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Diebold Admits Ohio Machines May Lose Votes

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the i-didn't-do-it-nobody-saw-me-you-can't-prove-anything dept.

Security 502

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Premier Election Solutions (a subsidiary of Diebold) has acknowledged a flaw that causes the systems to lose votes. It cannot be patched before the election and the machines are used in half of Ohio's counties, but they are issuing guidelines for avoiding the problem that presumably contain a work-around. While Diebold initially blamed anti-virus software for the glitch, they have now discovered that the bug was their own fault for not recording votes to memory when the cards are uploaded in 'certain circumstances' — something their initial analysis missed. It would be nice to hope that Ohio poll workers would be tech-savvy enough to make this a non-issue, but they had poll worker shortages last year and might need tech-savvy people to volunteer."

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Open Voting (5, Interesting)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707423)

It is at this point that I would normally point people to the Open Voting Consortium [openvoting.org] , but unless I'm missing something, the project stalled some time back in 2006 [sourceforge.net] . Yet they're still taking donations...

Am I missing something or is it time for a fork? Because I think we definitely need an open, easily verifiable voting system.

I don't even think it needs to be a LiveCD as the current project seems to have. What is so difficult about making a paper trail?

Re:Open Voting (4, Informative)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707633)

I'd point people to take it up with their representatives and other relevant politicians or even picketing to bring attention their cause. Unfortunately the politicians are in on it and the picketing is now only permitted in "Free Speech Zones" and may end you up in jail after crooked judges who still sit on the bench after multiple infractions eliminating due process [lazylightning.org] agree with the government that you are a terrorist.

So, just suck it up and let the assholes win while we all fucking suffer. Global Warming is a fucking threat? Please.

Re:Open Voting (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24707751)

This is why we have guns.

Re:Open Voting (-1, Flamebait)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707821)

Oh yes, I forgot, the all famous Second Amendment which stopped being relevant once we had a standing army with huge guns. Rise up people, rise up and die for your cause that will be largely ignored by the rest of the world and your countrymen because they just don't care.

Re:Open Voting (5, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 6 years ago | (#24708047)

Well the only real threat of an armed rebellion is when enough people are unhappy about enough things that they're willing to risk dying. The 2nd amendment exists for that cause. One person is a criminal, 10 people are a conspiracy, thousands is a revolt.

I personally think it's fixable with less extreme measures, but it may entail a bit more suffering before enough people have visibility that there's a problem.

Most of the country hasn't seen electronic voting machines (yet). Wait till we stand in line and watch them crash, or behave strangely, or visibly ignore input. Wait till the popular candidate mysteriously loses. No one needs to die for this, it just needs to APPEAR to fail one time.

Re:Open Voting (3, Informative)

AlamedaStone (114462) | more than 6 years ago | (#24708129)

The tree of liberty needs to be watered by what again? Is it hugs and puppies, safe in their comfy beds? I can't quite remember.

Re:Open Voting (5, Insightful)

the kostya (1277822) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707905)

Yep, if I am not mistaken, the right to bear arms is in the Bill of Rights so that the government will not be able to silence the will of the people and so that if the government gets screwy, we can have another revolution.

Re:Open Voting (2, Interesting)

strelitsa (724743) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707669)

"What is so difficult about making a paper trail?"

AFAIK, the legal fiction behind not providing a paper trail to end users is to prevent your boss or other nefarious authority figure(s) from having an easy way of confirming how you voted. IOW, boss generously allows you time off work to go vote but demands to see your voting slip to prove that you actually went, sees that you didn't vote for his brother-in-law running for dogcatcher as instructed, and cans you as a result.

Re:Open Voting (5, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707737)

That's not what's meant by "voter verifiable". The printed slip shows that you voted and for whom, but you put the slip into an actual ballot before you leave the station. That way, if the electronic result is questioned, the ballots can be counted by hand.

Obviously, we don't want to go back before an anonymous ballot system and the corruption that happened back then.

Re:Open Voting (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#24708133)

the other half of this is to make it harder to sell your vote. You cannot buy someone's vote reliably unless they can somehow prove to you that they voted the way you told them to. No paper trail means you can accept money to vote one way, really vote another way, and the briber has no way to tell the difference.

Re:Open Voting (2, Interesting)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707681)

When Sangamon County got the new (non-diebold) nachines, I was pleased that the machine spit out an actual paper ballot with human-readable votes.

Last election (primaries this year) the ballit was not human readable. I wonder why they changed it. Of course, this IS Illinois, where we're so patriotic that even being dead doesn't stop us from voting.

There is no reason or excuse to not have human-readable paper ballots.

Re:Open Voting (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24708035)

OVC is still alive, and showed up at the Linuxworld conference with a demo. They do, however, desperately need donations.

Re:Open Voting (-1, Flamebait)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 6 years ago | (#24708037)

I'm all for open source, but the failure of the open source community to produce a viable source of voting machines has really disappointed me. It just goes to show that there are limits to open source. I will use this example to tell some freetards to shut up as appropriate.

Re:Open Voting (3, Informative)

syphax (189065) | more than 6 years ago | (#24708107)

OVC is very much in operation!

Read the blog posts on the site to get a sense of what they are up to. I don't know why the Sourceforge stuff isn't current; they are actively developing.

It's very much a shoestring operation; why not throw 'em $5-10?

"Flaw" or (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24707433)

Design?

If the U.S. Senate and House Judiciary Committees can't stop BushCo, maybe the Russians can.

Re:"Flaw" or (1, Redundant)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707765)

Obligatory XKCD reference: http://xkcd.com/463/ [xkcd.com]

Re:"Flaw" or (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707829)

That was one of the links in the summary....

Re:"Flaw" or (4, Funny)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 6 years ago | (#24708019)

That was one of the links in the summary....

In the what?

This is what we call a (0)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707441)

SURPRISE!

Re:This is what we call a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24708041)

Hehehe... I just read this quote somewhere, but can't remember where.

"There are two types of surprises: Birthday and Pearl Harbor. Guess which one this is?"

Pen and Paper (5, Insightful)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707447)

I recommend returning to Pen and Paper voting, and then using those paper ballots to vote out the officials who had paid to bring in these obviously inferior devices for wasting tax payer dollars.

Re:Pen and Paper (1, Insightful)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707583)

Might I recommend that we use blank ballots? Create pads of ballots in a similar way to how NY state deals with prescription pads for doctors. They are numbered and contain a few anti-tamper mechanisms (so no swapping amoxacillin for morphine). You register, and you get your ballot that simply has the offices that are up for election this time. Then you have to write in the name of the candidate you want for each office. No pre-entered names, no 'vote the party' options. But that would probably be too simple, and too fair. (And far too immune to tampering by the existing parties)

Re:Pen and Paper (2, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707607)

They've thought of that, but no one could figure out what to do when "Mickey Mouse" won the Presidency, so the idea was abandoned.

Shismar for President! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24707777)

Your Mickey Mouse is one big stupid dope!

Re:Pen and Paper (3, Funny)

BrotherBeal (1100283) | more than 6 years ago | (#24708039)

Obviously they extend copyright 4 more years.

Re:Pen and Paper (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707853)

It might even persuade future pupils to pay attention during penmanship lessons.

Blown way out of proportion (4, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707453)

Get over it folks! It will only drop votes for Democrats. So clearly this is an isolated bug.

Ohio is the next Florida? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24707465)

Only now you can't actually SEE the chads hanging

Re:Ohio is the next Florida? (3, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707531)

Ohio already had its chance to be Florida back in 2004. Those two states need to stop hogging the spotlight and let a lesser-known state be Florida for once. I nominate New Mexico.

Proud? (4, Insightful)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707467)

How much more do we, Americans, have to take before we take action?

They might as well have said, "Admittedly, we failed at not only our most important task, but our only task: Preserve and Continue Democracy."

Personally, I protest weekly in my town.. but when will we get riots in the streets.. the ones you'd expect from those good ol' freedom loving Americans? Are they too busy listening to the "proud to be an american" song to actually be an american? It's not just a status, it's not juts a privilage, it's a responsibility.

I'm dissapointed that this is on the front page of slashdot, and tomorrow, will be off the front page of slashdot, and that's all the waves it will create. I'm not proud, I'm ashamed of my country.

I stopped going to church because the people who went were too busy feeling good going to church to actually do good things.

Re:Proud? (1)

cosinezero (833532) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707945)

Care to propose an action that we haven't tried?

Re:Proud? (1, Insightful)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 6 years ago | (#24708061)

You seem to think ballot voting was more reliable before electronic voting. I'll grant you that electronic voting has the potential to forge votes more easily (...if (Gore) then (Bush)...), but there has always been issues with large numbers of people voting: stuffed boxes, lost boxes, poor counting, false counting. When you think of what's at stake (leader of the free world), you'll realize that some people will do whatever it takes to get their person elected.

That being said, stay angry, keep your protests going, and we'll all try to get something for the better.

LEAKED: Source code of innocent bug (5, Funny)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707471)

Turns out Diebold accidentally leaked a snippet of their C# source code that shows the conditions that the machines may fail to register votes:

if(vote.Party == "Democrat" && democratvotes % 3)
democratvotes++;

Oopsie!

Re:LEAKED: Source code of innocent bug (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707547)

if(vote.Party == "Democrat" && democratvotes % 3)
    democratvotes++;

Either there has to be a second place where democratvotes is incremented or no Democrat would get more than three votes per voting machine. I'd think both would be a design problem, regardless of the coder's intent.

Re:LEAKED: Source code of innocent bug (2, Funny)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707609)

Hey, I said it was a snippet that was leaked!

Don't blame me - I actually took 5 minutes to write up a whole function only to discover the stupid Slashdot filter won't let you post source code (Use less funny characters it tells you).

So I had to greatly (and I mean greatly) abbreviate the joke. Now that I've explained it, I'm sure it's 100x funnier.

This new comment system is really messing with my head. I need to sign off now. Can we go back to Slashdot 2005?

There was a poll... (2, Funny)

RingDev (879105) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707969)

To go back to the 2005 /. layout.

The majority of the local population here voted for the current version.

Oddly though, just shy of 2/3rds of /. users didn't vote...

-Rick

Re:There was a poll... (1)

Spleen (9387) | more than 6 years ago | (#24708139)

Actually the poll system just "lost" the 2005 votes.

Re:LEAKED: Source code of innocent bug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24707637)

They'd never get more than 1 vote, assuming it was initialized to zero. ;-)

Re:LEAKED: Source code of innocent bug (0, Offtopic)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707745)

You mean they'd never get one vote, and you're right.

Re:LEAKED: Source code of innocent bug (0, Offtopic)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707867)

They'd never get more than 1 vote, assuming it was initialized to zero. ;-)

0 % 3 == 0, correct? If it were initialized to zero, it would stay at zero. Unless in C# 0==true.

Re:LEAKED: Source code of innocent bug (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707571)

So it never increments if democratvotes == 0? Give them credit for more subtlety than that.

Re:LEAKED: Source code of innocent bug (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707595)

What if democratvotes was a pointer?

That would mean that some machines wouldn't register democrat votes, right?

Re:LEAKED: Source code of innocent bug (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707999)

I don't think C# has pointers per se

Re:LEAKED: Source code of innocent bug (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707797)

Only on Slashdot would you not only get a joke written in C#, but also multiple replies complaining that it's not technically sound.

Re:LEAKED: Source code of innocent bug (1)

filterban (916724) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707933)

And just think... you aren't even counting the problem with the non-atomic increment losing votes if multiple threads execute it at the same time!

The horror!

The circumstances? (5, Funny)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707479)

Don't blame me, I voted for a';DROP TABLE users; SELECT * FROM data WHERE name LIKE '%.

Re:The circumstances? (4, Funny)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707519)

Well geez, you could at least have inserted yourself as the winning candidate.

*sigh* Supervillainy doesn't have the same draw it used to...

Re:The circumstances? (5, Funny)

Monsieur Canard (766354) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707723)

Oh man, you missed a prime opportunity for a Little Bobby Tables reference.

http://xkcd.com/327/ [xkcd.com]

Tea Party redux (5, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707489)

but they had poll worker shortages last year and might need tech-savvy people to volunteer.

Want to really help? "Accidentally" run over the crate of voting machines, or allow it to fall off a bridge into a deep river. Do democracy a favor and destroy these abominations, you tech-savvy butterfingers!

Re:Tea Party redux (4, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707601)

Want to really help? "Accidentally" run over the crate of voting machines, or allow it to fall off a bridge into a deep river. Do democracy a favor and destroy these abominations, you tech-savvy butterfingers!

Ahem... before the election.

Re:Tea Party redux (5, Insightful)

sp332 (781207) | more than 6 years ago | (#24708011)

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE

Serves: 1 precinct

Things you will need:
at least one day off work
money for fines
a destructive device (something small, like a ball-peen hammer, is recommended)

1. Go to the polls as early as possible. Try to be one the the first voters.
2. Ensure that the polling place has enough reserve paper ballots on hand, or can easily obtain them in time.
3. Disable the polling machines. One or two well-placed hits from a hammer should do.
        Act quickly to get them all before you are stopped.
4. Cooperate with any police officers who arrive. You may be treated roughly. Do not put up a fight at this point.
        You will almost certainly go to jail for some time, from hours to days, depending on circumstances.
5. If there is any media present, let them know what you did and *why* you did it.
        Try not to come off as a raving loony. Practice in front of a mirror is recommended.

Voting boths (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707495)

You mean the 120 years young old lady working at the polling station can't help circumvent a software glitch with a viable workaround? /sarcasm

I love software, but for voting it sucks. Software has bugs; bugs require identification and workaround. The voting system in the USA (as opposed to a place like Canada) is not built for workarounds or second trys.

Plus the whole partisan from Diebold's CEO issue is spooky anyway. Down with E-voting!

why do these machines remain certified? (5, Interesting)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707517)

Please, someone give me a reasonable explanation as to why these machines remained certified for the last 8 years despite all this crap?

Re:why do these machines remain certified? (5, Informative)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707643)

Corruption.

(Was that obvious?)

Re:why do these machines remain certified? (5, Insightful)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707877)

It has to be corruption. I mean, damn, the cheapest shareware author from the early 90's would be ashamed to ship something this spectacularly screwed up. It's got to do ONE simple, straight forward job. There are NO corner cases. There are NO race conditions. There is NO need for parallel execution. It is the simplest transactional system that one anyone could devise. And yet, it DROPS DATA !?! Get the F*** outta here!!

This cannot be explained by incompetence or stupidity. The ONLY explanation is outright corruption.

Re:why do these machines remain certified? (4, Interesting)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 6 years ago | (#24708069)

It's got to do ONE simple, straight forward job. There are NO corner cases. There are NO race conditions. There is NO need for parallel execution. It is the simplest transactional system that one anyone could devise.

Playing Devil's Advocate here, but wouldn't a voting machine be a perfect example for a possible race condition?

Scenario: Both Voter 1 and Voter 2 choose Obama.
Vote machine 1 reads current number of votes: 10
Vote machine 2 reads current number of votes: 10
Voter 1 and Voter 2 both cast their ballots for Obama simultaneously.
Vote machine 1 writes new vote tally for Obama: 11.
Vote machine 1 writes new vote tally for Obama: 11.

So, instead of receiving 2 votes, Obama is only credited for 1.

I'm just saying, almost ANYTHING can be explained by incompetence or stupidity.

But, my vote's with you. Corruption.

Re:why do these machines remain certified? (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 6 years ago | (#24708143)

I've got to agree. I'm not the best programmer in the bunch when it comes to local apps. I'm not awful, but I couldn't even come close with the folks who code FireFox, Linux, etc. Still, even I could design/write a simple system that would count votes. Give me some extra time and money (and perhaps a semi-talented staff) and I could reasonably secure the system.

Offhand, since I'm a web programmer, I'm thinking some kind of web based system running off of a VPN with all other Internet access blocked. Have the votes stored in a central database which is routinely backed up and contains an audit trail in case things go funky. Now who wants to give me a few million to build this system for them? ;-)

Re:why do these machines remain certified? (4, Insightful)

neoform (551705) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707899)

diebold assured us that there were no problem..

a position they've now changed and will not be punished for.

Jennifer Brunner.. (1)

digital bath (650895) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707527)

..your website layout is a tragedy from 1998.

seriously, though, the last time I saw a layout that used that many pictures inside of HTML Table elements was on a porn site.

Ohio requires partisan poll workers (5, Interesting)

stinerman (812158) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707535)

I'd be more than happy to be a poll worker (I'd even forfeit my salary to be one), except for the simple fact that one has to be a registered Democrat or Republican to be a poll worker in Ohio, which requires a statement made under penalty of election falsification (a felony) that you do indeed agree with the principles of the party and desire to be affiliated with them.

As I do not support the principles of either major party nor do I wish to be affiliated with either one, I cannot be a poll worker unless I commit a felony (which would probably bar me from being a poll worker).

Now, I'm obviously going a bit overboard here. No one really cares if you lie about your partisan identification. Republicans crossed over like crazy in the primary to vote for Clinton, but no one ever got arrested for it. In any case, I take such oaths seriously, so I can't be a poll worker.

Re:Ohio requires partisan poll workers (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707685)

Wow, that's a horrible law. Actually cutting someone completely out of the democratic process because they don't have a popular belief. That's getting dangerously close to fascism.

Re:Ohio requires partisan poll workers (2, Informative)

dhovis (303725) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707857)

It is also not true. Check my other reply for a link to the requirements.

Re:Ohio requires partisan poll workers (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707859)

Being a poll worker is not, nor has it ever been, an integral part of the democratic process. You are guaranteed a right to vote, a right to have that vote faithfully counted (every Diebold machine ought to be incinerated at 4000F) and the right not to have your vote diluted by fraudulent votes. No one in their right mind would assert that every citizen has the right to monitor the polls as an official poll worker.

Re:Ohio requires partisan poll workers (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707995)

every Diebold machine ought to be incinerated at 4000F

That's a bit extreme. I'm sure those machines could be parted out and reused for other, less crucial tasks.

Now, if you said that every Diebold executive ought to be incinerated at 4000F, I could agree with you.

Re:Ohio requires partisan poll workers (2, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707873)

Actually the idea behind the law is a pretty good one.
It is so that you have representatives of both parties at the polling places.
It is an attempt to prevent wrong doing. Imagine if you had only democrats or only Republicans working at any location? The requirement for saying that you fully support the party is so that people can not stack the deck with fake party members. Well you can still lie but the idea is to have have some balance.
And you don't have to be a member of any party to vote. Just to be a poll worker.
Not a perfect system or law by any stretch but the intentions are good and it is no where as evil as it looks at first sight.

Re:Ohio requires partisan poll workers (1)

niteice (793961) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707791)

Interesting. Here in Connecticut you're required to declare impartiality.

Not a problem (2, Funny)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707823)

which requires a statement made under penalty of election falsification (a felony) that you do indeed agree with the principles of the party and desire to be affiliated with them.

Just lie and pick a party. By lying, you are in fact following the principles of either party. Problem solved!

Re:Ohio requires partisan poll workers (2, Informative)

dhovis (303725) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707841)

I'd be more than happy to be a poll worker (I'd even forfeit my salary to be one), except for the simple fact that one has to be a registered Democrat or Republican to be a poll worker in Ohio,

No they don't. You just have to be a registered voter.

Brochure from the Ohio SOS office. [state.oh.us]

Re:Ohio requires partisan poll workers (3, Interesting)

stinerman (812158) | more than 6 years ago | (#24708023)

No.

ORC 3501.22(A) [ohio.gov] , to wit:

[...] The judges shall constitute the election officers of the precinct. Not more than one-half of the total number of judges shall be members of the same political party. The term of such precinct officers shall be for one year. The board may, at any time, designate any number of election officers, not more than one-half of whom shall be members of the same political party, to perform their duties at any precinct in any election. The board may appoint additional officials, equally divided between the two major political parties, when necessary to expedite voting.

I've tried on several occasions and have been turned away each time because I refuse to register as either a Democrat or Republican.

You should also read the brochure. It has a space for party affiliation. As I said previously, the "oath requirement" enforcement is incredibly lax, so incredibly lax that the SoS didn't even bother to point out that it is one of the qualifications under law.

Not 100% accurate---the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24707577)

This story is not entirely true. I went to 3 election polling stations and each had a technical person on staff. Also, would this glitch mean we can protest the overwhelming victory the Democrats had? Shall we demand a recount and invalidate the Democrats win?

windows? (2, Interesting)

chibiace (898665) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707579)

why is this thing running windows? anti virus software, come on guys.. will never get anywhere unless you start out right.

Re:windows? (2, Interesting)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707913)

why is this thing running windows? anti virus software, come on guys.. will never get anywhere unless you start out right.

Do you know the source to your compiler? Do you know the source of the compiler used to compile your compiler [bell-labs.com] ? Ad infinitum?

Re:windows? (2, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707941)

While your post is full of silly anti-windows feelings it does raise a valid point.
ANTI-VIRUS? what the heck. This should be locked down and require signed binaries! What are they going to do surf myspace and run incredamail on these things!
Please this should be a secure embedded system and not a PC.
Not only that why not run QNX or even VMS on these things? both are a lot more secure than Windows and I would bet VMS is beats Linux and even OpenBSD for security.

Volunteers (3, Insightful)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707603)

Actually, I was thinking tech-savvy volunteers would be more tempted to fix the elections when Diebold machines are used.

Fix? (2, Funny)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707891)

Actually, I was thinking tech-savvy volunteers would be more tempted to fix the elections when Diebold machines are used.

What do you mean by fix ?

I can just see it now, a miracle happens and Barr (L) wins the Presidency!

let's go back to chads, please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24707617)

At least they can be recounted/inspected by hand!

I'm sure it will only drop votes (0, Flamebait)

PrimeWaveZ (513534) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707653)

In Democrat-heavy districts. After all, these things are created to benefit the evil evil Republicans.

All or just some? (3, Interesting)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707663)

Unfortunately, the way the US elections are managed, we can have some type of "instant results" from voting machines or we can just let the TV News announce a winner based on exit polls and the like.

One way or the other, there will be results announced the night of the election. There is just too much ad money riding on the election coverage. It has to be relevent. And by relevent, I mean a winner has to be announced. Period.

They announced Gore as the winner in 2000. We're still getting over that. What happens this year if they announce Obama as the winner and then on Thursday the announcement comes out that, well, really, after counting all the votes for real it looks like McCain won? What do you think will happen?

Re:All or just some? (1)

the kostya (1277822) | more than 6 years ago | (#24708147)

Obama will be the winner since McCain will be forced to drop out to save face. It happens in every election. When the exit polls call an election unwinalbe, the loser drops out.

This is positive spin? (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707665)

But Premier spokesman Chris Riggall said the programming problem had gone undetected after years of use and both federal and state testing. He stressed that the systems are secure in conjunction with other election safeguards in place.

So they have been malfunctioning for years and this is supposed to be a good thing?

"Secure" is not the same as "counts correctly". Besides which, anyone who reads Ed Felten's blog knows that the "other election safeguards" are frequently not implemented properly.

We need tech-savvy election boards (1)

organized (1000559) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707673)

Our county in Illinois uses both optical scan machines and touch-screen voting machines. I asked the election commission via its website what plans there are to handle a case where the electronic voting machine returns more votes than there are registered voters. The reply was that since they test for all possibilities this would not happen. (Sigh.)

"certain circumstances" (1)

snarfies (115214) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707693)

Would those "'certain circumstances" be "over 50% non-republican votes?"

Tech staff influencing the results? (1)

MDMurphy (208495) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707695)

While it sounds good that a properly trained tech person at the polling places can reduce the chance of the lost votes by following the workaround, it also means that they can make it happen.

If someone were so inclined, and in precints that were predominantly "the other side", intentionally doing the action that causes votes to be dropped might shave a few points from that party.

The existance of procedures that can trigger vote loss should be sufficient to toss the machines.

An easy fix (1)

RemoWilliams84 (1348761) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707705)

Why don't we all just gather in washington for the election and we'll all put our heads on our desks and someone will count hands raised as the candidates names are called out.

Please Volunteer (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707711)

to hepl with elections, they're important.
Yeah, I know we are all busy with out lives. Make time.

Plus Volunteering looks good on a resume.

'certain circumstances' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24707727)

they have now discovered that the bug was their own fault for not recording votes to memory when the cards are uploaded in 'certain circumstances'

Let me guess, those certain circumstances just happen to correspond to polling results by district as shown in these maps [iwantmyvote.com] .

need an anonymous audit trail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24707763)

"votes in at least 11 counties had been dropped in recent elections."

They built a system without an auditable result so we don't know which way they voted.

XKCD beat /. to the punch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24707801)

http://xkcd.com/463/

Good news, though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24707835)

They only lose Democratic votes, and those are worthless anyhow! No worries.

And whaddaya bet... (1)

brianeisley (1057920) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707845)

...that by some amazing coincidence, the lost votes will be all Democratic?

I challenge anyone to find a single "error" in a voting machine that resulted in a lost Republican vote. Funny how that happens.

Someone should flip the 120 / 220 switch to 220 an (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707849)

Someone should flip the 120 / 220 switch to 220 and force them to go to back up system. Having all the machines not working is better then having them half work and lose votes.

Courts decide? (1)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707959)

Then no one votes and I guess the courts would decide. The courts who are filled with many Bush appointees. What could possibly go wrong?

Cannot be patched before election day? (3, Funny)

rpillala (583965) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707961)

I thought they had staff dedicated to this, like the CEO.

Don't Do It (2, Insightful)

dcollins (135727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24707977)

If I was a tech-savvy worker in Ohion, I'd run for the hills before volunteering to be legally responsible, or associated in any way, with these buggy voting machine known to malfunction and dump votes.

Although the guy above with the Boston-tea-party-throw-them-from-a-bridge-accidentally had a really good idea, you don't need to be tech-savvy for that (well, other than working knowledge of the theory of gravity)

How hard is it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24707985)

to make a voting machine that works? It's not like they're simulating a nuclear explosion or something.

I'm Glad Liberals Suspect Electronic Voting (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 6 years ago | (#24708085)

As a conservative, I've always been suspect of liberals trying to fix the vote too (esp. the dead vote). So let's get rid of all of this and try to have fair elections.

Certain Circumstances (5, Funny)

Kaptain Kruton (854928) | more than 6 years ago | (#24708091)

While Diebold initially blamed anti-virus software for the glitch, they have now discovered that the bug was their own fault for not recording votes to memory when the cards are uploaded in 'certain circumstances'

"Certain circumstances" -- a.k.a "voting"

No, not at all (1)

zegota (1105649) | more than 6 years ago | (#24708121)

"Certain circumstances" - voting for a Democrat.

Obama can fix it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24708125)

I had this great joke about how Obama could rig the election but I don't think it is appropriate.

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