Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Electronic Voting & Hacking Democracy

Houston, There's Still a Problem:

After reading this article, I have become extremely worried for the experiment known as "Democracy." Electronic voting machines are counting a majority of votes this election cycle and we cannot trust a single count they output. The name of this article should be enough to scare the pants off anyone using electronic voting machines this Election. Isn't it bad enough that there are those among us who want to scare voters into not voting?

First, I need to make everyone aware that I am a network administrator for a retirement benefits firm. I fix/repair PCs on a daily basis, I setup printers, fix program installations and do firewall maintenance. Being a techie I know that these voting machines are not all that difficult to get right in a controlled test environment. With proper field testing, there is absolutely no reason we should still be having trouble with these machines. Yet they still aren't working properly.

Hacking Democracy:

Having watched the excellent documentary, Hacking Democracy (Video can be seen => HERE <= and is well worth the time), I also know Voting Machines can be hacked and results manipulated without a proper paper trail. So this leaves us with "dirty tricks" and "voting machine malfunction" as the two major woes of Election Day '08. I live in North Carolina and we still use paper ballots. For this I am grateful. I wonder, if they had known we were going to be a swing state this time around, do you think electronic voting machine legislation would have been brought up sooner?


What are we to do to ensure proper voting results?

Simple...eliminate all electronic voting machines and do regulated hand counts where a representative from each involved party certify counts of 1000 ballots. In this day of "must have it now" human thinking we need to re-think how quickly the results must be delivered. I know this may kill the ratings for CNN, Fox News & MSNBC to not get the results election night...but at least our peace of mind will be intact. Knowing who won the presidential election RIGHT NOW should not overshadow knowing who REALLY won. Yet, somehow, in this crazy technology age we live in, this is lost on many people. It's frustrating and should make everyone as angry as I am. Voting machines that have proof in the field that they do not function properly should be eliminated from the system, PERIOD.


It appears that with less than one month to go, we are still having random voting issues across this great country of ours. This should sadden everyone that we are prisoners to an election process that has been hijacked by technology that DOES NOT WORK. Technology that has not been tested properly, not been battle readied in a live, working test environment and not been certified by an independent auditor, should NOT BE USED. We are prisoners to those that use money to wield power. We are prisoners to electronic voting that could shape an election not based on fact, but based on error. We are prisoners in an invisible cell of silence that will only be realized when it's too late. If you still don't believe me, then you haven't seen Hacking Democracy.

John McCain may have one right:
My fellow prisoners...


Tamar said...

Actually, there are plenty of opportunities for voting fraud with the current paper based systems. The best solution is to use end-to-end auditable voting (E2E) using encryption that allows people to verify their votes without revealing their identities. The problem isn't with the medium, ie. paper versus electronic, it's with the lack of controls and verification. For a discussion on the failures of current electronic voting machines, and how do we fix things going forward, I recommend these two articles:


Improving voting systems

PDF and HTML versions can be downloaded.

RedWing said...

Good stuff Tamar, E2E looks promising if we can get it implemented. I just hope we can break out of this cell of "rich people rule everything" then we can change the rules to fit the majority.

Anonymous said...

redwing i dont know where you get your info but all your posts seem to be full of liberal thoughts with links to liberal sites run by idiotz. there is nothing wrong with the voting machines it is just another pathetic attempt by the democrat party to steal the election. i may have to work the polls this november to keep you thieves from stealing one like you did with Clinton. Brack Hussein Osama wont be winning this time.

suebeehonee said...

Redwing, in a perfect world all the voting methods would be hacker-free. I think that all methods have their own flaws. I only hope that there are no surprises this year.

Grey Fedora said...

Anonymous wrote:

"i may have to work the polls this november to keep you thieves from stealing one like you did with Clinton."

Would you please elaborate which Clinton and which election you are speaking about? This is the first time I have heard this claim.

Matthew said...

Is it me or does Anonymous sound juvenille to you. I am new to this site and was horrified to read the absolute hatred that this person has. I am a McCain supporter, but I would not go near as far to make a point nor would I be as offensive. Anonymous, Obama is no more a Muslim than McCain is a Democrat. YOu need to move on to sources that are not so biased. Last time I checked, Snopes had no differential between the candidates. In fact, it found more in favor of Republicans over the years as Democrats so I do not know where your paranoia is coming from. You sound mentally unbalanced and I hope you get no where near the polls. I want McCain to win this fair and square without some lunatic causing trouble.

Tom said...

Another great example of irony there from Anonymous, using the word 'idiotz' (notice the "z"). Anyone who is not an idiot can plainly see that the only people who would spell 'idiotz' in this way, would most certainly qualify for idiocy themselves. Genius. Or perhaps Idiotz is a Liberalist webmaster of Eastern European descent and Anonymous forgot to upper case the I.

Redwing - rich people own everything, they pay for everything, so they should control everything. Yeah they might be greedy, but poor people are too, they're just not clever enough to transform their aspirations into reality. I'd rather have clever greedy people in control personally, or Dr Idiotz, I think he'd be a good vote.

RedWing said...

Those of you who haven't seen Hacking Democracy really should when you have a few minutes. It's very well done and worth the effort.

bo said...

John McCain and Governor Palin are setting a new low in presidential politics with their dishonorable campaign. The McCain campaign is on the ropes, and sadly it's no surprise they're responding with attacks and outright lies. John McCain doesn't want to talk about the issues facing ordinary Americans -- especially the economy, which his own advisers admit he can't talk about without losing. It's even worse from some of the well-funded outside groups supporting McCain, whose sole purpose is tearing Barack down with smears. Never before in the history of our nation have we faced such a grave crisis: one of the most uninformed political figures ever to be nominated by a major party is just minutes away from becoming Vice President of the United States. She lies so much, you would almost think she believes the stories herself. Every word spoken has to be varified, and most are found to be untrue by CNN media. I'd be the last to question the moronicity of George W. Bush, but Sarah Palin is substantially dumber, bizarrely crazier, and dangerously and arrogantly less aware of her own shortcomings.
“We the American people like Mr. Obama, and we hope he will win the election.”
The real mess to face:
$700 Billion Bail out. No credit, no security, no loans. Just where will the Billions be borrowed from. Who is going to give an unsecured loan for that amount on an I owe you basis. The Federal reserve broken worse then the Banks. The Gold to secure our currency is gone, notta, missing. The USA money is worth less then the confederate money days. The Bail out came after a threat to declare Marshall Law by Bush. How-ever there are no arms to twist in loaning amounts needed. No money available to the USA. The Military unit now inacted to control civil disorder has been mandated by this administration. Another act toward development of a Police State. All contrary to our Constitution. It is our job to be at the center of the action, doing everything we can to protect the Constitution. The real mess is just beginning. Cover-up, after cover-up, until after the elections, then we all face the tragic results of the last eight years. Never will the American people elect anyone that would resemble this last administration. Only by another fraud election could it be

kevin said...

Step right up....we are leaving Fantasy Land...a time when everyone got lotsof free stuff paid with by pretty painted pictures on paper. John Lennon said,"where nothing is real..." and the price now is being paid as we go to TomorrowLand...but tomorrow land is sadly becoming a pock marked landscape A once f'ree country is preparing to nationalize banks, possibly link with international stock markets, oh and cut more checks to bankers, people who didn't pay the mortgage and additional"relief." It is so DISNEY! ...until you run the actual payable on notice bill to the honest citizen who actually pays taxes. ...In case there was any question,"the bailouts" didn't work and you and I haven't even paid for them yet. How could printing pieces of paper and calling them "mo'ney" work?! Do they really believe people are this uneducated? People asked me all week: Yes, the Dow should drop a couple thousand more points based on the enormous tax burden put just this week on to people with 401K's and IRA's. Will the drop happen this week?.....Who knows. Timing the market is not possible. Knowing what will happen is adifferent thing altogether. Some people I keep up with are looking for Dow 500 orDow 1000. In the near term I'm thinking 5000 or 6000. In a "normal" disasteryou'd have a bounce here and go up a thousand points, but with all the paperbeing printed, who knows. The big money on the street isn't stupid...but the rules have changed a lot and that makes handicapping more complicated. You know...a lot of these people are up for re-election...and the good newsis that there are ways you can still do just fine in the new Tomorrowland....

Larry said...

That video you posted is quite interesting. I've only made it 1/2 way through it, but it clearly (so far) shows why you can't trust anyone or any company. People can be bought out to do anything.

Larry said...

Well I knew Kerry should've won that election. I guess I can be happy my vote for Kerry was the right one and America was not stupid enough to give Bush another term. I am glad that woman had the courage enough to do what she did!!!

RedWing said...

I'm glad you watched Larry. It opened my eyes a lot in terms of election fraud and why voting machine companies should be socialized with regulation. There is no need for a private company to make voting machines for a federal election. As with the head of DieBold who once said, "I will bring the votes in for Bush" we see that this is a serious issue worthy of all American citizens' attention.