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Touch Screen Voting Trouble in Florida

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the need-a-florida-topic-like-fark dept.

United States 574

usn2fsu03 writes "Here we go again with another election controversy in South Florida. Touch screen voting was used in a State House election that was won by twelve votes. Unfortunately, there were 134 people who went through the process of checking in to vote, but either did not vote or cast a vote that was not counted. Without a paper trail it is anyone's guess as to what those voters' intentions were. Obviously, there is work to be done in the Election Supervisor's office before November comes around."

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(TK21)Dessimat0r (736416) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929355)

I___________,.-------.,____________I Slashdot
N______,;~'_____________'~;,_______N fucking
S____,;____LINUX FUCKING____;,_____S sucks
A___;___SUCKS, YOU FUCKING____;____A
N__,'____SLASHDOT RETARDS.____',___N Rob Malda
E_,;___GET IT INTO YOUR HEAD___;,__E is a
-_;_;______._____l_____.______;_;__- cocksucker
R_l__`/~"_____~"_._"~_____"~\'__l__R Slashdot
I_l__~__,-~~~^~,_l_,~^~~~-,__~__l__I fucking
E__l___l________}:{__ (O) _l___l___E sucks
S__l___l_ (o) _/_l_\_______!___l___S
T__.~__(__,.--"_.^._"--.,__)__~.___T Rob Malda
-__l_____---;'_/_l_\_`;---_____l___- is a
-___\__._______V.^.V___((oo))./____- cocksucker
N_____I_lT~\___!___!___/~ll_I______N Fucking
S_____I_l`IIII_I_I_I_IIIIll_I__o___S lameness
A_O___I__\,III_I_I_I_III,ll_I______A filters,
N______\___`----------'__ll/____o__N will
E____O___\___._______.___ll________E this
-_________\..___^____../(_l___O____- ever
P_________/_^___^___^_/__ll\_______P fucking
R_O______/`'-l l_l l-';__ll_l___O__R WORK?!
I_______;_`'=l l_l l='__/ll_l______I
E_____O_l___\l l~l l__l/_ll_l______E Your mother
S_______l\___\ l_l l__;__ll_l__O___S was good
T__o____l_\___ll=l l==\__ll_l______T in bed, she
-____o__l_/\_/\l_l l__l`-ll_/______- grunts like
-_______'-l_`;'l_l l__l__ll_____O__- an ape.
I_O_______l__l l_l l__l__ll________I
N____O____l__l+l_l+l__l__ll___O____N Rob Malda
S_________l__"""_"""__l__ll________S is a
A__O______l____o_o____l__ll____O___A cocksucker
-__________llIlIlIlIll___ll_____O__- By Dessimat0r
P__________`"""""""""`___""________P (c)2003 Trollkore

The bishop, while living, was a follower of God.
Now dead, his rotting fingers are able to raise
an army of skeletons from the grave.

"I hate you, I hate your country, and I hate your face!"

# Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. # Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. # Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. # Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. # Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) # Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. # Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. # Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. # Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. # Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated # Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. # Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. # Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. # Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. # Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) # Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. # Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. # Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. # Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. # Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)

electronic voting sucks (1, Insightful)

Tirel (692085) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929362)

And we all know what happens when electronic voting goes bad [] .

I mean seriously, what will it take for these people to realize some things are just better done the old way, one of them being voting.

I can see it now, in the future major media conglomerates will consolidate and choose the president based on which is the most popular in *their* opinion. I guess that could be called a 'representative democracy' too

Representation of corporations *shudder*

I think each slashbot should think carefully about this and write to his congressman.

Re:electronic voting sucks (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929522)

As a loyal slashbot, I don't know what position to take on this yet. Tonight, I will go through and get all my opinions from the +5 moderated comments in this thread, and will laugh derisively at the unmoderated and downmodded opinions, as they are clearly foolish and wrong.

Re:electronic voting sucks (2, Funny)

I'm Spartacus! (238085) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929571)

And I suppose you want to count those votes by hand, too? I can just see it...

"102,604 ... 102,605 ... 102,6. Uh? Crap!!!
1 ... 2 ... 3 ..."

My dual Opteron and me (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929606)

Friday afternoon - ripping DVDs into DivX.

It was the psychics (5, Funny)

fruey (563914) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929363)

They just touched the screen with their whole palm, and expected it to sense who they wanted to vote for :)

So what? (1)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929364)

12 votes, 134 votes, what's the difference?

The difference? (0)

3.5 stripes (578410) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929389)

A shrub or a robot as the President of the US?

Re:So what? (2, Funny)

aborchers (471342) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929472)

12 votes, 134 votes, what's the difference?


Re:So what? (1)

rev063 (591509) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929566)

Exactly. The article didn't mention how many people did vote, but I'd be willing to wager not everyone voted and so 134 votes is well within sampling error.

Election law really needs to do something else -- a runoff perhaps, or a default to the incumbent -- when an election is this close but the turnout is much less than 100%. You may as well just flip a coin when the vote counts are not significantly different with respect to sampling error.

Re:So what? (1)

rufey (683902) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929680)

The novotes (134) was 1.3% of the vote. Re-read the article. If you do the math you can figure out how many people voted, roughly 13,000.

Push the VOTE button! (5, Funny)

KirkH (148427) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929390)

If they can't figure out to push the VOTE button to count their selection, maybe they shouldn't be voting anyway...

Re:Push the VOTE button! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929447)

If they couldn't punch a voting card they also shouldn't be voting. My 4 year old could correctly punch a ballot.

Re:Push the VOTE button! (1)

Milton Waddams (739213) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929608)

god i wish i had a 4 year old like that! then i could send him out to vote for me and he may aswell stop off at the off license on the way home and pick up a few beers and cigs :)

Re: Or use the VOTE wizard! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929611)

Welcome to the vote wizard. This is where you can make your selection for President of the United States. Remember that many others are voting and your selection may not match the final choice for President of the United States.

What would you like to do?

  • Vote Democratic (Decrease my own personal responsibility but raise everybody's taxes)
  • Vote Republican (Keep more of my own income but increase my own personal responsibility)
  • Help with understanding these options (I live in Florida)

Re: Or use the VOTE wizard! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929711)

More like:

Vote Democratic: "Increase personal freedom but raise everybody's taxes."

Vote Republican: "I like the government controlling how I may (ab)use my body owned by the corporations, but hey, at least my income tax ain't that high."

Re:Push the VOTE button! (5, Insightful)

Performer Guy (69820) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929625)

Without any audit it is impossible to tell if the problem was their stupidity. I have no problem expecting people to be smart enough to do this, but for all we know those votes could have been lost through any number of technical errors, there's absolutely no means to check this with no audit trail and secretive software practices. The only available audit, tallying people showing up vs casting votes shows a significant discrepancy. That is cause for concern, and indicates the need for a better audit trail. Something that is simply being ignored and denied at every request.

Technology can solve this. (5, Funny)

alan_dershowitz (586542) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929674)

It has been verified that faulty citizen failure has resulted in at least one contested Florida election. It's no surprise. Some of these citizens have been around since the '20s! They cost a fortune to maintain. Clearly we can do better than this.

I recommend replacing them. Shiny new electronic voters would reduce the problem of incorrect vote selection, as well as ambiguous ballots, or the inability to understand clear, spoken or written English. Computers are far better at binary selection than senior citizens, so they should have no problem.

Re:Technology can solve this. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929730)

Man, I wish there were a '+1, Troll' mod option...

That's it.... (5, Funny)

moitz (65511) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929396)

Florida is not allowed to vote in the next federal election. Bad Florida! Bad! Go to your room!


Re:That's it.... (1, Funny)

David24Wark24v2 (716329) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929420)

Flordia. (can i get a 5:funny just for saying that?)

Slashdot trolling phenomena (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929398)

Slashdot trolling phenomena
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Slashdot trolling phenomena make up a bizarre and complex subculture found on the popular Slashdot technology website. It is a mixture of juvenilia, sarcasm, deliberately bad jokes, tasteless nonsense and highly developed and artistic attempts to provoke outraged responses from other forum users, or amuse them. It is a subset and a microcosm of Internet trolling in general.
This is a list of some of the trolls which may be come across when browsing Slashdot comments. Some of these behaviours are usually considered to be more offensive or insightful than others.

Links to example troll comments are provided for each category listed here at the bottom of the article.

Table of contents
1 Disruptive or offensive trolls

1.1 Shock sites and shock content
1.2 Homosexuality
1.3 Racism
1.4 Crapflooding
1.5 Page widening/lengthening
1.6 Reigniting flamewars
1.7 Article text trolls (aka copy and paste trolls)
1.8 Article text troll-on-trolls
1.9 Web vendor referral trolls

2 Recurring, off-topic jokes

2.1 First post
2.2 Natalie Portman, naked and petrified with hot grits
2.3 *BSD is dying
2.4 Beowulf cluster
2.5 Stephen King is dead
2.6 Business plans
2.8 Movie spoiler
2.9 Get Some Priorities
2.10 Sycophants
2.11 You insensitive clod!
2.12 You must be new here!
2.14 The Chewbacca Defense
2.15 Personal assaults on Slashdot editors
2.16 Offtopic stories and nonsense
2.17 Miscellaneous

3 Troll organisations

4 External Links

Disruptive or offensive trolls

Shock sites and shock content
A popular technique amongst Slashdot trolls is to post links to "shock sites" in order to annoy and offend other readers by tricking them into following the links. This is often accomplished by posting the link under the guise of being another link to the article or a rebuttal to the article.

A variation on this theme is for a troll to accuse a legitimate link or comment as being a link or reference to a shock site. In some cases this can have the desired effect of a genuinely insightful comment being moderated downward. Another technique is to embed a shock site link in a comment that otherwise appears relevant to the discussion, in the hope that unwitting moderators will mod up the post. The Holy Grail of this type of troll may be to slip a story submission containing a "shock site" link past the Slashdot editors. This situation occurred in July, 2003 when a disgruntled webmaster configured his server to redirect to a shock site when the HTTP referrer was Slashdot.

One particular "shock site" which is overwhelmingly preferred to others is This has spawned a large number of other references such as ASCII art of its signature image (hello.jpg) within a square border, and with a derogatory word written inside the anus of the man in the picture.

As a result of this trolling technique, the Slashdot team introduced a feature which appends the domain name a link points to immediately behind that link in every comment to make disguising links more difficult. (e.g. "Wikipedia []") When this was implemented, people used mirrors and CGI redirection scripts run by Yahoo!, Slashdot or other servers to circumvent this measure.

'Penis bird' trolls and related trolls were a common variant, where an ASCII art representation of some offensive image, often related to shock sites (in this case a crude ASCII representation of a bird perched on an erect penis) is posted in the body, with a nonsensical or provocative subject line. A link to the original image of the penis bird is given below.

Homosexuality is one of the most versatile and so common trolling devices utilised. In its simplest form it may be used on its own in the form of a homophobic insult or as a feature of a pornographic troll featuring common Slashdot topics and celebrities. (see above "shock site" section) also takes advantage of homophobia.

Racism is another ploy, sometimes used for effect in conjunction with homosexuality which usually causes offense to individuals unfamiliar with it. At its crudest it simply takes the form of repeated racial insults.

Crapflooding consists of multiple copies of the same message posted many times with slight variations in order to avoid being filtered. Scripted crapflooding attacks, in which the process of posting is automated, can be very effective. See also lameness filter.

Page widening/lengthening
The original page widening posts were simple messages consisting of one long stream of characters with no spaces. This caused browsers to render a very wide page with horizontal scroll bars, making it nearly impossible to read the comments page. Slashdot began inserting spaces into any long run of characters to prevent this and so began the evolutionary battle between Slashcode and the page widening trolls. Newer and more inventive ways of causing page widening were discovered, blockquote tags and use of the "." character to cause extreme widening on Internet Explorer. These methods were also eventually closed off by the Slashdot editors. Improvements in browser software have also closed many of the loopholes used to widen pages.

Reigniting flamewars
Popular on software and development articles, this troll tries to explain why a particular operating system, programming language or other concept is inferior to others, in a way intended to annoy, intending to start a flamewar. This type of troll will either make an outlandish and obvious claim or subtly use a valid criticism of something in an aggravating fashion.

For example:

"The K in KDE stands for Krap."
"Why would I want a desktop with a smelly foot on it?"
"Linux has below average SMP support."
"My BSD machines have much better uptimes and stability than my Linux machines."
"Object-oriented programming is difficult to use and doesn't increase productivity."
"Open source software has poorer levels of QA than proprietary solutions."
"Python scales up for large projects better than Perl."
These types of post, usually moderated down as flamebait, sometimes cause a flamewar to begin amongst those who reply and thus the troll gets his 'bite' (See YHBT et al.).

Article text trolls (aka copy and paste trolls)
Considered by many to be an effective satirisation of those who post comments consisting of a linked article's text (invariably reputedly in case of the Slashdot effect) for positive moderation, these are arguably some of the most creative and entertaining found on Slashdot. These trolls consist of the linked article's text, copied into a comment, usually accompanied by a subject line indicating that the site has been slashdotted. One or more words, phrases, or paragraphs are covertly inserted or modified to form a subversive or offensive message not present in the original article. These can be in the form of film or book spoilers, words changed to produce sexual innuendoes, amongst other things. Often moderators will 'mod-up' an article or post based on its title and the overall appearance of the text without reading it - the aim of the troll is to make a comment which contains a subtle modification to be modded up as +5 Informative or +5 Insightful.

Article text troll-on-trolls
When an article text troll is spotted, it usually generates a series of 'TROLL - MOD PARENT DOWN' type comments, and posts pointing out where the troll differs from the original article. An interesting phenomenon is that some of these posts point out changes that are not present in the parent (troll) post, introducing this 'Troll-on-Troll' phenomenon. A variant is to post rebuttals of the 'Mod Parent Down' comments, claiming that the post identifying the troll, is, in fact a troll, attempting to denigrate a legitimate post.

Web vendor referral trolls
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and some other WWW vendors have a system whereby a user can post links on their (or others) websites, and gain a small commission per person following the link. These trolls post what appear to be discussion, with links to source material, but are really elaborate advertisements.

Recurring, off-topic jokes

First post
Whenever a new story is posted on Slashdot, comments may be added discussing it and there is often competition between Slashdotters to be the first to post such a comment. Some first posters try to make a short insightful comment to avoid being moderated down. The more immature first posts often consist of a subject saying "first post!" or "FP" and have no body. Trolls may also post "first post" messages a ridiculously long time after the original story has been submitted as a parody of the first post. There are many other variants of the first post, usually mispellings to avoid the lameness filter: "Frist psot!". A successful 'First Post' on Slashdot, using some pre-specified text, is one of the membership criteria for some troll organizations (e.g. the GNAA, see below).

Natalie Portman, naked and petrified with hot grits
Natalie Portman is a popular target for the affections of many Slashdot trolls. When referring to her, they frequently profess their endless love for a statue of the naked and petrified actress, preferably covered in hot grits. Naked and Petrified is now such an infamous troll that it virtually epitomises Slashdot trolling, and is often referred to and parodied in Slashdot comments. Other incarnations of the troll suggest that Natalie Portman pours hot grits into their underwear.

*BSD is dying
Quite frequently (especially for BSD-related stories) a comment will be posted providing dubious statistics and many links detailing the forthcoming death of the BSD operating system. With its bogus statistics and inflammatory language the original "*BSD is dying" troll was enormously successful, and was still guaranteed to generate responses years after it first appeared. Not surprisingly, many variants of this troll were created: Slashdot/VA Linux/Linux/BeOS/Apple (see examples below) is dying. None were as successful as the original.

Beowulf cluster
Whenever a story mentioning a new gadget is posted on Slashdot, it will often be proposed that the power of a Beowulf cluster of the new gadgets would be incredible. Such comments are generally prefaced with "Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these things!" This type of troll actually began as a parody of sincere posts frequently made in stories about new computers back when the concept of Beowulf clusters first entered the technological mainstream. Alternatively, when a new gadget is reviewed, someone will inevitably post a comment asking whether it runs Linux/supports OGG etc, even when this is obviously inappropriate.

Stephen King is dead
This needs little explanation. This troll merely posts a hoax comment stating that they have just heard a bulletin on the radio which reports that Stephen King has been found dead in his Maine home with no explanatory details. This joke has also been used to recognize actual celebrity deaths. One Anonymous Coward used it on the day of John Ritter's death, saying "I just heard on the radio that John Ritter died".

Business plans

This troll is based upon a fictitious business plan concocted on the animated television show South Park, in which a community of underground gnomes have a three step business plan, consisting of:

Steal underpants
None of the Underpants Gnomes know what the second step is, and all of them assume that someone else within the organization does.

For Slashdot stories where an individual or organisation is alleged to have performed some controversial action, an Anonymous Coward will inevitably post a false business plan based on this template, with the controversial action as the first step.

In these posts, trolls usually begin their comments with the subject "IN SOVIET RUSSIA" (all capitals) and typically proceed to reverse the order of words in that story's headline, usually changing the verb slightly to maintain subject/verb agreement and changing the object of the sentence to the second-person "YOU!". Thus, '[subject][verb][object]' usually becomes 'IN SOVIET RUSSIA, [object][verb] YOU!'

The phrase "In Soviet Russia..." is a signature of the jokes of Russian comedian Yakov Smirnoff, the original joke being "In California, you can always find a party. In Soviet Russia, The Party can always find you!" although there is some evidence that Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In might have predated Smirnoff.

Movie spoiler
This is a more subtle troll than most. It consists, for the most part, of a genuinely insightful comment split into several paragraphs, with the middle or penultimate paragraph containing a movie spoiler.

Get Some Priorities
The "Get Some Priorities" troll began to appear after the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks. A classic offtopic troll, it employs highly hyperbolic language to criticize the other discutants and Slashdot in general for discussing trivialiaties like new gadgets or changes in U.S. copyright law in the wake of such a horrific event.

The sycophant type of troll is based on a quote from the fictional newscaster character Kent Brockman of The Simpsons television show. In one episode of the show, Brockman watches a video broadcast from a space capsule, within which a number of ants have accidentally been released. The ants appear huge because they float directly in front of the broadcast camera and close to the lens. He mistakenly assumes that alien insects are invading Earth and attempts to ingratiate himself to them by broadcasting propaganda: "I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords."

Subsequent to this Simpsons sketch, variants of the phrase began appearing on Slashdot whenever a particularly nasty organism was discovered, or a litigious company claimed ownership of anything/everything.

Most often found in the "Your Rights Online" section of Slashdot.

You insensitive clod!
This troll involves the poster of another comment being accused of being "an insensitve clod" for making an assumption about the troll's well-being; for example, in an article about which hand mouse-using people prefer, a troll will post a comment with the subject "I don't have any hands..." with the text " insensitive clod!" These trolls are almost always modded-up to "+5: Funny" when they achieve First Post on a Slashdot poll.

You must be new here!
If someone questions an action or concept which appears ridiculous but is well-established on Slashdot, a wit may reply with "You must be new here!", indicating that only a newbie would not accept that ridiculous proposition as reasonable. It can also refer to the opposite - a practice that appears reasonable, but does not meet Slashdot standards. For example, it is common for people to post messages about an article without actually reading the article. This will sometimes receive a reply starting "Don't you people even read the article?" or similar. "You must be new here" is a common follow-up.

Often, someone who is either new to Slashdot or just not aware of trolling (typically somebody that only reads with a +3 threshold) will post a response to a previous comment that is obviously a trolling attempt. In response to such a comment, someone may post "YHBT.", "YHBT YHL FOAD.", or "YHBT YHL HAND.". These intentionally-cryptic acronyms stand for the following:

YHBT = "You Have Been Trolled" (see Internet troll)
YHL = "You Have Lost"
FOAD = "Fuck Off And Die"
HAND = "Have A Nice Day"
The acronym HAND is more popular than FOAD.

The Chewbacca Defense
The Chewbacca Defense is occasionally mentioned or quoted in discussion of legal affairs, usually cases involving Microsoft, SCO, or the RIAA; the implication of such a reference being that their legal arguments make no sense.

This is based on a South Park episode.

Personal assaults on Slashdot editors
These are often expressed as accusations that editors or well known Slashdot users (for example Commander Taco) are either homosexual, incompetent, or hopeless nerds. They are sometimes expressed as senryus. In the most extreme form, textual porn taken from random internet sites is rewritten to incorporate slashdot editors.

Offtopic stories and nonsense
Usually used in conjunction with a crapflood, some trolls write or copy offtopic stories into their comments. Many involve gratuitous and homoerotic sex scenes with the names of Slashdot's editors or other open source celebrities substituted for the characters in the original story. Other stories generally have no set topic and are usually nonsensical and surreal as well as offensive. Some trolls go one step further, and post comments that are completely incoherent on any level. Occasionally, trolls may post Base64 encoded images and comments, which appear nonsensical until decoded, whereupon they appear merely offensive (most of the time).


All your base are belong to us

Troll organisations
Periodically, individual trolls will come together and form organised groups. They will usually post common variations of popular Slashdot trolls with their organisation's name attached in some way. While somewhat uncommon, these organisations can become quite famous among Slashdot regulars; the most prominent of these being the Cabal of Logged in Trolls or 'CLIT' and 'Trollkore'. The various groups often fight it out in a battle of slander and competition to achieve first post.

In summer of 2003 the most self-aggrandising troll organization was the "Gay Niggers Association of America", which had commenced operations some six months previously in January 2003. It boasts its own logo and IRC channel, and encourages people to join by first watching a Danish low-budget movie Gay Niggers from Outer Space, followed by a successful achievement of 'First Post' using the GNAA trolling text, or to register their support by upwardly moderating "GNAA" comments.

External Links

Shock sites and shock content - Warning - these links are potentially offensive ( ('Goatsex')
Penis bird - Original image ( from
Tubgirl - Tubgirl ( Note that this is a graphic enema related image.
Obscene ASCII image of Linux Penguin ( eshold=-1&commentsort=0&tid=126&tid=172&mode=threa d&cid=7051725) (
Or ( ('Oralsex')
Trollsex ( (parody involving Eric S. Raymond)
shock site-like image involving the Linux penguin Tux ( cs/takeittux.jpg)

Nigger Owner's Manual (offensive) ( 461&threshold=-1&commentsort=0&tid=106&tid=185&tid =190&mode=thread&cid=7090288)

Trollkore massive skull ( 5849)
Trollkore skull priest ( &cid=7602351)
Massive Trollkore flood using massive skull troll ( id=0&startat=&threshold=-1&mode=thread&commentsort =0)

GNAA Acquires SCO ( 7939)
GNAA and +5 Insightful ( 7946)
The classic GNAA Early Post ( 9821)
IMDB entry for the film (

Perl script to crapflood Slash sites (
Crapflood example ( id=0&pid=0&startat=&threshold=-1&mode=thread&comme ntsort=0&op=Change)

Page widening/lengthening
Example ( 3631)
Rare example of a pagewidening book review (September 2003) ( /170232&mode=thread&tid=108&tid=126&tid=156&tid=95 &threshold=-1)

Article text trolls
Example of the kind of post that ATTs are satirizing ( ld=-1&commentsort=0&tid=106&tid=185&mode=thread&ci d=6935507)
Example 1 (gradual as michael easing himself into taco's backside) ( 0386)
Example 2 (Orbital brothels, Delta Clitter) ( &threshold=-1&commentsort=0&tid=160&mode=thread&ci d=6854225)
Example 3 (an operator took my contact info and said I would get a fat cock up the ass soon) ( eshold=-1&commentsort=0&tid=88&mode=thread&cid=690 5002)

Web vendor referral trolls
Harnessing the Power of Disruptive Technologies ( ld=-1&commentsort=0&tid=141&mode=thread&cid=693144 8)

First post examples
Classic first post ( /170232&mode=thread&tid=108&tid=126&tid=156&tid=95 &threshold=-1)
Extremely late first post parody ( &cid=5091232)
First post variants example 1 ( 130&cid=4436961)
First post variants example 2 ( 130&cid=4437024)
500 Millionth Mouse / Post Joke ( ld=-1&commentsort=0&tid=137&tid=189&mode=thread&ci d=6936889)
Frost Pist / I FAIL IT ( 461&threshold=-1&commentsort=0&tid=106&tid=185&tid =190&mode=thread&cid=7090293)
A fine post... ( 7612)

Natalie Portman
Example (long) ( 36)
Comment explaining the origin of naked and petrified ( 667)

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Why is this so hard to get right? (4, Insightful)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929401)

-Voter walks into booth
-Voter touches appropriate button on screen
-Voting machine records the vote electronically and also prints the vote on paper (maybe in like a scantron type format so it can be easily recounted)

Re:Why is this so hard to get right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929496)

How do you know this wasn't right? Maybe the voters intentionally didn't cast any votes in that race. Stranger things have happened.

Re:Why is this so hard to get right? (4, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929513)

-Voter walks into botth, gets confused by the curtain, ends up out side the both, gets it right on the third try.
-Voter touches the button, gets the one they where aiming for on the second try.
-Voter forgets to click the "VOTE" button that commits their choice.
-Voter tackles the curtain problem again, getting out of the booth on only the second try.
-Voting machine does nothing becuase its only as smart as its users.

Re:Why is this so hard to get right? (0)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929554)

One problem is keeping the vote seceret. You know that whole seceret ballot thing really make adduting hard.
Why print it? why not burn them onto a CD? You could set up a different directory per canadate and set the time stamp to 00:00:00
You could also just write the data to random sectors after checking that the sector was blank.

As one of the six people that was born in Florida I would like to add that is all the old people that move here that can not seem to vote.

Re:Why is this so hard to get right? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929602)


Re:Why is this so hard to get right? (4, Insightful)

dachshund (300733) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929570)

Voting machine records the vote electronically and also prints the vote on paper (maybe in like a scantron type format so it can be easily recounted) Done?

Not done. You still have no idea whether the version recorded on some internal paper spool is actually what you voted for on the screen. If there's a bug, or a malicious hack that can screw up the all-electronic process, then it's equally likely that there's a bug that'll also mess with what goes on the paper.

Ultimately, you need a machine that prints out a paper ballot that can then be verified by the voter and deposited in a ballot box. This box needs to be at least partially recounted (2%, perhaps) before any result can be certified. If the outcome of the electronic vote is very close, the entire set of paper ballots needs to be recounted.

Re:Why is this so hard to get right? (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929576)

we are talking about florida here...

Why there cannot be papertrail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929665)


You can't give out votes on paper.

That would enable buying / extorting votes.

"Did you vote for me as I told you to? Yes? Show me that receipt. Fucking liar! Say goodbye to your kneecaps!"

Controversial but... (3, Insightful)

redtape (37014) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929404)

If you don't press vote, you didn't vote. You have to live with this. The instructions are available, so if you don't complete the transaction, you really can't complain. (and I'm sure your local poll worker will help if you have trouble reading the instructions.)

Re:Controversial but... (1)

segmond (34052) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929502)

Was there a sample machine to show people how to vote before they actually used the machine? I am betting you if such a machine was put for the slashdot crowd, that SOME are going to forget to hit the VOTE button the first time, and even the second time, On a couple of occassions I have almost forgotten my ATM card or cash cuz I had other things in my mind, but usually I remember because I had to get something.

If the machine gave a paper ticket that said "VOTED" perhaps this will remind people.

Now, I am very interested at a potental flaw, what if someone walks in to vote, selects candiates and all and doesn't hit "VOTE BUTTON", and I walk in. Can I change his Vote, and Hit the "VOTE BUTTON?" Is there a timer/counter that resets the screen?

So what you're saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929509)

Is people who can't figure this out shouldn't be allowed to vote? So, those with lower intelligence shouldn't vote.

Hmm. Either this is discrimination, or we're onto something...

Hey, I've got an idea. Make "citizens" take a test before voting, with one question: Locate the United States on a world map. There's a large percentage of the U.S. population that can't do this, and we'd get rid of a lot of the problematic voters if we were able to do this.

Come on, Jefferson always said that the "common" folk (In our times I suppose that means people who are so stupid they can't find the country they live in) shouldn't be allowed to vote. I think it's a damned good idea.

Re:Controversial but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929565)

If you don't press the stylus through the hole completely or flick a lever, you didn't vote. You have to live with this. The instructions are available, so if you don't complete the transaction, you really can't complain. (and I'm sure your local poll worker will help if you have trouble reading the instructions.)

Re:Controversial but... (5, Insightful)

FearUncertaintyDoubt (578295) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929639)

That reminds me of the little windows app that made the e-mail rounds a few years back. It was a dialog box that asked "Are you gay?" with a Yes and No. If you tried to move the mouse over the No button, the box moved away from the pointer.

Another thing that it reminds me of is an news investigation into supermarkets scanning incorrect prices at the checkout. It turns out that almost all mis-scans are in the store's favor (i.e., scans a higher price than the actual item).

I think my point is that with the machines, how do you know you completed the transaction? There's no receipt or verification. Maybe I pressed vote, but it didn't register. Maybe there's a bug in the code that says:
if vote != Republican rollback else commit

And how do you know the system isn't rigged or at least tilted a little? Your post, while correct, assumes that nothing ever goes wrong. See Common Sense vs. H. Chad, 2000. Things always go wrong. These systems have no way to deal with that.

Re:Controversial but... (2)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929672)

They did press "Vote." (I don't personally know how it worked, but the story says they acknowledged a warning screen.)

Consider that the choices in that race were "Vote for a Republican or don't vote at all!"

If I was a straight-ticket-Democrat, I think I'd be hopping mad at a voting system that forced me to vote for anyone in the opposition party, and did not allow me to abstain. (I think, in fact, I'd make a Federal case out of it.)

Idiocy will always be resistant to technology (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929412)

There will never be a technology that will prevent idiots from making mistakes. Now we have a system that is more expensive, no better than hanging chads at determining voter intention, and HAS NO AUDIT trail. We are worse off then before. Yet another example that technology will never turn an imperfect collection of humans into a utopia.

Hmmm (0)

locutus_borg (36786) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929413)

Now one would think that with all the trouble they seem to be having they would just move back to paper ballot. It would save alot of grief, then again it is Florida.

What do you mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929418)

This is EXACTLY the type of situation they want; no paper trail, so no one can dispute results, and no way to tell if the administrators are doing an ethical job. God knows our society is seriously lacking in ethics these days...

But anyways, now they can easily fix an election without getting caught. The liberals will make a big fuss on the blogs, and the republicans will rejoice for long periods of time, and life will go on as usual.

Imagine if it was the other way around: The republicans would make a big fuss with their guns, and the liberals would probably die.

Sadly, no one seems to really care.

Do it again ... (4, Insightful)

henrygb (668225) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929424)

In the UK, the loser would have the right to go to court and ask for (and probably get) a new election. It happend in Winchester [] in 1997.

Maybe those 134 just didn't chose any candidate. (2, Interesting)

mgs1000 (583340) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929431)

It seem quite possible that 1% of the people that went in to the booth just decide that they didn't like any of the voters? It seems like the the moderators on /. are just trying to find problems where none exist. Let's see what happens if a "none of the above" button is added to the UI before we go crying about the inequities of touch screen voting.

Re:Maybe those 134 just didn't chose any candidate (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929468)

The point is that without a paper trail, you cannot even begin to safely assume one way or another.

Re:Maybe those 134 just didn't chose any candidate (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929620)

I disagree....

I think we can solve a number of problems like this...

Say everyone MUST vote

Now you have the problem of everyone MUST vote, what do you do about people who decide not to vote? Simple... you add "none of the above" to the ballot and assume that any elligable voters who don't vote (even the ones who just don't bother to go to a polling place or even to register) as votes for "none of the above"....

Then, if nobody gets a clear majority, you have a new election with all new candidates.


Re:Maybe those 134 just didn't chose any candidate (1)

cheezedawg (413482) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929705)

A paper trail would have made no difference in this election. The people turned in "blank" ballots. A paper receipt would show just that- no votes. Even with a paper trail, you can't assume that they really wanted to vote. You can only assume that they didn't vote for anybody. Voting is binary, after all. You either voted or you didn't. There is no in-between.

Re:Maybe those 134 just didn't chose any candidate (4, Insightful)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929609)

You're missing the point.

It's not whether those individuals voted or not.. it's that there's no way to go back and check whether they did or not. There's no way for people doing a recount to go and look for the equivalent of "hanging chads" and such.

The article even addresses that, it's fine if someone doesn't want to vote. It is NOT fine that there is no way to go back and identify the voter's intent.

Re:Maybe those 134 just didn't chose any candidate (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929634)

But...that's the point. There's no paper trail at all, so who knows what those people intended. I don't live in Florida, so I have no idea what their touch-screen system looked like, but maybe there was a "none of the above" button. Maybe they didn't like any of the candidates, and intended to vote for "none of the above", but it didn't work right. Or maybe they thought they voted for someone, but didn't hit "accept" or something similar. Maybe they just got bored and went home... Maybe they hit a wrong button and couldn't figure out how to un-do it... Maybe the machine just lost their votes... We don't know, because there is absolutely no record, no indication of what they did or didn't do. There's no way to check and see whether the system is working right or not.


Re:Maybe those 134 just didn't chose any candidate (1)

Boing (111813) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929713)

trying to find problems where none exist. Let's see what happens if a "none of the above" button is added to the UI before we go crying about the inequities of touch screen voting.

For that matter, let's just add a "none of the above" option to elections anyways. I'm not talking about "no vote placed in favor of any candidate"... I'm talking about an active rejection of all listed candidates. Then, if the "none of the above" options gets more votes than any candidate, the election must be rerun with none of the original choices on the bill.

Other than the logistical stuff of keeping someone in office past term while the repeat election process is taking place, can someone tell me why this has never been implemented?

Qutie possibly (1)

NeoThermic (732100) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929442)

they were just looking for the keyboard and mouse, rather than trying to use the screen...


Erosion of voting rights? (2, Interesting)

Deleriux (709637) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929451)

If so, whats wrong with the normal voting system. Its not like its ever been that insecure.

In a way you could call this the eroding of freedom to having your right to vote. I know its a bit of a lame idea though. I have never read the American constitution (as im not American) but im guessing there is no mention of the right to vote in a certain media.

But, if because you wished to vote using older methods you were denied because using the new method is compulsory is that being denied your right to vote?

Re:Erosion of voting rights? (1)

KirkH (148427) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929582)

I want to vote by carving the candidates name onto a potato and then casting in into a large pit! I'm being denied my voting rights!

Re:Erosion of voting rights? (2, Informative) (664381) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929709)

If your vote isnt counted then you have been deneid your right to vote . :-)

Christ...why not (2, Interesting)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929454)

just have 2 thing printed out...a computer punch card ballot that is punched out and has the names so people can see that the punch is taken out, and a receipt printed so that the person has a record of their vote?

it is a high tech interface with mechanical precision for the punch.

Re:Christ...why not (1)

smellystudent (663516) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929700)

As has been said in these hallowed pages many times, giving voters receipts allows votes to be bought i.e. "I'll break your legs unless you prove you voted for x"

Has to be said. (2, Insightful)

Hiro Antagonist (310179) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929465)

Right. Uh-huh. We never saw *this* coming. No sireeee. Electronic voting is *reliable*, *safe*, and *fun for the whole family*, and anything else is against the word of the, I mean, is Anti-American.

Flordia (-1, Troll)

mpost4 (115369) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929469)

I seams that Flordia can not learn how to vote, the computers were brought because the hanging chade now they can not figure out how to press a simple "VOTE" button. (oh ya Rush talked about this yesterday, so it is old news to me)

It seams to me that the dems are setting up a way they can claim, if they lose, that the election was "stolen" again, they are still claiming that, even though all the other indipendint investigations prove that Bush did win in Flordia.

YUO == TEH RETARD!!!11!one (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929549)


Re:Flordia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929560)

even though all the other indipendint investigations prove that Bush did win in Flordia.

Can you point to a few of these independent investigations?

Oh, and by the way, consider yourself lucky there's no spelling test for voting...

Re:Flordia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929588)

i guess if a drug-addled rush can pull the right lever, everyone else could be expected too as well.

Re:Flordia (0)

tr0llx0r (730590) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929629)

Beautiful troll there my freind - even a link to some cocksuckers website to fool them.

And the spelling! Genius. "indipendint"!

You, sir, are the finest troll I have seen in these parts for a long time.

However, you will get very few bites with political trolling on /. try kuro5hin.


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929663)

The gnaa will fux0r j0 sh1tz0r, f00.

$17.2 million system? (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929470)

WHY? Is this corporation in bed with the politician's or something? There is absolutely no need for this kind waste of money when a pen and paper would do the job more effectively.

On another note, when elections are so close, why don't the politicians recognize that they don't have a clear mandate from the people and respect the opinions of the opposition more? It's power gone mad.

Re:$17.2 million system? (1)

Neophytus (642863) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929603)

WHY? Is this corporation in bed with the politician's or something?

To put it bluntly, yes.

Voters' "Intent"?? (4, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929471)

"Without a paper trail it is anyone's guess as to what those voters' intentions were."

I'm sorry, but since when was any vote-counting system designed to interpret what a voter's intent was, beyond correctly-cast votes?

If people don't/can't vote correctly using even the simplest methods, then perhaps even they did not know what their intent was.

idiot voters (1)

siskbc (598067) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929638)

If people don't/can't vote correctly using even the simplest methods, then perhaps even they did not know what their intent was.

Not only that, but assuming an even distribution of morons voting for both candidates, this won't skew any but the closest elections (though admittedly that would be this one). In most elections, if the "moron vote" not getting counted throws the election....good! If I knew that most idiots voted for one candidate, I'd probably vote for the other on principle.

Re:Voters' "Intent"?? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929642)

How can you be sure that votes were not correctly cast??? What about bugs in sowtware?

Re:Voters' "Intent"?? (4, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929708)

I don't really think its a matter of intent... The problem is that we don't know if it was the machine malfunctioning or not. There is no record. These people signed in and whatnot, but there are no votes recorded for them. Did the system lose the votes, or did the voters just not use the system right? We don't know. We also don't know if anyone manually edited the vote counts. There is no record of what did or didn't happen with those voters. At leas with a traditional paper ballot you can look at the piece of paper and see that yes a vote was made, no we can't tell what it is, someone screwed up.


Don't let them steal your vote, vote absentee! (1, Interesting)

SexyKellyOsbourne (606860) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929481)

The way around all this insecure, computerized Diebold mess is simple: absentee ballots.

All absentee ballots have to be counted by hand, and it also leaves a tangible paper trail. Each state's website has a page on how to vote in absentia, which only requires a quick entry into google of your state's name and the word "absentee."

If you don't trust your votes to the Diebold corporation and their known political views [] , vote absentee in the 2004 election.

Re:Don't let them steal your vote, vote absentee! (1)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929725)

In several voting districts that I have experienced, absentee ballots are not counted unless a recount is requested. So if you choose to vote absentee, you very well may be throwing away your vote.

Not a problem at all (1)

dachshund (300733) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929488)

Without a paper trail it is anyone's guess as to what those voters' intentions were.

Obviously, there is work to be done in the Election Supervisor's office before November comes around

On the contrary. I think everything's going pretty much as planned.

It doesn't matter (1)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929494)

When it comes down to it, Democaracy is all about the will of the majority. With such populations as south Florida apparently split almost perfectly down the center, both sides are equally well represented either way the vote goes. As much as electronic voting has its flaws, this is not one of them.

What? No receipt? (1)

iiioxx (610652) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929499)

Why not just have the voting machines print a receipt for the voter after they cast their ballot? For one, it'd be a great souvenier of the election. Secondly, if there was a challenge to the vote, concerned voters could bring their receipt to a recount.

Of course, the machine could also print a receipt for the election board as well and put it in a big bin, so that there's a paper ballot that can be recounted or verified by them if the election comes under question.

Electronic transactions are great, but you should get a paper receipt when it's done. Several times, I've actually had to prove to my bank that I really made a deposit to my account from an ATM because the deposit was lost/misapplied/eaten by ATM gnomes. If I hadn't had the paper receipt, I'd have been SOL.

Re:What? No receipt? (2, Insightful)

pangian (703684) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929731)

This has been said before on /. and elsewhere but is worth repeating:

Paper receipts that stay at the polling place = good. Allows parellel count of small sample to check machine accuracy; allows recount in the event of a problem.

Paper receipts that go home with you = bad. Potential for intimidation and vote buying.

Digital voting is a debacle... (1)

Aviancer (645528) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929501)

Yes yes yes.. we all know it.

Cringley [] makes a good case about why we believe this might work, but probably won't.

At least the problem is obvious this time (2, Insightful)

lightspawn (155347) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929505)

I know it's scary that we can tell there's something wrong but there's no way to know the right result -

But the worse scenario is one where there's no way to tell anything's wrong. No reason to request a manual count, no reason for trusting fools to question the results.

Most people, it seems, have an "I haven't verified this system, therefore it must be secure" mindset. But don't worry; this particular problem will be fixed and people can go back to assuming everything works until the next time something is obvious wrong.

Remember - it can't be a problem if nobody knows about it.

I guess this is (2, Insightful)

Smid (446509) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929506)

Democracy in inaction...

Still, USA is not a democracy. Its a republic. People seem to forget that...

Very good thing (3, Insightful)

Frobnicator (565869) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929507)

This is wonderful.

All the groups calling for voting reform can point there and say "Electronic voting without proper auditing tools is worse than hanging chads."

The Canadians will just keep laughing, as more people ask why their pencil and paper system works more smoothly, and in many cases faster, than ours.

I don't care if we have a fancy electronic system with proper audit trails, or if we go to a pencil & paper system with proper audit trails. I just care that we get there quickly.


Re:Very good thing (1)

The One KEA (707661) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929615)

I have a feeling that the 2004 presidental election will certainly be another media circus, if these types of holes are introduced into the fabric of electronic voting. What I still can't understand is why after so much infighting and media coverage and other problems, they just can't get it right.

Re:Very good thing (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929693)

All they need to do is seal the voting booth after the voter votes. That way, until they look inside, the count is both fscked and un-fscked.

Re:Very good thing (2, Interesting)

addie (470476) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929699)

Honestly, as a Canadian this all kind of blows my mind. Granted, we have 1/10 the population of the States, but whenever there's a federal election we manage to find out who the next governing party and prime minister all within the same day as voting. The same goes for provincial elections.

This seems like a lot of cost for very little (if any) benefit. The list of things that can go wrong with a paper/pencil system is much shorter than that for an electronic system.

What's that saying... If it ain't broke, don't fix it? Or perhaps, keep it simple stupid? Don't we listen to our own cliches anymore?

Hmm? (2, Insightful)

tuxette (731067) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929531)

Have they actually proved that the voter didn't hit the vote button, or is the claim a mere speculation?

I kind of get this kooky conspiracy theory feeling where say every 3 votes for the "wrong" candidate is excluded and it's a part of the closed program code. You kind of get that feeling when you see stuff like this: Bogdanoff had a ready explanation for the mystery. She theorized that some of the people who cast nonvotes were among the county's true-blue Democrats who were appalled to find a ballot with only Republicans. Did this really happen?

I'm otherwise (still) surprised that paper receipts were never given in the beginning, but it's a very good idea for the future. If anything, it should be a requirement.

Re:Hmm? (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929646)

Have they actually proved that the voter didn't hit the vote button, or is the claim a mere speculation?

Tricky. To know absolutely, they'd have to wire up the voting booth with all sort of cameras and sensors -- which they can't do if the voters and their votes are to be anonymous.

Electro-Elections (1, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929550)

Election Systems & Software, [..], believes that some voters failed to push the "vote" button at the conclusion of the ballot -- akin to hitting the "send" button to dispatch an e-mail.
Hit the vote button to turn off the voltage on the door to the voting booth. Election, electricity. Vote, voltage. There, that should be simple enough to remember.

Quote: (4, Interesting)

KillerHamster (645942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929556)

She theorized that some of the people who cast nonvotes were among the county's true-blue Democrats who were appalled to find a ballot with only Republicans.

How hard is it to have "None of the above" as an option?

Re:Quote: (1)

FJ (18034) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929728)

If they have a "None of the above" button, it will probably be the most popular vote in every election.

Voter intent? (5, Insightful)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929558)

Can someone please explain to me when this became a land where we had to determine what a voter intended and not what he actualy voted for (or in this case didn't vote for). Ballots are fairly simple things, and most of us learned about them in 4th grade. If you are unable to comprehend how to work a ballot, by law, polling places are supposed to have someone there to explain and assist you. If you don't take advantage of it, that was your choice. Vote right, or don't vote at all, but don't be bitching when your incorrect ballot isn't counted.

Re:Voter intent? (5, Informative)

aborchers (471342) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929704)

Can someone please explain to me when this became a land where we had to determine what a voter intended and not what he actualy voted for (or in this case didn't vote for).

In the case of Florida, it's a matter of law that the intent of the voter is to be honored. The intent stipulation arises out of an acknoledgement that all recording systems are subject to innacuracies, and that the noblest thing to do is to honor the will of the voter, rather than the output of the machine.

This is obviously an extreme example, but it should be illustrative:

Imagine a ballot-punching machine where a peg for one of the candidates breaks an hour before the polls close. Noone notices this and the voters go on pressing the button for that candidate until closing time, assuming they voted for him or her.

In the end, the vote count is wrong, underrepresenting that candidate's support. In this case, the intent of the voters was not registered even though they acted in good faith and without making any mistakes.

It is this type of scenario that the intent law is intended to remedy. The will of the voters is paramount to the output of a machine that can be tampered with, broken, or buggy.

Voting is just an exercise (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929564)

Whether you vote or not, it really doesn't matter.

Read the "greatest 50 conspiracies of all time". It talks about public voting being controlled by one private firm up to around 1960s-70s.

If voting really matters don't you think the government will pump 20x more money into the booths and systems. Make it all starbucks happy, trace finger prints etc etc.

What they really need to do.... (2, Funny)

beakburke (550627) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929569)

is to provide a copy of Voting for Dummies at each voting booth. Or they could just use a machine the prints a final, easy to read, ballot. Imagine that.

Obligatory liberal bias (2, Interesting)

Guano_Jim (157555) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929578)

For an interesting exercise in direct democracy, check out the Bush in 30 Seconds [] finalists. These have been winnowed down from some 1500 submitted ads.

All created by volunteers. Registered users get to vote on which ads they like the best, and the winners will be run on TV this election season.

Just to be fair and balanced, here's a similar conservative ad [] . No voting though.

Not Exactly A Problem With Electronic Voting (1)

Pave Low (566880) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929583)

It sounds more like the instructions weren't clear enough how to complete the vote so it could be recorded.

Doesn't sound like its e-voting's fault. This happens with regular ballot machines too. It's akin to not pulling the handle after pressing the switches for the choices.

Touch screens doesn't really make a different in this case. It's more of a human factors issue here.

Move along.

NO, NO, NO (0, Funny)

GeekWade (623925) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929601)

You can't do that, people might feel peer pressure when they see the smudges and scratches all over one candidates name. That would not be fair! Just imagine you are in the booth and the weight of thousands before you bearing down upon you to just touch the icky spot on the screen just like they did... How disturbing...


Secret Electronic Ballot Code Revealed (0, Funny)

dnahelix (598670) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929618)

if (vote=="Democrat") {

Is it error? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7929654)

Don't be so quick to point a finger at the technology or the system. Fact is, many people choose to abstain from certain ballot sections because they don't feel qualified to vote or they don't like their choices. I'd bet that the majority of the 134 people made a choice not to vote.

in related news... (1)

jsahol (621872) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929667)

...many software companies are considering relocation of their QA departments to Broward County. "There's no better pool of candidates for QA testers that I know of," says one manager, who requested anonymity, "to ensure that a program is absolutely idiot-proof."

Voting is to convince the losers, as well... (4, Insightful)

dachshund (300733) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929669)

What people often fail to understand is that voting systems have two purposes. One, to determine the winner of the election. Two, to convince the losing side that they really did lose fair and square.

If you acheive the first goal, but fail to address the second, you create an increasingly angry and restless population, and that's unhealthy for any democracy. A lesson many politicians seem to have taken from the Florida debacle is that most people will "get over it", and go back to driving their SUVs and watching TV. So far they've been right about this. Unfortunately, that only works if we're talking about an isolated incident; if people begin to develop even the impression that they're being repeatedly screwed, our society will suffer.

In other news (1, Funny)

Hieremias (718708) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929686)

In other news, thousands of Florida citizens went to Vegas for their Spring Break holiday, but when faced with the challenge of putting a coin into a machine and pulling the lever they accidentally voted for Pat Buchanan.

This is good (2, Insightful)

greendoggg (667256) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929690)

Because hopefully it will bring attention to how important a voter audited paper trail is. Hopefully this will gain widespread attention, so that before a more important election (say a national congress seat or presidential election) the people who administer elections will get it right.

I think therefore I'm not a Fla. voter (1)

Lindy (139834) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929696)

With all the problems that have occured in Flordia elections ya gotta come to the conclusion that maybe its not the method of voting thats at fault, but rather the voters themselves that are at fault.I strongly suspect that there would be just as many problems if Florida went back to a paper balot where you have to mark an X in a box with a pencil

November? Try March 9th (1)

CharlieG (34950) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929722)

I know that most folks think the elections are WAY off in November - you could not be more wrong

Florida's Primaries are March 9th - IF the primaries are tight, there could be problem

Remember, the first primary of the year is NEXT WEEK (Tuesday - Waskington DC), and the Iowa Caucuses are Monday the 19th

We are already in full election swing

Disclaimer - I write software that looks at election data (but does NOT count vote - so don't shoot me) - we have been in testing, 2-3 days/week since 2 months before the CA recall election. Even without that, we would have been testing since about Labor Day. From Now till June, it's 6 days/week between testing and actual elections

Show of hands (1)

Cyno (85911) | more than 10 years ago | (#7929729)

Who's actually going to waste^H^H^H^H^Hcast their vote in November?
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