How to Electronically Rig an Election and How to Keep an Election Honest

Posted on August 13, 2016

RFP Staff

♦ If you could rig the 2016 general election, would you? In The Sociopath Next Door, psychologist Martha Stout reveals that 4% of the population may be sociopaths of varying degrees and do not have a conscience like the rest of us. We commonly call these folks “psychopaths”, and if an election can be rigged—one of them would likely pull the trigger. Experts say that not only does rigging happen, but to win an election by rigging it takes only a few people and a smart strategy.

To understand election rigging, let’s put aside party affiliation, accept that not every candidate who wins does so by rigging, and know that some who win by rigging don’t participate in the fix or don’t even know about the fix. According to one study, some will not believe what they read due to strong political beliefs. Since the evidence and research says that fraud and rigging is well documented in both parties, and since candidates in both parties expressed that the system is rigged—let’s see how rigging is done.

Here are just a few election rigging stories you may or may not have learned in US History class:

  • In the 19th Century, gangs of political bullies were known to kidnap destitute folks and get them sauced in a voter fraud scheme known historically as “cooping”. They’d dress stupefied  victims in different outfits and have them vote multiple times.  Edgar Allen Poe died in a delirium after being found wearing soiled and ill-fitting clothes that were not his own, in a gutter in the 4th ward of Baltimore during the elections. Many scholars believe Poe was a victim of cooping.
  • New York City’s 19th Century Tammany Hall was infamous for rabidly 8889dda1edf884f937375da64cb06f45rigging elections. They’d pay fixers, called “strikers”, to hand out pre-filled ballots and rake in bulk votes for Tammany’s candidates. Tammany Hall was also known for lax immigration regulations, which allowed them to lure new voters into their schemes. Their most famous vote heists took place between 1868 and 1871, when 8% more people voted than lived in the district.
  • The Bill Clinton administration was accused of speeding up the naturalization for close to a million new citizens in 1996 so that they could vote in that year’s election.
  • In 2000, a Florida count of ballots cast for US president was riddled with misreports, miscounting, mischief and errors. Some claim that voter purging in Florida was shown to wrongly identify thousands of individuals, mostly minorities, to a number great enough that had those votes been counted, Al Gore might have been the president rather than George W. Bush.
  • Charges of high-impact electronic voting fraud has led to scrutiny on both sides of the aisle after Clint Curtis testified to being solicited and to actually creating a simple code by which an electronic vote can be flipped (or re-totaled to benefit a desired candidate).

Clint Curtis describes how he was asked to create  a code that can be used to rig electronic voting or vote-counting machines:

Since Curtis’s testimony, many scholars and technology experts have shown that a code can be created and used effectively to flip—or change—the count of machines. Such “hacks” can quickly and easily be transferred to all machines in a district.

How is Election Fraud Done?

A list of traditional election fraud would look like this for a pre-digital technology election (not all-inclusive):

  1. Suppress the vote of those who would not vote in your favor. Suppression has been known to prevent some minority votes. Ways to suppress include increasing the difficulty of voting according where voting is done, of how information is communicated, or of the registration and voting process.
  2. Purge votes of those who would not vote in your favor. Purging has been shown to prevent some minority votes. It can be done by mass deletions of those who have been felons, for example. Innumerable “errors” in purge lists have prevented large numbers of votes in many elections.
  3. Try for large numbers of uncounted votes. Lose or “mistakenly” forget to count large numbers of votes such as absentee votes, mail-in votes, provisional, or affidavit votes.
  4. Gerrymander the boundaries of districts so that the composition of the population ensures that you, or your favored candidates, will win.
  5. Be a turncoat candidate. Run by allowing the majority of voters to believe your platform is what they want. Then, once you win, change your positions.
  6. Intimidate Make people fear voting against your or your affiliates. Before the Civil Rights Act, this included multiple deaths of those who wanted to make voting accessible to minorities. Long lines and hours of waiting may intimidate some modern voters.
  7. Accept outside financing and big money. Since the Citizens United court decision was upheld, lots of money can be funneled into campaigns. Some people believe this can cause corrupt individuals to be elected.
  8. Send out robo-calls that perpetuate an untruth about your opponent or yourself.
  9. Lie about yourself and your opponent. Do so in person, in print, and in your campaign literature.
  10. Assassinate the opponent or the opposition. It’s been done, but it is rare to track assassination to an individual candidate—or even a political party.

An typical list of election fraud tricks possible with digital or electronic voting or vote-counting (not all-inclusive):

  1. Hack online voting. Hacking is common and rarely traceable to the actor.
  2. Create a code to flip the vote in your favor for electronic voting machines and infect one memory card or one update that will be downloaded. The card or update will affect enough machines that you can win.
  3. Create a code to flip the vote in your favor for electronic counting machines and scanners that process paper ballots. Once the code is on one memory card (or updated to the internal modem), all machines in a district can be set to do your bidding.

This year, many voices called out that elections will be rigged. Both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump’s claims of rigged primaries have in some form held up to evidence. Un-altered exit polls were known for decades to predict elections accurately with a basic rule that exit polls vary up to 2% from election reports, until widespread electronic voting and counting became rampant in 2004. Research on the primaries based on this historic data point reveals that both Sanders and Trump had valid complaints about the primaries. Here are just two examples that validate their complaints:

Sanders Proof

Trump Proof

Figures attributed to Election Justice, USA

“Rigging” is a broad term, though. Election fraud can be high or low impact, depending upon the size of the population affected. The system as a whole can be rigged, as has been claimed by those who see the electoral vote or the use of super delegates to be rigging. Next, primaries and general elections can be rigged in what is commonly called election fraud. Voter fraud is not the same as election fraud. It’s an individual fraud. While individual voter fraud has the least impact and is considered rare, The Heritage Society’s records of individual voter fraud lists 300 cases. By far, most individual fraud on the books is done by absentee ballot. However, only a little over 30 people (out of over one billion votes) have committed legitimate voter fraud as defined by law since 2000. In any case, most election fraud is not as obvious as Tammany Hall’s gangs were.

The Digital Age Changed Things

Election fraud takes place under the cover of secret ballots in a system that was created to maintain anonymity. Until electronic voting machines and OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAelectronic paper vote scanners or counters were introduced, only those who were obvious or as outrageous as Tammany Hall’s Boss Tweed were hard to ignore. Now that the hackable, digital world is intertwined with our sacred right to vote, there is a potential for large-scale, high-impact fraud that is invisible. We don’t see hackers, code, or fraud when it is done electronically, and that makes Hacker_insidedigital or electronic election fraud insidious and dangerous.

The secret of an electronically-rigged election is to do it subtly, randomly, and flipping only a calculated and small percentage of key precincts in states that have a large percentage of electoral votes. However, it seems such a smooth operation is not yet developed because un-adjusted exit polls have consistently led to correctly called elections during the last century, and such data has been used to discover election fraud since electronic voting machines and counters became widely used. Only since electronic voting was introduced have news outlets resorted to adjusting their exit polls to better match what the electronic voting machines, scanners, and counters say is the final tally. Since the year 2004, when such machines became more widely used, dramatic discrepancies began and increased between un-adjusted exit polls and the output of the electronic voting machines and counters. Experts are calling for a pull-back on the use of these devices because they are not secure from fraud.

Clint Curtis testifies about how he was solicited to rig voting machines:


A Princeton University research team of computer scientists proves how electronic voting machines can be hacked:


Tallahassee officials test a Diebold paper vote electronic counter (scanner) made by Diebold:

Is Rowan County at Risk for Electronic Election Fraud?

Yes. But first, the good news:

Since a hack or coding event can be done at the national or local level, as demonstrated in videos above, you should know that Rowan County uses a paper voting method, which is highly recommended for voting security.

However, there are electronic machines reportedly used to count the paper ballots in Rowan County:

Ro Co Voting Method

Now for the bad news.

Unfortunately, the Model 100 counting machines (seen left) Model_100_Bannerand the AutoMark  (an electronic voting machine used for those who need physical assistance to vote, seen right) used by Rowan County areAutoMARK-BAnner distributed by Electronic Systems & Software (ES&S). ES&S bought Diebold’s software and hardware in 2009. Diebold’s electronic voting and counting machines were proven to be hacked in multiple labs and studies, as seen above. Diebold renamed its subsidiary Premier Voting Systems and then sold it to ES&S – the maker and program supplier of Rowan County’s vote counting machines. The paper ballot counting machine used in the Rowan County vote is the ES&S Model 100, which contains an internal two-way modem that can communicate or be communicated with while they are in operation. ES&S has admitted that its machines have been known to have unreliable results. Rowan County’s voting counters and the AutoMark can be hacked from a distance or through access to the memory card or control card inserted into the machine. Multiple technology experts have posted videos and explanations of how this can be done. Experts testify that a code can be written to do this by anyone with a minimal knowledge of computer code-writing, and they have identified red flags that reveals the fraud.

What Can We Do?

Digital programs require trust that we cannot give during an election. The US in in the minority of countries who use electronic voting.

Using electronic voting or counters are as effective for voting as using a flame thrower to mow the lawn. It’s the wrong tool, even though technology has improved and will improve more and more of our lives in many ways. Slot machines have more regulation and controls than electronic voting and counting machines. Fixing our mistake of trying to use electronic voting and vote counting is as simple as taking a step back and using simple, already proven methods.

On a national level, little can or will likely to be done before the November 2016 vote, despite that multiple lawsuits are already in motion. However, in Rowan County all except votes by those who need physical assistance (who will vote on the AutoMark screens), the vote is paper. To prevent high-impact fraud, simply hand-count the vote and then audit that hand-count. That is how it was done for centuries. The time-proven trust-no-one stance, in which we apply the necessary assertiveness to have observers such as poll watchers present during all actions of a vote, and in which we use a system of paper voting with a follow-up audit will ensure anonymous and secure voting with un-rigged results as best we can. Talk to the Election Board.

The testimony of Bev. Harris on evidence she has documented on the companies that create, program, distribute and update programming before each election to the ES&S Model 100 vote-counting machines in Rowan County:

A nonpartisan collection of reports, studies, data, and statistics on this topic can be found at and

Hacking Democracy, a full-length HBO documentary on this subject can be viewed online here:







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