Attacking the election: Likely methods versus stupid scaremongering

Attacking the election: Likely methods versus stupid scaremongering
Image: YouTube screen grab (via Project Veritas)

If we are very blessed, we may dodge the bullet this week of having to deal with the aftermath of credible allegations about a compromised election.

Oddly enough (or not; your call), the very most likely method of attacking America’s general election tomorrow is the one least likely to produce complaints about the result.  That method is straight up fraud.

Fraud is revealed frequently through collateral evidence, but it’s hard to prosecute.  Why?  Because the perps can rarely be fingered.

And in most jurisdictions, there is considerable pressure on local officials to let tainted results stand, rather than go through the difficult process of declaring them invalid, getting them overturned, and holding another vote.

Fraud comes from several sources, including illegally registered voters (e.g., actual illegal aliens registered to vote), other fraudulent use of voter registration rolls (such as using dead people’s identities to vote), abuse of provisional ballots (including busing rent-a-voters around to various precincts and having them cast unlawful provisional votes), and ballot tampering (including vote-by-mail ballot stuffing and Sudden Ballot Stashes emerging from the trunks of Democratic operatives’ cars).

Every single one of these methods has been documented – startlingly often – in the last decade, and most of them have already been unearthed in 2016.  (Sudden Ballot Stashes don’t usually emerge until after election day, of course.  But we’ve already had an obvious case of attempted vote-by-mail ballot stuffing in California.)

These forms of fraud are detected through collateral evidence, rather than direct observation.  The criminals usually don’t leave a prosecutable trail.  Since you can rarely identify perpetrators and frog-march them for the cameras, biased media reporters can keep convincing the easily confused that voting fraud doesn’t happen.

Perhaps the rarest kind of voting fraud involves one duly registered voter voting multiple times.  So the progressive media latch onto such rarities to make the case for how rare the overall problem is.  The MSM pretend that none of the other stuff happens.

But this suite of methods called “fraud” is by far the most likely to compromise and falsify our vote on Tuesday.

Much less likely, but still possible, is voter intimidation.  The Democrats insist that voter intimidation is rampant, although there is no evidence that anyone is trying to keep their legal voters away from the polls.

Since it is illegal to cast a ballot if you’re not an eligible voter, or if your purpose is to vote fraudulently (e.g., using the identity of a dead person, or a fake registration), it is not, of course, “voter intimidation” for the laws of your state to keep you from doing that.  It’s just the law at work.  But Democrats seek to obfuscate this simple reality for the easily confused.

Documented cases of voter intimidation have involved Black Panthers physically intimidating people at polling places.  There have been instances in the last couple of decades of “Get Out the Vote” buses having their tires slashed, and similar forms of vandalism, which may be considered a form of voter intimidation.

But it’s been relatively rare; certainly rare compared to voting fraud.  Intimidation may increase a bit tomorrow, but as of right now, I don’t see a reason to think it will affect the outcome of the vote.

It’s important to note as well that there is no reason to think Republicans or pro-Trump people will attempt it.  Nothing in the history of this campaign would point to that.

On the other hand, there are rare but documented instances in recent elections of leftist groups (e.g, the Black Panthers) intimidating voters on-site, at the polling places.  And there is a credible record in the 2016 campaign of pro-Hillary operatives trying to intimidate and frustrate Sanders voters in the primaries, and infiltrate Trump rallies to foment unseemly physical chaos.  There is also a persistent pattern of low-level vandalism against Trump supporters, along with uglier physical attacks on the people themselves, and even actual attacks on Republican headquarters locations in a few parts of the country.

If there are voter-intimidation incidents on Tuesday, the record shows it’s pro-Hillary operatives we can expect them from.

Electronic “hacking” of the election is a confusing, and fortunately unlikely, method of attack.  Rather than try to go through a lot of chapter and verse on this, I recommend keeping a few simple things in mind.

One, there are two basic forms of it that we might be talking about.  One is electronic manipulation of the vote, using voting system software.  This method may be compounded by hacking (i.e., intrusion), but the necessary system access for it doesn’t have to come from outside hacking.

There are reported instances from the early voting of electronic voting machines switching people’s votes.  This has been reported going both ways (i.e., between the Democratic and Republican candidate), and may or may not be due to innocent system glitches.

There is also a more complex concern about “cooking” the vote with automated fractional vote counting.  This is a real concern, but fortunately, it’s one state legislatures are alerted to.  Except in the bluest, most corruptly-run states (New York, California, Illinois), voters can generally trust their governors and lawmakers to be honestly vigilant about this possibility beforehand, and determined on accountability and oversight.

The second basic form is the actual “hacking,” as we colloquially refer to it – that is, an outside attack on electronic voting systems.  This is where you really need to fortify your mind against the nonsense being urged on you by the Obama administration and the mainstream media.

Team Obama has been building a relentless narrative about “Russia” and “hacking the U.S. election,” as if Russia is needed to hack the U.S. election.  The persistence of this theme is suspicious in itself, but the theme is also easily impugned.  Russia is not needed to hack the U.S. election.  Anonymous, ISIS, Al Qaeda, or a team of teenagers in someone’s basement could hack the U.S. election, in states where system vulnerabilities are greatest (e.g., Internet-dependent physical connections and simple, conventional user credentialing).

Detecting that a state voting system has been hacked and tampered with electronically is very unlikely to be quick and straightforward (even if the coven of Russian warlocks is doing it).  It usually takes days or even weeks to put together what happened, and that’s only after an intrusion has been detected.  So the touted Obama promise to hack Russia back, if Russia attacks, is one that wouldn’t reasonably be fulfilled until maybe Thanksgiving.

It’s unreasonable in the extreme to create a vision in people’s minds of a hacking war erupting between Russia and the U.S. literally tomorrow.  Remember that.

Could a hacking attempt happen?  Sure.  The most effective purpose it could have is manipulating the vote undetected.  So we shouldn’t expect prompt detection and triumphant caterwauling about it on Election Day.

If someone tries to hack voting systems in order to sow doubt and discord, as opposed to stealthily manipulating the vote, I predict they’ll be disappointed.  We might detect such an attempt immediately if someone gets a computer screen somewhere with a silly “You’ve been hacked, sucker” message.  But the American people aren’t actually excitable fools.  We won’t start trampling the old people and small children in a mindless, screaming rush for the exits.  We’ll respond in an orderly, sensible fashion.

Conclusion

I think there’s still a lot of native common sense out there in our great land.  If you sense that the media are trying to sell you a narrative about an attack on our election, you’re probably right.

There are legitimate concerns that you may hear about by Tuesday night, such as 110% of registered voters casting ballots in a county in Pennsylvania, or vandalism against a voter-mobile for senior citizens in Arizona.

Be leery of narratives about voter intimidation.  Except in very rare instances, it’s probable that nothing that happens will prevent legal voters from voting.

Most of what could actually affect the outcome of the election – fraud, or (less likely) electronic tampering – will not even be identified by Tuesday night.  So be very suspicious of any claims that it has been detected, and Obama is fighting it with a magic sword of righteousness.

There is hardly anything that should legitimately throw us into chaos on Election Day, or immediately after it.  So let’s not rise to any bait.  Demand, at a minimum, that anything you’re being told make sense.  Happy voting, and may God keep and guide us.

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.


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