An Error is Not an Error Unless It’s an Error
In December, then-president Trump tweeted to his disinformation feed that there was “68% error rate in Michigan Voting Machines“. He then claimed that the error rate must legally be a tiny fraction of that rate. Of course, he hinted that the Michigan Secretary of State would face jail time for this.
Wow! That is scary stuff.
Remember those days? Remember when the President would just blatantly tweet-threat people?
Where did the president get this information? That’s right: The ASOG report.
The tabulation log for the forensic examination of the server for Antrim County from December 6, 2020consists of 15,676 individual events, of which 10,667 or 68.05% of the events were recorded errors. These errors resulted in overall tabulation errors or ballots being sent to adjudication. This high error rates proves the Dominion Voting System is flawed and does not meet state or federal election laws.– ASOG Report, pg 2
Ramsland also states in the report that “The allowable election error rate established by the Federal Election Commission guidelines is of 1 in 250,000 ballots (.0008%)”. So, Antrim’s error rate of 68.05% is way out of guidelines.
There are two HUGE problems with the findings in the ASOG report when it comes to error rates. One, the way the report defines an error. Two, the citation of Federal guidelines.
The Secretary of State and the Attorney General hired an actual expert to look at the ASOG report. J. Alex Halderman is a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan. He also co-chairs a state commission on election security. You know, actual bona fides.
Dr. Halderman’s perspective on errors was quite different. He states that the 68.05% number is “meaningless”. The error rate cited by the ASOG report is actually just a percentage of lines of code on the software that showed some type of activity. It is a highly technical problem with programmer jargon. For instance, an “error” warning is generated whenever a machine is turned on.
Also, Dr. Halderman demonstrates that a frequent cause of an error warning is a reversed ballot. If you’ve ever used one of these machines, you know what it is like to take your ballot to the machine. There, you have to fumble around with your privacy sleeve and hopefully get the ballot fed into the machine correctly. If it is not fed in correctly, the machine reverses the ballot. Try again. It’s like feeding a dollar bill into a vending machine, sometimes it takes a few tries. Well, whenever this common thing occurs, it registered an error warning in the software.
Obviously, just because you had to take a few cracks at getting a ballot in does not mean that there was something wrong with how your vote was counted. It merely generated a few lines of benign computer code in a software system.
Now, the Halderman report also looks at the actual errors that occurred during the election and there were a lot. We will get into this more later, but election officials really screwed things up all over the place. But, these were human errors. This wasn’t hacking. This was poorly trained people trying to use a new technology.
What Federal Election Guidelines? The ASOG report accuses Antrim of badly missing the mark, but what is the mark? There is no citation of the purported guidelines. I cannot find where Ramsland got the particular numbers that he referred to “1 in 250,000”. There are standards established by other agencies (eg. Election Assistance Commission), but these standards refer to the certification process for systems and machines.
So, what is the ASOG report referring to? No idea and it is never explained.
Even if there are guidelines and standards, they would refer to the process of tabulation – counting votes. The ASOG report implied that over two thirds of Antrim’s votes were miscounted and that is simply not true. The report cited error messages in lines of code found on the machines and that is not the same thing as miscounting votes.
So, the ASOG report used faulty numbers to invent a crises that violated exactly nothing, since the standards that were violated do not exist. That’s great.