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Well, that's one way to get rid of that pesky "recount" problem down in Florida.
The Department of State has notified elections supervisors that touchscreen ballots don't have to be included during manual recounts because there is no question about how voters intended to vote.

While touchscreen ballot images can be printed, there is no need and elections supervisors aren't authorized to do so, Division of Elections Director Ed Kast wrote in a letter to Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Kurt Browning.

That was easy.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 03:54 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  OMFG. (none)
    I'm stunned.

    Too shocked for emotion right now.

    I'm sure the hundreds-of-calories-consuming fury will come later.

    The bastards!

  •  oh well (none)
    Florida will never go Dem again.

    sigh

  •  How convenient (4.00)
    seeing as how the final tallies can be manipulated in mere seconds. Now corruption is easier than ever!

    I personally would love to see every Diebold machine smashed to bits by angry crowds and dumped in the ocean. They're completely unreliable pieces of crap, completely unfit for tallying the totals of a high school student council election.

    Dean until he wins, loses, quits, or dies.

    by maxomai on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 03:58:30 PM PST

    •  Combat the Corruption with an Absentee Ballot (none)
      Yea there is still a way to have your vote count as you intended.

      Register to vote via "Absentee Ballot" in your state.

      Election 2004 = Man Against The Machine

      Register Absentee today. You will be glad you did.

      And spread the word to everyone you know.

      It's a Movement.

      *Kos you should feature this on your home page with links to each State's Voter Registration site. And Kos, spread the word to the other blogs.

      •  While you're at it... (2.50)
        write-in Howard Dean. Might as well get both birds... :)
        •  Sorry Now Write-Ins (3.66)
          I'm a Red White and Blue Dean Supporter...But

          If Dean does not win the nomination there is no way he can win the General Election. That is a given.

          Anyone who is going to vote should make there vote count and vote for the nominee.

          Howard has said that is what he will do. And if it is good enough for him, it is good enough for me.

          2000 hatched a bad word - Naderites - that gave us Bush.

          Let's not put Deaniacs in that same category as spoilers.

          •  Bwhahahaha (none)
            You couldn't tell the person what joking.
          •  beg to differ (none)
            If Dean does not win the nomination there is no way he can win the General Election. That is a given.

            No it is not a "given." Not in this election, and not in any election.

            In order to win a primary or other nominating contest, a candidate has to appeal to the ideological center of his party. In order to win a general, however, he must appeal to the center of the entire electorate, which is never the same point on the line.

            From there, it's easy to see how a moderate/centrist candidate who could win the general election, can easily lose the nomination to someone further toward his party's wing.

            The only way this doesn't happen is if the electorate overwhelmingly favors one party over the other. This is not the case here.

            It's basic median-voter theorem stuff. And despite everyone saying this election will come down to parties motivating their respective bases, I still think both candidates are going to have to tack to the center. Kerry can do it. Dean can do it. Edwards can do it.

            Bush, however, will have an extremely hard time doing it.

            "I'm sorry, Biff, but I just can't relate to you. You see, I'm a penguin, and you're a moron." - TMW

            by Senor Biggles on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 04:57:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I did it for the recall election... (none)
        ...and I was suprised at how relieved it made me feel.

        I support the paper ballot absentee voting movement.

        It is a good one.

      •  Election pros tell us that (none)
        absentee ballots are the easiest ones to manipulate.  That is not part of the answer.  Plus the Constitution set a date for elections and early voting is like taking a test before the final section of the course is presented.
      •  absentee ballots (none)
        I got very excited about this idea and sent it out to folks and then I remembered something dimly from the recount battle.  The states don't even count these unless the vote is close!  Now if I wrong about this I apologise for stomping on a great idea.  Does anybody know?
        •  Absentee votes are always counted. (none)
          The objective is to make a complete and accurate return of every election, and absentees must be counted for this to happen.

          The allegation that absentees are not counted if it's close is tripe floated by Freepers who contend that Bush didn't really lose the popular vote in 2000, because California didn't count absentees.  It's not true.  Don't believe the tripe.

          "Capitalism without rules is like a hockey game without a referee."--Howard Dean

          by BTP on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 04:51:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Absentee ballots won't work. (none)
        Yeah, your vote will get counted, but they'll steal as many votes as they want.  The only way absentee voting would ever work is if you could convince 95+% of all Dems to vote absentee, which ain't going to happen.

        What needs to be done, and is far easier, is that FLoridians (and those in other states with Diebold machines and the like) need to raise hell, vote in a secretary of state who will preserve voting integrity, get a state bill passed mandating a paper trail (Some states, such as California and Nevada, have done this.), and ideally pass H.2239 at the federal level which would ban this shit everywhere.

        For more info, see Verified Voting for more details.

        Support H2239: the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessability act. It mandate a paper trail so that Bush won't steal the election in 2004! Write your reps!

        by Go Vegetarian on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 05:54:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm impressed! (none)
    Just when you thought Florida rethugs couldn't sink any lower in their blatant repression of basic democratic rights, whammo! back they come with another one. You have to give them props for bravely pushing further into the depths of iniquity. They are the Arne Saknussemms of bad state governments.
  •  WTF? (4.00)
    The Department of State has notified elections supervisors that touchscreen ballots don't have to be included during manual recounts because there is no question about how voters intended to vote.

    Doesn't anyone ever worry about getting hit on the head with an Irony Anvil?  Think of the spokespeople who have to read press releases like these...

  •  DNC (4.00)
    Kos, what is the DNC going to do about this, not just in Florida, but elsewhere as it will surely spread.

    Still for Dean, after the scream.

    by M Aurelius on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 04:05:40 PM PST

  •  Oh Man (none)
    This is getting depressing.

    It's hard to get psyched up for a GOTV effort when you can't be certain that the votes will be counted.

    Before the gardens must come the fighting.

    by Hanzo on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 04:05:55 PM PST

  •  They're kidding, right? (4.00)
    because there is no question about how voters intended to vote.

    I'd be laughing if this guy was in charge of something less important.  He's obviously not involved in computers, hell, he's obviously never been involved in building anything for the use of the general public ever.

    No question about their intention?  I'd have thought that if 2000 had proven anything it would be that if you got enough people together, say the voting population of the United States, that they'd find a way to screw up even the most basic of instructions.  And knowing the US government, and even more so, government contractors there touch screen voting systems have about a snowball's chance in hell of having a clear easy to understand instructions.

    Congratulations Floridians, you're well in there with a chance to take "Electoral laughing-stock of the Country" back from the Californians.  You're only hope now is that the rest of us screw up enough that you don't look out of the ordinary.  (I'm giving you about even odds at the moment.)

  •  Well... (none)
    How exactly is one supposed to recount a touch screen ballot anyway? Isn't the information stored digitally?


    Never let your morals get in the way of doing the right thing -- Isaac Asimov.

    by Zackpunk on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 04:07:25 PM PST

    •  Printouts (4.00)
      The way you do it is with a printout after each vote that gets dropped into a box or somthing. That way manual recounts are possible.
      •  I don't trust printouts (none)
        The computer can still be compromised so that the printout shows exactly what you 'actually' voted for, while the computer actually tallys in it's memory the vote that the computer is 'programed for', which could be quite different than what you intended.

        Register to vote via "Absentee Ballot".

        ~Man Against The Machine~

        •  Which would be discovered by (none)
          the random audits executed on 1% of all systems, regardless of closeness of election, to verify agreement between the paper and digital votes.

          These problems have been considered and solved.  Years ago.

          •  Yea but... (none)
            A lot of states will not have a paper trail this election cycle.

            California will not have printers until 2005 so your argument does not hold water here or in other non-printer states.

            In regards to machine verification - who would do the verification? That is an issue.

            And sorry for being so skeptical but the computers could be programed to do one thing during the voting period and then revert to 'normal' behavior at the close of the polls.

            Hell I can do that with javascript on a web page, so you can bet it can be done with a computer and would be very hard if not impossible to discover.

      •  Hmmmm... (none)
        Then I'm not sure I understand the statement "While touchscreen ballot images can be printed..." It sort of implies that printing them out is optional. Does anyone have more complete information about the full process?


        Never let your morals get in the way of doing the right thing -- Isaac Asimov.

        by Zackpunk on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 04:22:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  touch screen printouts (none)
          The basic proposal is this:

          When one votes on a touchscreen terminal, it prints out a ballot.  The voter reviews the printed ballot, then drops it into a ballot box.

          The printouts are the official ballots, but they aren't usually counted.  The machine keeps an electronic count, which is used for determining the results.

          However, in each election, a small percentage of machines are chosen at random and the paper ballots from those machines are counted, with the results being compared to the machine count.  If there's any discrepancy, then all the paper ballots are counted and that's the official result.

          This auditing by counting the paper ballots should keep the machines honest.

          The companies that make the machines are resisting this idea, and legislators aren't too eager to take on the additional expense it entails, so they haven't demanded it.

          IMHO, it would be simpler and safer to simply mandate that everyone votes with pen and paper.

          •  Thanks for the explanation (none)
            That makes sense. As you say if the total votes, both electronic and paper, are both counted that should eliminate any, shall we say, confusion.

            The only other safeguard I could see, and this might have already been thought of (do you know?), is that the machines to be audited should be chosen by an impartial 3rd party.

            I hope that this system of verification is put into action.

            Until then it is Absentee Ballot for me.

      •  printout enabled machines... (none)
        ...are only set up in small number of states.  The rest are no paper record, all digital tally.
  •  The fix is in (none)
    Is there no end to blatant manipulation of voter's rights in Florida?  Next month, I'm taking a well earned vacation with my wife to a warmer climate.  Forida?  NO f**king way.  We're going to the Carribean.  I sent an e-mail to the governor's office in Florida promising him that it will be a cold day in hell before I spend a dime in his state.
  •  Well at least they were good (none)
    enough to confirm what perceptive observers have been saying for three years.  The hard wiring of FL for GWB 2004 is now complete.  Six months ahead of schedule.
  •  This is BS (none)
    Whatever they want to do in a state election is their own damn buisness. But how can the be legal in a federal contest? Insane, the executive can't just declare recounts illegal.
  •  Thank God I'm moving (none)
    At least my vote will be absentee and have a physical presence.  

    4 years ago, my vote was more important than those in other states.  This year it it will be more important than that of others in Florida too.*  

    Maybe God is trying to tell the world, that my vote is the only one that matters...  So would all you GOP Christians just accept the obvious Will of God and follow my commands as the Chosen Prophet of God and vote Dem in 04?  Or do y'all just love Satan to much to listen to God?

  •  The breathtaking arrogance of these bastards (none)
    ...is apparently like the Cosmos, infinite.

    I presume that nobody can take this issue to court until there is actually an election to complain about. But can we at least see a few editorialists in Florida - and elsewhere - screaming about his issue?

    How about the television pundithugocracy?

    •  surely (none)
      there is a mechanism for the people to contest bad legislation in advance of its failure?
      •  yes... (none)
        ...you can ask the court for an injunction against implementation of the law due to, amongst other things, unconstitutionality.

        Where is the Florida chapter of the ACLU?!

        •  ACLU (none)
          ACLU have been contesting all use of punchcards anywhere.  They have not yet stepped up on the issue of touchscreens that lack voter-verified paper ballots.  

          Issue has to be civil rights or civil liberties for them to take it on... punchcards seemed to disproportionately disenfranchise minority neighborhoods, so they took on getting rid of punchcards.  

          Now, punchcards DO represent the lowest common denominator as far as accuracy and votes retained goes.  But their percentage goes way up when people are properly advised on how to make sure they didn't over or undervote, etc., which is why HAVA didn't outlaw them altogether.  

          But many states did, and so one more method of voter-verified paper went out the door with them.  ACLU has to be shown that touchscreens have the potential to disenfranchise certain segments of the population at the expense of others.  Maybe then they will step up.  

          Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that would be one step toward obtaining it. --Henry David Thoreau

          by pam on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 12:57:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Suit (none)
        Rep. Wexler (D-FL) did just that.  His case was dismissed this week.  

        After the most recent Broward County debacle, he sued the Secretary of State and several local elections boards to retrofit their touchscreens with voter verified paper ballots, because without them the machines couldn't provide a meaningful recount... Judge said he couldn't show injury.

        Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that would be one step toward obtaining it. --Henry David Thoreau

        by pam on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 12:59:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's because... (4.00)
      the Democrats are unable to stand up against them.

      It's funny. Look at the reactions here. The all amount to "Oh, what are we going to do? What is the Dem Party going to do?..."

      In essences, terrified bleating.

      Not one single person instantly thought this:

      "Don't worry, Kerry will rip them apart on this."

      Ever read Jennings' "Marco Polo"? Marco notices a sub-chieftain speaks bravely against Khan, but thunder (which is known to be Khan's voice) makes him instantly cower. When Polo eventually relays that observation to Ghenghis, the warlord laughs, knowing that sub-chieftain will never have the balls to challenge him.

      •  Not one single person instantly thought (4.00)
        "Don't worry, Kerry will rip them apart on this."

        Worth repeating.

      •  That's because... (none)
        the Democrats are unable to stand up against them.
        It's funny. Look at the reactions here. The all amount to "Oh, what are we going to do? What is the Dem Party going to do?..."

        In essences, terrified bleating.

        Not one single person instantly thought this:

        "Don't worry, Kerry will rip them apart on this."

        All I can do is laugh. Dude! This was posted what, half an hour ago? Relax, man. Switch to decaf.

        You think this won't cause a stink? You're dreaming. Look at the GOP. The worse things get, the more they overreach.

        You have got to realize, we are on the cutting edge here in the blogosphere. Shit like this takes time to penetrate to the electorate. But when they move, they move, or haven't you noticed W's approval rating?

        Ever baked bread? You have to let that dough rise. You can't rush it.

        Imagine you are Lenin in February 1917, trying to rouse the narod against the Tsar. At thet point, he must have wondered if there was any hope. By October, there was no doubt.

        This is great news. Yes, the Dems have to take advantage. But give them a couple hours at least.

        "Lash those conservatives and traitors with the pen of gall and wormwood -- let them feel -- no temporising!" -- Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1837

        by Ivan on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 05:28:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder... (none)
    What will Terry do???

    Democrats are the party of Mo-Ho's (momentum whores or more whores take your pick)

    by Chicken Little on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 04:10:36 PM PST

  •  Now I know what Ludd's bands of (none)
    angry millworkers must have felt like.

    Isn't there some way of croaking these things?

    Sledgehammers?

    an EMP Bomb?

    The Perfect is the Enemy of the Better

    by dabize on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 04:14:34 PM PST

  •  So? (none)
    You can't physically recount a touch screen ballot. You can only dump the totals again, which will be the same- since most fraud would occur before the totals are dumped.

    Now, if we can get paper trails of the touch screen voting, I would expect that rule to be changed.

    Signature Impaired.

    by gttim on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 04:15:10 PM PST

    •  Not so sure (none)
      It would be.  According to the article, the law permits recounts only of overvotes and undervotes, and even if you printed the screen, neither of those would be evident - especially if done after the fact, as was the issue here.

      The leg should modify the law to both 1) require that ballots be printed after completed, and verified by the voter as correct and 2) allow the printed ballots to be compared to the reported totals under certain circumstances, to ensure that the printed ballots match the reported totals.

      Myself, I'd have them compared in randomly-selected precincts throughout the area that voted, regardless of whether the election was close.  If the totals from the counts diverged, then I'd require a complete recount.

    •  Wrong (none)
      It's trivial to falsify the totals on these machines at any time up to the reporting of the total. They can be falsified beforehand by adding votes to the candidate of choice ahead of time, they can be falsified during voting by changing the counting method before voting starts, and they can be falsified at the end by re-writing the total reporting procedure.

      All of these are simple for any person familiar with Microsoft Access and/or SQL Server.

      Dean until he wins, loses, quits, or dies.

      by maxomai on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 04:24:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Solution: (4.00)
    If ever confronted with an electronic voting machine in a booth...

    Break it.

    Get Arrested. Do your time. Repeat.

    If enough people do that, they might get the message.

    Either that or you will eventually be put to death by a totalitarian government.

    Either way, your worries (about this issue) will be over.

  •  What Arrogant Pigs! And We let them do it! (none)
    I have been saying this for years that there is a war going on with the Repuiblicans with those bastards using ANY tactics they can.  We Democrats need to fight them, go after them, call them what they are, liars, hypocrites and disgustingly arrogant  people.  

    Each time I think we have a new call to arms, Democrats find another reason not to unify and fight.  We claim our Senators and Reps have no backbone.  Where are ours.  

    Let's go after them NOW because they are stealing everything from us.  Forget Nader and forget Dean and let's attack those miserable pigs, behind the Democratic front runner.  You may be pissed off that Democrats aren't exactly like you but that's a lot better than getting pissed on by the Republicans.

  •  Whoa... (none)
    From what I read in the Miami Herald article, this isn't as dire a bit of news as it seems:

    Florida law requires a manual recount of overvotes where too many candidates were chosen, and undervotes where no candidate was chosen in elections where the margin of victory is one-quarter of one percent of the vote.

    But because the law states that the purpose of a recount is to determine whether there was a "clear indication on the ballot that the voter has made a definite choice," there is no need to review touchscreen ballots, Ed Kast, director of the Division of Elections.

    It is impossible to vote for too many candidates on a touchscreen ballot, and Kast said a "review of undervotes cannot result in a determination of voter intent as required by" Florida law.

    Technically, they're right to say that it's impossible to mark more than one candidate on a ballot.  Of course, the question of how secure electronic ballots really are is a very important question.  There's no point in 'recounting' anything electronic as any tampering is virtually undetectable, after all.

    I think the optically sensed hand-marked ballot system is the way to go.  You can set the readers to reject improperly marked ballots too, and you have a physical record of a person's vote to boot.

    •  not exactly (none)
      nitpick:

      Technically, they're right to say that it's impossible to mark more than one candidate on a ballot.

      for that to be true you would have to define "ballot" in a way which (technically) doesn't actually apply to electronic devices.  that's what Kast is doing, but he's wrong.

      absent a guarantee that the software counted every individual vote correctly, you cannot guarantee that any given "ballot" does not contain zero, two, or more votes, because there is no way for an individual electronic "ballot" to be segregated from the other ballots.  it's literally (logically) not possible to do this with rewritable electronic memory, and it's prohibitively expensive and difficult with non-rewritable.

      this has nothing to do with bugs or fraud.  since it's never possible to guarantee that this electronic ballot contains this vote, it is also not possible to say that it doesn't contain an incorrect number of votes.  all you ever have is an aggregate count, and even that may not be correct.

      BTW I agree that optical is the way to go - I don't even care if it's hand-markable as long as it's human-readable and you can verify it before you put it in the box.

      •  Aggregate count? (none)
        I'm not sure that all that is retained is an aggregate count (at least within the memory of the touchscreen units--maybe in the election management software that does central counts)... the Diebold equipment here in San Diego County for example is supposed to be able to print "an image of each ballot cast" (and that's what many HAVA implementation plans call for with touchscreens), so it would seem there is an electronic recording of summary screen images or something similar.  Besides, in the Diebold proposal here, they point out that there is printing capability on board and at such time as a "voter receipt" (sic) is required, they can make that happen with a software change.  At no extra charge.  

        Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that would be one step toward obtaining it. --Henry David Thoreau

        by pam on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 01:06:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  maybe that was a bad explanation... (none)
          all that is retained is an aggregate count

          I'm not saying that aggregate count is the only thing that gets stored, but that (for the same reasons that the aggregate count is unreliable) the distinction between individual "ballots" and aggregate results isn't meaningful.  once you vote, your "ballot" becomes literally and entirely a matter of interpretation of ones and zeros, by software which in turn can do whatever it wants with those numbers.

  •  Lawsuits against Diebold et al (none)
    Have any lawsuits been commenced attempting to enjoin the use of touch screen voting?  (Not just in FL but anyplace).  There is a lot of empirical evidence of flaws and suceptibility to hacking that could support such a suit.
    Such an action could cite Bush v. Gore -- that votes counted by touch screen (based on the above evidence) have a greater change for error, thus undermining the voters' equal protection, as compared with voters' whose votes are counted by more reliable methods.
    •  suits (none)
      Actually CalTech-MIT study shows touchscreen systems --WHEN THEY WORK--have high accuracy.  The problem is when they don't work.  Also high on the accuracy scale is paper, counted by hand, however.  Punchcards have low accuracy by comparison.  

      The basis for lawsuits needs to be a little different, I think.  Voting Rights Act requires election observers to be allowed to "watch the votes being counted" as necessary.  With digital media and proprietary software doing the counts, it is technically impossible to observe any counting.  I should think that is enough to challenge the machines as configured.  

      A fair number of touchscreen states have introduced legislation on a state level to require VVPB and in some cases open source software.  It's heartening on the one hand, but sad on the other that this has to happen piecemeal.  The fed bills (HR2239, S1980 etc.) have to be passed, and soon.  

      Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that would be one step toward obtaining it. --Henry David Thoreau

      by pam on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 01:11:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Electronic Voting Fraud (none)
    The worse it gets for Bush, the more I worry about outright vote theft in November. For those who haven't seen these, you can get lot of info on the subject and be active at the following websites.
    http://www.VerifiedVoting.org/
    http://www.electionline.org/index.jsp?page=ElectionLineToday

    <"Do not seek the treasure!" >

    by moon in the house of moe on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 04:36:56 PM PST

  •  Exit polls? (none)
    Has any system been instituted to take the place of the exit polls that used to be conducted by the National Voter Service?

    Speaking of which, weren't they really right about Florida? Was there a reason after all to replace the NVS?

    dink

  •  Bring a drink.... (none)
    Bring a nice cold 2 liter of Coca-Cola into the voting booth with you... cast your vote, have an "accident", leave with empty bottle. Problem solved.
  •  not the sound of tinfoil... (none)
    ... as I adjust my hat.

    I really think there are people with a vision of subverting Democracy with the ultimate con job of elections fixed by computer.  

    They just want to win, they don't think the majority will ever be with them, they think they are better than that and simply want to dominate.  

    These are people that give computers a bad name.  Computer based voting could be the most accurate system ever... by FAR!   But they are trying to make it the worst ever instead.  Astounding.

    Paper ballots printed, checked and recieved is the only way to monitor the whole system end to end for fraud and bugs, why would they fight so hard against that?  You print a ballot, see that it's right, and hit submit (or "vote", whatever), put your paper ballot in the box for recounting if necessary.  

  •  ________ (none)
    I have no worries about touch-screen ballots. Diebold uses Microsoft Access, remember? That data is stone cold locked.

    Oh my god, they killed democracy!

    You bastards!

    Navigating through this basement that masquerades as a nation... --Atmosphere

    by AlanD on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 05:50:56 PM PST

  •  Another Reason to Move to Oregon (4.00)
    We get to vote by mail.  We get our ballots at least two weeks ahead of elections so we can read through and examine them, as well as read through election booklets.  We can take our time voting, then mail them in or drop them off by election day.  We even get to choose whether we want to use #2 pencils OR pens!  

    All Hail Luddite Voting!

    The point of revolution is to get away with it - Abbie Hoffman

    by the mama on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 05:53:47 PM PST

    •  computers (none)
      are just too easy to hack.   and they probably always will be.  this is one circumstance where a manual action just can't be improved on electronically.    

      Canada is really an excellent role model for efficient hand vote counting.   Optical readers are fine too, I suppose, but we have to have actual tangible pieces of paper, or the sneaky smart people will steal the voting privilege of the slower, credulous people.   human nature.

      •  Ghana (none)
        is best of all.

        Everyone gets a slip of paper, they vote, the ballots are placed in clear containers , locked and taken to a central place for counting.

        Maybe we can get some UN observers sent to Florida in November............

        The Perfect is the Enemy of the Better

        by dabize on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 06:28:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why not just good ol' #2 pencils? (none)
    Easy. Cheap. And just like school.
  •  Watch Out (none)
    You know whats coming next.
    This is just the first salvo in (lets steal one for the GIPPER, light).
  •  saw it off and let it drift away (none)
    Whith all the obvious and now public diebold flaws, is anyone considering hacking the election? I would love to wake up in November to see that Florida voted for Laura Croft, or Strongbad.

    J.C. Kelly san francisco

    by kellygreen on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 06:43:19 PM PST

  •  FUCK FLORIDA!!!! (none)
    We don't need the freakin' state to win.  Forget it.  Kerry should pick Bill Richardson for VP and not even bother campaigning in the south (except Texas, the latino vote in TX might surprise us).  

    Then as president, Kerry can present congress with a constitutional amendment to remove the south from the US, while granting assylum to any and all Southerners who aren't redneck bigots.

    Kerry can pass this amendment under threat of millitary force.

    /rant over

    Why do Floridians vote for Jeb anyways?  What is their problem?

    "She'll come back as fire, to burn all the liars, and leave a blanket of ash on the ground" --Kurt Cobain, Francis Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle

    by Subterranean on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 07:42:21 PM PST

    •  well (none)
      What in the world would make you think southerners would want to move north or west?
      I'm proud to be a southerner thanks.

      I understand your being upset but blaming it on the south isnt gonna help. Funny you want to keep the states that sent us Bush and Reagan.. but want to ditch the state that voted Dem (florida). Maybe a little less ignorance when your accusing us of ignorance? The south didnt abandon the democratic party. The democratic party abandoned it.

      •  Right (none)
        The democratic party abandoned the South by embracing the Civil Rights movement in the 60s.  Ever since Democrats have stood up for the rights of minorities, the South has become more and more republican.

        Guess what?  I'm glad we abandoned the south.  Civil Rights were the right thing to do then, and they still are.  

        If it makes me ignorant to harbor a dislike for regions where bigotry and hate are tolerated, then I'm an ignoramus.

        "She'll come back as fire, to burn all the liars, and leave a blanket of ash on the ground" --Kurt Cobain, Francis Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle

        by Subterranean on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:50:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They are? (none)
          Really eh?

          Apologies first of all to New Yorkers and Californians, you are great people. But here goes.

          In NYC three cops shot a black man returning to his apartment groceries in hand 41 times. Requiring at least one reload. The man was entering his apartment door and totally unarmed. NYC backed the police.

          In California an open racist ran the PD for decades and turned it into a paramilitary force known the world over as one of the most racist police forces in existance. Rodney King was just the final nail in his coffin and even then "open minded californians" let the police off with a slap on the wrist. The racism had become so intense that South Central LA was nearly burned to the ground. And the response of the "enlightened' california police was... to let them. I wonder if that would have happened in a mostly white neighborhood.

          In NY a slave burial ground was discovered and called a treasure by archeologists. The response of New York was to offer to put up a plaque after they bulldozed the place for new buildings. Only after INTENSE pressure was the plan modified.

          By the way, look up what two cities had the largest pre-abolition slave populations. Hint: one is mentioned in this post and it isnt southern.

          In tennessee two racists drug a black man behind their pickup truck and killed him. The jury in this "racist southern state" returned a conviction and put them behind bars.

          Northern revisionist history approaches the absurd at times.

          And the South abandoned the Democratic party when the democratic party abandoned the working class. A lot of those people marching with King happened to be southerners whether you like to believe that or not.

  •  The Biggest Disgrace (none)
    To me after the 2000 Florida fiasco is that there was no reform of how to handle federal ballots in a state where the voting is close.

    I sat there watching that sideshow in Florida with all the arbitrary deadlines dictated by the state law for certifying the ballots (by Bush's state campaign director, no less!) and fumed that there is no federal law regarding  how states deal with a federal election when it goes awry.

    Easy as pie. Have one federal standard that dictates how all federal ballots be recounted in events like this. And just recount the ballots. All of them.

    I'm not a legal scholar, but I felt so outraged that in the days following the election,  it boiled down to questions of whether Gore would file suit, or Bush would counter with a suit. etc as if the  DEMS and the REPUBS were the only ones with standing in this thing.

    In point of fact (to me, anyway) the AMERICAN ELECTORATE has the most compelling standing where there's a question of counting their votes for the most fair and accurate count in choosing a president.

    And  state law should only apply to state elections. It's moronic to have a crazy quilt of fifty different ways to proceed when a presidential election goes into overtime like last time.

    Sheesh, what if more than one state is that close this tiime? Could we have a similar sideshow in two places at once with two different state's laws to deal with.

    Oh, that's right. Only one of Bush's siblings  is a governor....

    If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies. Moshe Dayan

    by zuzu on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 07:46:43 PM PST

  •  Move along, move along, nothing to see here... (none)
    (and get away from the man behind the curtain!)

    In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. -- Thomas Jefferson

    by ogre on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 08:23:34 PM PST

  •  They keep making me laugh today.... (none)
    Those laugh a minute folks in power these days, what riots.

    Secretary of State Glenda Hood said there are no certified methods of printing records of touchscreen votes, but she stressed that the machines are reliable and accurate and can't be tampered.

    Uh huh.  Sure.  And I suppose you're running Windows Me without a firewall at home too, huh, Glenda?

  •  some other states (none)
    Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed (a Republican no less) won't certify any electronic voting system that doesn't include a paper audit trail. He is pushing the state legislature to make that state law. He also won't certify any system that isn't already certified and in use in another state.

    Nevada is requiring that all electronic voting and vote count systems be certified by the state gaming comission using the same standards as used for electronic gaming machines. This includes physical security as well as electronic security and code audits.

    As for punch cards I don't see what the big deal is. Most counties in Washington used punch cards for years without problem, some will still be using them for the 2004 election. We've had many a close race in this state (including the 2000 Senate race) with none of the recount problems seen in Florida. Of course the fact that recounts of all ballots are manditory under state law if the margin is less than a certain amount might be part of the reason.

    •  Good points (none)
      WA and NV have done good work.  Your point is important--though it looks like a Dem problem and a Repub conspiracy, there are various Dem Secretaries of State (GA comes to mind) and election board officials that totally fail to understand the problem.  Read the Fairfax County GOP complaint about the handling of their last election... their voting officials sound just like ours here in San Diego--just that they are from a different party.  It's a bipartisan issue all right... but it seems the elections officials of both parties fail to understand.

      And that's the thing:  these issues are being decided by people who simply don't get it.  Cox (GA) was interviewed by Carlos Campos of the Journal-Constitution and he asked what she thought of the Stanford and Johns Hopkins computer security experts concerns about touch-screen voting systems' vulnerability... she replied that "these are extremely intelligent folk who just don't understand about elections."  

      Yeah, Cathy, and you're not so very bright and know DIDDLY about computers.  

      She went on to say (asked about the 2002 Cleland loss, etc.) "if this was a Republican thing designed to defeat Democrats, why didn't I lose?  Why didn't the Lt. Governor? or others?"  

      OHMIGOD who cares about YOU?  You're not in the House or the Senate.  If it were a plot to defeat Dems, you'd want to defeat the ones who stand in your way.  You've been very helpful, by obtaining Diebold equipment without voter verification for the whole State of Georgia.  Who would want to get rid of YOU?

      Last night I wrote a rebuttal letter to a newspaper in Athens, OH because they have an elections official there who is mind-bendingly dumb.  He said you don't want a paper trail because then "people would take the receipts home and sell their votes."  He was upset because some very sensible commissioners asked the elections board to hold off on buying touchscreens as they have been shown not to be secure.  Republican commissioners.

      Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that would be one step toward obtaining it. --Henry David Thoreau

      by pam on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 01:25:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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