Thursday, December 7, 2017
PRIORITY BLOG REQUEST: Atlanta Mayoral Election
Q. Two Candidates, Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood just had a run off election. The vote difference was about 750 votes with Keisha Lance Bottoms winning and 18,000 more people voting this year than in 2009 when Mary Norwood last ran for election and she lost by about 700 votes.
Can you explore what motivated this many more people to vote? As background: I recall the 2009 election seem to have people more energized (I know I was!) and going to vote than this election so it is surprising this many more people voted, unless solely due to population increase.
A. I get that there was a certain amount of tampering done to increase the votes in favor of Keisha. It looks like people were not only bused in, higher up groups (supporters of Keisha) worked to "get documentation" for the undocumented people living near and close to Atlanta. The PTW (Powers That Were) are desperate to get Democrats in their corner. To be clear the PTW work is a bi-partisan effort, but in this situation the democratic force feels much more influential. Keisha does not feel like a bad person, she just has "bad people" supporting her.
Mary Norwood is asking for a recount. Is there a threat to Keisha Lance Bottoms securing the win? What is really behind the fear of having Mary Norwood Mayor? Is big money at risk and the current government does not want any change in how money flows so the race issue is really a cover for the money issue. Or, is this just fear of losing "control" generally?
A. This is about money, control and the control of money (where it goes, how it is invested, who ultimately gets it, etc). Even with a recount, I see Keisha still winning.
Was this an honest election? if not, how was it manipulated?
A. It wasn't completely honest, but I get that Keisha didn't realize what was happening. She took donations and support, and didn't realize how much "support" she was getting behind the scenes. The campaigning was fair, but the the voting day itself was very manipulated.
Voting in general: Even if not manipulated, see the question below. I ask this from mathematical / statistical /
operational curiosity .
Since everything is electronic, the numbers should be in very quickly (and I believe that the results are known much more quickly than reported--they slowly release the info to basically drag it out for news coverage, drama, division, etc.) If I understand correctly, all the voting precincts have internet connection so the vote counts technically can be (are?) delivered in real time. I seem to recall that when a voting precinct's internet is down, that polling station is closed until the internet is back up which seems weird because they have printed voter logs to look up registered voters.
Do they cherry pick the precincts to report early vs. late? Is it really live or do they know the end result in advance? Many elections seem like a horse race-people hold their breath to find that the lead horse in the final moment loses. Or is it drawn out for some nefarious reason like fractional voting or vote changing?
A. Things are strategically released. I get the reason is because they want the race to look close because it lessens the urgency to get out and vote (or some kind of psychological game like that??). If a favorite looks to be trailing, legit voters will want to cast their support / vote. By playing it this way, and surging the poles with "fake voters" it hinders the time frame to get out and vote.
Would using paper ballots keep elections more honest or is it impossible?
A. I cannot see how a paper ballot would have prevented this (I hear if anything, it makes voter fraud easier...).
I know this is a lot of questions but fraud across (local / national) elections continues to come up and it is such an important topic that I feel like I want to know if/how it is happening.
Thank you for helping disseminate truth.