Thursday, April 28, 2016

Initial exit polling is a check on stolen elections – or why, in any other country, the U.S. government would have blown the whistle on the New York primary…

   
             1.  Exit Polling is a check against stolen elections, except in the United States

    Last Tuesday, the exit polls in New York repeated, as Wolf Blitzer unusually kept reiterating on CNN in the early evening, that the Sanders/Clinton race was within 4 points, 52-48…

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          Sanders, who has came out of nowhere (started at 3% to Hillary’s 70%), had just won 8 of the last 9 contests.  If Clinton were to lose New York – the state where she had been Senator for 8 years - or only  barely beaten Sanders,  it would have been humiliating, desperate for her.  It would also have been devastating for the official, no deviation-permitted  stereotype in the corporate media that she is an “inevitable” nominee. She is not.   She would have been – she plainly already is - a very weak candidate for the Democratic Party to nominate.  

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         In addition, Hillary has not done well in the debates.  According to figures, not reported widely in the media from “unscientific” polls  are 80%-20% or better in favor of Bernie, a pretty constant result.  Clinton and Deborah Wasserman-Schultz of the Democratic National Committee), had scheduled the fewest possible debates for Saturday night or other odd times (initially 6; this has gone up to 9 because of pressure from Sanders supporters and others).  But these results, of course, are consistent with his coming from 60 points down in polls to beating her in many states, and drawing even or ahead in the recent national polls.  They are consistent with the fact that when many ordinary Democrats and independents get to see and find out about Bernie Sanders, they prefer him.

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       Bernie is a man of integrity who has spoken up for ordinary people with a bold program since being elected to Congress (for some 40 years).  He has named inequality – the oligarchy of billionaires – and , as a startling innovation in the democratic process, takes no money from corporations – his average contribution is $27.  Yet he outraises Clinton with her wealthy corporate donors each month.  

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       Sanders fiercely opposes Citizens’ United, stands up for Eric Garner and other innocents killed by the police (Clinton is good on this issue, too), for the minimum wage of $15 (here, Clinton now tries to imitate him, but still keeps to $12 over several years), against climate change, against fracking (Hillary was Secretary of State/Fracker all over the world), for the dignity of Palestinians (again, a first in a New York or American Presidential primary debate), against regime-change (Hillary destroyed democracy in Honduras against the advice even of her aide Ann-Marie Slaughter and the American ambassador), demands free public college – a dramatic reduction of student-debt,  and advances many other parts of a Franklin Delano Roosevelt program.  As Bill Clinton who was the great imprisoner of young blacks and Hillary once spoke of them as “superpredators” (she does not now, though she can’t bring herself to apologize for this), Bernie is, in many ways, a breath of fresh air.

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       Further, Bernie’s emergence from nowhere to plausible nominee is the greatest story of this election season and a shocking anomaly for a muzzled commercial media reporting ritualistically only in small type below blaring reports about Trump that “Sanders wins but…Clinton has an [supposedly] insurmountable lead among unelected ‘superdelegates’” (these include lobbyists).  And with New York and Pennsylvania’s results, they report on Sanders today only to end his candidacy…

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      In contrast, the corporate media made Trump the leading candidate among Republicans, receiving a vast amount of free publicity (including some hostile) while doing its level best (every single commentator and columnist from the Times to MSNBC) to bury Sanders’ candidacy, through not mentioning his name if possible.

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      And yet Sanders still comes on.  Bernie is far closer to Hillary Clinton in terms of elected delegates than Cruz is to Trump. 

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     In addition, Sanders had a string of huge rallies in all the boroughs of New York, including 25,000 in the South Bronx (overwhelming black and latin people, whom Bernie supposedly doesn’t appeal to, according to the corporate media – listen to Rosario Dawson at that rally here, here and here – 28, 000 and another 20,000 lined up along the street at Washington Square Park here (Obama had had an amazing, imagined to be unsurpassable 24,000 there in 2008…), 25,000 in Brooklyn, and so forth.

        Hillary Clinton had a big turnout of 1,200.

        Hillary desperately needed a “big win” in New York to stem the tide.  So it was for the Clinton machine (Democratic National Committee/corporate media) all operatives go, all tricks enabled…

2. How in so heated a primary, could the Big Apple have had the second lowest primary turnout, 19.7%, higher only than Louisiana?

      In one of the fiercest primaries with so much at stake, New York reported the second lowest primary turnout – 19.7% of eligible voters – in this election cycle.  Only Louisiana was worse.  See here and here.    

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       But that was because thousands of people had their registrations lost or removed without notice, were turned away or cast uncounted affidavit ballots, polls often opened at 12 instead of 6AM…Count affidavit voters and the percentage would go up...

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        And though the city, run by the Democratic Party, illegally and immorally stripped 126,000 voters in Brooklyn – Diane Haslett-Rudiano, the head election official, was fired two days afterwards – that is but the tip of the iceberg of even a pre-voting story (a story which would not reveal additional fraud according to initial exit polls)…

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        First, unusual, arbitrary disenfranchisement begins with a Elections Secretary in Brooklyn (King’s County) who stripped 126,000 people from the voter rolls probably in exchange for a big payoff on an apartment in 2014 (see the Wall Street Journal Story here and her firing here)  The payoff came from a New York politician and “superdelegate” for Clinton.  Note: that Hillary knows anything about specific abuses is doubtful ; many of these things can have been done at the initiative of corrupt Democratic apparatus without central prompting.  No conspiracy is needed to see that votes have been stripped and flipped for Clinton.  But if there are too many such instances, as with the stereotypical media coverage, no Sanders people invited, a reasonable inference to the best explanation - Gilbert Harman’s characterization of induction - with now quite a lot of evidence, is to some major coordinated  push….

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      Second, pre-voting exclusions include switching of or losing of party registration without informing people.  Lots of Sanders voters suffered from this in Arizona as well as New York; no Clintonista was eliminated…But that is a statistical impossibility if this were random error.

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      Francesca Rheannon, an election judge in East Hampton reported that as many as 25% of those who came to vote in her district - mostly Sanders supporters - were barred from voting through loss of registration (in contrast, but 2 Republicans were). And that suppression, she says, is way atypical even in New York (a similar thing happened last night in Pennsylvania…).  She also suggests that, as if someone used age broadly, or more likely, had access to Democratic National Committee lists of supporters, those who were thrown off were overwhelmingly likely Sanders voters…

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MY EXPERIENCE AS A POLL WORKER THE EPIC FAIL OF A PRIMARY

I just got off my 17 hour shift as an election official in East Hampton, NY. I am from this area and went canvassing for Bernie for 4 days here. While canvassing, I found overwhelming support for Bernie in my middle class area -- nearly every house where I actually talked to voters (about 40% of the houses), almost all were for Bernie.

But today at the polls, many of those had disappeared from the voter roll book. In my own ED district, which is the district I was working in, out of 166 Democratic voters, 39 were forced to file affidavit ballots. (ONLY 2 Republican voters had to file affidavits.) That's close to 20%. Let that sink in for a moment.

Many of these voters were long term registered Democrats -- some were in couples where one person was on the rolls and the other was not. Most had not moved since the last election and had voted in the most recent elections.

Hillary won by 11 votes in my ED -- not counting affidavits. THE AFFIDAVITS MUST NOT ONLY BE COUNTED, THEY MUST BE ALLOWED.

It was impossible for me, an election official, to get a straight story on whether the affidavits would be counted. The "coordinator" -- the top person at the site -- let slip that they count the affidavits "proportionately". If she is correct, that means, I assume, they take a sample of the ballots to count. Not all. If that sample is based on the proportion of official ballots cast, then I imagine it would just reproduce the first results WITHOUT the affidavits.

But it's worse than that. If the voter has been purged from the Board of Elections rolls -- like 125,000 Brooklyn voters were -- then it seems the affidavits (because no one could tell me for certain WHAT would happen to the affidavits -- are not counted. If you can't prove you are a registered Democrat, then you won't be counted, it seems. (If you received a voter card, you have some proof. But not everyone did or they may not be able to retrieve it.)

The ruling that came down from the emergency voter protection suit was no remedy. It allowed for getting a court order to vote. The nearest judge is more than an hour from here. And I was strongly discouraged from even informing voters that a court order was an option (I had to fight to be able to tell people of their right to a court order.)

Finally -- this was NOT business as usual. This was my second election. The last one I worked at, exactly ONE voter needed an affidavit ballot in my ED. Every poll worker there, at all the ED tables (there were 4) was shocked at the number of voters who were not on the rolls. Many have been working for years -- and had never seen anything remotely like this.

The whole purging and affidavit process needs to be investigated on an emergency basis BEFORE the election results are decided. Bernie's folks need to be on top of this. They need to fight for an honest election. They owe it to us who have worked so hard for them.”

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      Listen also to an interview with Rheannon and one other poll worker, here

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       Third, this attempt at hobbling Sanders’ candidacy before any votes were cast included the ordinary barring of independents by the Democratic Party in New York  as well as anyone who has not registered as of 6 months ago (October).  They did so, despite vast complaint, including a legal case the last two days before the election, among the many whose registrations had been lost or had the party affiliation changed.   But independents overwhelmingly favor Sanders which is why he polls better against Republicans and would be a far stronger candidate in the general election. 

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       Yet even aside from the public good of supporting democracy (except during civil rights protest, the American parties have never been honorable about this),  Democrats mostly benefit from people voting in their primary and then in the general election…

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      And Republicans – ever hostile to voting rights… - join in in New York.  So a mere 19.8% of eligible voters voted in the New York primaries, once again second only to Louisiana…..

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        How bad is the corruption in New York?  In 2008 primary, there were two districts in Harlem that were recorded “officially” as casting 0 votes for Barack Obama.  See here and here.   They were no doubt “swept” by Hillary Clinton, as the New York Times and MSNBC would hasten to report…


          3.  Still, among those who were allowed to vote, exit polling provides a unique antidote to corruption

        But none of this range of abuses cited above – all giving an advantage to Clinton as every error in Ohio in 2004 pointed to Bush (see the John Conyers report on the Ohio election for the House of Representatives) – affects exit polling.   That is an initial – an important word, as we will see - polling of those who actually voted.

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        That Sanders was only 4 points behind – 48-52 -  in an exit poll of a voting population that already excluded independents and all these “lost registrations” of experienced Democrats/Sanders supporters, underlines just how weak  Clinton - and her Democratic apparatus/corporate media supporters – are.  It highlights how extraordinary  their maneuvers to make her appear viable are…Public distrust of Clinton, in polls, or the gap between favorable and unfavorable ratings is already high     and, with the doubts about primaries in Arizona, Illinois, Massachusetts, and now New York growing.  See here.  

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         On CNN, Wolf Blitzer called the New York race for Donald Trump immediately and no exit polls were announced (these were consistent with the actual vote, that is, perhaps within a couple of points as is usually the case).  But the Democratic race was not called until 30% of the vote had been “counted,” because as Blitzer kept reiterating as if surprised, and as was also announced on MSNBC – the initial exit polls showed Clinton 52-Sanders 48.


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         But even the so-called “actual,” reported  vote streaming below on the screen was bizarre.  All evening, the ostensible “recorded vote” came in at 60-39.7 for Clinton.  At the very end, it slipped to a margin of “victory” of 15 points, still a huge “11.8%” different from the exit polls.   That is far greater than the wildly statistically improbable 2004 exit poll/”recorded” vote differential – mostly 7% in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania.


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       If you have watched election results in other primaries this year, you would expect voting figures to vary at least some, depending on the areas of the state reporting. CNN and MSNBC expected this, not calling the election until a third of the “results” came in.  Rarely do votes come in, percentage wise, in what is basically a flat line…

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     In addition, with his map of what votes have come in and where, John King gave a picture of how Bernie won most counties in the State, and was pretty close in Buffalo.  The rural counties use paper ballots and are mostly hand counted.  It must have been painful for him not to say something sarcastic (even though he rarely says anything “interesting” as a public persona – like all the others, except Rachel Maddow and on panels, a rare man of insight and integrity, Van Jones).   For there was little variance in the rate at which Clinton was winning until the very end. 

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After 30%, came in, CNN and MSNBC “called” the “election”…

4. The US State Department and the United Nations  use exit polls to guarantee the fairness of elections in other countries

      But as several State Department/USAID guides to fair elections say, exit polling is a basic tool. The US has challenged many elections in former Soviet territories and in tyrannies disfavored by the American government, based on the deviation between exit polling and so-called “recorded votes.”  Recall: Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State

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      In the US itself and only in the United States, however, deviations between initial exit polls and so-called recorded votes have become an enormous, one might say glaring problem.  In comparative perspective, these dubious results became the elephant in the room for the establishment (Democratic and Republican)/media enablers. Exit polling is the test for fair elections. Its significance is not just about this particular race; this practice raises the deepest questions about the right of each citizen to vote and, startlingly, unexpectedly, about whether America is a democracy.

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Therefore, the Edison group which does all the actual polling and press commentators, keep their mouths firmly shut about its significance.

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     For in America, voting is often “recorded” on machines which leave no paper trail, are made by companies, owned by Republicans (Diebold publically swore to Bush that he would win in Ohio in 2004), and with private proprietary codes.  No election official, no candidate, no newspaper, and most importantly, no independent or bipartisan board of experts is allowed to see what happens or evaluate how it works.  No debate about this ever occurs in the corporate media.  These machines prove easy enough for computer experts to hack quickly, as was already shown by Holi Hursti (- the famous “Hursti Hack” except in the commercial media - and checked by Berkeley computer experts) for Diebold machines in 2004…See here, here and here.

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     To ask a question about this is to explode a stick of dynamite... 

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      For there have been major suspicious results according to exit polling,  for instance, in the 2004 “election” of W. with wide swings (6-8 points from the initial exit polls in Florida, Pennsylvania and crucially, in Ohio, wildly improbable, statistically speaking), and widespread protest from below.

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      Now, there have been some “improvements.”  Some machines have a tape where the voter can at least see how her vote was cast (this is ostensibly true in Colorado after protest from below in 2006).

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     Further, ES&S, a firm with an anesthetized name (if you name a corporation, the Election Machine Company, people might want to know something…)  has taken over Diebold.  In 2013, Diebold was fined $50 million for “a worldwide pattern of criminal conduct, “ according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  It seems bribing officials to buy (and then why not, throwing elections with?) these very American machines, is part of that corporation’s modus operandi.  One might think this would have been a nationwide story…you really, as Mel Brooks might say, can't make this stuff up...

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       And yet no effort has come from the Democratic Party to question this or obtain public ownership and knowledge of the machines or shine a spotlight on proprietary codes – have them reviewed by an independent committee of experts - or get any assurance whatever that such machines – the democracies of Europe, led by Germany, shun them… - in fact, cannot be rigged.  I raised this issue in Colorado local, county and state conventions in 2004 as a central issue the Democratic Party should fight on, as did many others.   It was not to be  just to be another, idle point in the platform.  After all, that election was both at stake and ultimately, thrown because of it.  But the leadership disregarded/squelched this effort.

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     Now ATMs give each of us banking slips with exact information about what is in the account. This is secure and accurate.  How to do this is not “rocket science.”  And yet electronic voting machines often eat our votes – once again, no paper ballots, in many cases, no review of the machine tapes, let alone independent or nonpartisan audit -– and sometimes, as in New York last Tuesday and in Massachusetts and Illinois and Ohio (I could find no exit polls released yet on Pennsylvania…) - produce “results” remarkably at variance with initial exit polling, an infallible sign of error or tyranny, as judged by the US State Department,  anywhere else in the world…

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     So the phrase “actual ballots” or “counted votes” does not – except for the check provided by the initial exit polls – anything real (except in rural Massachusetts where they counted ballots).  That is why the UN and the State Department/AID, often use initial exit polls to assess the broad fairness of an election.

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       In contrast, German elections, which have actual paper ballots, count them slowly (it usually takes a day), but announce the results just after the election  through exit polling - except when the contest is within the margin of error, about 2 and one-half points of the polls - are, at the least, plainly more honest than what exists in the United States.  To name this contrast is, for an American,  embarrassing.   

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       No wonder, a Harvard study of fair elections just this month found that democratic practices in the United States are weaker than in any of the European democracies and much lower even than Brazil and Argentina…

      “According to the the Election Information Project’s Year in Elections Report 2015 here U.S. elections scored lower than Argentina, South Africa, Tunisia, and Rwanda — and strikingly lower than even Brazil. Specifically compared to Western democracies, U.S. elections scored the lowest, slightly worse than the U.K., while Denmark and Finland topped the list.”

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     Now elections are the most public function in a democracy.  Imagine selling elections to a private company, with “proprietary” programs no one can check, and often leaving no independently verifiable record.  Is this remotely consistent with government that honors “the public trust” as that term is used in the constitution of the United States…?  

 5. The State Department routinely uses exit polls routinely to verify results in  elections abroad

    Here is what Eric Bjornlund and Glenn Cowan say about the role of exit polls in checking the fairness of elections abroad in Vote Count Verification: a User’s Guide for Funders, Implementers, and Stakeholders, prepared by Democracy International for US AID, which is part of the State Department, in 2011.  All the material cited is at pp. 52-54.

    Exit Polls

 In recent years, domestic and international organizations have increasingly turned to exit polls to verify the officially reported results in the transitional elections of emerging democracies. Outside observers have credited exit polls with playing a key role, for example, in exposing fraud in Serbia and Mexico in 2000, Georgia in 2003, and the Dominican Republic and Ukraine in 2004.3U.S.- funded organizations have sponsored exit polls as part of democracy assistance programs in Macedonia (2002), Afghanistan (2004), Ukraine (2004), Azerbaijan (2005), the West Bank and Gaza Strip (2005), Lebanon (2005), Kazakhstan (2005), Kenya (2005, 2007), and Bangladesh (2009), among other places."

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     Note how extensive their use as a check on or test for fraudulent elections by the United States government in 14 cases was…Can Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose experience and quickness of mind for taking in detail has recently been underlined by President Obama and Senator Elizabeth Warren,  have missed their crucial importance, as an American/nonpartisan tool or be clueless about what the discrepancy between initial exit polls and final results on voting machines shows?

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        Bjornland and Cowan continue:

“Exit polls have long been employed in developed countries to quickly predict the outcome of elections. If conducted in countries with a history of democratic elections and in which citizens have reasonable confidence in their own safety and security, then well-designed exit polls can serve as an effective method for projecting election results."

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       That describes Europe. But it is not a description of the United States.  For how come all the corporate media refuse to honor initial exit polling and tolerate – without comment or question in their reporting, and even on their so-called discussion panels - the dummying up of “exit” pseudo-“polls” to fit final tabulations on machines? 

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     Actual exit polling is done in a precise manner by having people asking questions to those who vote.  Voting studies have been the center of political science since 1948, and a source of high paid consultants.  Polls today, particularly given the use by most people under 40 of cell phones, are notoriously inaccurate, for instance, even the Nate Silver group about Michigan primary.  But exit polling, done just after people vote, is nearly always accurate.  It is the jewel of both opinion polling and political science.

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       Pseudo-exit “polls” are done by “election officials,” arbitrarily changing the results of polls taken by random methods with actual voters, by shifting “votes” from one candidate to the other, without actually talking to any voters…These are no exit polls at all.  These pseudo-polls  have no justification, except adjusting real exit polls to shadow (often without a paper trail and thus, switchable) “results.”  As judged in cases abroad by the United States AID, this procedure validates at least error, and more likely, theft.

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     Edison group does all the polling for these primaries.  There is no competition…In fact, it is paid money by the New York Times to do/apologize for  this illicit shifting of so-called exit polls in the direction of fraud by calling new iterations “exit” polls.   Can it be true also that the New York Times does not know, ostrich-like about the role of exit polling in American foreign policy?  

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     Does the Times no longer employ reporters abroad – even in the International Herald Tribune which it owns - who can tell them the news, allow them to break their silence on this issue?

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     And is there no one, among all these editors, reporters, panelists at CNN and MSNBC to ask the question about the “Emperor’s New Clothes”:  that the Edison company inverts exit polling as a test, and intentionally adulterates “polls” using whatever numbers come up on the machines – and then purport to provide – new “exit” polls?

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     Edison does exit polls routinely abroad.  There, they do no successor “polls” based on “final reports.”  They use this bizarre practice only in the United States.  And since there are no intellectual justification for this – it is what it appears to, legitimizing error or fraud on machines that leave no paper trail or on which results can be easily altered -   - they do not mention it.

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       Note the long  p.1 of the Edison group report of its monopoly of contracts for exit polling in 2016 American primaries followed by an exact account of how it used initial, that is real exit polls to predict the Iraq election of 2014 and what its straight-forward methodology for talking with actual voters was. See here and  appendix one below)

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     There is no mention in Edison’s list of American primaries, of its use of successive “exit” polls, doctored by “actual,” that is machine, "results," nor even a whisper of such a procedure for the Iraq case. 

      6. Bizarrely that is, impossibly falsified New York and Chicago "exit" polls

      And how bad are these falsified polls? Here is statistician Richard Charnin’s summary of an analysis of the New York primary based on an article of Doug Johnson Hatlem at Counterpunch:


        "The UNADJUSTED exit poll [in New York] indicated a close race. Hillary led  by just 52-48%,  an 11.8% discrepancy from the recorded vote.  There were 1391 respondents and a 2.6% exit poll Margin of Error. Clinton led by a whopping 62-38% in the vote count with 33% of precincts reporting.

      At 9:03 pm, there were 1307 exit poll respondents, Clinton led the actual count by 680-622 (52.0-47.6%). With just 84 additional respondents (1391 total), Clinton’s lead increased to 802-589 (57.7-42.3%). She had 122 additional respondents and  Sanders had 33 fewer.

         How can Clinton gain 122 of 84 respondents? How can Sanders’ total drop?  They can’t. It is mathematically impossible. Therefore the final vote has to be impossible as well. The exit poll was forced to match the recorded vote with impossible adjustments. 

CNN Exit poll- Gender
Clinton
Sanders
1307 respondents 9:03pm
680
622
 Vote share
52.0%
47.6%
Final EP: 1391 respondents
802
589
Adjusted Vote share
57.7%
42.3%
Change: +84 respondents
 +122
 -33




        This excellent comprehensive analysis confirms that THE NY PRIMARY EXIT POLL USED IMPOSSIBLE ADJUSTMENTS TO MATCH THE RECORDED VOTE http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/04/21/new-york-primary-why-is-exit-poll-data-adjusted-to-match-final-voting-results/

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      Clinton lost Illinois according to exit polls.  She “won” Illinois narrowly, depending on reported votes (mostly on machines) in the Chicago vote.  Citizens challenged these "results" (listen to a youtube of the hearing here):

      “In one example noted during video, 21 Bernie votes were erased and 49 Hillary votes added to audit tally in order to match machine count. In this one precinct, this change from the actual results accounted for nearly 20% of overall votes cast. The actual tally was 56.7% in Bernie's favor. After count was manipulated by machine he lost with 47.5% of vote. A whopping 18.4% swing.

After this hearing, the results were not changed. They remained at the machine counted / “adjusted” hand-count original tally.

…[The hearing] was an audit to check voting machine performance only. It was not an official electoral  recount and will not change the election outcome.

The contention in question was that a CBOE [Chicago Board of Elections] employee carrying out the recount of an early voting machine simply corrected their tally to square with the electoral result, even though the hand-count tally was off by 70 votes in favor of Clinton.

Other electoral observers at the meeting testified they had seen similar behavior on the part of other CBOE employees conducting the audit — for example, counting ballots up to a predetermined number found by the machine, then ignoring additional ballots beyond that number that showed the machine undercounted.

There’s no way to know how egregious the errors in the machine count and their purported audit were without further investigation and research.

Needless to say, such work is unlikely to occur.”

7.  The US AID Report emphasizes recent American "errors"

         Bjornland and Cowan in the Democracy International/US AID continue:

“Exit polls have become more popular because they are typically less expensive and more straightforward to implement than PVTs [“parallel voting tabulations” from a small number of sites] and are generally more familiar to Ameri-

p. 53

Exit Polls and Public Opinion Research

cans.”

     “More familiar to Americans”?  The name is familiar, but the practice here by the Edison Group is the opposite of exit polling: their supposed non-importance or nonreliability in American elections and the doctoring of them by the Edison Group, accepted by the New York Times, the AP and the rest of the corporate media...  Read the last clause over and you will see how hilarious and revealing the Report is.

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    Bjornland and Cowan then explain briefly what happens when exit polls are done competently, intelligently (I comment on the table below at the end but it is worth examining now)::
Charnin Chart

        “Exit polls use multistage random sampling. The exit pollster draws a random sample of polling places (precincts) within the relevant jurisdiction. This sample should be selected so that the odds of any polling station being chosen are proportional to the number of voters in that precinct; in other words, the odds of any given voter being rep- resented in the sample should be the same. During the balloting, interviewers stand outside each sampled polling station and randomly select a specified number of voters during the day as they exit from voting. The interviewers do so by counting voters as they leave the polling place and selecting every voter at a specified interval (such as every 10th voter). The interval is chosen so that the required number of interviews will be spread as evenly as possible over the course of the day. “

    The methods can be perfected to a high degree of accuracy, compared to every other kind of poll.  They are a check on fraud, as in Iraq.

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    And yet Bjornland and Cowan  then say, again bizarrely, that it is American experience which makes exit polls "controversial."   They are funded by, work for US AID; thus, they cannot even hint at the obvious fraud,  an anomaly for the otherwise widespread and unproblematic usage of exit polls by American foreign policy – and the  UN – to  judge the fairness of elections.

     “Even in the U.S., where they have a long history, exit polls can prove problematic and controversial.”

     Of course, such polls will, by definition, be “controversial” to illicit victors, when they challenge erroneous results.  That is what they are designed to do.  That exit polls reveal fraud in some American elections does not mean that exit polls are “problematic,” but that something is wrong in the elections.  Bjornland and Cowan’s weasel words here reveal corruption which surrounds American elections; recall the Harvard poll which ranks America not only below Europe but below Brazil, Argentina , Tunisia and Rwanda…

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    Bjornland and Cowan’s Report continues:

      “For one thing, concerns linger that the release of exit-poll results before the real polls have closed may well influence those yet to vote. [this was rare and is no longer done in the US, as any watcher of CNN or MSNBC will know – AG] More important, especially for vote count verification, the reliability of exit polls has been questioned, particularly in close contests. In Florida in 2000, for example, television networks relying on exit polls first called the U.S. presidential race for Al Gore, then later for George W. Bush, only to finally conclude that the results were too close to call. In 2004 exit polls erroneously showed John Kerry leading nationally and in several key states. As one

p. 54

Exit Polls and Public Opinion Research

account put it, “On the afternoon of Election Day 2004, the world was abuzz with the news: exit polls indicated that John Kerry would decisively win the election and become President."

8.  The American corporate inversion of reported results and exit polls: taking the thief’s word against the poll…

       Why is this use of machine and deviation of “results” from exit polls not a subject of debate or even mention in the corporate media?  Probably because one cannot talk about what exit polling is and how it is used without revealing the Edison Group's bizarre practice of  revision on behalf of mistake, fraud, theft.  It is a systemic, again bizarrely anti-democratic practice. 

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Why do the corporate media, including the New York Times, have the cheek to judge initial exit polling by the very likely distorted and non-counted “result” rather than, as in every other country and on the word of the State Department (including under then Secretary of State Clinton), the reverse?

***

9.  By exit polls, Sanders won Massachusetts, Ohio, Illinois and probably New York, and was much closer even in the South where Clinton prevailed, but by smaller amounts 

     In this election, Bernie won Massachusetts, Ohio, Illinois, and probably New York on exit polls.  Given very large deviations from the original number, sometimes 10-14%,  and substantial deviations beyond the margin of error, he won a sizable number of delegates even in Alabama and Georgia.  Eliminating special pre-voting fraud - changing voter's party registration, losing registrations, changing times and locations of caucuses, eliminating voting machines and the like - Bernie probably won (he certainly won if independents were allowed to vote). In any case, reports of "Clinton"'s lead in delegates have no merit...

Look at this table from Tim Robbins' tweet and Doug Johnson Hatlem (Counterpunch):
Charnin Chart
























     These are often very large discrepancies  in the direction of Clinton in 17 cases. In 2 cases, Wisconsin and Oklahoma, discrepancies  favor Sanders (1.9% in Wisconsin, 6.1% in Oklahoma).  In addition to the statistical unlikelihood of this contrast - a blatant signal of election theft -  there are unusual reports of fraudulent voting behavior by the Democratic Party in big cities by election officials, all in the direction of Hillary Clinton.

       The Margin of Error statistics show how far the discrepancy is outside of the greatest discrepancy for Clinton possible on the exit polling itself (since the exit polls show a result based on a series of samples, they test for a range of reasonable results). The margin of error shows how far these results are beyond even the most favorable result, in each case, for Clinton.  If patterns of deviation  from the initial result are strongly in one direction and accompanied by unusual, fraudulent voting practices (eliminating the ballots of Democratic voters through registering them in other parties or with no dates), even results at the edge of a reasonable distribution become suspect.

     Those which go beyond the margin of error  are fascinating.  In Massachusetts, exit polls saw Sanders win 52.3 to Clinton's 45.7.  The recorded vote shifted in the direction of Clinton 50.11%-48.69%, an 8 point discrepancy for Clinton and even outside the margin of error by 2.6%. Sanders won Masschusetts.

    In Ohio (no independents allowed), the exit poll showed Sanders winning 51.4% to 47.6%.  The reported Clinton victory, 56.5% to 42.7% was a massive 5.7% margin of error.  Sanders won Ohio (and look what that would have done to the reported Clinton "inevitability.")

   In Illinois, the exit poll showed Sanders winning 50.7% to 48.4%, what would have been an enormous moral victory (again, destroying the media narrative, and allowing ordinary voters to make clear their will).  The Edison doctored results were a victory for Clinton 50.48 to 48.7 for Sanders.  This 4.15% shift is within the margin of error, but extraordinarily suspicious (listen again to the Chicago Board of Election meeting above).  Very likely, Sanders won Illinois.

     In Georgia and Alabama, Clinton won large majorities on the exit polls.  But a massive shift of votes still occurred to her, 7.0% and 7.9% beyond the Margin of Error.  Consider how many delegates this "error" would have shifted to Bernie from Hillary (more than in either Massachusetts or Illinois, for example).  Start recalculating delegates on the basis of discrepancies/margins of error in Clinton's direction, and her "lead" disappears.
   
    In New York, Clinton won the exit poll 52 to 47.6, but the discrepancy in the reported "vote" was 57.95 to 42.  The Margin of Error here was an enormous 6.25%.  Once again, considering all the exclusions - just counting the so-called affidavit ballots which are being left in the dark - would have given Sanders the victory.

      Richard Charnin has drawn an ever grimmer picture.  Disregard of exit polling and not Koch brothers funding of "Republicans" is the main reason for the shifting of the House and Senate (and of course, this has now been used by Hillary Clinton).  It would heartening if this were wrong.  But the failure to take exit polling seriously in a corporate-muzzled media gives no argument why such polling is wrong...


Appendix one  Edison Reports

      Here is the straightforward and detailed account (no successive exit polls) of what initial exit polling did in Iraq in 2014.

May 1, 2014

Estimates based upon preliminary results from an exit poll for the Iraqi Parliamentary election conducted on April 30th by Edison Research and EIN show that the State of Law Party led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will be the largest party in the next Iraqi Parliament and likely to receive at least 70 seats.  The exit poll was conducted in 17 of the 18 governorates with data from 61,667 voters interviewed at 324 sample polling locations.
These estimates are for 273 of the 328 seats in the Iraqi Parliament.  The remaining 55 additional seats have not yet been allocated based upon the survey including the 15 parliamentary seats from Anbar Province where security issues made it impossible to conduct any exit polling.  Once the seats from Anbar are allocated the number of seats for the predominantly Sunni parties will increase.

Exit poll interviews were not conducted with voters who are part of the Iraqi security forces who voted earlier in the week, Iraqi citizens who voted abroad and internally displaced Iraqis who could not vote at their home polling locations.  These voters are estimated to comprise approximately ten percent of the total expected vote.

In addition to the 15 undetermined parliamentary seats in Anbar there are an additional 40 seats that remain undetermined due to the margin of error related to sampling.  These additional undetermined seats will be allocated to the party list based on the modified Sainte-Laguë seat allocation method.

The estimate of seats for each party in the Iraqi Parliament based upon the exit poll are as follows:
State of Law led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (Party List #277)
70
Al-Ahrar consisting of followers of Muqtada al-Sadr (Party List #214)
36
Al-Muwatin led by Ammar al-Hakkim (Party List #273)
36
Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) (Party List #213)
18
Matahidoun led by parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi (Party List #259)
17
Al-Watiniya led by former Prime Minister Ayad Alawi (Party List #239)
16
National Reform Alliance (Jaafari) (Party List #205)
14
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) (Party List #266)
14
Gorran (Movement for Change) (Party List #234)
13
Al-Arabiya led by Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq (Party List #255)
10
Al-Fadiylah (Party List #219)
8
Civic Democratic Alliance (Party List #232)
5
Iraq coalition (Party List #262)
4
Diala Hawyatna (Party List #246)
4
Seats allocated to minorities
8
Undetermined seats from Anbar
15
Other Undetermined seats
40
Total seats in Parliament
328

Methodology
Edison Research and EIN (The Iraqi Election Information Network) conducted this exit poll on April 30, 2014.
The exit poll was conducted at 324 polling locations among 61,667 voters in all provinces of Iraq with the exception of Anbar. Exit polling in Anbar was disrupted due to security issues that made it impossible to conduct any exit polling. Exit poll interviews were not conducted with voters who are part of the Iraqi security forces who voted earlier in the week, Iraqi citizens who voted abroad, and internally displaced Iraqis who could not vote at their home polling locations. These voters are estimated to comprise approximately ten percent of the total expected vote.
The polling locations are a probability sample within each Iraqi province. Within each polling location an interviewer approached every nth voter as he or she exited the polling location. The exact number of interviews conducted at each location depends on voter turnout and their cooperation.

Iraq parliamentary seats are allocated based on the Iraqi modified Sainte-Laguë method. Seat estimates from the exit poll are calculated for each party and are based on this approach. All samples are approximations. A measure of the approximation is called the sampling error. Sampling error is affected by the design of the sample and the number of people interviewed. Due to sampling error the overall parliamentary seat estimates, using this approach, differ by no more than +/- 2 (based on a 95% interval) for most parties. This means that 95 percent of the intervals created this way will contain the value that would be obtained if all voters were interviewed using the same procedures. Other non-sampling factors are likely to increase the total error.


And here is a list of the primaries Edison reports or will report in 2016, on p. 1 just above the report of the Iraq exit poll and results, again without a whisper about successive or, in reality, doctored polling…

***

In 2016, Edison Research will once again serve as the exclusive provider of exit polling data for the 2016 General Election. In addition, Edison will be providing exit polling data for the following primaries and caucuses:

February 1, 2016: Iowa Caucuses
February 9, 2016: New Hampshire Primary
February 20, 2016: South Carolina Republican Primary, Nevada Democratic Caucuses
February 23, 2016: Nevada Republican Caucuses
February 27, 2016: South Carolina Democratic Primary
March 1, 2016: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont & Virginia Primaries
March 8, 2016: Michigan & Mississippi Primaries
March 15, 2016: Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina & Ohio Primaries
April 5, 2016: Wisconsin Primary
April 19, 2016: New York Primary
April 26, 2016: Connecticut, Maryland and Pennsylvania Primaries
May 3, 2016: Indiana Primary
May 10, 2016: Nebraska and West Virginia Primaries
This list is subject to change. For information on subscribing to the 2016 Exit Polls, contact subscriber sales here.


Appendix 2 –  the Nate Silver-Richard Charnin debate

     In 2008, Nate Silver did a reasonable job with the actual results, combining the work of other pollsters (he doesn't do polling, himself).  He published 10 reasons for faith in polling; his main point is that there is no electoral fraud in the United States. That is an interesting assumption... 

     In 2012, Richard Charnin offered 25 rejoinders, focusing on exit polls.  See here and here.  He provides reason to suspect that many Republican "victories" have come not mainly because of special funding but because of exit poll/machine deviations.  These are particularly stunning in the Obama elections, for instance, exit polling in 2008, recorded Obama with a 60% to 40% victory over McCain.  If right (and I should add if right in one-tenth of the cases Charnin discusses, and I have just given you an argument for why he is  probably right in most), the bipartisan - and corporate media - betrayal of American "democracy" becomes shocking. See, for instance, here and here.

     Nate also does baseball statistics.  It is as if every series were the Chicago Black Sox of 1919 and he reports often crooked results with a touching faith...






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