Information Warfare in New York – Andrew Paquette 5/22/23


Last April, I discovered an algorithm hidden in New York’s voter rolls. The algorithm linked county voter identification (CID) and State Board of Elections identification (SBOEID) numbers in such a way that it could be used as a third ID number. This could be used to clandestinely tag and track records of interest, such as phantom voters.

Since that day in April, I have done little else for seven days a week as I studied the original algorithm and three others discovered subsequently. Last week, the peer-reviewed Journal of Information Warfare published my article about New York’s voter roll algorithms. The article was written several months ago. It represents my understanding of the algorithm at that time. Since then, my understanding of how it works and what it does has deepened. Current updates on voter roll algorithm research can be read on my substack, the Zark Files.

I have identified four algorithms in New York’s voter rolls to date. I have named them “Spiral,” “Metronome,” “Tartan,” and “Shingle” based on their characteristics. The Spiral algorithm has been solved in the sense that it can be completely reversed and its effects predicted. The Metronome is unsolved but appears to be based on a random seed for the purpose of randomizing numbers. The Tartan accomplishes a similar purpose as the Metronome but in a different way. The Shingle algorithm is closely associated with suspicious records.

The algorithms are well-hidden via the use of multiple obfuscation techniques. The first method partitions the number space in a way that cannot be reproduced using any of the fields normally available from within the database. The partitions segregate SBOEID and CID numbers based on which algorithm was used to generate the numbers. Without knowledge of the algorithms or partitions, the numbers would be mixed so that they cannot be differentiated.

After partitioning the numbers, CID numbers are segregated by county, any alphabetical characters are stripped out, and then a decimal point is added to the left of the number. These are then sorted in ascending order. By adding a decimal point to the left, the numbers are effectively changed into different numbers so that they sort differently. For instance, the following numbers are in ascending order: 1, 23, 111, 1081, and 15,000. After decimalization, they sort like so: .10000, .10810, .11100, .15000, and .23000. After this is done, the decimal points are removed, thus hiding their previous existence.

After this, the algorithm performs a series of calculations to determine how many times the number of voters in each partition can be divided by the following repunit numbers: 1,111,111, 111,111, 11,111, 1,111, 111, 11, and 1. From this, it calculates SBOEID numbers based on the repunits and the number of SBOEID numbers that will fit in each group.

The algorithm then cuts each group of numbers, just like a deck of cards, putting the top half of the deck (lower numbers) below the bottom of the deck (higher numbers). Last, it interlaces the numbers belonging to each repunit to achieve the equivalent of a stacked deck.

After all these transformations have been performed, the scrambled list of CID numbers is attached to the scrambled list of SBOEID numbers. At this point, the casual observer will see what looks like randomly assigned numbers. They are not random. They are deterministic and fully reversible.

If the algorithms did nothing else, they represent a serious security breach of the voter rolls. The reason is that by creating a reversible method of rearranging voter ID numbers, those records can be clandestinely tagged with attribute information accessible only to those with knowledge of the algorithms. The Spiral algorithm could be used to do that.

Although the presence of the algorithms in the voter roll database is unambiguous, the purpose remains unknown. However, it is known what the Spiral does. It is also known that records with numbers assigned by the Shingle algorithm are nearly one hundred percent purged, and of those, a significant number are clones and are distributed in a distinctive pattern among purged records. It is also true that the Spiral algorithm can be used to identify cloned SBOEID numbers that were assigned and then later deleted, both of which are dubious activities. In addition, the algorithm can be used to identify which voters were originally attached to now-deleted SBOEID numbers. None of this should be possible but it is….

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