READER COMMENTS ON
"Diebold Gets Blasted In Another Report"
(24 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 8/16/2006 @ 2:11 pm PT...
Mr. Gideon, although you appear to mischaracterize the thrust of ESI findings, your concerns are well-placed and generally shared by me.
There can be no higher crime against citizens than the theft of an election by vote manipulation. This form of election fraud is more serious than a "white collar crime" for which current laws and relatively lame penalties have been contrived. In my opinion, election theft (state or federal) is tantamount to violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act with its severe penalty provisions. The intention of the Act was not to consider political parties as potential corrupt organizations, but it could.
Perhaps you will agree with me concerning the seriousness of organized vote fraud and the need for more severe penalty provisions. If so, then it would be consistent for you to support photo-IDs for voter fraud deterrence, as well.
The opportunity for election fraud is minimized when authenticated eligible voters cast a single ballot that is properly tabulated. Positive voter
identification must be matched once and only once with a certifiable ballot. Otherwise, the potential for election theft is obviously much greater than auditable, temporary defects in electronic voting may engender.
You fail to highlight the primary thrust of reported findings (Cuyahoga):
Most, if not all, of the problems identified in the report involve errors by workers. So much data has been lost that the consultants were unable to assess the accuracy of Diebold's touch-screen machines.
"Much of the problems we're finding are easy to resolve," said Steven Hertzberg, project director of Election Science Institute. The firm recommends big improvements in worker training and coming up with better systems for auditing the accuracy of the machines.
Moreover, while the Cuyahoga primary election experience was deplorable by any standard, it may be the exception for Ohio counties, not the norm.
-An independent voter and ex-fraud examiner
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 8/16/2006 @ 2:29 pm PT...
Once again, and I don't apologize for repeating myself:
Paper Ballots, Hand Counted.
This must be put into place by this November under an emergency basis. If we do not, the Republiscum WILL retain complete control of the Congress and the terrorist war criminals in the White House will continue and accelerate their destruction of America from within.
Please get active on this account.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 8/16/2006 @ 2:34 pm PT...
Vigilisa: The problem isn't VOTER fraud, it's ELECTION fraud. The voters are not flipping the election results; a relatively small group of criminals are. THOSE ARE THE ONES WHO NEED IDENTIFYING. Aren't you sick enough yet of our freedom and privacy being nuked for "security"? That there are fraud artists out there, doesn't mean we have to treat everyone around us as if they were fraud artists.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 8/16/2006 @ 2:46 pm PT...
Voter Fraud: Somebody voting who should not. Rare at best, and never enough (NO, not even in Chicago in 1960) to sway en election.
Vote Count Fraud: Changing the results of the counting of the votes. Could easily sway an election, as has been shown to have happened in 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004.
Election Fraud: Pretending that an election was "Democratic and Fair" when it was really a pathetic blend of illegal and semi-legal actions taken en-masse (ranging from removing legal voters from the vote rolls, giving legal voters provisional ballots that are never counted, mis-counting votes, phone jamming, police blockades, badly designed ballots, leaving certain candidates OFF of a ballot, etc.) to create an outcome other than what the public actually WANTED. Call this "American Democracy" as it currently stands.
ALL WE WANT is: Paper ballots, counted transparently (i.e. in public) by humans with counts tabulated and made public AT THE PRECINCT LEVEL before being centrally counted --- it's that simple.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 8/16/2006 @ 3:17 pm PT...
I'm sorry but there is a difference between election fraud and voter fraud. In the case of Cuyahoga Co. I would argue that neither is indicated and certainly not voter fraud.
There is only one reason for regressive voter ID and that is vote suppression. Those who want to keep legal voters from voting want picture IDs. It's unbelievable that some people actually argue that the hordes of illegal aliens will stream over our borders just to vote in our elections. It's a laughable argument. But this is off subject as is your response.
Yes, a majority of the problems were human error. Lack of training and stupid mistakes that never should have been made. But the machine problems were so overwhelming that they caused the human errors to be out of proportion.
It also needs to be stated that while the report says that other counties had no such machine problems that is a statement made without any background. They didn't investigate the other counties. They didn't audit the other counties.
If the mistakes are only human error then why does the report suggest that it could take longer than Nov. 2008 to fix the problems?
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 8/16/2006 @ 7:13 pm PT...
Mr. Gideon, re: (your words) "neither is indicated and certainly not voter fraud."
According to the Executive Summary, "Key Findings" of the ESI report you sited and linked:
The vast majority of voters surveyed were pleased with the new system, liked touch screen voting and had confidence that their votes would be recorded correctly.
The most commonly reported incidents were voter registration issues (30.1%), election administration issues (22.6%), problems related to voting machines (16.2%) and issues involving booth workers (9.1%).
Sir, you not only OMITTED mention of the most material KEY FINDINGS in your source report, you failed to recognize the potential fraudulent environment present when VOTER REGISTRATION ISSUES comprise 30% of administration issues.
HINT: administration issues involve worker training (and performance issues, rather than electronic voting methodology. I say again, you have mischaracterized tye findings of the report due to your personal lassitude, an attempt to propagandize and hype the actual ESI Report findings, or in related hopes that Bradblog readers are too lazy to read the underlying report.
As an independent voter I had hoped to find an intellectually honest, progressive blog. Instead, your readers comments include the scatological term "Republiscum" (Patriot), banal cliches like "privacy being nuked for 'security'" (Agent99), and dishonest denial like "not even in Chicago in 1960"(Charlie L.). Sir, your tent is rife with partisan vermin and bias comparable only to the most destestable Republicans. You are not the Democrats I know and respect. Good day.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 8/16/2006 @ 7:27 pm PT...
I know, my banality is legendary. I'm so ashamed. Sorry, John!
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 8/16/2006 @ 8:02 pm PT...
I guess that anything that comes from someone who has a blog that seems to be there only to trash lawyers and post blogs about how Global Warming is a fraud should be taken as "progressive"?
A vast majority of voters have no clue about whether their votes are being counted or not. They have blind faith in the people that they put into office and would never believe the truth. At least not until they actually take the time to read it or learn about it. By they way, ESI did the survey. Who did they survey?
The fact is that Diebold TSx voting machines are not accurate. They don't come close to meeting the reliability standards set-up by the federal government and that standard is one-eighth the reliance of an incandescent light bulb.
Anyway, apparently this is not the place for you so you are welcome not to come back, if that's your choice. You probably need to spend a bit more time slamming lawyers and Democrats and less time posing as a progressive.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
John in Missouri
said on 8/17/2006 @ 4:17 pm PT...
I personally dont trust any of these machines. And I have had enough of the B.S. that is coming out of the media, that is getting fed from the Criminals that have by use of COVERT PSYCOPS lied to us every time they open thier mouths. The only way we will get these people out is to mass protest and I mean The people of America rise up and take back what these evil bastards have stolen from us. Problem is if we do they it will be a hard fight because they have looked into all thier opponents files and know just who to start grabbing. That is the only way I see it possible any more. We must contest these elections like they have in Mexico. When a bill like the Patriot Act is inacted they mean what it says and will use these abuses on us. Hitler had his own similar version of this legislation and a similar Homeland Security Agents.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 8/17/2006 @ 5:57 pm PT...
I've been working on compiling evidence that Diebold has committed deliberate fraud in the certification process for their products.
Along the way I've found some compelling evidence that NASED was complicit in what has been going on.
What I've got so far constitutes five related files in the "Diebold fraud series" comprising the latest and most complete accounting of Diebold's sins to date:
http://www.equalccw.com/...incefraudwalkthrough.pdf – an overview of Diebold's Windows CE-related fraud. NEW TODAY: Appendix A constitutes a new page with additional evidence that this was deliberate on Diebold's part. Before we found that (again, appendix A) an argument could be made that Diebold might have declared the customized Windows CE code and Wyle ignored it. This is a specific statement that Diebold withheld the CE customizations from the test labs. Along with the Lee declaration, this in my opinion is the front-runner to putting Diebold flat out of the elections industry. Five pages.
http://www.equalccw.com/19202v2006.pdf - it's an ultra-condensed version of the file above, submitted to the California Secretary of State's site as an official request under California Election Code 19202. One page. Needs the Lee declaration in support.
http://www.equalccw.com/...lee-wincedeclaration.pdf – the declaration of Dr. Richard Lee. Same as previously distributed, no changes. Three pages.
http://www.equalccw.com/thenasedblues.pdf – covers the possibility of NASED involvement in covering up the madness documented here and in items 1 and 2 of this list. ALL new. It's not "airtight" but like the rest it's "probable cause" for somebody with subpoena powers to sort out the truth: a gutsy district attorney could do it, a state AG would be better, or a very gutsy Federal prosecutor. The California SecState's office might be able to do it too, so go Bowen! Four pages.
http://www.equalccw.com/...ieboldsinsandsecrecy.pdf - a more general listing (with links to evidence) of Diebold misconduct and cover-ups. 12 pages, but some big graphics. Over 9meg file size.
Folks, I'm pissed. More than that, I'm personally offended that Diebold is still in the vote biz. It's time for that to end.
And beyond that, it's time to point fingers at the oversight process that allowed them to run rampant. Because that certification and oversight process at the Federal level is the lynchpin behind ALL these vendors.
Everything here can be forwarded at will. The "WinCEfraudwalkthough" and "Lee declarations" must be a "matched set" of course...best if all five are mentioned as a set.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 8/18/2006 @ 9:51 am PT...
It's not voter fraud we have to be worried about. It's worker fraud and a few powerful people in the election process we have to watch like a hawk. We should also make voter intimidation a felony. To many anti-fraud political operatives are hassling and intimidating certain groups of people in order to suppress their vote, Voter ID cards are one way to do this. If I have a warrant out for an unpaid parking ticket, but I am still elligable to vote, certain groups would love to see me fear voting because I might be detained for my infractions. Voter ID cards are a way to make sure that the people that vote and may be poor or may have liens or child support in arrears never show up to the polls. We should vote like we do in Oregon, one voter, one paper ballot sent in the mail a week before the election. You don't have to wait in lines, you don't have to worry about intimidation and the turn out is exceptionally high.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 8/18/2006 @ 11:27 pm PT...
Jim March #10
I'm personally offended that Diebold is still in the vote biz. It's time for that to end.
Even if Diebold is the most honest company ever established, they are inept and cannot be given one more dime of taxpayers money!
I've never been one of those crazy tax revolt types, but I'm at the point of believing we must demand proof that every single vote is being counted correctly or declare "taxation without representation" and pool our money outside of government!
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 8/30/2006 @ 10:56 am PT...
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COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 9/12/2006 @ 1:45 am PT...
I am 100% behind this blog on increasing the integrity of the electoral process. However, I do think this particular article gets carried away a bit. The impact is greater by not falling into the trap of exaggerations to make your case. To this blog's credit, critic's comments are not erased or altered. It would have been helpful to see the figures outlining problems broken out in this article as the critic did, then provided a more unbiased assessment based on them.
I would also point out that the critic claimed to be an independent, not a progressive. His misplaced concern about voter fraud does not automatically disprove his claim, either. On the other hand, the critic seems to be perspicacious and industrious enough to discern and research that individual voter fraud is such a small problem that it has no real perceptible effect on elections, and therefore certainly can't justify the voter disenfranchisement caused by the requirement of voter ID's, which in many states constitute a return to Jim Crow-type laws. Even were we to ignore the racist angle, there can be no question voter ID is overwhelmingly pushed by Republicans to benefit Republicans, at the expense of not only the opposition, but democracy. That's disgraceful and unconscionable. Besides, the low percentage of eligible people voting combined with low voter fraud rate argues for less repressive measures and more voter encouragement. Moreover, voter registration problems don't equate to voter fraud; it usually translates as a tiny percentage. I can only conclude that whatever political stripe the critic is, he/she either has a nasty bias or a non-objective ideology.
While electronic machines themselves were not attributed the majority of error, it was substantial enough to warrant serious concern and attention. If my computer had that rate of error, it would be considered useless and trashed. And, when it comes right down to it, these voting machines are a lot less sophisticated than my PC.
Even where fault can't be traced directly to electronic machines, it must be acknowledged to some extent they bear an indirect responsibility; that any changes are going to create problems, and that issue needs to be proactively addressed to insure confidence in the system. Another valid area of concern is with audits. When slot machines require greater auditing processes than electronic voting machines—as is currently the case—that, in effect, sadly proves we currently place a greater value and priority on money than democracy.
I think that an open-source solution for electronic voting machines software best fits with democratic ideals. It would be less costly, and I believe it could be designed without compromising security. Possibly, you could have open-sourced application software combined with a generic vendor based operating system. Having proprietary software that is not open to outside independent review decreases confidence, invites abuses, and increases unreliability.
Another potential problem area could be avoided by requiring a separation between manufacturers of these machines and the political arena. We should never have a CEO promising to deliver an election to a candidate, as we saw with Diebold. It seems like a no-brainer that vendors of voting systems should be viewed as non-partisan. It can be seen that would be in both the government's and vendor's own self-interest, as well as in the best interests of the public and democracy.
An alternative solution that I had thought of long ago (even before personal computing took off), and am partial to, is allowing voters to use their PC's to vote from home. Voters lacking the means would still continue to use polling places, which might even contain regular PC's. If one can file income taxes using that method, why not voting? It should be possible to log on to a governmental web site with, say, your SSN, then be redirected so that no identifying information, including the IP address, is associated with the votes cast on that particular ballot. This would undoubtedly result in more people voting by making it easier and quicker, and would increase accessibility. If employers were to provide PC's at work where one could cast their vote privately, they could even increase productivity by not losing labor hours on election days. At the risk of stating the obvious, the resultant increased participation would strengthen our democracy.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 9/12/2006 @ 4:11 am PT...
I wanted to expand on that last paragraph, embellishing it a bit, fleshing out the details, and discussing some of the possibilities and potentials of my idea. I'd also be interested to hear any opinions or suggestions. That includes pitfalls or reasons why it may not be feasible or advisable at this time. If it wasn't for spambots, I'd leave my email address. I will check back, though.
A NEW WAY TO VOTE
An alternative solution that I had thought of long ago (before personal computing became as ubiquitous as it is now), and am partial to, is allowing voters to use their PC's to vote from home. Voters lacking the means would still continue to use polling places, which might even contain regular PC's with a special software application installed. If one can file income taxes using that method, why not voting? It should be possible to log on to a governmental web site, then be redirected in such a way so that no identifying information, including the IP address, is associated with the votes cast on that particular ballot. For instance, you might log in with your SSN, with a voter registration card number used for the password. Then, a unique number is issued that does not identify you in any way other than your voting district, which is used at another site to direct you to the correct ballot. Because you would be able to obtain only one unique number that can only be used only once for one particular ballot, the possibility for voter fraud would be minimal. Unique numbers would be picked randomly from a set and discarded after issue. Because the unique numbers are never associated with your personal information, and the two web sites operate wholly independent of each other, your votes are kept secret. Verification and security could be provided by the simple method of having votes simultaneously directed to one or more independent sites while still stored onsite. In addition, each voter could be given a new unique number that corresponded to their vote selections and the unique number used to vote as a further, or a back-up, means of verification. That second unique number might be configured in a variety of ways to facilitate that. Voters could choose to save that information to their computer, and/or storage media, and/or print it. Election results could be tabulated and verified much more accurately and quickly. Costs to the government—and consequently taxpayers—for election expenses would be significantly lowered. This would be achieved partly by the reduction in personnel and (specialized) equipment needed at polling stations. By eliminating much of the travel to and from polling stations, the cumulative energy savings and cost savings thereof would be substantial, and reduce our dependence upon oil.
This solution would increase accessibility for the disadvantaged. Voting would become quicker and easier for everyone, even those at polling stations, who would probably not be forced to endure long lines anymore. If employers were to provide PC's at work where one could cast their vote privately, they might increase productivity by not losing labor hours on election days. Or they might choose to do so as a public service. Information links could be incorporated into the ballots like pop-up windows (e.g., bio, campaign pitch, voting record, position papers, opposition reviews, independent reviews, newspaper reviews, criminal record, photos, testimonials, etc.), allowing voters to make more informed choices. Voting materials could be instantly translated by software to accommodate everyone. For all of those reasons, voter turnout would undoubtedly be greatly increased. Needless to say, the resultant increased participation and informed voting would strengthen our democracy.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 9/12/2006 @ 8:04 am PT...
When we talk about electronic voting and voting on Direct Recording Electronic voting machines we point to a lack of transparency as one of the problems. There is a lack of transparency with internet voting. There is no auditability. No way for the voter to know that their vote was counted as cast. And security issues abound.
For many of us VoteHere is just as much an enemy as Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia, or Hart Intercivic. They are trying to sell an internet voting solution.
The DNC is being lambasted for adding internet voting to their list of acceptable voting systems.
Look only to 2004 when security of the Pentagon's internet voting plan (SERVE)was inspected and found to be completely lacking. The program was cancelled soon after.
This country is not ready for Internet voting. You will never convince voting activists that they should give up all they are striving to attain so they can vote via the Internet. It won't happen.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 9/12/2006 @ 9:53 am PT...
As I pointed out, you could be given a new unique number after submitting your vote, which would serve as proof that your vote had been recorded. Furthermore, a listing could be accessed allowing one to further verify, using the number issued upon vote completion, that it was indeed part of the tally.
That is more transparent than any voting method we have. Right now, I go and vote, and, unlike the scenario presented above, there is no way for me to independently verify that my particular vote is part of the final tally after the election is completed. Never was, since votes have always been amassed as aggregates.
You don't make your case. One can bank online, access money market, retirement, and stock market accounts online to make transactions. Those functions are just as sensitive, or more so to many people, as voting. Millions file income tax returns online, as I pointed out. Another sensitive function. In fact, there are millions of such sensitive transactions occurring every day, and all of this is done with a high level of confidence.
So why not voting? Look at all the advantages I mentioned before. Look at all the incorporated safeguards suggested. I don't see that we lack the means for making it happen, or that it could not be done in such a way as to maintain the integrity of the electoral process. All that is lacking is the willpower. That could change overnight if more people were informed of the possibilities and advantages.
I appreciate your skepticism, John, I really do. To a certain extent, I share it. However, it would be great to see objections that are grounded on demonstrable logic or fact.
Another advantage I failed to point out is that it would become far more difficult to intimidate voters, especially if one could also register online. That, and some of the other advantages mentioned, increase the integrity of the process, and/or tend to enhance our democracy. I think those considerations are important, and need to be weighed against possible drawbacks.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 9/12/2006 @ 10:18 am PT...
More suggestions that may help ease your mind. What if, instead of governments or corporations, a non-profit, non-partisan entity was specifically created just to facilitate online voting? On one side, ballots are submitted from the local to the federal level, with accounts created for each. On the other side, accounts of voters are maintained. Such an independent entity would receive government funding, possibly from each governmental account, based on the actual cost of each election. In that respect, it would still be our taxes funding the system, giving the public control.
Another check would be for that independent entity to itself be subject to oversight by another independent entity, and to other interested parties (political parties, League of Women Voters, etc.). As I suggested earlier, open-source software could possibly be used by this independent entity, so that as a further safeguard, the population itself would be instrumental in verifying and maintaining the integrity of the system.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 9/12/2006 @ 10:39 am PT...
I keep having this 'deja vu' feeling that I have been in this discussion with you previously. None of the prominent computer scientists who work on voting issues are convinced that internet voting is ready to be used. None. They all have good things to say about Andy Neff and the others who are working on this issue but it is not ready for prime time.
One thing is it is too complicated a system for most of us to understand so it is NOT transparent. It's all done with software so giving me some unique number does not make me feel any better and shouldn't make anyone else feel any better about it.
When you use 'smoke and mirrors' in elections no one should feel comfortable about it. That's why VoteHere has failed to make any headway. That's why the SERVE program failed to be enacted.
You aren't going to convince me that internet voting is secure, transparent, or viable. As no one this blog is far down on the list no one is reading it except you and I. We can save each other a lot of time and end this now. I have disasters happening in other states.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 9/12/2006 @ 10:57 am PT...
It should be kept in mind that older voting methods have their own flaws, which was the reason for changing to newer methods. Any method will have some drawbacks, vulnerabilities, and flaws—just as we perceive the need for paper audit trails with electronic voting machines. The challenge is to choose the best method, then devote our efforts into making that system secure and reliable.
VoteHere and SERVE may well have been faulty implementations, but that doesn't mean the idea couldn't be improved upon, or necessarily indicative that online voting isn't the direction we should take. In my view, online voting offers the greatest benefits and is likely to soon be embraced by the public once those benefits become more widely realized. So, why not devote our efforts to that end?
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 9/12/2006 @ 1:57 pm PT...
Thank-you, John, for elucidating your views. You have also given me some helpful information and ideas. So, no matter how far down in this blog we are, you have done some good. I have never discussed this heretofore online, so you must be thinking of someone else.
I make contributions to formulate, discuss, and share ideas and thoughts; how many people see them is of secondary importance. That some will and be impacted is good enough for me, if not for you. I have no such inflated sense of importance. Even if nobody should read this, I still derive some benefit. And John, I’m mostly trying to convince myself, which is why feedback is appreciated. As pointed out before your last posting, I have my own doubts. But nobody here is restraining you against your will, forcing you to take part, and keeping you from doing whatever it is you find important. Nor is it very civil to unjustly make that implication. If you don’t wish to participate anymore, then don’t—but the arrogant attitude only shows off your hubris. I tell you this for your own benefit.
You appear to be making the incorrect assumption that I am suggesting an online voting system be immediately put into place without proper testing or development. That seems to be an unreasonable assumption, given that I have said nothing to that effect that would lead one to draw such an erroneous conclusion. My sense is that this is a noble goal worth working towards.
Despite your points, I respectfully disagree. Electronic voting machines can hardly be called transparent, yet they are now becoming the norm. That isn't an effective argument, just fact. But it does indicate that the complete transparency we may find ideal is no longer practical or obtainable in today's society. I would also argue that since the vast majority of people do not possess a full understanding of even the most rudimentary of voting systems, the term 'transparent' can be misleading. Besides, no system is completely transparent. There has always had to be some amount of faith or trust placed in the system and election officials. If it was completely transparent, there would be no need for safeguards. I know of no voting systems without safeguards. Even then, despite using the most 'transparent' of systems, there has been fraud and abuse.
Online banking, online tax returns, etc., cannot be called transparent, yet we can verify accounts to insure that transactions have been correctly completed, and that no one is stealing our money or falsifying our data. You fail to make any convincing argument why we can use such secure online systems extensively in our daily lives with confidence, but can't do so to vote.
The questions I would pose to you then, are these:
With the use of advanced technology, the common person is not going to understand all the software and hardware employed in the voting process. Only specialists or people educated in each specific area do. Does that mean that the system is not 'transparent', as you seem to assert? Should we be forced to use only the most primitive of means whose complete workings can be understood by people with even less than average intelligence? Seemingly, by your logic, since the vast majority of people will not understand all the software and electronics in electronic voting machines, such means should never be used, no matter how many safeguards are implemented. Isn't that a ridiculous position to take?
When one uses a calculator, does one have to know its precise workings to have confidence in the results it provides? How about things we trust our lives with, like commercial aircraft, an automobile, or an elevator? Or, is it enough to be able to determine that it functions correctly and accurately by independent means? Why, then, shouldn't the same hold true for online voting? Can’t a voting system be regarded as ‘transparent’ if its basic mechanisms are known and its results verified by any lay person, while the integrity of its detailed workings are able to be independently confirmed by experts or specialists?
I think you dismissed the 'unique number' aspect without giving it much thought. As I said, a listing of unique numbers showing how each anonymous voter voted is kept as an online accessible public record after the election. Therefore, you have a complete accounting of all votes for each candidate that can be tallied and verified by anyone, not just election officials. Additionally, each voter can verify that their vote was correctly recorded, a security feature never before available. Fraudulent added votes would be easily verified by comparing the amount of unique numbers obtained to vote to the amount of second unique numbers given to those who actually did; that amount could never be less. By the same token, deleted votes would quickly become apparent by unusual discrepancies between the two, and because voters would not find their votes in the listing. Unless you're some kind of crazy conspiracy theorist, it isn't "smoke and mirrors", it's "trust, but verify", which is essentially no different than current and past voting systems.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 9/12/2006 @ 4:28 pm PT...
John, a few more questions for you. In your objection to online voting, you stated that nobody would know if their vote[s] had been cast. I disagreed with that, as my example of an online voting system would give people exactly that capability. But you failed to show how is it possible now or before for anyone to verify. I have no way of independently verifying that. No one is given a receipt for their vote that can be checked later to see if their vote[s] have been included. So, how can I be 100% absolutely, positively certain my particular vote[s] counted? Don't I have to place my trust wholly in election officials and machines that my vote[s] were counted? How is that 'transparent' to me? How is trusting people who may have their own partisan agenda better than trusting computer programs open to review that are incapable in and of themselves of any political agenda or partisan bias? Isn't there enough recent evidence illustrating just how untrustworthy some folks associated with the election process can be, and the powerful influence they can have in skewing elections? Isn’t it true that many of the major voting problems have had as much or more to do with people and processes, not electronic machines—Katherine Harris in Florida, Blackwell in Ohio, Bilbray in San Diego, butterfly ballots, overseas military ballots, hanging chads, gerrymandering, disenfranchisement, fraud, etc., etc., etc.? Remember, there were no DRE's used in Florida in 2000.
I’m not asserting there isn’t serious problems with electronic voting machines, but I am trying to point out here the problem is much larger than just that. People are losing faith in the system because of more than just the electronic voting machines. There is a huge problem with ‘transparency’ even without factoring in such machines or online voting, which have a tremendous potential to increase the integrity of the system. Your argument about not knowing if your vote counted is irrelevant if that is already the case, or if many people already have that perception.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 9/13/2006 @ 10:27 pm PT...
RE: #5 John Gideon
John, this response of yours was despicable on several levels.
Vigilisa was not off topic. He was discussing your article and the report it references. The expectation seems to be that the topic is confined to only how ‘evil’ Diebold is, not the broader scope that the article covers. It may be natural to become defensive when the general thrust of your article is revealed to show a bias that slants the facts, but it does not excuse your fallacious claim or unreasonable expectation. That he himself may have misinterpreted a part of that data due to his own bias does not change that.
I have just finished reading the complete report, and your reassertion that the machines were mainly at fault cannot be shared by any impartial observer. I care not at all for Diebold and their practices in manufacturing, marketing, supplying, and supporting their DRE’s, and am very concerned about reliability and auditing issues with all DRE’s. It cannot be said that I am in any way biased towards Diebold and their voting machines. However, there was a myriad of problems with the election in Cuyahoga County. Although Diebold and their subsidiary rightly deserve part of the blame, it was misleading and disreputable to slant the article towards placing most blame on the machines themselves. From the report cited, clearly the bulk of culpability ultimately belongs to the CCOBE and elsewhere.
As I had pointed out before, Vigilisa only claimed to be an independent, not a progressive. It was wrong to falsely label him a progressive when he said no such thing. Nor is it right to make the assumption that he does not seek out progressive ideas just because he holds some quirky ideas. People shouldn’t be pigeonholed simply to discredit them for their criticisms. You pointed out his website and what it contained, but if you had bothered to take more than a cursory examination, you would have noticed right on his home page in the bio he states openly he is an independent.
Pointing to Vigilisa’s blog and his general dislike of lawyers and Democrats constitutes a distasteful personal attack. Isn’t it more than a bit hypocritical to falsely accuse Vigilisa of going off topic, then admittedly commence to doing so yourself? If you hadn’t been so quick to wrongfully defend yourself by digging up dirt to discredit him, you might have noticed the global warming thing came from another source and attacked lawyers, apparently his pet peeve. In any case, whatever you or I—or anyone else, for that matter—may think of Vigilisa’s views on other topics, again, it shouldn’t be used to discredit him for his honest criticisms on this topic.
John, your article was either deliberately slanted, improperly researched, or both. Whatever the reason, it is inexcusable, and reflects ill on both you and Brad. It is hypocritical to demand ethics of others when one does not behave in an ethical manner. That unethical behavior is present in both your response and the article. I think you owe an apology to Vigilisa for your response, along with an admission that some of his criticisms in his responses were proper. The readers of this blog deserve no less, as well. It would also be ethical for this blog to issue a clarification or correction to this article in addition.
In conclusion, it is my wish that this be seen for the constructive criticism it is, and not as any kind of personal attack against you, John. Try to remember we are on the same side and fighting for many of the same things. It should be realized that personal attacks, lack of objectivity, and hypocrisy don’t inspire respect or help our side. Let us leave the other side to hang themselves with that noose.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 9/14/2006 @ 3:42 am PT...
My last posting refers to both #5 and #8 from John Gideon. Sorry for any confusion; I should have caught that.