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Maryland Governor Wants Paper Ballots

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the republicans-for-paper-trails dept.

433

supabeast! writes, "Fed up with all the problems in the state's electronic voting system, Maryland Governor Robert Erlich wants the state to scrap the entire system and return to paper ballots. He's threatened to call a special session of the legislature to change the law to allow paper ballots. What makes this particularly interesting is that Erlich is a Republican — the party often maligned for exploiting flaws in electronic systems — and his attempts to clean up Maryland's voting problems are being opposed by Democrats, the party that is usually complaining about electronic voting!"

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433 comments

Partisanship (2, Insightful)

pudge (3605) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154257)

Of course, Democrats are more well-known for exploiting paper ballots.

Re:Partisanship (0, Offtopic)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154290)

Say what? If Democrats were well known for exploiting paper ballots, why would they be protesting moving back to paper ballots?

Re:Partisanship (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154381)

Say what? If Democrats were well known for exploiting paper ballots, why would they be protesting moving back to paper ballots?

Did you not read the article, which accused the GOP of "exploiting flaws in electronic systems"? So answer this: if the GOP is known for exploiting flaws in electronic systems, why would they be trying to move to paper ballots?

Re:Partisanship (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154460)

Good lord, either I haven't had enough coffee, or you're not making any sense. Look up the word malign. It means to maliciously and falsly accuse. I'm not saying the GOP is exploiting anything. I'm just wondering why you would make a statement like you did. It doesn't make any sense. If the GOP exploits electronics, then they should want to stay with that. If the Dems are good at exploiting paper, they should want to move to that. If you were trying for irony, it was lost on me.

Just answer my first question before you pose one to me. I'm a confused old man, and I want to know why you would say the democrats are well known for exploiting paper ballots, when the democrats are the ones protesting moving back to paper ballots.

Re:Partisanship (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16154582)

Pudge never makes sense. Here's how the rest of this thread is going to go:

Pudge will continue to argue that he's right. You will continue to argue that you're right. Pudge will continue to gradually shift the discussion until, eventually, you're no longer talking about what you were originally talking about, at which point Pudge will acuse you of going offtopic. At this point you will likely become annoyed and become slightly more confrontational, at which point he will acuse you of being irrational and insulting and hold that up as "proof" that "liberals" are angry hatemongering idiots.

What's fascinating is that this usually takes place in his journals. He uses the tactic to banish people who consistently show his irrational word munging for what it is: nonsense (which means basically anyone with a brain is banished from his journals - in fact quite literally some of the most consistently intelligent people on this site are or were at one time banished from his journals for disproving his silliness)). It's sort of bizarre that he's on the front page now exposing himself to a massive backlash over his gibberish that he can't stop by changing his foes list.

I'm waiting for a video to surface on YouTube of a fistfight between pudge and kdawson in the Slashdot offices. That would be pretty cool.

Re:Partisanship (2, Insightful)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154412)

Say what? If Democrats were well known for exploiting paper ballots, why would they be protesting moving back to paper ballots?

i think the original poster was referring to the democratic party's 'machine' style politics of the 20's-40's. intimidation, registering dead people, graft, ballot stuffing... all that stuff. wikipedia has an acceptable article on the chicago democratic machine here [wikipedia.org] .

of course, that was 60 or 70 years ago and the shenanigans of the democratic party did not rely on the ballots being paper. but i think that was the original point.

Re:Partisanship (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154505)

He was being sarcastic.

duh.

Re:Partisanship (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154307)

Yeah... Getting all those hanging chads pregnant.

Paper ballots makes dead people voting difficult (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16154331)

Maryland has a large number of black voters and a big city of Baltimore. The democrats are experts of multiple voting in big cities, busing voters from poll to poll to poll. A vast number of deceased voters also cast ballots for straight democratic. Paper ballots makes this much more difficult.
Democrats are against having to show a valid ID also. Who in hell doesn't have an ID these days?
Why did the Democratic pol visit the cematary after the election?? To thank his voters.

Re:Paper ballots makes dead people voting difficul (2, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154376)

I find this fascinating, do you have any sources so I can research this further?

Re:Paper ballots makes dead people voting difficul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16154425)

Just Google "Chicago" "Daley"
or "Philadelphia" "Rendell" "Stinson"

Plenty of stories of minority multiple voting registered at non existant addresses in Philly. Dead people voting democratic in Chicago.

Where have you been all these year you idiot spun?? with your head in the sand?

Re:Paper ballots makes dead people voting difficul (2, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154483)

Nice way to win converts, AC. Call someone with a legitimate and politely phrased question an idiot. Good work. Now because you hurt my feelings, I'm going to vote Democrat. Twice.

Re:Paper ballots makes dead people voting difficul (1)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154531)

What's more, I just did google those names, and Mayor Daley died in 1976. That's a long time ago. I'm looking for more recent information. I can't find anything about voting irregularites googling about "Philadelphia" "Rendell" "Stinson". Maybe you could help me? If it's that easy to find, just point me to some newspaper articles or something.

Re:Paper ballots makes dead people voting difficul (1)

Dr Reducto (665121) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154528)

Actually i think in 2000, we (Maryland) had problems with Democrats picking up retarded people and bussing them around to multiple polling sites. I only remember hearing snippets in the news about it though at the time

Re:Paper ballots makes dead people voting difficul (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154445)

it's never stopped them in Chicago. The dead vote often in Chicago. Has been that way for decades.

Re:Partisanship (1)

SengirV (203400) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154357)

Amen. Nothing like the long metal rods used in Chicago to punch hole to invalidate stacks of paper ballots from "Republican" sections of town.

Re:Partisanship (1)

kungfu4you (545092) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154559)

Yeah, normally they want to go paper ballots and then NOT ask for any identification so you can vote as many times as you want or vote if your ILLEGALLY here (ie. not a citizen).

Not an problem (3, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154260)


Not a problem: Diebold will get into the pre-checked ballot printing business.

Re:Not an problem (1)

slashdotet (992348) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154339)

Paper ballots are not fool proof but they are a good idea it's how we vote here in Canada! and I like it!

it seams like very day there a new way to crack the E-voting computers. I think untill they fix the computers this is a good idea. I am not sure I would feel safe voting on one of the computer I think if they were instaled Iwould either go to another Poll pr ask for a paper ballots.

I think that this is a case of technology moving to fast for its own good!

Re:Not an problem (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16154386)

thread hijacking karma whore, mod down.

Re:Not an problem (4, Informative)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154442)

Electronic voting can go smoothly, though. Look at India's last major election. 600+ million voters. All electronic. The election took three weeks. They had federally governed voting machines. The US, by contrast, allows each state to dictate which machine or method they utilize under few federal standards. The machines in India were verified prior to the election and subject to a rigerous, open process of testing. They went through dozens of public tests to ensure that the machines could be used by the largely illiterate rural communities and that even skilled or determined people were unable to bias a machine. The machines were cheap and nearly dispoable, each only holding a few thousand votes at the most. By contrast, many US electronic systems collect votes together. A compromised or disabled setup in a precinct could put tens of thousands of votes at risk.

No large cries of fraud (IIRC there were a few localized incidents that were more human error than machine/trust errors). It went smoothly.

Unfortunately, the election business in the US is far too much money to go that well. When states start offering contracts in the tens of millions of dollars for "voting equipment" and "election consulting", you're just asking for problems.

Outsourcing... (4, Funny)

TheLink (130905) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154612)

The USA should outsource their elections to India :).

Re:Not an problem (1)

Aditi.Tuteja (1004231) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154529)

Maybe it is a problem!! Maybe there does exist a problem, they must have found some significant security flaws like voters could have trivially cast multiple ballots with no built-in traceability, administrative functions can be performed by regular voters,and the threats posed by insiders such as poll workers, software developers, and janitors is even greater. That would be totoaly based on thier development environment, I believe that an appropriate level of programming discipline needs to be laid out.. before we can get too sure about the so called Acurate Technology Driven Ballot boxes.

Butterfly Ballots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16154263)

Since he's a Republican, he obviously is trying to reintroduce the butterfly ballot and dupe all the Democrats into voting for Pat Buchanan.

Mistake (2, Funny)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154265)

What? A politician who wants verifiably fair elections? There must be some kind of mistake...

Re:Mistake (1)

sweetasanut (1004312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154525)

No mistake. There is only one party and they don't care what happens. It's just a gigantic waste of time.

Re:Mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16154599)

We'll never know so long as there's no verifiable paper trail of what he said.

Why the reversal? (5, Insightful)

republican gourd (879711) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154268)

I live in Maryland. We are historically a blue state.

The way politics works these days is as follows:

In the red states, the Republican party is crooked as hell.
In the blue states, the Democratic party is crooked as hell.

Re:Why the reversal? (1)

Wizzerd911 (1003980) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154301)

oh sweet, then perhaps you could explain the phrase "to change the law to allow paper ballots" Since when did the law in your state say paper ballots were no longer allowed. You'd think that change would have made it on slashdot when it happened because it's pretty outrageous.
P.S. you're right, one of these days people are going to catch on and elect a third party or independant candidate

Re:Why the reversal? (2, Insightful)

TheGreek (2403) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154492)

Since when did the law in your state say paper ballots were no longer allowed. You'd think that change would have made it on slashdot when it happened because it's pretty outrageous.
Well, Mr. Wizzerd, maybe you'd like to make like Tom Cruise and do some research?

http://www.elections.state.md.us/citizens/voting_s ystems/ [state.md.us]

Scroll down to the bottom section titled "Voting System Selection and Procurement"

It says, in part:

After the 2000 Presidential Election, Governor Parris N. Glendening established a Special Committee on Voting Systems and Election Procedures to review Maryland's election policies and procedures. In its report, the Special Committee recommended, among other things, that the State implement a statewide, uniform voting system for polling place voting and a statewide, uniform voting system for absentee voting. In response to this recommendation, the General Assembly passed legislation requiring the State Board of Elections, in consultation with the local boards of election, to select a statewide, uniform voting system for polling place voting and for absentee voting. See House Bill 1457 of the 2001 Legislative Session.

Once the bill became effective, the State Board selected a Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting system for polling place voting and an optical scan voting system for absentee voting. A DRE voting system was selected because of the many advantages that it offers over other voting systems.

Re:Why the reversal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16154354)

So does being in power make the ruling party crooked? Or does being crooked let that party get into power?
Or are both parties just crooked as hell everywhere?

Re:Why the reversal? (4, Insightful)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154369)

corrolary:

The losing party thinks election results are being modified by the winning party.
The winning party thinks the election results are just fine.

I never understood why people were so silly around here to think that the Republicans are the only dirty party? As far as I'm concerned, Al Gore is just mad that George Bush was able to 'modify' more votes than he could.

Re:Why the reversal? (0, Flamebait)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154456)

In my opinion, the democrats were stupid. Gore told everyone, stay back and give the florida people room to do the recount. The republicans sent activists to intimidate the people trying to do the recount. The democrats COULD have sent union thugs to get the result they wanted. They were stupid not to do so. FDR would have done it.

Re:Why the reversal? (1)

MECC (8478) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154493)

That's America - count every dollar twice, and they call you thorough; count every vote twice and they call you a sore loser.

Re:Why the reversal? (3, Insightful)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154565)

For that matter, why do people insist on differentating between republicans and democrats at all? It's not like they are controlled by different people.

What's the first thing Clinton did when he got in office? While pretending to deal with gays in the military (Lots of discussion), he quietly used all his might to push NAFTA through.

NAFTA is simply a gimme to corporate interests, it is one of those issues that is completely conservative, anti-democrat.

What does Bush do? Try to make illegal imigration legal and get more mexicans into the country? Conservatives hate this, dems are supposed to be somewhat okay with it, but again, corporate interests love it. If you really wanted to stop immigration, you'd just set up some serious fines or jailtime for employing immigrants. It'll never happen.

Why do they fight so hard for elections if they are the same party? Splitting the republicrat party into two wings and having them battle for control is a great system!

After seeing what Bush can do, the far left-wing doesn't dare vote green, and if fox can keep coming up with reasons to hate clinton, it'll keep the far right-wing away from voting libretarian.

So the infighting actually secures both parties.

My personal solution is, except in presidential positions or positions where there is actually a "Good" republicrat canidate, I always vote for an alternitave independent--even Libretarian (Which I'm kind of against). If you're ultra-conservative and you can vote dem, repub or green--start voting green. Until they actually start winning elections, all you are doing is showing support for the alternative parties.

If you think your vote makes a difference in the presidental election, go ahead and vote republican or dem, but in other elections, stay away from the republicrats!

---------------
Why doesn't slashdot have a spellcheck function?

Re:Why the reversal? (1)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154377)

Let me refine this for you:

For a person in party X, party !X is crooked as hell. Party X is justified in 'bending' the rules because it's only to deal with something party !X has done.

Re:Why the reversal? (2, Funny)

nebaz (453974) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154440)

As a corollary to this, since my party X is "none", I should say that !X "all parties" are corrupt. This is probably true for the big main two, but like anything else, given enough people, critical mass is reached and it becomes corrupt. This is probably true of governments, companies, organized religion, etc. That's why I advocate that we all live in caves with at most 20 people. That would keep us from being corrupt.

Heh. (-1, Troll)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154274)

Sounds like he's just covering his ass. It makes sense for a politician from either side to call in question the legitimacy of the ballots when you know you're going to lose in the end.

Surprised? (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154277)

What makes this particularly interesting is that Erlich is a Republican -- the party often maligned for exploiting flaws in electronic systems -- and his attempts to clean up Maryland's voting problems are being opposed by Democrats, the party that is usually complaining about electronic voting!
You act surprised. You shouldn't be, sometimes the priority of one party is just to be against whatever the otherside wants. Regardless of whether or not they have a common goal. It's called "partisan politics" and it's been ruining the country for over 200 years. Both parties want this country to remain polarized for the next election because they feel they both have votes to gain from it. Therefore, they'll try to block anything the otherside tries to do in a knee-jerk reaction.

And for those of you voting for your "team" regardless of the actual issues and goals are doing the country just as large a disservice.

Re:Surprised? (5, Insightful)

krgallagher (743575) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154346)

"Both parties want this country to remain polarized for the next election because they feel they both have votes to gain from it."

I believe that the real debate in Washington is how best to distract citizens from the real issues facing our country and the world. The polarization of the parties is simply a ploy to get americans to react on an emotional level instead of examining issues from a logical perspective.

Re:Surprised? (3, Informative)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154538)

That's what wedge issues are for: They are issues people have deep emotional feelings about, no one is ever going to change their minds about them, and nothing substantial will ever get done about them. Every election cycle, the politicos in Washington start banging the drum about a selection of wedge issues, get everyone into a frenzy about them, and drop shortly after the election.

You rarely see any politicians talking abortion, gun control, or flag burning in odd-numbered years.

Re:Surprised? (2, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154506)

And for those of you voting for your "team" regardless of the actual issues and goals are doing the country just as large a disservice.

I agree with you in principle, but at the highest levels of government (I'm looking at you, U.S. Congress), voting for your "team" is often the only way to get anything even close to what you want. On the vast majority of issues, the vast majority of the people in Congress will vote the same way everyone else in their party votes. Even if the person you elect spells out a detailed platform, some of which goes against his or her own party, chances are he or she will vote the party line most of the time, even when the party line goes against his or her stated platform.

This is the problem with partisan politics. If you vote for "your" team, you end up getting people who don't necessarily share all of your views, and may vote for something you disagree with. If you don't vote for your team, you end up with someone who says they agree with you, but will most likely vote party line anyway, and will probably vote for things you disagree with. Either way, you're not getting what you really wanted.

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16154594)

Except that you're wrong. Most people don't vote for "their team", with an expectation of getting "something close to what they want". They're voting _AGAINST_ the "other team", with the expectation of at least getting closer to _NOT_ getting what they _DON'T_ want.

Either way, you're not getting what you wanted.

Re:Surprised? (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154576)

Sometimes?!
In my country they don't even pretend anymore to govern in the name some Greater Good - it's all about namecalling and pleasing your fanbois by attacking your opponent's ideas, even when they are clearly better.
People criticize me for not voting. I criticize them for supporting this travesty called democracy - which, I dare remind everybody, translates DIRECTLY to "mob rule".

Retards... they're all retards (3, Insightful)

not already in use (972294) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154282)

Thats why I hate politics. Bipartisanship causes one side to oppose the other simply because they are on the other side. I applaud a republican taking steps to get rid of electronic voting. Democrats are once again showing their incompetance. Instead of a steady effort to hold the current administration accountable for violating the law (according to the supreme court, no less), they are playing devils advocate or passing laws against violent video games. Since when was being a douche bag a requirment for holding office?

Re:Retards... they're all retards (-1, Flamebait)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154342)

You see, pussies are afraid, asses shit all over everything but pricks fuck all of them...

or osmething liek that...
whatever it's noon, I'm going home

PEACE!

Re:Retards... they're all retards (4, Insightful)

wass (72082) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154497)

You're being easily misled by the deliberately provocative slashdot blurb (or you're a republican plant).

There are two prominent Democrats on the elections committee, and obviously the committee fucked up due to the elections issues. The two 'Democrats' mentioned in the article are those two on this committee whose asses are now on the line for the fuckups so of course these two are trying to fight saying they've been doing a good job so far.

There hasn't been any general opposition by the Maryland Democratic Party, or even amongst a larger Democratic contingent. Erlich turned this into a partisan issue by pounding on the election irregularities by pointing to the incompetence of the election board, which has Democrats in the top spots. The race between Erlich and O'Malley for governor is quite ugly, these two have been bitter political rivals for the past few years already and there has been much ugliness previously (I've lived in Baltimore the past few years. O'Malley is the Democratic Baltimore mayor challenging Erlich, while Erlich is the Republican governor).

Erlich has been a political douchebag tool since he took office, he ignored election problems in Baltimore in 2004, for instance, and fully supported using the Diebold machines. And he mildly brushed aside criticism of the Ohio 2004 election irregularities. He's not some election hero, he's just your typical political opportunist, suddenly supporting an issue he previously ignored just becuase it's politically favorable for him to do so.

Remember, this guy is a candidate for governor, damn near everything he does in the spotlight has a political bent to it. He saw an opportunity and pounced on it.

Re:Retards... they're all retards (2, Insightful)

Frequency Domain (601421) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154533)

Thats why I hate politics. Bipartisanship causes one side to oppose the other simply because they are on the other side.

No, that's the definition of partisanship. Bipartisanship is exactly the opposite.

Democrats are once again showing their incompetance....

Great example of partisanship! And to think, all this time you thought you were being bipartisan.

Weird... (3, Interesting)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154283)

What does it matter which party the politicians are in? They're the same party. You think Democrats wouldn't steal an election given the chance? You think a Republican won't pull a stunt like this to appear honest to get those last few votes to get him in office?

I can't see how anyone could argue this point (2, Insightful)

ellem (147712) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154286)

Of COURSE there should be a paper trail if not paper ballots.

Re:I can't see how anyone could argue this point (1)

bedmison (534357) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154477)

Except that, as this study [slashdot.org] has shown [princeton.edu] , paper trails are no guarantee of accuracy either, unless a paper is receipt is generated for EVERY SINGLE VOTER, and kept as a backup. And even then, there has to be some sort of trigger for someone to think that the vote needs to be reviewed. If the vote isn't close, most states don't recount, and if there is no recount, any inaccuracies are likely never to be discovered because no one will have reason or desire to look. Certain there is no state election official in the US that wants to be the one that steps up to the mic at a press conference three months after the general election to say "Sorry folks, just kidding. The results the machines reported don't match the paper receipt tally. Ms. X won the election, rather than Mr. Y, who was sworn in last week." There are only a fewer worse ways to spell "Constitutional Crisis".

I don't care (4, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154288)

I don't care which party he's in. As long as he's trying to get rid of electronic voting until such time that it can prove itself to be trustworthy, then he's doing the right thing.

Re:I don't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16154322)

Exactly how I feel. I'm a Marylander and there were so many problems during the primary it wasn't funny. The system crashed while I was checking in, so it said I'd already voted. Crap.

Yet the Democrats were the ones that deregulated the electric companies in MD, then capped the rates for 7 years, and now that the cap is over and the utility companies want to raise rates, they stepped in and forced taxpayers to the Democratic plan.

Welcome to MD. If you can think of it, we can screw it up.

Re:I don't care (1)

Zenaku (821866) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154367)

Here, here! Nobody who knows me has any illusions about which side of the isle I am on, and it isn't the republican side. But if the governor in MD wants to scrap unreliable electronic voting machines and go to a simple, readable, paper ballot, then I'm all for it.

Now, if Maryland's machines are already of the sort that have an electronic interface but produce a paper ballot that the voter can examine and then put in the ballot box, then it seems less of a big deal to me, and is probably a stunt to distract from something else. But since Diebold seems to own the electronic voting industry, I'm going to assume the machines aren't of that sort.

So, just this once, and for this one issue only, I say, "Go red team!"

Exactly (1)

joggle (594025) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154523)

I wish when they were working at the federal level to reform voting procedures that they had simply standardized paper ballots are released and leave it at that. For instance, they could have required ballots not to use the butterfly system, provide rules for listing candidates in random order, etc. They could even require the ballot to be scanned on the spot with the results displayed to the voter so that they could correct their ballot if they made a mistake (ie, the pimpled ballot, not filling in a circle completely, etc.). This wouldn't be used to tally the vote, just to confirm to the voter that they are submitting a good ballot.

Democratic Hackers (1)

Omicron32 (646469) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154291)

Nah, the Democrats have just figured out how to exploit the electronic voting machines this time round. ;)

Bias (4, Insightful)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154293)

What makes this particularly interesting is that Erlich is a Republican -- the party often maligned for exploiting flaws in electronic systems -- and his attempts to clean up Maryland's voting problems are being opposed by Democrats, the party that is usually complaining about electronic voting!"

Thanks for showing your bias submitter. The story stood up on its own without you injecting partisan hackery into the summary. Enjoy the ensuing flamewar

Re:Bias (1)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154355)

How exactly is this partisan, and who is it partisan towards? I'm not following. I think you're trying to say that the submitter has a republican bias because he is pointing out that although republicans are often maligned (meaning to speak harmful untruths about; speak evil of; slander; defame [reference.com] ) for exploiting flaws in electronic voting system, in this case it is the democrats who are opposing moving back to paper ballots. But I'm really not sure. Could you clarify, please? Is it that you think the republicans really do exploit flaws in the electronic voting system, and you object to the use of the word maligned, which implies that that is false and malicious?

Re:Bias (1, Troll)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154451)

I believe that the submitter was framing the discussion as a Democrat vs Republican issue when that is really irrelevant to the discussion.

The core of the matter is tha a Governor is switching from Electronic voting back to paper voting. Throwing in the remark about Democrats vs Republicans just seems trollish to me

Why it is partisan (1)

brennz (715237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154459)

This sentence

"Erlich is a Republican -- the party often maligned for exploiting flaws in electronic systems"

Essentially, republicans blamed for twisting the vote

Show evidence of Republicans or Democrats exploiting flaws in electronic voting - there might be some, but it is too easy to merely commit voter fraud via non IT means because you can pretend to be someone that died 5 years ago and people cannot ask you for your ID.

Re:Why it is partisan (1)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154569)

Look up the word "maligned." Oh, wait, I did that for you, in the post you are responding to. How is saying that someone is falsely and maliciously accused of something blaming them?

Re:Bias (1)

ellem (147712) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154373)

New to the dot I see.

Welcome aboard. Down the hall you'll find vi vs. emacs, Macs vs. PC, Linux vs. FreeBSD, and Perl vs. everything.

Re:Bias (2, Insightful)

SengirV (203400) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154419)

Don't blame the submitter for doing this. He is simply writing for the audience. And /. leans WAY more left than right.

Re:Bias (1)

uarch (637449) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154522)

I wish I had mod points today.
For what its worth I would have tossed a +1 your way.

At least someone's sane (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154296)

High technology is overrated. Not that I'm a luddite or anything but in a lot of these cases all the technology does is cause more confusion. We've had mechanical voting machines for years and no one's ever complained that they were too hard to use. I mean how hard is it? You pull a lever under the name of the person you're voting for, and when you're done you pull a lever that releases the curtain and registers the vote. No electronics to be seen. We still use them because they Just Work.

-uso.

More provisional ballots on site (2, Interesting)

Rev Snow (21340) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154300)

At the very least each polling site should
have enough paper provisional ballots at the ready to complete the election in case of complete machine failure. One of many problems in the recent primaries was an inadequate supply of provisional ballots to cover all the cases that led to their use.

Next step beyond that would be to permit any voter who wants it, to use one of the paper provisional ballots instead of using the voting machine.

There are plenty of good republicans... (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154302)

...who want fair elections. The issue is not partisan, but fundamental to the proper functioning of a democratic republic. Note that I say that as a registered Democrat. But keep your eye on those who might attempt to squelch this legislation. It is those who have sold out our constitutional freedoms for partisan or constituent gain. And vote them the fuck out of office. Please?

Re:There are plenty of good republicans... (4, Informative)

wass (72082) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154413)

The issue IS partisan, and if you have been following Maryland politics for awhile (I live in Baltimore) you'd know the vile relationship between Erlich and O'Malley (Erlich is the Republican governor up for re-election, O'Malley is the Democratic Baltimore mayor, challenging Erlich for governor). The problem is that the board in charge of the elections (and hence voting machines) has Democrats in the top positions.

It's pretty obvious that Erlich is taking advantage of the situation to turn it into a partisan issue by making the Democrats in charge of elections look bad, and to make himself look like a saint. The irony is that he previously poo-poo'd problems with Diebold machines in the Ohio 2004 presidential elections, while it was politically favorable for him to do so.

The intro slashdot blurb is also entirely misleading, because there's not a contingent of the Democratic Party against using paper ballots, in fact the article only mentions the two prominent Democratic members of the elections committee that are resisting, primarily because it's their own jobs that are being criticized by Erlich.

So make no mistake, this is ENTIRELY POLITICAL, Erlich is taking advantage of a political opportunity presented by the fuckups of two prominent Democrats, and trying to paint himself as pro-fair-elections and them as obstructionist in one sweep. Politically a smart thing to do, also somewhat misleading. Amazing to see how many slashdotters take politicians words at their face values.

Re:There are plenty of good republicans... (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154487)

I'm aware of the Maryland race and its local politics. But, speaking as a Massachusetts resident, I applaud anyone -- Democrat or Republican -- who openly supports a paper ballot initiative. Now, go fight your local election and stop bitching about partisan politicking - that never stops.

Re:There are plenty of good republicans... (1)

wass (72082) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154527)

Okay, good, we agree. I am in favor of paper ballots everywhere, IMHO it's much easier to hack an electronic voting machine (than stuff a ballot box. Especially since you're alone w/ the machine behind the curtain for a few minutes, while the ballot boxes are in full view always.

Anyway, it's quite shocking here to see so many people admiring Erlich when he's the typical sleezeball who's only taking advantage of a political opportunity to make himself look great and paint the opposition poorly.

Re:There are plenty of good republicans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16154566)

you know, one of the nice things about scoop is that one can use ratings to send a friendly message back to someone in a dead thread to just say thank you, without having to write a comment. I wish the slash developers would consider that feature with their beta discussion forum.

Party leanings? (1)

l2718 (514756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154312)

I think the proposed opinions of the parties reflect who's currently in power more than anything else. The people who won are suspect of gaining from election misconduct; the people who lost are suspicious of the system. That said, having a voter-verifiable trail (with the paper ballots being the 'official' votes) is certainly the most secure way to go. I'm not sure that the current voting machine technology actually gives efficiency gains (there are so many technical problems in maintaining the machines and running them on election day), but persumably in the future that would improve, also as people become more used to computers. It's true that it's difficult to forget Diebold's CEO promising to deliver the election to the Republicans. The most scary part for me is that the voting machine is a general-purpose computer with no cryptographic hardware. For a non-citizen it's amusing to note that an average ATM is probably better designed than a Diebold voting machine.

Bizzaro Erlich rules you! (-1, Offtopic)

FatSean (18753) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154314)

All cars will have square wheels!

It's easier... (1, Insightful)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154326)

Erlich is a Republican -- the party often maligned for exploiting flaws in electronic systems


It's easier to make accusations of cheating when you lose instead of accepting responsibility. This is one of the reasons I hate politicians so much. "Oh, we lost... So the other guys MUST be cheating!" Go home to your mommies.

Most politicians are slimy, the odd one is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16154336)

And this goes for all political parties.

Generally the second (and third, etc) placed party in a particular area will be campaigning on 'good' causes, to make their candidates look wonderful and pristine and perfect.

However once in power most politicians show their true colours.

And there are the odd few politicians who are in it for the right reasons, to run the country effectively on behalf of the citizens of the country. These rare individuals should be hailed.

The party often maligned... (1)

neoconspirator (1002463) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154345)

Flamebait article ad impressions, 650,000

Total comments by 8PM, 650

Negative replies moderated as troll or flamebait, 65%


The politics of slashdot. priceless....

Republicans against e-voting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16154352)

Democrats fighting to keep it? Ack!

Cognitive dissonance overload in progress. Reaching critical levels...

Head Splat!

as an MD'er, I don't think you understand (3, Funny)

mekkab (133181) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154353)

and his attempts to clean up Maryland's voting problems are being opposed by Democrats, the party that is usually complaining about electronic voting!"

As a Maryland Democrat, I don't think you understand. We aren't the party that is usually complaining about electronic voting; we are the party that is usually complaining. PERIOD.

/I just calls 'em likes I sees 'em
//I complain about the ICC [iccstudy.org] , too!

Anyone got a minibar key? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16154363)

Lets get this guy 10billion votes for president.

what the #$@% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16154366)

that summary is freaking retarded. I'm no republican, and I'm no democrat either. whether a person belongs to a party has nothing to do with it. There are jerks, morons, and thieves in both parties. america needs a third and fourth party. this two party system is a joke and stupid.

Re:what the #$@% (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154573)

you do have more than 2 parties. it's just that no one from the other parties ever seems to get elected.

DUH. (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154382)

Please do not pretend that republicans somehow have a monopoly on trying to rig elections.
Two words for you... Cook county

The biased party line from Supabeast (1)

brennz (715237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154407)

"What makes this particularly interesting is that Erlich is a Republican -- the party often maligned for exploiting flaws in electronic systems -- and his attempts to clean up Maryland's voting problems are being opposed by Democrats, the party that is usually complaining about electronic voting!"

That comment strikes me as overly partisan and anti-republican.

If you are going to mention efforts to clean up voting, mention the recent house vote.

Democrats voted *AGAINST* requirements for presenting your ID to vote in federal elections http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2006/roll456.xml [house.gov]

Stop it with the biased post making supabeast.

Re:The biased party line from Supabeast (1)

sheldon (2322) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154501)

Democrats voted *AGAINST* requirements for presenting your ID to vote in federal elections


Which is an overly partisan and anti-republican statement.

Democrats are opposed to this, because they recognize that the only reason why Republicans are pushing for it is to disenfranchise groups of voters and keep them from the polls. Disenfranchise people who aren't eligible? No. People who don't have picture ID for whatever reason.

So it's rather funny that you whine about bias, and post your own.

Re:The biased party line from Supabeast (1)

brennz (715237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154567)

I restated the vote, and what the terms of it were.

You can look at the House record also. It says "Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 4844) to amend the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to require any individual who desires to register or re-register to vote in an election for Federal office to provide the appropriate State election official with proof that the individual is a citizen of the US"

I put that into plain english.

Going to claim that is biased too? Checkmate.

Re:The biased party line from Supabeast (2, Informative)

Dr Reducto (665121) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154577)

How can you claim to be serious about vote fraud without be in favor of requiring ID to vote?

And it's not disenfranchisement either. You need ID as a prerequisite to get a job, cash checks (and even if you are poor, welfare checks, other government assistance), open a bank account, etc. I don't know how anybody could not have an ID unless it was a matter of purposefully not wanting one. I mean, when you are born, you get a birth certificate (which I believe is enough to prove ID under the proposed law)

Re:The biased party line from Supabeast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16154572)

Of course they voted AGAINST a backdoor poll tax. And they were in favor of early voting. Something Ehrlich was against, not because of constitutional issues, but because it is so much easier to suppress the vote for one day than seven or ten.

Ta3o (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16154418)

give BSD credit shitHheads. *BSD mod points and

...or maybe I'm just not cynical enough? (1)

Rimbo (139781) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154454)

You know, I'm as cynical as the next guy, but there are people in the USA who hold elected office and actually believe in the principles of democracy.

This is not about Democrats or Republicans. It's about the security and future of the country.

a little confused (1)

hlimethe3rd (879459) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154455)

I think the poster confused "interesting" with "boring".

Why not have both? (1)

DaveWick79 (939388) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154485)

Why can't they make an electronic voting machine that prints out a paper ballot? That way, people can look at the completed ballot and confirm its correctness on the electronic machine. You then turn in your completed paper ballot, which doesn't need to be scanned because it's already accounted for electronically.

and i think (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154494)

that this guy may very well be the only sane person in the US government.

up here in Canada, we're still using paper ballots in every federal election. no need for any error-prone card-punching machine. just take your pen and drawn an X in the circle of you guy you want to vote for. simple!

anyone who advocates computerized voting needs a reality check in the form of a brick upside the head.

why no one can clue in on this down there...

Here's a thought... (1)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154509)

Why not simply use paper ballots as a backup system so recounts can occur?

Why not have a user go into a booth, make their election choices, and have a printout they submit? That way you have the best of both worlds - automated counting and a paper backup.

Different Names (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16154516)

Republicans.

Democrats.

"There are different names for the same thing."

A (simple) idea for verifiable elctronic voting? (1)

Tyson W (1004311) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154532)

I've been thinking about the electronic voting machine problem for a while now (and posted about it twice before -- thanks for the feedback). Now, unless I've missed something, I believe there is a simple electronic scheme that protects anonymity (avoids coercion) and makes it impossible to rig the election through bad software.

To do this, the voting machines would be required to print each voter an official receipt tagged with a random number indicating their vote. At the end of the election, all the votes (a large table consisting of random number and vote tuples) could be posted so anyone who wanted could verify the tally and their vote. Vote injection would be avoided by permitting anyone (e.g., a representative from each party) to come out and count the turnout at each station on voting night.

The coercion problem introduced by the receipts is that a third party insists a voter shows them their receipt to verify they voted as instructed. This can be avoided by providing an option for voters to print as many additional fake receipts as desired, as well as providing them with the ability to secretly dispose of any of their receipts.

Valid fake receipts would actually be duplicate receipts for existing votes. This would make them indistinguishable from an actual vote, as they are an actual vote, just not that voters vote. This is easily accomplished by having the user indicate which additional votes they require receipts for, querying the database of existing votes for a random match, and then printing duplicate receipts.

The secret disposal of receipts could be accomplished by simply including a receipt disposal box in each booth. To avoid any attempts to alter votes who's receipts have been disposed of (this attack is already complicated by the fact that each vote could have had several receipts printed for it) the disposal boxes would have to be publicly disposed of in a secure manner immediately after the booths close (e.g., burnt in front of anyone who wishes to watch).

Finally, requiring the machines to display and print (on the receipt) the voters random number before they enter their vote avoids the possibility of bad software actually printing a duplicate receipt for the voter's actual vote and secretively casting an alternative ballot for the actual vote. The randome number generation, although not strictly necessary, can be further strengthened by requiring it to be a combination of machine and voter.

The machine would first displays and print its random number, and then the voter would enter another (non-trivial) number to multiply it by. This way, neither the machine nor the user (unless the former can do long division of very large numbers in their head) would be able to determine the final random number. Both numbers would be printed on the receipt so the machine could not cheat on the multiplication. This does not interfear with the coercing avoidance scheme as duplicate receipts for any existing vote and user's random number can be produced via long division.

I would love to hear some feedback, particularly any realistic attack vectors I've failed to account for. Thanks!

Warning: Maryland Resident Punditry (2, Informative)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154536)

Ballots from 1988 and earlier (I believe; my memory is fuzze) were conducted with a purely mechanical system: you'd pull a big lever to draw the curtain, decide, pull down levers (which would bring down red plastic arrows indicating who you were voting for), and the act of pulling the lever to open the curtain would count the levers you'd pulled down. Being mechanical, they could be a little persnickety.

The 1996 and 2000 balloting where I was in Maryland was conducted using a standardized ballot, a black marker, and an optical scanner which fed the scanned ballot into a lockbox. It had the efficiency of an electronic system, but the ballot itself was clearly a paper record secured as it was counted. It seemed like a very good system. (Anyone else experience it?)

The 2004 ballot was conducted with Diebold machines. If they provided the Republicans any significant advantage, it wasn't in the presidency; the state went about 70-some% blue. I bring this up because, as I recall in 2004, balloting really wasn't so complicated or fraught with technical glitches.

Everyone else is gaping in astonishment at a Republican governor (amazingly a relief since Willy Don Schaefer, Governor of the State of Baltimore, was abrasive like tweed boxers) sounding off against Diebold-style electronic voting. I'm scratching my head and wondering what made voting so complicated this time.

Was the process quietly sabotaged by someone who wanted to see the state switch from electronic voting? If so, then I am now horribly conflicted.

TFP IS WRONG,,,, (1)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154549)

BOTH Dems and Republicans have the ability to exploit electronic voting systems. I have the ability to do it too. Blindly assuming the Republican's have with out irrefutable proof is wrong. Even though media which IS biased to either side depending on the source (Reps to Foxnews and Dems to CNN)may have made there own supposition, I am pretty sure noone has really been fingered for this yet because if they did, we'd be using paper or some other means already.

No, Democrats don't generally oppose electronic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16154563)

ballots... they only oppose electronic ballots when they LOSE. Which, during the period of increased implementation, has been more and more often.

I know why... (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154579)

... because he lost his mini-bar key.

It's a bait and switch (2, Interesting)

saddino (183491) | more than 7 years ago | (#16154605)

IMHO, Ehrlich (how it's actually spelled) is only trying to setup a platform for challenging the results if the election ends up being close. It is pretty much impossible to replace the entire voting system with paper ballots in time before the election, and since Ehrlich knows this, the only reason he'd state such a position is to seed FUD prior to the election date. If a recount or court challenge is needed by the GOP in Maryland, the public might be more receptive to his position (which will likely be "voter fraud") if they've been "educated" that the electronic system in Maryland is broken.
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