Red Flags Suggest Potential E-Voting Issues In Bizarre South Carolina Election
from the where's-the-paper-trail? dept
Of course, there are many different theories as to why Greene won -- from the popular charge that he was a "plant," to the idea that he was just first on the ballot. However, as Liberty McAteer sends over, it does seem like some are starting to notice (you guessed it) the e-voting machines.
It turns out that South Carolina uses ES&S e-voting machines. ES&S has a long history of problems with its e-voting machines. Here are just a few highlights (there are a lot more where these came from). ES&S machines have lost votes in Florida. The company gave California machines that were not certified. After stalling, it finally let security experts review its machines, which were found to be severely lacking, leading California to decertify machines (yes, remember this is the same state that was also given machines that weren't certified in the first place!). In one election ES&S gave the vote tallies to a totally different election. People using ES&S machines have found that they voted for the wrong candidate. It's also quite easy for anyone to recalibrate certain ES&S machines, so that it's easier for people to make mistakes while voting. In South Dakota, ES&S machines added thousands of phantom votes. And then there's Kentucky, where officials were recently arrested for using the confusing interface of ES&S e-voting machines to get people to leave the polling place before submitting their votes, so those officials could change their votes.
Oh, and the best part? Most of these ES&S machines have no audit trail. So there's no way to go back and check what happened. Fantastic. And that's what was used in South Carolina. But, if you do some statistical analysis, it's possible to discover if there are some red flags of problems. And boy are there red flags:
One potential red flag: A significant difference between the results of absentee and election day ballots.While not proof, those points certainly raise serious questions about the e-voting machines and how they were used.
According to [expected primary winner Vic Rawl campaign manager Walter] Ludwig, of the state's 46 counties, half have a disparity of greater than 10 percentage points between the absentee and election day ballots.
"The election day ballots all favor Mr. Greene. We don't know what it means," Ludwig said in an interview. "We did significantly better on absentees than Election Day, which is according to the mathematicians, quite significant. The other reason is, it didn't happen in any other races on the ballot."
In Lancaster County, Rawl won absentee ballots over Greene by a staggering 84 percent to 16 percent margin; but Greene easily led among Election Day voters by 17 percentage points.
In Spartanburg County, Ludwig said there are 25 precincts in which Greene received more votes than were actually cast and 50 other precincts where votes appeared to be missing from the final count.
"In only two of 88 precincts, do the number of votes Greene got plus the number we got equal the total cast," Ludwig said.
Greene also racked up a 75 percent or greater margin in one-seventh of all precincts statewide, a mark that Ludwig notes is even difficult for an incumbent to reach.