By Guest Author David Robb
In these days of division, the need for election integrity is one of the issues we can generally all agree on. Every voter wants to know that their vote counted, that the elections were fair and honest, and that the results truly represent the will of the people, whatever that might be. This is truly a non-partisan issue, not restricted to Democrat or Republican, male or female, black, yellow or white, or any other group or ideological persuasion. Honest elections are the foundation of our Democratic Republic and essential to our very existence as a Nation.
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In the last few years, the integrity of our elections has been called into question. In the 2016 election, Democrats were questioning the possibility of outside interference, primarily from Russia, that they felt might have altered the outcome. There is still one candidate, at least, who feels that the election was stolen from her. In the aftermath, numerous investigations were undertaken, and a number of recommendations developed to ensure the integrity of future elections.
This time around, it is the Republican’s turn to question the results of the 2020 election. But it is not just Republicans. Nearly everyone who watched the progress of the 2020 election last November has at least a few questions about what happened. Counting stopped in the middle of the night, reports of trucks unloading pallets of ballots in the wee hours, reports of pristine mail-in ballots that were never folded to be placed in an envelope, poll watchers who were prevented from watching, and hundreds of other reported issues raised questions in many minds.
Audits and why they might be needed
Now there is widespread opposition to election audits that does nothing to assuage concerns, but rather reinforces suspicion and concerns. If the election was honest, why oppose an audit? Isn’t the purpose of an audit to provide proof that all was fair and honest? Simple recounts do not substitute for an actual audit, and cannot detect most forms of intentional subversion of an election.
The introduction of technology into election systems has made modern elections much more convenient for election officials, and reduced the expense of elections, but at the cost of introducing new opportunities for subverting an election, and new ways to hide manipulations of results. The outcome of an election can be changed in a matter of seconds while at the same time proof of such changes can be hidden or obscured in ways nearly impossible to find.
Were the results of the 2020 election so manipulated? Did our votes really count, or were our intentions thwarted by nefarious actors behind the scenes? These questions and more have only become more acute over time. How can we even know what the truth is? If the election was manipulated, who did it, how did they do it, and why? How can we trust any future election if these questions are not answered now?
The Cyber symposium
Just last week, there was a large symposium to address many of these concerns. The MyPillow founder, Mike Lindell, sponsored a Cyber Symposium, inviting representatives from all parties and states, as well as experts from across the country to examine in detail the available data on the 2020 election and its conduct. Regardless of what one might think of Mr. Lindell, any objective observer would have to be impressed with the measures taken to ensure that the examinations were impartial and fact based. Yes, many of the participants had their own opinions and biases, but they were more than willing to show the data they were using, how they arrived at their conclusions, and to answer questions honestly and transparently.
Most of the mainstream media have attempted to discredit and dismiss the symposium results as “debunked conspiracy theories trying to prove that Donald Trump won the 2020 election”. Now it may be true that some conspiracy theories, like dreams, really do come true, and it may be true that the election was indeed stolen. That begs the larger question, though. If the 2020 election was actually manipulated to the extent that the outcome was switched, doesn’t that mean that there was an attack on our very Democracy?
If extensive fraud existed, doesn’t that affect all of us, Democrat, Republican, and everyone? If our elections can be manipulated to that degree, do we even have a Democracy any more, or are we just going through the motions of an election where the outcome has been decided in advance? Isn’t the answer worth knowing, or are we just going to take the word of interested parties who want to tell us “nothing to see here, just move along” or “I’m from the government, trust me”, or “this election was the most secure in history, but I’m not going to let you check for yourself”?
Fraud has been present in nearly every election in this country since its founding. Cemetery votes, duplicate votes, ballot stuffing, and many other schemes have been used extensively. In most cases, the effect of such fraud has been small and insufficient to affect the outcomes of most elections.
People have become accustomed to small amounts of fraud and tend to dismiss allegations of fraud as simply the complaints of sore losers.
We now face, though, allegations of massive fraud, perpetrated possibly by transnational or state actors on a scale sufficient to change the outcome of what is arguably our most important election ever. Perhaps the most important question we, as a nation, can ask is: “Was the 2020 election determined by fraud?”.
As a working scientist, I have dealt with numbers and data and analysis for many decades, so three of the presentations at the symposium were of particular interest to me. To be fair, the following is my own understanding and interpretation of the presentations so if what I report differs from the presenters, that is on me. For those who want it straight from the horse, a good summary with videos of the presentations can be found here.
An algorithm for all seasons
The first was by Dr. Douglass Frank, a well-recognized physicist. He was looking at the question of how might massive fraud be perpetrated in an election in a way that would appear to be a normal and legitimate outcome of an honest election. What occurred to him turned out to be a simple and elegant method that could be applied across all 50 states, and would be very difficult to detect by ordinary means.
In most elections, there are a large number of people who by age, citizenship, and other factors, are eligible to vote. There is also a subset of those people who have actually registered to vote. In states that have not regularly maintained their registration databases, there are significant numbers of deceased voters, voters who have moved, ones who have lost the right to vote, and others still included in the registry. Finally, there are those who actually vote in an election.
Dr. Frank recognized that the difference between actual voters and eligible voters represented a pool of “phantom” voters who could be used to alter an election. To use that pool, someone would have to be able to access lists of eligible voters, records of who voted, and be able to inject manufactured votes into the vote database. Well, states generally maintain online lists of registered voters, lists of names of eligible voters are available from a variety of sources, and current vote databases tend to have weak security that can be easily hacked, especially by a state-level entity.
Even with all that information available, it would still be a massive job to create the necessary number of votes by hand and insert them in the system. It would be an easy job, though, for a computer. Computers operate using algorithms – recipes that describe a set of operations – that are repeated over and over thousands or millions of times. The next question for Dr. Frank was would it be possible to find evidence of an algorithm in operation?
This should be fairly easy to track down since the same operation was being performed over and over. What he found was a consistent pattern being used for each state. The pattern was slightly different between states, just to make it a bit harder to track, but within a state, each county used the same pattern.
Once he identified the pattern, and knowing the information about the voters of the state, he could predict the outcome of the election to a very high degree of accuracy. While this explanation does not prove the election was altered in the way Dr. Frank proposes, the fact that he can make such accurate predictions of the results from simple demographic information is strong evidence.
Follow the trends
The second presentation was by Mr. Seth Keshel, a former military intelligence officer, well versed in understanding and detecting information warfare attacks. His approach was to look at voter registration trends in each county and compare that to previous voting histories and look for discrepancies between registrations and election results. For example, if a county had a history of voting for Democrat candidates, had registered a large number of Democrat voters recently, but then voted for the Republican candidate in the election, that would raise suspicions about vote manipulations in that county. Mr. Keshel analyzed the more than 3000 counties in the US, and rated each one according to the consistency between voting history, registration trends, and 2020 results. In a huge number of counties, he found that there was significant disagreement between the factors, again providing strong evidence of election manipulation. Not only did he look at the presidential race, but also at several of the Senate and Congressional races, and found many discrepancies there as well.
An election on cruise control
The last presentation was by Ms. Draza Smith, a graduate level engineer with a background in control theory and cybernetic systems. Using her background in engineering, she analyzed the progress of the election over time, again to see if there was a control algorithm operating. If such an algorithm were running, it would be adjusting vote totals to obtain a particular result or target. What she found is that the time history of the election across multiple states was consistent with what is known as a Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) controller – one of the most popular industrial control systems in use for process control in chemical plants, refineries, power plants, manufacturing and many other applications, including automotive cruise controls. What she noticed was a very clever use of the PID algorithm to adjust the ratio between party votes rather than the total number of votes. The final results would be adjusted to meet the ratio desired, with whatever number of votes added or subtracted needed to reach that ratio.
Was the 2020 election really stolen? Are these just speculations and conspiracy theories? Stay tuned for our exciting conclusion in Part II – The Smoking Gun!
By David Robb
David Robb is regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative and a practicing scientist who has been working in industry for over 50 years. One of his specialties is asking awkward questions. A large part of his work over the years has involved making complex scientific issues clear and understandable to non-specialists. Sometimes he even succeeds.