Clarkson: Election fraud is still a problem

Statistician Beth Clarkson has spent years trying to see the votes. Now she’s given up.

It’s not that she doesn’t believe election fraud is still a problem. It’s just that nobody seems to listen.

“I’m to the point where I’m ready to give up,” Clarkson said. “I feel like I’ve done as much personally as I feel capable of trying to do. People aren’t agreeing with me. So there’s not much else I can do.”

Clarkson first became a voice for detecting election fraud in 2014 when she found statistical anomalies in vote counts and asked to audit voting machine results. She was denied an audit. She took it to court. The court denied her an audit too.

Since then, she has been in and out of court fighting for the right to audit.

“People don’t believe what I’ve done, they ignore my results, they take no action,” Clarkson said.

The action that Clarkson would like to see taken is for voting to be done by, ideally, a paper system.

“I think that technologically, it’s possible to develop [a good electronic system], but if you do, you have to have people who aren’t experts in that field have trust that the experts are doing their jobs honestly,” Clarkson said.

In an ideal world, paper ballots would be hand-counted at polling locations on election night, Clarkson said. But she knows that is unrealistic.

“I’d like to see at least an audit on election night before the ballots ever leave the polling station,” Clarkson sasid.

Still, there have been strides towards what Clarkson sees as a better election results system, including a law passed in 2018 requiring post election audits, which goes into effect next year.

But there “absolutely has to be a paper trail” for audits to work, she said.“If we don’t have a paper trail, we can’t do audits.”

Clarkson believes if more people were aware of the fact that election fraud is a real thing that does happen, there would be a bigger push for election reform.

“Until I started investigating it, I didn’t think there could be anything like that happening without there being more publicity about it,” Clarkson said. “I just think there needs to be more basic awareness.

“I think our election officials are honest and they’re doing their best. I would like to make that clear. I think they’re all honest and they’re working very hard in the system we have to do the best they can. But I think we have a system that has flaws that are not being addressed.”