Afghanistan betrayed

Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced the results of the September 2019 Presidential election on February 18, 2020. The timing of the announcement is curious. Just afterwards America revealed that a peace (of sorts) has been agreed with the Taliban, to be signed on February 27. Once signed, negotiations will be handed off to the Afghan government. But until the release of the results, there wasn’t a government to negotiate. It seems fishy. It is.

There are plenty of unanswered questions about the results.

The IEC conducted an audit on the preliminary results. The methodology of the audit is undisclosed. And the numbers keep changing. Cursory explanations do not withstand scrutiny.

The first preliminary results tallied 1,929,333. Then DermaLog (the provider of the biometric equipment) cancelled 86,225 votes that they say are duplicates. That leaves a total of 1,843,107 votes. The IEC’s website discloses the preliminary result on December 20, 2019 as 1,824,401. No explanation for the missing 18,706 votes.

The post audit tally is 1,823,848. Of that total Ashraf Ghani, the incumbent supposedly won 923,592, a mere 11,668 above the threshold required for a runoff election. The lack of transparency raises suspicion. No wonder Dr Abdullah and the other losing candidates refuse to accept the results.

The cancelled votes also don’t make sense.

Voting was validated using the Voter ID card, facial recognition and fingerprints. The invalidated votes are made up as follows:

Category Votes
Voter ID Cards 47,527
Facial recognition 5,822
Fingerprints 37,006
Double uploaded 5,141
Sub-total 95,496
Less duplicates -9,270
Duplicate votes 86,226

These figures are nonsensical. The duplicates for ID cards, facial recognition and fingerprints should be identical. Each voter is identified using all three criteria. There is potential for some small difference when the face is matched and the fingerprint is not, and vice versa, but these differences should be less than 1%.

If both biometrics were not used in all instances, then identifying double voting becomes impossible. The instances where facial technology was used cannot be matched to instances where fingerprints were used. This opens the possibility for selective implementation of the technology in such a way that the outcome can be manipulated.

The voter ID card would not match the biometrics when the voter uses someone else’s ID card for double voting. However, when the system is working, these votes should be identified as invalid before they are considered as duplicates.

The number of invalid votes for failed biometric matching has not been published, which raises another question about the technology.

Dermalog have refused to provide answers.

The biometric technology has not worked, making the results unreliable. The only credible solution is to hold the election again, as is happening in Malawi.

All the technical issues must be resolved:
• ensuring that both biometrics are captured for every voter;
• checking that the Voter ID card matches the biometrics of voter on record;
• synchronizing the instrument times using atomic time clocks, and;
• ensuring that the voter’s photo is valid.

Afghanistan has a voting age population of over 16 million. An election by 11% is not credible. The Afghans have a right to feel betrayed, again.

The Electoral College is a good idea

The are many people who question the need for the Electoral College. After all, the popular vote lost.

Hamilton originally proposed the idea in 1788. He offered it as a safeguard against the election of populists and demagogues, who having hoodwinked the voters, might prove unsuitable to be President of the United States of America.

His idea was that electors be citizens

“most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.”

Hamilton argued that the

“electrical college affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States.”

It was a time when civil intellectual debate about politics was common, and opposite views were encouraged, so that differing opinions could be fully understood. That time is gone. The debate is no longer intellectual nor civil.

Worse, many states legally bind the electors to the voters’, and the choice of electors is constrained more by who they should not be, rather than their eligibility to make an informed decision about the suitability of the voters’ choice for President of the United States of America.

The idea is a good one. It is sabotaged by the people implementing it who didn’t see how important it might be.

Trump is about to conduct the lesson.

More at:
About the Electors
The Mode of Electing the President
State Laws Regarding Presidential Electors

Trump didn’t win the election. Clinton lost it

Nevada is the only state that provides an option “None of these candidates”. Clinton won the state by 26,434 votes. None of these candidates won 28,824 n Nevada.

Trump and Clinton were the two most unpopular candidates in American history.

In the states other than Nevada, the options for voters to express their dissatisfaction were to write in an unregistered candidate, or not to vote at all. In both Florida and North Carolina the protest votes cast exceeded the difference between the candidates.

The presidential election usually draws far more votes than those cast for the congressional candidates. In 2008, less than a third of Senate races had 98 percent as many ballots cast as were cast for one of the presidential candidates. In 2012, about half of Senate contests did. This year? Nearly two-thirds of the Senate contests were within 2 percent of the number of presidential ballots cast.

Why was Clinton so unpopular? It seems she was unable to conceal her belief that a politician should have a private and a public position on policy. From her leaked emails, it is evident that she believes in telling the voters her public position, and then implementing her private views. To make matters worse, she was prepared to share these views with people who paid her to do so.

The distrust was earned.

More at:
HRC Paid Speeches
Hundreds of thousands of Americans cast a ballot without voting for a presidential candidate
Podesta emails
WikiLeaks releases what appear to be Clinton’s paid Wall Street speeches

What was the point of that?

The result of the 2016 US presidential election would’ve been completely different had the independents not split the vote. With only the addition of the votes in favor of Gary Johnson with those of Hillary Clinton, she would have won 308 electoral college votes. Gary Johnson is infamous for his response to the question on CNN about how he would solve the issue of Aleppo by asking “what is Aleppo?” The results in Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin would’ve gone to Clinton instead of Trump.

Johnson’s aim was to make history. He did.

Michelle Obama says what we feel about Donald Trump

It has been clear for some time that Donald Trump is not fit to represent the American people in any capacity.

Without any need to explore the depths of political rhetoric that has blemished this campaign, and the reputation of all Americans, Michelle Obama’s stirring speech shows how decent people feel about Donald Trump.

The majority of Americans are disgusted by the pride that Trump has displayed, boasting about sexual assault and then denying that he actually committed these crimes.

Not so fast, say his victims.