Robert Fitrakis, election lawyer and international election observer, says had the outcome on November 8 occurred in another country the State Department would have questioned the integrity of the vote
KIM BROWN, TRNN: Welcome to the Real News Network. I’m Kim Brown in Baltimore. On November 8th, 2016 millions of Americans cast their ballots in the US Presidential election. But unbeknownst to them, most of them anyway, vote stripping and vote flipping on a massive scale and throughout the country would ultimately result in the prearranged election of Donald Trump. This is the argument that is made in the recently published articles entitled Did the GOP Strip and Flip the 2016 Election and Why Did the US State Department Would Not Certify Trump’s Election as legitimate. Both of these pieces were written by Robert Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman. Now joining us today to discuss the US presidential election’s results and the very serious charges made in these pieces is Robert Fitrakis. He is a civil rights and election lawyer and a political science professor at the Columbus State community college. He was also an international election observer for the 1994 presidential election in El Salvador and he also cowrote and edited the International Observer’s report for the United Nations. Also he was lead attorney and Moss v. Bush election challenge back in 2004 and he’s currently suing the Edison Research Group regarding their practices of adjusting exit poll data in favor of improbable results. Bob and Harvey Wasserman are the coauthors of the upcoming book, The Strip and Flip: The Death of the American Democracy, Five Jim Crows & Electronic Election Theft. Bob thank you so much for being here. ROBERT FITRAKIS: Oh, glad to be on the show. BROWN: Well let’s go step by step by some of the arguments that you and Mr. Wasserman made in these articles. Let’s start off with electoral college, where the electoral college all comes from and why do you think the electoral college is of particular significance in this election. FITRAKIS: Well we’re one of the only so called democracies in the world where the loser of the popular vote wins the election. So you know we got the loser winning and the winner losing. All of that is based in a relic of an electoral college that was there primarily as a way to hide the slavery issue by electing electors in hiding that 3/5ths bonus that was built in to the US constitution as part of the compromise to keep the 13 plantation slave owners at the convention in Philadelphia. BROWN: So, what exactly is the difference there of quote traditional Jim Crow stripping of voter registration rolls in this last election. FITRAKIS: Well in the old days, you expected that blacks would be repressed in the old confederacy, blatant disregard for voting rights. At one point the Supreme Court said yes you have the right to vote but we have neither sword nor purse. We can’t really spend money to do it and we can’t enforce it. The new Jim Crow is high tech Jim Crow which really strips people ahead of time based on their race and ethnicity and because they’re poorer. We live in the world of meta and mega data and they’ve targeted minorities, particularly black people and Hispanics because they vote overwhelmingly democratic. BROWN: So Bob, so who designs and owns the computers and the computer software that were used in this presidential election and tell us why this is important. FITRAKIS: Well they’re private partisan full profit corporations that count the vote with proprietary secret software. But one stops shopping, if you look at SOE [inaud.], the foreign company from Barcelona, Spain which brought up SOE out of Tampa. I mean they do everything as a company right. They take care of your voter database, they do the poll [books], they do the programming for the machines, they do the central tabulators, and they do the election night reporting. They have inner locking directorships with the security industrial complex with Booz-Allen Hamilton, with the Carlyle Group. So, you know if I was in El Salvador, which I was in 1994, and I said the Arena Party is going to bring in friends connected to the CIA to secretly program the computers to control and use computers to say who’s allowed to vote – everyone would’ve know that the election was rigged and fixed. ESNS, you know which has been partly owned by the Omaha World-Herald which has Warren Buffet invested in it and the McCarthy group. I mean you’ve got this incredibly wealthy man worth nearly a billion dollars out of Omaha, Mr. McCarthy who owns a company that secretly counts 60% or so of all the votes in the US. If you trace these companies back, originally many of them were involved with the US government in rigging elections in the 3rd world. BROWN: So why do we even see the use of computers in the US in the first place as it relates to elections? Does every country do this by any chance? Are we the only industrialized democracy that utilizes computers for our elections? FITRAKIS: Well we’re one of like a very few. I mean in Ireland they went to the computer voting machines and they got rid of it. They tried in Limington, Ontario to do online voting. But the votes were so improbable, they got rid of it. Most of the major democracies of course vote on paper. In England, you vote with pencil and paper. But our system, because of tremendous pressure for speed and the massive mainstream for profit media to report, you know wants these quick results. So, we favor getting results out over being accurate in our voting. I mean we have non-transparent elections. US elections do not meet any minimum standard of transparency by involving these private companies, the partisan companies, with their secret software. BROWN: So how does this play into what we just witnessed here in the United States, 2 weeks ago where I can’t say that it was improbable for Donald Trump to win but it was unexpected I would say for a lot of people. Even probably Trump himself as we’re seeing him attempt to scramble and get his transition team together. It appears as if the Trump camp themselves were not prepared for this electoral college victory. So how did these things that you’re discussing play into the 2016 presidential election? FITRAKIS: Well number 1 if this election had occurred outside the United States, our State Department would not certify it to be a legitimate free and fair election. The Agency on International Development, the AID, would call in to question the discrepancies between the exit pols which showed Hillary Clinton winning and the final results. So, what they want us to believe is that the universal laws of statistics apply everywhere in the universe except the United States. So this doesn’t meet any minimum standard of democracy. It’s a nontransparent election run by partisan for profit corporations with their secret software. It would not be tolerated in any other democracy. And the results would trigger immediate investigations by our US State Department if this for example occurred in Bilo Russia. BROWN: Well speaking of Russia, there has been a lot of talk not only from the intelligence community but from a lot of media types about the involvement of the Russian government whether or not the Kremlin was taking concerted efforts to somehow influence the outcome of the American elections. Did you find that to actually be true? It’s sort of tough to gauge the validity of the information depending on where the source is. FITRAKIS: Well there was some talk that they might have accessed voter databases. Here’s what we know. We know that they left the voting systems in the US out of the critical infrastructure to be protected by Homeland Security. We know we used malfunctioning computers that freeze up on election day. If you read the AP, you read the New York Times, you read my newspaper FreePress.org, you get these reports of vote flipping and frozen computer screens. The computers are 12 to 20 years old. For the most part they lack any security points. Hart InterCivic, the third largest voting company, has 12 points of security. It fails all 12. The corruption of a single computer in 1 precinct can corrupt an entire county including the rewriting of laws. All of this is well established in the literature. You’ve got University of Michigan professors. You’ve got Harry Herstate, the computer expert. You’ve got Princeton. All of them regularly hack these machines. They have virtually no security and we’re transporting the central tabulator votes when all the votes are accumulated over the internet. So, it has numerous points of vulnerability. All we know is probably that the Russians had wanted to, they could’ve hacked the election. But so could a variety of people including people with $15 devices from RadioShack. BROWN: So, in your article you write that “in 24 of 26 states, unadjusted exit polls show that Clinton had vote counts significantly higher than the final official outcome. Now the likelihood of this happening in an election that is not rigged are in the realm of virtual statistical impossibility. So, can you please explain precisely what you mean by that and what do you say to those who would argue that the polls were simply proven wrong or otherwise deliberately biased towards Hillary Clinton? FITRAKIS: Well I don’t know how. I mean the exit polls – people need to realize exit polls are how people say they vote when they walk out, a minute after they voted. There’s no real evidence that people lie to pollsters. Because you’d have to stop and take a long survey. Usually people don’t want to talk to you, they’ll walk by you. So, these are people that have just voted. Usually proud of their vote. They tell people randomly and their representatives how they voted. What you’re seeing is a significant deviation. The margin of error just took the usual statistics of about 6/10ths of 1%. Because other human factors have played into that and because US elections have been so far off the mark since we’ve gone to using black box nonvarifiable computers. We have this push and pray system where we push and in 16 states there’s no paper trail to go to recount. We pus hand we pray that the vote is recorded right. There’s no paper in these 16 states. 80% of Pennsylvania, you can’t really recount it because they’re using DRE’s, Direct Recording Electronics. So, those people really can’t rove anything. They can’t verify. Our best estimate is how people randomly and represented of US society say they vote. They said, Hillary Clinton won by 4% points in Wisconsin. They said it was neck and neck in Ohio. Instead Trump wins by 8.5% of the vote. In 24 out of the 28 states that had exit polling, there was a shift towards Trump. Now if you had a coin and you flipped it 28 times and it came up heads for Trump 24 times, you should check that clean to see if it’s weighted. Because in the real world, you don’t get these results that all go in one direction. The errors should evenly come out to be 14 – 14, maybe 13-15, maybe even 12 -16. But when you get 24 unexplained many of them substantial and significant shifts towards Donald Trump that go against what people are saying when they come out of the polls and are scientifically selected for responses that by any known international standard, if this is what happened in El Salvador when I was watching that election, I would haves ay presumption off fraud. Election rigging. Anywhere else on earth, people understand that. So many of people if you question them they really don’t understand polls, they really don’t understand statistic. They really don’t understand that you’re pushing and praying and somebody has secretly written that code and they work for private for profit entities and while there might not be much money in making vote machines, there’s a hell of a lot in guaranteeing vote results. BROWN: So, what would you say to those that might argue that many people were simply too embarrassed to say that they were voting for Trump and couldn’t that have had an impact on the exit polls? I guess that’s something that you just went through but perhaps most significantly it’s that. FITRAKIS: I’d be glad to. Number 1 there’s decades of that’s called a reluctant responder. People if they are embarrassed to say they voted for Trump or Clinton, they walk by the pollster. They don’t stop and spend a lot of time filling out an elaborate survey and then lie to the pollster. There’s really not any evidence and that is assumed with the margin of error which is about 2%. That is incredibly unlikely. The data indicates that most people – the United Sates is a very segregated society. In most areas people voted for Trump overwhelmingly rural areas, or Hillary Clinton. They’re really not embarrassed to their vote and if they are embarrassed, they walk by. They don’t stop, take a long survey and lie. So, it’s a convenient way to dismiss that exit polls are the international gold standard used everywhere on Earth and by our own state department and the Agency on International Development to signal voter fraud. We just got a huge red flag that somebody jacked our elections in the US. And you can explain it away. But it doesn’t change the universal laws of statistics. BROWN: Bob you argue that electronic flipping has been a real problem both in this election and in elections past. So, explain to us what electronic flipping is and how we actually know it exists and what impact if any we know that it had on the outcome of this latest election? FITRAKIS: Well I once ran for US congress in 1992 and the votes were flipped right. It’s how you program the computer. In my case, I ran in Ohio for the US congress, the 12th district against the governor John Kasich. There’s a ballot rotation. So, when you program the computer wrong, it’s easy to say assign votes to A or B. In this case, they assigned them to the wrong candidate. In 2004, in Youngstown, Ohio, Mahoning County Board of Election admitted that 31 machines had been badly programmed and meant they were flipping the vote. These are computers. All people need to realize is you can program a computer. Not only that, Bev Harris went and she sued the voting machine companies. She got this data dump that included programs in the central tabulators and they actually use a central tabulator software that allows to count votes in fraction. This comes in very handy if you’re at a corporate stockholder meeting and your stock has different weight. But it’s totally absurd that in the United Sates that the gems management system, the general election management system counts votes in fractions where you can assign 9/10ths of a vote to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump and 110% of a vote and have it come out as if they were single unit votes. You know why we would allow a tabulation system to count votes of real humans who are one entity in fractions is absolutely unacceptable in any democracy. And the fact that the courts have ruled that to be secret that its proprietary trade secrecy is absurd and offense to democracy. Tomorrow we could go to open code, right? Where anyone could inspect the code. Right now it’s a black box. We don’t know anything that’s happening in those machines and you know essentially, we’re saying let the last hacker win. BROWN: Well some of our viewers may be wondering whether or not you support Hillary Clinton’s election campaign. Out of curiosity, did you? FITRAKIS: I’m on record saying that Hillary Clinton is a war criminal. I’m with the Green Party. I deliberately left the Democratic Party over their attack on Iraq which I found to be absolutely unacceptable and I’m at great odds and I’ve written about it extensively what she did in Libya and what she sanctioned in Syria and I see here as a major influence peddler. All I’m concerned about is a system that allows people to secretly program a vote. Private companies to secretly rig our election. We’ve handed over the keys to the kingdom to a handful of partisan for profit companies. BROWN: So finally, Bob, what do you and Mr. Wasserman advocate as a solution to this problem? FITRAKIS: Well hand counted paper ballots. I think we should join the rest of the world where, conservative here, we should vote with paper and pencil. And there should be a voting holiday and it should extend for over a weekend where you have early voting into Monday and Tuesday and we should use people that are retired. We should use kids in college. We should pay them. We should use high school students. We should celebrate democracy. Just how I watched it happen in El Salvador in 1994 when each side agreed that they would have a large box that would be see through so no one could stuff the ballots and then they said, how would we guarantee a free election? We’ll open up the box with the paper ballot. Open up each one and count them before the world. Before the international observers. And I led that delegation in El Salvador and cowrote the report as well as edited and delivered it to the United States. They opened up the ballots. They let the media see. They let the people see. They let international observers see. It’s the only way to run a democracy. Since when do we use for profit corporations to secretly program our elections? And that’s what they’re doing. They’re programing the results. It’s easy to do. BROWN: We’ve been speaking with Bob Fitrakis. He is a civil rights and election lawyer. Also a political science professor where he teaches at Columbus State Community College. You should check out the two articles that he and Harvey Wasserman have published. They also have an upcoming book titled The Strip and Flip: The Death of the American Democracy, Five Jim Crows & Electronic Election Theft. Bob we appreciate your time. Thank you very much. FITRAKIS: Alright thank you. Appreciate it. BROWN: And thank you for watching the Real News Network.
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