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This is not good for Democrats in Ohio. Voters there need to rally and organize to countermand this grievous public injustice. All votes must be counted and all votes must count.

That said, if Ohio Republicans have anything to do with it; the state will reprise its ignominious stage role as the "New Florida" in the much-awaited 2008 neocon sequel, "Rigged Election Part Two."

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m a movie aficionado, and to me, sequels are greatly overrated.

It seems that the legend of J. Kenneth Blackwell, Ohio’s former secretary of state and graduate of the Karl Rove School of Dirty Politics, lives on, bequeathed to other remaining Republicans in the state. In fact, they’ve decided to block proposed tests to the state’s electronic voting machines prior to the 2008 presidential primary.

By a vote of 4-3, Republicans on Ohio’s State Controlling Board blocked Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner’s proposed $1.8 million contract for voting machine testing. Brunner had already set aside the $1.8 million for the test. Her specific request to the Controlling Board was a waiver for competitive bidding. Her office had hoped to complete all testing by November 30, 2007.

Blackwell’s successor, and a former judge, Brunner won election as a reform candidate, vowing to guarantee the public’s access to the polls, and an accurate vote count in 2008. But, it seems Brunner hasn’t been quite as aggressive as some of her Democratic counterparts like California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, who recently completed an extensive array of testing on that state’s electronic voting machines. Bowen decertified many of the machines and is on course to rework how America’s biggest state casts and counts its ballots. It’s too bad Brunner isn’t following her California counterpart’s lead.

The Columbus Free Press ran the story last Tuesday, Sept. 11:

When it was recently revealed that 56 of 88 Ohio counties illegally destroyed protected materials from the 2004 election, Brunner showed little reaction. She has also stated publicly doubts that the irregularities that defined the Ohio vote that year could have affected the outcome or that the illegal destruction of more than 2000 ballots could have been intentional.

But in attempting to carry out her promise to test Ohio's electronic voting machines, Brunner has followed through on public demands that the ability of Ohio's electronic machines to deliver a fair and reliable vote count be proven. Tests and studies conducted by the federal Government Accountability Office, Princeton University, Johns Hopkins, the Brennan Center, the Carter-Baker Election Commission, John Conyer's House Judiciary Committee and others have all shown clearly that electronic voting machines are unreliable and easily rigged.

The New York Times has now joined that consensus, calling for an outright federal ban. "Electronic voting has been an abysmal failure," the Times said. "Computer experts have done study after study showing that electronic voting machines, which are often shoddily made, can easily be hacked. With little effort, vote totals can be changed and elections stolen."

Apparently, the Ohio GOP is not anxious to have a state study add to such conclusions. At a Monday hearing, Republican State Representative Matthew Dolan attempted to table Brunner’s request before she was allowed to speak. Only the procedural intervention of Controlling Board President Joe Secrest afforded Brunner the courtesy of presenting her controversial proposal.

Compared to Bowen’s tests in California, Brunner’s plan seems half-hearted at best. It calls for contracts with testing companies preferred by voting machine vendors like SysTest Labs and computer security experts from various universities to inspect machines under management of the Battelle Memorial Institute.

But, according to Ohio State Senator John Carey (R-Wellston), tests conducted in California were the work of leftists and extremists. Carey and Sen. Steve Stivers both questioned the independence and objectiveness of the universities listed in Brunner’s plan, including Cleveland State, Penn State, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Cleveland State University Law Professor Candace Hoke, who witnessed the California tests of e-voting machines for hackability, told the Controlling Board that within ten seconds to two minutes . . . they found many different ways to hack the machines.

Both Brunner and Hoke stressed the lack of security measures now used at Ohio’s polling places. The issues of so-called sleepovers used in some Ohio counties, like Hocking, were cited. This practice involves often untrained poll workers to take hackable voting machines home with them the weekend before an Election Day.

Brunner repeatedly emphasized the need to establish a chain of custody concerning both the access and memory cards used in voting machines, the latter serving as an electronic ballot box. In recent elections, memory cards have gone missing for hours on election nights in both Toledo and Dayton.

State Senator Ray Miller (D-Columbus) declared that election security is the most important issue that’s come before the Controlling Board. He said, it’s way beyond the building of buildings. It goes to the core of our democracy.

Ohio Speaker of the House John Husted (R) initiated the attack on Brunner’s plan on the morning of September 10 meeting of the Controlling Board by sending Brunner a letter demanding she remove the requested contract proposal from the Controlling Board agenda. Husted wrote: "At the present time, too many outstanding questions remain regarding the scope of this request and the intent of the study."

Brunner’s response: "... our testing process allows for parallel independent testing of Ohio’s voting systems by both corporate testing entities and some of the nation’s best computer security research scientists, allowing them to collaborate as needed. I regret I cannot accede to your request to delay, as I need information to prepare for the early March 4 primary election so that Ohio’s voters can trust that we have done all possible to ensure the safety, reliability and trustworthiness of our voting systems in Ohio."

Early voting will begin in Ohio in late January. But the GOP clearly intends to delay the testing in Ohio and conduct yet another election on eminently hackable electronic voting machines.

I can’t believe this is happening so close to the primaries. SoS Brunner has to be a disappointment to Ohio voters, who sent a clarion message that Blackwell’s brand of Rovian electioneering wasn’t welcome in their state.

I’m not saying it was under the same circumstances but we managed to get it done in Florida, and that was with a Republican governor and secretary of state.

Hit the streets Ohioans! You’re running out of time!

After all, we don't want a sequel.

Peace  

Originally posted to markthshark on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 05:33 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Deja vu all over again (151+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vicki, pb, ROGNM, AlanF, cosbo, Gooserock, TrueBlueMajority, Sherri in TX, Lipstick Liberal, be inspired, eeff, Matilda, bumblebums, bara, LiberalBill04, Gustogirl, bronte17, sfgb, wanderindiana, AlyoshaKaramazov, countrycat, roses, Ignacio Magaloni, wonmug, bustacap, arkdem, antirove, sidnora, kharma, TexDem, Dallasdoc, BmoreMD, cosette, defluxion10, hazzcon, applegal, 313to212, MH in PA, Anne Hawley, Steven D, jcrit, kd texan, vacantlook, justjoe, Josiah Bartlett, rapala, vcmvo2, PBen, corvo, Philoguy, KnotIookin, Simplify, volballplr, Jules Beaujolais, majcmb1, Sharon in MD, jimreyn, babatunde, Rosemary, wiscmass, sbdenmon, troutwaxer, xaxnar, CCSDem, Showman, Shirl In Idaho, sherlyle, BlueInARedState, evercompromised, frogmarchbush, Ellicatt, victoria2dc, StrayCat, Lashe, imabluemerkin, condoleaser, NearlyNormal, armadillo, CTLiberal, Preston S, totallynext, ER Doc, murphthesurf, means are the ends, Dreaming of Better Days, kurt, scoff0165, airmarc, Statusquomustgo, crystal eyes, kurious, chesapeake, Snarcalita, Granny Doc, mapman, tourist305, donnamarie, khereva, Cronesense, Loudoun County Dem, ColoTim, jetskreemr, ricsec7, maxalb, Outrider, lynmar, Owllwoman, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, DWG, Casey Morris, NessMonster, ca democrat, mudslide, pioneer111, leonard145b, madgranny, scardanelli, keikekaze, Bikemom, TomP, Empower Ink, crystaljim, Mighty Ike, fayeforcure, Skulnick, theloniously, wayoutinthestix, califdem, zerone, calibpatriot, Mannabass, Rick Winrod, wagdog, Akonitum, Greasy Grant, LucyMO, Lujane, TomFromNJ, pamelabrown, Chrispy67, o the umanity, gopher747, lenzy1000, BlueGenes, HoosierDeb, angelino, protectspice, watercarrier4diogenes, xobehtedistuo, Chad Michaels, bhagamu
    •  This is already old news here (34+ / 0-)
      And you're spinning it a little extreme. They're not entirely blocking the process, they're trying to manipulate it by setting conditions and trying to spin it publically that somehow the testing groups are "biased." Elections activists have already been on this for the past week.

      Ultimately, the GOP won't be able to stop the elimination of the machines; my home county, Cuyahoga, which is the largest bloc of Democratic votes in the state, is already casting around for a way to do this and if nothing else, their ineffectively and quick obsolesence is going to mean their elimination soon.

      The other issue is that Ohio' 2004 election was NOT machine-stolen (only a handful of counties here was using machines then) and with such a vast portion of the state on optical scan AND a bigilant Secretary of State, it won't be machine-stolen in 2008. In Cuyahoga, there was an upending of the old Board of Directors of the Board of Elections, which was formerly chaired by the chair of the state Republican Party and is now chaired by a Republican ex-judge of excellent reputation (I almost voted for him last November except that he was running against a young Democratic woman I got to know who, though inexperiened, I thought would make a good judge -- and she won, in part due to her Irish name -- but I digress). That, coupled with an overhaul of procedures in the BoE is likely to prevent mas reoccurences of 2004, where the biggest problem was not some sinister person in a control room somewhere flipping votes but four hour lines to vote.

      We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14: http://www.oneill08.com/

      by anastasia p on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:04:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not spinning anything... (34+ / 0-)

        Did you read the article at the Free Press link?

        I said it came out on Sept. 11 but there's been no diary on it here for over a week so it's news to many of us.

        •  This is the first I've heard of this (60+ / 0-)

          For those of us not able to follow this saga in local media, and finding access to many of these local issues to be limited, diaries such as this provide a terrific way to keep up with the local scene.

          One of the greatest benefits of DKos is the posts from around the nation that keep local issues on the top of the heap.  We can all read the WaPO, and the Times.  Getting reports from Ohio, Virginia, and Kansas is a critical component of building a stronger, more active Democratic Party.

          "I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. John Stuart Mill

          by Granny Doc on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:17:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  While I like Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman (6+ / 0-)

          as people, and while I appreciate their strong anti-war leanings -- something rare amongst the regular media, of course --  their writing, especially regarding voting issues, leaves something to be desired. They spin mighty hard usually, and they scream and rant a wee bit too loudly for my tastes, thank you. They see the bogeyman behind every Diebold terminal and under the desk in every precinct.

          •  Hey Tim (8+ / 0-)
            I actually think most of their election research is pretty solid, but you are right about their spin. Often they take a set of facts and give them the most conspiratorial posible reading when in fact there may be a whole other motivation. As I already stated, many think the effort here is for the GOP to not have any blame for 2004 attached to them, because gaming 2008 in Ohio is going to be a high mountain to climb.

            See you Saturday.....hang in there. My thoughts and prayer are will you.

            We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14: http://www.oneill08.com/

            by anastasia p on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:38:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not with hackable machines still in place (10+ / 0-)

              There is no was to prove fraud with these monsters. They should all be banished from every poll place in America and should NEVER have been put in place to begin with. They were installed with the intent to control elections. Anyone who doesn’t know this by now after a great many good studies done on the security of the paperless machines is either a willfully ignorant or a shill for the establishment who placed them there.

              The current ruling establishment has screwed the American People over so severely in the past 30 years through a election controlled executive and legislative branch that they no longer trust even their control of both parties’ leadership and the media to insure their control of elections and thus the government. Ergo, they put these machines in place to keep control. They know if they ever lose control and their excesses and out right robberies of the treasury allowed and encouraged by their  duopoly since Reagan are investigated they are prison bound. Theses men who run America have broke the treasury, the American middle classes, the military and destroyed our domestics industry and attached good paying jobs all to their financial advantage and the are scared to allow a popularly elected government to come into power...with damned good reason. Therefore I believe they will do anything to keep those vote stealing machines in place. The establishment just yanked on the Democrat leadership’s strings to have the Senate and House to defeat a bill that would have fixed hackable machine problem.  That was just one more in a chain of huge mistakes, they will discover to their great lamentation is legal redress of grievance is far preferable to what they are going to force to occur.

              I don’t think at this juncture in American history there is any one problem more critical to solve for the future of this democratic republic   than the voting stealing machine now in place.

              And no the danger has not been spun to make the problem look more serious than it is the spinning, polite and rude, has all been on the other side to minimize the threat.

              BTW, your conspiracy blather just avoids the issue while trying to discredit any and all arguments without addressing the realities of the security issues involved. If machines can hack an election with out a trace they will, if you don’t understand that then you don’t understand our current political environment.

              The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

              by Bobjack23 on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 07:59:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  baloney (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Rick Winrod, SpamNunn

                There is plenty of spin on all sides -- intended or unintended.

                BTW, your conspiracy blather just avoids the issue while trying to discredit any and all arguments without addressing the realities of the security issues involved.

                You're directing that to anastasia p? I say again: baloney.

                •  Itwas directed to the person I replied to. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  corvo

                  As for your cheap meat argument, I'd say your a shill or ignorant as hell because that's the only too choices avaible in this matter. Plus I'd be glad to discuss the information made avaible by established experts in computer science  in this matter for as long as you would like to prusue the matter...there is tons of it out there avaible to the intrested.

                  The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

                  by Bobjack23 on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 11:17:31 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  this isn't a matter of computer science (0+ / 0-)

                    If machines can hack an election with out a trace they will

                    That isn't computer science. It's your personal dogma. If you want to talk about what actually happened, bring on evidence and we can do some work. If you want to call names, well, you'll have to find more interesting ones than that.

                    •  Personal dogma my arse (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      corvo, OHdog, homoaffectional

                      Start here:

                      http://www.truthout.org/...

                      And if that doesn’t comport with you standards I've got links to computer science departments from the Ivy League to the State University systems that decry the security of electronic paperless unverifiable voting machines which are out there in the tens of thousands.

                      What would you like to discuss first? The problem with security due to the encryption keys? The fact that the many of the machines rely on Microsoft Access components which any script kiddy can hack? The insecurity of the centralized tabulating software which any fool can with windows explorer and any sort of access to the computer it runs on can hack and alter district totals on? How the linked machines can be hacked centrally or from any individual machine long before election day? That tampering cam easily be erased after a false total count has been recorded? Who made most of the machines and what their politics are? The fact that one needs only to tamper with about ten percent and often less of the machines in critical districts to over turn an election? Why paper ballots are not more secure than any paperless none individual voter verified electronic machine. Name calling is not the issue the facts are long since in and verified by experts it's you who wish to cloud the issue and started doing so with your absurd and unsupported baloney and dogma comments.

                      The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

                      by Bobjack23 on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 02:14:07 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  LOL I thought there WAS a bogeyman behind... (9+ / 0-)

            every Diebold machine, and ES&S, and SysTest, etc.

            I first picked up an issue of the Free Press about thirty years ago, and have loved it ever since. I don't think their reporting is any worse than a lot of others.

            Look how the MSN distorts. Wasserman and Fitrakis just have a different spin than most.

            It's kinda refreshing.

        •  Yes, I read Free Press almost daily (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ahianne, navajo, hairspray, 4jkb4ia, califdem
          They do some good work. But the conspiracy pin I think is wrong (I don't necessarily think that this is what THEY think, but some are interpreting it this way). I should add that many people here think what this is really about is less an attempt to "fix" the 2008 election, which will be 100 step more difficult, but to try to evade blame for 2004 and make it look like anyone who thinks THAT result was invalid is just grasping at straws.

          We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14: http://www.oneill08.com/

          by anastasia p on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:35:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  have to agree with ana-p (4+ / 0-)

        the key was diswading(sp) dem voters in the heavily dem areas along the 'north coast' like cleveland and toledo (<= old home area).  </p>

        the key for ohio is to change the lege back to dems, since the 'pukes control both houses.

        Born in Oklahoma Raised in Ohio Escaped to Meechigan!!!

        by MI Sooner on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:40:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We're working to do that (7+ / 0-)
          We may take the House next year; we only need four seats. Taking the Senate will require redistricting, which is possible if we reelect Gov. Strickland and SoS Jennifer Brunner in 2010.

          We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14: http://www.oneill08.com/

          by anastasia p on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:44:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If i remember my ohio (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hairspray, SpamNunn

            redistricting laws correctly, you need to control 3 out of the 5 executive statewide offices (gov-D, ag-D, sos-D, sotreas-D and auditor-R).  currently, the dems hold 4/5.  by maintaining this edge or upping it to 5/5, they will control redistricting.

            Born in Oklahoma Raised in Ohio Escaped to Meechigan!!!

            by MI Sooner on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 07:24:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, (4+ / 0-)
              the governor (D), the secretary of state (D) and the auditor (sole remaining R) each get one seat, and the minority and majority parties in the lege each get one. So it only takes two for Democrats to control the apportionment board. The AG and treasurer, the other statewide offices, don't figure into this. The key thing will be to retain the governship and the secretary of state's office.

              We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14: http://www.oneill08.com/

              by anastasia p on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 08:35:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And that will happen if your SOS is (0+ / 0-)

                seen to be as good as Debra Bowen.  Of course, Debra has full complement of Democrats (who aren't always on your side!!) and a Republican governor.

                Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

                by hairspray on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:57:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  The best way for Ohioans to get a fair shake... (7+ / 0-)

        ...is to vote absentee...

        Yes, they will be counted by diebold machines... but, it is much easier for democratic monitors to notice malfeasance on the part of those machines than it is totally electronic, where a vote can be whisked away into the ether without anyone noticing.  There is a true hard copy as well.

        I believe that the reason why the 2006 was not stolen was because of all the absentee ballots that democrats cast in that election.  The change in the law that allowed absentee balloting for any reason was supposed to be the "bone" they threw at us to shut us up... they never expected it to thwart their plans for election fraud... It turned out to be their greatest mistake.  I will continue to vote absentee for as long as they let me... it's really great!  I can see why they do that in Oregon.

        Anyways, Anastasia is right... The 2004 election was not stolen by electronic voting machines... 90% of counties didn't have them, yet...  it was stolen the old fashioned way...  voter intimidation and fraud.

        So, who do we contact to express our outrage over this republican action... our local representative or senator?

        We should probably mount an awareness campaign.... write to all the papers.. try to get on the news...

        Do what republicans do when they feel slighted... get out and fight and make a huge scene!

        Thanks,

        Mike

        •  I suggest exit polling and that means going to (0+ / 0-)

          the polls.  Let Brunner make sure there are plenty in the heavy populated regions and then do a huge sample of exit polling.  And fight if it is not a significant outcome.

          Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

          by hairspray on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:59:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  "Leftists and extremists"? (20+ / 0-)

        How dare those rabid lambs insist on objective tests of voting machines.  Much more patriotic to let voting machines remain behind closed doors, subject to no oversight, with no punishment for illegally destroying voting records.

        How do these Ohio Republicans say this stuff with a straight face?

        Don't expect to live in a democracy if you're not prepared to be an active citizen.

        by Dallasdoc on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:55:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, for the power to troll rate (0+ / 0-)
      •  Machine Manipulation (19+ / 0-)

        Four hour lines to vote was the crudest way of rigging voting machines: not enough of them in Democratic precincts.

        Getting votes collected and counted is a complex process. In which everything has to go right for it to work. Anything going wrong can ruin the results.

        I phonebanked Warren County in October 2004. One Republican woman I talked with, who'd volunteered at the polling place for years, was so freaked out by the "incompetence" (sound familiar?) at the polling place that she refused to be a part of it. Even though she knew that she was therefore needed there more than ever, with her experience and integrity. That was the county where the election controllers then counted all the votes in secret, excluding all the press, and inventing a fake "Homeland Security alert" that the FBI denied it ever sent, so they could blatantly cook up votes for Bush.

        If my state had lost Kerry the votes to become president by any manipulations just a few years ago, I know that I would be demanding zero tolerance for any possibility that the count could be broken the next time. Your complacency is part of the system for rigging votes.

        I guess it's an Ohio thing to see proof of election problems and decide it's better to look the other way. Maybe it's a NY thing for me to go and mind your state's business, when it can't itself, and its failures cost me so much.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 08:17:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I hope the election activists are pushing (2+ / 0-)

        the Democrats to get top drawer exit polling.  It works everywhere in the world, except strangely not in USA. If the exit polls and the outcome of '08 are not within the confidence levels I hope there will be lawsuits. And thank you for putting some balance here. I sometimes wonder if some of the diarists aren't becoming a bit like Fox in their spin.  We have Debra Bowen out here and are thrilled.  As a former Cincinnati resident I am hoping the election of '06 cleaned out the rats in the Secretary of state dept in Ohio as well as California.

        Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

        by hairspray on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:51:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

          I sometimes wonder if some of the diarists aren't becoming a bit like Fox in their spin.

          That comment was directed at me? If so, please explain why.

          •  Maybe I was a bit rough likening (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OHdog

            you to Fox.  That is awful.  However after I read this

            That said, if Ohio Republicans have anything to do with it; the state will reprise its ignominious stage role as the "New Florida" in the much-awaited 2008 neocon sequel, "Rigged Election Part Two."

            and after reading several kossacks respond to you by saying what dopes the Democrats are, and we are going to lose the '08 election, I was about to take my life.  Fortunately along came Anastasia and gave me hope that all was not lost.

            Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

            by hairspray on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 02:52:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  noooooooooooooooooooo (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          arkdem, khereva, homoaffectional

          Exit polling, even "top drawer" exit polling, is absolutely a weak last resort. Count the damn votes -- then audit the counts. If you can do that, you don't need the exits, and if you can't, they won't help.

          •  I agree that counting the votes is (2+ / 0-)

            tantamount.  But not all states have a paper trail and  probably will not in '08.  What else do you suggest?

            Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

            by hairspray on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 02:18:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I can only report this: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              homoaffectional

              It would be very difficult to make a credible showing of fraud based on an exit poll alone. That's not true only in the United States. I'm having a hard time thinking of a case where an election was successfully challenged based on an exit poll alone -- and I had no trouble thinking of an election where a supposedly suspicious exit poll was widely, and probably correctly, disregarded. That would be the Penn, Schoen & Berland exit poll in the Chavez recall. Granted that PS&B probably don't meet your "top drawer" standard!

              In places that are doomed to paperless (assuming that the "strange bedfellows" do succeed in blocking HR 811 and all other recourse), there are all sorts of election forensics that might help. Exit polls might supplement them, but the coverage is so limited in the best circumstances. Ironically, the 2004 U.S. exit polls tend to point to the conclusion that Bush really did win the popular vote -- but as for individual states, they provide very little insight in any direction.

              •  Look up the exit polls in the Ukraine, 2004... (0+ / 0-)

                See here, for a start.

                Sickeningly, but not surprisingly, the Bush Administration argued in favor of the exit polls in the Ukrainian presidential election even as they were trashing the exit polls' accuracy in our own presidential election.  

                •  reread what I wrote (0+ / 0-)
                  There was all sorts of evidence of misfeasance in the Ukraine runoff -- no need to rely on the exit poll. Actually, there were two exit polls, which differed more from each other than the U.S. exit poll differed from the official result.

                  I went five or ten rounds with epppie about whether the Bush administration actually "argued in favor of the exit polls in the Ukrainian presidential election." It's one of the least supported Things Everything Knows I've ever encountered.

      •  Thank You for posting this!!! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, homoaffectional

        I get tired of every time someone post's somthing someone has to come out and place an old news disclaimer.  The fact of the matter is that some of us are very busy and do not get to see gems like this story.  There are so many postings many go unseen throughout the day.

        It was news to me!!!

      •  anastasia, I recall that there were more votes (0+ / 0-)

        cast in Pickaway County than there were registered voters there.

        Do you know if that was ever cleared up?  I haven't heard.

        <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

        by bronte17 on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:12:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Give Brunner a chance... (13+ / 0-)

      if she reacted every time she found malfeasance in Ohio voting procedures, she'd be locked in the looney bin by now. Brunner has ingherited an awful mess, and needs a cool head to put everything together so it works the way it's supposed to. Then, and only then, can she really go after those who screwed things up.

      •  In addition (8+ / 0-)
        a lot of what the absolutists are demanding is illegal or unachievable without destructive political consequences to Democrats. One thing Jennifer is doing that very delicate is trying to get more voter-frinedly laws. She's negotiating with a majority Republican general assembly. It's not actually within her power legally to do whatever election rights activists demand.

        We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14: http://www.oneill08.com/

        by anastasia p on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:41:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What is the makeup of Ohio Legislature? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SecondComing, navajo, 4jkb4ia, ca democrat

          Debra Bowen in CA has lots of friends in government. The only Statewide elected Republicans are Governator (who is hereby a moderate since he dumped his Bushie advisors a year and a half ago) and the insurance commissioner. The Attorney General is former Dem. Gov. Jerry Brown. Both legislative bodies are severely Democratic. Bowen can operate with impunity.

          Brunner might be in a different situation.

          The first person to ever brew beer was probably naked.

          by bobinson on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 07:00:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Republican majorities in House and Senate (6+ / 0-)

            Big ones. The major statewide offices are in Democratic hands only since 2006. Before then it was all Republicans, all the time. No wonder we're in such a mess here. It'll take time to get stuff straightened out.

            Cut Brunner some slack.

            Happy the man and happy he alone--he who can call today his own ... John Dryden

            by ohiolibrarian on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 07:12:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, the House majority (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ahianne, homoaffectional
              is not so big. We picked up seven seats last year and only need four to take control, which the state party is already targeting and working on. That one could go either way next year although the Cleveland Plainly Republican (Plain Dealer) said that for Republicans to assume they will have control is "confidence" while for the Democrats to do so shows they are "full of hubris." See why I call it the "Plainly Republican"?

              We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14: http://www.oneill08.com/

              by anastasia p on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 08:39:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Well not exactly (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            homoaffectional

            Remember when Kevin Shelley first walked into the job and had all the ROV's of the state in their little fiefdoms telling Kevin they were not going to follow his "new" rules?  He overcame, but they overcame him and the next Republican SOS apparently backslided.  A big issue is the independent SOS's who can do a lot of damage.

            Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

            by hairspray on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 11:05:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  this means war! (6+ / 0-)

      That bastard Husted blatantly wants to steal another election.   IMHO he should be tried & convicted for treason, and sentenced to be hanged by the neck at dawn.  However, between here and there...

      First thing that's needed is to file lawsuits against Husted on whatever grounds, for example denial of the right to vote (which is only meaningful if the vote counts and is counted properly) by masses of citizens in every single county, and have the process-servers show up at his office all on the same day bearing as much paperwork as they can carry and dumping it unceremoniously on his floor.  Ideally you fill up the place with paper until it's knee-deep.  

      Second thing that's needed is an inconspicuous-appearing and very well trained crowd, to show up at his office and cram the place so full of people that there is barely room for his secretary to get out the door without saying "excuse me, pardon me.." like that cartoon character.  And then stay there, and start chanting something simple & straightforward very loudly, such as "Our votes count!  Our votes count!" and being willing to go into peaceful sit-in mode, trespassing arrests included.  

      Third, or perhaps first depending on how you look at it, is to get this guy out of office by any means possible including a slow boat to Timbuktu (maybe he can sell the Timbuktuvians electronic voting machines, hah).  Best of all would be to catch him engaged in a sexual scandal of some kind, but drugs would work as well as sex, or maybe something else.  But if not that, then an election campaign that will downright bury the bastard in a landslide so big it'll take a front-end loader to dig his sorry ass out.  

      Yes, people like that are beneath contempt, and lower than dog shit in my book.  The symbol for the campaign to get rid of him should be a broom and a shovel, crossed over a picture of his face with a red circle around it like a "no (whatever)" sign, and the slogan "Clean up the vote: sweep Husted out!"  

      •  Fourth, or perhaps first depending on how you... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ahianne

        ... look at it, is to help the ODP win 4 more state house seats.  Then "that bastard Husted", as you put it, even if gets reelected despite your attempts to catch him engaged in a sexual scandal of some kind (but drugs would work as well as sex), will go from being Ohio Speaker of the House to being Ohio House Minority Leader.  Or perhaps not even that, if the Ohio GOP feel about him similarly to the way they felt about Denny Hastert.

    •  I'm thinkin... (0+ / 0-)

      PRIMARY CHALLENGE!

      You can be as free as you want, so long as Republicans control birth, death, sex and marriage. And whose vote counts.

      by ultrageek on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 08:02:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Makes perfect sense to me (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, homoaffectional

      As long as Democracy is passe' and winning means everything, then cheating is the next logical step.

      "It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense." - Mark Twain

      by gjohnsit on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:00:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Surely you mean . . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, Tropical Depression

      . . . "Rigged Presidential Election, Part THREE," though I must say I can hardly blame anyone for losing count!

      "Do not forget that every people deserves the regime it is willing to endure." -- White Rose letter no. 1

      by keikekaze on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 02:24:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rethugs have their act together, as always (24+ / 0-)

    Say what you will about Republicans, you can't take this away from them:

    They develop a plan (thanks, Karl) and they stick to it.  And they take the plan coast to coast...from Florida to Ohio and now to California...and they never quit, no matter how strong the opposition.

    The plan is...dilute and destroy Democratic votes, do whatever it takes, slash and burn, go for the jugular, win at all costs.

    Dems, on the other hand, refuse to roll up their sleeves to fight this kind of criminality. So if we lose again in 2008 by a handful of votes in one swing state...we have no one to blame but ourselves...because nobody can claim we didn't know what the other side was up to.

    •  Again (15+ / 0-)

      The American people support fair and clean elections.  Why don't they take off the gloves and beat the Roadblock Republicans with their fists until bloody while protecting the best interests of the American people?  It just makes no sense.  Here we have a Dem as Sec of State who refuses to use her position and clout to protect voter rights.  It makes no freaking sense.

      A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. - Aristotle

      by DWG on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 05:46:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry but you're wrong (18+ / 0-)
        I know there i a handful of extremists angry with SoS Jennifer Brunner because she hasn't just dumped the entire voting system and instantly installed all paper ballot. That isn't feasible or legal. But she has made dozens of moves that will guarantee our elections are way fairer than they were last time.

        We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14: http://www.oneill08.com/

        by anastasia p on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:11:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for setting me straight (9+ / 0-)

          It is why people on the ground are so important to give a good view.  I don't know if I would call people who are upset the certification of the electronic voting machines "extremists."  I remember far too clearly that the CEO of Diebold promised to deliver the 2004 to Bush.  And he made good on the promise despite all kinds of irregularities and questions.  

          The Republicans who stood in Brunner's way dismissed the certification tests as being performed by "leftists and extremists."  Passion for protecting voter rights and preventing voter fraud is not an extreme position, particularly given the history of the Republican dirty trick campaigns in FL and OH.    

          A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. - Aristotle

          by DWG on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:21:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's not that they want electronic machine gone (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DWG, homoaffectional
            that makes them extremists. I want them gone for a lot of reasons. The people I'm referring to is that little cadre of people for whom the immediate elimination of ALL systems including optical scan and their immediate replacement with only hand-counted paper ballots is the only acceptable solution.

            I was never sure what to make of Wally O'Dell's claim that he would do everything he could to deliver the election to Bush. It may have been mere rhetoric, it's hard to say. But he had little power to do o in Ohio as I believe only 4 or 6 countis out of 88 -- small ones -- were using touchcreen machines. I don't know what percentage if any were Diebolds.

            We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14: http://www.oneill08.com/

            by anastasia p on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:50:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  It's almost as if the Democrats are dumbfounded.. (9+ / 0-)

      Either that or Democrats have become a victim of "battered political party syndrome."

      They just keep on keepin' on taking abuse over and over again.

      It's pathetic really.

      What da hell are they thinkin'?

      •  It's just hard to burts their bubble (4+ / 0-)

        Many Dems so like to think all is well with elections in a democratic country.

        They just prefer to believe in that myth rather than ensuring it is really happening: that EVER VOTE COUNTS.

        I'm into accountability rather than blind faith and that goes for the election process as well.

        Edwards puts healthcare reform on the table in a very credible way and is tough enough to make HR 676,....the ultimate goal, achievable.

        by fayeforcure on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:29:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, that's not true (7+ / 0-)
        I urge you to call the DNC and ask them about the plans Howard Dean has already put into effect to safeguard next year's election. Please don't make people more discouraged than they need to be; despair tends to lead to inertia and inaction and the lack of knowledge about what the party is really doing is what leads to the syndrome you're talking about. In fact, you can help; they need volunteers. Give them a call.

        We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14: http://www.oneill08.com/

        by anastasia p on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:54:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wrong- this last-ditch move (21+ / 0-)
      is pretty much a sign of their disarray.

      Ohio in 2008 is going to be a bloodbath for them on many levels. One of those levels is a Secretary of State who will be doing her best to assist voters in navigating the roadblocks the GOP has thrown up such as voter ID laws. There won't be 4, 5 and 13 hour lines to vote. Anyone who sends out letters saying that Republicans vote on Tuesday and Democrats on Wednesday or that you will be arested at the polls if you have outstanding traffic tickets or child support will be prosecuted. Republican konw this and they know that the Democratis have a lot of strong presiential and, in Ohio, congressional, candidates, and they know that the Democrats are four votes from taking control of the lower chamber of the general assembly.

      Meanwhile, in both the state and nationally, the Democrats are on top of this. I don't know if you've been following the work Howard Dean has been doing on election protection, but he has a wide-ranging plan that is already in effect and a lot of the dirty tricks are going to be caught early. Sure, they will still try some, but 75% of them will be impotent this time.

      We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14: http://www.oneill08.com/

      by anastasia p on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:09:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I pray that you are right (7+ / 0-)

        and thank you for your bulletins, both encouraging and apparently very well-informed.  

        But how telling is it when criminality of this kind

        Anyone who sends out letters saying that Republicans vote on Tuesday and Democrats on Wednesday or that you will be arested at the polls if you have outstanding traffic tickets or child support will be prosecuted.

        is associated primarily with one major political party, and the one that tries to own "patriotism" at that!

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:38:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  plenty of blame (6+ / 0-)

      Though i too am frustrated by the inability of democratic party officials to recognize they are dealing with scamps, there is plenty of blame left for the political party that routinely brings a shiv to a chess match.
      Until the dems stop saying "check" and start saying "try that again and I'll gut you, scumbag" the anarchic Right by Might strategy will pay off.

      Osama Bin Laden's a punk. He doesn't scare me. Cheney/Bush scares me plenty. Mission Accomplished.

      by kamarvt on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:16:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you're a history wonk as I am........ (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, smkngman, homoaffectional

      ......you will note that the Nazis, who were initially not liked by the German public.  However, they displayed the same modus operendi as the present day Rethugs.  They had the same type of iron-clad discipline and "resolve".  eventually, they succeeded in wresting control away from the weak-spined Wiemar government.  The rest is history; it took a world war to bring democracy back to Germany.

      I hope that we won't make the same mistake of underestimating today's neo-fascists.

  •  Markthshark-- (5+ / 0-)

    I can't tell if you're an Ohioan or a Floridian like me.  Is this known in Ohio?  Is it getting much press?    I never cease to be amazed by the duplicitness of the rethugs.

    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.- not George Carlin

    by donnamarie on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 05:45:12 AM PDT

    •  Noooo, I'm a Floridian... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, donnamarie, fayeforcure

      But, this has got to be in all the Ohio papers.

      The Columbus Free Press is where I got the story so I know most of the Ohio progressives know about it at least.

    •  One from Ohio here... (6+ / 0-)

      ...And my wife and I are headed down to the statehouse for a 1:30 appointment with a state senator to lobby on this particular issue.

      J. Brunner's goal in setting up this particular set of tests is to try to get some independent testing done, in the hope of getting enough evidence about the current systems to make proper recommendations about moving forward.

      Yes, among voting reform folks this issue of Brunner's request and the delay in dealing with it is definitely known.  (that's why we're going down there today!)

      Our approach with the state senator is that this is not a partisan issue.  We are bringing documentation from a variety of sources, including several avowed Republican citizens.

      I have met some of the security researchers that Brunner wants to hire, having been peripherally associated with the local computer security community.  I am an embedded developer, and some of my friends have been involved in corporate computer security. So I've had pizza on occasion with people who test intrusion resistance and do vulnerability assessment. One of those people works in one of the groups that Ms. Brunner wants to hire.

      So, this issue is known in the voting reform community, it is reported but not very well known in the broader community, and there are people working Right Now to try to help move it forward.

      •  I hope you make them See the Light, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        homoaffectional

        as it were. Good Luck.

        Don't assume anything...Verify! It's as easy as 3.14159265

        by Mr SeeMore on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 08:20:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Good for y ou! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ahianne, Albatross, homoaffectional
        This is the sort of thing we should be doing instead of panicking and blowing things out of proportion. Republicans are very methodical and we too need to be in our push-back. Republicans want to smear the testing groups as having a leftist agenda because it's all they've got left. They fear having the machines exposed as fallible because of the shadow it casts over their past activities, not necessarily because they think they can make future elections any more stealable. It's primarily track-covering for thme at this point but I think ultimately their little game will be exposed thanks to the efforts of a lot of people like yourself, lenski.

        We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14: http://www.oneill08.com/

        by anastasia p on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 08:46:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Been there... done that... :-) (6+ / 0-)

        OK, we're back from our visit our state senator, and (OK, he IS a politician) he sounded basically interested in what we had to say.  Essentially...

        1. He would like to not replace current voting technology
        1. He seemed very positive about supporting a competent practice of auditing electronic vote totals against the paper trails (In Ohio, we have voter verified paper trail requirements; the paper trails are crappy thermal tapes).

        (#2 here is a big deal for me; at present, Ohio has no defined audit requirement.)

        1. He understands the idea of statistical sampling, so at least we might be able to get some legislation that doesn't leave voting entirely unaudited...
        1. He was less enthusiastic about requiring paper ballots, but he did listen attentively to our points about the paper ballots being the Legal Record, and electronic totals being informal.
        1. I drew some pictures, and wrote some notes about the points on 4x6 note cards, and he accepted them saying (bragging here :-) :-) ) that my little diagram was the best expression he's seen about voter verification of ballot selections.
        1. I was able to get across the idea that "testing only shows what the testing looked at", such that the infinitely many possible error scenarios and possible easter-egg scenarios cannot be tested.
        1. I brought my Palm T3, and was able to demonstrate live easter egg behavior.  The state senator was double plus attentive to that demo!  I said, "now what would happen if a programmer in a voting machine company offered to sell easter egg info to a criminal organization wishing for a particular election outcome? I hope hope hope that got across.
        1. He promised to watch the DVD copies of "Hacking Democracy" and "Invisible Ballots" that we left with him.

        This is important to note:

        1. Our state senator was very generous with his time, meeting with us for an hour, during which he did not "take calls", did not "step out for a moment", et cetera.  We are either very lucky or fortunate, take your pick...

        My wife and I hope that we were able to move the ball a few yards in the right direction, that this technology deserves close scrutiny, and that J. Brunner's attempts to get some good quality independent testing will be less difficult.

        Now for the final point, fellow kossacks: We are officially, truly,

        LOBBYISTS

        :-) :-) :-)

        •  Thanks, Lenski (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ahianne, Albatross
          Is your state senator a Republican or democrat? Great work! In reality, I think the machines will be replaced, simply because they were built to obsolesce and it's not even remotely affordable to replace them. Cuyahoga County is talking about moving to optical scan but there's no money. In the meanwhile, I think we need to demonstrate to polticians of both parties (and despite what you hear there are worried people in both parties) why we need safeguards.

          I want to add that one of the reasons I disagree with the people I call the "paper ballot absolutists" is because the argument that dumping all the machines and moving to all hand-counted paper ballots is safe is wrong. Elections were stolen years before anyone dreamed of these machines. ALL elections systems require vigilance and oversight.

          We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14: http://www.oneill08.com/

          by anastasia p on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:45:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Please clarify something... (0+ / 0-)

            ... you said that

            In reality, I think the machines will be replaced, simply because they were built to obsolesence and it's not even remotely affordable to replace them.

            by that do you mean that the current machines will be replaced by another type of machine entirely [...] and it's not even remotely affordable to replace them with the same type of machine?

          •  Republican (0+ / 0-)

            I agree that the machines will end up being replaced. They were built to such shoddy standards that large fractions of them will fail before their advertised lifetimes.

            Our state senator really "got" the idea of doing audits, including the idea of random selection using non-computer techniques AFTER the election.

            So to that extent, he is aware of the need to track this stuff closely.

            Being Republican and intelligent, he can see the possibility that there may be a power shift in the future, and he doesn't want the same treatment that Democrats have been getting.

        •  Good work, but paper "TRAILS" are NOT a solution! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          homoaffectional

          (posted downthread where apparently few will see it)

          Paper "trails" give a completely false sense of security.

          See the the Brennan Center Report and then look at the recent Rice University study.  Both are available, with summaries, at Brad Blog and VotersUnite.Org.

          Simply put:  

          The Brennan Center demonstrated that only small percentage of ballots need to be flipped internally within the machine (say, 1 in 20), to flip an election.  The study showed that the majority of voters don't know or don't remember to check their Voter Verified Paper Trail (VVPAT).  

          Secondly, Rice University studied voters under election day conditions, and secretly flipped their votes such that the flip clearly showed up on the paper "trail".  They found that voters didn't detect the flip even when their vote was flipped in front of their own eyes, even when they were looking for it.  

          Problem #1 with Direct Record Electronic (DRE) machines:  unless you are Superman, you cannot see inside the circuitry of a DRE machine, so you cannot prove nor guarantee that the vote was actually recorded as the voter intended, which is a violation of HAVA.  Computers can be programmed to print one set of data but record different data internally.

          Problem #2 with DRE paper "trails" -- no matter how much you educate voters to check their paper "trails", some will miss the fact that their vote has been flipped.  With elections in key congressional districts in key swing states routinely decided with less than 400 votes out of tens of thousands, one really needs only 50% plus one vote to win.  Paper "trails" only provide cover for yet another point of entry.

          Audits will not solve the DRE paper "trail" problem. Even if you do a 100% audit of the paper "trail" and recount it by hand a bazillion times, you cannot verify, prove or guarantee that each vote was recorded and counted by a DRE machine, internally, as the voter intended.  

          A paper ballot that the voter marks him/herself, even if it op-scanned, is the only way to go back and prove that the ballot reflects the voter's intention.

          (there are multiple systems available today that allow for independent voting for disabled and minority-language access purposes -- not surprisingly, even the blind and disabled want their votes to be counted accurately!)

          •  YesYesYes, we really talked about that (0+ / 0-)

            You are right, I agree completely.

            We brought lots and lots of documentation that the only Correct Way to count votes is the human-readable paper ballot.

            In the previous comment I didn't mention the fact that we spent 45 of 60 minutes talking about the requirement that the legal record be a hardcopy of the voters' selections, recorded on durable media that is accessible to unaugmented human readers. It was the center of our talk.

            It's worth noting however that there is this big "sunk cost" problem and we tried several ways to address the possibility of using machines as assistive technology, converting what are now DREs (with paper trails) into printers.

            I also mentioned several times, arguing from several directions, that paper can serve as a wonderful backup for machine failure, or underallocation.  (One of my big beefs with touchscreen voting, or any machine technology is "artificial scarcity" in unpopular precincts.  In 2004, people in progressive districts rarely waited less than 2 hours to vote, while suburban districts rarely waited more than 20 minutes.)

            My wife reads BradBlog, BlackBoxVoting, and several other sites for way too much time per day :-) so we're up on these topics, and we brought them up to the senator.

            I brought several visual aids to the meeting too, (I have several embedded Linux systems), and a few SecureDigital flash memory cards to show that "people like me" can read them but would you really want to trust elections to this sort of process?

            We talked for several minutes about the difficulty of guaranteeing that what the voter saw on the audit reel was recorded electronically. I also went into some detail about the risk that a very small number of people could, without themselves being interested in particular results, build and to sell "easter egg info" for the purpose of bending an election. I demonstrated a real live easter egg on my Palm T3. The senator and his legal assistant were both very interested in seeing that demo, so I am pretty sure they got that hint too. Part of that part of the discussion was the well-known understanding that software and system testing only addresses what is tested, not what cannot be tested.  I was able to show through the Palm easter egg demo that it would be essentially impossible to prove through testing that there are no holes in a piece of software.

            I discussed the fact, well known in the software world, that nontrivial systems have bugs when every participant has a direct economic interest in the system's correctness. Election systems are nearly unique in computing: not everyone involved wants perfection. Our state senator seemed to understand that comment, too.

            We did the best we could, in the time given, and as I reported in the post-meeting report, the senator kept my diagrams showing the value of having the voter verify the ballot after being printed.  So I think/hope the seed was planted.

  •  Important diary; thanks. (11+ / 0-)

    So I wonder if Ohio State Senator John Carey would object to the testing if it were done by Regents University.  ;~)

    Here in NY State, (which still hasn't fully complied with HAVA regulations), we are still sorting out what to do.  Every time I run into my county's Democratic election commissioner, I ask the status.  Last month, he told me that state-wide, we are now down to one particular machine - the other 6 or 7 that were tested haven't satisfactorily passed testing standards - and that machine may just be the one that will be used universally across the whole state.  (Or maybe not - at the time I spoke with him, it was not definitely determined yet.)

    We are still using the old lever machines and will be using them for next year's primaries.  I have no problem at all with that - let's get this decision right the first time so that we don't experience the problems that many states have experienced.

  •  Oh, not again Ohio! (9+ / 0-)

    What's amazing is how amazingly transparent and thuggish the GOP is in this debate.  It's like,

    "Yeah, we're forcing unreliable voting procedures on the public and our contributors are making huge profits building machines that a 5 year old could hack into.  So.  What's you're point?"

    I'm amazed that Alabama has more reliable & secure voting systems than many other states.  We use the electronic scan machines and I've never encountered any problems in many years of poll watching.  Finally, one area where we aren't dead last.

    cold comfort though.  Winning Ohio is much more crucial in 2008 than winning Alabama.  Though I'd be thrilled to take both.

    Yes. There ARE progressive Democrats in Alabama. Visit with us at Left in Alabama

    by countrycat on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 05:49:15 AM PDT

    •  ok, didn't proof well. (6+ / 0-)

      Too much amazement in my comment.  Or maybe the whole situation is so bizarre that "amazement" is the best description.  That, or outrageous.

      Yes. There ARE progressive Democrats in Alabama. Visit with us at Left in Alabama

      by countrycat on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 05:51:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We WILL win Ohio (11+ / 0-)
      The Ohio GOP is getting more thuggish as they see their power draining away. Their state organization is in disarray. They stand an excellent chance of losing control of one of the chambers of the general assembly next year. They already lost all but one statewide office, an instant turnover from absolute 16-year control that destroyed the state economy -- and people know it. . If this holds in 2010 -- and it probably will  -- they lose control of the apportionment board. If the state gets redistricted to fairly reflect the voting habits of citizens (more than 52-3% Democratic in 2006, with gerrymandering keeping both our general assembly and congressional delegation in Republican control), they're in deep trouble. In addition, despite outrageous gerrymandering of congressional districts, it's likely we will pick up from 3-5 seats next year, making our delegation majority Democratic. And if you'll excuse me now, I have to go into work because I'm leaving early today to go to an America Votes training session out in Geauga County where I will be helping to make Bill O'Neill the new congressman from Ohio-14, the district next to mine (MIne is the most Democratic district in the state and the GOP often doesn't bother to field a candidate).

      We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14: http://www.oneill08.com/

      by anastasia p on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:19:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I thought the more thuggish the GOP becomes, (5+ / 0-)

        the higher the risk of success through dirty tactics there is.

        I don't think this is an issue to be taken lightly and thanks to the diarist for putting the issue out there for the rest of us. Perhaps with the attention this diary has now drawn, and will continue to draw, concerted efforts from outside interests can further the democratic struggle in Ohio.

        Never underestimate the potential for Republicans to obliterate the rights of the people.

        My Homer is not a communist. He may be a liar, a pig, an idiot, a communist, but he is not a porn star. -Grandpa Simpson

        by xobehtedistuo on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 07:00:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Diebold headquarters is in Ohio (6+ / 0-)

    The Republican motivation might be not to embarrass a local industry (as the tests certainly would) rather than to steal the next election. I'm sure that's what they're telling each other, anyway.

  •  Porter Goss and the CIA (6+ / 0-)

    May have had something to do with the 2004 election results too.

    It involves this $15 million dollar property, the Goss' and Thor Hearne of the fraudulent "American Center for Voting Rights."

    Diary shortly forthcoming.  

  •  Another Democratic sell-out. Who are these (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, markthshark

    people?

  •  Pitchforks! Get your pitchforks folks. (5+ / 0-)

    Get this on your local TV stations and make sure that all of you Ohioans are talking about this. Make it such an embarrassment for the rethugs that they back down. That is unless you like having your elections stolen and the results buried.

  •  Please give this an "election integrity" tag (10+ / 0-)

    so that it can be seen from the Voting Rights page. I added it to the Election integrity timeline as well.

  •  Always worthwhile to watch the video from the (7+ / 0-)

    research team at Princeton on how easy it was to hack a Diebold machine.

    "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities." -- Winston Churchill

    by Spud1 on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:26:35 AM PDT

    •  IMHO, If We Deny (6+ / 0-)

      That there was any voting or tallying manipulation by the companies involved in Ohio in 2004 (and elsewhere, and elsewhen), then I wonder if we are not paying enough attention.  In the context of the last few years, the misuse of electronic voting machines and counters seems self-evident.  Why else, for example, would the chief of Diebold tell Bush "We will deliver Ohio for you?"

      The Washington Post reported that in Mahoning County "25 electronic machines transferred an unknown number of Kerry votes to the Bush column," but it did not think to ask why.

      http://www.harpers.org/...

      In the summer of 2003, Representative Peter King (R., N.Y.) was interviewed by Alexandra Pelosi at a barbecue on the White House lawn for her HBO documentary Diary of a Political Tourist. "It’s already over. The election’s over. We won," King exulted more than a year before the election. When asked by Pelosi—the daughter of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi—how he knew that Bush would win, he answered, "It’s all over but the counting. And we’ll take care of the counting."

      I'd like to be wrong.

      To announce...that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

      by potownman on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 07:24:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Once again (4+ / 0-)
        there were almost no electronic machines in use in Ohio in 2004. If you try to maintain this was how the election was stolen, YOU haven't been paying attention. Wally O'Dell may have carried out his "promise" in other states; I don't know because I haven't followed other states closely enough. But he did not do so in Ohio, other than perhaps by funnelling money to a corrupt Secretary of State, because it wasn't in his power to do so. Neither electronic voting machines nor counters played a large role in how the 2004 Ohio election was gamed (which it was). Free Press has done extensive research on this and while their spin can sound a little hysterical, their research is solid. Voter suppression was their front-line tactic, and if that didn't produce the desired results, they simply created more votes for Bush the old-fashioned way: they stuffed the ballot box, most likely in a handful of rural southwestern counties.

        We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14: http://www.oneill08.com/

        by anastasia p on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 08:57:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  meanwhile, let's fix the O'Dell quotation (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ahianne, potownman, homoaffectional

          [potownman:] Why else, for example, would the chief of Diebold tell Bush "We will deliver Ohio for you?"

          I believe the correct quotation is that he wrote in a fundraising letter that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year." Which is not an unusual sentiment for a fundraiser.

          But the part where a Republican fundraiser runs a voting company is ugly no matter what happened in Ohio (and you're right, there's no way that Diebold delivered Ohio). At the same time, people should keep in mind that Diebold machines are known to be hackable regardless of the partisan proclivities of the CEO (or the hackers).

        •  We Know That. (0+ / 0-)

          But, you're saying that the electronic voting machines had nothing to do with 2004?  Come on, prove me otherwise.  They had something to do with it.  How does what I provided as a link show otherwise?

          To announce...that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

          by potownman on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 05:25:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I thought she chose her words pretty carefully (0+ / 0-)
            Now you want proof that the electronic machines had nothing to do with 2004?

            The machine shortages in Franklin surely did (of course, those weren't touchscreens).

            I could post a scatterplot of the county returns, 2000 versus 2004, and challenge you to pick the DRE counties. Basically they're in line with all the others.

            How does what you posted as a link show otherwise? (Scratches head.)

  •  I thought no-bid contracts were bad. nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crystal eyes, markthshark

    Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them - T Paine

    by breezeview on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:32:24 AM PDT

  •  So even Brunner's half-hearted measures (7+ / 0-)

    are being blocked by the R's?  Wow, that they will do this so openly is still stunning.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:34:18 AM PDT

    •  There is nothing "half-hearted" (10+ / 0-)
      about what she has done. She has quickly moved to professionalize the elections processes across the state. She hired people in her office who are experienced and capable. She created a voting rights institute to deal with voter issues. She has improved communications among the 88 county boards so that all are receiving the same information at the same time, a huge problem in 2004. In a truly gutsy move, she fired the entire Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, which, in the most populous Democratic county in the state, was run by the CHAIRMAN of the state REPUBLICAN party Bob Bennett. The other three -- primarily mute accomplices -- were prevailed to leave relatively gracefully while Bennett whined for weeks and threatened to take it to court before he thought better of it. She managed to get the corrupt local Democratic party to yield its choices to her and open apliations to competent people. She managed to get the epublians to name at least one extremely qualified and fair individual who is now the chairman of the board. She is dealing with training and poll worker issues. She has done more in 8 months than Blackwell did in 8 years.

      Some of what people are complaining she hasn't done is just not feasbile or it's flat-out illegal and would probably land her in so much trouble it would guarantee the return of a Blackwell type in 2010.

      We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14: http://www.oneill08.com/

      by anastasia p on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 07:08:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks, was commenting based on the diarist's (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ahianne, Albatross, homoaffectional

        assessment, which is mixed at best.  Later (below) saw some of your supporting detail to the contrary, and find it very cheering.

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 07:12:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There is an Alice in Wonderland quality (4+ / 0-)

    in hearing a Republican question  the validity of the questioning of the validity

    "At the present time, too many outstanding questions remain regarding the scope of this request and the intent of the study."

    It cats could talk, they wouldn't.

    by crystal eyes on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:40:55 AM PDT

  •  Doesn't matter (7+ / 0-)

    "how much" the process might or might not be "blocked".

    The fact that "vote shenanigans" even remotely have a chance to happen again is simply unacceptable. I don't care whose "side" may or may not be responsible, and to what degree, it has to stop. If the political parties or the controlling legal authority for elections for the state(s) in question won't stop it, then The People must.

    It is not extremist to be concerned about the integrity of our vote.  It is worth worrying about. It is worth reporting on. It is worth doing something about.  

    "There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

    by o the umanity on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:43:51 AM PDT

  •  Brunner should sledgehammer the machines (4+ / 0-)

    It's easier to ask frogiveness than permision.

    The first person to ever brew beer was probably naked.

    by bobinson on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:53:20 AM PDT

  •  from an Ohio native............(make that two) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, Dave925, markthshark

    Aay, ohh, way to go, Ohio.

                    -Chrissy Hinde


    "You cannot leave the rapist with the victim to serve as the therapist" - Iraqi journalist

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 07:12:27 AM PDT

  •  Testing Blocked in NY (6+ / 0-)

    New York Verified Voting is reporting that the NY State Board of Elections is endrunning around new laws that would require machines to pass rigorous tests before deployment, putting dangerous machines in charge of collecting and counting NY'ers votes in 2008:

    Take Action - Oppose the State Board of Elections
    Proposal to Allow Untested DREs in NYS Polling Places

    Send a fax to the Board of Elections

    More Information on Our Resource Page

    The New York State Board of Elections has proposed a dangerous plan that would allow uncertified DREs to be used in polling places around the state in 2008. The proposal would allow DREs to be used without undergoing the full certification testing required under New York State's regulations and that citizens fought so hard for.

    The Board's proposal would allow a DRE to be used in each polling place as an accessible voting machine, using the VVPAT as the official ballot. But since a DRE's VVPAT cannot be read back or verified by the voter in any way other than direct visual observation, a DRE fails to satisfy even the basic requirement of allowing all voters to verify their ballots. The Board is considering allowing an inaccessible DRE to be used as an accessible voting device!

    The Board's proposal would bypass the full and thorough testing process that was guaranteed to New York State voters. In light of all we have learned from other states about the massive failures of DREs, we can't allow this to happen.

    Within the next week, the State Board will finalize documents that would allow DREs to be used in every polling place in New York State in 2008 without undergoing full and rigorous testing. If this happens, it will condemn New York State voters to years of the same problems, high costs, and security risks that other states using DREs have experienced.

    The State Board of Elections is opening the door to making New York a DRE state - we can't let that happen. Please act now.

    Click this link to easily send a fax to the Commissioners telling them you oppose this idea.

    More Information on Our Resource Page

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 07:25:36 AM PDT

  •  Surprised? Nope - GOP stole OHIO in 2004 (7+ / 0-)

    http://www.rollingstone.com/...

    Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. article nails it.

    "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?
    Republicans prevented more than 350,000 voters in Ohio from casting ballots or having their votes counted -- enough to have put John Kerry in the White House."

    PLUS

    • The GOP spent 1,000 times (who knows) more money that federal election laws allow.
    • The Ohio State Election Board (Republican contolled) placed massive more voting machines in Republican known districts than Democrat.

    On and On and On.

    And Edwards pleaded with Kerry not to concede. Of course he did anyway. Same as he did with the Swift Boaters by not releasing his military record (which we now know was stellar) until after the election - major screw-up (luv them DC Consultants) Howard Dean never would have conceded. Bethcha.

    And here we go again in 2008. Anyone who thinks that the Dems are a shoo-in in 2008 better get their head out dark places. The GOP intends to repeat the theft again in Ohio and elsewhere next year. No question.

    Progressives - stay UNDECIDED on 2008 -4.63 -7.54

    by AustinSF on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 07:34:12 AM PDT

  •  bubble ballots using the Diebold GEMS tabulator (5+ / 0-)

    system are vulnerable also. We have had a couple of instances throughout the years the most recent was on a public transportation bond vote.

    Those flaws include hard-drive problems that make it difficult to search for deleted data, the ability to change time-stamp data on files, a way to hide file changes and a way to change the vote totals, as long as it's done systemwide.

    Another problem with the software is the ability for vote tampering to be covered up.
    "It is far easier to remove evidence of tampering from the logs than to actually tamper with the vote totals," wrote William Miller of iBeta, the company that tested the voting system for the Attorney General's Office.

    http://www.azstarnet.com/...

    "every saint has a past, every sinner has a future" Oscar Wilde

    by buddabelly on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 07:46:06 AM PDT

  •  Not good at all (4+ / 0-)

    Rec'd.

    This is not good for Democrats in Ohio. Voters there need to rally and organize to countermand this grievous public injustice. All votes must be counted and all votes must count.

    Correction: this is not good for Democracy, anywhere!

    Thanks for posting.

    "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

    by MikeTheLiberal on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 08:08:33 AM PDT

  •  Practicality in NC (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, ca democrat

    The North Carolina Board of Elections says having a paper trail of voting is not practical.  Legistlature votes soon.

    http://www.wnct.com/...

  •  This is so disheartening. (5+ / 0-)

    I returned to my home state of Ohio a few years ago after an absence for many, many years.  I don't recognize the state.  It is consumed in an economic malaise.  It seems that people have given up hope...and those with brains have left the state.

    Goddess, do I miss California.

    I will strenghten my resolve to fix this fucked up situation.  

  •  We can't let 2006 victories make us complacent. (4+ / 0-)

    Who knows how many more house seats would have swung our way if it wasn't for the rethugs trying every dirty trick could. This country needs to wake. Two Presidential elections in a row have been stolen. Electronic voting is not credible and definetly corruptable. Disenfranchisment of minorities will continue to be sure. I feel Democracy slipping away.

    •  I have yet to see (3+ / 0-)
      ANY "complacency" among any Democrats. If anything, I see way too much despair and defeatism and "why bother; they're smarter and more unscrupulous than we are so we can't ever win."

      In Ohio, disenfranchisement of minorities will be greatly diminished. You never do away with anything 100% but that is hardly a sure sign that "democracy is slipping away." In this state, solid steps are being  taken to strengthen democracy, but it isn't being done by hand-wringers and defeatists.

      We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14: http://www.oneill08.com/

      by anastasia p on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:49:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Correct (0+ / 0-)

      we can't sit back and relax, just because one person thinks that "it'll be better than it was last time", either.

      Computerized voting has got to be stopped, period. And it looks like the People are going to have to stop it somehow--lawmakers clearly are not going to.

      "There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

      by o the umanity on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 04:21:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ugly and evil (5+ / 0-)

    Nothing like seeing the real face of Republicans.  Look, young ones, and Learn the truth.

    An amendment: Do not allow a single US corporation to do oil business in Iraq until a complete withdrawal of American forces takes place.

    by jcrit on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 09:16:21 AM PDT

  •  No different than Massachusetts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, ca democrat

    The only response you get from the machine is that you voted. There is no accountability to ensure your vote was property recorded.

    I fail to see the difference between mechanical and electronic systems which, as an end result, provide no feedback and provide no accountability to the voter.

    •  A basic difference is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      markthshark, dewley notid

      once they've been tested, certified, and sealed, it's infinitely more difficult to change what they'll record vs. what the voter selects.  Not so for computerized machines.  Even the memory card could have programming on it that 'redeploys' your vote to whatever bucket the programmers want it in.  I've got an entire bootable operating system (OS X) on a USB 'drive' that can be used independently.  Virus technology wouldn't be all that hard to adapt to use with the memory cards in voting machines.  Not so with mechanical ones.

      Conservatism is a function of age - Rousseau
      I've been 19 longer'n you've been alive - me

      by watercarrier4diogenes on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:22:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For all the energy we waste on voting machines... (5+ / 0-)

    Let's just go back to punch cards so we can focus on other critical election integrity issues like voter list scrubbing.

    Voting machines simply aren't worth the trouble.  That none of the players in the market are apparently interested in providing a transparent, hack-proof solution is all the evidence I need that their intentions are not consistent with democracy.

    •  Best, most succinct appraisal (6+ / 0-)

      That none of the players in the market are apparently interested in providing a transparent, hack-proof solution is all the evidence I need that their intentions are not consistent with democracy.

      Indeed. That is, really, all we need to know, isn't it?

      "There are four boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order." Ed Howdershelt

      by JuliaAnn on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 09:52:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed - and as an engineer who knows... (5+ / 0-)

        ...an awful lot about embedded systems, I can tell you definitively these guys are full of crap on their defensiveness over their "proprietary" systems.  E-voting technology is low tech.  If anything is truly innovative, it can and should be patented.

        Fully disclosing software in a patented system is not, in general, a competitive threat.  Plenty of patents include all the accompanying source code as part of the technical disclosure.

        And anything they say about disclosure aiding pirates is also b.s. - we need a system which can withstand it, because details will become known to untrustworthy insiders as well as outsiders.  The stakes are too high to trust the "proprietary" wall.

        I tell you, the technical talent which would volunteer to be available to scrutinize and help secure this kind of system would be overwhelming.  The vast majority of the domestic open source community is incredibly patriotic (not blindly of course - in a quieter, more intellectual way supporting the American spirit of freedom and innovation).  Writing this, I'm tempted to go into the business, but you really need the political connections to succeed.  Again, reason enough to do away with these damn things.

        •  If All Were Required To (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          markthshark, homoaffectional

          make their source code available for inspection by anyone, a simple copyright would prevent pirating copyright infringement since anyone could see who was infringing.

          -- You are all individuals! -- I'm not! -- Shut up! Be quiet!

          by Skjellifetti on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:32:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Copyright helps, but more complicated than that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            homoaffectional

            The bar for entering this market is already pretty high considering the stakes and who you're selling to.

            Those sorts of companies wouldn't be willing to risk their reputations and potential for future government contract work by stealing source code anyway.

            People already copyright source and object code.

            Copyright is much more critical for goods which are commodity, which don't require support, and/or which are sold to consumers.

            Copyrights are useless in the case of computer security, since the sort of person who'd hack a network doesn't care about copyrights.  You need architectural  and algorithmic security with strong cryptography - not source code - as the primary defense.  You can't really even trust physical security in this case - you must assume that you can't provide complete physical protection of the machines at all times.  This is not an easy problem.  There are patents to be had here.

            •  Mostly Agree (0+ / 0-)

              We are (almost) saying the same thing. If all vendors were required to allow their code to be inspected by anyone, the usual open source "enough eyeballs" argument would make sure that the vendor's system was secure since the community would find any flaws pretty quickly.

              Copyright simply guarantees that even if one vendor can see another vendor's code, they cannot incorporate that code in their own product. This provides the legal umph behind the reputation effects you mention.

              I don't really believe that there is a huge scope for patents in this area (leaving aside the argument over whether software algorithms should even be patentable). Similar problems crop up in too many places (e.g. an airline mechanic who must use a software application that details a maintenance procedure where the mechanic has to sign off using a private key to prove he has completed each step in the required order) and the problems and solutions (you do test the checksum against the public key of the author when you download GNU software, don't you?) are fairly well known.

              -- You are all individuals! -- I'm not! -- Shut up! Be quiet!

              by Skjellifetti on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 02:01:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  NO. no punch cards. See Florida 2000 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      markthshark, homoaffectional

      No offense intended in this blunt reply, but punch cards are NOT A SOLUTION, either.  

      See Dan Rather's recent report featuring Sequoia whistleblowers that aired on HDnet:

      In 2000, Sequoia management ordered their ballot printing employees in CA to purposely misalign the chads (because "humidity makes the paper swell and throws off the alignment"), ordered them to print on different quality paper from the rest of the ballots in the order, AND to cut the paper at a different length... BUT ONLY for ballots going to PALM BEACH COUNTY, FLORIDA.  In the 2000 election.

      Why would Sequoia management order such a thing?  Rather postulates that they realized they stood to profit thousands of dollars per machine (instead of mere pennies in profit from their current system) -- but how to induce people to switch over?

      •  Indeed, issues everywhere - but still a trail (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        homoaffectional, dewley notid

        Paper trail is critical still.

        Florida was a mess, but much much bigger messes can be engineered with e-voting and there's no way to investigate.

        •  PAPER "TRAILS" are NOT a SOLUTION (4+ / 0-)

          ... and give a false sense of security.

          See the the Brennan Center Report and then look at the recent Rice University study.  Both are available, with summaries, at Brad Blog.

          Simply put:  

          The Brennan Center demonstrated that only small percentage of ballots need to be flipped within the machine (say, 1 in 20), to flip an election.  The study showed that the majority of voters don't know or don't remember to check their Voter Verified Paper Trail (VVPAT).  

          Secondly, Rice University studied voters under election day conditions, and secretly flipped their votes such that the flip clearly showed up on the paper "trail".  They found that voters didn't detect the flip even when their vote was flipped in front of their own eyes.  

          Problem #1 with Direct Record Electronic (DRE) machines:  unless you are Superman, you cannot see inside the circuitry of a DRE machine, so you cannot prove nor guarantee that the vote was actually recorded as the voter intended, which is a violation of HAVA.  Computers can be programmed to print one set of data but record different data internally.

          Problem #2 with DRE paper "trails" -- no matter how much you educate voters to check their paper "trails", some will miss the fact that their vote has been flipped.  With elections in key congressional districts in key swing states routinely decided with less than 400 votes out of tens of thousands, one really needs only need 50% + 1 to win.  Paper "trails" only provide cover for yet another entry point.

          Audits will not solve the DRE paper "trail" problem. Even if you do a 100% audit of the paper "trail" and recount it by hand a bazillion times, you cannot verify, prove or guarantee that each vote was recorded and counted by a DRE machine, internally, as the voter intended.  

          A paper ballot that the voter marks him/herself, even if it op-scanned, is the only way to go back and prove that the ballot reflects the voter's intention. (there are multiple systems available today that allow for independent voting for disabled and minority-language access purposes -- not surprisingly, even the blind and disabled want their votes to be counted accurately!)

          •  Agree completely - was speaking to punch cards (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            homoaffectional

            The thread I was replying to was about punch cards - I suggested they were better (and had a paper trail), reply talked about abuses of punch cards.

            Your points on vulnerability of any e-voting paper trail are absolutely right on.

            I'll take dangling and dimpled chads any day (or another direct paper-based system) over the ambiguity of e-voting.

          •  misdirected fatalism (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            homoaffectional
            If you want to get rid of DREs, fine, but arguing that DRE paper trails are useless is untrue and unhelpful. It isn't necessary for every voter to check them in order for them to offer a considerable benefit.
      •  Ah yes, I remember the story well... (0+ / 0-)

        I wrote about it back on August 13.

        Breaking: HD Net: Conclusive Evidence of Election Machine Failures

        In the comments we got in a big ol' argument whether this constituted fraud or not.

        Imho, it most certainly does.

    •  Here's the product I endorse for our (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      homoaffectional

      electile dysfunction:

      http://www.verifygra.com

      Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

      by Einsteinia on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 04:38:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ohio, the New Jersey of the midwest. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, homoaffectional
  •  Blackwell should be in PRISON (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, markthshark, homoaffectional

    and it's a disgrace that he is not.  

    Somebody needs to appoint a prosecutor that will dig into the Ohio scandals and ensure that justice is done.

    I mean, gosh, it's only our very DEMOCRACY at stake here.  

  •  Every voter in Ohio should vote "absentee" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    homoaffectional

    Single purpose usage belittles the search for true value.

    by 0hio on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 11:55:21 AM PDT

  •  Don't we have a DEM governor in Ohio now? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    Can't he mandate this?  I'm confused...

    The Seminole Democrat
    A blue voice calling from the deep red

    by SemDem on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 01:37:50 PM PDT

  •  USING THEIR OWN "LOGIC" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, homoaffectional

    You're either with us or with the terrorists! What do you have to hide?! We only want to flush out those who wish us harm!
    How could they block this? I thought this was America for Chrissake!

  •  The Republican Party should be OUTLAWED (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, homoaffectional

    They are nothing but a thieving pack of traitors.

    Edwards-Richardson 2008

    by TekBoss on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 03:12:29 PM PDT

  •  Cheating! I am shocked. NOT! (0+ / 0-)

    Obviously, no one here has ever seen how easy it is to "hack" a mechanical voting machine.   Come to Hudson County, here in New Jersey (a very Blue county, BTW), and you will find out how a paper receipt has been, historically, absolutely meaningless.  

    The dead can vote.  The moved can vote.  People can vote for you.   The mentally infirm get to vote by absentee ballot, and they get "help". People who haven't voted all day vote five minutes before the poll closes, and mechanical voting machines don't record when people vote.  The only paper records are the voting rolls and the little receipt that you initial and give them when you vote.  Anyone can sign those rolls and anyone can use your dead uncle's receipt.

    The only way to safeguard the ballot box is to get off your lazy asses and challenge, at the polls, like I do.   They may be able to "fix" the machine at the warehouse, but not at the polls, where I am watching it with my own four eyes!  Stop bitching and volunteer on Election Day.

    Because everyone has one. Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

    by SpamNunn on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 03:20:29 PM PDT

  •  I searched the thread for "elected" and (0+ / 0-)

    didn't get many results, so I'll ask here: are these people elected?  Like school boards, this is another one of those "oh, it doesn't matter who you vote for" positions that can wield disproportionate influence.

    Jumping on the politicalcompass.org bandwagon: (-3.63, -3.03) - Does that make me part of the right wing here?

    by someone else on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 04:12:19 PM PDT

  •  If the test 'em they will find that (0+ / 0-)

    they are shoddy, unreliable and easy to rig.

    Why would the GOP not want them tested to allay any fears that they are able to be tampered?

    Hmmmmm?

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 04:37:24 PM PDT

  •  I heard Scott Ritter on AAR (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    homoaffectional

    He made a comment to Jon Elliot (I love his show - like a sane Mike Malloy) that went something like this:

    "I travel all over this country and I see and hear a lot of people talking but very few taking action"

    • We Need To Take Fucking ACTION!
  •  Full Speed Ahead... (0+ / 0-)

    Who cares what Ohio's controlling board says; just order the damn tests.  Worry about the consequences afterwards!

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