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Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:07 AM

Actual video of voting machine changing to Romney

Maybe this was posted already, somewhere, but here it is:
http://thenextweb.com/shareables/2012/11/06/reddit-user-captures-video-of-2012-voting-machines-altering-votes/

The voter, a software engineer, thought it was a calibration problem and so he started trouble shooting, selecting other candidates, which took. However, when he chose Obama, a vote for Romney was made instead.
He then took out his cell phone and started recording.

My question, if this was done on purpose, then why make the Romney checked box visible? Why not just make the person think they voted for Obama, while the machine ups the tally for Romney. Still this is unnerving and should NEVER happen since some people may not notice the change.

13 replies, 989 views

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Response to onlyadream (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:19 AM

1. I think the machine was just out of registration

I work the polls with what looks like the same type of voter machine.

In this case the machine did not change the vote, it just misread the place where the voter touched the screen and selected the wrong box. If the machine is not set up properly including what is called registration, it will not detect exactly where the voter touches the screen. Some of us have seen the same thing on our smart phone or tablets. There is a program that needs to be run that fixes the registration, but the poll workers do not have access to it, so we just cancel the ballot and shut down the machine until someone comes and fixes it. In this election, it may have been best to just keep the machine out of service.

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Response to onlyadream (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:34 AM

2. Actually, no.

The rest of the slate was properly calibrated.

The only thing not calibrated properly was the Obama box; there was a small spot under the button that allowed you to vote for Obama. It was posted here.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/101776391

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Response to PDJane (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 11:48 AM

6. I'm sorry, but this is just a bad calibrated or broken machine.

The software in these machines do not know what if being voted upon, only where on the screen a ballot race box is. There is a single source for the ballots across a particular precinct. If this were some kind of fraud, then either this machine would have a different ballot race table for this precinct than the rest of the machines in the precinct or the machine is out of register. The fact that it got other spots on the ballot correct is immaterial. I have seen this behavior on machines in our precinct and it was fixed when the technician came an re-calibrated it.

We have enough real problems with suppressing the votes, this is not one of them.

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Response to PuppyBismark (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 04:01 PM

10. No. It's not. A badly calibrated machine would have more than just the presidential race

flipped or miscalculated. The screen is deliberately off, and yes, you have to programme the screen in the same way that you programme every other interface.

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Response to PDJane (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 07:16 PM

11. It probably did on the next page of the ballot, but the presidential ballot is on the first page.

We have no idea what it did on the next page of the ballot because the machine was shut down on that page. Again, it did not flip the vote to mittens, but rather just improperly selected him. If it had flipped, you would see the check mark on President Obama's entry and then have it erased to be on mittens.

Also, the implied fact that other voting machines in that precinct did not have the problems reinforces the view that it was a registration problem with this machine. Screens are not "programmed" in the programming sense, but rather there are tables that define each race. These tables are loaded into all the machines in a precinct and should behave the same if the equipment is in registration.

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Response to PDJane (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 07:26 PM

12. Ballot definition file

IF it only happens when trying to select one candidate, you check the ballot definition file. But only if recalibrating doesnt work.

I forget, I think a template is used to write ballots.

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Response to onlyadream (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:42 AM

3. Has there ever been a voting machine that flipped from Republican

to Democratic? I can't remember ever hearing about one.

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Response to bluethruandthru (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:59 AM

4. there were a small handful of claims by Repugs ...

but no evidence whatsoever.

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Response to zbdent (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:20 AM

5. I'd love to find a list of all the documented cases of vote flipping

no matter which way they flipped. And I hope that we finally get serious about changing the way we vote in this country. It's absolutely unbelievable that we allow our electronic voting machines to be controlled by private companies.

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Response to bluethruandthru (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 03:09 PM

7. Were I live they started using scantron forms

We used to have the lever type, but I think the scantrons are probably the best.

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Response to bluethruandthru (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 07:35 PM

13. Old style touchscreens yes

they worked via galvanic response, the small of electricity created by the human body. If a district was a strong GOP area, all those GOP voters would leave skin oils on the GOP selection, eventually providing an insulating effect, this would cause selection of the nearest candidate, a Dem.

I believe most touchscreen voting equipment now uses a pressure sensitive layer to avoid those problems.

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Response to onlyadream (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 03:42 PM

8. "Why not just make the person think they voted for Obama, while the machine ups the tally for Romney

As someone who has (not lately, though) done some database programming on Windows, your question is almost always avoided on these discussions. It is beyond trivial to do exactly what your question asks, and any programmer lame enough to wave a flag screaming "Your vote was just stolen!" should have their keyboard confiscated. I tend to believe that these reports are due to uncalibrated touchscreens and nothing more.

If any real hacking is occurring, it is with man-in-the-middle attacks or directly at the central tabulator machines.

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Response to IDemo (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 03:44 PM

9. I agree.

If somebody wanted to still the election they wouldn't let the voter know his vote was changed.
But they shouldn't be using touch screen machines that can flip the votes due to being off calibration.

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