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Voting in the Land of Oz and "Intelligent Design": an MSM rebuttal

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galloglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-12-06 06:00 PM
Original message
Voting in the Land of Oz and "Intelligent Design": an MSM rebuttal
Kansas City straddles a state line between two scarlet states. Kansas and Missouri once started the Civil War (word never got back to DC)in 1855, now celebrated at a football or basketball game once a year.

Who would think that in an "Intelligently Created" land, that the All-Powerful Protennoia would be second guessed on Paperless Voting Trails by the MSM? Yet, it happened!

Our Knight-Ridder KCStar published an OpEd by Dane Zeller, a technology instructor at Wentworth Academy. At the URL catch the full story. Excerpts below.

In Finn Bullers Casting Vote on Voting Systems (12/25), a former Johnson County election commissioner, Connie Schmidt, defends the use of touch-screen voting machines that do not produce a verifiable paper audit trail. In Casting Vote on Voting Systems (12/25), a former Johnson County election commissioner, Connie Schmidt, defends the use of touch-screen voting machines that do not produce a verifiable paper audit trail.

Her argument cites the adding machine that once had paper, but now has none, and her faith in Microsoft Excel to do our budgets I doubt that anyone hand-adds it all up.

-snip-

Schmidt asks us to trust the touch-screen voting machine to record and report our vote correctly, as we trust computers to assist in landing our planes and help in heart surgery. Again, such examples dont carry her point well: When air-traffic control software makes a mistake, the audit trail follows the path of airplane pieces strewn along the countryside. When voting machine software fails, a candidate becomes an officeholder.

-snip-

The voter touches the screen to vote and touches the screen to verify the vote. We may as well hire the fox to count the chickens.

The answer is simple. Use the touch-screen to vote, have the machine print out the marked ballot, have the voter review the paper ballot, and, when verified by the voter, place the paper ballot in a locked box. Unlock the box and use the contents to verify a close election or to perform an audit of the machine performance.

Its not the paper, its the trail. If a bank could not make available our canceled checks or a bank statement or a current balance, we wouldnt stand for it beyond a few seconds. We should be so protective of our votes.


http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/opinion/1...
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-12-06 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
1. The Excel example . . .
No, I'm sorry, I do NOT "trust" the spreadsheet to add up the numbers correctly. But there are other options besides hand adding every line. I cross foot subtotals; I check against the accounting system reports; and at some point I do have to hand enter all 2000 lines into our accounting system, so I catch errors there.

And I STILL use paper in my adding machine!
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-12-06 06:37 PM
Response to Original message
2. The only thing missing is an ID for each ballot so machine counted results
can be compared via sample with actual ballots, e.g. identification number for each ballot and the machines serial number.

If the sample does not agree 100% with the machine counted results, then count each ballot by hand.
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SharonAnn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-13-06 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. This needs to protect confidentiality of the vote, but can be done.
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-14-06 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Unique serial number is possible without comprising vote confidentiality.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-12-06 11:31 PM
Response to Original message
3. kick
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hedda_foil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-13-06 12:18 AM
Response to Original message
4. Desperately looking for good election integrity advocates in KS!
This guy sounds terrific. Does anybody know how to contact him or any other good election reformer in Kansas? Please PM me if you do.

Thanks!
Hedda
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SharonAnn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-13-06 10:31 PM
Response to Original message
5. Anyone who does audits has foundout why there are audits. It's
Edited on Fri Jan-13-06 10:32 PM by SharonAnn
because there is deliberate fraud and accidental error. Not always easy to tell at first which the problem is, but when a "red flag" is raised during audit procedures then the investigation goes deeper. Usually the cause is identified and hopefully fixed.

I can't tell you how many times I've work on installing new systems in banks where someone was caught committing fraud.

BTW, it's someone on the INSIDE who commits the fraud!. Employee, officer, contractor. Someone who had access to the systems and the person usually tried to cover their tracks so that they wouldn't be discovered.

With all the fraud that gets found, I wonder sometimes how much is out there that doesn't get found.

Anyway, auditing exists because people commit fraud. That's the basic reason and has always been the basic reason. Doesn't matter WHY they commit fraud, reasons vary. The fact is that they do.

Elections have no special exemptions from human nature.
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-14-06 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
8. Walk into WalMart, bring your own cash registers, refuse a paper trail...
and offer to tally all their sales.

Think they'd accept the offer? :shrug:
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-14-06 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. PS: WalMart can't examine the cash register software either. n/t
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