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Florida Voting Machine Logs Reveal Anomalies 819

Posted by Zonk
from the please-do-not-be-shocked dept.
boot1780 writes "Having 'successfully sued former Palm Beach County (FL) Supervisor of Elections Theresa LePore to get the audit records for the 2004 presidential election,' Black Box Voting reports that the 'internal logs of at least 40 Sequoia touch-screen voting machines reveal that votes were time and date-stamped as cast two weeks before the election, sometimes in the middle of the night.' Besides the date discrepancies, they claim to have discovered countless other errors and anomalies, including a case of one voting machine being 'powered down 128 times during the election'." Given the findings here, can we have a do-over?
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Florida Voting Machine Logs Reveal Anomalies

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I thought this was common knowledge? :-) Move along...
    • by hey! (33014) on Friday February 24, 2006 @09:35AM (#14792400) Homepage Journal
      This is not the democracy you are looking for... They can go about their business...
    • Re:What's new... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BoomerSooner (308737)
      Common knowledge? That our system is so corrupt that people who do take the time to vote don't matter? I don't care about which side, if any, a person is on. Failing to secure voting and ensuring fair and free elections is the basis for our whole country. Granted it's turned into a joke. However, I doubt most people *know* the election was fraudulent.
      • You've unfortunately fallen into a hole that far too many people do, and it's stolen the thunder out of your argument. This story is about a large number of anomalies in Florida voting machines. You've hyperextended that to "However, I doubt most people *know* the election was fraudulent" and even though I'm of a notion to think that voting machines are a bad idea because of their lack of accountability, I start to tune you out as a conspiracy theorist. There's nothing to say that faults in the voting ma
        • by Elemenope (905108) on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:17AM (#14792858)
          Programming Voting Machines isn't exactly designing rockets, you know. When the task is fairly simple, any anomalies require for explanation either an escalating (and unlikely) level of incompetence...or malfeasance. It's not crazy to say: these machines are made to count and for this simple task they fail depressingly often. WTF? Now, given no direct evidence of specific malfeasance that obviously benefits one party over another, conspiracy theories are premature. However, starting to look in this direction based soley on the failure rate is not as crazy as you make it out to be.
          • The pattern of date discrepancies does NOT look like "pure machine glitch" (hardware issues like a CMOS battery failure or corruption) and also doesn't look like the possible result of an OS bug.

            The way they're mostly "clustered" in a limited date period of Oct. 13th - 20th of the correct year says to me "human intervension". It's not "randomized" the way most computer glitches are.

            Next: by way of Jeremiah Akin, Riverside County elections staff have said that the PS/2 keyboard port on the back of each touch
        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:51AM (#14793282)
          Every day almost we hear about another computer exploit, some drive by malware download, another botnet, etc, all so some scumbags can make a few thousand dollars. That's it, a few thou. It's easy enough to understand the motivation, and easy enough to see that they use unsecured computers and peoples naievete to accomplish this task.

          Now, just imagine,if the scumware guys OWN the computer that you and everyone else uses. Now imagine the scumware guys are looking at CONTROLLING THE ENTIRE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT by OWNING that computer.

          How much is that worth? Really, how much motivation is there to control TRILLIONS of dollars, not thousands, TRILLIONS and the largest war machine on the planet? Do you see any incentive there, or is all this just another series of "coincidences"? Coups don't happen around the world all the time? Where's the magic document from the truth fairies that says the US can never fall to coup plotters?

          Now look at the track record so far of what we have found out these folks, how many lies have been drug out of them? How many people have perished based on the lies, how may large corporate insiders connected to the government have profitted immensely?

          You can't do the math on this? What's it going to take, them coming on TV and just announcing it? You fail to be able to take into account all the other information out there? This latest is just another large chunk of evidence, look at ALL of it together, what do you see? I see some serious crimes right up into treason,and the probable perps with the clear motive and the clear opportunity.
        • Paranoia??? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TapeCutter (624760)
          Let me just adjust my tinfoil hat, ahhhhh there we go.

          "nor that faulty voting machines would have changed the outcome of the election"

          Try telling that to the QA people for an air traffic control systems or something more serious than life and death, somethinggggg, something like a stock exchange. We have systems across a large chunk of the planet that do a very good job at preventing planes and stockmarkets from crashing. People would also get pretty fucked off if the gazzillion dollar lotteries or ev
        • by Captain Splendid (673276) <capsplendidNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday February 24, 2006 @12:07PM (#14794185) Homepage Journal
          And that's why George W. Bush is a symptom of what's wrong with the US today, not the cause. People like you, however, are.

          While I applaud you for trying to maintain a sane and rational outlook and avoid falling into these conspiracy theories, this issue has far too many coincidences for you to dismiss like that. What would it take for you to change your stance from "no biggie, just a little smoke, no fire" to "fuck me, that's an awful lot of coincidence, maybe I should entertain the possibility that something is wrong here."

          Hell, even assuming there's zero conspiracy, just a lot of blunders, should still make you nervous as it still means there's been a perversion of democracy.

        • No crime?

          How about this [bradblog.com]?

          A sworn affidavit that there was voting fraud taking place.

          Or the discepancy in exit polls [72.14.207.104].

          What exactly are you looking for?

          It is not our fault that the government refuses to investigate.
        • by Belial6 (794905) on Friday February 24, 2006 @01:00PM (#14794690)
          It amazes me how often the term 'conspiracy theorist' is used to dismiss people. The fact is that conspiracies big and small happen all the time. They are uncovered and proven on a regular basis. Whethter it is Richard Nixon, Enron, Arther Anderson, or p2p copyright violators. To think that having a theory on a conspiracy makes you a nut is silly at best. The question is whether there is enough evidence to warrent the theory, and whether the suspected crime makes any sense to have commited.

          By definition, to not believe in conspiracies would mean that you don't believe illegal p2p filesharing takes place. So, lets see who seems more logical.

          Person A: Believes that a machine who's design should be extreamly simple consistantly makes errors in favor of the group who is most adament about using them indicates likely fraud.

          Person B: Believes that illegal p2p fileshareing does not happen.

          (Now, if your going to argue that you DO believe that p2p filesharing exists, then you too are a 'conspiracy theorist', and your post becomes totally nonsensical.)
      • Re:What's new... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by monkeydo (173558)
        How'd you go from errors in an audit log to fraudulent and corrupt? That's a mighty big accusation, do you have some evidence (there's none on BBV) that shows there was deliberate manipulation of votes?

        If anyone believes that these sorts of discrepencies are new, or limited to computer voting, he is hopelessly naive. And the assertion that computer voting will make these disrepencies harder to uncover is pure bullshit, as proved by this episode. If a bunch of paper ballots were filled out before election
        • Re:What's new... (Score:3, Interesting)

          So are you saying that we shouldn't develop a system that is auditable and verifyable? that it isn't possible? Diebold said the logistics and cost of having a paper trail kept it out of the design. Funny thing is, as long as I can remember, I've gotten a reciept from the grocery store even when I buy a stick of gum. In fact, I believe reciepts for purchases have been around for a while now. So we can provide a verifyable paper trail and auditable sales record for my stick of gum, but not for my vote?
  • Is anyone else not surprised?
    • This is ridiculous, how hard is it to make a machine for basic data entry? Is the company who made these machines really that incompetent?
    • How many immaculate software projects have ever come down the chute?

      Instead of "Bush sucks", can these findings be leveraged into a call for increased voting software transparency, i.e. 100% FOSS?

      Then, can we expand the victory to include all taxation software, such that, with due regard to privacy, you can figure out WTF is going on with your tax dollars?

      Or is that kind of transparency impossible in a democracy?
  • by sprag (38460) on Friday February 24, 2006 @09:22AM (#14792270)
    Bender: Wait, my cheating unit malfunctioned. You gotta' give me a do-over.
    Dealer: Sorry - the house limit is 3 do-overs.
  • by Jim in Buffalo (939861) on Friday February 24, 2006 @09:22AM (#14792274)
    Quitcher whinin' 'bout the digital voting machines. You know as well as I do that the voting machine companies are wiser when it comes to choosing leaders than all you unwashed ignorant masses. (Sarcasm aside, I do hope this makes the national news)
    • by TPS Report (632684) on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:15AM (#14792838) Homepage
      It amazes me that the voting box companies, who are paid disgusting amounts of taxpayer money to develop these things, can't figure out how to code properly. Yes, I know Sequoia [wikipedia.org] is the company discussed in the article, but Diebold has 80% of the voting market. So if they can't do it right as the market leader, I'm afraid of what will be found when/if someone demands a code audit on the Sequoia stuff.

      Diebold [wikipedia.org] :
      (Support Guide [equalccw.com] - Review [avirubin.com]) (pdf):

      4.4 Key management and other cryptographic issues with the vote and audit records [...] the audit logs are encrypted and checksummed before being written to the storage device. Unfortunately, neither the encrypting nor the checksumming is done with established, secure techniques. [...] (Recall that we have already discussed the lack of cryptography in other potions of the system.) [...] All of the data on a storage device is encrypted using a single, hardcoded DES [22] key: #define DESKEY ((des_key*)"F2654hD4"). Note that this value is not a hex representation of a key, nor does it appear to be randomly generated. Instead, the bytes in the string "F2654hD4 " are fed directly into the DES key scheduler. [...] from the CVS logs, we see this particular key has been used without change since December 1998 [...] ...

      In June 2005, [Kevin Shelley, the California Secretary of State], reported that when given access to Diebold vote-counting computers, Bev Harris- a critic of Diebold's voting machines - was able to make 65,000 votes disappear simply by changing the memory card that stores voting results for one that had been altered. Although the machines are supposed to record changes to data stored in the system, they showed no record of tampering after the memory cards were swapped. In response, a spokesperson for the Department of State said that, "Information on a blog site is not viable or credible."

      ... [insert completely awed silence here]
      .
      I think I'll buy "C++ Programming for Dummies" and faxes a quick resume to Diebold
  • by dave-tx (684169) * <df19808+slashdot@NOSpAM.gmail.com> on Friday February 24, 2006 @09:22AM (#14792276)

    Does anybody still beleive that this election wasn't fixed? I mean, really. Of course it'll never be proven, but it's so freakin' obvious. Incompetence can only explain so many problems - I think we've passed that point a long time ago.

    And once again - no matter what your political persuasion, you need to demand that your representatives introduce or support legislation that requires a voting machine to produce a paper receipt for each vote, or some equally verifiable and recountable paper trail. Any politician that objects to a fair election needs to be fired and replaced.

    • Does anybody still beleive that this election wasn't fixed? I mean, really. Of course it'll never be proven, but it's so freakin' obvious.

      The election was, for all intents and purposes, a dead heat. This time, it went to the republicans. In the Kennedy-Nixon election, it went to the democrats. Get over it.

      -jcr
    • by flyingsquid (813711) on Friday February 24, 2006 @09:34AM (#14792390)
      Does anybody still beleive that this election wasn't fixed? I mean, really. Of course it'll never be proven, but it's so freakin' obvious. Incompetence can only explain so many problems - I think we've passed that point a long time ago.

      Its an appealing thought. I mean, the alternative is to believe that more than half the country was dumb enough to believe that the same jackasses who failed to stop 9/11 and royally screwed up in Iraq were the best guys to protect us from further terrorist attacks and the best guys to fix Iraq.

      There's something very comforting about conspiracy theories in general. I mean, if it's a conspiracy you at least have a chance to fight that; it's just the actions of a few people. But if the problems of the world emerge from the apathy, stupidity, ignorance, greed, and hate of billions of people, including ourselves... well, that's a little more difficult to tackle and a little more depressing to think about.

      It must all be the CIA's fault.

      • by jcr (53032)
        jackasses who failed to stop 9/11

        I wonder, do you consider FDR to be the "jackass" who failed to stop Pearl Harbor?

        -jcr
        • FDR (Score:4, Informative)

          by qwyeth (944726) <a@wyatt@m.gmail@com> on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:08AM (#14792756)
          I wonder, do you consider FDR to be the "jackass" who failed to stop Pearl Harbor?

          Now that you mention it, FDR, along with General Marshall, General Gerow, Admiral Stark and Admiral Turner, did fail to stop the attack. It was strategically obvious that Pearl Harbor would be the target when (and if!) the Japanese attacked... On December 5, 1941 FDR received the decrypted Japanese declaration of war, and he did nothing about it. The message was never sent to Admiral Kimmel and General Short, the commander in chief & commanding general, respectively, of the pacific fleet. Our jackass-in-chief FDR wanted to go to war on the 'moral high ground,' in the eyes of the public.

          But that'll never make it into high school history books. History is written by the winners, and it's common knowledge that we were taken by surprise, and that FDR was (overall) a really swell guy.
        • A month before 9/11 (on 8/6/2001), Bush was given a "Presidential Daily Briefing" entitled "Bin Laden determined to strike in US". If you can show me such solid evidence that FDR knew of the attack on Pearl Harbor more than a month beforehand yet did nothing, then your question is relevant. Otherwise, there is no parallel.
        • by jc42 (318812) on Friday February 24, 2006 @11:09AM (#14793523) Homepage Journal
          [D]o you consider FDR to be the "jackass" who failed to stop Pearl Harbor?

          The main quibble here is the use of the word "the", which implies uniqueness. If you read the histories about the Pearl Harbor attack, you'll find that there's general agreement that there was widespread incompetence all along the US chain of command. They pretty much had the evidence in the hours before the attack, but a combination of failure to understand and failure to believe the evidence led to the disaster. But it wasn't one person's failure; it was failure of the entire system to use the information that it had.

          This is similar to our current situation with 9/11, Katrina, the Iraq war, etc. George Bush isn't the sole "jackass" responsible for any of these. It's a systemic problem, with incompetence combined with corruption at all levels.

          One of the clearest examples is the admission that they had tapes of the perpetrators' conversations days and weeks before the 9/11 attacks. But they didn't have enough translators fluent in Arabic to get them translated in time. This problem existed despite several decades of growing problems with Arabic-speaking radicals, including the earlier bombings of embassies, the Cole attack, and the earlier attempt to bomb the World Trade Center. Anyone competent saw the need for more Arabic translators, and there are at least a million Arabic-speaking Americans who could have been hired.

          Further incompetence is shown by the fact that there aren't nearly as many Arabic-speaking Americans willing to do the job now. The widespread anti-Arab attacks and discrimination of the past few years have made sensible Arabic speakers very wary of getting involved with the US government. If you want a clear example of why, google for "Sibel Edmonds". Her story isn't an anomaly; it's a good example of a government agency attacking and driving out out of the people who could have done the most to help. There are a number of other similar stories.

          But there isn't a single "jackass" responsible for this. It's a systemic problem that can't be solved by replacing just one high-up jackass.

          (The widespread "English only" attitude of Americans is also part of the problem, but that's a different issue.)

  • I'm afraid we've already issued a COMMIT. The database is fucked.
  • Coup_d'etat! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JehCt (879940) * on Friday February 24, 2006 @09:23AM (#14792284) Homepage Journal

    Stop whining.

    Bush stole the election fair and square. It's our (Americans') fault for not creating a massive landslide against him. The fact that a near plurality of people voted for the wanker created an opportunity for Bush 43, his brother, Kathleen Harris and the Republicans to seize power.

    History will show that this election was a coup d'état [wikipedia.org], and that we were the fools who let it happen.

    Want to prevent this from happening again? Andrew Tobias is the DNC treasurer: http://www.andrewtobias.com/ [andrewtobias.com], send Andy a message and he will tell you how to get involved.

    • Stop whining.

      Ok so far...

      History will show that this election was a coup d'état, and that we were the fools who let it happen.

      Not much for taking your own advice, are you?

      -jcr

    • Want to prevent this from happening again?

      Support Mark Warner [draftmarkwarner.com]. Best candidate for president I've seen in a long time.
    • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Friday February 24, 2006 @09:47AM (#14792523) Homepage Journal
      Let me give you a piece of advice. Regardless of whether you believe that's true, never never mention those reasons in a discussion with strangers. It will only have two effects: getting the people who agree with you more pointlessly agitated, and making the people who disagree with you think you're a nutjob. It will not win anyone over. Whether you are right or wrong is immaterial.

      Something many people here and in other predominantly-left forums seem to be missing is that many Americans truly, honestly believed that Bush was the better candidate. I doubt that your average Republican voted for Bush any more automatically than the typical Democrat voted for Kerry, and yet everyone seems to think that only Republicans were partisan voters. Well, guess what: there are sheep on both sides of the fence. Singling out one group of them will only alienate the bloc of voters you should be trying to persuade.

      I voted for Bush for various reasons, but I would probably stand alongside you if a recall vote were held today. The time for partisan sniping is over. We need to work together if we want to make a difference.

      As a side note to fellow Republicans, his closing advice is just as valid for us. Contact the RNC [gop.com] and make your opinion known. Write to your representatives [house.gov] and senate [senate.gov] and let them know that you disagree with executive branch policies. This is your party: step up and take charge of it.

      • by Anonymous Custard (587661) on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:13AM (#14792808) Homepage Journal
        As a side note to fellow Republicans, his closing advice is just as valid for us. Contact the RNC and make your opinion known. Write to your representatives and senate and let them know that you disagree with executive branch policies. This is your party: step up and take charge of it.

        This is a great point! While I think Kerry is a democrat who is on par with the rest of his party's values, etc., Bush is WAY out of line with what the republican party was known for - and what longtime republican voters were assuming.

        When I think traditional republican, I think personal privacy, constitutional protection, fiscal conservatism, and social conservatism. But Bush, who got all those always-vote-republican votes, has completely departed from those first three key traditional republican values!

        I wouldn't mind so much if traditional republicans were in power, but the Republican party has been hijacked. Just like they used Colin Powell's reputation to trick people into believing them, they're using the Republican party to push their own selfish, money-driven agendas instead of what the Republican party used to be about and what voters were expecting.

        Longtime republicans should be careful who they're voting for in the coming elections. You can't just trust the (R) next to a name anymore.
        • When I think traditional republican, I think personal privacy, constitutional protection, fiscal conservatism, and social conservatism. But Bush, who got all those always-vote-republican votes, has completely departed from those first three key traditional republican values!

          Exactly. That's the Republican party that I signed on with. I'm not a big John McCain fan - yeah, I'm one of those people who thinks campaign donations are speech and shouldn't be limited - but he's far closer to my ideal than Bush J

      • by Tim Doran (910) <timmydoran@@@rogers...com> on Friday February 24, 2006 @01:32PM (#14795017)
        many Americans truly, honestly believed that Bush was the better candidate

        What does that have to do with anything? Many Americans believed Ross Perot was the better candidate, but nobody argues that he deserved the job or - if he managed to force his way into office - that we should shut up about it.

        I voted for Bush for various reasons

        Ahh... now I see where you're coming from.

        The fact is, about a half-million more Americans voted for Al Gore than for George Bush. As for who was more partisan, consider the relentless smear campaigns carried out against Bush opponents Anne Richards ("she's a lesbian!"), Al Gore (everything you can think of from "he claims to have invented the Internet" to "he grew up in a fancy Washington hotel"), and John Kerry (the Swift Boat liars).

        Consider the shenanigans carried out in Florida in 2000 that exposed the weaknesses in American democracy and showed just how open to abuse the system is. The Republicans were simply more partisan, beating on the system without regard for the spirit and principle of the rules to get the result they wanted.

        Consider the (more subtle) shenanigans in the 2004 election, particularly in Ohio, where voters in Democratic districts had to wait as much as 8 hours to vote and had their right to vote challenged in massive numbers by Republican partisans at the polling stations. This was made possible by Republicans in the Governor's office and Republicans in control of the election. Voters in Republican-leaning districts did not face these modern-day Jim Crow measures.

        Now, consider all the shady stuff that's so difficult to prove - it took years just to get logs from these electronic voting machines, and they're FULL of suspicious data. Consider the 11th-hour "correction" in the voting data on election night 2004 - we're asked to accept that the exit polls were way off for the first time in history, and somehow the numbers jumped just enough in just the right places (all at the same time!) to put Bush over the top. Yet anyone who talks about this is smeared as a "nutjob"...

        Who is more partisan? Republicans. One of the great failures of the Democratic party in the last 5 years has been to underestimate the ruthlessness and lack of principle on the part of the Republicans. Anybody who claims "well, both sides do it, everybody is partisan these days, a pox on both their houses" has either not been paying attention, or has drunk the Republican kool-aid.
  • The American Constitution has no mechanism for correcting this except impeachment. Somehow, I do not expect the Republican led House and Senate to display the moral backbone needed to say "OOOPS" and just do the right thing.

    I could ramble on about how the electoral college is not really independant, with the party system and all, but I need to get some work done. You get the idea.

    • The American Constitution has no mechanism for correcting this except impeachment

      This is the one point that's constantly overlooked. Did Florida residents REALLY think they could have another Presidential election in 2000? That's absurd. It's terrible that the election came down to a supreme court decision but the way our system works is that it is self-correcting for FUTURE elections. You cant keep having the SAME election over and over again until you get the results you like.

  • Any democracy that don't use Black Box Voting m/c will not be acceptable to USA *cough* Palestine, Iraq
  • Once again, too little and too late, Bush won anyway. Palm Beach is heavily Demcoratic, and run by the Democrats guys, nothing to see here, move along.
    • Well, perhaps the Democrats are trying to frame Bush, making it look like he rigged the election in order to get him impeached...

      And no, I don't believe that. But if people need a conspiracy theory (and there's already plenty of posts on how it's oh-so-obvious that Bush rigged the election), it's worth remembering that you can always spin it either way.
  • the electoral system needs to be rewritten ASAP. Otherwise, your so-called democracy is nothing but a mask, and you're living in a bipartisan dictatorship.

    Everytime someone talks about the US and how they support democracy, it makes me laugh.
  • by Angry Toad (314562) on Friday February 24, 2006 @09:25AM (#14792300)
    A new factor has come up in to addition to Stalin's old maxim "He who votes decides nothing; he who counts the votes decides everything."

        Something like "Who finds out about corruption is irrelevant; who gets to decide what kinds of corruption are "Serious Stories" versus "Tinfoil Hat" material decides the rest."

        Or something like that. Since the media refuses to acknowledge that there are serious questions about legitimacy under electronic voting, pointing out the problems probably doesn't matter any more - any evidence of problems is perforce "nutty conspiracy theory material" and so is a non-starter.
    • Something like "Who finds out about corruption is irrelevant; who gets to decide what kinds of corruption are "Serious Stories" versus "Tinfoil Hat" material decides the rest."

      You've hit on something very interesting here, and at the risk of an aptly-modded OT ramble, I'd like to expand on it.

      Do you ever pay attention to those 'News of the Weird' or 'Offbeat News' sections of your local website / newspaper? While some of it is truly in the oddball category, there is something else going on, and it's

  • Random number (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fishwallop (792972)
    The number of power cycles, 128, is too neat (2^7) to have been random. It's more likely to be a bug in the software than someone actually flipping the switch that many times. If there's a bug in the reset counter, how can I know there's no bug in the vote counter too? (Answer: open source voting machines with a signature mechanism to identify the code the machine actually ran when people were voting).
    • Well, either a bug or it only counts up to 128.
    • > The number of power cycles, 128, is too neat (2^7) to have been random. It's more likely to be a bug in the software than someone actually flipping the switch that many times.

      When asked to explain the appearance of 8192 newly-registered voters in every precinct, President Mitnick declined comment...

  • by Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) on Friday February 24, 2006 @09:26AM (#14792312)
    They found anomolies in 40 machines? How many machines were there in total? Did all of the anomolies favor one candidate or were they seemingly random? Was the constantly rebooting machine having hardware problems? Were the machines with wierd date stamps having hardware clock issues?

    I'm not sure why this is instantly regarded as some sort of conspiracy rather than either hardware problems or incompetent voting machine vendors. Folks might want to consider the more mundane potential causes of these problems before heading for their tinfoil hat drawer.

    • by ivan256 (17499) * on Friday February 24, 2006 @09:29AM (#14792338)
      Were the machines with wierd date stamps having hardware clock issues?

      Probably more likely that they were having "moron operating the machine" issues.
    • by mtenhagen (450608) on Friday February 24, 2006 @09:43AM (#14792475) Homepage
      Ofcourse its highly likely that these issue where caused by hardware issues or stupid operaters. The issue is that how do we ever know? It took 2 years even to get this logs public.

      The issue is that black box voting machines can not be checked and are open to fraudulent/faulty actions.

      All these issues should have been identified on election day so that appropriate actions could be taken (revote, dismiss votes, no issue, etc...)

      TRANSPARANCY is the key,
      • by starm_ (573321) on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:21AM (#14792917)
        The fact that using a printed balot as a paper trail is such an obvious solution and the fact that printed receips are so easy to implement is what makes the chosen convoluted, hackable, no-recount alternative so suspicious. What honest and experienced company would chose anything but the easy and elegant solution of a printout considering that it is already implemented on every ATM and all cash registers if not because they want to open the possibility to election fraud? No amount of electronic tweaking will make the system secure. There is always a weak link. Even if the company had the best intentions in the world, how can they be certain that a lone partisan coder wouldn't sneak a line of code within what I'm sure are millions of lines? This could be done at any point in the chain of programs that handle the votes; from the user interface, to the final tally, through the individual machine databases, the talying computer, the flash memory files etc. etc. etc. I have plenty programming experience and I can tell you that it would be very easy to implement this "bug" so that it happened ONLY on the day of the election so that previous and following tests would show no bias. Consider, If you were a company and you were designing a voting machine you would have two options: 1)Hire an expensive team of developers responsible for surveying all the code components of your system to make sure each and everyone one of them are 100% secure and bug free. A feat that no leading software company (say MS) has succeeded in doing for their own software even after decades and millions of man-hours of debugging and re-engineering. Or, 2) add a small printer similar or identical to the ones used for printing lotto tickets or even those good old receipt printers that are part of *every* cash register. These receips would then be hand veryfied by each voter and then put in a ballot box for future verification and recounts. Which option do you think is less expensive? What rational is there for a company to chose option one?
      • by TPS Report (632684) on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:24AM (#14792955) Homepage
        TRANSPARANCY is the key

        No, actually, the key [avirubin.com] is F2654hD4. :)

        Quote:

        All of the data on [the Diebold] storage device is encrypted using a single, hardcoded DES key:

        #define DESKEY ((des_key*)"F2654hD4")

        Note that this value is not a hex representation of a key, nor does it appear to be randomly generated. Instead, the bytes in the string "F2654hD4 " are fed directly into the DES key scheduler... from the CVS logs, we see this particular key has been used without change since December 1998 ...


        rofl.
    • by pdawson (89236)
      The Devil's in the details, most of your points are adressed in TFA
    • by phoenix.bam! (642635) on Friday February 24, 2006 @09:44AM (#14792487)
      Black box voting is non-partisan. They are fighting for open voting. They are not trying to prove that Bush stole the election (Although they might do that during their investigations) they are trying to show that the black box voting machines are going to kill democracy.
    • by jc42 (318812)
      I'm not sure why this is instantly regarded as some sort of conspiracy rather than either hardware problems or incompetent voting machine vendors.

      Because the outcome of an election is important. All the parties in the election have very strong motives to do whatever it takes to win, and they will all "adjust" the results if given the opportunity. There's just too much at stake to not do this. If there's anything "funny", the first assumption should always be that it's not an accident.

      Yes, sometimes problems
    • by hey! (33014) on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:32AM (#14793049) Homepage Journal
      I'm not sure why this is instantly regarded as some sort of conspiracy rather than either hardware problems or incompetent voting machine vendors.

      Because we'd be stupid not to at least consider the possiblity.

      Look, if you've ever dealt with government contracting, you know that having friends in the right places is huge. Over the past decade or so it's gotten worse -- I won't say worse than ever, but the trend is definitely the wrong way. If you don't think that people go as close to bribery as they can legally manage you're naive If you don't think that some people when tempted to step over the line do it, you're a fool.

      Once you've stepped over that line, you've accepted doing business illegally. The question is what is the most economically way to deal in corruption on the scale you practice it.

      Only partisan pinheads automatically believe every accusation or conspiracy theory that comes up, but these accusations and theories serve an important purpose. Sometimes that creaking sound you hear downstairs is a burglar.
  • and ilk are tech idiots! Fooled ya!

    Seriously, it's time for paper ballots with paper receipts given to the voters.
    Otherwise there is no point in voting. Just stay home and let them put
    whoever they like in office, they do that now anyway.

  • Given the findings here, can we have a do-over?

    You get a do-over in a couple of years. Not that the Democrats will win then either.

    They have been getting a little shrill lately in the wild accusations they are making. Besides, the Democrats don't seem to be offering alternative solutions to anything. They just want to be in charge of things so they can line their pockets and their backers pockets.

    Is there anyway to vote for "None of the above"?
    • Is there anyway to vote for "None of the above"?

      Of course there is. Check your ballot next time, you'll see about a dozen other candidates.

      -jcr
    • by Peyna (14792)
      Is there anyway to vote for "None of the above"?

      You don't have to vote in every race in an election. Look at the poll results sometime and you'll see that there will be many more total votes for President in a particular district than for the local school board candidates.
  • Really, ask that question to yourself. So what? It's not like we have a time machine and have a redo. Its done. Its over. Move on with your life for chrissakes.

    Since the obvious inuendo here is that it was rigged in favor of GW, what's curiously absent in this "article" is what the votes were during the non-election day votes. Without that, this data is meaningless other than to support the position that the machines were messed up. Errors could have happened in either direction.

    They also don't des
  • From TFA:

    Another disturbing find was several dozen voting machines with votes for the Nov. 2, 2004 election cast on dates like Oct. 16, 15, 19, 13, 25, 28 2004 and one tape dated in 2010. These machines did not contain any votes date-stamped on Nov. 2, 2004.

    Damned time travellers! Don't they know that interfering with primitive human history is against the laws of time??

    I bet some Andromedan Mega-Frat colony is having/will have a big laugh at their little prank.
  • The article blurb seems to assume that plain-old (analog?) elections are perfect, whereas digital voting is possibly subject to fraud. In fact there is error inherent in both schemes, both intentional and unintentional, and from a variety of sources.

    The problem with criticizing voting problems with electronic voting machines is that you don't have a comparable error rate for a paper ballot scheme. The question isn't how bad, it's whether it's worse or better.

    And frankly, the problem isn't error, because e
  • This is almost certainly an issue with the software, unless it's being claimed that voting officials tampered with the machines early. If the code weren't some secret proprietary mess, this probably could have been avoided.

    I'm not looking forward to the idiocy this is going to trigger on the political debate boards. The tin foil brigade will be out in force again with this news.
    • Even systems based on open source software can be misconfigured. While I believe that the only legitimate argument for electronic voting is to create untraceable fraud, this sounds like a case where people configured these machines incorrectly. That's not to say there aren't other problems, but date anomalies are pretty common in environments where people are not one with the tao of NTP.
  • by abscissa (136568) on Friday February 24, 2006 @09:31AM (#14792355)
    Free market voting?

    In Canada we have a national voting system. Voting is the same wherever you go, no matter what part of the country you are in. Each person writes a little X on a piece of paper next to the cantidate of his choice, then you put it in a box. There are serial numbers on the ballots, so if any ballots are missing, duplicated, or anything else is funny, there is a way to tell. (Not tracable, though, -- ie you can't tell who voted for whom.)

    There are no computers in national elections and there is a paper trail that can be recounted as many times as anyone wishes. And results don't take weeks to come in either... or months for that matter. We always seem to have our Prime Minister and government chosen within a few hours after the polls have closed...
    • I'm Canadian as well.

      The big difference is that in the US the ballot contains an awful lot more than just "pick your local candidate". They vote on all kinds of stuff (school board, municipal, etc.), making the ballots way more complicated.
  • Yep (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 24, 2006 @09:33AM (#14792377)
    I'd rather hunt with Dick Cheney than ride with Ted Kennedy!

    Ted Kennedy's car has killed more people than my gun!

    -Thanks folks, I'm here all afternoon.
  • by SengirV (203400) on Friday February 24, 2006 @09:34AM (#14792392)
    Do you want as many do overs as you wanted recounts until Gore won in FLA in 2000? What was the final tally of recounts there? 3? 4?

    I'd rather a recount/do over of past elections in the Chicago area.
  • including a case of one voting machine being 'powered down 128 times during the election'

    Though this was later revealed to be due to the fact that this particular voting machine ran Windows Millennium Edition as its OS.
  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Friday February 24, 2006 @09:55AM (#14792617) Homepage Journal
    The recent elections in Palestine (January 9, 2005) were, judging by continuing announcement such as this, more democratic than we have here in the U.S.* in spite of the Israeli occupation**. For reference:

    European Election Observation Mission, Final Report [eu.int] (pdf format).

    Even with all the illegal restrictions that Israel imposed on movement in the West Bank and Gaza and most importantly, Palestinian citizens living in East Jerusalem***, the Palestinian elections have a valid paper trail that can be checked as well as having independent, neutral monitors observe how the voting took place.

    Does this mean that the Palestinian elections were perfect? Of course not. No election is. However, they made a good faith effort to have as free and open an election process as possible under the occupation conditions. They allowed the monitors full access to every aspect of the vote including the final vote counts.

    One would think that if we're trying to spread the benefit of democratic elections to the world we should first start by taking a serious look at our own election process and bring in outside monitors to help us get a handle on this kind of nonsense. There is absolutely no excuse for these kind of activities to take place other than to manipulate election results.

    *Investigation into the 2004 U.S. Election [cooperativeresearch.org]

    **Palestinian Monioring Group, Israeli Obstructions of the Palestinian Election Process [nad-plo.org]

    ***Observer Report, Norwegian Assocation of NGOs [elections.ps] (pdf format)

    • So did Chile (Score:3, Insightful)

      One of the more heinous human tragedies occured on September 11, 1973.

      The democratically elected government of Chilean president Salvadore Allende was overthrown in a coup d'etat by General Augusto Pinochet. The new regime killed thousands of dissidents and other "enemies of the state".

      The reason? Allende was a Marxist, and the CIA (and by extension, Richard Nixon) were keen to keep Latin America firmly in the American camp during the Cold War, even if installing fascist dictatorships was necessary.

      I

      • Re:So did Chile (Score:3, Insightful)

        by smooth wombat (796938)
        Which of course will then show the world that we talk the talk but not walk the walk. In other words, we want you to have democratic elections only so long as the outcome is the one we want.

        I'm actually writing an article for my website (no, you can't have the address. It's a very cruddy site), where I've been posting editorial-type writings for years, about these elections. I mention that the neocon record re: supporting dictators and such isn't one to be proud of and include Pinochet and the Shah of Ir
  • by RogueWarrior65 (678876) on Friday February 24, 2006 @11:09AM (#14793520)
    Well, the People's Republic of California used those dumb punchcards for YEARS and nobody every whined about hanging or dimpled chads there. Oh and while we're on the subject, Clinton didn't win the popular vote but happened to win enough electoral votes to get elected. Can we have a do-over for that too?
    • by spitzak (4019)
      Um, Clinton DID win the popular vote. Unless you mean he got less than 50% but that is true of lots of presidents. The only elections where the Electorial vote disagreed with the popular vote was 1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000.

Round Numbers are always false. -- Samuel Johnson

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