they definitely have NOT been shown to be wrong in the past. What they have shown is that they often deviate from the official election results (again, they always favor the more conservative candidate in the official count). To say that this proves them to be wrong is classical circular reasoning. What such deviations show is that exit polls often differ from the official count, meaning that either the exit polls are wrong or the official count is wrong (i.e. rigged).

2) Nate makes his living by analyzing pre-election polls. Yet in his criticism of exit polls, he doesn’t even mention that some of his reasons for ignoring exit polls (4, 6, and 9) apply equally or more so to pre-election polls. Does he want us to ignore pre-election polls too? Of course not – he makes his living from them.

3) Related to number 2 above, he doesn’t balance his discussion by including the very substantial and unarguable advantages that exit polls have over pre-election polls, which include: a) They assess how the voter actually voted rather than how s/he intends to vote at a later time; b) Pre-election polls rely on models to estimate who likely voters will be. Different pollsters use different models to estimate that and obviously some of them are wrong. Sometimes, most of them are wrong. Exit polls have no need for such models. Each respondent to an exit poll has approximately a 100% chance of voting because s/he has already voted and; c) despite the problems that exit polls have in obtaining a true random sample of voters, the problems with obtaining a true random sample with pre-election polls are far worse for the very simple reason that many voters cannot be sampled at all because they are unobtainable by phone.

In summary

If exit polls are as bad as our corporate news media tries to tell us, then why does our country pay to have them performed elsewhere in the world?

And if the substantial exit poll discrepancies in the Democratic primaries this year are indicative of the poor reliability of exit polls rather than election fraud, then why have the exit polls in the Republican primaries been so consistently right on target(scroll down to table)? I’ll suggest a reason why. To repeat myself – exit poll discrepancies in this country in recent years (since 2004 at least) always favor the more conservative candidate in the official vote count (i.e. election fraud is almost always perpetrated on behalf of the more conservative candidate). In the Republican primaries this year, election fraud wasn’t worth the effort. All the candidates were plenty enough conservative to satisfy whoever might be behind this.

I’m looking forward to the California primary election and comparison with the California exit polls. Should there be a large discrepancy (in either direction and regardless of who wins), I would very much want to see a hand count of the whole state to see how much the official machine count differs from the hand count. There is no other way that we can have confidence in the results in the face of large exit poll discrepancies from the official results.

Posted by Time for change | Wed Jun 1, 2016, 12:42 PM (38 replies)
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