Menge: Hoosier Votes Canceled
by Margaret Menge
What does Indiana have to do with the allegations of widespread fraud in the presidential election in several Democrat-controlled cities?
Quite a lot, if you think about it.
It’s likely that the 1.7 million Hoosiers who voted for Donald Trump for President this year were disenfranchised, their votes canceled out by the more than 1 million fraudulent votes that appear to have been counted this year in swing states.
We still don’t know exactly how many illegal votes were cast. But we’re starting to get a rough idea.
In two counties in Pennsylvania alone, according to numerous witnesses who testified under penalty of perjury on Wednesday in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 682,770 mail-in ballots were processed behind closed doors or where Republican observers couldn’t see them and another 700,000 mail-in ballots that were counted toward the vote totals were apparently never sent out. No one knows where they came from. Also, 8,000 mail-in ballots were cast under the names of people who are no longer living, and more than 30,000 people showed up and voted in-person at the polls using the names of people who are deceased.
In Delaware County, south of Philadelphia, a poll watcher, a former Naval commander and data scientist named Gregory Stenstrom, testified that what he saw was an elections process that was “forensically destructive” – with no way to ever verify results. He said he saw USB cards randomly inserted into machines, adding 50,000 votes, and at the end of the night, 47 of them went missing. That evening, he and several other observers were locked out of the vote-counting center for five hours and were only admitted after getting help from an attorney.
“I think it’s impossible to verify the validity of about 100,000 to 120,000 votes,” he told the Pennsylvania legislators. He meant just in Delaware County alone.
And then there was the testimony of an attorney who observed poll workers at the convention center in Philadelphia, where the absentee ballots were being processed, sitting and filling out stacks of ballots over the course of several days. He and the other observers were told these were ballots being replicated because the machines had rejected the original ballots. No observer was able to get close enough to see how they were marking the ballots, or for which candidate.
In his statement before the Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani suggested these actions were all carried out as part of a “common plan” that was implemented in several cities controlled by Democrats, including Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Detroit, Milwaukee and Las Vegas.
The plan, he said, appeared to have “several dimensions to it” and “happened roughly the same way in Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia.” The primary means of the plan, he said, were mail-in or absentee ballots.
“What’s the chance that on the morning of November 3 or 4, when they started the count, that in each one of those places, the Democrat leadership of these highly controlled Democrat cities that have some history for corruption – and in the case of Philadelphia, a long history of voter fraud; I can show you the convictions, I don’t think I have to – What are the odds that they’re all going to wake up with the same idea?” he asked. “After years and years of always examining together absentee ballots . . . All of a sudden, in a year in which we have a couple million of them per state, we’re not going to allow any Republicans to see them? The person in Philly figures that out? Pittsburgh? Detroit? Milwaukee? Las Vegas, Nevada? Or is it more likely that this was a common plan, that maybe started with the whole idea of having mail ballots because it gives you a much wider range to cheat?”
Giuliani said as he and the rest of the Trump legal team move from state to state, making their case, Americans would hear the same or similar allegations of similar behavior on the part of election officials and poll workers in these cities.
In Wisconsin, the Trump campaign is challenging 238,420 votes cast by people who were told by county clerks to claim that they were “indefinitely confined” – thereby exempting them from Wisconsin’s strict voter ID law.
In Georgia, 96,600 absentee ballots were sent out, but no records exist that they were received back, yet they were counted, presumably for Biden. Attorney Sidney Powell in her Georgia lawsuit is asking the judge to throw these ballots out.
In Michigan, witnesses report “tens of thousands” of new ballots being brought into the convention center in Detroit where absentee ballots were being counted at around 4:30 a.m., and other witnesses say a second group of boxes containing “several thousand” new ballots were brought in around 9 p.m. All appeared to be for Biden.
The total of fraudulent votes appears to be somewhere close to 2 million, just in a few states.
The Indiana Connection
But there’s another set of allegations, which deal with manipulation of the voting machines through electronic means.
And these also apply to Indiana, for we use some of these same machines, and have been under the same misapprehensions about the security of these machines.
It is time to wake up.
There are no “safe and secure” voting machines.
It doesn’t matter what the vendors say. They are selling a product. It is in their interest – indeed, it is essential to the survival of their business – that they get us to believe that their product is secure.
We know this because the New York Times published an article on Feb. 21, 2018, entitled, “The Myth of the Hacker-Proof Voting Machine.” It focused on the case of a county in rural Pennsylvania that was using Election Systems & Software (ES&S) voting machines that were not supposed to be connected to the Internet. But after an issue during one election in which many voters reported that the machine had “flipped” their votes, the county called in a computer science professor from Carnegie Mellon University. He opened up one of the voting machines and found out that although local election officials were 100 percent sure it was not, the computer was in fact connected to the Internet, and so was able to be controlled from anywhere in the world essentially.
ES&S was forced to admit it had lied for years and sold hundreds of machines outfitted with remote-access software, without telling states or local election officials.
We also know that the machines are not secure from testimony from experts who have come forward since the election. One, a former Army colonel and an expert in electronic warfare named Phil Waldron who testified in Gettysburg on Nov. 25, was blunt:
“The voting systems in the U.S., and in Pennsylvania, were built to be manipulated,” he said. “They’ve been used around the world, and stolen elections around the world, in Venezuela, Italy, Argentina, Singapore, Bolivia, as close as two weeks ago.”
He went on to explain that Dominion and ES&S systems have a “common DNA” — a similar “code” and “function” to the Smartmatic system developed in Venezuela and used by Hugo Chavez to manipulate the vote and secure his re-election.
“These systems are not what you’ve been told,” said Waldron. “They are connected to the Internet, and servers outside the U.S . . . The voting record is able to be modified and/or deleted by operators, administrators and outside threats.”
The Indiana Secretary of State’s office lists five companies whose voting machines have been approved for use in Indiana. They are: Dominion, ES&S, Hart InterCivic, Microvote and Unisyn.
All five are in use in Indiana.
We don’t know if any of these machines have been hacked or manipulated by anyone on site or anyone in another state or even country. We don’t know if they’ve been used to turn an election, to make a loser win, and a winner lose.
Even an examination of the machine might not reveal this.
A Johns Hopkins University professor of computer science said he conducts experiments, where he manipulates the code in a voting machine and then challenges his (presumably bright) students to see if they can find it. In most cases, they can’t.
So what is to be done?
The thing that is to be done is the hardest thing – it’s to insist upon justice, for ourselves, and for all Americans who cast legitimate votes and whose right it is to pick their leader.
It’s to insist on justice for whoever planned and participated in violating election laws and casting or counting ballots they knew were fraudulent.
Time is running short, but there is still time. We must insist that states where evidence shows more fraudulent votes than the margin of victory redo the election, with every state election law followed this time, with every vote counted with a Republican and a Democrat looking over the shoulder.
Here in Indiana, we must immediately review the voting machines approved for use in our state and stop using machines that have features considered fundamentally unsafe. All touchscreen machines should probably be scrapped, and those that don’t involve paper ballots marked by the voter himself or herself should be replaced as soon as possible.
Also, we should amend our state laws to require counties to do risk-limiting audits after every election, before they certify their results. We can no longer afford to have blind faith in machines. We must check the numbers they produce by hand-counting paper ballots in randomly selected precincts – at least 10 percent of them, and more if it’s a close vote.
And we should require proof of citizenship to register to vote. It is astonishing that no state has yet done this and that there has been so little talk of doing it after four years of news about supposed “foreign interference” in our elections. Thousands of noncitizens vote in every election in the United States. The Public Interest Legal Foundation has given proof of this. It must stop.
Finally, we should also dispense with the stupidity of early voting. There is no way to safeguard machines when people are voting over several weeks. We gave in to a lie peddled by the Democratic Party that having only one day to vote disenfranchised anyone. It never did. Make Election Day a holiday, make everyone show up with a state-issued ID, and be done with it. Those who really can’t make it to the polls can vote absentee.
It’s time to get serious. We have to secure our elections.
In the words of a poll watcher who testified in Gettysburg on Wednesday: “Without election integrity, we are just another banana republic.”
Margaret Menge is an adjunct scholar of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation and a veteran journalist now residing in Bloomington. She has reported for the Miami Herald, Columbia Journalism Review, InsideSources, Breitbart, the New York Observer and the American Conservative. Menge also worked as an editor for the Miami Herald Company and UPI.
Indiana Voting Officials Unresponsive to Our Questions
Editor’s Note: Trying to determine the nature of official oversight of Indiana voting machines, on Nov. 17 the author phoned Jay Bagga, a computer science professor at Ball State University who, along with Ball State criminal science professor Bryan Byers, runs VSTOP. VSTOP, which stands for Voting Systems Technical Oversight Program, is responsible for testing and recommending which voting machines the Indiana Election Commission should certify and approve for use in the state. Bagga did not return the call. Instead, the author received an email from firstname.lastname@example.org that was signed only “The VSTOP Team” saying that as a common practice, all media inquiries are directed to Valerie Warycha, director of communications for Secretary of State Connie Lawson. Warycha was copied on the email. The author replied to all, saying she had already left messages for Ms. Warycha but had not heard back, and urged VSTOP to be responsive to questions about voting systems in the state. She did not receive a reply and never heard from Warycha. In the 2018 race for Secretary of State, Jim Harper, Lawson’s Democratic challenger, had urged the state to conduct risk-limiting audits after all elections. The nonprofit organization Verified Voting refers to risk-limiting audits, in which paper ballots are hand-counted in random precincts, as “one of the pillars of cyber security.” The Secretary of State’s 2020 manual on elections administration, produced for county clerks, says: “The Secretary of State may designate counties as risk-limiting audit pilot counties.” It is unclear, however, if that was done this year.