Call In The Quants

Source: AP Photo/John Bazemore

Editor’s Note: This post was co-authored by Bruce Abramson.

Did America just hold a deeply fraudulent election? Many people believe so. Disturbingly few seem willing to vouch for its integrity; instead, they insist that “there is no evidence of fraud.”

Fair enough. It’s actually possible to split that difference. America just held an election featuring many anomalies that have not yet been proven fraudulent. It thus seems obvious that what America now needs is a fraud investigation.

Any inquiry into the integrity of Tuesday’s elections must consider the entire process. Taking things in order, ballots are produced (i.e., printed), distributed (to voters), completed (by voters), transported (via a chain of custody), delivered (to an Elections Board), handled (by a worker), tabulated (by computer or by hand), and reported (as part of the information revealed to the public).

In the 2020 election, nominally under the duress of “ballot access during COVID,” jurisdictions across the country introduced new and untested procedures pushing ballot integrity in precisely the wrong direction—on each and every step. As anyone with any experience in systems knows, new and untested procedures heading into a major event guarantee failure—even if the new procedures are objectively “better” than those they replace. Too many people need to retrain, coordinate their actions, and realign their expectations too quickly.

An electoral system with safeguards would introduce mechanisms designed to protect the integrity of each step. While some of these safeguards are complicated and technical, others are common sense. People who show up at a specific time and place offering an ID are less likely to be acting fraudulently than those who do not. Ballots mailed only to those who request them are less likely to fall into fraudulent hands than to those broadcast to a pre-existing list. Advanced registration using verifiable data reduces votes from ineligible voters.

The 2020 election walked away from each of these safeguards. In 2020, for the first time, many states mailed ballots to everyone on their voter rolls—without first cleaning those rolls. They encouraged people to vote by mail rather than in person. They legalized, popularized, or promoted insecure distribution networks like dropboxes and ballot harvesters. They dropped standard requirements for validating documents, like legible signatures and postmarks and a trusted chain of custody.

The resultant electoral system lacked safeguards capable of ensuring either that every tabulated ballot came from an eligible voter, or that every legal vote placed into the distribution system was tabulated. Because systems designed to ease fraud typically invite fraud, it was predictable and predicted that the tabulations would include most but not all properly cast votes, along with a sizable number of illegal ballots.

Author : Jeff Ballabon

Source : Town Hall : Call in the Quants