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Mon Nov 3, 2014, 04:11 PM

 

The reality about "vote flipping" machines in NC and elsewhere

I swore I would avoid these kinds of threads since I always regret getting involved, but people are wasting a lot of energy better spent toward getting people to the polls.

Those of you who have been around a while may remember me for being involved in the whole e-voting issue as far back as 2002 on DU. I worked with Bev Harris before we parted company for a variety of reasons, but I was right in the middle of the whole Diebold affair. In 2005 I served in the NC Select Committee on E-Voting and helped draft the laws that govern electronic voting in NC.

I coined the term "black box voting"

I have worked with, built, written about and taught about computers for about 30 years. I worked for eight years installing computer networks in local banks and am pretty familiar with what is required to make systems secure and the rigors of auditing.

That said, "vote flipping", while a problem, is not evidence of fraud, it is evidence of a poorly calibrated touchscreen. If you search Google for news stories you will find the same problem happening in lots of places where TS systems are used, but you will also find the other side saying the machines are rigged by Democrats against GOP candidates.

Despite what a lot of people like to claim, stealing an election by rigging voting machines is not that easy, and highly dangerous to your freedom. Voter suppression tactics, on the other hand, are very effective and very HARD to prosecute.

Stop getting worked up about this and get on the phone to get people to the polls. Once again, the problem DOES happen and DOES need to brought to the attention of the poll workers/press, but it is not evidence of fraud.

Also, Diebold hasn't owned a voting machine since 2009. We, meaning activists at DU, drove them out of the business.

Again, yes it IS a problem and it does need to be addressed and we should really get rid of TS systems entirely and replace them with OpScan systems. However, claiming this evidence of fraud discourages people from voting at a time where we need every damn vote we can get.

Update: The same problem, different side in 2008.

http://blackboxvoting.com/s9/index.php?/archives/323-Is-there-a-party-default-on-touch-screen-machines-NC-votes-flip-to-Obama.html

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Reply The reality about "vote flipping" machines in NC and elsewhere (Original post)
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 OP
randys1 Nov 2014 #1
RobertEarl Nov 2014 #9
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #22
backwoodsbob Nov 2014 #27
cali Nov 2014 #146
RobertEarl Nov 2014 #172
randys1 Nov 2014 #30
RobertEarl Nov 2014 #40
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #79
RobertEarl Nov 2014 #125
SharonAnn Nov 2014 #130
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #143
Generic Other Nov 2014 #203
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #205
aspirant Nov 2014 #181
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #78
randys1 Nov 2014 #152
hunter Nov 2014 #89
Aerows Nov 2014 #33
randys1 Nov 2014 #39
valerief Nov 2014 #77
hobbit709 Nov 2014 #2
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #4
watoos Nov 2014 #50
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #70
sybylla Nov 2014 #159
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #161
Thav Nov 2014 #144
Mnpaul Nov 2014 #58
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #72
IDemo Nov 2014 #94
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #99
FiveGoodMen Nov 2014 #176
yourout Nov 2014 #107
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #112
yourout Nov 2014 #113
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #114
yourout Nov 2014 #116
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #119
IDemo Nov 2014 #117
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #121
TinkerTot55 Nov 2014 #153
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #154
Ms. Toad Nov 2014 #186
eridani Nov 2014 #128
Warpy Nov 2014 #7
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #20
tblue37 Nov 2014 #28
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #73
FSogol Nov 2014 #3
Journeyman Nov 2014 #5
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #14
Name removed Nov 2014 #6
demwing Nov 2014 #8
panader0 Nov 2014 #11
Name removed Nov 2014 #49
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #12
Beartracks Nov 2014 #25
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #26
backwoodsbob Nov 2014 #29
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #76
Leith Nov 2014 #36
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #80
Leith Nov 2014 #111
msongs Nov 2014 #10
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #16
SoCalDem Nov 2014 #131
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #141
PeaceNikki Nov 2014 #13
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #17
zeemike Nov 2014 #47
Liberal Veteran Nov 2014 #51
zeemike Nov 2014 #54
Liberal Veteran Nov 2014 #56
zeemike Nov 2014 #60
Liberal Veteran Nov 2014 #62
zeemike Nov 2014 #65
Liberal Veteran Nov 2014 #69
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #100
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #75
zeemike Nov 2014 #96
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #98
zeemike Nov 2014 #105
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #106
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #68
eridani Nov 2014 #129
littlewolf Nov 2014 #48
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #101
littlewolf Nov 2014 #127
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #142
PeaceNikki Nov 2014 #57
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #67
PeaceNikki Nov 2014 #71
Mnpaul Nov 2014 #61
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #66
SunSeeker Nov 2014 #15
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #18
DeadLetterOffice Nov 2014 #21
nc4bo Nov 2014 #63
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #64
Go Vols Nov 2014 #19
GeorgeGist Nov 2014 #23
Butterbean Nov 2014 #24
Liberal Veteran Nov 2014 #31
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #81
yourout Nov 2014 #109
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #122
yourout Nov 2014 #124
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #145
99th_Monkey Nov 2014 #32
WinkyDink Nov 2014 #34
onenote Nov 2014 #43
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #82
WinkyDink Nov 2014 #132
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #140
YOHABLO Nov 2014 #35
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #83
mstinamotorcity2 Nov 2014 #37
Dont call me Shirley Nov 2014 #38
LineReply -
Takket Nov 2014 #41
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #84
zeemike Nov 2014 #42
Savannahmann Nov 2014 #52
zeemike Nov 2014 #55
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #87
zeemike Nov 2014 #93
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #86
nc4bo Nov 2014 #59
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #92
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #85
zeemike Nov 2014 #91
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #97
zeemike Nov 2014 #102
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #104
zeemike Nov 2014 #110
aspirant Nov 2014 #184
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #193
BlueJazz Nov 2014 #44
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #88
Helen Borg Nov 2014 #45
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #90
Helen Borg Nov 2014 #133
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #139
Helen Borg Nov 2014 #147
zappaman Nov 2014 #46
ladyVet Nov 2014 #53
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #74
randome Nov 2014 #95
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #103
KingCharlemagne Nov 2014 #108
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #115
KingCharlemagne Nov 2014 #118
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #120
KingCharlemagne Nov 2014 #123
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #138
Helen Borg Nov 2014 #134
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #137
maced666 Nov 2014 #126
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #150
WinkyDink Nov 2014 #135
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #149
Sancho Nov 2014 #136
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #148
Sancho Nov 2014 #157
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #160
Sancho Nov 2014 #162
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #163
Duval Nov 2014 #151
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #155
Duval Nov 2014 #156
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #158
Duval Nov 2014 #164
marions ghost Nov 2014 #195
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #196
marions ghost Nov 2014 #201
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #204
marions ghost Nov 2014 #207
Fly by night Nov 2014 #165
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #166
Fly by night Nov 2014 #167
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #168
Fly by night Nov 2014 #180
aspirant Nov 2014 #187
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #188
True Blue Door Nov 2014 #169
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #170
True Blue Door Nov 2014 #171
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #173
True Blue Door Nov 2014 #174
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #175
True Blue Door Nov 2014 #178
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #179
fredamae Nov 2014 #177
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #190
deminks Nov 2014 #182
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #191
Vinca Nov 2014 #183
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #189
Vinca Nov 2014 #197
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #198
Vinca Nov 2014 #199
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #200
Ms. Toad Nov 2014 #185
brooklynite Nov 2014 #192
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #194
Half-Century Man Nov 2014 #202
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #206

Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 04:16 PM

1. I think Rove and Co realized the Ohio 2004 tactics can only steal so many votes and to

actually be successful they simply have to just stop us from voting, period.

There are too many of us, too few of them, and I am glad you are pointing this out.

Yes, machines are beyond our control on election day so to speak but SHOWING UP is not...

GOTV

GOTV

https://twitter.com/DidTheyLetUVote

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Response to randys1 (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 04:32 PM

9. Yep, they stole the election in 2004

 

Glad to see someone else admit it. Good for you randys1.

Now, given that, it sure makes you wonder what else they are trying to do via the machines. The OP is a nice whitewash of the machines, but is not evidence of any sort that machines can't be used to steal numerous votes and elections.

They did it once, at least once, what makes anyone think they wouldn't do it again? Especially since the republicans own the voting machine company ES&S.

Why would anyone consider that Rove, et al, would stop stealing votes? It makes no sense to me that anyone would consider they've quit trying to steal votes given the history, and that fact they got away with it..

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 05:50 PM

27. Dont ever dis Kelvin about voting

 

This guy was fighting the fight LONG before you showed up.He deserves MUCH respect from everyone here.

He may be the person in DU history I respect more than anyone...with the possible exception of Andy

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #27)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 10:02 AM

146. +1

 

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Response to cali (Reply #146)

Wed Nov 5, 2014, 11:23 PM

172. -2

 

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 05:55 PM

30. Not sure the motive of the OP but today we talk about GOTV and then we watch for vote stealing

What is undeniable is there is nothing a con wont do to steal an election, nothing.

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Response to randys1 (Reply #30)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 06:43 PM

40. Exactly right

 

We GOTV and we look for signs of the theft, because we know they will be trying to steal anything they can.

I don't get some of the sensitivity about this. It is a clear cut case that the machines are built for theft, and are owned and programmed by the republicans.

And it is my vote and everyone's that I am looking to protect. No one owns the matter and no one knows what is going down except for the Rove types on the inside. Folks just need to chill and keep focused on the facts that the machines are not good for democracy.

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #40)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 09:53 PM

79. I am sorry, no

 

"It is a clear cut case that the machines are built for theft, and are owned and programmed by the republicans."

Except that simply is not so.

I have been working on this issue since 2002. I helped break the Diebold story and fought with them and their lawyers tooth and nail. We drove them out of NC in 2005, and out of the voting machine business in 2009. Not just me, but dozens of activists here at DU. This was the first "crowd sourced" investigation even before "crowd sourcing" was a thing.

The machines are insecure, the source code was in the wild, members of owning companies were certainly Republican but I have never seen any evidence that someone rigged a machine. It is possible, but not as easy as people claim and very dangerous to try. Again, there are much easier and safer ways to manipulate the election, the biggest being voter suppression.

Certainly, keep an eye out for some guys plugging his iPhone into a voting machine, and if you see one, shout out. But the greater threat is people discouraged from voting.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #79)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 12:13 AM

125. Eh?

 

You haven't come right out and say so, but it seems you are saying computers can't be hacked and that they always print the truth.

Were you on DU the other day when pizza'd people were listed as recommending posts? 'Twere a 'glitch'?

Sorry, but my experience is that the idea behind diebold has not gone away, it still lives. Just better hidden, is all.

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #125)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 06:15 AM

130. He's not saying,in any way, that computers can't be hacked.

Of course they can be, but it's not as easy as some people think.

I don't think they were "built for theft". The same kind of technology and approach is used in them that is used in the industry for other purposes. It's an "engineering solution" without as much "system protection" as it should have. The people who designed the machines solved an engineering problem but it wasn't addressed as a system and procedural implementation and didn't do as much as it should have in strengthening controls in the process.

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #125)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 09:35 AM

143. Again, no, I have NEVER said computers cannot be hacked

 

I have simply said:

1) It is harder to pull off than people think.

2) There are simpler ways to accomplish the same goal that don't have as great chance of discovery and prosecution.

Sorry, but my experience is that the idea behind diebold has not gone away, it still lives. Just better hidden, is all.

And what exactly has been your experience. I am not trying to be a smart ass here, but I fought this fight on a national, state and local level for about six years. If you have any question about my bona fides, drop Skinner a line and ask him if I "whitewash" over the sins of voting machines.

If you read through any of links I have provided in this thread you will find that I am an implacable foe of paperless voting and uncompromising in my call for strict laws on auditing and transparency.

Please do not ascribe things to me I haven't said.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #143)

Mon Nov 10, 2014, 06:37 PM

203. You have been a tireless advocate of fair elections

And I am proud to have been a part of driving Diebold out of the voting machine business. People have such short memories.

Thank you for being vigilant.

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Response to Generic Other (Reply #203)

Tue Nov 11, 2014, 12:17 PM

205. Thank you for the kind words

 

These treads can get frustrating.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #79)

Sun Nov 9, 2014, 08:32 AM

181. fearless repubs

You keep stressing dangerous so can you list the number of convictions of voter machine tampering in the last 10 years. Jesus man, wall street steals trillions and nobody goes to jail. I feel you should re-think this fear tactic because it lands right in the laps of the repubs.

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Response to randys1 (Reply #30)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 09:43 PM

78. My point is to concetrate on GOTV

 

and not waste time, energy and resources worrying about "fraud" committed with voting machines.

A con will certainly try to steal an election, but only if they can do so without going to prison. Tampering with a voting machine without detection is harder than people think and VERY risky. Voter suppression is easy and very hard to prosecute.

Sensational stories about voting machines being rigged discourage people from voting and we need everyone to vote.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #78)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 12:29 PM

152. GOTV GOTV

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:20 PM

89. Why are you here?

Just curious...

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Response to randys1 (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 06:14 PM

33. Show up and vote

 

it's the best strategy we have. Offer to take people to the polls, take friends and neighbors to the polls, VOTE.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #33)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 06:34 PM

39. VOTE VOTE VOTE, take someone to the polls, please! YES YES YES

https://twitter.com/DidTheyLetUVote

follow this account and tweet voter intimidation

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Response to randys1 (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 09:42 PM

77. +1000

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 04:18 PM

2. Then it's really piss poor calibration.

even the real cheap touchscreen I bought a few years ago for a special purpose computer was accurate to within a 1/4 inch right out of the box before calibration.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 04:21 PM

4. These machines are over ten-twelve years old

 

and the screens where not the best quality.

The machines are used once every other year, then stored in an warehouse without heating/AC. So, yeah, calibration is dicey.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 07:14 PM

50. With all due respect

 

When I order hotdogs (death dogs) at Sheetz I have always gotten hot dogs, I never ever got a hamburger which was nearby.
Also, after I order, I get a printed receipt that I can look at to confirm what I ordered. When I vote, I get no print out, no confirmation of any kind, that my ballot was marked correctly. IMHO, this isn't rocket science if Sheetz can do it.

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Response to watoos (Reply #50)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 09:07 PM

70. Again,

 

the screens you see at Sheetz are new and more accurate. The TS systems in Guilford county were bought 12 years ago when such things were very new. Also, the voting machines are used once every other year, then kept in storage facility subject to heat and cold, then handled by people who are mostly volunteers, not expert techs.

In NC you DO get to see the ballot on the TS system printed out, since by law (again, I know because I helped write the law) any TS system must have a printer attached that prints our each selection as it is made (and each change as it is made). At the end of the election, precincts are randomly selected and the "Voter Verified Paper Trail" is compared to the digital count. If there is a discrepancy, the tally is checked again. If the digital count is still different, then the paper count is the vote of record, UNLESS, it can be shown that the paper tape was tampered with.

Sheetz can do things like this since they have dedicated staff who do nothing but look after these systems. To use your analogy, imagine that Sheetz only sells hot dogs once every other year on the first Tuesday in November. Now imagine that they have to deploy hundreds of thousands of TS systems all across the country with minimally trained staff (or volunteers) and get it all up and running perfectly Monday evening before Hot Dog Day with the entire country watching them. How many mistakes would be made then?

Also, Sheetz has the advantage of having one way of doing things. Imagine if each Sheetz store had a different menu, a different set of rules about how the menu looks and different prices at every local. Every county in the U.S. (3,000+) has its own LAWS for how elections are conducted. The state of North Carolina has a book of over 1200 pages that covers election law, then each of the 100 counties have their own laws to add to it.

Finally, NO voting system I am aware of allows you to take any kind of receipt away from the polling place.

Here is just part of the law I helped write:

§ 163-165.7. Voting systems: powers and duties of State Board of Elections.

(4) With respect to electronic voting systems, that the voting system generate a paper record of each individual vote cast, which paper record shall be maintained in a secure fashion and shall serve as a backup record for purposes of any hand-to-eye count, hand-to-eye recount, or other audit.

Electronic systems that employ optical scan technology to count paper ballots shall be deemed to satisfy this requirement.

(5) With respect to DRE voting systems, that the paper record generated by the system be viewable by the voter before the vote is cast electronically, and that the system permit the voter to correct any discrepancy between the electronic vote and the paper record before
the vote is cast.

Also,

(c) Prior to certifying a voting system, the State Board of Elections shall review, or designate an independent expert to review, all source code made available by the vendor pursuant to this section and certify only those voting systems compliant with State and federal law. At a minimum, the State Board's review shall include a review of security, application vulnerability, application code, wireless security, security policy and processes, security/privacy program management, technology infrastructure and security controls, security organization and governance , and operational effectiveness, as applicable to that voting system.

And finally:

§ 163-165.9A. Voting systems: requirements for voting systems vendors; penalties.

(a) Duties of Vendor. – Every vendor that has a contract to provide a voting system in North Carolina shall do all of the following:

(1) The vendor shall place in escrow with an independent escrow agent approved by the State Board of Elections all software that is relevant to functionality, setup, configuration, and operation of the voting system, including, but not limited to, a complete copy of the source and executable code, build scripts, object libraries, application program interfaces, and complete documentation of all aspects of the system including, but not limited to, compiling instructions, design documentation, technical documentation, user documentation, hardware and software specifications, drawings, records, and data. The State Board of Elections may require in its request for proposal that additional items be escrowed, and if any vendor that agrees in a contract to escrow additional items, those items shall be subject to the provisions of this section. The documentation shall include a list of programmers responsible for creating the software and a sworn
affidavit that the source code includes all relevant program statements in low-level and high-level languages.

(2) The vendor shall notify the State Board of Elections of any change in any item required to be escrowed by subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(3) The chief executive officer of the vendor shall sign a sworn affidavit that the source code and other material in escrow is the same being used in its voting systems in this State. The chief executive officer shall ensure that the statement is true on a continuing basis.

(4) The vendor shall promptly notify the State Board of Elections and the county board of elections of any county using its voting system of any decertification of the same system in any state, of any defect in the same system known to have occurred anywhere, and of any relevant defect known to have occurred in similar systems.

(5) The vendor shall maintain an office in North Carolina with staff to service the contract.

(b) Penalties. – Willful violation of any of the duties in subsection (a) of this section is a Class G felony. Substitution of source code into an operating voting system without notification as provided by subdivision (a)(2) of this section is a Class I felony. In addition to any other applicable penalties, violations of this section are subject to a civil penalty to be assessed by the State Board of Elections in its discretion in an amount of up to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) per violation. A civil penalty assessed under this section shall be subject to the provisions of G.S. 163-278.34(e). (2005-323, s. 2(a).)


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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #70)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 02:35 PM

159. Thank you for your efforts to clarify all of this.

I have spent a great deal of time in my state making the same arguments. I have observed recounts. I have worked the polls. I see all of the same things you do.

Unfortunately, I struggle just as hard to get people who care to care about the big stuff. This vote flipping, while it's a pain in ghe ass, is not the big stuff.

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Response to sybylla (Reply #159)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 02:53 PM

161. And folks seem to think that

 

"someone else" needs to fix this, rather than think "I need to fix this". Then, they impede the other folk who ARE trying to fix it.

If I can offer any advice, drop me a line.

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Response to watoos (Reply #50)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 09:53 AM

144. I've worked on a touch screen from about 12 years ago

it is still in service. It is incredibly inaccurate and I have to often try three or four times before I get the correct selection. Fortunately I don't often have to interface with it.

Newer touch screens, such as the ones on smart phones, are much more accurate than the ones we had 10 years ago.

That said, I favor scantron ballots - you get electric counting with a paper ballot to fall back on for recounts. Paper trails for the win.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 07:46 PM

58. What I don't understand

is why aren't these machines calibrated/tested thoroughly prior to the election. I calibrate my tablet whenever it gets off and there are two calibrations. One for pen and one for touch. It is not a big task to accomplish.

Or better yet, toss the junk in the trash and go to paper. Paper usually works. Most of the problems are due to the user.

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Response to Mnpaul (Reply #58)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 09:23 PM

72. Please consider the logistics

 

A county can have hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of machines spread across hundreds or thousands of precincts. The machines have to be pulled out of storage, delivered to polling sites the night before elections (times may vary) and then set up. Sometime the set up is done the morning of the election before the polls open (think 4 AM). The people are hastily trained volunteers who may or may not be paid enough to cover their gas and food.

There are federal laws governing elections, state laws, county laws and even city laws. All must be adhered to and there are people looking over your shoulder to be sure they are. Boards of elections are generally underfunded and understaffed. It is all really a lot more complicated than people think.

Ballots are complicated. There is not just one ballot, there are dozens within a county to cover various local/district elections and you need to make sure that they right ballot gets to the right precinct. Then you have the voters who are very much a mixed lot. I have spoken to people who are so confused by even the simplest processes that I wonder how they brush their teeth without doing themselves an injury.

Now add to this the press, poll watchers from campaigns, people electioneering outside the precinct, overly opinionated voters who feel they have to push their views in line (not allowed, then someone has to tell them to please refrain, which may or may not be well received), etc. and you can begin to see why this is a challenge.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #72)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:32 PM

94. Is ES&S still using MS Access on these machines?

I know at least at one time there was concern about the possibility of 'Man-In-The-Middle' attacks on the data en-route to the central tabulator machine. It seems it wouldn't take an SQL guru to implement such a thing if true.

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Response to IDemo (Reply #94)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:46 PM

99. Last I looked, yes, though they

 

have cleaned up their security a bit

This is pretty hard to do in NC, since there is a provision in the law to randomly audit precincts and compare paper to digital counts. If you alter the count at the database, it will show up in an audit when the numbers don't match.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #99)

Thu Nov 6, 2014, 03:59 PM

176. What if the audits weren't really random?

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 11:10 PM

107. I have been programming touchscreen operator interfaces for over 20 years and after initial....

setup I have almost never(maybe once or twice) had to recalibrate.

I'm not buying it.

I would love to know if upon selection..fields animate to indicate proper touch only to register an incorrect selection on final review screens. If so.....it's outright fraud.

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Response to yourout (Reply #107)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 11:22 PM

112. OK, sorry, but having played with these machines

 

in the course of fighting over them, I have seen them miscalibrated. I have also seen them get hinky because they are used so infrequently (like only every other year) and exposed to extreme temps while in storage. This degrades the screens and make them unreliable at times.

But fine, let's assume it is deliberate. Then answer me two questions:

Why let anyone know I am flipping votes by displaying it for them to see? Why not just display the correct vote on the screen so it looks kosher, then flip the tally where they can't see what I am doing. That means I rig the election and no one goes running to the poll worker or the press crying about flipping votes.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #112)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 11:26 PM

113. Does the machine print the hardcopy where the user can see the printout of the vote?

If so.....that answers your question.

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Response to yourout (Reply #113)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 11:33 PM

114. If I can control what is on the display, I can control what is on the printer

 

The discrepancy would only become apparent during an audit, but then audits are there precisely to stop people from tampering with the machines and to catch tampering when it occurs. So again, rigging makes no sense and calling attention to rigging so that the machines are audited to check the count kind of defeats the whole purpose of cheating

Printers for TS systems are required in NC, but not in other places where this is occurring.

Discounting that, we have reports in the news about vote flipping in favor of both sides. Am I to believe that both sides are engaging in vote rigging?

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #114)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 11:38 PM

116. Do they hand audit the Paper tape vs the electronic results?

If they do then a voter observable paper tape discrepancy would show up.

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Response to yourout (Reply #116)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 11:53 PM

119. The voter is supposed to compare what is on the screen with what is on the printer

 

It is up to the voter to make an issue of problems (obviously).

Again, if I am rigging the election, I want to do it on the down low and not call attention to it. If I call attention to it, then the machine is probably going to be audited since if is "malfunctioning". If I do it on the sly and rig the display and printer to show one thing, while recording something else, an audit will catch the discrepancy.

From the law:

SECTION 1.(a) Effective August 1, 2005, and applicable to any voting systems upgraded or acquired on or after that date and to all voting systems used in the State during any election during or after 2006, G.S. 163-165.7 reads as rewritten:

"§ 163-165.7. Voting systems

(4) With respect to electronic voting systems, that the voting system generate a paper record of each individual vote cast, which paper record shall be maintained in a secure fashion and shall serve as a backup record for purposes of any hand-to-eye count, hand-to-eye recount, or other audit.

SECTION 5.(a) G.S. 163-182.1(b)

(1) Provide for a sample hand-to-eye count of the paper ballots or paper records of a statewide ballot item in every county. The presidential ballot item shall be the subject of the sampling in a presidential election. If there is no statewide ballot item, the State Board shall provide a process for selecting district or local ballot items to adequately sample the electorate. The sample chosen by the State Board shall be of full precincts, full counts of absentee ballots, and full counts of one-stop early voting sites. The size of the sample of each category shall be chosen to produce a statistically significant result and shall be chosen after consultation with a statistician. The actual units shall be chosen at random. In the event of a material discrepancy between the electronic or mechanical count and a hand-to-eye count, the hand-to-eye count shall control, except where paper ballots or records have been lost or destroyed or where there is another reasonable basis to conclude that the hand-to-eye count is not the true count. If the discrepancy between the hand-to-eye count and the mechanical or electronic count is significant, a complete hand-to-eye count shall be conducted.

If I am a crooked election official and want to screw with the vote, the easiest way is to reduce the number of voting machines and spares allocated to predominantly Democratic/Republican precincts, because how does anyone prove that it was deliberate? WAY safer than risking tampering with a voting machine.



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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #114)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 11:46 PM

117. This is the one factor that stands out to me

If I were, for example, going to install a credit card skimmer at the local Home Depot or Target, I'm not going to grab someone's credit card data and then display a "Thanks for your data, sucker!" message on the card reader's screen. It would be a beyond trivial programming task to show the voter's choice on the screen as he/she expects, while writing differently to the underlying database.

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Response to IDemo (Reply #117)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 11:57 PM

121. Absolutely

 

and I cannot understand why this is so hard for folks to grasp.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #112)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 12:30 PM

153. Not meant as snark or opposition, but just curiousity...

...if these flips are just accidental, why are they almost overwhelmingly flipping votes FOR Democrats to votes FOR Republicans?? All the most recent vote flip stories ( this election cycle ) are Dem votes flipped to Repubs.

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Response to TinkerTot55 (Reply #153)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 12:43 PM

154. Last time I looked I saw

 

a LOT of GOP complaints, more than Dem complaints. But it changes as stories get reported/updated.

If we are to assume that flipping is hacking, then both sides are doing it.

Where this all fails the logic test is when you consider the following questions: If you are going to cheat, why call attention to the cheating? Why not just show the voter what they expect, then change the vote when it is recorded and they can't see the change?

Also, if there is a vast GOP conspiracy and they control the voting machines, what happened to President McCain and President Romney?

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #112)

Sun Nov 9, 2014, 10:02 AM

186. Yet another point I made and got slammed for. n/t

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Response to yourout (Reply #107)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 05:46 AM

128. And if your clients used them only twice a year, how well do you think they would work? n/t

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 04:27 PM

7. I have a touchscreen computer, also

and it worked well right out of the box and is still accurate 5 years later.

Machines were obviously tampered with in 2004, to the point that my state went to 100% paper Opti Scan ballots in 2005.

I have no idea what is happening with those machines in NC, but they need to be taken out of service immediately when votes are flipped on it. The voter shouldn't be told to keep trying.

It's just very odd that we don't have an equal number of reports about machines flipping votes the other way. That makes a lot of us very suspicious.

I would suggest that people in states that still use those things switch to absentee ballots starting in 2016 if they haven't done so already.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 05:08 PM

20. Actually scanning the news

 

I see stories all over where this is happening and it seems to favor/"cheat" both sides.

For example, here is a story about Guilford County from 2008 going the other way:

http://blackboxvoting.com/s9/index.php?/archives/323-Is-there-a-party-default-on-touch-screen-machines-NC-votes-flip-to-Obama.html

Yes, improperly calibrated machines should be taken out of service. But calibrating them doesn't take but about five minutes, provided a competent person is on hand. As elections are handled mostly by volunteers and the age demo skews to 50+, you are not going to get a lot of folk well versed in calibrating touch screens.

NC has no fault absentee voting and I have always recommended people use them in counties that have TS systems instead of paper ballots.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #20)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 05:50 PM

28. ?? One 2008 story of R to D switch, vs. several in each election of D to R switch. nt

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 04:21 PM

3. "claiming this evidence of fraud discourages people from voting at a time where we need every damn

vote we can get."

Well said.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 04:24 PM

5. Well said. . .

I remember your work in the early 2000s, your collaboration with Bev Harris, and the tremendous effort expended to get Diebold out of our democracy.

I agree: The work that can be done to GOTV will have far more of an impact than the usual hysterics over machines flipping votes. Better to caution people to be on the lookout, report it when it occurs, and see what can be done to change the system in the future. But in the one article I read this weekend, people were incensed that 14 ballots may have been compromised (yet the article specifically stated that 7 people had corrected it at the polls, and one suspect machine had been pulled from use). Every ballot should be protected, of course, but as you say, this issue is minuscule compared to voter suppression, should be watched for by each individual voter (signs should be posted warning people to be on the lookout), and that hyper-attention to it may actually work against the entire process by discouraging voters of all stripe.

Thanks for your comment. And thanks, too, for your earlier efforts to ensure the integrity of the voting booth.

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Response to Journeyman (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 04:52 PM

14. Glad someone still remembers the

 

Great Diebold Wars of yore

I have sat in on poll worker training and my wife works as a poll worker. These folks are VERY serious about their job and I have yet to run into a hack.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)


Response to Name removed (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 04:30 PM

8. "Edwards wanted a recount and we all know what was done to him"

 

Yeah, Republicans made him cheat on his dying wife, damn them!

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Response to demwing (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 04:37 PM

11. Well, that one didn't last long....

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Response to demwing (Reply #8)


Response to Name removed (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 04:49 PM

12. *Sigh*

 

Why no paper trail?

Well, North Carolina has a paper trail, by law. How do I know? I helped write the law.

§ 163-165.7. Voting systems: powers and duties of State Board of Elections.

(4) With respect to electronic voting systems, that the voting system generate a paper record of each individual vote cast, which paper record shall be maintained in a secure fashion and shall serve as a backup record for purposes of any hand-to-eye count, hand-to-eye recount, or other audit.

Electronic systems that employ optical scan technology to count paper ballots shall be deemed to satisfy this requirement.

(5) With respect to DRE voting systems, that the paper record generated by the system be viewable by the voter before the vote is cast electronically, and that the system permit the voter to correct any discrepancy between the electronic vote and the paper record before
the vote is cast.


Also,

(c) Prior to certifying a voting system, the State Board of Elections shall review, or designate an independent expert to review, all source code made available by the vendor pursuant to this section and certify only those voting systems compliant with State and federal law. At a minimum, the State Board's review shall include a review of security, application vulnerability, application code, wireless security, security policy and processes, security/privacy program management, technology infrastructure and security controls, security organization and governance , and operational effectiveness, as applicable to that voting system.


And finally:

§ 163-165.9A. Voting systems: requirements for voting systems vendors; penalties.

(a) Duties of Vendor. – Every vendor that has a contract to provide a voting system in North Carolina shall do all of the following:

(1) The vendor shall place in escrow with an independent escrow agent approved by the State Board of Elections all software that is relevant to functionality, setup, configuration, and operation of the voting system, including, but not limited to, a complete copy of the source and executable code, build scripts, object libraries, application program interfaces, and complete documentation of all aspects of the system including, but not limited to, compiling instructions, design documentation, technical documentation, user documentation, hardware and software specifications, drawings, records, and data. The State Board of Elections may require in its request for proposal that additional items be escrowed, and if any vendor that agrees in a contract to escrow additional items, those items shall be subject to the provisions of this section. The documentation shall include a list of programmers responsible for creating the software and a sworn
affidavit that the source code includes all relevant program statements in low-level and high-level languages.

(2) The vendor shall notify the State Board of Elections of any change in any item required to be escrowed by subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(3) The chief executive officer of the vendor shall sign a sworn affidavit that the source code and other material in escrow is the same being used in its voting systems in this State. The chief executive officer shall ensure that the statement is true on a continuing basis.

(4) The vendor shall promptly notify the State Board of Elections and the county board of elections of any county using its voting system of any decertification of the same system in any state, of any defect in the same system known to have occurred anywhere, and of any relevant defect known to have occurred in similar systems.

(5) The vendor shall maintain an office in North Carolina with staff to service the contract.

(b) Penalties. – Willful violation of any of the duties in subsection (a) of this section is a Class G felony. Substitution of source code into an operating voting system without notification as provided by subdivision (a)(2) of this section is a Class I felony. In addition to any other applicable penalties, violations of this section are subject to a civil penalty to be assessed by the State Board of Elections in its discretion in an amount of up to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) per violation. A civil penalty assessed under this section shall be subject to the provisions of G.S. 163-278.34(e). (2005-323, s. 2(a).)

NC has one of the toughest, if not THE toughest laws on the book covering e-voting. There are severe penalties for trying to tamper with a voting machine. It is far easier to suppress the vote. One great way to suppress the vote is to make people think the voting machines are rigged.

Let's not be part of the problem.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 05:42 PM

25. True: Why flip 1 out of 20 votes or whatever, if you can simply...

.... keep all 20 people out of the voting booth to start with?

====================

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Response to Beartracks (Reply #25)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 05:44 PM

26. Precisely

 

How much does it cost to hire off duty cops to come to a black precincts and park their cruisers out front and look at voters menacingly?

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 05:54 PM

29. Glad to see you here

 

Nice to see one of the old "in the trenches" people I respect so much here

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #29)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 09:39 PM

76. Thank you for the kind remark

 

if I can just convince some of the newbies.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 06:18 PM

36. Excellent - That Answered My Question

I seem to remember that, back in the day, Diebold refused to disclose their source code to anyone - not even the government entities that bought their machines.

I have worked for 2 state governments, Indiana and North Carolina, as a programmer and as a compliance officer in the gaming (gambling) industry. When I was a programmer, it was never an issue: the code I wrote was the sole property of the state I wrote it for.

When I was a compliance officer, I supplied everything that state regulators required to test and verify the slot machines: source code, math, our test results, any and all supplies needed for testing. All governmental and private testing facilities had nondisclosure agreements with all manufacturers, so proprietary information was protected.

When I heard that Diebold refused to supply source code, it was astonishing. Just get nondisclosure agreements! This is our voting process and the diehard Rethuglican Diebold CEO promised to do whatever he could to win the election for them. It doesn't get any more corrupt than that without outright murdering the opposition candidate.

Your post made me feel better. It's terrific that there are laws in place to straighten up the slipshod methods that were used before. Thanks very much!

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Response to Leith (Reply #36)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 09:58 PM

80. The funny thing was

 

We already had Diebold's source code, it had been in the wild and had been examined by experts who pronounced it crap. They just didn't want to give it to us officially and admit it was theirs.

http://blackboxvoting.com/s9/index.php?/archives/339-How-North-Carolina-avoided-being-Diebolds-32nd-victim.html

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #80)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 11:21 PM

111. Dang

When I programmed for NC, I tested it before I released it to the official testers. I never had anything returned - and I had only about one year experience. I cared about producing quality. Too bad Diebold didn't feel the same way.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 04:34 PM

10. machines make $$ for corporations. go back to hand paper and stop all this BS nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 04:57 PM

16. You cannot count

 

complicated paper ballots like those in the U.S. by hand and get an accurate count. Sorry, we did the math. Remember the recall election in California? The ballot was 40 pages.

I am TOTALLY in favor of banning TS systems. But you will always need computers to count ballots, unless you establish a federal ballot standard, and a standard way of counting in ALL 3000+ counties in the U.S.

Absent a constitutional amendment, that is not going to happen.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #16)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 06:25 AM

131. My favorite would be for a special election for offices that wind up in DC

There would never be more than 3 votes cast by anyone.. a 5 x 7 card would suffice

congress every 2 yrs..senate whenever..and president every 4 years

5th graders could handle the math

Whatever complications states want to add on THEIR own would be on a totally different ballot (in or out of a machine)

Since these offices are in DC, there should be a standardization that applies for EVERY state...and a nationally recognized voter verification/ID..If states want to only allow fishing licenses, so be it ..for THEIR elections

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #131)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 09:10 AM

141. Well, the problem is

 

that the Constitution pretty much cedes all of the election process to the states, and the states then cede a lot of power to the counties. So, absent a Constitutional amendment where that power is removed from the states, standardization isn't going to happen. The election process is governed by 3,200+ sets of law in the U.S.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 04:51 PM

13. I also read that 70% of votes in this election are on paper due to old machines which have fallen

out of compliance not being replaced.

http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/222470-states-ditch-electronic-voting-machines

States have abandoned electronic voting machines in droves, ensuring that most voters will be casting their ballots by hand on Election Day.

With many electronic voting machines more than a decade old, and states lacking the funding to repair or replace them, officials have opted to return to the pencil-and-paper voting that the new technology was supposed to replace.

Nearly 70 percent of voters will be casting ballots by hand on Tuesday, according to Pamela Smith, president of election watchdog Verified Voting.
"Paper, even though it sounds kind of old school, it actually has properties that serve the elections really well," Smith said.

It’s an outcome few would have predicted after the 2000 election, when the battle over “hanging chads” in the Florida recount spurred a massive, $3 billion federal investment in electronic voting machines.

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Response to PeaceNikki (Reply #13)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 05:01 PM

17. Not completely accurate

 

By "going back to paper", that means a lot of states are going to OpScan, which still uses a computer to scan and tally paper ballots.

Now, if there are any idiots that are going back to butterfly ballots and punch cards, then they should be ridden out of town on a rail.

Unfortunately, people can still under/over vote. The only way to eliminate that problem is to eliminate paper ballots and go completely digital, which is what we fought against for a decade.

Paper with OpScan (and stringent auditing) is the best compromise for our messy system of voting.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #17)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 07:09 PM

47. I don't want to go back to paper I want to go back to people.

Like this.

You go to your polling place...one in your community, fill out the ballot and slid it in a slot and it slides down a chute to a table where 3 or 4 senior citizens who have been hired for the day...(much cheaper than a comupter)...to count the votes...when all thee or four agree on what the vote is it is tallied and at the end of the day they have the total ready and post it publicly in the precint...
Chance of fraud...verry small because you would have to get too 3 or 4 people to chang one precint...chance of a mistake...verry small...chance of a fair election...pertty dam good.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #47)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 07:16 PM

51. I actually like our "everybody votes by mail" system.

If you feel so inclined, you can drop it off at a ballot box collection site or slap a stamp on it and mail it in.

Ballot gets to us a couple of weeks before elections so no waiting in lines. No fuss. No muss.

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Response to Liberal Veteran (Reply #51)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 07:26 PM

54. And then you run it through a scanning computer to get the count.

And the "errors" take their toll...no different than before...just people don't have to stand in line.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #54)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 07:38 PM

56. And we get a decent voter turnout. And there IS a paper trail.

Those ballots don't scan and shred. If push comes to shove (and has) a hand count can be requested (and has).

Nothing wrong with optical scanners as long as there are sufficient laws in place to allow for ballots to be counted by hand.

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Response to Liberal Veteran (Reply #56)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 07:49 PM

60. People have optical scanners right in their head.

And it is harder to manipulate that many people than it is to manipulate a machine.

And besides it would provide some much needed cash of older people...and you don't have to store them for 2 years until the next election...or trade them in for new models in a few years.

But the company that sells them will tell you it is better to let their machines do it...because why now?

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Response to zeemike (Reply #60)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 08:16 PM

62. Logistically...vote by mail works fine.

No rush to the polling place. No fighting bad weather. Nobody checking to make sure you have the GOP approved Voter ID. Nobody waiting in line for 3-4 hours to cast a ballot. Nobody assigning two poll workers to heavily Democratic polling stations while the Republican area of town has a quarter of the population and 5 times the poll workers. A two or three week window of voting (so if you happen to have a kidney stone or the car breaks down or a double-shift on voting day, it is unlikely to cause an issue.)

So what if a machine counts the ballots? They've only been doing that for about 50 years or so. If the machines break down, they have a staff of poll workers there ready to count the ballots by hand.

If you really want to play it safe, just have a stack of votes randomly audited against the machine by members of each party involved.

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Response to Liberal Veteran (Reply #62)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 08:36 PM

65. Well how about this.

When it is time to count the votes hire some people to do it...so that each ballot passes through 3 or so eyes before it is registered.

Sorry if I sound mistrustful of this system but I am...and there would be no need for auditing if you could trust it in the first place...and the only way I can see to do that is return the job of counting votes to the people, not the established system or any machine they use to do it with.
It should be obvious to all now that our system is not trustworthy and in many places corrupt.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #65)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 08:59 PM

69. It would be almost as easy (and certainly faster) to have three different companies scanning.

And lets not forget the fiasco in Florida when they were "hand counting" the ballots. Those thugs weren't pounding on the windows saying "Stop feeding the Optical Scanner!".

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Response to Liberal Veteran (Reply #62)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:48 PM

100. Vote by mail is my preference

 

for the most flexible way to conduct an election and to increase voter participation.

And the random audit is the way to go (and required by law in NC).

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Response to zeemike (Reply #60)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 09:38 PM

75. Sorry, but I must repectfully disagree

 

As someone who has done this, who spent years sitting down with election officials, voting machine vendors and voters, humans are just not as accurate at counting the complicated ballot in your average race as a properly calibrated and audited optical scanner.

My most recent ballot had over two dozen races, one with 19 candidates, of which you must select two. In order to properly count such ballots, they would have to be handled dozens, possibly even hundreds or times by various people. Each time a ballot is handled, there is a chance that it can be damaged. If damaged it may be challenged.

Hand counting is great in theory, but inaccurate, expensive and time consuming in practice.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #75)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:37 PM

96. And I I must respectfully disagree

But then who am I to say, I have not sat down with the people in the system...don't really need to because i know they will say it is just fine the way it is.

And they will give the reasons you did for keeping it just the way it is...it is just too hard they will say...but in my opinion it is bullshit and they want to give the impression that counting votes is so complicated that people should not be allowed to do it.

I don't believe it...but others might.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #96)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:43 PM

98. I have certainly not said

 

the system is fine the way it is. I have also spent a hell of lot of time, effort and my own money to do what I could for fair, accurate and transparent elections. I am simply saying that the idea that the vote flipping is a nefarious scheme doesn't hold water. Perpetuating the claim that voting machines are rigged discourages people from voting at a time when we need every vote.

Can our system be more open and accurate. Certainly. But I can tell you that such a system will not involve had counted paper ballots, not unless there is a constitutional amendment to greatly alter how we conduct elections.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #98)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 11:05 PM

105. Well I know it will not change...and no one will purpose an amendment to change it.

And knowing that will not keep me from voteing...and I don't think anyone here will not vote because they know the system is streaked with fraud.

But just watch, after this election it won't come up again...no matter how obvious it is.
Because despite what they say, they like it just the way it is...lots of money in the game...and money trumps it all.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #105)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 11:06 PM

106. You know what?

 

As long as you are voting, we have no disagreement.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #47)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 08:45 PM

68. The problem is, the ballots are too complicated

 

for this type of system. Believe me, I have sat down with election officials across the country and looks at many different ballots. Hand-counted paper ballots are great in theory, but not in practice. Also, the more people handling a ballot, the greater chance of error, or damage to the ballot which makes it likely to be challenged.

People like to point out that the Scottish referendum was hand-counted, quickly and accurately. This is true, but the ballot had ONE item on it with two boxes to check. I just sent of my own ballot last week and their were three dozen races on it (one race had 16 candidate and you had to pick two). The California recall race ten years ago had FORTY pages. You cannot accurately count complex ballots like that, seriously.

OpScan is the best compromise. You get a machine count, which can be randomly audited with a spot hand count.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #47)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 05:55 AM

129. People can't accurately count complex ballots over long periods of time

Hand counting is more accurate than scanning only when counting a single race.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #17)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 07:10 PM

48. this is what we have in NENC ...

I am really happy ... the only 2 other ways I have enjoyed voting, was
absentee and when I first started voting at 18 (I am now 58)
was enter the booth, pull the lever curtain closes, flip the levers
for who you wanted, pull the lever curtain opens and you vote
is locked in. yeah I think it is punch cards but never saw any
problems with it.

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Response to littlewolf (Reply #48)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:49 PM

101. That system was great, unless the punchcard misfed

 

and got mangled. OpScan is the way to go.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #101)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 03:31 AM

127. I agree ... Opscan is better, at the time that punch card system

was the best there was, it could be counted faster then paper ballots
never heard of a mangled punch card but I am sure it happened.
it beat the heck out of the punch cards they used in Fl.
and it was better then touch screens, which I never liked.

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Response to littlewolf (Reply #127)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 09:13 AM

142. The Florida system

 

was a decade's old horror that should have been stuffed back into the Necronomicon from whence it came.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #17)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 07:42 PM

57. It is accurate in that the votes are cast ON paper.

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Response to PeaceNikki (Reply #57)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 08:38 PM

67. Absolutely, and there MUST

 

be a paper ballot.

No arguments. That is what I fought for for quite some time.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #67)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 09:09 PM

71. It's the law here in Wisconsin, too.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #17)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 07:54 PM

61. Paper with OpScan was found to be quite accurate

when we recounted the votes by hand in the Franken/Coleman recount.

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Response to Mnpaul (Reply #61)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 08:37 PM

66. What I meant was that it wasn't accurate

 

to say that the states moving away from TS systems were moving away from computers completely.

You are correct, and I am a firm supporter of OpScan system provided they have auditing safeguards in place.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 04:57 PM

15. Ahhh. Someone who knows what they're talking about. A delicious rarity.

Thanks for the post.


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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #15)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 05:02 PM

18. You are welcome

 

Though I know I am going to get reamed for stating this.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 05:18 PM

21. I hope you don't.

Logic and facts are a GOOD thing.
Thanks for the OP.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 08:20 PM

63. Hell, you're one of the good guys!

But you know it feels like only the citizen gives a hoot and like someone mentioned upthread, the politicians themselves behave like they want absolutely nothing to do with this.

It's like some dirty little secret. Why is that?

Btw, it doesn't discourage me oen bit but it does make me absolutely furious.

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Response to nc4bo (Reply #63)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 08:35 PM

64. This is the problem with politicians

 

who are totally at the beck and call of the pundit/consultant class and their corporate masters. The danger we have of losing this election is that the Democratic leadership will walk away with the wrong lesson, they will listen to the pundits/consultants who tell them they lost because they didn't go far enough to the right.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 05:03 PM

19. K&R

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 05:34 PM

23. Thank you.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 05:41 PM

24. A breath of logical, fresh air.

THANK YOU.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 05:58 PM

31. And really, if you were going to flip votes through software, would you make it visible?

It would seem to me that if someone wanted to do this, they would do it in a way that the voter would even notice, rather than "Darn! I keep pressing Debbie Democrat, but it keeps selecting Rancid Republican! Whatever could be going on?"

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Response to Liberal Veteran (Reply #31)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:02 PM

81. Precisely!!!

 

Thank you for pointing out the obvious. If you are going to cheat, you don't wave a red flag every time you do.

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Response to Liberal Veteran (Reply #31)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 11:14 PM

109. Not with a paper trail you wouldn't.

You would want it to appear to be "calibration" or "operator error".

If people did check the review screen and then the paper printout was different they would raise holy hell.
By making sure the review screen and printout match they can avoid and audit problem.

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Response to yourout (Reply #109)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 12:04 AM

122. Again,

 

by flipping votes, you call attention to the machine which means it is highly likely to get pulled offline and audited. If you tamper with the display and printout, you run the risk of getting caught in the random audit after the election.

And as I point out several times here are my choices as a crooked election official:

1) Tamper with the code on a number of voting machines and hope none of them are audited.

2) Reduce the number of voting machines and spares allocated to minority precincts thus increasing lines and discouraging people from voting. (Another variation of this tactic would be to send my least reliable machines to these precincts).

If I get caught with #1 I am going to prison. No one can prove anything about #2, so I am perfectly safe.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #122)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 12:09 AM

124. Last question....are there audits to compare paper tape to electronic totals?

Actually I have one more.

When a selection is made does the selection animate or highlight?

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Response to yourout (Reply #124)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 09:59 AM

145. Yes, the law requires random audits that compare

 

the two totals. If there is a discrepancy then whole precinct may be audited. If the digital count is different than the paper count, absent evidence of tampering with the paper, paper beats digital.

The law also requires a printer which prints what is displayed on the screen and what is selected, including changes to the selection. A voter then pages through the ballot making their choices. They may back up and review any time. Once they are happy with the results they can press "Cast Vote" which gives them the usual "Are you sure?" prompt, then records the vote (in memory and on paper) when you answer yes.

The selected candidate just has a radio button beside their name, the choice is not animated (though I have not seen this year's setup, so I will ask my wife, who is a poll worker, if this has changed). At the end of the day, the machines are closed down, the totals are tallied on a laptop which then transmits the results to the BoE. The paper tapes and memory cards are stored in a lock bag, and the bag is taken to the BoE office (who have the key) and stored for canvassing/auditing later. There is a fair amount of paperwork that teh judges at the precinct have to sign off on, so it is a pretty regimented procedure.

I am hoping to get back into volunteering at the polls now that my nemesis at the county BoE has retired. He and I locked horns over TS systems (he had total faith in them I didn't) and he wouldn't let me near them on election day, believing I was out to "sabotage" them to make him look bad.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 06:10 PM

32. Diebold changed its name in 2007 to Premier Election Solutions

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Premier_Election_Solutions

..which was then sold to ES&S in 2009.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Election_Systems_%26_Software

ES&S is a subsidiary of McCarthy Group, LLC. In 2014, ES&S was the largest manufacturer of voting machines in the United States, claiming customers in 4,500 localities in 42 states and two U.S. territories. As of 2014, the company had more than 450 employees, more than 200 of whom are located in Omaha.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 06:15 PM

34. I don't recall one reported instance of "D"s flipping to "R"s. MEA CULPA! I MEANT: R to D!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Last edited Tue Nov 4, 2014, 07:08 AM - Edit history (1)

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #82)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 06:45 AM

132. Really? I never got a birthday card!

 

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #132)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 09:04 AM

140. Well, Google is rather busy

 

seems people are always asking it questions.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 06:16 PM

35. All points well taken here. However this is about our elections, no room for failure of any kind.

 

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Response to YOHABLO (Reply #35)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:05 PM

83. We have limited resources

 

and they need to be deployed effectively. GOTV if the most effective use of our time. Believe it or not, we do have statisticians and other folk who keep an eye on voting patterns and dive into audit data AFTER the election.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 06:20 PM

37. Somebody had to stop

the woo.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 06:31 PM

38. Thank you for the work you have done, Kelvin.

I voted already!

Everyone who hasn't, go vote tomorrow, no excuses, just go vote!

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 06:47 PM

41. -

By the sounds of it from people in this thread, we owe you a debt of gratitude for getting diebold out and trying to make our elections legitimate again. Thank you so much!

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Response to Takket (Reply #41)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:07 PM

84. I really didn't mind all the effort fighting Diebold

 

but fighting this kind of thing and getting flamed is a tad frustrating. I keep telling my wife "never again", but I just can't let people frighten themselves.

Thanks for the kind words.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 06:55 PM

42. So it is not fraud but a poorly calibrated touch screen.

A perfect fraud is one where no one can say it is fraud because it was just an error...
But that is not confined to computers...the "butterfly ballot" was just calibration too...no one could accuse anyone of anything...just a mistake.

We always seem to have to let them hide behind mistakes...a free pass to fuck us over anytime.

And next election cycle we will still use these machines and there will still be mistakes and the same excuses all the time...and never an honest election.
And our politicians will say nothing and we will do nothing to change it...does that sound like insanity to you?...it does to me.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #42)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 07:17 PM

52. And it's happening to the Republicans too is the issue he's raising

 

So are Democrats fixing elections too? Or are their machine failures merely mistakes in the coding language, and the stories of vote switching for against Democrats evidence of a wide ranging conspiracy?

Illinois for example, there are a couple videos of the machines doing just that, switching a republican vote to a Democratic one. So is that part of a grand conspiracy to steal the election? Or was it an honest mistake on the part of the Democrat?

Improperly coded/adjusted touch screens would be the most likely answer, in most every case. That's the point of the OP my friend.

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Response to Savannahmann (Reply #52)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 07:32 PM

55. The more complicated the system is the more chances there are to game it.

and especially if you take people out of the system...because code can hide itself and code can be added...and code will not tell on itself.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #55)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:16 PM

87. Absoutely true

 

so again, why SHOW people you are gaming the system when it is easier to game the system in secret? If I am going to steal your wallet, why show it to you while stealing it?

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #87)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:30 PM

93. Well for one thing it don't matter if they show it.

Who is going to want it changed?...not you, not politicians and surly not the system that is now in place...only people like me that can be blown off as CTers.

The first part of any cure is admitting you have a problem...and not many of us will do that...not even here on DU after 14 years of being abused by it.

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Response to Savannahmann (Reply #52)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:14 PM

86. Occam's Razor

 

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Response to zeemike (Reply #42)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 07:47 PM

59. And our politicians will say nothing and we will do nothing to change it...

And our politicians will say nothing and we will do nothing to change it...does that sound like insanity to you?...it does to me.


Yes. I find myself thinking the same thoughts, that last sentence especially. Never managed to come up with a reasonable explanation.

Just keep voting and convince others to do the same especially in those local elections - this is where the real changes are born.






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Response to nc4bo (Reply #59)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:26 PM

92. When we were fighting against paperless ballots

 

ten years ago, our main concern was a transparent voting process that everyone could understand and verify. After states started moving away from the concept, I said the next issue would be public financing of campaigns. Politicians will work for whoever signs the check for their campaign expenses. That can either be the taxpayer, or the corporations and the 0.1%.

This was before Citizens United made reform an imperative.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #42)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:13 PM

85. Um... no

 

Let us ask ourselves a simple question or two:

If a bad guy wants to screw with an voting machine and flip the vote one way, then why let the voter SEE what he is doing? Why not just display the correct vote on the screen, then record the opposite vote in the tally, WHERE IT MATTERS?

Never ascribe to treachery that which is better explained by incompetence.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #85)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:25 PM

91. And never let incompetence be a cover for treachery.

But let us ask another question...why did it flip?
Like asking why the butterfly ballot produced votes for Buchanon in a Jewish comunity....sure it was error on the part of the voter, not error intentionally to skew the vote...it is always the publics fault.

It will always come down to errors...and errors are excusable....and no one can call it treachery.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #91)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:38 PM

97. One more time

 

If I am going to go to the trouble of rigging a voting machine then there is no logical or rational reason to let the voter in on the secret. I just rig it so that they THINK they voting for A, while I record a vote for B. Now I don't flip ALL the votes for B, just one out of every five, or six, or whatever it takes to give me a plausible victory that doesn't exceed the margin of error in the polls.

If I am going to create errors that favor B, giving me the deniability of an error, while still making enough errors to help my guy, then why are other machines making the same error in the opposite direction?

This is like people who told me stories back in the 70s that there was actually a carburetor that allowed a car to get 100 MPG, but the car companies had conspired to keep it off the market. I then asked them why the auto makers would care, since it would hurt oil companies, not them. They would sell LOTS of cars if they had such a device, so they had ZERO reason to "conspire". Oil companies would have the most to lose, but they would have no way stopping the auto makers from selling these supercars, unless they bribed them to keep them off the market. The bribe would have to be big enough to cover all the lost sales the auto makers would lose, which would lower the oil companies' profits as much as if they just let it come to market.

Conspiracies do happen, but they have to make sense in the first place.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #97)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:53 PM

102. And you can always find a way to make a conspiracy not make sense.

It is done all the time.
And in fact if I were in one I would have that all ready to defend myself with...it is always a part of the flim flam game as any flim flam artist will tell you...also known as plausible deniability.

In the three card monty it is "how did he know what card you would pick"...so therefore the game is real...and if I can't tell you how he knew then I am wrong...when the reality is that it don't matter which card you pick.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #102)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 11:01 PM

104. Actually everyone knows how

 

a "Three Card Monte" works.



What would make no sense would be sitting on a street corner running the scam, but showing the marks how I did it and not getting paid.

"Look, see how I palmed a card and tricked you? Wait, why are you calling the policeman?"

Instead I am going to take you money and leave you none the wiser as to the fact that you lost as soon as you sat down.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #104)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 11:19 PM

110. Yes I know...I knew a pro gambler

And worked as a shill a few times.

But that may explain why I am such a skeptic, because I saw how easy it is to fool people.

But face it, even they show it they know full well that most people will not check it and never know it was flipped...and the ones that do notice it will complain and they will just blow it off as a minor error...no big deal...incompatence is a good defense for fraud.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #97)

Sun Nov 9, 2014, 09:42 AM

184. complete truth

2 questions here;
1) What % is the margin of error that you can steal legally?
2) How many total flipped votes were there in 2010 and 2012 and can you give me totals by states?
If you can't please refrain from the implied argument that it happens on both sides equally.

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Response to aspirant (Reply #184)

Mon Nov 10, 2014, 02:34 PM

193. The legal margin of victory is either a plurality

 

or 50%+1 vote depending on the state. As to how those votes totals could be arrived at, voter suppression provides a low risk, high yield tool more reliable than diddling voting machines.

2) You have access to the same claims of vote flipping as I do., Since you are making the extraordinary claim that vote flipping is fraud and is happening only to Dem candidates (DEM-->GOP flips), the proof is your requirement, not mine.

I have asked the question, WHY would any sane person cheat by rigging a voting machine to "flip votes" in a manner that the voter can see and thus call attention to the process?

So far, no one has given me a valid answer.

Oh, and if the GOP is cheating with voting machines all the time, where is President McCain and President Romney?

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 07:00 PM

44. As an IT/repair person, I greatly admire your work and perseverance for accuracy in our..

 

..voting scenarios. I know a decent amount of Assembly language but as they say: that and a dollar will buy you...
You..knowing the other Languages of the computer world are one of my heroes and knowing that people like you are using your skills for good gives me hope for the future of politics.

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Response to BlueJazz (Reply #44)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:18 PM

88. I am just a jackleg database programmer,

 

with more experience in hardware than software. But, I know enough to know hinky code when I see it. And mostly I just saw sloppy, sloppy code and security by obscurity.

Thanks for the compliments.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 07:02 PM

45. Who is Bev Harris?

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Response to Helen Borg (Reply #45)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:21 PM

90. Gosh that is a question

 

that can open a lot of worms here, not to mention rip off some scabs

She is either a great hero or great con, depending on whose evidence you believe. If you search the archives you can find a LOT of threads on her between 2003-2006.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #90)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 06:46 AM

133. Thanks.

What is she doing these days?...

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Response to Helen Borg (Reply #133)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 09:03 AM

139. That, I have no idea

 

Last edited Tue Nov 4, 2014, 10:54 AM - Edit history (2)

and am not inclined to look into it.

She hasn't been mentioned here in a quite a few years as she was banned from DU back in '06 (if memory serves).

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #139)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 10:30 AM

147. Oh, I had not realized that...

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 07:04 PM

46. Du rec and kick! n/t

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 07:25 PM

53. Kevin, this native North Carolinian wants to say a big thank you for all you've done.

I rest a little better knowing folks like you are working to keep our elections free of cheating and mistakes.

I'll be taking my mother and brother tomorrow, and then my oldest son will vote after work. All good Democratic votes. Second and third sons appear to not be interested in mid-term elections, though I've tried to explain how important it is. (And sadly, second son would likely vote for the pukes -- or whatever Libertarian is running.)

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Response to ladyVet (Reply #53)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 09:29 PM

74. Thank you

 

Glad to do what I can to help clear the air. I do not want people to think their vote will not count.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:33 PM

95. Absolutely agree with this. The widespread fears of vote-flipping are CTs at their worst.

 

What we can't see, we fear. And every time I see the name Rove mentioned, I shudder, not from fear but distaste that he is given so much undeserved credit for being an evil mastermind.

The more we elevate Rove and his ilk to that status, the more power they have over us.


[hr][font color="blue"][center]Stop looking for heroes. BE one.[/center][/font][hr]

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Response to randome (Reply #95)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 10:56 PM

103. I wrote this back in 2006

 

I listened to long diatribes from people in excruciating detail about how the GOP was rigging the game and that this was all part of their plan to rig elections nationwide. I was admonished for failing to bring this up again and again.

When I was on Fox's John Gibson show in 2003 I was attacked by some here for my failure to state outright that voting machines were rigged. Gibson himself tried to lead me down that path, and asked me if this was so. I answered that I did not know if that were the case, but as a computer systems engineer what I did know, and what was established fact was that the machines were insecure and easy to tamper with. Gibson had been prepared to deride me for taking a "whacko" viewpoint, instead I wound up getting to talk quite a bit about what was wrong with electronic voting machines. Had I followed people's advice and said the machines were rigged, I would have been savaged by Gibson, and discredited with the media and politicians.

Yet, when I was on the NC Select Committee on E-voting, I still had folks demanding I "blow the lid off the story" and use my position on the committee to "tell people the truth".

I'll ask you the same thing I asked them: Do you want a statement, or do you want a law? You can have one or the other, but not both. I have talked to a lot of reporters and politicians over the last four years, and on many occasions I saw people broach this subject with them. The person made polite noises to the advocate of this view, and after they had left, rolled their eyes and looked at me. I then had to do damage control to remind the politician/reporter of the hard evidence we had found and that these failures were resulting in people's loss of confidence in the electoral process.

Fortunately, this tactic worked.

NO MATTER WHAT *I* believe about elections, as soon as I start down that road with legislators and reporters my credibility is shot and I am effectively neutered. You can deal in fact, or you can deal in conjecture. Getting people to listen to fact is hard enough without wasting time on conjecture.

Let me explain it again for folks who are NOT getting the message: THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE IN THE REAL WORLD OF POLITICS AND THE MEDIA DO NOT SUBSCRIBE TO THE VIEW THAT THERE IS A CONSPIRACY BETWEEN THE GOP AND VOTING MACHINE COMPANIES TO RIG ELECTIONS!

People who wander into their office espousing such view are politely thanked and relegated to the same category as people who believe that Alien Autopsy was real. If you are to have ANY chance for change, then you have to have the people in power's attention. If you don't, you will accomplish NOTHING!


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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 11:10 PM

108. Great thread (and OP). At the risk of opening a can of worms or ripping off a scab, do

 

you think Ohio 2004 was stolen or did Bush win it fair and square?

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #108)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 11:37 PM

115. There were suspicious numbers

 

and Kerry should have asked for recount, but if I had to bet money, I would say machine error as opposed to tampering.

That said, they manged to do a hell of a lot to suppress the vote in Ohio simply by cutting down on the number of available voting machines in minority precincts. Yet again, a much easier and legally safer way to "rig" an election.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #115)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 11:47 PM

118. Good points all. People in Ohio waited in line for hours and hours to vote in some

 

precincts, while in others the wait was almost non-existant.

My wife started believing a conspiracy theory after 2004 that the Dems and Republicans get together behind closed doors and make a"gentleman's bargain" as to who will have power. She based this on Kerry's astonishing admission in Colorado Springs, CO that he would have still voted to invade Iraq even had he known that Iraq did not have WMDs. Kerry's sudden concession on election night 2004 became another foundation stone in this theory. Myself, I was a Deaniac from the beginning and knew it was all over when Kerry made his campaign theme "vote for me so I can run the war better" and not "this war is fucking wrong." (Kerry was probably right about that but it wouldn't have mattered in the end who was running things; the Iraqi Resistance in Anbar would still have fought us to a stalemate.)

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #118)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 11:57 PM

120. I am wary of consiracies as explanations,

 

especially since any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #120)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 12:07 AM

123. Bravo! As long as we acknowledge that there are occasional conspiracies in history -- the

 

Lincoln assassination plot, the failed plot to assassinate Hitler and, arguably, 9-11's conspiracy of the hijackers themselves come to mind -- there's not much to be gained by using conspiracy as explanation, especially since most often CT cannot be disproved. Any attempt to disprove it becomes a part of the CT, in the minds of true believers.

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #123)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 08:59 AM

138. Yes, they do exist

 

and were pretty easy to ferret out because people talk and the conspiracies tend to make sense.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #120)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 06:48 AM

134. Yup. Proving intent is always very tricky...

But voter suppression is a conspiracy, I would say.

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Response to Helen Borg (Reply #134)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 08:58 AM

137. That you will get no argument from me

 

especially as they have pretty much come out and admitted it.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 12:13 AM

126. The obvious question-why did they skip 2008 and 2012?

 

If it is a true 'fix is in'....
My eyebrows get raised about some of this, even recent threads, but as for mass fraud - nah.

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Response to maced666 (Reply #126)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 11:05 AM

150. Well, you know

 

they have to let us win sometime to make the cheating work.

I have seriously heard that explanation offered when I point out those two elections.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 07:06 AM

135. What are the facts at the links of "R" flipping to "D" provided by the OP, (SEE POST # 82)?

 

Link #1: http://www.stardem.com/extras/elections/article_80dee37e-767b-54e8-bfa5-94554354c8fa.html

Two claims by Republican voters; never proven nor supported.

Link #2: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/bs-md-voting-machines-20141028-story.html

Again, unsupported claims by Republicans.

State elections board officials said they had received reports that fewer than 20 machines statewide had displayed votes for candidates other than the ones the voters selected. Deputy administrator Nikki Baines Charlson said 12 had been tested and no problems had been found.
"These units are back in service because they couldn't replicate it no matter how hard they tried," Charlson said.

Link #3: http://www.mystateline.com/fulltext-news/d/story/il-republican-party-threatens-legal-action-after-v/17173/YiUn9HoxmUujxKPLkBYN7g

'Eyewitness News' cannot verify the legitimacy of it.” A photo of a ballot doesn’t prove it wasn’t the original vote!

Link #4: http://www.katv.com/story/26887796/election-commission-refutes-vote-changing-at-maumelle-polls

“MAUMELLE (KATV) - The director of the Pulaski County Election Commission refuted claims on Friday that votes being cast during the early voting period in Maumelle were being changed. The claims were found to be unsubstantiated.”

Link #5: http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/elections/ph-ac-cn-early-voting-problems1030-20141030,0,3218028.story

Just this man and his WIFE, eh?

The machine – voting unit number one – was placed back in service after the test. The technician waited for the next five voters to use it and reported no further problems, Torre said.

Chino said he attempted to vote for McMillan three times. Each time, he said, the vote was changed to Ferrar. It was not until the fourth attempt that Chino said he was able to vote for McMillan. David Thompson, an on-site official with the Anne Arundel County Board of Elections, said Chino left after voting then returned to register his complaint. Chino said his wife, Jennifer, had similar problems voting for McMillan earlier in the day.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Whaddayaknow?---Google IS my friend!

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #135)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 11:04 AM

149. And this, to me, as a computer tech

 

with about 25+ years experience, indicates a marginal touchscreen OR a lead-fingered voter. Seriously, I have watched some people poke the screen so hard that it mis-records the "touch".

But once again, I propose the following questions:

If I am rigging a voting machine to cheat, why inform the voter by switching the vote right in front of their eyes? Why not show them what they want to see, then secretly change the vote when I record it? A machine that changes votes draws attention and is checked. If there is any question after the election, it will be audited and possibly forensically examined if the heat is high enough. If I want to rig an election, the last thing I want is a platoon or forensic computer analysts performing autopsies on the machines I tampered with.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 08:23 AM

136. I've seen issues in Florida that are different than you describe, but may be manipulation.

Originally in 2004, I saw a machine that changed from the initial vote to a different candidate on the review page. I tried to impound the machine, but was escorted out by the repub ES. The manufacturer's rep "reset" the machine and put it back in service. The flip was on the Buchanan/Castor race.

We started watching and reporting similar "flipping". About 2008, we started seeing strange patterns that might be hacking, but were not demonstrated on screen. That includes:

Some precincts recording a larger number of undervotes, particularly in important races and located geographically in selected locations. For example, why would someone in a majority registered Democratic precinct vote for dog catcher or local magistrate and NOT vote for the Senate candidate? Undervotes might be 2-4% and jump to 8-10% on given machines in certain locations and races. No weird undervotes seem to occur where ballots are mailed or in some early voting locations. I interpret that as likely hacking where a formula was introduced to the programming. What is your explanation?

In the few cases that I could get exit poll or parallel voting data, we also see some strange patterns in selected races (some state office, some national). An example would be a school tax referendum in a Democratic district that passes easily while the GOP candidate for state office narrowly wins. Again, the strange results are often overlooked or buried in a large ballot, but difficult to explain unless a subset of machines or tabulators were manipulated.

How would you catch programmer manipulation in the cases that code was altered in such a way that did not show on screen?

I would say that most of the possible manipulations occur in districts where voter suppression would be quite difficult because of the demographic stability. Also, I don't see such patterns in every race - just selected ones. We've seen all kinds of tricks here in addition to voter registration manipulation, ID requirements, and suppression tactics. Mail ballots tossed, signature checking games, and ballot design.

BTW, we've complained that machines were stored in unsecured locations, not tested, etc. Depending on the ES it's hard to get cooperation for observers and security. Some of our ES's and Secretary of State are openly repubs. Remember Katherine Harris?

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Response to Sancho (Reply #136)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 10:52 AM

148. Let me take these one at a time

 

Some precincts recording a larger number of undervotes, particularly in important races and located geographically in selected locations. For example, why would someone in a majority registered Democratic precinct vote for dog catcher or local magistrate and NOT vote for the Senate candidate? Undervotes might be 2-4% and jump to 8-10% on given machines in certain locations and races. No weird undervotes seem to occur where ballots are mailed or in some early voting locations. I interpret that as likely hacking where a formula was introduced to the programming. What is your explanation?

In the few cases that I could get exit poll or parallel voting data, we also see some strange patterns in selected races (some state office, some national). An example would be a school tax referendum in a Democratic district that passes easily while the GOP candidate for state office narrowly wins. Again, the strange results are often overlooked or buried in a large ballot, but difficult to explain unless a subset of machines or tabulators were manipulated.


Well, certainly I would have called for an audit of these machines. But here's the thing, if this happened in 2004 then there was, to my knowledge, no laws on the books governing such circumstances. TS systems were introduced with very little thought about the ramifications of the technology on the voting process. That by itself can result in lots of problems, unforeseen problems that while troubling, are not necessarily evidence of chicanery. Election boards started buying computerized voting system while not adding computer techs to their staff (they pretty much depended on the vendors to provide support and training). Undervotes could be the result of tampering, but a more likely explanation is a defective/improperly calibrated machine, or voter unfamiliarity with how the machine worked. Again, if memory serves, 2004 would have been the first presidential election following the 2000 fiasco when there was a mad dash to buy these machine to replace the very confusing and unreliable "punch ballots". When you rush to deploy tens of thousands of votings machines, and then rush to train tens of thousands of poll workers, then dump the whole new system in the lap of millions of voters (many in the 60+ non-techie age demographic) problems are going to occur.

As I explained to election officials when we were debating new laws governing these machines in NC in 2005, new machines require new rules and procedures to insure accurate results. The problem with digital voting is that honest errors can be indistinguishable from malicious intent, and that unless you were very careful, people would assume the latter (the law we passed in 2005 was called "The Public Confidence in Elections Act".

How would you catch programmer manipulation in the cases that code was altered in such a way that did not show on screen?

Well, most states now have laws on the books requiring code be certified by the state before the election. Since these laws didn't exist in 2004, there was no mechanism to investigate these kinds of anomalies. Here is the law in NC that I helped write in 2005:

§ 163-165.9A. Voting systems: requirements for voting systems vendors; penalties.

(1) The vendor shall place in escrow with an independent escrow agent approved by the State Board of Elections all software that is relevant to functionality, setup, configuration, and operation of the voting system, including, but not limited to, a complete copy of the source and executable code, build scripts, object libraries, application program interfaces, and complete documentation of all aspects of the system including, but not limited to, compiling instructions, design documentation, technical documentation, user documentation, hardware and software specifications, drawings, records, and data. The State Board of Elections may require in its request for proposal that additional items be escrowed, and if any vendor that agrees in a contract to escrow additional items, those items shall be subject to the provisions of this section. The documentation shall include a list of programmers responsible for creating the software and a sworn affidavit that the source code includes all relevant program statements in low-level and high-level languages.

(2) The vendor shall notify the State Board of Elections of any change in any item required to be escrowed by subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(3) The chief executive officer of the vendor shall sign a sworn affidavit that the source code and other material in escrow is the same being used in its voting systems in this State. The chief executive officer shall ensure that the statement is true on a continuing basis.

(4) The vendor shall promptly notify the State Board of Elections and the county board of elections of any county using its voting system of any decertification of the same system in any state, of any defect in the same system known to have occurred anywhere, and of any relevant defect known to have occurred in similar systems.

(5) The vendor shall maintain an office in North Carolina with staff to service the contract.

(b) Penalties. - Willful violation of any of the duties in subsection (a) of this section is a Class G felony. Substitution of source code into an operating voting system without notification as provided by subdivision (a)(2) of this section is a Class I felony. In addition to any other applicable penalties, violations of this section are subject to a civil penalty to be assessed by the State Board of Elections in its discretion in an amount of up to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) per violation. A civil penalty assessed under this section shall be subject to the provisions of G.S. 163-278.34(e)."

As you can see we tried to cover all possible contingencies brought about by using TS and computer-based voting machines. We created a mechanism for examining the code before the election and made it a crime to change the code after it was certified. We even made the CEO the guy who would go to jail if something went wrong. Was it effective? Well, Diebold left the state rather than comply with the law, and then sold its voting machine business 4 years later. I would call that a win.

As I keep repeating to folks who are worried about rogue programmers diddling voting machines, with the changes in the law since 2004 it is very dangerous to try since mechanisms are now in place in most states to catch such tampering. If I am a crooked election official, far easier to simply reduce the number of available voting machines and spares in minority precincts, thus creating long lines and causing voters to leave without voting (which is what I suspect happened in Ohio in 2004) than it is to find someone with the expertise needed to rig a voting machine. It is next to impossible to prove criminal intent in how many voting machines are deployed, but getting caught with hinky code in a voting machine means the FBI in your office.

I would say that most of the possible manipulations occur in districts where voter suppression would be quite difficult because of the demographic stability. Also, I don't see such patterns in every race - just selected ones. We've seen all kinds of tricks here in addition to voter registration manipulation, ID requirements, and suppression tactics. Mail ballots tossed, signature checking games, and ballot design.

And all these tricks are easier and less trouble than trying to introduce "cheating code" to voting machines. If the machines are audited, the numbers will not add up, plus exit polling can spot weird variances. Again suppression is more effective and arguably semi-legal.

BTW, we've complained that machines were stored in unsecured locations, not tested, etc. Depending on the ES it's hard to get cooperation for observers and security. Some of our ES's and Secretary of State are openly repubs. Remember Katherine Harris?

Still can be a problem, but again, many states now have laws addressing this.

So, to summarize your main questions:

Can people rig a voting machine to cheat? Yes. Is it easy? Not as easy as many people think, and nowhere as easy as it might have once been now that many states look at the code. Did cheating happen in the past? Possibly. Although I have seen suspicious numbers, I have seen no conclusive evidence. Is it happening now? Highly unlikely, since you are far more likely to get caught if you try and there are safer ways to influence an election that don't involve a federal prison stay.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #148)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 02:17 PM

157. Thanks...hmmmm....

I'm a social scientist, not a programer. Here's an example of typical problems in Florida that some attribute to hacking the DRE's or tabulators. In this case, the ballot design was on a DRE. The authors don't really know what happened in 2006, but the claim the wrong person "won". In 2008 and 2010, we saw some similar patterns in several Florida districts that were not accounted for...and attempts to get data or programs from the DREs in court were not successful. My only explanation is a program (likely based on a prediction of registered voters or some formula) that avoids obvious detection by switching or causing an undervote on some DRE's in selected precincts. Random machine errors (such as a single machine with a screen alignment problem) would not account for a geographical undervote across several precincts as part of a district. Ballot design would also be a uniform error across the district. Meanwhile, a single race as inconsistent within a precinct seems strange. I can't think of any explanation other than a local manipulation that targets a given race in some precincts on DRE's. We don't see the weird stuff except on DRE's, so that's a given.

Florida 2006: Can Statistics Tell Us Who Won Congressional District-13?, (2008), Chance Magazine, Vol. 21, No.2. (American Statistical Association).

"for Jennings than for Buchanan in Sarasota County. The higher
observed undervote among presumed Democrats means our
previous confi dence interval calculation was conservative;
the conclusion that Jennings was the real winner in CD-13
becomes even surer.
The study by Frisina uses two methods to analyze the
CD-13 undervote. Both infer undervoters’ choices from their
votes for other candidates. One uses precinct-level data from
Sarasota County. The other involves matching Sarasota voters
with counterparts in Charlotte County. Both show that
Jennings was almost certainly the preferred choice among the
majority of CD-13 voters.
These different estimates may seem confusing. However,
the key point is that all plausible models of what the lost votes
would have been point to the same conclusion. Furthermore,
the more carefully we examine the data, the more support we
see for that conclusion. While poor ballot design may or may
not fully account for the Sarasota undervote, it is clear that
those missing votes switched the outcome of the congressional
race from Jennings to Buchanan."

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Response to Sancho (Reply #157)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 02:51 PM

160. Thanks for the clarification

 

(Caveat: I am not up to date on Florida voting law)

In this case, the ballot design was on a DRE. The authors don't really know what happened in 2006, but the claim the wrong person "won". In 2008 and 2010, we saw some similar patterns in several Florida districts that were not accounted for...and attempts to get data or programs from the DREs in court were not successful. My only explanation is a program (likely based on a prediction of registered voters or some formula) that avoids obvious detection by switching or causing an undervote on some DRE's in selected precincts. Random machine errors (such as a single machine with a screen alignment problem) would not account for a geographical undervote across several precincts as part of a district. Ballot design would also be a uniform error across the district. Meanwhile, a single race as inconsistent within a precinct seems strange. I can't think of any explanation other than a local manipulation that targets a given race in some precincts on DRE's. We don't see the weird stuff except on DRE's, so that's a given.

I agree the problem was not ballot design and again, the numbers would seem to call for an in depth audit to determine what really happened. Trouble is, unless the legislature puts laws in place that allows for such things, it can't be done. What makes the problem of voting machines vexing is that it would be pretty hard, absent stringent auditing and statistical sampling laws, to determine the difference between a programming error and tampering. In fact, this ambiguity is what makes the topic so attractive to folks who see skulduggery in the shadows.

Citizen activists have to address these issues in their own states. In NC I was "fortunate" to have been on TV in the Spring of 2004 predicting that the failure of voting machines was not an "if" event, but a "when" event. I then explained that if votes were lost the BoE better hope that the votes lost were not within the margin of victory of any particular race. The Director of the NCBoE was on the show with me and expressed total faith in the machines and said my scenario just couldn't happen.

The gods of fate never like being tempted and they were quite vindictive. A voting machine on the coast lost over 4,000 votes in the Fall election and the Agriculture Commissioner race was won with about 1500 votes. The day after the election my phone rang off the hook since the tape of the Spring interview was dug out and replayed on all the statewide channels. The story went national, and NC became the poster child for why you didn't want digital ballots.

Because of the uproar, the governor appointed a select committee to investigate the incident and draft new legislation to prevent it from happening again. I was appointed to the committee and things got heated from the get go with the battle lines being drawn between election officials and voting machines companies on one side, and voting activists and scientists on the other. In the end the bill passed in committee 6-5 (I voted in favor). The bill then passed both chambers of the legislature (a VERY rare thing) and was signed into law. Diebold sued to try and get the law overturned and failed. They then packed up and left the state rather than comply with the law.

This is what you have to do to change things in politics. There are no short cuts. It seems to me that there are more than enough problems with the machines in Florida to give activists leverage to get the laws changed, they just have to find the will (and the people) to do it. Until then, this kind of thing will happen and folks will never be sure whether it was accidental or intentional.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #160)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 02:56 PM

162. I agree we need better laws...

and verifiable results. You seem to have fixed more things in NC than we have here.

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Response to Sancho (Reply #162)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 03:00 PM

163. But it can be done

 

If I learned nothing else from the whole long painful affair, we can fight the big boys and win. Diebold was a multi-billion dollar opponent with legions of lawyers to throw at us, and we drove them from the state and out of the business. DU and dozens of DU members were central to that effort.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 11:32 AM

151. Thanks for

 

helping out in NC. Where I went to vote last Thursday didn't have touch screens. I filled out the ballot and entered it into a machine.

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Response to Duval (Reply #151)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 12:45 PM

155. I believe that only Guilford and Mecklenberg

 

bought those crappy machines. I believe the state is majority OpScan.

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Response to Duval (Reply #156)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 02:21 PM

158. Thanks

 

*sigh* This makes my point.

If I am going to screw with an election, "mistakes" like what you see there in Cumberland County is the way to go. Always hard to prove "criminal intent" instead of "honest mistake".

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #158)

Tue Nov 4, 2014, 04:05 PM

164. If not for you and your wife

 

it would be far worse, IMO. I have emailed Thom Hartmann at FPTV, and Amy Goodman, at Democracy Now about what's happening. Granted most people don't go to Free Speech TV, but perhaps this news will get to the right guys who are "watching" the polls. Also, I've emailed 866OurVote.org, which is monitoring election sites. May there be investigations, not overseen by our NC legislature.

Again, Thank you and your wife for doing so much for us, and thanks for posting on DU.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #155)

Mon Nov 10, 2014, 02:42 PM

195. Here's the breakdown by county:

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #195)

Mon Nov 10, 2014, 02:45 PM

196. Thank you

 

Joyce McCloy's site is, as always, the definitive answer. I stand corrected.

Although, I should point out that TS system, by law, still require a voter verified paper trail and have a printer attached to each machine recording votes.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #196)

Mon Nov 10, 2014, 06:01 PM

201. It looks to me like they are phasing them out

I was under the impression that at the time of HAVA, 50 out of 100 NC counties were sold the DREs.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #201)

Tue Nov 11, 2014, 12:16 PM

204. They are not popular because they cause problems

 

like we saw in Guilford County, and if there is one th8ing election officials HATE it is getting in the news because of things like that.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #204)

Tue Nov 11, 2014, 06:59 PM

207. The country lost big money on that swindle....

------------- and everybody acts like it's just business as usual.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Wed Nov 5, 2014, 09:52 AM

165. When recalibration isn't the solution

Kelvin, I imagine this thread was directed at me and several others. That's a shame. It has nothing to do with my experience and that of several other TN voters. Here's why.

If bad calibration was the problem, it would have shown up if, when I voted "no" on Anendment 1, a "yes" vote showed up instead. That is not what happened to me. I hit the "no" button, it lit up and I moved on to other contests. My vote changed to "yes" sometime between when I voted "no" and when I reviewed my choices before casting my vote. Calibration had nothing to do with that flip.

Recalibration isn't the solution.
Paper ballots is.

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Response to Fly by night (Reply #165)

Wed Nov 5, 2014, 10:22 AM

166. And you will get no argument from me on that

 

Recalibration isn't the solution.

Paper ballots is.


Fighting for paper ballots since 2002.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #166)

Wed Nov 5, 2014, 06:28 PM

167. I was 2 years later to this dance ...

... but I'm dancing hard as I can.

Right now, I want paper ballots hand-counted by high school honor society members who get to stand up and announce the results. It's a Norman Rockwell moment I hope I live long enough to see.

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Response to Fly by night (Reply #167)

Wed Nov 5, 2014, 10:03 PM

168. You will never sell them on hand-counting

 

Due to the complexity of ballots it is not logistically possible to accurately count races by hand. I do not tell you this to be contrary, or stubborn, I speak from personal experience with politicians, election officials and mathematicians.

My recent ballot in this election had over two dozen races, one race had 19 candidates of which you had to pick two. To hand count ballots accurately requires the ballots be handled by multiple individuals and counted/re-counted multiple times. The more a paper ballot is handled, the greater the chance that it will be damaged/spoiled. In many jurisdictions there are very specific laws about who can handle a ballot and under what conditions.

If you are serious about reforming voting laws in your state the first thing you need to do is volunteer as a poll worker some place with paper ballots and get a look at the logistics. It is more complex than people realize. If you wish to discuss this at length, PM me and we can arrange to talk on the phone.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #168)

Sun Nov 9, 2014, 08:06 AM

180. If I'm serious about voting reforms ...?

Kelvin ( I can't remember your real name), this is Bernie Ellis. Perhaps you don't remember me (since you didn't attend our conference though I invited you personally) but I am the person who organized the National Election Reform Conference in 2005 that was attended by reps from 30 states and from which more than a half dozen documentaries were made. I am the person who led the fight to pass the TN Voter Confidence Act to ban DREs, a bill that passed in 2008 with all but two legislators voting for it BUT ONLY because we agreed to conduct "just one more" election on the fraud-friendly equipment.

That year, in an otherwise blue tidal wave, every open seat in our legislature from Memphis to Mountain City went to Rs (giving control of our legislature to them), an outcome that is still called by political scientists the most unexplainable outcome of that election cycle. Two days later, the Rs announced their three top legislative priorities -- the first one being to repeal the TVCA (that all but two of them voted for). It took them three years to do so with the group I founded, Gathering to Save our Democracy, fighting them all the way, but they did it.

If elections can be held on paper ballots read by opscans, they can be held on paper ballots counted by hand. As for overhandling those ballots being a problem, it would be easy enough for voters to receive a paper ballot packet with each race on a separate piece of paper color-coded to make it easy for the voters to separate them before depositing them in the correct plexiglass box for that race. Even with separate pieces of paper for each race, printing paper ballots would still be cheaper than paying the lease/service charges for DREs.

I have heard your arguments many times from the farces of evil in this state. (???) And as for convincing "them" (our illicit legislature) to go along, the last thing they would do is destroy their mandate which exists deep in the bowels of the black boxes. My audience is the voters. And right now in TN, there are a whole lot of women who were stunned by the outcome of Amendment 1 (to ban abortions) when only 23% of voters supported it in pre-(s)election surveys. That support included only 32% of Rs, 21% of Is and 15% of Ds.

All vote flips are not caused by problems with calibration. And any US election is worth whatever amount of effort it takes to make it free, fair and verifiable.

Peace out. Now back to the Garden.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #166)

Sun Nov 9, 2014, 10:27 AM

187. national expert?


I am astonished reading the posts from Fla (undervotes and geographic programing) and TN discrepancies, legislators repealing voter laws and you admitting that his described flipping incident wasn't calibration error and you still stand by your premise that we should get over voting machine problems and look elsewhere. Why shouldn't we look everywhere? You keep pointing out NC laws, saying your unaware of Fla. laws, now being informed of Tn laws so I ask are you aware of Ga.,Miss.Ky.Ala.La.Ind.S.C.,Mo.,Ks.,Wisc. voting laws? It's wonderful you cleaned up NC but how in the world can you tell me their are no problems in other places across the US?

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Response to aspirant (Reply #187)

Mon Nov 10, 2014, 01:56 PM

188. Go back and read what I said

 

I did not say their was NO problems, I said that the likelihood of fraud was very low, given the fact that there are easier, LEGAL ways to rig elections that does NOT involve committing felonies. Occam's Razor.

Please answer the questions I put to EVERY person who insists "vote flipping" = "fraud". If you are going to commit voter fraud by flipping votes, why make a point of letting the voter know what you are doing? If the voting machines are all rigged by GOP cronies who make the machines, what happened to President McCain and President Romney?

I have also made a point that I was talking about NC law, since the original story that made the rounds involved vote flipping on machines in Guilford County, NC, my home county.

If people are going to insist that their machines have been rigged, then they need to stop complaining about about it, and start DOING something about it. But, as someone who has done something about it, I can tell you with complete certainty that if you go to the press and election officials claiming grand conspiracies, you will accomplish ZERO as far as changing the law.

That is reality, and either we deal with it or we don't get anythingh done.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Wed Nov 5, 2014, 10:08 PM

169. That's like saying raising awareness about cancer discourages doctor visits.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #169)

Wed Nov 5, 2014, 10:25 PM

170. No, claiming all the doctors are secretly

 

working to kill you discourages doctor visits, just as running around claiming voting machines are "rigged" discourages people from casting votes. If the game is rigged, why bother to play? I have repeatedly explained why "rigging elections by vote flipping" makes no damned sense at all, it fails basic logic.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #170)

Wed Nov 5, 2014, 11:19 PM

171. How does it fail basic logic?

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #171)

Thu Nov 6, 2014, 11:18 AM

173. Again, I have expained this about five times in this thread, but here goes number six

 

If I am an evil conservative who has decided to steal an election by rigging a voting machine to steal votes from Dems, why would I flip the vote so that the voter can see the theft? Why not just show you what you expect to see, then change the vote when it is recorded where you can't? Why draw attention to the criminal act, a felony, thus inviting discovery? If I am picking your pocket, I do not call your attention to the fact that I am picking it by showing your wallet as I stand beside you.

Also, if there is this grand conspiracy to steal election by conservatives who own voting machine companies, where is President McCain and President Romney? Where is Senator Angle and Senator Brown?

Since the press has reported vote flipping by machines favoring BOTH sides, are we to assume that both sides are carrying out such an incredibly obvious crime?

These thing sound delightfully sinister and help excuse ugly realities we don't like, except that they fail basic logic.

If I am a corrupt election official which am I more likely to do:

1) Rig voting machines to flip votes in a manner which draws attention to the machines to the voters and the press?

or

2) Simply reduce the number of voting machines and spares available to precincts in minority neighborhoods, thus causing incredibly long lines on election day and causing people who have only a limited time to vote, to leave without voting.

The first invites and investigation of what is going on and a forensic examination of the software which will reveal the scam. The second is impossible to prosecute absent a written confession or a paper trail where you consult people on the plot.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #173)

Thu Nov 6, 2014, 03:11 PM

174. There is some logic to what you say.

Of course, given what we know about the finickiness of software, it's also likely that any software corruption would have unforeseen consequences for the people who wrote it, that could serve as a warning of its existence.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #174)

Thu Nov 6, 2014, 03:29 PM

175. When I pursued this issue

 

I was more concerned about software bugs screwing up elections than dodgy election officials. In fact, it was precisely that kind of situation that prompted the NC state government to overhaul its election laws to cover digital voting. A voting machine used in early voting on the coast ran out of memory at some point in the process. The error was signaled by a cryptic alphanumeric code on a tiny LCD screen on the back of the machine. When the machine ran out of memory, it simply overwrote the last ballot with the next one entered, thus over 4,000 votes were lost. Since there was no paper record of the vote, there was no way to recover the votes. This lead to the appointment of a select committee (which I served on) to investigated the problem and the drafting legislation to prevent that, and other similar errors, from happening in the future. It also created laws requiring code certification and random auditing of paper versus digital counts.

We still have to get laws like these in all 50 states, but the threat of an election being "stolen" by election machine jiggery-pockery is very small next to the "legal" suppression efforts which are far more effective.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #175)

Thu Nov 6, 2014, 05:00 PM

178. Fair enough, but it won't do to be complacent about any angle.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #178)

Thu Nov 6, 2014, 05:51 PM

179. Certainly true,

 

but resources are limited and we must go for the most likely threats. I would really prefer to have people at polling places raising hell about purged voter rolls and ID requirements than worrying about vote flipping. If it happens, point out the machine to poll workers and insist it be fixed.

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Response to fredamae (Reply #177)

Mon Nov 10, 2014, 02:19 PM

190. This would be the guy who claimed he rigged

 

TS voting machines in 2000 in West Palm Beach, a county that did not use TS systems in 2000. WPB was using punch cards in 2000, it was mentioned a few times in the the news you may recall, something about Bush and Gore.

As I keep pointing out, I have NEVER stated that machines can't be rigged, I have stated that it is easier, safer, and LEGAL to use any number of other tactics to get the same or better results.

Also, if people want to put a stop to this possibility, then they need to get up and start ORGANIZING a group, lining up experts, getting politicians and election officials on board, and CHANGE the law.

It can be done, we have proven it here at DU.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Sun Nov 9, 2014, 08:54 AM

182. I so agree that voter suppression is real and is growing.

As even the poll books become electronic, now there are flawed electronic purging programs that remove millions of registered voters from the polls.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025785938


While the electronic voting machines themselves may not be easy to hack ( I am always curious about thumb drives must be inserted prior to voting), the tabulators have always been a concern. The tabulators are a concern with the optical scanners. And even though there is a paper ballot with the optical scanner, we all saw what happened to those a la Kathy Nickolaus in Wisconsin.

I suspect that GOPers use a bundle approach . They attack our vote on many fronts.

Who votes does count. And who counts the votes counts.

Thank you for your post.

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Response to deminks (Reply #182)

Mon Nov 10, 2014, 02:26 PM

191. True

 

mucking around with tabulators could be easier and yield results, except for the fact that a manual count of the paper ballots would contradict the tabulator and expose the fraud. Now, I can't speak for any state but my own, but even absent a law requiring a manual recount comparison, a substantial statistical deviation from the norm would be cause to go to court to question the results.

Again, people need to get to work and find out what the laws are in there own states. If the laws need to be changed then that is what needs to be done. Election laws are changed at the state and local level, not the federal (except in rare circumstances).

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Sun Nov 9, 2014, 09:03 AM

183. I don't know. I would love to believe this, but I will never forget the 2004 election.

I went to bed with Kerry comfortably ahead and cruising to a win. I woke up a couple of hours later and found my husband glued to the TV with Shrub suddenly flipping the vote. So much stunk in southern Ohio. Was it the machines or tabulators or crooked officials? The government never seems to think it's important enough to delve into too deeply. I've always suspected the GOP voter suppression efforts are a nasty ruse to distract us away from the most efficient way to "win" an election.

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Response to Vinca (Reply #183)

Mon Nov 10, 2014, 02:02 PM

189. If I had to make a stab at why we lost Ohio

 

in 2004, it would be that the GOP SoS dramatically reduced the number of voting machines available to minority precincts thus creating massive lines, that resulted in some people giving up on voting.

Again, "vote flipping" so people can see it happening makes as much sense as calling the police before you rob a bank to let them know which bank and what time.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #189)

Mon Nov 10, 2014, 03:11 PM

197. I don't recall vote flipping on the actual voting machine as being the issue.

It had something to do with transmitting the votes to wherever they're tabulated electronically. In any case, if you want to commit voter fraud, it's foolish to think one guy who might go in and vote under a dead guy's name is a threat when a million votes can be flipped in a nanosecond.

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Response to Vinca (Reply #197)

Mon Nov 10, 2014, 04:27 PM

198. Again, as long as there is no paper

 

you are correct, that would be a viable (though by no means safe) way to rig an election.

But, be aware that totals are recorded two ways. When a precinct is closed for the day, the ballots are tabulated and recorded in ink, on paper, and sign off on. These sheets are public record and the canvass and (in NC) the audit compares these totals. So, if I rig the tabulator at the state office, the total will differ from what was recorded when the poll closed and the numbers will NOT match and there will be a problem. Understand that observers from all parties check the totals looking for dodgy numbers. So, even if the general public and the press don't give it a look, the party functionaries will damn sure notice that the numbers on the precinct sheet are different than the official recorded total on the SoS web site.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #198)

Mon Nov 10, 2014, 05:31 PM

199. It makes you wonder why the machines and software aren't allowed to be examined by the citizenry.

If there is nothing fishy in the procedures, voting machine companies should be happy to be transparent.

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Response to Vinca (Reply #199)

Mon Nov 10, 2014, 05:51 PM

200. Again, some states permit/require it

 

so folks need to check and see. Voting machine companies claim they can't show it to the public because it is "proprietary", which is BS, but pols go along with it. However, exemptions can be made for a team of computer scientists from a local university working under an NDA. But that will only happen if it is the law. The law will only happen if folks make it happen.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Sun Nov 9, 2014, 09:52 AM

185. Thank you for saying what I got lambasted for saying a couple of weeks ago.

1. "flipping" is human error - either the fat finger or the poor calibration type.
2. Rigging voting machines to push an election a particular way is not child's play.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 10, 2014, 02:32 PM

192. To those who insist there's still a real conspiracy here...

...name a candidate, campaign manager, elected official or party leader who agrees.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #192)

Mon Nov 10, 2014, 02:36 PM

194. And a little actual evidence

 

would be nice. Geez, if these folks put as much effort into cleaning up election law in their state/county...

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Original post)

Mon Nov 10, 2014, 06:36 PM

202. I am against electronic counting for reasons not yet expressed.

Seeing the votes hand counted in public by representatives of both parties and independents; reaffirms the idea of citizen participation. It is "We The People" at our most basic and true.

When you dehumanize things, humans step back.

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Response to Half-Century Man (Reply #202)

Tue Nov 11, 2014, 12:26 PM

206. I would have to see some empirical evidence of that

 

What I have seen empirical evidence of is that if you count complex ballots by hand, the results are inaccurate. I prefer a machine count. supervised by as many humans as want to watch (I am in favor of streaming the counting to the net) and spot checking random races/precincts with a manual count. Personally, I would go to an all mail-in system favored in a number of states.

If you want a hand-counted election ten you are going to have to change election laws, all 50 states and 3,500+ counties worth. When we addressed this issue in 2005 in NC, I was handed a book of North Carolina's current election laws, which if memory serves, was over 1,000 pages.

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