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US Election Year, Still No Voting Reform

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the we'll-procrastinate-in-a-little-while dept.

Government 302

An anonymous reader writes "A year ago, we discussed this on Slashdot: E-Voting Reform In an Out Year?. The point was that due to the hoard of problems with electronic (and mechanical) voting, it is best to approach reform in an out year, when it is not on everyone's mind yet too late to do anything about it. Well, we failed, didn't we? Another election year is upon us, and our vote is less secure, less reliable, and less meaningful than ever. To reference the last article, we still have no open source voting, no end-to-end auditable voting systems and no open source governance. So don't complain if this election is stolen. You forgot to fix the system."

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In other words, (2)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#40565833)

... we have an election where close races are open to challenges based on the inability to have a reliable recount.

TFS also left out: (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40565875)

No one worthwhile to vote for, and congress will screw up everything anyway, so even if you DID fix the voting, nothing would change.

If voting actually worked, they'd probably outlaw it.

Re:TFS also left out: (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566071)

So you're an optimistic one. Also given to excessive verbiage.

Re:TFS also left out: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566229)

Also given to excessive verbiage.

Your sentence doesn't have a subject.

Don't forget local races and propositions (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566077)

If a local alcohol- or bond-election is within a few votes and there are more than that number of non-verifiable e-ballots, you may see a local judge invalidate the election and force a do-over.

No local entity is going to want to put up with having to pay for two elections.

Also (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566093)

Don't Vote!
It just encourages the bastards!

Re:TFS also left out: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566307)

>No one worthwhile to vote for

You don't think it's worthwhile to vote for Gary Johnson?

Re:TFS also left out: (3, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566625)

Not to mention that the article blatantly exaggerates how much power we the people actually have in the first place.

The ohio election hack pretty much proves that we have no voice unless it is approved by the elite. It proves that the powers that be aren't afraid to lie, cheat, steal their way into office.

In order for the american public to change anything they have to unite against it. That implies that
a) they care (apathy)
b) they haven't already given up hope (learned helplessness)
c) they aren't already busy scrambling to survive.

a is entirely our own fault. b, not so much because who wants to get beat up for zero payoff?. c is blatant manipulation of circumstances to make it too expensive to resist. Keep everyone too poor to both protest and feed their families at the same time./

Re:In other words, (0)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40565999)

It doesn't matter anyway. Both parties are equally corrupt and serve the same .01% of the population. In order for voting to matter, you need a real choice to vote on.

Re:In other words, (4, Funny)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566319)

This is all your fault. I voted for Kodos.

Re:In other words, (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566451)

Less traditional options have always existed. Nobody ever votes for any of them.

Re:In other words, (3, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566301)

... we have an election where close races are open to challenges based on the inability to have a reliable recount.

Not only that, but polling is down to such a near exact science someone *cough* Florida in 2000 *cough* could finagle staffing and access to voting centers which prevent a large population of registered voters passing through to cast their votes, thus throttling the representation of their precinct and overall vote count. i.e. Select some very slow or officious people to staff it, make sure there are no where near enough polling booths, transportation or parking is highly problematic and when the doors shut at 8 PM you've stifled the vote, because you knew ahead of time this area would go against your party.

Re:In other words, (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566467)

You may, we don't. The feds do NOT have much say over voting, that is left to the individual states. Here in Illinois there's a paper trail, probably because of our long history of election fraud. AFAIK Florida still uses punch cards.

Any election reform is up to your state's legislators, not the feds.

And Dead People Still Vote ..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566537)

Just don't ask the dead people for an ID to make sure they really are the dead person that they say that they say they are. If you do, you are very likely to end up in a lawsuit. Apparently, dead people don't like to have people ask them for their ID. Perhaps they don't have pockets.

Open source? (2)

barv (1382797) | more than 2 years ago | (#40565853)

Is there a good package that
1) protects privacy
2) is online
3) allows voter to confirm or change their vote
4) allows anybody to count the votes
5) have I missed anything?

Re:Open source? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#40565961)

Whenever I hear people toting the line that open source is equivalent to security, I immediately imagine Peter Gutmann unzipping his pants [auckland.ac.nz] .

(Search for 'sound wave')

Re:Open source? (2)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566227)

6) Checks if a voter can be mapped to at most one vote.

Off course, that bites privacy very much. Some techniques are just no golden hammer for every problem. Doing things on-line is a terrible way to organize an election.

Re:Open source? (4, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566489)

> 2) is online

No, that is just stupid. And so is mail in btw. Anything other than voting in person with a photo ID on election day with a paper ballot where the count is validated right after the polls close while poll watchers from all interested parties are there to witness is asking for fraud.

No, don't jump in with a reply until you STOP and think for a minute. Then you will realize I'm right. The problems with voting boil down to these:

1. Ensure that registered voters have unrestricted access to their polling place.

2. That inelligible people do not vote.

3. Ensure people only vote in the races they are elligible to vote in.

4. Ensure that the vote is secret and immune to outside influence.

5. Ensure that every vote is counted and only counted once.

Violate my formula in any way and one of those rules is impossible to ensure and thus the election by definition is unfair to some extent. Allowing a small percentage of absentee voting, contested ballots, etc. are perhaps acceptable compromises but must be understood as a compromise to prevent certain parties from trying to extrapolate those exceptions into bad general rules like universal mail in ballots, online voting, etc.

"no end-to-end auditable voting systems" (5, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#40565865)

We have one. It's called the "paper ballot".

Re:"no end-to-end auditable voting systems" (0)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#40565935)

tell that to the kiddies who are too lazy to walk a few blocks to vote in person and who think paper is only for dinosaurs

Re:"no end-to-end auditable voting systems" (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40565985)

He can't, because those "kiddies" are strawmen who exist solely in your imagination.

Re:"no end-to-end auditable voting systems" (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566069)

no, the reason for an untraceble secret ballot was due to all the corruption in the late 1800's. Boss Tweed and all or watch Gangs of New York. People were told how to vote and the gang bosses went to the polls to make sure they voted the right way

having an electronic ballot where its possible to trace who cast their vote and how risks bringing back all the problems from that time

but then again kids always thought they know better than their parents or grandparents. but then today's generation of OMG i'll miss out on a WoW raid, i don't have enough time to vote is the same as the kids of almost 12 years ago when Bush was elected. all the kiddies hated him until it interfered with their bong and alcohol time

Re:"no end-to-end auditable voting systems" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566291)

Again, those "kids" don't exist. You've never met one. You're grossly distorting the facts to make things look simpler than they are because you yourself are too lazy to examine a complex issue. You're about to prove me right.

Re:"no end-to-end auditable voting systems" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566361)

Only one such kid needs to exist to disprove your thesis. Therefore, you are wrong, to 5 sigmas.

Re:"no end-to-end auditable voting systems" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566553)

I've met them. They do exist. I've lived with them before. I offer to carpool them to the polls, and, exactly as GP noted, too much WoW.

I've voted in every election since I was old enough to. After November, I'll no longer be in the 18-29 demographic.

The GP isn't doing a strawman. He's doing the age-old observation that the new generation is somehow less virtuous than the previous one.

Re:"no end-to-end auditable voting systems" (2, Insightful)

OhPlz (168413) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566163)

If they're too lazy to walk a few blocks then they're way too lazy to actually be informed about the issues and where the candidates stand on them. If you make it easy enough that even those folks will vote, then you've turned the elections into popularity contests. We could only guess at what criteria they'd be basing those votes on.

In my state, we have paper sheets where you fill in the bubble. When you're done filling them in, you feed the ballot to the scanner and the paper copy is retained. We have quick results thanks to the scanners, but the actual ballots still exist and can be counted. We don't need anything more than that.

Re:"no end-to-end auditable voting systems" (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566313)

i've lived in the USA for over 30 years. came here shortly after Reagan took office. when have these issue things actually influenced an election? it's all charisma and oratory ability

Reagan had it, carter and mondale no
Dukakis looked like a troll or a gnome
Clinton was way better looking and charismatic than Bush 1
Bush 2 was annoying but not as annoying as Al Bore who looked like your annoying overprotective mother lecturing you on what is best for you
McCain went through torture, but that lip looks like hes chewing tobacco all the time. and he's old and kind of hunched. Palin was MILF hot but not enough to beat Oblama who had the looks and speaking ability like Steve Jobs

Re:"no end-to-end auditable voting systems" (1, Flamebait)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566357)

The D party has a long history of renting buses so their voters can get to the polls (note the plural).

Some of those buses tour the whole city, 'vote early and often' as they say in Chicago.

Re:"no end-to-end auditable voting systems" (2)

DarkTempes (822722) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566425)

My state is a solid republican/red state.
All of my state's electoral votes go to the majority winner.
If a candidate wins just eleven other states my state doesn't even matter.

Explain to me why I should vote for anything that's not local.

All the more reason for federalism (2, Insightful)

bradley13 (1118935) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566597)

No one's vote counts at the federal level. With 300,000,000 people in the country, there is no possible way to have representative government. Federal elections are as meaningful as beauty contests, only more corrupt.

This is the single biggest argument for federalism, i.e., limiting federal power and keeping government as local as possible.
In a local election, you can actually have an influence. Not only your vote, but your ability to contact and coordinate with some meaningful fraction of the electorate.

This argument can be applied recursively. What can be done at the township level, should be.

Re:"no end-to-end auditable voting systems" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40565949)

Yes, but without electronic voting corporations aren't allowed to vote. They are people too.

Of Really? (1, Insightful)

morari (1080535) | more than 2 years ago | (#40565889)

So don't complain if this election is stolen. You forgot to fix the system.

The system doesn't want to be fixed. It is, of course, setup that way on purpose. Sometimes it is better to just start over than it is to try to fix something broken beyond repair. If voting actually had the power to change anything, it would most certainly be illegal.

Re:Of Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566633)

The system doesn't want to be fixed. It is, of course, setup that way on purpose. Sometimes it is better to just start over than it is to try to fix something broken beyond repair.

Check out the links in the main article. There is a start-over, called collaborative governance. [metagovernment.org]

If voting actually had the power to change anything, it would most certainly be illegal.

Check the main page [metagovernment.org] of that same site, and read the Transition section. They don't need permission from the status quo, but they also aren't breaking any laws.

That's so cute. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40565893)

You think voting is anything other than a public circlejerk to keep people busy.

Ahh to be young and stupid again.

Re:That's so cute. (2)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566315)

"[S]ince Americans require the illusion of self-government, we have elections."

-Matt Taibbi

here we have... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40565899)

one large, cream-colored, mooooaaan.

E-Voting Reform In an Out Year? (3, Interesting)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#40565901)

E-voting cannot be transparent and therefor cannot be acceptable.

Re:E-Voting Reform In an Out Year? (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566073)

E-voting cannot be transparent and therefor cannot be acceptable.

Let's consider something else, which is supposed to be secure and is still in some kind of dark ages at the present - the credit card.

Mine was recently charged for a videogame download, likely the details obtained when I gave them over the phone for a hotel reservation, the download was sent to an email address not registered with my card. Meanwhile, friends who have had their cars broken into find there are a few gas stations which still don't ask about pin numbers or zip codes when a card is swiped, let alone have cameras on site, so thieves call all their friends who flashmob the filling station and top off their tanks before throwing the card away.

With billions of dollars of charges, lost to thievery on cards, why are we expecting voting could be secure? Clearly sloppiness to a very high dollar cost isn't important, why should you expect extreme care for voting?

Re:E-Voting Reform In an Out Year? (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566327)

In 2006 I lost my cards at the gym - don't go there any more either. Next morning, on the way to work I get a call from my bank - 'Are you in las Vegas by any chance?' No, I am not, but my cards are, and had just bought something at a gas station for a few bucks, triggering an alert. Yup, my card was at a casino trying to load up on chips for some fun. I was assured they would not be loading up on my dime. I got two other calls in rapid succession from other banks and such, same story.

If my card was snagged and used locally, they might get away with it for a bit, but go too far and at least one of my banks etc would be asking me where I was.

While gas stations have somewhat different fraud rules, they don't want fraud any more than you. It is inefficient, bad for business, and always costs them something.

Using similar methods for e-voting sounds appealing; dispute resolution, notificaiton of out of pattern activity, etc, but this could be solved by giving you a receipt for your vote, scanning it with your phone or inputting the key into the website, and protesting anything that looks wrong.

And after all this, the system could STILL be gamed by counting imaginary results despite all the confirmations. Only by tramping down to the polls a few days later and running your wrinkled, faded, written-on receipt could you participate in a recount of any meaning. Better than nothing, but OCR paper ballots can do this now.

E-voting is not interesting to me yet. It serves someone else's purposes, not mine.

Re:E-Voting Reform In an Out Year? (2)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566499)

Using similar methods for e-voting sounds appealing; dispute resolution, notificaiton of out of pattern activity, etc, but this could be solved by giving you a receipt for your vote, scanning it with your phone or inputting the key into the website, and protesting anything that looks wrong.

This would destroy the secrecy of the ballot. It is essential that no one be able to ascertain how you voted, even with your cooperation. The paper ballot does this in a simple, transparent manner.

Re:E-Voting Reform In an Out Year? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566433)

> why should you expect extreme care for voting?

Your money is important only to you, and you have many choices as to how you manage it.

Different types of voting systems (5, Insightful)

Krishnoid (984597) | more than 2 years ago | (#40565913)

I'm more interested in the results that a different kind of voting system [wikipedia.org] would produce, such as how the ability to rank candidates on a ballot would affect campaign strategy and the kinds of people we'd elect.

"We"? (4, Informative)

J'raxis (248192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40565925)

"We"? Who is this "we"? Here in New Hampshire, they passed a paper trail law [votersunite.org] in 1994 and we've not had any of these problems.

Re:"We"? (4, Informative)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566255)

And in my NH town, we just use a simple paper ballot with checkboxes. There are about 800 voters in a typical election and about ten volunteers spend an hour tallying them. I think the town buys a few sandwiches from the convenience store in appreciation. At the end, they use a website to report the results to the Secretary of State's office (used to be a phone call) and lock the ballots in a wooden chest in case of a recount or audit.

Somebody explain how this system doesn't scale to any appropriate-sized town/district/ward...

Re:"We"? (1, Interesting)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566601)

They keep finding more boxes of paper ballots until the selected candidate wins.

Also how do you know the box starts empty?

UN has this figured out. Clear boxes and finger dyes are required to prevent most of the blatant fraud. Of course one party will not allow this (hint: it's the same one that won't allow for ID checks).

Re:"We"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566619)

Somebody explain how this system doesn't scale to any appropriate-sized town/district/ward...

Simple. The whole idea of "ethics" gets a little blurry in more populated areas. What you would see is a whole lot of Acorn workers "volunteering" to count ballots. Unlike your small town, they would also convince the city/county to provide better compensation than a few sandwiches.

Re:"We"? (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566269)

There's a lot of reasons for that, and one of them is that your Secretary of State, Bill Gardner, is strongly non-partisan. He sees his job as first and foremost ensuring a free and fair election in New Hampshire, and because of that he's kept his job even as governors, executive councillors, and legislatures have come and gone. That means, among other things, that his salary isn't tied to who wins, which eliminates any incentive he'd have to cheat.

Other states aren't so lucky - in many states, if the "wrong" party wins the election, the Secretary of State is out of a job, whereas manipulating an election result has little if any consequence. Not fixing the voting process makes fixing the vote much easier, so it's great for the Katherine Harris's of the world.

horde, not hoard (1)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 2 years ago | (#40565941)

Damned homophones!

Re:horde, not hoard (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566273)

Actually neither word works in this context. Look them up.

Here in Redneckville (2, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 2 years ago | (#40565945)

I live in what the Europeans like to call the backwater redneck racist Christian "fly-over" part of America. I guess we are so stupid here that our voting system isn't worthy of being audited. We are so stupid that the state actually has a balanced budget.. what a bunch of inbred hicks we are.

    All we have here are simple to fill out scantron ballots that are anonymous, simple to scan in, and trivially easy to recount in an offline manner if needed. We get our election results within hours of the polls closing on election day. Oh and as for software, the software in the system is so simple that Windows vs. Linux doesn't even enter into the equation because you don't need either.

      Frankly, even if the voting software is "open source" on some website, you have zero guarantees that the voting machine you are using actually runs the wonderful open source software you spent months auditing in the first place.

      We are so backwards here. I feel so inadequate compared to those places that blew tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money on systems that don't work. You can tell they are *so* much superior to us.

Re:Here in Redneckville (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566109)

What the fuck kind of post is this? You use sarcasm to disguise an apparent inferiority complex and ascribe attributes to Europeans who don't know and don't particularly care where the "fly-over" part of America is? It's terrific that your state has a balanced budget and that you're confident in the trustworthiness of your voting system but I reckon you've gone out of your way to seem like a huge dickhead with that irritating post of yours.

Re:Here in Redneckville (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566359)

I've only ever heard the term "fly-over state" in American movies.

Re:Here in Redneckville (2)

T.E.D. (34228) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566211)

You know, I grew up in Oklahoma, and always heard that folks on the coasts thought of us as "fly-over" territory. However, as an adult I spent a decade living in various places on the eastern seaboard, and never once heard anyone use that term.

Now I'm back in Oklahoma, and suddenly I hear it again. With some perspective, its pretty clear this is some kind of weird persecution complex. The sad part is I can now also pretty cearly see how rich folks (who of course do live on the coasts and wouldn't be caught dead here) merrily promote and use this complex for their own personal gain.

Sad, really.

Re:Here in Redneckville (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566337)

I live on the east coast and I don't really talk about or even think about places like Oklahoma. So obviously I would never use the term "fly-over" territory. Unless, that is, I'm actually flying over them, and then I think "Wow, there's nothing down there but a bunch of farmland. I guess that's why they call them fly-over states."

"At least they still use Scantron sheets."

Re:Here in Redneckville (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566303)

I live in what the Europeans like to call the backwater redneck racist Christian "fly-over" part of America.

You Exaggerate off course. As a European, I think America is a no-fly zone.

Re:Here in Redneckville (1, Troll)

bit trollent (824666) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566311)

The only problem with Redneckville is that it's full of ignorant loudmouths like you.

Redneckville is so full of small minded, self righteous, dipshits that the governor has actually convinced you fools that he balanced the budget while taking out millions of dollars in bonds and laughing all the way to the bank, where he has lined his pockets with public money.

Meanwhile, the governor has put in place voter suppression laws which run afoul of the Voting Rights Act, which was itself necessitated by racist dumb-asses in bigot flyover country.

Re:Here in Redneckville (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566333)

Your ignorance is showing

Rather than fussing over electronic voting... (4, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#40565947)

... get the basics right.

Like having an non-partisan public service, a non-partisan committee of civil servants administering the election and drawing the boundaries?

Like any non-banana republic?

From the point of view of other Anglo-Saxon countries, and Europe, the US is a basketcase.

Recent US elections, e.g. Florida during Bush Jr's reelection campaign, would make disgrace your average Third World shithole, let alone the richest and most powerful nation on Earth.

Re:Rather than fussing over electronic voting... (3, Interesting)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566155)

let alone the richest and most powerful nation on Earth

The United States is not the richest country on Earth by the most important measure [wikipedia.org] . It's #6.

I live in the USA and from where I'm standing, mine is not the most powerful nation on Earth either. The most powerful country is one that doesn't have to listen to what anyone else says. I give that honor to China, based on my observation that China is completely unaccountable for its misdeeds (annexation of Tibet and currency manipulation come readily to mind).

Re:Rather than fussing over electronic voting... (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566411)

I'm pretty sure the US government has more money to spend than Luxembourg does.

Re:Rather than fussing over electronic voting... (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566577)

Your most important measure lists Qatar as the wealthiest nation on Earth.

China has had some rather embarrassing incidents over the past couple of years, such as the story of Chen Guangcheng. They aren't really able to just do what they feel like.

Perhaps you should rethink your ideas.

Re:Rather than fussing over electronic voting... (1)

strong_epoxy (413429) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566385)

Where are these 'non-partisan' people you talk about? Are they like people without an opinion? They don't care? They're to run elections?

Or are they really people who agree with you?

Re:Rather than fussing over electronic voting... (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566475)

In 2000, it got bad enough in Florida that Fidel Castro half-seriously offered to send Cuban election observers.

The disgrace in 2004 (Bush Jr's re-election) was in Ohio, where:
- The CEO of the Ohio-based voting machine manufacturer, Diebold, promised to deliver Ohio for the Bush campaign.
- The election results differed significantly from exit polling, suggesting some sort of problem.
- Voter registration forms from the northeastern area of the state (which is heavily Democratic) were rejected by the Republican Secretary of State because they were filled out on the wrong kind of paper stock.
- Voting machine distribution was inconsistent, ensuring that people in more Republican precincts could vote in 15-30 minutes while in more Democratic precincts voting took over 3 hours.
- There was some evidence of forged audits.

Re:Rather than fussing over electronic voting... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566581)

> Like having an non-partisan...

Only a fool believes that there is any non-partisan anything.

 

Sensationalist Post (5, Interesting)

GeneralTurgidson (2464452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40565953)

People would rather blame an election on stolen votes instead of realizing the electorate really is that stupid.

Re:Sensationalist Post (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566033)

Like a magician's card trick, the entire thing is rigged before you even make your selection.

Re:Sensationalist Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566105)

Why would you think they're that stupid?... oh yeah, they watch Fox - "Fairly Unbalanced". Of course having a candidate come up with a negative vote count in Florida would be absolutely no reason to think someone tampered with the vote count, eh?

The election is already stolen (2)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40565979)

The powers that be have both of their choices lined up. It's a win-win for them and a lose-lose for us.

Putting rhetoric aside, can anyone tell me what real policy differences there are? From what I've seen it's a matter of degree not direction.

Election is already stolen by 0.01% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566037)

Yes agreed, The Point Zero One decide who wins, and what the "winner" will say and do... Goodbye democracy old friend.

Re:The election is already stolen (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566165)

The powers that be have both of their choices lined up. It's a win-win for them and a lose-lose for us.

Putting rhetoric aside, can anyone tell me what real policy differences there are? From what I've seen it's a matter of degree not direction.

You mean the parties. You can always vote for non-Democrat non-Republican choices. Lots of smaller parties abound and every now and then a third party rises (usually to vanish again within a few years due to infighting.)

Personally I like the idea of run-off elections. Stop the parties giving us only one choice, each, because (as we can see with Mitt) between locking up the nomination and election day they could falter, utter something completely at odds with their party and suddenly look far less worthwhile. Let everyone run, let's take the best 2 or 3 and have a run-off. That fixes this "grooming" junk.

You can vote for anyone you like (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#40565993)

In so much as it is the candidate my voting machine company has coded into the ballot software.

Well, that was about the same threat as the Diebold chief.

RTFA (3, Interesting)

rwv (1636355) | more than 2 years ago | (#40565997)

I guess the original article is a year-old Slashdot discussion for this one.... so some of us may *actually* have read it, but surely we don't remember and for the integrity of this discussion I hope nobody goes back and re-reads it.

Could you be any whinier? (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566039)

And more out of touch? You seriously think that the electoral process could be completely changed in one year? You'd probably do as well not to vote given that you clearly have a very poor understanding of how the system actually works. You seem to want a dictatorship, which is the only kind of government where such sweeping reforms could be discussed and implemented across a large diverse nation in such a short time.

Also as for all your whines about auditing and transparency, that is actually something existing paper ballots are quite good at. There is a permanent record of the votes, they can and are counted in open forums by multiple people and so on. They have their issues to be sure but openness and auditing aren't big ones.

E-voting is a complex issue. It isn't the sort of thing we want to rush in to.

No, just because your preferred candidate doesn't win, doesn't mean the election was "stolen".

Voter Reform? (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566059)

First things first. How about we just get Voter ID laws passed first so we know who is actually voting. Then we can work on getting everyone the simple scan-trons that work so well around here.

But..but..Voter ID laws disenfranchise people! Of all the things you need an ID for in life many of them are much less important that voting. Nothing worse than going to the polls and finding someone (unique name) already signed in as you and voted.

Re:Voter Reform? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566353)

"Nothing worse than going to the polls and finding someone (unique name) already signed in as you and voted"

how would you know if it virtually never happens?

Re:Voter Reform? (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566613)

We have Voter ID. It's called registering to vote. Your voter registration card should be all the ID you need. Anything else is a waste of peoples time and money. People actually showing up at a poling place to impersonate another voter is so rare that more people are struck by lightening every year than attempt this fraud.

Mexico uses analog votes, still open to fraud (1)

Nushio (951488) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566079)

Democracy is dead. In today's world of overflowing money, the one with the largest pockets will win.

In Mexico, we claim to have an institution dedicated to fight Vote Fraud, but despite innumerable amounts of proof that PRI (Political Party) bought votes, and people purposedly miscounted votes, or nulled them, they've done absolutely nothing.

It doesn't matter the system, analog or digital. They (The ones with power) impose whoever they want. I've given up trying.

why i didn't fix the system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566091)

the system isn't fixable

Hoard of Problems? (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566113)

I think he meant to say "horde of problems" (meaning a great amount of them). However, perhaps under the circumstances, "hoard" (meaning a stash that is being purposely hidden away) is just as appropriate. :-(

Re:Hoard of Problems? (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566399)

Neither! Next!

What about bubble sheets? (2)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566121)

Maybe this is a naive question, but what's wrong with bubble sheet voting ballots? Like those "A-B-C-D-E" forms you filled out when you took the SAT in high school. That's basically what we use in Minnesota, but just a little different because voting isn't just "A-B-C-D-E".

Everyone knows how to fill out bubble sheets, so they're dead simple to use. When you've voted, you insert them into a scanner (it's also a locked box, old-fashioned key-and-lock, so no one except election officials can access they ballots once they're inserted). The scanner checks for simple stuff like "Did you vote for more than one presidential candidate?" and immediately spits your ballot out if it finds a problem. I made a mistake on my ballot once, and there's a simple, established procedure where they destroy your invalid ballot in front of you and issue you another ballot so you can vote again. It's easy.

And bubble sheets are anonymous. No worrying about "Can someone figure out how I voted?"

Above all, bubble sheets are auditable. While the scanners can easily keep track of how many votes for Obama v Romney, election officials can always go back to manually count the bubble sheets in the case of a recount. You may have heard about our 2008 recount [startribune.com] - they manually recounted the bubble sheets.

And the obvious question is . . . . (3, Informative)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566125)

. . . .who owns those voting machine companies?

Full Spectrum Dominance: Why transactional data matters

During the Bush administration, at least on several occasions, the entire warrantless eavesdropping or wiretapping and FISA made the national news cycle for several days ---- yet each time, oddly enough, it was knocked off by the news of national immigration marches.

What exactly was really accomplished by those national immigration marches?

Other than occupying the news space on those days?

Next obvious question would be who owned those Spanish-language radio stations responsible for organizing those marches?

At that time, the major financial stake in those stations belonged to the private equity firm, the Blackstone Group, chaired by Peter G. Peterson, protégé of David Rockefeller.

During that time the Blackstone Group also had a financial stake in telecoms in Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Poland, Italy, Portugal and Malta (Malta being an important nexus point, or physical exchange point, between Europe, North Africa and the Middle East), as well as one of the three major privatized global satellite networks at that period, New Skies Network (officially later sold off, but we never checked to see if Blackstone Group actually owned the company it was sold to?).

So those national marches, which knocked warrantless wiretapping off the news cycle and involved AT&T, were organized by Blackstone Group-owned radio stations, chaired by the fellow whose financial-economic-political mentor was David Rockefeller.

Now AT&T was broken up --- on paper at least --- but can anyone provide definite data to prove it was ever actually financially divested?

Negative!

Now, traditionally, AT&T was a Rockefeller-Morgan financial entity, which, by the way, happens to have re-conglomerated back to its original form, thanks in part to President Bill Clinton’s Telecommunications Act of 1996.

And who led the charge in congress to grant immunity to AT&T and those telecoms involved in that warrantless wiretapping for the government?

None other than Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia!

My oh my, how those coincidences pile up?

Recently, some very serious legislation has passed into law --- while other equally dangerous legislation has failed, for now --- although that failed legislation attacked net neutrality (equality of access to the Internet), it was really only to make into law that which is quickly becoming reality --- the end of net neutrality!

Laws have been passed, in America and Europe and elsewhere, requiring ISPs to retain your data for 1 to 3 years or more.

Why is this important to the ruling elites?

Transactional data, surrounding information, dot connection, global linkage.

Using existing DPI techniques (Deep Packet Inspection), they can virtually identify and extract information about you, your life, your family, the like of which most people cannot even imagine.

Data mining hit critical mass around 2003 to 2004; and all it then required to identify a person exactly was their age and zip code --- today it probably requires less.

A little while ago, a fellow from the New America Foundation wrote a book on ExxonMobil --- focusing on the personalities of its chief executives, and went on a book tour where not a single person who interviewed him (including NPR’s Terry Gross and Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!) inquired as to the ownership of ExxonMobil?

Now isn’t that freaking amazing? ? ? ?

Of course, New America Foundation is funded by the Peterson Foundation, endowed by Peter G. Peterson, protégé of David Rockefeller. (ExxonMobil is a re-combining of the original Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Companies --- which were once broken up --- at least on paper --- as no valid data exists to suggest otherwise.)

AT&T? ExxonMobil? Are we beginning to note a pattern here?

Now that’s why we must also pay attention to transactional data --- it’s not just for the ruling elite to manipulate and control us --- it exposes the ultimate aims of the plutocracy!

So, to return to MK ULTRA --- which officially they claim was ended --- but is very much in existence today.

Funds were disbursed for that program through the Rockefeller Foundation, and other Rockefeller family foundations under different names --- referred to as philanthropy, but technically known as the intelligence shadow funds disbursement --- then the MK ULTRA program was moved from the CIA to the Pentagon sometime in the 1970s.

In the 1980s, under Reagan, the NSA was also moved to DoD control, losing its ostensibly civilian independence.

The government, through the Department of Homeland Security, has instituted its own DPI software, called Einstein Intrusion-Prevention System, utilizing NSA tools (Tutelage program) to monitor traffic into and exiting government networks. (While this may be a preventative measure, it can also be a major boon in its war on whistleblowers.)

Their system, of course, was first tested and implemented on the AT&T network.

DPI technology is presently sold by the Boeing subsidiary, Narus, to China, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, etc., to track down activists for torture, jailing and to disappear them.

This is what democracy looks like?

And what former and unrepentant chief economist from the IMF, now a professor at MIT, claims that the Rockefeller family gave away the bulk of their fortune in philanthropy after the breakup of their Standard Oil, which itself is another claim?

Simon Johnson, who also happens to be a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute, founded by Peter G. Peterson and David Rockefeller for the multiple purposes of ending Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, offshoring all American jobs, and promoting universal love and admiration for the WTO’s Financial Services Agreement!

(Those coincidences just won’t stop, now will they?)

So while Johnson spreads the mythology that (1) Standard Oil was broken up, when it was really only broken up on paper, the Rockefeller family retained financial power to control and manipulate; and (2) that the Rockefeller family gave away a fortune through philanthropy, when in actuality they were really disbursing taxpayer funds from the intelligence agencies’ shadow budget!

And Johnson promotes the breaking up of banks --- on paper --- while urging the continuation of the status quo, i.e., keeping all their financial tools for destruction in place, such as naked swaps, etc.

This too, is part of MK ULTRA!

We admit we have no idea as to the DoD’s new name for MK ULTRA, perhaps “Full Spectrum Dominance” --- if anyone knows or can find out we’d appreciate that datum.

By whatever name, the MK ULTRA program is still active, now involved with manufacturing reality, yours and mine, through disseminating the “news” through countless think tanks, institutes, foundations, trusts, etc.

It seeks all transactional data through social intelligence systems (social networking, web tracking services, Facebook, Discus, et al.) while manipulating general opinion through chatbots, site censorship, site-generated comments (non-human, but meant to sound like one), etc.

So let’s break it down: those national immigration marches acted to alter the national news cycle, only causing people in cars, trucks, buses to burn more gas --- and who profits from that?

The oil companies, and who owns the oil companies?

Truly, we are being played from every angle!
Whatever its name, MK ULTRA was and is about master control.
A young graduate student, a husky White-American male, climbs a tower on a Texas college campus, armed with a rifle and extra ammo, then randomly shoots at the people below.

A precocious Jewish-American youth enters Harvard at a very young age, where he becomes the unwitting test subject in Henry Murray’s behavioral manipulation program, and years later this young prodigy gains publicity as the Unabomber.

A Black-American IBM employee in his late 30s, is approached by people on a train who know everything about his past, and he quickly slips into mental illness, quitting IBM only to return in 1982, crashing into their Bethesda, Maryland, facility, and begins shooting at anyone and everyone!

The concrete link connecting them? They were all the unwitting subjects of the MK ULTRA program.

We only realize that today due to transactional data, surrounding data and links.

MK ULTRA . . . .it continues.

Re:And the obvious question is . . . . (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566407)

Haha I've haven't seen a good conspiracy rant for a long time. Thanks for the entertainment.

Re:And the obvious question is . . . . (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566505)

Please return to sitting in the corner and jacking off, that's what the ZombieTard excels at. . . .

sgt_doom

Re:And the obvious question is . . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566543)

Cool story, bro!

Captcha - accolade

one thing needed to fix the problem (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566127)

We should require that every person fit to vote (adults not a felon not crazy/senile) do so or have "standing votes" where if you declare as %party% then unless you formally vote otherwise you count as having voted for the %party% candidate (require formal voting every Nth time to remain an active voter).

Re:one thing needed to fix the problem (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566347)

The Soviet Union used to have mandatory voting. Not a winning idea.

Re:one thing needed to fix the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566629)

The Soviet Union used to have mandatory voting. Not a winning idea.

Why not ? The principle is better that what you had/have in the US were for many decades presidents were elected with less than 50% of the population going to vote. Even with the electoral college system how the fuck is this more democratic ?

As a citizen you have both rights and duties. To vote is a duty. Even a blank ballot is meaningful. But to say "why the fuck should I vote ?" is bad for democracy. We all have a stake in the democratic process, but to simple state that I don't vote 'cause I'm not interested is just plain hypocritical and damages the system.

Re:one thing needed to fix the problem (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566483)

We should require that every person fit to vote (adults not a felon not crazy/senile) do so or have "standing votes" where if you declare as %party% then unless you formally vote otherwise you count as having voted for the %party% candidate (require formal voting every Nth time to remain an active voter).

Because there's no way to abuse that, right?

The main sticking point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566175)

The main election reform would be to get rid of the first-past-the-post system. Almost any other system is better. My favorite is the proportional scheme, but I think approval voting would be the most suitable incremental upgrade path for America. It's simple: just choose any number of candidates you want and all votes are counted. Or you could keep on voting like you always did. But it would give a chance for new ideas to grow and be measured fairly in the elections.

Also no evidence of a real problem (2, Informative)

clodney (778910) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566183)

Another election year is upon us, and our vote is less secure, less reliable, and less meaningful than ever. To reference the last article, we still have no open source voting, no end-to-end auditable voting systems and no open source governance.

We also have no credible evidence of any organized tampering of the vote, either in mechanical or electronic forms. The systems may be wrong, but they are probably no worse than they have ever been, and I haven't seen any smoking gun saying that the machines were tampered with.

I do see 3 forms of election fraud/dirty tricks commonly alleged:

1. Fraudulent registrations. Indicated by people with no valid address or suspicious numbers of people residing at the same address. Not something an electronic voting system can address.
2. Felons voting while still on probation. Not clear that felons vote for one party vs another, but even if it is organized, not something that e-voting would address.
3. Dirty tricks along the lines of too few ballots or machines delivered to certain precincts causing long lines. Or making precincts inconveniently large. These are potentially done by one party or the other, but a certain number of these snafus are certainly due to incompetence or unexpectedly high voter turnouts. Also not something that changing the voting machines would address.

So what is the problem that we are trying to solve again?

Meh who cares (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566187)

You can't tell Mittens' policies apart from Obama's without an electron microscope anyways. Flip a coin for it.

No paper trail, no vote count! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566283)

Once digital, always vulnerable. Black on white. What is written, that is given. Volatile electrical charges need not apply here.

The system is fixed (1)

OldHawk777 (19923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566287)

Political Castration of US is the baseline requirement for a nazi-republic or banana-republic north of the Río Bravo del Norte.

Federal Union of Christian Kindness (FUCK) US will be a great republic of faux-christians, patriot-chickens, and pseudo-capitalist that excel at flag-waving, dogma-thumping, book-burning for the plutocrat-elites and their mindless neut-gestapo serial killers.

one vote per person is the problem (3, Interesting)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566323)

The problem is the voting system only allows one vote per voter. You can prove, mathematically, that a "pluralistic" voting system winds up electing better candidates. It also makes it hard/impossible for a 2 party system to push out 3rd party candidates.

There's a number of ways to do it. One is to give every voter N-1 votes and let them assign their votes to amongst the N candidates. Another is to have them rank the candidates in order of preference. (I.E. Johnson > Obama > Paul > Romney might be one ranking.)

Make the punishment REALLY severe (4, Insightful)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566349)

Look, tampering or wholesale stealing of the vote is about the worst thing that can happen in a democracy. No really.

So punish the people caught with VERY severe punishments, like multi-decade stints in prison (sorry I'm against the death penalty). That way, even if you catch a little fish, chances are good he'll squeal like a pig and rat out the higher ups.

My only fear is that some of the people who are crazy motivated might actually think that their cause is worth sacrificing the rest of their lives for. Fortunately the U.S. hasn't quite gotten to the point where those people are more than a tiny fraction of the population; otherwise you'd see suicide bombers at political events.

(Also, "dirty tactics" like fraudulent robo-calls which claim to be someone who they aren't or send people to the wrong polling place, should have their punishments significantly increased. Again, you're subverting the basic premise of a democracy).

the truth is : A vs B voting is fake... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566449)

there is no longer a difference between reps and dems

they are opposite sides of the same broken system

both sides are bought and paid for by the corporate hegemony
the A vs B voting paradigm is the matrix
it is placed there to give you an illusion of control

get rid of A and B, then start fresh, without reps and dems, voting systems are useless until then :)

Who needs voting reform, when anyone can vote? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40566463)

Subject + if you're dead, alive, illegal, a figure of imagination - who cares?

The cynics ... (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 2 years ago | (#40566579)

... always come out whenever "elections" are mentioned.

As though it actually doesn't matter who we vote for. It does. It's just that we always* vote for the same type of politician. We are gullible. It's also interesting that, even with all the cynicism, we have remarkably different states. Compare New York to Texas. There's a world of difference in the politicians, in the laws, in how people live, etc. So to think that "all politicians" or "all governors" are the same and it "doesn't matter who you vote for" ... to me, that smacks of either ignorant or exaggerated cynicism that ignores differences. To think that someone elected from the "Tea Party" is actually the same as Ye Olde Republican or Ye Olde Democrat party is ... well, pretty weird. You may think, of course, that TP and R/D politicians are all alike in that they are all politicians and motivated by corporate money, but even that seems a bit of a stretch. You may also think they are all extremists, but that's a stretch. But to say they're all the same [and get modded Insightful] is... meh. Cynical. :)

* Of course, there are exceptions. :)

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