So it seems that computer scientists and election lawyers have advised the Hillary Clinton campaign to demand a recount in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania because they have found evidence that shows the results “MAY HAVE BEEN manipulated or Shacked.” I emphasize MAY HAVE BEEN because the evidence is not crystal clear. New York Magazine reported:
Last Thursday, the activists held a conference call with Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and campaign general counsel Marc Elias to make their case, according to a source briefed on the call. The academics presented findings showing that in Wisconsin, Clinton received 7 percent fewer votes in counties that relied on electronic-voting machines compared with counties that used optical scanners and paper ballots. Based on this statistical analysis, Clinton may have been denied as many as 30,000 votes; she lost Wisconsin by 27,000. While it’s important to note the group has not found proof of hacking or manipulation, they are arguing to the campaign that the suspicious pattern merits an independent review — especially in light of the fact that the Obama White House has accused the Russian government of hacking the Democratic National Committee.
Before Hillary supporters get all riled up, other experts have said any hacking did not change the election. One of the experts in the magazine article even said that the authors misrepresented what he said and had to clarify his points in a separate article.
Nate Silver at the FiveThirtyEight blog says his team’s analysis says that demographics cost Hillary the election, not hacking:
Without a recount, all we can do for now is look for any meaningful difference in the three states named in the New York article between votes in counties that used paper ballots and votes in ones that used machines. That quickly crossed Michigan off the list: The entire state uses paper ballots, which are read by optical scanners.2 So we couldn’t compare results by type of voting in that state. Instead, we checked the six other states with a margin between Clinton and Trump of less than 10 percentage points that use a mix of paper and machine voting: Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Virginia.
For each county in those states, we looked at Clinton’s vote share and whether it was associated with the type of voting system the county used, based on voting-system data compiled by a nonprofit electoral-reform group called Verified Voting and 2016 vote data from Dave Leip’s U.S. Election Atlas and ABC News.3 It doesn’t make much sense, though, to just look at raw vote counts and how they differed, because we know there are many factors that affect how a county voted, both in those states and everywhere else around the country. So we separated out two of the main factors that we know drove differences in voting results: the share of each county’s population age 25 and older with a college degree, and the share of the county that is non-white.4
J. Alex Halderman, one of the experts in the New York magazine, also countered the article at Medium, writing that the magazine misrepresented his argument and put it out in his own words in his post:
Were this year’s deviations from pre-election polls the results of a cyberattack? Probably not. I believe the most likely explanation is that the polls were systematically wrong, rather than that the election was hacked. But I don’t believe that either one of these seemingly unlikely explanations is overwhelmingly more likely than the other. The only way to know whether a cyberattack changed the result is to closely examine the available physical evidence — paper ballots and voting equipment in critical states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, nobody is ever going to examine that evidence unless candidates in those states act now, in the next several days, to petition for recounts.
Other experts spoke to The Daily Beast about the possible hack. As Shane Harris wrote, “[F]or hackers to have changed the votes in three states would have been even more surprising than Trump’s victory.” Hillary would have to win all three of those states in order to change the election:
“There is zero evidence of tampering right now. Zero,” David Becker, the executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, told The Daily Beast. The simpler explanation for why the vote deviated from expectations and historical trends was that Barack Obama wasn’t at the top of the ticket. The results for Clinton “only look off when you compare them to the Obama elections” in 2008 and 2012, Becker said.
Harris stated that these hackers would have started very early in the election and have people literally on the ground in states that do not use machines by “infiltrating elections offices, and working up to Election Day if not on the day itself.”
In other words, just accept the fact that Hillary was a horrible candidate and stop blaming others for the loss.DONATE
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