31 March 2014

What we got tonight, June 5th, in Wisconsin was the same old stench, coming from the same old corner of the room, even more pungent than usual. If it smells a bit acrid to you, that would be the ashes of your democracy still smoldering. To wit, there was a huge turnout (highly favorable to the Democratic candidate Barrett), in fact they're still waiting in line to vote in Milwaukee and elsewhere nearly two hours after poll closing; and the immediate post-closing Exit Polls had it a dead heat, 50%-50%. But the only place those polls were posted was as a Bar Chart in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Not a single network posted any Exit Poll numbers, though they all have been regularly posting them throughout the 2012 primary season within a few minutes of poll closing. But they all called the race "extremely tight," since they were looking at the same 50%-50% Exit Poll that the Journal Sentinel at least had the courage to post in some format.



In short order, and quite predictably, the race was Walker's, the networks anointing him the winner as the Exit Poll "Adjustment" Process played out. You could actually see it on the Journal Sentinel's Bar Chart: the blue bars shrinking and the red bars lengthening every 20 minutes or so. It will take a bit of visual measuring (because even at the Journal Sentinel the actual percentages appear to have been withheld or buried somewhere I couldn't find them) but the adjustment process was egregious, on the order of an 8-10% marginal disparity between the Unadjusted Exit Polls and the Adjusted Exit Polls congruent to the eventually-to-be-announced "official results."



We've seen this before, election after election, the familiar "Red Shift." And it's the Exit Polls that are always "off," because the Votecounts must always be "on." Except that the Votecounts are secret and in the full control of outfits, with strong right-wing affiliations, like Dominion Voting and Command Central. Votes counted by partisans in complete secret--is this sane?



Today massive robocalls were reported to have been placed to targeted Barrett supporters, telling them they didn't have to vote if they had signed the recall petition, and others that they couldn't vote if they hadn't voted in 2010. An obvious question: is there a bright ethical line between making (whoever actually made them) targeted robocalls telling your opponents' supporters they don't have to vote if they signed the recall petition versus setting the zero-counters on a bunch of memory cards to, say, +50 (for Walker) and -50 (for Barrett) so at the end of the day the election admin sees a "clean" election and you've shifted 100 votes per precinct? Do you believe that operators who have clearly not blanched at doing the first would for some reason blanch at doing the second--much neater and more efficacious as it is?



And if you're thinking "well the pre-election polls predicted a Walker win," you should know that the methodology for all of those polls, even the ones run by left-leaning outfits, was the Likely Voter Cutoff Model (seehttp://electiondefensealliance.org/files/TheLVCM_0.pdf), which disproportionately eliminates Democratic voters (students, renters, poor, minority) from the sample and so skews it conveniently anywhere from 5% to 10% to the right (the pollsters all would have been out of business by now if they had kept using a sound methodology and getting competitive elections wrong with it).



This election was dubbed "the second most important election of 2012;" it will "foretell" November just as the Massachusetts Special Senate Election (Coakley-Brown) "foretold" November 2010. And there was a massive red shift and even more than the usual indicators that it was rigged. Can anyone live with that, just give it a pass, and sleep tonight? Is it that, as Dylan Thomas once wrote, "After the first death, there is no other?"



--Jonathan Simon


Election Defense Alliance