READER COMMENTS ON
"Op-Scan Voting Machines Miscount Ballots in Iowa Republican Primary! Hand Count Reveals Other Candidate Leads By Far!"
(20 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 6/8/2006 @ 11:42 am PT...
Hey Brad good work keep it up, While I was reading the blog and tried to move on to the next post I got a white screen cannot find server. Then I could not access your blog, No webpage configured. You got them running scared, they must be hacking the site.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 6/8/2006 @ 11:55 am PT...
At what point can it be said:
Told ya so.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 6/8/2006 @ 12:25 pm PT...
Keep kicking them in the ass Brad! Eventually they'll have to turn around and see what's happening.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 6/8/2006 @ 12:40 pm PT...
I don't get it.
Why would the ES&S machines be set up to work AGAINST the long-time Republican water-carryer and in favor of the young college student?
It doesn't make sense?
And why isn't every single race in the USA where Op-Scan voting machines were used to count the paper ballots being re-counted by hand?
(where 100% of our mailed-in paper ballots are counted on ES&S or Sequoia machines)
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 6/8/2006 @ 12:47 pm PT...
In Florida the supervisor of elections would be in jail for recounting the optical scan ballots.
scroll down to may 25th
The rubber hits the road as Sancho points out how the state has deliberately changed the laws to make sure that rigged elections cannot be uncovered.
Equally troubling is a state law passed in 2005 that makes it unlawful to use paper ballots in official recounts, Sancho said. Electronic votes must stand on their own.
"I could go to jail if I examine the paper ballot," he said.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 6/8/2006 @ 1:22 pm PT...
It would be interesting to know if Missouri law prohibits a manual recount of electonically cast ballots.
You cannot simply recount early ballots, without recounting ALL ballots for an accurate talley.
I can guarantee serious impropieties occurred if the County Recorder didn't have all effected candidate's representatives present for all manipulations and recounting of the ballots present. All ballots should be sealed under lock and key as directed by Missouri law at all other times.
Because of the directed nature of early ballots, it would ultimately not be surprising for a 6-1 ratio favoring the incumbent, who probably had a paid early ballot access mailing to probable supporters.
Still, I am guessing proper procedure was not followed by the elections officials, and you can bet beyond a severe scolding (i.e., no punishment) nothing will happen after the incumbent is re-annoited.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
Old Turk ---- SEND BRAD $$$$$$$$ !!!!!
said on 6/8/2006 @ 4:29 pm PT...
Good find,.. add this to the laundry list
of why these electronic voting machines are
contaminating the integrity of our voting processes.
Evidently the vendor is not bench testing this
equipment before it is released to the precinct and
put into official use to count the vote. If e-voting
machine vendors are so cavalier about counting
our votes and these machines are giving such
skewed results. Should these vendors and their
voting machines be allowed near our ballot box or
in any way involved in the counting of our votes ?
without question say no they definitely should not !
Charlie L - Comment #4
Not all inaccurate counts of votes can be attributed to nefarious conduct with blatant fraudulent intent.
That is just one of the problems with these e-voting machines.
Another problem is that these machines are prone to malfunctioning,.. the vendor does not think it
necessary to bench test prior to being put in to official use. The counting of the vote just is not that important to them I guess. Profit trumps exactitude and accuracy,.. stuff your pockets full of money and run for the hills. Accuracy of the vote count seems to be our problem not theirs. Even though
the vote counting machine put in place is malfunctioning or giving a faulty count,.. these vendors simply do not give a shit.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 6/8/2006 @ 6:21 pm PT...
Fellow Portlander here --- would you please participate in our Oregon Voter Rights Coalition Call to Action? We are all writing to our county election clerks to make sure they are aware just how insecure and inaccurate our Op-scan systems are. We have a proposed plan to verify the vote by handcounted random sample, but the county clerks tend to balk at this and there is a lot of ignorance and denial about the problem.
(Guess they think our state is exempt from the trainwreck? Whatever..!)
We have got to let them know how important it is for us to implement a verification procedure. Read more at the link and please join us --- there is a place on the website to subscribe to our action alerts.
Thanks for your posts here. I am near Beaverton --- are you around here?
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 6/8/2006 @ 8:41 pm PT...
Basically, the electronic voting machines lend themselves to 2 basic "issues"..
1) They are VERY unreliable, as has been shown in many many examples. They crash and lose votes, they don't register the touch to the screen properly ("I pushed Kerry and it sayd 'you voted Bush'.. I don't get it".. for example), they lock up and can't be used for hours on end.. etc. etc. This in and of it's self is a HUGE problem.. When a machine crashes and loses it's count, that distorts the election.. and with no "real" paper trail, those votes are truly lost forever.
2) Hanky-panky.. That is, someone can manipulate the totals "pretty easily" (compared to most "secure" electronics). If you don't like where the votes are at 4pm and you know there's going to be a few busses of "your party" showing up later, push a button and dump all the votes (either through a crash, or malicious code, etc).. The other worry is that, as has been SHOWN, you can simply "load" a memory card with the opposite and negative proportions you expect in a district.. that is, if you expect a 55% - 45% Dem to Rep, you can simply (let's say you know there are 10,000 voters registered) "load" the card with -2500 Dem, +2500 Rep and swing that "final total" your way.. total votes don't show as being out of whack, you just shifted 2500 (5000 total toward your guys).
Because you never know if it's simply a "bad machine" (and therefore a screwed election) or "hanky panky", you can at least come to one conclusion. Using these machines IS A BAD idea.
Paper, pen, hand-count.. KISS.. keep it simple, stupid..
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2006 @ 2:55 am PT...
Charlie L #4
These machines remind me of what a football player said about his coach Bear Bryant. "He is very fair", the older player said, "he treats each of us like garbage".
You said "Why would the ES&S machines be set up to work AGAINST the long-time Republican ... It doesn't make sense ...".
These machines treat everyone like garbage, because they are defective.
Voters should not have to worry about the count, and any bona fide election official should want these machines to work and work well. They probably do, however, for some reason the election machine companies do not have a consumer orientation. Election officials are there to make sure that the election machine companies remember that they must have a proper respect for the public. The public is paying for machines to be used in sensitive elections, and strong standards must apply.
Consumer protection laws should apply to election machines ... like Bev Harris and Jim March had it applied in their California lawsuit against Diebold ... which they won.
There seems to be a wrong headed misunderstanding at the bottom of all of this, to wit:
"Of the first class of error, Shamos seems to misconceive the proper role of citizens in a democratic republic. That role is not to accept the proclamations of government officials (or of the vendors they choose) on faith, but instead to treat them with a healthy, sustained skepticism. This role is particularly important on issues concerning the maintenance of the republic itself" (link here, bold added).
The writer goes on to correctly point out:
"And no issue is more central to that maintenance than the honest and accurate administration of elections, since they are citizensí chief means of control over the republicís course. Yet Shamos would make citizens prove that such systems are inaccurate and/or dishonest, rather than requiring their proponents to prove their accuracy and honesty by opening them to total public review and constant verification" (ibid, bold added).
In the case we are talking about, a republican incumbent had the lead but the machines missed it. That cannot be allowed in a true republic. We are failing and that means something other than democracy is winning.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2006 @ 4:15 am PT...
This is extremely serious and I'm glad it's getting highlighted. As you point out, it's relevant to the Busby race and to all elections where equipment does not produce an auditable record (voter-verified paper ballot) OR where state laws make hand-counting of the audit difficult or impossible.
It is revealing that the actual winners didn't even consider that maybe the machine counts might have been inaccurate, even though they were surprised by the initial machine results.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2006 @ 5:18 am PT...
1) Is anyone going to find out exactly what is wrong with these machines? And when?
2) Is the county going to get its money back with damages from the voting machine maker?
3) Is there going to be a full and public investigation of this episode?
I know county's have no budget for full-throttle investigations. What they should do is what all poor counties do: hire the various members of the competitive manufacturers to give their opinion of what went wrong. They may not do it publicly, but they will be button-holed by some County Commissioner so he can get a plausible explanation and look smart for the hometown crowd. The Machine Maker in question will, of course, launch an "internal" investigation and conclude it was operator error or bad training of county elections officials. Now the competitor's piece-of-shit machinery is no better than the Failed Maker's despite all the claims they make,so in the end he will say the Failed One's claim "might be" true---this after casting all sorts of aspersions upon same when talking to the Commissioner who button-holed him. Watch. Nothing is going to happen but a shrug of the shoulders.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2006 @ 5:25 am PT...
Can we return to paper ballots, NOW? Actually, we will never return to paper ballots. The powers that be enjoy rigging elections. They stuff paper ballots anyway. We cannot trust a government that spies on citizens, taps phones, pushes corporations (like Amazon) to stop stocking the shelves with books like "America Deceived" by E.A. Blayre III and silences critics like Baumgarnetr and Zundel.
Last link (before Google Books bends to the pressure):
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
V. Kurt Bellman
said on 6/9/2006 @ 7:43 am PT...
This illustrates why a badly calibrated opscan can be almost more dangerous than a DRE. The presence of the paper leads to a false sense of security.
What has been the common theme in all ES&S opscan counties? Late arrival of machines, materials, and programming. What does that lead to? Skipping or glossing over the testing.
It's good that someone thought outside the box and decided to do a hand count.
There IS a silver lining in all these. Every problem leads to a slow drip, drip, drip of the the erosion of the legally entrenched "presumption of validity" in election administration. the more errors that are caught, the less courts will rely on machine counts.
I know the pace of cahnge is frustratingly slow, but the direction is good.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2006 @ 8:51 am PT...
Let's look for a pattern in Dem. candidates. Gore rolled over. Kerry rolled over . Busby rolls over. Hackett rolled over. Hardly a peep about republican criminality. I saw Hackett in an interview with Tweety..grin on his face,"I like war." Appealing to republicans who also like war. John Edwards and Kerry attacked Dean a lot harder than republicans. Maybe the fix is in at the starting gate. Something tells me that Wes Clark who likes College of the Americas...wouldn't say he was against selling of the ports to Dubai would also roll over. Dems. backed by the DLC equals roll over. The choir is singing in Las Vegas. We have to fight despite the candidates. I'm also getting blank screen losing server.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2006 @ 10:12 am PT...
I can well remember when paper ballots were counted by the polling place workers on site as soon as the polls closed. With poll watchers from different parties watching the counting process (after watching the actual voting procedure all day) chances of hanky-panky were minimal. This is the way most countries conduct their elections. I was both a poll watcher and an polling place worker during the 1940s and 1950s in Stockton, California.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2006 @ 12:27 pm PT...
The Same Iowa Paper has a story about a woman who won a democratic primary in the same place after basically dropping out.
They don't suspect a miscount. Amazing.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2006 @ 12:29 pm PT...
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2006 @ 7:09 pm PT...
WORSE THAN BALLOT BOX STUFFING
MALVO SNIPER KILLED PEOPLE TO KILL MEDIA COVERAGE OF WAR DEBATE
None of the media covers the most important aspect of the Malvo shootings. If you look at Newspapers on the dates when the shootings are underway you discover something quite interesting. The shootings begin the very day the debate on the war starts and completely and totally dominate the news until they catch them shortly after the declaration of war???
If you ask most people "do you remember the debate about starting the second Iraq war", they will all answer "yes of course". But if you followup with the question "name one point in the debate, a speech by a Senator or where their senator stood", nada.
Almost no one noticed any aspect of the most important senate debate in the last 50 years?
An interesting and odd fact... No one has done a story on what the real impact of the shootings were. It was to virtually eliminate the senate war debate from the media.
The special forces background of the senior member of the pair also seems to get short shrift.
Smells a little fishy to me. At a minimum its a very significant part of the story, i.e. that a common murderer had such an impact on our political process at such a critical time. Why is nobody covering this obvious fact?
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2006 @ 10:32 pm PT...
Hey Dan Pride,
have you seen the Manchurian Candidate (new version) - Denzel even looked like the DC Sniper.