Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:28 AM
flamingdem (30,202 posts)
The Truth About Voting Machines: What's Real And What's A Nutty Election Fraud Conspiracy
Note: I hope Fitrakis is not full of it. At the time I thought that there were other uses for these patches, the fast reporting would help Husted determine what he could get away with. At some point we should get more definitive information from freepress.org - hope so - regardless we need to have a safeguarded non-partisan voting system, it has to be a priority and won't be unless we demand it as citizens.
Earlier in the week I casually retweeted a note from the activist Bob Fitrakis. He'd posted a story about secret new software patches that had been rolled out to Ohio voting machines, with dark suggestions of shenanigans afoot in the counting of the votes there. Election maniacs may recall Fitrakis from the Ohio debacle of 2004, when he worked with Cliff Arnebeck to try to prove election fraud. (The questionability of the 2004 results is not quite in tinfoil territory; many not-outwardly-foaming observers do still believe that the Kerry-Bush election was stolen in Ohio.)
Joseph Lorenzo Hall @JoeBeOne
.@mariabustillos as a voting technology expert, I can tell you fears about the OH software are way overblown. tabulators are air-gapped.
Air-gapped! @JoeBeOne turned out to be Joseph Lorenzo Hall, senior staff technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology in D.C., and he is indeed a highly qualified voting expert. And like an answered prayer from the desperate, wild-eyed, bedraggled election-obsessed lunatic that I am, this election expert had miraculously appeared out of the clear blue in order to help me separate fact from fiction. Say on, I begged.
A few more tweets followed this (concatenated below):
So, this software doesn't touch the official system. The SoS could show results before and after to address concerns here. To be sure: voting systems are exceedingly vulnerable. But there are much more subtle ways to mess with them. And what we need are regular risk-limiting audits that can detect mischief or error.
If you have come down with Election Fever, as I have, talking with extremely qualified people who spend their whole workday on these matters is the best way to cause your bulging skull to return to its ordinary proportions.
So I arranged to speak with Joe later in the day, over email. (Lightly edited for clarity and punctuation.)
Maria Bustillos: I no longer know what to believe in media reports of electronic election tampering. What are professionals most worried about, at this point, in this election?
Joseph Lorenzo Hall: It's a very complex area and unfortunately one that lends itself to dearths of information and poor intuition… which is how Bello and Fitrakis get way out into left field. Extending email/fax voting to displaced NJ voters is making us very nervous… check out Matt Blaze here. What I think we expect to see a lot of—and it's not as sexy as conspiracy theory—is the aging of this machinery, as much of it is 10- to 15-year-old computer equipment. Another not-so-sexy source of problems will be from newer online voter registration systems, an electronic version of pollbooks. We may see strange reports of people not being registered or being marked down as already voted. Much of that will seem to some like fraud, but it is more likely poorly checked voter registration rolls. People don't like having to cast provisional ballots, but they need to understand that if you're registered and at the right location, the ballot will count. ........... more at link
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Replies to this discussion thread
The Truth About Voting Machines: What's Real And What's A Nutty Election Fraud Conspiracy (Original post)
Response to RobertEarl (Reply #1)
Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:39 AM
flamingdem (30,202 posts)
2. Thanks. I don't have it in me to read the whole thing
and I'm hoping we learn something about the experimental patches etc. or at a minimum the power that a partisan creep like Husted or Scott can use to sway the vote, at a minimum.
So many here were quick to discredit the freepress information, but imagine if the election had pivoted on those results.