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Overheated Voting Machine Cast Its Own Votes 378

Posted by samzenpus
from the getting-the-machine-vote dept.
longacre writes in with the results of a report on voting machines that malfunctioned in NY during the 2010 mid-term elections. "Tests of a number of electronic voting machines that recorded shockingly high numbers of extra votes in the 2010 election show that overheating may have caused upwards of 30 percent of votes in some South Bronx voting precincts to go uncounted. WNYC first reported on the issue in December 2011, when it was found that tens of thousands of votes in the 2010 elections went uncounted because electronic voting machines counted more than one vote in a race. A review by the state Board of Election and the electronic voting machines’ manufacturer ES&S found that these 'over votes,' as they’re called, were due to a machine error. In the report issued by ES&S, when the machine used in the South Bronx overheated, ballots run during a test began coming back with errors."
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Overheated Voting Machine Cast Its Own Votes

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  • Scrap them all (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fned (43219) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @09:09PM (#39949745) Journal

    It's clear we're just not ready for electronic voting. Let's stick to paper ballots and re-visit this idea in twenty years or so.

    • Re:Scrap them all (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @09:13PM (#39949767) Journal

      It's clear that we hired the wrong people to build our electronic voting machines.
      Instead of the guys who build ATMs, we should have hired the guys who build slot machines.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Especially on the news that at least one bank, (Citizens) has been keeping money owed it's customers who make math mistakes tallying up their checks when they deposit them (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/09/citizens-bank-class-action-lawsuit_n_1498123.html). Funny how when you make a math mistake in YOUR favor they always catch it....

      • Re:Scrap them all (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @09:24PM (#39949861)

        No. We should have hired the guys who print money and other secure papers. Paper voting is superior in every way to electronic voting, except possibly price - and shouldn't we be willing to spend what is ultimately a pittance compared to what we spend on everything else to ensure one of the cornerstones of democracy is eroded away?

        • No. We should hire EVERYBODY. Open source the code, open source the machines. Have a wide-open system that people can verify independently. I'm no FSF fanboy, but this is one place where open source makes a lot of sense.
          • Re:Scrap them all (Score:4, Interesting)

            by eastlight_jim (1070084) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:21AM (#39951289)
            The argument Stallman uses against this is that we, as voters, have no way to know whether the code actually running on the machine in front of us is the same as the open code that we have reviewed. Ultimately there will come a time when a very select number of people are responsible for compiling the code and putting it on the machine. If those people have a vested interest in some outcome or other then they could tamper with the machine and no-one would know any better. In fact, we would all be thinking it was a secure system because of the "open" nature of it. These things aren't like our PCs, we can't just install VotingMachine From Scratch and be done with it.
      • Re:Scrap them all (Score:5, Interesting)

        by yakatz (1176317) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @09:24PM (#39949863) Homepage Journal
        Except when slot machines are hacked, the developers usually keep it a secret so the casinos will not be investigated. (Mitnick, K (2005). The Art of Intrusion. [amazon.com])

        Oh wait, the voting machine companies probably try to do that too.
      • Sure, why not? It's all a gamble anyways.

      • Re:Scrap them all (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @09:41PM (#39949979) Homepage Journal

        ATMs are incredibly reliable these days. The fact that these POS voting machines are built, in large part, by the same people who build ATMs indicates strongly that Occam's Razor beats Hanlon's (or Napoleon's) Razor here; malice, rather than stupidity or incompetence, is the simplest and most likely explanation.

      • Re:Scrap them all (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya&gmail,com> on Thursday May 10, 2012 @12:44AM (#39950883)

        Instead of the guys who build ATMs, we should have hired the guys who build slot machines.

        ATMs are very reliable! Because if an ATM were to spontaneously spit out money, you bet that owner bank will hold the manufacturer responsible and make them pay! So ATMs don't really screw up, ever
        This is a symptom of no one holding them accountable. If every lost/wrong vote cost, say, $1000 to the manufacturer, such crap would not happen.

    • It was voting fraud (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @09:46PM (#39950015)

      It shows a cluster of voids in MULTIPLE voting cells in one area. That means

      1) it was not random.
      2) Multiple machines in multiple buildings all voided?? No, not overheating, you might pretend that this particular part of NY is hot,but different building have different heat characteristics.

      That map is a clear voting fraud pattern, it suggests local tampering.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @10:07PM (#39950117)

        Added comment: Get the Choicepoint data, I bet it shows that section of New York votes strongly Democrat or strongly Republican, and it means that someone was trying to change the election by removing that cluster of votes.

        Then go subpoena Choicepoint to find out who commissioned political affiliation data for those districts, and start prosecuting these voter frauds.

        • Because that's working so well up here in Canada. We have MOUNTAINS of evidence against the concervatives and all we hear back is "stop trying to slander us, we had nothing to do with it".
    • Re:Scrap them all (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Darinbob (1142669) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @10:05PM (#39950105)

      There is a fundamental problem with elections in the US and many other places, regardless of electronic versus paper. The problem is that once the election is over it is OVER. There is no re-do if someone finds a mistake. In this case the cause of the mistake is discovered 18 months late and the next election cycle has begun! But even in a normal case in the US we have elections early in November and winning candidates take office in January. That leaves no time to invalidate results and hold a brand new election if something goes wrong. We don't have wiggle room like calling for early elections or rerunning them if there are problems. Generally when there are disputes they're not resolved until after it is too late, so we just cross our fingers and hope it doesn't happen again. The cases where a result is held off for more than a couple of weeks is very rare, and always because the counts are very very close. I've never heard of anything being delayed merely because someone thinks there were far more invalidated votes than are statistically expected (or because of evidence box stuffing for paper ballots). The election is a juggernaut and is not slowed down by inconveniences.

      So how do you resolve problems like this. It's been 18 months, do you pull the elected officials from that district out of congress and have the state assign a pro-tem replacement? The governor of the state would just appoint whichever candidate belongs to the same party. But we've had 10 years of these problems without things substantially getting better.

      • Re:Scrap them all (Score:5, Interesting)

        by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @10:45PM (#39950317) Journal

        Actually, in Canada, if you can demonstrate that the irregularities were high enough to have brought an election result into question a judge can order the election results vacated and a new election runs. I'd like to think that if 30% of the votes were lost that the *independent* (there's a keyword right there) election commission would go to a judge and ask exactly that, that the election results be vacated and a new election called. And Canada may find out soon, as evidence of robocall interference may call the results of at least a few ridings into question, which means even if it ends up being a year or more since the election, those results can be discarded and a new election fought.

      • by Smauler (915644)

        There is a fundamental problem with elections in the US and many other places, regardless of electronic versus paper. The problem is that once the election is over it is OVER.

        This is a fundamental problem of all fixed term office. Once someone is elected, there's nothing to stop them turning around and literally saying "fuck you" to the people who elected them. They'll still be in power for the next 4 years, whatever anyone wants to say about it.

    • Re: (Score:5, Informative)

      by davide marney (231845) <davide,marney&netmedia,org> on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @11:02PM (#39950409) Journal

      These WERE paper ballots. The thing most people don't realize is that machines are going to be used to count ballots. If the ballots are paper, those machines will be scanners, as in this case in the Bronx. No one is going to count every ballot by hand. Why? Because hand-counting is far more inaccurate than machine counting.

      So, here's the thing: if you're going to use a machine to count anyway, it's better to use a machine with no moving parts because they have lower rates of failure. That's how the election officials in Brazil are doing it.

      Also, it's worth nothing that according to the report only one machine in the entire district was malfunctioning, election officials were alerted during the vote, and the votes were not close enough for the voided over-votes to have made a difference.

      • Why? Because hand-counting is far more inaccurate than machine counting.

        Not if the machine is faulty or there is voter fraud. Both of which happens way too often in US elections.

        Hand counting with oversight by representatives of both parties is the most secure and reliable and therefore accurate system there is.

        Yes, hand counting will be out by 10s or hundreds of votes. Whilst faulty or fraudulent machines can push that up into thousands.

      • Re: (Score:5, Informative)

        by sedmonds (94908) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @12:16AM (#39950775) Homepage

        I was a scrutineer for one of the parties at one of the polls in the riding I lived in during the last federal election in Canada. There were two other parties at the poll who had scrutineers. Each of the three of us sat around a table while the deputy returning officer counted each ballot, showed it to the scrutineers, and waited for the scrutineers to not any exceptions. When he was done, the ballots were sealed in envelopes (which the scrutineers were permitted to initial on the seal), and placed in a box for delivery to Elections Canada.

        At the end, each scrutineer checked their count against the official count by the deputy returning officer. The vote total was checked against the ballot booklets. All counts were consistent with each other, and the total consistent with the number of ballots cast.

        In this polling station there were no irregular or spoiled ballots, and we had a count to report to our candidate HQ, and for the deputy returning officer to report to Elections Canada, in less than a half hour after the polls closed.

        There's no need for machines to count votes. And the notion that people can't count votes quickly, and accurately is pure bullshit.

  • John Connor (Score:5, Funny)

    by cloudmaster (10662) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @09:11PM (#39949759) Homepage Journal

    I presume that the vote was cast for Skynet, or at least against some relative of John Connor?

  • Wrong Approach (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sincewhen (640526) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @09:14PM (#39949777)

    This reminds me of what I was thinking after yesterday's article about Java security problems.

    I think society has taken the wrong approach to deploying computers. We execute untrusted code we receive from the internet. We build complex, computerised devices to perform a simple task.

    I think that sometimes we should accept that less is more.

  • by Baloroth (2370816) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @09:15PM (#39949785)

    Seriously, why the hell are people even trying these things? No permanent record of any kind, little to no public oversight of the process, and of course glitches and the possibility for "glitches" on a massive scale that can completely overturn the entire election process. At least with paper voting, cheating is a) moderately easy to catch and b) moderately difficult on a large scale. Mistakes can be corrected afterwards, by examining the paper trail. An e-voting machine? No trail, and a single alteration the code can allow anyone to change the result in absolutely any way they want, with almost zero possibility of detection, and with a single commands.

    They are a terrible idea, and honestly any politician/bureaucrat who pushes them should be regarded with strong suspicion, if not of attempting downright fraud, then of bowing to special interests (i.e. the machine manufacturers). Possibly both. And, even if they are really clean of both the preceeding, then they are technologically stupid and shouldn't be trusted to make decisions about these kinds of things anyways.

    • by Darinbob (1142669) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @10:15PM (#39950167)

      Elections in the US are messy. They were messy before these machines too. Essentially all the elections are run at the local level; not at the state but in each individual county and district. These election districts have very little funding and they're always being beat on to do better, have fewer errors, report results faster, reduce number of complaints, and save money. There is no national standard for how elections should be run, and not all states have standards either.

      With the Bush v. Gore circus in Florida a lot of people panicked. Suddenly there was an urgent desire to upgrade the paper ballots even though almost nobody used systems similar to Florida's. At the national level some political pressure came to change things and there was even some funding. So in the madness of "omg fix it!" tons of districts purchased electronic voting machines with very little in the way of rigorous evaluation. But then the money dried up. In the absence of a national emergency things were back to the way they had always been. Problems cropping up here and there were disasterous enough to capture the nation's attention, these were just "glitches", and besides there was no money fix the machines or get new ones. Add to this that the elections were faster and recounts took seconds and no one had any incentive whatsoever to pull out the old dusty paper machines.

    • Not only is there massive interest in openness and transparency in the voting process, but there also a need for extremely thorough vetting of the software, its design, and its update lineage. All of these things make it an ideal application for public development under the open source model.

      Because of the huge number of expert eyeballs that would be paying very close attention to this code, you can be beyond certain that it would rapidly become some of the most robust software on the planet, and employing

  • by semilemon (1024757) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @09:17PM (#39949809)
    I'm not particularly knowledgeable on the subject, so I'm hoping someone here can provide some insight. Why do electronic voting systems seems to have so many problems? Yes, they obviously need to be designed for 100% accuracy, but computers and electronic equipment take care of so many other, more complicated operations like flying aircraft and recording financial transactions, all of which should be much more complex but require the same level of accuracy and precision as counting votes. Are voting machines really that bad, are news reports skewing my opinion of them, or am I just unaware of how many problems a paper ballot system has?
    • by SlippyToad (240532) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @09:34PM (#39949929)

      Why do electronic voting systems seems to have so many problems?

      I think the employ of Occam's Razor would be quite useful here. There is an un-holy appeal to any designer of such a machine to be able to artificially control the output. We already have the CEO of Diebold publicly promising to deliver votes [google.com] to George W. Bush, so any protestation of "naw, people who build these things are so trustworthy, nobody would ever actually think to rig an election by deliberately designing a machine to do so.

      My very first thought when I read this rigamarole about how the software conveniently malfunctioned to create new votes was, "oh, my god, what a complete bullshit explanation. Overheating CPUs do not malfunction so specifically as to merely add valid data to the processes they are executing. They STOP WORKING COMPLETELY when they overheat, as anyone who has ever spent even a year working with them would know.

      So, I'm calling bullshit immediately, and after being fed an incredibly stupid lie about why these machines generated extra votes, I'm inclined to believe the very fucking worst possible alternative explanation. Why else would someone make up such a fucking ridiculous fib?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        These machines were scanning PAPER ballots. The scanning mechanism probably malfunctioned in high heat. They scanned the same ballot without errors when cool and with errors (overvotes) when overheated.

        This is the worse of both worlds. You don't get the immediate error checking of a true electronic voting machine and at the same time you discard valid ballots because "the computer said so".

    • by Mateorabi (108522)
      Because the companies building them put their engineering A-team on the ATMs. The B-team gets stuck with the product for governments. Because waaaay more money is on the line if they screw up an ATM. The banks that bought them will hold their feet to the fire. Unlike state elections officials.

      Do you think NY state officials are going to ask for a refund to replace all the machines? Blacklist ES&S? At least demand a full code audit and proof that any replacement get properly tested to JDEC/IEEE/IS
    • by flonker (526111)

      The problem is that voting systems are not held to the same standard as "life critical" software, as it would drive up the price considerably. For example, some systems even use MS Access on Windows! And they provide no means of detecting or correcting problems after they occur, as all votes are typically stored on a single hard drive, with no backup, or even redundancy. (Yes, that's right, a hard drive crash could wipe out thousands of votes with no hope of recovery.)

      However, there are solutions which s

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      The election officials do not have the money or clout to demand high quality equipment. If there is a problem nothing bad happens anyway except for some embarrassment. No one dies, no one loses any money. If the officials go to the state and say "I don't trust these numbers, statistically there's a problem" they will be told "sorry, we don't have any money, see if you can get the manufacturer to fix the problems".

      Software for election machines has the same lousy software that most corporations create. Y

    • by Anaerin (905998)
      The problems are because the software on these voting machine is cobbled together in a "make do" fashion (I mean, using MS ACCESS for a storage medium in a critical, widespread system?) to produce minimum functionality, with no security and no oversight, along with little-to-no hardware security. Paper ballots are easy to lose, difficult to handle in large number, and incredibly time-consuming to count.
  • by SlippyToad (240532) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @09:22PM (#39949837)

    Paper and pen ballots.

    ONLY.

    And while we are at it, let's fix Voter Fraud with one simple tool: a freaking indelible inkwell at the desk where you pick up your ballot. That way, once you've picked up ONE ballot, you cast your ONE vote. People with purple fingers cannot pick up ballots.

    Then we can toss all of this disenfranchising "voter ID" crap on the ashpile too. Our elections will guarantee that each person votes just once and every fucking vote is counted. No swinging chads. No overheating vote-generating machines (oh, and does that story smell like ripe bullshit to me -- yes it does!)?

    Paper trail. Physically impossible to vote more than once..

    Done.

    • One More Thing: (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SlippyToad (240532) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @09:24PM (#39949865)

      Move Voting Day to Saturday. The only reason it was on Tuesday was to allow for travel time and to avoid the often-strictly observed Sabbath of the still quite Puritan colonial USA. Make it a Saturday, and make all businesses except essential service and emergency personnel close on that day period, so the people can take their time to vote.

      There. That's the last one.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Move Voting Day to Saturday. The only reason it was on Tuesday was to allow for travel time and to avoid the often-strictly observed Sabbath of the still quite Puritan colonial USA. Make it a Saturday, and make all businesses except essential service and emergency personnel close on that day period, so the people can take their time to vote.

        There. That's the last one.

        Most of Saturday is the often-strictly observed Sabbath for a significant number of people. If the Christians don't observe Sabbath anymore why not make it Sunday?

        • Six of one, half dozen of another. I think since most people actually observe church service on Sunday, we would wan to vote on Saturday.

          With apologies because as an Atheist I aactually have no clue what the fuck Sabbath means, and I assumed it meant the day you went to church or whatever, and in the US today, that day is Sunday.

          • Christians observe the Sabbath on Sunday (most of the ones who do), but Jews do it on Saturday. It might seem awkward for an atheist to respect both days, but it has a great side effect, the two day weekend to respect both cultures. The atheist French Revolution tried to have only a one day weekend every 10 days. No wonder that thing failed.
        • How about Saturday /and/ Sunday... And require workers to have six hours during voting hours off on at least one of the two days.

    • by cos(0) (455098)

      Cue rising sales of chemicals that remove ink...

      • It would need to be the kind of ink that you have to burn your skin to get off. What I mean by 'indelible.'

        I know such inks must exist. Perhaps a henna tattoo, which I believe lasts about three weeks and is completely painless.

        • by NoMaster (142776)

          Perhaps a henna tattoo, which I believe lasts about three weeks and is completely painless.

          On the back of the hand, or on the forehead?

          (No, I don't believe that shit, but some people do. Worst of all is that your country would pander to them and reject such an idea outright. Sane countries would tell them to fuck off and/or get a religious exemption from voting.)

    • by Khith (608295)
      The problem is that voting machines are related to election fraud but not voter fraud. There doesn't seem to be a huge problem with voters hacking the machines to give more votes. It's the people who control the machines you have to worry about. Even if someone votes only a single time and there's no craziness like dead people voting, your approach of showing that someone's already voted won't solve the problem of election fraud.

      Once those ballots are filled out and stored, SOMEONE has to count them. Rem
    • I always wonder where naive people like you come from. Do you really think that there is no way to commit ballot fraud with a pen and paper? Do you really think people didn't rig elections before computers came?

      One election in the mid-1800s in San Francisco was won when someone imported an invertible ballot box with a false bottom from the east. No computers involved there. There are plenty of ways to cheat.

      Yes, absolutely be against computer election fraud, but please stop being so naive. It's depressi
    • Vote by mail. It's that simple.

      Anyone who wants to vote registers ahead of time with their address. Ballot gets mailed to each person weeks ahead of election day. They fill it out at their leisure, sign it, and mail it back in. Even better, people get pamphlets with their ballots explaining each issue (with explanations written by both the "for" and "against" sides, for fairness), so people actually understand what they're doing when voting on Referendum 1234.

      Forget to mail it in early enough? No probl

  • by mirix (1649853) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @09:29PM (#39949889)

    Do you think they may have been testing 'flaws' in machines here?

    This is an area where you can skew the votes 30-40% and not change the victor.

    Anyway, you guys need to come join our wonderful 'write an X on paper' system. We get results the same night, too.

  • So skynet began its life as voting machine. Interesting
  • The machine was just upset about gay marriage.
  • by Mr Bubble (14652) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @09:37PM (#39949955)
    First, I have to say that it is stunning that we can have ATM's that are largely error-free, but can't design a simple tabulation and reporting system. But, here is the solution. You don't rely on computer-collected data. You cross-check. Here's how: My proposal uses the computer terminal only as a means to record the vote on paper. There are definitely benefits to having an electronic front end on the voting process - maybe we can all agree on that - assuming that the front end is extremely simple and obvious to all users. In my world, you get your official ballot from the check-in people and insert it into the machine. You cast your vote and the machine prints both a machine readable code and the human-readable results of your voting on the one ballot. You remove your ballot and the machine dumps its memory. You place your ballot in the locked ballot box - just as we always have. The ballots are ran through some very basic ( and open source ) optical scanner and the results posted.

    What this solves:

    • Has the benefit of an electronic screen with big, bright, reprogrammable choices in the required languages etc.
    • The voter verifies that their ballot is correct before they put it in the box.
    • A certain percentage of the ballots chosen randomly can and should be regularly hand-counted to insure accurate optical scanning. This and larger hand counts are easy because the ballots are easily read by humans and machine alike.
    • Very difficult to hack the system as optical scanners are open source and easily cross-checked for accuracy by people on the scene and by random or court-ordered recounts.
    • No danger of any centralized computer failure
    • A verifiable record of results
    • No hanging chads

    Why can we not do this? Is it because people in power want a way to cheat? This isn't rocket science.

    • by blueg3 (192743)

      ATMs aren't error-free. They also have a lot of properties that make security easier. If a problem is detected, an ATM can be turned off without angering too many people. They can record video footage of their users to catch tampering. They can record entire transaction details locally and remotely to audit errors. Errors in ATMs are almost entirely monetary, the owner of the ATM bears almost all the risk for ATM malfunction (keeping the customer happy), and said owner is already in the business of underwri

  • Boss Tweed: "Remember the first rule of politics. The ballots don't make the results, the counters make the results. The counters. Keep counting. "
  • Until they get serious lobbying money. Also, look for the Super Pac: 01010101 01101110 01110010 01100101 01100001 01110011 01101111 01101110 01100001 01100010 01101100 01100101 00100000 01010011 01110101 01100010 01110011 01101001 01100100 01101001 01100101 01110011 00100000 01000110 01101111 01110010 00100000 01001101 01100001 01100011 01101000 01101001 01101110 01100101 01110011
  • How is it possible to build a computer in the 21st century that is incapable of storing and incrementing a handful of integers correctly? I mean, really, it's not a very difficult task when you get down to it. It's so easy even practical, reliable, mass-produced mechanical computers can do it.
    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      I can write a program to do so in a couple of minutes. Just tell me which way you want the errors to go.

  • Machines Not Tested (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mr Bubble (14652) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @09:51PM (#39950041)

    Norden said so far the machine in the Bronx was the only machine found to have this problem, but itâ(TM)s also the only machine thatâ(TM)s been tested.

    God help us.

    • by Mateorabi (108522)
      I facepalmed at that too. Typical head-in-the-sand behavior. Of course election officials aren't going to want to go looking too too hard for evidence that they wasted millions of taxpayer dollars awarding the contract to someone who already had a track record of over-voting bugs. Nothing to see here, just a small hiccup, inconsequential, could never happen on a big scale, move along.

      How much you want to bet that the "replaced machine" gets shoved in a dank basement, or recycled for scrap, rather than
  • well this can't be right the toaster won in a landslide
  • Might sound like conspiracy theorism, but we've seen black and white evidence. Maybe not in this case, but enough to make me not trust them. Any time a group of partisans can collect the machine tallies in a room by themselves and come out with different results, or more votes than voters show up in a district, that's all I need to know.

    I've worked with computers for about 15 years now and I've never seen hardware glitches that magically only affect the most convenient values like that.

  • The company owes the city, at minimum, a full refund for every machine they sold, because they all have to be scrapped.

    But that doesn't go far enough. Since we're relying on them for a critical function, they need guarantees of correct count, after establishing basic ability to meet a minimum quality level.

    1. They shouldn't be allowed to be bought at all unless the State qualifies them and it shouldn't be allowed to qualify them unless they can be shown to be more accurate under all circumstances than an

  • Here's how you do it.

    • A public monolithic and government-controlled repository for the code, so everyone can see it.
    • Patches to the tree accepted only after review by government-appointed programmer/team. So, rather like Firefox, for example, or the Linux kernel.
    • Voting machines then use the government-approved code only.
    • Voting machines are sealed boxes, with all external ports secured with lock and key.
    • Machines are connected to the central tallying machine at each location by hard-wired ethernet (behind sai
  • I just don't understand. There's been a stream of voting machine stores on and off on slashdot for the last couple years.

    We have netbanking. And ATMs. Both reliable. And used by the financial industry for gods sake.

    We have ATMs all over the world. They seem to do fine, without any major issues. AND THEY HOLD AND DISPENSE CASH FOR GODS SAKE.

    What is so special about designing and manufacturing voting machines ? Why does every voting machine ever built seem to have serious issues and allow you to put in fake v

    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      The hard part it making it look like a malfunctioning machine.

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      The people paying for ATMs need them to work. The people paying for voting machines don't care if they work. It's elected officials making these decision. It's your fault that it is this way (you either voted or didn't, either way accepting different levels of responsibility), and no, whining on Slashdot isn't doing something about it.
  • Electronic voting can be hacked rather easily, if not coded fraudulent to begin with. Even with oversight, this is the kind of thing that money can buy votes even easier than television ads telling the people what they want. Electronic voting makes me very upset to see our Democracy constantly eroding. If we're going to use e voting, we should at least have a paper trail that can be validated by each voter. I have a friend that is doing top of the line voting de-duplication and he sees fraud in them alr
  • Why is it that those who understand technology express grave concerns about the current status of electronic voting machines, yet those who wish to exploit technology have no concerns whatsoever about electronic voting machines?
  • Here in good 'ol Lincoln, Nebraska, we use old fashioned No. 2 pencils and fill in the oval next to the name or ballot item. Until the Florida 2000 debacle, I had no idea there were even any other ways to cast ballots. I still fail to see why our method here shouldn't be the standard nationwide.

  • Perhaps it was voting for better working conditions. For itself.
  • 1. it's a black box, so joe blow doesn't trust it. he trusts paper and pencil. but a machine his vote goes into and out comes electoral sausage is not confidence building. you can feel and touch and trust paper. it is a known quantity. i'm talking about tactile, emotional trust here

    the greatest strength democracy has is that it manufacture legitimacy: the government you have is the will of the people. anything that puts in doubt that the will of the people is being adequately expressed, creates illegitimacy

  • by dutchwhizzman (817898) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @12:22AM (#39950809)
    What it says on the box is "voting machine". What else would you expect it to do? It votes!

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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