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View Diary: [Updated] Ohio to outlaw recounts and shield Diebold (196 comments)

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  •  Isn't it ironic? (4.00)
    Wouldn't it be hysterical if all the Diebold machines get tossed out of Ohio because we noticed a provision in the new law that, if passed, makes all the Diebold voting machines in Ohio illegal...and we noticed it because DHinMI got us all reading the text of the bill?

    DHinMI playing a "key" role in tossing all the Diebold voting machines out of Ohio. That's sufficiently ironic to have me humming Alanis Morissette.

    •  Why? (none)
      Care to point out where I EVER defended touch-screen voting machines without a paper trail and provisions for regular audits?  Care to point out where I EVER minimized the problems with our voting laws and administration?  Don't act like the caricature of a fraudster and fail to differentiate between, on one hand, refusal to believe that Kerry got more votes in Ohio (and possibly elsewhere) than Bush and that Bush supporters changed the results, and on the other hand, a refusal to acknowledge that there are severe problems with voting in the country.

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Sun Dec 11, 2005 at 08:43:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have read your comments on this issue many times (4.00)
        and I have to say that, while I respect a difference of opinion, it would seem important that the opinion be grounded in actual research.

        I've been involved with this since the 2004 election here in NC, going to protests, rallies and listening to computer experts discuss the problems.   A Republican computer expert in our state, right after the election, came to meetings and explained exactly why the election had to have been stolen. He was upset about it even though his side had won.  His friends thought he was nuts to protest, but he had some ethical issues with his party stealing the election.

        One of the things he told us was that you can program a computer so that it cannot be audited. The glitch can occur for only a few hours on election day and be  untraceable before or after.  You can program the machines to give a paper ballot that matches what the voter thought he voted for but to register a vote for someone or something else.  You can program a machine to simply switch the final totals.  Note that Kerry was predicted in the exit polls to win Ohio by 52% and Bush to get 48% (as I recall). The final totals were exactly opposite.

        Now I know you will not believe me, because I have seen you in action before.  But we happen to be in the middle of these discussions here in Watauga County, NC at this very moment. So, here is a letter from our local computer expert addressed to our local election board members.  I deleted his name because I did not get his permission to use it. However, if you would like to contact me privately, I would be happy to put you in touch with him.

        Here's his letter below:

        I am writing to provide my perspective on electronic voting machines.  My name is ------------.  For numerous months, I served as the de-facto lead geek on a working group formed immediately following the 2004 elections by the Watauga Democrats.  We focused on trying to understand what role electronic voting machines played in the election, were they secure/reliable, and what pragmatic steps might be done to improve electronic voting.   Before I make a brief recommendation I would like to note my background and the effort expended so you may be better judge the relevancy of my comments.  I have an MS in physics from Vanderbilt and I have worked for 13 years primarily for the defense industry in the areas of applied physics with particular emphasis on the development of scientific software, software/hardware systems, simulation, etc.  Much of this work involved systems accessible via the Internet so security was of prime concern.  I spent about three months (of my own time of course) working to educate myself on the issue then draft design criteria for an inexpensive, secure system (hoping NC might adopt the approach of demanding adherence to detailed technical specifications from vendors).  I spent roughly 10-15 hours per week because of my concerns regarding the accuracy, security, and lack of verifiability of the bedrock of our Democracy--our voting system.  

        Since I know you are likely receiving much more input than you would like and your choices are very limited for this purchase, I will be very brief.  Currently optical scanners are significantly more secure than DREs and I suggest our Watauga County purchase only optical scanners for now.

        I could give hundreds of detailed technical reasons why we should stay away from DREs until they meet a list of technical, testing, and procedural criteria I have begun compiling.  However, a very simple, undeniable  point regarding DREs follows.  Just because a DRE prints a particular selection on a final voter verification screen and the identical information on a paper ballot gives absolutely ZERO assurance that the DRE electronically recorded the same selection for that vote.  One has to ask oneself under what situations would the paper trail prevent or even call attention to incorrect electronic recording of a vote.  The answer is very rarely if the screen is incorrect also.  The voter can't see the electronic record, thus does not know.  Since the paper trail is only used to count each vote during a recount, etc. incorrect electronic recording would not be detected easily.

        Regarding manufacturers, I gathered information via a variety of mechanisms (not just blogs)--technical documentation when available online, even some source code that Diebold accidentally released, numerous scholarly studies conducted by academics specializing in voting research, etc.  I would strongly suggest staying away from Diebold.  Their physical security practices at their manufacturing and research facilities is abhorrent.  Their machines are also some of the least secure.

        I thank you for your time and the opportunity to express my views on electronic voting.  

        •  Have you seen this site? (4.00)
          Whoscounting.net

          I have given up on having meaningful discussions on this with some people I otherwise respect.  It's like they have their fingers in their ears and are singing lalalala to keep from hearing what you are saying.  I was corresponding with PhDs in math after the election and what they were saying is pretty much in line with what you say.  But I got little to no respect on the issue.

          The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

          by mikepridmore on Sun Dec 11, 2005 at 09:52:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  spooky (4.00)
          "You can program the machines to give a paper ballot that matches what the voter thought he voted for but to register a vote for someone or something else."

          First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. ~~ Mohandas Gandhi

          by TimeTogether on Sun Dec 11, 2005 at 10:31:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  'why the election had to have been stolen' (none)
          We're probably all fried from a solid year of talking about this, so let me sincerely apologize in advance if anything I write comes across as ironic or worse.

          If your friend can indeed substantiate why the election had to have been stolen, or even probably was stolen, could you please share that? I have spent an appalling proportion of the last year looking for compelling evidence.

          It seems to me that the content of your friend's letter is pretty much in line with what DHinMI wrote above.  One can believe that Bush got more votes in Ohio and that DREs are unacceptably insecure (I dunno if DH went quite that far).

          I am pretty sure that no state was stolen by switching all the Bush votes to Kerry votes and vice versa, even in particular counties.  Might've happened in particular precincts, I suppose.  But if it happened in entire counties, it would stick out like the proverbial sore thumb.

          I don't believe Ohio was stolen on DREs, because the DRE results from Ohio aren't anomalous.  I can't rule out that Ohio was stolen on DREs and on other equipment, although I think it's unlikely.

      •  Where's pro-Carter Center diaries from you guys? (4.00)
        You and your allies who are so quick to attack voting irregularities diaries claim you all don't minimize problems with voting irregularities. If that's true, where are the diaries from you and your allies pointing out those obvious problems with voting irregularities that we all agree on? The need for paper trails or paper ballots. Where's the outrage over the ridiculous voting lines in Ohio? Where's the support for reforms well known and well established groups like the Carter Center advocate?

        Claiming you never defended the lack of paper trails, etc. is a cop-out. The only people that advocate any reforms and generate any enthusiasm for change are the people you attack as fraudsters.

        If you don't want the discussion controlled by people you condemn as fraudsters, you need to actively participate in generating enthusiasm for changes in the voting process everyone agrees on.

        •  Where's My Paycheck? (none)
          You apparently think I work for you, and are at your beck and call to do what you want me to do.

          And have you ever heard of Google?  Did you even bother to go over to The Next Hurrah?  Or are you just saying, like too many people do at Daily Kos, "you're not doing all the work to disprove what I think but am too lazy to confirm, so I'll just make an accusation against you"?  

          And your final sentence is a joke.  This diary made claims I said weren't supported by any source but one.  If you can't judge the soundness of that claim without me establishing my bona fides on other separate issues, that's your problem...and in terms of intellectual inquiry, it's a damn big problem.  

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Sun Dec 11, 2005 at 11:25:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then you minimize voting irregularities problem (none)
            Where's your paycheck for anything you post at DKos.  Ahhhh... you don't get paid for anything you post at DKos.

            You can't have it both ways. You can't continue to have your only appearance in voting irregularities threads as a resident grenade tosser. If you refuse to advocate for positive change, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

            Either you get involved in helping implment Carter Center advocated elections reforms, or you are part of the problems in the US election process that requires being reformed.

            •  I Can Do... (2.25)
              ...whatever the hell I want.

              Under what or whose authority are you making these pronouncements?  

              What arrogance!

              And BTW asshole, I HAVE done stuff on election reform, which I how I've learned that lots of people like you ignore plenty of problems of election administration because they're irrelevant to their goal of showing that Bush stole the 2004 election.  And the Carter Center isn't the only way of doing election reform

              I'll say it again, you're arrogance is breathtaking.

              The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

              by Dana Houle on Sun Dec 11, 2005 at 11:49:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's a free country. You can do whatever you want. (none)
                Doing "whatever the hell you want" does not make you an advocate for positive change. Only advocating for positive change makes you an advocate for positive change.

                If you aren't part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

              •  Goodness (none)
                I'll say it again, your arrogance is breathtaking.

                My goodness. A lecture on arrogance from DH.

                It's a little like seeing someone being called 'batshit crazy' by Ann Coulter.

                -fred

            •  BTW, Why The Hell... (none)
              ...don't you start your own blog?  Nothing's keeping you from it...except the effort of doing it intead of telling other people how you believe they should spend their time.

              Arrogant, and incapable of seeing how what you're flinging at me actually sticks better to you.

              The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

              by Dana Houle on Sun Dec 11, 2005 at 11:53:54 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Why don't you stop posting at DKos? (none)
                It's just as valid for me to ask you that question as it is for you to ask me.
                •  Because I Don't Want Shoddy Thinking... (none)
                  ...and specious resoning like you exhibit to gain the upper hand and discredit one of the premier progressive sites on the web.  Because I don't want lazy people like you mucking things up.  Because I care about this site, and dont' want it to become Democratic Underground II.  

                  And because, frankly, I also get a somewhat perverse pleasure in calling out hypocrites willing to tell everyone else what they should do but who are unwilling to do the same themselves...you know, like telling people who start their own blogs and continue to participate at the first blog where they wrote as a guest blogger for 18 months what they should write about,  but without ever doing anything on their own, and then avoiding the question "why don't you start your own blog."  

                  The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                  by Dana Houle on Sun Dec 11, 2005 at 12:17:44 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Shoddy thinking... like Carter Center reforms (none)
                    I advocated the election reforms promoted by the Carter Center. Please teel me about all the "shoddy thinking" the Carter Center promotes.
                  •  One reminder: This diary is about voting reform (none)
                    This diary is not about starting blogs, it's about voting reform. If you wish to write your own diary about starting blogs, feel free.

                    On this thread, your comments about starting blogs is a distraction and way off topic.

                    Time to get back on topic. I believe you were going to tell us about all the "shoddy thinking" you think the Carter Center does?

              •  You really are out of lline. If anyone (none)
                is arrogant on this site it's you.  Your aggressiveness towards others is extreme. I can't understand how you ever got intrusted with writing anything on the main page.

                How old are you?

              •  You really are out of lline. If anyone (none)
                is arrogant on this site it's you.  Your aggressiveness towards others is extreme and uncalled for.  Have you ever heard of projection? I can't understand how you ever got entrusted with writing anything on the main page.

                How old are you? You act like a teenager. This issue is not about you and what you can do or not do and how nobody has the right to tell you anything.  If you don't want to discuss this issue and it pushes your buttons, go read something else.

        •  Another article: (none)

          Time for a New Direction, before we all fall off the cliff.

          by mattes on Sun Dec 11, 2005 at 03:10:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'm wondering why DHinMI (4.00)
      is not writting the diaries, since he is so knowledgeable, I would think this an important issue.

      Can't go to war without money, cut the budget now!

      by mattes on Sun Dec 11, 2005 at 08:54:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That would require effort (4.00)
        and research. It's easier to take pot shots from the sideslines  "Hey your diary sucks because you didn't do this or didn't do that. Oh, and btw, I'm so freakin smart".

        I can identify because I know I'm sometimes tempted to do the same thing - everyone likes and needs to be right. I resist now because I don't think it's being as productive as I should be by pouring water on someone's fire.

        -4.25, -6.87: Someday, after the forest fire of the Right has died we'll say "Whew, I'm happy that's over."

        by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Sun Dec 11, 2005 at 09:18:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Write What? (none)
        "Reliable sources don't report that bill will end democracy in Ohio; no evidence exists of claims I didn't make."  

        And I HAVE written several posts at The Next Hurrah on voting procedure.  You would know that if you had looked, but that would mean you would have to expend effort.

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Sun Dec 11, 2005 at 09:56:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  what is your take on the Ohio law? (4.00)
          Just curious. I looked at Last Hurrah, a good site, but didn't immediately see a voting article, I'm sure there are some but I'd love to hear your opinion on this law. It is as bad as they say at freepress? Is freepress in general being responsible?

          First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. ~~ Mohandas Gandhi

          by TimeTogether on Sun Dec 11, 2005 at 10:41:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Dunno (none)
            I wrote that in my first comment.  Maybe it does all the awful things mentioned in this diary, but I'm not willing to take the word of one blog linking to someone who's not viewed as much of an expert in election law (as opposed to grabbing headlines).  

            I find it easy to believe that there would be impediments put in place making it harder to do the kind of work ACT did in Ohio.  I find it hard to believe that they would make it easy for the officials in Cuyahoga county to use electronic voting machines to screw the Republicans in statewide elections.  But again, I don't know the current state of the law well enough to even speculate informedly on what the changes even are, much less the implications for those changes.

            The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

            by Dana Houle on Sun Dec 11, 2005 at 11:24:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  We need some kind of independent auditing body n/t (none)

              First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. ~~ Mohandas Gandhi

              by TimeTogether on Sun Dec 11, 2005 at 12:49:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Then Perhaps You Should Stop Denigrating (4.00)
              The Opinions Of Others.
              You admit [about the proposed law] that
              Maybe it does all the awful things mentioned in this diary, but
              simply because
              I'm not willing to take the word of one blog linking to someone who's not viewed as much of an expert in election law (as opposed to grabbing headlines).
              you are willing to make the following statement:
              I have no doubt this bill, if passed, would suck.  But until I either read the bill or an analysis by some non-partisan entitity (like the Ohio legislative services bureau or whatever they call it) or something from a media source other than the Bob Fitrakis, this shouldn't even be recommended.
              When a poster answered you with a link to a Toledo Blade article, you responded by claiming that the article did not support the diarist's points except for the one about homeless voting.
              Another poster answered your objection to a lack of link to the actual legislation by pointing out that a link was posted. You denigrated the text in the link as being inaccurately posted. You then proceeded to tell all the rest of us about how to read pending legislation. You used several posts for this suggestion. Yet you admit that
              I'm not an expert on Ohio election law, and I don't want to spend a week or two getting up to speed on the issues contained in a massive, multi-section bill.  Rather than posting on everything, I think sometimes we'd be much better served when people recognize their limitations and don't make unsupportable pronouncements that they can't establish, especially on issues on which it's unlikely that most people around here would have any  expertise.
              Along the road to that telling admission, you waved your expertise, accused others of shoddy thinking, suggested that you were qualified to put others in their place because you are a past guest blogger here [18 whole months, and I mention the 18 (when the rule is 12) because you did], and in general acted like an immature asshole someone on an ego trip.
              You are an excellent diarist, a fine researcher, a dynamite writer. I have enjoyed every one of my visits to your superb blog, The Next Hurrah. It is easy to understand why Markos broke his own rule to give you 6 extra months of guest blogging time. Despite those positive things, nothing gives you the sacred right to come to a diary thread and shit all over the diarist, and all over every commenter who disagrees with you, and to insult every recommending kossak with your dismissive remarks about what we chose to recommend.
              You told a poster that you will automatically view any subsequent posts by her/him as unserious and unworthy of your time. May I point out that persons unfamiliar with your excellent blog might feel the same about visiting it, if they merely judge it by your comments on this thread?
              You dissed one poster by stating that s/he should start his/her own blog. The mote which you found in that poster's eye, and in the eye of the diarist, looks [from Cuyahoga County] to be a beam in your own eye. I offer this comment as eyewash; hope it helps.
              •  Disagreement (none)
                Hmm, how many people did I initiate comments with?  How many people told me I was wrong, didn't care about something, was making excuses, yada yada yada.  How many people changed the subject from the fairly narrow point I made, which was that this diary relies on one source, and hours after it's been posted, nobody had provided any additional sources supporting the claims of this diary.  I made clear what I know, but also made clear where the lines of my expertise stop, instead of making claims I'm not qualified to support.  And I'm the problem?

                Seems to me, if I was such an asshole, someone would have been able to provide at least ONE piece of evidence other than that single source cited in the diary.  But I guess skepticism is only for claims of our political opponents, and not something we should ever exercise toward our allies to make our cause stronger and more effective.  And skepticism should be seen as suspect, evidence of duplicity or malevolence, or at best self-aggrandizement.  

                And when you're misquoted, come back and tell me how you repsond to the person who willfully (and possibly even malevolently) misquoted you to imply you were dishonest or unfair.  But I stand by my dismissal of that person.  It WAS a frivolous point, made only by ripping what I said apart and out of context.  

                The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                by Dana Houle on Sun Dec 11, 2005 at 02:33:47 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  OSU law prof CONFIRMS: HB 3 eliminates federal (4.00)
                  challenges. And, for the record, I cited the Ohio Revised Code upthread in our discussion of elimination of challenges to federal elections.  Anway, I'll cross-post testimony by Daniel Tokaji, an OSU law professor who confirms that the bill elimnates federal office challenges.

                  Go here and turn to page 4. Boldface added:

                  The other provision eliminates Ohio's contest for all federal elections, inclusing both presidential and congressional contests. Sub HB 3 provides that such contests "shall be conducted with the applicable provisions of federal law."

                  It is not clear what law this is referring to, as there is no analogous federal statute providing for contests. Perhaps "federal law" refers to the timetable for electoral ballot counting.  Yet federal law contains no contest provision, but instead requires Congress to defer to the states, in cases where there's been a "final determination" of any election contests or controversies by the safe harbor date.

                •  well, for what it's worth (none)
                  I asked for your opinion, and I appreciated the reply.  Just as I don't think diaries have to be exemplars of research, I also think comments can be negative and still be valid, insightful, useful.

                  The Voting issue sure has a dearth of good trustworthy sources though, I'd hate to shut off discussion because of that, it'd be a Catch-22.

                  We need to fight for that research, for top-tier big-name investigative teams to go to (shudder) OHIO, spend some shoe-leather turning over some rocks. Not enough research, not enough coverage of what's been done.

                  Nothing against OHIO myself, but I know that most  journalists do not consider it a hot career move.

                  First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. ~~ Mohandas Gandhi

                  by TimeTogether on Sun Dec 11, 2005 at 10:36:20 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Pro-Carter Center Election Reform DKos Diaries? (4.00)
          The Carter Center has made a whole pile of recommendations for reform of the voting process in the US. Nobody calls President Carter or the Carter Center "fraudsters." Where's your DKos diaries generating enthusiasm and support for Carter Center recommendations?
        •  With limited time (none)
          I mostly read Daily Kos. I did go to your web site...and I see no subject section called Voting Reform or anything like that. Does this mean you don't think it's that important? Honest question.

          Time for a New Direction, before we all fall off the cliff.

          by mattes on Sun Dec 11, 2005 at 11:54:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We Also Don't Have... (none)
            ...categories for civil rights, or human rights, or all kinds of other things.  But we do have categories for law, elections, campaigning and organizing, etc.

            But lets say, for the sake of argument, that I didn't think election reform was important.  Would that make my comments about what claims are supported in this diary and the thread any different?  Do you have to agree with someone on every subject in order to acknowledge they have a insight or logically sound point that has implications you don't like?  

            In short, if I say a claim is not supported by the evidence proffered, why does it matter what I think about the bigger issue?  

            Why can't people accept that when someone disagrees with them on some aspect of an issue that it doesn't mean they don't care about that issue?  Why can't people entertain the possibility that they care so much about the issue that they don't want shoddy thinking, claims and hyperbole to taint the public discussion of the issue and make the reforms they hope for less likely to come about?  Why is it that so many people don't engage the logical and rhetorical arguments offered, but instead assail or at least question the motives of the person making the arguments?

            The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

            by Dana Houle on Sun Dec 11, 2005 at 12:11:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I understand (4.00)
              I just went to your site b/c you mentioned it would help. I think your critique of the dairy is unfair though, people don't usually expect to have an issue settled and researched by a daily. (Although I love those diaries, I do.) Just a point of view aired.

              But you are right too. I'm concerned. Thanks for your response above.

              I think Carter as a democratic ex-president WOULD be considered 'political.' He flatly says Gore won in 2000, I happen to agree with him, but that's not mainstream Democratic view, much less bi-partisan.

              If we don't get a bi-partison body people can trust soon. I fear trust will be lost in the system. I know mine is gone, but I'm not a particularly trusting sort.

              I'm a technical person, not a lawyer, and what I see wouldn't pass ATM standards in any state.

              First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. ~~ Mohandas Gandhi

              by TimeTogether on Sun Dec 11, 2005 at 12:55:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Well.....I'd like to see (none)
              more dems in office, start there. So discussion of any individual issue is important but if voter problems get worse, there is more opportunity for losing elections. So from my perspective, if I  thought dems getting elected were important enough to start a blog, I would assume Voting Reform would be one of the MOST important issues. Since most people here agree there were more problems for dems voting than rethugs, setting aside whether there exists evidence of voter fraud, obviously this will continue and can only get worse if nothing is done. Shouldn't this be an ongoing frontline issue for all dems especially the leaders of dems blogs.
              Correcting any wrongful information posted on diaries, of course.

              Lately there seems to be alot of energy debunking fraud diaries, but not as many addressing what should we do to avoid fraud. Better exit polling, watchers, auditors...what?

              Time for a New Direction, before we all fall off the cliff.

              by mattes on Sun Dec 11, 2005 at 01:03:28 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

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