--[T]his is a book for those who cannot quite believe
this is the real America they're seeing.--the author
Proceeding from a Q&A format to some more complex (but accessible) statistics toward the end, Jonathan Simon has sounded an alert of the highest measure, "code red"--remember that post-9/11 scare tactic that in this case is valid?
Simon has donated a handbook for the uninitiated but interested, as well as for Election Integrity (whoops, I mean EI) stalwarts in need of a reference tome--see his own pages i-ii for more.
A dedicated advocate of EI since 2006, he and colleagues started the magisterial webpage Election Defense Alliance, of which he is now executive director. Simon is not only a forensic statistician (he denies this modestly) but also well versed in a number of other fields--knowledge that enriches and clarifies his narrative: from chess to baseball, from computer science to polling to medicine and certainly recent history.
The language is totally straightforward and no-nonsense, entirely accessible as well as witty, reaching out to a broad audience.
"This is a book I wish I didn't have to write," he comments sadly (p. i). There is so much writing that falls into this category. If he'd rather be fishing, EI would suffer a huge loss, and we all learn that in the pages that follow.
How did we get into this latest mess, Code Red, from 2000 onward, the latest chapter in a saga of election corruption that begins in ancient Athens? Because of the mass-produced corruption of thousands of votes possible with the click of a remote or a virused memory card. Even carloads of paper ballots driven into rivers can't come close.
Then there's the renaissance of Jim Crow brought to you by Karl Rove & co.: the abominations of gerrymandering, money pumping to the tune of the high millions into campaigns courtesy of SCOTUS and others; blatant red-shifting of votes in any number of ingenious ways, all computerized; the voter ID requirement, "deceptive messaging," selective scrubbing of voter rolls, caging and other forms of voter intimidation, targeted misinformation such as "Vote Wednesday" robocalls and leafleting in strategically selected neighborhood, etc., etc. (see pages 73-74--I'm quoting quasi-literally).
The "red shift," a popular term coined by the author, may be the most powerful gut-punch of them all, shifting blue votes into a dumpster no one can dive into. The red shift happens when, despite pre-election polls and raw data from exit polls swinging blue, there is, as in 2006, 2010, and 2014--all mid-term elections--a swerve toward a sweep by the losers: in every sense losers, including the vote count, of course.
How is this atrocity accomplished? By sinuous rerouting of the vote count from the secretary of state's (SoS) office on election night down South to the GOP server headquarters, where they are laundered as needed to provide red wins at the last minute and then routed back up to Kenneth Blackwell, SoS in Ohio in 2004 and his icky ilk--presto! Kerry's last-minute loss to Bush II and other stymying further uses of this and other comparable skullduggery. Rove's late IT guru, Mike Connell, architect of the last-minute red shifts, arguably offed by the fuhrer himself when Connell's private plane crashed after his initial testimony hinting at a landfill of follow-up, was wiped from the scene when he was about to spill all as a loyal Bush operative since 2000 but also a devout Christian with a huge guilt complex.
The above is referred to as "man-in-the middle" prestidigitation. It has been written about by many and contextualized most effectively in Simon's narrative.