“We conclude that the Dominion Voting System is intentionally and purposefully designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results,” Russell Ramsland Jr., co-founder of Allied Security Operations Group, said in a preliminary report.
“The system intentionally generates an enormously high number of ballot errors. The electronic ballots are then transferred for adjudication. The intentional errors lead to bulk adjudication of ballots with no oversight, no transparency, and no audit trail. This leads to voter or election fraud. Based on our study, we conclude that The Dominion Voting System should not be used in Michigan. We further conclude that the results of Antrim County should not have been certified,” he added.
Ramsland, a former Reagan administration official who has worked for NASA, and others from the group examined Dominion products in Antrim County earlier this month as part of an ongoing case.
The team inspected and performed forensic duplication on the county’s election management server, which was running Dominion Democracy Suite 5.5.3-002, compact flash cards used by local precincts in their Dominion ImageCast system, USB memory sticks used by Dominion Voter Assist Terminals, and USB memory sticks used for the poll book. They used X-Ways Forensics and other tools including Blackbag-Blacklight Forensic Software, and Virtual Box.
13th Circuit Judge Kevin Elsenheimer approved the forensic examination in Bailey v. Antrim County, which alleges the infamous vote flip county officials reported last month may have not been the result of human error, as officials had alleged.
Elsenheimer earlier Monday agreed to let the report on the examination be published.
Ramsland noted that Antrim County officials first reported on Election Night that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden received, out of 12,423 votes, nearly 7,800.
Two days later, they said President Donald Trump actually won the county, receiving nearly 9,800 votes out of over 17,000 cast.
But on Nov. 21, the officials again updated the figures, removing about 1,300 votes from Biden.
Ramsland said the tabulation log for the forensic examination of the server for the county showed 15,676 individual events. Of those, some 68 percent were recorded errors.
“These errors resulted in overall tabulation errors or ballots being sent to adjudication. This high error rates proves the Dominion Voting System is flawed and does not meet state or federal election laws,” he wrote.
“A staggering number of votes required adjudication. This was a 2020 issue not seen in previous election cycles still stored on the server. This is caused by intentional errors in the system. The intentional errors lead to bulk adjudication of ballots with no oversight, no transparency, or audit trail. Our examination of the server logs indicates that this high error rate was incongruent with patterns from previous years. The statement attributing these issues to human error is not consistent with the forensic evaluation, which points more correctly to systemic machine and/or software errors. The systemic errors are intentionally designed to create errors in order to push a high volume of ballots to bulk adjudication,” he added later.
Ramsland was hired by William Bailey, the plaintiff in the court case.
Gary Miliefsky, a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security and publisher of Cyber Defense Magazine, told The Epoch Times that Ramsland and his team “have the cybersecurity and forensic capabilities and expertise that cannot be dismissed.”
“In fact, looking at their team, their patents, their experience, we now have a credible analysis that as I predicted, the Algorithms being used in the Dominion Voting System is intentionally and purposefully designed to create systematic fraud and influence election results and in this case, not in the favor of President Trump,” he added.
In a separate declaration filed by Bailey’s lawyers, Michigan resident Gustavo Delfino said he was involved in a 2004 election in his native Venezuela. He said he witnessed strange events and later found discrepancies involving Smartmatic computers. He said he was alarmed when he learned the technology was being used in the Nov. 3 presidential election and said the pattern of so-called glitches and voting machines being connected to the Internet mirrored what happened in his country nearly two decades ago.
Spokespersons for Antrim County and Dominion didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, said in a statement after the report was released: “Let’s be clear: Michigan’s Nov. 3 general election in Michigan and across the country was the most secure in the nation’s history. There continues to be no evidence of widespread fraud.”
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel added: “Oftentimes, a party will hire an expert witness to support the conclusion that the party wants or needs to reach. It’s why we give the other parties in a lawsuit a chance to depose the expert and challenge their qualifications in court. Anyone can have an opinion, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the opinion is based on fact or science.”
Officials alleged that the team behind the audit doesn’t have expertise in election administration and technology. In a court filing, Michigan Elections Director Jonathan Brater said the report “makes a series of unsupported conclusions, ascribes motives of fraud and obfuscation to processes that are easily explained as routine election procedures or error corrections, and suggests without explanation that elements of election software not used in Michigan are somehow responsible for tabulation or reporting errors that are either nonexistent or easily explained.”
Erik Grill, an assistant attorney general, told the judge during the hearing on Monday morning that the preliminary report was “inaccurate, incomplete, and misleading.” Haider Kazim, an attorney for the county, said it contained several errors the county believes were based on “faulty assumptions and incorrect assumptions.”
The 23-page report was published soon after by Allied Security Operations Group. It includes expert analysis from Russell Ramsland, a former Republican Party candidate who works with the group.
Ramsland’s team concluded that Dominion’s system “intentionally generates an enormously high number of ballot errors.”
Dominion didn’t respond to a request for comment.
13th Circuit Judge Kevin Elsenheimer agreed to remove a protective order that was blocking the release of the report on the request of attorney Matthew DePerno, after attorneys with Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office said they didn’t oppose doing so.
DePerno pushed for the removal in a court hearing, saying the order was meant to be temporary and it had achieved its purpose of preventing him from releasing information on the imaging before Benson’s office had an opportunity to review it.
“We believe that public interest in seeing what we discovered and what we say in the report would outweigh any potential harm to Dominion software,” DePerno told the court.
He argued that confirming the accuracy of the electoral process is a greater public interest in this case than any potential issues related to Dominion software and that the company had an opportunity to intervene in the case but did not do so.
Erik Grill, an assistant attorney general, criticized the lawyer for giving an interview late last week in which he asserted Benson lied, saying doing so essentially violated the protective order.
“The secretary of state has been prejudiced by the premature disclosure of the preliminary report. We just wanted to review the preliminary report and present a counterargument at the same time that the preliminary report was issued,” Grill said. “That is no longer possible as a result of Mr. DePerno’s interview.”
He also asserted that DePerno distributed the report to outside parties, pointing to lawyers in a separate case alerting the U.S. Supreme Court of new evidence filed in DePerno’s case.
DePerno said he did not share the report with any other parties.
Benson doesn’t oppose the distribution of the report, provided the secretary of state can release its counterargument, Grill added.
An Antrim County attorney said it didn’t oppose the release, as long as the county is similarly allowed “to explain the several errors that we believe are contained in the preliminary report,” which he said was based on “faulty assumptions and incorrect assumptions.”
The order came in Bailey v. Antrim County. Plaintiff William Bailey asked to be allowed to examine Dominion machines because of the skewed results that the county reported in the presidential election. County officials initially said Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden received more than 2,000 votes over President Donald Trump, but later changed the results to show Trump received nearly 4,000 more votes than Biden.
Benson and Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy have said what happened was due to human error.
“The error in reporting unofficial results in Antrim County Michigan was the result of a user error that was quickly identified and corrected,” Benson said in a statement last month.
But the new suit said many questions remain unanswered, including whether Dominion tabulators in the county were tampered with, whether they have the capacity to connect to the Internet, and whether they had any open VPN ports during the election.
The judge earlier this month allowed Bailey’s attorney and experts he brought in to examine the machines. They conducted a forensic examination.
Elsenheimer had at the same time issued a protective order, blocking the release of the results of the examination.
As Democrats move from success in the 2018 midterms to the early stages of picking a 2020 presidential candidate, a narrative is taking root. It holds that the key Democratic voter today is young, liberal and rebellious—in short, a version of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 29-year-old activist who became the youngest congresswoman ever and who appears to be pushing the party to the left.
There is one problem with this narrative. It largely misses the story of the voters who actually delivered success to Democrats last year—and who may determine the outcome of the next presidential race.The disconnect between perception and reality is important because it affects what Democrats do—now that they have a piece of governing power in Washington with their newfound control of the House, and because it affects the way the party views the nascent effort to choose the next presidential contender. In particular, it affects views of the largest name in the party not yet in the 2020 field: former Vice President Joe Biden.
It’s certainly true that there was a lot of energy among young, liberal Democrats in 2018, and that figures to be true again in the new presidential cycle.
Yet the Democratic electorate in 2018—the one that swung House seats and governor’s offices from Republican to Democratic—was neither as young nor as liberal as popularly imagined. AP VoteCast, a survey of more than 115,000 self-identified 2018 midterm voters, found that just 15% of those who voted Democratic last November were aged 18 through 29. The largest contingent of Democratic voters—36%—actually were ages 45 through 64.
All told, 60% of Democratic voters were aged 45 or older.
In ideological terms, there is no doubt that the party is moving to the left. An increasing share of Democrats are identifying themselves as liberal. Yet that movement also can be overstated. While half of Democratic voters last year identified themselves as liberal, 48% called themselves moderate or conservative. And moderates outnumbered “very liberal” Democratic voters by two to one.
Their switch is why many of those moderate Republicans washed out to sea; their fate was sealed more by moderate women rising up to vote Democratic than because of a left-wing insurrection. Indeed, candidates endorsed by the moderate New Democrat coalition flipped 33 of the 42 House seats that went from Republican to Democrat.
Geographically, the keys to Democrats’ success came not in the party’s coastal enclaves—such as Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s district, which was held by Democrats long before she arrived—but rather in the industrial upper Midwest swing states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. All three states were won by Mr. Trump in 2016, but Democrats won the popular House vote in those states last fall. Democrats also nominated moderates for governor in all three states—and all three won, by a margin of 1.3 million votes.This reality is important for Democrats as candidates begin drifting onto the 2020 presidential battlefield. The prevailing narrative suggests not only that the advantage goes to a fresh face who excites the party’s young progressives—think former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas or Sen. Kamala Harris of California—but that such a choice has the best chance of success against Mr. Trump.
And maybe that’s the case. But consider the alternative, suggested by the reality of the midterm election results: The votes that will spell the difference for Democrats lie not on the left and on the coasts, but in the center and in the industrial Midwest.
That’s where Mr. Biden enters the picture. Perhaps the 76-year-old former vice president is too old. He certainly doesn’t meet the desire for “new blood” in politics cited last week by former President Obama.
On the other hand, if the Democrats’ key votes in 2020 will lie among centrists in the industrial Midwest, the more moderate profile of the favorite son of Scranton, Pa., will be an attractive one. Moreover, if voters generally are looking for somebody who knows how to get things done rather than simply create controversy, the guy who once prevented a government shutdown by cutting a big budget deal with Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell may have some appeal.
It’s too early to know, of course—but there is more than one narrative at work for Democrats.
When asked recently who Republicans should fear most in the 2020 presidential campaign, two prominent GOP figures, both women speaking independently of each other, gave the same response: Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
A third Republican, a male, asked which kind of candidate Democrats should want, replied: “They need a boring white guy from the Midwest.”
So, there you have it: The dream ticket of Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Case closed, cancel the primaries, on to the general election.
So if all that creates an opportunity for Democrats in 2020, here’s their dilemma: Can they pick a candidate who can blend the party’s conflicting impulses?
This may seem a long ways off, but the reality is that most Democrats thinking of running for president—and the number probably runs into the 20s—plan to make their decision over the next several weeks, so they can move out starting in early 2019.
.. The winning lottery ticket, of course, goes to somebody who can appeal to both. And that’s why Ms. Klobuchar’s name—and profile—attract attention. She’s a woman, obviously, which is important at a time when newly energized women are a growing force within the party. She pleased her party base in the hearings on the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh when she challenged him about his use of alcohol, but did so in a sufficiently calm and understated manner that she won an apology from Mr. Kavanaugh after he initially responded angrily.
.. She also won re-election this year with more than 60% of the vote in the one state Trump forces lost in 2016 but think they have a legitimate chance to flip their way in 2020.
.. The question is whether she or anyone can put together a policy agenda that pleases both party liberals, who are pushing for
- a Medicare-for-all health system,
- the demise of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement system and an
- aggressive new climate-change action plan, and more moderate Midwestern voters, who may be scared off by all of those things.
Ms. Klobuchar’s policy priorities may suggest a path. To address health care, the top priority of Democratic voters, she advocates a step-by-step approach, one that seeks to
- drive down prescription drug costs by opening the door to less-expensive drugs from Canada,
- protect and improve the Affordable Care Act, and
- expand health coverage by considering such steps as allowing more Americans to buy into the Medicare system.
.. She’s talked of a push to improve American infrastructure that would include expanding rural Americans’ access to broadband service, paying for it by rolling back some—though not all—of the tax cuts Republicans passed last year. She pushes for more vigorous antitrust enforcement, more protections for privacy and steps to curb undisclosed money in politics
.. For his part, Sen. Brown, a liberal who this year won Ohio as it otherwise drifts Republican, offers a working-class-friendly agenda that combines progressive impulses for government activism to drive up wages with Trumpian skepticism about trade deals and corporate outsourcing.
With Democrats set to take over top statewide offices next year, Michigan Republicans are considering proposals that would allow the Legislature to intervene in legal battles and shift oversight of the state’s campaign finance law to a new commission.
The lame-duck power plays would limit the power of Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Democrats have not held all three posts since 1990.
A House bill introduced Thursday by state Rep. Rob VerHeulen, R-Walker, and quickly praised by Republican leaders seeks to guarantee the GOP-led Legislature could intervene in legal battles involving state laws that Democrats may be hesitant to defend.
A separate proposal from Sen. Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc, would shift oversight of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act from the Secretary of State’s Office to a newly proposed “fair political practices commission.”
Verheulen denied his bill would supplant the authority of the attorney general, though it likely would give the Legislature a voice in ensuring the rationales for laws the House and Senate passed get defended in court.
“More and more public policy arguments are being made in the courts rather than in the legislative chambers, and I think there may be occasions where the House or the Senate or both want to simply express their view before the court,” said VerHeulen.
Nessel, in her winning campaign for attorney general, said she may not defend state laws she views as unconstitutional, including a 2015 law that allows faith-based adoption agencies to decline working with gay residents. Same-sex couples have sued the state over the law, and the litigation remains in court.
.. “Those legislators pushing this law should be reminded that the people elect their attorneys general and their governors and such a proposal — should it pass — would have a dramatic and disastrous impact on the state of Michigan and its residents for years to come,” Rossman-McKinney said.
Benson will be the state’s first Democratic secretary of state since 1994, but Robertson’s proposal would strip her office of a key responsibility by creating a new commission to oversee campaign finance laws.
.. “Legislative Republicans are now trying to thwart the will of the voters with bills that ignore their voices, (defy) history and will make Michigan a national punch line by effectively ending enforcement of the campaign finance laws they are required to abide by,” Boyd said in a statement. “It’s shameful.”
A longstanding Michigan law gives the attorney general the authority to intervene in any civil or criminal case “when in his own judgment the interests of the state require it” but does not give special privileges to legislators, who can ask judges to intervene in cases but are not guaranteed the right.
.. Republicans have controlled the offices of secretary of state and attorney general since the 2002 election. Democrats last held the governor’s office in 2010 under Jennifer Granholm.
When Democrats Whitmer, Nessel and Jocelyn Benson take office on Jan. 1, 2019, it will mark the first time in 28 years that Democrats have controlled the offices of governor, attorney and secretary of state at the same time.
You may not have noticed this when it happened, but North Carolina elected a Democratic governor in 2016. It was a close race, and Republicans demanded multiple recounts, but eventually they conceded and Roy Cooper was declared the winner.
But that didn’t mean everything was over. After all, there was another month left in which lame duck Republican Pat McRory was still governor and the Republican legislature was still running things. So they did something unique: they passed a series of bills that stripped the governor of some of his powers. Cooper sued after he took office, of course, and the whole mess is currently working its way through the courts. Still, as corrupt as this was, at least it was just North Carolina, which has a recent history of anti-democratic actions barely matched since the end of Reconstruction.
.. In the same way that voter ID bills spread throughout red states after the first one produced light bulbs all over GOP-land, the same thing is happening here. Republicans who lost reelection bids in November are casting their eyes toward North Carolina and thinking that those Tarheels had a pretty good idea. Here’s Michigan:
.. The incoming Democrats had promised a crackdown on dark money contributions, and this is an obvious attempt to stop them. The new commission would be split evenly between Republicans and Democrats, which would halt campaign finance reform in its tracks. And if Michigan can do it, you know that Scott Walker must be looking on from Wisconsin wondering if he can do the same thing.
.. And so the red splotch expands, as Republicans desperately try to thwart democracy and the usual peaceful transfer of power. Will our courts let them get away with this? Stay tuned.