Yesterday, Scott wrote about the Georgia lawsuit filed by Sidney Powerll challenging the outcome of presidential vote in that state. I think it’s fair to say that Scott expressed mild skepticism about that lawsuit.
Ed Morrissey also expresses skepticism in this post. Ed considers the claim that software used by Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, and deployed at the last minute by Georgia’s Governor and Secretary of State (both Republicans) this year, converted large numbers of votes for President Trump into votes for Joe Biden. He writes:
Don’t forget that the. . .system produces a paper record of the votes cast on screen by the voter, who then visually checks the paper ballot and submits that to the precinct. Those paper records are what got recounted by hand last week in Georgia.
In order for [Powell’s] theory to be true, hundreds of thousands of voters in Georgia and Michigan would have had to look at an incorrect ballot and never raise an objection to the vote switch.
Did any such objections emerge on Election Day? No one has produced a single instance, let alone the flood of complaints that should have occurred under this theory.
Ed also casts doubt on Powell’s attempt to tie the software used in Georgia to Smartmatic software used by Hugo Chavez to steal elections. From what Ed says, it appears that the machines used in Georgia — machines produced by Dominion Voting Systems, Inc. — do not employ Smartmatic software.
According to Dominion, it “does not use Smartmatic software.” According to Smartmatic, it “has never provided Dominion Voting Systems with any software, hardware or other technology — the two companies are competitors in the marketplace.”
In 2010, Dominion acquired Sequoia, which had been a subsidiary of Smartmatic until 2007, when Smartmatic sold it off. Smartmatic also licensed Dominion’s technology in Canada in 2009, not the other way around. Both of these transactions took place a decade or more ago, which means whatever technology was exchanged has likely been made obsolete since.
In any event, as already noted, it seems highly implausible, given the production of a paper ballot checkable by voters and given the hand count of the paper ballots, that many votes for Trump were counted as votes for Biden.
Ed also points out that one of the affidavits relied on in Powell’s filing is from Russel Ramsland. John Hinderaker found what he described as “a catastrophic error” in an affidavit regarding the vote in Michigan. To be fair, however, Ramsland isn’t Powell’s only affiant.
It might also be worth noting that Biden’s slender victory in Georgia is not out of line with what reasonably could have been expected. Before the election, my source in Georgia, a Republican insider, predicted that Biden would win narrowly and that Sen. David Purdue would outpoll his Democratic opponent, but maybe not by enough to avoid a runoff election.
That’s what the vote count says happened.
My source based his predictions not on polls, but on what he was hearing from Republican voters, an unusual number of whom were quite disenchanted with President Trump.
My source isn’t infallible. However, I think he’s sufficiently well plugged in to have known if Trump was heading for a victory of the magnitude Powell’s lawsuit suggests he would have enjoyed absent fraud.
Consider, too, the 2018 election. It was held without the software about which Powell complains. In that contest, Republican Brian Kemp defeated radical Democrat Stacy Abrams by only about 55,000 votes.
So even with (presumably) honest technology, a Democrat more radical than Biden can hang with a Republican in Georgia these days. Fraud is not required to explain why a relatively unpopular Republican president could not quite hold the state in the midst of a pandemic.
This doesn’t mean fraud didn’t occur in Georgia. It doesn’t even mean that fraud didn’t occur on a scale large enough to swing the result from Trump to Biden.
Maybe Sidney Powell can prove that Trump lost Georgia due to fraud. However, I join with Scott and Ed in expressing skepticism that she can, and I’m not persuaded at this point that Trump did.
UPDATE: A reader from Georgia disputes some of what I quoted from Ed. She says:
After casting your vote electronically, the system prints out a piece of paper with a QR code on it; you then deposit it into a scanner (I believe) and I think the paper then goes into a box. As a voter, it would never occur to me to try to read the QR code with my phone before depositing it in the official ballot box, though I certainly will try for the Jan 5 runoff.
I have no idea what paper ballots were hand counted recently, but it certainly was NOT the ballot with the QR code. A friend observed (as much as 6 plus feet allows) the ballot recounting in nearby Dekalb and mentioned no such reading of QR codes.
As I understand it, the hand recount was of all Georgia ballots cast (approximately five million of them). The idea was to test whether the count of the selections on the paper ballots matched the count that the scanning of the QR codes had produced.
It did. Very few discrepancies were found. And, at least according to Ed, no Georgia voter has complained that the selections on his or her paper ballot differed from the selections he or she made electronically.
The Trump team has asked for another recount in Georgia. It wants the recount to include signature matching. However, as far as I can tell it does not otherwise dispute the basic recount procedure (or allege that the software Georgia used switched votes from Trump to Biden). And the Trump team has distanced itself from Sidney Powell, who makes the vote-switching allegations.
The notion that voting machinery switched a large number of Trump votes to Biden seems far-fetched to me (and maybe to Trump’s legal team, as well). But if Sidney Powell can prove that this happened, notwithstanding the result of the recount and the other problems with her theory that Ed pointed out, I will be happy to say I was wrong.