Common Sense: The Skeptics Guide to Election Integrity and Fraud

Note: This is then twelfth post in an occasional series on Common Sense Election Integrity, summarizing, updating, and expanding on many previous posts covering election integrity, focused on Connecticut. <previous> [just an interesting coincidence the last Common Sense post was exactly one year ago!] <next>

Two events in the last week or so prompt this post.  First, last Saturday I was at the Reason Rally at the Lincoln Memorial.  One speaker said “Be skeptical of everything”.  A later speaker assured us, among other things, that two things I believe to be true are actually conspiracy theories, including an especially dirty, degrading, ridiculing, and distorted characterizations of many of those in attendance.

Second, a recent series of posts by Richard Charmin,  essentially claiming that in many states the primary was stolen, based on, among other things, a pretty consistent difference between raw exit polls and the results, almost always favoring one candidate.  Looking at the details, we see that Connecticut is one of those states.

So, where do I come out?  I stand with Carl Sagan who said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” and the speaker at the Reason Rally who said to be skeptical of everything.  Here we have competing extraordinary claims:

  • By Richard Charmin:  That, in a large number of states the election results were manipulated in favor of a single candidate.
  • Implicitly by complacence: “Move on, nothing to see here, exit polls are always wrong in the U.S.  Don’t be concerned that every time someone brings this up, they are always wrong in favor of one candidate or party”

It is clear that both of these are extraordinary claims. We are disappointed in the lack of others providing factual evidence and solid arguments refuting or confirming either of these extra ordinary claims.

Democracy requires solid answers. Voters and Candidates deserve solid answers.  What is required is Evidence Based Elections, elections that provide strong evidence that the outcome reflects the votes of the voters.

At this point we do not have that evidence in Connecticut.  One approach would be a strong post-election audit showing that votes were counted accurately, that ballot counts matched the voters checked in, and that polling place and central count absentee counts were accurately accumulated.

In Connecticut, there are gaps in the post-election audit, transparency lacking in the totaling process, and challenges in verifying all the data. We are at work on developing answers which might provide reasonably convincing evidence for Connecticut.

Update:  Skeptics Guide Part 2: Absence of Evidence is Not Evidence of Absence


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