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Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:11 AM

Dear President Obama, Glad You Won, But Can We Fix The Voting Machines Before 2016?

Dear President Obama, Glad You Won, But Can We Fix The Voting Machines Before 2016?

Many of the systems currently in use contain “back doors” through which alterations can be made to voting data without leaving a trace.

The transmission methods from precincts to the central tabulation repositories in many states are compromised and open to “man-in-the-middle” attacks.

The source code for all of these systems is closely held by the five big voting machine companies. When some of it was examined in the The 2007 Ohio EVEREST Voting Study, the software was deemed inept and insecure.

If there were systemic fraud in the system, we would have no way of knowing it, except through analysis of statistical anomalies.


Thank you Mr. President.

47 replies, 3026 views

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Reply Dear President Obama, Glad You Won, But Can We Fix The Voting Machines Before 2016? (Original post)
Zorra Nov 2012 OP
MineralMan Nov 2012 #1
Zorra Nov 2012 #7
MineralMan Nov 2012 #11
RobertEarl Nov 2012 #17
marions ghost Nov 2012 #36
RobertEarl Nov 2012 #43
marions ghost Nov 2012 #44
northoftheborder Nov 2012 #8
PDJane Nov 2012 #2
RockaFowler Nov 2012 #5
HereSince1628 Nov 2012 #6
Lint Head Nov 2012 #3
Zorra Nov 2012 #18
marions ghost Nov 2012 #37
Zorra Nov 2012 #39
marions ghost Nov 2012 #41
justabob Nov 2012 #4
RobertEarl Nov 2012 #9
randome Nov 2012 #12
RobertEarl Nov 2012 #15
randome Nov 2012 #16
RobertEarl Nov 2012 #19
Zorra Nov 2012 #20
randome Nov 2012 #21
Zorra Nov 2012 #22
RobertEarl Nov 2012 #25
Zorra Nov 2012 #31
MineralMan Nov 2012 #23
RobertEarl Nov 2012 #26
MineralMan Nov 2012 #32
RobertEarl Nov 2012 #34
marions ghost Nov 2012 #38
randome Nov 2012 #10
Zorra Nov 2012 #24
randome Nov 2012 #27
FogerRox Nov 2012 #47
FogerRox Nov 2012 #29
randome Nov 2012 #30
FogerRox Nov 2012 #46
JohnnyRingo Nov 2012 #13
marions ghost Nov 2012 #40
SoCalDem Nov 2012 #14
ananda Nov 2012 #28
RomneyLies Nov 2012 #33
marions ghost Nov 2012 #35
librechik Nov 2012 #42
marions ghost Nov 2012 #45

Response to Zorra (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:16 AM

1. It's one of those "states' rights" things.

Sort of. However, since every two years, we elect House and Senate members, the federal government can set some regulations on elections, even though election practices are reserved for the states.

I think the federal government could say, for example:

All voting systems for any election that involves candidates for Congress or President must produce a paper trail that can be verified by the individual voter at the time of voting to make sure his or her vote was recorded correctly, and that can be used in manual recounts.

I think the federal government could not say:

Voting machines may not be used in elections that involve candidates for Congress or President.

It's a complex issue, and one where Congress would have to create legislation that would pass SCOTUS muster.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:26 AM

7. Maybe after SCOTUS regains a liberal majority, President Obama could issue and EO,

under the auspices that electronic voting systems are a threat to national security.

Because they really are a clear threat to our national security.

There is already enough existent evidence to make this an undeniable fact that could successfully be argued before a reasonable SCOTUS.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:32 AM

11. I doubt that would work. EOs are useful only really for Executive Branch

functions. Elections are still an individual state function. To truly reform the election process will take some very carefully-designed legislation. And right now, the House isn't going to cooperate with that. We need a House majority to be elected in 2014.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:45 AM

17. We had a true reform of the election process

They called it HAVA. It was a $3 billion congressional spending plan passed by the republican congress in 2002.

And here we are. See my simple solution below to fix this problem.

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #17)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:17 PM

36. HAVA was a boondoggle to Republican e-voting companies

All that money-- and now embarrassed state officials are trying to get RID of the unveriable, unreliable machines-- trying to pretend they've aged out. But they were no good to begin with.

DREs cost 5X as much as optiscan counted paper ballots. The taxpayers got ripped off in a big way.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #36)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:40 PM

43. Tom Delay and Rove = HAVA

My state of North Carolina got rid of the paperless machines in 2005.
Unfortunately we still have very little accounting of what the Opscans tell us what the count is. The struggle continues.

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #43)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:54 PM

44. Right

HAVA will go down in history as one of the worst abuses of power in the Booshcheney era.

Yes, the struggle continues...

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:27 AM

8. I'm really exhausted with NOT talking about our inadequate and dangerous voting systems.....

....except right before every election. The subject just is dropped.

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Response to Zorra (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:19 AM

2. Fix the gerrymandering. That would help.

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Response to PDJane (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:25 AM

5. Amen to that!

Poor Pennsylvania

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Response to PDJane (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:26 AM

6. Also one of those states' rights things...unless

you come from a state named to have been historically guilty of cheating people out of their votes.

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Response to Zorra (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:24 AM

3. It's wonderful when I see these types of articles in noted magazines and websites but

does it really make any difference if the President does not see it? It does say 'Dear Mr. President' but that doesn't mean it was actually sent to him. It seems he points out personal emails and letters before articles.
We need to inundate the White House and our Representatives with correspondence to demonstrate how vulnerable and weak our voting system is.

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Response to Lint Head (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:46 AM

18. Agreed, but using methods of communication to inform others is primary to assembling

enough individuals to form a sizable enough collective to inundate the WH and Congress with these correspondences.

That's why I posted this.

This is not rocket science. It's basic addition: How does 1 + 1 = 0? Answer: With Electronic Voting Machine Math.

The President and Congress are well aware of the inherent non-democratic nature of electronic voting, as well as widespread public concern over electronic voting.

It is extremely disturbing that, year after year, Congress fails to even seriously discuss this issue.

"An open and honest examination of the flaws in electronic voting will lead us to only one possible conclusion: electronic voting machines are dangerous to democracy because there is no way of ensuring their accuracy."
~ Rep. Dennis Kucinich

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Response to Lint Head (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:19 PM

37. Since it was in Forbes

he might actually see it.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #37)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:25 PM

39. Aaaack! Oh, you are just sooo bad!!!





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Response to Zorra (Reply #39)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:37 PM

41. Uh oh, did I speak an inconvenient truth?



What I mean is--it's more unusual for it to be in "Forbes" than "Mother Jones." So therefore Obama's peeps might refer him to it. Interesting if Republicans have come around to this, after all the election manipulation we've seen.

I wasn't saying it would be the only thing Obama would take seriously which is what I think you think I meant.

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Response to Zorra (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:24 AM

4. you'd think

that with both sides now claiming vote fixing, dirty tricks, and voter suppression, we could get some action on these points with out much fuss. Right?

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Response to Zorra (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:30 AM

9. Real simple solution

Paper ballots scanned by scanners with an open source code owned and operated by the government.

Complete double-checking of the computer generated results by humans hand counting the paper ballots after being scanned.

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:32 AM

12. Okay. I can see that. Instead of opting for one of two possibilities, use both.

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Response to randome (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:41 AM

15. Think of it this way

We have to do something to keep people like anonymous from threatening the vote count.

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #15)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:43 AM

16. Anonymous is nothing but a nuisance.

And I have no problem with voting machines by themselves. But there are enough people who have doubts and those doubts need to be allayed so I would also have no problem ensuring that people have confidence in the voting system.

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Response to randome (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:48 AM

19. Well thank you

It is great to hear that you recognize people have low confidence in the voting system.

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Response to randome (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:55 AM

20. Many highly respected experts in the field have serious problems with the machines.

But color me shocked that you don't.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #20)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:58 AM

21. I also don't have a problem making the system more trustworthy.

We won the last election. That's as much proof as anything that the vote was not rigged against us. Outcomes matter.

But that's beside the point. It's clear that a great many people do NOT trust computerized voting so I agree that something needs to be done to instill a greater degree of confidence.

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #15)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:58 AM

22. Bingo! Thank you! Great point! And people like Karl Rove, Ken Blackwell, Katherine Harris,

Jon Husted, etc, as well.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #22)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:11 PM

25. You are welcome.. and thank you.

Y'know that Husted patch on Friday before?

What if his people had found Anon had broken in and that patch was a remedy?

Anyway... "The Great Oz Has Spoken" Eat it, Rove.

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #25)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:27 PM

31. Interesting idea. I have a feeling we'll never really know, as this will never be

appropriately investigated.

Despite this fact, what is completely clear is that Ohio SOS Jon Husted is a dishonest individual who will allow, accommodate, and perpetrate, acts of illegal vote manipulation.

Federal judge rips Jon Husted for unconstitutional change to Ohio election rules

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A federal judge blasted Ohio’s elections chief on Tuesday, questioning his motives for setting new vote-counting rules that violated state law just days before the presidential election.

In a scathing 17-page ruling (Read the full ruling in the Document viewer below), U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley said a directive on counting provisional ballots that Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted issued on Nov. 2 was "a flagrant violation of a state elections law" that could disenfranchise voters.

"The surreptitious manner in which the secretary went about implementing this last minute change to the election rules casts serious doubt on his protestations of good faith," Marbley wrote.

"Ohio voters reasonably expect that the secretary of Ohio will abide by the General Assembly’s laws in administering a federal election," Marbley wrote. "For an executive of the state to (flout) state law in arbitrarily reassigning a poll worker’s statutory duty to a voter, with the result being disenfranchisement of the voter, is ‘fundamentally unfair and constitutionally impermissible.’"


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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:01 PM

23. Minnesota's system is pretty foolproof, actually.

Paper ballots marked by voters, then optically scanned. A certain percentage of precincts are randomly selected after the election and a complete hand recount is done in those precincts. Since the 2008 and 2010 elections resulted in statewide complete recounts, the system was thoroughly tested, and no vote manipulation was found. It is the random recounts of precincts which acts as a protective measure against attempts to manipulate the vote.

It's going to be very difficult for the federal government to specify a specific voting system for the states. Such a thing would face serious judicial challenges, brought by the states. The voters in each state need to insist that their state create a voting system that effectively prevents manipulating votes. Voting practices will be protected by individual states from control by the federal government. They simply will.

However, some general and generic requirements for elections that affect national office, like Congress and the Presidency, can force states to create needed safeguards, as has been done in Minnesota and other states. They work very effectively to prevent post voting manipulation.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #23)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:13 PM

26. That's great

I wish the whole country would sit up and take notice of how Minnesota votes. No wonder ya'll keep electing Democrats.

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #26)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 02:28 PM

32. I'm sure our Secretary of State would be happy

to help any state that wanted to create a similar system. It's not a secret. Some states, apparently, want a system they can manipulate. It's up to the voters in those states to insist on changes. Voting is a state thing, and it's going to take the people of each state to make the necessary changes. It's just not something the federal government is going to do for them, frankly. It's a constitutional issue.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #32)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 02:36 PM

34. Sounds conspiratorial

Some states, apparently, want a system they can manipulate.

I would have to agree. Being there is much power in the vote, certain officials would conspire to manipulate the vote count.

It is great to see so many DUers coming around to see how vote counts are prone to be manipulated and that there is indeed a conspiracy to manipulate. Gives me some hope. Thanks, Man.

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:20 PM

38. Yes

this is the simple solution. And it needs to be standard in every state.

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Response to Zorra (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:31 AM

10. The truth is that both paper ballots and electronic ones can be fraudulent.

There is no easy answer between these two choices. Unless someone has a better idea? Maybe we need to put Skynet in charge of voting.

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Response to randome (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:10 PM

24. Uh-huh. You *conveniently* fail to mention that paper ballot counts cannot be manipulated en masse,

while large numbers of electronic votes can be flipped instantaneously.

Paper ballots always provide tangible proof of a citizens vote, unless somebody burns the ballots, of course.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #24)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:15 PM

27. 'Burning ballots' is very easy to do.

But I agree with RobertEarl's suggestion above. Use both systems.

I could see a paper receipt being printed out, the voter verifying its authenticity and then dropping it into a locked box. Hand count all those ballots and compare with the machine totals.

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Response to randome (Reply #27)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:33 PM

47. The locked box is on the voting machine. THe voter never touches the paper.

I dont know of any state that does otherwise.

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Response to randome (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:20 PM

29. A Voter Verified paper ballot...... can be frau...... nevermind....

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Response to FogerRox (Reply #29)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:23 PM

30. It's still voter fraud when ballots are destroyed without being counted.

Or simply not counted at all if they benefit one candidate over another,.

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Response to randome (Reply #30)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:31 PM

46. Please edit, election fraud, not voter fraud

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Response to Zorra (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:36 AM

13. I'd be happy if the feds required a certain number of machines in each precinct.

Nine hour waits to vote in Democratic strong areas only is an obvious attempt at voter suppression. A law should be passed that the state has to supply enough machines to prevent such situations seems like common sense. If necessary, the govt can subsidize the expense.

Having said that, I live in the part of Ohio that uses the Diebold touch screen machines. In 2004 they replaced the old punch card machines and had no paper trail to determine after the election how those units actually voted other than a computer memory chip.

At first, Diebold said that the technology was impossible, but when we elected a Democratic governor that year, they quickly found a way to print the ballots which were cast on a paper roll like a register receipt, when Ted Strickland threatened to end their contract.

I"m a poll worker here in Ohio, and as such, I'm partly responsible for security (along with an equal number of Republicans) of these paper rolls. Here's how that works: The rolls are loaded into the machine and the door is locked. When a voter casts their vote, the machine begins printing the vote line by line while the voter watches. When the roll fills up, one republican and one democrat replace the roll and all four workers (two of each party) signs the roll and place it in a locked steel box. At the end of the day, those rolls are returned by car to the BOE by one Representative of each party. The rolls are stored for (I think) two years in case there's a problem that requires accounting.

"back door" programs can still be installed to change votes, but it's much easier to get caught doing so now as well. Unfortunately, inspite of my advice, many people do not watch the print out, though I've never seen a discrepancy myself.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #13)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:26 PM

40. Paper ballots

fed into a scanner are so much cheaper and allow more people to vote at once, eliminating lines.

What we DON'T need is more touchscreens. 5 times as expensive and don't last nearly as long.

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Response to Zorra (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:39 AM

14. Let states do their own thing, BUT

Pass a law that says :

Elections for offices that send the winners to DC, are to be voted for on a SEPARATE..STANDARDIZED...PAPER ballot (5x7 standard cardstock) that is the SAME in all states..and all candidates are listed alphabetical..

Each ballot would NEVER have more than THREE choices..

Sometimes there would be 2 ...house/senate
Sometimes there would be 1..house only
Sometimes there would be all three ..pres/house/senate

Super easy to count by precinct..Easy to REcount and Easy to store

It could be a downloadable template, so that each district could tweak it for their own congressional district candidates

Whatever ballot style the states choose for their own local/state stuff could be anything they wanted, and they could count them on diamond studded Diebolds for all I care..

People who are "casual voters" and only care for the BIG RACES, could vote in a matter of seconds.. In fact, they could even have "Express Lines"..

The cards could even have a "tear off" portion on the bottom as a "receipt.. both would be numbered.

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Response to Zorra (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 12:17 PM

28. We can fix the elections system but..

.. only by getting rid of voting machines and establishing
paper ballots only with an honest method of counting.

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Response to Zorra (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 02:30 PM

33. I'd like to see a single, nationwide standard.

 

My preference would be for optiscan based balloting so the paper trail is obvious with a transparent data submission process.

More importantly, I'd like to see a standard for the longest amount of time somebody can be forced to wait in line to vote.

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Response to Zorra (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:11 PM

35. Great article and it appears in "Forbes"



Anthony Cosner writes:

"These are serious charges that have been raised by others, including Brad Friedman on his BradBlog, Bob Fitrakis and Gerry Bello, writing in The Free Press, and Denis Campbell at the UK Progressive, that I discussed in more depth on the eve of the election. I am trusting the thoroughness of their reporting to base my concerns, but all of this does not need to be proven in order to have confidence that we have a problem."

Thank you for posting, Zorra.

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Response to Zorra (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 03:39 PM

42. He did say something about elections, how the standing in line for hours stuff has to be fixed

I hope that was a short way of saying fix the election fraud mess!

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Response to Zorra (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 05:15 PM

45. So glad to see people taking this seriously

finally....

We need to continually hammer Congress and the Prez. to help states bring about critical reforms.

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