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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-01-11 06:46 PM
Original message
Experts Shouldn't Be Needed to Call Outcome of Election
Albany Times-Union

Experts Shouldn't Be Needed to Call Outcome of Election

By Howard Stanislevic

January 1, 2011

The Court of Appeals' decision in the state Senate District 7 case was flawed. Important testimony from experts -- including mine -- was never heard in its entirety. But the notion that our vote-counting problems would be solved if only we had full hand recounts of all very close elections is also flawed, and would not protect the interests of New York's candidates and voters.

The unheard expert testimony called for a 90 percent initial hand count of that contest because it was so close, among other reasons. But since machine errors had already been found in a 3 percent hand count, the experts upped their percentage to 100 percent to be certain of the winner. The trial court judge, however, refused to hear that testimony, and no higher court ordered him to consider it.

-snip-

However, in New York, a law to require 100 percent hand counts of contests with a margin of 0.5 percent or less would relegate all contests with margins of just a few votes more -- say, 0.6 percent -- to an inadequate 3 percent hand count. This would provide a huge incentive to stuff the electronic ballot box to increase the computer-generated margin, thereby avoiding the hand count.

-snip-

Standards developed by experts have been proposed repeatedly over the last few years to our one-party Legislature and two-party state Board of Elections. Our public officials were negligent not to enact such standards. They failed the voters of New York and passed the buck to the courts, which also ultimately failed the voters.

If scientific standards cannot be codified into our election law, then we would be far better off returning to our lever voting system -- the only machines that don't require a panel of experts to determine who won an election.

Howard Stanislevic is the founder of the E-Voter Education Project, a N.Y.-based group dedicated to the demystification of electronic voting. He was asked to appear as an expert witness by Sen. Craig Johnson's attorneys and assisted in the preparation of Professor Stark's testimony. His website is: http://e-voter.blogspot.com

http://www.timesunion.com/opinion/article/Experts-shoul...

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Angry Dragon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-01-11 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. Elections for sale
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-01-11 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
2. Hey, I know that newspaper!
And I appreciate this post. Starting this past election, we began using electronic voting machines here in NY for the first time. I was very uncomfortable with it, having used the old lever machines since I was old enough to vote and having heard enough stories about the unreliability of these new machines. I mentioned this to the poll watcher - the one with the "D" on his badge - but all he said was that there were no chads involved. *sigh* Thanks for this information! :thumbsup:
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-02-11 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #2
9. Exit Poll TIA thinks lever machines cause chads! More think HAVA requires their retirement.
There's so much misinfo, let alone disinfo. Near totally ignored is Brian Pfaffenberger's work which explains the history of lever voting and it's genesis, which uncomfortably, was due to paper ballot fraud.

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

Turns out that secret voting with public counting has never had a more fraud resistant method than the old lever machine.

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-02-11 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. He also thinks they cause vote switching. I don't know which is further from the truth. nt
Edited on Sun Jan-02-11 12:47 PM by Bill Bored
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madmax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-02-11 12:00 AM
Response to Original message
3. k&r
:kick:
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-02-11 12:01 AM
Response to Original message
4. recommended
gladly
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-02-11 12:06 AM
Response to Original message
5. REC for higher visibility. nt
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snot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-02-11 12:09 AM
Response to Original message
6. K&R'd
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saras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-02-11 01:08 AM
Response to Original message
7. Utterly silly
What's really pathetic is there are ways of registering and counting the votes that would require gigantic conspiracies to effectively cheat, and would allow the public to watch the vote totals rise as votes come in and are counted, which makes statistical analysis much easier, to the point where problems are literally visible to the public in real-time.

And we waste our time debating the subtleties minor tweaks to horribly, fatally flawed systems instead.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-02-11 01:31 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Looking forward to hearing about even ONE such method that also guarantees a secret ballot. nt
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-06-11 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Crickets.
Edited on Thu Jan-06-11 12:57 AM by Bill Bored
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UnitedVoters Donating Member (51 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-06-11 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Crickets. What else do you expect?
You and one or two other posters have driven everyone to lurking or completely off this board. I'm surprised the crickets are even still around. You've been starting most of the recent threads, and attacking anyone who doesn't agree with you. And 95% of recent threads that aren't Voting News have been about New York and its Quixotic quest to hang on to Direct Recording Mechanical lever machines.

There is a wonderful line, orginated by Ethel Merman in the musical 'Gypsy': "New York is the center of New York."

That is all.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-06-11 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Are you going to answer my question or not?
Edited on Thu Jan-06-11 10:49 PM by Bill Bored
It's amazing that when asked for a plan to verify leverless elections, all you guys can do is crawl out of the woodwork and revert to your lever-bashing position as if that's a cogent response to the question.

I've been doing this far too long to be bullshitted like that. You've got nothin'. Admit it. You don't have a clue how to verify computer-counted election results, do you?

You only know what a few advocates have told you about how it's better to have computers count paper ballots than not count paper ballots.

You've got nothin'! So either come up with the goods or think of a better comeback than "Mechanical DREs." That's a specious analogy if I ever heard one. It shows a complete lack of understanding about the risks inherent in allowing software to handle critical functions such our democratic process.

If you can't explain to me how you're going to verify election results with your computerized voting system, sorry but I'll take a lever voting system that can't switch votes during elections by design.

The reason there are crickets here is because you and some others can't answer the question. So cut the crap and have a nice day.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-11 07:34 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Really?

That's another of your pointless rejoinders. From exit poll debates, to people joining "listservs", to those satisfied since a Dem was elected President, to others who THINK their votes count because they mark paper, I think there's a few reasons one can imagine without "attacking" freedom of speech.

BillBored asked you a relevant question which you are free to answer.

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-11 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Actually I asked Saras the question. United Voters was just putting his or her 2.
I'm not sure either one of them has given any thought to this problem, but I was trying to find out. Wish folks wouldn't get so DEFENSIVE. :shrug:
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