When does push come to shove?

I want to push forward a bit in my own thinking regarding voting and vote counting as a result of Maarten’s post below. It is hard to move forward rather than stand pat, as there is always more to learn, but what is learned can unsettle what is already “known.” I tend to want to come to rest in a comfortable spot, as in saying

“Votes are not counted. If they do not have to count them, why would they bother?

That may not be the case.

We have in place a vote counting apparatus of immense proportions. It consists of laws, regulations, machinery, local election officials, poll watchers, a paid and volunteer labor force and Secretaries of State.

Registration to vote is monitored to make sure that voters are citizens, of age, and often non-felons. It is an essential part of a clean system. (Same-day registration strikes me as an absurdity, or maybe an admission that officials don’t care that much about the integrity of the system.)

A roll of registered voters is maintained so that when it is time to vote, people can vote only once.

Votes are tallied by machines, as the public wants an instant result and is not willing to wait for even a day while other people go through and tally results. Machines are capable of more accurate tallying than people, and offer more accountability. This is why grocery stores use cash registers.

Machine tallies from election night, in a process called “canvassing,” are counted in a slower and less pressured fashion, often lasting over a week. Once it is ascertained that ballots have been accurately counted, a group of local officials certifies the results and forwards them to the Secretary of State for official certification.

When elections are so close that a counting error might have turned the outcome, provisions exist for a recount. State laws often dictates the percentage difference in vote tallies whereby a recount is automatically done at taxpayer expense. A losing candidate or group can always force a recount however, but must pony up the funds for the process.

Votes are reported to the public by news outlets on election night.  This is the first point of concern, as results reported on television are thought to be accurate without question even though it is just people reading numbers. There is no system in place to assure the accuracy of election reporting, and newscasters have no legal obligation to tell the truth. News reporting is our first “black box.” These are just paid readers.

A process known as “exit polling” is in use – before the advent of rapid-tallying electronic voting machines, statisticians provided insight into a large body of data, the vote count, by use of random sampling methods. They stand outside polling location in selected districts, and select certain voters and interview them in depth.

Because those interviewed have already voted, a large unknown in polling, the actual intent to vote, is removed, so that theoretically the exit poll has solid data on which to base an analysis of the whole of the vote based on a small sample.

Exit polling seems reasonable. Even though we are all unique in many aspects, our behaviors tend to fall into group patterns, that is, once we are labeled as part of a group (women, blacks, soccer moms, NASCAR dads), our behavior becomes more predictable. Grouping is the essence of both advertising and polling. Exit polling merely eliminates some uncertainty, and is therefore said to be highly accurate, in fact, more accurate than vote counting itself. Or so we are told.

Exit polling is, therefore, our second “black box,” or removal of the vote count from the realm of ballot counting, placing it instead in the hands of experts. Long before electronic voting, exit polls were assuring us that votes were counted, and counted accurately. We had no way of knowing this to be true, and had to trust experts. We marveled at the ability of exit poll era to tell us the outcome of the senatorial race in Nebraska, for instance, based on maybe 2 percent or less of the vote having been tallied.

So long before so-called “black box” voting, we had already turned our vote counting system over to unidentified experts who by mysterious processes could tally votes quickly and with extreme accuracy. However, since exit polling and newscasting are unofficial, the formal system based on paper ballots that were counted using the canvassing system, with accountability vested in local and state officials, still ruled.

There have always been ways around this system. I have written about them in other places, and only briefly mention them here:

  • Controlled opposition, where both candidates are subservient to the same power sources, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton the most glaring recent example. Controlled opposition is a viable technique of controlling vote outcomes at every level down to Clerk of Court and dog catcher. It does not rely on vote fraud.
  • Fraud in the counting system, where by underhanded means fake ballots are introduced or real ballots destroyed. (It is said that the “mob” delivered the election for Harry Truman in 1948, though this too has a black box quality about it.)
  • Voter fraud, where those casting ballots are not qualified to vote but are not properly screened, while others eligible to vote are frozen out by various means, such as not enough voting places and machines in black neighborhoods.

In addition, Maarten mentions a another aspect: Control of public opinion via manipulation, messaging, propaganda, images (Napalm Girl), all of this tending to render public oversight meaningless.

Given the potential for abuse, our faith in elections and vote counting has always been somewhat unwarranted, having a patriotic fervor all about it even as we cannot be sure, at any level, that votes are accurately counted or candidates are genuine.

But set all of that aside. Perhaps it is testimony to the power of our dumbed down education system and 24-7 propaganda in news and entertainment, but there is one feature of voting that has always acted as an anchor, a way of holding the ship if state in place and allowing at least for a modicum if trust in the system: the paper ballot. When all else fails, we can always open up  those bags of ballots kept under guard and count the ballots. Even if we do not do that, having the ability to do so is reassuring.

Thus in our current era, 2000 forward, after a psyop known has Dade County in the Bush v Gore contest (in which both candidates answered to the same power source anyway), did we allow a foot in the door. That fiasco introduced loss of faith in paper ballots (hanging chads were probably deliberately planted). Congress was prompted to pass a bill most likely written long in advance of the impetus, HAVA, or the Help America Vote Act.

The thrust of HAVA is easy to grasp: Elimination of paper ballots in voting. Once in place, all other safeguards, from laws, canvassing, voter registration, poll workers and official accountability are out the window. Without legal reliance on the paper ballot, we got nuthin’.

We still have paper ballots in many states, as far as I know. Recounts are rare. I do not know the percentage of our country that does paperless voting. I can think of nothing more absurd than voting without paper ballots. For some reason, I cannot get that point across. It is nonsensical, so much so that it should cause laughter and derision, but does not.

But if they do not have to count votes, why would they? I can think of several reasons:

  • If both candidates are under control of oligarchs, there is no threat to power in counting votes.
  • Some issues are thought so unimportant that the vote count is of no consequence, and so those votes are accurately counted.
  • Accurate vote counting in matters of no consequence reassures people that votes are counted on important matters too.

So I agree with Maarten that our votes are probably counted, by and large. But they don’t have to, and if push comes to shove, they can fake it. Most importantly, we have no way of knowing for sure when push has come to shove.

About Mark Tokarski

Just a man who likes to read, argue, and occasionally be surprised.
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8 Responses to When does push come to shove?

  1. calgacus says:

    The most important thing is that the candidates for more important positions are most likely from the families. But even when the candidates are from the families, they may need a specific person in a certain office. To do the next social engineering project, they may need a certain person that displays certain archetypal characteristics. Bush character was probably more useful to be the president to push the Patriot Act , the various wars etc. Obama was useful regarding race tensions. Trump can be useful as a conservative trap (Brandon Smith theory).
    Vote shenanigans are probably done in a strategic manner by choosing certain counties that are more controlled.

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  2. It is hard to move forward rather than stand pat, as there is always more to learn, but what is learned can unsettle what is already “known.”

    Have you seen the video by Chris Reeve on the Thunderbolts Projest?

    He talks about associative coherence and why this is could be a very natural reason for people not to want to question official narratives. The same analysis applies to those on the journey towards truth. We’re all, perhaps subconsciously, carrying a “coherent” mapping of a new un-spun world, and it can be extremely uncomfortable when this picture is challenged. But what are the chances that any two of us are at the same place on this journey, so that two different “associatively coherent” world views can interact without sparks?

    Perhaps these ideas are another way of finding the ease that you talk about it your last comment on OJTV.

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  3. Inside Baseball says:

    Mark, I agree 100% about elections without paper ballots being ridiculous. (However ridiculous the idea of governing through elections in its own right is another topic, and probably enough justification for TPTB to feel fine about fixing them.)

    Not to nitpick, but you fell into a very common logical fallacy that is more entrenched in our thinking than we realize. “The public wants…” is an absurdity, as only individuals can “want” or make moral choices, not collectives.

    So it begs the question, do most people really want or care about instant results, outside of being conditioned to think it’s important? How much is the desire to be “in the know” around the water cooler?

    It’s clearly a manufactured desire for a manufactured process that is intrinsically meaningless even if the votes are counted.

    Perhaps there is a psychological advantage to what I’ll dub the “Tammy Fay Bakker effect.” Piling up absurdity upon absurdity (gerrymandering congressional districts is another example) sinks the hook even deeper when one has to buy into all the layers of nonsense. That’s the only reason I could ever figure for Tammy Fay looking like a hooker crossed with a circus clown, which had to be intentional. It must create some sort of self-created Stockholm syndrome.

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  4. steve kelly says:

    Voting for president is the most obvious fraud hiding in plain sight. Electors vote. Individual votes do not count. Inside Baseball’s comment about layers is right on. Layer upon layer of fixing and cheating and lies produces boring elections with boring candidated from the two major parties that take campaign money from many of the same corporate sources. France fell below 50% turnout in the last election. Is the USA next? Voters who choose none of the above aren’t “disenfranchised” they’re bored and sick to death of all the shennanigans.

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    • Inside Baseball says:

      If the whole process were legitimate, I think the Electoral College makes a lot of sense. Otherwise the candidates would just have to pander to the dense population areas, and ignore the rest. The attack on the Electoral College to me seems to go hand-in-hand with delegitimizing the whole election process with all the accusations of voter fraud by Trump and Bernie and the Russian hacking nonsense.

      Why they want to undermine the fantasy that seems to be working so well is a question that’s been explored here previously. Maybe they do see the writing on the wall with the boredom of which you speak.

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  5. I agree with this post, Mark. In fact, I wish I had written it myself!

    I think we have been conditioned by the sloppiness of recent Deep State ops to expect that all of their doings are likewise hamhanded. But they have been at this election rigging business for a while, starting back when—I would say—they were doing things more subtly. The NSA has cadres of mathematicians to figure out just which few precincts in which few states need to run out of ballots or have a power outage or whatnot in order to tilt a primary race or presidential election as they wish. In the end, of course, it doesn’t matter who gets the White House. These things are not about policy choices, but about livestock management (keeping the cattle docile).

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  6. steve kelly says:

    For many the collective anxiety has become mentally and physically exhausting. The perpetual wars and game-show culture is unsettling. It robs us of the reality of the present moment by launching the action forward. Worrying about things that might happen  is causing a constant state of fear — the desired future condition. For most, operating in this mode is unsustainable. We’re going to need a lot more drugs, entertainment and other distractions and money to pay for momentary escapes back to that happy place we thought we knew before chaos of the new millennium descended upon us. Retro, retro, retro. Pay here.

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