How to rig an election

There are many ways to rig an election.

In Spain, the term pucherazo (electoral fraud), dates back to the Restoration of the Borbonic dynasty to the throne from 1874 onwards, with the culmination of Primo de Rivera’s dictatorship in 1923.

There were several ways in which manipulation was done. Sometimes the paper ballots will be hidden in big stew pots (in Spanish, pucheros. Hence the name); and they would then be added or subtracted to the ballot box in order to obtain the desired result.

Other times, the electoral boxes will be placed in impossible locations, especially in rural areas, so people would be unable to vote.

At times, people would manipulate votes via Lázaros. Lázaro is the name of Lazarus of Bethany, which Jesus restored to life four days after his dead. The voting fraud will occur using votes of deceased people to favour a particular outcome. And hence the name Lazarus, since they would resuscitate (at least in paper), to vote.

Lastly, there were the cuneros (cradle). These were people that would register to vote in areas of the country where they didn’t live, nor have any personal life nor political affiliation.

While election rigging still occurs, measures have been implemented to prevent it. For instance, in order to vote, one has to register with the local Town Hall. Nearing the election, every Town Hall issues it’s citizens with a letter telling them which electoral college they have to go to. Each electoral college will then have a list of citizens. In order to cast your vote, you have to show your identification and once your vote is casted, your name will be crossed off the list. Legal foreigners can also vote under the same conditions. If one lives outside the country during the election process, one can solicit postal vote by registering first with the local embassy.

As times move on and technology is being implemented everywhere, election hacking is easier than ever.

One of the earliest records of election hacking dates back to the year 2000. Back then, Republican Congressman Tom Feeney, was accused of hiring Clinton Eugene Curtis, an American attorney, computer programmer and Ex-Nasa and ExxonMobil employee to build a prototype software package that would secretly rig an election to sway the result 51 / 49 to a specified side.

Clinton Curtis testifies in the Senate

In 2006, American radio personality Thom Hartmann, discussed a concerning report that government computer experts were able to hack into the Diebold Nixdorf electronic voting machines.

The Thom Hartmann program

The video hovers over concerns of election rigging during the Republican era of the presidency of George Bush, 43rd president of the United States.

In 2003CBS News reported at the time:

First, there are the three companies that make computer voting machines: Diebold, Sequoia and Election Systems and Software (ES&S), all of which are owned by big GOP contributors. Walden O’Dell, Diebold’s CEO, for example, has signed on as a Bush/Cheney Pioneer, promising to raise at least $100,000 for the campaign

Second are the charges of dirty tricks: Using computer software purchased under proprietary contracts that make it illegal to examine the equipment, votes for Democrats are lost, changed or disqualified.

Third are the paybacks: Republicans get into office, perpetuate the fraud and help advance the causes and stuff the pocketbooks of right-wing Americans.

There are also a number of public officials who have worked for voting machine companies before or after taking office, often in states that have chosen to purchase new electoral equipment. And there’s even some academic back-up: studies by Johns Hopkins University and MIT/CalTech’s Voting Technology Project both show computerized voting systems have major reliability problems.

Source: CBS News

In another 2003 piece, this time by Politico, similar issues were highlighted:

In 2003, an employee at Diebold mistakenly left 40,000 files containing code for the Diebold AccuVote TS, one of the most widely used machines on the market, on a publically viewable website. The computer scientists moved in, and one of the early and formative papers was published on the subject, co-authored by Wallach and led by Johns Hopkins’ Avi Rubin. Its findings were devastating: The machine’s smartcards could be jerry-rigged to vote more than once; poor cryptography left the voting records file easy to manipulate; and poor safeguards meant that a “malevolent developer”—an employee inside the company, perhaps—could reorder the ballot definition files, changing which candidates received votes. The encryption key, F2654hD4, could be found in the code essentially in plain view; all Diebold machines responded to it. (Rubin later remarked that he would flunk any undergrad who wrote such poor code.) “We read the code, and found really, really bad problems,” Wallach tells me, sitting at his Houston dining table. He catches himself. “Actually, let me change that,” he says. “We found unacceptable problems.” Diebold dismissed the report, responding that the code was obsolete, and the study’s findings thusly moot. But the 2003 report catalyzed a small movement: In CompSci departments across the country, vote hacking became a small, insular civic code of honor. Felten’s group at Princeton led the pack, producing some of the most important papers throughout the 2000s.

Source: Politico

A security analysis of the Diebold Accuvote-TS voting machines by Princeton University in 2006, showed the following flaws:

1- it’s possible to steal an election with a Diebold voting machine in under a minute.

2- Anyone with physical access to the machine can put in malicious software to steal votes. This can be easily done by opening up the machine and swapping memory cards and then rebooting the system.

3-The machine will print out incorrect result that gets stored in the memory card.

4-Diabold machines allowed viruses to spread from machine to machine, infecting a memory card and using it to spread to other machines.

5- After the election is over, the vote stealing software can delete itself. There’s no evidence left that the vote has been conducted incorrectly.

In 2010, Dominion Voting Systems Corporation acquired Diebold Nixdorfd. In 2011, Dominion Voting e-machines were in used in 22 states of the United States. Fox News wrote an article demonstrating how researchers were able to hack those machines remotely at a cost of $26.

A must-read article published in 2016, comes from Bloomberg. It explains a decade of buggy machines, fraud, rigged elections and costs.

180 years have elapsed since the first voting machines were used to tabulate votes; and 22 years since the first electronic machines were used in elections. And yet, hacking these machines is as easy as it has ever been.

DEF CON hacking conference – August 2017
Voting Machines Used In 18 States Can Be Hacked In Under Two Minutes – August 2018

In 2016, Trump and his administration colluded with Russia to interfere with the elections and give Donald Trump the presidential win. This is a claim that Trump vehemently denies, going as far as claiming it is “fake news” and a “hoax“. Trump supporters, currently known as Trumpers, the cult of Trump, or Trumpism, also deny the facts and believe, as Trump tells them, that it is “disinformation” put out by the DNC because they were angry that Hillary lost the election.

But here are some facts worth knowing.

  • Hillary won the popular vote with 65,853,514 votes.
  • Trump had 62,984,828 votes.
  • Trump won the presidency on the Electoral College vote by 304 votes.
  • Hillary’s vote from the Electoral College was 227 votes.

From 2014 to 2016, Trump and his associates worked closely with Russia to win the elections. The information comes from several Intelligence Agencies.

In January of 2017, a report drafted by the CIA, the FBI and the NSA claimed that Putin “ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election” aiming to “denigrate Secretary Clinton” and showing a “clear preference for President-elect Trump.”

On April 27, 2018, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released a report written by the committee’s Republicans found no evidence that Trump worked with Russia. However, the report found that Russia tried to meddle in 2016 US election.

“In 2015, Russia began engaging in a covert influence campaign aimed at the U.S. presidential election,” it said. “The Russian government, at the direction of President Vladimir Putin, sought to sow discord in American society and undermine our faith in the democratic process.”

In May of 2017, The Justice Department indicted 13 Russian operatives and three companies on charges related to “information warfare against the United States of America” and interfering with the election to help the Trump campaign.

On July 3, 2018, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence issued a bipartisan report which asserted more evidence of Russia’s meddling in 2016 election.

“As the inquiry has progressed since January 2017, the Committee has seen additional examples of Russia’s attempts to sow discord, undermine democratic institutions, and interfere in U.S. elections and those of our allies”

The above reports involved the following agencies, all of which Trump denies and calls fake news:

1. Central Intelligence Agency

2. Office of the Director of National Intelligence

3. F.B.I.

4. National Security Agency

5. Justice Department

6. Department of Homeland Security

7. House Intelligence Committee

8. Senate Intelligence Committee

In September of 2018, the research institute Atlantic Council, also released a report Defining Russian Election Interference.

In defiance of all the above-mentioned Intelligence Agencies, Trump stood side by side with Putin denying any interference by Russia in the 2016 U.S election.

Trump refuses to denounce Russian meddling in the 2016 election in press conference with Putin

A few days later, Trump issued an statement, no doubt after getting an ear-full from the intelligence agencies, saying that he misspoke at the Helsinki conference and that Russia did interfere with the elections.

Trump makes U-turn saying he MISSPOKE whilst talking about Russia meddling in US elections

While at this particular time Trump backtracked his statement, it is worth noting that ever since, he has referred to the Russian investigations as “fake news”, “Russian Hoax” and “Witch Hunt”, and categorically denies any Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

This comes as no surprise from a man that has made, during the course of his presidency, more than 13 435 false or misleading statements. The most outrageous claims can be viewed here.

So far, 6 Trump associates have been convicted in the Mueller-related investigation in relation to Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Those people are: former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign official Rick Gates, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, and former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone.

Recently, Donald Trump was impeached by the House Judiciary Committee on the charges of Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Justice. Trump withheld Congressionally-approved military aid to Ukraine in order for Ukraine to publicly announce an investigation into his political rival Joe Biden. He also engaged in a campaign of witness intimidation. The findings of the House Intelligence Committee can be found here. The full video impeachment hearings can be found here.

Trump attempted to get Ukraine, and later China, to help him in and ipso facto, meddle in the 2020 presidential election.

Trump says Ukraine and China should investigate the Bidens – October 2019

With regards to the impeachment hearing, Trump appears to have broken the following constitutional laws:

1- Bribery of public officials and witnesses aka Quid Pro Quo. 18 U.S.C. § 201.

2- Obstruction of Congress. 18 U.S.C. § 1505.

3- Obstruction of criminal investigations aka The Mueller investigation 18 U.S.C. § 1510.

4- Tampering with a witness, victim or informant. 18 U.S.C. § 1512.

5- Retaliating against a witness, victim or informant. 18 U.S.C. § 1513.

On November 21st 2019, a leaked audio of the Republican National Lawyers Association of Wisconsin presented a grim picture. The speaker is Justin Clark, a senior political adviser and senior counsel to Trump’s reelection campaign. Other attendees included the state Senate’s top Republican, Scott Fitzgerald, along with the executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party.

Scott Fitzgerald and Justin Clark at RNLA Event 11/21/2019

From the video, the following statements can be heard:

“Traditionally it’s always been Republicans suppressing votes in places”—and “It’s going to be a much bigger program, a much more aggressive program, a much better-funded program” in 2020.

These quotes come from audio of an event at a Wisconsin country club where a Trump advisor briefed influential Republicans on strategy. Trump is personally on board: “He’s committed to this, he believes in it and he will do whatever it takes to make sure it’s successful.”

The video clearly shows an strategy to rig the upcoming elections and give the Republican leadership and unfair partisan advantage. It seems that there is no law that Donald Trump won’t break to win the presidency.

The cries of “fake news” and taking things out of context won’t take long to rise. It is, after all, imperative to give Trump’s base the candy they all want. Everything the leader says is always correct and righteous. Every other news outlet that reports against the president or against his administration is, of course, lying.

However, one is left to wonder why does Ivanka Trump hold trademarks on chinese voting machines. And if somehow there is a conflict of interests between her role as a presidential advisor in which she has a direct influence on White House policy and diplomatic relations.

The trademarks were applied for in July 2016. She received approval on 7th June 2018. The same date that president Trump (Ivanka’s father) agreed to lift sanctions against the Chinese telecommunications company ZTE, a controversial move that the U.S. Senate is currently challenging. The reports came originally from CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington).

At this point, all we can ask ourselves is: do our votes really matter?

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