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Diebold at work?

by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / November 5, 2004 2:17 AM PST
Machine Error Gives Bush Extra Ohio Votes.
The problem was only noticed because the total Bush vote was larger than the number registered in the precinct. Touch-screen voting machines that don't leave an autidable trail MUST be declared illegal, or our election process loses all validity.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!
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Well...this is a surprise!
by Dan McC / November 5, 2004 2:32 AM PST
In reply to: Diebold at work?

Oh, wait. No, it's not. This is pretty much what was expected to happen.

Remember, it's who counts the votes.

Dan

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Re: Well...this is a surprise!
by Paul C / November 5, 2004 4:59 AM PST
Remember, it's who counts the votes.

Exactly, Dan: Secretary of State Blackwell and other Ohio Republicans fixed the problem. Wink

Seriously, though, the story noted that an older machine no longer in use anywhere else was to blame. We here in Indiana used touch screens in the 2004 primaries. After the state discovered the problems associated with these machines, we scrapped them in favor of optical scanners, which do have an audit trail.

It is interesting to note here that a simple comparison between the sign in records in the precinct and the machine log revealed the discrepancy, so there at least was some means of ensuring a correct total was reported.
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Re: Well...this is a surprise!
by Roger NC / November 7, 2004 3:55 AM PST
we scrapped them in favor of optical scanners, which do have an audit trail.


In spite of the fact I like computers, I still like the idea of elections being paper ballots then scanned as fed into a electronic holding boxes.

That gives you capability to carry a running total and immediate readout but a means (if labor intensive and slow and clusmy) to resolve doubts and challenges.

RogerNC

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com
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Re: Well...this is a surprise!
by Roger NC / November 7, 2004 3:59 AM PST

Yeah, and like all the exit polls that gave Kerry the win Tuesday afternoon?

Shouldn't that be a case of trying to influence the election?

Ok, did it galvanize those opposing him to go out and vote that weren't going to vote? or did it make his supporters complacent and not vote? afterall something besides the voters desire had to be behind the results didn't it? since you just implied that the vote count was rigged didn't you?

Remember, it's who counts the votes.

/sesig

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(NT) (NT) GOP adopts Democrat tactics?!
by EdH / November 5, 2004 4:00 AM PST
In reply to: Diebold at work?
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hmmmmm.......
by TONI H / November 5, 2004 4:10 AM PST
In reply to: Diebold at work?

would this have been posted if it had been Kerry who had gotten the extra votes being claimed????????? Are you saying also that Kerry conceded too soon and should have waited for the full eleven days and held the country hostage only to find out that there STILL wouldn't have been enough extra votes to pull it off for him?

TONI

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If there's a flaw in the system....
by Josh K / November 5, 2004 4:37 AM PST
In reply to: hmmmmm.......

...and it's been identified, it should be fixed whether it would have affected the outcome of this election or not.

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(NT) (NT) Very definitely.....agreed
by TONI H / November 5, 2004 5:06 AM PST
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Re: Diebold at work?
by David Evans / November 5, 2004 4:20 AM PST
In reply to: Diebold at work?

You lost. Get over it. The people have spoken, so please don't give us four years of this noise again.

But then again, that sort of thing is a big part of what helped give us FOUR MORE YEARS of President Bush, so........ lol

DE

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Weren't the Dems the ones pushing for more modern
by Kiddpeat / November 5, 2004 6:16 AM PST
In reply to: Diebold at work?

techniques? Instead of chads you're now citing machines which were probably brought in to eliminate the chad? Get over it already! The bugs inherrant in all new systems will get ironed out.

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Re: Weren't the Dems the ones pushing for more modern
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / November 5, 2004 12:07 PM PST

Hi, KP.

I'm all in favor of more modern techniques, though opti-scans are a lot better than the punch cards. But there has to be a way of verifying the validity of the count, and all but the Nevada touch-screens lack that capability.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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It's too bad they did not get a better system ...
by Bill Osler / November 5, 2004 8:16 AM PST
In reply to: Diebold at work?

There are so many good proposals out there for electronic vote acquisition that do leave an audit trail.

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Re: Diebold at work?
by Mac McMullen / November 5, 2004 8:59 AM PST
In reply to: Diebold at work?
MUST be declared illegal, or our election process loses all validity.

Oh , even tho it's not insidious.. as is vote swapping ?
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Re: Diebold at work?
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / November 5, 2004 12:12 PM PST
In reply to: Re: Diebold at work?

Hi, Del.

Vote-swapping is a very small factor, and only applies when there's a serious third-party candidate. OTOH, the potential for abuse of a the current generation of electronic vorting machines is all too real, and could easily swing an election. Hopefully that didn't happen -- but honestly, who knows? It's certainly not encouraging that Diebold's chairman is a Bush Ranger who's publicly said he'd "do anything" to help Bush win. Again, this isn't an accusation -- but the possibility of impropriety must be eliminated. This is a MUCH more serious issue than any of the challenges in the various states -- and frankly, if they tried to keep me from voting because my handwriting at 56 is a bit shakier than it was when I registered here at 30 (as they reportedly did in some FL challenges), I'd first be livid, and then I'd sue the b*astards who deprived me of my vote.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Oh, Ho Ho..........
by Mac McMullen / November 5, 2004 3:57 PM PST
In reply to: Re: Diebold at work?

Vote swapping a small factor....

Vote swapping is insidious and deliberate, while machine
or technology failure is unpredictable and fixable.

Talk about moral values........

OK if you steal a dollar. Only theft if you steal a hundred.

I'm relieved and happy that at least 51% of the voting public
have moral values, and I'm not sure that most of the 49%
will agree with you here.

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Re: Diebold at work?
by Roger NC / November 7, 2004 4:08 AM PST
In reply to: Re: Diebold at work?

Voting swapping is an attempt to bypass legal standards.

If people want a strictly popular vote elections rather than electoral college, they should campaign with their congress critters to change it, not circumnavigate the rules to do the same. And if they can't get it changed nationally, each state has the right to decide to proportion their electoral votes, so people only have to convince their state legislature to change in fact.

It's not so much that vote swapping may have affected an outcome, as it is an attempt to do so.

Again, this isn't an accusation -- but the possibility of impropriety must be eliminated.

You've linked to link after link about Diebold's chairman is a Bush Ranger who's publicly said he'd "do anything" to help Bush win so it is an accusation in my view.

but the possibility of impropriety must be eliminated

A worthy goal, unobtainable in completeness, but something to strive to reach. However, neither side pays much attention to problems except about 6 months on either side of an election, then all the problems become "back burner issues".


RogerNC

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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As FACTS come to the surface.......
by Mac McMullen / November 5, 2004 11:46 AM PST
In reply to: Diebold at work?

It appears that the problem was restricted to a single machine
in a single county - Franklin.

Franklin is the only Ohio county to use Danaher Controls
Inc.'s ELECTronic 1242, an older-style touchscreen.

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Darned facts.
by Cindi Haynes / November 5, 2004 11:23 PM PST

Well, Mac,

There's a perfectly good conspiracy theory all shot to pieces! Oh well, the seed was planted, wasn't it?

--Cindi
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email the mods

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It still does not address the underlying problem ...
by Bill Osler / November 5, 2004 11:39 PM PST
In reply to: Darned facts.

It is good that the problem was not widespread. We do not need any more dubious election outcomes.

There is still the underlying problem that others have mentioned. We need a meaningful audit trail and a means to do meaningful recounts. It may not have affected this election but the potential problem will not go away until we directly address it.

There are many ways of enabling this ability, and I think some audit/recount ability should be mandatory. What happens if a power surge leaves one of the touch screen machines inoperable? What happens if somebody demonstrates a meaningful software bug that could affect vote tallies? There are too many scenarios that require verifiable hard copy ballots for safety.

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I agree that as long as there are
by TONI H / November 6, 2004 12:14 AM PST

computers, there are hackers out there trying to (and succeeding in most instances) break down the door. I would think that one of the easiest ways to stop the hackers is to hire them to write your code....they would be flattered to be challenged to write something that can't be hacked by somebody else. LOL

TONI

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(NT) (NT) Agreed, Dr. Bill.
by Cindi Haynes / November 6, 2004 3:47 AM PST
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The paper trail seems like such a no-brainer ...
by Evie / November 6, 2004 3:54 AM PST

... I don't understand why it wasn't built in. This can't be blamed on either party either, as the equipment is largely selected locally and you have both parties in power in the large variety of districts involved. I can understand not getting a "receipt", and perhaps this confusing the issue kept folks from adopting the paper trail as there were those that wanted this extra step that carried other problems with it?

Evie Happy

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About the 'receipt' ...
by Bill Osler / November 6, 2004 5:57 AM PST

I understand that there may be reasons for not printing a receipt showing how the ballot was cast since that could be misued in vote-buying scams & such. Still, for the paper trail to be meaningful, the user really should have the ability to view the audit document and confirm that it is correct. There are methods proposed for doing precisely that.

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I think it safe to assume.......
by Mac McMullen / November 6, 2004 7:29 AM PST

...that we'll remain in the electronic world, and not
go back to purely paper ballots, excepting Oregon.

As long as programmers could...program the machine
to show something different than the hard copy audit
document, and the skeptics ever present, there will
always be confusion, disapproval and doubt.

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I think scans are the only safe way
by Ziks511 / November 6, 2004 3:03 PM PST

You mark the ballot and then submit it to the machine, the machine tallies and stores the ballot for a recount if necessary. It fulfills the speed requirement and the verifiability component as well.

Rob Boyter

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Ive always like that method
by Dragon / November 7, 2004 8:18 AM PST

I still wonder, though, about how bad the purely electronic machines can be. Companies like McDonalds and Furrs have been using touch-screen machines for years without any problems that I was aware of.

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Re: Ive always like that method
by Roger NC / November 7, 2004 8:38 AM PST

But there's a bit of difference in losing the current transactions in a cash drawer or even inventory and losing cast votes isn't there?

You can count the cash or inventory the warehouse if necessary (reality for warehouse should be a backup less than 24 hours old), but with no paper ballot trail, how would you recount the vote?

RogerNC

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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Maybe a better solution ...
by Bill Osler / November 7, 2004 10:27 AM PST

I think scanable voting forms are a good idea, but having the voter mark the form may not be the best solution. Florida's experience with punch card ballots serves as a lesson in this regard also.

Perhaps we should use punch screens to enter the votes and have the computer generate a scanable form. The user could verify the form and then submit the form for actual vote tabulating. The touch screen would become nothing more than an input interface.

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Re: Maybe a better solution ...
by Roger NC / November 7, 2004 2:33 PM PST

Perhaps, but if vote can't see he's marked the ballot correctly or not in a fill in the circle type ballot, will he catch an error in the viewscreen generated printout?

Although I do recognize the value of computer/machine marking in that it will be more precise than the manual marking in terms of shading what should be shaded and not having stray markings.

Perhaps the touchscreen to generate a printout to be looked over and then turned in for scanning is a good idea. It does have the actual paper trail and the appeal of electronic gadgetry as well as true more accurate marking capability.

RogerNC

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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Precise markings
by Cindi Haynes / November 7, 2004 11:49 PM PST
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