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View Diary: Voting-machines tested, report up on CALIF Secy of State website (136 comments)

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  •  Here's the problem (4.00)
    Here is the real problem. The people currently in power in states and nationally are all basically computer illiterate. Wow , they have discovered how finally to email and a few other noob computer uses, but as for coding, hacking, and such, these people KNOW NOTHING.

     Certainly I can ride a plane, but should I as someone who knows nothng about jet propulsion be setting safety standards for engines?  It amounts to the same thing. My god, I really don't think these people have a clue how vunerable these machines are.  You should see the look I get from people when I go to clean up their machines, and let them know they have been hacked, and basically controlled and used by a spammer thousands of miles away.  They just can't grasp this technology.

     We really need to get people in there that understand just how OS's work.

    •  They do (4.00)
      I actually was at a dinner the other week with a woman that sits on a commission for the California Sec of State I believe.  She is a 35 year veteran of the computer industry.

      Ann Coulter, the right-wing bully who seems too loud even when you mute the television. -NYT Magazine

      by juls on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 11:41:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Most county election officials (none)
      are unaware of the technical workings of the new-fangled voting systems.  They have to rely on the technical consultants and the vendor technicians.
    •  Attempting a simple analogy (in many paragraphs!) (none)
      Imagine this:

      You and your friend use S Company's "X Bank"-branded ATM to deposit $100 each into your X Bank account D. The S Company's ATM is out of paper, or you both decline to print a receipt (I don't know whether a real-world bank would allow a deposit to be made under such circumstances), but the screen at least shows that you each deposited $100 to account D. The ATM, however, sends a message to X Bank and also records to its database that each of you only deposited $90, which leaves you $20 short in account D.

      Later that day, your 2 next-door neighbors use the same S Company ATM to deposit $100 each into their X Bank joint account R and, again, either the ATM is our of paper or they each decline a receipt. The screen says that each has deposited $100 to their account R, but the ATM tells X Bank that your friends have deposited $105 each, which leaves them $10 ahead in account R.

      Your 2 neighbors happen to be friends of the unscrupulous X Bank board, and, for whatever reason, X Bank looks into the transaction and says, "It's OK, they can keep the extra $5." After all, they're up $10 after 3 transactions.

      Your neighbors certainly aren't going to complain after they've received statements saying they each deposited $105 into their account R. X Bank isn't going to complain to S Company because X Bank is ahead $10 as well (and also happens to share a financial interest with S Company). You both will definitely complain, however. You've bounced a check because you thought you had the money in your X Bank account D. Your statement shows two $90 deposit, but your wallets say you're each down $100, and neither of you can't prove that you deposited $100 because you didn't have a receipt.

      **Substitution time!*

      Using S Company's machine, you and your live-in friend each vote for candidate D in the X state election, but the booth didn't give a receipt verifying your votes, and although you both walk away believing you've voted for D, the machine counts your friend's vote but neglects to count your vote.

      Later that day, your 2 neighbors use the same S Company machine to vote for candidate R. Though they can't be sure, the machine screen shows they each voted for candidate R, and in fact, the machine has counted both their votes.

      The results show that candidate R has won by a 2:1 margin. Your 2 neighbors don't complain about the S Company machine because their candidate R won. Candidate R doesn't complain about winning office because of a faulty S company maching. The state of X Board of Elections doesn't complain because it belongs to the same R Party as candidate R (also, S Company contributes heavily to the R Party).

      ***

      You could take this analogy further by including corrupt bank regulators and counterpart corrupt federal elections regulators who won't listen to your complaints.

      ~~This is Aaron G. Stock~~ (My Public Email is altered. Swap "g-ma-il" and "ace-pumpk-in", then remove dashes to email me.)

      by Ace Pumpkin on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 03:14:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  grammatical and formatting errata (none)
        (I didn't fix all the errors when I switched from singular "you" to plural "you" to make a better analogy)

        (also, I will be more careful with my asterisk usage!)

        ~~This is Aaron G. Stock~~ (My Public Email is altered. Swap "g-ma-il" and "ace-pumpk-in", then remove dashes to email me.)

        by Ace Pumpkin on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:20:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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