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Holt's 2009 "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act" worse Nightmare Than Ever Before [View All]

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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-09 09:26 PM
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The paper ballots will still only matter in a recount or audit (read: NEVER timely in the Presidential election, see Bush v. Gore, 2000)

If the "voter-verified paper ballots" are damaged, or otherwise questionable they shall be subject to state law rules of admissibility of evidence (read: exclusionary rule) except that the electronic count may not be the "exclusive" evidence considered in an election contest (read: but there's precious little else, if anything, to consider in any event, so as a practical matter the voter verified paper need only suffer an accident of any sort in sufficient numbers to potentially change the result, and then EVEN IF the recount or audit were somehow rushed through in the presidency, or considered in the Senate or House races, the discrepancy between the paper count and electronic count will be used to argue that the PAPER COUNT is wrong.

And indeed, various studies will back up that assertion. While a relatively minuscule number of voters create ambiguous ballots (like in Minnesota there were a handful) and truly LARGE number of voters, (read: Majorities up to 100% of voters) miss the errors in a machine-printed ballot because the hman mind, when proofreading, sees what it thinks it OUGHT to see, and not what's actually there. That's why we are poor proofreaders of our own writing, and still miss error's in other's writing... In effect, technology is introduced to try to "force" voters to make a "clear" choice (ignoring the fact that sometimes we voters truly ARE ambiguous about who we want to support) in the minuscule number of problematic cases, but in its place appears a truly giant problem of error (see the studies cited in the "Ultimate Nightmare" piece at

While some tweaks in the bill appear to accommodate a few minor citizen concerns, the present draft of Holt's 2009 bill, not yet filed with the House, is worse than ever before. In every respect it retains, and reinforces what I've previously written up and called "The Ultimate Nightmare for Democracy: High Confidence YEt Total Fraud."

Bottom line: With voter-verified PRINTOUTS, unlike voter-MARKED ballots, high percentages of errors slip through but, ASSUMING the system is allowed to work (in the presidency) and assuming it does work for a congressional race, it is highly likely to ratify a fraudulent result because high percentages of voters will miss the errors, or an "accident" of some sort happens to the voter verified ballots, leaving the electronic "record" as the original and "best evidence" of the voter's intent.

In fact, even with a hyper-vigilant effort to really get voters to VERY carefully review their printouts (which we all routinely assume match what we input on the screen but this assumption doesn't apply in voting like it does with our own computers), and even if that effort were successful, it would significantly increase the lines at the affected precincts, constituting a form of voter suppression.

Thus, for a hacker under Holt 2009, especially an insider hacker, they will be laughing their butts off knowing that at least 50% of their fraud will be approved by voters, verified by them, so that even a whistleblower's testimony won't change the result, because the voters "approved" the errors.

Holt again calls his bill the "voter Confidence..." bill of 2009. IT should always be remembered that "confidence" is the essence and a necessity for fraud -- because one must believe something that is not true. Conversely, the more distrust (checks and balances) there are in a truly open and transparent system, like bank tellers and customers counting cash, the better and the more accurate the results end up being.

Please see my "Ultimate Nightmare for Democracy" as Holt continues to make it even worse in the ways I pointed out a year ago.

It looks like (but analysis is not finished on this topic yet) that the bill will also remove any real chance of New York keeping its levers if it wishes to do so. This is a counter-revolution against federalism in elections, without being up front about the implications of that so we can have an honest debate.

Holt 2009 also means that disputes, which are virtually guaranteed, will be litigated and decided either by federal courts or the federal congress, not by voters.

This is not "incremental" improvement, this is just about the worst legal nightmare I can imagine, a law that is designed to produce confidence yet profoundly and powerfully facilitates insider fraud, and institutionalizes secret vote counting as the law of the land, and nondisclosure agreements (if we show you the relatively meaningless source code, we'll have to gag you forever). Any violation of these Nondisclosure agreements must be "silent" on damages and reference state trade secret laws.

But if you're a lawyer or you know the law, what that really means is clear, yet not disclosed in the bill: violations of the NDAs mean punitive damages and attorney's fees, even in those states that outlaw punitive damages generally like Washington state.

Plus there's more money to study yet more complicated means of techno-voting on vapor ballots. We are led to believe that a prohibition on connection to the internet should reassure us -- it's not the voters who are the big risks (via the internet) -- although they are risks to be sure -- it's the government determining its own power, composition, and taxing authority through secret counts that is vigilantly institutionalized and preserved by Holt's 2009 bill.

If we as activists support this bill, then it's our "darling" and one shudders to imagine what amendments will be made in the "democratic" process to incorporate the views of the "other sides" of the debate so that we activists via Holt are not running the whole show....

Like I said, a nightmare.
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