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HOLT on LEVER MACHINES!: "These machines don’t lie. What you see is what you get."

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 08:47 PM
Original message
HOLT on LEVER MACHINES!: "These machines don’t lie. What you see is what you get."
Edited on Sun Feb-03-08 08:50 PM by Bill Bored


The Fixer
Published: February 3, 2008




"This machine right here might look old on the outside, but when you repair it, oil it, grease it, keep most of the parts working, it’s good to go."

"To tell you the truth, I like these machines. With all the problems they’re having with the computerized machines, these are solid. You can’t tamper with them. They’re talking about maybe in 2009 getting rid of these dinosaurs and bringing in computers. All of this will be phased out. No more of that manual screwing parts on. Maybe it’ll be a slip of the cartridge or whatever. We’ll miss them, but what can you do?"

-snip-

"These machines don’t lie. What you see is what you get."


As a child growing up in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Robert Holt Jr. thought that the mysterious gray machines rolled into his school for Election Day looked like coffins. Now, as one of 21 repairmen in the place where Brooklyn’s voting machines are fixed, he has developed a certain amount of affection for the hulking contraptions.

Mr. Holt, 47, is a stocky grandfather of three who began working for the city elections board as a voting machine technician in 1981. Most of the year, his workplace is a cavernous warehouse in Red Hook where more than 2,200 Shoup voting machines for Brooklyn’s 389 polling sites are stored and maintained.

New Yorkers are unusual in continuing to use mechanical pull-lever voting machines when most of the country uses computerized machines. A move to replace the 800-pound Shoups with computerized models took a giant step forward last month, however, when a federal judge approved the State Board of Elections’ plan to abandon the pull-lever machines by the fall of 2009 to comply with the Help America Vote Act.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/03/nyregion/thecity/03el...
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Muttocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 08:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. thanks for the post
I had forgotten about them being rolled into my elementary school a couple of time a year in VA.

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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 09:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. lever machines can also be rigged.
" When the famous Miami lawyer Ellis Rubin agreed to be Ombudsman for the original Votescam evidence, he brought it to the Florida assistant State Attorney at the time, Janet Reno. The evidence included the shaved wheels of lever voting machines, forged canvass sheets (the sheets that poll workers sign to verify the final vote count), and pre-printed vote tally sheets that were used in conjunction with a lever machine vote rigging device called the Printomatic.

Reno refused to prosecute, claiming falsely that the statue of limitations had run out on the crime. Years later, Rubin would tell my father that behind closed doors Reno had stated that she could not prosecute. Why? Because she would bring down many of the most powerful people in the state. "

http://www.truthout.org/docs_03/102503C.shtml

You shave down some teeth on the gears, and it will randomly skip votes.
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Muttocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. other than the gears...
doesn't it also depend on who's recording the data and sending it on? And the honesty of poll workers along the way? No way for a recount?

I'm just starting to educate myself on this stuff so sorry if these are silly questions.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Of course. You need a fully bi-partisan process.
Edited on Sun Feb-03-08 09:16 PM by Bill Bored
And you need to check any central tabulators, esp. if they are proprietary. But with levers, they are usually just spreadsheet programs that anyone can check.
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Muttocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. thanks and see comment below n/t
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. That's why both sides stand together for the tally.
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Muttocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. so what happens with third parties?
yes, I know they're not a huge force in the U.S., but I have lived places where they were important in local elections.
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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-09-08 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #12
20. Having been a volunteer poll watcher for just such machines...

With at least the procedure used in my state, you aren't going to get two election officers, one R watcher and one D watcher to jointly agree to fudge the results, even to the detriment of a third party. It requires the cooperation of people who (a) don't know each other, and (b) have different political opinions.

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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. Yes, all of that.
"No one is making new parts for these dinosaurian devices anymore, they are hard for disabled people to use and their error rate can be embarrassingly exposed in close elections, as happened two years ago, when State Senator Nicholas Spano of Yonkers saw his narrow election-night lead shrink drastically when the machines were merely double-checked. Officials with the federal Election Assistance Commission recently acknowledged a little-known flaw with lever machines: if they are dropped, that can make the vote tallies change. There have also been reports of a strange tendency of vote totals in lever machines to end in 99, as if their weary dials could not quite make the turn to 000."

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/26/opinion/LI_Suffolk.ht...

Better than anything electronic, I suppose ... but not accurate, all the same.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. I would not expect anyone at the EAC to be pro-lever.
Edited on Sun Feb-03-08 10:20 PM by Bill Bored
They are tasked with implementing HAVA and they have withheld problems with the testing lab that tested most of the e-voting junk used in the country (CIBER). NY knew that proper testing was not going to be done because CIBER's test plans did not conform to the requirements of state (or even federal) standards, regulations and election law. But the EAC withheld the fact that they had decertified CIBER.

I agree that the levers are better than anything electronic. I think there is good evidence for accuracy but only at the top of the ticket where you don't usually have many undervotes. If the "99" problem were severe, we would see more of them, and we don't.

What happens if you drop an op scanner?

On edit --

This part of your NYT edtorial cracked me up

"Suffolk and neighboring Nassau County, where some local legislators have caught Mr. Levy’s Luddite fever and filed briefs supporting his lawsuit, should not let a misguided attachment to old technology get in the way of a sound, reliable voting system for the 21st century."

That would be great, if only somebody would (re)invent one! :rofl:
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I hear you, but you can swap 1 ballot definition file and SWITCH thousands of votes
Edited on Sun Feb-03-08 09:23 PM by Bill Bored
on hundreds of machines.

I'm just not comfortable with that, and these paper ballots provide one hell of a false sense of security if no one ever hand counts any of them.

Hopefully, FL will come around and come up with a meaningful audit of their scanned paper ballots statewide. They've been through enough.

BTW, I hear the same sort of things about prosecuting the FL punch card scandal(s) in 2000. (It was not just Sequoia.)
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stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. I don't know why all these studies...
are conducted that clearly show the vulnerabilities, and clearly provide the solutions, and this argument is still continuing. Cancel that. I know why. I loathe the thought of Tuesday...when the elections are close, and no faith can be had in the security of the system. How can anyone accept the results? I've read that there are like 14(?) states that provide mandatory standard recounts. I guess it's just the remaining 37 that have to worry.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Thanks for the link BTW. I've not yet familiarized myself with this work.
But always interested in pre-HAVA stuff. There are a lot of Johnnies-come-lately who think they invented this stuff!
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 09:25 PM
Response to Original message
7. I LOVE MY LEVERS!!!!!
Think levers are why we never voted for Bush?
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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-09-08 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #7
21. There's 50 Ways To Love Your Lever

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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-04-08 12:37 AM
Response to Original message
14. Bob Holt should run for Congress! n/t
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-04-08 03:45 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Bob Holt, Rush Holt and Rush Limbaugh all went to different schools together.
But none of them seem to like touchscreens -- lately.
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Froward69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-04-08 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
16. Damn I miss those "Baby Grands"
here in Colorado we used to have those... they were the best... when you pulled the lever to record your vote... A bell rang, the ground shook and the curtains pulled apart. One truly felt like your vote actually counted... Grandma used to say "that was where Americas "OZ" was, behind that curtain".
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Laurab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-04-08 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. We still have them
and your description is perfect! Even now - although the ground doesn't shake like it used to when I was younger. And I still truly feel like my vote counts. I don't mind change at all, but that is one thing that I'm not in a hurry to see changed, until they come up with an electronic system that can't be rigged so easily.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-29-08 06:27 PM
Response to Original message
18. No soft-target-ware needed


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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-27-08 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
19. kick! nt
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jagerbb Donating Member (8 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-10-08 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
22. ACORN solution
Here's the solution to the ACORN problem

http://thejagergazette.blogspot.com/2008/10/acorn-solut...
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althecat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-11-08 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. Jagerbb .... you could not be more wrong about acorn
From:
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0610/S00240.htm
NOLA Lost: 72 hours in America’s other Ground Zero
Monday, 16 October 2006, 5:49 pm
Article: Charles Shaw

...

Mojo is populated by young bohemian aspirant whites who are part of a gentrification vanguard that has crept into this historically sketchy neighborhood on the banks of the river. This section of the Lower Garden District is more than 18 blocks from the Quarter, and I’m on the Internet trying to find my way to the offices of ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) so that I can hook up with a couple community organizers and get a personal tour of the Lower 9th.

“Normally,” Sarah shouts over the hiss of the steamer, “I’d tell you to take the Magazine St. bus. But it doesn’t really run that much anymore. None of the buses or street cars do, not since.”

I decide to cab it. In the cab, the driver tells me I’m his first fare of the day. When I ask him how business is, he says his family is starving, his wife lost her job because of Katrina, and that there’s barely enough business to offset his gas costs. At an intersection another cab pulls up alongside, and the two men exchange a few words in their native language. Then the other drives off.

“He’s going home,” the driver laughs. “He says I’m hogging all the business.”


************

THOSE WHO STAYED



ACORN’s headquarters on Elysian Fields Road.
There are a lot of rolled eyes in New Orleans these days over the word ACORN. Equally, though, there is heartfelt praise, because they are a unique presence in post-Katrina New Orleans. Ever since the hurricane blew the roof off their offices on Elysian Fields road, the New Orleans chapter of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now have stood side by side with the residents of New Orleans poorest neighborhoods, including the Lower 9th, and helped them recover by gutting their houses, helping them file their taxes and relief paperwork, train for jobs, find public aid, and fight the ceaseless onslaught by the big money interests who would rather they just not stay. They have even authored a set of planning principles called “Rebuilding After Hurricane Katrina.”

They are also the only thing that stands between the former residents of the Lower 9th and the 2005 Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. New London which extended Eminent Domain to commercial development. In simpler terms, the dirty little secret about New Orleans is that Ray Nagin and the powers that be in the Big Easy are involved in a land grab of historical proportions.


A business in the Lower 9th that is slated for demolition despite protests from the owner.

It’s actually not that big a secret in New Orleans. ACORN’s red and white “No Land Grab” and “No Bulldozing” signs are on virtually every house in the Lower Ninth, and their public campaign to save property rights is the leading cause of the aforementioned eye-rolling. Most of the signs went up in protest to an ordinance passed on August 29th that authorized the city to take any house or plot of land not already under redevelopment. This meant all homes and lots had to be cleared of all debris, and structures boarded, plans made, and permits filed. Forgetting that most of the residents were poor and completely wiped out, those who did try will tell you they faced every obstacle imaginable.

“We had to fight just for the right to come back,” ACORN’s Marie Hurt says as we circle block after block in the 9th. “One of our Directors had to go to Washington to testify that the National Guard had closed off the Lower 9th and homeowners were not being let back in. The Lower 9th wasn’t the only neighborhood that flooded, but it was the only one closed off by armed troops.”

Hurt’s pissed. Everyone is gone, she says. There is no one left to fight for what is right, and the powers that be know this.

“Two weeks ago when everybody was talking about Katrina , where did all the media go to interview people? Not here. They went to Houston to interview people about New Orleans.”


ACORN volunteer Gwendolyn Adams standing on the former site of her home, which was bulldozed by the city without her permission.

In the passenger seat is Gwendolyn Adams, an ACORN volunteer. We’re headed to the former site of her home that sits in sight of the spot where the levee broke. The levee wall was replaced by a mile long concrete monolith that eerily resembles the apartheid wall in Israel. It may convey a renewed sense of strength and security, but it is, of course, far too little too late.


.....
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-29-08 09:02 PM
Response to Original message
24. kick nt
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 12:11 AM
Response to Original message
25. kick nt
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-08-09 09:34 PM
Response to Original message
26. .
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-20-09 08:31 PM
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27. .
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kster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-20-09 10:55 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Still pushing these mechanical paperless vote counting machines
Edited on Fri Feb-20-09 10:57 PM by kster
UNBELIEVABLE, are you also for paperless touchscreen vote counting machines?

Come on Bill this looks ridiculous, jeeze, we have the internet, there are many many people that know and understand why you shouldn't have paperless elections but yet you keep trying to sell them.

You have to have paper ballots and you must hand count them at the polling place at the close of election.

Give it up already, the INTERNET is exposing this electronic/mechanical vote counting scam.

http://freedocumentaries.org/theatre.php?filmid=234&id=...

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-26-09 10:25 PM
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29. .
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