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HBO: Hacking Democracy - Do You Really Believe Your Vote Will Count?

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posted on Nov, 3 2006 @ 11:40 AM
I just caught the last half hour or so of the new HBO documentary, "Hacking Democracy" and was absolutely stunned. If you haven't seen it I highly suggest you watch it before the elections.

I admit I've just blown off the whole "vote rigging" conspiracies until now. Essentially the program goes over the Ohio election problems and at the end shows how the Diebold "piece of crap" voting machines, particularly the memory cards can be easily manipulated to show whatever results someone wishes.


In Florida, Leon County supervisor of elections Ion Sancho presided over a trial "mini-election" to see if the vote could be hacked without being detected. Before votes were actually cast, computer analyst Harri Hursti "stuffed the ballot box" by entering votes on the computer's memory card. Then, after votes were cast, the results displayed when the same memory card was entered in the central tabulating program indicated that fraud was indeed possible. In other words, by accessing a memory card before an election, someone could change the results - a claim Diebold had denied was possible.


Political insiders have expressed alarm after 12 voter smartcards have gone missing from one Shelby County, TN early vote location!

I'm wondering if anyone else has seen "Hacking Democracy" and whether you have or have not seen it... DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE YOUR VOTE WILL COUNT? In other words how much faith do you have in our voting system?

posted on Nov, 3 2006 @ 12:16 PM
No, I haven't seen it (no HBO). I have to believe my vote will count. If I didn't I wouldn't vote. And therin lies the big danger (IMO). The last thing we need at this point is for a significant number of people staying away from the polls.

So I'm begging everyone here, for the sake of this election, assume your vote will count and go exercise your right.

This isn't to say these stories should be ignored. They should be investigated to the fullest, prosecuted where appropriate, and severe punishment should be meted out in the event anything nefarious can be proven. Even if it's found to be accidental, huge fines should be levied.

In the meantime, GO VOTE!

(and consider the Libertarians on your ballot)

posted on Nov, 3 2006 @ 12:22 PM
The really scary thing about this is how fast you can actualy hack a voting machine, and if you have any programing experiance, its not that hard to do it, someone givin anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes with a voting machine alone can infect it, and because cards are used on multiple machines, you only have to infect one, the workers will infect the rest, now I may not be able to vote, and mainly because of this ability to hack a machine and make it change what you voted for, I may just never want to vote. This could be how machines kill us all.

posted on Nov, 3 2006 @ 12:27 PM
Excellent point!
Using the Diebold machines is like a double edged sword for the Republicans... They can manipulate the votes as needed and the stories being circulated about voter fraud will keep many democrates thinking "why bother" away from the booths.
No matter, people (on both sides) need to get out and vote!

posted on Nov, 3 2006 @ 02:47 PM
My vote will probably count just because of where I live, but I don't understand why people think this election will be any more dependable than the last 2 presidential elections. This election is rigged. It's already begun.

OHIO Voting Test Spits Out Wrong Results

A problem has been discovered with the optical scanner in connection with one race at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Friday afternoon.

No matter how many people want Democrats to win the House and Senate, it's simply not going to happen. The Republicans will not allow it. Bush is so confident because he knows that simple fact. Just as in 2000, when they announced that Gore had won Florida, Bush said no, he didn't believe it. He KNEW he had won Florida.

ETA: I sure wish I had HBO, but then again, I don't need to be further convinced. Here are the showtimes:

Hacking Democracy Showtimes

[edit on 3-11-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]

posted on Nov, 3 2006 @ 07:45 PM
I saw the program and was shocked. It took a decent hacker about 90 seconds to change an elections votes. Even more so shocking were the data chips that records the data, they had an executable program inside them (.exe) which would automatically change results. Well does your vote counts? To hell with it. I've lost all faith to be honest, even before. Oh also the segment about how Kerry conceded because he knew the election was rigged, therefore could not win, was mind boggling. Well it was a great documentary..

posted on Nov, 3 2006 @ 08:01 PM
Personally, I will be requesting a paper ballot. Here in California we have the right to vote on a paper ballot, but we have to actually request it.

Last Election I requested a paper ballot and they weren't sure how to process me since I do not belong to a party. I registered with the Reform Party back when Clinton beat out Bush Sr., but since then the party seems to have disappeared here in California and I am left as NP.

Anyway....anyone with a lack of confidence in the electronic machines should request a paper ballot. That would be the best form of protest to the electronic voting machines.

posted on Nov, 5 2006 @ 08:30 AM
How does a paper ballot work? Does it get counted by hand and added to the tally by hand or does it get fed into a machine and counted and tallied electronically? Because the machines on the HBO special count "paper" ballots that have been filled out by hand and then fed into the machine for counting... and that's where the problems start.
But yeah, if a paper ballot, like you describe, is manually counted and tallied then I would be all for it too. I'll look into it here locally. Thanks.

posted on Nov, 5 2006 @ 03:47 PM

I'm pretty sure that most paper ballots are counted electronically. The benefit to paper is that it can be counted again if there seems to be a discrepency. If the discrepencies persist after a 2nd or 3rd counting then they go to a hand count. Usually it never gets to that point unless a political race is extremely close.

Votes cast electronically depend upon proper programing and electricity. Computers can be programmed to do anything. After the last major election where many precints reported errors and numbers that didn't add up correctly, there were no inspections of the programming of those machines. For that matter, a programmer could program a glitch to sway an election...then the program could be set to erase the glitch at a certain time, say an hour or so after the polls close.

Like I say, as a programmer can set a computer to do anything within the computer if he's any good at all. I was into computer programming many years ago and we could do all of that back then. Today it would only be easier.

There needs to be better checks and accountability with computers before we can rely upon them. The computers themselves don't make errors or's the programmers that do.

posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 11:47 AM
Here's a link to the entire HBO program. I suggest everyone interested in the integrity of the voting process watch this!

The Voting Machine Documentary Diebold Didn't Want You to See...

How very telling it is that Diebold pressured HBO to cancel the airing of this documentary just days before tomorrow's midterm elections. Fortunately, subsidiary of mega-corporation Time Warner did not cave to the guilty psychology of the Diebold or other electronic voting companies pleading to hide just suspicion of the 'fallible' system behind our vote.

And the link to a story about how Diebold pressured HBO into cancelling the show...
Diebold demands HBO cancel film on voting machines

posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 12:16 PM
I saw the first bit and have it recorded to watch the rest. It was an amazing program and reminded me of the Diebold scandals that SkepticOverlord posted on ATSNN sometime back.

Definately a good show.

posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 08:27 PM
Although I don't trust those voting machines even 1/10000th as far as I can throw them, let's not get all rabid about the election being stolen just yet... you know, seeing as nobody is actually even in possession of it yet. A couple of more hours and then we can start that. Afterall, it sure would be embarrassing if the Democrats won and then could all be quoted as saying it was rigged.

The bottom line is that unless we see something at least mildly unlikely happen, like the Democrats losing Ohio or winning Virginia, it would be hard at a glance to assume that there was fraud. I expect the results to be at least close to the polls, and if they are, though I'll certainly be attentive to the results of any investigation into the facts surrounding the most contentious districts, I'll be slow to ASSUME result-changing fraud.

Come tomorrow we'll have all the results. Come dinner time tomorrow, we'll have enough reports to discuss the validity of those results based on more substantial evidence than "I really think my party is gonna win if its fair". Come the end of the week, assuming that there is some semblance of democracy left, we'll have a pretty good picture of any allegations and how the courts intend to defend our interests against possible improprieties.

In so many words... let's not give ourselves a stroke until there's actually a disputable result to blow a gasket over.

posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 10:55 PM

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
No matter how many people want Democrats to win the House and Senate, it's simply not going to happen.

I take it back... Democrats won the House as reported by CNN. I'm pretty much blown away.
I have to say I do wonder when the other shoe is going to drop...

posted on Nov, 8 2006 @ 09:25 AM
I don't see the voting machine's lack of security in-of-itself as being a Democrat/Republican issue. I just want them to read the damn votes correctly and accurately and let the chips fall as they may...

However, it becomes an Democrat/Republican issue of stealing votes when Walden O'Dell, CEO of Diebold, the company that makes the machines that clearly allow someone to tamper with the votes, writes a freekin letter pledging his commitment "to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President." and when Bev Harris, after being forced to dig through Diebold's garbage to get answers finds an accounts receivable document listing the Republican Party... Why would the Republican Party owe Diebold money? Think about those last two statements.

To me the lack of security is a problem which very well could have been a glitch or honest mistake and easily fixed. It becomes a criminal offense when that glitch is deliberately used to alter the outcome of the election and will of the people.

In a tight race, the system can be used and taken advantage of. However, if there’s overwhelming support for one candidate or the other it’s more difficult to do… the discrepancy is too big and people will notice. This is even more reason to get out and vote!

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