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Reply #9: I agree with your basic premise but may quibble with some details. [View All]

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eomer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-16-05 04:49 PM
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9. I agree with your basic premise but may quibble with some details.
I'm also a programmer of over 20 years and agree with your point about plausible deniability. It would be very easy to write code that looks innocent but does the job. It wouldn't have a handy comment that says:
// Fraudulently switch votes to pre-selected winner

Just like the chaotic mess of an election system we have in this country is perfect for hiding fraud, a mess of a software program would be an easy place to hide a vote-switching algorithm through some combination of complicated functions that each look innocent but work together to switch votes. This kind of code, if caught, could be explained away as an innocent bug even if it were in fact an intentional hack.

Where I don't agree with you is your conclusion that this points to DREs as the culprit and exonerates tabulators. Tabulators could have a plausibly deniable error in them just as easily as DREs. Either hack is as prone to detection by examination of code as the other. I take your point about the paper trail making it trickier for them to steal paper votes than e-votes but it looks like that is what they did. Maybe they sized up the situation, realized they owned all the important governmental functions in some key places (like Ohio) and also knew there weren't enough DREs being used to let them steal the election by stealing votes in just DREs.

There also was some measure of old fashioned low tech fraud and also fraud that crossed the low tech / high tech boundary, like stuffing paper op scan ballots and physically altering op scan ballots with markers and stickers.

When you get down to it, every aspect of our election system is effed up. Even paper ballots, hand counted won't solve the problem if the ballots are hauled around in some dude's van for hours or sit around in boxes in the hallway without effective controls to avoid ballot stuffing, ballot defacing, ballot theft, ...

And what good are any control mechanisms in the system if the judiciary branch at the state and/or federal level refuses to address blatant violations in a timely way?

So, innocent looking code that steals votes with plausible deniability? Agreed. That being the only way they stole votes and only in DREs? Disagree.

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