Will Your Votes Be Counted?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by skunk, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #1
    Somebody will probably complain that this is an opinion piece. Be that as it may, I am astonished that, if the following is true, it has not been properly addressed even now. The millions spent on campaigns, the inspirational speeches, the general appetite for change, the last eight years of unconstitutional criminality, the profiteering, smears, war crimes and everything else will all be rendered completely irrelevant if the votes are miscounted, or, worse, stolen. Why has this not been sorted out?

    http://blogs.independent.co.uk/openhouse/2008/10/the-vote-grab-1.html
     
  2. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    What's wrong with good ol' fashioned using a pencil to put an 'X' next to the candidate and then counting the ballots by hand system of voting?
     
  3. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #3
    Well, obviously it's no good because you can't cheat. Duh!
     
  4. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #6
    Thanks for posting the links. What is astonishing to me is that this is the third election where these machines have been used, the first two were deeply suspect, yet so few Americans appear to care. If this happened anywhere else, there would be total outrage, yet in the home of the most powerful democracy in the world the registering and counting of the vote seems to be subverted with impunity. Can anyone explain this? So far abiyng87 is the only American even to have responded to what is probably the most important political question there is.
     
  5. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #7
    Any American going to vote should demand a paper ballot. If you ask for one, even if your voting site uses electronic machines, you must be given one. Thankfully we don't have that problem where I'm voting. All I have to do is fill in an arrow pointing to a name to vote. Ask for a paper ballot people, please.

    That we are still using these voting machines after 2 questionable elections is sick. Hopefully with a Democratic majority (unless these voting machines do the job they were likely designed to do: give votes to Republicans) something will be done about their use, but I won't hold my breath. Private corporations have absolutely no place near a ballot box, and they have absolutely no right to count votes in secret.
     
  6. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #8
    It is simply a statement to the apathy of the voters in this nation.

    I am a computer science major in college, and have taken just enough security classes to be acutely aware that the fundamentals of computing security don't mesh with the concepts of voting. That electronic voting machines even exist blows my mind. There will always be someone smarter than you, always. And this means that no matter what you do, the things are going to be hackable.

    Now, Skunk, if you have any spare emotion to send our way PLEASE do so immediately. The American people are far to complacent when it comes to voting. We want to get all hot and bothered when there is even a whiff of something that could be considered a threat to our democracy, but we as a people are all too willing to turn a blind eye to this crap.

    I find that a lot of people my age see this too, but our voices haven't been acknowledged or respected in the world of politics because for too many years our age group has been the one with the lowest turnout. This is one of the big reasons I like Obama. I don't want to credit it all to his comparative youth, but he has been able to start a fire under the butts of a lot of 20-somethings, you know, the ones who will be running this country in the not-so-distant future. Perhaps if he is elected it will help vindicate our place in politics and help put a stop to these atrocities.

    Or, perhaps, I am wholly naive and idealistic. :eek:
     
  7. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #9
    Why the American people are not up in arms over this amazes me. Too many Americans take their voting rights for granted. Sad.

    Until this election, I voted in NYC all my life. The machines (lever style) used there are the same ones that were used when I was a kid. I'm 46 now. While some have been replaced, many are in widespread use. IIRC, they stopped being made in the early 80s. I have no idea what to expect when I go to vote in the county I now live in.

    The problem is that we have no national standard for voting or voting machines. Rules are made at the state, city and county level. It's way to easy for the party in power to stack the deck in their favor. Ballots are poorly designed, voting rules vary widely and poll workers are ill equipped to handle even the most minor problems.

    The drawback to adopting a national standard or monopoly is that if a way to exploit it becomes available, we're effed. Could also stifle better technologies.

    I don't have answers but I'd like to see a national commission put together to lay out a plan before we go off half-cocked and spend money without really defining the problems and solutions.
     
  8. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #10
    Practically no other country even uses "technology" in their major elections. Why do it at all except to facilitate fraud and line some donors' pockets? Almost every other self-respecting democracy uses election observers, too.
     
  9. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #12
    I've read elsewhere that it has also been encouraged by the TV networks to get the counts done quickly and to call states quickly, to keep viewing figures up and call a winner asap. Take that with a pinch of salt, but I thought I'd throw it into the mix.
     
  10. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #13
    We now use paper scan ballots here. The vote is tallied electronically but there is a paper trail.

    There was a paper trail in Florida too and look how that turned out.:rolleyes:
     
  11. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Home
    #14
    Sounds almost Athens Olympicsesque...
     
  12. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #15
    We had those big voting monsters in CT for a long time too. They got rid of them last year. I talked to a guy that repaired them and he said they were the most reliable fail safe system there was.

    He also said the problems in Florida in 2000 could have been resolved if they emptied the chad trays every hour. Thanks to their ignorance we have new machines.
     
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #16
    Stealing political signs off of lawns, and cheating the voting system is about the most undemocratic, un-patriotic thing you can do for your country.

    Disgraceful. I can't believe your country's election is such a sham.

    I think McCain's chances of winning aren't as low as people believe, particularly if cheating is involved. These 5% and 10% discrepancies are HUGE.
     
  14. freeny macrumors 68020

    freeny

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Location:
    Location: Location:
    #17
    If McCain somehow wins and there is even the tiniest smell of fraud, I am pretty certain, there will be widespread riots.
    Tensions are high... Things will get ugly.
     
  15. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #18
    Personally, this is where I think the "It's not over yet" sentiment is coming from in the McCain campaign.

    Rigged before the candidates were even officially nominated. :rolleyes:
     
  16. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #19
    while I think the error is not good in the machines. I do see from a programing side how it could happen. If I remember the last ballet right I saw I quite often see either it is the Repiblican canidate as the top choice or it was the incombit.

    So we will give Rep (Bush) #1 and the Dem (#2) The error is I could see how it could easily end up subtracting number or some error being made where it loses track of the number there for it going to default to #1.

    That would cause the vote go to the wrong person.

    It not an acceptable error but I can easily see this as being a simple computer problem that needs to be worked out. I think they need to have a paper trail to back them up. Like have it print out your ballet after you choose it with a code matching it to YOUR vote ballet in the computer. If it does not match or you realized you screwed up you could have it remove the vote and allow it to change. Much like the current system with paper ones. Realize it is not what you want you can take the paper ballet to the officals and they give you a new one. The only link to which vote is which is the paper trail one. You turn in the paper trail so if they have to there is a hard copy.

    I like the electriconic voting for the sole reason is it is faster and less work to count the votes. Just all the bugs need to be removed. In the long run they are cheaper since much MUCH less man power has to be paid. Also it will gain the advatage of not requiring everyone to go to only certain poling places. Instead you could vote at any poling place in the state and it would pull up the correct ballet for where you are registered. This would be great for college students since they could vote on home town stuff with out having to go though a huge absently voting ballet, role pain in the ass.

    Plus it would be nice for me for example because I could vote while on lunch at work instead of having to leave early enough to make it to a polling place in time to vote. It would make for a better voting turn out.
     
  17. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    Location:
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    #20
    Skunk, while apathy does exist at various levels, I think there is a larger issue at work. In the 2000 election, Americans were forced to acknowledge the full extent of lawlessness, which had taken hold of the country. Not only was the Florida Attorney's General a participant in the crime, the DoJ was as well. And, to top it off, the US Supreme Court turned a blind eye to this obvious circumvention of the Constitution.

    I note that many of our European friends know a great deal about America. Certainly more than we do of them. However, one would have to actually live here to truly appreciate just how bad things have become. Far too many Americans have lost their faith, and confidence, in our judicial system. Where can you turn, if corruption exists at every level? it is a sorry state of affairs, but I would not view it as general apathy.
     
  18. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #21
    If you can see how easily a mistake can be made, WHY USE A MACHINE?

    If a paper trail is needed, WHY USE A MACHINE?
    Accuracy should be the only criterion, not money. WHY USE A MACHINE?
    We can vote anywhere, and our polling centres are only open for one day. Why can't you make this system work?
     
  19. és: macrumors 6502a

    és:

    #22
    And so there should be. It'll be time for people to rise up.
     
  20. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #23
    As far as I know, all electronic voting machines have paper trails, and it is part of the requirement. However, documenting a mistake with no indication the person voted the other way is as good as no paper trail in this case.
     
  21. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #24
    Not so: the system is still wide open to abuse.
    http://news.cnet.com/2100-1014_3-6198789.html
     
  22. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    The Dallas 'burbs
    #25
    I voted via electronic machine and I have a fair confidence that it will be counted. TX does not require a paper trail, but the last screen before I cast my ballot listed all of my choices with the option to go back if I didn't agree with what it said. As for machine failures or conspiracies to rig the election, I don't see those as any more likely than boxes of ballots disappearing, or ballot box stuffing. The number of people required to actually setup machines to rig the election would almost surely find an opportunistic whistleblower who would rat out the system, and the same rigging could be accomplished in whatever electromechanical system was used to tally the punch cards or optical scan ballots.

    I would like to see the future move to open source online voting. Give each voter their anonymous registration number that they use to go vote and store keep the records in an open database that allows anyone to go back and find their vote and modify it at any point until election day passes. Leave the database openly accessible so that anyone with an inkling can download and tally the votes if they have that desire (how many of us here would have more confidence in our elections when we knew that Doctor Q was tallying the results to verify). Keep everything open so anyone can scrutinize the software or results to find any discrepancies. Not to mention, voting and verification of your vote can be done anywhere you have a computer with net access, and polling places would only need internet terminals rather than these proprietary voting machines.
     

Share This Page