Monday, May 9, 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…

This  piece, now revised, makes two decisive points which are not elsewhere in the literature:1)that the U.S. State Department uses initial exit polling as a test for the fairness of elections in 14 cases abroad. Initial exit polling is an easy check for fraud.  2) that in the US and in the US alone, the Edison Group doctors what then become so-called exit “polls” to fit the “results” of electronic machines which leave no paper trail.   But that practice inverts what exit polling is designed to do: warn us when the machine-recorded “results” are mistaken or fraudulent. That practice licenses theft rather than being a test to reveal it....In sections 5-8, I cite, in detail, US AID and Edison polling documents to underline these points.

       How big an effect does this Edison group malpractice about exit polling have on the Democratic primaries?  In 2016, exit polling reveals the “results” in New York, Massachusetts and Illinois to be false.  Sanders, not Clinton, won the latter 2, and was at the least, very close in New York.  He was also close in Ohio.  And even Clinton’s margins in Alabama and Georgia, while still a landslide, are off by roughly  10-14 points.  Even in the South,  a substantial number of delegates would shift to Sanders...

       See also the companion essay on Joseph Lenski's contradictory statements about exit polling.  Lenski is Executive Vice President of and sole spokesperson for Edison Research  - the monopolist of exit polling in American primary and Presidential elections.


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

    On Tuesday, April 19th, as Wolf Blitzer unusually kept repeating on CNN in the early evening, the exit polls in New York showed that the Clinton/Sanders race was within 4 points, 52-48…


          Sanders had came out of nowhere; he started at 3% to Hillary’s 70%.  He had just won 8 of the last 9 contests.  If former Senator Clinton were to lose New York or only  barely beat Sanders,  it would have been humiliating  for her.  It would also have been devastating for the universal stereotype in the corporate media that she is an “inevitable” nominee. She is not.   She would have been – she plainly already is - a  weak candidate for the Democratic Party to nominate.  


         In addition, Hillary has not done well in the debates.  According to figures from “unscientific” polls, the results  are 80%-20% or better in favor of Bernie.  This polling is ignored on CNN panels “discussing” the debate.    Clinton and Deborah Wasserman-Schultz of the Democratic National Committee, scheduled the fewest possible debates for Saturday night or other odd times…

     But the results of these “unscientific polls” are, of course, consistent with Sanders” coming from 60 points down in pre-election polling to beat Clinton in many states and drawing even in recent national polls.  They are consistent with the fact that when many Democrats and independents, knowing the world-famous Hillary Clinton, get to see Bernie Sanders, they prefer him.


       For Bernie is a man of integrity who has spoken up for ordinary people with a bold program since being elected to Congress (for some 30 years).  He has named inequality – the oligarchy of billionaires.  As a startling innovation in the democratic process, Sanders takes no money from corporations.  His average contribution is $27.  Yet Sanders outraises Clinton, with her special events for wealthy corporate donors each month.  


       Sanders fiercely opposes Citizens’ United, and stands up for Eric Garner and other innocents killed by the police (Clinton is good on this issue, too).  He is for a minimum wage of $15; here, Clinton tries to imitate him, but still clings to $12 over several years.  Sanders is against climate change and fracking (Hillary was Secretary of State/Fracker all over the world).  Sanders is courageously for the dignity of Palestinians, a first in a New York or American Presidential primary debate.  He is against regime-change.  In contrast, in 2009, Hillary shielded a military coup which destroyed democracy in Honduras.  She did this even against the advice even of her aide Ann-Marie Slaughter and the American ambassador.


       Sanders demands free public college – a dramatic reduction of student-debt -  and advances many other parts of a Franklin Delano Roosevelt program.  In contrast, Bill Clinton was the great imprisoner of young blacks and Hillary once spoke of them as “superpredators.” Bernie is, in many ways, a breath of fresh air.


        Bernie’s emergence from nowhere to plausible nominee is the greatest story of this election season.  It is a shocking anomaly for a 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.’.  And after the New York “results,” the media reports on Sanders now only to try to end his candidacy…


      In contrast, the corporate media has made Trump the leading candidate among Republicans, receiving a vast amount of free publicity. Yet it did its level best - every single commentator and columnist from the New York Times to MSNBC  to CNN- to bury Sanders’ candidacy, not mentioning his name if possible.


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


     In addition, Sanders had a string of huge rallies in all the boroughs of New York, including 25,000 in the South Bronx.  That crowd was overwhelming black and latin people.  According to the corporate media, Bernie supposedly doesn’t appeal to non-white voters.  But listen to Rosario Dawson at that rally here, here and here.  Sanders had 28, 000 and another 20,000 lined up along the street at Washington Square Park.  Obama had had an amazing, thought to be unsurpassable 24,000 there in 2008… Bernie had 25,000 in Brooklyn.

        Hillary Clinton had a big turnout of 1,200.


      On April 19th, Wolf Blitzer repeated the initial exit polls because they indicate the rough margins (within 2 and ½ points) of the actual vote.  In this respect, as we will see, they are reliable.  Further, they are routinely used by the State Department to test the fairness of elections abroad.


        But  Hillary desperately needed a “big win” in New York to stem the tide.  And 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 a fierce primary with so much at stake, New York reported the second lowest primary turnout – 19.7% of eligible voters – in this election cycle.  See here and here.    


         That was because thousands of people had their registrations lost or removed without notice.  They were turned away or cast uncounted affidavit ballots. Polls opened at 12 instead of the customary 6AM, old election machines worked slowly or malfunctioned, long lines kept people waiting until many gave up…Count affidavit voters, however, and the percentage would go up...


        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 and a second one has since been fired.   That is, however, but the tip of the iceberg of even a pre-voting story.  Note that this story does not yet reveal the additional fraud of a marked discrepancy between initial exit polls of actual voters and electoral “results”…


        But glaring pre-voting irregularities can go together with false reports on the recorded “election.”  To review these briefly, first, arbitrary disenfranchisement begins with an Elections Secretary in Brooklyn (King’s County) who stripped 126,000 people from the voter rolls.  She did this probably in exchange for a big payoff on an apartment in 2014 (see the Wall Street Journal Story here and her firing after the election here).  The payoff came from a New York politician and “superdelegate” for Clinton. 


      Note: that Hillary knows anything about these specific abuses is doubtful.  Many of these things can have been done at the initiative of a corrupt Democratic Party 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, a reasonable inference to the best explanation - Gilbert Harman’s widely accepted characterization of induction - with now quite a lot of evidence, is to some major coordinated  push….


      Second, pre-voting exclusions include switching of or losing party registrations without informing people.  Lots of Sanders voters suffered from this in Arizona as well as New York. No Clinton supporter reports being eliminated…If this were random error, that is a statistical impossibility.


      Francesca Rheannon is an election judge in East Hampton.  She  reported that as many as 25% of those who came to vote in her district  were barred from voting through loss of registration. These were mostly Sanders supporters. In contrast, but 2 Republicans were.  That suppression, Rheannon says, is way atypical even in New York.  She also suggests that 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…



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.”


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


       Third, the attempt at hobbling Sanders’ candidacy before any votes were cast also included a normal barring of independents by the Democratic Party in New York.  Officials even barred  anyone who has not registered as of 6 months ago (October).  And in New York, Republicans – ever hostile to voting rights… - join in.  So, once again, a mere 19.8% of eligible voters voted in the New York primaries, second only to Louisiana…..

          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 affects exit polling.   That is an initial – an important word, as we will see - polling of those who actually voted.


         On CNN, Wolf Blitzer was able to call 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 ordinarily the case.  But strangely, the Democratic race was not called until 30% of the vote had been “counted,” because as Blitzer kept reiterating as if surprised,  the initial exit polls showed Clinton 52-Sanders 48. 

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

         As State Department/USAID guides to fair elections say, exit polling is a basic tool. The US has routinely challenged 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


        But in the US itself and only in the United States, deviations between initial exit polls and so-called recorded “votes” have become a glaring problem.  In comparative perspective, these dubious results became the elephant in the room for establishment enablers. For exit polling is the test for fair elections. Further, the significance of these deviations is not just about this particular race.  Instead, voting on Diebold/ES&S machines raises the deepest questions about the right of each citizen to vote and, startlingly, about the extent to which America is, in fact, a democracy.


       In 2016, one corporation, the Edison Group, has a monopoly on exit polling for the 6 major media outlets.  Further, only in the United States, Edison adjusts exit polling to “fit” the machine results.  In contrast, abroad, a large discrepancy  between exit polls and actual votes would immediately be seen, by the State Department and the United Nations, as an alarm for possible fraud.  And in elections abroad, the Edison group does but one exit poll, as voters leave…


     But inside the United States, without offering any public justification, Edison inverts so-called exit polling to legitimize whatever appears on machines. That is an adjustment to possible theft.   Yet Edison and media consortium of CBS, BBC, ABC, CNN, Fox and the AP commentators assert, falsely, that these are still exit “polls.”


          Outside of rural communities, Americans no longer cast paper ballots.  Instead, voting is often “recorded” on machines which are made by companies, owned by Republicans, and with private proprietary codes. In 2004, Walden O’Dell, the owner of Diebold Election Systems, publically swore to George W. Bush that he would win in Ohio…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 the security of the code they use. Yet no questioning or debate about this ever occurs in the corporate media. 


       In addition, these machines prove easy for computer experts to hack.  This was shown by Holi Hursti and checked by Berkeley computer experts for Diebold machines in 2004.   It was resonantly named “the Hursti Hack,” except by corporate media which remain silent…See here, here and here.


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


      For there have been major, suspicious results of American Presidential and other elections, according to exit polling,  most notably, in the 2004 “election” of W.  There were wide swings  of 6-8 points from the initial exit polls in Florida, Pennsylvania and crucially, in Ohio, which were wildly improbable, statistically speaking, as well as widespread protest from below.


      Now, there have been some “improvements.”  Some “optical scan” machines have a tape where the voter can at least see how her vote was cast and if not hacked, leaves a tape which could be randomly checked or recounted.  For instance, this has been true in Colorado after protest from below in 2006.


       To avoid opprobrium after O’Dell announced for Bush,  Diebold renamed itself Premier Election Systems.  Then ES&S took it over. Still, in 2013, Diebold was fined $50 million for “a worldwide pattern of criminal conduct, “ according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  See here  and here.  It seems bribing officials to buy American machines, was also part of that corporation’s modus operandi.  And then, why not throwing elections…?  One might think this would have been a nationwide story.  Really, as Mel Brooks might say, you can't make this stuff up...


        Yet no effort has come from the Democratic Party itself to obtain public ownership of the machines or shine a spotlight on proprietary codes.  The Democrats have not sought to have the codes reviewed by an independent committee of experts.  Changes have come slowly, with protest from below, often by computer experts (Representative Rush Holt of New Jersey did raise objections).    In 2007, California stopped using “touch screen” machines (ones which leave no paper trail).  See here here's_ban_on_electronic_voting_machines    Yet there are constant attempts, both from corporations who want the contracts and from foolish or corrupt politicians, to adopt machines.


       In contrast, the democracies of Europe, led by Germany, shun them… 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 at stake and ultimately, thrown because of it.  But the leadership squelched this effort.


     Now ATMs give each of us banking slips with exact information about what is in our account. This is  comparatively secure – for individual consumers.  Seemingly, it strikingly contrasts with voting machines.

       But even ATMS allow errors.  Banks, however, pay most of the costs.  That is why they charge transaction costs of $3-4 per withdrawal and more for exchanges abroad.  If consumers had to pay for errors, no one would use the machines…  And “phishing” attempts are precisely directed at fraud here. 

    As David Jefferson, a computer expert with Lawrence Livermore Laboratory and Verified Voting, puts it:

      “Why do security experts say that ecommerce transactions are not safe when millions of people do them every day, mostly without problems? The question needs to be refined: “Safe for whom?” and “What degree of safety is required”? E-Commerce transactions may be relatively safe for consumers, but they certainly are not safe for financial institutions or merchants. Banks, credit card companies, and online merchants lose billions of dollars a year in online transaction fraud despite huge investments in fraud prevention and recovery. People have the illusion that ecommerce transactions are safe because merchants and banks don’t hold consumers financially responsible for fraudulent transactions that they are the innocent victims of. Instead the businesses absorb and redistribute the losses silently, passing them on in the invisible forms of higher prices, fees, and interest rates. Businesses know that if consumers had to accept those losses personally most online commerce would collapse. Instead, they routinely hide the losses, keeping the magnitude secret so the public is generally unaware. It’s a good business strategy.”


    So each of us has, to some extent, but an illusion about safety even in commerce.  Yet for machines in elections with a secret ballot, even more drastic possibilities of fraud arise.  In banking exchanges, both a card user and the bank have all the records – name, account number, where the transaction occurs, amount, and the like.  If contested, these are checkable in a court of law.   In contrast, for secret ballots, a machine only records the vote with no tie to a specific registrant.  That is why there is very likely no way currently – short of hand counting paper ballots - to ensure fully that the machine tally of the vote is accurate.   See here.

Thus, only exit polls provide a serious check against fraud.


        Further,  “touch screen” electronic machines often eat our votes, leaving no paper trail.  And even for “optical screen” machines, there are often  no paper ballots and  no review of the machine tapes, let alone independent or nonpartisan audit.

      Sometimes, as in New York, Massachusetts and Illinois in 2016, these machines produce “results” remarkably at variance with initial exit polling.  Anywhere else in the world, the US State Department judges such a discrepancy as a sign of massive error or tyranny …


     So the phrase “actual ballots” or “counted votes” does not indicate – except, once again, for the check provided by the initial exit polls – anything real.  


         In contrast, German elections insist on actual paper ballots and count them slowly (it usually takes a day).  But they 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 exit polls. German elections are plainly more honest  than what exists in the United States To name this contrast is, for an American,  embarrassing.   


       Now in America, there are also “optical scan” machines which leave a countable paper record.   These are not as good as hand counted paper ballots.  They still have secret proprietary codes, and, on the face of it, can  be hacked, but it is somewhat less likely.  See, however, David Jefferson, computer expert with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Verified Voting Foundation’s disturbing, “If I Can Shop and Bank Online, Why Can’t I Vote Online?,” here and Barbara Simon, chairperson of the Board of Verified Voting, advisor to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and past-president of the Association for Computing Machinery. Simon wrote a striking allegory: “What if Volkswagen [with its program to activate pollution control only when being tested] made Voting Machines?,” See Note 1 below.


     In addition, for poor communities, particularly those mainly of latinos, blacks and indigenous people, many machines are 10 years old (ask yourself whether you would use a computer that was 10 years old…).  They are at best slow.  And cities establish fewer voting places and a smaller number of machines per person than in upper-middle class suburbs.  Hence, there are often long lines.  These are a great inconvenience for those going to or returning home from work…


    Such practices amplify the main deterrent to voter turnout in America; unlike Europe, we vote on a workday, Tuesday, not on the weekend…


      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.  Democratic practices in America are also weaker than those of Brazil, Argentina, and Rwanda…

      “According to 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.”


      Now elections are the most public function in a democracyBut imagine a government selling elections to a private elections company, with secret, “proprietary” programs no one can check and often leaving no independently verifiable paper record.  Imagine one whose chief executive campaigns, like Walden O’Dell in 2004, for one of the competitors.  Imagine a country where the appearance of corruption is so great; yet the news media and the opposing party raise no public outcry about these practices.  Imagine a country which uses some hand-counting in rural areas and “optical scan” machines which leave a paper record, as in Colorado or California, but where many states use old, “touch screen” machines which are easily falsified.  And all of this diverse malpractice is subject only to pressure from movements of individuals, including some experts, from below…

       Are such practices 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 to verify results in  elections abroad

    Eric Bjornlund and Glenn Cowan wrote Vote Count Verification: a User’s Guide for Funders, Implementers, and Stakeholders.  That pamphlet was prepared by Democracy International for US AID in 2011.  US AID is part of the State Department.  All the material cited is at pp. 52-54.  Here is what they say about exit polling as a test of the fairness of elections.

    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.  U.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."


     Note how extensive the use of exit polls was as a test for fraudulent elections by the US government in 14 cases abroad was…Can Secretary of State Hillary Clinton not have learned what a discrepancy between initial exit polls and final results shows?


        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."


       That describes Europe, particularly Germany. But it is not a description of the United States.  For American corporate media refuse to acknowledge the importance of initial exit polling.  Instead, without comment or question in their reporting and even on discussion panels, they tolerate dummied up pseudo-“polls” to fit final tabulations on machines. 


       Now, voting studies have been a center of political science since 1948 and a source of high paid consultants.  Polls today, however, particularly given the use by most people under 40 of cell phones, are notoriously inaccurate.  Note, even the Nate Silver group “predicted” a Bernie Sanders victory in the Michigan primary as terminally unlikely…

     In contrast, actual exit polling is done by having pollers ask questions to those who just voted.  Exit polling, asking pople who they voted for, is nearly always accurate.  It is the most accurate feature of both opinion polling and political science.


       Pseudo-exit “polls,” however, are done privately by “election officials.”  Without talking to any voters, they arbitrarily change the comparatively accurate results of polls taken by random methods with actual voters…Further, these pseudo-polls adjust real exit polls to shadow machine “results.” For these “results” often have no paper trail and are not checkable.  Worse yet, they are quite easily switchable.  As judged in cases abroad by the State Department, the Edison/American media procedure validates at least error, and more likely, theft.


     The Edison group has a monopoly on polling for the 2016 primaries…In fact, it is paid money by the New York Times and other media companies for its illicit shifting of so-called exit polls in the direction of fraud by naming new iterations “exit polls.”   Can it be true that the New York Times does not know about the role of initial exit polling in American foreign policy?  


     Does the Times no longer employ reporters on American policy abroad who can tell them this news? [the International Herald Tribune is partly owned by the Times and uses some of the same reporters and columnists.]


     And is there no child, among all these editors, reporters, panelists at CNN and MSNBC, to ask the obvious question about the “Emperor’s New Clothes”?  For the Edison company inverts exit polling as a test, and intentionally, adulterates “polls” using whatever numbers come up on the machines…


     Yet Edison also conducts exit polls routinely abroad.  There, they do no successor “polls” based on final machine “reports.”  


        Consider the long  p.1 of the Edison group report of its monopoly of contracts for exit polling in 2016 American primaries.  This is followed by an exact account of how it used initial exit polls to predict the Iraq election of 2014.  The Report also explains what its methodology for talking with actual voters was. See here and Note two below.

     There is no mention in Edison’s list of American primaries, of its planned use of successive “exit” polls, doctored by machine, "results." There is, of course, no whisper of such a procedure for the Iraq case.  None occurred.

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

       How bad are falsified American 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. [Yet] 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) [Wednesday morning], 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-
1307 respondents 9:03pm
 Vote share
Final EP: 1391 respondents
Adjusted Vote share
Change: +84 respondents

        This excellent comprehensive analysis confirms that THE NY PRIMARY EXIT POLL USED IMPOSSIBLE ADJUSTMENTS TO MATCH THE RECORDED VOTE (see Note 2 on Hatlem’s breakdown of the figures below)


       Similarly, according to exit polls taken by the Edison Group, Clinton lost Illinois.  But on votes reported on machines in Chicago, she “won” Illinois narrowly.  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 the 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 the 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 its tally to square with the electoral result, even though the [initial] hand-count tally was off by 70 votes [he reassigned to] 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 ironically emphasizes recent American "errors" to cast doubt on exit polling

         Bjornland and Cowan 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


     “More familiar to Americans”?  The name is familiar, but the practice in the United States by the Edison Group is the opposite of  real exit polling: their supposed non-reliability only for American elections, and the subsequent unjustified doctoring of them by the Edison Group, wrongly renaming the latter “exit polls”...Read the last clause over and you will see how hilarious and revealing the Report is.


    Bjornland and Cowan then explain what happens when exit polls are done competently (I comment on the table below in the last section, but it is worth examining now):

        “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 represented 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. “

    Once again, the methods can be perfected to a high degree of accuracy, compared to other kinds of polling.  Exit polls are a check on fraud, as in Iraq in 2014.


    And yet Bjornland and Cowan  then say, again bizarrely, that it is American experience alone which makes exit polls "controversial."   Their Report was  funded by US AID.  Thus, they cannot even hint at obvious fraud in the United States.  But this is a stunning anomaly for the otherwise widespread and unproblematic use 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.”

      But of course, such polls will, by definition, be “controversial” to illicit victors when they challenge erroneous results.  That is what such polls are designed to do: shine a bright spotlight, if need be, on theft. 

       But that exit polls reveal fraud in some major American elections does not mean that exit polls are “problematic.” Rather they indicate that something is wrong in those elections.  Bjornlund and Cowan’s weasel words underline the corruption which often surrounds American elections.  Recall the Harvard study which ranks America not only below Europe but below Brazil, Argentina and Rwanda…


       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 straightforwardly about what exit polling is a without revealing the Edison Group's bizarre practice of  revision on behalf of mistake, fraud, theft. Revising initial polls to fit machine “results” is a systematic, bizarrely anti-democratic practice. 


     Why do the corporate media 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 according to State Department policy, 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 the 2016 election, Bernie won Massachusetts, Illinois, and perhaps New York according to exit polls.  Given very large deviations from the original number, sometimes 10-14%,  and substantial deviations beyond the margin of error, Sanders won a sizable number of delegates even in Alabama and Georgia.  Eliminating pre-voting fraud - changing voters’ party registration, losing registrations, changing times and locations of caucuses, cutting back voting places and the like - Bernie probably won New York (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 Doug Johnson Hatlem (Counterpunch):

      Very large discrepancies  in the direction of Clinton occur 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 strong signal of election theft -  there are unusual reports of fraudulent voting behavior by Democratic Party election officials in big cities, all in the direction of Hillary Clinton.  These reports are similar to the pre-voting abuses in New York.

       The Margin of Error statistics show how far the discrepancy is outside of the greatest deviation for Clinton possible based 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 (say within two and a half points). The margin of error shows how far the machine results are beyond even the most favorable deviation, 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, 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 in favor of Clinton and outside the margin of error by 2.6%. Sanders won Massachusetts.

      In Illinois, the exit poll showed Sanders winning 50.7% to 48.4%.  That  would have been an especially important victory for Bernie.  It would have derailed the media narrative.  It would have allowed ordinary voters to make clear their will. But 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 suspicious.  Listen again to the Chicago Board of Election meeting above.  Very likely, Sanders won Illinois.

       In Georgia and Alabama, as the exit polls revealed, Hillary Clinton did win large majorities.  Still, a further, massive transfer of votes occurred to her, 7.0% and 7.9% beyond the Margin of Error.  Consider how many delegates removing this "error" would shift from Hillary to Bernie.  Such shifts would yield more delegates for Sanders than either a victory in Massachusetts or Illinois, for example.  Start recalculating delegates on the basis of discrepancies/margins of error skewed 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  6.25%.  Once again considering all the pre-voting exclusions – even just counting the so-called affidavit ballots - would have given Sanders the victory.

      Richard Charnin draws an ever grimmer picture (note 4).  Disregard of exit polling rather than Koch brothers funding of "Republicans" is a main reason for “Red shift” of the House and Senate. It would be heartening for democracy in America if this were wrong.  But the failure to take exit polling seriously by a corporate-muzzled media gives no argument why initial exit polling is wrong...

Note one -

Sep 25 2015
Barbara Simons

      Volkswagen stock plummeted today, because of accusations by the Environmental Protection Agency that VW uses software that turns on its emission control device when the software detects that one of its diesel cars is undergoing emission testing. When not being tested, the software disables the device, thereby causing the car to spew as much as 40 times the pollution limit of the Clean Air Act.

   Like VW cars, modern voting machines contain software that is tested before use in elections. It would not be difficult to write voting machine software that would, like the VW software, know when it is being tested, and thus behave correctly during testing but not during an actual election. If such behavior were detected after an election, the vendor stock would plummet, but so would voter confidence in the outcome of the election. Furthermore, in the case of some voting systems that cannot be legitimately recounted, such as paperless voting machines or online votes, there would be no way to determine after the election if the declared winners were the actual winners.
In order to avoid a VW-type scenario for our elections, we need to have paper ballots and post-election ballot audits that check the computers used in voting machines and either verify that they behaved correctly or determine the correct winners by counting the paper ballots.
VW may be able to weather a drop in stock prices and a massive recall, but there is no way to conduct a recall of our Presidential and Congressional elections. America cannot afford a VW-style election.

     As section 9 shows, exit polling underlines that in the Democratic primary “elections,” several have already occurred…


Note two: Douglas Hatlem’s report of successive exit “polls” in New York

“Here’s the deal, though. The sample size grew in the last two renditions of the exit polling by just 24 respondents, first from 1367 to 1383 when I took several screen shots for my liveblog just after 11pm eastern and then to 1391 as of Wednesday morning. Over the same period, Clinton’s lead grew by 10% from 18% with Latinos to 28%. Her lead also grew by 10% among those 45 and over and [her deficit] shrunk by 12% with those under 45.  In exit poll version (2), Sanders led with white people (59% of the vote) by 9%, in exit poll (3) by just 2%, and now with exit poll (4) it is tied.

This would be possible and reasonable with a very large growth in sample size, but, as you might imagine, is mathematically impossible without serious data fiddling in this instance. Sanders lead with the same sampling grown by just 1.8% dropped by 12% overall, by nine percentage points with men, by 12% with young voters, and by 9% with white voters. Meanwhile, Clinton’s lead with Latin voters grew from 18% to 28% and with black voters by 2%.

Apparently, the last 24 respondents to exit polls yesterday were all Latina or black female Clinton voters over 44, and they were all allowed also to count more than double while replacing more than one male Sanders voter under 45.

To put this plainly: the numbers add up to 341 18-44 year-old voters for Sanders out of 1367 total respondents as of 9pm exit polls, version (2), that said it was a close race. By the next morning, the maximum number of Sanders voters 18-44 in the same data had dropped to just 313. Edison Research removed twenty-eight young white male Sanders respondents and has given no public explanation for the same. The initial overall exit poll, +4 or +5 Clinton, was outside the margin of error for the final result, Clinton +16 with 99.6% reporting.

I have attempted to contact Edison Research for a response. Yesterday afternoon, I was patched through to the voice mail of Joe Lenski, co-founder and Executive Vice-President of Edison. He has not responded and other calls and emails have also gone unanswered. I will update this piece if anyone from Edison responds.”


Note three:  Edison Reports 2015

      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)
Al-Ahrar consisting of followers of Muqtada al-Sadr (Party List #214)
Al-Muwatin led by Ammar al-Hakkim (Party List #273)
Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) (Party List #213)
Matahidoun led by parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi (Party List #259)
Al-Watiniya led by former Prime Minister Ayad Alawi (Party List #239)
National Reform Alliance (Jaafari) (Party List #205)
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) (Party List #266)
Gorran (Movement for Change) (Party List #234)
Al-Arabiya led by Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq (Party List #255)
Al-Fadiylah (Party List #219)
Civic Democratic Alliance (Party List #232)
Iraq coalition (Party List #262)
Diala Hawyatna (Party List #246)
Seats allocated to minorities
Undetermined seats from Anbar
Other Undetermined seats
Total seats in Parliament

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.”


Here is a list of the primaries the Edison Group reports or will report in 2016, on p. 1 just above the report of the Iraq exit poll.  Again, there is no 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.”


Note four – the Nate Silver-Richard Charnin debate

     In 2008, Nate Silver did a reasonable job predicting the actual results in different states, combining and assessing the work of other pollsters (he doesn't do polling, himself).  He was then lionized in the commercial press, and published a column in the New York Times.  On November 4, 2008, on 538 blog, he published a flip, self-serving “Ten Reasons why you should ignore exit polls.”  Some exaggerate some real difficulty with exit polling.

        But his point 2 states, as if it were obvious why this should be the case, that Exit polls have consistently overstated the Democratic share of the vote.”     Silver then offers, without so much as a comment, the Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida “results” in 2004  – all 6-8 points off” to challenge exit polling. His point 3 bald-facedly states:  Exit polls were particularly bad in this year’s primaries. They overstated Barack Obama’s performance by an average of about 7 points. But were they?

      Silver assumes that there is and can be no electoral fraud in the United States. That is a curious assumption... 

       If right, Silver should campaign for the State Department to correct its use of exit polls abroad…

       But note also: if Silver were right, there would be no test even in cases where stealing of elections is obvious…

       A baseball statistician, it is quite possible that Silver did not know about State Department policy and of course, reading the Times would be no help…

     In 2012, Richard Charnin offered 25 rejoinders. See here and here.  He provides reason to suspect that many Republican "victories" have come not mainly because of special funding, but because of wide exit poll/machine deviations.  These are particularly stunning in the actual 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), the bipartisan - and corporate media - betrayal of American "democracy" is shocking. See, for instance, here and here.  Silver has not deigned to reply…

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

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