Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Researchers And Registrars Debate E-Voting

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the stay-on-the-line-for-a-customer-representative dept.

Security 153

Paper Trail writes "There's a fascinating discussion going on right now over at SiliconValley.com. A group of computer scientists, journalists, voting activists, and county registrars are discussing the e-voting mess in an online forum that runs all this week. The panel is a who's who of e-voting: Avi Rubin, David Dill, David Jefferson, and registrars from San Bernadino and Riverside, CA. They've even got Scott Ritchie from the Open Vote Foundation. The question they're hoping to answer: "What's your assessment of the risks related to the use of electronic voting machines -- in the areas of verifiable voting, errors, recounts and manipulation -- not in the computer lab, but in a real-world setting? And how do those risks compare with current voting systems and other low-tech options?""

cancel ×

153 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

said it before -- I'll say it again (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513678)

Would somebody please tell me what exactly is wrong with the lever operated mechanical machines still largely used in my state (New York)? The machines are sealed and verified by comparing counter numbers that are tamper-obvious. At the end of the voting day the machine is sealed by the poll workers who write the numbers down and send them to the Board of Elections, who later collects the machine itself.

They are next to impossible to tamper with (it would be glaringly obvious), they work if the electric fails (try that with your touch screen), they keep voters from overvoting just as effectively as a touchscreen does and at the end of the day they can be tallied in a few minutes. What is so wrong with the concept behind these machines that we need to all rush out and buy touchscreen systems? What advantage does a touchscreen offer? It is a closed-source solution that's infinitely easier to rig then a mechanical counting system.

Isn't this one case where we don't need to reinvent the wheel people?

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (2, Insightful)

Orgazmus (761208) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513700)

You just raised the most important issue about evoting. Why the hell should we use them?

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513713)

What is so wrong with the concept behind these machines that we need to all rush out and buy touchscreen systems? What advantage does a touchscreen offer? It is a closed-source solution that's infinitely easier to rig then a mechanical counting system.

People want pretty colors and instantaneous stats. People don't want to worry about counting and recounting. People want to have the voting booth be available in 1000 different languages. People want to have their tax money spent on something that is ever-changing.

I would prefer (and basically demand) that we keep our current voting mechanisms the same. Will they? No. But that's not really something that my single voice can stand against.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513735)

People want pretty colors and instantaneous stats. People don't want to worry about counting and recounting. People want to have the voting booth be available in 1000 different languages. People want to have their tax money spent on something that is ever-changing.

You can get near instantaneous stats out of these machines. And what multiple languages do you need? They see the names of the people running -- if they don't know "George W. Bush" is running the President and not the local Assembly seat that's their problem. Besides (in NY anyway) any voter can be helped by anybody else except for a boss or union official. The poll workers themselves can even enter the booth with him provided you have one poll worker from each major political party enter the booth at the same time.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (0, Redundant)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513777)

You can get near instantaneous stats out of these machines.

No, not like you can when you're watching Survivor or an NFL game. Remember that's what people want... Monday Night Football commentary with tickers. Flashing lights and shiny metal. Oooh.

And what multiple languages do you need? They see the names of the people running -- if they don't know "George W. Bush" is running the President and not the local Assembly seat that's their problem.

You have negated any credibility you might have had with that statement.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (2, Insightful)

jbarr (2233) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514104)

No, not like you can when you're watching Survivor or an NFL game. Remember that's what people want... Monday Night Football commentary with tickers. Flashing lights and shiny metal. Oooh.
I want to know who these "people" are. Personally, I would give up all of those bells & whistles for a system that is reliable, accurate, and fraud-resistent. Certainly, the integrity of the election process is more important than marketing fluff.

"And what multiple languages do you need? They see the names of the people running -- if they don't know "George W. Bush" is running the President and not the local Assembly seat that's their problem."

You have negated any credibility you might have had with that statement.
I disagree with your dismissal of his credibility. There are four years between national elections, and people have ample time to become informed. We need to develop a voting process that strikes a balance between reasonable accessibility and over-accommodation. Removing personal responsibility is definitely not the answer.

The most important thing in my eyes is to develop an election system that is reliable, effective, and virtually unchallengable (ie: the results are reliable enough that a challenge of fraud becomes virtually unnecessary.) Our current system is so screwed up, so in flux, so susceptible to lawsuits, so prone to varied interpretation that it invites challenge and fraud. One huge problem is that people in general are unwilling to accept a registration and validation process that would provide accurate votor validation. We can come up with all the latest and greatest systems, but unless we can accurately and reliably validate votors, the system WILL break down.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (2, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513917)

People want pretty colors and instantaneous stats.

When they watch TV, not necessarily when they vote. People don't care if they vote by pulling a 20 year old lever. They only care that it's quick, easy, and counts.

The masses aren't screaming for computer graphics on the windshield to aid in driving or a drive-by-wire joystick. People experiment with it, but the flashy stuff isn't what people call for in practical situations.

And making it colorful won't get more people to vote. People aren't running to the polls to check out the computers.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (5, Insightful)

JUSTONEMORELATTE (584508) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513766)

Ok, I'll start:
  • They break, and spare parts are expensive since they're not in current production
  • The numbers on the counters are manually recorded, then manually transferred to a central registrar. That's two places with human intervention, and opportunity for error or, more remotely, fraud
  • The manual processing takes time, and like it or not, people want to know results sooner than the morning paper.


--
What would it take? [slashdot.org]

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10513866)

Also, they can fail to rollover from 999 to 1,000 (or similar counts) because the machine requires additional leverage to turn all of the counter wheels (just like an old analog odometer), and if the parts are worn, there might not be enough force.

So it's easy for votes to be lost due to mechanical error.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (2, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514046)

So it's easy for votes to be lost due to mechanical error.

I could say the same thing about a touchscreen system that suffered a hard drive or non-violate memory failure. Even if you use top of the line name brand components (think Diebold is doing that?) think about a large enterprise network -- how many hard drives will fail when you start taking about thousands of systems? Now expand that scale to tens of thousands of voting machines and you start to see the problem.

Any election system we use (electronic or mechanical) needs to be inspected and tested prior to the election. To blindly suggest that these machines will suffer a breakdown without pointing out measures taken to prevent this scenario is just spreading FUD.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (5, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513997)

They break, and spare parts are expensive since they're not in current production

Then put them back into production. And if they go out of production what do you suppose is cheaper? To contract some local guy in a machine shop to make a part or contract some coder to try and figure out a closed source system because you needed a replacement part and it broke something?

The numbers on the counters are manually recorded, then manually transferred to a central registrar. That's two places with human intervention, and opportunity for error or, more remotely, fraud

They are phoned into the Board of Elections by the poll workers (at least one from each party) after the polls close. This isn't the "certified" tally but it's the one that is released to the news media for the nightly news/morning papers. Once the Board of Elections receives the machine back they open it up (again with a supervisor from both political parties present) and certify the tally. With at least two people doing every task the odds of error are small -- and fraud is damn near impossible.

The manual processing takes time, and like it or not, people want to know results sooner than the morning paper.

This is why you have the unofficial count from the poll workers and the later certified results. Electronic touchscreen systems will not change this. The count isn't "official and certified" until they manually count the absentee and challenge ballots.

And as far as fraud goes -- which system do you trust more? The system that relies on two public servants sworn to uphold a scared trust or the system that relies on private vendor companies with lovely quotes like "I'm committed to delivering Ohio's electoral votes to the President". This is a no brainer people.

best typo ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10514058)

sworn to uphold a scared trust

Best... typo... EVER!

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10514132)

Once the Board of Elections receives the machine back they open it up (again with a supervisor from both political parties present) and certify the tally.

Stupid me. I forget that there are only two political parties. Then it's all good.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (1)

ryanvm (247662) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514171)

[...] the system that relies on private vendor companies with lovely quotes like "I'm committed to delivering Ohio's electoral votes to the President"

First, let me state that I think electronic voting in its current form is horribly broken. The best solution is a paper printout that gets deposited in a lockbox before the voter leaves.

That said - I am so sick of hearing the above quote bandied about as though it unmasks some voting conspiracy. Let's go over this one more time for the slow kids:

Whoever wins the election will be the president, right? (Save the Supreme Court jokes.) Therefore whatever machine is used to vote will be delivering votes to the president. Whether the president is Kerry or Bush, that statement still holds true.

Do you really think that anyone would be so foolish as to confess voting fraud in a public speech? I'll grant you it could have been worded more clearly, but there is nothing illicit about that quote.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10514184)

How is it that one can say something like "both political parties" as if they're codified in the Constitution somehow and STILL think the political process is fair and working as intended?

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (1)

The Angry Mick (632931) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514022)

And I'll add one often overlooked:

It was hard for some older folks to simply pull the lever.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (1)

Ratso Baggins (516757) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514081)

I agree on the in general except on the time issue. We just had an election, entirely paper. The polls closed at 6pm and it was evident who had won by 8pm.

So what if it took a week, it's not like anyone is advocating Citizen's Initiated Referenda where you could vote as often as monthly?

When there are institutional problems in the system like grey money or low voter turnout, complaining that the most accountable process is expensive and time consuming is very irresponsible for both the citizens and politicians in a democracy.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (1)

Saltine Cracker (116414) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514127)

Here's a thought...
Why don't we enact legislation to pay 5 year olds in Asian sweatshops to to make new voting machines for us.

Secondly, one thing I don't think we need is instantaneous vote tallies. It's already bad enough that the press can sway election result by reporting on the east coast evening news that so and so candidate is winning the election while polling places on the west coast still have 3-4 hours of voting time left. I think this could be a real issue if the press can base their predictions off of real numbers, not exit polls.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (2, Informative)

Kwantus (34951) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514559)

The numbers on the counters are manually recorded, then manually transferred to a central registrar. That's two places with human intervention, and opportunity for error or, more remotely, fraud
Amazing -- 'cause that's how we count ballots in Nova Scotia. I would never trust a machine to do a count. [votescam.com] How we get around human intervention/error/fraud at the count:

There are at least four witnesses to the counting: the deputy returning officer and the poll clerk, who are nominated by the two leading parties, and at least two from the public (who are usually, but not necessarily, agents of two different candidates)

All the totals get printed in the newspapers so the witnesses can check their own poll and anyone can check the sums

Your system does nothing like that. Even where the ballots are counted by hand, all the numbers disappear into Voter News Service, which then reports what it wants [votefraud.org] . (I don't know what's replaced VNS [wikipedia.org] . I understand it was dissolved after it so badly botched the con in 2000. It was a pretty secret society and its successor can be expected to be even more so.)

People want to know sooner than the morning paper
I REFUSE, as a voter, to buy into the horserace psychology. That's just hype created to get the whole scam over with and out of the news cycle. I want a proper count more than I want instant falsified results.

The results don't take effect for months; why the fuck the indecent hurry?

BTW all I get out of the forum anchor [prospero.com] is "cyclic link". I guess konqi users are locked out >:(

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10514860)

The potential problem:

USA = pwN3d, ph001

1eet h4x0r

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10513775)

People want an instant result. Also, the IT industry has managed to convince the world that machines, unlike people, never make mistakes so an electronic vote tabulator would be more accurate.

Also said it before and saying it again (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513780)

Who needs a lever-operated machine when pencils are available? (I've been told before that US elections often involve casting about 20 ballots at once for everything from municipal dog-catcher to President, but I don't see how hole-punches make counting easier or quicker than with pencils).

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (2, Insightful)

iplayfast (166447) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513807)

Trust to mechanical (or electrical) things always involves trust of the person behind it. There is nothing wrong with your system, except that it might be possible for it to break down during an election without the operator (voters) knowing it.

Maintainence on these machines must be certified, etc.

Pen and paper (drawing an X in the appropriate square) have worked for years, but again trust is given to the people tallying the votes.

Your system to me sounds like a better solution then the touch screens. More easily verified as working. Less likely to fail through wear & tear. The advantage I can see for your machines is the speed of tallying the votes. (Which are done as the vote is cast).

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (1)

gphinch (722686) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514331)

Pen and paper have worked for years

you obviously were abducted by aliens while the last presidential election was happening

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (3, Interesting)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513839)

I can give you some reasons. They're not necessarily good reasons, but they are reasons used.

1. Virtual elimination of mechanical breakdown. This can be an issue with some of the older equipment. It doesn't address the electronic systems breaking down or crashing, though.

2. Rapid collection of stats. This has less to do with anything useful and more to do with people getting impatient. In most cases, the results are pretty obvious within hours of the polls closing. In other cases, we get a little tension for a few days as things come down to the wire. (In still other cases, we get a lot of political infighting for the next four years.)

3. Standardization of interfaces. I've only seen one e-voting system, so I'm not entirely sure how possible this is, but it seems to me at least theoretically possible that the presented screen can be relatively standardized across a state, at least in terms of basic layout (since county- and city-specific issues will be different, of course).

Personally, I miss the lever system that I used for about ten years. The 'ka-chunk' feeling of the ballot being marked seemed to give a tactile and auditory sensation to the emotional satisfaction of having expressed my opinion.

e-voting is good, but... (1)

putch (469506) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514637)

all of your points are dead on.

the crux of the matter is verification. there NEEDS to be a paper trail. the ONLY reasons given against paper trails are 1) cost and 2) paperjams.

1) the cost of running an election in democracy shouldn't be an issue. it'd be a lot cheaper and more efficient if we just got rid of elections alltogether.

2) a paper jam is an inconvenience that costs a little bit of time but doesnt destroy a record of votes cast. but a magnet or other "feature" (read:bug) could wipe out the entire vote count. that is slightly more than an inconvenience.

there is NO valid argument against a voter-verified paper trail.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (3, Insightful)

abb3w (696381) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513867)

Would somebody please tell me what exactly is wrong with the lever operated mechanical machines still largely used in my state (New York)?

My current state doesn't use them. I used to live in NY, so I'm familiar with those machines. They were excellent. A trivial update of the design could allow electronic reading of mechanical vote tallies, if anyone cared to, while still keeping the old "seal" method for recounts. They are substantially better than the punchcard methods (used locally prior to last years touch screen purchase) or the electronic scams^H^H^H^H^Hschemes being suggested (and currenlty in use locally).

And I would say they are MORE effective than the touch screens for preventing overvoting. They give tactile feedback; you try it, and you realize the lever can't move.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10514848)

I'm not saying electronic voting is the better solution, but there are some advantages that I haven't seen mentioned here yet:
1. VOTER CONFIRMATION--voters get to see how their choices were recorded, and they are asked to confirm (this would have prevented people from accidentally voting for Buchanan)
2. DISPLAY FLEXIBILITY/ACCESSIBILITY--there are not the same space constraints for providing information. Text size could be adjusted for different users, and devices for allowing blind users to vote privately can be incorporated.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (5, Insightful)

Zeveck (821824) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513921)

The advantage is not to the voters, but to the company supplying the new systems. There is a ridiculous amount of money to be made by reoutfitting the entire United States with new voting technologies.

Hell...look at Diebold. They made their voting machines without a confirmable printout. Why? Just about everything else they make (from ATMs to cash registers) has a confirmable printout. But hey...look at that...now they can get paid AGAIN to go "upgrade" all the faulty machines they've already deployed. And then they can get paid again to fix the "bugs" in the machines.

Even if that is a little too cynical for you, the fact remains that the companies bringing out the voting machines are making a lot of money.

It is up to those companies to convince the public that they need and want new voting machines. It doesn't matter whether the existing technology works - they'll focus on its flaws and potential abuses and tote their shiny new products as if they are sleek and bugfree.

Create a sense of fear and then offer a remedy that appears to address it. Works in business. Works in politics. Works in just about anything really.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (1)

2old2rockNroll (572607) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514756)

It is up to those companies to convince the public that they need and want new voting machines.

While I agree with most of your comment, the companies don't need to convince the public. Congress mandated the change when they wanted to be seen *doing something* after the 2000 election, and they provided $4 billion to make it happen. Diebold and friends are in hog heaven.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (1)

jbarr (2233) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513922)

I agree 100%. It seems that most of the responses to your post deal with nothing more than convenience in the form of quicker tabulation, quicker stats, etc. Where is it written that we have to have results instantly? Who is mandating that the results must be available within minutes or hours? We have become so reliant on instant feedback that anything less seems absurd. Maybe it's time to step back from the wiz-bang world of high-technology and develop a voting system that really works. So what if "the best" solution ends up taking some extra time to validate and tabulate the results. I would certainly embrace the extra time it would take for sake of secure, reliable, accurate results.

Probably their association with Chicago (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10513935)

Mechanical/lever machines are associated with the Kennedy voting fiasco in the 1960 race between Nixon and Kennedy.

Simplifying greatly, the people who tabulated the votes from the lever-operated machines were pro-Kennedy. Vote tabulation was done by opening the machine up, and reading numbers off a little odometer-style readout. When the numbers were written down, the Kennedy numbers were written as higher than the machine recorded, and the Nixon numbers as lower.

However, the Democrats weren't the only people rigging that election. Downstate Republicans did their share of double-voting, including many people from conservative St. Louis hopping across into Illinois to vote in that state, as well as their home state.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10513946)

what's wrong with lever-operated machines is that the bush junta will not be able to steal a SECOND election if they are used.

why else do you think the media "polls" are constantly showing bush/kerry neck and neck despite the fact that bush is a blathering "sigle-issue" idiot? because they're in on it that's why. They're bracing you to not be surpised when bush wins again.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (1)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514072)

Lever? Hell, Canada has done just fine with a friggin' X on a paper ballot, thanks.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (1)

SandiConoverJones (821221) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514227)

I live in a backward county that still uses paper and pencil ballots. When I watch the news on election night, our precincts have a greater percentage of the people voting than other parts of the area, and our results are always in promptly.

I can see on my ballot exactly where I marked. They use ebony pencils, which do not erase gracefully, so a poll employee would have to work hard to even have a potential of erasing and revoting my ballot. (If a voter does make an error, they can go to a poll worker to have the ballot voided, and have a new one issued, and they'll check off a new serial number)

This is a technology that works, and I have heard of far fewer challenges in the pencil ballot areas than in the punch card or lever areas.

Right now my state is airing comercials for the people in the punch card areas, teaching them how to look at their ballots when they are done. I wonder what that cost.

I most certainly don't want e-voting. That is just too bloody easy to tamper with. Yeah, can you see it now, run it on Windows CE! LOL! Insert a virus that changes all votes to George McGovern!

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514275)

They can, and have been, rigged. I've heard stories about people intentionally jamming selected gears to reduce the vote count for the opposition. Any machine can be rigged given enough time, money and motivation. Seals can be removed and replaced. Counters can be misread. Independent observers can be bribed, intimidated, or physically kept out of the area where the fraud is being perpetrated.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (2, Insightful)

Joe Tex (69691) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514326)

How bout this (All this is pedicated on the E-voting stuff to be handled correctly)

- Verification of ballot - no invalid ballots
- Context sensitive help, less confusion
- Possibility of more advance voting methods (condorcet, IRV, etc)

it's to control... (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514649)

...the elections by the globalist elite, you know, the folks who think most of humanity consists of "useless eaters". It REALLY is that simple. People are hip enough to see if you have a one party state that it's a dictatorship. With two parties it gets harder to see and it's easier for folks to stay in comfortable denial about it, and computerised voting is a great way to KEEP it a two for one party sham election.

We've always had election fraud to some degree, but perots and naders and buchanans campaigns scared the socks off of the elite globalist goons, they needed a way to outright insure that the international bankers/corporate party candidate always won, in ANY race if that is what it took. The internet has started to break the back of the controlled propoganda press, people CAN find out there are other viewpoints and other candidates, so combining scam e voting with controlling the "debates" and who gets on the ballot and with gerrymandering, etc, etc, they can be sure to always get their puppet doofus in no matter what else happens.

You can go back and research this, it's origins. Several good whistleblowers out there were discovering the higher level truth of the tallies 20 years ago, this newest dodge is just an extension of what they have been doing since then.

Last time I voted with a diebold machine I checked the results later, MY vote was never registered in the official tally near as I could ascertain, and with no way to check it, you have no case to prosecute. They can hack these machines in advance, or on the fly during the election, with modems or whatever, inserted cards. They've been busted already, yet we still have them. That should be enough of a clue right there.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (1)

clambake (37702) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514785)

Would somebody please tell me what exactly is wrong with the lever operated mechanical machines still largely used in my state (New York)?

Well, for one, I won't be able to win by a landslide by promising to empty the entire US treasury into the bank accouts of the employees, investors and the families of the people involved with e-voting machines.

Re:said it before -- I'll say it again (1)

hacksoncode (239847) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514836)

Well, err, because they have *exactly the same problems as touchscreen machines*???

There's no paper trail; in spite of what you say there's no easy way to determine whether multiple votes have been cast by the same person or by a poll worker; and there's no really easy way to verify that the mechanical system hasn't been hacked either (in case you're wondering, the insides of these things are incredibly arcanely complex).

Also, they aren't nearly as flexible, accessible to people with disabilities or who speak other languages (who otherwise have to give up the privacy of their vote or struggle significantly), or extensible to larger elections with many ballot initiatives (perhaps not a problem in NY).

test (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10513679)

test to reply to other people's commto reply to other people's commto reply to other people's comm

hmm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10513682)

Inteeresting...

frist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10513688)

frist

Damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10513692)

There's a fascinating discussion going on right now over at SiliconValley.com

Not anymore. You should have atleast waited till the discussion was over. Cue all the trolls.

Don't be surprised if the new discussions includes FP, Frossttyy Pissy, GNAA, Troll your mama, Natalie Portman, grits and SCO is teh ghey!!! OMG. LOL!!

Oh, great. (1)

NightDragon (732139) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513708)

Great..... Evoting.... just another thing that 13 year old kids can hack... "Oops, mommy, i didnt know that what i did would place 30,000 votes for nader!"

If we want truly verifiable voting (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10513729)

Simply mark and remove a finger joint from each voter at the polls and after approximately 28 votes, you get a free pair of mittens.

Electronic voting machines aren't the problem (3, Informative)

Frequanaut (135988) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513734)

It's the people who hate democracy:

See here for more [dkosopedia.com]

And yes, I know it's a partisan site, but it's just collecting news stories, look past the commentary.

Re:Electronic voting machines aren't the problem (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10513843)

Flamebait?! Holy crap, who is modding this? While his comment may be a bit frothing, the link is frigging amazing.

Re:Electronic voting machines aren't the problem (2, Insightful)

Frequanaut (135988) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514406)

It's not frothing. These are people actively trying to stop democracy.

Re:Electronic voting machines aren't the problem (2, Insightful)

Frequanaut (135988) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514074)

How is providing a list of stories concerning voter registration fraud moderated as flamebait? Moderation is screwed.

Re:Electronic voting machines aren't the problem (3, Insightful)

Detritus (11846) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514409)

It's a very selective list. That might be grounds for considering it to be flamebait.

Re:Electronic voting machines aren't the problem (1)

Frequanaut (135988) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514642)

The activities described in the stories are a federal crimes against Americans.

It doesn't matter if they're suppressing the registration of democrats, republicans, the greens or the one guy in the freaking Socialist Dog Ball Lickers Party of North Dakota.

For christs sake, just because a federal crime is committed against someone you have a political disagreement with does not make it ok. These are your fellow Americans. Do people hate their political opponents so much they're willing to destroy democracy and America to win?

What's the freaking point?

Do they see the irony of Americans being killed and maimed in Iraq to provide democracy for people who don't want it while attempting to kill and maim democracy for those people who wanted it enough over here to actually register?

Recounts? (5, Insightful)

FatherKabral (819599) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513748)

Has anyone forgotten what happened in Florida? Granted that recount was a great big cluster, but what happens if the data is lost? No paper copy means no recount...everyone would have to vote again, and that could mean changed votes, fewer votes, etc. If it ain't broke......

Re:Recounts? (1)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513868)

No, it doesn't mean they have to vote again. It means it goes through just as it is. Hence the reason the Supreme Court told Florida to stop the recount - they had to get on with things before January Something-Or-Other for when the Electoral College met and voted for the President. In essence, it comes down to "if you're not ready, tough titty". I don't like it, but that's the way they went with it.

Of course, I could be wrong in my assessment, so if I've piqued your interest enough, perhaps you could look it up and see if I'm right? :]

Saying things you aren't sure may not be admirable, but at least I'm pointing out that I could be wrong :]

Re:Recounts? (2, Interesting)

abb3w (696381) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513888)

they had to get on with things before January Something-Or-Other for when the Electoral College met and voted for the President.

Or, alternately, fail to certify the vote count, and not send ANY electors. Which would have caused a far bigger stink.

Re:Recounts? (1)

aminorex (141494) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514580)

Actually, I don't think the Supreme Court had jurisdiction over that case. States decide their electors according to the rules and laws and whims of each state. For the federal government to adjudicate on those rules is antipathetic to the federal principle, and to the Constitution.

Re:Recounts? (2, Insightful)

DigitalRaptor (815681) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514635)

No, the Supreme Court didn't have jurisdiction. They were relied upon because Bush knew they would side with him.

There are specific federal laws governing elections, and more specifically the couting of military ballots. The law is, if they aren't in by a certain date, they aren't counted.

Bush and his people (namely his brother and Kathleen Harris) broke federal election laws and counted all military ballots, regardless of when they came in, to the tune of a +800 gain for Bush, pushing him over by 576 votes total.

Obey the existing laws (both state and federal) and Gore wone by nearly 300 votes.

OT - re: cluster (1)

sczimme (603413) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513906)


Another way to get around saying "cluster f**k" in polite company is to call it a "Charlie Foxtrot". Ex-military will probably recognize the term and most civilians will assume Charlie is a person. :-)

/yup, off-topic

Don't see what the fuss is about (3, Interesting)

raitchison (734047) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513790)

Even if the worst FUD claims of the anti electronic voting crowd are true electronic voting is no more vulnerable to tampering than paper ballot voting. Where ballots can (and are) lost (or "lost") and there are dozens of opportunities for workers to mess with or change things.

I've voted touchscreen twice and it was great, I got to vote in advance of election day (when it was convenient for me). Though there was a LOT of pressing "next page" for the CA Recall election to sort through the >100 candidates. :)

Like any new system it will no doubt have it's own issues that will need to be worked out. That's the price for progress.

What I'm waiting for is the opportunity to vote online.

Re:Don't see what the fuss is about (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10513827)

Yes, let's replace something that's comparitively cheap and simple with something that's expensive and complex.

That's always a recipe for success.

Re:Don't see what the fuss is about (1)

raitchison (734047) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514012)

Really not meant to be flamebait but:

The horse and buggy were cheap and simple compared to early automobiles.

Pencil, paper & a sliderule were certianly cheap and simple compared to the first computers.

Newer is certianly not always better but it's most definitely not always worse.

Re:Don't see what the fuss is about (2, Interesting)

greechneb (574646) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513931)

I think what we have here in our county is a nice system. It's similar to a scantron test. you color in your choices, and when you are done, it is fed in. If there is a problem, it spits it back out. At the end of the day, it prints out a total. The judges count the number of ballots to make sure it matches the number of ballots entered. If nothing is out of line, it only takes 30 minutes or so for them to balance at the end of the day, and then take the results in. It cut down the balancing time by nearly half. If there is a recount, the paper ballots still exist. Don't know who makes the machines though... probably diebold.

Re:Don't see what the fuss is about (4, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513972)

Even if the worst FUD claims of the anti electronic voting crowd are true electronic voting is no more vulnerable to tampering than paper ballot voting.

Wrong. In most states there are multiple eyes on every ballot from the moment they're taken out of the box until they're counted and sealed. An all-electronic vote is not usually reviewed by multiple people. That's why in test runs thousands of fake extra votes are able to be counted. If every electronic vote was scrutinized the same as paper then they'd be roughly equally vulnerable, but they're not and probably never will be.

Re:Don't see what the fuss is about (1)

veg_all (22581) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514524)

Wow, thanks. That was so convenient. After I read the first word of your reply I didn't have to read any further.

It is more vulnerable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10513976)

The fundamental difference is that paper ballots and other old school systems leave physical evidence.

There has been some degree of fraud in many paper ballot elections over the course of the nation.

Do you think the fraud will be decreased by removing physical evidence?

Re:It is more vulnerable (1)

mcwop (31034) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514041)

Old school physical evidence can easily be destroyed - burn the ballots. Voting is insecure at several points, from not proving who you are, to purging voters from registration, to destroying votes, to tampering with electronic machines.

It could be made more tamper-proof, but remeber the government is running the show, and the governmentt is inept at many basic services it provides.

Re:Don't see what the fuss is about (5, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514057)

Even if the worst FUD claims of the anti electronic voting crowd are true electronic voting is no more vulnerable to tampering than paper ballot voting.

That is simply not true. With paper ballot voting the only people who can tamper with the ballots are the election officials, and members of all interested parties, observe the voting and tallying process. With some of these poorly implemented systems, anyone with internet access or access to the voting machine (any voter) could potentially hack and tamper with the voting results. This is not a theoretical concern either - there are proven vulnerabilities with these systems.

The lesser reason why your statement is incorrect is that with paper ballots, if fraud is suspected, you can at least go back and do some post mortem analysis of the election - recount the existing ballots, make sure that the number of people who signed in at a voting location is consistent with the number of existing ballots. With most of these electronic voting systems this is currently not an option (although it could be).

These complaints are not FUD, by any stretch of the imagination.

Just as long as I'm writing the voting software (2, Insightful)

NigelJohnstone (242811) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514284)

"I've voted touchscreen twice and it was great, "

Playing devils advocate: I could write an easter egg into the software, so that when I come along to the voting booth, I tap my finger on the screen in a few special unmarked places, and that machine then favours my chosen candidate.

Tell a few of my friends and we could easily do that with all the machines in a swing state.

The pre-checks wouldn't pick it up, the random machines taken out for testing wouldn't show the problem (because I wouldn't be activating my easter egg on those machines).

Whoever writes the voting software controls the election without the paper trail.

Its fine to make unauditable voting machines, just as long as I'm writing the software. :)

Re:Just as long as I'm writing the voting software (1)

raitchison (734047) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514496)

This makes the IMO unreasonable assumption that a single individual writes code for the machines without any checks or oversight by at least one other person, and that the malicious coder is willing to become a fugitive or go to jail when (not if) the easter egg is discovered.

The same type of scenario applied to paper ballots would have one person drive the ballots from the polling place with no escort or other checks where they could easily drop one of the boxes in a dumpster on the way if they know the precinct doesn't favor their candidate/party.

Make no mistake, I'm in no way suggesting that electronic voting should be free from scrutiny and believe that every effort should be made to ensure the integrity of the votes but if we wait until all the bugs are worked out of the system before we start using it we will never find out what the bugs are in order to fix them.

It seems to me that electronic voting not only holds the promise of reducing election fraud (or error) to a tiny fraction of what we have seen in the past but doing so while making voting more convenient and accessible for the voting public.

I'm personally distrustful of paper records as they rely on humans to read and interpet them so I'd prefer something like a smart card ballot record, one for each voter, that the machine spits out after you vote. These could be used for recounts or other audits. You could easily verify the integrity of the smart card data with a separate device or program inside the machine, designed by a different group/company that read the card and compared it to what the voting machine held in memory.

I have yet to see any evidence from any of the critics showing that even voting machines with no paper trail are any less secure than paper ballots in real world scenarios.

Re:Don't see what the fuss is about (1)

AnotherBlackHat (265897) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514413)

Even if the worst FUD claims of the anti electronic voting crowd are true electronic voting is no more vulnerable to tampering than paper ballot voting.


There's at least one significant difference.

Fraud with paper ballots involves much larger numbers of people.

A single hacker could theoretically change every vote.

-- should you believe authority without question?

Change the outcome with a 5-line VBScript (1)

aminorex (141494) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514593)

the folks at blackbox voting did this with one of the major systems. i can't remember if it was ES&S, Sequoia, or Diebold, but i do remember vividly that they changed the outcome of an election with a 5-line piece of VBScript.

at least with paper ballots it took actual human hands to change each vote individually. now it's a script-kiddie job.

Re:Don't see what the fuss is about (1)

Kwantus (34951) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514632)

Where ballots can (and are) lost (or "lost") and there are dozens of opportunities for workers to mess with or change things.
This is FUD. A paper count can at least be opened to the public and watched by whoever wants to see. There is no way to witness what goes on inside a sillycon chip.

I could never trust an "election" counted by machines. (Hard enough to trust people; but a black box spitting out Walden-"committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President"-O'Dell-alone-knows-what? I'm not yet that stupid.)

Re:Don't see what the fuss is about (1)

Len Budney (787422) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514780)

What I'm waiting for is the opportunity to vote online.

So is everyone at FreeRepublic.com. Check out their "Freep the Ballot!" ads next election.

It's not the machines (1)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513842)

What's your assessment of the risks related to the use of electronic voting machines

The risks come not from electronicness or mechanization, but from the people who design evil systems and implement them in the name of democracy.

Vote From Home (5, Insightful)

clinko (232501) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513849)

Voting from a PC at home is a bad idea because it unfairly gives people with money a chance to vote easier than without.

I guess this is obvious, but had to be said.

Re:Vote From Home (0, Troll)

David_W (35680) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513958)

Voting from a PC at home is a bad idea because it unfairly gives people with money a chance to vote easier than without.

Um, what's wrong with making it easier for someone (even if it's only a select group) to vote? If an online/at-home voting scheme were implemented, I doubt that central polling stations would be removed, so everyone would still have at least the same opportunity they previously had, plus those with computers at home have a greater opportunity. (In fact, arguably, by having home voting it makes it easier for those who don't have computers at home because the polling stations they would use would be less crowded.)

(Note to pedants: I'm only addressing this one point. Please resist the urge to reply to me telling me the 100 other things wrong with online voting, as I already know them. :))

Re:Vote From Home (1)

Trolling4Columbine (679367) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513962)

No it didn't have to be said. The same could be argued, then, of people who have cars, or of people who can read/write, or a host of other conditions that you would argue that make it "easier" for one group to vote.

That said, voting from home is a TERRIBLE idea because of all the insecure points between a home PC and the vote database.

Re:Vote From Home (1)

mefus (34481) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514506)

The same could be argued, then, of people who have cars, or of people who can read/write, or a host of other conditions that you would argue that make it "easier" for one group to vote

That wouldn't be a valid argument, to say the problem is systemic so why shouldn't we exacerbate it. Sheesh.

Re:Vote From Home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10514023)

Why is that an issue. In our Republic you have a right to vote. Poll taxes are illegal and its gernerally held that its illegal to do anything to make it harder for a certain group to vote but there is no reason it can't be made easier. Nobodies rights are being infringed if everyone with an internet connection could vote from home. There is no specificly identifiable group there that the law would be discriminating aginst, so long as all existing polling places remain open for the same hours they are now, it can not be claimed such an action would be intended to disadvantage a specific group, or advantage another, it would not violate equal protection. Now before you say but but but its wrong becase even though its not writen to its practice will disadvantage a certain group, consider that we allow all sorts of laws against panhandeling, use of parks after hours, restrictions on the ownership of shopping carts, etc. Clearly the practice of these things is more detrimental to a certain group (homeless people) and yet we don't say it violates equal protection becase the behaviors would be punished no matter who did the acts, it so happens that homeless tend to do them more.

Re:Vote From Home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10514051)

Voting from home is seductive, but suffers from the same flaws as a postal ballot - it's far too easy to rig.

If people vote in their homes, whether on paper, on their computers or whatever, it's trivial for people (husband/father/local party toughs/whoever) to make sure that they vote the "right" way. At the polling station, their independance in enforced, at least at the actual time of voting, so the vote is reasonably free.

Any move that allows people to vote in a less controlled situation for mere convenience is a threat to democracy.

People who are sick or on vacation so have postal votes are OK - there's sufficiently few of them to make organized influence difficult. Military postal votes are potentially a weakness, depending on the degree of anonymity offered to military voters. If a soldier is allowed to vote in sight of his fellows, or a superior, that's a source of influence and thus a flaw. Note that I have no idea how military ballots are actually conducted - is there anyone on duty abroad out there who would care to enlighten me?

Scrutineering (5, Insightful)

lpontiac (173839) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513977)

Any layman can look over the shoulder of anybody doing anything with the current system, and know at a glance whether the work is being performed correctly.

I have a degree in computer science, and I can't look at an electronic voting system and see that it is working in the correct manner.

This is why I don't think electronic voting systems can ever replace a manual system.

Re:Scrutineering (1)

Ignignot (782335) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514075)

So maybe instead of having people check how people are handling the votes, we should have programs checking how programs handle the vote. Instead of having your vote recorded by one program on one machine, have it recorded by 3 programs on 3 machines, all written by different companies / OSS or whatever. If they don't match up, then you have a problem.

Re:Scrutineering (2, Insightful)

mefus (34481) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514539)

That's true: the secrecy of the ballot has been extended to cover the tallying mechanism. Disaster.

That being said, if the system were open source and included some kind of hashing mechanism to verify the binary is a product of the certified code, and the certification rules for the hardware were more strictly obeyed, evoting could be plausible.

None of this is possible with Diebold, or ES&S, or whatever.

If it aint broke.... (3, Insightful)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 9 years ago | (#10513984)

Our county uses optical scan ballots, and they work fine. They are fast to count. There is a physical backup that can be hand counted if need be. They require no fancy equipment and the polling place. And, if you can't figure out how to mark them correctly, you really are too stupid to have your vote counted.

I am totally at a loss to understand this rush to some sort of electronic voting. I regard voting as the one, true sacrament of citizenship. I have no problem with it taking a little bit of time. After lying to pollsters for months, the ritual of going into the booth and casting my secret ballot is very satisfying.

Remember, voters are citizens; all others are residents.

is that your final answer.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10513990)

it would be great if the machines said "is that your final answer"....i might get out and vote then, for now at least i can say "you can't blame me, i didn't vote"

Proxy Power! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10514053)

My workplace has been banned. My entire workplace ... for 3 weeks now. This is ridiculous. We have written to demand a full explanation for the reason, but in vain.

I'm using a proxy ... so I guess your heavy-handed tactics aren't all that effective in the end, eh?

Well, they are effective in annoying the crap out of me and dozens of other people. Aren't you proud?

Now I am submitting redundant stuff on your forum just because I am extremely pissed off on behalf of myself and my coworkers. I would be posting something worthwhile if I were calm, but I am not at present.

Reconsider your inane banning regulations now!

P.S. The MD5 of our SubnetID is "09f78530e96631543b1806ad71d8d840" ... now do something with that for Chrissake!

The big question (1)

darkstar949 (697933) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514059)

The touch-screen system do sound more convenient, however they lead to some major questions and issues that would need to be resolved. Namely the following -

What type of fail-safes does the touch-screen system have in case of system failure (i.e. Hard drive dies, power goes out, ect) in which you can quickly recover from something unexpected happening? My understanding is that the touch-screens in the booths feed the data into a central computer that tabulates the results, so what if something happens to that central computer (say the software crashes) and some of the data is lost - are those votes just flat out lost, or are they stored in more than one place.

Which leads to the next question - what is there to ensure that my vote is counted and is not 'replaced' with a vote for a different candidate? There are several places where the vote could be changed with out any real means of determining if that did in fact occur. With most of the current systems there is some way to tell if someone tried to tamper with the vote, but with these systems you have to pretty much trust the companies system.

In Alaska (2, Informative)

RealAlaskan (576404) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514094)

In Alaska, we vote on bubble sheets. Fill in the oval next to the candidate you want (or dislike least). A machine reads the ballots and counts the votes, giving the instant, error-free [1] readout everyone says they want, and the bubblesheets are still there, to be audited at leisure. It seems like the best of both worlds.

It should be error-free, but, in our local election last week, the machines somehow managed to count 11 more ballots than were cast. That's where the paper ballots come in: they're human readable, and humans are auditing and handcounting them right now.

Anyone else hear about. . . (2, Interesting)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514116)

the new electronic voting system developed by David Chaum? No? If you're reading /. no wonder! Stories of ontopic interest are rarely posted.

Here's the link [business2.com] to the Business 2.0 article talking about his new system which he claims is "the first electronic mechanism that ensures both integrity and privacy."

Three examples (1)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514126)

Diebold, [cosmiciguana.com] Diebold, [theage.com.au] and Diebold [commondreams.org]

Re:Three examples (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514417)

Could not have said it any better than that!

One Word.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10514152)

...Scantron. Complete the arrow with the marker, you've got a paper trail and instant electronic tally's.

Anyone want to post some of the relevant parts? (1)

10111011110111011010 (810610) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514183)

Ahh, my old arch-enemy and perfect foil: Websense. Online forums are filtered here. Grrr!!!

Republicans still use the old ways of cheating (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10514199)

In Nevada earlier Tuesday, KLAS-TV, a CBS affiliate, interviewed an employee of a private voter registration organization who said hundreds -- perhaps thousands -- of Democratic registration forms had been destroyed.

Eric Russell, a former Voters Outreach of America employee, told the TV station he had personally witnessed his supervisor take out Democratic registration forms from the pile and shred them.

The company has been largely funded by the Republican National Committee, the station reported.

http://www.kgw.com/news-local/stories/kgw_101304 _n ews_voter_fraud_.2a2c6f98.html
(intrusive registration required)

well, I should have used the 'Preview' button! (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514477)

The New York City Council [nyccouncil.info] has a Government Operations Committee hearing scheduled for Tuesday, 10/26/04 (two weeks from yesterday) on HAVA oversight. The Help America Vote Act was passed after the 2000 Florida election travesty, funding states to upgrade their voting equipment, registration procedures and pollworker training. This unprecedented handout of Federal money (every American taxpayer's money) to states is creating public hearings in practically every state, and most big cities, about electronic voting machines. If you post eVoting positions to Slashdot, put your mouth where your "Submit" button is, and go say something with your neighbors at a hearing, where it actually matters. Or just go lurk at a hearing anonymously - only cowards duck the chance to see important nuts and bolts of their communities in action.

As a person from SB county (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10514282)

I've been through 3 ballot systems in 2 years...

Punch cards, which, despite the Florida "fiasco", seemed to work just fine for the 90% of people who could spell "clue." Also, the equipment was cheap and light enough that many small polling places could be had instead of one large center, which was nicer for people in that they could WALK to the polling place nearby and vote.

Optical bubble scan-ins which were the emergency "fix" to the punch card "problem"... Huge sheets, lots of complaints from people at the polling center about broken pens, and of course, the system they came up with to verify all this required one large polling place for all the workers, which now required a drive to reach. Also, it took about 30-40 minutes of line waiting to get to the booth to vote. I saw more than one couple just get tired of waiting ("Dinner is getting cold, lets go.") and walk off.

Finally, touch screens. Same problems of equipment and pollsters forcing a central polling place, but at least the line wait isn't nearly as long. Most voters are confused how the system works though, and it leads to a lot of uncertainty. The scancard they give you at the front table to start the process doesn't record your vote, just tells the machine your ID, so they throw the card into a bin afterwards to be reprogrammed, or sometimes just immediately reuse it. Lots of older people got pretty huffy when they thought their ballot was being thrown away. Oh well, at least where I was, they required a printer to be hooked up to each machine, and it printed out in a tape roll the record of what votes were being cast. Mind you they probably just threw the roll out, but the system to cover a paper recount was there.

Make Election Day a Holiday! (3, Interesting)

justanyone (308934) | more than 9 years ago | (#10514526)


Many other nations make Election day a holiday. We should have election day as a Work & School holiday.It would solve problems:
  • with too-few people voting since there's far more time to do it and less hassle;
  • evening news coverage couldn't influence the election since most people would have voted by then;
  • It would reinforce the idea that democracy requires attention and is important;
  • people attempting to vote at the wrong precinct would have time to get to the right one;
  • More professionals could volunteer to work at polling stations, which would speed vote counting and allow for disabled people to be assisted by people of both parties;
  • We would get another vacation day;
  • A better-educated cross section of college students and "slacker-class" (Jon Stewart's term) would vote since the ones too drunk from "no-class-tommorrow" syndrome would have too big a hangover to vote, while the nerdier non-drinkers would vote more reliably.
    • These comprise a very valuable argument:
    • Make Election Day a Work/School Holiday !

Pencil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10514535)

What's the problem with using a pencil? All you got to do is mark an X next to your least disliked candidate and away you go.

Bring back chads! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10514739)

From my observations of the recent California elections, the optical ink system that has replaced the punch card is much more error prone than old Mr. Chad. I've found that several times when I thought I was making a proper mark the pen failed to do so, and if I had not been attentive I would have had several undervotes. So I say, I want my chads back!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>