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More Voting Shenanigans in Florida

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the just-don't-feed-them-after-midnight dept.

680

stewwy writes "It looks like the the shenanigans have started already, the Register is running a story about the difficulty early voters are having with casting votes for Democrats." From the article: "The touch-screen gizmos seem strangely attracted to Republican candidates. One voter needed assistance from an election official, and even then, needed three tries to convince the machine that he wanted to vote for Democrat Jim Davis in the gubernatorial race, not his Republican opponent Charlie Crist."

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680 comments

Excellent! (3, Funny)

moseman (190361) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676703)

Our evil plan is working perfectly.

Re:Excellent! (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676833)

I thought the evil place was to have the machines blue screen to death instead of voting for the other twit. Only in Florida can something so brilliant like this get so screwed up so fast. :P

Re:Excellent! (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676901)

The first rule of the evil plan is you do not talk about the evil plan.

Where is my tinfoil hat? (1, Interesting)

Lemurmania (846869) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676705)

I don't want to sound like a Mel-Gibson-style conspiracy nut, but it's hard not to reach for the tinfoil when you read anecdotal reports like this. It would take such a small shift of votes to change an election ... I dunno, can the party in power resist that temptation? Given that they can't resist any other temptations?

Re:Where is my tinfoil hat? (2, Insightful)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676837)

You seem to have never used a touch screen in your life. Allow me to explain: They are always poorly calibrated peices of shit due to the seperation between the display and the sensors. They often read inputs a bit above or below what you intend to push. Depending on the type of touchscreen, this often is due to the height of the user, though simple poor maintenence is also an issue and can lead to left/right problems as well.
People in Florida are well known for not knowing what to push based on what they see and how tall they are, see: http://www.newyorkslime.com/florida-ballot.jpg [newyorkslime.com]

I recommend getting rid of all the short people.

Re:Where is my tinfoil hat? (2, Insightful)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677141)

Touch screens can be aligned and then they are not hard to use. Alignment does not have to be a lengthy process, nor is it difficult, nor does it have to be done often. Anyone who ever used a Newton or Palm knows this.

Re:Where is my tinfoil hat? (5, Insightful)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677209)

Touchscreens are used extensively in the manufacturing industry for operator/machine interfaces. Some of the better HMI packages even have built in drivers and calibration.

These screens are used by people of widely varying height, vision, mental bandwidth, sometimes wearing gloves and sometimes not. They are also exposed to dust and sand and solvents and grease.

While I agree that people have a hard time knowing what to push I wouldn't blame the screens. If someone can't cobble together a reliable touch interface that doesn't need to be calibrated in the field, for a system will run only one application, they are either incompetent or purposely screwing up. The latter would be my guess.

Re:Where is my tinfoil hat? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676853)

Unfortuneately, it seems (according to the article) that the real explaination is much more mundane- touch screens need recalibrating from time to time, and somebody has been sloppy with the recalibration schedule.

Re:Where is my tinfoil hat? (4, Interesting)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676859)

I don't want to sound like a Mel-Gibson-style conspiracy nut, but it's hard not to reach for the tinfoil when you read anecdotal reports like this. It would take such a small shift of votes to change an election ... I dunno, can the party in power resist that temptation? Given that they can't resist any other temptations?

One problem with anecdotal reports is that they can easily be abused by the media to skew people's opinions of what is happening. Suppose, for a moment, that these voting machines are buggy and that you have similar numbers of Republicans and Democrats that have problems voting for their candidates. Now with past voting irregularities in Florida there is an increased sensitivity in Democrat voters to problems like this; this means that these people are more likely to report these problems to the media, and the media are far more likely to report these occurances.

I'm not saying this is what is happening, it is just a possibility.

Re:Where is my tinfoil hat? (1)

Tiber (613512) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677133)

The party of power at the time of the purchase was the Democratic party.

I highly suggest voting for Joe Pebkac this election. He seems a bit naive, but can be trusted.

I can't see the problem here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16676709)

I couldn't vote Democrat either much less Republican. They are both virtually the same. Besides I was poor, I worked very hard to get where I am without big government help, so now why would I want to be taxed out the ass to help a bunch of lazy people on social programs.

Re:I can't see the problem here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16676769)

I prefer that you continue to be taxed out the ass to help me - a Department of Defense Contractor.

Re:I can't see the problem here (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676851)

why would I want to be taxed out the ass to help a bunch of lazy people on social programs.

Yeah, Halliburton should find their work like the rest of us, rather than have a former executive (Dick Cheney) in the Whitehouse handing them no-bid billion $ contracts, because they were the only company which could respond to the call readily (makes you wonder how far in advance they were told to get ready and by whom.)

Re:I can't see the problem here (3, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677007)

... so now why would I want to be taxed out the ass to help a bunch of lazy people on social programs.

Your generous support is helping the lazy rich stay of politics so they can give their money to the lazy people on social programs. You just gotta love being a middle class taxpayer.

User Error (1, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676713)

As someone who talks to teachers all day in software support, you'd be surprised how hard it is for people to simply click on the right button.

Plus, considering that it's Florida, User Error is a good bet.

Re:User Error (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676849)

I am glad I am not the only person that thought "must be user error".

Look, I am not saying that there is not a conspiracy here, however this is not much proof of anything bad going on (aside from shody machines). 2 annecdotes from a paper specificly reporting that the machines are showing a republican bias (wich leads me to belive the paper probably has a democrate bias), showes nothing.

meh,
nothing to see here, move along.

Re:User Error (0, Flamebait)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676875)

Plus, considering that it's Florida, User Error is a good bet.

Thats the ticket, let's just joke about Florida! That way we don't have to deal with things like making voting actually secure and idiotproof, we can just have people like you do the job of turning our elections into a joke!

Re:User Error (1)

k_187 (61692) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677113)

I would think that overreacting to a single malfunctioning voting machine would have already done that.

Re:User Error (4, Funny)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677181)

"making voting idiot proof" shouldn't mean making it easier for idiots to vote.

Re:User Error (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677183)

So, how's the weather down there?

Re:User Error (1)

jmyers (208878) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676979)

I would bet on user error as well. I'm 100% for hand marked paper ballots counted optically, but I am willing to bet that no matter what voting tech in used, paper, punch cards, touch screen, etc. The voter error rate is probably about the same. Its just that since we have had some real close elections the media is starting to focus in on a problem that has existed forever.

Re:User Error (1)

rhartness (993048) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677085)

As someone who talks to teachers all day in software support, you'd be surprised how hard it is for people to simply click on the right button. Do you mean 'right' as in 'left/right' or 'right' as in 'correct'.

Screens slipping out of synch (2, Interesting)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676735)

Serious question for those familiar with the technology:

Is this similar to the electronic credit card signature systems that display my signature half an inch below where I put the stylus?

Re:Screens slipping out of synch (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676801)

That's my initial thought as well. It's just a fact of touchscreen LCD's. Only way to compensate is to adjust the location of the input boxes, but that's on a per-machine basis and that's a crappy solution.

A "better box" would be a LCD screen with a seperate button panel along the bottom of the display. That way the input is discrete.

Re:Screens slipping out of synch (1)

teslar (706653) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676953)

Only way to compensate is to adjust the location of the input boxes, but that's on a per-machine basis and that's a crappy solution.

I'd have thought the obvious solution would be recalibrating the screen, not rewriting the software...

Re:Screens slipping out of synch (1)

Moeses (19324) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677045)

How about taking that idea one further and modeling the voting machines after well tested technology, both for usability and security...ATMs. They have an interface that works, plus most people are already familiar with it. They have a paper trail in addition to digitally stored state (redundancy should be a no-brainer for this machine). Plus they are secured against tampering.

Re:Screens slipping out of synch (1)

flynns (639641) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677283)

How about taking that idea one further and modeling the voting machines after well tested technology, both for usability and security...ATMs. They have an interface that works, plus most people are already familiar with it. They have a paper trail in addition to digitally stored state (redundancy should be a no-brainer for this machine). Plus they are secured against tampering.

BAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

love and hugs,
A Former ATM Developer

Re:Screens slipping out of synch (1)

nsmike (920396) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676917)

My first instinct would be no. These machines are used for a short period; testing and then election day. The misaligned signatures on the keypads in the stores are due to a lack of calibration after many, many uses for long periods of time. I'm willing to bet most stores don't have an IT guy who goes around and calibrates those screens each day.

Voting machines, on the other hand, should be brand new and freshly calibrated in prep for election day. The use that these machines will get in one day is nowhere near so bad as to need recalibration so often that votes should be miscounted. My Nintendo DS Lite has a better touchscreen than that.

Re:Screens slipping out of synch (2, Interesting)

burnin1965 (535071) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677311)


Screens slipping out of synch

Serious question for those familiar with the technology:


I work in a factory that utilizes several touchscreens of various types, makes, and models for the user interface on the equipment, these screens are subjected to 24x7x365 operation and sustain heavy abuse from pens, excessive physical pressure, and exposure to acid and solvent residues, they do not continuously slip out of sync. Once they are calibrated recalibration is very rare, perhaps once or twice every couple of years.

The statement from the Supervisor of Elections about out of sync touchscreens being normal seems like BS to me. More importantly if the touchscreens do normally slip out of sync then they should not be used for an election and the Supervisor of Elections is failing to do their job if they are allowing such subpar equipment to be used for elections as they put the implementation of democracy at risk.

Worn machines? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676739)

Shenanigans or not, these touch screen machines are worn from heavy use?

Excuse me, but I've been to some stores where I use touch sensitive screens for signing or just punching in my PIN, etc. What kind of shoddy materials were these made of? Or is it that Broward County voters are usually pounding their votes in with both fists?

"I did not pick Jeb, damn you machine!" whack pound smek

Re:Worn machines? (3, Interesting)

cluckshot (658931) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676933)

I am working reviewing the voting machine software for a major US State. The vendors are very slow bringing out any software for review. The review is technical and not for valid elections.

I have looked at the software and I could see the weaknesses the critics describe. They are real. Any election system that lacks a paper trail including paper ballots that are user validated is in my view fraudulent. The systems have a lot of weaknesses as well.

The most important thing that should change in election machines is that the process we uses should be machine independent. That is the failure or status of any particular machine should not halt the election or prevent the correct casting of a ballot.

The true criterion for an election machine should be that it is (1) Easy to use. (2) Very very difficult for anyone to misuse. (3) It should have a paper ballot copy that is saved and validated by the voter and then placed in a secure box for validation and recounts. (4) The system should have off site valid totals kept in at least 3 locations at all times. These locations should be in different custody chains. (5) The election should be subject to automatic recounts if any of the 3 off site totals do not match up to the local totals or between each other.

Humm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16676757)

Now what if it was rigged by those who are against eletronic voting.... Or someone who had access to it wanting to push the "only the EVIL Republicans would rig stuff to steal an election" route....

Re:Humm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16677063)

Nonono, it's a plot by the republicans to make it look like the democrats are trying to make it look like the republicans are rigging the election.
Then of course it could be a plot by the democrats to make it look like the republicans are trying to make it look like the democrats are trying to make it look like the republicans are rigging the election.
And logically it could also be a plot by the republicans to make it look like the democrats are trying to make it look like the republicans are trying to make it look like the democrats are trying to make it look like the republicans are rigging the election.

If they are smart enough to hack voting machines.. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676759)

Why would they be hacking these ballot machines? If they are smart enough to hack ballot machines, they would be smart enough to get a well paying job that allows them post in slashdot all day in a working day using his employer's machine ;-)

Re:If they are smart enough to hack voting machine (1)

eyeb1 (522766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677121)

because it's not about jobs or money .. it's about ideology ..

although for republicans being selfish/greedy by nature and not wanting to share with their neighbor .. ie. pay taxes is an money issue ..

Re:If they are smart enough to hack voting machine (1)

Quantam (870027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677161)

I'm not sure if you were just kidding or not, but if this is actually the Republicans' doing, I'd debate whether you could call such a miserable job "smart enough to hack voting machines" :P

NOW ... (1)

KazerSoza (727306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676767)

Hanging chads will be electronic.. save paper

Re:NOW ... (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676839)

We need to implement software to emulate hanging chads. first we need a high end physics library to simulate a piece of paper near perfectly.

Across the board (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676781)

Another voter who went Democrat across the board kept finding Republicans listed in the summary screen.

I haven't used the new touch screen voting machines, but if you went Democrat "across the board", isn't that a single check box? I seem to remember paper ballots just having one box to strike if you wanted to vote a single party for the entire ballot. How would so called screen calibration errors randomly select republicans then?

Re:Across the board (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676975)

Voting systems vary quite a bit in the US; some places have used single-box voting for "party-line" voting, others haven't.

Re:Across the board (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677119)

At least in California, it is impossible to vote for a single party all at once - there simply isn't an option to do so. You have to place a vote for each individual race.

Three words to stop stuff like this from happening (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676787)

.....Third Party Verification

Third Party Veriification? (2, Funny)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676847)

And then the Greens or Libertarians sweep it with 113% of the vote.

Re:Three words to stop stuff like this from happen (1)

s20451 (410424) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677301)

Three words to stop stuff like this from happening

"Move to Canada"

Negligently Crappy, or Deliberatly Malignant (1)

stealie72 (246899) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676791)

Or does the difference matter?

If one "follows the money" it's pretty obvious that Deibold has an incentive to make republicans win, but aren't most of these problems just awful engineering? Crappy programming, bad design, lazy execution.

Still inexcusable, but I just wonder if Deibold et al just suck, and aren't malicious.

Matt

Re:Negligently Crappy, or Deliberatly Malignant (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677089)

What you are forgetting is that it might just be an error in the setup.
Just like any PDA these screens probably need to be calibrated. One or more of the poll workers probably didn't do it correctly.
Why is it just the Democrats having issues then?
Every think that maybe it isn't?
If a Democrat is having issues they probably will go running to the press declaring it is all a plot.
A Republican might figure that it was just the machine messing up. Also there is a good chance that any news service would play up the fraud aspect of it because it is good for viewers.

In case anyone has forgotten the ballots that in Palm Beach that many people blame for the Democrats loosing on where laid out by a democrat. The you have the other baloony going on. Even though Foley is not running the Democrats refused to allow his name to be removed from the ballot. Not only that they will not allow signs to put in the polling places to tell people that they are not really voting for Foley! If that is not trying to manipulate the election I don't know what is.

At this point I hate both parties.

Re:Negligently Crappy, or Deliberatly Malignant (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677175)

The scary thing is, Diebold does not suck. They've made ATM machines for years and years, and whenever one of those has an electronic hiccup a pile of affected institutions and regulatory agencies are on it like flies on crap. They've been successful in one of the most stringently controlled hardware/software solutions in the modern world. Unintentional incompetence really can't suddenly enter into things now without one hell of a good explanation.

Re:Negligently Crappy, or Deliberatly Malignant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16677207)

Diebold makes mighty fine touch-screen machines to allow bank customers to access their money. These machines EFFECTIVELY NEVER make a mistake - I've been using them for nearly 20 years and have only once had a deposit show up as a withdrawal, about 15 years ago.

These machines maintain a paper trail, and are robust, verifiable, auditable, and simple to use.

Diebold has expertise delivering a quality system when they are held to a rigid standard and there is money on the line.

In the business of politics, there is clearly money on the line, and the standards are defined by those with the money.

Re:Negligently Crappy, or Deliberatly Malignant (1)

is as us Infinite (920305) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677285)

Diebold also makes ATMs that work day and night flawlessly (well, 99% flawlessly) with paper trails so that banks know EXACTLY where the money went and if anything has gone wrong. You are correct in saying that these voting machines exhibit 'awful engineering, Crappy programming, bad design, lazy execution.", but when you consider that the company has a track record of the opposite in a (slightly) different field, the needle seems to point more towards maliciousness than carelessness...

Question (1)

fudgefactor7 (581449) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676799)

Can anyone point me to an article that has the reverse happening? That is to say, someone tries to vote Republican and the machines flip them all to Democrat... I'm looking, but I can't seem to locate one. Can someone help?

Statistical improbabilities (0, Flamebait)

kherr (602366) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676815)

I'm no statistician, but if the problems with electronic voting machines were simply crap software, and not intentional election rigging, wouldn't there be more evidence of errors in favor of Democratic candidates? Seeing everything always thrown to the GOP seems to be good signs of a conspiracy, factored with the CEOs of the voting machine companies promising to deliver votes to the GOP [commondreams.org] or getting elected by their machines [scoop.co.nz] .

Re:Statistical improbabilities (1)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676955)

That would depend. this may sound like a joke, but here goes.....

What if there was a issue on one part of the screen and that part always had democrats on the left and republicans on the right?? What if the button areas are too big/too small? This is just anecdotal. Touch screens are inaccurate sometimes. I don't think that the software would even need to be hacked to do this. If I were to "rig" an election, I would definitely not make it viewable to the voter! ;)

Re:Statistical improbabilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16677145)

I think it's just more likely the minority party is going to be paranoid and bitch.

Well duh (3, Funny)

nosredna (672587) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676817)

Maybe the machines know that nobody would vote against Christ.

Oh, it's Crist? Hmm... well, it's still 84% of our savior.

*chin stroking* (1)

MrSplog (956424) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676819)

is this not just a case of "if you look hard enough for something, you'll find it"? i'm sure, if they fancied it, they could find a suitable amount of republican supporters who also had similar problems and the article could be twisted that way. don't get me wrong, i'm all in favour of a bit of republican bashing, but i think it's best if we stick to the provable and not resort to Fox News style "some say...".

Nice summary (4, Informative)

Mayhem178 (920970) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676821)

The article summary is misleading in ways that would give CNN a hardon.

It says nothing about why the terminals were malfunctioning, which had everything to do with touch screen calibration (and the need to recalibrate from time to time) and nothing to do with some right-wing conspiracy. In fact, the article implies that it was one machine in particular, not all of them.

Way to spin it to work the /. hordes into a raging frenzy.

Re:Nice summary (1)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677029)

It says nothing about why the terminals were malfunctioning, which had everything to do with touch screen calibration (and the need to recalibrate from time to time) and nothing to do with some right-wing conspiracy. In fact, the article implies that it was one machine in particular, not all of them.

I'm not so sure. While I have not seen the interface in question, every example I've seen of electronic voting machines always employs HUGE buttons on the screen, to minimize this issue. Even if the registration point is off, as long as the button is, say, twice as high as your finger thickness, I can't see an issue.

Way to spin it to work the /. hordes into a raging frenzy.

Maybe - but its just too important to ignore. Any weirdness around voting machines in this US midterm should be heavily scrutinized.

Re:Nice summary (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677123)

which had everything to do with touch screen calibration (and the need to recalibrate from time to time) and nothing to do with some right-wing conspiracy.

It is not rocket science to deduct the machines were intentionally miscalibrated - especially when the producer of voting machines happens to be a republican backing company.

Re:Nice summary (1)

rbochan (827946) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677125)


The article summary is misleading in ways that would give CNN a hardon....


Except that CNN isn't reporting on it. [cnn.com] In fact, about the only references about this issue I've seen about this have been on foreign news sources. The Register is in the UK and another linked video was on a .nl server... [google.com]

Why is it that we in the USA can't get news about what the fuck is happening on our own country except from foreign/tiny news services?

Re:Nice summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16677289)

Because its a non story. I hate republicans, but for the love of god, this doesn't sounds like a lot of evidence.

Funny you mention Florida.... (0, Flamebait)

remove office (871398) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676829)

Incidentally, Florida's Senate race this year is between Democratic incumbent Ben Nelson and Florida Congresswoman Katherine Harris. Harris is of course the former Florida Secretary of State under the President's brother (Governor Jeb Bush), who knocked tens of thousands of African American names off the voter rolls in 2000.

Harris, who has been very vocal in her view that only Christians should be elected to higher office and that anybody who is not a Christian will "legislate sin", however is down by 25 points in the polls behind Nelson (according to an average of the last 5 polls [pollster.com] in the race), and doesn't have a shot in hell of winning... Unless....

If things keep going this way... (1)

Van Cutter Romney (973766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676841)

In 2008 Presidential Elections the machines will read

Please cast your ballot for

1. George W. Bush
2. George W. Bush

Re:If things keep going this way... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676957)

In 2008 Presidential Elections the machines will read
Please cast your ballot for
1. George W. Bush
2. George W. Bush

Which would just go to show how fixed they are, eh? As George W. Bush wouldn't even be running, but his name would still be there because the flash memory conveniently still had these stubborn latent patterns...

Re:If things keep going this way... (1)

Van Cutter Romney (973766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677047)

Genuis!!!!!!

Liberal Vote Counting Procedure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16676845)

1. COUNT (they lose)
2. RECOUNT (they still lose)
3. RECOUNT EVERY SPOILED BALLOT AS DEMOCRAT (they still lose)
4. THROW OUT MILITARY BALLOTS (they still lose)
5. RECOUNT ONLY DEMOCRAT COUNTIES (they still lose)
6. SUE IN COURT (they still lose)
7. DECLARE ELECTION A FRAUD

At any stage where they don't lose, claim victory and declare the election over.

Re:Liberal Vote Counting Procedure (1)

PopeZaphod (651956) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677117)

Conservative Vote Counting Procedure 1. CORRUPT THE SYSTEM EVERY STEP OF THE WAY (they win)

Re:Liberal Vote Counting Procedure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16677143)

You forgot to add: winning party at any step declares mandate, 'the people have spoken'.

Republinazi election rigging procedure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16677241)

1. Redraw democratic districts at the last minute in districts where you're worst off so people won't know where to vote. Poor people don't watch as much TV or drive as much. This'll weed them out.
2. Promise favors to voting machine manufacturers to 'help' them program voting machines.
3. Count votes - notice you lost anyway, in spite of cheating.
4. Make up results so you win.
5. Accuse anyone who calls for a recount a sore loser.
6. If they persist, call them monkeys.
7. If they persist, call them cut-and-run cowards.
8. If they persist, call them liberals.
9. Get some teenage page to suck your dick, and declare the elections over, and that its time to 'move on'.
10. Goto 1.

Not *too* shocking (1)

eserteric (442678) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676861)

Having worked with a few touch-screens I have to admit that problems with the calibration are frequent, and often amplified if the user isn't that technically savvy. When the screen is a little out of synch it's usually easy to tell how (ie: registering a little low), but even when people can clearly see that what's registering is about an inch off of what they're pointing at, they still won't adjust their pointing.

On a side note: what, something built under a government contract having cheap parts? No wai!

So if the dems take the house and possibly senate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16676877)

...will we hear cries of "stolen" elections or will all the hullabaloo suddenly die down.

Re:So if the dems take the house and possibly sena (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16677293)

Given how much that we still hear bitching about the validity JFK's election, it's likely that we will hear those cries loud and long.

Will monitors look into this? (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676891)

With the Justice Department deploying up to 800 monitors in 20 states on election day [go.com] , will they be able to investigate claims such as this?


Unfortunately, from the sound of things, their role will only be involved in voter intimidation or access to polling places.

But wait, good news everybody! Wan Kim, the assistant attorney general for civil rights, has said that people shouldn't be concerned about electronic voting machines. Why? Because many groups have reviewed the machines, including the National Assocation of Secretaries of State.

"Regardless of what machine a voter votes on Election Day -- and there will be dozens and dozens of different type of machines across the country that are being used -- they have confidence that once the results of those elections are certified, you can bet on those results as being correct, because of the safeguards in place."

Hey Kim, why don't you send a few folks down to Florida to see what's going on then come back and say those words with a straight face. It doesn't matter if the votes are certified if the machines didn't record the proper votes in the first place.

So? (5, Funny)

slapout (93640) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676893)

"Florida voters using electronic ballot machines are having persistent problems choosing Democrats in early elections, the Miami Herald reports."

I have trouble voting for Democrats too. :-)

is that so.... (1)

revery (456516) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676905)

"The touch-screen gizmos seem strangely attracted to Republican candidates. One voter needed assistance from an election official, and even then, needed three tries to convince the machine that he wanted to vote for Democrat Jim Davis in the gubernatorial race, not his Republican opponent Charlie Crist.

Well, if that's true, then why aren't Republicans having trouble voting for Republican... oh... never mind.

--
I think I misunderstood the assignment.

Voter fraud is epidemic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16676911)

Slashdot alone has run numerous stories that make it clear that U.S. elections are regularly stolen. We will never have a real presidental election again. Because of human nature, people are oblivous to this and will deny the problem until it is too late.

I don't have time to put up all the stories about election fraud now, but I'll give you my favorite: Gore's negative vote tally in one county. What are your favorite voter fraud stories?

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0310/S00211.htm [scoop.co.nz]

Wonderful (1)

Quantam (870027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676913)

I see this is gonna be another election that'll be decided by the courts (even moreso than the 2000 one)...

If you think (1)

jzuska (65827) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676927)

If you think Voting machines are hackable.

Try hacking one on election day. /see ya in gitmo

Blue map of death. (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676929)

Once they bar the door to Dan Rather, who is trying to get in to show everyone the touch-screen result archives from the 1972 election for comparison, the anchors will watch as the big map of the US goes all blue. They'll quickly get Howard Dean, all screaming with joy, on the video feed for his comments. Then someone looks up at the blue screen and asks "Guys, didn't we just convert this system to Windows?".

my best friend's brother's cuzin's buddy said (2, Insightful)

xzvf (924443) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676937)

The Register read an article at the Miami Herald saying people were having trouble voting. The Miami Herald reported the experience of some (one or two users) and some hearsay about poll workers saying it happens all the time. How about the journalist at the Miami Herald trying to get more information. Both Democrat and Republican reps are at every polling station. Election officials are known people. Other people are voting early. Put some meat on the story.

Be warned. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16676947)

The U.S. government will make every attempt to maintain power in the upcoming election, and they are fully aware that these faulty voting machines are their ticket to remaining in office. If you really think you live in a free country, you need to join the fight against these black-box approaches.

where they actually came from... (1)

Veetox (931340) | more than 7 years ago | (#16676963)

These machines were actually refurberished from old ones used by Sheetz (Or some other gas station with make-your-own-sandwich consoles). They keep selecting bologna for you and end up giving everyone a big pickle...

It's insane (1)

zecg (521666) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677001)

Why would anyone steal the elections by miscalibrating the touchscreen? It shows, it produces news reports, it's messy. The elections can be stolen, it's been demonstrated pretty convincingly, without anyone registering anything. Oh, and this [mac.com] .

Scenario for 2008 presidential elections (1)

Van Cutter Romney (973766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677005)

Message: Please cast your vote for

1. Hillary Clinton
2. Dick Cheney
3. Ralph Nader.

(Voter goes in, selects 'Hillary Clinton')

Message: Thank you for voting for Hillary Clinton

(Voter turns away - goes out of the booth)

Message: Sorry, I'm changing your vote to 'Dick Cheney'. That should be the right choice. Thank you for voting!

Slashdot has official made suck zone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16677009)

I've pretty much given up reading /. lately because it's no longer about news for nerds but a bunch of stupid partisan political crap. I thought I'd give it another chance and this is the first article in the list. It's sad to see another site go to major suckage over this childish junk. I guess another case of Internet entropy slowly reducing the volume of intelligence a site to nothing.

fucked up that decimal point... (1)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677013)

For some reason this reminds me of the movie Office Space. You know the part where he intended to hack the system to put all the little tiny sub-cent transactions into a savings account, but he fucked up and put the decimal point in the wrong place and suddenly they were transferrings hundreds of dollars instead of cents..?

This "changing the votes" thing is just too obvious to have been done on purpose. I bet there was a hack in place to change some of the votes, but someone fucked up and it starting changing WAY too many of the votes and it's become blarringly obvious that there's a something wrong...

Conspiracy Theories Are Getting Tiresome (1)

bugg_tb (581786) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677039)

I'm not American, and yes like a lot of people I'm not George W. fan, but of course once again the conspiracy theories are back in the full swing.

The funny thing is, I wonder how many times the machines have tried to vote the otherway? and of course this has gone unreported because it doesn't fit the bill of being 'good news' and is political scaremongering more than anything else

Let me be the first to say... (1)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677041)

That I live in Florida, you insensitive clods.

Seriously though, these reports have been around locally for a couple of days. What I find interesting though, is that they invariably are from Democrats saying their votes were changed when they checked the summary prior to submitting. There's not one report of a Republican having the same problem that I've heard of yet. So should I take my tin foil hat with me to the polls this year, or not? I'm really, really hoping we're not going to be the laughing stock of the entire world again this year, but I have serious doubts. This used to be a great place to live.

Texas (1)

GregVernon (980273) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677075)

The same thing is happening in texas. News Report [kfdm.com]

And this is the Republicans' fault how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16677087)

The article (and summary) makes it sound like a huge conspiracy... until you read deeper and find that the touch screens are getting out of alignment.

Obligatory Shenanigans (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677105)

I swear to God I'm going to pistol whip the next guy who says, "Shenanigans."

Hey Farva what's the name of that restaurant you like with all the goofy shit on the walls and the mozzarella sticks?

Republican confidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16677111)

This is why George Bush and Carl Rove are confident that they will keep the House and Senate.

Futurama, anyone? (1)

AikonMGB (1013995) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677129)

VM: "You have selected: Democrat!"

You: "No, I didn't!!"

"I'm almost positive, you did!"

Aikon-

They're after me Lucky Stars! (1)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677137)

Shenanigans?

I'll be grabbin' my shillelagh, sure and begorrah!

*Dances a jig*

Democrats are behind this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16677219)

This is a conspiracy BY the Democrats. Think about it, any vote rigging this obvious would (and did) get caught, so it makes no sense that the Republicans would be this blatant. This is a perfect way for the Democrats to claim they've been defrauded and attempt to nullify any vote where they don't win. Follow the "money" - this is an attempt to discredit and/or question any Republican win by making it appear the vote is rigged against them.

Hugo Chavez might win for Governor... (1)

dtjohnson (102237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677225)



Maybe the Diebold's keep bringing up Republicans but I'll bet that the Sequoia [nytimes.com]
electronic voting machines keep showing 'H. Chavez' for every
choice.

Same thing going on in Texas (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677291)

Here is an article in a local Texas newspaper discussing the same thing happening in a small town in Texas. Texas, being mostly republican, might have been a 'test' case. Texan article [kfdm.com]

I still don't understand this (1)

Morinaga (857587) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677309)

I still don't understand why there's a push to go to an electronic voting system. Why not use touch screen voting machines to print paper voting records. You can then verify your vote and you have a physical document for recounts. No fucking chads, no conspiracy theories, handicap friendly, and it encourages the voter to double-check their entries. It's an effort to go from the horse drawn carraige to teleportation. Let's not try to make the quantum leap and stick with a god damn car.
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