One consistent, unsettling outcome among recent state Democratic primaries is the vote-by-mail or absentee ballots that favor Hillary Clinton by 3 to 1. Absentee or vote-by-mail ballots (often referred to as early voting) have been difficult to monitor and are conducive to ballot harvesting or ballot stuffing. Elections researcher John Brakey of AUDIT AZ has compiled data he had requested from key voting precincts in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri and Massachusetts. All of these states show roughly the same early ballots ratio of 3 to 1 in favor of candidate Hillary Clinton over rival Bernie Sanders, who even won Michigan despite this advantage.
Wrestling with transparent outcomes of early vote totals has been a specialty for John Brakey along with colleagues Mickey Duniho, a former NSA security analyst, and Jim March of Blackbox Voting. In their stomping grounds, Pima County, Arizona, March and Duniho were members of Pima County Elections Integrity Commission. Through many meetings in 2012, they had deliberated for hours over the importance of separating early ballots by precinct to help with detecting anomalies or fraud. They were successful in convincing a board majority that it’s far more difficult to stuff ballots if the early votes were physically separated by precinct prior to their customary hand count audit and the Secretary of State had implemented this practice of presorting statewide.
This vulnerability (or opportunity to cheat) was so important to Pima County that it circumvented its own Election Integrity Commission to get a waiver from the Secretary of State’s office allowing Pima County to forego this safeguard. Let’s face it, absentee ballots or vote by mail ballots have become a hindrance to election transparency advocates and a boon to those who game the system.
Brakey is more conservative with his observations as he’s attributed Hillary’s huge gain in vote-by-mail outcomes to some combo of the following:
1. The Clinton campaign could have a better ground game on getting the early vote through the Democratic party machine in urban centers.
2. The absentee/early votes are tabulated on central count scanners and the ballots are only sorted inside the tabulator and, like Arizona, steal votes where it is easiest to steal with impunity.
3. Ballot stuffing of absentee ballots. An excellent summary of this problem was provided by Jim March and Jill Simpson in a 2012 in an article entitled, “Karl Rove’s Electronic Empire of Fraud“.
Here is an interview with Jim March about the potential for ballot stuffing and the vendors involved:
John Brakey, the researcher who compiled the absentee info, has alerted us about clandestine vendors in Arizona and the Northeast, pursued justice in Pima County’s RTA election fraud in 2006 and caught Pima County attempting to rig another bond election in 2015. According to Brakey:
I’ve been working with vote-by-mail since 2004 and watching closely this dangerous trend heading east. Most Urban centers are using high-speed counters that can count 7000 ballots per hour and they only sort them inside the central election tabulator as electrons.
Usually, when these numbers are aggregated together, they mirror the precincts voting results. In this case the numbers do not match. That tells me that something is wrong.
Like the disparity between machine counted ballots and hand counted ballots, this anomaly by itself doesn’t prove actual fraud, but it does warrant hand counted audits of early ballots separated by precinct, especially when exit polls, which include early ballots, indicate that Bernie Sanders should have won Massachusetts.