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Electile Disfunction

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posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 06:48 PM
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And this just came out today about iVotronic, another major provider of voting machines:


Allegheny County cannot verify the software in its touch-screen voting machines is what the state certified when it allowed paperless voting machines, county officials say, because the state provides no mechanism for such an audit.

continued...

In 2006, Allegheny County spent $12 million of a federal grant to purchase the machines, which are used in more than 20 counties, including Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Greene, Mercer and Westmoreland.

"It would be irresponsible for me to try and do [software verification] in the space of three weeks. We don't want to play with this," Mr. Johnson said. And even if the software were available, he added, it is too late to start an audit now because it would have to be carried out through a bidding process, which could take up to three months.

post gazette

Wonderful.


Three voting machine providers, three different and unacceptable issues.
It just gets better and better.





posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 09:42 PM
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And here is the setup:


(CNN)
A new Government Accountability Office report on voting system testing finds that the Election Assistance Commission has not notified election officials across the country about electronic voting machine failures.

And a new study by Common Cause and the Century Foundation finds that 10 very vital swing states have significant voting problems that have not been addressed since the last election.

Those 10 states, according to Common Cause, are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
CNN


Pretty important states, don't you think?

We are so screwed!



posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 10:16 PM
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Man, I am still laughing about the stone vote system.

I began voting in 1972. We used the mechanical lever machines. You pull down the levers of your choice, one per line because the gears won't let you pull more than one, then when you are done, you pull the main lever to open the curtain and all your levers are counted and reset for the next guy. Then at the end of the night, the kindly elderly gentleman on duty reads the results from the dials on the back of the machine and phones them in to the central office. The machine is then locked, and can't be unlocked until the election has declared a winner. Every machine keeps a permanent record, mechanically, until such time as the election board resets the machine for the next election.

Pretty straight forward huh? No power failures, hacking or chads involved. No paper ballots to count (and lose).

Now, being a lifetime resident of upstate New York, and proud of the speed by which our government works, we are still using these mechanical machines! They diddled around so long in trying to figure out which system to "upgrade" to that we have completely missed the boat with the "new" technology.

And guess what? We probably are still using the most reliable method of voting ever. Gotta love it. I predict bad things coming.



posted on Oct, 5 2008 @ 12:09 AM
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Originally posted by zlots331
We probably are still using the most reliable method of voting ever.


You're not kidding.
But as usual, that solution is way too simple for anyone in charge to figure it out.



posted on Oct, 5 2008 @ 01:04 AM
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Originally posted by Ian McLean

Originally posted by wheresthetruth
Lets see...based on the knowledge of myself and a few very select friends with specific knowledge, I am pretty sure that in 4 years, we could come up with something as simple as:
...
more than enough checks/balances to guarantee no data loss or corruption


Enjoy that certainty. Based on the knowledge of myself and a several select friends with specific knowledge, I guarantee that if you design such a system, that you're confident in, it can be subverted in such a way as to yield, at each possible scope of verifiable consistency, the results you expect to see.

Hypervisor

It's in the hardware, ya know.


Well, there was a bit of sarcasm in there, which is why I said it was "as simple as". There is really nothing that can be simply locked down so well that it cant be hacked. The pentagon and white house are proof of that, with all of the hacks that they have to endure. Not to mention the fact that the hardware hacks that casinos have had to deal with over the decades.

To be honest, technology is really not for every situation. It simplifies a lot, solves many problems, streamlines a lot of processes, but there are limits and times when it should be shelved in exchange for something more primative. I think the electoral process is one of those entities that needs to be primative. I am not suggesting tossing stones, but something less corrupt than having the ability to digitally delete or swap votes is what I am in favor of.



posted on Oct, 5 2008 @ 12:23 PM
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Well we're not going back to stones lake the ancient Greeks.
And the new technology has all the problems listed on this thread.
But I second the idea of a simpler non-electronic system with physical tabulation.



posted on Oct, 5 2008 @ 03:23 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


Well, I do like the idea of the stones -- 'ostracons', wasn't that what they were called? Has a nice ring to it, kinda Thunderdome. I think our politicians need some.

But here's a interesting point, regarding what you mentioned about 'direct democracy' and sound-bite politicing. I think there's a cognative disconnect, there. I often hear people (here and other places) rail against direct democracy; the founders didn't like it, people in mass are stupid, majority voting panders to perception instead of solutions, etc. But, if we're to move away from that, that implies electing politicians based on trust, integrity, and personality, not particular stances on particular issues. Yet, another major complaint from the same people who don't like the idea of direct democracy is that politics now is so very much focused on personality and 'trivialities', rather than the issues the electorate is concerned with. Isn't there a disconnect there? Do we want to be able to trust politicians, or the public -- or both, or neither?

Edit to continue: I think people, unrealistically, want to have their cake and eat it to. They want to elect politicians who will run the country like they want, without them having to worry about it or deal with the issues themselves. But then, being the constantly meddlesome lot that we are, the want every single minuscual action their politicians take to match up with what they personally think should be done, when they actually take the time to form an opinion. A little hypocritical, no?


[edit on 5-10-2008 by Ian McLean]



posted on Oct, 5 2008 @ 03:28 PM
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Unfortunately SDog seems to have called it right.


America’s sloppy, fraud-prone voting system could turn Election Day into an Election Month of court challenges.

Voter Fraud Expected to Be Rampant

Our nation may be on the brink of repeating the 2000 Florida election debacle, but this time in several states, with allegations of voter fraud, intimidation and flawed voting machines added to the generalized chaos that sent Bush v. Gore to the Supreme Court for overtime.

"If you think of election problems as akin to forest fires, the woods are no drier than they were in 2000, but many more people have matches,” says Doug Chapin, editor of the nonpartisan Electionline.org.

The real battle that could decide this election may be fought by the squadrons of lawyers both sides have hired to prepare Florida-style challenges to the results in any close state. Once again, America’s sloppy, fraud-prone voting system could turn Election Day into an Election Month of court challenges.

Election lawsuits are already piling up. A new federal mandate requires that all voters be allowed to cast a provisional ballot if their names don’t appear on registration lists. Liberal groups are suing to have such ballots counted even if they are cast in precincts where the voter doesn’t live. If the number of provisional ballots exceeds the margin of victory in the Senate race, you can bet lawyers will argue that “every vote must count,” regardless of eligibility. Candidates may have to hope their vote totals are beyond the “margin of litigation.”

source
nypost



posted on Oct, 5 2008 @ 03:50 PM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog

Election lawsuits are already piling up.


Interesting, that. I was thinking a month or two ago: "hmm, haven't seen much voting system or election fraud news coverage in the last year or so". My prediction was, we wouldn't -- until it was absolutely too late to actually do anything about it for this election cycle.

Controversy is more valuable news product, and more powerful political capital, than integrity.

And sure enough, now, a month before the general election, we're hearing of a 'backlog' of court cases, new stories of horrible untrustworthiness, cries that it's now "too late to verify the software!"

Right on schedule.



posted on Oct, 5 2008 @ 03:57 PM
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reply to post by Ian McLean
 


There is a shipstorm brewing with all the problems with these machines.
Unless one of them wins by a landslide, we might not have a president for who knows how long.

We fighting wars under the excuse of "spreading democracy" when ours is fast becoming an embarrassment.



posted on Oct, 5 2008 @ 05:42 PM
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Originally posted by Ian McLean
reply to post by schrodingers dog
 

But here's a interesting point, regarding what you mentioned about 'direct democracy' and sound-bite politicing. I think there's a cognative disconnect, there. I often hear people (here and other places) rail against direct democracy; the founders didn't like it, people in mass are stupid, majority voting panders to perception instead of solutions, etc. But, if we're to move away from that, that implies electing politicians based on trust, integrity, and personality, not particular stances on particular issues. Yet, another major complaint from the same people who don't like the idea of direct democracy is that politics now is so very much focused on personality and 'trivialities', rather than the issues the electorate is concerned with. Isn't there a disconnect there? Do we want to be able to trust politicians, or the public -- or both, or neither?


The disconnect I think happens between peoples' disdain for politicians and their own laziness. A direct democracy is almost impossible these days. There are just too many laws to be written and passed at the local and national level. Most don't take the time to inform themselves now, imagine if they had to do all that work.

Plus people need scapegoats. So politicians work perfectly for that.

I think the present system is exactly as people want it. Relatively functional, doesn't require their full attention, and blame conveniently built in.

Not much help with voting machines though.



posted on Oct, 5 2008 @ 07:29 PM
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Here's more great news from our friends at Sequoia voting systems:



Palm Beach County's high-speed ballot counting machines couldn't count the same ballots the same way twice in tests performed Wednesday evening.
As part of a challenge to a disputed judicial race, elections officials tested two Sequoia 400-C counting machines to see how they handled ballots they previously rejected as either over- or under-votes.

Wednesday's tests were simple. Election workers took 262 ballots previously rejected by the machines as over- or under-votes in the judicial race and ran them through two machines. All of them should have been rejected again in the tests.

That didn't happen.

On the first two tests of 160 ballots, the machines accepted three ballots as good votes. On tests on 102 more ballots that should have been rejected, the machines first accepted 13 ballots as good votes and then 90 on a second run.

cont ...

Sequoia is one of America's largest private voting machine vendors, and one of its worst ... Just 30-some days from America's next and likely-largest election ever, the desperate company is under fire today for recent voting system failures in Palm Beach, Washington D.C., and New Jersey.

source
source



posted on Oct, 5 2008 @ 09:23 PM
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I would have to believe that Direct Democracy could be no more wrong or have no more flaws than Representative Democracy which ignores the informed feedback of those who are engaged and participative in issues and/or elections in today's political climate. Just as not every person votes in an election, not every person will find an affinity for studying the issues. Those that do spend their time should be allowed more participation than we exercised in the 1700s.

I would also have to believe that in the communication age there would be a way to forge a better path that provides for more citizen input while still maintaining representation. We are no longer separated by distance and our ability to communicate has improved logistically more so than any industry on the planet. There are always ways to improve the systems - some small and some not so small.

Two other very, very big players in the voting machine contractor world are ES&S and Diebold. One feature that I like, although it doesn't solve all the problems, is when the machine prints a voter receipt. At least the individual who cast the ballot can choose to maintain a paper trail. In some precincts one to five swings in the ballot count are observable.

Also, even on basic levels our government is not opening itself to a dialogue with the people. Where are the government internet forums open to citizens on any given legislation? Where is the public discourse on issues fostered by our government allowed, encouraged and embraced even?

Basically you nailed it with your title. There is much work to do. Although sometimes you have to admit, when you see the grief and hatred infect families themselves - and imagine the ingrained hatred that must be present on the national level when we appall and disappoint each other's cultures - it can be amazing that we are as far as we are.

The stones may not be real but, the hanging chads were. Imagine a 20+ year old multi-sheet paper hole punch like they had in schools years ago. Remember how when you would punch holes in the sheets and there would be those dangly things hanging off. Hanging chads in Florida were real. When those ballots were fed through the reader - the machine the ballot rested on pushed those dangly chads back up in the hole so the machine couldn't read the vote. More importantly, there were more than enough dangly chads that I will always believe that Al Gore would have won in 2000 if the Supreme Court had not ordered us to stop counting the votes in Miami Dade County. The votes were there.

Thanks again for this thread and the many contributors....it's been an interesting read.



Peace.



posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 05:24 PM
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Originally posted by DancedWithWolves
Just as not every person votes in an election, not every person will find an affinity for studying the issues.


True, but that does not prevent them from voting. Thus anyone with an internet connection and a middle school education will be able to participate.


Also, even on basic levels our government is not opening itself to a dialogue with the people. Where are the government internet forums open to citizens on any given legislation? Where is the public discourse on issues fostered by our government allowed, encouraged and embraced even?


Well, people let their representatives deal with those details and only complain with a letter or email when something goes horribly wrong. I doubt many people have any interest in debating the new sewer system their local council is considering.

I agree with so much of what you say except for the idea that direct democracy could not be worse than the current representative one. Even when used in ancient Greece not ALL citizens were able to participate. If applied to the US today it would create utter chaos and bring the whole country to a standstill.



posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 09:43 AM
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Originally posted by TheRooster
reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


SD, I love the title. I say bring back the dimpled and hanging chads. OR Perhaps we could cast our votes by throwing a rock at the candidate of your choice?


Greetings......funny you mentioned the dimples and hanging chads....This incident was a practice run for the ultimate robbery of an election....
Think about this possible scenerio....The manufacturer of the machines used in FLA. were designed to accomodate 1 data card and the stylus used penetrated that card handly.....Now....consider this....A republican registered voter shows up at the pole...one data card is inserted....next..a democratic registered voter showed up...3 data cards are inserted....result..card one OK..card 2...chad...card 3 dimple...
Of course this could not be proven,however it was funny that out of the entire state of FLA...the Gore campaign chose to recount only select precints in south FLA.... Just a theory with no basis in fact however possible...



posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 04:06 PM
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New report just out is validating what we've been talking about.


On November 4, 2008 voting systems will fail somewhere in the United States in one or more jurisdictions in the country. Unfortunately, we don't know where. For this reason, it is imperative that every state prepare for system failures. We urge each state to take steps necessary to insure that inevitable voting machine problems do not undermine either the individual right to vote, or our ability to accurately count each vote cast.

and

Ten states received the worst rankings ("needs improvement" or "inadequate") in three of four categories: Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia.


brennancenter



posted on Oct, 19 2008 @ 09:29 AM
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Geetings.....Let me guess....Ohio,Nevada,Florida and Michagin



posted on Oct, 24 2008 @ 04:42 AM
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And so it goes ....


Oct. 24, 2008 | NORTH MIAMI, Fla. -- Sure, Ted Ravelo likes Barack Obama. But two hours is a long time to stand in line to vote, especially considering that it's still October. "This has to be remedied," Ravelo, 72, said Wednesday morning, shaking his head, as he gave up on voting early -- at least that day -- at the North Miami Public Library, where a couple of dozen voting machines and their operators were struggling in vain to keep pace with a flood of citizens. "Something has to be done." A line stretched two blocks from the building, as other voters doggedly stood -- or sat on the folding chairs many of them had brought along -- for up to two hours while waiting to cast their ballots.

cont...

A visit to Florida in the waning days of the 2008 presidential campaign threatens to evoke a certain sense of déjà vu for another late October eight years ago. Once again, polls show the state is deadlocked -- and once again, there's a very real possibility that a lot of people who support the Democratic candidate could have trouble voting.

salon



posted on Oct, 24 2008 @ 08:02 PM
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It is starting to become risible at this point:


In that case, consider what must be the No. 1 most boneheaded move in voting machine history.

Hacking a voting machine usually involves getting inside and swapping out a chip or two, so you would think they would make them really hard to open up. Sure enough, it you look at a Diebold (now called Premier Election Solutions) AccuVote-TS machine, there's a locked cover keeping everything secure. The only problem is that even election officials lose their keys occasionally, so Diebold sells new ones to "Diebold account holders" through their online store.

Now this is where it gets really dumb. Right there on the order page is a picture of the keys (since removed), showing exactly what they look like. Dumber still, it turns out that every AccuVote-TS machine uses the exact same key, and dumbest of all, it's essentially the same as many of the keys used for hotel mini bars and office file cabinets. A group studying voting machine security at Princeton University found that with three blank keys, a file, and a small vice, they could easily make two working keys by copying the key pattern from the Diebold website.


dvice.com



posted on Oct, 24 2008 @ 08:10 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


Jumbo kudos on the title SD; by JOVE you've done it again!!!


Okay, while the stoning idea was deliciously tempting, I fear that shortly after the opening of the polls, most of the nation would have nothing but a spot to throw at. I completely agree. No matter WHO wins, there is going to be foul called. This mess isn't going to be over for a while.

I think the only equitable and fair way to decide this election is a cage match. No, don't laugh.... sure, Senator Obama is much younger and more agile and possibly stronger, less injuries, etc. ....... but let's not underestimate the power of guile and experience.

Think of it..... it would be a pay-per-view event, a small amount and those that don't have the wherewithall to afford cable TV would pay their dues at a central civic center, where the event would be broadcast. These funds would go towards the ever-growing deficit, as well as entertaining the hell out of the entire nation. It could be hybridized with wrestling, by having the VPs as the tag team. I'm pretty certain Palin would whip Biden..... Oh, what a night!







 
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