Electronic Fraud in the 2020 Election: More Likely than Not

 

Cheating in elections is as old as–well, as old as elections. Cheating in elections using paper is as old as the use of paper in elections.  Are we supposed to just assume that cheating in elections using computers is going to be much younger than the use of computers in elections?

I have now come to believe that it is more likely than not that there was electronic cheating in the 2020 election, but this is a defeasible conclusion — meaning that my reasons for thinking this could easily be refuted.

Oh This Is Bad Oh No GIF - Oh This Is Bad Oh No This Is Bad - Discover & Share GIFsDespite its eventual inevitability, it still comes as a jarring paradigm shift for me merely to entertain the idea that such a thing might be true.  I knew America had problems, but I didn’t think one of them was that our elections are so bad as all that. But there is an argument that it is true.

A very simple argument, but also, once again, defeasible: The electronic side of America’s elections is so terribly insecure that it’s difficult to say concerning a close election whether electronic cheating didn’t nudge the winner over the finish line; in this terrible state, it only takes a little evidence to render it more likely than not that this is just what happened; and, unfortunately, we do have a little evidence.

Before Going into Detail, Let’s Outline that Argument Again

The place to begin is not a pleasant one: We have to recognize that we know next to nothing about our elections.  It’s not that we know there was electronic cheating. The tragedy is that we don’t know that there wasn’t.

Ockham’s Razor does not apply here. There’s no default setting here that says, “It didn’t happen.” The default setting is: We’re blind and in the dark with little or nothing to go on. Odds start at about 50/50. And in this situation, even a little bit of comparatively weak evidence nudges things one way or the other.

We may only have a little evidence. But we do have it. So it’s more likely than not that it happened.

So Why Do We Know Nothing?

you don't know anything gifs | WiffleGif

Read my recent post, “The Voting Machines Need To Go,” for a more detailed commentary on the backstory. Briefly, there are three things wrong with the voting machines that destroy trust by destroying trustworthiness. But that’s only the rotten fruit of the problem. The poisoned root is that we don’t know what’s going on in these machines.

They count votes using ratios–56% Trump to 44% Biden with 100 votes . . . or maybe with 113 votes.

They use secret code.

They have online connectivity.

Let’s zoom in on that last one.

A report from a Michigan Senate committee clarifies (see page 22). Many–but not all–of the voting machines do connect to the internet. It’s for reporting results fast, and the modems are supposed to be switched off during the vote count.

Seems safe enough, except for a point made by Father Brown in the writings of G. K. Chesterton: A reliable electronic system needs to be used by an unreliable system–a human being, the most unreliable of all systems.

This, of course, is why we’re supposed to have processes to make unreliable people into reliable people. Courtroom rules and processes. Ways of fact-checking used in history and science and journalism.  In elections, witnesses and transparency and clean, documented chains of custody.

So are there rules in 50 states specifying that the vote count cannot begin until a Republican observer, a Democrat observer, and a government official have all signed on a dotted line specifying that they checked to confirm that the dang modem was switched the heck off?

If there were, would we not have heard about it in every goshdarn fact check since November 2020?

Instead, we heard the myth that the machines don’t connect to the internet at all.

YARN | Socrates. | Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure | Video gifs by quotes | 6d49834b | 紗Without those processes, we know nothing. We begin as Socrates. We stand in a windowless room with the lights off.  We have no evidence that none of the machines were hacked. There are neither rules nor processes to make the system trustworthy.  Our elites and officials tend to be untrustworthy people, but that doesn’t mean they’re lying–they don’t know anything either! Hardly anyone has even a glimmer of clarity except for the ignored bureaucrats at the Election Assistance Commission advising us to get rid of these machines and some people in Michigan who added a footnote on page 22 of a Senate Oversight Committee report explaining the purpose of the modems in the voting machines.

The long and short of it is this: Trusting the electronic vote count means assuming, with no evidence, that no razor-thin margin in a swing state could have been affected because someone, whether through fraud or incompetence, simply left a modem on.  That’s a weak assumption.  Just as if it were the morning after a one-party machine in Philadelphia announces that ballot boxes opened at 3 AM handed an election to the Democrats with no Republicans or cameras present, Ockham’s Razor tells us nothing.

The odds of an electronically stolen election start at about 50/50, not because we can calculate them to that number but because in this ridiculous state of affairs we just know basically nothing.

So What Evidence Is There?

There are at least two lines of evidence which, as far as I know, are still standing.  You can look up the details in Chapter 9 of the big post here (or, for off-Ricochet, here).  The gist is, simply, this:

There are (at least) still claims from nerds that the computer data show disappearing Trump votes and that statistically impossible vote ratios occurred in the vote updates.

YARN | Nerds! | The Simpsons (1989) - S10E09 Comedy | Video gifs by quotes | 76ffcd71 | 紗(Hey, you want some citations?  The part about disappearing Trump votes is from computer nerds who looked at some information in some computer logs and presented it to the Georgia Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Elections. This Epoch Times piece introduces the topic. A briefer intro here. Scott Adams has some interesting commentary hereHere is a June 2021 video on Gab going over a number of such incidents in multiple states.  This guy comments on other candidates than Trump who also had some disappearing votes. For the part about the statistically impossible vote ratios, see a Rumble video called “Unmasked: The Truth About The 2020 Election”. A blog post from Just a Mom here introduces the same sort of material, focusing on data pertaining to North Dakota.  Or . . . click on the big post linked above, and spend some time in Chapter 9!)

I am incapable of classifying this evidence as decisive in and of itself because I lack the ability even to understand the computer talk and/or to check the data.  So this evidence, at least as far as I know, carries only a little bit of weight in and of itself—maybe just enough to tip the scales.

What carries more weight, and what has for the present persuaded me, is this: Apparently no one has refuted these claims; but if these claims are wrong, then someone probably would have by now.

Accordingly, my working opinion on this topic is: Until such time as someone should refute the claims of the nerds about these phenomena or present some explanation for these phenomena other than electronic election fraud, it is likelier than not that electronic election fraud occurred in the 2020 election, and that it, in coordination with other shenanigans documented elsewhere, flipped swing states.

Lord Of The Rings — “Not with ten thousand men could you do this. It...As I said, very defeasible: Show me the refutation, and I reckon I’ll go back to thinking all that happened was all the other election corruption and folly–rather a lot of it, unfortunately.

This line of reasoning does have one other notable vulnerability. It relies on the premise that someone probably would have refuted these claims by now if they were not true.  That seems likely to me–not least because there are many who are eager to refute such claims, who often try, and who sometimes (as far as I can tell) succeed.

But it might not be true. It might be that the people who are responsible for finding the refutations of these guys are just too unintelligent, uninterested, or lazy to do so.  Given the dismal quality of our journalists, government officials, and experts these days, this certainly seems possible.  Looking past the journalists at the whole country, it’s the same problem. Too many of us are strung out on porn, drugs, internet rage, and video games. Too few of us can read sentences with an advanced grammatical construction, fit a premise to a conclusion, or recognize reality when it stares us in the face–which reminds me, what is a woman?

So I could be wrong. But the logic has changed my views to what they are now, and they can’t change back without better logic or new evidence.

So consider yourself invited to change my mind: Do you know of a refutation I don’t know of?

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  1. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    As I said in another post, anyone selling such software and equipment should have a record of each and every security audit they have passed. Their reticence in doing so makes one wonder why that should be. This should be child’s play.

    They should…and Texas does a decent job of ensuring that level of auditing. Each election cycle the Secretary of State selects four counties to do a full audit on. One county selected was Harris County (site of massive issues in the ’20 election, and another was Guadalupe, where I reside and worked both the ’20 and ’22 elections. In the ’22 election, an auditor from the Secretary of State’s office showed up at my polling location. She thoroughly reviewed our paperwork, processes, and procedures to ensure compliance with the law. It was not pleasant, but having run a Vote center for 7 election cycles (14 elections as I worked the primaries and the general) we handled it as best as we could.

    Some of the ways that Texas tries and secure the elections are detailed here: 2020 Texas Election Security Update

    The report on Harris County and the ’20 election can be found here: Executive Summary Audit 2020 General Election in Texas

    The Audit program (linked from the Election Security Update page is: Election Audit Program (texas.gov)

    It’s not perfect, but many of the issues that have plagued other states are dealt with in Texas and cannot happen. I would be much more confident in our elections if every state made the effort that Texas does. I suspect that some do, but many do not.

    Good to know. Thank you. I will probably need to save some of these urls and consult them later. I would however, feel much better about Texas if we would also ban all voting machines with online connectivity.

    Remember that USB isn’t above suspicion either.

    Indeed. That also.

    • #31
  2. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    The following extremely short vid will be up and running by 12:30Am Calif time.

    It is the testimony of a young woman who was either an election observer or part of a Republican tem of ballot counters in the Detroit Michigan area.

    Sorry I forgot to make it “instantly available,”  but it is worth it to check on the video & watch it 10 hours from now or tomorrow.

    • #32
  3. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    It seems to be working right now.

    Maybe you set it for 12:00 am today, which was midnight last night?

    • #33
  4. Yarob Coolidge
    Yarob
    @Yarob

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    You are countering arguments not made by St. A. Instead, you are comparing him to 9/11 Truthers. The reality is, this is a canned response. Cut and paste. 

    Wrong. It is neither a canned response nor cut and paste as I wrote every word specifically to reply to OP (if it were the latter perhaps Google could help you find the text I supposedly stole from elsewhere).  I am indeed countering arguments made by OP, and my first point directly addresses a claim made in his post, which I suppose I will now have to quote for those of us who need it to be explicitly highlighted:

    They count votes using ratios–56% Trump to 44% Biden with 100 votes . . . or maybe with 113 votes.

    Neither am I comparing him to 9/11 Truthers, but this assertion is so obviously false it’s doesn’t deserve a response. I other circumstances I would say I’m pleased you read my comment, but this was clearly not the case.

     

    • #34
  5. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Yarob (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    You are countering arguments not made by St. A. Instead, you are comparing him to 9/11 Truthers. The reality is, this is a canned response. Cut and paste.

    Wrong. It is neither a canned response nor cut and paste as I wrote every word specifically to reply to OP (if it were the latter perhaps Google could help you find the text I supposedly stole from elsewhere). I am indeed countering arguments made by OP, and my first point directly addresses a claim made in his post, which I suppose I will now have to quote for those of us who need it to be explicitly highlighted:

    They count votes using ratios–56% Trump to 44% Biden with 100 votes . . . or maybe with 113 votes.

    Neither am I comparing him to 9/11 Truthers, but this assertion is so obviously false it’s doesn’t deserve a response. I other circumstances I would say I’m pleased you read my comment, but this was clearly not the case.

    Your response to the OP was pretty off base then. Just like a politician staying on message. Your intent to refute anything failed in spectacular fashion. 

    As for invoking 911, of course it was your goal. No reason to mention it at all. You did. 

    • #35
  6. Yarob Coolidge
    Yarob
    @Yarob

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    . . . (a percentage is a ratio with respect to 100), and because nobody is interested in reading results accurate to the nth decimal place and because some decimal fractions repeat endlessly and cannot be represented without rounding or truncation, this is a perfectly acceptable way of doing it.

    Incorrect. It’s a pointless alternative to addition that guarantees some level of inaccuracy and breeds mistrust.

    It’s not pointless, it’s mandatory and unavoidable. No finite resource like computer memory or the total printable area of a newspaper can accurately represent an irrational number, one with an endlessly repeating decimal fraction, and perhaps others I’m not smart enough to know about. At some point you have to round or truncate such numbers to print or use them in calculations. It’s just the way it is.

    • #36
  7. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    As I said in another post, anyone selling such software and equipment should have a record of each and every security audit they have passed. Their reticence in doing so makes one wonder why that should be. This should be child’s play.

    They should…and Texas does a decent job of ensuring that level of auditing. Each election cycle the Secretary of State selects four counties to do a full audit on. One county selected was Harris County (site of massive issues in the ’20 election, and another was Guadalupe, where I reside and worked both the ’20 and ’22 elections. In the ’22 election, an auditor from the Secretary of State’s office showed up at my polling location. She thoroughly reviewed our paperwork, processes, and procedures to ensure compliance with the law. It was not pleasant, but having run a Vote center for 7 election cycles (14 elections as I worked the primaries and the general) we handled it as best as we could.

    Some of the ways that Texas tries and secure the elections are detailed here: 2020 Texas Election Security Update

    The report on Harris County and the ’20 election can be found here: Executive Summary Audit 2020 General Election in Texas

    The Audit program (linked from the Election Security Update page is: Election Audit Program (texas.gov)

    It’s not perfect, but many of the issues that have plagued other states are dealt with in Texas and cannot happen. I would be much more confident in our elections if every state made the effort that Texas does. I suspect that some do, but many do not.

    Pretty good. I’d ignore anything the DHS has to say about security. Once they’ve got the rest of the government squared away (there have been some real howlers when it comes to servicemen and employees having their data jacked) then we can talk. 

    Physical control of storage media is important. I’d like to see something about media which is in use being keyed to allow it to be recognized by the system. I don’t want Joe Blow walking in from the street with a USB flash drive being able to read or write anything to the system.

    • #37
  8. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Yarob (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    . . . (a percentage is a ratio with respect to 100), and because nobody is interested in reading results accurate to the nth decimal place and because some decimal fractions repeat endlessly and cannot be represented without rounding or truncation, this is a perfectly acceptable way of doing it.

    Incorrect. It’s a pointless alternative to addition that guarantees some level of inaccuracy and breeds mistrust.

    It’s not pointless, it’s mandatory and unavoidable. No finite resource like computer memory or the total printable area of a newspaper can accurately represent an irrational number, one with an endlessly repeating decimal fraction, and perhaps others I’m not smart enough to know about. At some point you have to round or truncate such numbers to print or use them in calculations. It’s just the way it is.

    Right. It’s definitely mandatory that we report votes using irrational numbers instead of arithmetic.

    • #38
  9. Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Yarob (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    . . . (a percentage is a ratio with respect to 100), and because nobody is interested in reading results accurate to the nth decimal place and because some decimal fractions repeat endlessly and cannot be represented without rounding or truncation, this is a perfectly acceptable way of doing it.

    Incorrect. It’s a pointless alternative to addition that guarantees some level of inaccuracy and breeds mistrust.

    It’s not pointless, it’s mandatory and unavoidable. No finite resource like computer memory or the total printable area of a newspaper can accurately represent an irrational number, one with an endlessly repeating decimal fraction, and perhaps others I’m not smart enough to know about. At some point you have to round or truncate such numbers to print or use them in calculations. It’s just the way it is.

    Right. It’s definitely mandatory that we report votes using irrational numbers instead of arithmetic.

    Yeah.  How’d this post get sucked into fractions?  The vote of 100,000,000 is still beaten by no less than 100,000,001 — one whole vote.

    • #39
  10. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):
    Why, the Dems’ officials were stating that they held concerns that the Republicans had COVID. (Something that did not concern them as being something their own party members could possibly be harboring, I guess.)

    If I remember correctly it was either in Detroit or Philly where the poll observers were forced to stand 6′ away from the election workers who were processing absentee ballots and validating signatures, etc. The observers (well the GOP ones) complained that they could not see what the worker was doing from that far away and had no way to actually observe but were told that COVID protocols made it impossible for them to be allowed any closer.

    The election observers who I am talking about were not even allowed into the room – but stood outside on a narrow walkway, one floor up in the air.

    They were not six feet apart, but in a line.

    But of course since they were not allowed inside to observe the ballot counting, they posed no danger to the Democrats, in both terms of exposing them to nasty germs and in terms of affecting any cheating that was on going.

    • #40
  11. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Yarob (View Comment):
    They don’t count votes using ratios, they report them using ratios (a percentage is a ratio with respect to 100), and because nobody is interested in reading results accurate to the nth decimal place and because some decimal fractions repeat endlessly and cannot be represented without rounding or truncation, this is a perfectly acceptable way of doing it.

    You really don’t know what you’re talking about, do you?

    • #41
  12. W Bob Member
    W Bob
    @WBob

    Make election fraud a death penalty offense, and enforce it, and watch the problem disappear. Some criminals don’t fear risking death. But the kind of criminals who do this kind of stuff aren’t in that category. Election fraud is overthrowing the government anyway, so why shouldn’t it be a capital offense?

    It’s a winning proposal. Make the opposition argue against it. What argument would they make? Just a general anti death penalty argument? Ok, but then they would feel pressure to at least support much more serious penalties than we now have.

    • #42
  13. Yarob Coolidge
    Yarob
    @Yarob

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    As for invoking 911, of course it was your goal. No reason to mention it at all. You did. 

    There was a reason to mention it, which I explicitly explained in my comment. You and others might disagree with me, but I will not take instruction outside of the CoC in what I may or may not choose to discuss.  

    • #43
  14. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Yarob (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    As for invoking 911, of course it was your goal. No reason to mention it at all. You did.

    There was a reason to mention it, which I explicitly explained in my comment. You and others might disagree with me, but I will not take instruction outside of the CoC in what I may or may not choose to discuss.

    Sure.

     And the only  Reason to mention it was as a slur against the OP.

     The just kidding defense doesn’t mean you didn’t mean it. It just means you’re unhappy that you’re called out on it. This is your fall back position.

    • #44
  15. Yarob Coolidge
    Yarob
    @Yarob

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    Right. It’s definitely mandatory that we report votes using irrational numbers instead of arithmetic.

    Oh, come on, you’re smarter than that. Nobody here is talking about reporting votes. These are always expressed as integers, x votes for Candidate A and y for B, and they do not involve (and cannot involve) decimal fractions or irrational numbers. We’re talking instead about reporting candidates’ results as percentages of the total vote.

    In a 100-vote election in which a candidate received one third of the total, some people here apparently reject the proposition that this should be reported as 33% of the vote and would prefer it to be expressed without rounding or truncating the repeating decimal fraction, but this is impossible. Do they really want the candidate’s share to be expressed as 33.333333333333 (which is still only an approximation), even though, for example, at 10^-12 (the last digit on the right) we’re in the trillionths? It’s absurd to even suggest it, but if you reject rounding or truncation, that’s what you’re advocating. Bizarre.

    • #45
  16. Yarob Coolidge
    Yarob
    @Yarob

    Globalitarian Lower Order Misa… (View Comment):
    How’d this post get sucked into fractions?  The vote of 100,000,000 is still beaten by no less than 100,000,001 — one whole vote.

    You haven’t noticed, but we’re not talking about individual vote totals like the examples you provide. We’re talking about reporting voting shares as percentages. There’s a difference. 

    • #46
  17. W Bob Member
    W Bob
    @WBob

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Yarob (View Comment):
    They don’t count votes using ratios, they report them using ratios (a percentage is a ratio with respect to 100), and because nobody is interested in reading results accurate to the nth decimal place and because some decimal fractions repeat endlessly and cannot be represented without rounding or truncation, this is a perfectly acceptable way of doing it.

    You really don’t know what you’re talking about, do you?

    This is what I didn’t really understand about SA’s main post. How do we know they count votes using ratios?  Just because they report them that way, or is there another reason? For every election, including 2020, the results are reported in both percentages and integers. 

    • #47
  18. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Yarob (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    Right. It’s definitely mandatory that we report votes using irrational numbers instead of arithmetic.

    Oh, come on, you’re smarter than that. Nobody here is talking about reporting votes. These are always expressed as integers, x votes for Candidate A and y for B, and they do not involve (and cannot involve) decimal fractions or irrational numbers. We’re talking instead about reporting candidates’ results as percentages of the total vote.

    In a 100-vote election in which a candidate received one third of the total, some people here apparently reject the proposition that this should be reported as 33% of the vote and would prefer it to be expressed without rounding or truncating the repeating decimal fraction, but this is impossible. Do they really want the candidate’s share to be expressed as 33.333333333333 (which is still only an approximation), even though, for example, at 10^-12 (the last digit on the right) we’re in the trillionths. It’s absurd to even suggest it, but if you reject rounding or truncation, that’s what you’re advocating. Bizarre.

    In a 100-vote election it would be impossible for anyone to receive exactly one third of the total.  Because the votes are whole numbers.

    • #48
  19. Yarob Coolidge
    Yarob
    @Yarob

    Barfly (View Comment):
    You really don’t know what you’re talking about, do you?

    Actually I do, lol. I am not a mathematician and never have been, but I spent much of my career in what these days we call IT (I’m now retired) designing and coding computer systems in a variety of languages for clients in many different industries, including a number of science-based enterprises in the pharmaceutical and aerospace industries in which my knowledge of math was one of the reasons I was given the assignments. Huzzah!

    • #49
  20. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Yarob (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):
    You really don’t know what you’re talking about, do you?

    Actually I do, lol. I am not a mathematician and never have been, but I spent much of my career in what these days we call IT (I’m now retired) designing and coding computer systems in a variety of languages for clients in many different industries, including a number of science-based enterprises in the pharmaceutical and aerospace industries in which my knowledge of math was one of the reasons I was given the assignments. Huzzah!

    And yet you wanted to discuss a one-third vote in a 100-vote election.  Rookie.

    • #50
  21. Yarob Coolidge
    Yarob
    @Yarob

    kedavis (View Comment):
    In a 100-vote election it would be impossible for anyone to receive exactly one third of the total.  Because the votes are whole numbers.

    I see that despite my skepticism that this would ever be the case in this thread, you have grasped my point exactly.

    It is indeed impossible to express in any known medium 1/3 of 100 without rounding or truncating the repeating decimal fraction, and for most people (obviously not represented here to any great extent), saying John Smith got 33% of the vote is good enough. Congratulations!    

    • #51
  22. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Yarob (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    In a 100-vote election it would be impossible for anyone to receive exactly one third of the total. Because the votes are whole numbers.

    I see that despite my skepticism that this would ever be the case in this thread, you have grasped my point exactly.

    It is indeed impossible to express in any known medium 1/3 of 100 without rounding or truncating the repeating decimal fraction, and for most people (obviously not represented here to any great extent), saying John Smith got 33% of the vote is good enough. Congratulations!

    It’s not just “good enough” it’s absolutely accurate.  In a 100-vote election such as you described.

    John Smith could get 33%, or 34%.  He could not get 1/3rd of the vote.  Because there are no fractional votes.

    • #52
  23. Yarob Coolidge
    Yarob
    @Yarob

    kedavis (View Comment):
    And yet you wanted to discuss a one-third vote in a 100-vote election.  Rookie.

    I never wanted to discuss a one-third vote in a 100-vote election, but it was the simplest example I could come up with to counter the suggestion that there was a better, more accurate way of describing results using percentages without, as others curiously believe possible, rounding or truncating decimal fractions.

    • #53
  24. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    I’ll take the useless babbling of a common comment section stoolie over the rankings of the rabid neighborhood antisemite any day. Monday turned out okay after all. Just sayin’…

    • #54
  25. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    W Bob (View Comment):

    Make election fraud a death penalty offense, and enforce it, and watch the problem disappear. Some criminals don’t fear risking death. But the kind of criminals who do this kind of stuff aren’t in that category. Election fraud is overthrowing the government anyway, so why shouldn’t it be a capital offense?

    It’s a winning proposal. Make the opposition argue against it. What argument would they make? Just a general anti death penalty argument? Ok, but then they would feel pressure to at least support much more serious penalties than we now have.

    You’re assuming there’s an “opposition” who wants to get rid of election fraud. 

    I believe there are too many people benefiting from unsecure elections – on both sides of the aisle. 

    • #55
  26. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Yarob (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    Right. It’s definitely mandatory that we report votes using irrational numbers instead of arithmetic.

    Oh, come on, you’re smarter than that. Nobody here is talking about reporting votes. These are always expressed as integers, x votes for Candidate A and y for B, and they do not involve (and cannot involve) decimal fractions or irrational numbers. We’re talking instead about reporting candidates’ results as percentages of the total vote.

    In a 100-vote election in which a candidate received one third of the total, some people here apparently reject the proposition that this should be reported as 33% of the vote and would prefer it to be expressed without rounding or truncating the repeating decimal fraction, but this is impossible. Do they really want the candidate’s share to be expressed as 33.333333333333 (which is still only an approximation), even though, for example, at 10^-12 (the last digit on the right) we’re in the trillionths? It’s absurd to even suggest it, but if you reject rounding or truncation, that’s what you’re advocating. Bizarre.

    I’m advocating they report the votes at 33, or 34, whichever is the actual number.

    • #56
  27. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Yarob (View Comment):

    Globalitarian Lower Order Misa… (View Comment):
    How’d this post get sucked into fractions? The vote of 100,000,000 is still beaten by no less than 100,000,001 — one whole vote.

    You haven’t noticed, but we’re not talking about individual vote totals like the examples you provide. We’re talking about reporting voting shares as percentages. There’s a difference.

    You may not know what the rest of us are talking about. I’m talking about votes myself.

    • #57
  28. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Yarob (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    In a 100-vote election it would be impossible for anyone to receive exactly one third of the total. Because the votes are whole numbers.

    I see that despite my skepticism that this would ever be the case in this thread, you have grasped my point exactly.

    It is indeed impossible to express in any known medium 1/3 of 100 without rounding or truncating the repeating decimal fraction, and for most people (obviously not represented here to any great extent), saying John Smith got 33% of the vote is good enough. Congratulations!

    Right. We should try saying that in the next election. We should stop using machines that say he got 33 plus some decimal.

    • #58
  29. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Yarob (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    And yet you wanted to discuss a one-third vote in a 100-vote election. Rookie.

    I never wanted to discuss a one-third vote in a 100-vote election, but it was the simplest example I could come up with to counter the suggestion that there was a better, more accurate way of describing results using percentages without, as others curiously believe possible, rounding or truncating decimal fractions.

    We know. We want to stop using machines that describe results using percentages.

    • #59
  30. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    I’m advocating they report the votes at 33, or 34, whichever is the actual number.

    W Bob (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Yarob (View Comment):
    They don’t count votes using ratios, they report them using ratios (a percentage is a ratio with respect to 100), and because nobody is interested in reading results accurate to the nth decimal place and because some decimal fractions repeat endlessly and cannot be represented without rounding or truncation, this is a perfectly acceptable way of doing it.

    You really don’t know what you’re talking about, do you?

    This is what I didn’t really understand about SA’s main post. How do we know they count votes using ratios? Just because they report them that way, or is there another reason? For every election, including 2020, the results are reported in both percentages and integers.

    That is my confusion as well.  For example here are the official results of the 2020 election in California, note that for every race there are exact vote counts as well as (presumably rounded) percentages.  Biden got exactly 11,110,639 votes, or approximately 63.5% of the total.

    • #60
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