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Florida Voting Machine Logs Reveal Anomalies

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the please-do-not-be-shocked dept.


boot1780 writes "Having 'successfully sued former Palm Beach County (FL) Supervisor of Elections Theresa LePore to get the audit records for the 2004 presidential election,' Black Box Voting reports that the 'internal logs of at least 40 Sequoia touch-screen voting machines reveal that votes were time and date-stamped as cast two weeks before the election, sometimes in the middle of the night.' Besides the date discrepancies, they claim to have discovered countless other errors and anomalies, including a case of one voting machine being 'powered down 128 times during the election'." Given the findings here, can we have a do-over?

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What's new... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14792258)

I thought this was common knowledge? :-) Move along...

Re:What's new... (4, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792400)

This is not the democracy you are looking for... They can go about their business...

Re:What's new... (2, Insightful)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792401)

Common knowledge? That our system is so corrupt that people who do take the time to vote don't matter? I don't care about which side, if any, a person is on. Failing to secure voting and ensuring fair and free elections is the basis for our whole country. Granted it's turned into a joke. However, I doubt most people *know* the election was fraudulent.

Uhhh... (1)

RevAaron (125240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792261)

Is anyone else not surprised?

Re:Uhhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14792335)

Hey. Everyone knows Dubya is the most honest president there was ever. I mean ever was. Oh wait. What? He rigged the voting machines? SONAVABITCH

Re:Uhhh... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14792438)

Seems more like a sonofamonkey to me...

Re:Uhhh... (1, Funny)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792342)

This is ridiculous, how hard is it to make a machine for basic data entry? Is the company who made these machines really that incompetent?

Flipping the question around... (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792369)

How many immaculate software projects have ever come down the chute?

Instead of "Bush sucks", can these findings be leveraged into a call for increased voting software transparency, i.e. 100% FOSS?

Then, can we expand the victory to include all taxation software, such that, with due regard to privacy, you can figure out WTF is going on with your tax dollars?

Or is that kind of transparency impossible in a democracy?

Re:Uhhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14792416)

Don't worry. The last Washington State elections were vision into the future of our political system.
Don't like the results? just "find" more votes while suing to block votes that may be for the opposition.

To think this is one sided is short sighted.

Re:Uhhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14792430)

I'm starting to think that these incidents aren't quite accidents.

With the internet age here, there's practically no reason that the government can't create Internet-powered systems to allow all of America to vote on-line. And not just for elections....we could vote on ever separate issue. Want to go to War in Iraq? Want to raise taxes? ... Go jump online and review the politicians' histories and place your vote instantly to a number of current issues. In theory, the electoral college could become a thing of the past and everybody would have their direct say in the matter.

But oh no, politicians wouldn't like that. If they can convince the public that voting machines are unreliable, people will start to become unaccepting of technology as it relates to politics. This will help ensure that the antiquated, corrupt system will continue to put them into office.

That's my conspiracy theory, anyway.


Re:Uhhh... (1)

davaguco (771514) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792467)

There are many groups and forums around the world that are trying precisely to do this: direct democracy, e-democracy, ... search for it in google.

The house limit... (3, Funny)

sprag (38460) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792270)

Bender: Wait, my cheating unit malfunctioned. You gotta' give me a do-over.
Dealer: Sorry - the house limit is 3 do-overs.

How hard is it? (1)

TheBogie (941620) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792273)

How hard is it to make a decent voting machine? Are they purposefully making crappy machines?

We could grab 5 random slashdot nerds, give them a keg of beer and 48 hours, and they could make a better voting machine than what's out there now.

Re:How hard is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14792340)

Don't forget the tape of a continuous loop of "Louie Louie"!

Is it a bad thing that Bender is my idol?

Re:How hard is it? (2, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792350)

its not that they cant make a decent machine, its they dont WANT to. Plenty of people have told them how to make a near foolproof machine, but with a machine that good its too hard to say it was a machine screwup than say human tampering.

With a bad machine you can just as easily blame the machine as you could someone going in and changing the results.

Re:How hard is it? (1)

Alchemar (720449) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792415)

But then they would complain because people that voted for Democrates would get twice as much beer from the built in despensing unit.

Re:How hard is it? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14792498)

people that voted for Democrates

Voted for him when? Do you mean in ancient Greece?

Re:How hard is it? (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792422)

Well yeah, it is just a friggen cash register. Any touch screen restaurant style POS system can be set up to do the job, but there is no money in that. To make money, you need to convince the politicians that you need new hardware and that adding a printer to the thing is very difficult...

Re:How hard is it? (5, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792434)

Yes, it's called "pen, paper and sealed box".

It's massively inefficient, which is a good thing in elections. Efficiency only makes cheating easier.

Oh, quitcher whinin' (5, Insightful)

Jim in Buffalo (939861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792274)

Quitcher whinin' 'bout the digital voting machines. You know as well as I do that the voting machine companies are wiser when it comes to choosing leaders than all you unwashed ignorant masses. (Sarcasm aside, I do hope this makes the national news)

Re:Oh, quitcher whinin' (-1, Flamebait)

aborchers (471342) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792314)

"Sarcasm aside, I do hope this makes the national news"

It will. It will make NPR and NBC and the NYT, and all the Fox News zombies will claim it's a non-story because it's reported by the great Liberal Media Conspiracy. You know, like the administration suppression of NASA research that none of the "conservative" media outlets bothered to report.

Re:Oh, quitcher whinin' (2, Insightful)

JWW (79176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792492)

So basically you're inferring that the machines setup and run by Democrats illegally gave votes to Bush right?

I think the operative phrase here is "Never attribute to malice, that which can be explained by incompetence." These machines just plain don't work, like so many other system out there.

I do agree that a FOSS voting system would be the best way to ensure accountability and reliability of the software.

Re:Oh, quitcher whinin' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14792341)

I do hope this makes the national news

Your news agencies are too much in control by the same people that control the republicans.(and the democrats ...) CHOOSE THIRD PARTIES GODDAMIT !

Take back our elections (3, Insightful)

dave-tx (684169) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792276)

Does anybody still beleive that this election wasn't fixed? I mean, really. Of course it'll never be proven, but it's so freakin' obvious. Incompetence can only explain so many problems - I think we've passed that point a long time ago.

And once again - no matter what your political persuasion, you need to demand that your representatives introduce or support legislation that requires a voting machine to produce a paper receipt for each vote, or some equally verifiable and recountable paper trail. Any politician that objects to a fair election needs to be fired and replaced.

Re:Take back our elections (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792356)

Does anybody still beleive that this election wasn't fixed? I mean, really. Of course it'll never be proven, but it's so freakin' obvious.

The election was, for all intents and purposes, a dead heat. This time, it went to the republicans. In the Kennedy-Nixon election, it went to the democrats. Get over it.


Re:Take back our elections (1)

dave-tx (684169) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792444)

Get over it.

No. OK? Thanks.

Re:Take back our elections (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792470)

Fine. Keep snivelling through 2008, and see how much support it gets for your side.


Re:Take back our elections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14792478)

Support? What's the point. The next election will be just as fraudulent.

Re:Take back our elections (5, Insightful)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792390)

Does anybody still beleive that this election wasn't fixed? I mean, really. Of course it'll never be proven, but it's so freakin' obvious. Incompetence can only explain so many problems - I think we've passed that point a long time ago.

Its an appealing thought. I mean, the alternative is to believe that more than half the country was dumb enough to believe that the same jackasses who failed to stop 9/11 and royally screwed up in Iraq were the best guys to protect us from further terrorist attacks and the best guys to fix Iraq.

There's something very comforting about conspiracy theories in general. I mean, if it's a conspiracy you at least have a chance to fight that; it's just the actions of a few people. But if the problems of the world emerge from the apathy, stupidity, ignorance, greed, and hate of billions of people, including ourselves... well, that's a little more difficult to tackle and a little more depressing to think about.

It must all be the CIA's fault.

Re:Take back our elections (2, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792436)

jackasses who failed to stop 9/11

I wonder, do you consider FDR to be the "jackass" who failed to stop Pearl Harbor?


Re:Take back our elections (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14792391)

"Does anybody still believe that this election wasn't fixed?"
(spelling corrected, remember i before e)

I do. I am not happy to have GWB elected but I honestly think he won the majority of the vote in this election. You fail to take into account that the majority of this country was pro war at the time of the election. Just because we had a very vocal anti-war sentiment does not mean that sentiment represented the opinion of most people.

GWB won the election. It sucks, he continues to cause damage to the USA that will take years to repair but he did win. My biggest hope from his victory is that most of the people who voted for him will see the error of their ways and the next time we have an election between a douche and a shit sandwich, they will choose the lesser evil rather then the evil with the better rhetoric.

I think GWB has guaranteed us a democrat in the white house in 2008. Perhaps we can start making this country great again.

By the way, as a historical reference, in the history of this country there has never been an incumbent president defeated when running for a second term when the elections were held during war time.

Re:Take back our elections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14792448)


So what?

How does it matter that the voting machines are utter garbage when there's not one single bit of security on who is actually *allowed* to vote. We're required to provide documentation when cashing a check, registering a car or a whole host of other normal activities. And yet you can get to vote without having to show that you're either a citizen OR a resident. Anybody remember the state of Washington? You know where there were several recounts and, amazingly enough, the Democrats kept on "finding" more and more votes. And then when these Democrat controlled precincts were investigated many of those votes were garbage. The Democrat Govenor of Washington won by less than 500 votes, and yet more than 3,000 of those Democrat votes were found to be unindentifiable.

Why don't we fix the miserable lack of documentation required to prove eligibility to vote first. Then we can go back to paper ballots and inked fingers. Frankly Democrats like to accuse Republicans of stealing elections, yet nearly every single inconsistent and irregular episode of voting has happened in a *Democrat* controlled precinct!

So don't point fingers until and unless your own hands are clean. Here's a clue for you people.

What makes you think that Democrats would *gain* votes if the voting were actually both restricted to legitimate voters AND properly recorded? Take the example of St. Louis where a multitude of *dead people* voted Democrat.

Gore (0)

shamowfski (808477) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792281)

Then we get Gore. Unless they re-do it so I can be president, who cares?

Re:Gore (1)

RevAaron (125240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792313)

Gore didn't run in 2004, that was Kerry. These are voting machine anomolies from 2004- not the stuff from 2000 which is well documented. But I'll still take you if it means anything.


the_tsi (19767) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792283)

The only way someone can beat you is by cheating, right?


Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14792352)

Forgive us. We just don't like to insult Republicans by supposing that they support Bush.

I mean, what small-government conservative would actually want a president who is hell-bent on increasing the size of government? What fiscal conservative would actually vote for a president who has run up a record budget deficit and is throwing taxpayers' money away on useless military projects like missile defence when he could be spending it on worthwhile counterterrorism measures?

In short, in what way does Bush actually represent Republican ideals?

Re:ZOMG HAX (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14792451)

A fair point. Bush hasn't done a great job by any conservative's standards, but you guys have no idea how terrified we were of Gore and Kerry. When the Dems put up someone we don't consider an abomination, we'll stop electing jackasses.

Also, I can't say any of us are displeased with Roberts and Alito. And personally, I support the Iraq war, but not for any of the reasons you hear Bush articulating.


PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792452)

In short, in what way does Bush actually represent Republican ideals?

He appeals to a lot of Republicans on a moral level (though I tend to think that's a bit contrived). That, and he's closer to Republican ideals than Gore or Kerry, both of whom were really lousy candidates from the Dems.

Gore's mistake was being vice president first. He had eight long years to stick his foot in his mouth, and he did it quite well. Especially as environmental policy is concerned. He proved to be out of touch with the American people and what they want. That's why he lost.

Kerry was (and is) a weak politician. The only thing I have ever heard out of him is criticism. He attacks and attacks and attacks, and never really makes his own views known...it's only after people spend months calling him a flipflopper and asking what he believes that he comes out and says it. During the campaigns, he spent all his time talking about what Bush did wrong, but never really expressed how he would do it right.

I actually wanted a good moderate Democrat to run, but all we got was the extremes of both sides. I voted Libertarian on the presidential election in 2004 :)

(My friends call me a Republitarian, if you're wondering what my political stance is)

Re:ZOMG HAX (5, Insightful)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792507)

The only way someone can beat you is by cheating, right?

If there were only one or two instances where people said "Hm, something slightly fishy seems to have happened..." then you'd likely have a point.

But when there are dozens of reports of voting machines not working correctly, and when each and every time the errors seem to be in favor of the party that won... Yeah, I'd say calling shenannigans is justified.

Maybe it'll turn out that the errors didn't actually occur - maybe it'll turn out that the tracking software is fucked, but the votes were counted correctly. Maybe it'll turn out that there was some vast conspiracy. Maybe it'll turn out that the Democrats would have gotten *fewer* votes if the machines had worked properly. Whatever the results, what's important is this:

The machines don't seem to be working correctly when handling a very important task. We need to investigate this, no matter what. It isn't a matter of sour grapes (well, except for some people, maybe) but it IS a matter of finding out what the hell is going on.

Surely you don't think that we shouldn't investigate anomalous situations?

Coup_d'etat! (3, Insightful)

JehCt (879940) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792284)

Stop whining.

Bush stole the election fair and square. It's our (Americans') fault for not creating a massive landslide against him. The fact that a near plurality of people voted for the wanker created an opportunity for Bush 43, his brother, Kathleen Harris and the Republicans to seize power.

History will show that this election was a coup d'état [wikipedia.org], and that we were the fools who let it happen.

Want to prevent this from happening again? Andrew Tobias is the DNC treasurer: http://www.andrewtobias.com/ [andrewtobias.com], send Andy a message and he will tell you how to get involved.

Re:Coup_d'etat! (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792393)

Stop whining.

Ok so far...

History will show that this election was a coup d'état, and that we were the fools who let it happen.

Not much for taking your own advice, are you?


Technology hinderance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14792287)

What's so wrong about a paper ballot and a pencil?

if they want a high tech solution for the sake of being "high tech" then use a fancy engineering pencil.

Re:Technology hinderance (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792454)

The problem with pencil and paper, is that unlike all other democratic countries, the USA doesn't have a sufficient supply of senior citizens who can actually read, write and count the votes. This problem is the sad result of a century of public schooling...

Unfortunately (1)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792288)

The American Constitution has no mechanism for correcting this except impeachment. Somehow, I do not expect the Republican led House and Senate to display the moral backbone needed to say "OOOPS" and just do the right thing.

I could ramble on about how the electoral college is not really independant, with the party system and all, but I need to get some work done. You get the idea.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

eggoeater (704775) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792372)

The American Constitution has no mechanism for correcting this except impeachment
This is the one point that's constantly overlooked. Did Florida residents REALLY think they could have another Presidential election in 2000? That's absurd. It's terrible that the election came down to a supreme court decision but the way our system works is that it is self-correcting for FUTURE elections. You cant keep having the SAME election over and over again until you get the results you like.

do-over?!! (1)

anandpur (303114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792291)

Any democracy that don't use Black Box Voting m/c will not be acceptable to USA *cough* Palestine, Iraq

idiots (1)

PacketScan (797299) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792292)

If you actually believe the vote "was not" fixed your an idiot.. This news comes as NO suprise to this reader.

Re:idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14792508)

If you believe this was fixed, you worse than an idiot. You are a blind, unthinking, mind-numbed liberal robot. The conspiracy to pull this off would have to include more than just a few republicans. It would've needed democrat involvement as well. Not to mention that various recounts were done all of which but 2 unorthodox versions showed Bush as the winner. You're real frustration and anger comes from the fact that you are a minority and it angers you that the majority (according to you idiots) doesn't agree with you. You are an elitist that thinks that the majority of Americans do not know what's best for them because they are too dumb. In other words, you are a liberal. You are for big gov. and for imposing your will on those that are too dumb to know what's good for them. Wake up before you get what you want.

Right, so Palm Beach County was cheating (1)

Mycroft_514 (701676) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792293)

Once again, too little and too late, Bush won anyway. Palm Beach is heavily Demcoratic, and run by the Democrats guys, nothing to see here, move along.

Re:Right, so Palm Beach County was cheating (1)

teslar (706653) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792403)

Well, perhaps the Democrats are trying to frame Bush, making it look like he rigged the election in order to get him impeached...

And no, I don't believe that. But if people need a conspiracy theory (and there's already plenty of posts on how it's oh-so-obvious that Bush rigged the election), it's worth remembering that you can always spin it either way.

Seriously guys... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792294)

the electoral system needs to be rewritten ASAP. Otherwise, your so-called democracy is nothing but a mask, and you're living in a bipartisan dictatorship.

Everytime someone talks about the US and how they support democracy, it makes me laugh.

Re:Seriously guys... (1)

banaanimies (944641) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792402)

Now that we are rewriting, I think it is time to bring up the "election via steel cage match" option. Better yet, make it a tag team match involving the vice presidents! John Kerry and John Edwards vs George Bush and Dick Cheney for the titles of US president & vice president!

Who counts the votes/Who decides what's important (4, Insightful)

Angry Toad (314562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792300)

A new factor has come up in to addition to Stalin's old maxim "He who votes decides nothing; he who counts the votes decides everything."

    Something like "Who finds out about corruption is irrelevant; who gets to decide what kinds of corruption are "Serious Stories" versus "Tinfoil Hat" material decides the rest."

    Or something like that. Since the media refuses to acknowledge that there are serious questions about legitimacy under electronic voting, pointing out the problems probably doesn't matter any more - any evidence of problems is perforce "nutty conspiracy theory material" and so is a non-starter.

Slogan (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14792301)

If Kerry was the answer, it must've been a really stupid question!

Re:Slogan (1)

TLCowart (740749) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792423)

So, this comment was a troll, but the comments about Bush were not. Perhaps I am just misinterpreting the concept of a troll, or maybe, just maybe, someone needs to reevaluate their fairness in moderating. Frankly, nearly this entire discussion is a troll. I would say more, but I have a bridge to hide under.

Random number (2, Interesting)

fishwallop (792972) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792302)

The number of power cycles, 128, is too neat (2^7) to have been random. It's more likely to be a bug in the software than someone actually flipping the switch that many times. If there's a bug in the reset counter, how can I know there's no bug in the vote counter too? (Answer: open source voting machines with a signature mechanism to identify the code the machine actually ran when people were voting).

Re:Random number (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792511)

Yup, I agree wholeheartedly. I don't think things were purposely rigged. The software bugs did the rigging all by itself. Bush probably won because his surname was first in the alphabetical list of candidates.

No!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14792303)

Given the findings here, can we have a do-over?

NO!!! Now STFU and grow up you sniveling childish twat!

Mod me down but, know I right!

Devil's Advocate... (4, Insightful)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792312)

They found anomolies in 40 machines? How many machines were there in total? Did all of the anomolies favor one candidate or were they seemingly random? Was the constantly rebooting machine having hardware problems? Were the machines with wierd date stamps having hardware clock issues?

I'm not sure why this is instantly regarded as some sort of conspiracy rather than either hardware problems or incompetent voting machine vendors. Folks might want to consider the more mundane potential causes of these problems before heading for their tinfoil hat drawer.

Re:Devil's Advocate... (4, Funny)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792338)

Were the machines with wierd date stamps having hardware clock issues?

Probably more likely that they were having "moron operating the machine" issues.

Re:Devil's Advocate... (1)

DangerSteel (749051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792442)

Probably more likely that they were having "moron operating the machine" issues.

In Palm Beach County Florida? No way !!!

Re:Devil's Advocate... (4, Insightful)

mtenhagen (450608) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792475)

Ofcourse its highly likely that these issue where caused by hardware issues or stupid operaters. The issue is that how do we ever know? It took 2 years even to get this logs public.

The issue is that black box voting machines can not be checked and are open to fraudulent/faulty actions.

All these issues should have been identified on election day so that appropriate actions could be taken (revote, dismiss votes, no issue, etc...)

TRANSPARANCY is the key,

Re:Devil's Advocate... (2, Insightful)

pdawson (89236) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792485)

The Devil's in the details, most of your points are adressed in TFA

Re:Devil's Advocate... (4, Informative)

phoenix.bam! (642635) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792487)

Black box voting is non-partisan. They are fighting for open voting. They are not trying to prove that Bush stole the election (Although they might do that during their investigations) they are trying to show that the black box voting machines are going to kill democracy.

Re:Devil's Advocate... (1)

sirambrose (919153) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792494)

Does it matter if the irregularities were caused by hardware flaws or not? If the vendor can't properly maintain the machines so that these sorts of anomalies don't occur, then it becomes difficult to trust the logs. If we assuming that all anomalies that show up in the logs are hardware or software errors, then why bother looking at the logs? Once the politicians know about these bugs, they might try to cheat the system in a way that looks like a normal anomaly. The errors these cases probably are the result of an incompetent vendor, but I don't think that this sort of incompetence can be tolerated.

Um, election fraud is bi-partisan (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14792315)

I can already read the implication that W did the midnight voting himself. Conspiracies theorists amaze me, ie. The discrepancies and problems in the 2000 FLA vote were by and large in counties run by Democrat county clerks (FLA equivalent) You have to really squint your brain to think that Jeb poersuaded them to mess up their job as bad as they did in support of W. That said, yeah, investigate and audit the hell out of those voting machines. Any and all fraud needs to be vigorously prosecuted.

Ha! And you thought Bush (1)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792321)

and ilk are tech idiots! Fooled ya!

Seriously, it's time for paper ballots with paper receipts given to the voters.
Otherwise there is no point in voting. Just stay home and let them put
whoever they like in office, they do that now anyway.

Re:Ha! And you thought Bush (1)

slashname3 (739398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792502)

it's time for paper ballots with paper receipts given to the voters.

Giving paper receipts to the voters does nothing. When people talk about a paper receipt is a hard copy record of the vote cast that can later be checked against the memory of the machine. The problem with most electronic voting machines is that they don't have a hard copy record of the actual votes. It is much easier for numbers to be modified in memory when there is no way to verify those counts.

I don't see the problem with the optical scanning systems used in many places here in Florida. You get the benefit of a hard copy that can be recounted or checked plus you get the data collected by a machine which makes the initial tally fairly quick. No need for expensive touch screen equipment. Just pass out the paper ballots and markers. But that is apparently to easy.

Instead of dredging up old conspiracy theories and trying to re-hash the past elections why not present actual solutions to the problems we are facing? Wouldn't it be nice to actually have a serious discussion about the actual issues instead of each party sniping at each other? Oh wait, this is politics. The only real issue is getting your horse into power, not solving the critical issues of our time.

Never mind.

Get over it already! (1)

slashname3 (739398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792328)

Given the findings here, can we have a do-over?

You get a do-over in a couple of years. Not that the Democrats will win then either.

They have been getting a little shrill lately in the wild accusations they are making. Besides, the Democrats don't seem to be offering alternative solutions to anything. They just want to be in charge of things so they can line their pockets and their backers pockets.

Is there anyway to vote for "None of the above"?

Re:Get over it already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14792414)

Sure, it's called Libertarian.

Re:Get over it already! (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792419)

Is there anyway to vote for "None of the above"?

Of course there is. Check your ballot next time, you'll see about a dozen other candidates.


OK so what (1)

devilsadvoc8 (548238) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792329)

Really, ask that question to yourself. So what? It's not like we have a time machine and have a redo. Its done. Its over. Move on with your life for chrissakes.

Since the obvious inuendo here is that it was rigged in favor of GW, what's curiously absent in this "article" is what the votes were during the non-election day votes. Without that, this data is meaningless other than to support the position that the machines were messed up. Errors could have happened in either direction.

They also don't describe or detail the possibility that the logs were changed subsequent to the election. What has been the chain of custody for these machines since the election? Could normal powering up and data harvesting procedures alter the data? That's not explored in the article as written. OK so the machines 15 months later have some curious data on them. It doesn't mean it was messed up during the recount.

Lets do the Time Warp again.. (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792332)

From TFA:

Another disturbing find was several dozen voting machines with votes for the Nov. 2, 2004 election cast on dates like Oct. 16, 15, 19, 13, 25, 28 2004 and one tape dated in 2010. These machines did not contain any votes date-stamped on Nov. 2, 2004.

Damned time travellers! Don't they know that interfering with primitive human history is against the laws of time??

I bet some Andromedan Mega-Frat colony is having/will have a big laugh at their little prank.

Expected error (1)

soboroff (91667) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792339)

The article blurb seems to assume that plain-old (analog?) elections are perfect, whereas digital voting is possibly subject to fraud. In fact there is error inherent in both schemes, both intentional and unintentional, and from a variety of sources.

The problem with criticizing voting problems with electronic voting machines is that you don't have a comparable error rate for a paper ballot scheme. The question isn't how bad, it's whether it's worse or better.

And frankly, the problem isn't error, because errors are unavoiable. The problem is accountability. And until e-voting is accountable and auditable, it should go away.

Re:Expected error (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14792439)

Absolutely. Here in San Francisco, some paper ballotboxes mysteriously were "lost", only to be found floating empty under the Golden Gate Bridge. Of course, that kind of thing is of absolutely no interest to the blogosphere and associated other pinheads who are only interested in things that computers inside of them.

This is why we need open-source voting (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792347)

This is almost certainly an issue with the software, unless it's being claimed that voting officials tampered with the machines early. If the code weren't some secret proprietary mess, this probably could have been avoided.

I'm not looking forward to the idiocy this is going to trigger on the political debate boards. The tin foil brigade will be out in force again with this news.

Re:This is why we need open-source voting (1)

qwijibo (101731) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792433)

Even systems based on open source software can be misconfigured. While I believe that the only legitimate argument for electronic voting is to create untraceable fraud, this sounds like a case where people configured these machines incorrectly. That's not to say there aren't other problems, but date anomalies are pretty common in environments where people are not one with the tao of NTP.

No National Voting System? (5, Informative)

abscissa (136568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792355)

Free market voting?

In Canada we have a national voting system. Voting is the same wherever you go, no matter what part of the country you are in. Each person writes a little X on a piece of paper next to the cantidate of his choice, then you put it in a box. There are serial numbers on the ballots, so if any ballots are missing, duplicated, or anything else is funny, there is a way to tell. (Not tracable, though, -- ie you can't tell who voted for whom.)

There are no computers in national elections and there is a paper trail that can be recounted as many times as anyone wishes. And results don't take weeks to come in either... or months for that matter. We always seem to have our Prime Minister and government chosen within a few hours after the polls have closed...

What goes around ... (1)

ProfM (91314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792367)

comes around ... Democrats would NEVER do this.
Ooops ... I guess they would.

http://www.opinionjournal.com/diary/?id=110006139 [opinionjournal.com] http://www.votersunite.org/takeaction/mediaSnohomi shCounty.htm [votersunite.org]

Re:What goes around ... (1)

Phelan (30485) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792437)

ahh the WSJ Editorial Page, that bastion of unbiased truth.
I'm pretty sure editorials aren't what one would use to make an argument supposedly based on fact

Yep (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14792377)

I'd rather hunt with Dick Cheney than ride with Ted Kennedy!

Ted Kennedy's car has killed more people than my gun!

-Thanks folks, I'm here all afternoon.

Do over? (2)

SengirV (203400) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792392)

Do you want as many do overs as you wanted recounts until Gore won in FLA in 2000? What was the final tally of recounts there? 3? 4?

I'd rather a recount/do over of past elections in the Chicago area.

Exporting Democracy? (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792399)

What a laugh that is, although from the types of elections third-world dictators put on even they could probably learn a thing or two from this. To be honest I doubt whether anything will get done about this because it just seems unthinkable for too many people. I don't think there's a way to deal with this and I expect people to just simply cover their ears because it makes too much of a mockery of America's democracy and famed constitution.

John Kerry, President Elect - permanently!

It's quite simple (1)

slushbat (777142) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792409)

We did this to protect you from yourselves. If we hadn't rigged the vote then Hamas would have got in and we have to stop all aid to Florida. Democracy does not mean voting for whoever you like you know.

So, Zonk... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14792424)

You gonna post about the voting irregularities in Washington (state) where the Democrats won after "finding" whole ballot boxes months after the elections?

easily explained... (1)

revery (456516) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792443)

including a case of one voting machine being 'powered down 128 times during the election'

Though this was later revealed to be due to the fact that this particular voting machine ran Windows Millennium Edition as its OS.

Do Over? (1)

Havokmon (89874) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792472)

As if those are the ONLY machines that were tampered with and it only occured by one side... *rolls eyes*

Or maybe I'm just pissed off cause I live in a nanny state now: Seat Belt laws, child safety seat laws, no smoking laws, can't buy cough medicine in the aisle laws....

What a surprise! (0, Flamebait)

Bootle (816136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792476)

There is a term for what is happening in the US, and that term is Fascism

The rise of the "religious" right, the disenfranchisement of the poor, voter fraud, blatant cronyism, federal educational and scientific funding cuts, no-bid contracts for the oil and defense industry....

I mean, the list goes on and on. We are in a pre-fascist or proto-fascist state, end of story. When will the ACLU be labeled a "terrorist organization"?

Conclusion (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792482)

And the obvious conclusion is that election workers own VCR's that flash '12:00'. Even if we get voting machines that produce an auditable paper trail there's still the problem of election workers who are not properly trained (or incapable) of operating the machines.

As keeper of the Terry LePore fan page... (1)

frankie (91710) | more than 8 years ago | (#14792486)

...I'm seeing at least one major misperception here. These possibly-fraudulent votes were cast in Florida's 2004 election, which was not significantly disputed. The big Palm Beach voting debacle was the 2000 election, using decrepit punch card machines and a foolish staggered two-column layout. Terry bought these paperless electronic machines in 2002 as a response to the chad backlash. She was then voted out of office in 2004 due to her demonstrated and repeated incompetence.
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