Florida Election software Flips Vote: Losers Certified as Winners
Election officials always say "human error" is to blame, not computers. But Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher refuses to be silent about her concerns for elections including the upcoming presidential election. Bucher said: You know the first thing that they tell you is youre going to scare the voters, Bucher said. Well you know what
were scared too.
Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher is scared because her office discovered, and then proved, that a software error flipped vote totals between candidates, assigning losing candidate's the vote totals of the winning candidate. See http://miami.cbslocal.com/2012/10/09/cbs4-investigates-palm-beach-countys-2012-ballot-debacle/ Winners of at least two local races from March had previously been announced and certified, but had to be reversed because of the software problem.
Bucher is concerned that many problems will not be detected by the required audits, and that the presidential election could be affected. Id.
The company didnt own up to it real quickly and neither did the state. And we had to prove that it was a software error and we did so.
Bucher said its time to hold Florida accountable the State of Florida tests and certifies the voting machines for the state. Florida is one of just a handful of states that opted out of the federal program that certifies voting machines deciding to do it on its own. Bucher said she is not confident in the system and would love to change the system she uses. She also said that the pickings are slim when it comes to finding a better choice.
What were finding out, is that there are problems with almost every system in the United States, said Bucher. Id.
Supervisor of Elections Bucher was also recently in the national news for being one of ten counties to discover apparently fraudulent voter registration forms (many filled out with similar handwriting) that had been submitted by the Florida' GOP's GOTV effort. Many of these registration forms, as outlined by the LA Times, were "slamming" - changing voters' addresses or party registration and other details without their knowledge (creating problems for these voters at the polls, and likely disfranchising them in a way that escapes exit poll detection).
Many on DU have known that audits don't catch all errors, and in any case arrive too late (the elections with the wrong winner certified were way back in March of this year, and just announced in the media locally in Florida yesterday). Bush v. Gore helps ensure that the clock will run out of time (in the Supreme Court's view) to conduct hand recounts because they must be done statewide and are interrupted by legal challenges. As a practical matter, the vote counts must be done right the first time, and software is a totally unreliable way to do this.
What's news here is that a prominent elections official is admitting what has been known by activists for a long time, and further admitting that she's scared, and not wanting to hide the truth from voters.
...but it wasn't.
If Romney wins and we see that the machines were hacked again, though - we'll just roll over and play dead, like we did when the SCOTUS stole our vote in 2000.
And most people don't think "Ban The GOP" is right when he posts here - or others (me) who question the criminality of the Cons either? Sheesh, sheeplets!
I think I'll blog about this tomorrow.
These machines are well documented to fail, either by intention or mistake. Both happen easily. Americans would not trust ATM's with this type of track record. We all have virus protection software on our own computers and we know how often problems happen anyway. Voting is the fundamental basis of our democracy. There is no excuse to play Russian Roulette with it, unless those security flaws are being protected for a reason.
I thought it would be impossible to do worse than Ashcroft or Gonzales.
I was wrong.
Violation of civil rights, fraud, tampering with an election, conspiracy to commit fraud?
Those kids are at the ripe age for fairness and can handle the math. I think it would instill a sense of patriotic duty and provide lessons about the value of voting.
It would be one we should take seriously. They cannot be corrupted by money or positions and will count them as they see them.
anymore than selling cookies or sport tickets or Christmas cards or chocolate candy for school trips. Agree, yes?
I've been putting the idea out there for about 4 years now and can't seem to get any traction with it but I always get that's a great idea
It's not like they could change the machines before the elections, nor would many want to for some reason, but getting the word out in sufficient force could make it a lot harder for them to steal because they would be watched.
Say the people rose up and demanded fair elections. Is there anyway immediate way to do it? I mean in lieu of changing machines? (no time) Like ordering election watchers or something like that.
If this is machine error, the vote switch should be approximately the same for Republican votes switched to Democratic, and vice-versa. If this is fraud, the preponderance of vote switching will favor Republicans. which is it?
So many of us who live in Florida have been suspcious of this for years & years. My family & I have voted by absentee since 2000, but now I hear THIS could be a problem.
Why should Repukes worry about polls when machines can do the job for them???
The software does the job it was programmed (by scumbag Republicans) to do.
Thats why those mofos don't want anybody to audit their vote counting source code.
It's beyond any possible doubt that such behavior is DELIBERATE. Errors manifest themselves in failures ... crashes, et. al. For software to SUCCESSFULLY accomplish a negative result, it MUST be designed to do so!!
The trouble is, so many Americans see computers as some sort of magical box, some sort of high-tech sorcery far beyond their comprehension. They don't know how it works, and they honestly believe they can't how how it works.
I blame at least some of this on TV and Film, and the way computers are portrayed as 21st century magic wands, basically.
It goes beyond the irrefutable fact that a "SUCCESSFUL" completion of a negative result is a matter of design and NOT some 'error.' It goes into the actual mental processes (logic and approach) of software design where the design approach itself is layered (akin to flesh on muscle on tendons on skeleton, as a paradigm) -- with the MOST uncompromising "must have" elements (e.g. reconcilable tallies) are so embedded in the coding approach that any change to those elements would necessitate the MOST extensive overhaul to the code (e.g. endoskeletal vs. exoskeletal, in the same paradigm). One might "theoretically" pose a design approach that would allow such a switch of results at the periphery of the code's logic but the ONLY rationale for any such design approach would betray, in itself, a fraudulent intent.
It's just inconceivable, for any experienced programmer, that such behavior could result from a mere "bug."
http://www.bradblog.com/?p=9224 (including the hyperlinks to original sources)
They're actually ADMITTING that they can force a fraudulent result by a stealthy combination of ballot geometry and a defined ballot scan that INTENTIONALLY switches scanned vote assignment.
Just as I said: It's deliberate.
Thanks for the explanation you've provided here.
it could happen any time, any place. And in some cases it could never be detected,
depending on how diligent and unbiased the local election officials are.
Kicking ... this is important news.
Every damn one, whether you want it or not. Every voter should be given a voting receipt with a serial number and the machine should keep a rolling contiguous paper trail with the same serial numbers. I can make software provide any result you want! The machines can be hacked for under $100 in parts from Radio Shack, less if you don't use wireless.
The "It's too expensive to add a paper trail" argument is bullshit. Hell, I programmed POS machines 30 years years ago that cost about $200 each. The damn machines cost a shitload more than that and another $200/machine (less now because of EOS) wouldn't amount to anything significant. ES&S (Diebold spin off) already makes a fortune off of the things.
We don't have a concept of a "recount" if you just ask the machine for the same answer it gave you the first time, legitimate or not. That's not a recount. That's confirmation of manipulation with no way to verify the actual ballots.
This voting machine crap is the biggest unknown factor but no politician wants to talk about it.
The "receipt" is NOT evidence of a voter's intention. It's merely something the machine printed. I strongly prefer OCR or mark-sense ballots where the ballot itself is completed by the voter and *IS* evidence of the voter's intention. Fuck the bullshit about "hanging chads" and the claim that such ballots don't adequately represent the voter's intention. The FACT is that NO TABULATION FRAUD could possibly be perpetrated within the "noise" error of such ballots. (Florida 2000 wasn't ... it took a lot more than that.)
One of the virtues of OCR/Mark-Sense is that the scanning process itself serves as an error check and give the voter the chance to correct the ballot ... eliminating any of the alleged ambiguity crap.
... you would be able to call "bullshit" on the spot. For a recount, the scrolling paper roll would provide a means to do it. Many OCR ballots are rejected for "coloring outside the lines". If they're going to use electronic voting, they need to make it accountable and reconcilable.
paper receipts, once removed from the polling place are worthless. The problem IS the electronic voting machines themselves. There are too many ways to get the output you desire.
Proprietary software. Proprietary firmware. Windows based software. Republican manufactures of these proprietary machines, on the record for having Republicans elected. Anyone see a problem here?
Get rid of the machines. Anything else is just diddling with the symptoms and fixing nothing.
But even optical scanners have problems. Granted, there is a piece of paper that can be used for a hand recount, but the way things work now, the election is called as soon as Hawaii closes its polls and the "winner" gets a call concession call within the hour. Recounts just turn into a huge mess. I think there should be a mandatory two-week cool-off period before the election is officially called, and longer if there's a challenge in that time. We put up with two years of campaigning ahead of the election. I'm sure we can handle two weeks afterward. Speaking of which, "are we there yet?"
needed n order to have a trustworthy election, like full transparency, precinct counts, etc (Boss Tweed can easily "count" paper ballots by hand in a smoke filled back room).
All a voting system, like paper ballots hand counted, can do for us is create evidence and the solid potential for a fair election. The very fact that people sometimes tell stories about fraud with hand counted paper ballots is actually encouraging because that means the voting system in the from of HCPB did its job of creating evidence of the fraud - which is why people are talking about it. In contrast, computerized systems create no evidence and when indirect evidence is marshalled it is attacked as "conspiracy theory".
Why do we need to know the winner by the 10 O'clock news teaser at 10 on election day? Accuracy needs to be more important than speed.
If there is TOO MUCH of a delay in announcing vote totals, the longer this goes on the more there is the inference that something improper is going on (e.g. after 24 hours or more this inference would start to gain traction). As soon as ballots leave the polling place, actual and potential chain of custody issues start to arise.
So, there are issues and problems both with doing things too FAST (and with enough speed or the perceived need for speed, the human eye can't follow even though it is visible, which is the key to sleight of hand magic tricks and some frauds) and with things going too slowly. Hand counting paper ballots in the precincts themselves provides the perfect combination of not too fast and not too slow, as well as transparency and visibility, allowing any reasonable number of folks and volunteers to participate or be watchdogs.
No concession speeches, no official declaration of the winner. Nothing. We spend two years dealing with the run-up and 2 seconds waiting for the Tuesday night results. We can wait 2 weeks afterward for the official result, and that gives enough time for challenges to the results. And fuck the electoral college. It had it's purpose - emphasis on "had". Popular vote is all that should matter now. I know we're technically a "Democratic Republic", but I think it's time to change things so we become a true "Democracy".
here in Canada where everything is paper ballots that are hand counted, do we know our results extremely quickly (almost always the same night by 10)? Population is no excuse - just have more people counting and reporting the results representative of each electoral area.
I do know you have 'more' things to vote on, but for the main ticket, which is the one most want to know immediately THAT NIGHT, why can't they have a separate paper ballot that is hand counted? There is only ONE answer in my mind - they know they can manipulate the results.
results of our elections.
Then, after that, this obvious problem is shelved for four years. Here we are, less than a month away from the elections, we are outraged AGAIN.
How do we make the sheeple just fix this fraud, once and for all? IMO,verifiable hand counting is the best answer. At the very least, a paper trail should be mandatory.
Unfortunately, we will be bitching about unverifiable elections again in four more years.
I imagine the elites get a big kick over this at every election. They produce the GOP favored machines and the "proprietary software."
Needs to be out in front of everyone's eyes and investigated before we wind up with a disaster.
are the ones who don't consider electronic voting to be a serious issue.
Florida is one of just a handful of states that opted out of the federal program that certifies voting machines deciding to do it on its own.
for a federal election?
You'd think that Federal concerns outweigh States in this instance. Allowing individual States to certify and monitor machines when the results can affect the entire nation is foolhardy.
I agree with you that it is a Federal concern when those machines help decide a Federal election.
"Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress:"
The federal government is not Constitutionally able to specifically direct how states conduct their elections.
feds control federal elections, and all states presently hold state elections at the same time and don't want the expense of separate state elections under different rules, so whatever feds specific for federal elections ends up being the state standard too. (this is why HAVA providing for computers for federal elections effectively dictates the same for state elections)
There is a constitutional provision providing that states may select electors by the method of their choosing and all states have chosen election as the method since shortly after the Civil War. But as even Bush v. Gore states, once states do choose elections as the method, then the federally protected right to vote attaches to the presidential race just as it already does to all other races. The only reason Bush v. Gore mentions that there is not (necessarily) a right to vote for president is because of the fact that states theoretically could, via their legislatures, appoint electors in which case there would be no right to vote for President in that particular state because election was not chosen by the legislature as the method for choosing electors.
But the mechanics of the ballot remain up to the states, so long as all other conditions are satisfied.
This will be the dirtiest election in American history. What Bush and Cheney did to Gore will be nothing compared to what psycho Romney will do.
for voting issues like this. He is my 'go-to' guy on this stuff. He's been blogging about this for years!
Why can't we hand count votes - like the good old days? It can be just as fast and accurate.
I know he appears on Current TV, but he should be on every "news" show every night.
He was on RT the other day. This specialty of his isn't respected because he's a "blogger." The way I see it is if the journalists aren't doing their job, then bloggers must and should get the respect instead.
according to the article, the vote flipping was on optical scanner machines. just because people vote on paper doesn't mean these machines are counting them correctly. we need better auditing procedures, or straight hand counts.
the audits, having the huge advantage of knowing the type and scope of audits, because they are published as they must be as legal requirements...
The only audit that could really work would have to be completely extensive, right in polling place on election night for the most part, and it would be more administratively burdensome than hand counted paper ballots.
Audits as actually practiced are too limited and usually not completed before the election is certified and thus over. The DOJ itself states that investigating computerized election crimes will take six months from start to actual indictment. This is a reasonable time frame for computer forensics, but totally unacceptable for the extremely short statutes of limitation on filing election contests to change an election result or get a new election. Therefore, audits of computerized systems not only don't work, they can't work. They are worth doing only in the sense of raising consciousness as to the extent of the problems in the system, but only so long as they are not used or advertised in such a way as to generate false confidence in the results of computerized secret vote counting, which is inherently and irretrievably unreliable.
Yes I agree with your assessment of audits, but I still believe that improved audits could help the situation tremendously. While we would like to ditch the machines altogether, experience shows there is a lot of resistance to this idea, and improving the audits is a much more feasible step in the right direction.
Our election integrity advocacy group here in Vermont is setting a goal to get our state to follow the recommendations in this document:
Principles and Best Practicies for Election Audits
Here is the summary:
1. TRANSPARENCY: Elections belong to the public. The public must
be allowed to observe, verify, and point out procedural problems in
all phases of the audit without interfering with the process.
2. INDEPENDENCE: The authority and regulation of post-election audits should
be independent of officials who conduct the elections. The actual work of postelection audits may be best performed by the officials who conduct the elections.
3. PAPER RECORDS: Ideally, post-election audits use hand-to-eye counts of
voter-marked, voter-verified paper ballots. Where such paper ballots are not
available, other forms of voter-verifiable paper records should be used.
4. CHAIN OF CUSTODY & BALLOT ACCOUNTING: Robust ballot
accounting and secure chain of custody of election materials and
equipment are prerequisites for effective post-election audits.
5. RISK-LIMITING AUDITS: Post-election audits reduce the risk of confirming
an incorrect outcome. Audits designed explicitly to limit such risk (risklimiting audits) have advantages over fixed-percentage or tiered audits, which
often count fewer or more ballots than necessary to confirm the outcome.
6. ADDRESSING DISCREPANCIES and CONTINUING THE AUDIT: When discrepancies
are found, additional counting and/or other investigation may be necessary to
determine the election outcome or to find the cause of the discrepancies.
7. COMPREHENSIVE: All jurisdictions and all ballot types, including absentee, mailin and accepted provisional ballots, should be subject to the selection process.
8. ADDITIONAL TARGETED SAMPLES: Including a limited number of additional
targeted samples of ballots can increase audit effectiveness and public
confidence. Such samples may be selected by candidates, issue committees,
parties, election administrators, or others as provided by regulation.
9. BINDING ON OFFICIAL RESULTS: Post-election audits must be
completed prior to finalizing official election results and must either
verify the outcome or, through a 100% recount, correct the outcome.
Out of the 9 recommendations, we determined our state is following only 3. I believe if we comply with all 9, we'd be a lot better off.
If you were to call what you are doing INVESTIGATING, I'd be all for it. Then, after your investigation (limited as it is and probably always will be with computerized systems) you clean report the positives and negatives that resulted, and indicate clearly how the scope of your investigation (formerly called an "audit" was limited and those data outside your view or no longer available could well be as corrupted as anything ever seen. Such would be a useful investigation.
However, whenever somebody calls something an "audit" it intrinsically and unavoidably suggests to every reader that passing the "audit" means the election was free and fair, etc. And that's just a false, overreaching statement. The last thing anybody should do is inspire false-confidence but this happens unavoidably by using the concept of an "audit".
If the IRS only "audited" 1 or 2% of your tax deductions, would you consider that to be an "IRS audit" or would a tax cheat laugh themselves silly realizing that 98 or 99% of their erroneous and illegal deductions would not get caught? It's a simple matter to do the math and randomly bury a certain number of fraudulent precincts necessary to steal, say, 2% of the vote, and then see what the odds are that a 1% random audit of precincts will actually uncover any of the fraudulent precincts. ??
This is why Palm Beach County elections supervisor Susan Bucher is so sure that other errors exist that were NOT caught. The Florida 2% audit is going to miss many errors and fraudulent elections, even in those fraction of cases where this type of audit is fully CAPABLE of catching the error (there are other kinds of frauds that this kind of audit will never catch and indeed it is not designed to catch them)
The above can be summed up in part by saying there are huge issues with the SCOPE of any audit (as well as the TIMELINESS of any audit), especially in light of the over-reassurance and false confidence suggested by the term "audit" itself. Ultimately, no election is truly "auditable" because of the secret ballot - it denies the ability to connect a ballot to a voter and go back to the source of the information (the voter herself) and verify that the ballot correctly reflects the voter's intent and has not changed.
To make an analogy to a truer and better audit - the IRS audit - it would be like the IRS being unable to require the production of original sources of information (receipts for deductions) and then concluding at the end of such an IRS "Audit" that if one somehow passed the audit that all deductions were somehow legit! Without being able to go back to the voter or the receipt, no true audit is possible under any formula one might devise.
the sad truth is, if our goal is to get rid of the machines it just aint going to happen any time soon in vermont.
the next best thing, in my mind, is to vastly improve the audits. I believe there are good audits and bad audits.
Currently we have bad audits. we only follow 3 of the 9 recommendations. there's a huge array of ways that fraud or glitches would not be identified under the current system.
If we improve the audits and follow all 9 recommendations, we can vastly improve the chances that fraud or error would be found. For example, with risk-limiting audits, larger samples are taken under circumstances that require such. So the lame 2% rule would be improved. Also, the recommendation is that ALL races are audited, not just some. AND, another of the recommendations is that the audit MUST be conducted before the election results are certified.
So I believe if we follow all 9 of those recommendations, we'll be MUCH better off than we are now, and we'd have a MUCH better chance of detecting fraud or error.
and since we have a zero chance of getting rid of the machines, it is a much better way of spending our efforts, to improve the audits, than to flatly say just get rid of the machines.
that's where we're at anyway,,,, up here in Vermont.
As stated in another reply in this thread, if you called them investigations and clearly indicated at all times how their scope is being limited (therefore limiting the utility of the investigation) then in general more info would be a better situation in terms of learning and exposing things.
But as soon as the word "audit" is used, the core meaning of the word audit suggests a stamp of approval so long as the audit doesn't specifically result in a "failure" finding. Because auditing methods are known by potential cheaters in advance, it is relatively a simple matter to cheat in a way that either can't be detected by the particular "audit" method, or else is unlikely to be detected.
People get worked up about what has been obvious all along, namely that it's impossible to have a democracy when the vote is counted in total secrecy without verification, sometimes without even the possibility of verification. There are always a good number of obvious problems with the machines, though it's never possible to know for sure since it's either practically impossible to get an audit or recount or it's not possible at all (all touch-screen voting w/ no paper). A few bold people suggest we should have "hand-counted paper ballots," but they don't speak very loud for fear of being noticed too much.
Then, two weeks after the vote, everybody forgets about it and goes back to business as usual. Essentially nobody gives a damn anymore. There are always a dozen other essential issues to be concerned about: the environment, the economy, corruption in high places, social security, medicare, etc.
Who is it that deals with all the problems? The people elected by a flawed election system, in which nobody can be sure that those elected were actually the winners.
vote properly. More people need to be involved. I have tried to get involved with my local party on this, but they seem like an old club and kind of clueless.
with all electronic system, there is no way to go back and know what the actual vote was. It is madness.
this is not new down here. No one seems to care.
The election supervisors are usually repubs, so when I saw a machine flipping I was forcefully asked to leave the area. Later I got an email from the ES threatening me. The machine in question was taken offline, "reset", and put back in service. I wanted the machine impounded and held as evidence before someone erased the evidence.
Sarasota had a court case over the DRE's. There was a congressional hearing where a programmer from FL testified that he was paid to write code to hack the machines.
A number of groups of folks have been complaining about the DRE's changing elections for almost a decade now. I don't see any national media or serious legal action on the topic.
And if all else fails, they'll just kill people.
The only thing I can think of to fully stop GOP election fraud is to use RICO and put the people who are conspiring for election fraud in prison. Eric Holder, are you listening?
I don't know of a more ineffectual AG, and at such a critical time to boot.
Thanks for the link, btw-- interesting and jarring. We have such a long ugly history.
an outdated list is here:
We will have it revealed that the Republicans are only about 25% of the population.
Think about it.
Half the country doesn't vote so elections are decided by the other half. 25% Republican that mostly votes absentee so they're not having to mix with the masses and stand at the long lines at the polls and 25% Democrats who just LOVE to show up for that community participation group hug.
When the half that doesn't vote actually does have a fraction that shows up it favors Democrats.
I create more than one way to do the calculation. And if the multiple calculations don't match then there is a problem.
I also use other duplicate methods to scrutinize calculations.
Our Prime Minister is a flaming neocon.
We are waiting for him to show his true US Republican style side - but even he knows that a true majority of Canadians have no appetite for his true character and policies.
IMHO, I believe he'd be very similar to Romney if he actually told the truth.
But my voting machine goves me nothing.......no recount is possible......all they can do is run a report........
by two republican bush appointees, and 2 empty chairs. google EAC commissioners.
This is our "federal guarantee" of honest elections.
google FEC, and you will likewise see NO commissioners appointed. empty chairs.
Obama never bothered to replace Bush's appointees, because of course it's all about get out the vote, and win one election.
the integrity of the election process? That's just how we create democracy. i.e. of no importance.
pls don't bother responding that we have a republican congress. The day Obama was elected he had the full support of the entire country.
This should have been done within the very first week.
...the name of the vendor whose machines are in question, but if it's the one that Diebold morphed into you can bet it's rigged. They first 'field-tested' their ability to 'flip' votes with their electronic voting machines back in '02 when they got both Max Cleland and our Democratic Governor Roy Barnes. Both had comfortable leads going into voting day only to see a 10-15 point swing from the pre-vote polls and the 'recorded' vote. Insider info later revealed that it was an 'open' secret that Diebold management, who later vowed to get Bush reflected in '04, had had a last-minute 'patch' installed that later was reported to have an internal - to Diebold - label of 'Rob Georgia'. One of the problems with exposing this election theft, even though Diebold changed the name of their voting machine arm to avoid the rub off of any potential bad publicity to the parent company - or vice-versa - was that Georgia's Secretary of State, a Zell Miller protege and (true) Blue Dog Dem, Kathy Cox, had overseen the commitment to Diebold, and never would admit that she had been responsible for handing the state over to Republicans...then again, maybe Zell had already 'gone rogue'. Plus she had turned the administration on the roll-out and oversight of the machines to Diebold staffers - save a couple on her regular staff that soon after took jobs with Diebold - can you say 'hush-money job'?
Face it folks, Republicans and their corporate handlers will do and say anything to win...and we're too wimpy to stand up to em.
Yeah, right. That software did exactly what its developer intended it to do.
When I vote, give me a receipt with a unique number on it. Post all votes on a website by precinct in order of these unique numbers. I can verify my vote online that night (if electronic voting). Precinct workers can verify the total number of votes for the precinct. BAM! Voter verification. That is transparency and it's simple as fuck. Why can't this be done? I'll tell you why. You can't steal elections when you do this. That's why.
I've got no problem with it in theory, except that it would then lead to vote-selling and bosses or religious leaders or family patriarchs demanding proof from their underlings.
Besides, how would this allow challenges? If you discovered that your vote was flipped, what would you do? "Hey, this says I voted for X but I voted for Y!" How would you prove that the mistake was not your own? What would prevent a few unscrupulous partisans from intentionally voting the wrong way, claiming their vote had been flipped and the election was fixed? (A handful with a lot of media wouldn't affect a result but could cause a lot of bad will.)
Also, if the election is close enough (which the big ones usually are, by design of the media and other factors), how would this verify anything? Why couldn't the software correctly show YOU how you voted but still produce a false vote count? I suppose everyone would have to literally verify their vote online (infeasible) to produce a second total online that checks the total counted at the polling stations.
I can't see that there is a simple solution. Paper should be the way, no matter what.
...found my vote was flipped, not much could be done. If a million people saw their vote flipped, we're on the streets the next morning.
Observing vote flips on a screen was the second most common complaint in the 2004 presidential. I don't have the data handy for 2008. But the key here is that many voters miss the flip and thus don't complain, while those that catch it nearly always are congratulating themselves for doing so and thinking little is wrong, and even in those instances where this is not true, election officials can always argue that there's "no harm no foul" because the voter caught the error or fraud....
Like maybe some sledgehammer therapy.
Could they have picked a more interesting name?
I guess they could have opted for "You Vote, We Decide" or "All Your Votes Belong to Us."
In May 2010, Dominion acquired Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold Election Systems) from Election Systems & Software (ES&S). ES&S had just acquired PES from Diebold and was required to sell off PES by the United States Department of Justice for anti-trust concerns.
In June 2010, Dominion acquired Sequoia Voting Systems. The two acquisitions expanded Dominion significantly. With the acquisitions the company moved its headquarters to Denver.
Also interesting that they are pushing to sell Palm Beach a new system "that Dominion says will make such errors less likely." Note I had to read umpteen paragraphs in a story in which Dominion blamed the issues on the election department to get to that tidbit.
Thanks for keeping on this, Land Shark.
Thanks for the info on the 'vendor'. I'd still like to know whatever happened to Triad.
These outfits keep changing their names, like they're a telecom company trying to dodge bad publicity and outraged customers' complaints. Or like Sproul, or like Erik Prince's business. Or like Accenture.
before they sold it off to Dominion. this means they had full access to the code for that period of time. they could have planted back doors, time bombs, who knows. I would bet at the very least they made a copy for future reference.
And why every one of those fucking machines should be landfill.
"Give me a decent laptop, a cable and cell phone, put me with 200 yards of one of those machines, and I'll make it give whatever election result you want me to."
He does stuff for DARPA, and has been doing so for a long time. He knows his stuff. He is also my brother. He doesn't brag or exaggerate (or tell me 99% of what he DOES do for his job).
Like I said, he isn't allowed to talk in detail about 99% of what he does. He did say that they were manipulable from an exterior location, and wouldn't elaborate. I probably wouldn't have understood what he said even if he had explained it to me. He knows how to do some very science-fiction-type stuff, though.
For example, a blog on the Wall Street Journal site argues the whole state of Virginia is vulnerable due to these wireless ports INEXPLICABLY on the machines. http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2012/09/26/virginia-voting-machines-have-vulnerability-to-wireless-sabotage/
But in addition to that my understanding is that there are advanced ways even without a formal wireless port that may involve exploiting the hardware instead of the software (which hardware has its own 'soft' ware). Sometimes machines are daisy chained into a network....
if Virginia, Florida and Ohio go for Obama by 99%. That would do it.
Hiya, Land Shark, good to see you here.
even the mouth breathing right wingers I work with won't admit to voting for him.
This most technologically advanced country on earth, which invented and ushered the third industrial revolution with information & communication technology, with companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, Intel, Dell, HP, Cisco,... can't even make a voting machine right.
Nothing sadder than the way Government, Fed, state, local send out request for proposal or bid, and end up acquiring the worst possible products at ridiculous price.
Then, there is vote cheating, election stealing.
and look what happened at home.
Who knew it could be happen in the USA too.
I am quite sure they're built very accurately to very detailed specifications. The lack of oversight of just what those specifications are, abd why they are that way is lacking.
I just sent out my absentee ballot today in Miami. I can only pray that the damn thing is counted, properly. Some things never change.
that ignoring this threat was the biggest error of the Obama administration. Even if this doesn't end with a mitten WH, it will lead to confusion and distrust beginning the day after the election. I foresee the administration issuing a "But how could we have known" press release by January.
Too many naval gazers and self-congratulating egos around the WH to look out the window and see what is going on.
Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Article here: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/ballot-snafu-draws-fears-of-voter-confusion-in-cou/nSYmj/
From the article:
To the dismay of three Florida Supreme Court justices who have been targeted for defeat by conservative groups, at least 60,000 absentee voters in Palm Beach County may have difficulty finding the judges' names on the November ballot.
While the error appears to be a far cry from the infamous 2000 butterfly ballot that spurred people to vote for a different presidential candidate than they intended, the effects could be equally severe, said an attorney for the justices who also represented George W. Bush in the countys 12-year-old election debacle.
Bucher blamed an Arizona printing company for the error that occurred on the first batch of absentee ballots that were mailed out Oct. 2. Unlike the dozens of other offices and referendum questions on the ballot, there is no heading on the section where voters can decide whether Justices Barbara Pariente, Peggy Quince and R. Fred Lewis deserve another six years on the high court.
While voters are alerted elsewhere on the ballot, for instance, that they are voting for a county commissioner or a state senator, there is nothing to indicate that in this section they are being asked to vote for a Supreme Court justice. The same problem exists for the two judges seeking reappointment to the 4th District Court of Appeal.
could easily change the election for the entire country. Remember 2000? PBC always goes comfortably Democratic, so more than 50% of those ballots are Democratic. Susan Bucher said these 60,000 ballots will be rejected as unreadable. This could cause a 1 or 2 thousand vote increase (or more) for Republican candidates county and statewide. This is scary stuff. Susan Bucher is becoming my hero for rooting this stuff out. But I know what's going to happen to her when she comes up for reelection - everything will get blamed on her.
I guess PBC is a target because it is one of the most populous Democratic counties in Florida and even the Country.
As a resident of PBC I'm getting sick of this "targeting."
I'm so afraid the ReThugs are going to steal this election...AGAIN! I can't fathom the thoughts of a ReThug president and what will happen to this country, the middle class, our students and women! Perish the thought! God help us.
Just thought of something. President Obama and others should end their campaign speeches with God Help America... instead of God Bless America.
Well maybe...God Help America and of God Bless America.
Here is my OP about this:
Considering the timing, and knowing that the issue is huge but swept under the rug all this time, it could be that Obama's people have finally found an angle they can use to expose the problem and beat Rove at his game.
or put an injunction against the state certifying elections.
This is not just a problem in Florida.
And it would be nice if the courts would step in. But so far all the judges have said was that no one could study the code.
to send this to Rachel Maddow or Ed Schultz? I went to the NBC website and they want me to sign up for a hotmail account which I don't want to do. This story needs to be picked up immediately by SOMEONE in the MSM. I figure MSNBC is our best bet because CNN sure as hell isn't going to do it.
Voting machines do not produce anything that can be hand counted right away. If they were designed to do so, then the voting machine would be reduced to a glorified pen filling out the ballot FOR YOU. Since people's eyes when scanning tend to see what they think SHOULD be there rather than what IS THERE (which is why we all can miss typos and misspellings often-times) the idea of computerized ballot-printers is an exceedingly expensive idea to accomplish very little (just filling out a ballot for someone) and in the end, to the extent to which voters then "approve" the misprinted ballots by casting them, creates a form of fraud that CAN NOT BE OVERCOME because the voter's ballot is the only evidence ever allowed of what the voter's intent was in casting the ballot.
Bottom line is that there's no way for computers to work in this particular area of democracy: filling out/casting ballots. Computers are great for publishing election information and results (on websites) and for many other things. But they are not suitable or democracy-friendly for either filling out ballots or counting them.
but audit trails are imperative. Campaign reforms is direly needed as well, everyone should be on the same level as far as financing and it should never come from any interest that a human being could be beholding to, under any circumstances.
We KNOW this, but we are NOT represented, we are in the oligarchy that cares not about us...not one little bit.
that's the office that determines who, and how, will your vote be counted.
Like why would it matter if one pays attention to who is elected when the election would already be rigged for such election.
Not saying that is the case, it was just a cynical mathematical calculation that i was thinking out loud.
we've been through two *democratic* Secretaries of State here in Vermont, both of whom just want to use more voting machines and have no idea about this kind of stuff. it's been a real disappointment.
working as a pollster for over 15 years now and witnessing the changes over time she was solely the prime reason we shifted away from the touchscreen fiasco.
it matters, find one who puts that as their primary issue and get them in.
bottom line is, what exactly are the audit procedures in CA? Don't you still have DREs there? Is it that much better than before she became SoS?
Example of someone who should know better. But then, a prior SOS experienced severe attacks for going after Diebold, but if Bowen is under that kind of pressure she should blow the whistle to the public.
we've had 100% paper ballots here in Vermont for 10 years. the are counted by diebold scanners. no one ever looks at the paper ballots. just computer counting. even the recounts are on the scanners. no better than DREs really.
been a while to get back with you...
DREs are for disabled voters who choose not to a) vote early at a registrar office, b) vote absentee (w/ assistance if necessary), c) vote at the precinct w/ assistance. They are for disabled voters who have a visual, or missing limb based disability that would be better accommodated through the use of a DRE.
we are supplied with DRE machine knowledge how to a) enlarge the DRE text for those with visual issues, b) provide headphones/mic for the blind, c) a cotton swab for those missing both arms so that they may press the buttons with the cotton swab in their mouth. Considering several locales already show up to the deaf or blind schools and work with the community there we just about never have anyone disabled come in to use these DRE machines in other precincts.
others may deliberately choose to vote on the DRE for the disabled, and we try to get at least a handful to use it to make sure the machine works, but almost no one wants to use it and generally they sit there abandoned. the highest i've seen since SoS Bowen would be 8 voters, and that was from the earliest switch when people thought they had to. DREs are all but ornamental here in my county.
about our Sec of State:
she helped clarify early voting process at vote registrar's office, switched to paper ballots (with a ballot reader), simplified the provisional ballot system, and help give defined guidelines for county precincts to structure their systems to a tighter standard.
it is sooooo much better than before it's like night and day.
it's about as fast as the previous punch ballot system, except there's now far more failsafe checks before material is handed in to a precinct captain. DREs were an absolute nightmare, showing switched votes, lost votes, etc. also voting rosters have been cleaned up considerably under her: instead of having the back sheets to record voter location changes, deaths, errors, etc. been in high use before -- or full to the brim during the Ahh-nold years, they are rarely an issue as most things are cleared up beforehand.
and the audit procedures are readily available on sec of state ca.gov website, IIRC. don't know it offhand, but there has been several changes on recounts and contesting votes. overall far smoother as there's actual attention being placed on this process again.
seriously, change your Sec of State to one who puts voting at the forefront. it means everything.
a few questions about this:
1) what kind of machines were they using?
2) did an audit find the error?
3) what kind of audits do they do there?
They use Sequoia (now owned by dominion) optical scan systems. http://www.bradblog.com/?p=9221 And the required audit is a mere 2% random spot-check. Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher is pretty sure there are other errors that were never caught. http://www.bradblog.com/?p=9224 Details on exactly what went wrong are on the 9224 link just posted. They include some partial admissions and the usual vendor dodging like:
"On March 23rd, Waldeep Singh, the Vice President of Dominion Voting, the Canadian-based firm which now oversees and services Sequoia Voting Systems' hardware and software, issued a statement on behalf of the company [PDF] taking responsibility for the failure. He chalked up the failure to "a mismatch between the software which generates the paper ballots and the central tally system."
... the company was singing a very different tune in a separate statement [PDF] sent directly to the Florida Secretary of State.
"It is clear that the mismatch was not the result of a 'bug' that generated this anomaly," the letter from Dominion President John Poulos to Sec. of State Ken Detzner reads. Poulos says that the software used to create ballot definitions and process results "acted as designed and, as such, it is our opinion that this is not an issue that could have been revealed during state certification testing."
The company concedes, however, "that a shortcoming in the user interface of WinEDS 3.1 makes identifying and recovering from such an event more difficult than it could be.""
here in vermont we're using Diebold Accuvote scanners.
If I got this right.... Diebold changed its name to Premier, which was purchased by ESS and then sold to Dominion..... so we are essentially using the same company up here in Vermont?? Even though our machine says Diebold on it, it's the same company. If so, this will help my discussion with our SoS up here.
50+% Dominion Voting Systems (Diebold/Premier ASSETS purchased, Sequoia ASSETS AND CUSTOMER contracts purchased)
up to 40% ES&S
up to 10% Hart Intercivic
This is rough, but ballpark. I'm going to try to get more accurate figures.
ES&S was sued by the DOJ on antitrust grounds and this is how DOminion got Diebold/Premier assets (though not the customer contracts, many of whom migrated to ES&S during the pendency of the DOJ antitrust lawsuit against ES&S anyway) Funny that so far Dominion's domination of the market hasn't been hit by an antitrust action that I know of.
on edit: see http://www.bradblog.com/?p=7906 for more information along the above lines
had access to all the code?
don't you think they would have made a reference copy of it?
if they did, they would surely be able to inspect it for back doors and other things to exploit, even after they sold off the assets.
in other words, even though they don't own/maintain all of them, ESS has inside knowledge of and some access to ~90% of the voting machines used in the coming election.
if there was a printer output coming off the voting machine. There would be two receipt printers connected to the output...each receiving the exact same signal.
One receipt would be provided for the voter to verify his selection. The other receipt would be stored in a sealed box.
One percent of the state's polling machines would then be spot-audited against the receipts in the lockbox.
If there are failures, then the paper ballot receipts in all lockboxes become the official vote.
Such a system does not detect even the traditional stuffed ballot box. There are no voters to "check" the stuffed ballots and say they are wrong, and the printouts match the lockbox and totals. All they have to do is put some fake signatures on the polling book (assuming they even check that) so that the number of voters equals the number of ballots)
If one checks upthread, I've tried to show briefly why not only do current auditing systems not work, but no auditing system CAN work. One of the main reasons for this is that a TRUE audit (like the IRS might do) involves checking a filing like a tax return or a ballot against the original sources of information like receipts or the voter him or herself. But, due to the privacy or secrecy of the ballot, no voter can ever have their ballot connected to them, nor be questioned about their ballot, so it is impossible to audit a ballot or an election in the TRUE sense of a good audit because original sources of information can not be checked.
Please believe in statistical analysis of elections. Such a process MUST be done before certification of any election.
Look at the chart that I produced from the original data published on 4/6/2012:
It's clear to see that the machine was flipping votes as a function of precinct size in favor of Al Paglia, depriving Matt Willhite of the votes he earned. My chart clearly shows that Matt should have been the winner.
Was it intentional fraud? I don't know, but you can clearly see that the machine was miscounting votes. In non-partisan elections, those lines should settle to horizontal and not have an obvious slope. A little bumpiness, especially in small elections is OK.
If you don't believe me, you can download the data here: http://www.pbcelections.org/ERSummary.aspx?eid=130
Here's the Excel procedure to make the charts:
If you want to learn more about this method and it's success, read what we found in the Republican primaries with it:
Republican Primary Election Results Amazing Statistical Anomalies.pdf
Romney is likely to win in 2012 if this vote flipping is as active as it was in the 212 primaries.
I will want to look at this more closely pretty soon. Thanks for the work.
That was hacking, and it's done to weight the totals for the rethugs. They paid for it, same as they paid for the 'purges' that removed a whole bunch of African Americans from the voter rolls for crimes they didn't committ.
This stuff scares me witless; I think Greg Palast is correct. The US is worse than a third world country, because they have the technology to ensure the outcome the oligarchs want. And, of course, we now have the Koch brothers moving into investments in Canada, something I don't want to happen.
Personally, that wouldn't stop me
inside a computer.
that's where the real problem is.