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WARNING: INDELICATE WORDS AHEAD ABOUT OPPOSITION TO HR-550

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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 10:22 AM
Original message
WARNING: INDELICATE WORDS AHEAD ABOUT OPPOSITION TO HR-550
When I was working on s.223 in NC, I had QUITE a few people telling me that the bill HAD to get rid of voting machines, nothing else would be acceptable. I was told that unless I fought for hand counts only, I was betraying the movement.

Had I followed their advice, I would have failed in NC.

Reality check folks:

OpScan.is.here.to.stay!

We might be able to get rid of touchscreen, but OpScan is NOT going to disappear from mainstream American elections. I have talked to dozens of election officials SYMPATHETIC to our views, and they are happy to send TS systems packing, but mention mandatory hand-counted paper ballots and they go get damned hostile and explain the facts of life to you.

Since this is the reality, then we must take what measures we can to keep the game as honest as possible, set as many traps and safeguards as possible to catch/protect against tampering.

I listened to long diatribes from people in excruciating detail about how the GOP was rigging the game and that this was all part of their plan to rig elections nationwide. I was admonished for failing to bring this up again and again.

When I was on Fox's John Gibson show in 2003 I was attacked by some here for my failure to state outright that voting machines were rigged. Gibson himself tried to lead me down that path, and asked me if this was so. I answered that I did not know if that were the case, but as a computer systems engineer what I did know, and what was established fact was that the machines were insecure and easy to tamper with. Gibson had been prepared to deride me for taking a "whacko" viewpoint, instead I wound up getting to talk quite a bit about what was wrong with electronic voting machines. Had I followed people's advice and said the machines were rigged, I would have been savaged by Gibson, and discredited with the media and politicians.

Yet, when I was on the NC Select Committee on E-voting, I still had folks demanding I "blow the lid off the story" and use my position on the committee to "tell people the truth".

I'll ask you the same thing I asked them: Do you want a statement, or do you want a law? You can have one or the other, but not both. I have talked to a lot of reporters and politicians over the last four years, and on many occasions I saw people broach this subject with them. The person made polite noises to the advocate of this view, and after they had left, rolled their eyes and looked at me. I then had to do damage control to remind the politician/reporter of the hard evidence we had found and that these failures were resulting in people's loss of confidence on the electoral process.

Fortunately, this tactic worked.

NO MATTER WHAT *I* believe about elections, as soon as I start down that road with legislators and reporters my credibility is shot and I am effectively neutered. You can deal in fact, or you can deal in conjecture. Getting people to listen to fact is hard enough without wasting time on conjecture.

Let me explain it again for folks who are NOT getting the message: THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE IN THE REAL WORLD OF POLITICS AND THE MEDIA DO NOT SUBSCRIBE TO THE VIEW THAT THERE IS A CONSPIRACY BETWEEN THE GOP AND VOTING MACHINE COMPANIES TO RIG ELECTIONS!

People who wander into their office espousing such view are politely thanked and relegated to the same category as people who believe that Alien Autopsy was real. If you are to have ANY chance for change, then you have to have the people in power's attention. If you don't, you will accomplish NOTHING!

There were things in our bill I wanted that I didn't get, but when it came down to the final wire, I could get a decent bill that had a few flaws, but lots of teeth, or a bill that was a complete sham. I chose the former, and goddamn if we didn't have to fight tooth and nail to get it passed.

And we did get it passed, UNANIMOUSLY, which some people then said was evidence the "fix was in".

Do you know how fucking frustrating it is to spend so much energy on an issue, to practically ruin your health, your business and your personal life and then to have people come along and ATTACK you for betraying them? To belittle your ethics, your integrity and your intelligence? To accuse you of working for Diebold/ES&S/Rove/Bush?

Do you understand the soul-crushing demoralization that inflicts?

HR-550 is NOT a perfect bill, but damn does it have some teeth! Rather than bitching and moaning about what may or may not happen as a result of the audit provision, you need to pass it before someone REALIZES how sharp those teeth are and starts watering it down.

After the bill is passed, you can work on the bills shortcomings in the state legislatures, or work on an amendment to the existing bill.

(Even MORE annoying is that so few people have actually READ the damn text of the law. You cannot have an informed opinion based on other people telling you what HR-550 says. You have to READ it for yourself, otherwise you run around making asinine statements about the bill "privatizing auditing").

Folks have REALLY got to get over this unrealistic MY WAY or else attitude. It doesn't fly in the real world for people with as little money and clout as we have.

And before someone accuses me of precisely that attitude, I will point out that I have no power to compel anyone to behave in any particular way, I can only try to persuade you using logic and reason. If you choose not to be persuaded, you can continue to oppose HR-550 and spoil its chances for passage.

Do you know what we have accomplished so far? Do you have any REAL idea? We have fought several multi-billion dollar corporations to a complete standstill. Better yet, we have actually defeated them in a number of states. And we did it with next to NO money, no clout, and no friends in the power structure.

Do you know how fucking rare that is? Do you know realize that this kind of accomplishment usually required weapons and bloodshed?

We have taken a subject that practically did not exist prior to 2002, and made it part of the public discussion (there are three quarters of a million articles on "black box voting" on the web, which staggers me, as I have never given birth to a meme before).

And just when we are on the crux of decisive victory, we have people attacking our main weapon, HR-550. People, most of whom have NOT passed a single anti-BBV law or gotten a law changed, are telling us that the law won't work, whereas people who HAVE gotten laws passed are behind it.

If you don't like HR-550, then go to your congressman and get him to write one for you that you do like, then get him to introduce it, then get out there and line up sponsors.

But if you are NOT going to do that, would it be to much to ask you to stop shitting on ours?

David Allen
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Howardx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 10:29 AM
Response to Original message
1. Alien Autopsy wasnt real?
damn!
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. Dude, I realized it was fake
when every time the doctor touched the sides of the incision, the alien's nose lit up.
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Howardx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. take out wrenched ankle
hehe
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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
2. It would allow a high degree of false confidence; not working when needed
Edited on Fri Jul-21-06 10:37 AM by Land Shark
The pro-machine people will have such a long list of talking points (the Holt bill becomes their talking points as well) that trying to explain why FURTHER major reform is still needed will be almost impossible.

If you really think Holt is a step to getting rid of machines SOMEDAY, then your support of Holt is in bad faith (for an ulterior motive beyond the face of the bill itself). Maybe that's politics, but it's also a price that will have to be paid.

Strategically, it's better to have reality be more obvious, than it is to pass the pain reliever of Holt that puts america on massive pain killers and high on Confidence, because Holt is precisely named the "Voter Confidence...." act.

It's a dead end, killing field for democracy. As you know, i go around making arguments on this all the time. WillYourVoteBeCOunted suggests I argue the case on every issue way too much. I really really really don't like the available arguments after Holt is passed. They are much weaker.

I've never received an answer as to what are our "killer" arguments for Step Two: Post Holt? Can you answer that?

on edit: My county got rid of Sequoia DREs by vote of the county council January 4, 2006. My lawsuit was one factor in that. This proves that PUBLIC FOCUS results in dumping DREs (other factors feed into that focus too, of course). Why can't we just work on PUBLIC FOCUS?? There are other successes around the country besides the one you cite.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. Holt is not a step toward getting rid of machines
machines are here to saty. Don't know where you got that idea.

I have addressed "Post-Holt". It is up to the states to plug any further holes, or to a future amendment if your claims about the "loopholes" are shown to be true.
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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. U say Machines here to STAY?: NOW I'm REALLY AGAINST HOLT
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #13
20. If you believe that you will get a law passed that mandates
hand-counted ballots nationwide, you are living in a dream world.

Holt doesn't mandate machines, so your statement is irrational. It deals with reality and tries to put safeguards in place to deal with that reality.

If you can persuade your city/county/state to only use paper, good luck and Godspeed. Holt does not prohibit this.
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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #20
32. there are very few NEW laws needed; litigation recognizes invalidity
of the present electronic voting system. Once it's gone, what are "paper trails" for? Asking for laws is putting the people on their knees when they are supposed to control the government and elections are the very process by which the government gets it's legitimacy. SO much begging is very bad for real democracy.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. So you solution is???
What? Sue our way into fair elctions?

Getting a law passed is "putting people on their knees"?

Weird idea of democracy.

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fooj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #32
50. Here's a thread of interest...
Aren't you interested? If not, why? Hmmmmmm...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Febble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #2
38. By what mechanism
could HR550 do harm to the cause of just elections?

And for bonus points: what are the strong argument you have now that will be "weaker" post Holt?

(To be answered without the use of metaphor.)

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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #38
54. If LS doesn't mind
The continued privatization of elections will be not only allowed, but give even greater force, and we may never get public elections again if 550 goes through.

& for bonus points

See the above. Any argument that we have for keeping elections public will be weakened because 'our' vote.orgs will have bought into the continued privatization.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
57. Will there be HCPB in Snohomish? What about the 3000 other counties?
Edited on Fri Jul-21-06 03:49 PM by Bill Bored
LS, I'm glad they got rid of DREs in your county. They are a bad idea whose time to go has come!

But optical scanners are not much better when it comes to the ability of insiders to rig elections. So we need auditing, which is just another way of saying hand counting. The only question is how much and who will do it?

Holt is one possible solution. It's not an adequate one, but it can be improved and combined with others to come up with something adequate. This won't happen by totally gutting the bill.

Holt must also be looked at in the context of what's available at the state level. Holt auditing is in addition to state auditing. The fact that it's federal may help in some states where there is no auditing, no bi-partisan election administration, etc.

It won't hurt in states where there is already auditing and fair election administration. It can be used to come up with a more accurate picture of what's going on in those states. For example a 2% Holt audit and a 3% state audit, the results of which can be combined, could be the equivalent of a 5% audit, and while that's not sufficient to confirm the outcome of EVERY race on the ballot, even the 2% audit can confirm some races. A lot of statewide races in fact. That doesn't mean we shouldn't audit US House races, or local races, or close statewide races, enough to confirm their outcomes. On the contrary!

Holt removes proprietary software from voting systems. What is also needed is a way to authenticate the software that's running. This is where voting system standards come in and there could be legislation to require those standards to actually be met. Maybe it could even be part of Holt? This is one reason why Holt removes the EAC's exemption from competitive bidding. The EAC writes our voting system standards and the vetting process for this was NOT put out for public bidding because HAVA exempted the EAC from having to do so. So we have cronyism.

The repeal of this exemption has somehow been spun into "privatization of auditing" and I agree that the Holt loyalists are making a BIG mistake by not addressing this flaw, because I don't think it is the intention of the bill. I do fault them for not coming forward and admitting that this is a mistake -- an unintended consequence -- and that it needs to be corrected by Holt ASAP. They are being Bush-like for not addressing this and we have enough of that in the Executive branch. They need to fix this and soon -- but gutting the bill won't solve anything.

Mulder and Holt have other bills in the works if the Dems get the Congress back that you would probably not have a problem with. Would you object to transparent aggregation of precinct totals for example? (See DNC Ohio report Sec. VIII.) I doubt it.

I'd love to improve Holt before it passes, if it passes, but what I've seen so far from the anti-Holt contingent is an apparent desire to gut the bill. I don't think this is the way to go.

So how do we move forward?

As far as post-Holt killer arguments, that's easy:

If the Holt audit and state audits are mathematically or otherwise unable to confirm the outcome of ANY race on the ballot, more auditing is required, and again, auditing is just another word for hand counts.

You see Holt as some kind of limit on auditing. Others see it as the tip of the auditing iceberg. It depends on what WE as activists do next, doesn't it? We have a crappy election system now, and even where hand counts are possible, we don't always get them. Holt will at least mandate some.

The post-Holt argument is already in the works, even by some proponents of Holt. If you think there will be a "PR" problem with that, I'd suggest you join forces with those who are working with what media they have access to, to get the word out and propose better alternatives to Holt, some of which may still even be included in the bill once it's in committee. I hope you haven't burnt any bridges though because for the life of me, I can't imagine why you would want to do that.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #57
82. Holt also removes Wireless - which many machines have
thought I would mention that.

Many voting systems are known to have have wireless capability.

I will lead off with WINvote, because they are PROUD of their
wireless features:


The WINvote Wireless Touch Screen Voting System is manufactured by Advanced Voting Solutions. The AVS leadership team has decades of elections experience, successfully implementing and supporting hundreds of elections for millions of voters nationwide.

The WINvote uses secure wireless technology that loads all the county's ballots to all the units within minutes. This feature is designed to save the county significant resources and election preparation time. The WINvote also features wireless ballot activation and wireless ballot accumulation, designed to ease the burden on poll workers and voters. The wireless ballot activation means the voter simply touches the screen to activate the ballot. The wireless ballot accumulation feature means the poll workers simply touches one screen to accumulate all the totals at the precinct and send the results to the elections office
http://www.advancedvoting.com/index.php?p=Voting+System

Diebold's Wireless Woes

Election season is officially underway, and with it new concerns are being raised about Diebold Election Systems' electronic voting machines. While California authorities consider action against the company for violating voting-certification policies, computer scientists are now worried that Diebold's AccuVote TSx machines, which can connect to Wi-Fi networks, could make it easy for unauthorized personnel to manipulate voting results. With security of paramount importance, this revelation could hurt Diebold's chances of getting its systems government approval for use in the upcoming presidential election.
http://business2.blogs.com/business2blog/2004/01/diebol...

iVotronic and the documentation the iVotronic is wireless as a standard, built-in feature:

Page 87 of the Ohio assessment done by CompuWare (found at: http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/hava/compuware112103.pdf ) states: "The iVotronic is portable, wireless, and multilingual."


ES&S M100 optical scanner.

From spec sheets provided by ES&S

"The Model 100 comes equipped with dual PCMCIA slots, an optional wireless modem for
transmitting results, two exterman serial prots and one parallel port
allowing the connection of a wide array of external components."

Page 3 of file
http://www.ncvoter.net/downloads/ES_SiVotronicSlick.pdf

Does Not Have Wireless:

Hart Intercivic - DOES NOT have wireless,
or at least didn't at this time:
PPT] DRE SystemsFile Format: Microsoft Powerpoint 97 - View as HTML
Presented by Rich Geppert of Hart Intercivic. 17-803/17-400 ELECTRONIC VOTING ... NO PORTS, NO CONNECTORS, NO MODEM, NO WIRELESS, NO INTERNET. TOTALS REPORT ...
http://euro.ecom.cmu.edu/program/courses/tcr17-803/Slid...

Might Not Have Wireless:
Sequoia

Dont Know About the Rest.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #82
95. Right. Bans wireless and Internet connectivity.
Wireless is only banned in 2 states so far.

The question is: how can Land Shark and others interested in suing voting machine companies do so if Holt passes?

I'd say by going the same route as RFK Jr. maybe:
Just prove that they defrauded the government!

Meanwhile, the rest of us can push for more auditing. The possibility that this could be privatized should be removed from the bill however. Jaws is right about that.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
3. airplanes will never fly. the earth is flat. paper ballots = impossible

hr-550 can be seen as one step along the path or the end of the road where nothing else is possible.
good thing dorothy didn't quit or she'd still be in OZ.

all of us who value honest elections are doing our part, thanks for doing yours.

we have lots of time in this country to sit around and count paper ballots and votes. the arguments against it are self serving on the part of county registrars who like going to those machine-sponsored conventions where they are made to feel bigger and better than the citizens they serve. the media can wait. the candidates can wait, what's another few days?

counting ballots is not that difficult at the precinct level. one does not have to deliver every ballot cast in California to ONE warehouse to be counted en masse.

Msongs
www.msongs.com/political-shirts.htm



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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Elections with hand counted paper ballots used to get stolen too
It is not the cure all one would hope for. And it takes huge amounts of man-hours which means money most areas do not have.

Better to go for scanned ballots, which at least exist outside of a computer's memory and can be recounted if need be.

Thinking that hand counting would assure an honest election is just ignoring history. Old 'political machines' were made of people if I recall. Get enough of one side hand counting the ballots and it wasn't up to the voters anymore.

Want honest and accurate? Make sure the people running the entire voting and counting process are more concerned with democracy than with ideology. That means more folks have to be actively involved with how things are done in their areas.

Democracy is not a spectator sport. Americans have to be involved or bad people take the reins.

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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. The more people handling the paper
the greater the chance of error, damage to ballots, chicanery.

I am flummoxed as to why people can't understand this.
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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. it's always the lack of checks and balances that allows fraud
not the presence of absence of paper or cellulose. (the ballots could as well be plastic, metal, wood, pottery, etc.) So anytime you have paper without checks and balances, sure you can have problems there too. That proves only the importance of checks and balances.

You can't check and balance electrons. You can't check and balance computers who by their very nature do as they are told without regard to law, ethics or morality. Computers can process votes when they are afraid to go to jail, and not before then. (It's DIFFERENT than a mechanical machine, where, if it properly counts the day before election it is highly likely to count properly on the day OF election. Not so with computers, all depends on what they're told)
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #14
19. 550 requires the code to be disclosed
It goes further than our bill in NC on this issue.

It requires paper to document the vote.

The ballots must be audited after the election. You don't like the percentage, so petition your state to raise the %.

Mechanical machines are easy to rig, it has been done. Counting correctly the day before the elcection is no indicator.

Again, 550 puts a lot of safe guards in place.

Where is your replacement bill and who will be introducing it?
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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #19
60. as written, the vendors may well have a claim for a constitutional
regulatory taking, because the bill implicitly recognizes the validity of computers in voting, but says the vendors gotta cough up the source code, for which they will claim damages.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #60
63. The bill EXPLICITLY states that
if the digital count differs from the pape count, the paper count is the legal result.
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. Right you are
I rather like the optical scanned ballots. But there are too few people in my present location to make them possible.

When I work to help hand count the paper ballots, I am the only DEM in the building! Gee, wonder how they would be tallying things if I wasn't there keeping an eye on the reading of ballots and tallying of the votes!
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. I have already done the math
as to why it is impractical to count ballots by hand, especially complaex ballots in large cities. I am sorry this is not convincing to you, but there it is.

Claiming you will be able drop machines in elections and go back to paper is like claiming you can put the nuclear genie back in the bottle.

Not.going.to.happen.

You may get hand counts in small counties where it is practical, but once the ballots get beyond a certain level of complexity or number cast, machines are need to render an accurate count.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #3
42. Could you please show me where I said
paper ballots = impossible


Please?

Paper ballots are alive and well, and if Holt passes they will be required nationwide. What I said was impossible was handcounting the entire nation, there is difference.
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fooj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
52. Well said.
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flobee1 Donating Member (515 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 10:38 AM
Response to Original message
4. Electronic voting
I believe, is the wave of the future
the issues everyone has with it is
1 that its being run by people with a serious conflict of itrests (diebold)
and
2 that the very serious and very real security concerns are not only not being addressed, they're being dissmissed as comspiracy theroy!

I myself will not vote on one of these machines until it can be proven, by someone with no influence of a particular party, that these macines are kosher
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Uh, I don't know many people
outside Diebold who dismiss the security concerns as "conspiracy theories".

The security concerns are real, demonstrable, and reproducible.

Some states are addressing the issue. HR-550 is addressing it at the federal level.
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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #5
17. Hard to believe that you go from this premise to this conclusion:
Premise: "I don't know many people outside Diebold who dismiss the security concerns as "conspiracy theories". The security concerns are real, demonstrable, and reproducible." - Kelvin Mace

Conclusion of Kelvin Mace (see reply to a post of mine above): Electronic machines are here to stay.

You mean, in the world's most important democracy and richest nation, we are HELPLESS TO RESIST "real, demonstrable and reproducible" security problems? We must simply take baby steps back, but never ALL the way?

The lack of vision here is striking.

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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. 'Electronic machines' does not always = programmable computer voting
Those counting devices that click a tally mark for the marks you put in a card are electronic machines. They ARE NOT the same as Diebold-type voting computers with modems any fair hacker could get into and program to spit out specific results.

A toaster is an electronic machine, but can't steal an election.

We have to deal with the reality of huge populations - huge quantities of ballots and the fact that elections with hand counted paper ballots were only as reliable as the party machine counting those ballots

Optical counters have no ideology. The fewer times ballots are handled by people, the more likely the count is to be accurate.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #18
24. OpScan is simple technology
that most poeople understand. It is EASY to check for accuracy with a hand count. TS, with no paper ballots is IMPOSSIBLE to check. NC s.223 outlaws paperless TS systems in NC, and HR-550 outlaws them NATIONWIDE.

Landshark and his supporters seem to be saying either the law will have our audit procedure, or we prefer NO law. If we don't get our view of how audits must be conducted we are prepared to sacrifice prohibitions against internet voting, wireless voting, paperless voting, conflict of interest in testing labs, and mandatory disclosure of voting machine code FOR THE ENTIRE NATION.

What a deal.
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. OpScan is so simple, reliable and OLD
that I used to take tests that were scored with the technology back in grade school in the 60s!

Maybe folks might get the difference between the two systems if we remind them of all those 'bubbles' they filled in on all those standardized tests they took every couple of years in school.

Might make them understand the difference (or they will have to question those rave reviews of their intelligence from back in their school days ;))
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. Some time old tech, is the best.
MagLev is much cooler than wheels, but wheels are simpler, cheaper, and easier to maintain.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #17
23. Now you are ignoring the context
OpScan is here to stay. TS can be eliminated and we will get a better system. We tried to outlaw TS in my state, but we couldn't pull it off. We had to settle for 76% OpScan instead.

Electronic system HAVE problems. The solution to those problems are:

1) a paper ballot which documents the vote and is used to check the accuracy of the electronics.

2) Full disclosure of the code used in the machines with stiff penalties for trying to pull a stunt like Diebold did in California (in NC's case, it is a FELONY)

3) Mandatory random audits to check for accuracy and cheating.

4) Disclosure of who is writing the code.

5) Conflict of interest laws and strict chain of custody laws.

6) Constant vigilance.

Between the NC law, and 550, voters in my state would have all of this. If we get a chance to ban TS systems, we will in a heartbeat. We will just wait for them to fuck up yet again, then strike.
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fooj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #17
51. I'll tell you who is lacking vision...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Why so much concern for EVERYTHING but this? I don't get it. Wait. Maybe I do.
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Fredda Weinberg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 10:51 AM
Response to Original message
10. Good luck but I've known all along we had the power nt/
Edited on Fri Jul-21-06 10:51 AM by Fredda Weinberg
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AndyA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
16. I would like to know when it became acceptable to privatize the election
process. Who said this was a good idea, and when was it decided? The process of voting in this country is a fundamental right that goes to the very core of our democracy. Who had the brilliant idea that it was OK to privatize this process, and allow corporations to build equipment with secret technology to track and report the votes?

The voting process must be completely removed from the control of private interests, and brought back into a government or state function, with transparency, mandatory random audits, and a bipartisan panel to oversee the process.

No wonder our elections are such a joke. We have equipment that we can't control, doing who the hell knows what with our votes, because the technology is privileged information. We have state election officials heading up campaigns, or serving as party officials. Can you say CONFLICT OF INTEREST?

This is just another example of our government controlling us, instead of representing us. The American people need to put their foot down and tell them enough is enough. And then vote those out who don't do as we want. Of course, with the voting process we have now, we can never be sure that's an option, since we can't trust what the machines are doing.

I appreciate any action that moves our voting process away from private corporations and gives it more transparency. We just all have to recognize how very important this issue really is.

And for the record, I don't believe Alien Autopsy was real, but I do believe our elections are being manipulated. Not all of them, but some of the important ones are certainly worthy of further scrutiny. You can't have the CEO of Diebold go on record as promising to deliver the win to the GOP without questioning why he would say such a thing.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #16
26. I didn't say I disagree with you about manipulation of elections
I am simply telling you how this is viewed by the power structure in politics and media. This is just how it is.

Using an OpScanner to count paper ballots, then randomly auditing a statistically significant number of ballots after the election is a pretty good way to insure accuracy of elections.

I HATE to point this out, but such machines generally DO a better job of counting than humans. They don't get tired, or, (as long as I can check the counting code) have a political agenda. They are also much faster.

This type of system is not, in my opinion, privatizing the vote.

The issue is TOTALLY different when you bring in TS systems. The actual recording of the vote and counting thereof is done SECRETLY and OPAQUELY. You can't have ANY meaningful check of the system's accuracy unless paper is involved and there is a mechanism in place that requires comparing paper to electrons.

In this case, lacking these safeguard, the vote HAS been privatized and we should all raise holy Hell up to, and including, rioting in the streets if need be, to restore the vote to the people.
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IndyOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
21. The most amazing, fantastic, ideal system
Includes Opscan ballots - as high a proportion hand counted as possible.

Voter uses pencil to mark Opscan Ballot and then puts it in scanner. Scanner shows on a screen how it registers the votes. If there are overvotes - stray marks on the paper, incomplete erasure - then the scanner spits the ballot back out and the voter gets a new ballot. If there are undervotes, the voter is warned.

THIS CORRECTS PROBLEMS that can occur with plan paper ballots: With plain paper ballots people sometimes make mistakes or double-mark and then battles ensue between Dem and Rep counting ballots by hand.

The Opscan ballot reader ensures that the ballot is "clean" - it can be read by scanner or by the human eye.

As great a % can be hand counted as you can manage to put in law and to staff. I am all for hand counting as high a percentage as possible. As long as there is adequate ballot security the ballots can be counted over time as needed.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #21
28. Or use the computer to actually
print the ballot as you cast it.

It then has only your votes, nothing else

Ex:

President:

Albert Gore

Senate:

Barbara Boxer

Congress:

John Conyers



Instead of:

Albert Gore X
George W. Bush
Ralph Nader

Where somone can then erase your mark and change the vote.

The first is absolutely unambiguous, the second prone to tampering.

The ballot produced can then be rad by an OpScanner for fast counting.

Nice system, but requires lots of hardware, alas.
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IndyOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #28
58. Voter-marked is better than voter-verified, IMO
I read somewhere that up to 1/3 of voters will not check their printed ballots, assuming they are correct.

Better to have them mark the ballot - with a pen than cannot be erased. I know pencil is most common for optical scans - but I can't believe that there isn't another, permanent possibility.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #58
62. You can lead a horse to water
but you can't make him check his ballot.

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Kip Humphrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
22. I got it: digital vote processing systems everywhere spells success
and is a ringing defeat for e-voting vendors.

And OpScan DIGITAL VOTE PROCESSING SYSTEMS are here to stay - GET USED TO IT! (At least you didn't tell us how much better OpScans are!)

And we can't hand count paper because there aren't enough Republicans who know how to count (OK, you didn't say this; its responding to something from Joyce's post).

And the unelected RNC-controlled Congress will gleefully pass HR 550 unaltered in all its toothiness because its good for America and protects the integrity of our vote.

And then we can spend all our time lobbying this great Congress for more Federal legislation (would that be HAVA I, Amendment B?) to fix the fabulous HR 550 (a.k.a., HAVA I, Amendment A).

And hand counting 2 votes out of every 100 to ensure 4 or 5 of those 100 weren't flipped digitally will ensure our elections are safe, secure and accurate.

And we all must not tell the truth of our stolen elections because people don't want to hear it and will attack us and call us names (Oh, and if we keep the truth to ourselves, they'll let us say lots cool stuff on FOX News!).

And besides, we shouldn't say the elections have been stolen because the politicians and the media don't believe it.

And if we haven't gotten laws passed, we're pieces of shit and should shut up because we're IGNORANT pieces of shit (OK, you didn't say "shit". You did say "fucking" though).

And without the life-shattering sacrifice of one person, no one would know about the problems with our voting systems (After all, he gave birth to the meme) and we'd be voting via black box digital vote processing systems forever more.


I get it. I'll go back to my normal life now, assured our democracy is secure and our future bright.
(God! I sound like the damn Freepers here on ER. I apologize for that but David's post REALLY got to me)
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #22
29. Sorry this pisses you off.
Points:

1) There is NOTHING in 550 to stop you from hand-counting your ballots. Just persuade your city/county/state to do so, and you are all set. If you think you can pass a law that will require the entire nation count its ballots by hand, then don't let me inject reality into your dream.

2) You don't have to lobby congress to address any flaws you see in the bill as to auditing. States are perfectly free to establish stricter standards.

3) As to counting 2 our of every 100 votes, exit polling is very accurate and relies on similar samples, Don't bitch to me, talk to the statisticians.

4) Again, I ask you if you want to make a statement or get a law passed. Attacking me and insinuating I like Fox news is pretty goddamned low, and very much the kind of thing that makes me wonder why the fuck I bother with this shit at all, since other people know SO MUCH MORE than I do.

5) If you want to run around and tell people all about how the elections are rigged and Karl Rove has a secret deal with Wally O'Dell, then by all means, do so. I am explaining that if you do, you will be ignored. If you wish to be ignored by the people you are trying to convince, then knock yourself out.

6) At no point did I call anyone ignorant. If you want to change the law, then pick up the phone, fire up the FAX, write some emails, wear out some shoe leather. That is how it is done in the real world.

7) As to my part in this, I can only speak for myself. For some reason this offends you and you choose to belittle what I have to say and mock what I have spent four years of my life doing.

By all means, have a laugh and enjoy yourself. I will sit back and wait for your august views and leadership on the matter.
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Febble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #29
37. First of all, thanks for this
and congratulations on all you have achieved. I am impressed with HR550.

But I have to comment on your point 3 (of course).

How accurately a sample reflects the whole (a 'population' in stats-speak):

  1. DOES NOT depend on the proportion sampled, but on the size of the sample. 2 votes out of 100 would tell you nothing. 200 votes out of 10,000 would tell you a heck of a lot.
  2. DOES depend on the sample being random. Exit polls are not random samples, nor were the precincts sampled for the recount in Ohio.

To be confident that an audited sample reflected the whole, it therefore has to be random and it has to have a certain size. For large units of analysis, 2% of the vote will give you an adequate sample size, but for small units (like precincts) it won't.

(And the crucial issue with the exit polls is the extent to which they were random- evidence suggests not, although the sample size was just fine....)

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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. Thanks for the correction
I was lazy and used his words when I should have said 2%. The NC law requires consulatation with a UNC statistician and the sample size can be GREATER than 2%.
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truckin Donating Member (500 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
30. Having been involved in getting legislation passed in my state
and participating in lobbying for HR550 this spring, I completely agree with what Kelvin wrote. I don't understand why passing HR550 will stop other activists from pursuing their goals of hand counted paper ballots only or other solutions through legal remedies. The argument that once the bill passes then everyone will believe that voting will have been fixed has some merit but not enough to discourage me from trying to pass this bill. As Kelvin has mentioned, everyone is focusing on the inadequacies of the audit portion of the bill. But what about the fact that this bill would require all of the software to be accessible? Wouldn't this provision of the bill be invaluable to computer experts who are trying to prove that machine fraud took place? The provision of the bill requiring paper records for all votes cast would be a huge upgrade in states like Maryland and Georgia. While the bill is not perfect it provides requirements that many states are avoiding.

If you believe that there should be no machines and only hand counted paper ballots, please work to propose this type of legislation. As an ex auditor, I believe that precinct based optical scan, with adequate audit provisions, is the best voting system available at this time. I would like to see all DREs banned by a federal law and I would work to get some type of legislation banning these voting machines passed at the state or federal level. However, if HR550 passes, I don't believe that it will hurt a movement that tries to ban DREs. The push for HR550, and for almost all of the other activities that are taking place regarding election reform, is being done by dedicated activists who are well informed about voting machines. I do not believe that these activists are going to stop fighting to improve the election process if HR550 passes.

Finally, everyone who does not believe in HR550 should use their energy to pursue the remedies that they believe will be the most effective instead of knocking HR550 and those who support it. This would be a much better use of your time and talent if your goal is too fix our broken election system.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. You make a good point about
the law disclosing code. Once the code is opened up to scrutiny, we WILL find more problems allowing us to hammer the vendors even harder. This providion ALONE is worth getting the bill passed.

Thanks for bring it up.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #30
43. The lines are drawn
On one side are those who think privately owned machines can be made to produce an accurate count. The operative word is "can be made to". They think that 550 will enforce that mantra "can be made to."
------------------------

On the other side are those who think that the invisible hand of the private companies needs to be cut off completely. And that 550 tends to codify and strengthen that invisible hand.

Yes, we think the machines should be tossed into Boston Harbor. We don't trust the same bought congress who gave us HAVA to release that privatized control over how our votes are counted.
--------------------

Having said that, if there is a machine that the experts can recommend to everyone, lets hear about that machine. I have yet to hear of one vendor who has the confidence of the leaders.

Since no machine has thus far appeared, the rest of us can't accept the idea of allowing the invisible hand anymore power.

It is about whether you want more private control, or more open, public control, over how the votes are counted.
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truckin Donating Member (500 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. I think you are drawing incorrect lines. The open source code
provision of HR550 could help prove that DREs are not able to be relied on to use for voting.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #44
47. Correct me if I am wrong...
... but it is not open source code, it is private code that I can look at. How in the world am I gonna be able to read that code?

And how am I going to make sure that code is the same code on the machine I just voted on?
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truckin Donating Member (500 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #47
48. Computer experts, who cannot review the code now, would be
able to review it and look for problems.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #48
49. Feeble assurances.....
... are not what I am looking for. I'd rather place my trust in many eyes, than just a few experts.

And how many experts would it take to look at the source code of 10,000 machines?

And then, if they do find something, we'd all have to go to court.

Well, we've seen what the courts can do. Remember the felonious five of selection 2000?



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truckin Donating Member (500 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #49
53. So you think that we are better off without the ability to review the
code? This step alone does not assure that every machine will function properly but it will help to detect the problems within the machines that have faulty counts. My point is that I don't believe that this bill makes these machines more usable, rather it will help detect more problems with DREs which will help us get rid of them.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #53
55. Of course not
But in reality it is just lipstick on a pig. The problem is, as I have noted, the code can not be examined on every machine.

Getting rid of DREs is one good thing that could come out of 550.

Know that I used to be all in favor of 550, but that was when I was somewhat ignorant of all the ramifications. Now I see that until there is a working, well designed, and nearly foolproof machine, I can not condone the idea of using any such thing to count my vote.

But if I go along with 550 then it would appear that I think Diebold, et al, can be reformed and all will be fine; I know better than that.

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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #55
65. The code CAN be examined in EVERY machine
as I explained abover, you use a checksum.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #49
64. Once code has been certified
a mathematical checksum can be generated from the code which can be checked in EACH machine on election day, These checksums CANNOT be forged. Change a single comma in the code and the checksum value changes.

Again, you prefer to trust tens of thousands of people, rather than vetted machines.

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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #64
69. Is
That checksum is written into HR 550?
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #69
77. It doesn't have to be, it is a standard
software audit/security procedure.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #77
83. Standard?
So, it is in HAVA already, or will be in 550?

Kelvin, do you still work in the computer systems field? If so, you ought to tell your allies. Heck, since you purport to be an expert in all this, you should tell of your credentials, eh?
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #83
86. My credentials are established for those who bother to look for them
Edited on Sat Jul-22-06 11:20 AM by Kelvin Mace
but since you asked, I have been a computer systems engineer for about 12 years. I have taught about, built, repaired, and installed computers for over 18 years. My writing on computers, tech, Internet issues and such have appeared in local, regional and national publications (ESP, Triad Style, Internet Underground, Eye Magazine, .Net, plus that book with Bev what-her-name) I wrote a weekly tech column for the local paper for two years. I have been installing networks and repairing PCs since 1986. I hold credentials from Microsoft (MCSE, MCP) Compaq (ASE), HP (various equipment specific certs) CompTIA (A+), and Software Publishers Assoc (CSM). For eight years I worked for a company which wrote loan software for banks and I am quite familiar with the security protocols of banks. I also served on the NC Select Committee on E-Voting, which drafted S.223, the Public Confidence in Voting Act for the state of NC.

Happy now? You have been on this board how long and have never bothered chech my bona fides?

Checksum authentication has been used for years in banks, anti-virus software, Linux, Windows and Mac OS. It is a STANDARD security procedeure.

What are YOUR credentials by the way?
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #86
88. Mine
I am a layman. I have a drivers license, that about it. I taught myself computers and how to type in the last 5 years. I have been following stolen elections for 15.

I am the most free person you might ever meet, that's what my friends say about me, hence this screen name.

I don't trust computers to count my vote, and nothing you have ever said about them has convinced me to change my mind. However, if you can tell me of one machne you can stake your reputation on, I will checksum it. K?
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #88
90. I have already "staked my reputation"
Edited on Sat Jul-22-06 11:38 AM by Kelvin Mace
on a process and a technology in my home state.

You are now telling me that your experience as a self-professed layman trumps my experience working with computers? This is no different than George Bush insisting he knows more than biologists and geneticists on topics such as evolution and stem cell research.

Ironically, I routinely am told by clueless election officials that they, people with NO computer experience, have complete faith in paperless voting system, and that my experience with computers to the contrary is not germane.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #90
91. Which vendor? What make and model?
Yeah, can you imagine a computer idiot like me questioning the 'authority'?

Well, son, from computer experts besides yourself, is where I get my knowledge. And nearly all of them say there is not one computer they would trust to count votes. Nothing you have said convinces me otherwise.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #91
93. I don't know who your experts are
But the mainstream folks I have worked with havbe nmo problem with what we have in NC. We are using ES&S OpScan system.

You still haven't answered my question:

How do you vette a quarter of a million ballot counters?
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. So you are saying that 100 million ballots
can be counted with a greater degree of accuracy by hand than by machine?

Please provide evidence of this.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #45
46. Show me...
...a machine that you can stake your reputation on, and I will check it out.

100 million ballots will not be counted on one machine; more like 10,000 machines, with up to 10,000 possibly different codes, and 10,000 different ballot definition files.

Too, is the idea that indeed, the audits would be hand counted, right?

Anyway, remember Pottawattimie? The hand counts were more accurate, eh?

Show me one machine that we can all have confidence with. Until then....

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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #46
59. And your are proposing that the ballots
be counted by 30-50,000 people.

Please show me 30-50,000 people you are willing to stake your reputation on and I will check it out.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #59
70. Properly advertised
I think we could find 30,000 democrats to count ballots.

Heck, they could all be DU members. Yeah, I could find 30,000 DUers to stake my reputation on. Check it out.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #70
78. My we are naive
And then we will need 30,000 Republicans, then 30,000 Libertarians. Gonna vouch for them?
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #78
79. Naive?
It's doable. We can find the dems, let them find their counters.

When we have true reform of the system all these things will fall into place.

With the current system that is designed to exclude people from activities and make privatization and machinery the core elements with big money controlling everything else, the naivety that plays into that system will be/is the death of democracy.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #79
84. HOW DO YOU VETTE THESE PEOPLE?
I am amazed that I have to ask this question on a forum that routinely accuses posters of working for Karl Rove.

Do you think the GOP is going to allow all Dem counters? So, now we must have an equal number of GOP counters, and Libertarian counters, and suddenly our head count has tripled to 90,000 people. And by the way I consider 30,000 LOW for the task of counting 100,000,000 ballots. That works out to 3,333 ballots per counter, triple the size of your average precinct. A more realistic number would be 80,000 counters throughout the country counting, handling 1250 ballots each. This means that once the GOP and the minor partis get invovled, we are fielding 240,000 people to count ballots.

Yes, NAIVE!
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #84
85. But accurate and dependable vs. machines
Still, I wait for the day when one of the machine pushers can show just one machine they will stake their reputation on. Waiting.

There is no doubt that if the chief concern about counting votes is speed and easiness, machines win hands down.

But if your chief concern is openess, decentralized control, and dependability, there is nothing better right now than HCPB.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #85
89. A machine that has had its software vetted
and is checked post-election for accuracy and fraud will outperform people every time with this volume of ballots.

Please provide proof that 240,000 people are going to produce a more accurate count than the machines. Please explain how you will vette these people, a question you keep dodging. Claims that this is common sense doen't count. Common sense says a lot of things according to some folks that just.aren't.true.

You tell me these roughly quarter of a million souls will count accurately and will be 100% honest. Where is your proof?

OpScan technology is a very mature, very well proven technology. With the safeguards outlined in my state's law and in 550, I have a high degree of confidence in the acuracy and honesty of an election so conducted.



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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #89
92. A machine?
That's where you keep spreading disinfo.

It would take 10,000 machines.

As far as vetting goes... I can vette people better than I can machines.

You still haven't told me of your make and model of a machine I can look over.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #92
94. I am speaking in general
you are now deliberately distorting my words.

Want to see the machines we use? Come to NC.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #84
87. Kelvin, multiply your # of counters by 4
NC statutes require the use of a bi-partisan team of 4.

In conducting hand to eye recounts or recounts of paper ballots,
a bi-partisan team of four shall be used:
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
31. Thank you. I appreciate your efforts.
I understand and agree with your fundamental points, and I appreciate immensely what you've accomplished and your continuing efforts.

I'm glad you're standing up to the crap-throwers. I know it gets really frustrating, but it's folks like you who are willing to take ground inch by inch if necessary, who will really make the progress on this issue.
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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
35. all well and good . . . let's support the bill, get it passed . . but . .
if this statement is accurate:

THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE IN THE REAL WORLD OF POLITICS AND THE MEDIA DO NOT SUBSCRIBE TO THE VIEW THAT THERE IS A CONSPIRACY BETWEEN THE GOP AND VOTING MACHINE COMPANIES TO RIG ELECTIONS!

then we still have a real problem . . . because I've seen enough evidence that points precisely in that direction that I, personally, believe that there indeed IS a conspiracy . . . and it's existed since at least the 2000 elections . . . and that it will likely determine the outcome of the 2006 and 2008 elections . . .

if, despite "common knowledge" in political and media circles (both of which have such exemplary records for telling the truth), there indeed IS a conspiracy, what we're talking about here is nothing less than THE TRUTH . . . and once we start ignoring THE TRUTH for political expediency, we don't have much of anything left . . .

so pass the bill, celebrate it, shoot off the fireworks . . . but PLEASE don't stop pursuing THE TRUTH in this matter . . . it's far too important . . .

only THE TRUTH, after all, will set us free . . .
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truckin Donating Member (500 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. You are right but I've never heard an election reform activist say
that once HR550 is passed our work is over. We all realize that getting HR550 is one step of many that need to take place to restore democracy.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #36
41. Not me, that's for sure.
We had to deal with an attempt just this week to weaken our bill in NC. Fortunately, Joyce has spys everywhere in Raleigh and she was on the job in a flash.

:)
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #35
40. I have seen many things that make me suspicious
Edited on Fri Jul-21-06 01:54 PM by Kelvin Mace
but I deal in cold, hard facts.

People can argue about exit polling data forever, but you are NOT going to convict anyone or overturn a single election based on exit polling.

I have high standards for the use of the word "conspiracy", and again, while there is much to make me very curious, there is damned little concrete evidence.

Could the evidence be found? Sure, all we need is subpoena power and a battalion of FBI agents. With that, if there were real evidence, we would have a decent chance of finding it.

What passes for evidence on this board and what IS evidence in court and in the halls of power are different animals.

No one should EVER stop pursuing the truth, but we have limited time and every more limited resources. The choice is to try and prove what I have no evidence for, or prove what I have concrete, irrefutable facts about, i.e. DRE software is insecure, poorly written and highly prone to tampering.
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
56. I completely agree... what's more,
so did the head of my elections office when I discussed it with her. She is adamantly opposed to anything but paper ballots, optiscan, large random handcounts, auditing and inviting & welcoming citizen observers throughout the process. She told me as well, that if a citizen calls and has a problem with a particular precinct, they'll hand recount that one too.

She also thinks the "all hand count" people are crackpots (that it is an utter impossibility and will never happen). She says it makes it HARDER for her in working to convince her peers to dump the touchscreens.
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #56
61. I just don't know how a hand count would work in my precinct,
and we have relatively small precincts, according to what I've seen posted here at DU.

It's a damned long day from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. or later as it is. I am the only member of my election board who has what I consider a "real", traditional job, where I have to be up again at 6 am the next day to go back to it. The others' situations vary from working part time, to working in a family business, to working for the county who get the day off and are accomodated for supporting Election Day.

By 9 pm I don't know how the hell we'd hand count 600-800 or more ballots with several races and usually ballot questions too. So...would the plan be to bring in a fresh team to do the counting, while the original board members remained as observors to satisfy the chain of custody? How would a county like mine, that can barely (and more often, not) staff all the precincts with Dems to counteract the repubs, find that many MORE people to participate in a count? And we're not even as overwhelmingly republican as we used to be.

I tend to agree with your elections office head that this will never happen. I can dream of a utopia where everyone would get Election Day off from work and use it to help with the elections instead of going to the beach or the mountains...but if Americans were that civic-minded, they'd have paid just a smidgin more attention in 2004 and a lot fewer of them would have been bamboozled into voting for idiot frat boy.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #61
66. Again, even if your brought in a counting team
the more people you have handle the ballots, the greater the chance of error, damage, or mischief.

People who keep harping on hand counts have are not operating in the real world.
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 07:27 AM
Response to Reply #66
73. I wonder
how many of them work at, or have worked at, the polls as election board members?

I'm open-minded to the possibility that there may be a different way to run the polls that would make hand counting ballots feasible. But it seems those arguing for HCPB almost always merely ignore or discount the problem. And that's not the way to win respect for your position with people who actually DO this work.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #73
76. Damn few if you ask me.
Edited on Sat Jul-22-06 09:02 AM by Kelvin Mace
I have worked a couple of election, the most recent being the NC primary. I just love armchair theorists. Reminds me of all those brilliant military leaders in Freeperland who tell us how close to victory we are in Iraq.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-28-06 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #56
97. She sounds reasonable. nt
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kster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 10:46 PM
Response to Original message
67. Why do we need HR-550 ?
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #67
68. Becuase it raises the minium standards
of disclosure, auditability and accountability for the entire nation.
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kster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-21-06 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #68
71. The politicians have not admitted there is a problem
with the voting machines ON TV or anywhere else for that matter, So now they want to pass a bill to fix a problem that they themselves won't even admit exist???
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kster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 02:26 AM
Response to Reply #71
72. KICK nt
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 07:29 AM
Response to Reply #71
74. Kerry and Boxer have, I know
I don't know for sure about the other cosponsors of the various reform bills.

But the real question is: where are the others?
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #71
75. Really?
So the 100+ sponsors are introducing 550 to address a problem they don't think exists?
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #75
81. I think the poster was referring to getting it out in the media
That's how I took their post.

It's easy (relatively) to just put your name on a bill that the world isn't paying any attention to.

Kerry has been all over the not-so-mainstream media, like Stephanie Miller and Ed Schultz, talking about it, and in various speeches he has brought it up. I am less attuned to what Boxer is doing now but she will always get credit for contesting the certification of the 2004 (s)election. I am sure there are others too.

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-22-06 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #71
80. 199 co-sponsors, Holt's page, and Verified Voting article
The current list of co-sponsors (official).
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:HR00550:@@...

Rep. Holt's webpage contains useful information on the bill.
http://www.rushholt.com/petition.html

Pamela Smith's article dispels some allegations and myths concerning the bill.
http://www.verifiedvotingfoundation.org/article.php?id=...

*Rules on getting legislation out of committee:
It's called a discharge petition.
If a bill is co-sponsored by more than half the House members (218)
it can be brought directly to the floor by-passing committee.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discharge_petition
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-28-06 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #80
98. Says 205 co-sponsors
Several have been added in just the last few days.
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-29-06 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #80
99. Great links. And now 206 co-sponsors.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-28-06 11:02 PM
Response to Original message
96. Maybe people are waiting for HR 551
you know the federal legislation to require hand counted paper ballots?
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