(Article changed on October 25, 2012 at 00:37)
(Article changed on October 22, 2012 at 12:33)
By Michael Collins
A group of independent researchers caught a pattern of apparent vote flipping during the 2012 Republican primaries that consistently favored Mitt Romney. A form of election fraud, vote flipping occurs when votes are changed from one candidate to another or several others during electronic voting and vote tabulation. (Image: Dean Terry)
Vote flipping is difficult to detect because the vote totals remain the same for each precinct. In one of several possible scenarios, an instruction is given to a precinct level voting machine or to a county-level central tabulator. The corrupted totals from precincts are sent from county election officials to state elections board and published as final results. (Primary documents for this article: Republican Primary Election 2012 Results: Amazing Statistical Anomalies, August 13, 2012 and 2008/2012 Election Anomalies, Results, Analysis and Concerns, September 2012).
The group's analysis is based on raw data from primary sources, local precincts, and state and county election records. The pattern of vote flipping raises serious doubts about the Romney victories in the 2012 Republican primaries in Wisconsin and the Ohio. Apparent vote flipping was demonstrated in the group's paper for at least nine other 2012 Republican primaries as well.
The findings showed a consistent pattern of increasing votes and vote percentages for Romney in the precinct vote tally. The pattern emerges when precinct vote tallies are presented by candidate based on the size of a county precinct.
Wisconsin, for example, is represented in the graph below. Moving from the smallest to largest precincts, you can see Romney's percent of the vote takes off and those of the others drop after about 7% of the votes are counted. Romney's percentage of precinct votes goes up (the upward slope of the green line) while those of the three other candidates decline.
The steady increase in Romney's percent of the vote and steady decline in Santorum's represents a statistical anomaly. In this case, the anomaly is amazing according to the researchers. They argue that the probability of this happening by chance alone is so small it exceeds the capability of statistical packages to handle. Their software says Romney's share of the vote, increasing with precinct size has zero probability of occurring by chance alone.
The significance of the Wisconsin analysis is of grave concern. Presuming the use of appropriate statistical measures and analysis, human intervention is the most likely available explanation.
Vote flipping gave Romney a 57,000-vote victory over Santorum in Wisconsin. Absent vote flipping, Santorum would have won over Romney by about 54,000 according the group's analysis.
Was Wisconsin the only state where Romney's share of the vote increased in this way as precinct size increased?
There were eleven states that showed this amazing anomaly, Romney gaining in votes and margins as precinct size increased. The chart below shows the estimated vote flipping for eleven of the fifty states analyzed by the group using precinct-level data.
Estimated Votes Lost/Gained in 11 State Primaries - 2012 - Vote Flipping