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The 3893 extra Bush votes in one Ohio Precinct--by WhiteKnight1

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milkyway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 08:14 PM
Original message
The 3893 extra Bush votes in one Ohio Precinct--by WhiteKnight1
This was a reply in an Ohio forum thread posted by DU newcomer WhiteKnight1. It's very interesting, and I want to give it its' own thread here so more people are aware of it.

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

/*

About me:
I have a graduate degree in computer science, and more than 15 years of experience as a software engineer working with highly reliable systems.I have a knack for looking at the results of software failures and figuring out what's wrong with the code. For now, I prefer to remain anonymous and will go by the handle: WhiteKnight
(email: whiteknightfordemocracy@yahoo.com ).


About the bizzare vote counts in one Ohio Precinct:

After seeing the Associated Press story titled "Machine Error Gives Bush Extra Ohio Votes", I started thinking about the numbers reported in the story, whichare:

Votes for Bush: 4258
Votes for Kerry: 260
Total number of voters: 638

It also says that Bush "actually received 365 votes". That means there must have been 13 votes for other candidates (638-260-365 = 13).


I wondered how this result could have been produced. They called it a "failure", but I know a lot about how systems can fail, and this sounded fishy. Why were Kerry's vote totals recorded properly, but not Bush's? It's much more likely that a system failure would cause either no vote totals to be recorded at all, or that both totals would be corrupted.

I suppose it could have been a hardware failure that occurred right after Kerry's vote total had been written to storage, and just as Bush's was being written. But that's likely to be a very narrow time window. It's possible, but sounds like a very rare failure mode. It just seems odd that out of the whole universe of possible failures, we get a failure that records Kerry's votes correctly, and corrupts Bush's total.

Think of it this way: In basketball you know there are many ways a shot can fail to go in. It can go off the glass and miss, it can bounce off the front of the rim, rattle out, airball etc... etc... But there is one particular failed shot that's very rare: when the ball comes in at just the right trajectory with just the right speed, and it lodges between the rim and the backboard - just sticks there. I've seen it happen maybe a couple of times in years of watching the NBA.

So think of the odds of a failure that records Kerry's votes correctly, but corrupts Bush's as analogous to the ball jamming there between the rim and backboard. Pretty rare failure huh? Well, it gets even worse:

Why was the number off by only several thousand?

If the votes are added up using a 4 byte unsigned integer, then the possible values range from 0 to 4,294,967,296 (over 4 Billion). If a random bit error or hardware storage error occurred, then why didn't Bush get say 3,239,568 extra votes in this particular "failure"? Most true failures would result in some wild number that you would immediately recognize as garbage.

The analogy here is: not only did the basketball lodge between rim and glass, but the Spalding logo ended up perfectly horizontal, aligned front and center.

Given all of this, I decided to explore ways that vote counting software could end up with these particular results. Was someone adding a percentage to the Bush votes? Was there some multiplier involved?

After thinking about it for an hour or so, I decided to take a different tack: think like the person who is trying to rig the election. What would you do? You wouldn't really want to change the total number of voters. That might be too easy to detect given people being checked off on voter roles. Instead you would want to shift votes from one candidate to another. Maybe every 10th vote for kerry, you'd instead give to Bush.

OK, that's pretty easy to program, but it wouldn't expain the bizzare results in this one precinct in Ohio. But... what if the evil programmer made a mistake? Maybe one line of code had an error they didn't catch.

I decided to write a small vote counting program, and add in a function to steal every 10th vote. Once that was working I'd introduce a small error and see if the results came close the Ohio results reported by AP.

The program below is the result.

As you will see, there is one line of code that is supposed to add a stolen vote to Bush's total, and should be written as:

b = b + 1;

but (I theorize) it was mis-typed as:

b = b + k;

So instead of adding one stolen vote to Bush's total, it adds the running total of Kerry votes to Bush's total. Whoops!

The output from the program with the typo in place is:

starting election
Election results: b: 4258 k: 260 o: 13
(the actual votes: b: 336 k: 288 o: 14)

The output from the program with the typo corrected is:

starting election
Election results: b: 365 k: 260 o: 13
(the actual votes: b: 336 k: 288 o: 14)

So the intent was to shift 29 votes from other candidates to Bush, but the one-line programming mistake gives him an extra 3922 votes.

I'm not saying this proves that this is what happened, but it does indeed prove that a small, one-line programming error by an evildoer programmer could produce the results seen in this one Ohio precinct.

-WhiteKnight

p.s. Please circulate this as far and wide as possible. Thanks!

*/
#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>

// Vote totals for b=Bush k=Kery o=Other
int b=0, k=0, o=0;
// The set of "real" books:
int breal=0, kreal=0, oreal=0;

//
// Here's the hypothetical "patch" that the evildoer programmer
// might have written:
//
void robOhio(int creal, int* c) {
// Look for every 10th vote from this candidate:
if ((creal % 10)==0) {
// OK, here's the bug. Should have been
// b = b + 1;
// Give the vote to b
b = b + k;
// Take it away from other candidate:
*c = *c - 1;
}
}


int main() {
char votes<1000>;
//
// Here are the votes in a hypothetical order that I made up.
// So in this example, the first two votes went to Kerry, the
// next two to Bush, then one for Kery, one for Bush, one for
// Other, and so on.
//
// The order of the votes does affect the final numbers but,
// even if you change the order, the rough order of magnetude
// of the bogus results stays about the same.
//
//0 1 2 3 4 5
//12345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890
strcpy(votes,"KKBBKBOKBBKKBBKBBKBBKKBBKBBKBBKKBBKBBKBBKKBBKBBKBB"); // 50
strcat(votes,"KKBBKBKKOBKKBBKBBKBBKKBBKBBKOBKKBKKBKKBBKKBBKBBKBB"); // 100
strcat(votes,"KKBBKBBKBKKKBBKBBKBBKKBOKBBKBBKKBKKBBKBBKKBBKBBKBB"); // 150
strcat(votes,"KKBKKBBKKBKKBKKBBKBBKKBBKBBKBOKKBKKKBKBBKKBBKBBKBB"); // 200
strcat(votes,"KKBKBBBKBBKKBKKBBKBBKKKBKBBKBOKKKBKBBKBBKKBBKBBKBB"); // 250
strcat(votes,"KKBBKBBKBBKKBKKBBKBBKKBBKBOKBBKKBKKBBKBBKKBBKBBKBB"); // 300
strcat(votes,"KKKBKBBKBBKKKBKBKKBBKKBKKOKKBKKKBBKBBKBBKKBBKBBKBB"); // 350
strcat(votes,"KKBKKBBKBBKKBBKKBKBOKKBKKBBKBBKKBBKBBKBBKKBBKBBKBB"); // 400
strcat(votes,"KKBKKBBKBBKKBBKBBKBBKBBKKBBKBBKKBBKBBKBBKKBBKBBKBB"); // 450
strcat(votes,"BKKBKBBKBBKKBBKBBKBBKKBKKBBKBBKKBKKBBKBBKKBBKBBKBB"); // 500
strcat(votes,"KKKBKBBKBBKKBBKBBKBBKKBBKBBKBBKKBKKBBKBBKKBBKBBKBB"); // 550
strcat(votes,"KKBBKBBKBBKKBBKBBKBBKKKKKBBKBKKKBOKBBKBBKKBBKBBKBB"); // 600
strcat(votes,"KKBBKBBKBBKKBBKBBKOBKOBKKBOKBOKKBBKBBK"); // 638

printf("starting election\n");

// Start counting votes:
for (int i=0; i<strlen(votes); i++) {
char v = votes;
if (v=='B') {
b = b + 1;
breal = breal + 1;
} else if (v=='K') {
k = k + 1;
kreal = kreal + 1;
// This is not a vote for b, so steal some votes:
robOhio(kreal, &k);
} else if (v=='O') {
o = o + 1;
oreal = oreal + 1;
// This is not a vote for b, so steal some votes:
robOhio(oreal, &o);
}
}
printf("Election results: b: %d k: %d o: %d\n",b,k,o);
printf("(the actual votes: b: %d k: %d o: %d)\n",breal,kreal,oreal);
}
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crispini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. oooooee...
I hadn't thought about this before...

"Why was the number off by only several thousand?

If the votes are added up using a 4 byte unsigned integer, then the possible values range from 0 to 4,294,967,296 (over 4 Billion). If a random bit error or hardware storage error occurred, then why didn't Bush get say 3,239,568 extra votes in this particular "failure"? Most true failures would result in some wild number that you would immediately recognize as garbage."

but in my experience with software development and testing... .you are correctomundo.... bing bing bing! give that man a gold star.

damn, now I'm gettitng scared again. jeez, he's right. software very rarely fails in this way that could be sorta kinda probable... it mostly fails dramatically when it fails... veddy interesting...
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 09:31 PM
Response to Original message
2. kick
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chelaque liberal Donating Member (981 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
3. Thanks for this. It makes sense.
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loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 09:50 PM
Response to Original message
4. Wouldn't it be interesting to check some of bush's other totals in Ohio
with the b= b+1 formula? I wonder what might turn up!!


:kick: :kick:
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txindy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 09:52 PM
Response to Original message
5. Very nice analysis
Some excellent work here, WhiteKnight1. Welcome and thanks! :hi:

Thanks for posting it here, milkyway.

Did they honestly believe the program would never be looked at? :eyes: It won't take much to check it out. Unless they use all of the voting machines as artificial reefs in the very near future, they've got big problems. But there are oh-so-many more clues lying around, so they might as well just give it up now. They're going to be nailed, the only question is: How soon? :evilgrin:

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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Monkey sooooo sleepy now...
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txindy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Monkey try to stay awake
Edited on Sat Nov-13-04 10:21 PM by txindy
Monkey need lullabye! ;)


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anamandujano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #10
30. These 2 posts are hysterical
and very sweet.
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txindy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #30
31. Well, thank you
Monkey still needs lullabye. ;)

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henslee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 09:58 PM
Response to Original message
6. I must say I have felt intimidated by most of the statistical analysis but
the way you lay it out so clearly -- I totally get it.
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Critical Thinker Donating Member (118 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
7. Sorry, but I think the explanation a bit of a stretch
Consider this:

The theoretical "theft patch" would have been installed on all similar ELECTronic 1242 machines (as part of the service and maintenance contract with the vendor). If the "theft patch" actually existed, dozens of machines would have recorded similarly absurd over-votes throughout Franklin County.
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Chimpanzee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. Unless Franklin County got an early release of the program
that was subsequently 'corrected' but not reinstalled at Franklin County with the corrected code.
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Eloriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #7
17. According to this site, Franklin County uses DREs
or touchscreen computerized voting machines:

ElectionLine.org Interactive Map:
http://electionline.org/interactiveMap.jsp?page=Interac...

Who is the vendor?

And based on what I know about these vendors and their activities in various states, your assessment of their performance under any "service and maintenance contract" is wildly optimistic.

Further, these machines typically have modem or wireless capability -- in which case it would be NOTHING to apply a patch while in service, or slightly before. Or have one applied by any vendor technician on site (which is not at all unsusual) -- and the tech wouldn't even have to know what s/he was applying, just that HQ said it needed this particular patch. I'm betting this precinct was a heavily Dem precinct.

I think this is brilliant -- so brilliant I'm going to make sure that several others see it.

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txindy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. Franklin County machine info
Found here: http://verifiedvoting.org/verifier/map.php?topic_string...

Franklin County Detail: Election Official Contact


Voting Technology: E-Voting: Other
Vendor: Danaher Controls (Danaher Guardian)
Model: ELECTronic 1242
Data Source: CASE-ohio.org
Last Verified: 4-Sep
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:21 AM
Response to Reply #17
32. Not being programing literate, what I see as the core oddness
of the glitch from the analysis is:

A. Bush's is total clearly wrong for the total # of voters but Kerry's is right (Presumably)withen the total # of votars as is the "other" votes.

B. The magnitude of the glitch is curiously small in terms of total voters.

I have a harder time believeing that a programer made an error that resulted in the over voter count. That seems like a stretch maybe.


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someother Donating Member (11 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 10:16 PM
Original message
I, too, think it's a bit of a stretch (but an interesting approach).
I agree completely that the error seems very odd because it is so small.

I think some of the other reported errors look like overflow on unsigned 16 bit arithmetic, so it is not quite as unlikely as you suggest, but it is still odd.

Does anyone else have any ideas for a failure that would produce such a small discrepancy?
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
9. I think this is brilliant, and WhiteKnight can probably reduce this
general effect to an algebraic equation. I.e., using this protocal what is the relationship of B, K, and total votes? We could look for it elsewhere, and factor in (and out) the other relevant variables, like registration percentages, and results of similar races in the same precincts. ;)
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txindy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Programming that would kick in only under certain conditions?
Is that what you mean? For instance, if a certain precinct met set criteria only then would it access that programmed equation. Or am I way off here? No, because the more I think about it (thinking and typing at once, I'm so talented! :+), the more I see the perverse logic behind it. It's a small precinct, unremarkable in many ways, so who would look at it too closely? Kick around a few votes and pad the total.

I... Well. Huh. Curiouser and curiouser.
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Magic_Cookie Donating Member (131 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Right
If 'this condition' tests true then 'do this' otherwise carry on.
So until the condition tested true then everything would be fine, but once the condition (10 votes) tested true then the other task would carry out
Which should have been to add a vote/certain number of votes whatever, but instead it added the total of Kerry votes to the tally.

Then it went back to the beginning and tested the condition again until it tested true, then carried out the program again.

Just triggering it once wouldn't make it happen all the time, it is more of a matter of ONCE this happened then THIS would happen, each & every time that condition tested true. (Does that make sense?)
In other words a certain situation would make the condition execute, but it wasn't a matter of triggering it to happen, it was built right in to happen whenever the condition was met.

Time to test this out on other numbers & see if it holds up. If it does... PRESTO, we have a smoking gun! Now, who out there has C++ and can give us a program so we can start testing some numbers?
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txindy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. So, this is comparable to an old IF-THEN-ELSE condition
Edited on Sat Nov-13-04 11:10 PM by txindy
That I can understand. I'm trying to wrap my mind around a way to trigger a condition only in certain precincts. Given that this 'irregularity' didn't happen in every precinct everywhere, I'm assuming the code is on all the machines, but only triggered in some of them. What do you think? Perhaps it's easier than I think it is since I'm not familiar with programming languages newer than PL/1. So, the basic programming logic I can follow, the actual code...not so much. ;)
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Magic_Cookie Donating Member (131 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. That's exactly how I'm looking at it
to help read what was written
take everything that is followed by the // & that is the Notes/info section
what doesn't have a // before it is the actual code
hopefully that helps you read it better :)

I must admit I had a few beverages tonight so I'm not exactly on top of my game right now, but this seems brilliant as heck to me at this point, considering it tested out perfectly on this one precinct
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Chimpanzee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. If this same 'bug' (B=B+K) existed on other machines
Edited on Sat Nov-13-04 11:28 PM by Chimpanzee
you would see the same many precincts with Bush totals that are huge multiples of the Kerry totals. I haven't seen that yet.

Of course if the 'bug' was not in the code of other precincts, but the 'evil' code was there (B=B+1), there would be no way to mathematically determine that - you'd need to look at the actual object code on each individual machine.
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txindy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #20
27. Now that I understand
;) Okay, so how did they add the code only to certain machines? Yes, they could have done it before delivery, but they would have had to guarantee the right machine was delivered to the right precinct. That makes them dependent on delivery people and I don't think that would be acceptable to their plans.

How about this. Is it possible to change the code through the online network if one had the 'key'? If so, is it possible the code was indeed set before the machine was delivered, but a change was made only after delivery? A very short change, I mean. As in, the code was there, but set as a comment. As Magic_Cookie pointed out to me, // indicates a comment. What if the condition was set as a comment, but the // part of each necessary line was deleted only as needed in certain precincts? That would change the comment to active code. Would that work?

All of this goes out the window, though, if the code can't be altered after delivery.
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pointsoflight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #27
33. A change can certainly be made after delivery.
It is completely routine for there to be updates and patches to the software right up to the day of the election. The are many, many documented cases of this. In fact, there are many documented cases of patches being uploaded during election day (to fix glitches, etc). It's quite unbelievable, but this is completely the norm.

It's also worth noting that you don't need to change any code in the election software itself. The code could be in windows support files or even in the windows registry. A software routine could easily been written to trigger only under some circumstances, due its damage, then erase itself.

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txindy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:39 AM
Response to Reply #33
37. Would the erased code leave a trail?
In the hard drive of the machine?

They let people change the programs on Election Day?! :freak:
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pointsoflight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:41 AM
Response to Reply #37
47. Well, what do you think happens in the case of a glitch?
Election officials call the software company, the software company sends out a rep, and that rep installs a patch.

This has been challenged as being illegal, by the way, because elections are only supposed to be run using certified software. Software can't be certified if its being uploaded right before or on the day of an election.

The sort of stuff is why California decided at the last minute to ditch the e-voting machines. Among other things, they discovered that company reps were installing software that was not certified.
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txindy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #37
58. ...
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burn the bush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 02:29 AM
Response to Reply #20
49. isn't that why bbv filed those 3000 information requests?
to get a look at that kind of info?
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Chimpanzee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #49
56. No, I don't believe she is requesting that computer
scientists analyze the internal programming code on each machine. If I'm wrong, someone please correct me.
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Chimpanzee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. Txindy - You can have different maintenance levels on
Edited on Sat Nov-13-04 11:23 PM by Chimpanzee
one machine vs another. We do that all the time. The z/OS logical partitions I work with daily are rarely all at the exact same level.
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Emillereid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 10:51 PM
Response to Original message
12. That looks real neat and elegant -- Now is there
Edited on Sat Nov-13-04 10:52 PM by Emillereid
anyway to find out if this really happened? Does it also account for other funny numbers?
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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:13 PM
Response to Original message
16. Wow!
This makes eminent sense. A simple sub-command that would kick in and move a certain # of votes from one candidate (A) over to candidate (B)at a specific point. It really is the only thing that makes sense with the 'glitches' that have shown up. An error in the program is really the only way it would become obvious without a forensic audit.
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ruiner Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
21. This program is as rigged as the election
The code as presented is very sensitive to the ordering of the 'O' votes in relation to the 'K' votes. In fact I would say the odds that the author happened by chance to come up with exactly the same result in his "simulation" as happened in the real vote-rigging is also equivalent to the "ball jamming there between the rim and backboard".

Sorry dude. Try again.
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txindy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Thanks for that first post
:hi:
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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. I am glad you agree the election was rigged...
it's a start anyway!
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pointsoflight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #21
26. Glad you agree
That the results of equation the person came up with and the actual results are way to coincidental to have occurred by chance.
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tarheel_voter Donating Member (96 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #21
28. Hold on, whose side are you on !!
Whoa now, I'm surprised you'd register at this site just to throw water on this posting. You must be defending Bush's so-called mandate!
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Bozos for Bush Donating Member (821 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:38 AM
Response to Reply #21
36. Freeper alert (n/t)
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Chimpanzee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:58 AM
Response to Reply #21
42. FREEPER TROLL ALERT!!
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Dolphyn Donating Member (152 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 02:46 AM
Response to Reply #21
52. Order of votes DOES affect final numbers - original post said so.
The original post acknowledged that the exact result is sensitive to the exact order. The posted code included this comment:

// The order of the votes does affect the final numbers but,
// even if you change the order, the rough order of magnetude
// of the bogus results stays about the same.

Certainly, the original post would have been more convincing if the code had been order-insensitive -- but I think it's still a plausible explanation of how the result could have come about.

It might be worth doing some testing, placing the votes in random order and seeing just what numbers are produced by the "rigged" code.
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Roger_Otip Donating Member (187 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #52
59. without the bug the order wouldn't matter
and without the bug no one would notice an extra 29 votes going to bush... unless this stealing happened in the voting machine before the confirmation screen was displayed. in that case voters who clicked on kerry and had their votes stolen would see a screen asking them to confirm their vote for bush.
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #52
64. Hi Dolphyn!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #21
63. Hi ruiner!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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tarheel_voter Donating Member (96 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:37 PM
Response to Original message
25. I'm a programmer too, and this is real
Great job WhiteKnight1 and milkyway. What this does is make the "mistakes" seem more plausible. They are just the byproduct of a modern vote switching program. Imperfect as it was is it left a trail of election rigging evidence we can follow.

What I wonder now is if this is the case, how can we stop this practice from stealing the next election? I suspect the Dems will not win another Presidential election in my lifetime.
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americanwoman Donating Member (75 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #25
40. You already know how to fix the problem
Everybody already knows the answer: The voting machines need to produce paper ballots. The paper should be used as an audit check against the machine tallies. And they should be the final word should a full recount be required.

You'd want to do this anyway, not just because of evil programmers, but because of imperfect programmers. (That would include approximately 100% of us.)
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txindy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:49 AM
Response to Reply #40
41. Yep
Especially the line about the "100% of us." :toast:

Paper trails should be mandatory, as should periodic audits of each machine. It's done in businesses, particularly banks, it should certainly be done in election equipment.
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Chimpanzee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #40
43. That won't help
You could vote for Kerry, and the program could print a printout that says you voted for Kerry - but it could still add your vote to the Bush category.
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americanwoman Donating Member (75 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 02:25 AM
Response to Reply #43
48. Will too
Chimp, that's the idea behind the paper ballot. It's a check for the accuracy of the machine. You count them (or a % of them) to see if they match the tallies in the machine. If not, paper wins.
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Chimpanzee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #48
54. I agree, but the poster I was responding to
was suggesting that the machine itself should print out something that the voter could retain, proving their vote. I'm sure you'll agree based on that premise, my post was correct.
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americanwoman Donating Member (75 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #54
68. Right, the e-machines should print out a paper ballot
NOT a voter receipt. Voter checks ballot for accuracy. Ballot stays. Voter leaves.
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anamandujano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
29. just some dumb layman's questions
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 12:00 AM by anamandujano
the 4000 (3893?) extra Bush votes--was this in keeping with the 5% gain that he had in other suspect states? Is is possible that it was not a program but a manual pad?

They decided they wanted 3-5 million win of the popular vote, they padded everywhere they could, especially in the swing states. The only reason this was caught is because there were more votes than voters, because of the smallness of the county. In the larger counties, the padding was not evident because the vote talley was not bigger than the number of voters. Possibly just a lazy padder?

edit to add--Are there a lot of small counties like this one?
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:26 AM
Response to Original message
34. delete
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 12:32 AM by BeFree
[....
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:30 AM
Response to Original message
35. Does the fact that not only Kerry's votes are "recorded properly"
but also "others" are "recorded properly" decrease the odds of "machine failure" as being the cause?

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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:41 AM
Response to Original message
38. Franklin county in OH
would be the perfect place to cheat anyway. It's large, democratic and has paperless electronic voting machines. What more could one ask?
:mad:
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Bozos for Bush Donating Member (821 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:41 AM
Response to Original message
39. Outstanding thread, milky way! Deductive thinking at it's best. Nominated
Very impressive, and I will pass this on a couple of programmers I know.

John
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SmallFatCat Donating Member (34 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:14 AM
Response to Reply #39
44. A good analysis
It has given me some ideas of my own to have a look out for.

Also, could that machine have been meant for a different county? Perhaps its serial was different by 1 or 2 digits and a remote padding of the vote went to the wrong machine.

Of course, if you wanted to do this sort of thing, there are a million and one other ways to do it. Most of them wouldn't require that it was built into the code of the voting software, which would always leave them with some plausible deniability.

"It wasn't us, it was a russian hacker!"

Just think of all the hackers who are facing 20 years in prison, if someone offered them a way out of prison, they'd be much more likely to keep quiet about it all, even if they were offered money to rat out Karl Rove.
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fuzz_ball Donating Member (6 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:21 AM
Response to Original message
45. Admittedly an interesting post, but...
I am also a software engineer, and one thing to point out; once you got some output, it isn't difficult to code to that output. So just because that program would give the results that actually occurred, does not mean that anything like that program is the basis for the results. Believe me, I would LOVE to find that some pro-Bush stuff was sour in time for votes to be certified and for Kerry to grab the inauguration. Granted, the conspiracy-theorist in me would really get a kick out of you being right :)


Got your sticker? I got mine!

www.bluestatesrock.com

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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:34 AM
Response to Reply #45
46. LOL! I couldn't begin to detail how many 'red flags' you put out...
in your post. I might suggest 'right-wing' sites should give their potential disruptors lessons on what NOT to post because you would have failed that course.
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americanwoman Donating Member (75 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 02:35 AM
Response to Reply #45
50. Agreed.
It was pretty good thinking... but nothing you could get too carried away with. I think the Freeman paper is the best evidence so far that something isn't right. Not saying fraud. But election intent doesn't match up with election results. That's the job of the election officials. They failed. (Of course, Theresa LaPore still has her job and Katherine Harris got "promoted" to congress --sigh).
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tinrobot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 02:40 AM
Response to Original message
51. Kick
Great analysis!
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althecat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 02:55 AM
Response to Original message
53. Extremely cool post ... I love it
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Chimpanzee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
55. I just noticed this comment imbedded in your code:
"The order of the votes does affect the final numbers but,
even if you change the order, the rough order of magnetude
of the bogus results stays about the same."

So the only you can reach the 'tabulated' results is for the voting order to be IDENTICAL to your example? That seems highly improbable and like wishful thinking, unless I'm misunderstanding you.
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Roger_Otip Donating Member (187 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #55
60. it's because of the bug
without the bug the order wouldn't matter, bush would get 29 of kerry's votes and nothing would look strange. this one was spotted because whoever hacked into this machine made a typo and it output an impossible result. the thing is, if the other machines were programmed correctly, shifting votes from kerry to bush every so often, but not often enough for it to set alarm bells ringing, is there any way of knowing without getting hold of one of these black boxes and looking inside?
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Chimpanzee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #60
66. That's not my understanding
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Iceburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
57. Interesting post Milkyway : here's some more Gahanna IB points to consider
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 11:11 AM by Iceburg
In the poll of interest (Gahanna 1B)
Total number of voters: 638
Votes for Bush: 4258
Votes for Kerry: 260
Votes for Write-In: 87***

Assumption #1: Bush count above is wrong, Kerry & Write-In count correct, then
Total Votes - (KerryVotes +WriteinVotes) = 291 votes for Bush

Note about Write-In ...
The candidate "Write-In"has been assigned 87 votes. This candidate did not receive any more than a few votes(<7) at any other poll in the entire county. In the entire precinct of Gahanna (Wards 1 to 4) Writin was allocated a total of 100 votes(87 alone from one poll Gahanna 1B). In the entire county, Writin was allocated a total of 527 votes.

Question 1: Why did Write-In fair so well in Gahanna 1B?

Initial Observations on the Senate Votes cast vs President Votes
Now Look at the Senate Race in Gahanna 1B
Republican Votes..422
Democrat Votes ...180
Write-In Votes ... 0
Total 602 votes

If we accept Assumption 1 on Gahanna 1-B, then with Bush re-allocated 291 votes, Bush received 291/422 = 70% of the votes cast for the Republican senator. On closer examination (random sample of 10 polls in which Bush beats Kerry), one can see that Bush receives ~ 82% of the votes cast in comparison to the votes cast for the Republican senator.

Perhaps this Senator is very popular in Ohio, but I do find it odd that more votes would be cast for a senator than a president

I will follow up with a more detailed analysis this weekend.

source: http://www.franklincountyohio.gov/boe/04UnofficialResul...
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jhgatiss Donating Member (369 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #57
69. For some odd reason...
George Voinovich is popular in Ohio. He was mayor of Cleveland (after Kucinich I think) and then Governor for awhile before he was elected to the Senate in 1998. The polls here consistently showed Voinovich polling at about 66% to Fingerhut's 33%. At one point I think undecided led Fingerhut in the Columbus Dispatch poll.

The Democrats in Ohio are so out of sorts that it will be a miracle if we ever get the state back. The city and county government in Columbus are Democratic. And the Cleveland area is a stronghold of the Democrats (as evidenced by the Bush blowout in Cuyahoga county). However, I think all of the statewide offices are occupied by Republicans. And both chambers of the state legislature are dominated by Republicans.

The upshot: Voinovich beating Bush is no surprise. It was to be expected.
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Iceburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #69
71. Thanks for the feedback on Voinovich , what do you make
of the 87 votes cast for the write-in on poll Gahanna 1B as per my earlier post.

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SoCalDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
61. bad analogy

I didn't like his basketball analogy, but otherwise good work.

I've seen a ball get stuck like that probably several hundred times. The less skilled the players, the more likely it is to happen.
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
62. Kick
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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
65. "The White Knight" was William Colby director of CIA ........
CIA: Covert US Warriors Examined
... citizen. The series sets up the Catholic William Colby as the White Knight against the non-confessant Richard Helms. Colby spilled ...
www.twf.org/News/Y1997/CIA.html

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wrate Donating Member (376 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:41 PM
Response to Original message
67. Probably taking the "conspiracy theory" thing a level higher, but do you
guys think that this wasn't really a mistake, but more a message left by the programmers? I mean to "tell" people of what was going on with computer tabulators without actually saying it.

I know if I were the person writing this code modification but I actually was against it and yet had to do it, I know this is the way I'd tell everyone about it, without having to say it myself.
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illuminaughty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 06:25 AM
Response to Original message
70. kick
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bj2110 Donating Member (802 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
72. kick
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