Fixed voting machines our future?

lozina

Lifer
Sep 10, 2001
11,707
5
0
This is a very frightening thought... to have touch-screen computers to handle our nation's elections, which DO NOT have a paper receipt of your vote, and as many of you porbably know, computer software is not exactly reliable.

Read this article

http://www.gregpalast.com/detail.cfm?artid=301&row=1

PALAST: You may have already voted in 2004; they just haven?t told you how. Last year, our President signed a law, with little fanfare, called the Help America Vote Act. As soon as the Bush family tells us that they?re gonna help us vote, I say, "Look out." Sure enough, go into the details of it, and it has that old Florida swamp smell. I?ve been working with Martin Luther King III, and he?s calling this the Floridation of the nation. This law is going to provide $3.9 billion of your tax money to computerize the voting systems of America. We?re going to have computer screens in the voting booths. The administration has put to death any plan that would allow you to have some type of backup paper ballot or receipt. Which is pretty strange when you think about it. You get a Slurpee from a 7-Eleven; you get a receipt. You vote for President of the United States, and you get no record to prove exactly how you voted.
HUSTLER: Why should we be suspicious of these computer machines?
PALAST: If you?ve ever had a Windows document, you sure as heck know it?s about as reliable as any other computer system. Except with this one you have more at stake: Who?s going to run this planet? We just had an election in Texas in which three Republicans won with exactly 18,181 votes.



HUSTLER: All three won with the exact same number of votes?
PALAST: The Republican elections officials thought that was quite an interesting coincidence. These were done on iVotronics machines, but the Democratic officials were actually able to go back and reset the machine to re-tally the votes and, lo and behold, suddenly the Democrats won. So if you think that this is a tamperproof system, I?ve got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.
Now, before you go questioning the reliability of this source (I can't really say whether it's reliable or not) I have watched a Tech TV Screen savers episode once where they had a representative from EFF I beleive it was, talking about some voting machines which were base don regular windows operating systems and did not have a paper trail, and they were being used. They also had a policy where the machine has to 'checked and authorized' before use- to make sure it's correct and counting correctly, BUT an administrator can come in and patch it later and the machine would NOt have to be re-authorized for use! The EFF guy

I'll look for more info on that story, but what do you think of computerized voting? I know it can be a great convenience and can simplify things- but ONLY when done correctly and EXTREMELY transparently, which is just not what is happening now.
 

lozina

Lifer
Sep 10, 2001
11,707
5
0
Aye, looks like there was a thread by Bowfinger on the topic back in August: thread

So yes, REPOST! :D

But given this new information, any new comments?
 

Crimson

Banned
Oct 11, 1999
3,809
0
0
Let me clue you guys in on something. Did you know that a large number of ATM machines run Windows? (New ones, old ones run OS2).. How often do you hear of an ATM machine getting hacked? Besides, whats more honest, a unbiased computer or a biased poll worker?

Unless you guys are arguing Bush is gonna somehow make them all vote for Republicans?

All your financial information is stored on computers, all your criminal history is stored on computers, every credit card purchase you ever made runs through computers, is stored forever... EVERYTHING is done with computers.. and they store information MUCH more sensative than a vote..
 

dmcowen674

No Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
54,894
46
91
www.alienbabeltech.com
Originally posted by: Crimson
Let me clue you guys in on something. Did you know that a large number of ATM machines run Windows? (New ones, old ones run OS2).. How often do you hear of an ATM machine getting hacked? Besides, whats more honest, a unbiased computer or a biased poll worker?

Unless you guys are arguing Bush is gonna somehow make them all vote for Republicans?

All your financial information is stored on computers, all your criminal history is stored on computers, every credit card purchase you ever made runs through computers, is stored forever... EVERYTHING is done with computers.. and they store information MUCH more sensative than a vote..
OMG, Crimy and I may actually agree on something! :Q


It would be nice to have a print out and oversight Committee of experts but taking humans and hanging pregnant of the loop has to be a good thing.
 

lozina

Lifer
Sep 10, 2001
11,707
5
0
Originally posted by: Crimson
Let me clue you guys in on something. Did you know that a large number of ATM machines run Windows? (New ones, old ones run OS2).. How often do you hear of an ATM machine getting hacked? Besides, whats more honest, a unbiased computer or a biased poll worker?

Unless you guys are arguing Bush is gonna somehow make them all vote for Republicans?

All your financial information is stored on computers, all your criminal history is stored on computers, every credit card purchase you ever made runs through computers, is stored forever... EVERYTHING is done with computers.. and they store information MUCH more sensative than a vote..

Since you ignored my points, I will gladly restate them for you.

1. There is no receipt. Can you imagine doing something at the ATM and not getting a receipt? How can people request a recount if no receipts are kept, or how can we audit the election process?

2. They are allowed to apply patches to these machines after they are certified for elections, where the administrator can change the software however they please

You obviously thought I have somethign against computers, but you misunderstood. Voting will have to be handled by computers sooner or later whether we like it or not, but it must be done right!

BTW: OT but can you provide me with some link that shows ATM machines handling transactions through Windows operating system? Not that I don't totally beleive you, but I'm interesting in checking this out
 
D

Deleted member 4644

Originally posted by: Crimson
Let me clue you guys in on something. Did you know that a large number of ATM machines run Windows? (New ones, old ones run OS2).. How often do you hear of an ATM machine getting hacked? Besides, whats more honest, a unbiased computer or a biased poll worker?

Unless you guys are arguing Bush is gonna somehow make them all vote for Republicans?

All your financial information is stored on computers, all your criminal history is stored on computers, every credit card purchase you ever made runs through computers, is stored forever... EVERYTHING is done with computers.. and they store information MUCH more sensative than a vote..
The difference is that one piased poll worker could probably only affect a few hundred/few thousand votes. In theory, a machine could affect millions.....
 

Bowfinger

Lifer
Nov 17, 2002
15,776
392
126
Originally posted by: Crimson
Let me clue you guys in on something. Did you know that a large number of ATM machines run Windows? (New ones, old ones run OS2).. How often do you hear of an ATM machine getting hacked? Besides, whats more honest, a unbiased computer or a biased poll worker?

Unless you guys are arguing Bush is gonna somehow make them all vote for Republicans?

All your financial information is stored on computers, all your criminal history is stored on computers, every credit card purchase you ever made runs through computers, is stored forever... EVERYTHING is done with computers.. and they store information MUCH more sensative than a vote..
Did you know some of those Windows ATMs became infected with the worm that made the rounds in August? (Slammer, IIRC.) ATMs for two large banks were infected.

Did you know that every ATM machine generates a paper log in case there are inconsitencies or problems. Did you know the same is true for all banking systems? For criminal histories? For credit cards? For property and other government records? For your medical records? For that pack of gum you bought at the grocery store. For pretty much every computerized system that touches anything of importance or value . . . except U.S. electronic voting machines? If we do it for everything else, why can't we do it at the polls? Why shouldn't we?

We aren't saying Bush intends to steal the next election. We're saying he could steal it. We're saying if he did steal it, there would be no way to prove it since there is no audit mechanism. What if the Democrats stole the election? There would be no way to prove this either. What if the American Socialist Party stole an election? No audit, no proof. What if that pimple-faced 14 year old computer nerd stole it, electing the most obscure candidate on the ballot?

Most seriously, what if al Qaeda stole an election, either picking a few select races to seat friendly candidates, or maybe just to cause chaos by putting in all the nutcase candidates? If the former case, we might never know it happened. In the latter, we'd all know it was wrong, but there would be no mechanism whatsoever to prove it or to reconstruct the correct results. It would take months of court wrangling to determine the real winners, and in the interim we'd have an emasculated leadership that would be unable to decide on or act on anything.

In my opinion, the bottom line is every American should demand open, honest, and verifiable elections. There is no reason whatsoever we should accept anything less. The technology is readily available. It is all around us here; it is already used in electronic voting systems in many other countries. I can think of no legitimate reason for opposing better systems.

 

ReiAyanami

Diamond Member
Sep 24, 2002
4,466
0
0
simply have the vote be recorded to two different independant servers and have them both cross verified...

but basically the President of 2014 will be either Bill Gates IV or SkyNet
 

Crimson

Banned
Oct 11, 1999
3,809
0
0
Originally posted by: lozina
Originally posted by: Crimson
Let me clue you guys in on something. Did you know that a large number of ATM machines run Windows? (New ones, old ones run OS2).. How often do you hear of an ATM machine getting hacked? Besides, whats more honest, a unbiased computer or a biased poll worker?

Unless you guys are arguing Bush is gonna somehow make them all vote for Republicans?

All your financial information is stored on computers, all your criminal history is stored on computers, every credit card purchase you ever made runs through computers, is stored forever... EVERYTHING is done with computers.. and they store information MUCH more sensative than a vote..

Since you ignored my points, I will gladly restate them for you.

1. There is no receipt. Can you imagine doing something at the ATM and not getting a receipt? How can people request a recount if no receipts are kept, or how can we audit the election process?

2. They are allowed to apply patches to these machines after they are certified for elections, where the administrator can change the software however they please

You obviously thought I have somethign against computers, but you misunderstood. Voting will have to be handled by computers sooner or later whether we like it or not, but it must be done right!

BTW: OT but can you provide me with some link that shows ATM machines handling transactions through Windows operating system? Not that I don't totally beleive you, but I'm interesting in checking this out
I go to ATM machines all the time and do not request a receipt.. Besides, I currently have not heard of, and do not know of ANYWHERE, where you get a receipt after you vote now.. do you? I draw a line through the straight Republican ticket option, stick it into a computerized tally machine.. and I walk out. There is no method of checking who I truly voted for, or if it registered correctly.

Besides, with the touch screen method, it counts the vote of who you touched the screen for. Either you touched it, or you didn't.. there is no "hanging chad" problem with a touch screen. It will probably even say ARE YOU SURE before it submits it. I'm not sure why you seem to think this is a worse idea than a paper ballot with all sorts of scanning and counting problems that those have.. I think the old method of doing it is much more open to fraud by human intervention than this method.

I work in the financial services industry for a company that drives 10's of thousands of ATM machines. I have personally toured the facility of NCR Corporation, a huge ATM manufacturer, and watched Windows bootup screens on the PC's inside of them. Not sure where you can find "proof" of it, other than perhaps contacting NCR directly. I'm sure other ATM manufacturers use it as well.. Before Windows, NCR used OS/2 to drive their ATM machines.
 

Bowfinger

Lifer
Nov 17, 2002
15,776
392
126
Originally posted by: Crimson
I go to ATM machines all the time and do not request a receipt.. Besides, I currently have not heard of, and do not know of ANYWHERE, where you get a receipt after you vote now.. do you? I draw a line through the straight Republican ticket option, stick it into a computerized tally machine.. and I walk out. There is no method of checking who I truly voted for, or if it registered correctly.

Besides, with the touch screen method, it counts the vote of who you touched the screen for. Either you touched it, or you didn't.. there is no "hanging chad" problem with a touch screen. It will probably even say ARE YOU SURE before it submits it. I'm not sure why you seem to think this is a worse idea than a paper ballot with all sorts of scanning and counting problems that those have.. I think the old method of doing it is much more open to fraud by human intervention than this method.

I work in the financial services industry for a company that drives 10's of thousands of ATM machines. I have personally toured the facility of NCR Corporation, a huge ATM manufacturer, and watched Windows bootup screens on the PC's inside of them. Not sure where you can find "proof" of it, other than perhaps contacting NCR directly. I'm sure other ATM manufacturers use it as well.. Before Windows, NCR used OS/2 to drive their ATM machines.
If you truly work in the financial services industry, you know you are either missing or avoiding the point. The fact that you do not request a receipt is irrelevant. The bank has a printed audit trail of what you did.

Your comments about your current voting process misses the mark too. It is not about you taking home a paper receipt. It is about the election process having an audit trail that can be used for audits and recounts. In your example, they still have your ballot if they need to audit results.

Your comment about the superiority of a touch screen compared to hanging chads is a red herring. It is quite possible to have both a touch screen and a paper audit trail. The two are not mutually exclusive.

 

lozina

Lifer
Sep 10, 2001
11,707
5
0
Originally posted by: Crimson
Originally posted by: lozina
Originally posted by: Crimson
Let me clue you guys in on something. Did you know that a large number of ATM machines run Windows? (New ones, old ones run OS2).. How often do you hear of an ATM machine getting hacked? Besides, whats more honest, a unbiased computer or a biased poll worker?

Unless you guys are arguing Bush is gonna somehow make them all vote for Republicans?

All your financial information is stored on computers, all your criminal history is stored on computers, every credit card purchase you ever made runs through computers, is stored forever... EVERYTHING is done with computers.. and they store information MUCH more sensative than a vote..

Since you ignored my points, I will gladly restate them for you.

1. There is no receipt. Can you imagine doing something at the ATM and not getting a receipt? How can people request a recount if no receipts are kept, or how can we audit the election process?

2. They are allowed to apply patches to these machines after they are certified for elections, where the administrator can change the software however they please

You obviously thought I have somethign against computers, but you misunderstood. Voting will have to be handled by computers sooner or later whether we like it or not, but it must be done right!

BTW: OT but can you provide me with some link that shows ATM machines handling transactions through Windows operating system? Not that I don't totally beleive you, but I'm interesting in checking this out
I go to ATM machines all the time and do not request a receipt.. Besides, I currently have not heard of, and do not know of ANYWHERE, where you get a receipt after you vote now.. do you? I draw a line through the straight Republican ticket option, stick it into a computerized tally machine.. and I walk out. There is no method of checking who I truly voted for, or if it registered correctly.

Besides, with the touch screen method, it counts the vote of who you touched the screen for. Either you touched it, or you didn't.. there is no "hanging chad" problem with a touch screen. It will probably even say ARE YOU SURE before it submits it. I'm not sure why you seem to think this is a worse idea than a paper ballot with all sorts of scanning and counting problems that those have.. I think the old method of doing it is much more open to fraud by human intervention than this method.

I work in the financial services industry for a company that drives 10's of thousands of ATM machines. I have personally toured the facility of NCR Corporation, a huge ATM manufacturer, and watched Windows bootup screens on the PC's inside of them. Not sure where you can find "proof" of it, other than perhaps contacting NCR directly. I'm sure other ATM manufacturers use it as well.. Before Windows, NCR used OS/2 to drive their ATM machines.
Hehe, that's funny about Windows OS for ATMs! Esepcially the story about them being affected by the worm.
Here's an article about one incident.
http://www.finextra.com/topstory.asp?id=10791

Guess that kinda shows why it was not a good idea? Supposedly they are standardWindows OS- they should have linux or some other barebones operating system, all the extra junk in Windows just begs for holes and exploits.

But you do get receipts for current mechanical voting machines, how do you think they do a recount?
 

Bowfinger

Lifer
Nov 17, 2002
15,776
392
126
Originally posted by: lozina
[ ... ]
BTW: OT but can you provide me with some link that shows ATM machines handling transactions through Windows operating system? Not that I don't totally beleive you, but I'm interesting in checking this out
FindLaw: Worms, Crawling Through Windows, Menace ATMs

AnandTech: Worm hits Windows-based ATMs

News.com (linked from AT brief above): Worm hits Windows-based ATMs

Slashdot: Diebold ATMs hit by Nachi Worm

Note that Diebold is the same company that makes the extremely insecure electronic voting systems so widely reported.
 

boran

Golden Member
Jun 17, 2001
1,526
0
76
well, here (here being belgium) there were experiments with electronic voting, but the public doesnt really like them, so we stay with our paper votes system (which is about an A1 format, where u fill in the globe of yer party, and/or preferred candidate)
 

Jhhnn

IN MEMORIAM
Nov 11, 1999
62,365
14,676
136
"Besides, with the touch screen method, it counts the vote of who you touched the screen for."

Or so we'd like to think, and therein lies the problem. If it rolled out a paper tally under glass, asked me to check it, and indicate "yes" if it were correct, I'd actually believe it...

Electronic voting currently requires a leap of faith unwarranted by the implementation of the technology....
 

lozina

Lifer
Sep 10, 2001
11,707
5
0
Originally posted by: boran
well, here (here being belgium) there were experiments with electronic voting, but the public doesnt really like them, so we stay with our paper votes system (which is about an A1 format, where u fill in the globe of yer party, and/or preferred candidate)
That's pretty neat, that Beligum has done experiments with the public to get their opinion, and actually listens to them. As far as I'm aware the electronic voting in our country is being force fed to us with no regard for approval or criticism. Luckily we have organizations such as EFF to look into this and file lawsuits against corrupted voting systems (Diebold), but that may not be enough. The people need to be more aware of the problems with electronic voting [in it's current form].
 

boran

Golden Member
Jun 17, 2001
1,526
0
76
well it's easier to get 10 million ppls realise the actual ins and outs of a system then it is to teach (whatever the US population might be) and it's not that they were fraudullent or at least not in any way one could tell, politics is a close match here, most big parties around 20 % and some under and some over, but the ppls just dont trust em enough, and even if it was electronic, you'd got a printout, a new thing they try is, electronic voting, with deposable printouts, you put the rintout in the bin, and since it's a uniform size, font etc, the votes can be electronically counted, it's just a matter of trust, in case of error a recount allways happens, but there has never been any result, the exit polls match the results by approx 1% of margin, which means there shouldnt be much reason to believe any fraude anyways.
 

lozina

Lifer
Sep 10, 2001
11,707
5
0
Well see, that's a good move then. A printed receipt which is stored. If there was any reason to, in the future someone can request a machine recount or even a hand recount of those receipts. The Diebold machines referenced in this thread do not have any such redundancy feature.
 

CADsortaGUY

Lifer
Oct 19, 2001
25,162
1
76
www.ShawCAD.com
I support the call for a paper ballot which I have stated in the past.

HOWEVER, these companies which people are getting their panties in a bunch over sold their machines to people that wanted them. There has to be some responsibility placed on those who didn't ask for the right thing when purchasing the new equipment. These companies made a product available which was in demand. If there would have been a demand for the added printing feature - it would have been there. But again - yes there needs to be a hard-copy kept - but I think this continued ranting against Diebold is more political in nature than anything else. Kind of like Halliburton - everything is just fine until someone suggests there is a link between the company and Bush.

YOU need to make sure your election officials are purchasing the right equipment and are asking for the features to be present.

CkG
 

lozina

Lifer
Sep 10, 2001
11,707
5
0
Originally posted by: CADkindaGUY
I support the call for a paper ballot which I have stated in the past.

HOWEVER, these companies which people are getting their panties in a bunch over sold their machines to people that wanted them. There has to be some responsibility placed on those who didn't ask for the right thing when purchasing the new equipment. These companies made a product available which was in demand. If there would have been a demand for the added printing feature - it would have been there. But again - yes there needs to be a hard-copy kept - but I think this continued ranting against Diebold is more political in nature than anything else. Kind of like Halliburton - everything is just fine until someone suggests there is a link between the company and Bush.

YOU need to make sure your election officials are purchasing the right equipment and are asking for the features to be present.

CkG
You're right CAD, I agree with you. The election boards who buy this crap bear responsibility, either they don't know any better or they just don't care. I'm not trying to pin any of this on Bush, even though that first article does make references to Bush wich I wish it ommitted, because this is not a partisan issue or a case against Bush, this is somethign we should all we wary of and be careful about- this is our voting we're talking about. Our most prized priviledge as an Americna citizen.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY