READER COMMENTS ON
"IL E-VOTE MELTDOWN: 414 Memory Cartridges Missing In Chicago and Cook County!"
(31 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 7:16 am PT...
One wonders if they will realize now that cover-up and lying is no solution.
The problem is still here.
And the only way it will go away is to have sound, uniform, and rigorously enforced guidelines and requirements for electronic voting machines.
Since the vendors are not going to do that without force, boycott the vendors.
Use paper ballots, hand counts, and hand recounts.
Let the election machine companies file bankruptcy or whatever ... but put them out of our misery.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 7:51 am PT...
The US should go back to paper ballots, period. Not only are electronic machines notoriously malleable and unreliable, they require constant maintenance and upgrading (consider how difficult it is to keep your personal computer up to date). Rather than wasting all that money on machines that will be obsolete from one election to the next, use the money to print paper ballots and hiring a few extra election workers in every precinct and printing pap (this would be far cheaper than the cost of buying, maintaining, programming, reprogramming, storing, moving and replacing machines).
With paper ballots counted by hand at the precinct level it would be much more difficult to steal votes. Each precinct would count votes with public observation and would post the results at the precinct level (like on the door) as well as reporting them to the county/state election officials. The county/state would post vote tallies for each all precincts on their doors (and/or web sites) so that any citizen could look at the results posted locally and verify that the county/state received a correct report (anyone with a calculator could add precinct results to verify that the state tallied the votes correctly).
Not only would election results be much more reliable (and verifiable), but the results would probably be known more quickly since counters could be counting while the polls are still open.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 3/23/2006 @ 8:24 am PT...
Voting irregularities in Chicago? I can't believe it.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 8:37 am PT...
It's been said that the definition of "insanity" is doing the same thing but expecting different results.
There is NO RATIONAL JUSTIFICATION for using machines to do our voting. They are a nightmeare, and you WILL NOT CHANGE THAT. It will take DECADES to get these "machines" to be "stable", and it will be on OUR TAX DOLLARS that the companies get to keep failing by trial and error. Not to mention, since these "companies" are mandated to make "profits", they will drag out the processes as long as they can.
Paper ballots.. hand counting.. LOTS of public scrutiny. That's the ONLY way we will have "valid elections" and "accurate results".
I also have to say, I think the "purple finger" is a great way to shut Pugs up about "Jive Turkey" and "Joe Wetback" having "voted but not existed". You can't get the same person voting several times (which is the claim to the extent of "fraud" according to Pugs) if they have purple fingers.. right? Isnt' that EXACTLY why other places do it? If that's what it takes, paper and purple fingers, to ensure our Democracy lives and works, isn't it worth it?
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 8:42 am PT...
It would be appreciated and topical to put a little blurb in all of these GREAT e-vote news articles you uncover, if the particular article was on TV news (ANBCBSNNX - corporate MSM TV news), and was it in the NYTimes and WaPo, or any other newspapers, but especially those two. I am interested in knowing if each and every e-vote news like this appears on ANBCBSNNX or newspapers. I think it's important to point that out, to prove that there is a blackout on these e-vote stories.
For example, on this one, mention that this story was in zero corporate-controlled MSM TV news & newspapers (if applicable).
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 9:36 am PT...
Buying MORE of the !@#$% Sequoia machines? Assinine!!! One has to wonder whose palms are being greased, because this is so blatantly, unforgiveably crooked no one could miss it.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 10:50 am PT...
I'm kinda focused on all them memory cards missing,
It sounds totally familiar to what happened up in Utah in the middle of the night
Were they pre-loaded with code and somebody just had to get to them, delete the bad (for them) code, now all of a sudden, the cards are going to show up again like everythings all right?
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 10:55 am PT...
It seems we should not be looking around during daylight hours alone, but a second and third shift might have to be added
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 11:09 am PT...
The problems in Chicago were 95% caused by poll workers who couldn't follow simple instructions like, "Make sure you turn the power off before plugging in the cartridge." Is that so difficult? And yet, thousands of them were unable to accomplish simple tasks my young children could master in a few minutes.
The problems in Chicago were caused by the people of Chicago, not the technology.
I was an observer in Chicago on Tuesday and was appalled at the level of ignorance, sloppiness, irresponsiblity and illiteracy displayed by poll workers I observed. In almost all cases, the new voting machines performed flawlessly and people loved them. Of the ones that did have problems, most were easily solved things like missing power cords, again due to city workers who did not properly complete their work. And all the media talk about scanners that rejected ballots is because the scanners were supposed to return them due to overvotes, undervotes or ballots that had not been initialed by the precinct judges (again, part of their simple instructions). The scanners did exactly what they were supposed to do but some poll workers had not paid attention during training, had had no training, simply did not care, and/or did not read the clear and simple instructions they were given.
The media coverage in Chicago has been, for the most part, childish and ignorant, and sites like this are simply picking up the garbage and passing it on. This is not helpful to improving the election process. I wish someone would do their homework before spouting off and help fix the real problems rather than just stirring up hysteria and paranoia.
Brad: are you listening?
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 11:30 am PT...
Bob Crump, why are you shilling so hard for electronic voting? What's in it for you?
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 11:39 am PT...
I voted in Evanston, IL. The voting site was managed by people who had 1)some training and 2) no training. The people who had the training, said that the machines had worked during the training, and now (7:00a.m.) were not. I watched the poll workers become completely frazzled as they followed the directions they were provided, and saw the machines become stuck, unable to read ballots, kick out ballots that were supposedly invalid. I don't know that these poll workers were that ill trained, but if what Bob Crump says is correct, that the ballots that were registered as undervotes were rejected "because the scanners were supposed to return them due to overvotes, undervotes " then the machine that read my ballot was not working. My ballot was intentionally an undervote. The scanner did not reject my ballot.
And the woman who entered it into the scanner said everything was "good ... fine". Well I guess it wasn't fine or good.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 11:43 am PT...
to Robert Lockwood Mills...
Who'd a thunk it...
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 11:51 am PT...
More than a month before the primary, I took Chicago and Cook County to task for spending $25 million on uneeded Sequoia Insight scanners:
This article discusses the fact that the Chicago/Cook County PBC-2100 punch-card system could have been used in conjunction with the AVC Edge DREs (not that I approve of their technology either). Imagine how much easier it would have been for election judges to have used familiar technology that worked well in previous elections in 2002 and 2004 along with the few voters who used touch-screens. (For example, of 226 votes cast in my precinct, only 7 or 3.1% were cast on the AVC Edge.
And it could have been done. As Sequoia’s vice president of sales, Howard Cramer, wrote to Lance Gough on March 7, 2005: “ . . . it seems clear that both jurisdictions have been pleased with the functionality of the PBC-2100, including the precinct ballot tally . . . and the undervote and overervote warnings incorporated into the system.”
In its response to the RFP, Cramer goes on to say, “. . . we would also welcome the opportunity to work with you on modifications to the PBC 2100 that would permit you to integrate that equipment with our AVC Edge touch screens equipped with VeriVote printers.” The letter includes four pages of flow charts that describe two alternative blended systems while Cramer discusses reprogramming the PBC-2100 fimware (operating system) to accept input from the touch screens and interface with the company’s tabulation sofware. In his cover e-mail to the letter, Cramer says, “The blended system concept that has really caught fire here is the use of the PBC 2100 to read the Edge cartridges. This seems like the simplest and most cost effective way to accomplish our goals with the least procedural impact on the pollworkers.”
Compounding the training problems (not enough of it) were machine problems. For example, in our precinct, a zero tape could not be initially run because the paper was wrapped around the spindle on the scanner printer. When that problem was resolved, the first two ballots that were inserted in the scanner were completely mangled because the power cord had been mis-aligned and blocked the ballot slots. Easy enough to fix, but a dozen votes were stored in the auxillary bin while the problem was resolved.
Essentially voting went smoothly enough through the day with voter error responsible for most rejected ballots (23 or 10.5% in total). Consolidation and transmission went as expected and results were transmitted 61 minutes after the polls closed. Printing results was difficult because the paper guide on the HAAT printer was faulty and kept "pushing" the paper toward a jam. Opening the cover and baby-sitting the printer solved that problem.
Generally the manual furnished by the County Clerk's Office was sufficient to answer almost all questions and was procedurally reasonably good. However, for pollworkers confused or intimidated by the new "high-tech" equipment, there were many problems. For the computer literate, it was not a particularly difficult process.
The Sequoia AVC Edge DRE proved less than reliable. We have confirmed reports of dozens of machines that never worked during the entire day and many that required extensive on-call maintenance or were shut down early.
In all, the election process can hardly have been a success when we're still counting ballots nearly 48 hours after the polls closed. it would appear that both equipment malfunctions and human error contributed to the breakdown. Much needs to be done before November.
City and County voters ought to be asking their election officials some hard questions about what’s going on here. Why are they spending a huge chunk of money on non-compliant optical scanners that don’t warn of undervotes like the system they replace did? Granted, according to computer experts we’ve consulted, it might have cost a couple of hundred thousand dollars to reprogram the PBC-2100, but the City and County would have saved $25 million that might be better spent on the next generation of technology that doesn’t saddle voters with these unreliable, insecure and inaccurate systems. Or, funds could have been made available for better paid and trained election judges.
When Dianne Felts, director of voting systems and standards of the State Board of Elections was quoted in the Chicago Tribune of February 11th as saying, "Shortcuts are being taken that shouldn't be taken." She wasn’t kidding!
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 12:10 pm PT...
Leslie - the Sequoia Insight optical scanner doesn't reject undervotes - it's not designed to do so. In our Evanston precinct, we asked every voter to vote both sides of the ballot because the scanner doesn't detect undervotes. The optical scanner only rejects ballots for four reasons:
2. No judge's initials
3. Blank ballot
4. Defective ballot (unable to read - creased, stray marks, badly torn from the pad)
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 12:19 pm PT...
"I wish someone would do their homework before spouting off and help fix the real problems rather than just stirring up hysteria and paranoia."
So, when he specifically talks about how shittly the workers were trained, you come and blame the poor training on the workers and say Brad isn't listenting?
What about the "missing cards".. do we trust them now that their chain of command was broken and god only knows what's been put on them?
"The problems in Chicago were caused by the people of Chicago, not the technology."
Here's a clue, asshole. If they were using PAPER BALLOTS and HAND COUNTING, there wouldn't have been the ability for anyone to even TRY to blame "techonology", right?
These machines are BAD for our Democracy, on SOOOO many levels. Anyone that defends using them is an ignorant lazy fuck and exactly part of the problem in the world today. Our "GIMME GIMME NOW NOW" attitude in this country, and "fuckit, I can't be bothered to think or expend energy, let a machine do it" attitude is destroying the world, and now our very Democracy with it.
Stop blaming "stupid people" for not being "technically savy" when the problem could be AVOIDED by NOT using that "technology"..
have you not been paying attention? Corporate America wants to make it easier for you to piss away money and do it while thinking less. Top that off with no basic foundation in this country valuing "education" and "thinking", and couple that with EXPORTING technical jobs (because corporations don't want to pay Americans for their work) and less of a "need" for technical people, and add on top of that the brain frying effects of prolonged TV watching and you have your answer.. Technology is neither good nor evil, but when it's relied upon with no understanding, it WILL cause bad things to happen. How about NOT relying on technology if we don't need to? how about keeping it on the leash it should be on, and used sparingly as a means to make life better, but only when it REALLY makes life better? These voting machines do NOT contribute positivly to our lives or Democracy, therefore there are not needed and should not be used.. duh?
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 1:23 pm PT...
Thanks for that.
"The Sequoia AVC Edge DRE proved less than reliable. We have confirmed reports of dozens of machines that never worked during the entire day and many that required extensive on-call maintenance or were shut down early."
I wonder what the on-call maintenance consisted of.
The lack of even the most basic product reliability--aside from any vulnerabilities to tampering--is mind-boggling. Why don't election officials make consumer complaints?
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 2:25 pm PT...
Savantster #15 -
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 2:31 pm PT...
On the road, so barely time to check in, but...
SAVANSTER - Watch it. No personal attacks on other commenters! (I'd have taken the post down if I wasn't on the road!)
BOB CRUMP - I'm listening. Though please feel free to reveal your attachment to the Electronic Voting Industry here when posting, sir. I'll let you do it rather than me.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 3:35 pm PT...
Any relation to Gary Crump, ES&S Chief Operating Officer? That would make sense I suppose. People are free to defend their industry, but it sort of rings hollow. I remember a high up Microsoft employee saying to a room full of unix operators that Windows 'basically doesn't crash anymore' and being met with raucous laughter. I suspect that would be the general response here as well.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 4:48 pm PT...
I personally don't go with the trolls on this blame the victim shit, if its too complicated then paper and purple fingers are in order
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 5:16 pm PT...
Oh shit, I didn't even notice that, as soon as I made comment post #7, thats when the troll action hit
(even though the original thread wasn't totally focused on the missing mem cards when I first commented in #7)
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 5:21 pm PT...
musta struck a nerve (he-he)
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 3/24/2006 @ 3:08 pm PT...
In response to comment #15....
THANK YOU, I couldn't agree with you more,
The *Gimme Gimme Now Now* attitude in this country, and the drive to implement machines to do everything for us, has become more then irritating to me.
I feel as if I'm drowning, in a sea of complacency,
struggling to rise above the laxness and moronic mentality of acceptance as the only option.
Acceptance has replaced accountability
Instant gratification has replaced stability
Complacent has replaced compliant
Conform has replaced steadfast
WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!
This is our tax dollars, our lives and OUR government, not THEIR government.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 3/25/2006 @ 10:13 am PT...
I was an election in suburban Cook County, and while our machines worked during the day, it was after the polls closed that we discovered the sole machine (for 4 precincts) fall apart while trying to read the cartridges. After an hour on the phone with downtown they told us to bag the machine and cartridges and take it to the receiving station.
The next day all the local news was reporting County Clerk David Orr and Sequoia spokesmen blaming the judges! I mananged to get interviewed by WBBM-AM 780 to correct that.
And the judges training on the machines? Well, there were over 200 judges at my training and due ot the numbers we didn't get hands-on there either.
We're in big trouble this November.
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 3/26/2006 @ 4:53 am PT...
What's wrong with the people in Chicago? Don't they ever read the interational news? Smartmatic. singlehandedly, installed a dictator in Venezuela with these voting machines. Talk about living in a bubble!!! Frankly, Venezuelans were horrified when they read that Smartmatic had been contracted by the city of Chicago for elections. I have to assume that there is no internet in Chicago, as a simple entry of "Smartmatic" would have burped up hundreds of sites with information on this company's performance in the Recall Referendum in Venezuela.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 3/27/2006 @ 12:46 pm PT...
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 3/27/2006 @ 1:39 pm PT...
The Illinois Ballot Integrity Project is developing a compendium of election system and human error problems during the Illinois Primary of March 21st.
We'd appreciate learning of first-hand experiences of voters, pollwatchers and election judges as well as links to press reports. Please let us know the County, City/Township, Ward and Precinct. Give some detail as to the nature of the problem, approximately when it occured and if it was resolved.
Submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org will be appreciated. Names and e-mail addresses of participants in the project will be held in confidence.
Thanks for your assistance.
Bob Wilson, Chairperson
Suburban Cook County Chapter
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 3/30/2006 @ 6:10 am PT...
We live in a world of technology where large networks for doing all kinds of things function pretty reliably. Not perfect but my bank statements are always right.
My take is that touch screens are deliberately manufactured unreliable. The constant malfunctioning is simply a way to get technicians in to flip the vote and cover tracks. The incredible unreliability is also a smoke screen to avoid prosecution for electoral fraud. Blame the rigged election on the supposed faulty machine.
Funny how these faulty machines seem to know that the winner will be Bush yet they just can't function. Or can they?
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 3/30/2006 @ 12:29 pm PT...
INSANITY= VOTING FOR THE SAME CANDIDATES AND EXPECTING DIFFERENT RESULTS.
If you vote Dem. or Repub. why worry about e-vote machines?? Why vote at all???
THEY ARE THE SAME---TRAITORS
U.S. needs a new party, right now.
ANYONE WITH ME?
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 4/2/2006 @ 10:41 am PT...
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 4/25/2006 @ 7:47 pm PT...
Lets see, 1 month and 5 days after the election and they still cannot find all the memory packs.
The recounts I've been through with the punch cards were much simpler then the goofiness going on down at the warehouse recently.
Reports show that the the memory cards could be manipulated to change the results. Companies like Diebold and Sequoia do not want their systems tested. In July 2005, Harri Hursti, walked up to a Diebold machine and flipped the results using a generic memory card leaving no trace of tampering. The County Clerk in Emery County Utah may resign because he does not trust the system. (I'm assuming you know all this already).
The system is so FUBAR (f 'ed up beyond any recognition) and in November there will be an additional 80 or so retention judges......and a new system on top of that........ :crazy:
The County Clerk is up for re-election