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E-Vote Counting in the Filipines: "Fired up with faith and hope"

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 12:23 PM
Original message
E-Vote Counting in the Filipines: "Fired up with faith and hope"
From this interesting article about their new optical scan voting system, penned by a rather zealous election official. (MCM would have a field day with this one!):



http://businessmirror.com.ph/index.php?option=com_conte...

Brave new world

Written by Rene V. Sarmiento / Commissioner, Comelec
Sunday, 11 April 2010 20:29


-snipped stuff about how great "poll automation" is-

The coming poll automation is an inevitable event Filipinos should look forward to and welcome. It is a blessing Filipinos should thank God for, should embrace and should maximize to the hilt. Wisely and successfully implemented, poll automation will mean choosing the best candidates and installing a new and popularly supported leadership that will uphold and advance what is good for Filipinos in 2010 and beyond, a kind of leadership that will unlock the vast potentials and possibilities of every Filipino.

But total success will be achieved if, in addition to adequate technical and educational preparation, Filipinos are fired up with faith and hope, believing that Filipinos can! And believing that with Gods help, nothing is impossible. It is the same God of the Old Testament who divided the Red Sea into two and the same God of the New Testament who rebuked the wind and stilled the sea amid a violent squall. Says the Book of Sirach 2:10 in the Holy Scriptures:

Study the generations long past and understand; has anyone hoped in the Lord and been disappointed? Has anyone persevered in his fear and been forsaken? Has anyone called upon him and been rebuffed?
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. This reminds me of those Nigerian email scams.
Or did Bo Lipari write it? :shrug:

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Reminds me of some of our New Yorkers, only it's a bit less secular.
Edited on Sat Apr-10-10 02:13 PM by Bill Bored
One of our vendors (Dominion/Sequoia) got the scanner contract in the Philippines. I think the name "Dominion" refers to the Dominion of Canada and not the Dominionists -- but I could be wrong.

Anyway, if you take out the Biblical references above, our NY computerized voting advocates and some of our election officials have about the same faith-based attitude regarding their machines.

There is brief mention of a "random manual audit" in the article above, but no details. And of course when it comes to audits, the details are what matter.

Some of the other precautions they are taking seem reasonable.
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Yellow Horse Donating Member (462 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 04:55 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Uncalled For.

No reason to equate Bo Lipari with scammers.

And people wonder why election reform isn't making any progress.

Unrecommended.


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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 08:35 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Are you, and have you been paying attention?
It was absolutely called for.

He advocates for computerized vote counting and says that NY will have paper ballots for recounts and audits. But there is no provision in NYS for recounts and the 3% audit is utterly inadequate. He knows all that. But he continues to lie and mislead, like his "highest court in the land" remark.

Computerized vote counting is not "election reform". With Lipari's advocacy, election deform is in full swing.

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Yellow Horse Donating Member (462 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-10 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Indeed I have been paying attention; I joined DU 12/25/2004.
I remember when this forum was productive, not a giant echo chamber for a couple of you to bawl at each other about lever machines and hand-counted paper ballots.

Back in those days, threads on the Philippines were not hijacked and twisted around to bash somebody in NY state.

Back in those days, there were dozens of good people posting on here on a regular basis if not every day. Now they lurk, or they have gone away completely.

Back in those days there was some actual organizing getting done here. There was a good bit of it, in fact.

The DEform of this forum has been going on for some time. The few who still bother to even read this forum know well who's to blame. And it is NOT Bo Lipari.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-10 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. We joined the same day.
Edited on Tue Apr-13-10 12:01 PM by Wilms
There were dozens of good people who left long before lever discussions gained momentum. They were here long before numerous email groups/listservs were established. And they left as they joined those groups, as Dems got elected, as HAVA implementation became finalized in more and more states. All of the organizing that happens occurs elsewhere. If you don't know that, you aren't paying attention. If you do, it's misleading to post what you just did.

Shall we bring up exit polls arguments that also accompanied the fall of this forum?

But more to the point, I didn't argue that Lipari wrecked this forum. I've argued that he advocates the replacement of lever machines with computerized vote counting. And I have pointed out erroneous, misleading statement by him. I've pointed out that he is insulting election integrity activists (who don't share his "my way or the highway" attitude). Have you read his latest blog?

You think the discussion has fallen flat? You've have enough posts to start a thread. Go for it.

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-10 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Thread not hijacked. Much of NYS uses same e-voting system as the Phillipines.
This is a thread about faith-based propaganda.

In the Phils. the culture is apparently such that it's OK for an election official to talk about God in the context of elections and voting systems. That's their business.

But here, we have other faith-based advocates. They advocate for computerized vote-counting and ask us to have faith in such an unobservable system.

I was trying to make an analogy. Get it?

The fact that NY may allow the same vendor the Phils. use to count many of our votes is coincidental. But the religious invocation in the OP is similar to the faith that New Yorkers are being asked to place in the same new voting machines by our own elected and appointed officials.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Talk about uncalled for. Look what Lipari writes about election activists.
And these are EXACTLY the kind of activists we'd want because they're IN the system. Election commissioners and their legal teams are fighting against computerized vote counting while Lipari insults them.

http://www.bolipari.com/boblog/2010/04/nassau-county-th... /

"And people wonder why election reform isn't making any progress."

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Yellow Horse Donating Member (462 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-10 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. I agree with what Bo Lipari wrote. It's common sense.
Given the forces that HAVA unleashed, NY is NOT going to get to keep lever voting machines forever.

Get over it (the rest of us in other states had to) and thank God that you aren't getting paperless DREs. Work for improvement of your audits and election procedures.

Or STFU and let the people who are trying to do something practical to protect the vote alone.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-10 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Pardon?
Edited on Tue Apr-13-10 12:06 PM by Wilms
Why don't you, instead, STFU and let alone the real election integrity activists people who are trying to do something practical to protect the vote.

You came at me for busting Lipari, but in fact you are parroting his line.

So you're an advocate for replacing levers (even though HAVA doesn't require it) with computerized vote counting. OK. I got that. :hi:

A law suit is coming. "Get over it."
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Yellow Horse Donating Member (462 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-10 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Thank you for putting words into my mouth and then telling me to shut up.
Edited on Tue Apr-13-10 02:01 PM by Yellow Horse
Why don't you, instead, STFU and let alone the real election integrity activists people who are trying to do something practical to protect the vote.


You have NO IDEA who I am or what I may or may not have done for election integrity.

Your post makes my point -- this forum has become an echo chamber for a select few to wail at each other about lever machines and hand-counted paper ballots. Anyone who says anything else is not a real election integrity activist. Small wonder so many of us lurk or have gone away.

I never said I was personally for or against replacing levers. I said the facts -- despite activists working hard to save their lever machines in other states, every state except NY has ended up being forced to replace them. There are powerful forces that have decided lever machines will be gone from our country. This regardless of what HAVA actually says or doesn't say.

Go ahead and sue. People have sued before. They lost.

Activists in all those states that lost their levers have had to get over it and move on to making the best of whatever voting system they ended up with or start working to change for the better. The lucky ones got some form of paper-based system because at least those states can work on improving their audit and recount laws. The unlucky ones ended up with DREs, especially paperless ones.

NY is lucky. After the lever lawsuit loses, you will still have paper ballots to recount and audit. It's up to you (assuming you are from NY and not just a carpetbagger posting about NY on here) to work to get good recount and audit law into place.

That is if realistic activists like Bo Lipari haven't beaten you to it first.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-10 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. While Bill Bored covered it well, I'll add that I agree that I don't know who you are.
Or you me. Does it matter? If this is so not about personalities it shouldn't. Right? I didn't put words in your mouth. You put Bo's word in it by "agreeing" with what he said.

No one prevents you from posting here. So perhaps with your contribution, the forum might be more active. But blaming the inactivity here on lever advocacy is the kind of ridiculous statement that I've come to expect from those who resent it. And comparing the rah-rah HCPB advocacy to the reality of the keep the lever movement is pretty poor analysis. County after county in NY state have passed resolutions to keep levers. You have a problem with, or smear about it?

Meanwhile, I think it was you that started the "real activist" notion. I paraphrased to suggest that people advocating lever retention are more qualified than computer advocates.

Now, I don't mean to put words in your mouth, but you seem to be saying that one should accept computerized vote counting because other states have had too. And that despite HAVA not requiring lever replacement, I should accept that "powerful forces" make it necessary. Is that right?

Computers are pretty powerful, alright.

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-10 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. People haven't made the right legal arguments, have they?
Edited on Tue Apr-13-10 03:05 PM by Bill Bored
First of all, perhaps unknowingly, you insult those in NY who have been working their asses off for better audits and have gotten nowhere with the election officials and the Legislature. Our officials want to trust computers to count votes. Period. They have been brainwashed by vendors and scanner advocates and some of their fellow officials and lobbyests into believing that scanners can't miscount votes and can't be programmed to do so. No different than in PA, NJ, GA and MD, etc., except without the DRE bogeyman.

You seem uninformed about this and about the chances for success. You seem to be parroting some NYVV talking points about how something wonderful is going to happen if we have paper ballots counted by computers. Time to wake up from your nap, or is it a fairy tale?, and smell the coffee.

Like so many other PCOS activists, you probably haven't taken the trouble to do the math to see how much hand counting it would take to verify all our election results. If you did, you would see that the best that can be hoped for is to settle for a much lower standard than exists with the current lever voting machines, despite their occasional failures.

In other words: paper ballots are a bait and switch. No one wants to hand count enough of them to see who won elections in NY or anywhere else. The POTENTIAL TO DO SO is not good enough. It has to actually happen. Otherwise, we're just wasting taxpayer money and providing a false sense of security. Somewhat better than DREs, but nowhere near good enough.

As to previous failed lawsuits: they have usually been about the non-existent "right to a recount." That's barking up the wrong tree.

The real issue is the right to a reliable FIRST COUNT. Sure, there will be a few ambiguous ballots that can be adjudicated later. No one disputes that, even in "no-recount" states such as New York. But the issue is that the first count, which may involve 99% of the ballots cast, is NOT reliable if it's a software count. That cannot be allowed to stand.

Show me a lawsuit that says that. They do not if they argue only for optical scan, which of course, is the same software doing the vote counting as in the DREs and therefore reduces the argument to the "right to a recount." Wrong argument. It's a loser.

No one has yet made the case that software cannot be trusted to count votes, whether it's "certified", "hacked" or "open source." If they have please cite some cases.

Also, see this post about the situation in NY:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Yellow Horse Donating Member (462 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-10 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Here's a case that was pretty close. It quickly got tossed.
http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/electionlaw/litigation/taylor....

This county ended up on paperless DRE, and the pro-DRE lead defendant is now a leading candidate for Governor in that state. Big win for the activists, eh?

The fact remains that every state other than NY has gotten rid of lever voting machines. Since you seem to be set against improving audits (and since many of these states are now on unauditable DREs), pray tell, what system or remedy do you propose for them?


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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-10 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Try not to be misleading.
By "tossed", what you really mean is that the case was Voluntarily Dismissed by the plaintiff without prejudice. Meanwhile, the DRE's were on their way to PA. They weren't implemented as a result of the suit.

http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/electionlaw/litigation/documen...

While nothing to celebrate by lever advocates, I want to make sure your post isn't misunderstood. There's enough of that. Like your assumption about Bill Bored's interest in audits.

:popcorn:

Moving past "powerful forces" :scared: and turning our attention toward bogeymans, are there any jurisdictions currently looking to switch from whatever to DRE's?

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demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-10 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Wilms, I was present at every day of the proceedings on that suit. Yes it was pretty much tossed.
Edited on Tue Apr-13-10 05:48 PM by demodonkey

Wilms I am getting ready for meetings and running for re-election to State Committee here on the cause of election integrity, so I do NOT have time to get into a long harangue over this thread.

I will jump in and simply say that I was there when this particular case was argued in Pittsburgh. The judge emphatically refused to issue any injunction which would have stopped the installation of the DREs whether they were on their way or not (i.e. it would have saved the levers, at least for a time.) He then ruled that the case would be unlikely to succeed on its merits if it proceeded. He pretty much didn't buy ANY of the arguments about security, disability access, constitutionality, or whatever.

So yes technically the plaintiffs dropped this case, but believe me if you had heard the comments and rulings of the judge, "tossed by the judge" is much more accurate.

I don't think there are any jurisdictions moving to switch to DREs. Probably because counties that have paper-based systems generally like them, and scanners last longer than DREs. The scanners bought in 2006 generally don't need replacing right now, but some of the DREs are getting a little long in the tooth already.

As I said I am too busy right now for long discourse. Back to work.

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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-10 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. Well, thanks for chiming in despite the tight schedule.
Sounds like the judge was pretty unimpressed with the case. So am I. Comparing it to the Nassau case points up why. Perhaps Yellowhorse hadn't time to get familiarized with that before posting this.

Nevertheless, the only ruling I see made was a refusal to provide injunctive relief. The case was voluntarily dismissed without prejudice. So that case, or better, a better one is not ruled out.

Perhaps the DREs could be replaced with scanners. And *cough* audits.

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demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-10 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Quick reason why (IMO) and then I have to go to sleep...

You are right there was no final ruling; judge just refused to provide the injunction and said that case was unlikely to succeed on the merits. The plaintiffs withdrew and IMO it was so as not to set a precedent for future cases when they could see the judge was against them.

Yes we are still working to get the DREs replaced. Not easy.

BTW, PA already has a *cough* audit law... it has been on the books for many years since way before HAVA. It's 2% or 2000 votes whichever is LESS. Really means a lot; especially in counties with paperless DREs. (lol)

Good night.

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-10 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. Oh come on! You can do better than that, can't ya? This is not similar to the Nassau case at all.
First of all, the lead plaintiff is PFAW -- a known supporter of DRE voting machines.

Secondly, the Nassau complaint is from bipartisan Election Officials concerned about computerized vote-counting in general (as required by the NY election law they seek to overturn which allows both scanners AND DREs) and possible tampering with paper ballots. The PA complaint is from PFAW and some voters concerned about, among other things, accessibility, the lack of certification of the machines, etc. None of this gets to the heart of the issue of concealed vote counting.

This complaint seems to imply that if only the software were properly tested and not deployed at the 11th Hour, and the machines were more accessible, or made by a different vendor, there would be no worries. These are all false assurances and are NOT part of the Nassau complaint, which clearly states that complex software such as that used in computerized voting systems cannot be reliability certified, based on the scientific evidence.

There are other differences too numerous to mention between the two complaints, and I don't have time to find them all. NY has satisfied HAVA's accessibility requirement, and the Nassau suit is not being brought by DRE advocates. PA had not provided accessibility at the time this suit was filed. It's one of the major issues for the plaintiffs.

And the PA suit doesn't even seem to recognize the difference between a voting machine and a voting system as defined in HAVA.

If you can't do better than this, either the Nassau case hasn't been made before, or you're not trying hard enough.

As far as audits, I'm all for improving them in any state that's saddled with computerized vote counting. In the case of New York, AS I SAID, the powers that be are the ones who have displayed a complete lack of concern about the issue of election verification. Explain to me why you believe otherwise.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-10 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. You're missing the point. It's not about Lipari. Here's the deal:
New Yorkers have a right to know that their votes are being counted as cast and that the winners and losers of elections are as the voters intended.

You are correct that this problem is nationwide. Other states have quietly and willingly given away their constitutional rights long ago. But does that mean New Yorkers should too? No fucking way!

We are not as quiet here. That upsets some folks from other states (where perhaps there is something in the water or whatever), but New Yorkers don't give up without a fight. It's not how we were brought up or how we're wired.

Now, Lipari notwithstanding, the problem with paper ballot/op scan is that there is nothing in this new voting system, nor the NY election law that mandates it, to protect the voters' constitutional right to have their votes counted as cast -- that is -- there is nothing to require hand counts of enough of the original paper ballots to see if enough of the scanners counted correctly or not.

Not only does this unconstitutionally deprive voters of their rights, but it can also result in the wrong candidates being elected -- a LOT!

Since you mention "audits", which presumably are random hand counts, you may accept that computers make undetectable mistakes and can also be easily programmed to do so deliberately. But if that's the case, doesn't it make sense to "work for improvement of your audits and election procedures" BEFORE replacing the non-computerized machines with computerized ballot scanners?

Unfortunately this was not the policy of Lipari, NYVV, the LWV of NY, the NYS Legislature or most New York election officials. The solution you're proposing -- working for better audits -- has been tried repeatedly by others in the state, and has failed. In fact, audits are getting worse in NY -- not better -- because county election officials do not want to hand-count one more ballot than the law requires. The State Board of Elections has caved to the counties' wishes by gutting their own regulations that would have required somewhat more hand counting.

Almost all these election officials have virtually ignored the advice of advocates and experts when it comes to auditing elections. So what does that say about their willingness to verify election results?

The bottom line is: There is no interest in election verification among the powers that be in New York. They just want to trust the computers.

The one thing that might result in better audits of elections is lawsuits. Perhaps the very same one Lipari opposes. It's primary focus is to keep the lever voting machines rather than giving up the protection of our constitutional rights that they provide. But the reason for this is that the new system and the way it's being implemented in NY, as elsewhere, does NOT protect those rights.

As I'm sure you know, you have to take the good with the bad, so if getting better audits can only be achieved through litigation, and no one has the balls to sue for better audits, then the next best thing is to sue to keep the mostly unaudited computers from counting the votes in New York the first place. This should have been done years ago, but because NY had not yet met its HAVA obligation to provide accessible voting equipment for voters with disabilities, a lawsuit to protect the constitutional rights of ALL voters might have been premature. That accessibility mandate has now been met, so it's time to say enough is enough. We are HAVA-compliant now. End of story.

As far as HAVA itself, the statute bans neither lever machines nor hand counts. The only "forces that HAVA has unleashed" are the tools of the propagandists! And there are far too many New Yorkers willing to pick up those tools and use them to construct their bogus narratives about HAVA, levers, computerized vote counting, etc.

Hope this helps put things in perspective for you. It's not about Lipari; it's about our constitutional rights. And the courts will be the ones to decide all that.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-10 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #10
20. Speaking of the audit "...policy of Lipari, NYVV, the LWV ...", what's their position?
I'm figuring that since Verified Voting is supposed to mean something, and since NIST, Avi Rubin, and Douglass Kellner say you can't trust the machine count, NYVV would have been advocating improved audits for NY since "the ship has sailed", on-a-kind-of not having had done so already. Right? :shrug:

Crickets

Do ya think what they really meant was that they were gonna take time off, go on a cruise to the Philippines or something?


Joking aside, the thing that bothers me is that either they haven't done a thing about audits (which would be unimaginably horrible), or that they have been trying, even in earnest, but have come to realize it's quite honestly hard to get anywhere advocating that audits be done well.

But, not a word from them on the State of the State's election verification (or, er, lack thereof)??

That seem strange to you?


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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-13-10 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Their position seems to be: kill the levers now; ask questions later. nt
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