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Corrupt Culture at SBE (Pt. 1)

{Note: This post is long overdue, but as we approach the elections, it’s important to know who can be trusted and who cannot. We’ve alluded to this story in videos and in other venues, but we never documented it fully, until now.]

Sep 9, 2020 (Raleigh) It’s disturbing to see NC’s lead state election agency spend so much time and energy distorting reality for political purposes, but some people just can’t help themselves.

When not denying that voter fraud happens, they’re targeting public attention to the few kinds of fraud that even they can detect. Then they pat themselves on the back and pretend that all other fraud is “rare” or “insignificant.”

We begin with some simple spreadsheet computations that every child probably learns to make before graduating elementary school . . . but the rocket surgeons at NC’s State Board of Elections (SBE) couldn’t manage it.

An Inside Job

At issue is the mysterious Appendix 5 from their “2016 Post-Election Audit,” originally published under (former) Director Kim Strach’s leadership. As soon as it came out, VIP’s Research Director, John Pizzo noticed the math error and began urging the SBE to fix it.

The red block (above) shows percentages of double-vote fraud convictions in the 2016 election. We’re non-partisan in our approach to election law, but their absurd math claimed that 14 Democrats committed 13% of the overall 24 crimes and no spreadsheet on the planet can create that computation.

VIP’s Jay DeLancy and John Pizzo

The green block data (above) is accurate and will be relevant; but besides the red block, the rest of the table’s computations were correct.

But John Pizzo, a retired quality engineer, started hounding the agency via email about the problem. John’s New Yorker style must have rubbed them the wrong way. They ignored him.

Next, I played “good cop” and engaged their PIO, Patrick Gannon, in a friendly hallway chat. I appealed to the damage that the report does to his agency’s credibility.

Just like Yukon Cornelius . . . I got nothing.

By early 2019, we were frustrated enough that we resorted to ridicule. Still, nothing changed.

Give Us a Scalp!

Finally, on March 13, 2019, I played the nuclear option and asked Rep George Cleveland about the problem. He co-chairs the Legislature’s General Government Oversight Committee. Most lawmakers make that dreaded trip to Raleigh after lunch on Mondays and arrive just in time for the caucus and a quick session that night. Not Cleveland. He usually arrives the night before. That allows him to host office meetings all day with the agency heads and hear their concerns. I would sleep well at night if there were 30 other lawmakers with his integrity.

Having both served in uniform during wartime, we both share a low threshold for liars. That’s why I sent Rep Cleveland a blistering email addressing numerous Strach shortfalls. In part, I vented to the Marine on how badly I wanted the culprit punished…

. . . the reason someone should be fired with prejudice is Appendix 5 on page 21 of the “Audit” document. Anyone familiar with Excel can see how all of the totals were automatically calculated . . . except for one. The column headed, “%” to the right of the “Double Voter” column was manually manipulate to distort the alarming incidence of Democrats committing double-vote fraud. Instead of 13%, the number should have been 58.3% and the other two should have both been 20.8% instead of 5%. Several of us tried to write a program that would generate those numbers and it’s impossible. There needs to be an investigation of every employee that touched that file and the guilty employee should be barred from further state employment. It was deliberate. Now, nothing they produce can be taken at face value and this undercuts public trust in the entire electoral process.  At least one person needs to walk the plank on this one.

Having worked in both state and federal government, I learned a long time ago that any deranged data saboteur will manipulate other things too. This is why public “servants” like that should be fired with extreme prejudice.

But Madame Strach reused to rat out her minion. Instead, she promised to correct the problem and discipline the responsible employee. Six days later, somebody at the agency posted a change that quietly “fixed” that part of the report . . . before they broke it elsewhere.

Corruption Is As Corruption Does

Our Chief Information Officer was the first person to spot their new distortion of the data.

Don’t let the longer green box (below) distract you. If you scroll back to the other table, you might be able to detect their newer deception?

To review, we caught their first lie, so they fixed it . . . before lying someplace else!

Just as before (see red block above), the “total” number of Democrat fraud remained at 326 out of 508, but the “percentage” magically dropped from 64% to 54%. They compounded their lie by incompetently lowering the other numbers, when raising them may have helped cover their tracks.

Let’s add up the percentages in the red block. In case you were a victim of common core math, I’ll walk you trhough the computations. 54+1+15+14 equals 84. The only way to make it say “100” is to type it in . . . after you’ve overridden the formula. This was no accident.

The elongated green block (in the above graphic) accidentally told another truth that may point to motive:

In 2016, while Democrats made up less than 40% of the electorate, they commited 64% of the voter fraud.

That’s a lot of math! Apparently, it’s too tough for the activists who collect government paychecks at the SBE, so we corrected the table and posted it below as a public service.

Why does 39% of the electorate commit 64% of the voter fraud?

How could somebody at NCSBE think they could ever get away with two deliberate “mistakes” on such a high-visibility report?

Wait . . . they sorta did get away with it.

Why This Matters

I’ve had numerous otherwise-intelligent journalists throw that audit in my face after they failed to notice the audit report’s biggest distortion, so we know that lots of journalists and scholarly types have looked at it.

When the WaPo’s Amy Gardner asked me about the report, I showed just enough open ridicule to arouse her curiosity.

She asked, “Why did you laugh when I mentioned the report?”

“Because it’s funny. It’s a joke!”

She hadn’t noticed the lie embedded in the Appendix 5 table. So, I pointed it out to her as proof positive that the entire product was just propaganda.

After all . . . by distorting the fact that 64% of the fraud was committed by a under 40% of the electorate, we can only ask where else they lied?

We know the answer, but we’ll save it for Part 2.

~ jd