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Indecision 2002 652

The most common story submission about the U.S. elections held today seems to be that the consortium which typically conducts and reports exit polls has encountered technical difficulties. If only they'd had an open beta program... There have also been a number of stories highlighting problems with new electronic voting machines, a topic Slashdot has hit several times in the past. CNN, the NY Times, and essentially every other U.S. news outfit are following the election results as best they can.
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Indecision 2002

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  • Track the results. []
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @11:28PM (#4605054)
      It would've passed, but a lot of the supporters forgot to vote.
      • Recent Polling Data:

        89% of voters polled said they supported legalizing Marijuana.

        34% of supporters forgot to vote

        13% supported legalization, but picked the wrong option

        22% of supporters were unable to make it from the couch to the voting booth, collapsing at differing points between.

        18% of supporters were too unmotivated to leave the house

        7% were unable to complete the ballot due to incredibly poor depth perception

        6% entered the voting booth, but forgot why they were there and thought they were in the shower

        13% of those who thought they were in the shower began masturbating

    • by Longinus ( 601448 ) on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @11:46PM (#4605180) Homepage
      Even if it passes, it won't fly because a state can't legalize something that is federally outlawed.

      Personally, I think the whole thing is silly anyways, there's more important things to worry about than one's ability to get high. Besides, people will do it regardless of the law anyway.
      • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @11:52PM (#4605220)
        sometimes I really think that the South was right about State's rights.

        We don't get the chance to vote on Federal law(only a few people to vote for us that only a majority of us chose), and when we DO get the chance to vote (State laws) they don't count worth a shit.

        Something to think about.
      • by antibryce ( 124264 ) on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @11:58PM (#4605256)
        I haven't read much about it, but I was under the impression that Nevada wasn't legalizing it, but was decriminalizing it. There's a huge difference. Basically, they just won't arrest people for possession anymore. This is definitely a good thing. Long before the endless war on terrorism, we had the war on drugs eroding our civil rights.

        Your belief that people will do it anyway is right on the money. So why punish them? It is an actual victimless crime.

        • by nelsonal ( 549144 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @12:07AM (#4605314) Journal
          Sounds like what Montana did with their speed limits during the 55 era. If you never drove through back in the day, it worked like this. If you get pulled over, coverage is pretty limited here, they only time I still see a highway patrol is near a city, or highway patrol HQ, you paid the cop a $5 ticket that didn't get written up to your insurance. Most people in the state, drove with a stack of of 5s in the glove compartment. Technically the speed limit was 55 so they got their highway money, but enforcement was very limited.
      • I heard a proponant on the radio and I believe he said that the feds, although not happy about it, would leave nevade mostly alone if they legalize it.

        We'll see. I hope it passes. Not because I want to smoke pot (hell, I'm 21 and haven't ever had drink of alchohol), but because I think its an issue that really should really be up to the states themselves.
      • by Myco ( 473173 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @12:07AM (#4605315) Homepage
        But that's precisely the point -- people ARE smoking dope, and buying it and selling it and being put into jail for absurdly long times on account of it. I don't have statistics handy but surely you know the score -- our prisons are bursting at the seams, and the racial socioeconomic divide is still prevalent, thanks mostly to the drug war. It doesn't matter if you think people should smoke pot or not, or if you think that most pro-legalization advocates only want to get high themselves. What matters is that the drug war is a terribly expensive, destructive mistake and it needs to stop, now. Think about it.
      • Interstate? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by yerricde ( 125198 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @12:14AM (#4605354) Homepage Journal

        a state can't legalize something that is federally outlawed.

        The federal government can't outlaw commerce within a state, can it? According to the U.S. Constitution, article 1 [], "The Congress shall have power ... To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes ... To declare war ... To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers" (my emphasis). The 10th Amendment [] gives the states the right to regulate anything not in Congress's exclusive domain. (The 14th Amendment limits that slightly by applying most of the Bill of Rights to the states.)

        If banning beverages containing ethanol required an amendment to the Constitution [], then how can Congress get away with banning pot? That should be the State of Nevada's right to put on the ballot.

        Case law citations welcome.

        • by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @12:23AM (#4605413)
          Case LAW: wichams's wheat wicham owned his own land, consumed his own food, raised his own seed and even made his own farming implements. Yet when he grew a federally banned crop they cracked down. Wicham went to court saying the feds had no jurisdiction since he was not in interstate commerece. he lost. logic was he "could" have engaged in interstate commerce and just because he did not take up the opportinity does not me he evaded the laws.

          nearly all laws congress makes that seem to have no authority to to do so, are based on this precedent. The intra-state activity could effect inter-state commerce. But this has been streteched to the breaking point. For example, why is it a federal crime to use a hand gun near a school, or to commit a "hate" crime. there is nothing in the constitution that seems to permit this.

          scooby snacks all around!

          • owned his own land, consumed his own food, raised his own seed and even made his own farming implements. Yet when he grew a federally banned crop they cracked down.

            Wickard v. Filburn [] was not about a banned crop but rather about private growth and consumption competing with a rationed crop. Marijuana, on the other hand, is banned; therefore, the precedent may not strictly apply.

            Besides, the Lopez case seems to represent a turnaround in the Supreme Court's view of the loose interpretation of Congress's enumerated powers. A win for the "good guys" in Eldred v. Ashcroft [] would also show that there still exist some things outside Congress's enumerated powers.

          • For example, why is it a federal crime to use a hand gun near a school,

            because it's NOT! This law was overturned on exactly the 10th Amendment argument you are making. Sadly there are still lots of laws that completely ignore the concept of federalism but at least the Supremes are *starting* apply it here and there.

            From that point of view last night's election is good news. With control of the senate GWB will likely get to appoint much more conservative judges than he would otherwise - judges who are strict constructionists and much more likely to uphold the 10th ammendment in all it's chaotic decentralized glory. States will be much more free to follow their own course - more libertarian in AZ, more theocratic in GA, maybe even more progressive in VT.
          • Wicard's wheat (Score:4, Informative)

            by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @10:55AM (#4607589)
            In the case of Wicard's wheat, the supreme court ruled that if a man was growing his own wheat then obvioulsy he would not be buying any wheat, and his failure to consume affected interstate commerce. Therefore the Feds have the authority to regulate what and how much he can grow. And from there it was all downhill.

            Congress's ability to make laws the regulate personal behaviour and practices entirely within a state ALL stem from the constitution's allowance for the feds to regulate inter-state commerce. And this was originally put in the constitution as a sweetener to join the union (i.e joint a free trade zone! much like reason everyone joined the EU or why nafta happened. scary).

            Excerpted from Enter Roscoe Filburn, an Ohio dairy and poultry farmer, who raised a small quantity of winter wheat -- some to sell, some to feed his livestock, and some to consume. In 1940, under authority of the Agricultural Adjustment Act, the central government told Mr. Filburn that for the next year he would be limited to planting 11 acres of wheat and harvesting 20 bushels per acre. He harvested 12 acres over his allotment for consumption on his own property. When the government fined him, Mr. Filburn refused to pay. Wickard v. Filburn got to the Supreme Court, and in 1942, the justices unanimously ruled against the farmer. The government claimed that if Mr. Filburn grew wheat for his own use, he would not be buying it -- and that affected interstate commerce. It also argued that if the price of wheat rose, which is what the government wanted, Mr. Filburn might be tempted to sell his surplus wheat in the interstate market, thwarting the government's objective. The Supreme Court bought it. The Court's opinion must be quoted to be believed: [The wheat] supplies a need of the man who grew it which would otherwise be reflected by purchases in the open market. Home-grown wheat in this sense competes with wheat in commerce. As Epstein commented, "Could anyone say with a straight face that the consumption of home-grown wheat is 'commerce among the several states?'" For good measure, the Court justified the obvious sacrifice of Mr. Filburn's freedom and interests to the unnamed farmers being protected: It is of the essence of regulation that it lays a restraining hand on the self-interest of the regulated and that advantages from the regulation commonly fall to others. After Wickard , everything is mere detail. The entire edifice of civil rights legislation stands on the commerce power. Under this maximum commerce power, the government has been free to regulate nearly everything, including a restaurant owner's bigotry. The Court has held that if Congress sees a connection to interstate commerce, it is not its role to second guess.

      • by dirvish ( 574948 ) <> on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @12:28AM (#4605450) Homepage Journal
        It certainly helps if it isn't locally enforced. If local officials don't press charges or a local judge throws cases out the feds may never catch wind of it or bother to deal with it.

        Obviously is isn't just about "one's ability to get high." It is about our civil rights and about people being able to get proper medical treatment. What the hell is the point of making a plant illegal?
      • This push to legalize marijuana is being secretly funded by Frito-Lay and Hostess.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @11:26PM (#4605037)
    On MSNBC, asked about Jeb Bush running for President: "I think he could. Bush has attractive daughters, too... I think we could have Bush's as President for the whole 21st century."
  • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @11:27PM (#4605046)
    when you picked one person in GA, it was reported that at times the opponent was chosen.

    A news source reported it to the state before anyone else did. After that it was said (on TV) that actual people starting calling in.

    At least the GA voting machines let you check your work yourself instead of having to call over a voting "helper" to make the changes.
  • by supun ( 613105 ) on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @11:27PM (#4605048)
    I'm curious, has someone audited the code for these devices? How do I know that some employee ,who's a hard democrat, republican, or independent, hasn't added his or her little hacks. Like every fifth vote that doesn't agree with his or her view gets changed. I guess with something as valuable as my vote, I want the source to be public.
    • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @11:38PM (#4605125)
      this is like Office Space. Them stealing the remainders as they are rounded off.

      Someone would catch it, you know they would. If you really think that a SINGLE person wrote and and another examined I would have to say you are crazy.

      Just my worthless .02
    • Does anyone have any information on how (and to what extent) voting machines are audited? I saw a show (on TLC, I think) showing how heavily slot machines were audited in Las Vegas. I'd like to know if voting machines are held to the same standards.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      What are you, some sort of liberal commie terrorist? If you don't trust good clean red-blooded Christian Americans, you can just go back to whatever godless pinko arab rock you crawled out from under. We don't want your kind here.

      George had it right - "You're either for us or against us." There ain't no middle ground and there ain't no room for your leftist propaganda. Spout your hateful divisive ideas somewhere else, this is America. This is the NEW America, strong and proud. Either you support our duly-elected kick-ass President George Bush 100% or you don't deserve to call yourself an American. So get with the program or get off our turf. If you disagree with how the President is running things, you're against freedom and American values and will be dealt with as such.

      Goddamit, Slashdot's going straight to hell with all these lumatics.

      Jim "Figure4" Burke
    • by rodgerd ( 402 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @12:14AM (#4605359) Homepage
      No, you can't.

      And the company that manufactures the most widely used ones is owned a major Republican supporter. There is at least one shareholder who is an actual politician. They've started suing news outlets publishing this information, though.
      • And the company that manufactures the most widely used ones is owned a major Republican supporter. There is at least one shareholder who is an actual politician. They've started suing news outlets publishing this information, though.
        I guess that's why you aren't offering any evidence of your claim, huh?
    • by the_other_one ( 178565 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @01:12AM (#4605647) Homepage

      They should use secure open source code

      They can borrow the code for the /. poll

      Cowboy Neal for President!

  • You know... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SlashChick ( 544252 ) <<zib.acire> <ta> <acire>> on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @11:28PM (#4605053) Homepage Journal
    You guys could have posted a reminder to vote today. The election results are all fine and dandy, but a well-written summary of "Remember to vote," voting locations, etc. posted this morning would have been appreciated.

    I'd appreciate it if you could keep this in mind for next year. The more informed voters we have out there, the better. Slashdot could really help get the word out (especially on the issues that matter most to geeks!)
    • Re:You know... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Vess V. ( 310830 ) on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @11:40PM (#4605140) Homepage
      I wouldn't consider someone who decided to vote because he was "reminded" by a tech journal on the same day as an election an "informed voter."
    • If Slashdot did a good job of publishing information on who to vote into/out-of office (based on geek issues), then they wouldn't be able to post stories bitching about how much proposed bill yadda-yadda-yadda sucks for geeks. And then we wouldn't be able to read the dozens of responses posted bitching about slashdot not doing anything to harness their readership in politically.

      I mean what fun would that be?
    • Now THIS [] is the news story for you.
  • Stolen... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Metallic Matty ( 579124 ) on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @11:29PM (#4605059)
    Wasn't Indecision 2000 the name of the campaign news on the Daily Show?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @11:29PM (#4605062)
    . . . Dewey really didn't defeat Truman.
  • by Thanatopsis ( 29786 ) <> on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @11:30PM (#4605068) Homepage
    Exit polls are oftened cited as a problem in our elections. How many times have you seen an exit poll while the election was still going on? All the time and often it simply discourages voters from casting their votes... Why bother is Candidate X is leading in the exit polls. I actually am interested to see if the mid term turn out is greater than normal as a result. Mid term elections are always crappy.
  • Open Beta Program (Score:2, Informative)

    by mrbrown1602 ( 536940 )
    I thought this was interesting. In Lafayette Parish in Louisiana, they are "beta testing" new electronic voting machines for absentee voting.
  • by gmplague ( 412185 ) on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @11:32PM (#4605076) Homepage
    I think that the "if-voting-could-change-anything-it-would-be-illeg al dept." shows how irresponsible and juvenile /. really is. If everyone thought like you, anyone who felt like it could decide what happens to us. Your voice individually doesn't matter, but don't you realize that it matters when its a part of a group, no matter how large or small that group is. For shame.
    • I vote. People like me vote. People like Michael are too smart to waste their time voting.

      Candidates who agree with my views get elected. Candidates who support the views of people who are too smart to vote don't get elected. People who are too smart to vote conclude that they're even smarter than they'd realized.

      Sucks for them that the system rewards cornball values like citzenship and responsibility instead of snideness and cynicism...

  • by sakusha ( 441986 ) on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @11:34PM (#4605093)
    There is a series of very interesting papers on voting theory, both on paper and electronically, written by a computer science professor and election commissioner. I recommend them highly:

    In particular, I recommend the essay on Paper Ballots, that's the theoretical basis for the current electronic systems.

  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @11:35PM (#4605103)

    The most interesting thing I've heard on the news today is that one of the international organizations that monitors elections in the Third World is monitoring the election in Florida this time.

    • And the funniest thing is that it's comp[osed of Albanians and Russians! I laughed so hard when I heard that!
    • U sure that wasnt the DOJ? Were there internationals in FL too?

      I know Ashcroft sent a bunch of his guys to make sure there was no, err.. HANKY PANKY..

      cough cough..

      Jeb Bush won.
    • In 2000 the election of our national leader was decided by a state who was run by the eventual winner's brother and the person in charge of certifying the election was a state campaign leader for that candidate. The candidate's father also was the president who was supplanted by the ticket that had the eventual winner's opponent on it. Prior to being president that father was the head of the nation's secret police.

      Are you kidding? Those third world countries are in Florida tonight to see how a corrupt election is run by the Greatest Nation on the Planet. They wanna learn from the big guys how to do it and get away with it.

  • Vote for Bill Gates! He'll buy Iraq to end this madness!
  • by Fastball ( 91927 ) on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @11:37PM (#4605116) Journal
    No matter what your party affiliation is, you have to be encouraged by the growing possibility of Republicans taking back control of the Senate. That would mean our favorite Hollywood apologist, Senator Fritz Hollings, D-S.C., would no longer set the agenda for the commerce committee. That along should make a geek upbeat about this election.

    As for voting glitches, I only have this to say. If you have a complaint about an election process, better to voice it before the election, not during or after when your party's candidate is losing or has lost. The reports that lawyers are on standby for each major party infuriates me. Either the process is goofed to begin with or it isn't. Maybe I'm just an idealist, but I believe any discrepencies with the voting processes are going to affect all candidates, not just losing ones.

    • > No matter what your party affiliation is, you have to be encouraged by the growing possibility of Republicans taking back control of the Senate.

      I don't have a party affiliation, and the prospect terrifies me.

    • that's doesn't mean the bill is dead by any stretch. That bill had extensive bi-partisan support. Disney can lobby Republicans as easily as they can Democrats.
    • by goon america ( 536413 ) on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @11:51PM (#4605214) Homepage Journal
      You have to be encouraged by the growing possibility of Republicans taking back control of the Senate. ... should make a geek upbeat about this election.

      Nevermind Fritz Hollings (D-Disney), I'm worried about the kind of Stone Age judiciary GWB can appoint without opposition review. Remember what happened for those few months when he could? Maybe John Ashcroft would be more comfortable as a member Supreme Court than as AG.

      No, thanks.

    • by max cohen ( 163682 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @12:01AM (#4605274)
      No matter what your party affiliation is, you have to be encouraged by the growing possibility of Republicans taking back control of the Senate.

      Maybe for you, but not for me. That means projects like the missile defense system will likely get millions or billions of dollars in funding, regardless of the fact that the experimental results behind the system prove that it isn't going to work as promised and the science to get around the problems raised in testing still isn't up to the task.

      I factor a whole bunch more into my votes than "geek" issues (i.e military, the environment, taxes, education, and government R&D funding, just to name a few). I hope you do the same.

      That would mean our favorite Hollywood apologist, Senator Fritz Hollings, D-S.C., would no longer set the agenda for the commerce committee.

      Not really, it just means the money Hollywood paid him to take those positions would be put in his republican replacement's coffers or in another Senators from a different state.
    • Yeah, then we'd get some of those anti-corporate republican types in there. That'll show 'em.


    • God help us (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dachshund ( 300733 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @12:35AM (#4605493)
      No matter what your party affiliation is, you have to be encouraged by the growing possibility of Republicans taking back control of the Senate.

      I've got two words that should fully capture how encouraged I would be by that prospect:

      John Ashcroft

      The Republicans had the Senate for a few months and it brought us the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. act, some of the most frightening abrogrations of basic constitutional protections, gutted antitrust enforcement, and who knows how many other goodies.

      Fritz Hollings will be perfectly capable of doing damage whether the Democrats stay on top or not. As I recall, Republican Congresses didn't stop the DMCA or the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension act from sailing through.

    • > No matter what your party affiliation is, you have to be encouraged by the growing possibility of Republicans taking back control of the Senate.

      Umm, no. The worse anti-technology legislators are Republicans. List from the Worst Coders in Washington article:

      See all those little R's?

      The Lawmakers
      These lawmakers in the House of Representatives and the Senate wrote more anti-technology legal code than any of their co-legislators.

      1. Rep. Charles (Chip) Pickering (R-MS 3rd district) 3 bills $230,900
      2. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX 21st district) 2 bills $87,112
      P2P Piracy Prevention Bill, COPA
      3. Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK ) 2 bills $375,339
      4. Rep. Bill Paxon (R-NY 27th district) 2 bills $200,938
      DMCA, COPA
      5. Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-CA 26th district) 2 bills $212,991
      DMCA, P2P Piracy Prevention Bill
      6. Rep. Michael G. Oxley (R-OH 4th district) 2 bills $184,998
      COPA, CIPA
      7. Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC 6th district) 2 bills $114,747
      DMCA, P2P Piracy Prevention Bill
      8. Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D-SC ) 2 bills $532,980
      9. Rep. Bob Franks (R-NJ 7th district) 2 bills $661,784
      COPA, CIPA
      10. Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR 3rd district) 1 bill $99,350
      11. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ ) 1 bill $1,050,321
      12. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett (R-MD 6th district) 1 bill $50,500
      13. Rep. Jack Metcalf (R-WA 2nd district) 1 bill $185,377
      14. Rep. Barbara Cubin (R-WY 1st district) 1 bill $115,980
      15. Rep. Dan Schaefer (R-CO 6th district) 1 bill $145,162
      16. Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-IL 6th district) 1 bill $83,500
      17. Rep. Paul E. Gillmor (R-OH 5th district) 1 bill $107,849
      18. Rep. Dave Weldon (R-FL 15th district) 1 bill $139,759
      19. Rep. John R. Kasich (R-OH 12th district) 1 bill $235,185
      20. Sen. Conrad R. Burns (R-MT ) 1 bill $506,126
      21. Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO 7th district) 1 bill $175,636
      22. Rep. Mark W. Neumann (R-WI 1st district) 1 bill $167,765
      23. Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-CA 4th district) 1 bill $78,765
      24. Rep. Vince Snowbarger (R-KS 3rd district) 1 bill $106,774
      25. Rep. James C. Greenwood (R-PA 8th district) 1 bill $98,185
      26. Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM 1st district) 1 bill $232,960
      27. Sen. J. James Exon (D-NE ) 1 bill $0
      28. Rep. Steve Largent (R-OK 1st district) 1 bill $98,852
      29. Rep. Stephen E. Buyer (R-IN 5th district) 1 bill $115,160
      30. Rep. Collin C. Peterson (D-MN 7th district) 1 bill $126,499
      31. Rep. Mary Bono (R-CA 44th district) 1 bill $76,604
      32. Rep. Jon D. Fox (R-PA 13th district) 1 bill $200,834
      33. Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL 6th district) 1 bill $92,743
      34. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA ) 1 bill $389,544
      35. Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI 3rd district) 1 bill $47,719
      36. Rep. Ronnie Shows (D-MS 4th district) 1 bill $210,650
      37. Rep. Robert B. Aderholt (R-AL 4th district) 1 bill $266,944
      38. Rep. John M. McHugh (R-NY 24th district) 1 bill $92,380
      39. Rep. Jon Christensen (R-NE 2nd district) 1 bill $230,552
      40. Rep. Max Sandlin (D-TX 1st district) 1 bill $215,450
      41. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA 4th district) 1 bill $55,500
      42. Rep. Greg Ganske (R-IA 4th district) 1 bill $177,885
      43. Rep. J. C. Jr. Watts (R-OK 4th district) 1 bill $135,705
      44. Rep. Nancy L. Johnson (R-CT 6th district) 1 bill $279,554
      45. Sen. Christopher S. Bond (R-MO ) 1 bill $477,360
      46. Rep. Michael Bilirakis (R-FL 9th district) 1 bill $92,011
      47. Rep. Jr. Nethercutt, George R. (R-WA 5th district) 1 bill $142,127
      48. Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA 9th district) 1 bill $106,339
      49. Rep. Linda Smith (R-WA 3rd district) 1 bill $52,494
      50. Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN 6th district) 1 bill $248,500
      51. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY 1st district) 1 bill $169,715
      52. Rep. Tim Johnson (R-IL 15th district) 1 bill $383,959
      53. Rep. Jay Kim (R-CA 41st district) 1 bill $116,574
      54. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX ) 1 bill $422,932
      55. Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN 6th district) 1 bill $145,282
      56. Rep. Michael Pappas (R-NJ 12th district) 1 bill $80,749
      57. Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL 16th district) 1 bill $106,699
      58. Rep. Mark E. Souder (R-IL 4th district) 1 bill $75,534
      59. Sen. John B. Breaux (D-LA ) 1 bill $343,769
      60. Rep. David L. Hobson (R-OH 7th district) 1 bill $104,922
      61. Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-IL 1st district) 1 bill $177,481
      62. Rep. Thomas J. Manton (D-NY 7th district) 1 bill $118,494
      63. Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA 43th district) 1 bill $127,625
      64. Rep. Joseph R. Pitts (R-PA 16th district) 1 bill $103,800
      65. Rep. John Jr. Conyers (D-MI 14th district) 1 bill $99,110
      66. Rep. Elizabeth Furse (D-OR 1st district) 1 bill $248,322
      67. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI 6th district) 1 bill $121,673
      68. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL ) 1 bill $442,151
      69. Rep. Jr. Istook, Ernest J. (R-OK 5th district) 1 bill $93,284
      70. Sen. Spencer Abraham (R-MI ) 1 bill $732,850
      71. Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX 6th district) 1 bill $162,944
      72. Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC 9th district) 1 bill $147,741
      73. Rep. Pat Danner (D-MO 6th district) 1 bill $112,950
      74. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX 5th district) 1 bill $207,111
      75. Rep. Bill McCollum (R-FL 8th district) 1 bill $326,487
      76. Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman (R-NY 20th district) 1 bill $149,306
      77. Rep. Jerry Weller (R-IL 11th district) 1 bill $200,075
      78. Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL 19th district) 1 bill $107,500
      P2P Piracy Prevention Bill
      79. Rep. Sue W. Kelly (R-NY 19th district) 1 bill $168,550
      80. Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC ) 1 bill $386,450
      81. Rep. Richard Burr (R-NC 5th district) 1 bill $118,275
      82. Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-GA 10th district) 1 bill $185,621
      83. Rep. Phil English (R-PA 21st district) 1 bill $163,562
      84. Rep. Gerald B. H. Solomon (R-NY 22nd district) 1 bill $164,098
      85. Rep. Ralph M. Hall (D-OH 3rd district) 1 bill $94,000
      86. Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA 41st district) 1 bill $148,450
      87. Sen. Slade Gorton (R-WA ) 1 bill $376,525
      88. Rep. Rick Lazio (R-NY 2nd district) 1 bill $214,076
      89. Rep. Sonny Callahan (R-AL 1th district) 1 bill $109,835
      90. Rep. John E. Peterson (R-PA 5th district) 1 bill $60,556
      91. Rep. Sonny Bono (R-CA 44th district) 1 bill $0
      92. Rep. Charles H. Taylor (R-NC 11th district) 1 bill $90,864
      93. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI ) 1 bill $247,429
  • by AugstWest ( 79042 ) on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @11:39PM (#4605130)
    That's the one thing I simply don't understand about modern voting rhetoric. How could we possibly place more trust in voting systems simply because they are electronic? All this would require is a single person with a single clue somewhere along the data chain to manipulate the results.

    It seems that fraud would become even simpler with computerized voting to me. It's like everyone is jumping on a train without thinking about its destination, or, more to the point, the path it will take to its destination.

    Where do the results go? Do they go to separate databases, preferably several separate databases, as soon as a vote is cast? This would seemingly allow for "diffing," for lack of a better term, between multiple sources of final vote counts.

    I'm in no shape at the moment to define how the electronic/computerized voting results should be quanitified, but PLEASE, at least let us consider these things, rather than saying to ourselves "Well, it's computerized now, so at least there will be no more fraud."

    If we're going to redesign how the votes in this nation are counted, and I believe that we are all in agreement that this system of voting desperately needs to be revamped in this modern age (please feel free to tell me I'm wrong), that we can sit down and discuss how it should be done, rather than allowing our morbidly ignorant "representative government" to tell us how it should, and will be done for us.

    Oh, wait, this is the US. I forgot, we have no say. Ah, well, cross your fingers and hope for the best.
    • How could we possibly place more trust in voting systems simply because they are electronic? All this would require is a single person with a single clue somewhere along the data chain to manipulate the results.

      I love the spaceball's quote - evil will triumph because good is dumb. Not sure about where you voted, but I watched some people really struggle with setting up a folding table this morning and trying to write a sequence of numbers on card stock. The risk of a computer based fraud is nothing compared to what hand counting errors would be. Cheating the system is always possible but malice can be prosecuted, stupidity and mistakes...

      One of the most frighting discoveries was jury duty - finding out what a jury of 'peers' really is. God help the underfunded innocent.
  • Prediction (Score:5, Funny)

    by saddino ( 183491 ) on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @11:40PM (#4605134)
    1) Ballotscape creates the most innovative and foolproof voting software.
    2) Ballotscape's software becomes installed on voting machines nationwide.
    3) Microsoft releases "innovative" MS-Vote for free.
    4) Microsoft embeds MS-Vote into Windows.
    5) Microsoft gives away Dell voting machines to the States as a condition for overcharging for licenses.
    6) Gates/Dell presidential ticket mysteriously captures 90% of the popular vote (Jobs/Feiss ticket only receives 5%).
  • If the general public learns as a matter of habit to just go to bed and find out the full count the next day, the United States will be a great deal better off.
  • Republicians and Open Source together the new ANTI-TRUST.

    I can see it now you go to touch the screen for a non-republician canaidate, and the order on the ballet changes. Kind of like those joke dialog boxes that the OK button moves when you try to click it.
  • 1. Polls close at 7pm like they're supposed to.
    2. Democrats challenge poll closing, say there are still more voters who need to vote (for the democrats, of course).
    3. Democrats go to Democrat/liberal judge and get an ex parte injunction, keeping the polls open a few more hours.
    4. Republicans challenge the extension, say any vote cast after the polls were supposed to have closed should be discarded.
    5. After several hours of bickering, whining, and screaming, Republicans win. Late votes discarded.
    6. Democrats accuse Republicans of closing polls to keep the hard workin' man (who votes Democrat) out.
    7. Republicans say "no, we really love the hard working man, and we respect the rules -- the polls should have closed when they were supposed to. The time of poll closing was announced weeks ago!"
    8. Democrats respond: "no, you hate the hard working man, and we were just trying to fight for him."
    9. Republicans crawl away.
    10. Repeat next election.

    It boggles my mind that this same scenario happens each and every election day, in countless cities across the country. You'd think the republicans would have enough brain cells to get the democrats to agree (or at least give them certified, return receipt notice) as to the time the polls are going to close. I guess the Democrats have some pretty hard numbers that show a vast majority of people who intend to vote after the polls close are democrats (go figure), so even in bad faith, it is to the democrats' advantage to make every effort to extend the time of poll closing. If they push it through, they get more votes, and if the republicans oppose, worst case scenario is they get to say "the republicans tried to close the polls on the workin' man!"

    It's shameful, but what's even more shameful is the republicans not figuring this shit out.
    • You post is completely idiotic.
      1. Poll don't close at 7:00. In CA they close at 8:00 which often isn't enough time to have everyone vote. If people arrive at 7:45 and there is a line for voting booths? Should their vote not count? For example today an Arkansas decreed the polls stay up till 10:00 PM because at least one county ran out of ballots. If your polling place runs out of ballots, does that mean your vote doesn't count?

      In major cities getting off work to go to you polling place can take time and cost money. Since voting is not a holiday, not everyone can afford to take time to get to the polling place early. Why on earth should late votes be discarded? What's the point of disenfanchising someone? Because the polling place is supposed to be closed? This is democracy in action not a 7/11. The sort of rules bound thinking you are displaying is dangerous in a democracy.

      Here's another clue -> Check the legal precedents for late ballots. You will find that even the currnet Supreme Court tends to error on the side of equal protection.

      As far as the republicans trying to close the plls on the working man, isn't that EXACTLY the case? Are you saying,"Can't take time off for work?" Well screw you, we are going to make sure you don't get to vote. I find it amazing that this is OK for you. Are you sure you are in the right country?

      I don't think you realize how dangerous it is to "discard" votes (and why almost all the time those votes are counted, not discarded). Democracies like ours operate on the principle one person, one vote. Any attempts to disenfranchise the right to vote is wrong. From poll taxes to roadblocks in Florida, thwarting the democractic process is extremely damaging to society in the long run.
    • by wmspringer ( 569211 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @01:22AM (#4605684) Homepage Journal
      hmm, I just read the actual article []. It says:

      Democrats asked for the initial order because some precincts in Pulaski County ran out of ballots.

      In other words, people are showing up on time and not being able to vote because the equipment isn't working/available. The Democrats are trying to fix the problem, and the Republicans are trying (successfully, it seems) to stop them.

      Florida, anyone?
  • Saw this one coming (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PizzaFace ( 593587 ) on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @11:45PM (#4605170)
    The Washington Post reported in August [] that, while VNS management was blowing sunshine, VNS's programmers were quietly doubting they could finish the system by the non-negotiable deadline of election day. Although this was one of the most significant and closely contested congressional elections in decades, there was no option of falling back on the old system, which made two notoriously erroneous projections in the 2000 presidential election.

    Now, if VNS were as good at predicting the outcome of software development projects, as they are at predicting election results... Hmmm, maybe the problem is, they are.

    • What is up with all this, anyway? I mean, is this really a lot more complicated than a simple database?

      All you really need to know is what percentage of people answered the exit poll, and the different percentages of their answers. Given that, you can call races.

      Is there some reason that this had to take more than 30 minutes to program?
  • by Henry V .009 ( 518000 ) on Tuesday November 05, 2002 @11:45PM (#4605171) Journal
    Speaking of elections--Today was the election, but slashdot didn't even run a story asking geeks to vote. You'd think that a site that cares so much about "Your Rights Online" would at least point out a couple of candidates who have either very bad records on such things or very good records. You know, if all we do is whine about the DMCA, congress-critters will continue to screw us over. Voting, and getting other people to vote will make them sit up and take notice. Well, maybe 2004.
  • The exit poll service that suddenly announced they would have no polling data late this afternoon is a monopoly owned by the major TV news outlets. Instead of nearly all the election outcomes being known when the polls in CA closed an hour ago, most races are still up in the air and the TV coverage is going full tilt. This has to be very good for ratings.
    • by nomadic ( 141991 )
      They're not a monopoly; they're just very big and very well-funded. If you want to create your own exit poll system, feel free. In fact, many networks and newspapers already do this, even some that also contract VNS.
  • I think this is a good thing. Pre-election polling and exit poling tends to compromise the "sanctity" of the democratic process. In other words, if my vote has been counted before I've cast it, then, really, how important is my participation? At the risk of baiting, I would go as far as to say that there that a large number of (voting) Americans think of elections as a horse race: They pick (and vote for) who they think is going to win. This is pretty counter to what the "secret ballot" is supposed to be. Seriously, this country has some serious problems, and its not "the man" that's behind it.
  • There are also problems with the mechanical voting machines and "scan-in" ballots as well.

    There's no such thing as a perfect voting system.
  • by fobbman ( 131816 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @12:11AM (#4605343) Homepage
    The 93,000 people that were not allowed to vote during the 2000 election in Florida were still on the list this time around. The company [] who created that list of supposed felons and dead people for Katherine Harris says that if Harris had not crossed off most of their checking processes off of the contract and they were allowed to process that list that the end result would be a list of approximately 3000 names. Ninety-one thousand people (mostly African American Democrats, curiously enough) would be allowed to vote today (and two years ago) if they were allowed to do their job.

    The State of Florida, when confronted with this information, admitted that the list was flawed and that they would get it fixed...some time in 2003. After the current election.

    For more information check out Greg Palast's book "The Best Democracy Money Could Buy". It's a heck of a read. There was also an article over at Salon late last week but it is in their premium contect section.

    • Ok, here are the facts behind your supposed Florida election scandal.

      It was found in the 1998 election that a large number of convicted felons voted, which is against Florida state law.

      As a result, Florida hired the services of ChoicePointe to compile a list of possible felons to prevent this in the 2000 election. The list included about 100,000 names.

      Every one of those 100,000 people were notified by mail that they were included on the list and they were given a proceedure to dispute the listing (it was simply to go to you local police station with a photo-id and provide a finger print).

      These names were given to local county election officials, who had the option of using the list to bar people from voting. Not every county used the list.

      It is not known how many people were incorrectly banned from voting.

      A total of 5 people claimed they were incorrectly not allowed to vote because they didn't follow the proceedure to remove their names. There could have been more, but only 5 people formally complained.

      Here [] is the official settlement agreement from the NAACP. Read on the bottom of page 1:

      Defendants have taken an oath to support, protect and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of the State of Florida... Plaintiffs have not alleged that Defendants acted in a purposefully discriminatory manner toward any group

      It clearly states that nobody was accusing Katherine Harris or Jeb Bush or anybody else in Florida of any wrongdoing or fraud. So, your (and this Greg Palast fool) entire claim is the following: In 2000, Florida compiled a list of 100,000 convicted felons to prevent them from breaking state law and voting. Of that list of 100,000 people, an unknown number were legitimate voters. Of that unknown number of legitimate voters, an unknown number did not follow the proceedure to dispute their name being included on the list. Of that unknown number, an unknown number lived in counties that did not use the list in the election. Of that unknown number, an unknown number would have even bothered to show up to vote (expect about 40% for voter turnout averages). And, the official legal settlement as shown on the plaintiffs web site makes no accusation of fraud or wrong doing.

      Is this seriously the best election scandal you can come up with?

  • (One quick clarification: I hate using the term geek.)

    Call it flamebait/offtopic/troll/whatever if you want, but it's an honest question:
    When was the last time having a good working knowledge of senators and politicians was necessary for the average geek? Is this the first time period in American history where politics play a vital role in our daily lives insofar as the comingling of our PCs and freedoms? DRM? Napster? RIAA invasions into our home PCs? The Patriot Act? Before recent years, can you think of the geek community despising someone for the same reasons as a great deal of /.-eers hates Senator Hollings? Do you find yourself actually paying more attention to politics now than you did even 3 or 4 years ago?

    It's not really an issue of the technically-literate (is that better? Yeesh) being socially responsible citizens, but I'll bet that at the past 2 or 3 elections, geek turnout has been higher than normal at least in part because issues that directly affect us have been in the spotlight. Perhaps we feel that it's our responsiblity to at least sort of steer things in what we believe to be the proper direction? I dunno. I'm stuck at work until 3am, I'm bored and I thought I'd see if anyone would bite.
  • by dh003i ( 203189 ) < minus physicist> on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @12:50AM (#4605553) Homepage Journal
    A proper voting system administered via computing with adequate security measures would be fine. This means primarily NO INTERNET CONNECTIONS. If the voting machines were hooked up to any network, then the results could be tampered with by crackers or others.

    A proper voting system also means using Linux or OpenBSD as the OS, not Windows 2k/XP, both of which aren't nearly as secure (or as stable) as a well-configured Linux or OpenBSD system. Also, they aren't controlled by proprietary interests like MS which would find nothing wrong with tampering with an election.

    Also, of course, a proper program is needed, with an easy to use interface, with clear instructions.

    Something like this would do for electing the Congressman:

    1. Choose a Candidate for the Congressman by touching his name with your finger: X, Y, Z ...
    Click preview to preview your voting selections. ...
    2. You have selected:
    For Congressman: X ...
    3. If these are the candidates you want to vote for, touch YES! with your finger. If not, touch NO! with your finger.

    If person touches NO!, back to #1, with previous selections highlighted, and allowing user to change it.

    Very simple. Very effective. Even someone in Florida could figure it out. At the very least, you won't be counting divits and chads.
    • I voted earlier this afternoon in Colorado (city of Lakewood). The system was very easy to understand, much as you alluded to.

      There was no internet/network connection to each voting booth box. The people running the voting would take a hardware cartridge (like a Nintendo cartrigde of old) and plug in into the voting booth tablet to activate it, and then they remove it. Apparently they first "activated" it in some main computer. It was a touch-screen tablet PC with a straightforward interface... click the candidate you want with your finger. It then showed a big X next to who you voted for. If you wanted to change it, you could click a different candidate, and the X would move to their name.

      Several pages of votes later, you get to review a list of all of your votes. If they look satisfactory, you push a "VOTE" button at the top of the tablet, which flashes red when you are ready to finish voting. Press it and you are done. I didn't see what happens after that. I imagine the computers keep a tally of votes on each, and they are plugged into the main server at some point, or the "cartridges" can be used to download the vote data and they plug into the main server.

      But the main point is, there was no internet connection, no keyboard, a proprietary "cartridge" system for passing some kind of voter data or to activate the terminal for voting. Obviously I don't know the OS it was running, but it did seem fairly straightforward with no obvious ways to mess with it. Not to mention that there were 4 election representatives there overseeing everything and it would be way obvious if anyone tried to mess with the machines in any way.

      I don't know if they had any kind of built in UPS, because someone could pull the plug out of the wall easily... but overall they looked like good voting machines with proprietary hardware, which is a good thing IMO...

  • by Rui del-Negro ( 531098 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @01:34AM (#4605741) Homepage
    Most countries in Europe (and, I assume, the World), have been successfully experimenting with a revolutionary voting method:

    1. Voters are given a piece of "paper". On this "paper" are the names of the candidates or parties, followed the respective picture or symbol, followed by an empty square.

    2. Using a device known as "pen", the voters proceed to make a "cross" (a highly optimised mark, consisting of two straight lines) inside the "square" that corresponds to the person or party they wish to vote for.

    3. The voters then fold this paper two or three times and insert it in a large "box" (a device for storing pieces of paper).

    4. Once voting is over, advanced counting machines known as "people" (usually groups of volunteers, with one or two official representatives) take the pieces of paper out of the box and look at the marks made with the pens. They write down how many "votes" there were for each candidate. This process typically takes less than six hours, including one recount.

    5. (This part will sound obvious to most people familiar with democracy, but americans may find it surprising) The candidate with the most votes wins.

    It's a relatively inexpensive and ecological process, since the paper can be recycled. But, most of all, it works.

  • by billstewart ( 78916 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2002 @05:02AM (#4606469) Journal
    Maybe they've gotten better, but in the past, they not only counted only the votes for Democrats and Republicans, but made the totals add up to 100%. On tonight's election results, I saw one channel reporting the California governor's race results as 53%-47%, but another channel reporting 47-43-5-2-2-1. The Greens particularly took votes that Davis would have otherwise gotten many of, and the American Independent took votes that would otherwise have been Republican, and the Libertarians and Natural Law probably would have split.

    To get back to software issues, some of the stations had a fixed display format that could only handle two candidates (whether the numbers were correct or not), while others were more flexible (which they also needed for things like city council races, which here in California are usually Vote-for-N-of-M non-partisan.)

The IQ of the group is the lowest IQ of a member of the group divided by the number of people in the group.