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My copy of the November Harper's Magazine arrived today, with a surprisingly front-and-center article on the state of America's vote-counting technology.  It's a well-researched piece, with much of it depressingly familiar to many progressives who followed the tin-foil-hat-tainted theories of the 2004 election.   It reviews the recent history some of us know: the ESS&S / Diebold coziness, Bev Harris and hackable GEMS system, the Help America Vote Act Trojan horse, Chuck Hegal, Max Cleland, the exit poll disparities in Ohio and elsewhere in 2004 that all exhibited a "red shift" to the Right.

The article then brings things up to date.

Some argue that the Democratic victories in 2006 and 2008 disprove the existence of the red shift.  However, this may be a misinterpretation of complex political upheavals that occurred in each of those election years....  Post-election analysis did in fact suggest extensive red-shift rigging.  But in both election cycles, these efforts simply failed to overcome eleventh-hour events so negative that they drastically undercut the projected wins for the G.O.P.
Those events were Mark Foley's exposure (and G.O.P. leadership cover-up) in 2006 and the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.  But in 2010, the article details how the victories of Scott Brown, Rick Scott, Scott Walker, and Jim DeMint each left evidence that the computer-counted tallies were suspect.

The most depressing part of the article is how the subject of election counting integrity is not even discussed, by either the press or progressive politicians.

Why?  No doubt the fear of being branded a conspiracy theorist inhibits many - that term having long served as a cudgel to suppress discussion of all sorts of crimes against democracy... "For Democratic legislators and candidates, openly questioning the integrity of American democracy feels like committing political suicide", says Ben Ptashnik.  A former Vermont state senator, Ptashnik ran for office in 1996 specifically to spearhead the state's Clean Election Act - whose provisions were largely struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court nearly a decade later.
It's a sobering look at an issue I, for one, thought was more or less over.  Reading it makes the obsessive poll tracking lately, here and in the press, seem rather pointless - if one suspects there is an electronic thumb nudging both polling and final results, from president down the entire ballot.

The article is by Victoria Collier in the November Harpers.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Looks interesting... (5+ / 0-)

    I just hope the whole article is not too depressing.

    Character is what you are in the dark. Emilio Lizardo in Buckaroo Bonzai

    by Temmoku on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 08:49:45 PM PDT

  •  "Security by antiquity" (12+ / 0-)

    I think that's the expression that some nerdy Techcrunch type folks give to a strategy to protect of vital functions and data.

    We'd be best off with paper ballots, even precinct-based opscan, that can be recounted in front of everyone's eyes.

    A broadcast report a few years ago from a war-zone (Afghanistan, I think I remember it being) tally of the local/regional elections showed all the townspeople gathered together to watch the counting.

    One of the observers explained the communal witnessing: "Because we don't trust them. We don't trust the other side."

    With all the polarization in this country, that is really the only possible approach to have accurate counting.

    No one has ever prosecuted a computer program for hiding ballots.  A page of computer code can't be held "accountable", or convicted, for dropping votes.

    Funny thing is, you know the GOP is afraid we are winning when they are also talking about the voting machine companies now, and the risk of miscounting.  And they are, on radio shows, they are talking about it.

    •  re: "We'd be best off with paper ballots" Yes! (0+ / 0-)

      Yes! I am so looking forward to being one of the vote counters in my town that night. It's as simple as dealing out playing cards, and I have the comfort of knowing 100% for sure that every single vote, under-vote, over-vote, weird & silly write-in and/or serious write-in gets accounted for and cross-checked so that no matter how many times it gets re-counted it will always be the same and ours is accurate. With paper ballots there is no more Freedom to Tinker.

  •  If true we have no democracy any more. Then its (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    George3

    time to simply give up to superior power and wealth and dastardliness. So I can only cling to the belief that it is not true or if so that there are those who have some control and power who are fighting it. WHY all these efforts to suppress and demoralize the vote by pretending to try to make us fight back like ants against an anteater????????????  Do some people enjoy thinking of the worst case scenario and then finding evidence to support it as a way to cause others to salute them as some kind of wonderkind who is so much better inforemed then the rest of us. These paranoid fantasies of fear run wild are not a great deal of help this close to an election...

    Seems to me that KOS is becoming a hotbed for expression of fear and paranoia. Geesh and here I thought I was a paranoid. Perhaps I should be prepared to fight in the streets against the oligarchy???

    How can you tell when Rmoney is lying? His lips are moving. Fear is the Mind Killer

    by boophus on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 09:05:00 PM PDT

    •  uh ... no (3+ / 0-)

      To all of the above.

      All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

      by subtropolis on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 09:52:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  By dismissing it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nuclear winter solstice

      you do make the GOP's job easier, that's for sure.

      Never believe your own press, never drink your own KoolAid

      by Mindful Nature on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 12:03:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  well, paranoid fantasies of fear are kinda fun (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paul Rogers, XenuLives

      There's no need for anyone to "cling" to anything. We could just check the facts and sort out the reality from the BS, then work on solving the problems that need to be solved. But people don't spontaneously do policy analysis. Story-telling comes more naturally. And one of our favorite stories -- a recurring theme for thousands of years, probably longer -- is that things are going to hell in a hand basket and no one will listen.

      Election protection: there's an app for that!
      Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

      by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 03:01:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Paranoia is way, way too much fun. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HudsonValleyMark, Febble, XenuLives

        Well, yeah.  Paranoia is ridiculously fun.  The GOP is obsessed over tens of thousands of undocumented illegals (and maybe even more) voting in our elections.

        Plus it makes something that you can't understand (a republican winning an election) something you can understand (cheating).

        •  I think a lot of it is just that simple: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Paul Rogers
          Plus it makes something that you can't understand (a republican winning an election) something you can understand (cheating).
          I think that because some people pretty much say so. The first chapter of Mark Crispin Miller's Fooled Again could pretty much be paraphrased: "I can't understand how Bush could have won that election!" I saw at least two Wisconsin recall diaries in the same genre.

          At the same time, there are real problems with the voting systems, and I wish that in 20-effing-12, we were getting better at talking about those.

          Election protection: there's an app for that!
          Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

          by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 04:18:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A lot of states really could use a better system. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HudsonValleyMark, Dbug

            I don't understand why the whole country doesn't have a vote-by-mail ballot thingy like my state (Oregon) does.

            It's simple, you register at an address, they check to make sure you're a citizen, and update the voting rolls to show that you're at whatever address you're at (and not at any previous address).

            One ballot is sent to your mailing address come election time, along with a voter's guide pamphlet, and you have anywhere from one to two weeks to ensure that the thing gets dropped off at a drop site or sent in normally via the mail.

            You fill out your ballot, stuff it in a sealed 'security envelope', you put that in another envelope with your name on it.  Sign it.

            When they receive the envelope, they check your name on a list of voters, mark it off, and take it out, placing the 'security envelope' in a pile.  When that's done, the security envelope is opened and the resulting votes are counted (this step is done to ensure anonymity).

            It's really quite simple, gets everyone who wants to vote, and doesn't have the problems associated with mobilizing many, many tens of thousands of people to the appropriate polling places in a short period of time.

            Really, this sort of idea could probably be done to nullify the voter suppression efforts of the GOP.  Perhaps that's something the rest of the country out to look into?

            •  there are concerns about Vote By Mail (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Paul Rogers, Febble

              If you've followed any of the stories of absentee vote fraud in Florida, that is one line of concern.

              I know some voting security experts who very much look askance at the problems of securing Vote By Mail. It's a somewhat subtle policy issue: it isn't that VBM is utterly awful and some alternative is bulletproof.

              Also, there is something to be said for having an election day on which people (if they are able) go out and vote. Voting is a quintessential public act; maybe it matters whether we can see each other doing it.

              This morning I don't know my bottom line on that issue, and I can't do it justice. I do see good arguments on both sides.

              Election protection: there's an app for that!
              Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

              by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 05:09:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  RE: Verifier (0+ / 0-)

            Glad to see VerifiedVoting.org is still alive.  I also hadn't thought about them in years.  That phone app looks cool, too.

          •  Wow, it's like listening to Mitt Romney lie (0+ / 0-)

            Obviously from all your posts here, Mark, you have your agenda, pushing e-voting. And it's good of you not to hide it. But bashing someone like Mark Crispin Miller, who did an amazing job collecting years worth of evidence on GOP election fraud, shows that your agenda is worth a lot more to you than truth.

            Luckily people who actually read Mark's books know better.

            And guess what? Election protection isn't an "app." It's allowing voters to know how their votes were counted by holding publicly observable elections.

            Or do you consider programmers an elite class who have the right to rule over elections while the rest of the public is told to trust them?

            •  umm, welcome to Daily Kos (0+ / 0-)

              That's... quite a first comment. Any chance that we can "evolve" faster?

              Obviously from all your posts here, Mark, you have your agenda, pushing e-voting. And it's good of you not to hide it.
              It's utter nonsense, so there is nothing to hide. Maybe, in your universe, the mission of Verified Voting is to "push e-voting," but I will have to trust that anyone still reading this thread can sort that out.

              It's a verifiable fact that Mark Crispin Miller repeatedly refers to Bush's victory as a "miracle." It's also a verifiable fact -- completely disregarded by Miller -- that Bush led in most of the polls, nationally and in Ohio. Of course that doesn't prove that Bush won, but it sure makes the "miracle" shtick look silly. Miller has a real knack for disregarding inconvenient facts.

              I really do get that Miller tells an enthralling story. I also know that a lot of smart people, who would love to agree with Miller if they could find their way clear to do it, have found that the evidence just doesn't add up.

              Luckily people who actually read Mark's books know better.
              I know a professor who used to assign Fooled Again as a case study in how not to do election forensics. (He has moved on to Loser Take All, which I don't think he likes any better.) If you think that everyone who reads Miller's books agrees with them, you are seriously misleading yourself.

              But if there is anything in Miller's writing that you want to lift up as evidence that the 2004 election was stolen, by all means let's discuss it.

              Election protection: there's an app for that!
              Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

              by HudsonValleyMark on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 10:04:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Really? So you do not personally support e-voting? (0+ / 0-)

                Please, clarify what system you do support?

                And though I'm painfully impressed that you know a professor (I know some, too, weird, huh?) the fact that he also wants to bash Mark Crispin Miller's work actually does nothing to affect my own opinion of his books. Funny how the word "professor" just doesn't send me cowering in sudden apprehension that I might be completely wrong in my assessments.

                Anyway, Mark, I'm very aware of who you are, what your positions are, and what you do in forums like these, so I have no interest in wasting my time with you in something akin to "debate" or "dialog" but in actuality just an exercise in unpleasant futility.

                I don't usually bother posting in Daily Kos and rarely bother reading anything here, but someone made me aware that you were once again giddily bashing Mark, who I've met personally a few times, and because I respect him and his work (and the work of the many investigators who are featured in his books) -- and I abhor your stupid attacks on him -- I wanted to say it here, for posterity. Now its said. Catch ya later.

                •  Hmm . . maybe you're not who I think you are (0+ / 0-)

                  I might be actually mixing you up with another poster named Mark also, who constantly argues for the continued use of computers in elections, and also bashes Mark Crispin Miller, Bev Harris, and others.

                  Unless you are that same person but you've changed your position on electronic voting?

                  •  Not to confuse you with Mark the Anarchist! (0+ / 0-)

                    There's another Mark who shows up on all these threads - or used to - telling everyone NOT to vote at all.

                    But that's clearly not you.

                  •  umm, huh? (0+ / 0-)

                    Another poster named Mark also?

                    I do post in other places, and my name is always Mark (although my username varies), but it really does sound as if you are confusing me with someone else.

                    I don't expect HCPB to sweep the country -- the trend is the other way -- but it works great for some jurisdictions. I think optical scan with good ballot security and auditing provisions is probably the most practical approach for larger jurisdictions; I'm not militant about it.

                    I'm critical of Mark Crispin Miller's work because I don't think it's good work. There's no great mystery about that; it has nothing to do with an e-voting agenda either overt or covert. It doesn't take an e-voting agenda to think that Bush's victory in Ohio was less than miraculous.

                    Election protection: there's an app for that!
                    Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

                    by HudsonValleyMark on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 04:50:17 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Your premise (0+ / 0-)

      isn't valid. Who said we don't have democracy any more? I read that this is a 'threat to' democracy. As you may recall, keeping it may take constant vigilance. That is what pieces like this are. It calls for action, not derision.

      I've seen a video of an investigation into some of the voting machines and it absolutely calls for corrective action. The machines are too easy to rig and too easy to hack.

      If we must count paper ballots, then that is what we must do. To take your attitude is like pretending identity theft isn't happening. Take that chance with your wallet, but please take your civic duties a little more seriously.

      Read one of those boxes in the above. One reason nothing is done is the fear of being ridiculed as 'a conspiracy theorist.' In other words, just what you've done here.

      Interesting, huh?

  •  Depressing, for sure. I remember so (5+ / 0-)

    well how miserable I felt after the 2004 election. And I haven't thought about Bev Harris for a long, long time. But in the last week or so I thought a lot about Ohio and how Rmoney could pull a Rovie/Bushie win.

  •  Paper ballots (14+ / 0-)

    that can be scanned and/or recounted are the only way to have a fair and trustworthy vote.  It really doesn't matter whether they are pen-on-paper or punched by a gadget, but the voter has to be able to see the result of her mark, and know that it can be correctly counted.

    Only a fool would trust a "system" that left no paper trail . . .

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 09:16:28 PM PDT

    •  And counted in public with observers. (11+ / 0-)

      Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

      by Catskill Julie on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 09:30:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And move to vote by mail (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoregon

      to prevent any polling place thuggery, intimidation, bogus challenging, and shit.

      (By mail... or drop off at sanctioned and secure locations.)

      There's nothing wrong with the Republican Party that a direct hit by an asteroid wouldn't fix.

      by PDX Dem on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 11:23:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Vote by mail (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HudsonValleyMark

        is very hackable.  One of the few forms of election fraud we actually have in the UK.

        •  maybe at some point you can elaborate (0+ / 0-)

          I try not to be unfair to VBM, because I've never lived with it.

          By the way, the Collier article under discussion -- well, if one thinks that Jonathan Simon is pretty much the supreme arbiter of political analysis, it's great.

          The statistically anomalous shifting of votes to the conservative right has become so pervasive in post-HAVA America that it now has a name of its own. Experts call it the "red shift."
          Ah, yes, the experts. Maybe instead of talking about "red shift," they should dub it "highly energetic unreacted thermitic material" and see if they can publish in The Open Chemical Physics Journal. Shrug.

          Election protection: there's an app for that!
          Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

          by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 06:11:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Postal Voting and Electoral Fraud 2001 (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HudsonValleyMark
            •  thanks -- upon a skim... (0+ / 0-)

              Some themes seem to be that it's a real problem; there is dispute about how large it is; some administrative factors make it worse; that being the case, some reforms could (perhaps) substantially ameliorate it; people can reasonably disagree about whether postal voting is a bane or boon on net.

              Obviously I'm not posing as an expert, having more or less flipped through the pages. Do I seem far off?

              Election protection: there's an app for that!
              Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

              by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:00:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sounds like a fair reading :) (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                HudsonValleyMark

                But from where I'm standing (the UK) fraud just wasn't an issue at all until postal voting became available more readily.

                So it's not a cureall.  But it does involve paper :)

                •  that makes sense (0+ / 0-)

                  I think I feel similarly in the New York context: widespread Vote By Mail creates more problems than it solves. I certainly see why some people disagree.

                  Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, a Kossack who has lurked for over three years without posting a single comment has just come out of the shadows to call out my "agenda, pushing e-voting." But I'm sure he(?) isn't one of those conspiracy theorists!

                  Election protection: there's an app for that!
                  Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

                  by HudsonValleyMark on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 10:19:42 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You and I agree here (0+ / 0-)

                    Vote by mail is a bad choice. No chain of custody.

                    If I am wrong that you support e-voting, then perhaps I am confusing you with another Mark who I've seen post all over the Internet -- and I did think this was you -- who not only promotes e-voting, but regularly bashes Mark Crispin Miller and tries to "debunk" the work of very decent and honest election investigators.

                    Are you just his cousin?

                    •  heck if I know what you're talking about (0+ / 0-)

                      Who has time to post all over the internet? I sure as hell don't. But I may have debunked someone you like.

                      Whoever it was who did the debunking, was he right on the facts, or wrong? If he was right, he can be my cousin, if he isn't me.

                      If you didn't exactly notice whether he was right or wrong, but just decided that he was on the opposite side, well, shrug.

                      (I didn't mean "lurking" as a pejorative, by the way, but I do understand about not even remembering you had an account somewhere.)

                      Election protection: there's an app for that!
                      Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

                      by HudsonValleyMark on Wed Oct 17, 2012 at 04:58:31 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  HudsonValleyMark (0+ / 0-)

                      has certainly done a fair bit of debunking, for which I applaud him.  He has also promoted (and helped design) good mandatory, independent, random audit procedures, auditable paper ballots, and secure custody of the ballots between the casting of the vote and the audit.

                      He's also investigated e-voting errors (whether deliberate or otherwise) that could have put the wrong person in office.

                      He's bashed Mark Crispin Miller (as have I) where (IMO) Mark Crispin Miller has been wrong, but applauded him when he's been right.  IIRC he was instrumental in getting MCM to emphasise voter suppression rather than electronic vote fraud (the former having plenty of evidence to support it, the latter fairly little, at least on an election-stealing scale).

                      Full disclosure: I have worked closely with HudsonValleyMark in trying to sift the real problems from the chaff.  There's been a fair bit of chaff.

                  •  And I don't lurk . . . (0+ / 0-)

                    I actually never come here. I signed up years back and then was turned off by the site for various reasons, I frequent other online news sources. Someone alerted me to your comments against Mark Crispin Miller and that's the only reason I responded. Actually I didn't even know I had once signed up and had an account . . .

  •  This is the reason that we have to make sure (17+ / 0-)

    that President is way out ahead in the swing states. Someone here called it beyond the MOT (margin of theft).

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 09:19:59 PM PDT

  •  Losers have always claimed the ballot box was (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    George3, Sharon Wraight

    stuffed.  Doesn't mean they are wrong but they always claim it.

    Romney is George W. Bush without brains.

    by thestructureguy on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 09:48:48 PM PDT

  •  I certainly didn't think it was over (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, George3, G2geek

    And it's only going to become worse unless addressed in a serious manner. And i'm not optimistic as long as individual states control the process. Not that i don't understand why that is, but i do think it's untenable without some sort of federal oversight.

    I'm not USian, btw.

    All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

    by subtropolis on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 09:50:13 PM PDT

  •  Ballots or bullets: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Emmy, XenuLives

    What the vote-stealers and election-hackers need to understand is this:

    If they systematically and pervasively steal enough elections, they will trigger a wave of political violence and civil unrest unlike anything we have seen since the riots of the 1960s.

    The guarantees of universal suffrage and fair elections are not just "good" in and of themselves, for intrinsic reasons.  They're also "good" because they preserve the peace and domestic tranquility, and a lawful society that solves its problems with words rather than with weapons.  

    America is armed to the teeth.  The right wing, famously so.  But progressives, no less so, though less well-known.  And to the usual arsenal of firepower, add hastily-concocted poisons, gases, and explosives, all courtesy of recipes posted far and wide on the internet.  

    The more polarized our society gets, the more of a powder-keg it becomes.  And the smaller and smaller the spark it takes to set the whole thing off.  

    Everyone, including the idiot plutocrats who think that their gated communities are safe against DIY drones, has a stake in universal suffrage and fair elections.  

    After this election, we have got to make free & fair elections a major issue.  Paper ballots, with human-readable marks, counted by hand, are the only acceptable standard.  The place for high tech is in the form of a proliferation of webcams in vote-counting locations, that enable anyone to watch the count up close and in detail, from their homes.  That will keep the count honest.  And that in turn will keep the peace.

    "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

    by G2geek on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 11:21:55 PM PDT

    •  I wouldn't worry about it that much. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm sure it's coming down the pipeline.  The GOP has made disenfranchising people a political agenda for a while now, so it's not going to disappear as an issue after a single election.  Like abortion, they've opened a can of worms that will make them appear more behind the times, and political movements and agendas like that take a while to be known and take a while to organize and work against.

      Voting integrity is an important issue, but it's probably not something we need to worry about being dominated by fraud.

      •  it's not a matter of vote fraud.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DarkestHour, turn blue

        .... it's a matter of wholesale hackery of computer-driven voting machines.

        Thou shalt not make machines with invisible parts.

        The only acceptable voting "machine" is one with all the parts visible and their relationships understandable to an average person.  

        But better yet, paper ballots.  There is no more justification for computerizing something that doesn't need it, than there is for driving an automobile fifty feet to get to one's mailbox at the end of the driveway.  Really.  

        How many Rube Goldberg contraptions do you have at your house?  Does a robin have to fly in the window and run into a tennis racquet connected to a cuckoo-clock that drops a fizzy in a glass that overflows across an electric contact, that causes a solenoid to open an umbrella, etc. etc., just to pour you a drink of water?   Do a dozen mice need to run in little exercise-wheels to power a brush to clean your rugs?

        That's software-controlled voting right there.

        And YES we should worry about it, and we should have Election Protection out in force at every polling place across the USA to deal with any reports of voting machine tweakery or intimidation thuggery or any other thing that prevents an honest citizen from casting an honest ballot.  

        Voting is the most important exercise in our representative democracy.  It deserves all the care we can bring to it.  And it deserves to be protected with the kind of ferocity that parents reserve for protecting their kids from kidnappers.

        "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

        by G2geek on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 04:06:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Re: across the USA (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DarkestHour, G2geek

          The article compares the US with Germany (!), who have instituted a nationwide opensource vote counting solution, and Ireland, which bought millions of dollars of vote counting machines and then sold them for junk when they realized they couldn't trust the results.

          •  even open-source isn't secure, due to... (0+ / 0-)

            .... the risk of boot-loader viruses, that can infiltrate a machine before the "clean" operating system even loads.  A corrupt company or an organized group could hack open-source voting machines easily enough and never be detected.

            The place for high tech in elections is in the form of complete and universal webcam surveillance (including close-ups) of vote counting processes, that can be watched live by anyone who goes to a URL, and also broadcast over local cable TV public access channels.  

            For example you could watch the wide-area shot of the room on your television, and zoom in on vote-counters on your computer screen.  

            Paper ballots, manual count, high-tech surveillance broadcast: solution.

            "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

            by G2geek on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 01:40:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I thought they counted by hand in Germany? (0+ / 0-)

            I have a good friend who lives there and she says they've started counting paper ballots by hand, but I can't verify that.

        •  You can help too (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek

          I know OFA will be out in force on EDAY to prevent any intimidation, work the polls, and watch out for shenanigans. If you can take the day off it would be worth it to volunteer to watch over your polling place.

          •  Oakland CA here... (0+ / 0-)

            .... I can't recall any examples of shenanigans happening here, we're about as blue as it gets and people are feisty about their rights.  At the DK meet-up for the debate on the 22nd I'm going to ask around as to what I can do that's most useful.

            As it is I've been bugging people I know including in swing states, managed to persuade one, got another registered, and so it goes.  Small effort but every vote counts.  Generally I'm at the mercy of my work schedule which at times can be relentless and is very difficult to predict.  

            "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

            by G2geek on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 01:44:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  re: not even discussed... (0+ / 0-)
    The most depressing part of the article is how the subject of election counting integrity is not even discussed, by either the press or progressive politicians.
    Well I've suffered through years of being called a CT, but I haven't given up waiting for the discussion. So a couple years ago I asked a Poli Sci Prof. at my college why we weren't looking at this- in fact we were looking away from it deliberately. This professor was a person who specialized in election demographics. That's why I asked him the question. He said that he 'hadn't heard' about election irregularities (yeah, right) but I had him pinned in his office and continued dumping on him all of the known evidence and encouraged him to watch Hacking Democracy, which amazingly enough was actually running on HBO. At that point he admitted that perhaps there had been problems...So I asked him directly, then why aren't YOU out there saying something about it? He said, and I quote, "I'm an 'academic.' I don't have to." He was basically scared shitless that America would descend into some kind of chaotic madness if we were to look ourselves in the mirror on this issue.

    Meanwhile, lotsa people remember "Don't Taze Me, Bro!"
    But do they remember that the reason he was carried out of there?
    [according to wiki the student: "entered into a planned line of questioning and was escorted away from the microphone."] And I'm sure that it was "a planned line of questioning," because he put Kerry on the spot by getting him to admit that he had read Armed Madhouse. Good for you Andrew Meyer.

    •  Problems yes, but conspiracy? Ehh, probably not. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nuclear winter solstice

      Part of the problem with conspiracy theories is that all that can be demonstrated is anomalous information exists.  The idea that the evidence can fit together in some sinister way is just hinted at.  Exactly how it all fits together with specific details and a clear timeline is left out.  Because that's where the idea breaks down.

      I've never seen either of those sources you talk about, but I wonder, what would the motive of John Kerry possibly be to have people like this dissociated from his campaign?  Is he trying to prevent election fraud evidence from going mainstream, or is he trying to not be associated with a conspiracy theory?

      I know which one I'd believe.

      (P.S. I know I'm implying you're a CT, but that implication is unintended.  There's just no way to respond to the thing you've said without the implication.  Remember, it is usually better to assume incompetence instead of malice.)

      •  Sure thing. Now the "source" that Kerry did NOT (0+ / 0-)

        want to discuss in public refers back to the irregularities in a campaign in which Kerry conceded his "loss" in less than 24 hours after election day. On Nov. 3rd,

        "I would not give up this fight if there was a chance we would prevail," he told supporters in Boston.
        snip- (link)
        With Ohio, Mr Bush now has 274 Electoral College votes, four more than needed for victory. Mr Kerry has 252 votes.

        US President George W Bush watching the results with his family, including former President George H Bush
        Mr Bush has a stronger mandate than in 2000
        Results are still awaited in New Mexico and Iowa but they cannot affect the outcome.

        The delay in declaring Ohio a win for Mr Bush came about because the Democrats said there were a substantial number of uncounted absentee and provisional ballots that could still have clinched it for Mr Kerry.

        But in his concession speech, Mr Kerry said it was clear that there were not enough outstanding votes to win Ohio.

        He said it was vital that every vote must count and be counted, but the outcome should be decided by voters, not a protracted legal process.

        my emphasis- yeah, right, Kerry. Thanks fer nothin'.

        Meanwhile, my house in NH had been inundated with Massachusetts Kerry campaigners. I told them each that I would invite them in and listen to them if they could first tell me what was BCCI, and what did Kerry know about it. He had the perfect time and way to educate all his young supporters about who did what evil things back in the day. Instead, the former Freshman Senator with balls dropped them big time. Not a one of them had ever heard of it. Only a couple of his supporters looked troubled and said they would check it out.
        So apparently, at less than 24 hours for that decision, it requires more time, testing, and accountability to abort a baby in this country than to abort a whole election process.

        Please pardon the harshness of my comparison, but how many more people died [of Bush admin wars] due to Kerry's "decision"?

        •  The Supreme Court decision in 2000 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nuclear winter solstice

          was more to blame IMO.

          I don't think Kerry won in 2004, dirty though the election was.  And I have yet to read a non-self-contradictory case that he did.

          •  interesting. but Kerry sure didn't give any of us (0+ / 0-)

            any time to find out for sure. I will never buy the push to have a president- any president - immediately from a bunch of lawyers who know perfectly well the value of stalling or expediting towards their goal.

            •  Yeah, I wasn't happy with Kerry's early concession (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nuclear winter solstice

              either, given the prima facie evidence of those appalling lines to vote in Ohio urban precincts, especially of black voters.

              He should have stuck up for his black supporters, as a matter of principle, whatever the cost to his amour propre as a "sore loser".  It wasn't about him, it was about democracy.

              Thank goodness for John Conyers, and the people who forced a debate as the electors cast their votes.

              IMO, it was a very great shame that the focus shifted to fancy electronic fraud, for which there was little evidence, to widespread disenfranchisement that disproportionately affected Kerry's voters, for which there was plenty.

              http://www.dailykos.com/...

              •  I suggest you read the Harper's article. (0+ / 0-)

                Ohio vote tally was even more fradulent than reported.

                Voting machines are controlled by various companies owned/managed by a few very ideological Republicans, all of whom are in bed with each other.

                A closed mind believes the future and the present will be the same, attempting to counteract an underlying fear that the future will be worse than the present, which inhibits the tendency to question at all. (Paraphrasing "A Course in Miracles.")

                by ceebee7 on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 03:52:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Read the Harper's article. You may change (0+ / 0-)

            your thinking.

            A closed mind believes the future and the present will be the same, attempting to counteract an underlying fear that the future will be worse than the present, which inhibits the tendency to question at all. (Paraphrasing "A Course in Miracles.")

            by ceebee7 on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 03:47:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Can't find it online (0+ / 0-)

              Tell me what argument and/or evidence presented in it that persuades you that more voters cast votes for Kerry in 2004 than cast votes for Bush.

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