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Reply #34: Not "hatred" of computer counting. The problem is lack of transparency. [View All]

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-28-10 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #20
34. Not "hatred" of computer counting. The problem is lack of transparency.
Edited on Sun Feb-28-10 10:57 PM by Bill Bored
This is not a problem with lever machines. The parts are not only readily available, but can be manufactured according to the original specs if necessary. Nothing is hidden from the public or the election officials.

When you have anonymous transactions as we do with secret ballots, you can't expect anyone who got ripped off to complain the way they do with a bank, brokerage firm or grocery store. The victims will never know.

There are some bleeding edge schemes that allow voters to see that their votes were recorded, but that won't allow them to prove or disprove this to anyone else, and would still rely on computers to check other computers to see that the votes were correctly counted once recorded. At some point, the buck has to stop with human observers, and reliance on computers does not facilitate this.

No computer scientist I know of thinks it's a good idea to trust software to count votes. It's too complex to prove that it's error-free and it's also hackable.

Also, there is no piece of software that can be made so that vote switching between candidates is physically impossible, as with a lever voting machine. This makes verification of tallies and spotting anomalous results much more difficult because votes can be switched without generating excessive undervotes. And don't get me started on OVERVOTES, which is a known problem with ballot scanners because there's no way to prevent overvoting on a paper ballot. The best these machines can do is notify the voter that they've overvoted. We hope the voter will respond by correcting the error, but they may not. It's a usability question, and this assumes the software is properly set up to notify the voter in the first place.

There are lots more reasons not to trust computers to count votes. At this point, about the only ones who think it's a good idea are election officials who've pissed away millions of taxpayer dollars on this stuff, and at the same time REFUSE to confirm the election results using the paper ballots. They just want to trust their computers.

The election officials bringing the lawsuit mentioned in the OP should be commended for having the courage to speak out. We need more like them.
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  -Old voting machines to be replaced by electronic devices in Nassau County Wilms  Feb-27-10 05:23 PM   #0 
  - I've been voting on opti-scan machines like this for 20 years  frazzled   Feb-27-10 05:33 PM   #1 
  - Wow. You have all the erroneous talking points down pat.  Wilms   Feb-27-10 05:50 PM   #2 
  - You're probably just not old enough to remember rigged elections in the pre-electronic era  frazzled   Feb-28-10 12:01 AM   #12 
     - I just wondered if perhaps you had documentation of rigged lever machines. That's all. n/t  Wilms   Feb-28-10 12:42 AM   #14 
     - Oh, there's a POLITICAL MACHINE too? Inagine that!  Bill Bored   Feb-28-10 01:30 AM   #17 
  - All depends on the audits.  Stevepol   Feb-27-10 06:15 PM   #3 
     - Did you read the OP where there was talk of hand-counting...  TreasonousBastard   Feb-27-10 09:53 PM   #4 
        - StevePol is talking, mostly, about manual auditing. NY has an inadequate one planned.  Wilms   Feb-27-10 10:18 PM   #7 
        - No links, just a fair amount of experience with...  TreasonousBastard   Feb-27-10 11:48 PM   #10 
           - It was your comments about the potential for error with HCPB I'm asking about.  Wilms   Feb-27-10 11:58 PM   #11 
              - Yeah, that's why we stopped doing it years ago...  TreasonousBastard   Feb-28-10 12:12 AM   #13 
                 - Again. Not fraud. Or "pain". But error.  Wilms   Feb-28-10 12:46 AM   #15 
                    - No. I'm not. Don't have time, don't care, and don't even know you...  TreasonousBastard   Feb-28-10 08:48 AM   #19 
                       - You cared enough to post a half dozen replies, make a bunch of claims...  Wilms   Feb-28-10 11:12 AM   #23 
                          - That I care about, because you guys are putting out a lot of bullshit, and...  TreasonousBastard   Feb-28-10 10:18 PM   #30 
                             - Can you point out where us "guys are putting out a lot of bullshit"?  Wilms   Feb-28-10 11:21 PM   #41 
        - Hand counting at the precinct level on election night....  Bill Bored   Feb-28-10 01:42 AM   #18 
           - The lever machines have several thousand small parts with no...  TreasonousBastard   Feb-28-10 09:04 AM   #20 
              - Care to back up the stuck on 99 story apart from the tired and unsupported Jones reference?  Wilms   Feb-28-10 11:13 AM   #24 
              - Nope. I've seen it, and I've seen the number wheels stuck...  TreasonousBastard   Feb-28-10 10:35 PM   #33 
                 - Can you point to the specific election.  Wilms   Feb-28-10 11:08 PM   #38 
                 - I stand corrected.  Wilms   Mar-01-10 01:54 AM   #42 
              - I forgot to let you know about the fact that parts ARE available.  Wilms   Feb-28-10 03:30 PM   #28 
              - Of course there are machines out there to be cannibalized...  TreasonousBastard   Feb-28-10 10:16 PM   #29 
                 - From the response I guess you didn't read the links I provided you.  Wilms   Feb-28-10 11:06 PM   #37 
              - Not "hatred" of computer counting. The problem is lack of transparency.  Bill Bored   Feb-28-10 10:54 PM   #34 
              - The software has millions of lines of code. Have you seen any of them? nt  Bill Bored   Feb-28-10 10:59 PM   #35 
  - Aw geez,  Libertas1776   Feb-27-10 09:59 PM   #5 
  - Might have been where they got the idea.  Wilms   Feb-27-10 10:12 PM   #6 
  - I haven't seen any electronic devices used.  Libertas1776   Feb-27-10 10:23 PM   #8 
     - That's because they weren't yet certified, and you didn't vote where the pilot program was conducted  Wilms   Feb-27-10 10:31 PM   #9 
        - Well, fuck me  Libertas1776   Feb-28-10 01:03 AM   #16 
        - Ummmm... they've been certified for quite a while and every ED...  TreasonousBastard   Feb-28-10 09:16 AM   #22 
           - Keep showing your unfamiliarity with the...ummmm... subject.  Wilms   Feb-28-10 11:24 AM   #25 
           - And from a news story you know more than about the machine than...  TreasonousBastard   Feb-28-10 10:31 PM   #31 
              - You were the one posting incorrect info about voting system deployment.  Wilms   Feb-28-10 11:11 PM   #39 
           - No scanners were certified in NY prior Dec. 15, 2009.  Bill Bored   Feb-28-10 11:02 PM   #36 
  - Suffolk's been using them for a couple of years, but...  TreasonousBastard   Feb-28-10 09:08 AM   #21 
     - You're getting warmer.  Wilms   Feb-28-10 11:26 AM   #26 
        - Where all the experts are. I'm impressed.  TreasonousBastard   Feb-28-10 10:31 PM   #32 
           - You should be impressed. n/t  Wilms   Feb-28-10 11:12 PM   #40 
  - Electronics are vastly easier to rig on a large-scale basis.  snot   Feb-28-10 03:19 PM   #27 

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