Election Theft Prevention

The key to stealing an election is obfuscation of vote counting. It is a bit like one of those magic tricks where a ball is put under a cup and three cups are then moved around and you are supposed to try and keep track of which cup contains the ball. It is all about misdirection.

I was involved in the UK general election back in 2005 when postal voting was opened up by Tony Blair’s government for anyone who wanted it without having to have some valid excuse for not being able to turn up in person. I was charged with helping to prevent fraud.

The first thing I noted was that the ballot boxes were black. This meant that the first opportunity for fraud would be to stuff the ballot boxes. I did not see empty boxes being sealed nor did I know who could create or recreate such seals. So, there was one way it could be stolen. Assuming that those who seal the ballot boxes could be trusted to only seal empty ones, there is then the chain of custody of those ballot boxes. I was able to go into the polling station and observe the ballot boxes placed in plain view for the election day. Of course this required me to watch those boxes for hours to be sure they were not tampered with, but in principle I might have noticed it.

I was then able to follow those ballot boxes to the count in Manchester town hall. When we got there and the count started they already had postal ballots and this is where I realised that the postal ballots made a nonsense of my attempts to prevent fraud. There was no chain of custody I could have been involved in to mitigate fraud in postal ballots. I would have had to be sitting in every postbox, mail sorting room etc for weeks to check that no postal ballots had been lost or added illegitimately. This would be impossible. So, my efforts on the day to observe were essentially pointless.

The security of any process is as strong as its weakest point and the inability to prove the chain of custody of postal ballots is the weakest point. In that election about one third of all ballots were postal under the new rules. Officials refused to give totals of postal and hand cast ballots separately although postal ballots were counted first. From what I could see during that counting the ratio of votes differed hugely with one candidate winning easily in the postal ballots and the other winning in the in person cast ballots.

That election may have been stolen, much like Trump may have had his reelection stolen. Can it be proven? Maybe but also maybe not. Can it be proven that the election was not stolen? Absolutely not. The certification of elections where a significant proportion of votes lacks chain of custody evidence and that includes by necessity all postal (mail-in) ballots, is invalid. The people who should be required to certify an election are not the vote counters but the observers who witness that there is no fraud. Their inability to witness the postal ballot go into the hand of the voter and then without any person interacting with that voter the ballot to go into the ballot box, means that they cannot witness the authenticity of those ballots.

As an observer of that election back in 2005, I can say I could not prove anything was done wrong in what I saw, but what I can also say is that what I saw does not prove that the election was not stolen. If there had been a more typical use of postal ballots in the 10’s of ballots rather than 1000s then I could have said with much higher confidence that those unproven postal ballots did not alter the outcome. Allowing anyone to vote without showing up in person risks fraudulent votes this may not be enough to invalidate a result. Allowing everyone to do so makes the results totally unproven which always invalidates the results.

The certification of election results should be a matter agreed by all contestants. Agreeing how to disagree is vital and how to reach decisions about the process of elections is the most important part of that. The way the media works is also important in agreeing to disagree. The rampant censorship agenda threatens this agreement to disagree.

Without chain of custody evidence for postal ballots, somewhere along that journey ballots can go missing, can be replaced with fraudulent ballots and new fraudulent ballots can be added.

Even careful audit of the evidence that comes in will not solve the fraud from the ballots that have been destroyed and detecting fraudulent ballots depends on how good the fakes are.

The only solution for this is to fix the election process to make it more secure. In the USA attempts to improve election security are often interpreted as attempts to suppress the vote. Some consensus needs returning to politics that must start with how to count votes better.

Voter registration should involve making a photo of the voter and include the issuing of a voter photo id card – made like a debit card for easy storage and valid for a limited time – maybe one year. It should be presented when voting in person where it can be checked against the public registry record before handing you a ballot. This could also involve a biometric test like a fingerprint.

Postal ballots should be banned. If you cannot turn up in person, then you do not have certainty that your vote will count therefore it should not count.

Conducting in person votes during crises such as pandemics may be logistically more challenging, but so is everything else we have to do.

We need to have confidence in the security of our election processes. This will mean that some people will be unable to vote due to their situations. But this is a cost worth paying. Introducing new less secure ways to vote means the voting process will not be trusted. If that happens then the whole system may fail leading to violence and revolution.

Such loss of confidence in democracy is not a price worth paying. In the US in particular the focus on election interference by Russia or China is a distraction from this tactic of making people not trust elections in general. These countries, like many around the world have elites that say they support democracy but in fact have deep disdain for the will of the people because the people are ignorant. The way to solve this though is not to become deaf because you consider others dumb, but to listen to them and learn something about how you can help them become better people. Establishment hubris such as the way HIllary dismissed the majority of Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables”, or the way Biden casually labelled protestors as domestic terrorists is an arrogance that leads to disaster.

There is a pithy story in Islamic tradition about society being like a ship on the ocean. Those on the top decks can see what is really going on, but those on the lowest decks cannot. Those on the lower decks, if they are not given the food and water they need may start to drill for water thinking they are on land. If they do this the whole ship would sink. It is important therefore to ensure that those on the lower decks are given opportunities to get both the sustenance they need and to be shown what those on the upper decks know. Keeping ignorant people ignorant and ignoring them will lead to disaster for all.