Guest Post by Mark Chatham
With one fell swoop, CNN, NBC, CBS — and yes, even Fox News — converged in a full-court press to declare Joe Biden the President-Elect on Saturday. World leaders followed suit to congratulate Joe and Kamala, and all of a sudden a Biden presidency became the default reality — despite the slim margins, impending court contests, and active vote counting in key states.
“Not so fast,” a foreign observer inspecting the legitimacy of our elections might say. It just so happens that our government, other Western governments, and many western NGOs have spent quite a lot of time and money looking for election fraud in Russia, Bolivia, Ukraine, and Iran, among other countries.
This raises the natural question of how, if judged by the standards we apply to other nations, the 2020 election would be evaluated by election observers and analysts in the United States. In order to answer this provocative question, we can turn to a number of major themes which appear frequently in attempts to document and describe fraud in these countries.
They are as follows:
- Independent observers (poll watchers) are removed or limited.
- Reports of widespread procedural irregularities. These include suspicious activities at polls
- and suspicious timing or behavior of vote-counting.
- Deviations in the very procedure each side uses for voting
- A media which is firmly in one side’s camp, and a restriction of the availability of information for the other side. We often see attempts to restrict the other side from communicating.
- Statistical anomalies in the results which the (fraudulently) elected government and its media simply ignore.
Let us then don the cap of an American election observer using the standards above. This thought exercise will help to underscore how far American standards of democracy, competence, and rule of law have fallen. In truth, we are dangerously close to becoming a corrupt tin-pot country, the likes of which we are all too used to lecturing on democracy (at least, before we invade them).
Ever since the insurgent Donald Trump won the Presidency, American politics might be described as the American Presidency, led by Donald Trump and representing the interests of the people, versus the corrupt permanent American regime, representing special interests and oligarchs.
Like the populist insurgent parties that America often promotes against corrupt regimes overseas, Trump supporters have the moral high ground and a duty and obligation to fight the corrupt regime that is attempting to disenfranchise them.
After reviewing the evidence, we cannot help but come to the stunning conclusion that if the 2020 U.S. presidential election was held in a foreign country, the State Department and Western media would declare it “fraudulent.”
Allow us to explain.
Nearly every publicly available report of of election fraud contains reports of independent or foreign observers being denied appropriate access to monitor the proceedings. It is virtually impossible to read about election fraud in a place like Ukraine, for instance, without hearing about how observers’ access was limited.
The United States media demands that the American public take their word for it that the election was legitimate. Strangely, they even defend obvious efforts to hide and obscure election procedures.
2/ By far the most viral of these claims is the video of officials in Detroit papering up/boarding up the windows inside their polling center in Michigan. This, admittedly, was a bizarre sight. But was 100% explainable and was the right thing to do.
— Isaac Saul (@Ike_Saul) November 5, 2020
But when we introduce the standards typically applied to foreign elections, we see a radically different standard of legitimacy.
A report given to Congress in 2009 about Iran’s Presidential election criticizes that regime for obscuring election observation.
Since no independent international observers were present for Iran’s elections, it is difficult to ascertain the extent of alleged vote rigging or election violations that may have taken place. The expulsion of most foreign journalists from Iran and the government’s interruption of mobile and internet communication have further complicated efforts to gain a clear picture of the events surrounding the election and its aftermath. [Congressional Research Service]
Testimony from longtime US diplomat John Tefft criticizes the Ukrainian government for ejecting opposition election observers in 2004.
The following are examples of the most egregious, widely observed and reported examples of election-day fraud on November 21:
Opposition Observers Ejected: Observers from Our Ukraine and other opposition groups were expelled from most polling stations in eastern Ukraine on Election Day. For example, in Territorial Election Commission (TEC) district number 42 in Donetsk oblast, Our Ukraine observers were kicked out of all but a few polling stations. [State Department]
Interestingly, those elections famously precipitated the “Orange Revolution.”
According to the United States State Department, then, ejecting opposition observers as was done in Philadelphia on November 4th is itself a form of fraud.
A piece in The Independent about Ukraine’s parliamentary elections in 2012 criticizes the government for a “non-transparent” vote tally.
Hundreds of Ukrainians protested alleged fraud in last month’s parliamentary election and the opposition threatened to boycott the new parliament and call for a re-vote today.
Western observers deemed the Oct. 28 parliamentary election unfair, saying the imprisonment of President Viktor Yanukovych’s arch-foe, Yulia Tymoshenko, and non-transparent vote tallying were a step back for democracy. [The Independent]
It is plainly obvious that, when talking about foreign elections, Western media considers transparency of voting and vote-counting procedures to be of the utmost significance.
— Eric Gibbs (@ericjgibbs) November 4, 2020
Procedural Irregularities Abound
During the 2019 coup against against Bolivian incumbent Evo Morales, the vote count was stopped — without explanation — for four days, and then resumed, only to discover he was the narrow victor.
Bolivians found this so obviously implausible that the army suggested he leave power.
As you read this excerpt from the BBC, you’ll have to remind yourself it’s about Bolivia, not the US.
With 83.8% of the votes verified, its website showed Mr Morales leading with 45.3%, leaving Mr Mesa in second place with 38.2%.
That result suggested there would be a run-off, prompting celebrations in the campaign camp of Mr Mesa, who jubilantly declared: “We’ve made it to the second round!”
But then the website with the quick count stopped being updated for 24 hours, prompting electoral observers from the Organisation of American States (OAS) to express their concern.
As counting was suspended, Mr Morales told his supporters he was confident that when votes from rural areas were tallied, there would be no need for a run-off.
When the quick count was finally updated on Monday evening, Mr Morales had a lead of 10.12 percentage points — just wide enough to stave off a second round.
The OAS electoral mission called the change “drastic and hard to explain.” [BBC]
Clearly, the BBC and other western media found this deeply suspicious and an obvious indication of illegitimacy. Western media does not credulously accept a “winner” who emerges with a wide victory margin after a sudden and inexplicable suspension of the vote count.
When describing foreign elections, our press gives extra attention to individual abnormalities, even if they might not by themselves shift the outcome. Foreign governments invariably describe these anomalies as circumstantial or irrelevant. Western media and governments assert that they are not — at least if the anomalies occur in a foreign election.
The Iranian election of 2009 presents a perfect example.
The Guardian Council…acknowledged ‘minor violations that happen in every election and can be ignored,’ but insisted that… the results were valid. Musavi [the opposition candidate]… [has] continued to reject the election results, and Musavi has called for ‘independent arbitration’ of the election disputes. Meanwhile, the government continues its crackdown on protestors… and continues to level accusations of ‘foreign interference’ in Iran’s domestic affairs by Great Britain and other Western countries.” [Congressional Research Center]
A corrupt regime will argue that fraud is just a matter of a few bad apples and not a systemic problem. They will downplay widespread reports of election fraud as nonexistent, insignificant, and unlikely to materially change the outcome of the election. This encourages supporters of the “opposition candidate” to waste their time chasing individual examples. The only way to stop election fraud is a ZERO TOLERANCE policy — commit any fraud, and we accept none of your results.
If there is evidence of any fraud by the other side, the burden of proof is now on them to show that the election was legitimate. Granting them the benefit of the doubt is always a losing strategy.
Without question, the media would find these Google search trends deeply alarming if they were happening in the Donbass instead of Detroit.
In Michigan, a GOP chair found a profoundly alarming software bug with the Dominion vote counting software. This software is used in many states.
In Georgia, engineers uploaded a poorly-understood, last minute software update to the state’s Dominion election machines.
A technology glitch that halted voting in two Georgia counties on Tuesday morning was caused by a vendor uploading an update to their election machines the night before, a county election supervisor said.
Voters were unable to cast machine ballots for a couple of hours in Morgan and Spalding counties after the electronic devices crashed, state officials said. In response to the delays, Superior Court Judge W. Fletcher Sams extended voting until 11 p.m.
The companies “uploaded something last night, which is not normal, and it caused a glitch,” said Marcia Ridley, elections supervisor at Spalding County Board of Election. That glitch prevented pollworkers from using the pollbooks to program smart cards that the voters insert into the voting machines.
Ridley said that a representative from the two companies called her after poll workers began having problems with the equipment Tuesday morning and said the problem was due to an upload to the machines by one of their technicians overnight.
“That is something that they don’t ever do. I’ve never seen them update anything the day before the election,” Ridley said. Ridley said she did not know what the upload contained.
Neither Dominion nor KnowInk responded to a request to comment. A spokesperson for the secretary of state’s office also did not respond to follow-up questions about who uploaded the dataset and whether it had been reviewed and tested by anyone beforehand.
Georgia uses Dominion voting machines and KnowInk Poll Pads statewide — systems that the state only deployed in every county for the first time this year after replacing its previous 20-year-old electronic voting systems. It’s not clear why other Georgia counties did not have the problems Morgan and Spalding had. [Politico]
Let’s put our foreign election observer hats back on for a moment. The Georgia incident is extremely similar to something that happened during the 2019 Bolivian elections, according to a report by the Organization of American States.
In this case, the head of NEOTEC changed the official count software more than once in the middle of the process; recompiled it (at which time it lost integrity in terms of what was saved during the freeze); and put it in production. A significant amount of research has established that this is bad practice that is unacceptable in an electoral process. This confirms the negative effect of the lack of use cases, software testing, and acceptance tests, as previously described, all of which without question impacts the transparency of the process. [Organization of American States]
Any American who can count should be immediately suspicious of “software bugs” in vote-tallying systems. And if the Dominion glitch weren’t alarming enough, 4chan hackers discovered a major exploit which allowed them to hack into Oregon’s voting system and change someone’s vote.
Now, let’s turn to another criterion that US election observers use to critically evaluate the legitimacy of a foreign election.
Deviations in How Each Side Votes
Of all the hot election procedure topics this year, universal mail-in voting, ostensibly in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, has been the hottest.
We were told over and over again this year that voter fraud is rare, that mail-in balloting is secure, and that Republicans are whining only because this thwarts their voter suppression efforts. Funnily enough, when absentee ballots were seen as something which favored the Republicans, the New York Times was more than happy to point out its obvious problems.
While fraud in voting by mail is far less common than innocent errors, it is vastly more prevalent than the in-person voting fraud that has attracted far more attention, election administrators say.
In Florida, absentee-ballot scandals seem to arrive like clockwork around election time. Before this year’s primary, for example, a woman in Hialeah was charged with forging an elderly voter’s signature, a felony, and possessing 31 completed absentee ballots, 29 more than allowed under a local law.
The flaws of absentee voting raise questions about the most elementary promises of democracy. “The right to have one’s vote counted is as important as the act of voting itself,” Justice Paul H. Anderson of the Minnesota Supreme Court wrote while considering disputed absentee ballots in the close 2008 Senate election between Al Franken and Norm Coleman.
Voting by mail is now common enough and problematic enough that election experts say there have been multiple elections in which no one can say with confidence which candidate was the deserved winner. The list includes the 2000 presidential election, in which problems with absentee ballots in Florida were a little-noticed footnote to other issues. [New York Times]
Perhaps 2020 New York Times should have listened to 2012 New York Times?
Indeed, a different 2012 op-ed in the New York Times went even further, arguing that the elimination of absentee ballots provides more election security than requiring IDs at the polls.
One would be hard pressed to uncover a single case over the last few decades in which impersonation fraud had the slightest chance of changing an election outcome — unlike absentee-ballot fraud, which changes election outcomes regularly.
Let’s put our foreign election observer hats back on. During the 2009 Iranian election, opponents of the regime were urged to vote in different locations than supporters of the regime. Western media concluded that this made the election susceptible to fraud.
“Excitement and wishful thinking may have combined with an underestimation of the scale of possible electoral fraud, though there were warning signs there, too: a senior ayatollah was rumoured to have issued a fatwa sanctioning moves to ensure victory for Ahmadinejad, and Mousavi supporters were advised to vote in schools rather than mosques or Basij militia offices.” [The Guardian]
The media obviously finds such voting behaviors indicative of fraud when talking about foreign elections, as it makes it especially easy for those in charge of the vote-counting procedures to skew the outcome by treating the different groups of ballots differently.
The Media Controls the Narrative, which Defines Reality
Perhaps the most important feature of how US/Western observers and governments write about foreign election fraud is their focus on the way the local media describes the process. In these countries, the governments control the media. These governments want to crack down on their opponents’ ability to coordinate. During the 2009 Iranian election, Western media described “restrictions on foreign and domestic journalists, reported disruptions of mobile phone networks, limited accessibility of some internet sites, mass arrests, and clashes between civilian protestors and [government] forces.”
During the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the President’s Twitter page was littered with censorship and warning labels.
Twitter blocked a NY Post article showing how Hunter Biden had leveraged his father’s position in his business dealings in Ukraine. Working in lockstep with the favored candidate to suppress information which reflects him in a bad light is essential to rigging elections.
Facebook — which, like every other tech and media company, views itself as the government, and President Trump as the opposition — even banned a #StopTheSteal group coordinating pro-Trump political activism.
Countless Trump supporters were deplatformed from major social media sites. Google unilaterally removed Breitbart from their search results for the query “Joe Biden.” Media ghouls like Brandy Zadrozny were sicced on Trump supporters who dared to question the regime’s narrative.
Now let’s return to the report about Ukraine’s 2004 election and see how it applies to today.
Deputy Assistant Secretary Steven Pifer, described in detail the many problems in the electoral campaign, including … a near-monopoly of media attention for Yanukovych; violence and intimidation directed against independent media outlets; and eleventh-hour attempts to change the Ukrainian Constitution to extend the current authorities’ hold on power.
Every American patriot is now familiar with the reality of media interfering with the ability of the opposition candidate to speak and trying to shut down independent media outlets and voices.
Just recently, the New York Times was forced to correct a tweet on Tuesday after the paper initially claimed that “the role of declaring the winner” in the presidential election “falls to the news media.”
“The role of declaring the winner of a presidential election in the U.S. falls to the news media. The broadcast networks and cable news outlets have vowed to be prudent. He’s how it will work,” The Times’ verified account tweeted to accompany a link to an article about how the media will report election results. [Fox News]
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg gave an interview, months ago, telling us what they were going to do.
Big Media and Big Tech told us they were going to censor the opposition, and they did. After all, as our own media reminds us (when talking about other countries), to finish the job of stealing an election one must squelch the ability of opposition activists and supporters to organize.
Strange Statistical Anomalies
Analysts of Russian elections have spent a lot of time developing statistical models to detect the extent of fraud. These analyses often involve looking at bizarre turnout statistics or even things like unusual number patterns.
Mainstream institutions consider the American President “toxic,” and the Republican National Committee can’t be bothered to look into statistical anomalies, so the work of digging into the data is left to anonymous internet users. They’ve uncovered some fascinating things.
The most damning analysis for this election is undoubtedly from Twitter user Shylock Holmes, who alleges the following:
-During the late night vote tabulations which occurred in Milwaukee, Democrats wildly outperformed.
-Rather than Trump losing votes to both Democrats and third-party candidates late at night, the average difference in each dump between Trump and the third-party candidates, compared to the election day counts, averaged zero. In other words, Dems outperformed Trump and all third party candidates, while Trump’s performance with respect to the third party candidate did not vary from election day to the late dumps.
-Meanwhile, this seemed only to hold true for races which were competitive, e.g. the Presidential race, but did not seem to apply to various Congressional races where the Dem candidate was going to win comfortably.
-Critically, the Dem over-performance seems to vary with the net significance of any particular vote, at that time.
-In other words, this is entirely consistent with the hypothesis that, realizing they were losing, Democrat operatives filled out fake ballots in a hurry and didn’t bother voting on less contested races. [Twitter]
Indeed, the increase in Democrats relative to Republicans is significantly higher when the Democrat is doing worse overall in early counting. Within each ward, late votes break more heavily to Democrat in exactly those races where they are likely to affect the result.
— Shylock Holmes (@shylockh) November 7, 2020
This is a powerful line of reasoning which should be investigated further. If this holds up to peer review, it is likely the strongest statistical evidence yet that something was profoundly unusual about the ballots counted during the early hours of the 4th (the day after the election).
It strongly appears that, during the middle of the night, the ballots counted all of a sudden just happened to favor Democrats much more dramatically than before. Non-competitive races were impacted far less drastically.
We have an idea of what fair elections are, here in the United States. We also have an idea of what they aren’t. We are told that elections in places like Russia, Ukraine, Iran, and Latin America tend to fall into the latter category.
Our own critical standards toward other countries are less than honest. They tend to be applied more to advance our geopolitical agenda than out of any objective, ethical consideration for defending democratic norms.
But the hypocrisy works both ways — just as we might stringently apply standards to other nations for ulterior geopolitical purposes, so do we tend to give ourselves a pass because of the outdated notion that election fraud just isn’t the sort of thing that happens in America. The critical exercise of evaluating the American 2020 election as a foreign observer allows us to temporarily suspend the “halo effect” and realize just how far our nation has slouched toward third-world incompetence and corruption.
The fact pattern presented above strongly suggests that if the 2020 election had taken place in a foreign country, American observers would cast serious suspicion on the legitimacy of the outcome.
Every American has an obligation to ensure a fair outcome in the election, and to demand that every legal vote and no fraudulent votes be counted in the final tally. If the perception of widespread voter fraud is allowed to persist, no serious person will ever trust an election outcome in this country again. If we allow the corrupt American regime to overturn the legitimacy of the American President and the American people, there may be no turning back from the darkness that will follow.
To Make America Great Again we must secure our vote and secure our victory. This is our sacred obligation to ourselves and our posterity. Never give up. Never back down. And never concede.
Mark Chatham is a Software Engineer and Data Analyst who, for now, resides in California. He can be reached at [email protected]
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