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Reply #26: There are a lot of problems [View All]

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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-21-10 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #16
26. There are a lot of problems
with a hypothesis of a cabal (corporate, religious, dominionist, political, etc).

I do not dismiss it as a possibility, I just dismiss it as unlikely given the hurdles required to accomplish it.

Even assuming that even a single vendor, say Diebold, wish to rig elections, they have many obstacles to overcome.

First off, the software on the machines is not uniform. Meaning that machines programmed for one county in one state, require alteration for another county in another state, since the laws governing ballots design, bond issues, etc, means you can't do "one size fits all".

Second, too many people have to be involved in the conspiracy in order for it to work. Local election officials often do the ballot programming, so they would have to be in on the fix. Otherwise, they will be the first ones to notice something is hinky.

As I have said MANY times. Yes, the machines CAN be tampered with, and if they are, it will be an insider (someone with complete access to the machines and an understanding of their own local elections), in other words, the same folk who tampered with elections in the past. That said, they major danger is, in my opinion, not a cabal bent on altering elections, but crappy code, causing inaccurate results, which we have dozens of examples of. But a vote lost to fraud and a vote lost to a Windows crash is equally lost.

And I agree that the problem with these machines that discerning criminal intent from incompetence would be pretty difficult, if not impossible. But, again, I have been out in the field, talked to election officials from dozens of locals, and worked a few elections, watching the machine AND, more importantly, the people at work. I have found the machines troubling, but the people honest.

The one thing I learned that if you are going to FIX this problem, rather than simply rant about it on the web (and NO, that was NOT a dig at you) you can't start the discussion by calling the people you hope to persuade of your concerns, "crooks". It tends to piss them off, and they dismiss you and refuse to take anything you say seriously.

If you bring up the hole "elections are going to be rigged using voting machines" meme, they ignore you as a crank. When you bring in expert after expert, and demonstrate that the machines have SERIOUS reliability problems, they CAN'T dismiss you.

The machines should undergo RIGOROUS oversight to make sure they function correctly and that they are hard to tamper with. An ideal attitude would be the way Nevada handles slot machines.

Some people obsess about their safety on an airplane. Some worry about terrorist conspiracies, bombs, hijackins, and kamikaze fanatics. There possibilities are REAL, and no rational person ignores them.

However, if you die during air travel, your most likely cause of death will be:

1) Car crash on way to or from the airport.

2) Heart attack at some point in the trip.

3) Human error by the pilot, ATC, or ground crew.

4) Mechanical structural failure of the aircraft.

5) Collision with another plane while on, or near the ground.

Those five reasons will account for 99%+ of actual deaths while traveling by air. The chance of terrorist getting you is the LEAST of your worries.

Yes, voting machine could be tampered with. If tampering occurs it will be highly likely that it is done at a local level, rather than a state or national level. But the far greater threat to accurate elections with these machines comes from the fact that many of the run under Windows, with code written by clueless programmers with little understanding of good programming practices.
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