READER COMMENTS ON
"FLORIDA'S NEW GOVERNOR TO RECOMMEND PAPER-BASED OPTICAL SCAN VOTING SYSTEM FOR ENTIRE STATE!"
(25 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 1/30/2007 @ 9:30 pm PT...
Now if they could just go to supervised hand counts, by god they'd almost have a real democracy! 'Course this is Florida, and I don't see the Rethuglican guv calling for an elimination of voter intimidation, "felon" purges, etc.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 1/30/2007 @ 11:43 pm PT...
Twenty million bucks is huge alright, Brad.
Of course if they went to hand-counted paper ballots they could save about $19 million, but then the Rethug wouldn't be recommending it.
So who's getting the twenty mil? Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia?
You know about the session on vote-counting scheduled for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in February? "Appropriate audits," my AAAS. You got the ballots, you count the ballots. You let the machines count the ballots you'll end up needing them to wipe your AAAS for you too.
Like Paul Lehto, who will be speaking as the AAAS session says, by the time you get your "appropriate audit," the wrong candidate has been sworn in and you're still in court trying to get access to the audit logs.
Didn't some dude named Brad have a blog with a ton of material on how easily those op-scans can be op-scammed? Or is my memory getting as bad as Judith Miller's?
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 1/31/2007 @ 4:51 am PT...
Wow, ground zero ('00) is being cleaned up. Very good story Brad.
And with Debra Bowen as SoS in California, two visible states are turning around.
Hey, I have become almost afraid to ingest good news ... but this is like water in the desert.
Congrats to Florida and California. Congrats to Bradblog, Velvet Revolution, and Black Box voting for helping.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 1/31/2007 @ 5:23 am PT...
Okay I've got an idea......... how about we take idiotboy's idea about a voluntary reserve corp and instead of policing the world or our own people we use it to count by hand our sacred votes. True citizen participation in our democracy! If America won't pay the price of a transparent election we have no right spreading "democracy" around the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You can't tell me there aren't enough people willing in all parties to spend what maybe 10-20 days a year guarding the foundation of democracy!
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 1/31/2007 @ 5:57 am PT...
Optical scanners - built and controlled by private corporations who embrace America's decline into facism.
Brad, I love your blog and your work but this is not big news. Last I heard the optical scanners were as corrupt as the touch screens.
In the end I suppose it doesn't matter - either America falls into the pit of despotism or it does not - honesty, integrity, courage, veracity - all gone - we have become a nation of pimps; 300 million people controlled by a narcissistic dry drunk.
It is truly beyond sickening.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 1/31/2007 @ 6:24 am PT...
The big news part is that those scanners need BALLOTS --- that allow real recounts to take place --- and so any election rigging can be detected and corrected.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 1/31/2007 @ 6:30 am PT...
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 1/31/2007 @ 6:45 am PT...
Agent 99 #6
Yea, like Brad said, one stone at a time on this path.
Injustice moves faster than justice many times. Take note that the WTO protesters just won big in a case that started in 1999 (link here).
I think when a lot of the cases currently in the grist mill will bring better news.
Same with hearings in congress ... when the republicans get their minds back and begin to nip the fascist regime in the bud.
paper ballots ... its a good thing ...
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 1/31/2007 @ 6:57 am PT...
In a state that makes it about impossible to do an audit or conduct a meaningful recount this amounts to nothing more than an attempt to restore faith in a corrupt system. We still have to fix their system before Florida can in any way be considered part of any real democracy.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 1/31/2007 @ 7:02 am PT...
I do not see this as anything to cheer about. Optical Scan machines have a constitstently horrible test record, just as the electronic voting machines do. This should not even be called a "step in the right direction." It isn't.
BradBlog never seems to say clearly that
There must be hand counted paper ballots in full public view. (with citizens' groups camcorders beaded on the precinct voting day activities from time the doors open.)
The state election codes need to give true definitions of "ballot" and "audit" and "record" and other key terms. This will mean changing back to true defintions, since many state election codes have already been adulterated by given "cyber" meanings to terms and phrases.
All electronic voting machines - optical scan and all others, should be deep sixed now and all Secretaries of states in the states should be sued along with the county government officials, who by stealth and obfuscation, sneaked and rushed the electronic machines in on us.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 1/31/2007 @ 7:16 am PT...
It is not going to happen. The powers-that-be (Republican and Democrat) rely on the electronic voting. Unfortunately it took segregationist Governor Wallace to reveal the truth that "there's not a dime's worth of difference between" Republicans and Democrats. The Democrats willingly went along with the War in Iraq, opening mail, suspension of Habeas Corpus, detaining protesters, banning books like "America Deceived' from Amazon America deceived (book), stealing private lands (Kelo decision), warrant-less wiretapping and refusing to investigate 9/11 properly. They are both guilty of treason.
Support Dr. Ron Paul 2008.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 1/31/2007 @ 8:29 am PT...
I'm with Brad on this one, the electronic machines are NOT, I repeat NOT going to go away no matter what we think
At least with the ballot there's something to count, after we get rid of all the DREs (touchscreens), then start hammering for a full hand count or at the very least a mandatory, random 5% hand count every election
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 1/31/2007 @ 10:45 am PT...
Paper Ballots being counted electronicall in Florida is really no big deal.
The paper ballots can NOT be recounted in Florida, so the corrupt and easily manipualted counting machines will make sure the results are as the corporate bosses want them to be.
Counted by HUMAN HANDS
in a TRANSPARENT and OPEN manner
with results posted at the LOCAL level.
It's not hard. PAPER/HUMAN/OPEN/LOCAL
Repeat after me...
Oh, and I'm not sure where to throw it in, but removing somebody from eligibility to vote who is entitled to vote and/or preventing them in any way from voting must be a class A Felony punishable by 10-20 years in jail PER OFFENSE (without possibility of parole, pardon or clemency).
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 1/31/2007 @ 11:06 am PT...
This is a big step, but it wouldn't prevent Blackwell-esque tactics to rig an election. It's going to take more, and it is probably going to take publishing the vote and giving the voter a binding receipt before you're going to kill this stuff. The only way to completely short-circuit this stuff is to put the ability of the voter to protect his vote back into his own hands in an undeniable way. Otherwise the system can be gamed at any subsequent point(s) to stiff the voting public. It's as simple as that.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 1/31/2007 @ 12:40 pm PT...
In 2005 the Florida legislature passed legislation that prohibit "full manual recounts of paper ballots under any circumstances".
With that law on the books it makes the move to all optical-scan voting meaningless as a protection from vote error or manipulation. All optical scan systems rely upon internal software using election specific "ballot definitions" to record the marks on the paper ballots, and then election management software to do the actual counting and reporting.
That leaves an accurate vote count susceptible to some of the following
1. An error in the programmng of the ballot definitions.
2. An error in the processing of the program that interprets those ballot definitions.
3. An error in the scanning sensitivity or calibration.
4. An error is the design or printing of the ballot that results in a particular race or propostion not being processed acurately.
5. A deliberate introduction of a virus or similar hidden code that will alter the way the paper ballot is read or the vote recorded.
5. A deliberate pre-stuffing of the electronic "ballot box" (i.e. the Hursti I attack).
6. An error in the election management system (EMS).
7. A deliberately inserted virus or coding that can automatically alter the tabulation or reporting of results within the EMS.
8. Manipulation by an insider within the elections department of the vote database using standard data processing programs.
Optical scan voting is a better alternative to DRE voting systems ONLY IF the paper ballots are used to conduct a scientifically valid audit that will give a 99% certainty that any electronic forms of recording, counting, and reporting is accurate. If not, then optical scanned ballots provide a dangerous false sense of security.
Florida has made it even worse by requiring certification of results within 11 days of the election. That provides insufficient time to conduct a valid audit, let alone a full recount, or for a candidate to make an informed decision whether to challenge an election. Florida's election laws are an affront to the right of its citizens to determine who shall represent them in government. None of this was by accident or inadvertant good intentions gone wrong.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 1/31/2007 @ 2:47 pm PT...
I think we should still say "Hooray!" for any positive movement in FL at all, as they've been the worst offenders (along with Ohio) in the vote rigging/stealing/hacking/blocking America.
And another "Hooray!" for all you bloggers and for Brad for recognizing the problems inherant in the machnines, particularly in FL.
I'm sure the Pubs will soon enough be whining, "See, we give 'em what they want, paper ballots; and now they want us to COUNT 'EM, too!"
We still should be happy to celebrate such wins. If nothing else, this is one of the biggest. It shows the tide to be turning our way...
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 1/31/2007 @ 4:29 pm PT...
God knows, I wish I could believe this was real progress, but I think Jody #15 is right. What good are the paper ballots if there's a law on the books forbidding the counting of them? It's insane but hey, insane seems to be the rule these days.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
Colleen military mom
said on 1/31/2007 @ 5:46 pm PT...
And God Bless You, Brad Friedman
de-lurking, but always reading
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 1/31/2007 @ 5:49 pm PT...
... brantl said...
"... It's going to take more, and it is probably going to take publishing the vote and giving the voter a binding receipt before you're going to kill this stuff."
Nope. This idea just 'outs' the voter to anyone who wants to apply pressure to the voter. The term most generally used is "vote selling", but that term overlooks the fact that the selling need not be voluntary on the part of the voter.
Folks keep bringing this idea up since election problems were recently brought to the forefront of public awareness... and yet history clearly shows that secret balloting was a long-overdue reform when it was implemented.
What will it take to make it clear to folks that secret ballots are secret for a damn good reason?
Or do they really trust the current administration to play by the rules?... Or are they so... "historically disenabled" as to think that things won't get this bad again if this power over the voters is given to any third party that chooses to use it?
The choice is either secret ballots or extortion of voters.
There is only that choice.
And history has plenty of examples of both.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 1/31/2007 @ 6:34 pm PT...
This is first step, but the law must change to require a validation hand count of at least 5-10% of the vote (random) and a full hand recount if the vote is close or if ANY problems or questions arise concerning possible errors, manipulation or fraud. The best method would simply be to make election day a federal holiday, and pay enough people (including high school and college students) to hand count every paper ballot the night of the election. This count should be done within each precinct before the ballots ever leave the area. The count should also be open to the public, with restrictions and severe punishment for disruption or interference. Elections can be done correctly, but only if WE THE PEOPLE require it.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 1/31/2007 @ 6:38 pm PT...
Yep, Zap, it always reminds me of the people who think it's okay to throw out chunks of the Bill of Rights to make it easier to prosecute criminals. One really only has to look at what happens to anyone in the administration who disagrees with * to get an idea of the dangers of losing the secret ballot.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 2/1/2007 @ 1:16 pm PT...
It's undeniable that there are arguments to be made for secret voting, but you can't deny that the secret voting concept is what Ney used to try and deny us ANY transparency by telling us the poor handicapped people would be able to exercise their right to vote for the first time. Voting fraud by high officials has never been more dangerous.
I am not by any means advocating giving people a receipt to take home or connecting their name with the votes they make. Voting on a ballot, putting it in a box with lots of others and then taking them out, counting them and marking them on a board in full view of the public seems like the safest thing for 2008.
The thing that might work best is to have a machine count the hand marked ballots AND count them by hand. I am reasonably sure the count would match even if a classroom of 4th graders counted them, but there is no way in hell the higher-ups are going to allow that, because they are the ones trying to steal the votes.
Simplify, Simplify, Simplify!
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 2/1/2007 @ 1:23 pm PT...
I think people should be able to write in what judges they want or don't want or to vote them all out or leave all of them in.
I really don't think people care about voting for people they have no knowledge of and that would save the poll workers a huge headache.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 2/1/2007 @ 1:33 pm PT...
I fully agree with Jody and Joan above although it doesn't look likely we will be able to affect anything more then a half measure that satisfies the vote stealers once again.
If Al Gore became the front runner in 2008 it would it would sure put a light on that elephant in the living room though, and I can't imagine a scenario where we would put up with anything that resembled another stolen election due to the fact that almost nobody in the country, except Scalia and the other four jackasses are saying that we had to let THEM pick the president.
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 2/1/2007 @ 1:47 pm PT...
One more comment:
Counting things and having them match what a computer counts is certainly not a new concept. I would say that every corporation, small and large, does this quarterly. I know mine did, and we had to stay late that night if it didn't come out right.
I guess the difference here is that those corporations don't use computers designed specifically to screw up the count. We should hand mark and hand count the ballots in 2008 to prevent the corporations that made these machines from making ONE MORE RED CENT! Other, more honest start-up companies will be more than willing to fill the void for 2010.