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View Diary: YouTube Take Action: Diebold Hacked (+DIEBOLD REBUTS) (267 comments)

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  •  yeah, yeah, yeah (1+ / 0-)
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    reid fan

    If Diebold was a well-known Progressive corporation that supported Democrats and the argument was that we wanted to get as many of these machines out as possible by 2008 because their ease of use had been shown to increase voter participation--if that were the case, there would be no Diebold-must-die diaries.  Kossacks would be saying, "Put better locks on there!"  "Create a virus monitoring system!"  "Design multiple pirate software failsafe systems!"   Then, the diaries about stolen votes would all be over at RedState/  As things stand right now, I doubt there are very many Diebold diaries on the right-wing blogs.  And logically so, because this is really about imbalance of Republican power and lack of oversight in our election system.  

    Sure, the software issue is bad for all the reasons listed.  No doubt.  I've had that explained to me know by about a dozen people and I agree with everything that's been written (almost everything).  But the debate is not about software.  It's about politics, corruption, imbalance.    Today, the software is the black box.  But last year the black box was Ken Blackwell, and before that the black box was Katherine Harris, and before that the black box was...etc., etc.   All of those had paper trails. None of them were ever resolved effectively.  Not even close.  

    And yes, if one Republican company was suddenly in charge of making all paper ballots and those ballots were shown to cause confusion (e.g., what happened in Florida), and there were enough ballots in some districts, but not in others,  then we would be in this exact same debate--just swap out the word 'software' for the words 'printing' and 'distribution' and the outcry would be the of same order.  Only, instead of software experts telling me I was an idiot (which I probably am), it would be graphic designers and ink experts.

    So machines that rely entirely on software have security problems.  So what?  Just design a machine that draws on as many advantages of the an electronic system as possible, blanced with as many advantages of a paper and human monitored system as possible--all of which have security shortcomings.    But I'm willing to give anything a try at this stage because the system as it stands is ridiculous.   We cannot have a 100% paper system without a drastic overhall of voting in our culture (e.g., an election day holiday with tens of thosands of paid workers), which is not going to happeh.  And we cannot simply convert over to an optical system because--from what I understand--that is prohibitively expensive.  So we come up with some kind of integrated solution.   Electronic with enough checks to give us more confidence in the system.  I mean...the real problem here isn't the machines, it's the fact that we've never had a national discussion about reform in our system of voting, a federal panel of experts, an R and D group convened, multiple test phases, slow roll out and implementation, tweaking, etc., etc., etc.

    I'm all for it.

    •  sigh (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeffrey Feldman

      Electronic with enough checks to give us more confidence in the system.  I mean...the real problem here isn't the machines, it's the fact that we've never had a national discussion about reform in our system of voting

      I think the real problem with this entire exchange and why you're driving everyone to distraction is that you have a false dichotomy. "isn't the machines, it's the fact that..." It's BOTH!!! Nobody is saying the other things aren't a problem.

      But we actually believe that even if everything else were fixed, completely paperless voting would still be unacceptable. The only "enough checks" that would ever be acceptable is a paper trail. But then, it wouldn't be what most people mean by "e-voting." Anything that has no paper trail is unacceptable, no matter who the vendor, no matter if it were open source, written by Paul Wellstone, no matter nuthin'. Unacceptable. And, truly, trust me, it isn't a partisan issue in the computer science community.

      It's all about Diebold=Satan on the liberal blogs, and I'll grant you that has to do with Diebold's politics more than a logical comparison of error rates. But don't let that fool you that there isn't more "there" there in the complaints from actual experts.

      "Renaming French fries to Freedom fries was arguably this Republican congress' greatest accomplishment." -- Stephen Colbert

      by reid fan on Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 03:24:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ah, here is our problem: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeffrey Feldman

      blanced with as many advantages of a paper and human monitored system as possible

      Yes, this is EXACTLY what we want to happen. This is what computer people have been asking for from the beginning. That is the dream of the anti-Diebold folks.

      But then we just have a terminology misunderstanding. This isn't "e-voting" in the sense that we use it as shorthand for "no paper trail." I and mamy other computer people fully endorse touch-screen voting that has a voter-verified paper, or as you say, "with as many advantages of a paper...system as possible."

      "Renaming French fries to Freedom fries was arguably this Republican congress' greatest accomplishment." -- Stephen Colbert

      by reid fan on Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 03:31:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  LOL AHAH! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        reid fan

        So someone is actually reading my comments.  That can't be healthy.

        I do not believe, by the way, that the paper trail is the solution.  I believe the software is the solution.  This of course, is why this reform needs to be a team effort.  We already have a paper trail--it's called our crappy voting system.  Paper out the wazzoo and it all sucks.  Corruptable to the core--easily so, no mass conspiracy required.  But I see the point being made here by the techxperts and agree.

        It may seem mundane, but a touch screen system which eliminated all the nonsense of the overly complicated ballots, and somehow spit out a florida-senior-citizen-proof receipt (e.g. "Congratulations Mrs. Morgenstein, you did not accidentally vote for Hitler!") that would be a miracle on wheels.  And the electronics would deliver it.

        But again, I see how the names are very specific, here.

        In my voting reform fantasy, everyone who registers to vote would get a special voter ID card with a smart chip.  During voting "week" (e.g.), a registered voter could go to any ATM maching in the world and vote for candidates in his/her state. The dream system would also generate a paper trails, would be failsafe, monitored by an impartial third party, upgradeable, and 100% better than what we have now.  People who could not get to ATM machines could use dedicated machines that would be located in grocery stores, public transportation, post offices, etc..  The machines would be manufactured by public-private enterprise funded like a New Deal civil engineering project and monitored constantly by an impartial entity. That's the fantasy.  Now make it happen!

        LOL!!  We are just on the opposite side of the raft, here, but floating down the same river.  

        •  um, ok, we'll get on it :*) (0+ / 0-)

          We computer people only THINK we're superhuman, don't let us fool you!

          Seriously though, you have a good point about touch screen interface--you can change languages more easily, make the text huge for old people, etc. That is the baby in the paperless bathwater, and I hope it doesn't get thrown out.

          "Renaming French fries to Freedom fries was arguably this Republican congress' greatest accomplishment." -- Stephen Colbert

          by reid fan on Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 03:50:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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