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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 12:00 AM
Original message
New Yorkers should be alert - new threat to Lever Machines
Voting Machines Best Friend Is Active in New York: the push for "instant runoff voting" also called IRV.

In the wake of the squeaker recount of the US Senate contest in Minnesota, IRV advocates have been promoting
the reform even harder. Their claim - IRV would be better than a recount and might prevent them.
South St. Paul Examiner: Instant Runoff Voting beats a hand recount

Now the effort to push IRV has picked up speed in New York. And IRV means computerized voting.

The group calling itself "New Yorkers for Instant Runoff Voting" is setting up a political action committee to help them push IRV in New York.

New Yorkers for Instant Runoff Voting has been working hard to prepare for its 2009 launch. Soon, well have a registered political action committee so that IRV supporters can donate to help us push for IRV in New York. Were also continuing to update this website with more information...


On January 4, NYIRV had this update about their efforts to contact candidates for the City Council's first district.

Here's another group, Citizens for Instant Runoff Voting in New York State that is actively lobbying for Instant Runoff Voting in New York.
Here is an excerpt of sample letter from their website for New Yorkers to send their lawmakers.

New Yorkers need to be aware that if IRV takes root in New York, it will incentivize the use of electronic or computerized voting machines. Dr. Rebecca Mercuri had warned Scotland about this, before that country switched to computerized voting.

When Scotland adopted STV (a form of ranked choice voting) they traded their hand counted paper ballots to computerized voting machines:

Scottish officials followed the advice of "experts" including the non profit "The Electoral Reform Society" and switched from hand counted paper ballots to computerized voting in May '07 to support STV, a form of Instant Runoff:

3.3.1 Experience of counting STV elections elsewhere led the Scottish Executive to examine the feasibility of counting the ballot papers electronically. Following a procurement exercise in late 2005 DRS Data Services Limited (DRS) was selected as the preferred supplier to provide the equipment and support necessary to support such a process. DRS provided the e-counting services in the Greater London Authority / London Mayoral Elections in 2000 and 2004. DRS also involved Electoral Reform Services (ERS) in their proposals ERS having extensive experience of STV elections.
("Electoral Reform Services" is related to the Electoral Reform Society, a non profit whose goal is to spread IRV).


In other words, IRV is too hard to count by hand, so if you adopt it, you will get pushed into
purchasing voting machines.

I am sure that IRV proponents will insist that IRV can be counted by hand, and that it is in some foreign countries.
But what those proponents won't tell you is that in the United States and Scotland, the implementation of IRV means
more complex technology, and uncertified software specially adapted with the IRV algorithm.

We saw this in San Francisco CA, Pierce County Washington and Scotland.

IRV is a well intentioned reform, but it is hard to count, and it doesn't strengthen third parties (its real goal). It also will not prevent the spoiler effect in any instance where the third party candidate is very strong.

Be warned, New Yorkers. IRV = computerized voting machines.

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 12:15 AM
Response to Original message
1. More: IRV is a well intended reform, but doesn't meet its promise.
IRV does not eliminate the need for recounts, unless your legislature decides they want to ban reconts.

In Cary North Carolina, they had an IRV experiment, and it resulted in a recount in the one contest where the 2nd and 3rd choice votes were called into play. The best Board of Elections in the state couldn't even count 3,000 ballots correctly, did an audit, and ended up recounting all of the ballots.

IRV doesn't strengthen third parties (the real reason people push it), instead it helps to lock in the top two.

IRV doesn't eliminate the spoiler effect except when the third party candidate is so weak that they wouldn't have any chance of winning at all.

The amount of election transparency that you give up by having to haul ballots to a central location to be counted, or by using untested uncertified software - make this reform a better choice for acadamia, but not for real life elections.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #1
3.  Other nations are using IRV . . . let's look at their actual experiences . . .
rather than trumped up "fears."

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I live in the foreign country of North Carolina, and IRV is threatening our verified voting law
Lets not look at IRV in foreign countries, lets instead look at IRV
in the United States.

It is a cluster f waiting to happen.

San Francisco and Pierce County Washington both are using uncertified and faulty
Sequoia voting systems to "count" their elections.

Their state laws require certified software, but the implementation of IRV
has pushed them to ask for an exception to their states' standards.

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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 12:29 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. This is an old problem, having nothing to do with IRV --
verified voting should include paper ballots and pen -- and opportunity
for hand recounts.

If Sequoia is still in it, you have problems --- we all do with computer voting!

Exceptions aren't IRV's fault --- it's simply the old problems still with us!



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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 01:09 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. How a 2007 IRV experiment violated several of NC election laws
In 2007, during an IRV pilot program in North Carolina, many exceptions to our election laws were made.

Uncertified software was allowed for counting the IRV votes for touch screen machines.

Ballots were hauled off from where they were cast to later be counted. This opens the door to fraud and violates NC election law. Ballots are supposed to be counted at the polling place.

Provisional ballots were not counted until AFTER the 1st 2nd and 3rd rounds were counted, and then they were added back in after the fact. Since IRV is not "additive", there is no sane way that this could be done.

There was no overvote warning to voters if they made the mistake of ranking the same candidate all 3 times. Many voters made this mistake, others cared so little about ranking choices that they wrote in stupid crap like Mickey Mouse etc. Others didn't rank choices at all.

Candidates spent most of their campaign time explaining IRV to voters.

Once candidate gave voters incorrect informatino on how to rank their choices.

All votes were not counted. Only first round, and then in one IRV contest where there wasn't a "majority" in the first round, the 2nd and 3rd choices for top two candidates were the only votes counted. 2nd and 3rd choices for other candidates were neither counted nor reported.

All vote data was not reported. See above.

This is IRV in real life.

The best BOE in our state couldn't count 3,000 votes correctly and had to recount them.

This year we are fighting to prevent those same things from happening again.


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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #13
24. But WHO violated your laws ...
THAT remains the question --

Your problems are with them ... not with IRV --

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Scotland traded hand counted paper ballots for STV (a form of IRV)
They got royally screwed and had over 100,000 spoiled ballot papers in their
May 2007 election.

But thats ok with IRV proponents, because it was mostly the poorer districts
whose ballots were ruined.

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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 12:31 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. IRV has nothing to do with computer counting ....
Why were the ballots "spoiled" . . . ?

You can have hand-counted paper ballots with IRV . . .

why would anyone stick with computers which have caused such problems?

We all want to get rid of computers ---

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. did you read the OP? IRV incentivizes computerized voting machines
While IRV doesn't require computers, it is so complex to count, and anywhere that has more
than a few thousand votes, will push for specialized software.

This happened in San Francisco and Pierce County Washington.

They are using software that has been found to have numerous flaws, that hasn't been
federally tested or certified, all because of IRV.

Scotland gave up hand counted paper ballots for IRV, and they don't have HAVA.

HAVA doesn't require voting machines anyway, for those who haven't read or studied it.

HAVA has incentivized voting machines, just like IRV does.

But with IRV it is worse, because it is very hard to count the votes.

That is one reason so few places fool with it, besides the fact that it doesn't improve elections
or politics, and it hurts third parties.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #12
25. That's an OPINION ...
Edited on Mon Jan-05-09 03:05 PM by defendandprotect
not a requirement of IRV --

I am sure that IRV proponents will insist that IRV can be counted by hand, and that it is in some foreign countries.
But what those proponents won't tell you is that in the United States and Scotland, the implementation of IRV means
more complex technology, and uncertified software specially adapted with the IRV algorithm.


Keep in mind that Democratic Party and Republican Party will be strong opponents against

IRV voting and will do anything to stop it --

So will media because they want results by "11 O'clock news" ---

and they want to make the calls ---

Think about it -- is that what you want--??

We all want paper ballots/pen and hand-counting -- and that works with IRV --

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #25
44. Thats an opinion of an internationally reknowned Computer Scientist
Brief Bio:
Dr. Rebecca Mercuri has been referred to as "one of the leading international experts on electronic voting." A technology specialist, Rebecca defended her doctoral dissertation "Electronic Vote Tabulation: Checks & Balances" at the Engineering School of the University of Pennsylvania, just eleven days before the 2000 U.S. Presidential election. Subsequently, her testimony and opinions were sought in Bush v. Gore and referenced in briefs presented to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2002 she was contacted by Janet Reno and her legal team to help solve the mystery of the thousands of votes that vanished from the new touch-screen machines being used in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.

Since then, Dr. Mercuri has provided formal testimony and comment to the House Science Committee, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the Election Assistance Commission, the National Institute of Standards and Technologies, the U.K. Cabinet, and numerous U.S. state legislatures. Her advocacy work has directly influenced the wording of state, federal, and international election legislation as well as standards and best practices guidelines. Dr. Mercuri has observed elections as a scientist, expert witness, poll-worker and committeewoman in numerous U.S. States, for over two decades. Many of Rebecca's views and numerous of her papers on electronic voting appear on her website.

She authors the Security Watch column for the Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery, where she also serves as a contributing editor. She has been frequently quoted in the New York Times, the Economist and the Wall Street Journal, by the Associated Press, in the Congressional Record, and various other venues, including TV appearances on Fox News, NBC Nightline, a debate on Lou Dobbs, and numerous radio features including NPR's Morning Edition and This American Life.




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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 11:49 PM
Response to Reply #44
55. It's still OPINION . . . and you're on ignore . . .
the word "troll" comes to mind . . .

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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-09 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #55
63. in your case, the phrase "epic fail" comes to mind
If simply repeating your talking points doesn't suffice to win an argument, don't shoot the messenger.

I wouldn't mind seeing you hold up your end of the debate. At this point it seems unlikely.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 01:10 AM
Response to Reply #8
14. IRV just happens to incentivize computerized counting
as happened in Scotland.

Voters were confused by the ballot styles, and voting machines did not count accurately.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #14
26. Voters were confused by "butterfly ballot" ...that's why they were banned ....
yet Le Pore got her's approved by Democrats--!!??

When there is cheating and misinformation and voter confusion about

systems it is often simply about just that ... CHEATING

There is nothing about IRV which precludes paper ballots and hand-counting ---
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #26
40. Electionline: "Ranked-Choice Voting and Flawed Ballots Tax San Francisco's Election"
Ranked-Choice Voting and Flawed Ballots Tax San Francisco's Election By Kat Zambon electionline.org Nov 08, 2007

...
"Voters also questioned the value of ranked-choice voting...
There are a lot of people who only mark one
or the same person three times.."I don't want to vote for a second one,
I want this one."



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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #26
41. San Francisco Grand Jury Report: Instant runoff not understood by voters and poll workers
Instant runoff not understood by voters and poll workers says San Francisco Grand Jury report issued July 3

After four years of instant runoff elections, some of San Francisco's poll workers and voters still do not understand IRV according to a recent Grand Jury report.



The 2007-2008 San Francisco Civil Grand Jury review of five elections for the city/county of San Francisco


The report says that some voters and poll workers do not understand IRV, and that a back up plan is needed in case the new Sequoia system is not certified.

Excerpts of the Grand Jury Report

The 2007-2008 San Francisco Civil Grand Jury reviewed the materials provided by the Department of Elections for the November 2007 and February 2008 elections

Ranked-Choice Voting and Absentee (Vote By Mail) BallotsRCV ballots were used in the November 2007 election for the offices of Mayor, DistrictAttorney, and Sheriff. Some pollworkers and voters told the Jury that they did not understand how to vote for candidates where RCV ballots were used. In the November 2008 election, RCV ballots will be used for some local offices. Aditional education and outreach need to be provided to the voters to clarify the RCV process so that the ballots accurately reflect the intentions of the voters.

Findings:11. Some pollworkers and voters do not understand the procedures for voting for candidates where Ranked-Choice ballots are used.
Findings14. While the DOE does meet these legal requirements, additional outreach efforts areneeded on voter registration requirements and deadlines, the Ranked-Choice Voting process and the requirements for submitting a valid Absentee Ballot.V Recommendations
3. The DOE should publicly establish a date certain by which Sequoia must receive the Secretary of State's certification regarding the counting of RCV ballots. This date should be no later than September 15, 2008.

Response required: Department of Elections; Elections Commission

4. TO prepare for the possibility that Sequoia fails to obtain the required certification, DOEmust develop a contingency plan for counting RCV ballots, which should be in final form by October 6, 2008.

Response required: Department of Elections; Elections Commission

8. The DOE's outreach program needs to improve voter instructions on the Ranked-ChoiceVoting process and the use of Absentee Ballots.

Response required: Department of Elections; Elections Commission

9. In addition to established communication approaches, the DOE should explore enhance
techniques to communicate information on the less understood aspects of voting such as
partisan primary elections, Ranked-Choice Voting and Absentee Ballots.

Final Report and Certification of Election Results and Canvass Procedures - The
Secretary of State's certification of the Edge II machines requires the DOE to manually count all voter Verified Paper Audit Trails and compare those results to the machines electronic records.




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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #41
54. Are you repeating this . . .
propaganda endlessly because no one is listening to you --????

Take a break --
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 12:17 AM
Response to Original message
2. IRV can be paper and pen . . . doesn't have to be computer . . .
NOTHING has to be computer --- !!!
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Yes it could be but it requires software to count it - hence bye bye lever machines
New York has alot of HAVA money that the voting vendors are slobbering over.

Its a big prize if they can find a way to manipulate NY into needing voting machines.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 12:31 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. The problem is the dishonesty of HAVA not IRV . . .
Edited on Mon Jan-05-09 12:34 AM by defendandprotect
you do not require computers to count IRV ballots ---

If I recall HAVA correctly and its corruption -- it requires areas to buy computers!!!

We're all finished with computers -- they've stolen elections since at least 1959--!!!

http://www.constitution.org/vote/votescam__.htm

and remember that the first computers that came in were the large ones used by MSM

to report the election results!!! Beginning of scam right there.

Two reporters began to investigate all of this in 1960's . . .

Most people never heard of their investigation.







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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 12:59 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. HAVA doesn't require voting machines
didn't you read it?

Hand counted paper ballots are a certified voting system in my state, but
no one will use them.

We were lucky to get paper at all.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #11
22. Did I read ALL of HAVA ... No ...
But I did read a report on the legislation which said that it was requiring

the purchase of electronic voting machines --

Hand counted paper ballots are a certified voting system in my state, but
no one will use them.

We were lucky to get paper at all.


Obviously, our problems are also with officials in charge of elections --

I'm reminded of Theresa La Pore -- the "Democrat" who designed the butterfly

ballot in Florida. There were specific rules against butterfly ballot --

yet she got it thru to Democrats approving it--!!

Later it turned out they discovered she had attachments to Republicans, but

we haven't heard much about that--!! There were more than 3,000 of those votes

that went to Buchanan -- enough to defeat W in Florida.



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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #22
30. where did you read that HAVA required "voting machines"?
it doesn't require machines.

Not anywhere.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #30
47. That's right.
But to be fair, how often have we seen articles saying that HAVA required, "electronic voting machines", "touch screens", replacing levers and punchcards? Quite often.

Nonsense all, but it's easy to see how one might have been tripped up.

It really makes me wonder how many new systems were deployed because election officials didn't really understand what was going on. :grr:

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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-09 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #47
56. To be fair . . . it's a program which offers duplicity/trickery . . .
but most interpertations are that it pushes states/counties to electronic

voting computers which are the basis of the steals over decades --
****************************************************************************




Criticisms
Criticisms of HAVA center around mandated changes in voting technology, voter identification, confusion and voter intimidation, misappropriation of federal funds, and unnecessarily complicating the voter registration process.


Criticisms of electronic voting machines
Critics of HAVA argue it imprudently attempts to solve one problem of punch-card voting machine errors seen in Florida in the 2000 election, by replacing them with electronic voting machines. Some believe that HAVA may represent an effort to help large electronic voting systems vendors such as Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold Election Systems), Election Systems & Software, and Sequoia Voting Systems make millions of dollars throughout the country in selling electronic voting devices.

A Pennsylvania court ruled in April 2007 that voting machine certification was the result of what Judge Rochelle Friedman called "deficient examination criteria" which "do not approximate those that are customary in the information technology industry for systems that require a high level of security". The court ruled that voters have a right under the commonwealth's constitution to reliable and secure voting systems and can challenge the use of electronic voting machines "that provide no way for Electors to know whether their votes will be recognized" through voter verification or independent audit.<18>

Complicating voter registration
Critics also state that the bill contains some elements that complicate the voter registration process. For example, Section 303(a)(5) of HAVA provides that no state may accept or process a voter registration form for an election for Federal office unless the application includes "in the case of an applicant who has been issued a current and valid driver's license, the applicant's driver's license number". Critics contend that it costs the country millions of dollars just to process the same basic registration form and confirm that they meet the HAVA requirements.<2[br />

Voting machines
HAVA requires states use funding to replace punch card voting systems or lever voting systems with new systems in accordance with HAVA's voting system standards.



Computerized statewide voter registration
HAVA requires states develop a single, uniform, official, centralized, interactive computerized statewide voter registration list defined, maintained, and administered at the State level. (Previously, voter registration lists were maintained by local officials.) HAVA requires the statewide list be coordinated with other agency databases within the state. HAVA also requires regular "maintenance" of the statewide list including removing ineligible voters and duplicate names are eliminated in accordance with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA).

Voting machines
HAVA requires states use funding to replace punch card voting systems or lever voting systems with new systems in accordance with HAVA's voting system standards.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help_America_Vote_Act

The Urgent Need For State Voting Machines Legislation
104k - Adobe PDF - View as html
way possible, that the State Legislature pass voting machine and other HAVA legislation now. ... voting machines displaying elections on multiple electronic ...
www.nyc.gov/html/emtf/downloads/pdf/report_031805.pdf

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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-09 12:49 AM
Response to Reply #56
60. Fine. I'll agree. "most interpertations are that it pushes states/counties to electronic voting..."

But HAVA didn't mandate that. That HAVA was/is poorly written about (as in your cite), and so widely misinterpreted isn't much of an excuse. It's a just feature.

How many election officials had HAVA explained to them by vendors?

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-09 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #60
61. HAVA didn't require ditching punch cards either
but my state banned them shortly after 2000 election. I had nothing to do with that.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-09 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #61
62. From what I recall in recent reading ...
HAVA was saying at least some of the "punch" type machines should be replaced ..????


Criticisms of electronic voting machines
Critics of HAVA argue it imprudently attempts to solve one problem of punch-card voting machine errors seen in Florida in the 2000 election, by replacing them with electronic voting machines. Some believe that HAVA may represent an effort to help large electronic voting systems vendors such as Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold Election Systems), Election Systems & Software, and Sequoia Voting Systems make millions of dollars throughout the country in selling electronic voting devices.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #62
64. Read again. HAVA did not ban punch cards
and some jurisdictions still have them.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-07-09 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #62
65. please provide a citation for what you read
whoever wrote that needs to correct their information, so they should be contacted and
advised.

My state had paperless electronic (DRE) voting machines since the 80's, and we
also had punch card, lever, optical scan and hand counted paper ballots.

It is a myth that HAVA requires computerized voting, but it is true that it pays for
computerized voting machines.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 01:20 AM
Response to Reply #2
16. please tell us how IRV is counted in the United States and Scotland
in your own words, please explain the algorithm, and how votes are allocated, eliminated or reallocated.

Please advise how administrators do it,
count the votes, all of the different rounds, what happens to the different choices
explain how the entire vote data is reported,
explain where the votes are counted,
explain how long it takes San Francisco and Pierce County Washington, the two locations of any size in the US that have IRV.

Now, tell us about Scotland - about what led them to use voting machines in order to count STV.
They knew the value of hand counted paper ballots, because that is what they had in place.

Surely they knew that IRV could be counted without computers, right?

And tell us how Australia counts their votes, and what exactly is on those ballots?
How many contests are on the ballot in Australia?
How are IRV ballots counted (please explain about communicating with a central command center)
What is the shortest amount of time to count the votes and the longest amount of time to count them?
(hint, it ranges from a few days or week to a month)

Please explain how the chain of custody of the IRV ballots is maintained when counting takes up to
a month in Australia?

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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #16
27. Please explain ...
why younthinkmanything but first round has to be counted -

or why you think there are time limits on counting votes ...


And please explain how votes are stolen in America by computer counting and why

anyone would agree to it --


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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. do you know anything about IRV, like how it is counted?
can you answer the questions I posed to you about how it is counted?

Or don't you know?
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. How about ...
Edited on Mon Jan-05-09 06:32 PM by defendandprotect
you answer my questions ...?

Is computer voting safe?

Is computer counting safe?

Have there been computer steals over decades?


Instant-Runoff Voting
152k - Adobe PDF - View as html
2. What does an IRV ballot look like? .2. How are IRV votes counted? .3. Contingencies: What if . How are IRV votes counted? ...
www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/irvoting.pdf



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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #33
36. IRV makes it easier to rig the election or just flat out miscount it
and since the Pilot Program in my state doesn't require that all votes be counted,
nor all votes reported to the public, it would be extremely easy to rig.

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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #36
52. Baloney . .. that's Dem/Repug propaganda cause they don't want change ...
Nothing can be stolen as easily as votes on electronic voting machines --

and, from a distance!!!

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frazzled Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 12:33 AM
Response to Original message
10. What makes you want to cling to lever machines?
I voted on lever machines when I lived in New York in the late 1960s and 1970s. They were old then. I was stunned to hear my son say he had to vote on a lever machine when he moved to New York a just a year or so ago.

Lever machines

(a) have no paper trail.

(b) are eminently riggable; historically, they have been rigged: all it takes is for a mechanic to make an adjustment in the back to rig the vote counting, no matter what lever you pull.

I think a good optical scan system would be superior.

As for IRV, I have participated in test runoff-voting, in a meeting for Common Cause. I have no objection to it theoretically, but practically, and especially having seen some of the wacky ballots that came out of Minnesota (the most literate state in the nation, according to a just-out ranking), I think it is too complicated for most voters. If they can't mark a lousy choice for a single candidate, I don't see how they can rank two.


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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 03:28 AM
Response to Reply #10
18. Learn why NY wants to cling to lever machines:
This material is not copyrighted:

http://re-mediaetc.blogspot.com/2008/10/mission-possibl...

In October 2002 Congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) that among other things, created the US Election Assistance Commission (EAC). HAVA required the EAC to produce voluntary federal voting system standards. It took three and a half years for the first set of these standards to be published in the Federal Register in April 2006. New York proceeded to adopt these voluntary guidelines along with its own set of State standards to certify new voting systems to replace our time tested, reliable lever machines with computers, as required by the State's Election Reform and Modernization Act of 2005 (ERMA) -- but NOT required by HAVA.

To date, no voting system the State of NY (or any other state) has tested has even come close to meeting these standards, although the standards themselves are considered to be far too lax by most computer scientists who have studied them. Our tried and true lever machines continue to function well, and we are about to use them in the 2008 Presidential election. Almost all of their parts are standard items carried by hardware stores, while the balance of the parts can be produced by machine shops. The outlook for replacing the levers in 2009 remains doubtful due to continued problems and delays in the certification process. This has been reported on a weekly basis to the US Dept. of Justice (the DoJ -- who are suing the State Board of Elections) and to the federal judge in their case.

And it's no wonder. In November 2006, just seven months after the current federal standards were published, computer security experts at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), who under HAVA, advised the EAC on the writing of the standards, published a paper on the need for voting systems to be "software independent." The authors clearly stated that "experience in testing software and systems has shown that testing to high degrees of security and reliability is from a practical perspective not possible."

But the NY State Board of Elections, its vendors, its testing labs, its not-for-profit watchdog -- the New York State Technology Enterprise Corporation (NYSTEC), and even the DoJ itself, have nevertheless been attempting the impossible. We appreciate their efforts and we feel their pain, but we also believe it's time they faced reality. And they are.

As State Election Commissioner Gregory Peterson said at the Oct. 3, 2008 Board meeting in Albany:

"What do we do? Go back to lever machines which probably work better than anything else we've ever had. I'm not saying I advocate that. However, if you have something that works and something that doesn't work, I vote for the thing that works."

Well, we the People of the Empire State, who are perhaps able to speak more freely, are in fact advocating for what works.

While the State will have to return about $50-million in HAVA funds to Uncle Sam, we believe it's a small price to pay for our Constitutional right to vote, to know how our votes will be counted, and to see that our votes will be given full force and effect by way of the lever voting machines. Such things will never be possible with software, which by its very nature is not observable. And this is unconstitutional in our great State.

We are therefore asking the State of New York to:

* end this impossible "certification" mission;
* return the $50-million Title I HAVA funds to the United States;
* continue to deploy ballot marking devices for voters with special needs to comply with HAVA using the remaining $170-million of Title II funds available for this and other purposes; and
* allow the voters of New York to continue to vote in free, fair, transparent and secure elections by retaining our lever voting system.

Your State and County Election Commissioners, who have sworn an oath to protect the voters of New York, have the necessary influence to end this madness. The Legislature will heed their advice, just as they did in 2007 when the commissioners asked for ERMA to be amended to remove any date certain for the replacement of lever machines. And the US Dept. of Justice would not have a case for the replacement of lever voting machines if we simply give back a small fraction of our $220-million of HAVA money. This is indeed a small price to pay to preserve our rights and to avoid the kind of electoral chaos we have been seeing in other states and recently, even in the nation's capitol.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #18
28. Agreed.... lever machines may be harder to fix ...
Edited on Mon Jan-05-09 03:21 PM by defendandprotect
and easier to detect fixing but votes can't be stolen as easily nor as vastly

as with electronic computers.

The common methods I'm aware of are SHAVING the counting wheel so it will jump

200-300 votes ..

and/or presetting count but taping ot over so it looks blank when machine is

checked at start of voting --

Lesson -- don't take HAVA $$ unless you want their rules --

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #28
43. Don't take HAVA money, except to provide accessibility.
When it comes down to it, there were really only 2 legitimate reasons for HAVA:

1. to reduce the number of overvotes, which is one way Gore lost FL, and
2. to provide accessible voting systems for disabled voters who don't want to vote absentee.

The rest is really a lot of hogwash and a giveaway to machine vendors and other speicial interests. And there were plenty of Dems who voted for it, BTW.

The lever exploits you describe would be detected immediately by routine testing before the machines are used prior to an election in any state such as NY that has transparent observable procedures. They would be completely undetectable by observation with manipulated software however.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #43
53. Re your last paragraph . . .
The lever exploits you describe would be detected immediately by routine testing before the machines are used prior to an election in any state such as NY that has transparent observable procedures. They would be completely undetectable by observation with manipulated software however.

No -- they certainly weren't detected and used for ages ---

See description by investigators ...

http://www.constitution.org/vote/votescam__.htm

Vote stealing didn't begin in 2000 -- it began in the late 1950's . . .!!!

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #10
19. like clinging to their guns and religion?
heheh.

I guess because there is no software involved.
Yes there can be problems with levers, but the risk is localized and limited to
one set of 999 votes.

With any sort of computerized voting, you have the ballot definition files, the software,
the operating system, the source code, the central tabulator, etc to deal with.

Until these systems, even optical scan - are improved and until the willingness to do
valid audits arrives, and recounts, then NY'ers are better off with what they have.

They have a very low undervote for President, something that many states do not.

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frazzled Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 01:11 AM
Response to Original message
15. I ask again: what is wrong with a good (computerized) optical scanning of paper ballots?
It's a hell of a lot better than lousy lever machines, on which your New York votes are probably being stolen as we speak.

And there isn't a state in the nation that hand counts ballots. Except in the case of recounts for extremely close contests. Then the paper ballots from COMPUTERIZED optical scan systems are the best option.

Am I missing something, or are New Yorkers just luddites?
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 03:15 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. NY is way ahead of the game!
Edited on Mon Jan-05-09 03:35 AM by Bill Bored
Software cannot be trusted to count votes.

Read up on this and get back to us before you make such uninformed judgments.
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frazzled Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. I am sorry ...
but yours is the uninformed judgment. Mechanical lever machines are not the answer.

Paper is absolutely necessary to a system with integrity. Lever machines do not provide that. I am fully aware of all the problems with computerized counting: at least with opti-scan there is the possibility to recount by hand. You are clearly not aware of all the vote-stealing possible with lever machines.

Maybe you should read up.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. please answer these questions so you can prove optical scan is better than levers:
please tell us why you trust their software and how it works.

Also, please explain to us your understanding of how elections are administered
using computerized voting:

1. how are ballots set up?

2. how are votes recorded?

3. how are votes tabulated?

4. how are votes reported?

5. what type of staff do elections offices need in order to administer computerized elections?

6. who sets up ballot definition files if the election director does not?

7. how many different ballot styles would there be in a mid size county in New York?

8. how many votes can be flipped or switched or deleted from a single polling place when
computerized voting is used?

9. how many votes can be flipped, switched or deleted from a single central tabulator?
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #20
29. You can have PAPER with any system ....
Edited on Mon Jan-05-09 03:24 PM by defendandprotect
and from what I hear the optical scanners have constant paper jams ---

and the computer count will ALWAYS be in question --
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #20
38. A possibility to recount by hand? When and where?
Edited on Mon Jan-05-09 07:10 PM by Bill Bored
NY election law has never allowed post-election recounts. The law requires recounts to be done at the polling places on election night. You want a recount? Fine, do it before any of the ballots are moved, in front of all the required witnesses from at least the 2 major parties.

Now, with a voting system where paper ballots are counted by computers, on what basis would there be cause for such a recount? There is no way to know by observation that anything is wrong, unless you get a completely off-the-wall result such as a polling place with no votes. If 10% of the vote were switched by a scanner, no one would know, but that's physically impossible with a lever machine.

So now we are supposed to have the post-election audit, days after the polls have closed and the paper ballots have been relocated. And we need a sample of these relocated ballots that would be large enough to detect tampering or errors made by software. Do you know how big a hand count that would have to be? Probably not because there's no simple answer to the question. It depends on a number of factors that most people don't even want to know about. And how do we know these are the same ballots cast on election night anyway?

In NY, the lever voting machine that solved all these problems by providing accurate counts on election night with a fully disclosed counting system that never relied on software. You can't just replace such a system with computers without introducing unprecedented undetectable risks to the vote count.

If you can show me a method that will work, I'm interested, but so far, nobody has, although we keep trying. Until a couple of years ago, hardly anyone had even done the math to figure out how many paper ballots had to be recounted by hand to prove that the machines called the election correctly. Now that we have some idea of how many, almost no one's actually doing it!

This thread is about IRV which multiplies the complexity of this problem. I don't know if you're pushing for that or not, but you seem to be OK with trusting software and post-election recounts of ballots that may not even be the same ones voted on election night. That's essentially what you're pushing if you think NY should replace lever voting machines with computers.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #20
48. "the possibility to recount by hand"
Yes siree. The possibility to recount by hand is the reason Gore won FL in 2000, and how Kerry won Ohio in 2004.

Without those recounts, Bush could have sent tens of thousands of people to their death.

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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
23. I think we had best be "warned" that resistance to IRV comes mainly ...
Edited on Mon Jan-05-09 02:57 PM by defendandprotect
from Dem/Reps and those who want to keep third parties at bay --

Something the two parties have worked at independently and together in

order to prevent competition.

Certainly, the Democrats have done all they could to co-opt the Green Party.

I am sure that IRV proponents will insist that IRV can be counted by hand, and that it is in some foreign countries.
But what those proponents won't tell you is that in the United States and Scotland, the implementation of IRV means
more complex technology, and uncertified software specially adapted with the IRV algorithm.


Yes, there are countries hand-counting IRV ballots ... sometimes a week or more for results.

Do you want fast computer results or hand counting?

There is no requirement for computer counting with IRV ---



PS: IRV means you have someplace else to go other than the two-party monopoly --



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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #23
32. Dr. Rebecca Mercuri: IRV leads to "potential gaming" of the ballot
Dr. Rebecca Mercuri Internationally respected computer scientist and e-voting expert warns - "potential gaming" of the ballot set that may not be independently detectable or auditable, these run-off styles must be prohibited."
http://www.ncvoter.net/downloads/Dr_Rebecca_Mercuri_Ins...
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. I think we all have open minds about elections ...
Instant-Runoff Voting
152k - Adobe PDF - View as html
2. What does an IRV ballot look like? .2. How are IRV votes counted? .3. Contingencies: What if . How are IRV votes counted? ...
www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/irvoting.pdf

however, I'm also cautioning about the many opposed to this system -- including Dem and

GOP -- running a "Harry & Louise" on this --

We've had computer steals probably since late 1950's ...

We have 2 paety lock --

We have corporate money buying government --

We have third parties locked out by 2-party blocks --

What are you recommending to overcome these problems ...???


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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #34
37. Libertarian Reform Caucus: "Anyone for a Bullet in the Foot? Instant Runoff!"
Libertarian Reform Caucus - Anyone for a Bullet in the Foot? Instant Runoff!

An explanation of what Instance Runoff Voting (IRV) is, and why it would be foolhardy for the LP or any freedom-minded party to support it.

by Devin Ray Freeman
Posted August 11, 2006

....The pro-IRV people are deluded. Instant Runoff does nothing that its proponents say it does. IRV can be trusted to maintain a two-party system. When lawmakers on the hill realize this, what's to stop them from building whole-hearted bipartisan suport for IRV? Some in Congress already say they like it! If nothing is said against IRV, one day we'll all be worse off than we were with Plurality Voting! IRV lovers don't know where they're pointing their pistol!

...
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #34
45. Why does IRV lead to 2-party domination?
Why does IRV lead to 2-party domination?

Because it just does: The three IRV countries: Ireland (mandated in their 1937 constitution), Australia and Malta (and more recently Fiji for a brief period of IRV democracy before its coup) all are 2-party dominated (in IRV seats) despite having many other features in their governments which would seem much more multiparty-genic than the USA with IRV added will ever have. So you can be sure the USA with IRV would be 2-party dominated too.

E.g. "The composition of IRV seatholders in Australia is very biased against third parties: examining all 564 statehouse & federal IRV seats we found only a single one occupied by a third party."
Australian analysts themselves agree that IRV leads to 2-party domination this is not just crazy old me talking. A quote from http://www.australianpolitics.com/voting/systems/prefer... is IRV "promotes a two-party system to the detriment of minor parties and independents."

Because here is an example election and here is another in which, if some voters honestly order the candidates N>G>B where N=Nader is the "third party" candidate, then N and G both lose, but if those voters dishonestly vote G>N>B or G>B>N, then G wins (a better result in their view). In these example elections, just like under the present plurality system, voting Nader is therefore strategically foolish. A possible reason why the Australian House remains 2-party dominated after 80+ years of IRV is that these kinds of elections happen often enough so that strategic voters feel logically justified in thus "betraying" Nader. Hence: the third parties suffer a tremendous disadvantage, hence they die off. And hence voters observing this year after year realize the third parties have no chance, which justifies their strategic vote-exaggeration/betrayal decision all the more. (Who cares if you betray N if he had no chance anyhow? It is worth it if it increases the chance G will win or so they reason.) Result: Vicious cycle entrenched 2-party domination third parties die.

We do not know that this is the actual reason, but we will say that it would be entirely logical if it were; the only way it is not the actual reason is because of the insufficient-logic of Australian voters. If we instead assume more-mentally-challenged voters who don't know or can't understand this, then they will likely just give the two-most-likely-to-win candidates top & bottom rankings without worrying about whether that really is logical or not to "max out their vote's impact." That is intuitive and requires no thought at all (but nevertheless is supported by deeper analysis) and with IRV will prevent a third-party candidate from ever winning.

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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #45
51. Without doubt, the 2-party monopoly wants to keep lock on elections . . .
Edited on Mon Jan-05-09 11:41 PM by defendandprotect
who does that benefit but the two-parties--???

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-09 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #51
59. without a doubt, IRV entrenches the 2-party monopoly
if you studied its history, you would know that.

You contradict yourself constantly.

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #23
42. Australian Politics: "promotes a two-party system...."
Australian Politics -

the "Disadvantages of the Preferential System"...
promotes a two-party system to the detriment of minor parties and independents.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 06:39 PM
Response to Original message
35. For those not familiar with the decades of computer steals ...
http://www.constitution.org/vote/votescam__.htm

Likely this goes as far back as 1959 ... and likely also involved heads of MSM ...

and probably many in media knew or suspected ---
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #35
39. "IRV.. not summable.... makes it more susceptible to tampering"


"Of all voting methods going, Only IRV and IRV-like variants are not summable. This means that counting up the votes is super complex if there are more than four candidates, and recounting every bit as complex. This means that IRV data is so unwieldly it's problematic in any election held over more than one polling place. This unsummability that makes a recount a huge to do and makes it hard to count up the votes in the first place, makes it more susceptible to tampering."

Anyone for a Bullet in the Foot? Instant Runoff!
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #39
49. That's Dem/Repug propaganda -- they sure don't want CHOICE ....!!!
Computer counting and voting are PROVEN tampering with elections . . .

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-09 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #49
58. and you support IRV which incentivizes computerized voting
so you don't see the hipocrisy.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #35
46. "The complexity of IRV ...provides increased opportunities for wholesale fraud or malfunction"
Instant Runoff Voting: Looks Good--But Look Again

Stephen H. Unger
March 26, 2007
Addendum added 3/28/07

There is a significant movement in the US, spearheaded by forward-looking people, to replace the traditional plurality voting (PV) system with the instant runoff voting (IRV) system. The primary motive is to allow supporters of third party candidates with little chance of winning, to vote for these candidates while still helping to defeat whichever of the major party candidates they feel is the worst. A secondary objective is to eliminate the need for costly runoff elections when no candidate receives a majority of the votes. In this article, I will start by showing how IRV works and where its advantages lie over PV.

But the story doesn't end there. While IRV does work as advertised in some important cases, there are other situations in which it produces bizarre results. Furthermore, it will be shown that there are serious problems related to the tabulation and reporting of IRV results. I will argue that both approval and range voting dominate IRV in that they have the same advantages with fewer drawbacks.

...We cannot decentralize the ballot counting process. For example, if a ballot includesa race for a seat in the House of Representatives, then the ballots from all precincts in that congressional district must be sent to one central place to determine the IRV winner. We cannot count the votes in each precinct and forward the totals to a merging point. If the election is for a statewide position (or issue), the ballots for the entire state must go to one point. If there is even one statewide IRV race on the ballot then all ballots in the state must be processed at one location. This introduces a number of problems.

....The complexity of IRV also mandates central counting of votes and this, in turn, provides increased opportunities for wholesale fraud or malfunction. Hand counting and recounting becomes slower and more expensive.

....


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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #46
50. The opponents of IRV are Dems and Repugs who don't want voters . . .
to have any other place to go ---

Meanwhile, computer counters and electronic voting machines have been stealing

votes since the late-1950's . . . most of us get that fact -- !!!

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-06-09 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #50
57. Attack the messenger because you have no facts
Anywhere that IRV has been used, and you will see two party dominence.

Prove otherwise.

You can ignore the posts with links I have provided that show third party
members who strongly oppose IRV because it hurts third parties.

You can ignore the posts I made (with links) proving a pattern of IRV
maintaining a 2 party domination.

You can't prove that IRV helps third parties, because there is only evidence that it doesn't.

So if you can't argue the facts, then you pound on the table, attack the messenger.

Keep posting and I can provide more and more documentation about the flaws in IRV.

I have more articles about IRV failures, all with documentation.

I will be happy to continue to post more and more of those articles



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