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Voting Drops 83 Percent In All-Digital Election

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the people-like-paper dept.

Government 156

For the first time ever, Oahu residents had to use their phones or computers to vote with some surprising results. 7,300 people voted this year, compared to 44,000 people the previous year, a drop of about 83 percent. "It is disappointing, compared to two years ago. This is the first time there is no paper ballot to speak of. So again, this is a huge change and I know that, and given the budget, this is a best that we could do," said Joan Manke of the city Neighborhood Commission. She added that voters obviously did not know about or did not embrace the changes.

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156 comments

A wild Manke appears! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28143841)

No comment

Watch this method (1)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28143881)

Now get universal promotion.

Finally (4, Funny)

Suiggy (1544213) | more than 5 years ago | (#28143843)

We need more all-digital elections. I don't trust people who are not intelligent enough to use a computer to be informed enough to vote in my jurisdiction.

Re:Finally (3, Insightful)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28143891)

There is a large part of the population who don't know how to use a computer, but are extremely intelligent and informed. The only person some people don't know how to use a computer is because they were around far before computers and never learned to use them. AKA The elderly.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28144713)

are you a moron? the vast majority of people (yes even old folk!) know how to fucking using a computer these days. it isnt 1988

Re:Finally (4, Insightful)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 5 years ago | (#28145181)

the vast majority of people (yes even old folk!) know how to fucking using a computer these days. it isnt 1988

But many otherwise very intelligent people find that they cannot understand them. Sometimes it's just that they have no confidence with computers or believe that they cannot use them. In other cases perhaps the need or the interest has never been there. Most people, even very intelligent people, have a 'blind spot' - a subject or activity they find difficult or even mind-numbingly overwhelming.

Eg. I can read and write in ancient Hebrew and Greek, was described as 'brilliant' while studying and am often asked for help in various areas due to my ability to just pick things up on the run and teach/explain/do whatever is required. When I started my own business however I ran into my nemesis. Accounting. It took me over a month to get my head around the basics. Longer still to start to understand my accounting software. Don't know if I'll ever get past the basics with it cos I seriously find it hard to understand.

So I don't give people who don't understand computers a hard time. Most people can send emails and write a text document. Surfing the web is also pretty common. Internet banking is a bonus. If that is all they need, that is all that most people will ever learn and that is ok. When they need something else, they ring me and pay me $60 an hour as a tech. I don't mind at all!

Re:Finally (2, Interesting)

sgbett (739519) | more than 5 years ago | (#28145517)

You might not get past the basics - but at least you learned the basics. The thing with 'the basics' is that anybody who is smart can learn 'the basics' in pretty much any field.

With IT though there is this weird thing where people seem to think it is perfectly OK to simply claim "I'm not very good with computers", and not even bother to try and get any further.

I don't think that's a blind spot. Nobody is asking them to write a perl regex to validate an email address.

I agree with you (and I actually think technically you agreed with the parent) *most* people do get the basics. I would seriously question the motives of those who *choose* not to get the basics.

Re:Finally (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28145209)

I have relatives who were around in World War 2 and they seem to have learned how to use a computer just fine. People who are resistant to change are the problem, not the elderly.

Re:Finally (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#28145641)

Resistant to change? How about lack of opportunity and justification?

I know people who were never rich enough to buy a computer and grew up in a time when then didn't need one. I also know these same people who don't have a justification for spending $5-600 or even thousands of dollars for a computer that they obviously don't need. Would you call these people resistant to change or just practical and prudent with their finances?

Just because you have a use for one doesn't mean everyone does or will.

Re:Finally (1)

EdZ (755139) | more than 5 years ago | (#28143899)

It sounds great, until you realise that the system will likely be about as secure as a wet paper bag. Or that ballot-stuffing is now easier for, say, 4chan.

Re:Finally (1)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28143955)

Voting Machines and Paper Ballots can be manipulated just as easily as internet packets. Watch the documentary Hacking America, you will see what I mean. The voting machines were rigged in many states and gave Bush the election.

Re:Finally (2, Insightful)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144121)

The advantage voting machines and paper ballots have isn't that they can't be rigged, it's that they are easier to audit. Auditing an electronic vote requires that the audit trail was built in in the first place, and that the auditors are tech people of skill equal to or greater than the people who created the system in the first place.

Auditing a paper ballot can be done by anyone who managed to pass math through middle school. (Assuming the ballot wasn't designed by idiots. And even then it only takes a little more skill to decide how to handle edge cases.)

Re:Finally (0, Troll)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 5 years ago | (#28145025)

The voting machines were rigged in many states and gave Bush the election.

Yeah, that's why the Republicans won in a landslide again in 2008. The system is totally rigged. You so smart.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28145131)

He was referring to the rigged 2000 election, where the office was stolen from President-Elect Gore.

Re:Finally (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 5 years ago | (#28145795)

The R's knew they were going to lose in 2008 by too large a margin to safely get away with rigging the election so they didn't try. Maybe they should have tried in Minnesota (Coleman vs. Franken).

Re:Finally (2, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144955)

In before Rick Astley becomes President of Oahu. :)

Re:Finally (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28143977)

I don't trust people who are not intelligent enough to use a computer to be informed enough to vote in my jurisdiction.

Not to mention the candidates. However, it poses one significant abuse vector: you can't predict the number of votes by counting the people who show up anymore.

How do we know there weren't more votes for the losing candidate?

Quite the opposite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28144081)

.. TFS says they were allowing voting by phone. Personally, I'd like to see them discount anything coming in from your typical slack-jawed cellphone addicted cretin. Either that or require them to enter the whole name of the candidate to get rid of the lol crowd.

Intelligence has nothing to do with it... (4, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | more than 5 years ago | (#28145667)

Why should someone have to pay for technology in order to vote?

I (and you, apparently) am fortunate enough to have both phone and Internet access, but there are many citizens who don't. Homeless people have the right to vote, too, without having to seek out some technological proxy.

If this ever hits my area, I'll look forward to writing off my Internet access and computer costs when I do my taxes.

Finally, if you're "intelligent" enough to hang around /., you should already be aware of all the security implications involved with voting-by-wire.

Re:Finally (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 5 years ago | (#28145767)

I know perfectly well how to use a computer but if this was an election I could vote in I would have refused to use any balloting system that doesn't produce a hardcopy ballot that I could hold in my hand and personally verify. Voting is too important (although maybe not in this particular election for a neighborhood association) to allow use of a method that is so easily hacked. If I was in this jurisdiction I would file suit to force them to prove that the voting was secure, capable of being accurately counted and recounted and private. No voting over phone lines or the internet can be guaranteed to be private unless perhaps you're using NSA level encryption devices on both ends and even then I'd be suspicious.

Re:Finally (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#28146367)

We need more all-digital elections. I don't trust people who are not intelligent enough to use a computer to be informed enough to vote in my jurisdiction.

This should be modded insightful; not funny.

You're Doing It Wrong (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28143853)

7,300 people voted this year, compared to 44,000 people the previous year, a drop of about 83 percent.

If all you're concerned about is number of votes, put each candidate on prime time television belting out the worst songs they can think of. Then instruct viewers to vote with their cell phones. Don't forget to charge them 99 cents a call and limit them to 10 votes ... the populace seems to love that.

Granted, they might not be the best candidate for the position, there will be 10 million votes and you'll have a $9.9 million surplus to decide what to do with. On top of that, your elected official will be able to sing "Oops, I Did It Again" by Britney Spears whenever they screw anything up.

Re:You're Doing It Wrong (1)

arevos (659374) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144537)

If all you're concerned about is number of votes, put each candidate on prime time television belting out the worst songs they can think of.

I'm trying to find something wrong with your suggestion, and not succeeding. Gentlemen, if there is such thing as a perfect plan, this is it. Please moderate him insightful.

Don't feel too bad. (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28143855)

Not a real big loss. After all, democracy doesn't really work anyway, just like all those other systems of government.

Re:Don't feel too bad. (1)

spaceyhackerlady (462530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144341)

After all, democracy doesn't really work anyway...

Democracy is a fine system, for beginners.

...laura

Re:Don't feel too bad. (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144661)

Actually Totalitarians run a pretty good Gov't system. Too bad about the whole equal rights thing and the way Democracies love to liberate people and stuff. I mean hey, that Stalin guy was a bit of a dick but don't nobody say he didn't know how to run a country.

Oahu? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28143859)

Re:Oahu? (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 5 years ago | (#28146123)

The Gathering Place?

No faith (3, Interesting)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#28143861)

Or they had just heard about how abysmally inaccurate previous all-digital elections had been and figured, "why bother?" I can't say that I blame them. I would probably have a similar attitude. What's the point of voting if you have no faith in the accuracy of the results?

Re:No faith (2, Informative)

getuid() (1305889) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144549)

(I'm the one vote you -1 flamebait -- sorry, was an accident, slipped on the mouse. Hope me posting in this thread will erase the vote...)

Re:No faith (0, Flamebait)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144577)

Thanks!

Re:No faith (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28144963)

Get a room, you two!

Re:No faith (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28145281)

Seems rather ironic when the parent was talking about voting accuracy.

Re:No faith (2, Funny)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 5 years ago | (#28145135)

Or they had just heard about how abysmally inaccurate previous all-digital elections had been and figured, "why bother?"

Nah. Dis stay Hawai'i brah, no ones know bout all da kine kapakai. We's jus wen to da beach an forgot about da kine.

What were the reasons? (2, Interesting)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 5 years ago | (#28143865)

Did they do any polling or anything to figure out why that was? Were people just not able to figure out electronic voting? If so the problem should go away after a couple election cycles. It would be more worrisome if there's some kind of innate apathy to a voting process that doesn't involve getting out of the house and doing something.

Re:What were the reasons? (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28145417)

Electronic Voting: Effects and Pragmatic examination

Electronic voting makes voting more easy, which is useful in that it brings the possibility of direct democracy.
Two groups oppose this: The first is selfish and wants to keep power concentrated (for either good or bad purposes). The second recognizes the prevalence of the first and knows that direct democracy leads to voting "the weak" off the island (caught up in an above pop TV refence)(with either good or bad results).

These two groups are constantly against direct democracy and proove an effective counterforce to it's an adoption.

There's not a lot of good reasons for direct democracy, choosing the policies to pursue is barely if at all simpler. For the decision chosen the Chinese proverb "If a million people say a stupid thing, it's still a stupid thing" apply.

As a negative, people statistically tend to overreact and have several other group think "issues" with varying lifespans and often horrific results.

Re:What were the reasons? (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 5 years ago | (#28145967)

If it was me I would have refused to use such an insecure, hackable method of voting and would have demanded a paper ballot.

Elderly don't use computers. (1)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28143869)

The elderly are the largest voting population and few of them own a computer nevertheless know how to use one. They pretty much didn't allow a majority of voters vote because they didn't know how.

Re:Elderly don't use computers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28143975)

I think you meant "much less know how to use one."

Re:Elderly don't use computers. (1)

areusche (1297613) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144083)

I had a 7th grade teacher who was staunchly conservative. Mind you she couldn't use a computer very well. This might not be such a bad thing...

Re:Elderly don't use computers. (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144313)

You missed the part of TFA that provided Telephone Voting?

Not prepared at all (1)

nickdc (1444247) | more than 5 years ago | (#28143879)

Unfortunately this is really bad for the propagating of voting technology. They definitely needed to be more prepared before adopting this method.

Re:Not prepared at all (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144289)

I disagree.

Its really GOOD for the deplorable propagation of inappropriate and insecure voting technology. It should nip it in the bud!

Compared to this scheme, Diebold was an example of bullet proof security. Hacking Diebold for the most part still required physical access to the machines or their memory. Cracking internet voting can be done from the safety for some Russian bot net master's basement.

Age demographics? (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 5 years ago | (#28143883)

I'd love to see the age demographics on who voted/didn't vote in this election. Is it unreasonable to expect that only the 18-25 year old's were able to even achieve a quorum among their age group?

Re:Age demographics? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144189)

Exactly right. This return isn't enough to even assume a minimal participation.

Its seems unreasonable for the powers that be to certify the results of any election with this kind of participation drop.

In this day and age anyone in the 18-75 age group has probably had enough experience with Either computers OR phones to be able to vote. The fact that virtually no one did so suggests massive mistrust or stunningly poor public preparation.

I'm betting they sent out the notices via spam, and dinner hour automated phone calls.

Re:Age demographics? (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144765)

Actually, I'd chalk it up to "they changed the system" and "where do I find such and such?"

I'm consistently amazed at how difficult it is to find something as simple as my local polling place online. For instance, in Texas, the Secretary of State is supposed to manage the elections; their website tells you to check the newspaper, or they defer you over to the contact information for your county official.

And each state does it differently. It's a nightmare.

I don't know how good or bad Hawaii is about disseminating voter information. But if they're anything like Texas...I can find my way around the Web, but I doubt that I would have a damn clue WTF was going on with my county's polling system.

Re:Age demographics? (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144829)

Vote411 seemed like it would be good...but it's down. And honestly, it's a pretty sad state of affairs when the people in charge of the elections aren't forthcoming with information about them.

Re:Age demographics? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144885)

My experience, limited as it may be, suggests that Hawaii is almost, but not quite, thoroughly unlike Texas.

That being said, my County (in Washington state) votes by mail. My ballot finds me. I don't have to find it. Return Postage pre-paid. Sign the outer envelope, secret ballot in the machine open-able inner envelope.

Can this be gamed? Probably, if someone wanted to add the Federal offense of mail theft to the (apparently ignored) crime of Election Fraud, but to do so on any massive scale would be pretty hard.

Re:Age demographics? (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28145087)

Sounds convenient, but I like being able to personally see my ballot drop into the urn with no identifying information. Perhaps that is paranoia, though.

(This is also why I don't like electronic ballots. Once the process is digital, there are many more security factors to watch out for in the way of secrecy, integrity and reliability. Crypto would allow for a more or less fool-resistant approach, but nobody ever seems to implement it properly.)

Re:Age demographics? (2, Informative)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#28145151)

The experience of postal voting in England says it can be gamed.

You get party officials going round retirement homes to "help" people complete their ballots.
You have 15 people living in a 1 bed apartment all registering to vote.

Re:Age demographics? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28145369)

That is Not a significant problem here (as far as anyone knows).

Voter registration is a function of State Government.

The ballots are sent and counted by the County Government.

There are reasonable (but not foolproof) checks on the number they of people that can be registered at a given address at the State level.

Also, you might be confusing the problem of fraudulent voter registration with the problem of vote counting.

They are related problems, for sure, but not quite the same thing. If the voter registration system is subject to gaming, the actual voting process is already compromised, and party hacks marching from polling place to polling place with fraudulent IDs has happened often enough to cast doubt on In-Person voting as well.

Money means nothing... (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28143913)

... when your Democracy has no physical accountability.

7300 votes? (1)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 5 years ago | (#28143917)

Or was that 1 guy cracking the system and voting 7300 times?

Re:7300 votes? (2, Insightful)

Intron (870560) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144109)

Maybe 44,000 people voted and the digital system lost 80% of the votes. How would they know?

Social Disconnect (1)

Celeste R (1002377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28143925)

Technology brings us many things, but we lose things in the process. Take for example, before TV, people were much more social.

By removing an actual place to vote, the mental association of a "voting place" is removed. That doesn't mean that e-voting is bad, it just means that there's a ways to go before it works as well as paper voting does.

The best cure for this "problem" is to link e-voting with traditionally paper voting locations. Smooth transitions are best, and not transitions that are all or nothing.

Mental inertia is a force to be understood and accounted for, not shrugged off.

Why bother when you know its hacked? (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28143931)

I suspect the feeling is that any election taking place over the net or the phone system is so easily hackable as to become laughable.

There is no changeable paper trail for this, contrary to the trend nationally to require same.

How long till botnets on the island (or elsewhere) start selling election stealing services?

Ok, now expect the defenders telling us this is all impossible and calling me a Luddite in 3, 2, 1...

Re:Why bother when you know its hacked? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28143961)

oops, I mean challengeable paper trail.

Re:Why bother when you know its hacked? (1)

konigstein (966024) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144243)

It is so easily hackable as to be laughable. The only reason no one has capitalized on this is because there is no clear way to capitalize on this without being traced. I'd say ACORN has proven paper voter registration, Illegal immigrant, and other "ghost" voting so easily done that either electronic AND paper voting is laughable until we have something that is unique to each person to identify them, at which point we can accurately tally their votes. Unfortunately, once we do that we open all kinds of other cans of worms.

Re:Why bother when you know its hacked? (2, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144337)

> no clear way to capitalize on this without being traced.

You presume a level of diligence that does not exist. We can't even get botnets shut down in this country when we know exactly which computers have been compromised, let along be able to trace the problem to the source.

Re:Why bother when you know its hacked? (1)

geekboy642 (799087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144593)

We can't kill botnets because of privacy law. We could very easily write a botnet hunter that could propagate through vulnerabilities in infected systems. It would, however, be illegal. The problem is, the intersection of "black hat hackers", "moral hackers", and "fearless hackers" is very small. We don't have anti-botnet hunter-killers for the same reason we don't have caped crusaders in every city.

Re:Why bother when you know its hacked? (2, Informative)

geekboy642 (799087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144501)

ACORN is a red herring. The people out gathering voter registrations are payed per name. Federal regulations require ACORN to submit every single name they gather; they are not allowed to strike obvious forgeries before handing them to the government. It is the government's responsibility--because they've demanded the sole power--to strike invalid voters from the rolls. Moreover, you have to prove your identity when you vote. If there's a problem with people showing up with forged ID to prove they're someone who died 2 years ago, the fail is obvious. Voter registration drives hurt nobody. Voter disenfranchisement and lawsuits over hanging chads hurt everybody.

digital ballot stuffing (4, Funny)

madbavarian (1316065) | more than 5 years ago | (#28143941)

Give them a couple of years and the digital ballot stuffing software will get better. The voter numbers should be waaaay up.

Who cooked up this scheme? (2, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144037)

The city cut its expenses in half by using computers and phone technology by Everyone Counts.

"This is the future for presidential elections, general elections, primary elections, all the way," Everyone Counts consultant Bob Watada said.
Watada is the former Campaign Spending Commission director.

Whoa! Conflict of interest much?

1) Con city into using Company A
2) Sign fat contract with Company A
3) Hold election (sweep massive FAIL under rug)
4) Profit

Re:Who cooked up this scheme? (2, Funny)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144461)

You forgot a step.

1) Con city into using Company A
2) Sign fat contract with Company A
3) Hold election (sweep massive FAIL under rug)
4) ????
5) Profit

Something was lost. (1)

AnotherBlackHat (265897) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144075)

83% fewer votes were counted.
That might means 83% fewer voters, which is a significant loss of confidence, or it could mean 83% of the votes were lost.
Either way, I'd say the system is a failure.

Re:Something was lost. (1)

Ninth Marion (1310141) | more than 5 years ago | (#28145779)

I agree. The only thing that was gained was the fact that 83% of voters don't want to, or can't, use this method for voting. Shouldn't that tell the people who implemented it something? Seems like a clear majority to me.

We could fix Social Security and Medicare... (0)

janeuner (815461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144077)

I vote for the guy that will increase taxes and cut spending. My parents and grandparents vote for the guy that decreases taxes and increases spending.

Clearly, someone is wrong. Maybe I should blame my high school algebra teacher.

Re:We could fix Social Security and Medicare... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28144157)

I vote for the guy that will increase taxes and cut spending. My parents and grandparents vote for the guy that decreases taxes and increases spending.

The problem is that all of the candidates claim to cut taxes and cut spending to make everyone happy, then once they're in power they increase taxes and increase spending.

Engagement (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144135)

Election Day is traditionally a social event - it brings a neighborhood, a community together. The girl scouts will have baked goods on sale. There will time to meet and talk with friends. Kids will get their first taste of "voting" on their own. For seniors it is a matter of pride that they still have the wit and will and strength to participate. These things are important in a democracy.

Why vote electronically? (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144149)

Insecure and I miss the fun of showing up. In my state for the primary we did a caucus which was load and disorganized. I loved it. Not choreographed or controlled. Total chaos. As true democracy should be.

There are other reasons. (1)

Nsmokg (1543785) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144257)

Did anybody think that the drop in voters might be because of the lack of a presidential election. There is always a huge difference in the voter turn out when the election is in an off year. Now to compare it correctly you would have to wait till the next pres. election and see what the turn out is to get the correct numbers on how electronic voting is going. For the nay sayers, this was a great year for it. The stats prove it, but not really. The lack of numbers shows it is because of the lack of a pres. election. - - "If you chose not to decide, you still have made a choice." Rush

Re:There are other reasons. (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144591)

you know, I thought that too - what's the 2007 vote count look like?

No paper trail... (1)

Temujin_12 (832986) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144319)

This is the first time there is no paper ballot to speak of.

Then what makes them so certain that there were only 7,300 people who voted?

A paper trail is SUPPOSED to have a certain level of inconvenience. That's part of its value. Generally speaking, the more automation a voting system has, the higher the potential for fraud.

Re:No paper trail... (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144633)

Generally speaking, the more automation a voting system has, the higher the potential for fraud.

Not necessarily. The more automation a system has, the more control is put into fewer people (IE, the system designers, administrators). This means there is less people to corrupt, thus making corruption a higher success rate, but not more potential for corruption. A system that isn't as automated requires more people to overlook the details, and with more people, the higher chance you get you'll find someone willing to commit said fraud. But since theirs so many aspects to be looked over by more people, the chance of the fraud creating a "successful" outcome, the chance of it occuring is less.

How do they know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28144351)

Maybe the software undercounted by 83 percent.

maybe, just maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28144377)

... maybe the numbers are off because there is no ballot stuffing and dead people voting as in prior elections... I'm just sayin...

Way of the future - Get used to it (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144379)

An Internet based vote is way more cost-effective and easy to setup and conduct than a paper one.

This kind of technology will become the norm.

It will permit consultation of populations on a much more frequent basis.

The security issues are solvable through use of open-source standards, and clever
encryption schemes, that can be verified by thousands of independent
programmers and mathematicians.

Admittedly we don't have the level of techno-scrutiny we need on these things yet,
but it will come.

The bigger problem with democracy is how to educate people so they can maintain a
relatively rational and independent opinion in the face of media carpet-mindbombing
campaigns, and how we motivate people to believe that their opinion matters.
Stupidity and apathy. That's what we have to fight for for democracy.

Misspoke (or did I) (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144415)

or we could fight AGAINST the stupidity and apathy I suppose. :-)
The nefarious forces of entrenched hierarchy fighting to increase the general level of stupidity and apathy
need no assistance.

Re:Way of the future - Get used to it (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144561)

The problem with Democracy on a massive scale is that because the rest of the country outnumbers the amount of people you know - you can't be sure that your vote is either A) Properly being counted or B) Worth it at all.

Senator Ted Stevens called it.... (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144407)

And if you don't understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material

Not Necessarily Attributable to New System (2, Interesting)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144417)

I recall reading an article in the local paper that voter turnout dropped hugely in the most recent California elections. I also recall reading a similar article the next day in the LA Times how voter turnout in LA County also dropped hugely. The whole voter turnout decreasing trend seems to be fairly common throughout the United States these days. Couple that with the ever-popular 'tea party protests' that we have recently seen in the country in which numerous voters are conglomerating and denouncing the government system as a whole and I think you could make a pretty strong case that the drop in the number of votes/voters is not attributable solely to the use of electronic voting instruments. I don't doubt it has had some, and likely even a significant, effect. But I think it would be worth noting that Americans in general seem to have gotten tired of voting. After all, why bother casting a vote when every single candidate elected seems to participate in a general, "who can suck the most" contest. I don't encourage apathy in the populace, but maybe we could try implementing some election system reforms like a, "Choose to withhold my vote from all available candidates" box on ballots. That way we could at least declaratively (yes, I think I made that word up) say that we don't like any of the choices, rather than just not voting and having 'experts' debate the causes of such apathy....

By coincidence (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144435)

Another study showed that 17% of voters had no fingers, thus can't do anything digitally.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28144437)

"She added that voters obviously . . . did not embrace the changes."

No shit, Sherlock. Now get back to work on a system people can TRUST.
Report back here when you've finished.

presidential election (1)

yoyoq (1056216) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144441)

last year was a presidential election, that surely affects the numbers

Re:presidential election (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28145263)

Nope. If you read the article, you'd see they included the 2007 results. The summary is misleading.

Re:presidential election (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 5 years ago | (#28146223)

Yeah but the presidential election was in 2008. 2007 was an off year election.

look, morons: (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144515)

paper voting: cheap
electronic voting: expensive

paper voting: 10x attack vectors to corrupt it
electronic voting: 1,000x attack vectors to corrupt it

the richest, most advanced, technophilic nation and the poorest most backwards nation should all vote the same way: paper ballot

anything else is simply paying more $ just for more ways to corrupt the vote. a democracy is based on legitimacy of the vote. if you cast doubt on that legitimacy, if there is any taint in the process of voting, and electronic voting allows for myriad more ways to do just that, then you destroy people's faith in their own government

this is not a joke, please stop with the electronic voting. its downright dangerous as it threatens the legitimacy of elected officials in the eyes of the people due to its black box nature: votes go in, leader comes out, who the fuck knows what kind of sausage is in the middle

yes, you can still fuck around with stacks of paper with checkmarks on them and mess with the vote thataways. but in a lot less ways, and a lot less opaquely, and you need a lot of cooperation and hard work. one well-placed hacker can change millions of votes in untraceable ways in milliseconds with electronic voting

in the case of close elections, you have ballots to fall back on that many human eyes can see and hold in their hands and tally for themselves. what do you have with electronic voting? a bunch of bits of doubtful provenance on a hard disk and some easily corruptible bureaucrat saying "trust me". fuck that. i'd rather a close vote take 3 months to tally on paper than a 3 second tally of votes of a black box nature

Re:look, morons: (1, Redundant)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28145229)

If electronic voting is more expensive than paper voting you're doing it wrong.

dont look at me (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28146229)

look at any budget for any electronic voting system in the world

now compare it to the voting process budget for swaziland

the more secure paper ballot voting process for swaziland

too many people are embracing a less secure more expensive way to vote out of nothing more than technophilia, rather than a coherent understanding of the requirements for the voting system, and how paper satisfies those requirements better, more cheaply, more securely

OCR the shit if you want your results fast. but you better have that paper backup, and no, sorry, printout doesn't cut it security wise: paper first, THEN tallying

Re:look, morons: (2, Insightful)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#28146297)

The for small, local elections it may not matter that much other than standardization.

The real problem is speedy results. People in the US think of elections as a some kind of a race. A race with a winner and a loser where the results are available at the end of the race. In the case where results aren't available immediately, the TV News people are going to make up results based on exit polls and other information. This was done when Gore was announced around midnight in 2000. Of course, these were not official results, but that didn't matter all that much to people because they went to bed.

Without speedy results, we are turning over the elections to the TV News folks.

so OCR it (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28146365)

if that doesn't satisfy them, then fuck them. they have to wait. a little patience for a valid election is obviously better than immediate shoddy results

besides, all those "obama wins!" 9 pm announcements on voting day are projections, not hard returns. so nothing changes

The worst news . . . (4, Funny)

hcetSJ (672210) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144525)

was that those 7,300 votes were all cast by the same person.

If I were a resident of Oahu.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28144933)

I would consider this change to be so drastic that I would demand an investigation to determine if this vote was fair and accurate. Dropping some? Ok, fair enough. But saving half the money to get what, 1/6 of the votes?

Not a savings at all.

I live on Oahu (3, Informative)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28144991)

And this is the first I've heard of this election. I had no idea this was happening. My guess is that too few people knew about the election in the first place, and that it was just a failure to advertise it properly.

Re:I live on Oahu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28146311)

And this is the first I've heard of this election. I had no idea this was happening. My guess is that too few people knew about the election in the first place, and that it was just a failure to advertise it properly.

So they counted 7300 votes in an election nobody heard of?

Excellent!

this just in (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#28145185)

the democratic process has been discontinued due to lack of interest & lethargy

Aaaaargh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28145339)

Call me a Luddite, but elections should be done exclusively with optical scan ballots--either in person or by mail-in absentee. This is the way it is in counties like mine that didn't fall for the touchscreen scam.

For voters with disabilities, a computer equipped with headphones and a keypad should allow them to make choices that wind up printing a real, marked ballot, which they can feed into the precinct scanner.

All software used in the scanners, ADA computers, and central tabulators should be 100% open source.

All election ballots--and ballots used in tests to certify voting equipment--should be retained indefinitely in a secure storage area with fire sprinklers. This takes up a lot less space than one might think.

I've noted before that the paper ballot system IS open to voter coercion--an employer could force their employees to request absentee ballots, sign the affidavits, and turn them in. Thing is, doing this would be very logistically difficult, and the boss would wind up in prison.

So let's say we allow voting by phone or Web. Now we're talking about easier voter coercion:

Your Boss: "If you like your job, you'll give me your username and password to the elections system and let me vote for you."

the other 36700 did vote (2, Interesting)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 5 years ago | (#28145431)

They voted against the voting system...

Besides, what respectable electronic voting system for Oahu (population 900,000) would not register at least 1,200,000 votes ?

That's funny. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28145619)

68,000 people thought they voted.

Another Possibility (2, Interesting)

Sir_Dill (218371) | more than 5 years ago | (#28145999)

I have never lived in Hawaii but my fiancee grew up there.

Listening to the stories of Hawaii, It sounds like most of the local population is barely making a living.

Hawaii is an expensive place to live and computers haven't quite supplanted the Television. One could argue that TV still isn't ubiquitous in the US, however I would wager that there are far more households with televisions than there are with computers.

So another possible reason is that people may not have the means to vote electronically.

I am perfectly fine to pay for the gas and take the time to go vote.

If I have to goto an internet cafe and pay to do it once I get there, I might be less inclined.

Sure there is the library but I don't think that a couple of terminals at the public library are really going to pick up the slack.

Not saying this is why there were fewer votes, a simple look at the demographics of who voted would go quite far in helping to answer the question though.

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