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  • Electronic voting

    Before we begin, I'd like to make my political affiliations clear by referring everyone to this thread. Note that this is only for the purpose of making my preferences clear; they are not the subject of this thread nor are they up for debate here. My intention in bringing them up is only to remove speculation on what they may be.

    Now, having said that:

    What I do want to address is the deployment of electronic voting machines in the upcoming presidential elections. For anyone who may not have been following it, a thread ran over the last three weeks on Bugtraq detailing a very simple backdoor in the voting machines by which pretty much anyone could manipulate vote tallies.

    Granted, this was only possible in certain versions of the loaded OS and it has more likely than not been addressed by Diebold by now. However, it does bring up one very salient point: as long as you vote electronically, your vote cannot be guaranteed to be accurate. There are too many variables involved in tabulating that vote through a computer-based system to be able to truly call it accurate.

    Therefore, I'm making two requests of everyone: the first one is go out and vote. I'm not so much of a partisan as to tell you to support my candidate - the important thing is that you go to the polls and register your opinion. Nobody's required to agree with your political opinion anymore than you're required to agree with theirs, but the important thing is that you exercise your fundamental right to state it.

    The second request - and this *is* the important one: on November 2nd, please do not vote electronically. Go to a ballot station that uses paper ballots. Check your ballot before you submit it for hanging chads or mispunched holes. But for God's sake do not use a computerised system that is far too open to abuse and far too closed to outside scrutiny to make a decision that impacts not only your life but ultimately that of the rest of the world.

    I'll step down off of the soapbox now.

  • #2
    Basically all, if you don't vote, you don't have the right to gripe for the next four years. And some of you LIVE to gripe!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by astcell
      Basically all, if you don't vote, you don't have the right to gripe for the next four years. And some of you LIVE to gripe!
      How are anarchists supposed to be happy, then? I suppose "no one" is still a valid write-in. :)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Voltage Spike
        How are anarchists supposed to be happy, then? I suppose "no one" is still a valid write-in. :)
        No, it's a cop-out. And a cheap one at that.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by astcell
          Basically all, if you don't vote, you don't have the right to gripe for the next four years. And some of you LIVE to gripe!
          I wouldn't say that... Quite a few people don't approve of either of the two main candidates, and not all of them can vote for the third-party candidate of their choice due to lack of ballot access.

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          • #6
            Good job on completely missing the point, folks. Next time, try replying to what the thread was intended to be about.

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            • #7
              I apologize for that.

              Anyway...

              The way I understand it, the reason that we are forced into accepting sub-standard voting machines is because:
              • All of the better machines are manufactured outside of the United States.
              • Diebold has strong connections with our representatives in the government.




              The primary problem with electronic voting is that the voting machines do not provide conclusive proof that the counts are accurate. Some states, such as Florida, have dealt with the problem by exempting electronic voting machines from recounts.

              There have been multiple cases where Diebold machines have failed in spectacular ways. In some cases, I recall the engineers coming in and correcting the counts so that the numbers came out as expected. Although it is easy to catch some of the bigger problems, nobody would know when the machines are failing in a less conspicuous manner. In an election that is bound to be close, such as that of this year, can we really afford to rely on devices that are approximately accurate?

              And this is on top of the "cracking" issue mentioned by skroo.



              If you want to read the latest news against poorly-implemented electronic voting machines, then I suggest you check out the following links:

              http://www.blackboxvoting.com
              http://www.verifiedvoting.org

              (Note that the latter includes a 51 page report on so-called e-voting malfunctions.)




              The one up-shot to e-voting? At least now you can legitimately complain that your vote doesn't count... :(
              Last edited by Voltage Spike; October 9, 2004, 04:11.

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              • #8
                I am voting because of several reasons:
                a) I am now 19 and this will be the first election I am able to vote in.
                b) Citizenship (ask any historian or poly sci. teacher) is exercising your right to vote.
                c) Though this is a republic it is more commonly referred to as a democracy and in a democracy enough people can make a change.
                d) I agree with Astcell if you do not vote you cannot complain.

                On to the black box voting. It does frighten me that any radical (this is an apolitical term) can influence the election for any party. Although they would have to be smart enough to not go overboard with changing the ballots, it is still a realistic worry that I have come November.

                And yes my political associations are in the same thread skroo linked to. But remember I am more Republican than I am Democrat, but I am more American than I am Republican. I only want what is best for the US. Not the UN, France, Germany or even the UK.
                Did Everquest teach you that?

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                • #9
                  How long until we can vote online do you think?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by astcell
                    How long until we can vote online do you think?
                    Never, Governmental regulations state that Voting must be in a controlled environment free from pressures or outside influences. They wrote this law when voting gangs were stuffing ballot boxes and so that Union Workers and African Americans as well as many other minority groups could not be forced to vote a certain way for their health or their jobs.

                    But if you think that we have problems now can you imagine the problems that running votes through servers would cause that is just asking for someone to crash them.
                    Did Everquest teach you that?

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                    • #11
                      Controlled environment = https?

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                      • #12
                        I would hope sometime in the next two decades you'll fill out your voter registration and get mailed a SmartCard which you can then use to vote directly from your home PC. However, the security implecations of such a system would be mind boggling...

                        Oh, and I'm glad I live in a state that still uses paper voting. I hope the Governator sues the hell out of Diebold for overpromising and underdelivering... right now the presidential race is a dead heat and it could be very likely that we see a repeat of the 2000 election, except this time it could be due to electronic fraud/miscounts/other problems arising from electronic voting. If that happens I hope it's banned until an open, peer reviewed, collaboratively developed system is in place.

                        Personally I'd prefer something like the AES challenge where several groups openly develop electronic voting systems, they're then peer reviewed and fixed/improved and then of all the candidates a single one is chosen as the best.
                        45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B0
                        45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B1
                        [ redacted ]

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                        • #13
                          I am all for paper ballots being reinstated then counted up by little old ladies with guards behind them holding guns.
                          Did Everquest teach you that?

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