READER COMMENTS ON
"VIDEOS: Vote Flipping on Touch-Screens in WV"
(77 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 10/27/2008 @ 8:47 pm PT...
i must've missed it, but i can't find the report on vote flipping in Mo.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
Jeannie Dean (not in) FL-13
said on 10/27/2008 @ 9:14 pm PT...
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 10/27/2008 @ 10:02 pm PT...
Jacki Penny -
Info on MO as included in this report: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=6559
Just wanted to let you know that Missourians for Honest Elections is in the process of confirming five separate reports of vote flipping --- from Democrat to Republican --- on the iVotronic machines that are the only means the Board of Elections is providing for in-person absentee voting at its headquarters in Maplewood [St. Louis County, MO].
Working to get more details, confirm on those, but buried with reports coming from all over, including vote flips in Houston on Hart InterCivic machines and in Nevada on Sequoia machines.
Doing my best to keep up here
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 10/27/2008 @ 10:52 pm PT...
thanx 4 the resource, Brad. (i know u r swamped)
will still try 2 access this info later as Missourians for Honest Elections is down temporarily.
as an election judge in Jackson Co., Mo. i've been told that "no electronic devices, except for the ones provided by the election board" (i.e. a pager, cell phone & pda) are allowed in the polling places in our county. also that as judges, we are to ask that all voters put away their cell phones or other devices upon entering to vote.
i was assured that this is because of causing a disruption at the polls (being noisy & causing confusion) or possible electioneering- nothing else. it will be hard 4 anyone 2 video their voting experience once inside.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 10/27/2008 @ 11:24 pm PT...
Wilburrr... ~ For the life of me! ... I can't understand / no fucking comprendo ... WHY the fuck you would even have to calibrate an
evm (Evil Voting Machine) ... ya don't calibrate calculators, computers, answering machines, telephones etc. ... One of the benefits of digital devises is that they requires little or no calibration. A big WTF ?
I wish someone could splain to me exactly what all this calibration crap is all about & what's that module he plugged in ? I'll bet the answer is that's proprietary... executive privilege ... fucks with the power of the president!
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 10/27/2008 @ 11:25 pm PT...
I'd expect no less from my "friend" Charlene Davis in Jackson County, MO. (She is, after all, the one who helped arrest a voter for attempting to vote with a perfectly legal non-Photo ID in the recent primary! And the one who ran to Fox "News" with the bullshit about being buried by fraudulent ACORN voter registrations a week or so ago, even though ACORN hadn't done any registration work in Kansas City since August!)
I can only hope that folks stand up for themselves, and the privacy of their own ballot, to shoot any such incidents that they have. It's for your country.
I have video taped my own voting experience out here in Los Angeles, and when the computer printed 4 out of 12 of my votes incorrectly, it was that cell phone video that helped the Registrar to determine what had gone wrong with the computer voting system.
It's certainly allowed in CA, and OH SoS Jennifer Brunner told me personally that it was allowed in OH, as well. Haven't check on that point with the MO SoS, however. Hope you will! (Don't trust Charleton Davis!)
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 10/27/2008 @ 11:30 pm PT...
Happy to splain. "Calibration" is needed, as I understand it, essentially, to tell the computer which candidate is under which part of the screen. To map the touch-sensitive layer to the graphic display.
As to plugging in cartridges, after an election has already been programmed, well that's just frickin' insane, ought to be illegal, and just one of the reasons I'm furious that the Democrats are sitting back and doing absolutely nothing about this issue, and allowing both election officials and voting company employees to access these election-programmed machines in this way.
It's insane, knowing how easy it is to game these systems in precisely that way.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 10/27/2008 @ 11:34 pm PT...
Hmmm... I wonder if they make a lapel camera that attaches to a cell phones ... Or just a lapel camera recorder.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 10/27/2008 @ 11:57 pm PT...
I don't like how they use the terminology.To me that would be loading a setup or job parameters or a patch plan. And being in the digital domain it should never have to be done again unless of memory failure, election change or static and if it did screw up it should change some check sum value and display an error message. IMO
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 3:44 am PT...
It's all in the programming! My Grandson-in-law, who is an expert programmer, says, "Give me five minutes alone with ANY of these machines, and I'll elect Mickey Mouse to any office in the land!" He also says "I don't even have to touch the machines! The mischief can be done remotely!" (I HOPE he's full of prunes, but having seen some of the things he can do, I suspect that the truth is even worse than he says.) There are LOTS of Hackers out there who like to exploit "Weaknesses" in the system - and when the machines are originally programmed to be vulnerable to ONE type of hacking, other types become easier. We might wake up on Nov. 5 to find that Nader won the election!
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 4:04 am PT...
One thing you can take to the bank...it won't be Nader
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 6:02 am PT...
I would presume that the Democrats are doing something about the complaints but are not making it a public announcement. 1) It would fire up the conspiracy theory and make them look paranoid 2) It would make them appear to be poor sports 3) They have a better chance of getting to the bottom of it if no one knows it is being investigated. Certainly hope I am right in my assumption!
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 7:42 am PT...
KMAC, I would assume that your #3 guess is correct, from what I've gathered they've been trying off and on to catch them for at least 15 years if not longer.
You can only catch them taking the cookies out of the jar every 2 years or 4.
Hope the Spoon is in with them this time
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 7:49 am PT...
I am a software test engineer (15+ yrs) in Seattle; I have worked for MS and every major software producer in this area - the world's center of software development.
Here is the bottom line: the functions associated with the voting process are utilized every day on any commercial website you care to visit. Every single time you click, "OK" vs. "Cancel", this technology is applied successfully. The notion that there is some mystery about how to properly test and ship simple software like this is beyond plainly ridiculous - it takes a special desire to screw up a simple program like a vote catcher.
This entire hubbub is blatant voter fraud and every American ought to do all they can to go after these criminals.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
Michael from WV
said on 10/28/2008 @ 8:13 am PT...
As a West Virginia resident who voted early, I can assure that I have been on top of this problem. After the problems in Jackson, Putnam, and Ohio Counties were reported last week, I spoke with the Secretary of State's office requesting that she order all county clerk's to recallibrate the machines daily during early voting. The Secretary graciously issued such an order.
Now, in Ohio County, the Clerk has taken it upon herself to personally recallibrate the machines each day. Furthermore, they are provided pencils with erasers to each and every voter who comes into to vote early. And, by using the eraser tip, the votes seem to be more accurate. The clerk ensured me that these pencils will also be available to all voters next Tuesday at each voting precinct.
Unfortunately, the Secretary of State has not yet ordered all county clerks in WV to follow the same method. So, I just spoke with the Elections Division in Charleston, and requested that the Secretary order pencils be provided to all voters in all counties. I have never been wary or suspicious of Secretary Ireland, and even after this, I have no reason to doubt her judgment. I also believe that the Secretary will take my advice. Worry not, friends, I will stay on top of this story.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 8:38 am PT...
This is insane. As a designer of industrial control computers, I was intrigued by HAVA, thinking (in 2002) I would build the better voting mousetrap, until I heard Diebold was gonna do it and they'd undoubtedly beat my time-to-market. Man, if I knew then what I know now I'd be filthy rich and we wouldn't need to be here.
Anyway, the use of the word "calibration" is misleading. The ONLY component that would need that would be the touch-sensitive part of the screen, to align it physically with what it was reading logically. If the "straight-party" button works, the ONLY way the wrong candidate could then be auto-selected would be by a bug or, um, "feature".
Now, if "calibration" really means "configuration", it would be easy for the "straight-party" selection to be told that Nader is a Democrat (for example) and would be a big certification hole, too, not related to any firmware problem or certification.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 8:42 am PT...
On the ESS machines, the serial number is at the bottom of the machine (facing you if you're voting)on the left hand side. Ours start with a "V" followed by 7 numbers.
ASK TO VOTE PAPER!!!! The poll workers have been told to NOT inform voters they have this option - why, I don't know, I think it's terribly wrong to not fully inform voters of every option. But please don't yell at the poll workers (that would be me). We are trying to do everything we can to make this election run smoothly, and we are just as concerned as you are if the machines are not running properly. Poll workers are there to help, not hinder your vote. You can be assertive without being snotty about it.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 9:00 am PT...
Option 1, the Democrats are brilliant, oganized, understand Election Fraud/Theft, and are working in secret and KEEPING the secret (when they can't even keep a haircut secret), and are doing everything they can to assure an honest election by working non-stop "behind the scenes."
Option 2: The Democrats are idiots who are going to roll over and play dead. They think they can beat election fraud with massive numbers, and a "ground game," not realizing that many of their "massive numbers" have already been purged from the voting rolls or will have their ballots "spoiled," or will have their massive number of votes "flipped."
Hmmmm. Touch choice.
Given Occam's razor, I think I'd have to go with #2.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 9:19 am PT...
Well, if they can make ATMs that don't need to be 'recalibrated' all the time, I'd think they can make voting machines that don't need to be constantly recalibrated.
I had to calibrate my Nintendo DS once.. Once. I had to calibrate my Nintendo Wi once.. once (my nephew decided to recalibrate once, but didn't need to, it didn't help his game.. lol).
If they can make a machine that gives you exactly what you press when it's banking, they certainly can do the same with voting. Since something bad is happening during voting but not with ATMs, we should presume intentional misconduct.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 9:58 am PT...
Note: When those who study election integrity speak out regarding the insanity of using DRE's for something as innately vital as elections we are not being "luddites" or "hysterics"... we often tend to be geeks ourselves, in fact.
But no amount of simple, elegant coding (which is ignoring the fact that the manufacturers actually have a vested interest in producing the exact opposite) no amount of "clean code" can override the fatal flaw of e-voting:
Computers work out their inevitable bugs (and malware etc is found) by comparing the actual inputs with the actual outputs to see if they match the expected outputs.
Even ATM's screw up and get infected etc.etc... but a wise customer will have their bank statements and receipts (input and output) handy and the bank then makes the problem go away.
But the ballot needs to be secret, and the voter should not be able to prove how they voted. This is to protect us from voters selling their votes and to protect the voter from coercion. (it's not a good idea having the people you're voting out of office or voting to have reregulated know exactly how you voted.)
So the input of "vote" needs to be secret and in DRE's this input is deliberately lost, and the voter does not, can not, have the slightest clue as to what the machine has actually done with the input... and any so-called "paper trail" is merely an after-the-fact justification as untrustworthy as the machine that printed it.
This is not "luddism"... this is the simple acknowledgment that the tokens representing information that are used by the computer at the time the vote is taken are imperceptible by the voter... and after the vote count the computer can easily be made to lie like a rug all day long about what it did with that vote.
Computers are simple, trusting things and are easily gamed by the smartest artificial intelligences on the planet: Humans.
There is no escaping this simple fact: secure elections and e-voting are flatly incompatible and always have been.
Paper ballots with proper ballot controls made the coexistence of both ballot secrecy and ballot authentication possible... not because they are "crude" or "primitive" concepts but because they keep the tokens of voter interaction at a macroscopic level were those keen humans can keep a handle on them... especially useful as we are the ones constantly competing to game the system anyway.
And paper ballots just turned out to be some appropriate tokens for the voting interaction, is all.
Now is usually the time when some trusting soul unthinkingly screams "ENCRYPTION WILL SAVE US ALL" and leaps into the fray.... but I need to close out this particular comment and get a beer before I continue.
Feel free to leap though ... punji sticks are standing by and I shall return for cleanup...
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 10:06 am PT...
The votes are flipping from Democratic to Republican and the media is still asleep? This election will be heavily adjudicated, or should be.
The great minds behind the electoral fraud of the last decade should be tried on racketeering charges and sentenced to life in federal prison. Including the voting machine executives.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 10:07 am PT...
I remember about a year ago we were talking about EPROM's and late Eprom deliveries (Erasable Read Only Memory / firm ware)at the time I was under the assumption the eproms contained the election setup or mapping of the screen...
Perhaps these eproms are whats inside of the "Calibration module" ...BTW ~ the code on any of the eproms or read only memory can be considered part of the source code.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 10:18 am PT...
I cant think over a slower use of computing power other than fucking traffic signals ... an old 286 or less can perform "this" evm function sleeping while doing figure eights ... so speed of any kind is a joke.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 10:21 am PT...
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 10:23 am PT...
People, this is standard Windows CE. They use standard calibration tables where offsets are used to adjust physical registered touches to the logic screen inputs.
Read this comment over and over again:
When you select Straight Ticket, we have to assume the touchscreen goes into it's software and selects all candidates. It does not register fake touches to pretend you voted in a certain way.
There is NO WAY calibration can be blamed for Nader being selected under straight ticket. If I had to guess, this machine is hacked to make it look like Obama would get chosen and then McKinney or someone showed up and screwed up the selection. I would guess the GOP has framed Obama with broken touchscreens.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 10:33 am PT...
Wilburrr... I'd use the pencil eraser on these fuckin evm's for fear of picking up some contagious disease from the gop skinflints that proceed ya . . .
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 10:38 am PT...
Watch the video again.
It appears that he manually selected Nader, then presses straight ticket R, then Nader was not updated. Looks like a software bug when voting straight ticket with previously selected candidates.
Could it be intended that way?
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 10:48 am PT...
Electronic voting systems are not infallible. What if there is software that flips behind the screen (or a delayed flipping action), which looks OK to the voter, but in theory flips during the process of transmitting? Regular quality checks of machines in rotation, in each voting station would be a good idea to allay the fears of voters.
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 10:52 am PT...
I live in Mich. and I will be Precinct Inspector ( first time ). Anybody has some links on problems with paper ballots and scanners. thanks
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 11:49 am PT...
I'd have to guess that the "wrong selections" showing up aren't malicious, but really bad machines.
Think about it. If you wanted to "steal votes", would you really give them a chance to see it on the screen? They would simply look at all the current totals and keep their guy (the Repub) slightly ahead, only in the back ground where you can't see it.
Votes come in slowly, and there's a fairly even match between D and R.. Every now and then a vote is put under R instead of where it went, but you never see that. It's just an increment of one of several variables.. Simply wrap it around the submission logic and do it after the "commit vote" button is pushed (or whatever confirmation button is pressed at the end).
Making it so you can _clearly_ see the flip would still potentially require code, so why risk drawing attention to yourself?
Of course, either way.. seeing these problems demands public access to the source.. If no intentional code is found, the machines are listed as junk for not being able to register touches properly.
Either way, we win..
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 12:09 pm PT...
From what I've heard about West Virginia, you can't ever guess this kind of thing isn't malicious. Those coal barons are desperate. And they never stop playing dirty.
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 12:21 pm PT...
I am originally from Ohio, and when I heard about this, I realized that the same thing had happened to me in the 2004 election, and then to my grandparents in the 2006 election. These machines were made by Diebold. I unfortunately at the time thought that it was just me, but I was very upset, and wasn't sure what to do. I had to hit the Democratic candidate three times before it would work. And the same had happened to my grandparents in 2006 with the senate seat of DeWine up against Sherrod Brown.
When the 2006 election occurred-- the precinct that I had voted in had changed their voting machines to something else. I wanted to know who they were made by, and while they do make a record of the votes made on the machine with a reciept printing on the side (you can watch it record as you hit the buttons), I still have an issue with the electronic machines.
I will vote in Pennsylvania this year because I recently moved for a job here, but the problem isn't nearly as new as everyone would like to believe.
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
Jeannie Dean (not in) FL-13
said on 10/28/2008 @ 12:46 pm PT...
Thank you so much for taking such effective action in WV! Big forehead kisses and bags of joy to you for doing so.
I've just been tasked by Video the Vote to be the West Virginia outreach coordinator--wondering if you can give me a call or shoot me an email to discuss this further.
jeannie dean: firstname.lastname@example.org
I'd be thrilled to hear from you.
Again, thank you for being so pro-active on the ground there in WV. Means the world to people like me (us)...
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 1:28 pm PT...
Michael from WV (#15) -
a) Thanks for what you're doing.
b) There is no way in hell that ANYBODY should be "recalibrating" machines during the election. That would be the easiest way to introduce a virus, or other malware onto those systems. They should be taken out of service immediately. End of story. And voters can be given paper ballots.
c) Read others comments here on the "calibration" nonsense, that fails to explain, for instance, Nader being selected even after the straight party option is selected in the video seen above!
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
Diane in TX
said on 10/28/2008 @ 2:13 pm PT...
So what if I want to vote straight ticket on every race except the presidential one? I can do that on a paper ballot. Wouldn't that account for the straight ticket/Nader "error"?
COMMENT #36 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 2:51 pm PT...
The machine "paper trail" ONLY RECORDS HOW THE MACHINE RECORDED THE VOTE. It does NOT NECESSARILY RECORD HOW THE VOTE WAS ACTUALLY CAST. There should be a detailed printed receipt of the votes cast for the voter.
I can go to an ATM and get a detailed accurate receipt.
I can go into a regional convenience store and enter an order into a dre for multiple products. Sliced meats, side dishes, sandwiches, etc. I can personalize the sandwich toppings. Out of hundreds of options, I have never gotten a printed receipt of my order that did not show my order exactly as I entered it for products, sizes and numbers. If a deli dre can do it, why can't the state operated voting machines do the same?
COMMENT #37 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 3:38 pm PT...
The machine "paper trail" ONLY RECORDS HOW THE MACHINE RECORDED THE VOTE. It does NOT NECESSARILY RECORD HOW THE VOTE WAS ACTUALLY CAST.
Actually, to be a bit more precise there, Tom, the "paper trail" does not necessarily record how the machine recorded the vote. The paper trail can say one thing, and the machine can say another.
There should be a detailed printed receipt of the votes cast for the voter.
If you mean a "receipt" that you can take home with you, then no, you don't want that. That would lead to vote buying/selling. And that's why this business is very different from an ATM or deli transaction. We have a secret ballot, so it needs to be accurate, and transparent as far as the ability to assure that it was counted as the voter intended.
Printing out ballots or "paper trails" is no substitute for a hand-marked paper ballot which we know reflects the intent of the voter. Computer printed ballots can be flipped without the voter noticing (see Rice U.'s study where two-thirds of voters who bothered to check their summary at the end, didn't notice vote flips.)
COMMENT #38 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 3:45 pm PT...
We might wake up on Nov. 5 to find that Nader won the election!
Oh, if only. Sorry, but I'm not very thrilled with the duopoly these days. It's time to get rid of their stranglehold. It would be sweet justice if a vote for McCain became a vote for Nader.
COMMENT #39 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 3:53 pm PT...
... TomaHawk said...
"There should be a detailed printed receipt of the votes cast for the voter."
Because you really, really don't want that... because you really, really don't want Dick Cheney and every ceo on the planet knowing exactly how you just voted against their best interests.
Because you really, really don't want to hear the following: "Nice family you have here. Be sure to drop by my office with your receipt after the election."
COMMENT #40 [Permalink]
karen from illinois
said on 10/28/2008 @ 4:24 pm PT...
dear censor/nsa watcher,
i wish there was a way for u to let me know just how much info i am allowed to give before i spend a half hour typing it up and u decide not to post it
what part didnt u like yesterday?
was it the new hampshire recount numbers from hillsborough county? on the republican side the following towns showed more votes than voters
dats right 8 seperate places reported a collective 81 votes that were physically impossible...was that what u didnt want printed?
what the hell..lets do the dem side today too
in the new hampshire recount,in hillsborough county on the dem sos recount report the following places reported more votes than voters
9 places reporting a total of 64 impossible votes on the dem side
yet i hear on the msm ovr and ovr how no real probs were shown in the nh recount and mccain may make another comeback there...lol
its also telling he is spending so much time in pa which has no paper to count
COMMENT #41 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 4:32 pm PT...
What actual good would having a printed receipt do? Unless all the voters got together and reconciled them all with the vote totals like checks and deposit tickets with a bank statement, the receipt doesn't mean much in the big scheme of who won, does it? We know that what's printed out doesn't necessarily match how the vote was counted. (See Sequoia and the NJ Snafu.)
COMMENT #42 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 4:44 pm PT...
COMMENT #43 [Permalink]
karen from illinois
said on 10/28/2008 @ 4:52 pm PT...
if it wasnt the hillsborough numbers then it must of been my theory about the programs having a pre determined result and any vote that moves the number past that result cannot be accepted by the machine...at least not w/o an internal override(which prob has a physical tag also but it happens so fast peops havent noticed it)
when jeanie dean caught them on camera in florida doing an override because memory cards would not load into the counter,i believe it was because the machine couldnt accept those numbers as it already had as many obama votes as it needed for its pre determined result
the only chamce the dems have to win this presidential election is to physically know the precincts,street by street,voter by voter
i say this because if the vote is flipped in pa to give mccain the win there,there will be a physical tag(an impossibble number)and finding it will be of the utmost urgency
its hard to be hopeful with the neo cons controling everything but obama was smart enough to know he had to win the caucuses to win the nomination so i am hopeful he is smart enough to know the presidential election will have to be won in states with paper ballots and/or dem govs and sos
COMMENT #44 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 5:33 pm PT...
Savantster suggests that the vote-flipping machines are accidental rather than malicious, because the real election fraud would be hidden.
Savantster might be right. These machines could be the hidden fraud screw-ups....they were supposed to work behind the scenes, but...ooops!
Or, they could be a dry run --- desensitize the public to these little "miscalibration" errors that are all fixed so easily, blame it on the voter --- then on election day they run with the real fraud and if anybody notices anything it's just a little voter error or miscalibration, y'know?
COMMENT #45 [Permalink]
Jeannie Dean (not in) FL-13
said on 10/28/2008 @ 5:38 pm PT...
Karen! Yes, right on AGAIN, as usual. I've been following your predictions re: PA with much interest and dread. After our terrifying analysis of the Manchester 5 numbers from the Diebold Op Scans, we learned that New Hampshire's machines experienced an error rate approximately 163 times greater than the error rate allowed under federal Election Law. (Bob Schulz, WTP NH Recount Report @:
Inflated vote totals in some wards, negative vote totals in others. If it comes down to PA, God forbid, Karen--I know it will be difficult for you to stomach. Your post election stats are always a lock, this premonitory warning should give us all hives.
Video backing up Karen's numbers from NH Machester 5 can be found here:
COMMENT #46 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 6:36 pm PT...
Again, even in the Nashua Ward 5 case, if people go to their polls after close and get the precinct posted results, it will make a difference. Do this in Ohio and NH. And it doesn't matter in PA, they have zero paper trail.
COMMENT #47 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 6:37 pm PT...
"Savantster suggests that the vote-flipping machines are accidental rather than malicious, because the real election fraud would be hidden"
Savantster is wrong!!! If the vote flipping is happening by chance just as many machines should be flipping votes from D to R as from R to D. The fact that this is not ever the case tells anybody with a good grip on probability theory that these flips are not happening by chance. They really and truly are happening by design. There are smart thieves and stupid thives. These thieves are clearly of the stupid variety!
COMMENT #48 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 6:58 pm PT...
Different states and counties... different machines and administrators. Different fingers in the pie. Troublesome. Each known case could be due to incompetence and/or malice and/or incompetent malice.
By the time the pattern becomes clearer in those groups of cases that do turn out to be related it can be too late... ala Kerry's Cave-in re: Ohio in 2004.
COMMENT #49 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 7:04 pm PT...
Bamboo Harvester (#23): Hah! You have no idea! The CPU in the model Princeton just tested is a Z80 (introduced by Zilog in 1976), a far 8-bit ancestor of the '286. It's as good a choice as any, but even the lowly '286 is overkill!
That is, these machines are not rocket surgery.
ZapKitty (#20): Look up Ned Ludd. Luddites weren't against technology per se, just the human impact technology brought: loss of skilled labor, loss of product quality, and failure of local economies, all in service to a rich bastard that could build a factory and didn't give a fig about textiles. Kind of like what's happening between the US and China.
COMMENT #50 [Permalink]
Jeannie Dean (not in) FL-13
said on 10/28/2008 @ 7:21 pm PT...
Right, Bob Young~! Think Feeney. Dumb and DRUNKER, even. Reports from Bob Ney's secretary confirmed his drinking the hard-hootch starting at 7:30 am.
Lil' hair of the dog to help you swallow down that unconstitutional H.A.V.A. implementation? Just a spoon full of venim....
COMMENT #51 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 7:31 pm PT...
Update: The Asst. Atty. Gen. and Secretary of State of West Virginia have since called Video the Vote threatening to sue that we have misrepresented the machines in editing the footage.
The complete unedited footage is (slowly) being uploaded now to www.videothevote.org which shows that, no, the County Clerk did have to second guess his own calibration and approval of the touchscreen.
COMMENT #52 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 7:31 pm PT...
But one of the primary talking points of the e-voting shills has been that any opposition to the evm's must be based on ignorance and hatred of the tech. Luddites is one of their favorite terms for us, and I suspect that all the millions of people who seem destined to receive a very harsh lesson next week are going to be regaled with that term in hasty explanations for what happened... a lot... a whole lot... regardless of the actual nature of the Luddites.
COMMENT #53 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 7:50 pm PT...
There is no such computing concept as "recalibration". Somebody is lying to the election officals. He's just reinitializing the computer, which would do absolutely nothing but return it to the state it was initially in. Which could be anything.
Moving a computer would do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO THE CODE ON THE MACHINE. That excuse is utter bullshit, sorry. It's not like you shook a switch loose! There are no moving parts.
I find it hard to believe a programmer writing the cheat code insert would fail to make sure the screen matched the voter's choice. Unless he was a hack, OR the code is so convoluted that the cheat code is affecting something that they did not anticipate. Or the whole set of code is just unbelievably buggy. Just shut it all down. All of them. Go to paper, like Canada.
COMMENT #54 [Permalink]
karen from illinois
said on 10/28/2008 @ 7:58 pm PT...
if peops in any area get numbers from precincts it can be helpful,both the ballots cast numbers and the tape numbers r necessary to prove a "vote report" of 101 per cent..but yes pa will be a challenge
jeanie dean u rock as usual..ty for providing great links to help explain my ramblings..lol
mr ennis this is excellent work...but what the clerk really meant wasssssssssss let me try "calibrate" it one more time!!!thats kinda how they "move" the vote round til it gets to the result they pre determined
COMMENT #55 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 8:07 pm PT...
You can check your printed receipt all you like. It has nothing to do with what was recorded in the database. It's a false sense of safety, it's theater.
COMMENT #56 [Permalink]
said on 10/28/2008 @ 9:09 pm PT...
They have had at least 4 years to replace these intrinsically porous and highly undependable voting machines. The fact that they haven't done so speaks to conspiracy by those who want the vote to be hackable. In 2006 I asked one of the ancient poll watchers (assistants or whatever the title for those who direct you to the machines etc. is) Why do they still use these machines when they have been proven to be flawed? He said it would cost too much money to change them. I know he was just talking out of his ass, but it pissed me off just the same. Paper ballots shouldn't cost more money. I would think they would be cheaper. Besides, even if it did cost more money, it would be worth it to know that the elections are believable. No, the reason that these machines are still in use may become painfully clear in the next few days. This country really needs a revolution. The corruption runs deep on both sides. I will vote for Obama, but I don't expect any significant changes. He has already capitulated on FISA and retroactive telecom immunity, faith based initiatives, the BAILOUT THEFT, and he still buys in to the OBL Al CIAda myth. He wants to do more war, just not in Iraq. My only hope for him is if he gets the mandate of a landslide victory and his feet are held to the fire on real issues. Maybe he would then respond to the people's wishes. Cynthia McKinney is my first choice, but I am not going to give McInsane a chance by voting for an alternative candidate this time. Maybe he could put her in his cabinet.
COMMENT #57 [Permalink]
said on 10/29/2008 @ 1:21 am PT...
The only way you can legitimately use one of these machines in a real election is to use them to print out a PAPER BALLOT so you can SEE who you voted for. Then each voter hands the PRINTED BALLOT to a security guard who places it into the LOCKED BALLOT BOX which[at the beginning of the voting day]was ceremoniously opened and shown to the audience of citizens & video-taped for the record to prove it's empty.
At the end of the voting day, the votes are hand-counted by citizens in plain view of the citizens who wish to gather for the event. All video-taped for the record. It's the only way.
The states have been SCAMMED. The machines are worthless and they have to know it. In my state of GA, SOS Cathy Cox gave $54 MILLION Dollars to Diebold and put their EVIL BLACKBOXES in EVERY Precinct. The cost of EACH VOTE is somewhere around $50.
The Voting Machine Companies went across the country hiring outgoing Secretaries of State to lobby for them. You see how that works.
Thank you RobinInDallas for casting your vote for O. We need a f***n LANDSLIDE to beat the MACHINE.
COMMENT #58 [Permalink]
said on 10/29/2008 @ 1:55 am PT...
Reading down all the comments in this sequence is an education. They touch on most of the things vote activists have come to understand in the last six years or so. There is a poignancy to humans when they want machines to do their bidding.
As the architect of and integrator of a technical system, I can remember standing by a client who'd been trained in its use as he demonstrated it to a third party who was unfamiliar with the system. I stood in a kind of awe at the degree of mixed-up information my client was confidently communicating to the new person. He knew how to work the controls, but his interpretations of what the system was "telling him" were way off.
This is the flaw at the heart of the idea known as "train the trainer".
Clerk Jeff Waybright (star of Video 2, Jackson County, WV) reminds me of my old client. He's well-meaning, somewhat experienced, and expressive of the dangers inherent in a little learning.
As long as the vendor's tech is hovering over and standing by, each Election Official can come on like a technical whiz-kid. This can engender a kind of smug, inside-dopester attitude. Something found in the wild among Elections staff, as well as in the presentation of self practiced by Chief Election officials.
Here in Colorado, this malady of the human-machine relationship seems to have hit about half of the County Clerks. They meet in secret, resist audits and other scrutiny, yet imperiously certify elections. They would be the first to tell you that they could not run an election without their machines.
Machines and vendors and fraud and 24×7 poor quality everything is bad enough --- just look at what machine-culture instills in the humans in charge of voting in our democracy.
COMMENT #59 [Permalink]
said on 10/29/2008 @ 3:21 am PT...
One way to avoid this is have the voters use the voting machine AND record a paper ballot. The total of paper ballots for each representative for each precint, should tally the electronic voting figure for the precinct.Once that validation is done, the vote count can be independently transmitted by two parties to the State vote counting officials.
COMMENT #60 [Permalink]
said on 10/29/2008 @ 5:29 am PT...
... Tom said...
"One way to avoid this is have the voters use the voting machine AND record a paper ballot."
Errrr... If the paper ballot is the check on the evm (and it must be, see my comment #20 above) and if the evm can not be relied upon to check the paper ballot (and it cannot, see my comment #20 above) then exactly what is the evm doing there in the first place? Besides propping up a CEO's salary, I mean?
I get this one a lot as well...
Even optical scanners can be hacked. Bradblog, blackboxvoting etc etc all have the reports, studies, videos etc etc.
The only thing that allows optical scanners to be considered over evms at all is the threat of a manual paper ballot count
Think about that for a moment...
But that ballot vs evm concept also leads to the lie that is usually the last refuge of the evm shill: the lie that the disabled require evms to vote privately, securely and independently... and that therefore everybody must use evms.
And it is and always has been a lie. Always known to be a lie. The fatal flaws in e-voting were pointed out almost as soon as the concept was proposed. Those who honestly believe and repeat that lie are simply unaware of how thoroughly it's been debunked.
When diabetic retinopathy took my sight I became unable to vote privately, securely and independently. I must rely on somebody to interpret my ballot and guide my marking of the ballot... and whether that guide is someone I know and trust or whoever last touched the code in an evm doesn't really matter, does it?
Technology cannot (currently) give me back what I lost... and using my loss as an excuse to disenfranchise millions makes me very angry.
Last doesn't really segue well from the rest of the comment... time for another monograph, perhaps?
COMMENT #61 [Permalink]
said on 10/29/2008 @ 8:17 am PT...
Zapkitty (52): Of course you're right. I just have a morbid sense of irony.
COMMENT #62 [Permalink]
said on 10/29/2008 @ 10:41 am PT...
OK, I'm convinced. Actually I agree with Brad. Hand marked ballots that are hand counted. That minimizes the places where election fraud can be committed. Unfortunately, we have become a nation requiring instant gratification, results before midnight of election day. It was only a century ago that it took days to count the votes and get them to the state election board. I'd be happy to wait a few days for results if it means an honestly conducted election. Each year, the various ballots seem to grow with more offices and a lot of referendums and such. Takes so much more time to hand count each question. Maybe the publication of the the secondary stuff can wait a couple of days before the counts for them are finished. Wouldn't life be so much better if we all were innately honest?
COMMENT #63 [Permalink]
said on 10/29/2008 @ 11:33 am PT...
Zapkitty - I've never understood WHY it's so difficult to print BRAILLE BALLOTS for the blind. It's surely NOT that COSTLY. Not compared to the cost of purchasing/using/maintaining the EVMs.
What is the amount of the ongoing expenditure for service/maintenance contracts paid to the Voting Machine companies? I know they have techs on call.
AND everyone knows how much UPGRADES cost plus replacement cost when they DIE because of too much heat or cold or poor storage environments or accidents.
AtlAtl you hit on another part of the scenario - the Election Officials have just enough information to make them really dangerous.
Gawd - it's a Boardwalk Huckster's DREAM!
COMMENT #64 [Permalink]
said on 10/29/2008 @ 4:01 pm PT...
Err... the fact that 88%+ of people who are blind/severely visually impaired can't read Braille?
Losing vision does not automatically confer the ability to read Braille and many blind folk use a variety of aides and technologies to get along just fine without it.
But unlike e-voting we can double-check the results we get from our everyday usage of such devices.
COMMENT #65 [Permalink]
said on 10/29/2008 @ 4:39 pm PT...
Apologies, Zap. I'm not on top of that issue as you've pointed out.
So, in your opinion, what would be the best way for a visually impaired person to cast his/her vote without relying on a sighted person OR DRE?
COMMENT #66 [Permalink]
said on 10/29/2008 @ 6:16 pm PT...
... Kira said...
Ack! don't apologize! Neither because you're unaware of sundry disabled statistics nor because I'm too lazy too learn Braille
So, in your opinion, what would be the best way for a visually impaired person to cast his/her vote without relying on a sighted person OR DRE?
First a coda to the Braille question: Something that I did not mention was that because of ballot secrecy: Braille ballots should not be used, because they would stand out from standard voter-marked ballots and identify the voter with their ballot. The only solution to that would be to mark all ballots with Braille and print... i.e. mark all ballots with a language most people can't understand and can't map to the printed portion of the ballot without machine interpretation.
As for we the disabled casting votes? pragmatism must rule.
A variety of solutions are available via ballot marking devices, but at some point the ballot must be verified by the voter... and as of yet for the blind that requires machine interpretation. The question is: is it worth the risk?
I think so.
But denying the existence of that risk just because that never-to-be-sufficiently-damned HAVA law mandates impossibilities on the behalf of the
disabled electronic voting CEOs is dangerously stupid.
Resources and other viewpoints on disabled voting access are out there but perhaps you can start with Noel Runyan's work with existing evms that claim to provide access for the disabled... and his personal experiences with just how miserably these billion-dollar boondoggles fail at what was supposed to be a prime justification for their existence.
This will also give you some basic starting background on disabled voting in general.
COMMENT #67 [Permalink]
said on 10/30/2008 @ 1:17 am PT...
Wilburrr... ~ The more I think about this evm "calibration" business the more I have to conclude It's CockSuckingMotherfucking BOOOOoooollShit!
There are very sophisticated multi-million dollar electronic systems that are calibrated annually and when checked after a year and are still within spec.
I think this calibration bullshit is a smoke screen and diversion to shut up and pacify folks that question the logical anomaly that their vote is being robbed!
COMMENT #68 [Permalink]
said on 10/30/2008 @ 4:44 am PT...
He was mistaken at 1:49. At the end of the full interview, he shows that if you select a candidate first, then a straight party, the candidate doesn't change.
Nader didn't "come up." He was already selected before the Mountain Party was selected.
The calibration (stylus) was correct. He misspoke.
COMMENT #69 [Permalink]
said on 10/30/2008 @ 6:16 am PT...
If people voted and the wrong candidate got the vote is there anything in place that will correct those votes and give them to the candidate they intended to vote for? If not then either party will get votes that are/or not what the voter intended.
COMMENT #70 [Permalink]
said on 10/30/2008 @ 11:47 am PT...
As reported on Computerworld, this video of the Jackson County clerk is edited. Here is the full video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc9Gd5g3DFY
At the end, when Jeff Waybright changed the vote to straight Republican and Ralph Nader remained selected, that is just what should have happened, according to his earlier explanation. He said, earlier in the video, that if you make a separate selection and then change your straight-party vote, it will not change the separate selection. So, this clip is unfortunately misleading.
HOWEVER, what struck me about watching the entire uncut version was that when Mr. Waybright deliberately miscalibrated the touch screen, it was then very difficult to even select the ballot. It was also very difficult to cancel the ballot. AND, the miscalibration was apparent in every selection he made on every single screen. Yet voters are saying that their touches record correctly in most cases, but flip in just one or a few.
This video casts strong doubt on the idea that a miscalibration would affect only one or two races. It also casts doubt on the idea that a miscalibration would cause a voter to have to touch the desired candidate several times to correct the flipped vote. Not only that, the poll worker should notice a calibration problem when attempting to select the correct ballot for the voter. Why are we not hearing about that?
For me, the uncut video casts strong doubt on the idea that miscalibration is the cause of the vote-flipping voters are reporting on the iVotronic.
COMMENT #71 [Permalink]
said on 10/30/2008 @ 11:54 am PT...
Thanks Zapkitty for the links & your input. I have in the past look briefly at some of the info & ideas regarding help for the disabled to cast their votes as independently as possible. It's been frustrating that for the past 8 years we haven't been able to get any response from the gov't on the issue of Election Integrity. Maybe soon [folds hands in prayer] ...*sigh*
I do remember, several years ago [it's kind of in my twilight zone of memory] it seems Diebold gave a large sum of money to one of the Organizations for the Blind in order to elicit a rave review for their machines which helped them tremendously in positive PR & kind of sealed the deal across the nation.
COMMENT #72 [Permalink]
said on 10/30/2008 @ 12:21 pm PT...
The evms are used for quick transmission of voting reults, however they should only be used after validation by paper ballot. The 'dual voting system', as I may call it serves to counter-check one another, so that paper ballots cannot be fiddled with either. That way people planning electoral voting fraud, have to think twice, before commiting it. Where the paper ballot numbers do not match the evms', there is definitely an anamoly. The cost for the 'dual voting system' is justified by the price voters are ready to pay for unadultrated democracy, i.e. the true voice of the people being heard.
COMMENT #73 [Permalink]
said on 10/30/2008 @ 1:07 pm PT...
... Tom said...
"The evms are used for quick transmission of voting reults, however they should only be used after validation by paper ballot."
Er... your evms can be replaced by telephones?
"The 'dual voting system', as I may call it serves to counter-check one another, so that paper ballots cannot be fiddled with either."
But you have yet to explain, given the extremely disproportionate vulnerabilities of evm's compared to paper, just how the evm's could be used to "verify" anything, and you have yet to explain just what they would be doing still being anywhere near an election.
Ballot security is gained by paying proper attention to ballot control and access. There are actually a variety of standards already existent for doing exactly that. They work... if followed.
What you'd be unintentionally recreating by adding evm's to the mix would be just another version of "e-voting's last refuge" which is always different and yet is always the same: "We can't have made such a colossal screwup. We can't... we just can't live without evms. Why? ... because!"
You wouldn't even be adding expense and complexity to the electoral process with no gain in security... instead you'd be adding expense, complexity and massive security vulnerabilities to the electoral process. Someone flips a few bits, the machines howl "Danger! Danger! Something is wrong somewhere!" and the entire election is thrown into chaos on behalf of the vulnerable, and unneeded, evms.
COMMENT #74 [Permalink]
said on 10/30/2008 @ 11:59 pm PT...
'Dual voting system' is just another means to assure the public that there is less chance for vote recording fraud. The method or technology used, whether telephone, evm or ballot paper, then becomes irrelevant, because there is a counter check in place. The weakness of each system fades into the background, when there is a second alternative to check its accuracy. In that way the public wins.
COMMENT #75 [Permalink]
said on 11/1/2008 @ 4:55 pm PT...
I think they would like to tell you that the calibration is required because the voting machine uses a touch screen, however I too find this odd. You don't have to calibrate any other touch sensitive devices. My guess is that these machines are as reliable as the Auditing machines that the Church of Scientology uses, and I would take them just as seriously.
COMMENT #76 [Permalink]
said on 11/1/2008 @ 5:59 pm PT...
Living in Georgia, I went online to find what to do once I got into the voting booth:
I was curious about what was stored or could be stored on that voter access card you have to plug into the machine.
A line at the bottom of page says: “To ensure the privacy of your vote, your identity is not recorded on the voter access card or in the voting station. Only the votes will be recorded. No one can know how you voted.”
I called my local registrar and asked about the voter access card. The person who answered said the card just “unlocks” the machine. So, I said, if that’s the case, if the card is just a key that “unlocks” the machine, then once I’ve been validated by a poll worker – ie, via my driver’s license or other document – I should be able to switch cards with another person who’s also been validated by a poll worker. No, she said, you have to use the card you’ve been given. Why, if it’s just a “key”, then two validated people should be able to exchange keys, unless it stores something particular to the person holding it. Does it, I asked her? Yes, she said, it stores your name and address. Does it store your vote as well, I asked her? Can it store a vote? No, she said, it doesn’t store your vote, only your personal information. THIS BLATANTLY CONTRADICTS WHAT'S ON THE STATE WEBSITE AND, BY DEFINITION, IMPLIES A SYSTEM CAPABLE OF CONNECTING A PERSON’S IDENTITY TO THEIR VOTE.
The machine pictured on the sos.georgia.gov looks like the Diebold AccuVote TS pictured here:
I called the Georgia Secretary of State Elections Division at 404-656-2871 and found out that the machines used in my precint are made by Premier. I found the Premierelections contact website ---
-- and called the Sales/Service Request line at 866-224-1792. I asked about the voter access card and the person who answered said she wasn’t sure. She referred me to the help desk. I called them at 866-307-7689. I asked the person who answered if the card stores anything besides the holder’s name and address. He said I would have to ask my local election commission. I then asked him what it was possible to store on these cards, what kind of meta-data was used in the software. Again, he told me to contact my local election board or the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. I said who better to tell me about the capabilities of the product than the help desk of the company who made it? I was only asking for a general technical spec. His answer to every question was the same and sounded like he was instructed to take the Fifth: we can’t disclose that; contact the secretary of state’s office.
WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE STATEMENTS OF THE REGISTRAR AND PREMIER AND WHAT THOSE STATEMENTS IMPLY? SOMEONE WITH LEGAL RESOURCES, POWER, AND INTEGRITY MUST INVESTIGATE THIS.
COMMENT #77 [Permalink]
said on 11/5/2008 @ 3:41 pm PT...