Election History – Part 3

-Karen Michelle

Last week we looked at voter fraud claims from both the left and the right and tried to figure out what was truth and what was party driven narrative.

Marketing

When it comes to election tampering, recognize the power of research based psychological marketing. Both sides used behavioral studies to craft marketing strategies that drive higher voter turnout.

Think about it for a moment-if you weren’t really interested in voting before, what would be the one thing that would get you to vote? Could the answer be…the perception that your rights are at stake? The GOP has utilizing the tactic of threatened rights for quite some time through the lobbying arm of the NRA

Many research studies show that one of the largest indicators of voter turnout is political engagement. Political engagement tends to increase when one feels a personal investment in policy decisions highlighted in campaigns. A few decades ago, civic pride was a driving factor in voter turnout, but civic pride has decreased significantly. When a community isn’t driven by pride, they can easily be manipulated by anger or fear.

The interesting thing to note when talking political marketing is the breakdown of actual voter participation rates

Let’s compare 1964 to 2016 and look at the registered voters that actually voted in presidential  elections:(keep in mind midterm elections are always much smaller numbers)

Overall

1964:69.3%

2016:58.2%

Gender

Women

1964:67%

2016: 58%

Men

1964:72%

2016:54% (Significant drop in 1980)

Age

18-24

1964:51%

2016:39%

25-44

1964:69%

2016:49%

45-64

1964:80%

2016: 62%

65 and over

Have stayed stable at approx 75%

Race

Black

1968:58%

2016:56.0% (This is about the same at 1984-rates spiked in 2000, 2008, 2012. Rate was 62% in 2012)

White

1964:70%

2016:53.1%

Asian/Pacific Islander

1988:27%

2016: 34%

Hispanic:

1972:37.5

2016:32.5



Taking these percentages into consideration, you can see where marketing would be utilized. One  the most surprising things to me what the drop in white men-It was just about the highest statistical drop-which would explain the Trump marketing strategy.

The other striking thing to notice is the rapid drop in the Black vote from 2012’s 62%-the current 56% which was the same average as 1980.

Campaign strategists would be desperate to not lose the edge they gained in the current election. Think about that-if a campaign loses a large percentage of a demographic, they will go into fear tactics to get the job done. Before buying into an election narrative, check previous election rates for your demographic and figure out if you are a targeted demographic.

Election Tampering/Hacking:

As Americans, this should be the point of unity.The more we lean on technology at the polling centers, the more vulnerable we are to attack and election manipulation.

A 2017 official intelligence assessment made this bold assertion:

“Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow’s long-standing desire to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order, but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations.

Here were some of the key findings in regards to cyber intrusion and espionage:

-Russian intelligence accessed elements of multiple state or local electoral boards. Since early 2014, Russian intelligence has researched US electoral processes and related technology and equipment. There is no evidence that these efforts also included vote tallying.

-Russian intelligence services collected from US primary campaigns, think tanks, and lobbying groups they viewed as likely to shape future US policies. This includes the party headquarters/conventions.

-Russia utilized the information gathered illegally to create large scale public disclosures of sensitive information.

-Russia utilized major propaganda efforts throughout English speaking media as well as social media.

-Russian meddling in the 2016 election was their boldest move yet.

.Think about what that means.All  Previous operations aimed at US elections. Think Cold War.

So-how do we stop cyber meddling?

Security experts recommend several things, updating equipment that is easily hacked, providing grants for cybersecurity at local election levels, and ensuring a paper hard copy of every vote.

There are currently two bipartisan bills awaiting action that address these suggestions.

The first is the Secure Elections Act. (S.2261)

This bill gives the Department of Homeland Security primary responsibility within the federal government for sharing information about election cybersecurity incidents, threats, and vulnerabilities with federal entities and election agencies

– Studies best practices on election cybersecurity and standards for procuring, maintaining, testing, auditing, operating, and updating election systems.

-awards election system cybersecurity and modernization grants to states to implement the advisory panel’s guidelines

– establishes a Hack the Election program, including a recurring competition, to facilitate and encourage the identification and reporting of election cybersecurity vulnerabilities by independent technical experts.

The second is the PAPER ACT (HR2751) SC

The entire name of the bill is the Protecting the American Process for Election Results Act

This bill seeks to:

-Study and report on best practices to store and protect voter data

-Providing technology improvement grants

-Incentivize states to follow and implement a safety plan

-Implement best practices (including paper hard copies)

-Audits

-State election commision sharing of best practices

Neither of these bills have had much action past introduction. Research them and demand action so that we can have a safer election process in 2020.

Now let’s look at some overall questions you hear alot around election season…

Why can’t we just standardize voter requirements so that all the states are the same?

Because of the adage..all politics are local. Local elections happen all the time. If it’s confusing now, just imagine how confusing it would be if there were standardized requirements for Presidential elections and midterms and a whole different set of standards for local elections? Setting requirements up by state is confusing, but necessary.

Is it illegal to wear candidate/party paraphernalia at the polls?

The answer to this question depends on state. There is no federal mandate on it, but some states do not allow it.

Is it true that absentee ballots are only counted in case of a tie?

No. All eligible absentee ballots and early votes are counted. It doesn’t have to be a tie or even a close race for them to count. Usually they’re tallied on Election Day, though sometimes absentee ballots — especially those from overseas — might not be counted until several days after the election. However, the votes are still included in the official results. Sometimes voters whose names aren’t on the rolls or who don’t have the proper ID will be asked to cast something called a provisional ballot. That ballot is counted only after election officials have verified that the voter is eligible. A fair number of provisional ballots get rejected, so it’s best not to use one if you don’t have to.

Why are some poll stations filled with voting machines and others aren’t? Isn’t this an attempt at voter disenfranchisement?

State election officials have to play a guessing game when utilizing funds to obtain voting machines for their areas. They go off of previous voting numbers per district as well as populations. So, if a certain district has less voter turnout over several cycles, they are likely to have less machines. Utilizing a paper system again would be an effective way to mitigate this issue.

Basically, the most important thing to remember is that you are being marketed to, and things are not always as they seem, look for unbiased facts from sources like the census bureau and dig a little before letting vote tampering narratives drive your indignation.

Be aware of hacking and demand bipartisan, data driven change.

Look for reasons to get involved in civic engagement that increases pride of country instead of frustration. Work to be the country you want to be. Don’t tow the party line out of fear-arm yourself with facts, and vote free from partisan restraints.

Sources:

Voter Registration Issues:

https://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/pcs_assets/2012/pewupgradingvoterregistrationpdf.pdf

Election modernization plan:

https://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/pcs_assets/2010/upgradingdemocracyreportpdf.pdf

Voter Fraud Claims:

https://www.heritage.org/voterfraud

Voter Fraud Analysis:

https://columbialawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Gilbert-M.-Final.pdf

Voter ID laws by State:

http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/voter-id.aspx?fbclid=IwAR13Pc5fc_kTTYTXBV5EsTKs1TpzzVcjYbjT9GGBaH94_QVQ7y9KVtxa-UM

Faith in election process:

Voter Turnout in previous years

https://guides.libraries.psu.edu/post-election-2016/voter-turnout

Voting History:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/10/13/rock-paper-scissors

https://jer.pennpress.org/media/26167/sampleArt22.pdf

Voting Timeline:

https://a.s.kqed.net/pdf/education/digitalmedia/us-voting-rights-timeline.pdf

Voting Machines:

http://homepage.divms.uiowa.edu/~jones/voting/pictures/#lever

https://www.popsci.com/scitech/gallery/2008-10/history-voting-machines

History of fraud:

https://www.grunge.com/126290/the-craziest-cases-of-election-fraud-in-u-s-history/

Intelligence Report of Cyber Meddling:

https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf

Pending legislation:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/2261

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3751

Trump’s Commission found no fraud (official declaration):

General Questions:

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95573939

Gerrymandering:

https://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/publications/Extreme%20Maps%205.16.pdf

https://www.oyez.org/cases/2017/16-1161

Voter statistics

https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/todd_rogers/files/unresponsive_.2016.pdf

Census voting numbers

https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/voting-and-registration/voting-historical-time-series.html

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