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Will Hackers Try To Disrupt the Iowa Caucuses?

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the if-the-gop-can-do-it-anyone-can dept.

Security 162

Hugh Pickens writes "The Iowa Republican Party is boosting the security of the electronic systems it will use to count the first votes of the 2012 presidential campaign after receiving a mysterious threat to its computers in a video urging its supporters to shut down the Iowa caucuses .... 'It's very clear the data consolidation and data gathering from the caucuses, which determines the headlines the next morning, who might withdraw or resign from the process, all of that is fragile,' says Douglas Jones, a computer science professor at the University of Iowa who has consulted for both political parties. The state GOP fears such a delay could disrupt the traditional influence of Iowa's first-in-the-nation vote. 'With the eyes of the media on the state, the last thing we want to do is have a situation where there is trouble with the reporting system,' says Wes Enos, a member of the Iowa GOP's central committee. The GOP is encouraging party activists who run the precinct votes to use paper ballots instead of a show of hands, which has been the practice in some areas so the ballots can provide a backup in the event of any later confusion about the results. 'There is really only one way — and it needn't be a secret — to help assure that results cannot easily be manipulated by either Anonymous or by GOP officials themselves,' writes Brad Friedman. 'The hand-counted paper ballot system, with decentralized results posted at the "precincts," is the only way to try and protect against manipulation of the results from either insiders or outsiders.'"

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162 comments

it's the (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38501902)

Libtard way - of course hackers will try! and the CHICOMs will get promptly blamed, because CHICOMs want to see Obooboo get re-erected!

Re:it's the (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38501978)

umm... this is the republican primary. wrong election dumb ass

Re:it's the (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502604)

You don't understand. He thinks the average democrat is as weasly and conniving as he is. If he had the brains and the balls to do it, he would absolutely try to hack democratic primaries, and so he assumes that the democrats will be doing the same thing. It seems like these people are drawn to, and thus overrepresented, in the GOP.

Re:it's the (1)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38503050)

Ah so I see you support the welfare party over the warfare party. Literally.

Hello Dystopia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38503198)

Good bye to more freedoms and hello to a well developing Orwellian dystopia. It is becoming more and more apparent that hacktivism, although starting out with good intentions, is becoming the frankenstein monster, eroding citizens' right to natural law and ignoring criminal code.

Re:Hello Dystopia (3, Interesting)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504510)

I don't recall hacktivists running Gitmo, or waterboarding people, or renditioning them, or claiming that the AUMF authorizes the President to assassinate American citizens. Am I missing something?

Re:it's the (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38503252)

he assumes that the democrats will be doing the same thing.

Right. Democrats never perpetrated outright voter fraud in Chicago and New York. Move along, nothing to see here.

Re:it's the (2)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38503562)

So what? That makes it OK for the republicans to do it now?

Re:it's the (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38504042)

Of course not. But it is interesting that all the talk is about how the republicans are doing it and are evil, while at the same time giving no acknowledgement to the democrats doing likewise.

I'd expect that kind of one-sidedness from Fox News.

Re:it's the (3, Informative)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502780)

Libtard and Obooboo? How many hours did you spend coming up with those? Or were you hoping for something more before your mom told you to turn your light off and go to bed, you have to go look for a job tomorrow and no grocery store wants to hire an idiotic 40 year old.

No. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38501908)

But the Iowa caucus will say they did if Ron Paul ends up winning.

Ironic (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38502324)

Why should the Iowa primary have verifiable paper ballots, so results can't be changed, and then have the entire main U.S. election be electronic with questionable machines that can be?

Re:Ironic (5, Informative)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502420)

Why should the Iowa primary have verifiable paper ballots, so results can't be changed, and then have the entire main U.S. election be electronic with questionable machines that can be?

Not the exact answer to what you asked, but relevent to the question anyway:

Iowa's party-candidate-selection-system is a caucus, run by the parties. It is not a primary and is not run by the state. You gather at someone's house, rented hall, community center or wherever your party arranged for your precinct, cast a ballot and sit around arguing for your candidate(s) until someone gets a majority.

Caucuses seem to favor the most dedicated party members' votes, since it requires a bigger commitment from the voter than a primary.

Not a Secret Ballot (2)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502680)

It also is not a secret ballot. So changing the vote would be harder since the people at the precint saw how people voted. It is pretty hard to change the vote later when the vote is a show of hands. Since it is not a secret ballot you are more likely to get things like voter itimidation by employers, and vote buying.

Re:Not a Secret Ballot (3, Informative)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38503340)

It also is not a secret ballot. So changing the vote would be harder since the people at the precint saw how people voted. It is pretty hard to change the vote later when the vote is a show of hands. Since it is not a secret ballot you are more likely to get things like voter itimidation by employers, and vote buying.

Actually, for the Iowa Republican caucus [iowagop.org], it is a secret straw poll. In the Democratic Party [iowademocrats.org] caucus, supporters of candidates divide into groups based on the candidate they prefer (which would obviously not be secret). In both cases, only registered voters in the precinct are allowed to participate, but you can register on the spot.

Re:Ironic (2)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502670)

I'm not sure where you vote but where I live in Florida we use an optical scan ballot. This is a paper ballot that gets scanned at the polling place and checked for under/over votes then counted. The paper ballots are fed directly out of the scanner into a locked box. They can be validated in the future if needed.

I like this system the best because there is only one machine required per polling place but you can have dozens of people actually filling in ballots in booths made with cheap little privacy screens. This keeps the costs down.

Re:Ironic (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38503544)

This is how they do it in Wisconsin as well, although February's GOP primary here will be the first time I've ever voted in a primary election in this state before. Still, I would assume that the methods are similar.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38502542)

You're right. Not at obvious. I was picturing something like:

Deep in GOP war room after the vote: "And the results are in. Wait. Pat Buchanan?"

Re:No. (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 2 years ago | (#38503104)

Yes. Exactly this. I've been saying for almost an entire year, now, that if Paul were to win the caucuses, the GOP would suddenly claim that these extremely important and relevant events that they spend months and millions on were "not relevant and don't mean anything". Further, they would claim that it was Paul's "army" of supporters that must have "hacked" the voting machines. (Because the media and GOP only refer to Paul's supporters with loaded words like "army").

Re:No. (0)

SlippyToad (240532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38503836)

Because the media and GOP only refer to Paul's supporters with loaded words like "army"

I prefer "Jackbooted thug" myself. But that's only because I saw how Rand Paul's staff comported themselves here in Kentucky. Like jackbooted thugs. Like son, like father I assume.

Re:No. (1, Offtopic)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38503618)

Oh, I'm sure they're going to come up with every excuse in the book. Many commentators are already backing away from it with a pained expression on their face.

I just hope, when the GOP machine figures out a way to nullify the caucus (can't have a non-war monger President, the military-industrial complex could collapse and then the communists would win!) that Ron Paul decides to run as an independent. I don't know if he'd win, but I'll vote for anyone over Newt Gingrich or any of the other tea-tards on the ballot. I'll vote for Obama over those guys; as much as he fucking pisses me off, at least he's not at war with gays, Muslims, and reproductive rights. That is a deal-breaker for me.

Re:No. (2, Interesting)

anagama (611277) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504164)

I'll vote for Obama over those guys; as much as he fucking pisses me off, at least he's not at war with gays, Muslims, and reproductive rights. That is a deal-breaker for me.

That's inaccurate.

War with Muslims:
http://nothingchanged.org/obama_and_muder_of_innocents_by_drone.html [nothingchanged.org]

Related topics include attempting to undermine the cluster bomb treaty:
http://nothingchanged.org/obama_loves_to_cluster_bomb_innocent_people.html [nothingchanged.org]

Plan B is interesting in that a person with a Masters in Public Administration from the U. of Kansas overruled the head of the FDA and her Harvard medical degree.
http://nothingchanged.org/obama_hates_birth_control.html [nothingchanged.org]

Obama has argued in court for every constitution shredding policy of the Bush administration and added a few of his own, like due process free execution.

Obama is as evil as Bush was and what is worse, because he is democrat nobody pretends to be ticked off anymore. All Obama has done has take the radical crap Bush did at make it the new normal.

Obama, change you can believe in if you live in a neocon's wet dream.

Re:No. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38504090)

Good, he's a nutjob.

Ron Paul wants to define life as starting at conception, build a fence along the US-Mexico border, prevent the Supreme Court from hearing cases on the Establishment Clause or the right to privacy, permitting the return of sodomy laws and the like (a bill which he has repeatedly re-introduced), pull out of the UN, disband NATO, end birthright citizenship, deny federal funding to any organization which "which presents male or female homosexuality as an acceptable alternative life style or which suggest that it can be an acceptable life style" along with destroying public education and social security, and abolish the Federal Reserve in order to put America back on the gold standard. He was also the sole vote against divesting US federal government investments in corporations doing business with the genocidal government of the Sudan.

Oh, and he believes that the Left is waging a war on religion and Christmas, he's against gay marriage, is against the popular vote, opposes the Civil Rights Act of 1964, wants the estate tax repealed, is STILL making racist remarks, believes that the Panama Canal should be the property of the United States, and believes in New World Order conspiracy theories, not to mention his belief that the International Baccalaureate program is UN mind control.

The real story here... (4, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38501910)

Iowa has electricity and computers? You really can make anything out of corn.

Re:The real story here... (1)

RedHat Rocky (94208) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502006)

Funny.

I'm sure Robert Noyce would find that funny as well. He and I graduated from the same high school. Yes, in Iowa.

Re:The real story here... (-1, Troll)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502142)

I'm sure Robert Noyce would find that funny as well. He and I graduated from the same high school. Yes, in Iowa.

And you can see how fast he got the fuck out of there.

There's a reason he didn't put Intel's headquarters in Iowa. It's a good thing, too, because the fundamentalist yahoos would probably have thought integrated circuits were the devil's work and attacked the place with pitchforks and manure.

I did a tour of duty in Ames, teaching future farmers how to read and though Ames is a nice place (due mostly to the presence of people from outside Iowa) the rest of Iowa is a superstitious hellhole. It's Texas without the charm and intelligence. It's Kansas without the...without the...well, it's Kansas.

Asshole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38503646)

So here is a arrogant asshole who thinks he's pretty smart and probably calls himself an "intellectual". People read his snarky little comment and think to themselves, "hmm, these 'intellectuals' are not only not that smart, they're just plain assholes". Then, people like this jerk whine about how Americans are anti-intellectual.

You sir, are a first class prick. Someone who undoubtedly brings misery to all those around you.

Re:The real story here... (1)

butchersong (1222796) | more than 2 years ago | (#38503668)

So... you visited a city in Iowa and it was a relatively nice place but the entire rest of the state -the majority of which you've never seen- is a hell hole.

Re:The real story here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38503942)

How the fuck is picking your asshole in Iowa a "tour of duty"? You talk like you got sent to fucking 'Nam.

Re:The real story here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38502012)

If you walk through the corn fields, you'll discover that we even have a Google data center as well as a Microsoft data center.

Re:The real story here... (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502016)

Iowa has electricity and computers? You really can make anything out of corn.

LOL you're more correct that you know. Oldest trick in the book is subsidized growers turn 10 barrels of diesel into a big pile of unneeded corn, they you gotta do "something" with it lest the state be buried under corncobs, so you burn it to get the energy equivalent of burning 2 barrels of oil worth of steam to generate electricity. Along with environmental degradation due to topsoil loss, pesticide and fertilizer overapplication, etc. Its amazing how one industry simultaneously wastes both tax money, crude oil, and edible food.

You can also turn corn oil into biodiesel. I like cooking with corn oil, smells OK and frys up tastily. Good enough smoke point too.

Computers are mostly by weight plastic, and at least some plastics are made from corn byproducts, so theoretically some of your computer is probably corn.

Then a little off topic but not too far, lots of corn gets turned into corn syrup, which gets turned into energy drinks, which combined with electricity is turned into computer software using carbon based /. reading bioreactors.

Corn is really a very versatile feedstock for chemical engineers. You'd be surprised, pretty much if you can make it out of crude oil, given an infinite supply of free subsidized corn and an infinite supply of energy from burning free subsidized corn, you can make the same product out of corn.

Re:The real story here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38502038)

Iowa, Someday someone is going to be able to explain to me how the hell that state got so much sway in our Presidential election process.

And to hear Iowan's talk about the candidates - they believe what they say and that they'll follow through with their promises after the election. It apparently never occurred to them that the candidates say anything to get elected. It's obvious to us, but not to them. Unfortunately, they're the ones who pick the candidates and the rest of the country is stuck with voting within a pool of liars, cheats, morons, and scum of humanity - all because the people of one state.

Re:The real story here... (3, Interesting)

arogier (1250960) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502164)

Normally New Hampshire disagrees with Iowa, so they don't get to pick nominees on their own. It's just that they get to pick one of the two candidates that will be viable for the rest of the slugfest.

Iowans aren't the simpletons that they are often portrayed as. Maybe they aren't Masters of the Universe, but they know what the game is and the game is to milk every candidate for as much as they can. The most they have done so far this election cycle as far as picking candidates is bleed the Bachmann campaign dry, which I wouldn't class as a negative outcome. Mittens isn't my candidate, but he knows that Iowa knows they game and only started making a real effort once the other candidates beat each other to hell.

Re:The real story here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38502156)

The British Royal Family has already decided that Mitt Romney will be the next president of the American Colony.

Re:The real story here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38502514)

The electronic computer was invented in Iowa. Or at least that's what my advisor kept telling me to keep me in the Computer Science department.

http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa050898.htm

First Votes (4, Interesting)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38501926)

Caucuses are a bad idea to begin with. They value a better organized/paid for campaign over a better candidate. Also, why are Iowa and New Hampshire so special that they get to vote first and eliminate candidtes that may do better in other areas? The first primaries should be done on a rotating basis.

Re:First Votes (2)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38501994)

why are Iowa and New Hampshire so special that they get to vote first and eliminate candidtes that may do better in other areas?

They're first becuase they're first--which means they're powerful, which means you don't piss them off by trying to make them *not* first.

Re:First Votes (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502048)

Caucuses are a bad idea to begin with. They value a better organized/paid for campaign over a better candidate. Also, why are Iowa and New Hampshire so special that they get to vote first and eliminate candidtes that may do better in other areas? The first primaries should be done on a rotating basis.

The truth of it is you need a good organized campaign to win the nomination, a poorly run campaign will sink you, all the early caucuses do is let donors save their money on candidates that will not win. Most candidates will not drop out unless they are below 1%, or if their campaign was tight on money, they will stick it out until super Tuesday that is typically when 2 or 3 candidates are left. Yes Iowa, Wyoming, and New Hampshire get a bigger say in the primary but truthfully it's just to make them feel like they have a voice as they will be ignored for the next 4 years.

Re:First Votes (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502068)

Caucuses are a bad idea to begin with. They value a better organized/paid for campaign over a better candidate. Also, why are Iowa and New Hampshire so special that they get to vote first and eliminate candidtes that may do better in other areas? The first primaries should be done on a rotating basis.

Really bad idea. Its a "balance of power thing". Those states serve almost no other purpose in American politics.

There would be incredible outcry if a politically large state got to go first and make the little states even less relevant, like CA or PA or NY or FL.

PA / CA / FL get to shine on election day. Caucus day is when NH and IA get to shine. Only fair.

The other problem is the candidates pander exclusively to their donors wishes, so it doesn't really matter which stuffed suit, from either party "wins", all of us who are not multinational corporations will "lose". Neither the primaries nor the elections will have any real effect on American politics, the average american is in no way represented by the american government.

Re:First Votes (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502112)

There would be incredible outcry if a politically large state got to go first and make the little states even less relevant, like CA or PA or NY or FL.

It's this kind of comment that demonstrates how undemocratic our system is. One person, one vote should be the law of the land. If that were the case, what size state you live in would be irrelevant.

Re:First Votes (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38502274)

There would be incredible outcry if a politically large state got to go first and make the little states even less relevant, like CA or PA or NY or FL.

It's this kind of comment that demonstrates how undemocratic our system is. One person, one vote should be the law of the land. If that were the case, what size state you live in would be irrelevant.

Our system is quite democratic. But what you (and many others) seem to forget is that we don't have one system, we have fifty. Each state holds it's own election -- not for president, though, but for the slate of people who will represent the state in the electoral collage. They're the ones who elect the president, not you.

Now most states "bind" the electors such that they're forced to vote for whichever presidential candidate's slate gets the most votes in the state, so to make it "easier" these days the ballot just lists the presidential candidate instead of the people pledging to vote in the electoral collage for that candidate. I'm sure it's just a side effect that the ballot being that way makes people think they're voting for the president, when they're not. So yes, state elections for the electoral college are democratic, but so what? This country wasn't supposed to be a democracy anyway, it was supposed to be a republic.

Also states can change their electoral system (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502976)

While the over all system is set by the Constitution, states can change their internal system to a degree. For example you don't have to have all your electors go to whoever won the vote in your state, and indeed Maine and Nebraska don't. Some of the electors go to the overall winner, some go to whoever won various districts. Other states could so the same and change distributions to be based on districts, or maybe percentage of the total vote.

Any changes to a state's system does not require a constitutional amendment, (it might require one to the state's Constitution though).

Our system was never designed democratic (4, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502564)

The US is, and always has been, a Constitutional Federal Republic. It was never designed as a direct democracy and indeed has many provisions to prevent such a thing. The Constitution itself is one such thing. It is an undemocratic document. It is specifically designed to be hard to alter. You can't just have 50%+1 people vote to alter it, the process requires a much greater majority, and puts power in the hands ultimately of the states, not the people or the federal government.

I know that "undemocratic" is supposed to be a scare word that gets people to agree with you but when you look at things logically you discover that the US was never designed to be a direct democracy. Also looking at the way some things have gone, you can see how maybe that is a good thing. Something to be said for the fact that a simple majority of people can't just dictate to the minority how things will be done.

So yes, the American system isn't democratic, it is republican. Not in the sense of the political parties, but in the sense of the systems of government. It has a strong democratic tradition, more than many republics, but it is still a republic. What's more it is a republic of independent states meaning that there is a level of state autonomy.

If you don't like it that's fine but then what you have to propose is a constitutional amendment to more or less eliminate large parts of the Constitution. The only way the system could become a direct democracy would be to first alter the way the government works to a large degree and second to remove this super legal document that sits above other laws.

Such a thing could be done, but you are going to need to convince a lot of people, takes 75% of the states to amend the Constitution.

Re:Our system was never designed democratic (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38503090)

Something to be said for the fact that a simple majority of people can't just dictate to the minority how things will be done.

neither approach works. why defend one that is broken?

mob mentality does not work (true democracy where each person has 1 vote). representative does not work, either; we send people to vote on our behalf and what happens? they line their own pockets.

I'm open to ideas on what MIGHT work; but to say that one or the other is better is absurd.

so far, I can't see ANY system of man-governing-man to be stable over time and to be fair, short- and long-term.

my conclusion is that man is not able to govern himself. all we can do is install power one place, watch it go bad and then try to argue for an oscillation to the other state (then complain about that one).

there is no solution. mankind is not manageable.

Re:First Votes (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502660)

It is. It's just that you aren't voting for the president. You are voting for who your state will vote for.

Re:First Votes (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502540)

The interesting aspect of starting in smaller states is that in order to win in smaller states, candidates generally have to do more face-to-face politicking. That means the candidates have to talk more, and the money talks less, than in other places. That makes it easier to find and vote against the real dopes. Which is why George W Bush had his butt handed to him back in 2000 by John McCain in NH.

As far as caucuses versus primaries, caucuses definitely take longer, but also tend to differ in their results because ideologically similar candidates don't cancel each other out as much. For instance, if most of the Bachman voters would be pretty happy with Rick Santorum, that helps Santorum in a caucus but not in a primary.

Re:First Votes (1)

Troke (1612099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502628)

Caucus day is when NH and IA get to shine.

New Hampshire is first in the nation primary, Its not a caucus.

Re:First Votes (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38503030)

bears repeating:

the average american is in no way represented by the american government.

I don't even bother trying anymore. its a rigged game. playing only makes me feel dirty.

Re:First Votes (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502438)

Caucuses are a bad idea to begin with. They value a better organized/paid for campaign over a better candidate. Also, why are Iowa and New Hampshire so special that they get to vote first and eliminate candidtes that may do better in other areas? The first primaries should be done on a rotating basis.

They favor the more dedicated voters in each party, since caucusing requires more time and effort than voting in a primary.

Re:First Votes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38502572)

You really need to look at this xkcd xkcd.com/980/. In particular look at the part about political campaign funding... Everywhere prefers a better organized well funded campaign to a good candidate.

It's not the best, but it IS the least worst (2)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38503272)

Caucuses are a legacy from the days when communications traveled at the speed of a messenger. It was necessary for a participatory democracy to collect in small groups to select delegates to go to a nominating convention in exactly the same sense that the people selected congressmen and the states selected electors to cast votes on their behalf.

Subsequently, it's been codified as probably the best compromise way that individuals can still have a voice in the political process.

By the way, I'd love to hear the description of a democratic system (applicable to a country of 300+ million) that DOESN'T value a better organized/paid for campaign over the better candidate. Every one I've ever heard of does, and most have far more vulnerabilities to 'gaming' than the caucus system.

Iowa and New Hampshire are commonly recognized as bellwether states, mythologized in American culture as representative of skeptically conservative (ie not swayed easily by whim, as opposed to Conservative) yet open minded middle-class farmers and classic New England Yankees. I doubt it's really true anymore but that's why they've been allowed to remain. Don't examine it too closely or you might catch a whiff of parochialism and more than a strong scent of racism too.

Re:First Votes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38504334)

If the candidate is truly better, people will still caucus for him/her regardless of the state of the organization. But of course, there really should be a high correlation between "better candidate" and ability to enlist supporters to "organize". And even primaries require a decent organization. While you are not required to show up at a specific time and instead have all day (both require a specific place) , a campaign must still have GOV (get out the vote) efforts prior to primary day. The goal is to have the most enthusiastic supporters and get 100% of them to vote.

Request? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38501950)

Is the title a request or a challenge?

Re:Request? (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502338)

Is the title a request or a challenge?

It's an indication of just how bad the Republican field for 2012 really is. There is such widespread disgust for the current crop of GOP candidates, where even the frontrunner can't break 25%, in a year where the average Republican would walk 500 miles just for the opportunity to vote against this sitting president. The Republicans are begging for someone who's not Mitt Romney, to the point where people who aren't even invited to Republicans' 4th of July cookouts are taking a turn at the lead of the pack. It's like when kids are playing baseball and the two team captains are picking sides and there are only spazzes left and the kid who's the neighbor of one of the captains, whose mom is always trying go get them to play together, the spaz is waving his hand saying, "Ooh ooh! Pick me! Pick me!" and the team captain refuses to make eye contact, looking anywhere but at the spaz as if someone who knows how to field a grounder is standing just out of sight.

That's how bad the GOP field is. Mitt Romney is that spaz and this story of the supposed "hacker attack" on the Iowa Caucuses is just a way of creating plausible deniability when either a spaz or some other two-headed circus freak wins the thing. It's the only way they'll be able to explain it to themselves.

I just can't imagine what's running through Jon Huntsman's head right about now. A relatively normal, reasonable guy who just refuses to put on the size 22 shoes and red nose that his party seems to require since it went crazy due to there being a black guy in the White House.

Re:Request? (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502516)

Yeah, in the one Republican candidate debate I watched, Jon Huntsman (and Ron Paul!) seemed like the relatively sane ones

Re:Request? (2, Interesting)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502940)

The last one was my first real exposure to Romney... He just seemed like a nothing. The republican version of Obama, trying to associate himself with hopeful ideals rather than any kind of policy (his advisors think we are all idiots). If he is nominated it will be a joke. Really, I know of no actual person (who not a talking head or politician) who is excited at all about him. Hes like the "company man" or something. Groomed for this job and paid his dues to whoever is pulling the strings. Really it just creeps me out. The more I see, I realize the president doesn't matter so much in the big scheme of things anyway though.

Already been done without any hacking (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38501966)

This year the GOP primary rules have changed to assign delegates proportionally instead of winner-take-all. This makes it much harder to get 50% of the delegates and win the nomination through the actual vote. Instead we'll likely end up with a brokered convention [endoftheam...ndream.com] where the party leaders will elect whomever they want. This can effectively remove "undesirable" candidates whom the people want but the party doesn't (meaning Ron Paul).

Re:Already been done without any hacking (1)

arogier (1250960) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502240)

If I recall correctly a brokered convention wasn't necessary for Obama to trump Hilary as the Democrats used proportional representation in 2008.

In a brokered convention the most Ron Paul would be able to do is pledge his committed delegates to another candidate, provided the pledged delegates agree. Perry will probably be in a similar situation. What those delegates would probably do is support the not-Paul and not-Romney candidate. Huntsman will probably run on the Americans elect ticket turning the Charm up to 11 while being so economically conservative Paul would look like Kim Jung Il, Gary Johnson will run on the libertarian ticket as the marijuana candidate, the greens will put up a nobody, and Obama wins on the democratic ticket.

Re:Already been done without any hacking (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502486)

I think that Perry, Bachman, and Santorum have already assumed that either Romney or Gingrich is going to win and they are basically designing their campaigns around that fact. Since Gingrich, and esp. Romney is seen as being weak on the "culture warrior" front, those 3 have essentially made being the culture shogun their one and only campaign message.

Re:Already been done without any hacking (3, Insightful)

arogier (1250960) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502584)

Bachmann and Santorum were probably resigned to that when they entered, but Perry entered with the expectation of winning. Perry actually started the flavor of the month trend by knocking off Bachmann. For Perry the culture war isn't his message so much as the thing he was pushed into resorting to as his last agonal breaths before quitting after the South Carolina primary in a dignified manner. Entering the campaign Perry's message was simply "Texas, Fuck Yeah". Seeing 2000 and 2004 along with Texas's attempts to brand itself as America Plus, it wasn't and unrealistic expectation or strategy. It was just a dumb one.

Re:Already been done without any hacking (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502688)

I agree- they are running for a cabinet post at this point, I think.

Re:Already been done without any hacking (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38503818)

but why would Obama pick any of these guys for his cabinet?

Re:Already been done without any hacking (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502820)

If I recall correctly a brokered convention wasn't necessary for Obama to trump Hilary as the Democrats used proportional representation in 2008.

The issue never appeared before the convention. Hilary made a deal with Obama and dropped out. She could of forced the issue at the convention but it would of resulted in a split in the party.

YES !! NO !! MAYBE !! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38501972)

Wait until it happens, then it MIGHT be a story, if it's another super slow week here slashdot !!

Sorry Ron Paul (5, Insightful)

GeneralTurgidson (2464452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502034)

The Republican party will make sure you don't receive the nomination.

Re:Sorry Ron Paul (3, Interesting)

MrDoh! (71235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502160)

But if he does, they can blame it on some anonymous hackers.

Which of course it must be if (insertRandomCandidateHere) wins.

It's a bit of a waste though, everyone knows they save the real hacking for the final tally counts to decide president, not this early stage. Maybe the GOP are just upset 4chan peeps are going to decide the next president and not Karl Rove?

Re:Sorry Ron Paul (1)

arogier (1250960) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502268)

There isn't a chance for Rove or 4chan to decide the president in 2012. Rove isn't endorsing primary candidates so much as eliminating them and there are too many olds for 4chan to take it to the convention.

Re:Sorry Ron Paul (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38502448)

Yes, and thank god (if I believed in god).

Ron Paul is a nut. What he says sounds pretty good if you don't really think about it.

Re:Sorry Ron Paul (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38503334)

If he doesn't, then you shouldn't be sorry for him.
Be sorry for the world.

humbug! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38504372)

If he doesn't, then you shouldn't be sorry for him.

everyone knows your fellow ron paul cultists will go our to vote for your lord and savior in droves. they will brave weather and ford rivers of fire to pay homage to your lord and savior. the only question is whether any other candidate has followers who are dedicated enough to beat out the numbers of ron paul cultists in Iowa.

Re:Sorry Ron Paul (1)

butchersong (1222796) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504460)

Meanwhile today the administration announces that they will be seeking an additional 1.2T dollars increase in the debt ceiling. That's what.. like 5000 additional dollars per citizen not that it matters at this point. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/27/us-usa-treasury-debt-idUSTRE7BQ0KU20111227 [reuters.com] It amazes me that the republican leadership thinks anyone cares about social issues. Speaking as a republican (for now) give me a bigamist-lesbian-muslim canidate with a firm position on personal liberty and limited federal government and I'll vote for them...

Easiest way to end voter fraud (4, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502086)

Punish it for what it is: an attempted coup. Maybe this shouldn't count as "real voter fraud," but in general, democratic societies ought to punish organized voter fraud as a form of "attempting to overthrow the government." If the federal government were to hang a few people for attempting to systematically defraud the electorate, I think you'd see a lot fewer people willing to engage in the practice.

Re:Easiest way to end voter fraud (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38502190)

Punish it for what it is: an attempted coup. Maybe this shouldn't count as "real voter fraud," but in general, democratic societies ought to punish organized voter fraud as a form of "attempting to overthrow the government." If the federal government were to hang a few people for attempting to systematically defraud the electorate, I think you'd see a lot fewer people willing to engage in the practice.

Here are a few:

How the GOP Rules America: Voter Suppression and Political Apartheid
http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/yellow/36325/how-the-gop-rules-america-voter-suppression-and-political-apartheid [smirkingchimp.com]

Patterns of Touch Screen Voting Machine Fraud Identified and Documented in Florida, Ohio, New Mexico and Elsewhere in 2004
http://www.flcv.com/fraudpat.html [flcv.com]

Republican voter suppression: Maria’s Story
http://horsesass.org/?p=39248 [horsesass.org]

New Requirements Under HB 2067 (Voter Suppression Law)
http://www.sunfloweract.org/hb2067new [sunfloweract.org]
(in short, birth certificate based voter ID tends to disenfranchise elderly voters who were born at a time when birth certificates were not routinely issued -- even Ronald Reagan's bitch certificate was created many years after the fact)

Map of voter ID requirements:
http://www.ncsl.org/?tabid=16602 [ncsl.org]

Re:Easiest way to end voter fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38502632)

Two wrongs don't make a right, but where were you when it was the democrats destroying the vote?

Re:Easiest way to end voter fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38503890)

Oh yes and the other side isn't guilty of making dead people vote either.... Or busing people in to vote out of district or voter registration fraud.....

Or encouraging Illegal Aliens to vote.

BOTH SIDES are equally corrupt but in different methods and execution of that corruption.

Re:Easiest way to end voter fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38504140)

Hey left-wing partisan, can you please tell me what a bitch certificate is?

Important activity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38502092)

Interesting. This could have a larger more profound impact than all the Occupy movements combined, if enough people are involved.

Iowa's Importance? (1)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502116)

Iowa and New Hampshire, small population states that they are, are legends of importance only in their own minds.

If Ron Paul's organizational ability holds true to form, Iowa and their caucuses will be overrun by his supporters and he will win. Iowa will then get to see how much their "first in the nation" predictor factor means in places like California, New York, Florida and Illinois where Paul has a less broad appeal.

As an Iowan (1)

rjh (40933) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504014)

Iowa and New Hampshire, small population states that they are, are legends of importance only in their own minds.

Hi. I'm an Iowan. I'd like to point out that we're not the ones who are telling CNN to keep our caucuses in the 24/7 news cycle. That's the rest of the United States. We just want to hold our caucus and be done with it. The unrelenting campaigning is something that pretty much every Iowan finds quite distasteful. Our own electoral campaigns tend to be much nicer by comparison. When Jim Leach, representing eastern Iowa's interests to the House of Representatives, lost to Jim Loebsack, the two of them parted with a handshake, as friends, and with mutual respect. When was the last time you saw a race for national office end that way? True, by Iowa standards the Leach-Loebsack race was quite a nice and pleasant one, but it wasn't unusually so or without precedent. Compare that to how the current crop of GOP candidates is going after each other, and ... well. You might begin to get an idea of why so many Iowans are so looking forward to these caucuses being over. And that's just the half of it, really. What's as bad as the very un-Iowan nature of presidential campaigns is the two-faced condescension we face every four years from people who come into the state to butter us up to our faces just to tear us down in private.

I grew up in a town of 1500 people. My high school graduating class had fifty people. And every four years, like clockwork, a whole lot of people from out East and out West would converge on our small towns, filling up small motels that sat mostly-vacant all other times, and they'd converge on our diners and try to strike up conversations with people. Then, as soon as they thought we weren't listening, we'd hear them snigger about how uncultured we are, or grouse about how impossible it was to find good sushi or Ethiopian or what-have-you, or mock our religious beliefs. When they think nobody's listening they tell their friends back Somewhere Else about how they're "lost in flyover country" and how backwards it is.

And yet, while the rest of the country is arguing about gay marriage, Iowa is actually doing it, having decided that it is required by our State constitution. (Sure, there's been political fallout over that. But that doesn't change the fact it's what we decided.) While the rest of the country is lamenting the collapse of education, Iowa quietly continues its tradition of excellence. While the rest of the country is fearful of crime, we don't bother locking our doors at night. While children nationwide are being overprotected by parents terrified of stranger danger, we let elementary-age kids walk half-a-mile or more to school, alone and unattended.

You say we're "legends of importance only in our own minds." That's exactly the sort of thing I've heard from a lot of other people. Heard it before, and I've heard it again. I don't expect anything I've said to convince you that you want to live in Iowa. You probably don't, and I understand that. But if you want to know what I think Iowa deserves to be legendary for, it's those things. The caucuses are honestly a sideshow that's a lot more trouble than they're worth, and bring a whole lot of people into the state that I'm quite comfortable them staying away from the state.

Re:As an Iowan (1)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504228)

Thanks for the informative reply.

You misunderstand my position. Caucuses tend to work better in smaller areas, where democracy and elections are more direct. Iowa makes them work. Congrats.

My barb was directed at one thing and one thing only. Iowa's insistence that the caucuses for national elections be held FIRST in the nation and that they are in a special position because of that primacy. That is what keeps you in the 24/7 news cycle, and what gives serious question about your proclaimed distaste for all the attention.

Move the caucuses to Super Tuesday or something -- anything -- not first in the Nation, and most the noise will go away.

No, I don't want to move to Iowa and you couldn't convince me. However, it is because I personally like mountains and serious forests and Iowa seems to be short on both fronts. All the rest is negotiable and part of life.

Re:As an Iowan (1)

rjh (40933) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504296)

Who participates in the caucuses? It's a banner year if ten percent of eligible voters make it to a caucus. (In fact, I wonder if Iowa has ever broken ten percent.)

So, yeah, if ten percent of eligible voters care, and the other ninety percent are all "I'm going to take a long nap, wake me up on January 4" -- which seems to be the case -- then I think it's inappropriate to say that Iowans as a whole demand our caucuses be first, or that they deserve some kind of special prominence.

Don't think that the loudest voices actually represent Iowans. They represent themselves. Most Iowans just want the day after to come as quickly as possible.

Re:As an Iowan (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#38504564)

I'd like to point out that we're not the ones who are telling CNN to keep our caucuses in the 24/7 news cycle.

You guys could just move your caucuses to March if you're so desperate to get out of the limelight. You have only your state parties to blame, not CNN or dirty coastal elites.

And yet, while the rest of the country is arguing about gay marriage, Iowa is actually doing it, having decided that it is required by our State constitution.

And then a buncha pricks from Dubuque recalled half your supreme court, so now every social conservative in the US thinks it's practical and desirable to fire judges they disagree with. Wonderful outcome!

NB. It's impossible to get good sushi anywhere in the midwest, the fish just doesn't keep. And you can get amazing Ethiopian food in Minneapolis, due to the large Somali immigrant community. That's not a "flyover country" issue and if you think people are being pretentious asking for it you've clearly never had good injera. Check your small town elitism at the door, please.

The real question (1, Informative)

assertation (1255714) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502218)

is do hackers need to? The Republican candidates themselves seem to be disrupting the whole affair by being a clown show.

Please please please (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38502258)

Somebody please hack the system and make 150% of the votes for George W Bush!

Early primaries are undemocratic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38502384)

Iowa does not deserve the influence it has over the presidential politics nor do any of the early primary states. All states should vote on the same day. Our electoral politics and government itself would look and work completely different if that were the case.

Re:Early primaries are undemocratic (2)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38502784)

There is value in spreading the primaries out. Just like we saw with the drawn out debate season, it shakes out the "stars" and brings skeletons out of closets. It also pushes candidates who aren't thought to be legitimate by the media and the pundits, but who the people actually like, out into the open. If I remember right, Barack Obama wasn't thought to be a serious contender until he handily won the Iowa caucuses.

It is actually a benefit that the smaller states are first- winning candidates get a lot more media attention and more vetting before the big states' primaries, but they don't get all that many delegates. If they turn out to be nutjobs, not much damage is done.

Turn everyone into voting luddites (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38502428)

If hackers do manage to get control of the voting systems the most responsible thing they could do would be to give 100% to a write-in candidate. Ralph Nader would be a good one. That would do one of two things: turn the general population into luddites when it comes to voting, or force the establishment into truly securing the electronic voting system.

Hackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38502730)

For an update on the hackers that will affect the Iowa vot check out the brad blog. The vote results unless manually checked are not correct. And not because of "hackers". Anon bought up a good topioc. Vote hacking. But machine votes are hackable no matter how the machine is made. The only verifiable vote is one counted by at least two sets of eyes, and verified by a third set of eyes. We the people of the united states say that in every third world country, Now it looks like we have to say it here also.

GOP (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38502918)

According to Wikipedia, "GOP may refer to: Grand Old Party, a nickname for the Republican Party of the United States"

It would really help if this sort of thing is mentioned in the summary. US political party nicknames aren't very well-known in the Rest of the World.

Huh, really? (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38503158)

So...this is almost like saying that unless you can be ABSOLUTELY IRONCLAD SURE that your electronic voting system is secure, then paper ballots provide the best transparency, redundancy, and confirmatory trail of any solution?

Ironic that they're concerned enough about reliability and security to make this move for their primary, but nobody seems to care that much about the GENERAL election.

Here we go ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38503206)

Machine: Please press your selection for the GOP nomination.

(Press Ron Paul)

Machine: One vote for Mitt Romney.

(Press Ron Paul)

Machine: Two votes for Mitt Romney.

Show of hands (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38503390)

Seems to me if everyone raises their hands on camera, it would be much more trustworthy than "lol.. whoops - we just found 7000 votes on *insert_media_here* that got misplaced. We'll be sure to add those to the recount"*

Sure, pics can be doctored up too but it's a bit harder to do when there are multiple copies. Especially if anyone/everyone observing is able to take a picture.

[*] - http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2011/04/07/whoa_prosser_gains_7,381_votes_after_computer_error_is_fixed [townhall.com]

Here's a solution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38503436)

The process just needs to be more transparent. Right now, we vote, then later, we read about who won.

When you vote, you need to receive a voting receipt, including an anonymous voter identifier. The results need to be posted on a public website where you can actually see your vote being counted up along with everyone else's. This ensures that your vote gets counted correctly.

Now, the only problem is to make sure fake votes aren't added. For that, each voting location needs to display, at all times, a big public count of the amount of people that entered the voting room.

There, some anonymous jackass on the internet just solved the voting system. Yet, everyone acts like the problem in unsolvable. I wonder why.

Why IOWA decides anything for the rest of us.... (1)

scrout (814004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38503860)

is totally beyond me. But then, my state, Oregon, has NEVER been relevant in a presidential election. I am not really down with the corn industry picking my republican candidates.
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