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NVMojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 01:37 AM
Original message
"Rethinking Recounts"
January 21, 2005
Now that the dust has settled on the majority of the close elections nationwide, we can see more clearly than ever the most disturbing problem caused by using paperless touchscreen voting machines: the recounts were, to put it bluntly, a charade.

The goal of a recount is to ensure that the voters' intentions were properly recorded and the right person won. That's why we pull out the punch cards and review them for hanging chads, or check optically scanned ballots for stray marks.

But nothing remotely that sensible occured in Washington State, Ohio, or anywhere else that voters used paperless touchscreen machines. Instead, we saw what could accurately be described as a "reprint." Voting officials either fed the same vote data through the same system a second time, or recounted the machine data by hand or with a spreadsheet -- always reaching the same or roughly the same results. It doesn't take a computer genius to recognize that this method of "recounting" is simply a means of replicating any error in vote data that may have existed the first time the votes were tallied.

more...

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/002222.php
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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 01:40 AM
Response to Original message
1. Yep. Recounts do nothing to solve the problem, it's more of the same.
n/t
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Zan_of_Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 01:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Yeah, but even with paper to recount, the recounts were not good.
1) High prices to even request a recount were used to prevent them, in Nevada and so far in N.M.

2) Delays were used to stonewall and slow walk, in Ohio and N.M.

3) Changing procedures and prices and so on were used to prevent a recount, in N.M.....so far.

4) Even WITH a recount, random precincts were not used (Ohio).

5) Even WITH a recount, the rules were not followed

a. Triad attempted to find out various things in advance to PREVENT there from being a full hand recount. (Ohio)

b. Even when things did not match up, officials refused to do full hand recount. (Ohio)
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KaliTracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. don't forget the optical scan ballots that had stickers over "stray maks"
and actual filled in bubbles underneath. (Ohio)
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Helga Scow Stern Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Thank you.
What good is the security of a recount if it is impossible to use?


Maybe we should be writing the EAC if they are so interested in how HAVA money is being spent, and if indeed, they have time and resources to do anything other than investigate Shelley.

"It doesn't have to be this way. The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has just begun to formulate its work plan for 2005. It could step in to develop clear and sensible guidelines for what consitutes a true recount using paperless touchscreen machines. Let's hope it moves swiftly -- before we lose any more elections to substandard machines, needless confusion, and doubt."
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 02:06 AM
Response to Original message
3. You'd think EFF would know better than this line...
"Even in the absence of a voter-verified paper audit trail, there are steps officials can take to help verify an election, including counting from the redundant memory banks, examining the audit logs, and conducting calibration tests. These are bare-minimum safeguards against machine error and vote-tampering, and should be part of the recount process even for machines with paper trails."


Holt, Conyers and others do better than that, requiring VVPB to the scheme.
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KaliTracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
5. This was read ON AIR two Fridays ago in response to Blackwell's
Push for OpticalScan Machines and a comment by a reporter that "some" counties in Ohio were recounted -- what was read on-air was about the recounts:

"Today there were reports this morning (Jan 27th) and in the evening about Secretary of State, Kenneth Blackwells demand for counties to pick one of two optical scan manufacturers. Regarding the morning report, I urge your reporter/s to look closely at the Cobb/LaMarche Website http://www.votecobb.org/recount / , and especially, look at the Recount Reports here http://www.votecobb.org/recount/ohio_reports / . ALL 88 counties were recounted (not Some as reported in the morning) but this recount was not handled the way that Ohio Law dictates. There are too many incidents that took place to report here, but I urge you to look at this website.

"We cannot say we have free, honest and fair elections if there are questions still lingering, and if information is still appearing. And we have absolutely NO business going to other parts of the world to "spread democracy" if we can't even get it right here.""

******

Note -- the information I wrote about Blackwell was not read on-air -- BUT the letter IS posted on their website -- go read it and comment! http://www.wmub.org/feedback/feedbackblog.html

It's a new thing for WMUB (88.5 Oxford, Ohio) to have feedback to their feedback -- would be interesting if people actually started responding and saying that this stuff needs attention of reporters, public, etc..... (another thing -- I wasn't actually writing this for publication, but to INFORM them of what is happening -- so I was surprised when they posted it links and all).

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Helga Scow Stern Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. That's great. We should write to the EAC!
We can use these examples of "in the press" (and find others), since that seems to be considered evidence that something needs to be done.
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New Earth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
8. we need recount guidelines
included in one of these new voting rights bills.....i mean, i think we need universal guidelines strictly enforced in all states.
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