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Conspiracy nuts wade into Microsoft’s vote counting app

by on04 February 2016

Even if it did its job

There is nothing that Americans love more than a good conspiracy and when Ted Cruz beat Donald Trump in the Iowa Republican caucus one started to spin out of control. This one involved an Microsoft election app which was supposed to count the votes.

Soon after the result a hashtag #MicrosoftRubioFraud appeared on Twitter which seemed to suggest that Microsoft and Marco Rubio were in bed together. Rubio came third in the race.

It all started on the Breitbart site which pointed out that the Iowa votes were tallied using Microsoft software, and Microsoft was Rubio's second-biggest donor. Ergo, Microsoft shifted votes toward Rubio. #MicrosoftRubioFraud.

The conspiracy is all part of an evil Microsoft plot to get more H-1B visas, to allow foreigners to come into Silicon Valley to steal American jobs.

However the conspiracy has been dismissed by the serious press because Rubio's results were not out of line with where the polls were headed.

Redmond is not really Rubio's second-biggest donor. Staff at Microsoft back a group called the Centre for Responsive Politics. However that outfit gave Rubio $33,000 -- versus the $21.7 million Rubio raised in 2010 when he first ran.

The conspiracy theorists pointed to failures of the Microsoft system during the night as evidence that something was up. This was because the software needed to be switched off while Microsoft technicians changed 20 votes for Trump to Rubio.

But this is where it starts to fall down. Rubio still came in third as predicted. If Microsoft switched votes from Trump to Rubio to make Trump not come in first -- but then why does that help Microsoft if they want Rubio to win?

However the idea that Microsoft was involved in a conspiracy to put Rubio in office actually dates back to 19 January so this might have been in the pipeline for a while.

Last modified on 04 February 2016
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