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View Diary: Harpers Magazine cover story: "How to Rig an Election" (68 comments)

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  •  Ballots or bullets: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Emmy, XenuLives

    What the vote-stealers and election-hackers need to understand is this:

    If they systematically and pervasively steal enough elections, they will trigger a wave of political violence and civil unrest unlike anything we have seen since the riots of the 1960s.

    The guarantees of universal suffrage and fair elections are not just "good" in and of themselves, for intrinsic reasons.  They're also "good" because they preserve the peace and domestic tranquility, and a lawful society that solves its problems with words rather than with weapons.  

    America is armed to the teeth.  The right wing, famously so.  But progressives, no less so, though less well-known.  And to the usual arsenal of firepower, add hastily-concocted poisons, gases, and explosives, all courtesy of recipes posted far and wide on the internet.  

    The more polarized our society gets, the more of a powder-keg it becomes.  And the smaller and smaller the spark it takes to set the whole thing off.  

    Everyone, including the idiot plutocrats who think that their gated communities are safe against DIY drones, has a stake in universal suffrage and fair elections.  

    After this election, we have got to make free & fair elections a major issue.  Paper ballots, with human-readable marks, counted by hand, are the only acceptable standard.  The place for high tech is in the form of a proliferation of webcams in vote-counting locations, that enable anyone to watch the count up close and in detail, from their homes.  That will keep the count honest.  And that in turn will keep the peace.

    "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

    by G2geek on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 11:21:55 PM PDT

    •  I wouldn't worry about it that much. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm sure it's coming down the pipeline.  The GOP has made disenfranchising people a political agenda for a while now, so it's not going to disappear as an issue after a single election.  Like abortion, they've opened a can of worms that will make them appear more behind the times, and political movements and agendas like that take a while to be known and take a while to organize and work against.

      Voting integrity is an important issue, but it's probably not something we need to worry about being dominated by fraud.

      •  it's not a matter of vote fraud.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DarkestHour, turn blue

        .... it's a matter of wholesale hackery of computer-driven voting machines.

        Thou shalt not make machines with invisible parts.

        The only acceptable voting "machine" is one with all the parts visible and their relationships understandable to an average person.  

        But better yet, paper ballots.  There is no more justification for computerizing something that doesn't need it, than there is for driving an automobile fifty feet to get to one's mailbox at the end of the driveway.  Really.  

        How many Rube Goldberg contraptions do you have at your house?  Does a robin have to fly in the window and run into a tennis racquet connected to a cuckoo-clock that drops a fizzy in a glass that overflows across an electric contact, that causes a solenoid to open an umbrella, etc. etc., just to pour you a drink of water?   Do a dozen mice need to run in little exercise-wheels to power a brush to clean your rugs?

        That's software-controlled voting right there.

        And YES we should worry about it, and we should have Election Protection out in force at every polling place across the USA to deal with any reports of voting machine tweakery or intimidation thuggery or any other thing that prevents an honest citizen from casting an honest ballot.  

        Voting is the most important exercise in our representative democracy.  It deserves all the care we can bring to it.  And it deserves to be protected with the kind of ferocity that parents reserve for protecting their kids from kidnappers.

        "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

        by G2geek on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 04:06:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Re: across the USA (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DarkestHour, G2geek

          The article compares the US with Germany (!), who have instituted a nationwide opensource vote counting solution, and Ireland, which bought millions of dollars of vote counting machines and then sold them for junk when they realized they couldn't trust the results.

          •  even open-source isn't secure, due to... (0+ / 0-)

            .... the risk of boot-loader viruses, that can infiltrate a machine before the "clean" operating system even loads.  A corrupt company or an organized group could hack open-source voting machines easily enough and never be detected.

            The place for high tech in elections is in the form of complete and universal webcam surveillance (including close-ups) of vote counting processes, that can be watched live by anyone who goes to a URL, and also broadcast over local cable TV public access channels.  

            For example you could watch the wide-area shot of the room on your television, and zoom in on vote-counters on your computer screen.  

            Paper ballots, manual count, high-tech surveillance broadcast: solution.

            "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

            by G2geek on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 01:40:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I thought they counted by hand in Germany? (0+ / 0-)

            I have a good friend who lives there and she says they've started counting paper ballots by hand, but I can't verify that.

        •  You can help too (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I know OFA will be out in force on EDAY to prevent any intimidation, work the polls, and watch out for shenanigans. If you can take the day off it would be worth it to volunteer to watch over your polling place.

          •  Oakland CA here... (0+ / 0-)

            .... I can't recall any examples of shenanigans happening here, we're about as blue as it gets and people are feisty about their rights.  At the DK meet-up for the debate on the 22nd I'm going to ask around as to what I can do that's most useful.

            As it is I've been bugging people I know including in swing states, managed to persuade one, got another registered, and so it goes.  Small effort but every vote counts.  Generally I'm at the mercy of my work schedule which at times can be relentless and is very difficult to predict.  

            "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

            by G2geek on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 01:44:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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