Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sanders Worried Microsoft Will Rig Iowa Caucus Results

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has sounded the alarm bells over his recent discovery that Microsoft has partnered with both the Iowa Democratic and Republican Parties to provide a technology platform to conduct the caucus vote at hundreds of locations around the state next week. Aides to Sen. Sanders are worried that Microsoft is providing its services for free in order to hijack the Democratic process. Microsoft executives have contributed heavily to the campaign of his chief rival, Hillary Clinton.

This issue of election software being embedded with nefarious code to rig the outcome of elections keeps percolating to the surface in American elections. Anyone familiar with software processes understands the ease with which an election outcome can be fixed. The most troubling case I've observed is the unusual circumstances under which Chuck Hagel came out of nowhere to first win a Republican Senate primary in Nebraska and then go on to win a general election victory that propelled him to the Senate. In both races, Hagel was facing much better known opponents who had been favored to win the race. It wasn't until after the election that people learned Hagel founded and helped run a company whose voting machines were used to tally the votes cast throughout the state of Nebraska.

The manner in which the Iowa Caucus and other caucus elections first came into sharp focus in 2008 when many supporters of Hillary Clinton complained that Obama's campaign was busing in voters from out-of-state to cast votes at the caucuses. Virtually nobody who showed up to vote was turned away regardless of their voting status. Clinton's campaign faced the dilemma of being accused of disenfranchising voters, many of whom were minority voters, if they challenged their right to cast votes at the caucuses. Similarly, Ron Paul's presidential campaign supporters complained of rigged caucus votes in several of the Republican caucus states during the 2012 presidential election.

If Sanders is worried, Donald Trump should be equally as worried. The Bush family is as close to Microsoft executives as are the Clintons. Jeb Bush has been polling in the single-digits out of contention in the Iowa race with Cruz and Trump trading the lead according to recent polls. It would be impractical at this point to make Bush a winner, but the election could be rigged to take the winds out of Trump's sails headed into the New Hampshire primary. Iowa caucus-goers frequently choose a candidate who fails to secure his party's nomination. A scenario under which the vote was rigged to make Cruz the winner and have Bush posting a surprising third-place finish is a more probable outcome. This would better position Bush to make a come-from-behind win not unlike that of John McCain, who had all been written off before his upset win in the 2008 New Hampshire primary. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee won the Iowa caucus that year.


Anonymous said...

Well, we'll see, won't we? Trump has a direct path to 1600 Penn. He knows what he's doing. He's executing flawlessly. He will pull 20% or more of registered Dems just as Reagan did, but for different reasons. Behind the gay screeching, there are millions of middle class, middle of the road Dems who don't say much on message boards but will go out and vote for what they perceive to be real change. They don't share the loudmouth agenda...not even close. They're embarrassed and angry...real, real angry. I know. They will turn out in huge numbers for Trump. Heck, they will vote for Cruz if he gets the nomination and moves to the center like Bill Clinton did from the other side. The smug lefties are walking into a buzzsaw and they're so arrogant that they don't see it. If the evil witch wins, I'm with Bernie. The fix is in. Either way, I see Trump winning. That said, I think he'll be a poor president, but no worse than the community organizer.

Flogger said...

From the Washington Free Beacon article, all I can say is WOW:
Microsoft has been supporting the Clintons years. When Hillary Clinton ran for president in 2008, Microsoft was one of her top campaign contributors: the company’s employees and political action committees donated $184,119.

Microsoft is a regular sponsor of the Clinton Global Initiative, and has donated between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which also sponsors CGI events, has donated more than $25 million to the foundation.

Last year, Microsoft gave between $100,000 and $500,000 to the Center for American Progress, the liberal nonprofit founded by John Podesta, Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff and Hillary Clinton’s current campaign manager. The Gates Foundation chipped in between $500,000 and $1 million.

Records show that Microsoft paid Bill Clinton $175,000 for a speech in July 2010, the same time the company was lobbying the agency run by his wife.
There is even a list of "Nine Fun Ways to Buy Access to The Clintons." The McMega-Media press reports endlessly up to the minute reports on the latest Trumpet, Cruz, Rubio squabble $hillary's web of self serving financial money grubbing is off limits.

Flogger said...

This is interesting from Bill Moyers who writes about the fear the Establishment is in. >> Republican Party aficionado David Brooks > Brooks warned that his current nightmare for the nation is in triplicate — President Trump, President Cruz or President Sanders.

The momentum of the Sanders campaign will soon provoke a lot more corporate media attacks along the lines of a Chicago Tribune editorial that appeared in print on Monday. The newspaper editorialized that nomination of Trump, Cruz or Sanders “could be politically disastrous,” and it declared: “Wise heads in both parties are verging on panic.”

Each party's dalliance with candidates who could be politically disastrous gives the other an opportunity to capture the broad, sensible center. Clinton and Bush, once considered the likely nominees, look the best positioned to do that.

The Tribune says is ‘best positioned’ to ‘capture the broad, sensible center’ — Jeb Bush.

Here is the Tribune editorial title >>> Will Democrats and Republicans go off the cliff?

Honestly, I do not think I have seen the Establishment this panicked since 1968. I saw a movie a few years ago, A Very British Coup, it could be our future.

Sir Hailstone said...

With Micro$oft software operating during this election there's only one thing for sure - The Ol' Blue Screen of Death!

Anonymous said...

Here is my idea to ensure election results can't be rigged while still maintaining the secrecy of the ballot.

1. Every precinct gets a set of paper slips, each with a unique number and barcode. The number would identify the year, precinct, and each slip would have a unique sequential identifier. For example "2016164952100918"... 2016 = 2016 (duh), 16 = Indiana, 49 = Marion County, 521 = polling station ID, 00918 = the 918th voter to show up that day. Sequential numbering is important to simplify auditing.
2. Each voter is supplied with one of these slips upon arrival at the polls. To preserve ballot secrecy, no record is taken of who gets what slip.
3. To vote, each voter scans the barcode and makes their selections. At the end, they confirm their selections and (optionally) get a printout of their selections.
4. Electronic results become public record accessible by anyone online, down to how each slip voted. This way, anyone who saves their slip can check that their vote was tallied properly, and anyone can verify that the reported results add up.

We are well into the 21st century; something like this should be possible, if our voting officials truly cared about a fair and democratic process.