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What is your opinion on voting machine reliability

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,243
5
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I had hear of some of the diebold stuff that went on but never really read up on it.
Yesterday I saw a documentary on the issue on HBO.

I was really surprised that it was that bad.
They made the comparison, would you feel okay going to vote and telling your vote to a man behind a curtain that no one person can identify that then announces the final totals.

Diebold claimed you needed access to the machines to change the vote.
When in fact all you needed was access to the memory cards and you could make the votes read anything you wanted. They even found diebold contributing to campaigns that were the same campaigns that just happened to be elected.

Some places in Florida even trashed the paper results after the vote when its illegal to do that.
They then sent the people at the site below fake copies of the paper results.

What do you think would be best for voting in the future ?
Paper ?

As it stands now there is no way to verify the votes reliably.

I'm an EE and it surprises me that these machines which are so important are easier to hack than a game console.

http://www.blackboxvoting.org/ has the most info on the subject.
http://www.bbvforums.org/forum.../73756.html?1210631772
 

NaughtyGeek

Golden Member
May 3, 2005
1,065
0
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Electronic voting is useless as it creates no auditable paper trail. The only paper tally comes from the machine so it's useless. Unless you trust a large corporation with substantial financial interest in who gets elected with your vote, you shouldn't agree to use their machine to cast your vote.
 

nebuchanezzar

Member
Mar 4, 2005
39
0
0
The whole concept reeks of "control". I read up on the subject when lil Bush stole the first election and was mortified that more people were not outraged. Unfortunately the average American not only doesn't vote, they flat out don't care. With those people being the vast majority, more and more mechanisms like this will be implemented to keep those that are concerned from being able to effect our government system.
There is so much information out there about how the system really operates, and it is in most cases the opposite of what our children are taught in schools about how things are. I'm happy you have started to seek the truth and can only hope that more will also.
 

TheSlamma

Diamond Member
Sep 6, 2005
7,628
4
81
What I think is strange is how are Diebold ATM's perfect with billions in cash with their ATM's 24X7X52 but yet 1 day every Novemeber these machines are not worth a $hit with a couple of vote options.
 

mxyzptlk

Golden Member
Apr 18, 2008
1,897
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I'm surprised to find that more and more districts are using the machines as if their problems aren't widely known.

and why CAN'T diebold make a voting machine that works as well as their ATM's?

But hey, it's a good thing Indiana enacted those tough laws to stop vote fraud.. oh wait..
 

vhx

Golden Member
Jul 19, 2006
1,151
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Didn't some defense contractor attempt to hostile takeover of Diebold? http://blog.wired.com/27bstrok...3/defense-contrac.html

I don't think anyone trusts electronic voting machines (atleast that I know). Especially with a lot of reports of manipulation of the machines, or the machine code somehow "messing up" and end up voting for a specific person. If they can't code something as simple as a poll system (that even the most nub forums have) then I would think: A) The programmers are not only incompetent, but useless. B) They attempted to rig something, and ended up breaking another functionality.

I'm more inclined to believe B...
 

Rio Rebel

Administrator Emeritus<br>Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,195
0
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The truth is, our democracy is deeply dependent on the confidence of the people in our elections. If people truly realized how inefficient and inaccurate our elections are, we would be in very serious trouble. Perhaps even the stability of our government itself would be in jeopardy (as hard as that is to imagine).

Voting machines leave no paper trail, but paper ballots are subject to even greater fraud. There is no easy solution.
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,243
5
76
I've really been thinking about this from an EE perspective since I posted.
One thing they should do immediately is make the memory cards of the write once variety.
There are two kinds of flash memory. One is like that found in thumb drives, the other can only be written once.

That would at the least give a permanent record on the card.
That does not prevent the cards from running a program itself, which why diebold is doing that I have no idea.
Putting executable code on the memory device is asinine .
It should just store data.
Of course that doesn't stop the machine itself from being tampered with and with no oversight on what the actual code contains we are really up the creek.

How can we still rely on a company like Diebold when the voting machines they used produced -16000 votes and then the politicians take money from them and still advise to buy from them .

I'm glad I wasn't the only on here to have heard about it.
I think , especially with the voting going on, that the major media needs to bring it to the forefront.
 

LongCoolMother

Diamond Member
Sep 4, 2001
5,677
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one of my current CS professors has been specializing in identifying the problems and security weaknesses of these machines. doesn't seem like he trusts them much, and he's testified before house committees and written reports on how bad they are. thus I'm kind of weary of the idea as well.
 

Queasy

Moderator<br>Console Gaming
Aug 24, 2001
31,796
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I'm less concerned about the voting machines than I am about fraudulent voter registrations.
 

Throckmorton

Lifer
Aug 23, 2007
16,833
1
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One problem with the machines is that they store a tally. They don't store each vote. Why not store each voter's name along with the ballot?
 

RightIsWrong

Diamond Member
Apr 29, 2005
5,650
0
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Originally posted by: Throckmorton
One problem with the machines is that they store a tally. They don't store each vote. Why not store each voter's name along with the ballot?
There is a movement towards that.

I think that the primary solution should be open source voting machine software. You will get some of the best minds in the world all collaborating on it without any one company being the primary benefactor of contracts or the single point of failure.
 

piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
17,183
60
91
How is any of this any different from punching cards or filling in circles with a pencil. In the end some machine has to read it. Do I have to point our the obvious?

The problem with out voting system is we dont know who is attached to what ballot so it is hard to investigate. How do you know if someone cheated or was not allowed to vote? There is no way to check it. I think the real problem is keeping track of vote fraud. Maybe the real problem is the it is harder to commit voter fraud with the new voting machines!
 

mxyzptlk

Golden Member
Apr 18, 2008
1,897
0
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Originally posted by: piasabird
How is any of this any different from punching cards or filling in circles with a pencil. In the end some machine has to read it. Do I have to point our the obvious?

The problem with out voting system is we dont know who is attached to what ballot so it is hard to investigate. How do you know if someone cheated or was not allowed to vote? There is no way to check it. I think the real problem is keeping track of vote fraud. Maybe the real problem is the it is harder to commit voter fraud with the new voting machines!
This is a violation of privacy. It is supposed to be a secret ballot. If there is a list of who voted for who then perhaps the presiding administration could use this info to somehow punish those who voted against them, or reward those who did.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,991
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There is nothing per say wrong with electronic voting. But without a duplicate paper record, any electronic tally is subject to manipulation at multiple points along the chain of custody. So I would suggest that all voting machines be designed to output one electronic record and two paper copies. One tamper proof printed copy is stored in the machine itself and other paper record goes to the voter with the machine being designed so that both paper records much match.

Then and selected by a later random number a few voting machines in each precinct will be pulled and the paper record will be compared to the electronic tally. As a further check, all voters using that machine will be called and asked to voluntarily submit their basic carbon copy for verification. I think enough voters will submit that data to make that comparison valid. And because, with modern technology, that printed record can be made very small, its not resource intensive. And because a voting thief never knows before hand which voting machine will get that 100% audit, it makes cheating very difficult.

Much the same thing happens with an ATM, if a bank tries ripping off customers, the customer will opt out of the system
if the bank cheats. The voter needs that same assurance.
 

tweaker2

Lifer
Aug 5, 2000
11,823
3,058
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seems to me that because all politicians whose livelihoods are wholly dependent on these machines being trustworthy aren't as concerned as they should be, that they are complicit with whatever shenanigans are going on with them.

therefore, this problem is not between the public and the manufacturer's of these machines. this problem is between the voting public and the politicians who are in league with the manufacturers of these easily hacked machines.

 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
56,275
4,690
126
I trust the electronic voting machines about as much as I trust George W. Bush.
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,916
172
106
Originally posted by: NaughtyGeek
Electronic voting is useless as it creates no auditable paper trail. The only paper tally comes from the machine so it's useless. Unless you trust a large corporation with substantial financial interest in who gets elected with your vote, you shouldn't agree to use their machine to cast your vote.
Originally posted by: Rio Rebel
-snip-
Voting machines leave no paper trail, but paper ballots are subject to even greater fraud. There is no easy solution.
^ I don't what kind of voting machines you people have in your community but the ones Ive used here DO USE an individual print-outeach voters choices. I can watch it scroll through as I make each selection. In thaaway I can confirm that vote(s) have, at least on the paper print-out, been recorded correctly.

I quickly googled but had no success determing exactly what machines we use. I did see that NC laws requires that all electronic voting machines produce the paper print-out.

If your state doesn't have such a requirement, maybe you should demand it.

Fern
 

piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
17,183
60
91
How are these devices any more or less trustworthy than say a punch card or the machine that reads them. You could alter the program that reads the punchcards just as easily. How do you know someone is not doing that now? The answer is you do not know. Most states just pick a couple precincts and then check them by hand. I guess that is the only way you can check them. If you carefully just changed a few votes out of a hundred or a thousand, the cheating would be very subtle but good enough to change the outcome.

Ideally, What I would want to see is the user do the voting, and then once the voting was stored it could be read and then printed out and displayed on the screen and then printed, and verified by the voter.

You want the ability to enter and write the data, and then the ability to recall the data and to display, print, and be verified by the voter. Could use some kind of unique ID to print the data out with no name on it. Typically in our computer system at school we use a seven digit number for the ID and just use the next available ID. Any system should be redundant with a backup in case something goes wrong. Having a paper copy is just one additional way to back it up.

There are many ways to compromise any system. The flash memory can have a virus. The process that writes the Memory to the master database could be rewritten to alter the count. The main system could be altered to produce faulty reports even though the data is stored properly.

Last time I voted there was no way I could know if the data was stored properly or my vote was counted properly. There was a paper backup, but I was not allowed to verify the vote was counted properly. So as far as I am concerned it may have been counted incorrectly. How do I know??? I dont know.

For all I know there could be a stack of forged paper ballots somewhere they stuff in the ballot box after I leave.
 

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