What Can I Do?

People have been writing to me about their concerns and what can they do. Asking me to take a look at a particular contest they are suspicious of. I understand their concern, but I’m not able to look at more than a fraction of the primary results. I just don’t have the time and resources. Just as everyone who writes me has their own lives and limited resources.

Sadly, no true remedies are readily available. I’ll talk about what can be done, but whether the gain is worth the cost is going to be a subjective individual judgment. I suggest if you have concerns, start by looking into your local election office. Ask about their equipment and processes. Volunteering to serve as an election worker is an excellent idea for those who can spare the time. The pay isn’t great, but it’s not nothing for your time. You will be able to learn and observe a great deal about how the election is conducted.

From there, it’s up to you to decide if you are satisfied with the process. Do you feel confident in reported results? If not, you’ll have to ask your election officials to improve their processes. That isn’t easy. It likely won’t be cheap either. I can’t think of a more important public service than holding fair and honest elections. Other people have different priorities about such things.

Louisiana 2016 Presidential Primary

According to Verified Voting Lousiana (like South Carolina) votes on electronic machines without a paper trail. These are not verifiable in any meaningful way. They have been banned in other countries (like Ireland) They were used for this primary election LA. However, they do provide for allowing the results to be quickly placed on-line.

After my letter to Bernie, analyzing both R and D primaries for Oklahoma, I had some feedback suggesting I should contact Trump. While I’m not entirely comfortable doing so, please feel free to share this and the OK analysis with Trump supporters and/or pass it on to his campaign.

For the LA analysis, I have separated the election day and early voting ballots and graphed them separately against their respective total votes cast per precinct. As before, the graphs show the cumulative share of the vote each candidate acquires as the size of the precincts increase. If there is a visually obvious slant to the line, then it is NOT a random fluke; it shows that a relationship exists between the two variables, percent vote share and number of ballots cast per precinct. This is a consistent pattern with machine counted votes. While in OK and LA, these trends were not enough to change who won the election, they may have had an impact on the number of delegates each received.

There are major differences between the overall level of support for all candidates in the early ballots versus the election day ballots. Please keep in mind that the jumps in % vote share is NOT a sign of manipulation – at least not illegal manipulation. It is more appropriately interpreted as reflecting the impact of the campaigns and other news stories immediately prior to election day. For this analysis, only the slope of the line has significance.

2016 LA Rep. Pres. Primary
2016 LA Rep. Pres. Primary

For the Republicans: In the early voting Cruz, Rubio and Kasich all gain vote share with increasing votes cast, while Trump loses votes. The early votes are significantly different from the election day ballots though, with Rubio and Trump dropping sharply while Cruz and Kasich both go up.

2016 LA Dem. Pres. Primay
2016 LA Dem. Pres. Primay
For the Democrats: Other than Hillary being the clear favorite as opposed to Bernie, this chart mirrors the OK primary analysis. Hilary consistently wins a larger share of the votes as the precinct size increases.

An Open Letter to Bernie Sanders

Dear Bernie,

If you want to win the presidency and elect a revolutionary congress, you must find a way to force accurate counts of votes across the country. There is no reason to believe that machine generated vote counts are accurate when they are not checked for accuracy. This is particularly difficult in places like South Carolina and parts of Kansas, where no paper trail exists to even attempt a public recount. Or Arizona where manual hand counting of ballots is not permitted.

I live in Kansas. I’m a professional statistician and an ASQ Certified Quality Engineer. I find certain patterns in election results quite disturbing. Graphs of Oklahoma primary results are below. Both exhibit a common and concerning pattern: as the number of votes cast in a precinct increases, so does the vote share for the candidate favored by the Washington establishment. This pattern is NOT due to random chance nor do voter demographics explain it. In the fall, the Republican candidates across the board can be expected to show such a pattern wherever machine counting of votes is combined with poor to non-existent auditing of those results. The pattern is consistent with election rigging.

Citizens like myself have had little success in forcing our officials to show the paper trails so we can have confidence in their reported results. I’ve been trying for more than three years to get access to the paper records that would allow me to assess how accurate our computer tabulated official vote counts are. After my latest legal setback, it will be another year before I might get permission. In the meantime, we will be having another election on non-transparent voting machines.

You, as a candidate, have the right to demand manual recounts. Well, in some places anyway. If you were to do so, irrefutable evidence of problems with vote counts will emerge in some of those places. If and only if your supporters can find and correct those problems can your revolution win at the ballot box.

In states that have paper trails, I suggest you start asking for manual recounts of the paper ballots and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails (VVPAT) where you can. Whether you won or lost the contest doesn’t matter. The point is to evaluate the size and number of discrepancies and check for bias. Laws vary from state to state. Typically there is a short window of time to request recounts. Many jurisdictions will balk and try to keep you from doing so by various legal maneuvers. But there will be many opportunities through the primary season. You have supporters that can be trained and provide labor hours when needed. A 100% manual recount isn’t necessary. A random sample of precincts is sufficient.

If you recount and find discrepancies, you might receive additional delegates. More importantly, if you were to demand recounts, it would highlight the fact that in many states, those machine counts are never audited or verified with the original paper records. Most citizens are shocked to discover that their vote counting process is not verified, or in some places, verifiable. I know I was when I first discovered this truth about Sedgwick County Kansas in 2012.

Thank you

Beth Clarkson


The Charts below show the cumulative share of the vote each candidate acquires as the size of the precincts increase. This model clearly shows that as the size of the precinct increases Clinton and Rubio gain a larger share of the votes while Sanders, Trump and Cruz lose votes. This is NOT a random fluke, this is a consistent pattern with machine counted votes. While in OK, this trend was not enough to change who won the election, it may have had an impact on the number of delegates each received.

2016 Oklahoma Republican Presidential  Primary
2016 Oklahoma Republican Presidential Primary

2016 Oklahoma Democratic Presidential Primary
2016 Oklahoma Democratic Primary

eta: Link to data at OK.gov
eta2: I’ve updated the charts with labels for the Dem candidates and added Kasich to the Rep chart.