Progressive Writers Bloc

The 2006 Congressional Elections Were Hacked

By David Chandler

David ChandlerThe 2006 congressional elections were hacked. Badly hacked, according to the results of research by the Election Defense Alliance.

The EDA analyzed the official exit polls taken by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International. These are polls that are sponsored each election cycle by a consortium of major media outlets. Competently done exit polling is far more reliable than ordinary opinion polling because the best an opinion poll can do is sample the mood of "likely voters" in the days or weeks ahead of the election. Exit polls sample the mood of actual voters on the actual day of the election.

Exit polls are so reliable that they are the "Gold Standard" of international vote monitors, like the Carter Center, who certify the fairness of elections around the world. If reported vote counts deviate very far from the exit polls, it is the vote counts that are suspect. That's exactly what happened in the US elections in Florida and a few other states in 2000. In 2004, the shift in reported vote counts, relative to the exit polls, slanted toward Bush in 41 of the 50 states, with discrepancies of over 100,000 votes each in NY, FL, PA, OH, NC, IL, and MA. (Note that this list includes some traditional Democratic strongholds.)

Instead of questioning the election results, right-wing propaganda mills started a campaign to discredit the reliability of exit polling. Their theory was that the exit polls over-sampled the Democratic voters, for whatever reason, so exit polls came out giving Democrats overly optimistic expectations. The mantra was that the only poll that mattered was the actual vote count. Concerns about hacked computerized voting machines and computerized card scanners, not to mention the well-documented systematic efforts to depress the vote in traditionally Democratic districts, were simply brushed aside.

This brings us to the 2006 midterm elections. Democrats won both houses of Congress. That means the concerns about corrupt vote counting have been resolved. Right? Wrong. Exit poll results this time show evidence for even more widespread vote hacking than before. With computerized voting in place nationwide, vote hacking has become a science. A voting machine merely needs a piece of software code to tell it how much of the vote to skim. That means you could target races to win by just a percentage point or two, making them less likely to be investigated for fraud. The problem appears to have been that getting the vote-rigging instructions to all the individual machines required some lead time, so the attempted fix was based on projections made in October. The problem was the administration's popularity was falling so fast that the fix that was computed in October was not sufficient to win in November.

How can anyone know all this? The 2006 exit poll had a question that could be used to calibrate the sample and determine whether either party was being oversampled. The key question is "Which presidential candidate did you vote for in 2004." By tallying up the response to this question, and comparing it with the "actual" results for that district in 2004, the researchers could know the percentage of Bush vs. Kerry voters in their exit poll and compare it with the actual percentage of Bush vs. Kerry voters in the district. Thus, one need not be a believer in exit polls in general to realize that this particular exit poll was reliable.

And what did the results show? Had the votes that were cast been correctly counted, the Democrats would have had a landslide victory in 2006. Instead, they squeaked into the majority in the House and are a heartbeat away from losing their electoral majority in the Senate. (If the "actual" results in 2004 that were used to calibrate the exit polls in 2006 were also fudged toward Bush, then the actual 2006 Democratic landslide was even stronger!)

This country is fed up with the violence, the corruption, and the incompetence of this administration and is looking for a change. The people have spoken, but their voices have been muted, and nearly silenced, by the machinery of massive voter fraud that is on the verge of destroying the last vestiges of democracy in this country. We must demand change. (More on this to come.)

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