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Archive for Saturday, November 3, 2012

Letter: Vulnerable vote

November 3, 2012

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To the editor:

The founders of our country knew that power would be abused, and attempted to limit this danger through checks and balances. Why have we become so trusting in the modern age? What is it about modern humankind that warrants such a seeming belief in our intrinsic honesty and goodness?

We have voting machines in the majority of the country (including hugely important swing states) where the results cannot be verified, and where a smart 10-year-old can alter the results. In 2003, Stanford University released a study (http://news.stanford.edu/pr/03/dill25.html) which said in part, “Computerized voting systems pose unacceptable risks unless they provide a voter-verifiable audit trail.” As I write, there is no “voter-verifiable audit trail.” The study went on to document how Stanford freshmen could easily hack the machine’s voting totals, flipping results.

Who owns these machines? Are these owners such paragons of virtue that we need not worry about them — gasp — cheating? With billions upon billions upon billions of dollars in the balance, is there not the temptation to press a few keyboard buttons and make your favorite presidential candidate, senator, representative or governor win? Who’s to say that said presidential candidate, senator, representative or governor doesn’t own those machines? I’m serious; who is to say? We now go on blind faith in this country? Old King George must be laughing his rear off. God help us.

Comments

verity 1 year, 5 months ago

Is it just my impression, or is it the same people who are so concerned about voter fraud by people without photo IDs the same ones who are now insisting that hackable voting machines, some owned by a candidate's son, should not be seen as a problem?

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FlintlockRifle 1 year, 5 months ago

People, People Just vote, if you havn;t already

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 5 months ago

All computers can be hacked by someone ----

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 5 months ago

--- Paperless electronic voting on touch screen machines does not provide confidence to ensure votes are counted the way voters intend.

--- The software on which votes are counted is protected as a corporate trade secret, and the software is so complex that if malicious code was embedded, no analysis could discover it. Further, because there is no voter verified paper record, it is not possible to audit the electronic vote for accuracy, nor is it possible to conduct an independent recount. This is a grotesquely designed, over-complicated, expensive system fraught with the potential for mistakes and undetected fraud. We should not trust the future of our nation to such malleable technology.

--- In the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy 2004, four top computer scientists from the University of California, Johns Hopkins University, and Rice University similarly critiqued Diebold’s voting system.

--- "We found significant security flaws: voters can trivially cast multiple ballots with no built-in traceability, administrative functions can be performed by regular voters, and the threats posed by insiders such as poll workers, software developers, and janitors is even greater. Based on our analysis of the development environment, including change logs and comments, we believe that an appropriate level of programming discipline for a project such as this was not maintained. In fact, there appears to have been little quality control in the process.

--- "…The model where individual vendors write proprietary code to run our elections appears to be unreliable, and if we do not change the process of designing our voting systems, we will have no confidence that our election results will reflect the will of the electorate."

--- Computers are inherently subject to programming error, equipment malfunction, and malicious tampering. If we are to ensure fair and honest elections, and retain voter confidence in our democratic process, we need to ensure that there are no such questions. Therefore, it is crucial that any computerized voting system provide a voter-verifiable paper audit trail and that random audits of electronic votes be conducted on Election Day. Paperless electronic voting machines make it impossible to safeguard the integrity of our vote - thereby threatening the very foundation of our democracy.

--- Moreover, the seller of the machines, the Diebold Corporation, is a supplier of money to one the republican party. The CEO and top officers of Diebold are major contributors to republican campaigns. A corporation with vested political interests should not have control over the votes of the populace.

--- Voters using any computerized voting machines should immediately report any suspected malfunctions or deficiencies at voting precincts to their Board of Elections. Voters should also urge their legislators to require a voter verified paper ballot trail for random audits and independent recounts. Count every vote!

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Liberty275 1 year, 5 months ago

Sounds like someone is already making excuses for Obama's loss. The left trots out this dog and pony show anytime they think they will lose an election.

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1 year, 5 months ago

Regarding election monitoring, please tell me why the Conservative - Republicans - Teabaggers resist any observations by UN observers. TX even went so far as to say they would would changed with felonies if they appeared in TX.

I, for one, would welcome their observations.

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Cait McKnelly 1 year, 5 months ago

Hope for the future?
Anonymous has pledged to monitor computerized voting. Think they can't do it? I suggest you look into their previous "activities".
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/28/1151819/-Anonymous-gives-warning-to-Karl-Rove

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tomatogrower 1 year, 5 months ago

It would not be that difficult to have a print out of how you voted, that would be dropped into a box. The computer could be the election night count, which would be confirmed a few days later with a paper count. Why are conservatives so opposed to this?

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Flap Doodle 1 year, 5 months ago

Jimmy's still got sour grapes after all these years? Inconceivable!

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 5 months ago

Jimmy Carter slams ‘financial corruption’ in U.S. elections 'We have one of the worst election processes in the world,' former president says

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/09/12/jimmy-carter-us-elections-money.html

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tange 1 year, 5 months ago

You'd think "the world's greatest democracy" would have the voting thang down, by now.

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rbwaa 1 year, 5 months ago

at least in Kansas we still have a choice this year between a paper ballot and the computer

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Armstrong 1 year, 5 months ago

Sounds like the excuse machine is getting warmed up for Barrys loss in a few days

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Liberty_One 1 year, 5 months ago

It's simple--don't vote. Secede from this totalitarian government personally and reject its legitimacy by not voting for the criminals trying to gain its powers.

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