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Old 06-30-2006, 08:43 AM   #1
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Want to Steal an Election?

Because it's pretty easy.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060629-7169.html

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On Tuesday, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU's law school released the most comprehensive study to date on the state of electronic voting. The extensive report is a painful read for anyone concerned about the future of democracy, because it shows just how brain-dead easy it is to rig an election with three popular electronic voting systems: direct recording electronic (DRE), DRE with voter verified paper trail, and precinct count optical scan.

Among the more startling findings are the fact that voting machines with wireless components are very easily compromised by anyone with a little know-how and nearby wireless device—you don't even need a laptop; a PDA will do nicely.

The report also found that voter verified paper trails that aren't backed up by routine, random audits are good only for instilling a false sense of security in the voting process. You'd think it would be obvious to election officials that even if you get a paper receipt documenting the vote that you cast, any later meddling with that machine's vote count can go completely undetected if a sample of those receipts are never compared to the final output. But apparently a lot of things that are obvious to tech people go over the heads of election officials (e.g. the idea that you would never want to give wireless access to voting machines.)
All the more reason why our painfully technology illiterate legislators, coupled with unethical corporate interests, are always a bad match.

And, yet, we're all in a huff about flag burning! It would be quite amazing to someday get in a huff over something that actually matters. But maybe that's just wishful thinking.

Melon
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Old 06-30-2006, 10:04 AM   #2
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I find electronic voting systems in the form they currently exist, to be fairly alarming. Whilst in a large nation elections are an onerous process, I'm not sure there is much getting past the old pencil and ballot paper myself, for simplicity and integrity.

And since you asked, Melon, yes I do want to steal an election.
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Old 06-30-2006, 12:12 PM   #3
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It's not stealing an election. It is merely making sure that election turns out the way that most benefits America. Because voters are too stupid to be entrusted with something like......votes.
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Old 06-30-2006, 01:24 PM   #4
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Re: Want to Steal an Election?

Quote:
Originally posted by melon


All the more reason why our painfully technology illiterate legislators, coupled with unethical corporate interests, are always a bad match.

Melon
Completely agree.


Quote:
Originally posted by melon

And, yet, we're all in a huff about flag burning! It would be quite amazing to someday get in a huff over something that actually matters.
Melon
I think both issues matter.
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Old 06-30-2006, 02:42 PM   #5
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how on earth is flag burning a pressing national issue?
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Old 06-30-2006, 02:50 PM   #6
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I don' think I would say it was a "pressing national issue" - but I would say, as I did say, that it "matters."

The Iraq war is a pressing national issue - but that doesn't mean we should drop all other issues (like electronic voting problems).
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Old 06-30-2006, 03:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by AEON
I don' think I would say it was a "pressing national issue" - but I would say, as I did say, that it "matters."

The Iraq war is a pressing national issue - but that doesn't mean we should drop all other issues (like electronic voting problems).


how on earth does flag burning matter?
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Old 06-30-2006, 03:52 PM   #8
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Isn't voting via absentee ballot a viable way to bypass the voting machine problem until we have a way to fix it?
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Old 06-30-2006, 04:16 PM   #9
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I am opposed to legislation banning flag burning. I think it sucks to burn a flag, but it's worse to limit freedom of speech.
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Old 06-30-2006, 04:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




how on earth does flag burning matter?
It would matter to me in the sense that, if you take the concept of individual freedom serisouly, you wouldn't even consider making a law against it.
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Old 06-30-2006, 05:02 PM   #11
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^ yes. it's precisely because i can burn the flag that makes me not want to burn it.
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Old 06-30-2006, 08:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
Because it's pretty easy.

All the more reason why our painfully technology illiterate legislators, coupled with unethical corporate interests, are always a bad match.

And, yet, we're all in a huff about flag burning! It would be quite amazing to someday get in a huff over something that actually matters. But maybe that's just wishful thinking.

Melon
Perhaps we should think about things before we get into a huff. I am not surprised by the speculative conclusions of this study. After all, the technology for electronic voting was thrust upon us after the outrage de jure (huff de jure just doesn’t have the same ring to it) following the 2000 election. Subsequent lawsuits claiming marginalization of protected groups unless electronic voting was made available (the claims didn’t make sense then and don’t make sense now) set fairly quick timetables to have electronic voting in place – with no consideration of whether the proposed methods provided a higher degree of confidence in election outcomes.

The one missed lesson of Florida 2000 was that we could go back and verify the results with a high degree of certainty (GWB still won). I guess the collective short term memory coupled with the demand for instantaneous results leaves us in this “predicament”. The study will give us a springboard for two things – one, development of electronic voting worthy of replacing paper ballots; and two, the kernel of evidence needed for the next outrage de jure when someone’s candidate does not win an election.
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Old 06-30-2006, 10:39 PM   #13
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It was much simpler in the good ol' days. You just had to get out the "recently deceased" vote.
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