Does the Discrepancy Between Exit Polls and Vote Totals From the 2016 Election Show Fraud?


getty_521132954_120059.jpgThere is a statistically significant difference between what the exit polls say happened in the 2016 Presidential Election and what the vote totals say happened on November 8th.

Alone this proves nothing but, in the tech world, we like to say the proof is in the data so let's dive in. Make up your own mind and share it with others.

Here are the facts:

1) In 28 states doing exit polling, 23 states had a margin favoring Trump, against 5 for Clinton. That's 82% of states going one way in a highly divided nation.

2) Among Clinton's 5, only one was above 5% discrepancy, New York. Trump had 10 and a full 13 above 4%. The typical margin of error in exit polling is sub-3%, dating back at least 4 elections.

3) Clinton suffered a significantly above the margin of error discrepancy in these states: Ohio (8.4%), North Carolina (5.9%), Pennsylvania (5.6%), and Wisconsin (4.8%). She also suffered a within-but-close-to-the edge margin in Florida (2.6%) These were the states most critical to winning the election.

4) Of the critical swing states for Clinton, only Michigan (0.3%) did not show a significant discrepancy in favor of Trump.

I don't want to veer away from the data into the realm of speculation, as the purpose of this article is purely to convey the details of the factual discrepancy of the exit polls against the vote results, and to highlight that an 82/18% split in favor, and a 100% split in swing states, is not normal in a closely contested election.

So, that leads to the second, more technical question: what is the level of vulnerability to manipulation in electronic voting machines.

The short technology answer is: voting machines are hard to hack from the outside - say by a foreign nation - that is mostly in the realm of conspiracy theory. However, voting machine totals are not difficult to manipulate internally, if you are running the machines.

Here are some specific and important facts.

1) As Fortune reported on November 4, the voting machine Sequoia AVC Edge Mk1, which was used prominently in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, is highly vulnerable to internal hacking.

2) Voters using electronic voting machines, as in many districts in all the swing states listed, are handed a chip card to cast their vote. As Symantec details, that chip card is reused and it is not difficult to hack into and reactivate it to either vote multiple times, or to cast multiple votes, all within the privacy of the voting booth.

3) Voting machines often do not have encryption on their internal hard drive. This makes them vulnerable to on-site manipulation, despite their lack of internet connectivity.

So, the tech facts say: it's hard to manipulate voting machines from a external location, but its quite easy to do systematically on site.

It's not my goal to draw conclusions here. But the smart tech money says that this deserves more attention, and from the specialists who can get a firm answer.

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