How can you be sure that the voting machines in southeast Kansas were rigged?

How can I be so sure? Couldn’t there be some other cause of the bias?  That was the most common inquiry at my presentation Saturday, when I explained my exit poll results to the people who helped collect the data and had a vested interest in understanding the results.  I may have come across as a bit defensive in regard to this question.  I’m sorry if I did.  It’s hard to articulate the depth of my certainty, but I’ll try.

I carefully set up these exit polls to compare the official vote count by machine type.  The only legitimate concern regarding the meaning of these results is a biased sample. Not everybody tells the truth.  Some people delight in giving false answers to surveys.  How are you going to account for that? It’s a fair concern.

While I cannot prove that didn’t happen (at least, not without access to the ballots, which isn’t permitted), this is part of the normal error I expect.  It always helps to state assumptions explicitly.

INTROVERTS, LIARS, AND IDIOTS ASSUMPTION : THESE TRAITS ARE RANDOMLY DISTRIBUTED AMONG ALL CANDIDATES AND POLITICAL PARTIES.  I am assuming that that people who were less likely to participate (introverts) or more likely to fudge their answer (liars) or make mistakes (idiots) in filling out the survey did not differ in their response to our exit poll.

I received the following email that sums up this concern nicely and also suggests a couple of ways to check that hypothesis.

Hi Beth,

The observed discrepancies between official results and your poll results very clearly show that Clinton (D) voters were more strongly represented in those polled than in the official vote count; Trump (R) voters were less well represented.  There are  many possible explanations for this discrepancy.  One hypothesis is that a certain percentage of voters “held their nose and voted for X”  and would never have participated in the poll.  If these voters tended to be more of one party than the other, than that party would be less represented in the polls.   

Fortunately, your data provide a means to test this hypothesis about the “missing minority”, for it leads to this prediction:  
If a “missing minority” was biased towards X, then sites at which X had a greater percentage of the votes would be least affected by vote disparities.

A corollary prediction:  sites having the highest response rate would be least affected by vote disparities.

Have at it!

The main reason I find this hypothesis implausible is that the discrepancies for the Supreme Court judges were twice as large and followed the same pattern as the Pres. race discrepancies. There’s no reason to think more people ‘held their nose’ for judges than president!

Regarding those two predictions:

  1.  The sites with the greatest discrepancies were machine counts for SE Wichita, Urban  Wichita and Cowley.  The sites with the highest %Trump voters were Cowley, SW Wichita and Sumner.  No correlation there.
  2. The site with the lowest response rate, Sumner with 25%, also had the lowest discrepancies between the exit poll and the official results for the Pres. race.

In short, we do not see the other data relationships we would expect if the introverts liars and idiots assumption were false.  There is no reason to assume these individuals were more likely to vote for one candidate than another resulting in the bias in our data.

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2 thoughts on “How can you be sure that the voting machines in southeast Kansas were rigged?”

  1. Thank you Beth. Hopefully, all this will seep into the culture faster and faster.

    Stephen Colbert’s information packed comedy skit about Trump’s imaginary illegal, double voters, was even funnier, and much more important than the SNL performance by Mellisa McCarthy funny as she was.
    View Video.
    Stephen Colbert got the biggest, loudest round of applause I have ever heard in a skit both funny and informative about Trump lying about double voters, in a week where Stephen’s Nelson ratings topped Jimmy Fallon’s for the first time.

    Trump Says Voter Fraud, Stephen Says Bull.

    Stephen Colbert Calls ‘Bulls**t’ On Trump’s Continued Voter Fraud Claims

    Melissa McCarthy As Sean Spicer Is The Best Thing On SNL In Years

    SNL, please take a cue from Stephen Colbert, Show Me the Votes, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Greg Palast.

    Also please donate NOW, FAST to the ongoing courage of both Beth and Greg Palast:

    Yes, I support the
    Stolen Election Investigation
    with my tax-deductible donation

    Greg Palast Retweeted
    Jessiemgio23 ‏@jessiemgio23
    Jessiemgio23 Retweeted Greg Palast

    Don’t u guys care our election was rigged

    @nytimes @washingtonpost @HuffingtonPost @TheDailyShow @Trevornoah

    Jessiemgio23 added,
    Greg Palast @Greg_Palast
    I’ll be talking #Crosscheck, #Trump & #Election fraud w/ @JoyAnnReid this Sat, Feb 11 @ 7AM PT on @amjoyshow #AMJoy

    If you were given a provisional ballot instead of a real ballot on which to vote, this means most likely that you were purged by the GOP’s CrossCheck from the voter registration rolls and your provisional vote was never counted because you were not on the registration rolls. You likely have standing:

    Greg Palast ‏@Greg_Palast
    Greg Palast Retweeted Dorothy
    We have lawyers willing to argue that voters who lost their vote DO have standing with regards to #Recount2016 …

    Greg Palast ‏@Greg_Palast Feb 7
    #Trump removes the Election Assistance Commission, the voting monitors created by George W — THAT should scare you!!

    Thought you should know.. House votes to kill only agency to make sure voting machines are not hacked.. the EAC..

    Greg Palast ‏@Greg_Palast
    Follow the money: True The Vote is funded by Donors Trust, State Policy Network & Franklin Center, which are all funded by the #KochBros!

    Greg Palast Retweeted Donald J. Trump
    Gregg Phillips is working with True the Vote, which is an offshoot of the King Street Patriots — a #TeaParty front!

    Greg Palast ‏@Greg_Palast Jan 27
    There’s method in @realDonaldTrump’s madness: His #VoterFraud claim is cover for a massive plan to purge more voters with names like Garcia!

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