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Azerbaijan Election Results Released Before Voting Had Even Started

samzenpus posted about 10 months ago | from the and-the-winner-is dept.

Politics 266

Jah-Wren Ryel writes "Florida's hanging chads ain't going nothing on Azerbaijan. Fully a day before the polls were to open, election results were accidentally released via an official smartphone app, confirming what everybody already knew — the election was rigged from the beginning. The official story is that the app's developer had mistakenly sent out the 2008 election results as part of a test. But that's a bit flimsy, given that the released totals show the candidates from this week, not from 2008."

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Cryptographically signed elections? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088083)

Is there a reason why developed countries haven't let users vote with a public/private key pair, and signing your own votes, in a method that can be cryptographically checked and counted by any reasearcher?

This can even be done anonymously, just identify voters from anonymously issued keys...

Certainly problems like this would go away

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (4, Interesting)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 10 months ago | (#45088141)

It seems like as long as there's anonymity, it's going to be possible to rig it.

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (3, Insightful)

ravyne (858869) | about 10 months ago | (#45088429)

And therein lies the rub. Is non-anonymity really better, especially where despots reign? Does it matter whether despots are continually re-elected through fraud or through fear of repercussions if the result is the same?

I'm not one to roll over to this sort of fraud myself, but I have little faith that identity wouldn't simply shift the solution to the 'problem' of the people's will in a different, and likely violent, direction.

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (4, Insightful)

Smauler (915644) | about 10 months ago | (#45088711)

No... that's one of the problems with anonymity, it's easier to fake. However, it's very, very important, especially in places in which your vote is more likely to be coerced. The advantages of anonymity far outweigh the disadvantages.

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (-1, Troll)

Chrisq (894406) | about 10 months ago | (#45089117)

No... that's one of the problems with anonymity, it's easier to fake. However, it's very, very important, especially in places in which your vote is more likely to be coerced. The advantages of anonymity far outweigh the disadvantages.

I totally agree. When the UK abandoned this [telegraph.co.uk] fraud became more common. Of course Muslims are forcing votes in order to get sharia and terrorist friendly representatives [electoralc...ion.org.uk] :

There are strongly held views, based in particular on reported first-hand experience by some campaigners and elected representatives in particular, that electoral fraud is more likely to be committed by or in support of candidates standing for election in areas which are largely or predominately populated by some South Asian communities, specifically those with roots in parts of Pakistan or Bangladesh.

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088707)

Athan Gibbs figured it out years ago: that whole unriggable elections thing.

Oddly enough, he was hit by a truck...

Elections don't work that way (5, Insightful)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about 10 months ago | (#45088723)

Signing a vote isn't going to help one bit because fake citizens can be created that can sign fake votes.

You need anonymity to make certain people vote for whom they want, not whom they want others to think they should vote for.

The only way to prevent rigging is to make certain people get to vote in anonymity, but to be able to see every individual vote go into the ballot and after the voting has ended, be counted by many (independent) eyes.You need to control/bribe a lot of people if you want to get away with rigging an election if that system is in place.

Re:Elections don't work that way (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 10 months ago | (#45089033)

the answer is no. your approach is a pain in the butt. you're arguing an extreme case where a despot fakes 80% of the vote where maybe he actually got 20%. This can be easily called out through polls - it would become clear that the people polls wildly diverged from the resutls, which cast them in doubt.

For regular thumbs on the scale, using tamper evident packaging usually does the trick. i know a lot about this because I worked the polls.

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (2)

sjames (1099) | about 10 months ago | (#45089099)

Even without it, elections can be rigged. If you looked at a full list of votes, would you be able to spot the fake people?

A closer to ideal system would let each voter hand in a record consisting of a freshly generated public key and their vote signed by the private key. In return they get a copy of that back with the date and location added signed by the polling key. A complete copy of all of those signed votes should be available to any citizen.

Hardly perfect, but it lets any concerned citizen spot check the results for his own vote at least and if it isn't correct, he can prove it.

It could still be cheated, but it would greatly increase the effort required. Add in seperate keys for each polling place signed by citizens overseeing the polling and it gets even harder.

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (5, Funny)

ThatAblaze (1723456) | about 10 months ago | (#45088149)

This comment has been modded up to (Score: 5)

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088741)

Can someone explain to me why?

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 10 months ago | (#45088775)

Further proof that we need the mod option "Prophetic".

As I've been repeating since at least 2014.

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 10 months ago | (#45089035)

it took me some time to get this but now I see! +1!

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088181)

Can I stick my fetid cock up your rancid, shit-filled asshole?

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (2)

Desler (1608317) | about 10 months ago | (#45088185)

Is there a reason why developed countries haven't let users vote with a public/private key pair, and signing your own votes, in a method that can be cryptographically checked and counted by any reasearcher?

Because that would make it near impossible to rig the election.

Certainly problems like this would go away

The only "problem" from the perspective of the election riggers is that they gave it away.

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (5, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#45088241)

while it makes impossible to "rig" the election it makes it totally easy to rig the election the other usual way: voter intimidation, peer pressure, pressure from family, employer requiring certain vote, buying of votes... voted for legalization of pot? goodbye job.

this is why the pen & paper and a decent society to handle that is the only way to do them(enough volunteer vote counters from enough parties).

if you can prove who you voted then you can be persecuted for voting certain way(or if you refuse to prove being "loyal").

and if the vote organizers are crooked then they could crook the signed voting too, press vote and all you would get would be "thank you for your vote for power party 1." or just have everyones receipts show up as normal but the total tally being something wildly different..

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 10 months ago | (#45088489)

Hey, I only meant one of those votes for McCain...

This machine is rigged!

Re: Cryptographically signed elections? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088859)

This is not that hard of a problem. All you need is the electronic vote backed up by an old fashion paper ballot printed in front of the voter. That way you can have the result of the election the instant the polls close, but still do a manual audit/recount if there are complaints of fraud.

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (2)

SecurityTheatre (2427858) | about 10 months ago | (#45088891)

And/or to simply report "hey, look, I won with 79%"

Does it really matter what the cryptographically secure vote tabulation machine says?

Nope. Despot owns media. Despot owns vote machines. Despot has guns. Despot wins.

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088971)

You could do signing the other way around -- the polling place signs ballots when they are cast and voters get to take home a receipt with a verifiably signature. That method isn't as easy to verify, but it *can* be authoritatively verified with voter participation and it maintains complete anonymity.

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088597)

Is there a reason why developed countries haven't let users vote with a public/private key pair, and signing your own votes, in a method that can be cryptographically checked and counted by any reasearcher?

Because that would make it near impossible to rig the election.

Certainly problems like this would go away

The only "problem" from the perspective of the election riggers is that they gave it away.

hahaha
no, there are still plenty of ways to rig the election. the critical flaw in this plan starts with who issues the keys. it does nothing to address the problem of someone having access to more than one key.

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088235)

David Chaum has a way to do it right, anonymous but verifiable.

However, this means that votes would matter, and in a lot of countries, they tend to be a charade at best, or at worst a way to find dissidents and "neutralize" them and their families/friends.

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 10 months ago | (#45088249)

I suspect that it's partially inertia/penny-pinching and partially because crypto only solves certain (quite specific) problems within the larger problem of 'run an election'.

For instance, in those countries that have smartcard-or-equivalent national IDs, cryptographically signed votes would be trivial; but you'd be reusing keys explicitly designed to not be anonymous, indeed, designed to be identifying. That is an issue. Beats some 'SSN+Mother's maiden name' bullshit; because at least it verifies something; but it isn't what you are looking for.

If you anonymously issue keys, now you've got a weak spot there that crypto can't help you with: the crypto makes it quite possible to ensure that Anon_Key_X was responsible for Vote_X, and only Vote_X; but you still need to devise a system by which an eligible voter can obtain (without some absurd hassle) one and only one anonymous key, without it being covertly linked back to them, or them being able to sign up for ten, or the people running the system being able to generate 250,000(or simply keep a copy of the keys as they are issued, and 'win the race' to get a signed ballot into the pot with that key).

If you have such a system, you also have a system that could trivially just hand the voter a ballot, since you have already satisfied anonymity, uniqueness, resistance to plural voting, etc. No need for the crypto at all.

(Also, aside from that, a country with vote rigging tendencies is presumably going to use hierarchical PKI, not some web-of-trust cypherpunk wet dream, so what exactly will an election whose ballots are signed with keys that all descend from the 'Glorious Cryptographic Key for Make Benefit of People's Republic Motherland' prove? Hierarchical PKI schemes, as SSL has taught us, work OK if you are primarily concerned with criminals and frauds; but if the CA is the enemy, you are fucked. If you are the root, you can generate mathematically pristine child keys as fast as your little ASICs can carry you without the slightest trouble.)

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (1)

XanC (644172) | about 10 months ago | (#45088359)

If you have such a system, you also have a system that could trivially just hand the voter a ballot, since you have already satisfied anonymity, uniqueness, resistance to plural voting, etc. No need for the crypto at all.

Except that later, each voter can log in from home, and verify that his vote was recorded for his candidate. Still not perfect, but not bad!

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (5, Insightful)

Smauler (915644) | about 10 months ago | (#45088755)

Allowing people to check their vote from home would fuck up anyone whose vote was made under coercion. As it is, you can vote one way and say you voted another way.

This is less of an issue in the US, but it is still an issue... your boss asks you which way you voted.... let's just check that.

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (2)

profplump (309017) | about 10 months ago | (#45088977)

You don't have to reveal the contents of the ballot in order to verify that a vote with the checksum you were issued when it was cast was actually recorded.

Re: Cryptographically signed elections? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089039)

How would you then be able to check that your vote really where counted for what you voted on? With your verifycation scheme, you would only know that your vote was counted but not how it was counted.

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (4, Interesting)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | about 10 months ago | (#45088461)

... you still need to devise a system by which an eligible voter can obtain (without some absurd hassle) one and only one anonymous key, without it being covertly linked back to them, or them being able to sign up for ten, ...

It doesn't solve all the problems, but blinded signatures [wikipedia.org] can take care of this part. The essence of it is that a server can sign a "blinded" token such that, given the unblinded version at a later time, it can tell that it generated the signature but can't trace it back to the blinded version which was signed.

In this scenario, the voter would present their credentials and be issued a single blinded token. The server would then add them to a list so that they can't come back and ask for additional tokens later. To vote, they present the unblinded token along with their choices. The server knows that they're authorized to vote, but not who they are. The token is added to another list to make sure it can't be reused.

Obviously you'd need to take precautions (like using Tor) to avoid leaking any personally identifiable information to the server along with the ballot and unblinded token.

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about 10 months ago | (#45088329)

Only a handful of mathematicians would trust that.

Paper ballots with independents actually conducting the election taking ballots and counting them, etc, with overseers from all political parties welcome to watch the entire proceedings, from start to finish.

Simple and transparent.

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088835)

It is possible to add pseudo-anonymous traceability with paper ballots too.

Just a line where you can write a number of you choice. When the votes are counted the numbers are listed together with the votes. That way you can go back and see that there are as many numbers as there are votes and that the number you selected is there.
A corrupt regime can still invent fake voters but if they can't remove votes without it being noticeable. If they add a significant number of votes they might end up with more votes than they have population.

This still doesn't prevent your local neo-nazi movement from telling you what number you should write and what you should vote for and if they don't see the number they gave you in the listing they will beat you up.

I guess every ballot could have a pre-printed number. If you pick the ballot randomly before you vote you can choose to write down the number if you want traceability. The precious problem still remains. The local neo-nazi gang might beat you up unless you give them your ballot number or if the number you gave them doesn't show up in the listing.

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (1)

superwiz (655733) | about 10 months ago | (#45088773)

What makes you think developed countries want honest elections?

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (5, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 10 months ago | (#45088795)

Problems? What problems?

You seem to misunderstand the point of modern elections. They are not in place so that the people can choose their representatives. They are there to suppress revolt by displacing the responsibility of bad government into the people.

Actually counting the votes is a pointless expense. The system works just as well by flipping a coin.

Azerbaijan are ahead of their time in more ways than the obvious one.

Re: Cryptographically signed elections? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45089021)

What's the mod for "+1: Fulminant Cynicism"?

Thank you for the breath of fresh air this morning.

Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (1)

LordNacho (1909280) | about 10 months ago | (#45089103)

Not wanting to open a whole can of Bitcoin worms into this discussion, but I see some things in that design which could be used for this.

First, there's some problems, one of which you have already addressed:
1) Anonymity. We need this so that people don't feel pressured into voting for someone they don't like. As you say, you can generate addresses anonymously.
2) Tampering from made up votes.
3) Tampering from made up people.

The key lies in the scripting language used to determine who gets to send a certain coin on to the next wallet. So if you don't have a certain secret key, you can't move that coin. You can also make a transaction that requires multiple keys. So then you could have a system where certain trusted people (eg independent observers) could sit at the voting locations and stamp everyone's votes, and people would have their own secret keys. You could even have the observers in a sort of tree of trust, so that nobody can fraudulently pretend to be an observer.

Lots of details on the technical side, but that's how I'd envision it.

Oopsie! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088085)

I guess they will just have to have a REAL election now....

(Gigglesnort.)

Well, I'd do it that way too, I guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088087)

Substitute data from the prior election, with entries from the current line of candidates, you have to fill it with something.

TO FAKE IT!

Technology at its finest (4, Funny)

russbutton (675993) | about 10 months ago | (#45088091)

Who says America is the greatest nation in the world! Azerbaijan already has time travel! Now if only we could get that gizmo for some stock market analysis...

Re:Technology at its finest (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about 10 months ago | (#45088147)

Australia will get electronic voting soon too http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-10/turnbull-suggests-electronic-voting-could-cut-informal-votes/4947370 [abc.net.au]
Its to stop you from making mistakes numbering your boxes ( for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting [wikipedia.org] )

Re:Technology at its finest (2)

sc0ob5 (836562) | about 10 months ago | (#45088243)

I hadn't seen that from Turnbull. I wonder just how many of those informal votes were on purpose. I don't believe a majority were mistakes, the House of Representatives is not exactly hard to place your vote. If a voter can't count 1 to 6 (or however many candidates) then they probably shouldn't be voting in the first place. The Senate on the other hand, I can totally understand screwing that up if you're a bit masochistic and chose to go below the line. The damn voting slip doesn't even fit in the booth!

Re:Technology at its finest (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | about 10 months ago | (#45088449)

As I described it to the election official: "It's like wrestling an anaconda".

Paper audit trail or not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088263)

With a paper audit that's audited by independents or is it the election rigger 9000?

Re:Paper audit trail or not? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 10 months ago | (#45088287)

The election rigger 9000 would do away with calls for reviews like this http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-10/palmer-demands-voting-review-amid-counting-irregularities/4948530 [abc.net.au]
A nice clean digital election, no unattended (out to lunch) or photocopied issues to make the news then :)

Re:Technology at its finest (2)

GumphMaster (772693) | about 10 months ago | (#45088265)

Australia already has electronic voting in ACT elections (http://www.elections.act.gov.au/elections_and_voting/electronic_voting_and_counting) and it has been trialled elsewhere. The source for ACT elections is available for those so inclined.

Wow, that's bad (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088331)

"The system uses standard personal computers as voting terminals,"
Geez, the NSA pawns PCs. Are you f**ing kidding me?

"with voters using a barcode to authenticate their votes."
Identifiable? i.e. you can be datamined on your voting choice?

"Voting terminals are linked to a server in each polling location using a secure local area network. No votes are taken or transmitted over a public network like the Internet."

FFS, there's no such thing as a 'secure local area network' now. You have a huge agency attacking every network it can. Networks not connected to public networks are hack physically, locally or via third party companies. If Belgacom can't keep its backoffice networks protected, what makes you think you can?

Really in a post PRISM world, recognize that you cannot trust electronic elections, encryption is broken, the keys you send around by email, they're intercepted an read. The networks you create ad-hoc, they're broken into. If you don't want the NSA or GCHQ choosing your PM, you need a paper audit trail.

Re:Wow, that's bad (1)

fatphil (181876) | about 10 months ago | (#45089027)

Not all encryption is broken. As Bruce Schneier says - trust the math(s). If you can't examine the mathematical analysis that an algorithm has undergone, and you can't examine the source code, then sure, don't trust it, but if both are satisfied, there's no reason not to. Of course, any time you're generating keys you need to be sure that your RNG is well seeded, so you need to have the source to your OS too. And you need to be doing this not on a virtual server. But all these things are easy to satisfy.

Re:Technology at its finest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088261)

If we had that, then we would know to push the stockbroker out of the 20 story window just before they sell us the bad stock. It could be useful.

Statistical prediction as good as time travel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088343)

Azerbaijan already has time travel!

Given a sufficiently high statistical population of dense sample points to calculate trends with statistical certainty, there is very little effective difference between statistical analysis and time travel.

NSA and GCHQ claim it is their goal to monitor all communications worldwide allowing near-perfect trend analysis. This is tantamount to being able to predict the outcome of elections in advance, and what you can predict you can influence.

Re:Technology at its finest (1)

steelfood (895457) | about 10 months ago | (#45088399)

I'd go with more concrete things like lottery numbers, horse racing results, and even real estate.

We've Done It (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088101)

We have taught them American politics.

SUCCESS!

Re:We've Done It (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088233)

Obama Bin Laden taught them the finest of Chicago traditions: electoral fraud.

- AlphaWolf_HK

Re:We've Done It (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 10 months ago | (#45088349)

We have taught them American politics.

SUCCESS!

Who says you can't export democracy?

Oh, wait - we weren't bombing that one.

i swear baby this has never happened before! (5, Funny)

fightinfilipino (1449273) | about 10 months ago | (#45088113)

"oh dear, i seem to have premature electorate all over my caucus!"

Re:i swear baby this has never happened before! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088665)

Its the old story... the people voted (or will vote) as they like, and those whoo need to be elected will be. Go back carefully over the past 30 years of US elections, or the "frre and fair" elections in Namibia, Zimbabwe or South Africa. Result for the 1st "free" elections under the Russians in Poland, 1949 - were available in partts of Europe 3 days before the election took place, with an accuracy of 3 decimal places. That's why you have de-mock-racy...

Re:i swear baby this has never happened before! (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about 10 months ago | (#45088897)

Its the old story... the people voted (or will vote) as they like, and those whoo need to be elected will be. Go back carefully over the past 30 years of US elections, or the "frre and fair" elections in Namibia, Zimbabwe or South Africa. Result for the 1st "free" elections under the Russians in Poland, 1949 - were available in partts of Europe 3 days before the election took place, with an accuracy of 3 decimal places. That's why you have de-mock-racy...

Hey, the first 'free elections' in Poland were in the 15th century. The way that the Sejm electorate was constituted (back in the old Commonwealth where they elected the 'king') meant that a bigger proportion of the population had the vote than in the UK until the 19th century.

Oh and the laws of the old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth had it that if the elected king failed to uphold the principles of the Commonwealth, anyone had the right to rise up in arms against him.

Take down this story (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088129)

This is offensive to the Great Democracy of Azerbaijan. There is no corruption, this is lies spread by the Islamist Party who are trying to destroy this country. Slashdot should be ashame of itself for posting such vile filth.

...and you trust the election results in the USA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088139)

SMH...

Re:...and you trust the election results in the US (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088605)

How about I shake my cock around, up down, left right, inside that rancid little hole of yours?

couldnt be worse than america. (4, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about 10 months ago | (#45088151)

here we get to vote for one of two parties, but both are controlled by the same group of billionaires so they dont really represent normal people. its at least refreshing to see a government say, "well, yeah your vote is meaningless" as opposed to the United States, where people become upset if you dont believe voting is important. even if it were, and even if we all pitched in to vote for some third or fourth party, theyd get bought off just as quickly. it wouldnt change.

51% (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088189)

Also the totals show he's a newby. Putin usually arranges for the totals to be 51%, giving the opposition hope in the democracy.

Lucky for America it has a strong judicial process that would prevent such Constitution abuses... oh....wait...I forgot about the illegal mass surveillance, and the super secret courts that have appointed General Alexander as Emperor of all.

Re:51% (2)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 10 months ago | (#45088417)

And Darth Scalia... he is a force in his own right.

Re:couldnt be worse than america. (2)

Ichijo (607641) | about 10 months ago | (#45088471)

here we get to vote for one of two parties

Duverger's Law [wikipedia.org] explains says that the reason is because we're still using the antiquated plurality voting system.

Re:couldnt be worse than america. (1)

fatphil (181876) | about 10 months ago | (#45089113)

And the reason you're still using the antiquated plurality voting system is because the (corporations and billionaires behind the) parties that have bubbled to the top are fully aware Duvergers has kicked in, and that it is in their own best interstests to preserve it, and stifle debate about changing.

Re:couldnt be worse than america. (2, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 10 months ago | (#45088481)

but both are controlled by the same group of billionaires so they dont really represent normal people

Cynical ignorance being passed off as insightful commentary. This is even worse than partisan idiocy - at least the partisans are fighting for something.

its at least refreshing to see a government say, "well, yeah your vote is meaningless" as opposed to the United States, where people become upset if you dont believe voting is important

How privileged do you have to be that you think that an autocratic government is better and more refreshing than a dysfunctional democracy? Here's a suggestion: if you think Azerbaijan is such a breath of fresh air, why haven't you moved there? Oh, right, because despite of how bad things are in the US, it is still light years ahead of dictatorships like Azerbaijan.

Re: couldnt be worse than america. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088757)

That's it. Attack the man with strong sentiment after using weak logic on his argument. I haven't seen anything in the US lately that makes me believe the great hope and change artist represents the best interests of the diminished middle class let alone that of the lower echelon. No real stand on food stamps, job growth, or even reregulating the banking, hedge funds or insurance companies that all got the benefit of the Teton Grande. No one in elected office is doing much of anything about the Citizens United decision on the part of the Dread Pirate Roberts Court, either.

Re:couldnt be worse than america. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088685)

your ballot must be different than mine. I always vote, never for the primary parties, and there are damn few folks there with me. I'm going to go way out on a limb and suggest that if most people didn't want the billionaire buddy system, they could have voted for Ron Paul or a write-in. But they didn't. They voted for change. And they got taken. Because they are either stupid, or they are being represented well. For crying out loud. Everyone I talk to wants a free handout and they never know who should pay for it. People are just like their Congressman. The accuracy of representation is high, and it's **we the people** who should be ashamed, not the Congressman we elected.

Re:couldnt be worse than america. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088693)

How to fix the US democracy: Just. Vote. For. Someone. Else.

And the entire, ~100 years old system of rich neo-aristocratic families bursts into tears.

Re:couldnt be worse than america. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088939)

How to fix the US democracy: Just. Vote. For. Someone. Else.

You can't do that, though. You might not agree with me 100%, but if you don't vote for me, then that other guy might win, and he will destroy the country and baseball and even apple pie!

Re:couldnt be worse than america. (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 10 months ago | (#45088769)

It depends on how you look at it. Maybe the "two parties controlled by an oligarchy" is the final step of democracy right before it turns into something better.

Maybe Azerbaijan are far from that next system, still playing with rigged elections, instead of making them pointless like the more civilized countries.

The new expendables (2)

djupedal (584558) | about 10 months ago | (#45088159)

App devs.taking the fall since 2009.

Re:The new expendables (4, Interesting)

steelfood (895457) | about 10 months ago | (#45088407)

That it was done by a developer, I have no doubt. Absolutely an accident. Like putting an assignment in a conditional.

BooYAhhh! (5, Funny)

bugs2squash (1132591) | about 10 months ago | (#45088165)

Diebold deliver under budget and ahead of schedule...

Re:BooYAhhh! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088239)

under budget and ahead of schedule...

That's what she said!

Reasonable to test that way (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088169)

I build an NCAA bracket tracker. It is a interesting exercise to apply the win patterns from old tournaments to the current year. It is a reasonable way to run a test.

Re:Reasonable to test that way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088869)

Be careful, correlation is not causation.

By predicting current outcome on previous outcome alone you are essentially making the assessment that the current win is caused by the previous win rather than on talent or training.
It is likely that the current win shares a common cause with the previous win and that this creates a correlation but without identifying the causes your model will not work for the matches where the real causes has changed.

Intentional lie? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088213)

Was it rigged? Or, was it an intentional lie to start a revolution?

Re:Intentional lie? (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about 10 months ago | (#45088245)

"Map: US bases encircle Iran" http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2012/04/2012417131242767298.html [aljazeera.com]
"US....close military partnerships with ....and Azerbaijan"
No need for a color revolution and a flood of US backed NGO's just yet unless they change their temporary accommodation of foreign military policy.
The bases and transit corridors are fine.

Just unprofessional. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088225)

This is what makes me proud to be an American, at least we know how to properly rig an election.

Re:Just unprofessional. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088473)

Why rig elections when both alternatives stand for the same policies?

Re:Just unprofessional. (3)

Evtim (1022085) | about 10 months ago | (#45088645)

Precisely!

The power hungry asshats in the east are just not competent enough. I mean, do you think that for instance Putin does not want to have the equivalent of the Russian NSA as powerful, all-seeing and intrusive as the US version? But he just does not have the capabilities to achieve it.

The task of toppling today's world elite (or at least keeping their greed in check) is so much more difficult than fighting against the totalitarian regimes of the communist era. I mean, at that time we all knew we are prisoners and that the system does not serve us, but is actually working against us, the common folk.

In the western world, however, the powers to be have done an excellent job (using hard science and remember the important thing about science - "it works, bitches!") in giving the illusion of choice, the illusion that people determine their own fate and many more illusions, whereas the actual situation is not much different than those totalitarian regimes of the past (and sliding further down daily). In the west the delusional part of the common folk will defend the system because they believe it to be just and right. Brilliant!

Having lived in both systems I can sincerely say: The West is the best! In everything! (that includes propaganda, spying and killing, political hypocrisy and so on...not only the good bits!)

Re:Just unprofessional. (1)

Lorens (597774) | about 10 months ago | (#45088739)

Lucky you don't have any elections this week!

In post-Soviet Azerbaijan (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088257)

Ballots determine YOU!

Testing perhaps? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088259)

Maybe the app developers are testing this year's app with old data? It should be easy enough to tell if the dataset used is from a previous election.

Re:Testing perhaps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088577)

Maybe the app developers are testing this year's app with old data? It should be easy enough to tell if the dataset used is from a previous election.

Yes, that was my first thought as well. However, the dataset could be made up completely making validation impossible. I think we'll just have to wait until the official result is out and make a comparison.

Re:Testing perhaps? (1)

CTU (1844100) | about 10 months ago | (#45088727)

it would be, which makes me wonder why it had not been done yet

Unemployment in Azerbaijan (2)

FishOuttaWater (1163787) | about 10 months ago | (#45088301)

...rises by one.

Yes, But... (1)

ks*nut (985334) | about 10 months ago | (#45088335)

Shit happens and I bet their voter turnout is better that here in the U.S. - for national elections, I know there's a better turnout for American Idol.

Re:Yes, But... (1)

edibobb (113989) | about 10 months ago | (#45088515)

I've never seen American Idol.

Election app apps election appers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088345)

Looks like they got apped by their own app.

One less Azerbaijan developer.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45088463)

Needless to say, the app developer was taken out the back and shot.

Don't be overly critical. (3, Insightful)

edibobb (113989) | about 10 months ago | (#45088509)

Don't be overly critical. Idiot politicians have not shut down the Azerbaijani government.

What no one is saying (2)

waitamin (2811853) | about 10 months ago | (#45088567)

The USA is the biggest and best friend of the same authoritarian, non-democratic regime. Just because Azerbaijan helps out in the "war on terror". It is not news that this is basically a dictatorship that violently suppresses opposition, but somethow it never comes up when Americans talk about the country.

Re:What no one is saying (1)

superwiz (655733) | about 10 months ago | (#45088805)

What do you mean "just because"? They could be a brutal dictatorship participating in terror. Helping out in the war on terror is a step up for many dictatorships.

Re:What no one is saying (2)

waitamin (2811853) | about 10 months ago | (#45088931)

No, it is not a step up by any means. Iraq was once in a very similar position to Azerbaijan, and you see what that can lead to.

And anyway what you are saying is that as long as they help the US terrorize a third party (ok, fight for freedom), then it's fine if they also terrorize their own citizens (ok, suppress opposition).

This attitude to international politics always pays back with dividents in the long run. The USSR called it "exporting communism"; the US now exports freedom; at the end, it is just military and political oppression of other countries. It can be rationalized, but the long-term effects of any kind of oppression are always negative.

Azerbaijan does not need elections (3, Informative)

boorack (1345877) | about 10 months ago | (#45088625)

BP corporation runs this country, so no need for those pesky elections. According to our bankster-corporate overlords, regime working for BP is "democratic" enough.

Re:Azerbaijan does not need elections (2)

superwiz (655733) | about 10 months ago | (#45088799)

Ha? Which country? Azerbaijan is ran by Gazprom if you want to attribute it to an oil company... But if you were saying US is ran by BP, that's absurd. It's a minor corporation by any scale of imagination in the US. I am not even sure if it's in top 50.

Re:Azerbaijan does not need elections (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 10 months ago | (#45089131)

Azerbaijan and BP http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/sep/19/bp-azerbaijan-100bn-dollars-gas-deal [theguardian.com]
http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewhulbert/2012/10/12/is-bp-on-borrowed-time-in-azerbaijan-yes-but-so-is-baku/ [forbes.com]
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/24/us-bp-azerbaijan-idUSBRE89N0PC20121024 [reuters.com]
http://www.salon.com/2013/09/19/bp_strikes_gas_deal_with_azerbaijan_newscred/ [salon.com]
Complex but after fall of Soviet Union the UK got in fast and was very friendly :)
Soviet Union left a lot of oil related factories, workers apartments and did a lot of exploration.

The Onion (5, Funny)

AlienSexist (686923) | about 10 months ago | (#45088783)

The Onion had done a spoof of this before [theonion.com] . The summary reads so much like the script I had to double check that it wasn't April Fools.

not sure (2)

superwiz (655733) | about 10 months ago | (#45088793)

I am not sure if this is more or less honest than the modern election campaigns designed to essentially subvert free will. Every voter can only care about 7 issues at any one time. As long as you can manufacture 7 issues capturing people's attention, you can always get them to vote against their interest. Given pervasive statistical data, you can identify very surgically how each group of people can be swayed to abandon their best interests. We KNOW that's how Obama won. No President had ever won with the same performance metrics before (regardless of where your politics are... just by the numbers). Is spending a billion dollars to micro-market more or less honest than simply stealing the election through brute force? I guess it depends on how easy it is to get that billion dollars.

Could be a honest mistake from IT-people... (3, Insightful)

Vegard (11855) | about 10 months ago | (#45088949)

I'm in IT myself, and I know how difficult it is to come up with good test-data for your testing...so what's better than production data?

I'm not saying it is so, but it could very well be that the testers have loaded into it this years candidates, made up some likely result, and run the software to see that it works...

And apparently it did! ;)

Re:Could be a honest mistake from IT-people... (2)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | about 10 months ago | (#45089123)

I'm in IT myself, and I know how difficult it is to come up with good test-data for your testing...so what's better than production data?

I'm not saying it is so, but it could very well be that the testers have loaded into it this years candidates, made up some likely result, and run the software to see that it works...

And apparently it did! ;)

Yup. Generally people doing election-related software have to test with data that is as similar to what will be in the live election as possible, including names of candidates and parties. See this comment [ycombinator.com] in the HN discussion of this, from a developer of election reporting software that has been used in the US and other countries, for details on why and how this sort of thing can happen.

In fact, this same thing happened in the US in the 2012 Illinois Republican primary. The reporting company providing the data to many news organizations accidentally marked the test feed as live for a couple hours the day before the election, and a couple of TV station websites, which were set up to automatically publish updates from the live feed, published this.

The problem in the present case is that it took place in Azerbaijan, which has a long history of widespread corruption and election fraud. It is quite believable that someone has in fact pre-generated the actual election results, and those accidentally got pushed early.

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