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Archive for the 'Election Integrity' Category

Nov 08 2004

Is this any way to run a democracy?

Published by under Election Integrity

This is a disturbing description of Corporate control of our election system:

In many Georgia counties last November, the machines froze up, causing long delays as technicians tried to reboot them. In heavily Democratic Fulton County, in downtown Atlanta, 67 memory cards from the voting machines went missing, delaying certification of the results there for 10 days. In neighboring DeKalb County, 10 memory cards were unaccounted for; they were later recovered from terminals that had supposedly broken down and been taken out of service.

It is still unclear exactly how results from these missing cards were tabulated, or if they were counted at all. And we will probably never know, for a highly disturbing reason. The vote count was not conducted by state elections officials, but by the private company that sold Georgia the voting machines in the first place, under a strict trade-secrecy contract that made it not only difficult but actually illegal – on pain of stiff criminal penalties – for the state to touch the equipment or examine the proprietary software to ensure the machines worked properly. There was not even a paper trail to follow up. The machines were fitted with thermal printing devices that could theoretically provide a written record of voters’ choices, but these were not activated. Consequently, recounts were impossible. Had Diebold Inc, the manufacturer, been asked to review the votes, all it could have done was program the computers to spit out the same data as before, flawed or not.

Astonishingly, these are the terms under which America’s top three computer voting machine manufacturers – Diebold, Sequoia and Election Systems and Software (ES&S) – have sold their products to election officials around the country.

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Nov 08 2004

Real data about election discrepancies?

Published by under Election Integrity

I just ran across this analysis of the Florida vote, which seems to indicate a significant discrepancy between voter registration and vote tallies, split by type of voting machine used.
I am not a statistician, and I know that staticians can manipulate numbers to their advantage, but this seems fairly clear cut to me.

Can I get a second opinion on this? Is this data real, and is this analysis correct?
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Follow up… I’ve had several responses to this, most telling me that the analysis was not valid…

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Nov 07 2004

Our boundless enthusiasm for new technologies

Published by under Election Integrity

Here are some quotes I’ve collected over the years, updated with recent events:

[The telegraph] binds together by a vital cord all the nations of the earth. It is impossible that old prejudices and hostilities should longer exist, while such an instrument has been created for an exchange of thought between all the nations of the earth.
Charles Briggs and Augustus Maverick, 1858

[It is] inconceivable that we should allow so great a possibility for service and for news and for entertainment and education [as radio] … to be drowned in advertising chatter or used for commercial purposes.
Herbert Hoover, 1922

Television drama of high caliber, produced by first-rate artists, will materially raise the level of dramatic taste of the American nation.
David Sarnoff, 1941

Cable [television] will create great access to information; it will also greatly assist self-identity, democratic processes, educational environments, and community cohesion.
Barry Schwartz, 1973

Our new ways of communicating [the Internet] will entertain as well as inform. More importantly, they will educate, promote democracy, and save lives.
Al Gore, 1994

[Electronic Voting Systems] will significantly improve the integrity of our election process, encourage voter participation and restore public confidence in our system.
Rep. Steny Hoyer 2002

I love technology, but maybe its time we think ahead a little deeper on what we are doing to our democratic processes with today’s fraud-friendly vote counting systems.

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Nov 06 2004

Concerns about Integrity of our Voting System

Published by under Election Integrity

I’ve been concerned about the integrity of our voting system ever since I first used one earlier this year. I am certainly not alone. Check out Bev Harris’ experience in Wired News: How E-Voting Threatens Democracy:

Clicking on a link for a file transfer protocol site belonging to voting machine maker Diebold Election Systems, Harris found about 40,000 unprotected computer files. They included source code for Diebold’s AccuVote touch-screen voting machine, program files for its Global Election Management System tabulation software, a Texas voter-registration list with voters’ names and addresses, and what appeared to be live vote data from 57 precincts in a 2002 California primary election.

“There was a lot of stuff that shouldn’t have been there,” Harris said….

Continue Reading »

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