About That ‘Broken Algorithm’

Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani speak at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, DC, November 19, 2020.
(Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)

Of all the goofy claims made at the press conference led by President Trump’s legal team last Thursday, the one that was most ridiculed was that of Sidney Powell, since ousted, that the national popular vote was such a slippage field for President Trump “that he broke the algorithm that had been logged into the system.” Our Isaac Schorr released it last week.

Ms Powell was referring to an alleged election-rigging algorithm that she said infects software in Dominion electronic voting systems widely used in the United States. The programming is supposed to allow the central operators – located, um, somewhere – to corrupt the tab. The corrupted program has been described, alternatively, as allowing votes to be changed from one candidate to another, or as a weighted tab that values ​​the votes for one candidate more than the other (at one point, Powell suggested that the votes were multiplied by 1.25 for Biden and 0.75 for Trump).

Understandably, since an algorithm is essentially a mathematical formula, the notion that an algorithm could be “broken” seems foolish – let alone shattered by an unforeseen and overwhelming surge of support for a candidate. But I don’t think Powell took this idea out of the clear blue sky.

In his public statements, Powell has repeatedly alluded to and relied on the work of Lin Wood, a lawyer and staunch Trump supporter well known in Atlanta. As our Jim Geraghty points out, Wood took the risky position that President Trump actually won the popular vote by over 70%. He is also the fons and origo of Powell’s theory that Dominion orchestrates electoral fraud through a program developed by a company called Smartmatic in conjunction with the late Hugo Chavez Communist regime in Venezuela more than ten years ago.

During the weekend, Byron York helpfully published Wood’s affidavit, submitted in a lawsuit in Georgia and heavily relied on by Powell. Paragraphs 17-19 of that affidavit describe the events, according to Wood, which occurred during the Venezuelan election in the spring of 2013, in choosing a successor to the then recently deceased Chavez. To put it mildly, Wood’s story is remarkably similar to Powell’s hitherto unsubstantiated claims about the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

According to Wood, with the Smartmatic software in place, secretly allowing the regime to “alter the ratio of votes by shifting the votes from one candidate to another,” Chavez’s acting successor Nicholás Maduro took on Capriles Radonsky. Suddenly, things started to turn badly for the regime due to an unforeseen tsunami of support for the opposition:

That day, at 2 p.m., Capriles Radonsky beat Nicholás Maduro by two million votes. When Maduro and his supporters realized the scale of Radonsky’s lead, they feared they were in crisis and losing the election. The Smartmatic machines used to vote in each state were connected to the Internet and reported their information over the Internet to the Caracas control center in real time. So, the decision was made to reset the whole system. Maduro [sic] and his supporters ordered network controllers to take the Internet itself offline in virtually all parts of Venezuela and alter the results.

Wood says that even though regime agents had software that should have kept Maduro in mind, the system was overwhelmed – the algorithm was broken! – by the support of Radonsky. So, Wood explains, they shut down the system for “about two hours to make adjustments in Radonsky’s vote in Maduro.” Then, when they took over internet service, Maduro had sort of zoomed in on his head. “When the operators of the system have finished, [sic] they had won a convincing but narrow victory of 200,000 votes for Maduro.

It goes without saying that there are countless differences between elections in the Venezuelan communist system which masquerades as democratic and ours which is in fact democratic. For current purposes, however, what is most important is that, because it is a centralized totalitarian system with a much smaller electoral population, Venezuela – at least as described by Wood – is conducting elections that are monolithically electronic.[ing] for the transmission of Internet voting data to a central computerized tabulation center. Since voting is done in one way across the country and is controlled by the regime, it could theoretically be straightforward to schedule an election as Wood describes: just shutting down the system will cause a pause, electronically change votes or tabulation algorithms that need to change. , then turn the system back on once the fraud has been committed, revealing a sharp reversal of the outcome.

An electronic pause would not work in the United States, where voting procedures and methods vary not only from state to state, but even from county to county (in fact, sometimes even between constituencies. of the same county). So notice how the fraud narrative differs here: we have to believe that there were hundreds of thousands of fraudulent paper ballots ready to be secretly inserted into the count if, by any chance, “the algorithm broke” .

In short, in Venezuela, the story is that when the program which was to ensure victory was supposedly overwhelmed by legitimate votes for the underprivileged candidate, the powers panicked who shut down the electronic system for a few hours to be able to lead him to well e-voting fraud. In our country, we have to believe that the algorithm ensuring Biden’s victory has been overwhelmed by a wave of legitimate votes in favor of Trump, causing panicked Democrats to suspend the count so that fraudulent Biden vote crates can be inserted into the system in the middle of the night. – so that by the morning a seemingly comfortable Trump lead had turned into a superb victory for Biden.

It’s basically the same story.