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POLITICS: Serious Problems with Electronic Voting Machines in Florida

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posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 02:51 AM
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The lead of this New York Times story is that electronic records of the 2002 gubernatorial primary have been lost. But the story also includes evidence of serious malfunctions of the electronic voting machines.

 



www.nytimes.com
After the 2002 primary, between Democratic candidates Janet Reno and Bill McBride, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida conducted a study that found that 8 percent of votes, or 1,544, were lost on touch-screen machines in 31 precincts in Miami-Dade County. The group considered that rate of what it called "lost votes" unusually high.

Voting problems plagued Miami-Dade and Broward Counties on that day, when touch-screen machines took much longer than expected to boot up, dozens of polling places opened late and poorly trained poll workers turned on and shut down the machines incorrectly. A final vote tally - which narrowed the margin first reported between the two candidates by more than 3,000 votes - was delayed for a week.

But The Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, in a recent analysis of the March presidential primary, reported that voters in counties using touch-screen machines were six times as likely to record no vote as were voters in counties using optical-scan machines, which read markings on paper ballots.




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


1,544 votes lost in 31 precincts in Florida, where George Bush won the Presidential Election by 537 votes!

There have been numerous malfunctions of electronic voting machines reported around the country. The obvious solution is to have a hard-copy printout that each voter can inspect to verify that his vote has been properly recorded. Such a printout can also be used for audits and recounts.

In Nevada, where I live, state law has required for ten years that electronic voting machines have a hard-copy paper trail. Yet the machines we will be voting on in November are not equipped with printers. See the ATS thread below for further details.


Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
Vin Suprynowicz on Electronic Voting Machines



[edit on 28-7-2004 by Zion Mainframe]




posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 02:56 AM
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It was the machines that voted for him then? It surely wasn't the PEOPLE of florida!!


And I tought he had CHEATED! DOH!



posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 09:25 AM
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I mentioned the problems that Florida has been facing earlier this month now and only Nerdling seemed to have noticed, before my thread got lost in the mayhem of ATS.

If you don't think Florida will be spotlighted again in this upcoming election, I suggest you read this

Will Florida be the Focus of Elections Again?

[edit on 7-28-2004 by worldwatcher]



posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 09:30 AM
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There is no way I would trust those machines and there is no way I would trust Jeb Bush. He has nothing but contempt for the Democratic process.



Fear of Fraud
By Paul Krugman
The New York Times

Tuesday 27 July 1004

It's election night, and early returns suggest trouble for the incumbent. Then, mysteriously, the vote count stops and observers from the challenger's campaign see employees of a voting-machine company, one wearing a badge that identifies him as a county official, typing instructions at computers with access to the vote-tabulating software.

When the count resumes, the incumbent pulls ahead. The challenger demands an investigation. But there are no ballots to recount, and election officials allied with the incumbent refuse to release data that could shed light on whether there was tampering with the electronic records.

This isn't a paranoid fantasy. It's a true account of a recent election in Riverside County, Calif., reported by Andrew Gumbel of the British newspaper The Independent. Mr. Gumbel's full-length report, printed in Los Angeles City Beat, makes hair-raising reading not just because it reinforces concerns about touch-screen voting, but also because it shows how easily officials can stonewall after a suspect election.
www.truthout.org...

And this:


Bush Takes Back Good Move on Voting
Pensacola News Journal

Tuesday 27 July 2004

We were premature in praising Gov. Jeb Bush for taking the high road in the matter of restoring voting rights for felons who have served their sentences and been released from prison.

No doubt it's our fault for underestimating the politics involved. And for thinking that the embarrassing hash the state had made of its efforts to purge the rolls of ineligible voters had shamed the governor into seeking a good-faith fix.

Now it looks as if the governor simply sees political benefit in keeping people off the voting rolls.

It's almost as if the governor takes delight in showing his contempt for a political system based on a non-partisan respect for voting rights, the very essence of our system. Just when it looked as if he was stepping up to do the right thing, he showed partisanship more apt for an old-fashioned ward heeler than the governor of Florida.
www.pensacolanewsjournal.com... 45AB-0C86-4825-A802-AEAD9001496B.shtml

[edit on 19-09-2003 by EastCoastKid]



posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 10:11 AM
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Amazing that after nearly 4 years these supposed "problems" haven't been sorted out don't you think?


I mean I'm sure most programmers e.t.c could've had this sorted in no time, they take on bigger tasks everyday without so much arsing around as this...



posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 11:56 AM
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Originally posted by John Nada
Amazing that after nearly 4 years these supposed "problems" haven't been sorted out don't you think?


I mean I'm sure most programmers e.t.c could've had this sorted in no time, they take on bigger tasks everyday without so much arsing around as this...


Umm whatever, programmers are people, they make mistakes. Somtimes they make HUGE COSTLY MISTAKES. I would not be surprised if these machines are bug ridden to begin with because most private companies skip steps in the development process to cut costs. I know this because I've worked tech support before which just happend to be right next door to the developers of the software we were supposed to support and they brag about how 'productive' they are yet when you take into account the amount of time they have to go back and rewrite thier code, their productivity falls well short of what they claim. And this was a payroll company and the software was web-based so our clients could be able to submit timesheets to us and we print the check/send the EFT. This type of software 'should' be bugfree since its pretty critical, but It never is and I was always swamped with calls. Well, I didn't stay there for a year and during that time things just got worse. I'm not going to mention the name of said company, but I've talking to other people who work for some pretty big banks and they said things were pretty much the same. Remember the Royal Bank f#$k up? If not google it.



posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 12:05 PM
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Oh no I agree, I'm not laying this at the door of the programmers and I know not many things are bug free. I just find it so hard to believe that after nearly 4 years the same problems exist, and that after this time they still couldn't sort this problems why haven't they decided to go back to the old fashioned way or find an alternate way?

With the election looming surely by now someone in authority should've asked them "can this be sorted in time?" and if as you said they say it's not looking good (for whatever many reasons) then an alternate route should be found. Now either way this is a result of negligence, laziness or just plain deliberate. I'm not sure which is worse...



posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 12:12 PM
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what people tend to forget is that the majority of voters in florida are probably senior citizens and naturalized citizens, these people need simple ways to vote, pregnant chads and now electric voting machines are too much for the average floridian to handle....god forbid there's a thunderstorm and the lights flicker and maybe the power goes out, as it so often does.

Here in broward county, we currently have our former elections supervisor Miriam Oliphant in a State Senate trial....i am not feeling optimistic about the situation.

[edit on 7-28-2004 by worldwatcher]



posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 06:46 PM
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Well, i can personally say that its not the fault of the south Florida elections department. They have been looking for capable people to work, maintain and repair when necessary the e-voting machines. Two days ago i recieved a call for an interview to work as a computer technician, and today i went to the interview at the Miami Dade Elections Department. There were other applicants, for the interview. i talked to a few people that work there, and althou I will most probably turn this job down for another one, i think the election department is doing everything they can do.

The problem in South Florida is what World Watcher stated. There are a lot of senior citizens that are not familiar at all with computers and quite a few don't even know how to use a mouse and are not computer savy at all. It is no laughing matter, i have had to teach a few seniors how to use a mouse and other peripheral devices, and it's not really the fault of anyone in specific, not even the government. But it is true that perhaps we should be using another method for voting in South Florida, althou e-voting machines are not really complicated for the younger generations.


[edit on 28-7-2004 by Muaddib]



posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 07:06 PM
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Muaddib, this is not just a matter of senior citizens not being computer savvy. You fail to address the fact, as mentioned in my post, that large numbers of votes just disappear. I believe there was also a recent case in California where more votes were recorded in a precinct than there were registered voters in the precinct. You also do not address the lack of printers for hard-copy printouts in places like Nevada, where state law has required a hard-copy paper trail for ten years.

Finally, you also do not address some of the issues raised in my related post, Vin Suprynowicz on Electronic Voting Machines. The fact that top management of all three major electronic voting companies have close ties to the Republican Party. The fact that after major upsets in Georgia elections, Diebold software was found on a server in a folder named rob-georgia.zip. The fact that the CEO of Diebold has said he will do everything possible to make sure Bush wins in Ohio.

As I said previously,


Why is it that most of the people concerned with electronic voting machine fraud are Democrats? Maybe it's because the Republican Party has close ties to the top management of the three major electronic voting companies -- Diebold, Sequoia Pacific, and Elections Systems and Software.

There have been many documented cases of electronic voting machine malfunctions in several states. Millions of votes are going to be cast in November on machines which provide no hard-copy printout, therefore no capability for audit or recount.

Yet it seems only Democrats are concerned about this problem. The Republicans seem to be laughing and saying, "Hey, no problem." I think the fix is in, and this election is going to be stolen by Bush and the Republicans in a way that will be untraceable.


I know you have conservative political views. Your post gives me the impression that you don't think there is a serious problem with possible fraud and election stealing by means of electronic voting machines.



[edit on 7/28/2004 by donguillermo]



posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 08:03 PM
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Originally posted by donguillermo
As I said previously,


Why is it that most of the people concerned with electronic voting machine fraud are Democrats? Maybe it's because the Republican Party has close ties to the top management of the three major electronic voting companies -- Diebold, Sequoia Pacific, and Elections Systems and Software.

There have been many documented cases of electronic voting machine malfunctions in several states. Millions of votes are going to be cast in November on machines which provide no hard-copy printout, therefore no capability for audit or recount.

Yet it seems only Democrats are concerned about this problem. The Republicans seem to be laughing and saying, "Hey, no problem." I think the fix is in, and this election is going to be stolen by Bush and the Republicans in a way that will be untraceable.


I know you have conservative political views. Your post gives me the impression that you don't think there is a serious problem with possible fraud and election stealing by means of electronic voting machines.



Republicans laughing about this? ....ok....whatever you say....and contrary to what you may think if a voter uses the e-voting machine incorrectly the vote will not appear, because it was "incorrect." I have voted and seen the problems some seniors, and other not so old people, have with this kind of machines. Heck, i have seen people not being able to use a touch-screen copier not knowing what to do and touching everything in the screen. You do that to an e-voting machine and it will not record the vote.

BTW...are we going back to the 2000 election "controversy" again?...get over it people, Bush won.

Can we also see links to those close ties you were talking about?
JFYI, I can link and post information that communist countries like China, North Korea and including terrorists endorse Kerry, and even thou there is probably some truth in these reports, the bias stops me from actually posting them on ATSNN or ATS.


[edit on 28-7-2004 by Muaddib]



posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 08:42 PM
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Originally posted by Muaddib

Republicans laughing about this? ....ok....whatever you say....and contrary to what you may think if a voter uses the e-voting machine incorrectly the vote will not appear, because it was "incorrect." I have voted and seen the problems some seniors, and other not so old people, have with this kind of machines. Heck, i have seen people not being able to use a touch-screen copier not knowing what to do and touching everything in the screen. You do that to an e-voting machine and it will not record the vote.


This is precisely why we need hard-copy printouts so the voter knows his vote has been properly recorded.



BTW...are we going back to the 2000 election "controversy" again?...get over it people, Bush won.


No, we are not going to rehash the 2000 election. I merely alluded to it in reference to the number of votes lost in 31 precincts versus Bush's victory margin in Florida.


Can we also see links to those close ties you were talking about?


Sure. Here's one for Diebold and ES&S.

Diebold's Political Machine

Here's another one on Diebold and ES&S, with Sequoia's involvement in a massive bribery scam.

Fixed or Murky?

If you don't like these links, you can find plenty more with Google. I haven't been able to find a specific link of Sequoia Pacific to Republicans, so maybe they are just corrupt, not Republican.



JFYI, I can link and post information that communist countries like China, North Korea and including terrorists endorse Kerry, and even thou there is probably some truth in these reports, the bias stops me from actually posting them on ATSNN or ATS.


WTF do China and North Korea have to do with anything??? The fact that you throw in a complete non sequitur like this is further evidence to me that you don't think this is a serious problem because people of your political persuasion control the electronic voting machine companies. These companies build the hardware and software for these machines, and supply technical and operational support. Last I heard, China and North Korea are not building voting machines. Nice try to change the subject.

Meanwhile, you didn't address some of the points I addressed to you in my last post. But don't bother unless you are willing to seriously address the possibility of election fraud and election stealing.


[edit on 7/28/2004 by donguillermo]

[edit on 7/28/2004 by donguillermo]



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