Y'all are a bunch of wankers!

Arghh! What did the code/patch do, dammit


Diebold patched code on voting machines without authorization, according to a former consultant, but nothing says what the patch actually did.

I wanna know now!
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
September 22nd, 2006 2:53pm
Doesn't matter - Massachusetts wants to go back to paper ballots because of all the problems.  Diebold will shortly be out of the voting machine business.
Permalink xampl 
September 22nd, 2006 3:07pm

My model for smart voting is Canada.  The Canadians are watching our election problems and laughing their butts off.  They think we are crazy, and they are right.

We think you're crazy when things go wrong with chad and patching voting machines that don't have audit trails...

Most of the time we just don't understand what the purpose of a "voting machine" - we use paper for civic, provincial, and federal elections, plus the odd referendum and it's fine.

Forget touch screens and electronic voting. In Canadian Federal elections, two barely-paid representatives of each party, known as "scrutineers," are present all day at the voting place.  If there are more political parties, there are more scrutineers.  To vote, you write an "X" with a pencil in a one centimeter circle beside the candidate's name, fold the ballot up and stuff it into a box.  Later, the scrutineers AND ANY VOTER WHO WANTS TO WATCH all sit at a table for about half an hour and count every ballot, keeping a tally for each candidate.  If the counts agree at the end of the process, the results are phoned-in and everyone goes home.  If they don't, you do it again.  Fairness is achieved by balanced self-interest, not by technology.  The population of Canada is about the same as California, so the elections are of comparable scale.  In the last Canadian Federal election the entire vote was counted in four hours.  Why does it take us 30 days or more?

The 2002-2003 budget for Elections Canada is just over $57 million U.S. dollars, or $1.81 per Canadian citizen.  It is extremely hard to get an equivalent per-citizen figure for U.S. elections, but trust me, it is a LOT higher.  This week, San Francisco held a runoff mayoral election that cost $2.5 million, or $3.27 per citizen of the city.  And this was for just one election, not a whole year of them.

We are spending $3.9 billion or $10 per citizen for new voting machines.  Canada just prints ballots.
Permalink Send private email Ward 
September 22nd, 2006 3:13pm
Technology that works. Brought to you by Africa. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/5369966.stm
Permalink Send private email के. जे. 
September 22nd, 2006 3:19pm
I have to say, we basically have it good in Canada.  It only takes about 5 minutes to vote, too.  I don't know what you Americans are doing, your democracy is fucked up.
Permalink Send private email Wayne (AHA) 
September 22nd, 2006 3:33pm
*groan*  I live in Ohio, too, so I have no freaking idea what my vote is going to be once Blackwell and co. are through with it.  If he wins the governor's race, I will not believe it was a fair election (the other guy is leading in polls by a wide margin).
Permalink the great purple 
September 22nd, 2006 3:42pm
Didn't Ohio recently pass a law making it illegal to challenge elections in Ohio?
Permalink Peter 
September 22nd, 2006 3:46pm
In mexico we do exactly the same as canada

Votes are counted in the polling stations, at the sight of everyone, included political parties' representatives. The results are published when the votes are aproved by everyone.

Then we do a fast account from the acts they send to the central institute.

Then there is a third count again by the political parties

If after those there are possible mistakes, the Electoral Court recounts the votes where they think is neccesary.

After all that happens, the election is declared valid.

And even after all those things, a guy here is claiming that the election was fraudulent.

So even if the system is right, someone can still screw up something...
Permalink Send private email Masiosare 
September 22nd, 2006 3:49pm
Wayne & Ward, that solution sounds wonderful.  You do a lot less voting when you go to the polls than people in the U.S. do though.

We vote on property tax increases incrementally--each party who will be getting a cut on the taxes gets a separate vote, so that I vote once to hike taxes for schools, again for parks, and again for the elder community center.

I also vote for drain comissioner, my representative to the state house of representatives, my representative to the state senate (perversely my choices this year both have the same last name and the same campaign signs, even though they aren't related), my U.S. representative and my U.S. senator. 

Even in a primary election, to see who the candidates are going to be, I have a dozen items to vote on.  For the elections coming this fall I should have a couple of dozen items to vote on, if not more.

Hand counting that many votes would take many hours.
Permalink Send private email Clay Dowling 
September 22nd, 2006 4:20pm
Wow, it's even more screwed up down there than I thought (although I sorta half knew the thing about lots of elections at once).

Civic elections are on a fixed schedule here, don't know if that's the same across Canada.  We should be so lucky as to get to vote on property tax increases.

(Or propositions, for that matter.)

In general, Provincial and Federal elections aren't fixed.  Once elected, a government has a maximum time before they call another election, and a typical number is about 4 years.  But the government has a powerful tool to stay in power in that they can call an earlier election if they want (ie if they're popular), or they can delay it as long as possible in hopes of things getting better.  There are limits - they typically can't get away with early elections more than once, people will figure out that they're being manipulated.

In BC, elections are currently fixed at every 4 years.  In response to the previous government's screwing around w/ dates, the current one promised and did change it to fixed dates.

Split the ballots up - 1 for Federal representatives, 1 for State, 1 for dogcatcher, 1 for state propositions, etc.  Hell, since we're talking electoral reform - don't fucking elect every single position on the same night!
Permalink Send private email Ward 
September 22nd, 2006 4:35pm
The elections are on four fixed dates here in Michigan, but in other places local elections can vary as to which date they use.  They got fixed because a lot of pretty questionable stuff was getting passed.  Voting could be at any time, especially for little stuff that would hike taxes.  So you'd have things like the adult education millage that passed in the summer of 2005 where I live.  Fewer than 2000 people turned out in the county because the nearly single-issue election was given no media attention, and the only way I knew there was a vote was because what I thought were real-estate signs turned out to be signs in favor of the millage.

Cutting down the number of elections is unlikely though.  The taxation issue in particular is kind of historically sensitive.  I seem to recall some big trouble starting in 1776 about taxes that people didn't get to vote on.
Permalink Send private email Clay Dowling 
September 22nd, 2006 4:50pm
"You do a lot less voting when you go to the polls than people in the U.S. do though."

Agreed.  I think you have too much to vote for.  We don't vote on any initiatives, for the most part.  We can see what this does in the states, and I'm not for that level of democracy here.

"For the elections coming this fall I should have a couple of dozen items to vote on, if not more."

Are you informed on all those issues that you're voting for?

"Hand counting that many votes would take many hours."

Really?  We have very small polling stations here (like Mexico).  Basically every elementary school and community center everywhere.  The net result is that the number of votes to count at each station is (relatively) pretty small.
Permalink Send private email Wayne (AHA) 
September 22nd, 2006 4:55pm
Australia expects every eligible person to be enrolled to vote and at an election each voter is formally asked if he or she has voted already in that election, their name is then struck through in a printout of the electoral roll and they are handed voting slips for private marking and subsequent placement in the supervised ballot box.

Elapsed time can be as low as 1 minute if there is no queue and you don't dither over your choices.

Scrutineers supervise counting as per Canada but we pencil numbers within squares, not circles. Recounts are done if the result is disputed.

The Autralian Electoral Commission is politically neutral.

Permalink trollop 
September 23rd, 2006 11:37pm

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