Study shows voting irregularities linked to companies that donated to the Clinton Foundation

Voting irregularities linked to companies that donated to the Clinton Foundation. 

By Axel Geijsel, Tilburg University & Rodolfo Cortes Barragan, Stanford University

“There is no reason to trust insiders in the elections industry.”- Jimmy Carter, 39th U.S. President

Today is the Fourth of July. Millions of Americans are celebrating independence from an Empire that refused to allow our forefathers equal representation in its legislature. We Americans like to believe that in this day and age, we have reached the apex of democracy. Yet, throughout the history of the our nation, millions of people have struggled and fought to have their voices heard and their votes counted. In light of our history of disenfranchisement, where do we stand today? Are all of us heard and represented equally? Or are some more equal than others?

A few weeks ago, we reported that in her contest against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won by a much larger margin in states that do not have a paper trail to the placed votes. We suggested that a targeted electronic drain of Sanders votes may have taken place in these states, as it is there that vote manipulation is easiest to hide. In this new study, we uncover new information that suggests to a concerted effort to swing the election in favor of Hillary Clinton. 

Specifically, we move beyond comparing the official results to the controversial exit polls. Instead, we examine a relatively neglected set of numbers: The expected result based on pre-election polls of likely voters. 337 such polls are listed on the database provided by Real Clear Politics, representing 139,231 voters across 34 primary states.

We found that while the polls were quite successful at predicting Clinton’s numbers in states with paper trails (just a statistically inconsequential 1% difference), Clinton over-performed by an average of 9% in the states that use electronic voting machines but fail to provide paper evidence of this vote:

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Thus, pollsters were quite accurate in predicting the outcome, but only in states where fraud is hardest to hide. This situation is completely flipped in the states where the placed vote cannot be verified, as the vote only ever existed in the machines.

It is quite possible that the vote in these states was, in fact, manipulated. Studies conducted by teams of computer scientists at Princeton, NYU, and UCSD show that the machines from all major companies, such as the AVC Advantage made by Sequoia (now owned by Dominion), have severe security issues and are very vulnerable to network viruses. Despite this fact, there is very little state or federal regulation of the machines, and regulations regarding intellectual property have often prevented independent research.

Apart from the security problems, many researchers have posited that the biggest danger does not come from the outside, but from the inside. Most of the election companies have been mired in controversy, both in terms of conflicts of interest and having been convicted of white collar crime.

The companies have done very little to dispel the controversies, and even added fuel to the fire. For example, in 2003, Walden O’Dell, CEO of Diebold and a top fundraiser for George W. Bush, wrote in one of his fundraising pitches to the Republicans that they were “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President.”

Additionally, in 2008 and 2012 two major candidates, McCain and Romney, were not only financially interconnected with two of the major electronic voting companies, but they were also shown to benefit from severe statistical irregularities in voting patterns. One could ask whether these same patterns are also found in the 2016 primary election.

Interestingly, much information has recently come to light about the Clinton candidacy. Notably, the hacker Guccifer 2.0 released documents which he took from the computer network of the Democratic National Committee. Among these files, one tabulated a list of big-money donors to the Clinton Foundation. One fact has gone unreported in the media: Two of the three companies that control the electronic voting market, namely Dominion Voting and H.I.G. Capital (i.e. Hart Intercivic), are in this list of big-money donors.

To examine the possibility that the products linked to these companies had been used to commit electoral fraud, we borrowed the methodology of a paper by Francois Choquette and James Johnson (C&J). Their paper is based on one of the basic principles in the biological and social sciences: As the amount of data increases, the measurement of the average approaches the ‘true’ average. In other words, as more data is added, the average fluctuates less and less.

What C&J found is that, both in the 2008 and 2012 cycles, this basic principle was violated only in the case of pro-corporate candidates. McCain and Romney kept gaining a greater and greater share of the vote at large precincts, while non-corporate candidates did not. The explanation C&J provide is that if one person (or multiple people) would aim to hack the vote, they may choose to do it primarily where they can have the most influence and where the fraud would also be the easiest to hide. Essentially, they would hack the bigger precincts.

Using the method described by C&J, we analyzed the Democratic and Republican primaries for Louisiana. The reason why we picked this state is because of the strong discrepancy between the likely voter intent and the reported results (which was 12% in favor for Clinton), because of the fact that their statewide data is readily downloadable, and, finally, because each precinct in this state used the same type of electronic voting machine.

When we looked at the results of the Republican primaries, we did not observe that any candidate kept gaining a larger and larger share of the vote at larger precincts (meaning the lines were relatively stable as precinct size increased). However, when we looked at the Democratic primaries, we observed severe abnormalities. Namely, the share of votes that Hillary Clinton received kept increasing (leading to a whopping 25%). This type of statistical abnormality is seen in almost every parish (county). It does not appear in any parish for the Republican primary:

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As such, in Louisiana, a state with solely electronic voting, Sen. Sanders is the only candidate in either party to face an overwhelming disadvantage at larger precincts. Again, this does not simply reflect an urban vs. rural distinction. There are large precincts in small towns and small precincts in big cities.

Why would voters in larger precincts favor one candidate over the other by such a wide margin? We have been unable to come up with a reasonable psychological or sociological reason that would apply only to voters voting in the Democratic primary.

In conclusion, the data suggests that Clinton won in counties and in states where Clinton Foundation donors are responsible for the voting machines. Thus, we strongly believe that the risk posed by unverifiable electronic voting should not be taken. Our country should go back to verifiable voting. An honest election is more important than a day of labor.

We can return to our initial question: Is everyone represented equally in our country? As President Jimmy Carter has written, and as Harvard research has shown, the U.S. has turned into an oligarchy. The votes of the rich seem to weigh more than the votes of the poor. Is this the country we want to leave for our children?

Note: Additional analyses and a response to the critics of our initial report can be found in our Appendix. Lastly, we are both full-time students (with big loans) who are working part-time while doing this research (much more is to come). If you are able to help us in our effort, please visit our GoFundMe. Thank you.


Rodolfo Cortes Barragan

Rodolfo is a doctoral candidate in Psychology at Stanford University. His award-winning research has been featured in major outlets, such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America and the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

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