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View Diary: LIARS! All exit polls matched results except OH and FL (160 comments)

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  •  A simple issue, really (4.00)
    Paper ballots, with ink pens and cheap scanners, are fast, reliable and leave an easily counted paper trail.  Isn't anyone else asking the obvious question - why else, other than potential for fraud, were electronic machines considered in the first place when a cheap, effective solution was available?  Why did various governments, in this age of government financial crises, spend extra money for machines that didn't meet the simple requirements of an honest election?

    This choice was made despite the fact that the existence of non-paper trail voting would very likely lead to all sides questioning all results when they lose.  Why take a chance on that lack of legitimacy?

    Can there be any doubt that there are those out there who might take advantage of the well known holes in the electronic voting machines?  Please... Is there anyone reading this who thinks that the criminals responsible for the fraudulent Republican voter supression effort are incapable of electronic tampering?  Is there any among us who can't see that if fraud is possible then fraud will occur in man's pursuit of power?

    Kings have killed their sons to keep hold on power.  Rigging an election?  Child's play.  Unfortunately for small 'd' democrats, methods in which the forces of tyranny revel are an anathema to us.  And let's face it - once the process degenerates into a crime contest, the thugs among us have the advantage.

    So... no more elections for me, not as long as electronic voting machines are part of the landscape. I won't be their monkey.  As of this moment, there is ony one political issue on the American landscape - paper, ink and scanners, or no more participation.

    •  I don't understand either (none)
      Why doesn't anyone seem to think this is an issue?  I totally agree!  
      •  Of course we think it's an issue (none)
        a big issue, and the only logical explanation for the outcome of this so-called "election".

        It seems that we were just going through the motions & that the outcome was predetermined.

        I was very disappointed that Kerry/Edwards conceded instead of challenging the outcome.

        "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" -- John Kerry, 1971.

        by peace voter on Wed Nov 03, 2004 at 04:33:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Me too-- I am shocked, confused (none)
          by Kerry's fast concession.  WTF?  It's like they took the thousands of determined, passionate and hopeful people of all ages who had worked for their election, and said to those people "you're not needed anymore," just when it seemed their energies were needed more than ever to see through a just fight to the end.
    •  Why? Oh yeah... (none)
      "why else, other than potential for fraud, were electronic machines considered in the first place"

      While there are in fact some benefits to be gained from electronic voting, I fear the real reason folks who weren't intending fraud were so easily convinced to switch to electronic machines is simply that high-tech is "sexier" than low-tech.

      (No, I don't think most officials who bought the machines chose them because they wanted to cheat.  I think they chose them because companies that stood to make a lot of money selling them were convincing, and the officials were too stupid to see the vulnerabilities or too naive to worry about them.)

      As for the benefits, the two that come to mind are input validation and tabulation speed.  The first of those is a service to the voter in any election more complicated than "pick one from this list", and can prevent accidental overvoting even in the simple cases.  The second isn't needed for fair elections, only to satisfy the American desire for instant gratification -- wanting to know who won before we go to bed, even though the results won't be certified and official until a while later anyhow.

      "Why take a chance on that lack of legitimacy?"

      I'm betting ignorance, mostly.  Though I do wonder whether a few places chose the no-audit-trail machines intentionally to make shenanigans harder to uncover.

      Me, I'm willing to wait for paper to be counted.  I'm also willing to use computer voting machines ifwhen they're designed correctly -- which includes the entire system, not just the box and the software.  The system includes the procedures for verifying the software, the regulations and procedures for authenticating that the software installed is the software that was verified, the transmission and totalling of the results, access control, the whole shebang.

      •  you miss the point (none)
        When I ask why these machines were considered in the first place, I'm not asking the buyers but the manufacturers.

        Here's the deal: when Diebold and ESS first started having meetings in rooms with marker boards to discuss electronic voting machines, at least one of the geniuses in the room would have mentioned the need for a way to verify the vote.  It wasn't a mistake or oversight - it was a conscious decision.

        I agree that the elections boards that bought the machines are simply ignorant and easily impressed, but someone, somewhere decided to manufacture the black boxes for reasons that can ONLY be susceptibilty to fraud.

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