Over the next couple of months I was introduced by these white hat hackers to the security vulnerabilities of the technology used in election equipment. Obviously vulnerabilities existed, such as (per this CNET video, “Hackers target 30 voting machines at Defcon“), the existence of R232 ports such that any technician who can plug-in a chord will get root-level access to the machine without a password (thus compromising the machine forever).
Slots in motherboards that should be soldiered shut, but which are open (so that anyone who can slip a chip into that slot for a few seconds can compromise the machine forever).
Or see CnnTech (2017), “We watched hackers break into voting machines“:
Strange violations of good computer science practice, such as an oddly-architected database within the machine, with three different layers but without integrity among the layers. Audit logs that were editable by precinct administrators (making them not “audit logs” at all), and lacking in fixed numbering systems that could reveal tampering.
Let me point out that a year ago, this was not considered a partisan issue. We all wanted elections that were fair, free, and transparent, and we all had deep misgivings about where we stood thanks to these new machines.
Here is a fine 4 minute video and story from the 2018 New York Times:
“(“All cybersecurity experts who have given electronic voting machines any thought agree. These machines have got to go… the electronic voting machines Americans got to solve the problem of voting integrity … turned out to be an awful idea. That’s because people like me can hack them all too easily. I’m a computer scientist who has hacked a lot of electronic voting machines… Imagine what the Russians and North Koreans can do… Our highly computerized election infrastructure is vulnerable to sabotage and even to cyber-attacks.” So wrote the same New York Times where now, two years later, even mention of the possibility has become verboten.)
From Bloomberg, November 2019: “Expensive, Glitchy Voting Machines Expose 2020 Hacking Risks: Paper ballots may be safer and cheaper, but local officials swoon at digital equipment.”
It was widely acknowledged in the techie world. See this 7 minute story “Voting Machine Hacks at DefCon“.
Here is CNN in 2019: “Watch this hacker break into a voting machine: At the largest convention of hackers in the world, voting machines were turned inside out as hackers demonstrated how easy it could be to disrupt democracy.”
From NBC News, January 2020: “Online and vulnerable’: Experts find nearly three dozen U.S. voting systems connected to internet“.
From the British Left-of-Center The Guardian, this in March, 2020 (ten months ago as I write): “Hack the vote: terrifying film shows how vulnerable US elections are“. This was a review of the HBO documentary “Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections“, which appeared in March, 2020. The Guardian‘s view was that the case made by the documentary was horrifying, and they piled on with some good reporting of their own. Note that making claims now such we made 10 months by HBO, and lauded by The Guardian, will today get one banned from social media, and will be illegal under the Democrats’ new bill to combat “domestic terrorism”.
From Mother Jones, September 2019: “Researchers Assembled over 100 Voting Machines. Hackers Broke Into Every Single One. A cybersecurity exercise highlights both new and unaddressed vulnerabilities riddling US elecion systems” [emphasis mine].
Lastly, Fox from 2020: “Princeton Professor Hacks Dominion Voting Machine in Seven Minutes”
One day I asked the white hat hackers I had been getting to know and who had been bringing me up to speed on these issues of porous security in voting machines, to rate for me the security of these systems. I gave them 1 (= “worst”) to 10 (= “best”), of these systems. Their considered answer: “2, maybe a 1”.
So allow me to point out that as of September, 2020, there probably was not a single subject one could find with such unanimity of conscience across the political spectrum, as the vulnerability to mass election fraud. From Mother Jones to CNET to Bloomberg to CNN to New York Times to Fox, our world was in rare complete agreement on the subject. Only four months ago, concern over the possibility of mass election fraud enjoyed the broadest consensus of any subject in our society one can think of. It seems worthy of mention now, given that its possibility is getting flushed down the Orwellian memory hole.
Beyond those kinds of hacks, they began to introduce me to other “hacks” understood in a broader sense. The extraordinary privileges enjoyed by precinct administrators, for example, to drag-and-drop a queue of hundreds of ballots waiting for adjudication (a point confirmed within the machine’s operating handbook). Discussion was had of spikes in offshore packet traffic to certain locations during elections, though the full reasons for that were not yet fully understood. One technique that was explained to me before the election, ended up being the subject of a Gateway Pundit video after the election:
As the weeks ticked by this late summer and fall I became increasingly conversant with characters who were convinced we were on the edge of a massive election steal. They had meetings arranged with DHS in their state, and briefings were taken at least twice in September by DHS and propelled up the chain of command…. only to be killed from Washington. In particular, a portion of DHS called CISA (“Cybsecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency”) put the kibosh on further meetings. This was odd because election security is within their mandate: one might have thought they might be interested. And let me remind the reader, this was not just a ragtag bunch of misfits (“pajamahadeen” as they are sometimes known): these were professionals with extensive federal backgrounds, with all kinds of experiences of and certifications in matters cyber.
Then November 3, the night of the election, everything they had been predicting to me would happen, happened. For now, let me confine myself to a brief gloss of the oddities that stacked up, which were all instantiations of things they predicted might occur.
Ask your local political science professor to explain why it is the case that to steal the national election one does not need, “widespread election fraud”. If the professor is honest, you will hear, “Because instead of widespread election fraud, it only takes deep election fraud in six cities to flip the swing states they are in, to thereby flip the electoral college, and to thereby steal the election nationally. Those cities are Atlanta, Philadelphia, Detroit, Milwaukee, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.”
And what do you, know, on November 3, election night, vote counting in precisely those six cities took unprecedented turns. As James Woods put it elegantly, “Since when do they just stop counting votes on election day in America?” Yet that happened in various ways across precisely those six cities (it is hard to remember now, but in early November it seemed strange to everyone that they stopped counting votes on election day in those cities, though it has been normalized since). In Atlanta’s State Farm Arena, a “water-main break” forced the evacuation of the vote counting area of the arena: it later turned out to be fake (“BUSTED: Evidence Proves ‘Burst Water Pipe’ In Georgia Was Used As Cover For Secret Vote-Counting“) . In the few hours when the counting was “closed”, hundreds of thousands of votes were pushed through the system. The “water-main break” turned out to be a urinal that had overflowed (“Reported Burst Pipe in Atlanta Ballot-Count Area Was Overflowing Urinal: Investigator“).
In one location, multiple security cameras caught workers grabbing suitcases of ballots out of hiding and feeding them into machines while counting was officially stopped and all others had been shooed from the area.
Some of these cities saw goons muscle observers away from vote counting centers on gobbledygook reasons, while others taped pizza boxes across windows to block poll observers from being able to observe.
In the days after the election the suspicion that untoward things were occurring was ubiquitous. Suspicion was focused on Dominion Voting (“Dominion Machines Cover Millions of Voters, But Watch How Easy It Is To Rig One of Them” Western Journal, November 13, 2020). However, in my opinion that focus insufficiently appreciates the true nature of the issue of election fraud in the USA, its scope and varieties.
Within days, the cyber teams I was with were coming up with data that showed what had happened in those windows where counting had been “stopped”: hundreds of thousands of ballots had been injected, often running 99.4% and even 100% Biden.
The proverbial crowd swarmed in. Before long, some of the inconsistencies and discoveries that were “problematic” (I hear the youth are keen on that word these days) were so obvious, they were being called out publicly by people with only modest levels of expertise. Here, this web designer discusses oddities in the Edison database (provided by The New York Times). One of his complaints is misguided (he does not recognize the “z” at the end of the timestamp to mean “Zulu”, which is to say, “Greenwich Mean Time”, which makes his timezone analysis misguided). But in this otherwise excellent 16 minute video, he discussed other anomalies in the data that were shocking, and indicative of election fraud on an industrial scale.
As the month developed, people with increasing levels of expertise came forward, mathematicians and econometricians weighing in on the statistical improbabilities bubbling up through the November 3 data. By November 12, Dr. Shiva , who holds a PhD in Math from MIT (and with whom my Bad News Bears friends were in contact), made public a thorough, quant-centric analysis of Michigan Election Fraud.
Benford’s law, a statistical law frequently used in courts when establishing voter fraud, was applied to the election results in Michigan: “Biden’s vote numbers in Michigan do not match Benford’s law at a 99.999% significance level.” Some challenge this claim. One of the people who made this claim has retracted it, but others maintain it, and in any case the subject of retractions has also become, “problematic,” for reasons to be explored). And in any case, no significant rebuttal of Dr. Shiva’s much more thorough analysis has been contrived.
Regarding Pennsylvania’s irregularities, a Williams math professor laid it on the line (“Yale Trained Mathematician Flags 100,000 Pennsylvania Ballots As Likely Fraudulent“). This led to an official reaction (“Federal Elections Commission Chairman Trey Trainor says new analysis by professor Steven Miller ‘adds to the conclusions that some level of voter fraud took place in this year’s election’”). The goons showed up and he may lost his job, or been forced to retract, or “fly the jet”: again, the problematic nature of retractions will be explored shortly.
Before the end of the year noted economist John Lott would come out with a paper: “A Simple Test for the Extent of Vote Fraud with Absentee Ballots in the 2020 Presidential Election: Georgia and Pennsylvania Data“. Lott’s findings were summarized in the popular press, “Expert: Biden win ‘suspicious,’ 289,000 election-changing ‘excess’ votes“. The Goon Squad has not forced Lott to recant and he stands by his findings.
And so on and so forth.
Remember, Dear Reader, it really should not be necessary to convince you that election fraud (occurred) with absolute certainty. In all fairness, my threshold should be to convince you that there is a lot about Election 2020 that smells like skunk, enough that it was not and is not reasonable to sweep it all under the rug. After all, the first lesson we learn in 5th grade civics is that “just law derives from the consent of the governed,” and how we find out what it is to which the governed, in fact, consent, is to hold elections that are free, fair, and transparent. It is the most atomic concept of our liberal intellectual tradition. And in my view any reasonable person who looks at the constellation of facts I have glossed above will say, “There is enough mischief that we need to dig deeper.” And any who look at the preceding constellation of facts and articles and videos and data and says, “Nope, I don’t see anything strange there,” is gas-lighting.
Now I am going to skip ahead a moment, and address what it is that I thought should be done. I am going to do that now so as not to leave the reader in suspense, and so that the reader might accurately judge the courses of action I choose to take, and decisions I made along the way.
What is it I thought should be done? Clearly we as a country were dancing among many a Constitutional live-wire, I knew, but by the middle of November the election was to me an egg that could be unscrambled. The following seemed to me as reasonable, unobjectionable course of action as one could take, and least injurious to the Constitution:
Let’s look at the five counties where oddities occurred. These machines were sold to the public with the promise that “there is always a paper ballot as a fail-safe”. Lets hold them to it. Open up the boxes with all the paper ballots and count them, on live-stream TV. Use the US Marshal Service, or use the National Guard (“Our sons and daughters and co-workers…. Our Citizen Soldiers”). If there are not big discrepancies, then Trump concedes. But if there are big discrepancies, we still are not going to ask the Courts to simply give Trump the win. Instead, we would rerun the election in those five states, using, again, the National Guard and the US Marshall service. Yes it would be a bad precedent, but so would trying to force down the public’s throat an election that was rumbled by goons in five key cities, and about which between 33% – 47% of the population has significant doubts. That’s not healthy for democracy, either. I figured the initial read of the ballots in five counties would take 2-3 days, and if the election were rerun in those five states, in 30 days. Easy.
Which is why in early-mid November, I was hoping that brisk action would be taken. The results would create a world where President Trump would either say, “See, there were discrepancies in the hundreds of thousands of votes in each of these locations. We are re-rerunning the election in those five states using the National Guard.” Or he would say, “No big discrepancies, fine I concede”. If undertaken with dispatch, the entire matter might have been resolved in about three days; if discrepencies appeared, the rerun of the election might even have been resolved in time for normal operation of the Electoral College on December 14.
That’s it. That was the plan. It went through various elaborations, various nice-to-haves, but at heart that is all that was sought by myself and the team of Bad News Bears that had found each other. That is all that was needed. The alternative was accepting a highly irregular national election that would divide our nation for years. That is why I say, “This was a 3-foot putt. Maybe easier.” Seems rather tame and reasonable to me (though i suspect we are entering an era where the thought-control goons will label the plan I just described as, “extremist”).
Now I know from experience there are those who will say coyly, “But how do you know that cheating occurred?” We don’t, fully: what we know is that five cities play a special role in US political science because of their ability to flip five key swing states; those five cities saw bizarre and unprecedented activity on voting night, up to and including the shutting down of vote counting (the water pipes knew just which cities in which to break?); in each case a huge spike of Biden votes were injected where counting had ceased and observers had been cut out. Personally, I think it is brazen enough that I take it as an insult to my intelligence to be asked to accept that there is nothing to this fact-pattern, without investigation.
But in my view the test is not, “Is there enough sketchy information available that we can be sure that election fraud occurred on a scale that changed the national election?” Rather, the test was, “Does this smell enough like skunk that we should just open up the boxes with all the paper ballot backups, and recount the whole thing on livestream TV? After all, there is a reason the machines were sold to us as always having the paper ballots as a fail-safe: if there were ever a time to use it, now would be that time.”
Yet I get ahead of myself. I have filled you in, Dear Reader, on how I read the evidence, what it suggested to me, and the course I tried to hip-check our country into taking (whene’er a chance I got) as the weeks and ultimately following two months unfolded, up until January 6. So you know where I am coming from in the story that follows: those were the grounds of my suspicions and the course of action I thought should be taken to minimize injury to the Constitution while doing our best to unscramble an election that had become hoplessly compromised.
But now let us go back to November 4, the day after the election, when the whole country began grappling with a question that our little team of Bad News Bears had been working on for months.
Within days a self-organized digital army sprung into existence. Networks of volunteers. People willing to research any question we needed answered, anywhere in the country; people willing to track down others and record their experiences; precinct voters who had experienced some of the techniques of the fraud first-hand, at a retail level; precinct workers describing extraordinarily lax enforcement of standards; freight drivers who had realized they were moving hundreds of thousands of fake ballots from one state to another. Lawyers who were able to mobilize, research local laws, and gather sworn statements. It quickly became clear that the problem was not going to be turning up facts, it was going to be managing the fire-hose of facts that were pouring in. More and more Americans were stepping forward with details of things they had experienced or witnessed on Election Day. These networks began finding each other then finding me, and I helped out in places where I could, as I pulled together a team of people who could handle such a flow of information. The cyber team collecting and processing data, the affidavits coming in by the dozens, then hundreds, and then thousands (ultimately I heard that 50,000 Americans signed affidavits concerning their experiences).
Because of our preparation we had more than a rough idea how the various frauds had occurred, in various permutations, on retail, wholesale, and industrial scales, in the different states in question. We knew that nailing things down for the benefit of a court of law someday might require examining hard drives and performing other computer forensics, but (as I walked through in the paragraphs above) the rough outline of the steal was child’s play to see. The mountains of new statements and affidavits and data that surfaced daily further confirmed that larger theory (for example, the odd “Sharpie switcheroo” of Phoenix-Maricopa county became explicable when one understands that ballots poorly read by the machines become fodder for mass “adjudication” of which we had confirmed the machines were capable).
By a week after the election the cyber-sleuths and investigators with me already had things perhaps 50% sorted out. They had the strategy behind the theft: pick those five cities to cheat like hell, flip their states, thus flip the electoral college and the nation. More refined versions of the strategy evolved over subsequent weeks (we found, for example, that whoever was doing the stealing in Georgia also targeted heavily red counties and shaved a few percentage points in each). Statistical outliers were showing up of astronomical unlikelihood, rivers of affidavits were gushing in where people reported experiences precisely consistent with what our team had predicted was happening under the hood of the steal, and so on and so forth.
Mathematicians began contacting us with analyses that confirmed what we were putting together empirically, only a fraction of which made it into the press (“MIT statistician shows certainty of massive computer vote fraud in 2020 Presidential election: Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai (Dr. Shiva) provides an MIT PhD analysis of Michigan voting patterns….“)
An excellent quant (Seth Keshel) who joined our team went on to give a rather dense analysis to the public on January 1, but in truth everything he says here is what was already bubbling up among us by mid-November. For those who want to see a good quantitative explanation with data and maps, watch this 20 minutes:
Approximately one week after the election I walked into an office building in suburban Virginia, just outside DC. That is to say, a week after November 3, my colleagues and cyber experts walked in with a still-fragmentary yet compelling reconstruction of what had happened on November 3 and the days immediately following it. We had the crime about half-solved, and what was remaining seemed almost a mechanical matter: dig here, compare this with that, see what answers spit out. We can see they were doing this this and this, but we also need to look into that.
I and my cyber-sleuth colleagues walked into that building to take a meeting with America’s Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, and with Sidney Powell, Esq. (esteemed lawyer for Michael Flynn, the “Peoples’ General”).
And that, dear reader, is where this story really begins.