More candidates find primary election results defy the odds

Could it be something as simple as miscalibrated, too sensitive touch-screen voting machines?

It is hard to believe someone intentionally hacked machines to cause them to cast votes for candidates no one ever heard of, who did not campaign. That is illogical.

But two Democratic gubernatorial candidates, according to the R-J, have sent an email to the secretary of state alleging that electronic voting machines at some locations “were hacked or tampered with and the vote records changed, by person or persons unknown.”

The choice of “none of these candidates” won the Democratic primary with 30 percent of the vote, but two of the eight candidates question the outcome — Stephen Frye and Frederick Conquest. They claimed the probability of “none of these candidates” winning more than 16 percent of the vote was zero.

“For Robert Goodman to get 25 percent of the vote and Abdul Shabazz to get over 3 percent of the vote, with no campaigning at all is beyond any possibility given the results from all 17 county results and for Robert Goodman to win 16 counties is well over 3 million to 1 in probability,” they said in the email. They dropped the request for a recount when told it would cost them $8,000.

The odds they cite are similar to that of an unknown cipher getting 22 percent of the Republican vote in Congressional District 4 and actually winning two counties.

“Was it computer error? Was it a glitch in the system? We don’t know,” candidate Nigher Innis said in a press release. “But I believe until we investigate, until Secretary of State (Ross) Miller investigates, we won’t know the reason for Mr. Monroe getting 22 per cent of the vote. And believe me, there is a reason out there somewhere. We just have to work together to find it.”

But no one is doing anything to check to see if there might be some bugs in the programming or miscalibrations that might randomly reassign votes. It can happen.

“Vote flipping occurs when an e-voting touch-screen machine is not properly calibrated, so that a vote for Romney or Obama is flipped to the other candidate,” the Christian Science Monitor reported in 2012 about a Pennsylvania incident. “While the Pennsylvania glitch was reported and the machine reportedly taken out of service and quickly recalibrated, other flipping was reported by news media accounts in Nevada, Texas, North Carolina, and Ohio.”

So, at the very least, triple check that paper printout on Election Day, but is there any guarantee it is accurate?


10 comments on “More candidates find primary election results defy the odds

  1. Athos says:

    What famous person didn’t care about campaigning, because he was the one to count the votes?

    Harry Greid??

  2. Bruce Feher says:

    Hackers are all over. As I recall wasn’t there a hackers convention here in Las Vegas a few months ago? They have gotten into my computer and credit card accounts. The ChiComs have an army of hackers that have penetrated government computers. Ever heard of the NSA here in the good old USA?
    What needs to be done is when these CRIMINALS get caught they need long prison sentences, 25 years, no parole. Do that a few times and the problem will be reduced. Otherwise,there will never be a “fair” election again!

  3. Rincon says:

    Why is it that white collar criminals seem to get far shorter sentences than the blue collar kind? Seems to me that a hacker that causes a million dollars in damage should be tried like any other vandal. Any evidence of hacking in this case?

  4. Steve says:

    Hackers have a skill that is in demand…we hire them to root out their own kind!

  5. Steve says:

    Off Topic alert.

    I feel readers of this forum will appreciate knowing the demise of both local Las Vegas news papers will continue with the Las Vegas Sun continuing to be a drain on the only viable daily paper left in southern Nevada.

    If this goes the way most other JOA’s go, BBM may be able to have whats left for a song.

  6. Robert Frank says:

    I understand the above candidate complaints. I was one of those (there may have been many) who started to vote during early voting and upon inserting the plastic card I witnessed the voting machine immediately selecting the last choice on the list of candidates for Governor.

    I asked the election board monitor to come see what happened on my machine, and he declined saying that all I needed to do was un-select the choice and proceed by carefully watching to ensure what the machine was showing was what I wanted. He gave the impression that such auto vote selection was not unusual. He claimed that if the paper tape reflected my votes, the results would be accurately reported to the Sec of State. Based on the Republican CD-4 primary results, I have doubts about that.

    It seems to me that NV voting systems have had too many reports of irregular behavior to be blindly trusted. See my other comments about the CD-4 Republican primary under Tom Mitchell’s previous 4 articles about how a “non-candidate”–a man who did no campaigning and spent zero money and miraculously received over 5,000 votes. Who can calculate the odds of success of that case?

    I wonder how many others observed bad voting machine behavior? Data was not collected by the election workers in my case.

    I also doubt it is reasonable to demand thousands of dollars from candidates to verify a suspected election result. So-called “re-counts” are nothing like what they used to be. In this electronic world, the election system audit trails should be designed with multiple duplicate digital and hard copy images at every step. Each voter should receive a copy of the machine paper tape of his/her votes. The SoS system should be capable of replicating and producing compelling evidence of end-to-end trustworthiness at every step of each vote in every race.

    In other words, our election system should be no less trusted and capable of being audited as effectively as our banking and gaming systems. The evidence across the state and nation suggests that citizens are justified in not automatically trusting government computer systems unless or until they can be quickly and inexpensively audited and proven trustworthy to all who question them.

  7. Robert Frank says:

    Why are the inexplicable voting results in Congressional District 4, and other races in the past Primary not being explained? Why should we citizens (and especially all of the candidates from both parties) trust the Secretary of State’s voting system when all they will say is “trust us” while standing behind a cloak of secrecy.

    If you are one who wants to know as much as possible about how government elections with electronic voting machines are easily corrupted, suggest reading the web site for the Argonne National Laboratory’s Vulnerability Assessment Team (VAT) Program at this link:

    In addition, the following short paper can open most eyes to the fact that if a state’s election system is not exploiting the latest knowledge of how electronic voting systems can be corrupted, it could be compared to a person who is so negligent and cheap that they refused to use anti-virus software on their personal computers.

    Click to access SuggestionsforBetterElectionSecurity.pdf

    What will it take to get an independent audit, by the most competent group in the nation, of the NV election system so we citizens and the candidates can willingly trust in November?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Robert Frank has brought up several excellent points that STILL haven’t been addressed.

    How come?

  9. […] recall how a couple of candidates in the Democratic primary for governor swore it was a statistical impossibility for “none of these candidates” to win 30 percent of the […]

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