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New Yorkers Cast Votes on Levers that Were Miscounted on Computers (TIA)

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tiptoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-15-10 12:30 PM
Original message
New Yorkers Cast Votes on Levers that Were Miscounted on Computers (TIA)
New Yorkers Cast Votes on Levers that Were Miscounted on Computers
Richard Charnin (TruthIsAll)    source: http://richardcharnin.com/StanislevicNYLevers.htm

Howard Stanislevic is at it again in his unrelenting campaign to keep the New York Lever machines.
http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=...

Howard is worried about voter error/fraud by over-voting on optical scanners, just like that other Republican, John Fund. He uses Funds old scapegoat, the Florida 2000 voter, to illustrate his concern for over-votes in NY. He never considers that corrupt FL and NY election officials, by counting votes using rigged computers along with faulty mechanical punched cards and levers, can be the cause of fraudulent vote counts. Florida 2000 voters were not stupid; they did not over-punch. Much more likely, corrupt election officials voided the 110,000 votes by maliciously double-and triple-punching themafter the polls closed. Approximately 70,000 were Gore votes.

At least with optical scanners, the paper ballots can be counted, like they are in Oregon, the only 100% mail-in paper ballot state.

Howard conveniently ignores the simple fact that NY votes are cast on levers but counted on unverifiable central tabulators (computers). He should know by now that the tabulators can be maliciously programmed to switch and drop votes. And you can never prove it; there is no paper trail for the levers or the tabulators. Howard never mentions the fact that NY votes are cast on levers but counted on computers.

In 2000, Gore won NY by 6035% with 5% to Nader/other third-party voters. In 2004, Kerry had just 58% of the recorded vote. The NY exit poll indicated that Kerry won by 6435%. Lets do some simple math.

Returning Nader voters broke 5-1 for Kerry. Therefore, assuming an equal turnout of returning Gore and Bush voters, Kerry won NY by 63.535.5% matching the exit poll. And that is conservative. The 12:22am National Exit Poll indicates that 10% of returning Bush 2000 voters defected to Kerry, while only 8% of Gore voters defected to Bush. The 12% NY exit poll Within Precinct Discrepancy (WPD) was massive compared to the National 7.4% WPD.

Either the exit pollsters screwed up royally in NY, or Bush padded his 3 million recorded vote mandate thereby cutting Kerrys margin 12% (900,000 votes). And that does not include thousands of Kerry voters who did not even get a chance to vote.

New York votes are extremely vulnerable to miscounts at the precinct and in Cyberspace.

Let us count the ways:
1) Defective levers were placed in the strong Democratic precincts; 300,000 votes were spoiled (undercounts).
2) Too few levers were placed in Democratic precincts (long lines).
3) Pre-set levers were stuck on Bush, none on Kerry discouraging voters.
4) Lever totals are input to unverifiable central tabulators that can easily be coded to switch and drop votes.
5) There can be no hand recounts because there are no paper ballots (except for late absentee or provisionals).
6) In 2000-2008, the Democratic late paper ballot share was 7% higher than the Election Day (lever) share.
7) The late paper ballot share closely matched the exit poll.
8) According to the Census, there were over 300,000 net uncounted votes.

Bottom line: Even if the levers worked perfectlywhich they dontthe votes are counted on computers.

Howard, repeat over and over again until it sticks in:
Its not who casts the votes or even how the votes are cast, its who does the counting.

As Peter King (R-NY, Nassau County) said 16 months before Election Day 2004:
"It's all over but the counting, and we'll take care of the counting."


data-sourcelinks:


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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-15-10 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'm not all that fond of the levers here in NY, but this overstates...
the case just a little.

Yes, the votes are transcribed to computers, but there are written tallys of the results of every lever machine sent in to the county BoE, and these are available for a recount. The machines themselves are locked and sealed at the poll in case someone later wants to check the written tally with the machine.

Mistakes and fraud with the lever machines? Of course, but it's rare and no one knows of a statewide election that was thrown because of them.

My county starts using the new Sequoia machines this coming primary, and it will be interesting. All of the bugs and problems seem to have been worked out, but we shall see.



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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-15-10 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. How do you know the bugs have been worked out and that the scanners haven't been hacked?
Let's say there's some vote switching, padding, deletion, or whatever. How would you know?

Suppose party allocations are incorrect and instead 10% of the vote, the Cons or the Working Families party only get 3% or 5%. How would you know? The same candidates could be elected, but those parties could be screwed out of their share of the vote, reducing their influence.

Suppose someone has hacked the scanner to pass the test deck and then switch votes during the election. How would you know?

I'm just askin'.

Thanks for your post.
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 07:32 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. I don't-- I said they SEEM to be worked out. As far as hacking goes...
there's a chain of custody thing with the chips and the paper ballots are available for a recount. There may be plans to randomly match the paper ballots to the machine totals. I'm not worried about fraud unless the whole state is in on it.

The first serious use will be in the primary in September, when everyone expects confusion. We'll see then.






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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. The whole state would NOT have to be in on it to rig an election.
Each county's EMS programs every scanner in the county. That's like one PC!

The 3% audit in the election law sucks. It's not likely to find miscounted votes, even if the outcomes of many elections are wrong.

And what's the chain of custody of the voted paper ballots? If they are left unattended at any time, they can be manipulated. How do we know they are authentic once they leave the poll site?

We can't trust the first counts from the computers on election night the way we can lever counts, yet the system is still designed as if we can.

Hand counting is a pipe dream in NY. Regulations that would have required a lot more of it have been gutted.

As a local poll worker, and I appreciate you're serving as one, you don't seem to be familiar with what's going on in Albany with the State Board of Elections and the county commissioners throughout the state.

The bottom is they plan to rely on these computers and their software certification process to determine the outcomes of elections. This is exactly what computer scientists and others say should not be done.

The fact that paper ballots may be "available" is of little consolation. What matters is how they will be counted.
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Bullshit. ANY system can be played but all this hyperventilating over...
our scanners is ridiculous. The biggest problem anyone expect is confusion because no one is used to them.

Are you suggesting that Albany and 62 (actually 134 if they all have Dem and Repub co-commissioners) are engaged in some sort of conspiracy?

And, are you suggesting that the paper ballots, secured in a locked box, are somehow less secure than those counted at the poll?

And still that tired bullshit about insecure systems. As insecure as all the computers that count the world's inventories and transactions from buying a stick of gum to a million shares of stock.

The reason nobody hand counts any more is because hand counting is the easiest way to rig an election and the most error prone.




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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. You comparing voting systems to sytems used for transactions and inventories is alarming.
I guess you really don't know the difference.

That would explain a few things.

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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. No matter. You guys will never accept any electronic vote counting.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Agreed. I don't want hackable computers telling me who won. n/t
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #9
17. I'm suggesting incompetence that leaves the door open for malfeasance.
Edited on Sat Jul-17-10 12:47 AM by Bill Bored
And yes, some conspiracy too.

Our scanners failed quite a bit last year in the pilot. The way these failures have been whitewashed is a disgrace. Asking election officials a bunch of softball questions at public hearings that are supposed to be "oversight" hearings is a conspiracy as far as I'm concerned. This is exactly what happened last year.

There is also evidence that lever machine undervote rates were deliberately exaggerated in at least one county by using web reporting software in 2008. Not correcting that when given the opportunity to do so constitutes a conspiracy. We don't know how many other NY counties this occurred in, but we have one definite example. It made the levers look bad when they actually worked fine -- not unlike the substandard punchcards used in Florida 2000 that cost Gore the Presidency to fuel demand for new voting computers.

Sorry if you're not familiar with all that but it wasn't exactly front page news. Most of it is a matter of public record though.

Also, it's not just "us guys" that don't accept election outcomes determined by computers. It's people such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology and most computer scientists.

The problem is, most computer scientists, not also trained in auditing or statistics, were clueless in their approach to auditing elections until fairly recently. They knew computer counts couldn't be trusted, but they failed to provide a solution that would engender trust. (The 3% "audit" is an example of one such untrustworthy solution that many supported and perhaps still do.)

Meanwhile, we are expected to give up mechanical voting machines that for the most part can be trusted to provide very accurate counts on election night for ALL contests, before anyone can mess with them, and that also prevent overvoting AND vote switching by making them both physically impossible? Give me a break!

It's obvious which of these voting systems protects the constitutional rights of NY's voters. And we have accessible machines too, so that's not an issue.
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. I've been thinking for a while that election officials are normally...
crooks or idiots. One or the other is a job requirement in most states.

I spent a few years working with computerized cash registers and accounting systems, occasionally doing some programming. Counting things is one of the simplest things for a computer to do and is infinitely more accurate then hand counting. Scanning is also effectively error free. Errors that show up are usually human-- like the store not entering new prices in the register software.

Do you really want your bank to go back to handwritten ledgers? Throw away all the ATMs? Or is it just voting that should stay prehistoric?

I'm gobsmacked that a company like Diebold, with its ATM business, seems to have completely forgotten about the concept of audit trails when designing a vote counter. When proposing electronic registers for franchised stores and restaurants we had to follow corporate guidelines maybe 15 pages long. Everything revolved around audit trails and redundancy to eliminate fraud and error.

So, the problem isn't electronic voting machines, it's letting them be designed by bureaucrats and software engineers instead of accountants.



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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. How embarrassing. Right down to the 'ol "my ATM gives me a receipt".
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. Will any one of you kindly explain the significant difference between...
an accounting system and a voting system?

They both count things and require accuracy. What's so special about a voting system?



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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. since you ask...
in accounting, it's generally crucial to be able to tie transactions to particular parties. In voting, it's generally crucial to prevent linking votes to voters. (Voting systems have other quirks -- for instance, they're supposed to be 'rolled out' a few times a year and be rock-solid reliable and flawlessly intuitive.)

Whether that has any real bearing on this discussion, I don't know. Wilms seems to think you said something about ATM receipts, but I think you probably meant something else, since those aren't used for auditing.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Thanks for capping that gusher.


Let's see if it'll hold.

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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. I don't see where that has any bearing at all. Accounting ties transactions...
to ledger entries, whatever the ledger happens to be, but I was talking about the concept of audit trails. Audit trails are basic to all accounting, and quite a few other "counting" applications but seem to have been lost in many voting systems. With a proper audit trail all mistakes, fraudulent or simple errors, will be caught.

The fact that voting systems are used maybe four times a year in a heavy year should mean little. Properly programmed, the system can be checked at any time no matter how much or little it is being used. The bits don't get stale or go bad.

ATM receipts? No. I was merely remarking that I am bemused that Diebold, a leader in the ATM business, can make money machines that work accurately but seems unable to make a voting machine that works as well.

Diebold's ATM's, btw, are Windows based, at least the ones I've seen. I don't understand why a dedicated machine should use something as complicated as Windows that requires so much extra error-checking programming and contains so many surprises. The is the kind of thing you could put on an EPROM or BASIC Stamp and get to work without the complexity-- some the first electronic cash registers were networked and included POS and inventory running on an 8080 with less than 64K of RAM. Windows does include the graphics hooks, so maybe that's why they go that way.

(Counting-- it's what computers do best.)






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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. shrug
I don't think the way that the systems are used has much to do with the auditing issues -- but it may have something to do with why the machines are so bad. Probably Diebold did it in Windows because it seemed relatively cheap and easy (not that Windows itself is the cheapest, but Windows programmers are easy to find). I assume that the ATM market is a heck of a lot larger than the voting system market.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. It's all the issues you've cited today...and a few more.
Perhaps NY will surprise us with a serious audit should scanners prevail.

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-18-10 12:46 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. I think NY's ballot scanners should be used for their intended purpose:
Edited on Sun Jul-18-10 12:52 AM by Bill Bored
Grading standardized tests! :rofl:

Leave the vote counting to the voting machines (levers that is -- the only machines in use today that were designed explicitly for that purpose).
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-15-10 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
3. This seems like the most fraud-prone voting system imaginable (except for Internet Voting)!
"At least with optical scanners, the paper ballots can be counted, like they are in Oregon, the only 100% mail-in paper ballot state."
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Just to clarify, I'm talking about 100% mail-in paper ballot voting. nt
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-15-10 11:47 PM
Response to Original message
4. TIA promotes the use of computerized election.
That's how far he'll go in his quest to climb out of the dustbin of electoral history.

He states: Much more likely, corrupt election officials voided the 110,000 votes by maliciously double-and triple-punching themafter the polls closed.

Maybe so. That points to the reason lever voting came to be. It ENDED opportunity to mess with a paper ballot. Perhaps TIA thinks only punch cards can be manipulated. (Well, punch cards and some of his fans, anyway.)


He says:

At least with optical scanners, the paper ballots can be counted...

And what good will that do if they're compromised as in FL2000 as he just stated, or uncounted like in OH2004?


TIA rightly points out the computerized aggregation of the paper record poll workers generate by reading lever counters. But he seems to forget that's what all systems do. So why not fight computerized aggregation? Instead, he goes after non-computerized voting by advocating for the use of computers that rarely are audited.


TIA never mentions the fact that Oregon votes are cast on paper (that he says can be manipulated) counted on computers, and then aggregated on unverifiable central tabulators (computers).


TIA's intellectual dishonesty is the main point made by the OP.

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 12:50 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. TIA makes the erroneous assumption that central tabulation errors will be corrected by hand counts.
Edited on Fri Jul-16-10 01:22 AM by Bill Bored
Even if such errors were found, election officials will simply default to the election-night count from the poll site, which if not a lever count, will be a computer count.

Stanislevic has proposed defaulting to a hand count, so he and TIA are on the same page there, but NY election officials do what they want, and that's avoiding hand counts at all costs.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
10. Proudly Un-Recommended "voter fraud"???? red herring/straw man
You said "Howard is worried about voter error/fraud by over-voting on optical scanners."
How diverting of you to try to speak for Howard.
Its a way to insert straw men and throw in a few red herrings.

As far as I'm concerned, you owe Howard an apology.

First of all, I've read Howard's writings, many of them, and he isn't worried that there will be
"voter error/fraud by over-voting on optical scanners."

I especially dislike the tacts of agenda pushers who try to attack their opponents by
inserting straw men arguments.

But never mind, I can read what Howard says and basically what he is saying is
that the optical scanners currently do not warn voters of overvotes.

As the Brennan Ctr said, thousands of votes WILL be lost because of this flaw.

The paper ballots won't fix that, because the overvotes will be on the paper ballot,
and even if humans look at the paper ballots, the votes will be invalid because of overvoting.

The bottom line, if there's only one vote allowed in a contest and you mark two, then
neither vote will count.

On lever machines it is not possible to overvote.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
11. Oh I'm too late to unrecommend this thing. Well consider this my unvote
for this.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. TIA's tipping the scale at 2 recommends. About average for his sludge. n/t
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-16-10 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. LOL
you always hit the nail on the head.
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