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Re-Vote Likely After E-Vote Data Mishandling 172

Posted by samzenpus
from the technology-makes-life-easier dept.
davecb writes "A California judge is likely to order a Berkeley city initiative back on the ballot because of local officials' mishandling of electronic voting machine data. A recount was not possible because the city failed to share necessary voting records, a violation of election laws. In a preliminary ruling Thursday, Judge Winifred Smith of the Alameda County Superior Court indicated she would nullify the defeat of a medical marijuana proposal in Berkeley in 2004 and order the measure put back on the ballot in a later election."
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Re-Vote Likely After E-Vote Data Mishandling

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  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@y[ ]o.com ['aho' in gap]> on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @07:38PM (#19908429) Homepage Journal
    This should have been done in 2000
    yes, I know it would have been expensive.
    • But there were so MANY problems then. Where do you start?

      Particularly when both parties seem to benefit from voting problems. If you lose, you claim that it was "stolen". If you have to cheat to win, well, you win don't you?

      We need a third party.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by iminplaya (723125)
        We need a third party.

        We need a second party. There is only one ruling party right now.
        • We need a second party. There is only one ruling party right now.

          If by that you mean "money" which pays "lobbyists" then I will agree.

          Otherwise, no. We have two parties and that makes it too easy for them to run negative campaigns against the other party. You might not have heard of me, but I disagree with everything about THAT candidate the YOU don't like.

          The things he did that you didn't like? I didn't like them either. And when you elect me, I won't do them!

          That is MUCH more difficult when you have to sp

        • Re:Possibly. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Original Replica (908688) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @09:13PM (#19909241) Journal
          There is only one ruling party right now.

          We theoretically have a Republican party and a Democratic party, but they both take their cues and pull their members from Amercia ruling elite. For all of /.'s love of market forces let's look at who controls that:

          In 2003, just 1% of all households -- those with after-tax incomes averaging $701,500 -- received 57.5% of all capital income, up from 40% in the early 1990s. On the other hand, the bottom 80% received only 12.6% of capital income, down by nearly half since 1983. http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/we alth.html [ucsc.edu]

          Who is controlling corperations? The top 10% own 85% of the stock. So it should be obvious to everyone that this same small amount of the population would have the same level of control over the government. But everyone gets one vote you say. But who places our choices in front of us? If the choice is between aristocrat "A" and aristocrat "B", you still have and aristocrat in power when the "vote" is done. This non-choice shows itself in negitivity of the campaigns and the apathy of the voters. People have more interest in "American Idol" than the American government because they have more actual influence in the former.
          • by Hatta (162192)
            This non-choice shows itself in negitivity of the campaigns and the apathy of the voters. People have more interest in "American Idol" than the American government because they have more actual influence in the former.

            This is exactly why 1) we need a no confidence option on every ballot, and 2) elections should have quorums. An election without these features is about as fair as the magicians choice [wikipedia.org].
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Metasquares (555685)

        Parties are the problem, not the solution. We need no parties; we need politicians to think on their own about some issues for a change. Things like cohesive party-wide election strategies, "whips", thoughtless polarization on the issues by candidates, and thoughtless voting along party lines by voters have no place in a system originally designed to represent the interests of the people.

        Not to mention the existence of political parties violates the doctrine of separation of powers, as one can observe fr

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          You know, I dislike Democrats and liberals as much as anybody, but I'm not really sure that the President is meant to have his way ALL the time. Sure, it'd be nice for Bush to have his way 100% of the time, so we could actually fight a war, and fight terror, cut taxes to zero, have school prayer, criminalize abortion, eliminate public education, build a Mexico border fence with robotic machine guns, and lift all restrictions on business.

          But, I'm a businessman, and have to see things as they are, from all si
          • I wasn't inferring that I agreed with Bush's policies... in fact, I deliberately chose wording that would not reflect any particular political stance. What I meant is that Bush had an easy time of influencing legislation that was favorable to him until the recent congressional election.

        • Not to mention the existence of political parties violates the doctrine of separation of powers, as one can observe from the increasing difficulty of the Bush administration to have favorable legislation passed after control of congress passed to the Democrats.
          Or conversely the number of conservative decisions handed down by the Supreme Court lately...
        • by jez9999 (618189)
          Parties are the problem, not the solution. We need no parties; we need politicians to think on their own about some issues for a change.

          Until recently, I shared this exact opinion. However, I've changed my mind now and think that parties are absolutely fine, as long as they're kept under good scrutiny. The current entrenched parties are a *symptom* of the real problem - the electoral system.

          You pretty much need parties in national government. The elected need to have a full spectrum of policies, which is
    • by QuantumG (50515)
      As hard as it is to imagine how a president could be worse than Bush Jr, I kinda have to wonder how the world would be now if Gore had won.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Chris Burke (6130)
        I don't know. I don't like Gore, at least in 2000 the only thing I liked about him was his environmental policy, I still hated his corporatism. Maybe he'd be better, maybe he'd be worse.

        The only thing I know for sure would be different had Gore become President is that we would not be in Iraq.

        That's enough for me to wish things had been different.
      • Assuming 9/11 had still happened, etc. the world still would have been far better off with Gore as president, if for no other reason than that Gore wouldn't have been stupid/venal enough get us into the Iraq quagmire.
        • by QuantumG (50515)
          I wish people wouldn't base their opinion of Gore (or any politician) on his opponent. How much do you know about Gore himself? I'm one of the few people who have read his books and the literature he advocates. This is a guy who advocates a steady state society and forced limits on how many children people can have (like China), along with forced limits on energy use, etc.
          • by Qrlx (258924)
            Sounds like a better choice than the guy who sees no limits to the number of children he can bomb into freedom, no limits on the power of the Executive, etc.
            • by QuantumG (50515)
              What did I JUST say? Are you incapable of holding them BOTH to a higher standard? Why can't you have a president that is NEITHER an idiot nor an eco-fascist?

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                Why can't you have a president that is NEITHER an idiot nor an eco-fascist?

                Because there was no third choice. Because you have to choose the lesser of two evils. Because politics doesn't happen in a vacuum. Because you have to vote for what is available. Because the choice in the booth is relative.

                What don't you understand about real world voting?
                • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

                  by QuantumG (50515)
                  The US electoral system is thoroughly gamed. It has been fucked for decades now and the people of the US do nothing about it. They don't believe in democracy anymore.

                  • They don't believe in democracy anymore.

                    But... but... they send their children to *die* for democracy!

                    And they kill the children of other nations for democracy too!

                    I just can't believe that the freedom loving people of the USA don't believe that democracy isn't worth killing for anymore...
                  • You do realize the problem here, right? Our electoral system is how we were supposed to make changes. It's only been considered fucked for the past decade or so. There's not a lot of options here. What do you propose - revolution? Our military is the strongest in the world. Our citizens are not allowed to own weapons even in the same ballpark as our military maintains. We can't vote 'em out, we can't push 'em out... what do you propose we do?
                  • by neomunk (913773)
                    We can't rise up. (notice the period)

                    We don't have a term "nuclear civil war" yet, but we would if the U.S. citizenry did ANYTHING that really actually threatened the existing power structure in the U.S. I mean, they wouldn't toss H-bombs at the first major riot, but you can bet your ass (my ass actually, being a U.S. citizen/resident) that they would use ANY means available when it looked like the reigns would actually be taken from them.

                    The people spinning in and out of the revolving door of the governm
                • by Firethorn (177587)
                  There were third party candidates available. I personally voted for Badnarik. Of course, I knew full well he wasn't going to be elected. Indeed, I wouldn't want many of his policies implimented. However, he would have certainly imposed deadlock, allowing our country to get on with business(other than politics). Maybe even lowered taxes.

                  Still, there were a number of candidates available before the election during the primaries. A number of them would have been better choices.

                  I don't think that Bush so
          • by timmarhy (659436)
            He sounds like a nightmare.

            do you really want the government dictating the kids you can have? what if you get knocked up and go over the states limit? will they abort like china?

            gore's interest in environmental policy is completely self serving. i think if he had of won you'd all be in a great deal of trouble. i'm no bush lover, but he was the best of a bad choice.

            • by QuantumG (50515)

              Gore's interest in environmental policy is completely self serving.
              First, I don't even know how that is possible. Second, no, he actually believes that stuff is for the benefit of human kind.

              I'm no bush lover, but he was the best of a bad choice.
              And that's the problem with the US political system.

              • by timmarhy (659436)
                you can't see how riding a popular topic can be manipulated by a politician? open your eyes.

                gore's use of global warming uses the exact same play book bush has been using with terrorism. common theme's are fear of the unknown, ignorance of the masses and the apperance of saving the world.

                • by QuantumG (50515)
                  Sigh. He's been on the environmental right since before he became a politician. He's the same person he has always been. It's probably because he isn't fake that he isn't in power. And, frankly, I think that's a good thing.
                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by TapeCutter (624760)
                  Ok, so how do you explain that Gore was not convinced on AGW until after he met J. Hansen at a 1989 senate hearing? Also the information that Gore uses in his "play book" is not simply dreamt up by him, one of his advisers, or even a popular sci-fi authour, it was produced by the IPCC. The IPCC represents the considered (and cautious) opinion of every national science body on the planet INCLUDING THE USA.

                  "open your eyes...ignorance of the masses"

                  Ironically if wiped the political blinkers from your own
              • Second, no, he actually believes that stuff is for the benefit of human kind.

                You've really aroused my curiousity here. How do you KNOW that he really believes this stuff? Yeah, he says over and over that he really believes it, but he could, you know, be lying. So how do YOU know?

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by geekoid (135745)
              "do you really want the government dictating the kids you can have? "
              That would never happen, and you totally missed his point.

              "gore's interest in environmental policy is completely self serving. "

              His interest has been there for a very long time, it didn't just appear when he was running for president.
              All politicians are self serving, just like everybody else.

              "i think if he had of won you'd all be in a great deal of trouble."
              haha, what trouble? You mean wose then backing ciompanies that send rotten food to
              • Worse than a guy who is trying to type so fast to reply to a post on slashdot, he makes a ton of errors?

                hehe
                just a joke. just laugh. made me chuckle ...
              • Worse than wanting to destroy a national park in Alaska by drilling into it for oil?

                (That's the issue that made me reject Bush the first time, before he had a chance to make all the other fuck-ups!)

            • You could have elected a Vietnam veteran, a Columbia University professor, a member of the Apple Board of Directors, a guy with experience of government at practically every level, a guy without whom we wouldn't have the frickin' Internet... and GEORGE W. BUSH was the best choice?
            • by plague3106 (71849)
              do you really want the government dictating the kids you can have? what if you get knocked up and go over the states limit? will they abort like china?

              Given the rampant stupidity I'm seeing in this country today, I'm all for stelizing people as soon as they are born. Then, after you've proven your smart and can take care of yourself can the procedure be undone.

              Personally I'm tired of paying for welfare moms just popping out more kids to get more welfare. Don't think the problems that bad? Goto MS, the po
          • by Skater (41976)

            Don't forget his and his wife's stance on music [wikipedia.org]. (Although the linked article talks about Tipper, Al did support his wife's work at the time it happened - and let's face it, she probably wouldn't have gotten any air time if he didn't - though he later backed away from it.)

      • I nver said who I felt shuot win.
        My point was, it was so close,and so questionable, that there should have been a recount. The election should not have been left for a court to decide who is the president.

        Yes, I would have prefered Gore because he is more technically savvy, and understand technology.
        Yes, I would be saying there should have been a recount even if he became the president.

  • by Anonymous Crowhead (577505) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @07:42PM (#19908479)
    That's unpossible!
  • by Saint Stephen (19450) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @07:44PM (#19908491) Homepage Journal
    For God's Sake, Legalize it already.
    • Half the point of smoking weed is to show Uncle Sam the finger. Gets a bit pointless if it is legal!
    • Please. I don't want to smoke marijuana (it gives me a horrendous headache, but doesn't seem to have any other effect on me), but I don't want all the pot-heads to be getting their drugs tax-free while I still have to pay tax on booze and (to a lesser extent) coffee. Legalise it, tax it at the same rate as tobacco, fund a few more schools.
  • by seanadams.com (463190) * on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @07:47PM (#19908527) Homepage
    The case points to the dangers of electronic voting systems, which make it harder to ensure fair elections, Luke said.

    How about "make it relatively trivial to rig an election".
    • by inKubus (199753)
      Maybe "Luke" should use "the force " to ensure fair elections with electronic voting systems.
  • Great stuff, dude, but should not we count them votes first ?..

  • by sokoban (142301) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @08:00PM (#19908637) Homepage
    > the city failed to share necessary voting records

    Dude, quit bogarting all the voting records. Count, count, pass.

    And always to the left.
  • by TheTranceFan (444476) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @08:07PM (#19908705) Homepage
    What were they smoking?
  • I don't particularly buy the argument that electronic voting is somehow more or less difficult to tamper with than paper voting. Sure there is no guarantee that the hardware and software is protected and will truly offer a fair vote - but can you really say the same thing for paper? Remember those ballots have to go to a machine that counts them. That machine is not perfect - it is just as prone to error and manipulation as your electronic system. Of course with paper ballots you can resort to a manual reco
    • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @08:32PM (#19908917) Homepage Journal
      Say it with me: count twice, count by hand.

      The democratic process relies on people who have more interest in how the candidate is chosen than who the candidate is; in other words, little old ladies. These are not the people who are asking for this technology.

    • by Cervantes (612861) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @08:39PM (#19908975) Journal

      I don't particularly buy the argument that electronic voting is somehow more or less difficult to tamper with than paper voting. Sure there is no guarantee that the hardware and software is protected and will truly offer a fair vote - but can you really say the same thing for paper? Remember those ballots have to go to a machine that counts them. That machine is not perfect - it is just as prone to error and manipulation as your electronic system. Of course with paper ballots you can resort to a manual recount but that is costly and time consuming. Moreover if you think electronic and mechanical counters are unreliable a human is a disaster.
      BZZZZZT. Sorry, but this was so wrong I had to respond.

      Your mistake is an issue of scale. It's relatively easy to slip in one or two false paper ballots. It may not even be that hard to make the machine a little more picky when it comes to checking punchouts on the democrat side of the ballot. But there's backups, paper backups, that get checked and confirmed, even if at a small ratio. Someone watching the pile of ballots go through the machine can find it odd that mostly left-leaning candidates get kicked out as incomplete ballots. Little things can be snuck through easier.

      But electronic... that's what you want when you want to do BIG lies. Just off the top of my head from the last 2 POTUS elections... cards coming preloaded with thousands of votes. Systems designed so that if you left a busy machine collecting votes and forgot to empty it out, it would kick over at 16384 to -16383 (funny how that happened in left-leaning counties, eh?). Funny "glitches" (I hate that word when it comes to elections) that lost entire counties of votes. Concerns that the system might be undercounting Demos and overcounting Repubs. Software that made it exceedingly easy to switch your entire ballot to republican on the last page, without really telling you it was. Or software that just preselected your candidates for you.

      Add too all that... NO paper trail... NO hard copy in your hand to confirm... NO audit trail to be checked to ensure fairness and honesty. Just trust the magic box will tell the other, main, magic box, the correct vote, hope for the best, and ignore the man behind the curtain promising Ohio to Bush. Also, ignore those pesky pollsters and statisticians, they don't actually know what they're doing.

      Really, the 2000 Florida situation was unique, because a swing of a few votes either way made a huge difference. But at least ya'll could go back and CHECK. In '04 all you got was "here's the number, if you don't like it too bad". I'd rather have a few weeks of checking to make sure everythings fair, rather than an instant biased result with no appeal.

      The scale of the flaws of electronic voting far outweigh the flaws of mechanical voting. With mechanical, a few votes can get screwed up. With electronic, a whole election can.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Your mistake is an issue of scale. It's relatively easy to slip in one or two false paper ballots. It may not even be that hard to make the machine a little more picky when it comes to checking punchouts on the democrat side of the ballot. But there's backups, paper backups, that get checked and confirmed, even if at a small ratio. Someone watching the pile of ballots go through the machine can find it odd that mostly left-leaning candidates get kicked out as incomplete ballots. Little things can be snuck through easier.

        But electronic... that's what you want when you want to do BIG lies. Just off the top of my head from the last 2 POTUS elections... cards coming preloaded with thousands of votes. Systems designed so that if you left a busy machine collecting votes and forgot to empty it out, it would kick over at 16384 to -16383 (funny how that happened in left-leaning counties, eh?). Funny "glitches" (I hate that word when it comes to elections) that lost entire counties of votes. Concerns that the system might be undercounting Demos and overcounting Repubs. Software that made it exceedingly easy to switch your entire ballot to republican on the last page, without really telling you it was. Or software that just preselected your candidates for you.

        Add too all that... NO paper trail... NO hard copy in your hand to confirm... NO audit trail to be checked to ensure fairness and honesty. Just trust the magic box will tell the other, main, magic box, the correct vote, hope for the best, and ignore the man behind the curtain promising Ohio to Bush. Also, ignore those pesky pollsters and statisticians, they don't actually know what they're doing.

        Yes I understand all that, but that doesn't change the fact that you can't ignore the flaws in previous systems and the possible advantages to this one. Any new system is full of bugs. This is why I always avoid the first few generations of a product just because I know there are issues that need to be worked out and I don't want to have to deal with that. This is no different except the implications and reprecussions are far more drastic (politics is a bit more important than say your car afterall). We

        • by Firethorn (177587)
          A proper paper trail needs to be provided including a receipt for both the voter themself and the voting district in the event of a recount.

          No receipt to the voter. Why? They were historically used by unscrupulous men with power over others to verify votes. IE If you worked for me, I could tell you who to vote for, demand to see the receipt showing your vote, and fire you if you didn't vote correctly.

          The design, production, and upkeep of electronic voting systems needs to be taken out of the the hands of
          • by fredklein (532096)
            No receipt to the voter. Why? They were historically used by unscrupulous men with power over others to verify votes. IE If you worked for me, I could tell you who to vote for, demand to see the receipt showing your vote, and fire you if you didn't vote correctly.


            Simple solution: don't print identifying info on the ballots. Just the votes, time (to the closest minute) and which machine the vote was made on. Then IF (and it's a pretty big if) a company demanded to see a voting receipt, they would have no wa
        • by Rakishi (759894)

          # A proper paper trail needs to be provided including a receipt for both the voter themself and the voting district in the event of a recount.

          Receipt is pointless and worthless.

          # The design, production, and upkeep of electronic voting systems needs to be taken out of the the hands of the private sector and instead be taken care of by the government.

          Since we all know that the government is the epiphany of proper management and lack of abuse. I mean politicians would never do things to further their own careers at the cost of the public.

          * Electronic systems need to have an operating system that is dratically different and absolutely proprietary to itself and further be completely open source so it can reviewed by the public at will.

          So you want to add massive increases in costs (I do mean massive) for what comes out to a false sense of security. Likely since it will have less overview than existing OSes the new one will be massively LESS secure thus opening up tons of abuse possibilities. Like say having non-tri

          • So you want to add massive increases in costs (I do mean massive) for what comes out to a false sense of security. Likely since it will have less overview than existing OSes

            Bullshit! It's a voting machine, for crying out loud! All it does is count! My pocket calculator has a fancier OS than a voting machine needs!

      • Your mistake is an issue of scale [ ...snip ...] Add too all that... NO paper trail...

        You got it - nicely summarised: Electronic Cheating Scales, while Manual Cheating is Hard Work. Paper voting systems provide a backup counting option which removes the element(s) which make cheating in this environment possible, while electronic voting recounts are just as susceptible to cheating as the original count - the elements which make cheating possible in this environment, in the first place, are still there.

        I cannot articulate the degree to which electronic voting scares the ker-snarf outta

        • Hell, all you *really* need is a paper trail. A receipt that gets printed out that the voter can double check and put in the box, which is only opened in case of a recount (with some ridings/counties/whatever recounted randomly, others on demand). You have the convenience of speedy results, with the backup option of a legitimate recount. That way you're back to Hard Work to really rig anything.

          Oh yeah, and the States *really* needs to take the management of elections (drawing riding/county/whatever borde

      • by ignavus (213578)
        "I'd rather have a few weeks of checking to make sure everythings fair, rather than an instant biased result with no appeal."

        In Australia, with hand-counted ballots (closely observed the whole time by scrutineers of all parties), we have the results by the same evening. Or the next day if it is very, very close. And we have preferential voting to contend with (i.e. we must not only count the primary vote, but also measure the effect of the other preferences, where relevant). In many electorates, we have a r
        • by ignavus (213578)
          Sorry, I meant to say "can declare victory *on the evening* of election day."
        • While I was for quite some time a proponent for e-voting with printed receipts I've become more and more reluctant to praise its benefits. The problem is that as soon as there are irregularities or "glitches" the whole system shows its fragility: there could have been 'preloaded' votes, certain votes might have been wrongly counted (while printing out the correct receipt), a voting machine have even been rigged by the manufacturer himself etc etc. All this resulting questioning and arguing about what might
          • I used to be in favour of electronic voting too, but eventually it becomes a question of trust. Who do you trust to ensure that your vote is counted correctly? With paper voting, you don't have to trust anyone. If you don't, then you volunteer to count votes and you can audit the entire process. One you move to electronic voting, you have to rely on the opinions of experts who comprise less than 1% of the population. When this happens, you are no longer a democracy, you are an oligarchy. As Stalin sai
    • by timmarhy (659436)
      costly and time consuming

      so just how much of your democratic process will you give up to save a little money?

    • by Qzukk (229616) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @08:48PM (#19909039) Journal

      Remember those ballots have to go to a machine that counts them. That machine is not perfect
      That's because you're doing it wrong. Machines should augment, not replace, humans. "Trust but Verify" -- at every step:

      1) "Voting" Machine that prints out a combination human/optically readable ballot. Human verifies the human part says what they want it to say. We don't want observers confirming this, that's why privacy sleeves have been used for years.
      2) "Sorting" Machine that sorts the ballots based on the optically readable ballot. Human flips through the stacks and verifies all of the human parts say the same thing for that race. Observers can confirm.
      3) A dumb "Counting" Machine that counts a stack of ballots (without needing to know whose ballots are in it). Human puts the resulting number in the tally under the human readable name on the stack. Observers can confirm. Totals of the entire stack before sorting and after counting each race to confirm that nobody misplaced a stack of ballots.

      At each step of the process, a very simple machine (low cost, minimum requirements for certification, etc) performs a single task (and hopefully it will perform it well). And following every machine step comes a step where humans can verify that the step was performed correctly. Since the individual machines don't contain any state about the election at all, voting machine malfunction cannot lose votes, and any malfunctioning piece of equipment can be replaced by any other piece that works. If standards are defined for each step of the process, then multiple companies can compete, driving down prices, and in the event a company is unable to provide sufficient numbers of voting machines, the remainder can be bought from other companies.

      Furthermore, many of the tampering problems with paper ballots (whether cast electronically or not) can be taken care of with forethought and work. Ballot stuffing with leftover ballots (or duplicates, or casting the ballots people turn in as incorrect) can be stopped by issuing numbered ballots and invalidating the remaining or wrong ballots. Likewise, lost ballots would be known based on the gaps in numbers. Preventing this from identifying the voter (based on, say, their position in line relative to a planted observer) can be done by packaging the ballots in blocks of 100 or so, pre-randomized within that block. This way at the end of the day, only the unused ballots of open packages have to be invalidated, the remainder can be invalidated block-by-block (bigger blocks: more random and more to invalidate from an open package at the end of the day. smaller blocks: less random but less cleanup at the end).
    • Why not have both? Paper is just double-checking the electronic, making it harder to hack in remotely, or change a motherboard or data-cartridge while no one is looking.

      In general, polling sites have at least one over-seer from each party. If one of the other guys is trying to shuffle papers ballots around, it's going to be a bit trickier because ballots are big, and hard not to be noticed. They're big compared to a CF card. Big compared to remote known windows exploits [secunia.com].
      --
      Looking for a C/C++ job in S [slashdot.org]
    • You've just described two forms of electronic voting. If a machine is doing the reading then it is electronic voting, even if there is paper involved.

      A paper ballot designed to be read by humans is by far a superior option, it scales well, is easy to check and leaves a verifiable trail.

      No machines at all are involved, and regardless of what you say a human brain is a great deal more accurate when it comes to reading a piece of paper.

      Votes have always been hand counted in my country, and it is very difficult
    • by rickb928 (945187)
      I continue to be astonished that so many /.ers will defend electronic voting machines. If we dumb them down to merely counting what the voter inputs, we get a glorified scanner. Just use the scanners that paper fill-in-the-bubble ballots use. You get both an electronic count to satisfy the media's craving for instantaneous results and our thirst for 'news', and a countable paper ballot we can argue over. Sheesh.

      But any kind of electronic system without at least a paper receipt I can go back with and ask
    • UPDATE Votes
      SET voteCount = voteCount + 10000000
      WHERE candidateName = 'Fuckturd';

      UPDATE Votes

      SET voteCount = voteCount - 10000000
      WHERE candidateName = 'Sane-Alternative';

      There is no need to thank me.

    • by Ihlosi (895663) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @05:36AM (#19912001)
      Moreover if you think electronic and mechanical counters are unreliable a human is a disaster.



      So ? If you have a paper trail, you can at least prove that there was something wrong with the election, or the counting process (if you recount and arrive at a substantially different number of votes). Then you can initiate corrective action (for example, a really, really meticulous recount), followed by making sure that it doesn't happen again (like sticking whoever tried to rig the election in jail).



      Electronic voting without a paper trail ? Sure, here are your results. Doubt them ? Sucks to be you. The machine is infalliable and you have no way to prove anything else.

  • Maybe the officials just, y'know, forgot where they put the voting record...I mean, it's really easy to do, what with that funny smelling haze always hanging over the city...

    /me misses living in Berkeley...
  • Smells Like Republicans (the vote-rigging special!)
  • Having seen how paper ballots are conducted it's harder to imagine how that system is manipulated, however the drawback is that fewer people can participate. AFAIR the voting rates in western countires are lower than 20%, which is not a good thing. It's not good because the fewer people who participate in an election, the easier it is to affect te outcome by the influence of "swinging" voters.

    The good thing about electronic voting is it allows more voters, and over the internet voting would be a great step

    • The good thing about electronic voting is it allows more voters

      Um, how do you imagine that might happen?

      The reasons people don't vote include things like not wanting to be on Jury rolls, and the time it takes to get to the voting place.

      How does having a touch screen instead of a punch card make a difference?

      (no, "electronic voting" is not "internet voting"... the problems there are a whole different kettle of wardheelers)
    • e-voting has about 0 to do with the Internet. E-voting uses sneakernet to takes votes from ATM-like machines to a central counting machine. At most the machine might make a POTS call to the counting machine.

      If they did use the Internet they'd probably be like "zOMG hackers!!!" and actually implement some encryption algo's that could potentially make voting more secure then ever before. As it is, they just put some un-signed numbers on memory cards that are then basically feed into an Excel spread sheet.
    • by Zironic (1112127)
      Sweden has 80% vote participation where the votes are completely hand counted. I fail to see how electronic voting would help... We use fill in the box votes where only a few are ever discarded. http://www.idea.int/vt/country_view.cfm?CountryCod e=SE [idea.int]
  • as a berkeley student and marijuana enthusiast, sweet.
  • by emkman (467368)
    If you guys didnt know, the EFF helped with this case. http://www.eff.org/news/ [eff.org]
  • This happened last week and was first reported here [slashdot.org]. Gawd slashdot editors are slow... :-|
  • If we combine this article with the previous article and hook the E-Voting machine up with the new Online Random Number generator maybe we'd have a better luck a selecting "elected" officials. Lord knows it seems like the public can't do it right. Just a thought I had seeing the articles right next to each other.

    Or maybe that's how the E-Voting machines already work? :)

  • The pro-marijuana, open-source hippies, are just upset that they forgot to show up for the ballot for some reason, once again, so they hacked the system...

A Fortran compiler is the hobgoblin of little minis.

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