I’m not a computer programmer and don’t pretend to be; therefore, this is a serious request for an answer from a person who was a knowledgeable computer programmer BEFORE the election (not an instant expert on computers today, the Constitution last week, and epidemiology the week before).

The State of Michigan admitted 6,000 votes were switched from Trump to Biden in one county. They explained it was because the county clerk failed to install a software. The ballots were properly counted when scanned, but vote totals were incorrectly reported.

My question: if the software is a simple addition program, totalling up the number of votes for each candidate, what kind of a programming “glitch” could make it switch votes from one candidate to another, but not all of them, only some of them?

Also, if the software knows how many ballots were scanned, how can some of them be omitted from the total?

I ask because some people are claiming there are algorithms available to generate Switched and Lost ballots, which may have been present in the software used in the voting machines. Is that even possible?

Joe Doakes

I won’t claim to be an expert – but I’m trying to imagine the JAD session (because you just know it was a JAD session, amirite, geeks?) where they described the requirement for the system to be able to finesse totals for weighting, estimates of lost ballots, and other inputs derived from, er, modeling.

35 thoughts on “Weight

  1. I could justify building that kind of functionality into the Unit Test code. Then, were I unscrupulous, not fully expunging that code from the “production” version.
    Also the software in question probably has a “simulation” mode for training and testing, and it would certainly have those capabilities.

  2. Joe, I imagine the software did much more than just add vote totals. One would hope that each vote was a serializable object.
    And unit tests have to be written and run correctly to accomplish their purpose.

  3. And here is a thing that is rarely mentioned: in any complex, unique human designed system, if you closely examine the functioning of any part of it you find previously unknown weaknesses and failure conditions. A printed circuit board might have too few or badly placed grounding points. One harmless software bug covers up the ill effects of a second, more damaging software bug.
    Yet the system works well. You don’t find these faults until something breaks and you start looking at parts of it you haven’t spent much time looking at before. And wherever you look, you find problems.

  4. Can’t help on anything software related. But, once those questions are answered, I’m curious if anyone else who’s worked with chain of custody would care to defend the procedures seen in this election?

  5. After MNLARS, anything is possible.

    …and please don’t say MNLARS was a government project.

    It was a bureaucratic project build on the arrogance, assumptions and mind-numbing worship-at-the-feet-of-methodologies that one can find in any large organization.

  6. greg
    the difference between public and private sector usually is when someone like UHG drops $10-$20million on a project that is clearly bogged down in “Method” they pull the plug and maybe fire some people, where a govt agency will simply ask for more money while assuring everyone that (just like Soci@lism) it will work this time

  7. Pig;

    That attitude by lefty run government, runs true in everything they do. Democrats continue to manage economies by implementing financial models based on Keynesian principles. Although that strategy has a proven track record of failure, Dems keep believing that “it will work THIS time”.

  8. I read a more complete analysis of the Dominion issue, and what’s going on is that each different ballot needs a template to correlate counts at the ballot counting machine and compile them for the county as a whole. So really, there is the likelihood of this error happening for every different ballot used with this software. It’s the template that appears to have not been downloaded.

    That noted, usually when you have this kind of error, it’s not this….consistent. So there may be an innocent explanation, but one would really want to go through the code (as Joe notes, this is just adding numbers!) to see why it was doing that. We should not be talking about something where you’ve got things buried in the 4th subroutine called here.

  9. From talking to the Lefties I know, they have a deep belief in the cult of experts. Sure, the experts might not be able to eliminate poverty, but non-experts or organic, undirected human effort will ALWAYS result in worse outcomes than the experts’ policies.
    Ditto global warming. However wrong the experts are about the hazards and magnitude of global warming, they are going to be more accurate than the non-experts.
    The problem is that some problems are better addressed by experts than others.
    The USSR graduated more economists than any other nation, and put them all to work in their command economy. They couldn’t create the wealth of the undirected US consumer society.
    It wasn’t even close.

  10. When a judge pressed Giuliani whether he was actually alleging “fraud” (thus requiring a different level of argument and evidence), Giuliani had to admit “no”.

    Even as Trump’s lawyers go before the media to talk about how they “will present evidence in court,” they go in to court and:
    1) admit that they are not alleging fraud or election theft, and:
    2) try to use hearsay and speculation as “evidence.” Their conduct is shameless.

    Doesn’t the president calling up a local electoral board member who then promptly decides to change their decision count as illegal interference in the electoral process by a candidate? Serious question.

  11. My, oh my, Emery, just because Trump’s lawyers are floating some half-baked and outrageous conspiracy theory about a stolen election does not mean that they don’t know what they are doing.

    I mean……………………… the whole half-baked and outrageous Steele Dossier thing worked, didn’t it?

    Four almost four years.

    Maybe Trump should accuse Biden of conspiring with Putin – quoting anonymous sources, of course.

  12. 👆 One of the many things Trump’s attempts to overturn the election— is exposing the people who pose as conservatives but don’t really believe in those things.

  13. The Emery Collective is here to help understand conservatives and conservatism. Odd how it matches precisely the people and organizations who want to take the Republican party back to the good ol’ days of never actually implementing anything conservative or just gracefully losing.

  14. How dare someone use the judicial process to resolve a disputed election rather than a deep state coup.

  15. I used to work for a company that did projections for missing data – this is similar to what the global warming folks got caught doing – it was very easy to create desired results rather than proven or correct results.
    I think in this case bikebubba is on the right track that some states may use several versions of the ballot with the names in a different order. When the machine reads the ballot it will still need to know which name is used on the inserted ballot – hence a bad template may assign the wrong selection to the wrong candidate.
    So, if you knew a county was heavily in favor of Trump, you could intentionally provide the wrong template and all the Trump votes would show up as Biden and vice-versa.

  16. Evidently, the unseen hand of moderation takes exception to discussions of STEM that don’t include concessions for the effect of white supremacy..

  17. Regarding the perceived issues with Dominion, it strikes me that a quick look at expected vs. actual voting patterns would reveal a group of precincts/cities/counties where there are a lot more Biden (Trump) votes than expected, and then you could perform a hand count of ballots that would reveal other patterns–or not.

    Of course, actually getting into the data and taking a close look at that would be “voter suppression” in the minds of Democrats, so never mind.

  18. This election had 13 million more votes than last election – around a 10% increase. Leftists ARE still talking about voter suppression!

    Nothing they say can be taken at face value because most of it defies logic.

  19. Trump’s legal strategy seems like the product of the same mind that gave us hydroxychloroquine as a Covid cure,

  20. Emery, please go back to read my post. I specifically asked for people who knew something about the subject at hand to answer the question.

    You know nothing about the subject at hand. You have nothing worthwhile to add to the discussion. You are simply disrupting an intelligent conversation between adults with childish outbursts, a form of negative attention-seeking behavior that indicates deep-seated and long-lasting emotional problems.

    There’s a time for children not to be heard. This is that time.

  21. Correct JD, but more of a feral child, Emery does after all heartily embrace the policies of murderers like Cuomo, Whitmer, Walz, Newsom, etc.

  22. JD — here are the facts: Trump and his allies are 2-33 in court.

    ✅No court has delayed the counting of a single ballot.
    ✅No court has thrown out a single ballot that had already been counted.
    ✅No court has delayed the certification of county/state results for even a single minute.

    Joe Biden has won this election.

  23. MBerg wrote: “I’m told civil rights for black people started out pretty slow in court, too”

    It’s telling to me that folks here on STiD who railed against “cancel culture” have to find a new “media“ outlet to support their narrative that Trump won election despite all the evidence that the election was free and fair — it’s a worrying thought that some are so unwilling to face reality.

  24. So . . . I ask intelligent readers a question and in response, you gibber.

    I chastise you for gibbering and in response, you . . . gibber some more.

    It’s worrisome that you seem completely incapable of making an appropriate response. Is it an organic defect? Maybe a brain tumor that makes you unable to conform your behavior to the dictates of civilized society? Some kind of syndrome or chemical imbalance, perhaps? Have you sought treatment?

  25. 🚨Trump’s “BIG” Pennsylvania lawsuit fails in Court. A total victory for the voters of Pennsylvania.

    For non-lawyers, this is what a complete ass-kicking of the president’s legal effort looks like. 🥳

    “This Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence.”

    Trump and his allies are now 2-34 in post election litigation.

  26. So . . . I ask intelligent readers a question and in response, you gibber.

    Some topics are harder to fake knowledge on than others without looking like an imbecile, though that’s never stopped Emery (or the vast majority of the press) before…

  27. @JD: As someone with a background in software test, I’m the last person to cut software developers slack, but I will say it depends:
    What did the software requirements specify? How much did they change during the course of the project? How was imperfect input handled? What about the culture within Dominion? Were they using a classic waterfall model to develop their software, or using AGILE?

    Unfortunately, journos won’t ask these questions because they don’t know to ask these questions. One of the problems with “Big Tech”, as it’s called, is the majority of its brightest stars lean to the political left, so if there’s a question as to integrity of the data, we may find ourselves in the position of having to trust the honesty of the brightest stars. But what if they make constant, disparaging remarks about the political right? Makes it difficult for those of us on the right to just take things on faith.

    And unit tests have to be written and run correctly to accomplish their purpose.

    You hit the nail on the head, MO. As I tell my colleagues often, unit-tests are good, but often based on assumptions, as one often mocks out external I/O. Functional-/ integration-tests still need to be run to validate those assumptions.

  28. A solid 40% of the country is convinced the reprobates stole this election. If that drooling geriatric wreck is confirmed, they’re gonna be more than pissed.

    Fuck the lawyers…we can work with that.

  29. BTW. I had a lengthy response to the topic just disappear, evidently.

    That’s fine. I can work with that, too.

  30. I am a computer programmer and software engineer.

    I have no idea how 6k of votes go to Trump to Biden in one county because of a software update.  It doesn’t strike me as a literal explanation for what may have happened.  I don’t know if Joe Doakes mis paraphrased it, or someone in Michigan did.

    What kind of programming glitch could make that happen?  It’s within the realm of engineering imagination that the program and its scanning has a routine that recognizes a certain kind of ballot entry and assigns it a value, and these values swap are declared in certain ways in the system, and that this code could change… and there could be a regression / integration bug that Fs everything up.

    How can ballots be omitted…  There is hardware running from instructions from a processor running a code build.  There are going to be edge cases, there are ballots that don’t scan well for one reason or another, I’m sure, and are not tallied.

    Merg – I’m not encountering a lot of “JAD”.  It feels like thats a 10 year old, antiquated term in the current ecosystem.  Product Owners are communicating the reqs to BAs… the BAs write the reqs…

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