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Red_Viking Donating Member (903 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 02:50 PM
Original message
BBV Alert: Texas Constitutional Amendments
Don't know if this has already been posted, so I'll beg forgiveness ahead of time.

Just checked out the results from our election yesterday, covering 22 proposed constitutional amendments. Yes, I know our system is f-ed up. To my great surprise (horror?)...THEY ALL PASSED. All 22 of them. Including the evil Prop 12, designed to give inept doctors license to screw up with impunity. My only consolation is that Prop 12 failed in Travis County, where I live, by 61.9%. Two of the proposals give unchallenged candidates their office without an election even being held. Un-freaking-believable.

If you're interested in reading a little about the now passed amendments, check out this link: http://www.statesman.com/metrostate/content/election/#p... .

Electronic voting is used in Travis and Harris counties for certain, and possibly in others. It's being rolled out. The only testing required is at the central tabulating location, not the local sites. And who runs those tests? I certainly didn't get any piece of paper yesterday for proof of how I voted. The poor election official and her young protege got an earful from me and my SO about BBV problems. This does not make me feel very confident about our upcoming November elections in Texas, much less the 2004 election. Sigh.

On the good news front, we found some info on the Rush Holt website that bears noting. He is championing a paper trail and verification for electronic voting. He's asking for accountability--dirty word these days! Support this guy. Here's the link: http://holt.house.gov/issues2.cfm?id=5996 .

Tomorrow I'll be calling the County Clerk and letting her know what I think of this. Ack.

:dem:

RV

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jiacinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
1. Please
So now is every election that doesn't go the way people here want them to "stolen"?
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bandy Donating Member (545 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. But where is the proof?
There is no proof! Is someone munipulating these results? I'm not saying that the results are not correct but if questioned where is the proof?
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. That's the problem
Unless you catch somebody at it red-handed, there will never be proof.

David Allen
Publisher, CEO, Janitor
Plan Nine Publishing
1237 Elon Place
High Point, NC 27263
http://www.plan9.org
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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
20. Bandy, get informed. THATS THE ENTIRE PROBLEM - YOU DONT HAVE PROOF
With computer voting - you cannot spot or detect the theft if it occurs because they can alter the data at basically any time the owners of the data would LIKE......
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searchingforlight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. We have always had a way to verify ballots by eye.
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 03:15 PM by brigadoon
More importantly, the systems they are using do not have the confidence of the voters and have not been proven to be tamper-proof. I believe that is enough reason to question the use and reliability of a paperless trail.

A perfect example of the vulnerability of this option is the worms that have eaten up computer systems across the country. There will always be someone willing to spend the money to find a way to beat the system.
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Trek234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. A very bad example
The worms you speak of would not be able to execute on the voting machines. Not only that - how would they get there?
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Gordon25 Donating Member (246 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. If they are Diebold, they are connected to an open...
...modem for anywhere from one and a half to three hours after the polls close to receive phoned in results from the individual precinct machines. If you knew the proper phone number during that time, and the election report protocol (which is quite possible since, thanks to a massive security lapse by Diebold, the source code for the Diebold GEMS software is openly available on the web) you could access the central counting computer and using nothing more than a copy of MS Access, you could report any vote totals you wanted, go into the vote totalling tables and alter any totals you choose, alter the audit trail to erase any evidence that you had been there, and no one would ever know or have any way to find out.

If the machines are ES&S machines like the ones in Florida, be very afraid. In Florida during the 2003 elections the ES&S touchscreen machines were connected by two way modem to ES&S headquarters the entire time the election was taking place. Why Floridians haven't taken to the streets in protest I have no idea.

In San Luis Obiso County in California during the 2003 election, at some time during the election the central computer was connected to the internet long enough to put partial election results on a file on a Diebold company web site.

With machines with no voter verifiable paper ballot to be used in recounts, someone who saw from exit polls that the election wasn't going the way he or she wanted, would have no problem using the opportunities described above to insert a worm to simply erase all the results. The election would have to be done over.

Demand your vote be respected. Demand a paper ballot which you either mark or which is a print out of the way you marked the touchscreen, so you can verify your vote and place it into a locked container to be used as a vital back up should recounts be required. Right now election laws in many states, even when they have a paper ballot, make the machine count the document of record in the election, not the ballot as marked by the voter. Most recounts just run the ballots back through the same machines which produced the disputed results in the first place. Research your state's election laws. Educate yourself on the problem. Get involved. It is your Democracy.

Gordon25


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secretshopper Donating Member (35 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. Worms, in Texas?
Howdy,

The analysis of the Diebold system done by Johns Hopkins and Rice University describes EXACTLY how to get the worms, attacks, and other exploits onto the machines. It's a litlle propeller headed (coders or analysts out there will doubtless eat it up) but it's all on target as far as I can tell.

http://www.avirubin.com/vote.pdf

Once you open it, you can use the Acrobat Find command for words like 'unencrypted' or 'attack' and prepare to be shocked and awed.

Here's one quote: "Unlike the other data stored on the voting terminal, both the vote records and the audit logs are encrypted and checksummed before being written to the storage device. Unfortunately, neither the encrypting nor the checksumming is done securely."

And if the printer used to record bogus data is off? No problem, your bogus vote goes right in.
"Each entry in a plaintext audit log is simply a timestamped, informational text string. At the time that the logging occurs, the log can also be printed to an attached printer. If the printer is unplugged, off, or malfunctioning, however, no record will be stored elsewhere to indicate that the failure occurred. The following code ... demonstrates that the designers failed to consider these issues..."

So, there are some serious questions about the integrity of these voting systems.

Secret Shopper
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Eloriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #16
28. Welcome to DU, secretshopper
Glad to have you here.

Eloriel
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Eloriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
27. Carlos
If you'll read her post again, you'll see that she did not make that charge. She expressed horror that all those propositions passed. One can infer from the entirety of the post, along with the BBV title perhaps, that she MAY suspect that the votes are rigged, but that is by NO mean explicity in her post.

What is explicit is that she's concerned for the future elections since there is no voter-verified paper ballot and the machines are being rolled out all across Texas. You should be too. These machines could end up making mincemeat of your predictions.

Eloriel
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
2. The corruption in Texas is so extensive that once you start peeling that
onion you'll never stop crying.

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mhr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 03:11 PM
Response to Original message
4. All 22, That is Very Suspicious
eom
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Trek234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Not really
Most people in this state are idiots.
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sham Donating Member (377 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
19. not suspicious that they all passed
People probably didn't even read the damn things. This is what is suspicious to me:

Prop 12

In Favor
Total Votes: 742,849
Percent: 50.98%

Against
Total Votes: 714,395
Percent: 49.02%

(6673 of 6701 precincts reporting)

source: http://204.65.107.70/03septgen.htm?x=0&y=2509&id=200#12

Folks, that is extremely close. That is what looks suspicious to me. By all accounts, this should have been a landslide for Gov. Goodhair, and it wasn't. That's what scares the shit out of me. Maybe it happened here, maybe it didn't, but in Nov. 2004 WE must win by a landslide, or we won't win at all. We all know very well that the Pigs can LOSE by a small margin and still win. We have got to stop these machines.
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althecat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. Props 3, 9 and 21 are very close.... No. 12 is downright crooked...
Quick glance.. but definitely a bit fishy... are there any opinion polls we can compare with.

REMARKS...

Votes in races 3, 9, 12 and 21 are very close.... if all break narrowly to the passage side I would definitely consider this result curious...

Note particularly though that the other early vote results are similar to the finals... (by quick scan.. be)

On prop 12 they are way out.... Prevotes had passage by 57% compared to 50.1%...

*********


Prop 3 Exemption for religious groups
1% Variation

IN FAVOR 205,715 51.85% 723,905 52.91%
AGAINST 191,000 48.15% 644,321 47.09%

Statewide Turnout 11.36% 12,041,793 Registered Voters
*********


Prop 9 Permanent school fund

0.3% Variation

IN FAVOR 189,522 50.32% 650,853 50.35%
AGAINST 187,119 49.68% 641,801 49.65%

Statewide Turnout 10.73% 12,041,793 Registered Voters

*********


Prop 12 Suits against doctors and providers

6.3% Variation

(note.... Turnout slightly higher but this still stands out like a sore thumb....)

IN FAVOR 240,502 57.21% 742,849 50.98%
AGAINST 179,882 42.79% 714,395 49.02%
Vote Total 420,384 1,457,244
Precincts Reporting 6,673 of 6,701 Precincts 99.58%
Statewide Turnout 12.10% 12,041,793 Registered Voters

*********

Prop 21 Compensation for government service

0.8% Variation

IN FAVOR 197,069 51.50% 686,732 52.33%
AGAINST 185,577 48.50% 625,684 47.67%

Vote Total 382,646 1,312,416
Precincts Reporting 6,673 of 6,701 Precincts 99.58%
Statewide Turnout 10.90% 12,041,793 Registered Voters


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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 02:51 AM
Response to Reply #23
31. You can't compare
Prop 12 results to the other props because there was a huge fight over prop 12. I got 3 recorded phone calls for it, and 2 real people calling me against it. I got a mail piece every day for the last week, most days one for and one against.

I never heard a word about any of the other props.
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althecat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #19
25. Edited and moved to new thread....
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 10:27 PM by althecat
Edited and moved to new thread....

See below.. POST #26...
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secretshopper Donating Member (35 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 03:27 PM
Response to Original message
6. New Stickers for Voters
I suspect other states besides TX give away the little "I voted" stickers after casting a ballot. I used a marker and changed mine to read "I *think* I Voted..."

No receipt, no paper trail, just click and the system says "your vote has been cast"

So, no, not every race that doesn't go my way is rigged, but I have no way of knowing. And if the data is bogus, there is no way for a recount. Let me repeat, NO RECOUNT.

Hey there, Shopper, How can you say that? Easy, the results that would be recounted are still the bogus data in the Black Box.

I am no programmer (well, OK, just not very good) but these people are:
http://www.csl.sri.com/users/neumann/illustrative.html
And here are some folks who have studied this more than I have: http://www.verifiedvoting.org/theproblem.asp
http://www.verifiedvoting.org/index.asp

I seem to remember that Mussolini used a similar system of vote stealing way back, but he had to have thugs DRIVE to the ballot box. Now, it's all digital, baby...

Secret Shopper
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never cry wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. You are right on it, secretshopper!!!
And, welcome to DU!!! :hi:

btw: what's the secret???
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Red_Viking Donating Member (903 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. He has a great ass.
And, he's a genius.

:loveya:

RV
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Evanstondem Donating Member (306 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:02 PM
Response to Original message
10. Who decides which amendments are voted on?
There is a built-in bias in favor of these amendments because the people who put them on the ballot can "spin" the wording to make them sound better than they really are.
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Lone_Wolf_Moderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:08 PM
Response to Original message
13. Interesting..
I'm not from Texas,and most of those amendments seem ultra-specific, but Props. 8 and 12 do concern me. Prop. 8 seems to be vulnerable to abuse by corrupt politicos.
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Eloriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #13
29. LOL -- haven't you noticed?
EVERYTHING in Texas is vulnerable to abuse by corrupt politicos.

And Texas is far from alone in that matter.

Eloriel
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TheYellowDog Donating Member (498 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:14 PM
Response to Original message
14. Umm
"Including the evil Prop 12, designed to give inept doctors license to screw up with impunity."

Hey Red_Viking! Next time you get sick, go see a trial lawyer for treatment. I'm sure he'll be able to help you out. NOT! If you guys had your way doctors would be paid 30k a year and would be sued all the time. No one would want to be doctors then. Doctors can be sued even if someone's death had nothing to do with them! Malpractice lawsuit reform is a good idea!
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Red_Viking Donating Member (903 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Ummm...
When the doctor who has been stripped of his license in another state shows up drunk (again) for surgery and amputates your foot instead of taking out your appendix, let's talk.

Why not go all the way to the root of the problem, which is incompetent physicians who continue to practice medicine and hurt people. What a concept! Improve the risk pool, and viola! Rates go down. NO NEED TO PLACE THE BURDEN ON THE PATIENT/VICTIM IF THE DOCTORS ARE COMPETENT.

This amendment was troubling on two fronts:
1. It allows the legislature to set economic damage caps in malpractice cases. Sounds good, unless you're a child or a retired person. What income? Hey doc, no worries about botching that delivery. The kid died, but you're out no more than $250K. Your yacht is safe.
2. It includes the wording "and other actions." Call me crazy, but it sounds like that could be stretched and exploited to apply to all kinds of things. But our legislature would never do that, huh? They're too busy redistricting the Democrats out of office, after all.

I truly, honestly do not give two shits how much money doctors make. I'm not impressed by material wealth, nor do I envy it. I DO want the person cutting me open with a knife to know what the f*** they're doing and have SOME semblance of accountability.

Who's "you guys" anyway?

RV
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althecat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #17
24. Red Viking a few questions...
Posted above and linked... relevant to the passage of Prop 12..

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

I have some questions.

Did this amendment receive more publicity than others? Was there a statewide doctors voting drive on it? and most importantly was there a poll on it?

The difference in the results early votes vs finals is startling. I am curious about a reasonable explanation for this.

We really need some help from the statisticians on this.... truthisall should have a view on this. It may be worth PMing him...

regards
Al

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secretshopper Donating Member (35 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. Malpractice only affects other folks
Easy there YD,

The problem of Medical Malprcatice is that buying medical care is different from other consumer spending. Usually, you don't have the data to make an informed decision about a doctor's competence. Have you *ever* told a doctor, "Well, OK, you say I'm sick, but where did you get your degree? Any malpractice claims lately?" Seriously, it's not a level playing field.

If you read through this article from the AMA, it reinforces that idea since they are trying to *block* access to medical complaint information. http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/amnews/pick_00/gvsc040...

In addition, the people who investigate lousy doctors are ... doctors. So here's another question: Have you *ever* heard a doctor say anything bad about another doctor? It just doesn't happen.

But worst of all is that it's all another lie to get "us guys" to live with no compensation when we are injured in the Operating Room, on the job, or in our homes, according to Public Citizen and the GAO.
http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/release.cfm?ID=1536

From the link above: "Added Frank Clemente, director of Public Citizens Congress Watch, "The AMA propaganda machine failed in Congress but succeeded in too many state legislatures. Far too many state lawmakers were hoodwinked by the AMAs false claims. Its unfortunate that the AMA succeeded in pulling the wool over the eyes of so many policymakers and the public."

The GAO compared conditions in five AMA-designated "crisis states" Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Florida, Mississippi and Nevada to four states that the GAO determined had no reported problems. Those were California, Colorado, Minnesota and Montana. The report was requested by three Republican House committee chairs ***who support restricting patients legal rights.***

The GAO also determined that the overall number of doctors in the AMA-designated in "crisis states" had not declined, echoing findings made by Public Citizen in reports on malpractice conditions in a dozen states released earlier this year."

My 2 grunions...

SS
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secretshopper Donating Member (35 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. Is it lame to reply to myself?
Dunno, but if anyone still cares, here is the actual link to the Public Citizen report on the sham down in Texas about Medical Malpractice.

http://www.citizen.org/documents/Texas%20Report.pdf

The point of the report is that it's bad doctors (very few) who generate most of the malpractice claims. They generally face no consequences.

Favorite quotes:
Page 6 "Insurance companies and their lobbyists admit caps on damages wont lower malpractice premiums. Caps on damages for pain and suffering will significantly lower awards paid to catastrophically injured patients. But because such truly severe cases comprise a small percentage of medical malpractice claims, and because the portion of the insurance premiums that pay for compensation is dwarfed by the portion that pays for defense lawyer fees, caps do not lead to lower premiums. Insurance companies and their lobbyists understand this, and have said so on numerous public occasions."

Page 12 "The extent to which doctors can commit negligence in Texas and not be disciplined is illustrated by the following NPDB descriptions of the worst 10 offenders who practice in Texas, none of whom have been disciplined by the state:
Physician Number 37941 settled 26 malpractice lawsuits between 1994 and 2001 involving four incidents of retained foreign body in surgical patient, 14 incidents of improper performance of surgery, four incidents of wrong treatment performed, two incidents of
failure to diagnose, two incidents of improper treatment, and two incidents of improper monitoring. The damages add up to $4,040,000.

Physician Number 68177 settled six malpractice lawsuits between 1995 and 1997 involving three incidents of improper surgery, surgery on the wrong body part, improper performance of surgery, and two incidents of improper treatment. The damages add up to $2,782,500."

The Republican plan has Universal Health Care, it just has a 100% deductible...
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LightTheMatch Donating Member (572 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
22. Oh, please.
I know, I know, the electronic voting machines are dangerous, but you know what's MORE dangerous? The fact that we Democrats, statewide, have really gotta get our shit together in Texas, before the 2010 elections... or we're really, really, really screwed by then.
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althecat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 10:24 PM
Response to Original message
26. TEXAS DUers... your attention please... reports wanted on the weekend poll
It is only by inquiring further into individual elections that we can figure out whether there is monkey business going on. Moreover the more we do so the more experience we get, collectively at looking for the signs of tampering.

My Questions re the latest Texas poll..

I am particularly interested in the weird result in Prop 12... Why were there so many more early ballots in favour of this proposition? (Insurance Co. or medical profession based voting drive seems the most obvious source of this... anyone know any Texan doctors? Ring them?)

Several other results are sufficiently close that they could have been fiddled with easily. As pointed out above all Props passed.

What is the background on props 3,9 and 21 in particular?

Were any of props particularly well fought in your county or statewide? Did the results fall as expected?

Were any polls conducted? Either county or statewide on the props? How do poll resultscompare with finals?

Also...to pursue this inquiry reports of problems at polling places will be useful IE. Booths not open, opening late, closing early, registration foulups, voter scrubbing, paper jams etc....big queues etc... bugs in machines.. all the usual, you probably know the drill by now.

Depending on what explanations emerge on the Prop 12 situation this election could possibly do with some more in depth BBV inquiry.

al
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althecat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 02:15 AM
Response to Original message
30. kick n/t
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