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Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Fatally Flawed 2016 Democratic Primaries

Democracy Lost: 
A Report on the Fatally Flawed 2016 Democratic Primaries

The title is a 96-page report, sources included, from EJUSA. No, I had not heard of EJUSA, either, until I read a comment by CM-TX on the Treehouse blog here. (If you are planning to work the polls, this report will be of particular interest to you.) The parts of the report that I read through struck me as responsibly researched and digested. In brief, 

Election Justice USA (EJUSA) is a national, non-partisan team of seasoned election integrity experts, attorneys, statisticians, journalists, and activists. The circumstances surrounding Arizona’s presidential primary on March 22nd, 2016—widely acknowledged as one of the most disastrous election days in recent memory—were the lightning rod that catalyzed the formation of EJUSA. Throughout the course of the 2016 presidential primary season, EJUSA has emerged as a leader in the fight for honest elections, pursuing legal action in several states in an attempt to counteract specific forms of targeted voter suppression and election fraud.

Unfortunately, Ohio turns up in the document word search 15 times. Here are two relevant sections:

OHIO Attorney Bob Fitrakis has filed a lawsuit against Edison Media Research asserting that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders actually earned more pledged delegates in the primaries than were shown by the results. The suit seeks the release of raw exit polling data which documents dramatic differences between exit polls and electronic vote totals in eleven states in the 2016 presidential primaries. Exit polls have been adjusted to fit electronic vote totals since 2004, when they appeared to show Kerry winning against Bush. At that time, Karl Rove (then an assistant to George Bush) developed a theory to explain the alleged unreliability of exit polls. After citizens on the internet began to notice wide discrepancies in this election, the exit poll sponsors, The Media Consortium and Edison Media Research, canceled exit polls for all remaining states in the primary season. The lawsuit demands that media organizations release the raw data for the 2016 exit polls for the first time.
. . .
Of ten places where exit polling has missed by more than 7% (South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas, Mississippi, Ohio, New York, California), seven are states where all or the majority of election jurisdictions are using machines ten years old or greater. For six of these seven states (excluding California which only included an early voting poll with a very large discrepancy of 14- 22%) the average initial exit polling miss is a whopping 9.98%.

Bear in mind, this report analyzes the Democrat Party primary voting. I vote in Cuyahoga County, I mark my choices on a paper ballot that is fed into a scanner for tabulation. At least in that case, there is a paper trail that can be used to reconcile votes cast with final results. That will not be the case in many other counties. Scary.

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