Who really counts the votes on election night in America? How do you find out who won?
The Votescam investigation remains unique in exposing the too-powerful role of the American corporate media in our democratic process, and its active complicity in election rigging by:
- Refusing to report hard evidence of centralized, top-down election fraud
- Knowingly reporting false results to the public on election night.
The Votescam investigation provides evidence that the former --direct media vote manipulation -- has occured, with the collusion of top elections officials.
How is it possible?
America's state and national election system is almost entirely electronic, with votes cast and counted by corporate computers programmed in secret, open to hacking and manipulation with no detection. Added to this travesty of democracy is the second, equally incredible step of the process:
The corporate media gathers, tallies, and aggregates the already unverified, possibly rigged digital vote results, with no official oversight. They produce the "final" numbers in secret, then they report their numbers to the public. That's how you find out who won. There is no official process to check the media reports against hundreds or thousands of precinct or county totals.
What else does the media do on election day?
Meet the Consortium
For over 40 years, a super-secretive major media consortium has operated largely in the shadows. Comprised of ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, AP, CNN, The New York Times, the Washington Post, this group also regularly changes its name -- News Election Services, Voter Research & Survey, Voter News Service, and now, News Election Pool.
You don't know about them because they're never mentioned. You can't watch their process on election night because it's strictly off limits to public oversight. Nevertheless, the Consortium has controlled top of the ticket elections in the United States through:
- exit polling
- associated early vote "projections"
- the reporting of final results to the public
How do these aspects of election day impact one another, and the public?
Jim Condit Jr. of Citizens For a Fair Vote Count and Watch the Vote sums up the evidence with the following:
Exit polls are part of the 3-part psychological whammy used against the American people:
1) manipulated public opinion polls pushed in our face every day to prepare our minds for a pre-determined result;
2) election day "exit polls" announced right as the polls close on the east coast, which prepare our minds for:
3) the computer-generated vote counts to be announced a few hours later.
All three legs of the modern day "election process" are mysterious and COMPLETELY devoid of citizen checks and balances (excepting the Iowa caucuses, and excepting 70% of New Hampshire in the primary and general elections.)
We believe that what sparse exit poll activity there is constitutes mere window dressing which provides an excuse for the 4 Big TV Networks to project "winners" and "losers." The computer-generated vote counts, totally devoid of citizen checks and balances in 49 states, make the "exit poll results" come true a few hours later. (New Hampshire, the only hand counted state, is the one state in which the Big TV Networks have been unable to reliably project winners and losers on the basis of exit polls.)
It is urgent that our state legislatures, the Secretary of State in all 50 states, and the Election Board in all 3075 counties, return to easily read paper ballots counted by neighborhood voters, with the results posted at the neighborhood precinct before the ballots leave that precinct. In the year that this happens, the Big TV Network "exit poll" hoax will disappear like a bad dream in the light of morning.
If the corporate media rigs an election, who will report it?
Or, as the Collier brothers ask in Votescam: "Who will stand guard against the guards themselves?"
The role of the major media on election night must be understood, and opened to full public scrutiny.
No votes should ever be counted in secret, by anyone, without public oversight -- least of all by a consortium of media organizations who, as most of us understand by now, regularly censor news that challenges the corporate power structure in America.
Also see: Victoria Collier's exclusive 2000 interview with Bill Headline the head of Voter News Service
Excerpt from Votescam: The Stealing of America
[Editor's note: The below excerpt from Votescam was writte in 1992. News Election Services changed its name in 1993 to Voter News Service (VNS), the group responsible for calling the 2000 election for Al Gore, which by then included CNN and Fox News. VNS later morphed again into News Election Pool (NEP). The only information we have on NEP is this Wikipedia page.]
Perhaps the most important piece of history uncovered during theVotescam probe is a potently candid study of the U.S. electoral system conducted in 1980 by the CIA-linked Air Command and Staff College in cooperation with the University of New Mexico. It establishes the TV corporate networks' interest in NES. The study was commissioned by the CIA and published in the International Journal of Public Administration that was distributed to selected government agencies. We discovered a copy in the Library of Congress.
It is safe to say that almost nobody in America is aware of the activities of NES on election night. The on-air scripts of each TV network during the years since the founding of NES have seldom, if ever, mentioned its existence. The silence smacks of collusion among press "competitors" to keep NES away from public scrutiny A portion of the study read:
"The United States government has no elections office and does not attempt to administer congressional elections. The responsibility for the administration of elections and certification of winners in the United States national election rests with a consortium of private entities, including 111,000 members of the national League of Women Voters. The formal structure of election administration in the United States is not capable of providing the major TV networks with timely results of the presidential and congressional elections. In the case of counting actual ballots on national election night, public officials have abdicated responsibility of aggregation of election night vote totals to a private organization, News Election Service of New York (NES). NES is a wholly-owned subsidiary joint-venture of national television networks ABC, CBS and NBC and the press wire-services AP and UPI. This private organization performs without a contract: without supervision by public officials. It makes decisions concerning its duties according to its own criteria. The question and accountability of News Election Service has not arisen in the nation's press because the responsibility NES now has in counting the nation's votes was assumed gradually over a lengthy period without ever being evaluated as an item on the public agenda. (Underlined for emphasis. Ed.)
This privately owned vote counting cartel (NES) uses the vast membership of the network-subsidized League of Women Voters as field personnel whose exclusive job is to phone in unofficial vote totals to NES on election night. NES also operates a "master computer" in New York City, located on 34th Street. (Because the League of Women Voters has about it a perfume of volunteerism and do-goodism, the fact that it is actually a political club with a political agenda and a hungry treasury is shrouded by the false myth that it is a reliable election-day watchdog.)
The NES mainframe computer has the capability, via telephone lines, of "talking" back and forth with county and state government mainframes. During the important 60-day certification period after an election, the counts in the county and state mainframes can still be manipulated by outsiders to conform to earlier TV "projections."
Without this capability of using the NES mainframe to "balance the books " between initial network projections of Bush as "winner" and the final official totals published two months later, Bush may have lost the election to Dukakis.
It is the prescription for the covert stealing of America.
-- James and Kenneth Collier, 1992
One Call Too Many? CBS News reports on John Ellis at Fox News "calling" the 2000 election for his cousin, George W. Bush.