Wisconsin: America's top voting-machine security expert says count was irregular; Fed judge says gerrymandering was unconstitutional

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/23/wisconsin-americas-top-voti.html



Obviously, the question about accepting the results of the election needed to be asked of both candidates.

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I can see how the headline, “Hillary Clinton denies she lost the presidency” might have confused you into thinking this was a story about Hillary Clinton.


Can we stop saying that Trump has any sort of mandate? Sure he’s president under our system but he doesn’t represent most Americans in their beliefs. If you see anyone talking about the nonsense of a Trump mandate please inform them he lost the popular vote by at least 2 Million votes.


And one of America’s foremost election law experts says these claims are worthy of investigation, but otherwise throws cold water on them:



Who said mandate?

I have been hearing similar stories out of MI, PA and SC, and this is on a site that forbids conspiracy theory. I think a hand recount will be demanded in a number of states. Unfortunlately, I think today is the deadline for Clinton to request a recount. Get crackin’, Hills!


Even Cory’s summary / headline admits that this recount wouldn’t lead to an overturning of the election results, and that’s a bit of a strawman that Hasen hits a little too hard IMHO in this essay. He makes the point that:

Second, the top of Congress’s election reform agenda should be funding
for a new generation of voting machines (something we desperately need),
with a requirement to eliminate all electronic voting machines that do
not produce a paper trail which can be fully audited to make sure that
the electronic results match the paper results.

I don’t see how this happens unless a major electronic-voting machine scandal is uncovered in a highly contested election. Which means a recount needs to happen. There has to be a balance between smooth transfer of power for its own sake, and building faith in the election system by pointing out failures.


Vote rigging aside, what’s the remedy for unconstitutional gerrymandering?

Vote rigging will be nearly impossible to prove without someone coming forward to confess, but the gerrymandering was the government violating it’s citizen’s rights right out in the open for everyone to see. Then right after the election it is ruled unconstitutional - how could the citizens of the state be expected to accept the result of the election (not the presidential election, but the elections affected by redistricting)? It just feels like anything goes and winning retroactively justifies violating the constitution.


North Carolina right now is the worst example of all this - they’ve just openly thrown democracy out the window so the Republicans can maintain control. After having massively gerrymandered the state and engaged in voter suppression, the governor, having still lost, is contesting the votes - not because he expects to actually find irregularities, but because it provides the (Republican) legislature an excuse to vote him into office. Which they can, regardless of the popular vote. The state government there has no legitimacy on any level.


As much as I would like it to be true, I don’t see any evidence that the irregular count occurred through nefarious means. Consider this set of tweets:

It’s a little soon to be making judgments of electoral fraud, because if the evidence is flimsy, you wind up looking worse than when you started.


Because Hillary is actively calling for a recount?
Because the results aren’t correct?
Because you think the results of the election should not be accepted?

I’m a little hazy on what you’re getting at, can you clarify?


Yeah, since the voting is managed mainly by state officials, the Federal government doesn’t have a lot of leverage to say, y’all have to check this and make sure your machines meet a certain standard, esp. when they aren’t backing it up with cash. As Haldeman says, this is not news that these machines are a risk and it is not the first time these sorts of claims have been made (though perhaps the first time we suspect a foreign agency and not corrupt local officials). Something has to break before people will try to fix it.

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[quote=“Humbabella, post:9, topic:89984”]
Vote rigging aside, what’s the remedy for unconstitutional gerrymandering?
[/quote]Ranked voting and algorithmic redistricting with a computer churning the census data into a map.


That’s pretty much what I’ve been seeing over the last 10-15 years.
See: patriot act, voter registration, anything involving scott walker


That looks like a good way to draw things in the future, but I’m more asking what happens to people who have just been told, “Yeah, that election you voted in two weeks ago was unconstitutionally manipulated.” If the answer is, “They have to suck it up” then I don’t see why absurd gerrymandering wouldn’t continue. Basically it’s unconstitutional but I don’t know if there is a reason not to do it (other than decency/respect for the constitution, but those don’t go very far).


Well that goes back to the census. The districts are drawn every decade, so there is about 5 years left to fix the mistake now that the courts have ruled. With the WI court ruling it means that the Democrats can and should make a substantial push for the federally determined voting districts, and post 2010 there has been a lot of very good work to fix the system and bring it into law that it must be done this way.

If the WI attorney general really is a massive idiot and decides to push this to the Supreme Court he would lose even if Scalia was still seated on the court - and congress will absolutely be forced to use a more impartial method of redistricting across all states no matter what. I don’t see any way that the court doesn’t cross party lines on this one (although it should be unanimous and it won’t be), the letter of the law is very clear.

It’s a big win for the future, but unfortunately it also means a decade of a regime was put in place that has (hopefully) climaxed with President Trump. There is absolutely nothing that can be done about it other than pushing for future changes. If you feel like you were taken advantage of as a voter, then fucking write emails and tweets and whatever else to give your representatives a massive deluge of communications about the issue.


I want to be clear that the federal can overrule the state if it’s brought to the Supreme Court, and the current ruling means Wisconsin must make a change for the future already.

I mean look at the current legislative map with Milwaukee:

It literally has islands in other districts.


To what extent do the districts under the current system (have to) follow general political subdivisions?

Most people do not really care about electoral districts, but they would care if you told them to ignore all the inconvenience caused by their county now being octopus-shaped.


As far as I’m aware it is all taken from the 2010 US census data - the congress down to local districts.


The blue lines are the differences between federal and state:


How the fuck was that allowed in the first place?