Elaborate hoax, publicity stunt or legitimate effort to get input on a major life decision, the vote the infamous Minnesota couple has put online of the potential abortion of their unborn child has taken a turn.
At midday Friday, the vote at the BirthOrNot.com web site stood at 82,584 (about 80%) for “give birth” and 19,539 (about 20%) for “have an abortion.”
Now, more than 838,000 people have voted, with 67.54 percent (566,461) saying the couple should have an abortion and 32.46 percent (272,249) saying they should give birth to the baby.
Pete Arnold, who has said in interviews the vote is legitimate, in a post on the blog, acknowledges both the massive popularity of the web site, given the international media attention focused on it, and the potential for vote fraud.
“You have undoubtedly noticed a large shift in the votes from yesterday to today,” he said in a Sunday post. “They went from 81/19 in favor of Giving Birth to what they are at the time of this posting : 42/58 in favor of Abortion. This change has happened in approximately a 30 hour period.”
“The traffic to our site, comments to us, email messages, and media requests have been extensive,” Arnold continued.
Arnold, perhaps in the eyes of some skeptics who say this is a pro-life publicity stunt, may be giving he and his wife an out to keep the baby —- by saying the vote was rigged by the pro-abortion side or suffered from technical problems — even if the vote ends up favoring abortion.
“And while the number of visitors matches the number of votes not everyone who visits votes and the sway in the result this far has us concerned that perhaps some out there are not taking this as seriously as we have been,” he says.
The vote now appears to be potentially suffering from an automated attempt to influence the outcome.
Just minutes after the voting web site reflected the totals above, reloading the page produced a vote total of 67.71-32.29 percent favoring abortion, with approximately, 6,500 additional votes for abortion within the span of 10-15 minutes. Another five minutes after that saw another 6,000 plus votes on the “Have an abortion” side were tallied.
“Fraud in votes has been a prominent issue as of late, even locally here in Minnesota. While some see this as a game, we most certainly do not,” Arnold added in the newest post. “When the vote closes, we will be reviewing the data, and making it all public. When the vote closes, you will know all that we do… as we discover it together. Until then, it looks like we might have something we see typically with voting: An unknown result until the end.”
Meanwhile, Alisha Arnold has posted more about the status of her pregnancy and the development of her unborn child — posts which give some observers reason to believe the couple is pro-life and using the fetal development information to sway public opinion.
“I went in for my weekly check up and the baby’s heartbeat was at 160 bpm and “Wiggles” continues to develop as expected,” the mother says. “The baby was turning around a lot and waving arms (and hands) at us.”
“The baby continues to work its way through the produce department in regards to size and this week is comparable to an onion (not my favorite vegetable). According to TheBump the baby’s skeleton is hardening and accumulating fat around it,” Alisha Arnold continues. “Baby “Wiggles” is also developing unique fingerprints this week.”
Arnold also received news that the sub-chorionic hemorhage doctors initially discovered.
“It was so small in fact, it was hard to get a measurement on it. By next week it could be gone completely,” she said. “I was given permission by my doctor to return to work after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.”
She concludes: “Thanks to everyone who is voting and posting comments, we really appreciate your interest in our poll. Please stay tuned for more updates on how things are going for us and the baby.”