Electronic Voting Machines: Can They be Trusted?!?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Lex, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. Lex

    Lex
    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Messages:
    9,536
    Likes Received:
    16
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    In Your Darkest Thoughts and Dreams
    From CNN.com and Time.com

    Do You Trust This Machine?


     
  2. dong20

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    6,130
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    The grey country
    As the article says such a machine is only as good (i.e. secure and tamperproof) as its programmers and designers design. A 'traditional' voting system is only as reliable as those running the polling stations, those securing and transporting the voting boxes and of course those counting the votes. So I think the better question should not be whether such a system is completely trustworthy - it isn't; but is it more or less subject to abuse than traditional voting systems.

    Whatever the risk, I'm sure the use of such devices, at least at local level is inevitable. There have been trials of SMS and e-voting in some local elections in the UK and they seem to have been well received.
     
  3. tripod

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Messages:
    5,249
    Albums:
    3
    Likes Received:
    460
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Statesville N.C.
    The problem is with the Diebold company... not electronic voting machines. Diebold has a monopoly over the electronic voting machines in the U.S., I bet that NONE of the machines in the UK are from that company. The president of the company vowed to "Do Everything he could to put George Bush in the White House". This was documented in a campaign letter sent before the 2004 election. Complete and utter Bullshit! I fucking HATE republicans sometimes...
     
  4. dong20

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    6,130
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    The grey country
    My point exactly. Technology is only a small part of the problem. It's those pesky organic parts of a system that are the leading cause of failure.:rolleyes:
     
  5. rawbone8

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    2,864
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Canada
    I started a thread back in September on the risk of hacking the machines.

    Is Electronic Voting Secure? Princeton Scientists: NO

    The article also noted that in some jurisdictions the polling station officers were allowed to take the machines home with them the night before election day to facilitate an early start.

    SpeedoGuy's last post in the other thread points out some action to require paper receipts.

    Interesting. Cheating and/or catching cheats can be managed in a lot of different ways. Confidence in the process is enormously important.
     
  6. ceg1526

    ceg1526 Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    0
    Give me the little old ladies who run my polling place and a paper ballot anyday. And give me some canidates I feel comfortable voting for.

    Take care

    Ceg
     
  7. cruztbone

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    Messages:
    1,291
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Capitola CA USA
    Yes, the litle old ladies took their job seriously and did so without partisan ship. Diebold is owned by a Republican loyalist group. Sequoia is owned by a businessmen's group from Venezuela. Only a paper trail can protect us from Ohip and Florida GOP dirty tricks. Demand that your state's secretary of state provide a paper trail of how you voted! WE WONT BE FOOLED AGAIN!!!
     
  8. jakeatolla

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    Messages:
    3,093
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Canada
    As long as they don't run on Windows based systems .....:biggrin1:
     
  9. Tsimshan

    Tsimshan New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Not on my life and I prefere those little old ladies too.
     
  10. jeremyA

    jeremyA New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Messages:
    98
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    England
    I happen to knowsome people who work in one of the companies involved in a similar scheme in this country and to be honest you wouldnt trust them to look after your dog let alone protect your rights to a fair election.
     
  11. madame_zora

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    10,252
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ohio
    I had a brief chat with a woman at the polling place where I voted in 2004 (where my "provisional ballot" that I had to use because my address had changed was not counted) who told me that the Diebold electronic voting machines had arrived registering votes for bush. She also told me that they couldn't be worked on by anyone other than Diebold technicians.

    Sorry folks, no checks and balances here- only checks. Our elections are completely screwed.
     
  12. dong20

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    6,130
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    The grey country
    To play Devil's advocate :

    If she had said, "oh, they're so simple anyone with a basic IT qualification can open them up and work on them" would that have made you happier or more trusting?

    The machines themselves are not the real problem, or only a small part of it. The same benchmark must be applied to the existing 'manual' process : (Mis)trust, scrutiny and accountability. If not then really isn't it merely an irrational fear of a new technology and/or process not a sound proven basis for belief that this new technology is fundementally flawed or the process systematically 'rigged'.
     
  13. ClaireTalon

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,947
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Puget Sound
    I've always wondered why the election system had to be altered to these hi-tech toys. Punch cards, now fully-electronic touch-screen computers, and similar, they may have their advantages and cut the costs of paying numerous persons to count X'es, but it's turned out that even the most user-friendly input masks confuse a lot of people. Intentions of manipulating existent or not, the likeliness of making mistakes in the process of handling these machines increases the risk that the actual vote and the desired vote put in by the voter are different.

    Really, wouldn't a black pen and paper be enough?

    A little input. I have a friend, a guy who is a German immigrant. He moved here over 20 years ago, so I won't vouch for the actuality of this, but he told me it was usual for his voting there to mark his paper ballot with pencil. Now talk about possibilities to manipulate an election.
     
  14. madame_zora

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    10,252
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ohio

    I'm getting the point that you like to play devil's advocate, but sometimes that means you're representing the devil.

    No, there's NO possibility that it's an irrational fear, which you would know if you've been reading my rants about Ohio politics this year. Since it seems you haven't, I'll recap:

    Ken Blackwell (R) oversaw the elections (big fucking joke right there, but you'd have to know his reputation to get it. The only thing black about Blackwell is his name).

    The Free Press -- Independent News Media - Election Issues

    Diebold was a MAJOR contributor to the republican campaign, and the president of Diebold was quoted promising he'd deliver the election for george bush. He did.

    Diebold Voting Machine Owner Committed To Give Votes To Bush in 2004

    News From Underground: Diebold lobbyist gives Blackwell $10,000


    I just figure everyone gets tired of hearing this shit over and over, so I just posted the most pertinent idea, but I rarely shoot off without knowing what I'm talking about.

    *edit- it's important to note that Blackwell refused to show up for court to answer fraud charges, and as far as I know, they changed the laws to protect him from testifying.

    It's also important to note that EVERY exit poll had Kerry winning safely. This is the first time in Ohio history that the exit polls have been wrong. Yeah fucking right.
     
  15. DC_DEEP

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    9,029
    Likes Received:
    12
    LOL Oh fuck, I SURE HOPE THEY USE THE EXACT SAME MACHINES in a couple of weeks. Would it not just be THE SHIT if bush was not even on the ballot, but the "pre-programmed" machines tallied votes for him anyway?????
     
  16. dong20

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    6,130
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    The grey country
    I never seek to represent anyone but myself. But suggesting that Diebold (for example) don't want just anyone to tinker with their kit means it's bent is quite a leap. Many manufacturers don't like it, car makers for example don't like their 'black boxes' to be re-programmed. Does that mean they contain a secret means of tracking their drivers movements, reporting speeding etc etc? :biggrin1:

    I read some, yes but they demand a degree of familiarity that only a resident or avid politico watcher would have. I don't dispute that such systems are open to abuse, of course they are. My comment was really that all systems involving people are open to abuse and electronic systems are only as good as those who design them and their software.

    I'm not averse to the technology per se and suggesting that a blanket rejection would be irrational. I don't keep my money under the bed anymore, that's not to say I have 100% confidence in banking computers. After a 2 month battle to reverse a £1000 error by them (which was resolved today :biggrin1:) I'd have good reason not to. It's just I trust them more than I trust leaving it lying around unprotected.

    Basically, electoral fraud or any fraud for that matter is going to happen whenever and wherever people are involved in a process, whatever that process may be. We have confidence in the traditional voting system because it's what we know best. That breeds complacence and just perhaps false trust.

    I'm not suggesting that but just because you (or I) believe something doesn't make it so (or not so) or a Diebold/Bush conspiracy. Based on 'evidence' millions think 9/11 was also a Bush lead conspiracy and based on 'evidence' millions don't; both groups can't be right can they.

    Similar thing happened in Zambia in September this year, Sata was ahead in polls but Mwanawasa was re-elected. This lead to riots in Lusaka. That election wasn't rigged (significantly, anyway :rolleyes:) though if it was a fix Zambia is better off without Sata who models many of his views and policies on those of Mugabe, as well as being bonkers, much like Mugabe actually.

    Sorry, I digress. My point being that polls can only tell you so much, too often what you want to hear. You may be right, and as they say there's seldom smoke without fire but I'd suggest that using Ohio polling predictions being wrong for the first time as evidence of electronic vote rigging is supposition, bordering on superstition. MZ, I don't know what the solution will be but I'd lay odds that eventually it will have a plug on it.
     
  17. madame_zora

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    10,252
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ohio

    Haha, that would be a gas. The sad thing is- they ARE using the exact same machine, so you either get to vote on a machine that may or may not give your vote to the candidate you select, or vote on paper, and run the risk of your vote not being counted at all.

    As a point of interest, Dilznick sent me this list of the most/least dangerous cities in the US, it's worth noting that all six major Ohio cities rank in the top 50 most dangerous! Cleveland, Youngstown, Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo, and Columbus are all there- wonder why we're so angry? YOU try living with our collapsed economy and corrupt political system. Whatever you've got, we've probably got more of it.

    The most, least dangerous U.S. cities - Yahoo! News
     
  18. dong20

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    6,130
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    The grey country
    Yes, perhaps, but times change, and people will make mistakes with whatever technology they're presented with. Did you ever type your PIN wrong, or dial a wrong number? Of course, does that mean we should all surrender our ATM cards and cellphones?

    I seem to recall that happening here in the UK also, but that was back in the days when everyone was honest so it was cool.:tongue: :wink:
     
  19. madame_zora

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    10,252
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ohio
    Dong, I'm starting to wonder why I post here at all anymore. I was trying to talk about specific things that are happening here in our country that our people should really be aware of, but everything I or anyone else try to do to raise awareness gets sidetracked into hypothetical "what ifs" that have nothing to do with our reality. So your elections aren't rigged- that's great. Did you read any of the links I took the time to post? Ours are.

    If our citizens don't get outraged about OUR rigged elections, they will continue. No reason why that should bother you, it isn't your country. It bothers the fuck out of me, and it bothers me even more that AMERICANS aren't doing their homework. I try to make it easy to follow along by posting these threads, and I'd really prefer you not sidetrack everything I write unless you are willing to do an equal amount of research. Then again, you're free to post whatever you want, I just hope the point doesn't get lost for those who desperately need to hear it.

    DC_DEEP, JustAsking, Lex, myself and a few others care very much about our political climate and are trying to publicise things often not brought to the forefront. This is more than a way to pass time or exercise wit for us, hope you understand.
     
  20. dong20

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    6,130
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    The grey country
    Or, in the case of the economy, rather less of it.

    A politician once said, I'm told : "God give me health and strength, I'll steal the rest." :tongue:
     
Draft saved Draft deleted