Skip to main content

It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. -Stalin
Does anybody know or care that Mitt Romney's tough-talking kid owns a substantial share of the voting machines that will count the votes in at least six states?

I'm going to take this from the broadest level -- the one that says having computers count votes is dumb in itself -- and taper down to the point, which is that nobody should be able to own the machines that count the votes, let alone one of the candidates' sons.

More below...

I am a technologist.  It's what I do.  It's what I love.  It's how I earn a large chunk of the very comfortable living I am so fortunate and grateful to make.  

And I think computerized vote counters suck.

We don't need a computer to do this.  Computers are great at doing complex calculations over and over again.  That's all the video on your tablet is: a series of complex calculations happening very fast.  That's all a computing device does -- compute -- and it does it very well.

Counting votes is not high math.  It doesn't need to be done in a microsecond or repeated millions of times.  As a programmer, I know how easily one line of code can radically change the output of a program, how code becomes buggy, and I know that human beings can do some things better than computers.  Did you know that there is an app to match your socks?  Tell me that's not stupid, but at least it's not hurting anybody.  

Having a machine count votes is asking for trouble, especially since the source code that runs these machines is proprietary and secret.  Nobody should own this code.  It should be subject to intense scrutiny either by (preferably) the large community of programmers or by some bipartisan public commission charged with auditing it and making sure no shenanigans are going on.  We need to demand an audit of this code!  I can't stress that enough.

Most of my colleagues could write a basic voting and vote tallying program on their lunch breaks, and I'm not exaggerating.  What's the big secret here?  You've got a couple of buttons and one database table tallying the results, maybe two or three tables if you want to keep a record of how each individual voter voted (which would -- I hope -- violate privacy laws, but I'm not a lawyer...).  What is the big secret here?  Why can't we see the damn code?!?

OK so you have this secret code counting votes, and it's owned by private companies.  Sound like a recipe for disaster to you?  Now let one of the candidates' sons buy the company that owns the code.  It's absurd.  Even if it were tinfoil hattery to say that Willard's kid bought the machines in six states (which, unfortunately, it is not), how have we gotten to a point where this is even possible?

It boils down to three points:


  1. Letting machines tally votes is stupid in itself
  2. If we must do it this way, we should at least be able to confirm that the machines are doing what we are told they are doing.
  3. Nobody should be able to privately own these machines as they are performing a critical public function which is inherently prone to corruption by private self-interest

How fucking stupid have we become to allow this?  This is an outrage!  Why does nobody care?  Why does the media not report this?  (Those are rhetorical questions.)

End.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

democrattotheend, Mimikatz, DeminNewJ, Terri, northsylvania, RF, erik in grayslake, Chi, hester, melo, deben, kate mckinnon, Subterranean, 4democracy, native, SaveDemocracy, MarkC, Gooserock, DebtorsPrison, bosdcla14, johnmorris, Avila, donna in evanston, Wintermute, kpardue, cotterperson, bramish, genethefiend, LynnS, frsbdg, TX Unmuzzled, StevenJoseph, blksista, WI Deadhead, zeroooo, exNYinTX, bookbear, hubcap, beav, madhaus, thepook, INMINYMA, Gustogirl, Zinman, TracieLynn, fugwb, wonkydonkey, lippythelion69, CatFelyne, boadicea, Minerva, PBnJ, Aquarius40, rabel, Dhavo, jalbert, Nate Roberts, wonmug, jted, artebella, Quege, hopesprings, scorpiorising, Getreal1246, psnyder, emmasnacker, American Zapatista, coconutjones, dustbin, exiledfromTN, duncanidaho, yet another liberal, astronautagogo, HeyMikey, chickeee, The Walrus, tombstone, RebeccaG, riverlover, zerelda, coldCanadian, KayCeSF, tomjones, Wife of Bath, ScienceMom, Mosquito Pilot, Steven D, jcrit, Albanius, Thestral, solesse413, vivadissent, boran2, Josiah Bartlett, Sybil Liberty, kmbaya, davidkc, gradinski chai, drofx, ivorysteve, humphrey, Simian, marina, tle, el dorado gal, LarisaW, subtropolis, tRueffert, irate, offred, KnotIookin, elkhunter, Simplify, ChemBob, Kevskos, reflectionsv37, eru, owlbear1, Beetwasher, where4art, Ice Blue, Little Lulu, Steve in Urbana, bmaples, kaliope, rb608, SBandini, Savvy813, WisePiper, Lisa Lockwood, Eileen B, Cory Bantic, SocioSam, Alan Arizona, WayBeyondSoccerMom, ChuckInReno, Jim R, SSMir, martini, Sanuk, BalanceSeeker, irishwitch, rcbowman, Kingsmeg, vigilant meerkat, BlueInARedState, tonyahky, cookseytalbott, sleipner, KenBee, blueoasis, DarkestHour, TalkieToaster, MJ via Chicago, need pr, Rosaura, jerseyjo, Bush Bites, real world chick, happy camper, middleagedhousewife, BlueMississippi, AmBushed, IL clb, rage, democracy is coming, doingbusinessas, zeke7237, jjellin, Tom Anderson, nycvisionary, Aaa T Tudeattack, One Pissed Off Liberal, Noor B, c0wfunk, Cronesense, Mom to Miss M, ksp, Debs2, Wino, la urracca, terabytes, deepeco, bnasley, artisan, Back In Blue, SeaTurtle, jnhobbs, millwood, carpunder, fbiots, uciguy30, Chico David RN, Sarea, Timmethy, Puffin, Zydekos, bewild, Azubia, fb, JDWolverton, 123man, jwinIL14, rogerdaddy, gfv6800, wyvern, wayoutinthestix, zerone, Cordwainer, elwior, Cat Servant, wagdog, KJG52, VL Baker, jamess, Lujane, rssrai, tofumagoo, Cassandra Waites, dewley notid, Hanging Up My Tusks, pickandshovel, Jeff Y, home solar, mofembot, SmileySam, Executive Odor, HarpboyAK, Mayfly, mellow yellow, dmhlt 66, angelino, toom, David Futurama, SolarMom, princess k, statsone, GustavMahler, michaeloberg, maggiejean, prettygirlxoxoxo, Bule Betawi, Kansas Born, Dirtandiron, ARS, Carol in San Antonio, pvmuse, wmdrpa, geebeebee, elziax, dskoe, MySobriquet, papahaha, Shelley99, Little Flower, NJ Boomer, susan in sc, Hamlets Father, Larsstephens, ruscle, The Distillery, Broke And Unemployed, Laurilei, KroneckerD, pyegar, flitedocnm, Dontstopbelieving, NJpeach, eXtina, politik, Orlaine, freeport beach PA, JohnAdams999, lasermoth, ssentamu, elginblt, 2020adam, DerAmi, Jaimas, SoonerG, addisnana, Maverick80229, roystah, tremayne, Floande, USHomeopath, Oh Mary Oh, slice, DMentalist, Wisdumb, sinnyc, Mike08, Colorado is the Shiznit, redlum jak, surfermom, Front Toward Enemy, nervousnellie, slowbutsure, jardin32, hooktool, myadestes, Susipsych, Mistral Wind, Bluerall, lighttheway, FightingRegistrar, molunkusmol, PedalingPete, mrsgoo, marleycat, PorridgeGun, AgavePup, DruidQueen, Wheever, BarackStarObama, smoothnmellow, Joost van der Lugt, EagleOfFreedom, LSmith, pensivelady, bluedust, poliwrangler, blue muon, bakeneko, DRo, r fisher, PrometheusUnbound, AgentOfProgress, No one gets out alive, no more low hanging fruit, StonyB, Mindful Nature, rexxnyc, laurustina, barkingcat, AnnieR, BoomerInOz, FreeSpeaker, congenitalefty, kewhawaii, jan4insight, MartyM, DidiGogo, lunachickie, oldpotsmuggler, avsp, Kenneth Thomas, marty marty, George3, Robynhood too, CalBearMom, pearldive, Milhawkee, ebailey, Geriw, jbob, LiberalSage, SheilaKinBrooklyn, entrelac, GwenM, birdfeeder, howabout, QDMacaw, helpImdrowning, GreenMother, Avilyn, Laura Wnderer, Diamond Mind, ziniko, blue91, Ginsu, OregonWetDog, Michael Chadwick, Kombema, TheDuckManCometh, pianogramma, Yakhooves, shinobi9

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site