File this under Ooops.
Yesterday the left was all abuzz with rumors that there was killer evidence that election results in three hard-fought state elections had been hacked. All, naturally, in the favor of Trump and there were calls for Hillary Clinton to demand a recount… not sure how that would work if the results have already been certified but reality has never intruded upon any good conspiracy theory.
This is the key point:
…The group, which includes voting-rights attorney John Bonifaz and J. Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society, believes they’ve found persuasive evidence that results in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania may have been manipulated or hacked.
Last Thursday, the activists held a conference call with Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and campaign general counsel Marc Elias to make their case, according to a source briefed on the call. The academics presented findings showing that in Wisconsin, Clinton received 7 percent fewer votes in counties that relied on electronic-voting machines compared with counties that used optical scanners and paper ballots. Based on this statistical analysis, Clinton may have been denied as many as 30,000 votes; she lost Wisconsin by 27,000. While it’s important to note the group has not found proof of hacking or manipulation, they are arguing to the campaign that the suspicious pattern merits an independent review — especially in light of the fact that the Obama White House has accused the Russian government of hacking the Democratic National Committee.
Ummm. Not so much.
A computer science professor at the University of Michigan confirmed on Wednesday that he has been spoken with the Clinton campaign about seeking a recount in several key states — but he clarified that he thinks the election results were “probably not” the result of a cyberattack.
J. Alex Halderman, the Michigan professor in the report, addressed the fervor on social media in a Medium post on Wednesday morning. He wrote that the story included “some incorrect numbers” and “incorrectly describes the reasons manually checking ballots is an essential security safeguard,” but acknowledged speaking to the Clinton campaign.
Halderman wrote that he does not think it’s likely that the election results, which deviated from pre-election polls in those swing states in particular, were the result of a foreign hack. But he argued that there is enough uncertainty, especially in light of recent hacks on groups such as the Democratic National Committee and evidence that the Russian government had attempted to influence the election, to call for a recount in those states and confirm the results.
“Were this year’s deviations from pre-election polls the results of a cyberattack? Probably not. I believe the most likely explanation is that the polls were systematically wrong, rather than that the election was hacked,” Halderman wrote. “But I don’t believe that either one of these seemingly unlikely explanations is overwhelmingly more likely than the other.”
There is no doubt that state level polls got the results wildly wrong. There is zero evidence of any electoral malfeasance other than the typical Democrat tampering with absentee ballots as has clearly happened in North Carolina.
The entire disinformation campaign to discredit the election might as well have been scripted in Moscow because it has a much more corrosive effect on trust in the electoral process than any of Trump’s nebulous statements about stuff being rigged.