READER COMMENTS ON
"Plaintiffs Blocked During Discovery Phase of New Mexico '04 Election Lawsuit"
(36 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 11/12/2005 @ 5:54 pm PT...
Just wondering if we could purchase one or more of these machines so we could do whatever we want with them.
Will ESS and Diebold sell to us or in this case, the plaintiffs ?
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 11/12/2005 @ 6:04 pm PT...
Richardson again, I suspect. If nothing else, we should be able to foil his 2008 presidential plans.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 11/12/2005 @ 6:31 pm PT...
After all the hoopla over Florida and Ohio who'd have thought it could all come out in a court case in New Mexico?
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 11/12/2005 @ 6:35 pm PT...
"Just wondering if we could purchase one or more of these machines so we could do whatever we want with them.
Will ESS and Diebold sell to us or in this case, the plaintiffs ? "
I wonder the same think. Maybe we need a modern day Robyn Hood?
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 11/12/2005 @ 7:04 pm PT...
The question is this: Is what the officials are doing to stop the machines from being examined, illegal?
And...because they are stopping the machines from being examined, everyone of their names should be reported in the MSM, as being complicit in vote fraud. The fact that anyone is trying to stop the vote machines from being examined, points a finger directly at them, as being comlicit in fraud. Anything other than welcoming the machines being examined, means they're trying to hide something.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
Nothing Without Hope
said on 11/12/2005 @ 7:24 pm PT...
Thanks for reporting this, Brad. I've posted a thread on it in the Election Reform forum at Democratic Underground here:
Thread title (11/12): [b] BradBlog: Plaintiffs Suddenly Blocked in New Mexico '04 Election Lawsuit [/b]
Later I'll post brief "headsup" cross-posts in the New Mexico forum and the General Discussion forum to widen the potential audience.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 11/12/2005 @ 7:39 pm PT...
I work for San Juan County and was there the day Mr. Dill (and others) came to inspect the voting machines. Let me tell all of you about the experience from the my perspective.
There was a Jeremiah Akin that was the computer expert. When he was asked what his qualifications were, he said: "I'm a programmer" He DID NOT say I'm a programmer with a BS in computer science and am well versed in xxx languages. Just "I'm a programmer". No education, no experience, no NOTHING! I had worked for the county 9 years and had programmed MANY elections before he was even out of high school.
Then, their tripod was broken, so they could not set the camcorder on it to film their test votes. Very professional outfit here...
At one point when Jeremiah was voting one of the others, (I forget which) asked "what does this icon mean?" Jeremiah answered, "That means it's on standby" They had voted perhaps a dozen ballots, and the camcorder was on PAUSE! Again, very professional outfit here... NOT! Don't trust any analysis of that videotape, it's simply not complete.
If ONE, JUST ONE, of you people had showed up for the public voting machine certification before the election and had test voted a voting machine yourself, MAYBE you MIGHT have a LITTLE credibility.
From where I stand, none of you have any credibility.
Please understand most election officials are honest folk just trying to do there job. Most days I don't even care who gets in office. I just want the election to work as smoothly as possible.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 11/12/2005 @ 8:30 pm PT...
It's not the election officials that are in question, it is the machines. Without transparency there is no way to really verify the vote. Without seeing the source code, we cannot verify that there are no security holes or malicious code.
It also doesn't help that the people who make the machines have a partisan agenda (Bush Pioneers), some are associated with the Christian Reconstructionist cult (the Urosevich brothers).
Without transparency there will always be questions about the legitimacy of any winning candidate.
I've been a precinct judge for a long time. To tell the truth, I'd rather spend the extra time hand counting ballots. I'd rather our elections be right than convenient.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 11/12/2005 @ 9:25 pm PT...
You say it's not the election officials in question. How can you make that statement surrounded by the other posts in this comment thread?
I look at it like this: Test vote a machine. Run up as many votes as you can in the time allowed. Print a tape. Does the tape match what you voted? In all of my experience it always has. I defy you to do the same. As many votes as you can stand. What Jeremiah Akin and David Dill don't tell you is there test votes MATCHED what they had voted. Go figure.
If you want to hand count ballots you obviously don't understand the scale of modern elections. I cannot over-emphasize this point. Tens and hundreds of thousands of ballots? You've got to be kidding me.
I think the biggest critics of election officials come from people who have never really worked a day in their life. Have you ever had to deal with the logistics of running a election in a large county? I think not.
I have to address your contention about the voting machine companies having a partisan agenda. Don't you think such a conspiracy would be evident in the PUBLIC voting machine certification? The certification NONE of you EVER attend? How does the machine tell the difference between a test and the real election? Short answer: It CAN'T.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 11/12/2005 @ 10:07 pm PT...
As someone who has hand-counted paper ballots in a presidential election in New England (where we run government and elections at the municipal level, instead of at the unaccountable county level common throughout the rest of the country), I have been shocked to see the cavalier attitude of so many "public servants" in the election field around the country. These posts from you are one example. Whose interests are you serving? Your own?! What happened to the "consent" of the governed? If ANY member of the public you serve has a question about how their "invisible" electronic vote was recorded and counted, why don't you feel pressed to do your UTMOST to fully address their concerns? That's the ONLY agenda Dr. Dill and others are carrying out with their efforts. Those employed in the local elections departments do NOT "own" the process or the equipment or the INFORMATION.
In these large jurisdictions you mention, each individual DRE machine in a precinct records its votes only as STEP ONE in the process. What happens AFTER that is of critical concern, and not just for DRE machines, but for optical scanners and others. The computer tabulation that takes place at a central location for each jurisdiction has been SHOWN to be capable of manipulation without trace, and I can only COMMEND Dr. Dill and the others (lousy camcorder skills or not) for doing the necessary due diligence to verify what works and what doesn't in these systems. [A due diligence that has been appallingly lacking from the private companies creating and selling this machinery and software.]
Yes it's tough, as a public employee, to seemingly have your credibility questioned by these "outsiders." But it is critical that those in positions of public trust, who monitor and conduct the elections on behalf of the American people, swallow their pride in service to the overriding founding principle at stake here: OUR VERY DEMOCRACY, regardless of Party.
The more assistance you offer those with questions, the sooner they will go away and leave you to your work. Plenty of other people are working hard for a living, just like you, but those of you in a position of public trust have taken on a special burden, which all too few of you seem willing to carry with grace.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 11/12/2005 @ 11:28 pm PT...
Good post, Brad, and thanks to our friends on the ground in New Mexico for keeping us posted.
The Whispering Campaign has "immortalized" this post [in its usual very quiet way]; those interested in helping to spread the word of this travesty beyond the BRAD BLOG [and, more importantly, beyond the net] may click here for a one-page, large-font excerpt.
It's easy to print, easy to copy, easy to read. In fact, being the media has never --- ever --- been easier. What are you waiting for?
Knowledge Is Power! Pass It On!!
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 11/12/2005 @ 11:46 pm PT...
Jim Johnson - I see that others have jumped in to respond to your comments which I welcome (both theirs and yours).
I'll just jump in for a quick point or two.
As to being their for the "certification" that you feel gives you the confidence in these machines that all is well, you're right, I haven't been there. Nor have I been there when the source code used to eventually achieve those certifications has been compiled. Have you?
Further, have you read the non-partisan GAO Report that came out last week which discusses the certification process you're referring to in less than flattering terms? If not, click here and please let us know your thoughts after reading it.
As to your disparaging of the experts doing discovery on the case in NM, I'm fairly certain it's up to the litigants, not you, to determine who is brought in to do discovery. If their work is crap, I'm sure you'll be pleased, so why the complaints? Why are you guys blocking them from seeing whatever they wish?
You may be surprised to learn that Americans who take the idea of vigilance to protect their freedoms seriously (as Wendell Philips suggested) might not receive the kind of corporate funding that the Diebolds, Sequoias and --- yes --- elections officials like yourself receive. We're doing the best we can. And yes, we have worked a day in our lives, even if you're (apparently?) too damn lazy to count a few ballots once or twice every year.
Lastly, while I don't think it's the only way an election must occur, I'll remind you that somehow Canada manages to run a rather large election every few years with all paper ballots, hand-counted, and yet their results are in --- and with confidence for the voters --- some 45 minutes after the polls close. Is America just unable to achieve the excellence of Canadians?
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 11/13/2005 @ 1:57 am PT...
First off, no one that shows up to inspect the machines has to substantiate to YOU or ANYONE at the facility what their credentials are. That's for the court to decide, don't you think?
Secondly.. you saying you've programmed elections is NOTHING like what a "programmer" does (in the computer science context). Pushing the buttons on the machine, or typing in the names of candiates is not the same as writing computer code that actually processes data. Just as you don't/didn't know Mr. Akin's credentials, I don't know what you meant with "you program elections"..
Third, Just because someone here said they feel the officials that are blocking investigations are complicit doesn't mean we all feel that in every case it must be that the "officials are in on it", but you have to admit, when you are facing a court order, to deny access does look suspicious. Consumer laws would most likely protect the district if something happened to the machines and the "warrenty was voided by a court order".. and the "problem" with "propriatary data" is, as has been pointed out adnausium (and if you can't agree, you have serious issues), not reasonable when you're dealing with elections and the very sanctity of our democracy.
As a point of note, not that I think you'll care.. I'm a Software Engineer with a BS in Computer Science. I've had occasion to not know how to work someone's cam corder when it was the first time I've used it (not very professional, I know).. and as a Software Engineer (with 8 years as a developer for various companies, currently 5 years at a major telcom), it's my "professional" opinion that having the "source code" not be inspectable is dangerous, at best. Allowing that code to be kept secret, and the data to be kept secret, is unreasonable. There is damn little that could be considered "trade secrets" when it comes to programming for voting machines. Just the -fact- that there are several machine companies out there, all "counting votes" should prove that it's not all that "special"..
The point to all this, which seems to be missed by you, is that electronic voting has been SHOWN to have huge problems. Just because -you- haven't had problems when you press buttons means nothing. You also stated the "tests from Akin/Dill resulted in the vote being what they entered".. yet, they claim different (in the article/email presented).. and, in fact, stated that they were able to "enter non-votes, which should not have been able to happen".. and said that pressing buttons in non-standard contexts (which people could do by accident) produced strange results. Them being "professionals" makes sense that they noticed, and the -fact- that they were TESTING would also help.. someone that is less educated or less observant may well miss that the wrong vote was entered.. doncha think?
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 11/13/2005 @ 2:46 am PT...
Brad, excellent blogging. This is such an important story. There is more to come and the truth will be told.
It is a real shame that a Democratic governor seems so intent on "oursourcing" democracy to vendors who have no direct responsibility to citizens and to officials who don't respond to reasonable requests. What is there to hide?
I'm amused by the so-called "public official" from San Diego. What a cheap shot at David Dill, a man who put together a national election entegrity orgainzation that is widely respected. Let me remind the official that the City Attorney of San Diego was so unimpressed with the elections group there, he announced that his office would engage in serious direct observation of the process. Afterall, if the San Diego elections officials were doing such a great job, there would be no need for citizens to conduct parallel elections.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 11/13/2005 @ 3:46 am PT...
Thanks Brad for the info. I hope this is the beginning! We are still in the "dark" here in the sunshine state. Hopefully, with the next election and 1 bush gone, we can gain honesty and integrity again. I can hope! Just remember that paper ballots are only part of the solution, with non-partisan vote counters as the other part. We had paper ballots (the infamous "hanging chad") but the vote counters were totally biased and garbage bags of paper ballots were found on the side of the road, hidden in closets, and in the trash.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 11/13/2005 @ 8:33 am PT...
In Comment #9 you say:
"What Jeremiah Akin and David Dill don't tell you is there test votes MATCHED what they had voted."
While this may, or may not be true (I will ask both Jeremiah and Dr. Dill about this statement) you have never answered the questions about the following from the report, "Several times when they tried to vote for a candidate, the X appeared instead in the adjacent box for a different candidate. Once when boxes for two candidates were pressed at the same time, neither registered a vote but an X appeared in the box of a third candidate between them. In addition, the experts were able to cast ballots that contained no votes whatsoever, something the County Clerk and her staff had told them the machines would not permit."
You have taken the tact of questioning the experts and everyone here who has commented on the report but you have not responded to the report itself. Why, for instance, are elections officials afraid to provide their machines for inspection? Please do not defend your position by questioning the intentions or expertise of those on the otherside of your position.
It is apparent, after close study of the elections results from New Mexico, that the machines registered an overly high under vote rate when used in precincts that are predominately Hispanic and Native American. How can you respond to that? Please, please do not blame it on the voters. If the voters failed then the elections administrators failed and should be looking for new jobs.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 11/13/2005 @ 8:59 am PT...
Our world is drenched with Orwellspeak these days. For example, accountability is one of the touchstones of Republican Party success, right? They were supposedly the party of accountability? More like the Party of need-to-know-basis. We'll tell you what we think you need to know.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 11/13/2005 @ 12:51 pm PT...
Jim Johnson is not the enemy. He, like many elections officials, does not necessarily know that the machine can function differently in test mode than election mode, and that the certification configuration is often not identical to the configuration used in the counties. Thus, the certification and the pre-election testing are helpful, but don't prove anything.
The officials who are blocking inspections are the bigger problem. We need to set our sights on three things:
1) Elections officials who block public access and public oversight
2) Public officials who withhold public records
3) Incorrect results and defects in procedures and machine function.
What is particularly important about Brad's article, aside from the fact that it covers a particularly important lawsuit, is that it describes #1 --- blocking access and oversight. That's what we ran into in Florida, and that behavior killed the 2004 election contest there (Lowell Finley, the attorney for the New Mexico action that is the subject of this article, was in Florida at the time planning to file a contest there, but blocking access to the records prevented him from doing so).
And I must point out one more thing: The insistence on treating the voting machine problem as a partisan issue is beginning to impede progress. It is causing people to put on blinders in important locations, like Los Angeles and Detroit, where very, very serious problems are arising.
You can check BlackBoxVoting.org for the Detroit and L.A. problems, but basically --- in Los Angeles, citizens ARE NOT being permitted to watch the tallying. It is done behind closed doors, supervised by a politically correct and powerful registrar with a history of vote suppression among minorities. In Detroit, the numbers don't add up and the excuse given also doesn't add up. And watch out, don't lose focus when the problems appear to be black on black (Detroit) or Hispanic on Hispanic (Bill Richardson vs. the citizenry of New Mexico). That's the oldest trick in the book, when you want to step on minorities.
The easiest way to get traction is not Republican vs. Democrat or citizens vs. elections officials, but:
- Openness vs. secrecy
- Witholding documents
- Incorrect results and procedures
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 11/13/2005 @ 12:57 pm PT...
Jim Johnson seems to me to be a figment of someone's imagination.
He can disprove that by simply pointing out the name, make, model, software company name, software version, etc. of the voting machine he alleges was used in the test he alleges.
The reason I am skeptical is that most machines used in US elections have already been tested and proven to be problematic.
His release of the information I requested would show he is not a troll.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 11/13/2005 @ 2:14 pm PT...
Good article Brad - and thanks for the link to the article in Scoop. Also --- thanks for your comment to Jim Johnson pointing out the Canadian method of voting and counting the votes.
You beat me to telling Mr. Johnson that Canadian precincts are able to count their votes in 45 minutes in most precincts - and we're talking "tens of hundreds of thousands" of votes. Maybe they're superhuman, eh, Mr. Johnson? Or is something wrong with the attitude of some of our BOE officials and employees ??
When I first studied the cost of implementing the electronic voting machines and did a bit of math, I found that it would cost roughly $52 per vote. That figure was before adding on the printing device (which Diebold stated in internal memos would cost out the yin-yang.) That figure might stay the same or grow larger, but it won't ever shrink because there will be a continual and obscenely high cost associated with maintenance, repair and/or replacement of machines each year.
At LEAST - $52.00 PER VOTE. In 2004, 177.3 million registered to vote. That comes to about $9 billion 220 million for the citizens of the US to vote in a presidential election using these electronic machines (figures for 2004) and expect the number of voters to increase by at least 15 million before the 2006 election.
August 22, 2004 --- WaPo --- Lost Votes in N.M. a Cautionary Tale
By Dan Keating
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 22, 2004; Page A05
ESPA—OLA, N.M. --- Four years ago, about 2,300 voters traveled the winding roads through this remote county to cast their ballots before Election Day on state-of-the-art, push-button electronic voting machines. For 678 of them, their votes were never recorded. [Note: 678 votes X $52 = $35,256.00]
...Rio Arriba County had the largest percentage of voters who had no presidential vote....203 voters turned out in one of Rio Arriba's voting districts, but the state's certified results show "0" votes were recorded for Gore or Bush. The same was true for the U.S. Senate and House candidates.
In another district, two-thirds of those who voted in the month before Election Day --- early voting is allowed in New Mexico --- had no votes recorded in any races. Steve Fresquez, a state computer technician who oversaw vote counts for Rio Arriba County, said the electronic machines had been programmed incorrectly for early voters, but it was not discovered until days after the election. [Note: 203 X $52 = $10,556] How many others voted but had NO VOTES RECORDED?
The article continues ... "A number of states, including Maryland and Georgia, have moved to such systems, spending tens of millions of dollars."
THE HIGH COST OF INNACCURACY (and downright thievery.)
Jan. 7, 2005 - Albuqurque Tribune
New Mexico was under litigation at the time for a recount of the 2004 election and not allowed to erase their machines. ~~~ But they eventually DID erase their machines before any meaningful data could be gathered. Doesn't this alert everybody, no matter which political party they subscribe to, that we have no way to prove elections anymore??? ~~~
Bernalillo County residents who vote early in the Feb. 1 school district election won't have to use a paper ballot, the county clerk says. The county has machines available, said County Clerk Mary Herrera.
.... So, Herrera said, if she can't clear at least 300 machines by Tuesday, she will seek a court order to do so.
If she doesn't get an approval to clear the machines, she said she is looking into buying new cartridges for a total of about $60,000 or renting voting machines for roughly $750,000 if cartridges aren't available. HEY --- how about paper ballots?
See what I mean about the COST? And what about the current trend of the "who gives a shit about your vote" attitude ???
Jan. 19, 2005 --- SCOOP --- What Are They Hiding in New Mexico?
[Voting laws state we must be able to recount, however, one way to keep us from that is to arbitrarily raise the price to unreasonable levels. Just like the FOIA - Freedom of Information Act - costs on information that is detrimental to the bu$h administration has grown to unreasonable levels. I'm paying attention.]
From the article:
In the shadow of overwhelming irregularities in the Ohioís election, New Mexico has played out itís own post-election drama almost unnoticed by anyone outside the state. Even before the November 2, New Mexico had been in the news for reports of malfunctioning voting machines and other problems. Hundreds of incidents were reported on Election Day. The state got some national attention for once again leading the nation in undervote rate. All this coupled with a small margin of victory in the presidential race (just 3/4 of 1%) led to concern about the accuracy of the results.
Soon after the November 23 certification of New Mexicoís election results, the Green and Libertarian presidential candidates requested a recount and deposited the $108, 000 required by the New Mexico State Code. By the middle of December over a thousand volunteers had been organized to act as observers and coordinators for the recount. On December 15, the State Canvassing Board granted the request for a recount, but also demanded that the recount advocates would be required to come up with $1.4 million by 10 a.m. the next day in order to proceed. That demand was contrary to New Mexico law as there is no legal requirement that candidates pay the full cost of a recount in advance, nor any way to accurately estimate the cost of a recount before it is completed. Recount proponents went to court to have the $1.4 million charge dropped. On December 17, a New Mexico court reaffirmed the decision of the Canvassing Board and on December 23 the New Mexico Supreme Court upheld the $1.4 Million demand. **MORE**
Oct. 31, 2005 --- SCOOP --- Did You Erase Your Own Vote?
[snip] Particularly alarming were cases like Taos County, where optically scanned paper ballots were used in early and absentee voting, and DREs were used on Election Day. In early and absentee voting in Taos County, the presidential undervote rate was well below 1%, while on Election Day the undervote rate soared to almost 10%! Or San Miguel County, Precinct 14 where every single person who voted early (on paper) voted for one presidential candidate or another while 27% of their neighbors who voted electronically on Election Day apparently didnít vote for any of them. [snip] **MORE**
Deadline nears to purchase voting machines
[snip] SANTA FE (AP) - New Mexico is not alone in its struggle to find reliable voting machines that meet state standards and are accessible to disabled and non-English-speaking populations.
"A lot of states are committed to accessible machines but don't want to have to retrofit those machines," said Doug Chapin of Electionline.org, an organization that tracks election reform efforts across the nation.
... The machines must be in place by Jan. 1 or the state risks a lawsuit by the U.S. Attorney General's office that would force the purchase, officials said.
... The two voting machines certified by federal authorities as disability-ready in New Mexico don't appear to measure up to state standards. They lack the ability to create an immediate voter-verifiable paper record. State statute requires that by 2007, all voting machines in New Mexico produce paper records.
One of the two machines, the Sequoia model, can be retrofitted to comply with the law, but the upgrade could cost as much as $1.4 million.
HOW CORRUPT IS ALL OF THIS, FOLKS?
This administration is cutting funds to poverty-stricken families, cutting medical benefits to our elderly and cutting funds for education --- and cutting funds to our armed forces veterans. And yet, giving MILLIONS "out the yin-yang" to these partisan voting companies for their pathetic machines that are at best totally unreliable and at worst used for Election FRAUD.
So, according to info I posted on an earlier thread about Diebold hiring former state officials (particularly Democrats) to lobby for their machines --- do we think Rebecca Vigil-Giron (SOS of New Mexico, leaving this year) will appear on the Diebold payroll? Just a thought.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 11/13/2005 @ 2:14 pm PT...
I just want to add for Mr. Johnson's benefit that Jeremiah Akin is best known for his work analyzing actual Sequoia central tabulator code which he discovered on the website for one of Riverside County (Calif) computer consultants.
His analysis of security flaws was exacting, professional and to date has survived all scrutiny. So you may not take him seriously, but a LOT of people do.
The real issue when we discuss someone like Mr. Akin is: why can't "geeky members of the public" (with or without degrees) analyze voting systems!? So far the community of elections officials (with notable exceptions such as Mr. Sancho in Leon County FL) have stood firm against this concept. Some have gone further; the current California SecState's staff have redacted staff reports on the security of voting systems up for certification, despite such documents being public per California law. Maryland redacted large portions of the SAIC report on Diebold; Ohio has kept secret various security analysis documents by Compuware.
When election officials and other insiders keep security analysis information secret, the concept of "public oversight" via private and political-party-connected observers is meaningless if they don't know the potential "cheat processes" as well as the elections officials.
In other words, when elections officials will not reveal how the systems work and what the security flaws are, they are directly reserving the right to cheat at elections! Whether they view it that way in their own heads is irrelevent, as they cannot escape that practical result.
Mr. Johnson, I recommend you study a concept in computer security called "Security By Obscurity". It is a widely denounced approach to maintaining system security and it is one that the entire elections business relies on daily.
We're not going to tolerate it and we will defeat that concept "by any means necessary" - starting in the courts, legislatures, etc.
For more info:
http://encyclopedia.thef...curity+through+obscurity - all of it will be interesting but pay particular attention to the "external links" at the bottom and "Kerckhoffs' principle" (or "Kerckhoffs' Law") at links such as:
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 11/13/2005 @ 2:43 pm PT...
Wow! I see only one thing going on here. Election officials are obstructing the transparency process by not allowing them to inspect the machines!
This is a legal issue considering the seriousness of the lawsuit, where both democrats and republicans and who knows what else miscounted votes and suppressed voters on purpose!
This is obviously an outrage for the voters in New Mexico! And legally this issue should be resolved in court, to remove the "obstruction" going on here....
Just what are they hiding? What's to hide that is so important? We want transparency in government, not more sand in our face. I think that needs to be accomodated immediately and addressed....
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 11/13/2005 @ 2:57 pm PT...
I have something to add to my comment #20 --
Ohio Dispatch --- November 05, 2004
[Regarding the number of votes possible per electronic machine --]
Countywide, wards averaged 170 ballots cast per machine.
If each voter took an average of five minutes behind the curtain, it would take more than 14 hours for one machine to handle 170 voters. Thatís an hour longer than polls were open.
So --- in reference to the article of January 7, 2005 in the Albuqurque Tribune --- [Herrera] said she expects roughly 56,300 people - about 16 percent of the county's 352,000 registered voters - to vote.
So, Herrera said, if she can't clear at least 300 machines by Tuesday, she will seek a court order to do so.
56,300 people using 300 machines = 186.66 votes. I suggest this is an impossible number for the machines to handle.
Folks --- this is total insanity on so many levels.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 11/13/2005 @ 4:48 pm PT...
Kira: I see they are STILL doing it!!!!
Ohio is so damn corrupt all of them need to be in jail. All of them. Get rid of the voting machines every last one in Columbus and put the punchcard levers back in!!!!
Or better yet: WHATS WRONG WITH PAPER BALLOTS? They come out just as accurate if not more accurate than the MACHINES!
The machines are clearly only there to obstruct, corrupt and steal elections. They have NO PLACE period, and should be challenged by everyone!
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 11/13/2005 @ 4:54 pm PT...
Just saw something I need to clarify from my comment #23:
56,300 people using 300 machines = 186.66 votes **per machine.**
Doug - it's unbelievable to me that this documented information is being called "tin-foil hat" stuff. It's unbelievable to me that top-level government officials are laughing it off rather than taking a look. It speaks volumes about corruption.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 11/13/2005 @ 5:22 pm PT...
Yes, let's not let the public look. What could possibly be wrong?
Details on the following can be found here
(VA) Voting machine problem may trigger recount
(NY) 'Results rose & fell like wheezy old athlete staggering thru aerobics
(OH) 44 of 88 counties used new voting systems, 77 more votes than possible...
(AZ) ES&S ignores subpeona, judge upholds count
(TX) ES&S techs retrieve touchscreen votes manually
(OH) Montgomery County - More votes than voters
(OH) Poll tapes found at gas station
(MI) Bungled votes --'memory cards usually go missing, it's normal'...
(OH) Poll workers blast the use of 'rovers'
(AZ) Voting lawsuit is an insult
(LA) Voter frustration, ruined machines
(SC) Voting machines draw protests
(NJ) All of Tuesday's votes still not counted
(OH) Medina voting machine problems
(OH) Problems not limited to Lucas County
(OH) BOE defends slow vote count
(OH) Board of Elections investigated
(OH) E-Voting in Montgomery County
(TN) Attack of the Killer Voting Machines
(PA) Problems plague voting tabulations
(OH) Multiple Voting Glitches Hold Up Clermont Results
(TX) New voting machine malfunctions
(OH) Election Day not entirely a smooth event
(TX) ELECTION RESULTS
(NY) Disabled access to polls
(VA) Voting machine snafus not huge
(OH) Voters love new machines but ...
(OH) Ballots still being counted into today
(OH) Minor Problems Plague the Polls
(CA) Absentee Votes Returned - ďunintended consequences of automat...
(CO) City ballot requires black pencil or pen
(CA) Schwarzenegger Hits Snag at Polling Place
(NV) Haven't voted lately? Your name may be purged
(OH) Voters find scattered glitches
(GA) Polling Place Problems
(GA) Voting Problem Plagues Sandy Springs Polling Place
(MI) Absentee tallies count, for now
(OH ) Problems setting up equipment delay polling sites
(VA) Voters report problems with voting machines in Roanoke Co....
(MI) Early Polling Problems
(NY)Voting machine removed; votes in question
(CO) Boulder discovers possible vote glitch
(OH) Day Begins With Vote Machines Problems
GA) Power outage repaired in one voting machine
(MI) Power problems turn some voters away
(GA) Delay caused by lack of voting machine calibration
(CO) Phantom votes haunt Pitkin County
(GA) New security software slows vote counting
Nope, no problems.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 11/13/2005 @ 5:54 pm PT...
Great list, Bev!
Gee. Looks like voting with electronic machines is trouble-free. Even when the power goes down! No prob.
I say - WHAT A RIP-OFF
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 11/13/2005 @ 6:15 pm PT...
Just get rid of it all together Kira.....We must work together in huge numbers to get rid of all machines alltogether, THE ENTIRE TABULATOR SYSTEM if possible and have only verified paper ballots by hand....OR a system like AutoMark's paper ballot counter.
The fight will not be over until they are all PERMANENTLY GONE, and voters say no more to the corrupt machines and election officials who get sold on them.
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 11/13/2005 @ 6:28 pm PT...
After reading through some of the links at Blackboxvoting.org, here's an article I think is interesting:
AP --- New Security Software Slows Voting [various snips plus my comment /Kira]
..."We may go from five or six hours (counting votes) to maybe getting results in the next day," Gwinnett County Election Supervisor Lynn Ledford said. .... What's more important here - getting the votes counted immediately (which obviously the Diebold machines aren't able to do anyway) OR accurately counting the votes? GO BACK TO PAPER BALLOTS.
... Ballot-counting in next month's Georgia elections may be slowed by [new] security software, some local officials say.
... In a June special election in Coweta County, ballot counting went so slowly that election officials first thought something was wrong with the system. A similar delay also occurred in Fulton County in a referendum vote that same month. ... Outrageous! This kind of incompetence has been the m.o. of Diebold from day one with its voting machine hardware and software. Our votes are too precious and sacred to be used in an ongoing data-test for Diebold. I'M PISSED-OFF!!!
There is a problem with the programming of the Diebold software, but read what GA SOS Cathy Diebold Cox (who is currently running for Governor) said about it:
...county officials are sharing information on how to speed up the process. Hopefully, counting will go faster as election workers become more familiar with the new system." Um - hellooooo!!! How will it help for the workers to become more familiar with the system if the problem is with the programming of the software ??? Cathy Cox has made a fool of herself with all the ignorant statements she's made on this subject. Corruption?
Here in a nutshell is why America is NOT READY for computerized voting systems. Very few people who are in making decisions about buying these systems, or are in charge of them for elections (i.e. BOE officials/workers) are totally inept technically speaking. GO BACK TO PAPER BALLOTS!! There is much less training involved and you can actually vote by candle light if the power goes out.
Who cares how long it takes to count the ballots? COUNT ALL THE DAMN BALLOTS - and I mean ALL of them.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 11/13/2005 @ 7:38 pm PT...
Whoops - I meant to say:
Very few people who are making decisions about buying these systems, or are in charge of them for elections (i.e. BOE officials/workers) are educated in computer science and most of them are totally inept technically speaking.
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 11/14/2005 @ 1:56 am PT...
For those of you who are interested, here is what a Canadian ballot looks like. We use a pencil and draw an "x" or a checkmark inside the white circle. (If there is any mark outside of the white circle, the ballot is void.) The ballot then goes inside a locked & sealed box.
There has yet to be any discussion in Canada that this election system is too costly.
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 11/14/2005 @ 3:03 am PT...
STOP_GEORGE - looks great. No hanging chads, no confusion! A ballot should be "user friendly". It should be easy to read, and easy to identify the selected candidate. Again, the ballot is only part of the solution, non partisan counters are the other part of the solution. The repubs must be afraid they can't win with an honest election and since they are at the helm of this ship, using any devious illegal measure to win. Such is the way of losers!!!
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
said on 11/14/2005 @ 4:52 am PT...
Have no fear voters!
Big Brother has a solution for voting problems. Right in good ole Albuquerque, NM a solution is now being crafted!
It is a spy drone that will fly over New Mexico cities and make sure the voters are not being bad (link here).
Snottie McClellan, when asked if it could be misused to spy on american citizens, replied "that is as ridiculous as thinking Karl or Scooter would out a CIA agent".
"All we are doing", Snottie continued, "is to keep an eye on enemy combatant voters because we have a duty to protect american citizens".
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
said on 11/14/2005 @ 9:47 am PT...
Some people have been saying Jim Johnson himself may even have aided in the VOTE FRAUD in his own state.
Just like Fox News, I think what people are saying is important.
No confirmation yet, but, in the words of Peggy Noonan, "It's irresponsible not to speculate".
Wise words, Peggy.
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
said on 11/14/2005 @ 11:16 pm PT...
In defense of San Juan County, they were in fact very cooperative when we visited. They patiiently answered our questions, they were helpful, and they allowed us to vote on the equipment. While we weren't able to get all the information we need, I believe that the officials were acting on their understanding of their legal obligations and their contractural requirements to the voting machine vendor. The problem is not these folks, but a system that allows proprietary rights to software to trump the public's right to transparent elections. I wish Bernalillo County had been half as cooperatve.
Indeed, Ms. Hanhardt said very clearly that if there is anything wrong with the machines, they want to know about it, and if the machines don't count the votes correctly, they'll stop using them. Overall, I was impressed with the professionalism of the office.
I confess to being an incompetent video camera operator. However, I believe we captured the most interesting events on tape (I don't have the tape, so I'm not sure). If, indeed, New Mexico law says that it is not supposed to be possible to cast blank ballots, the machines have a bug that showed up in the first ten test votes. That raises the important question of what other, more subtle, software errors are hiding in these systems.
I think the "certification" referred to by Mr. Johnson is the testing of the equipment performed by his office before each election (the word is used also for the testing by independent laboratories at the Federal level and state-level inspection of voting equipment). Generally, the purpose of this pre-election testing is to find equipment that is malfunctioning, or problems with the setup for the election. Testing by the manufacturers and the ITAs should have caught the blank ballot problem. This is an example of the inadequacy of the current Federal process.
Mr. Johnson has a point --- if the public routinely watched this process, a lot more machines would be tested a lot more thoroughly. I know that several organizations, including VerifiedVoting and Black Box Voting, have encouraged people to watch voting machine tests.
Last year, I took a whole college class to the testing in Santa Clara County, CA (see the link on verify.stanford.edu for the class project)!
COMMENT #36 [Permalink]
said on 7/19/2006 @ 1:10 pm PT...
Because many of these machines have no paper audit trails, a large number of votes will never be counted.