“I Told You So’s”

The Carteret County voting failure has
brought a lot of hand-wringing to elections officials and
"I-told-you-sos” from activists who sounded the alarm about electronic
balloting months ago.

A touch-screen voting network there failed
to record more than 4,400 votes cast before Election Day because its
data storage was full — the result of outdated software and poor
communication between the California company that made the machine and
county officials.

Election workers said they didn’t see
warning lights as the voting tabulator continued to "record” ballots
that were never counted.

can’t believe that anyone would design a machine so badly that votes
could be lost this way,” said David Dill, a Stanford University
computer science professor and founder of the watchdog group Verified

Um, yeah. Anyone think of testing it first, or maybe reading the manual? Silly me, that would be stupid. And now we are back to the possibility of a full state recount, with a price tag of $3+ million. Great.

As a special legislative committee is
hastily assembled to look at potential solutions, the members will have
to ask whether the problem should require drastic changes to state
election law, more fine-tuning to reduce human errors, or just more

"There’s always been problems because no system is
perfect,” said Sen. Austin Allran, R-Catawba, a co-chairman of the
upcoming legislative panel. "If you had a (paper) ballot box, you could
have counting problems or intentional fraud.

Bingo. There has always been fraud, and, while tech systems will present their own special problems, we need to take the human element out as much as possible (except for the actual voters, of course). Tired poll workers, as well as removing the ability for people to cheat or just mess up. Are you comfortable performing on line banking, purchasing something on line, etc? I am. Why not put in several layers of recognition protocols, as well as a high grade firewall to the server. We would also be taking much of the exit poll bullshit away, as people could vote from home, and have the added benefit of higher turnouts.

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6 Responses to ““I Told You So’s””

  1. Jeremy says:

    NO, NO, NO!

    You’ve stepped into a category in which I’ve go way too much knowledge for my own good. I’m typing this from my job as a network secutiry engineer and was formerly a cryptologist. If it will allow people to use their home computer it’s hackable. Believe me, it’s hackable.

    Although this is a good idea it can not happen. At least not for the next ten years or so. The only viable option is for a secondary trunk that does not connect via home computer (see: dedicated lines) to run this. The infrastructure to do this would require individual polling places anyway so the only gain is creating a centralized database to ensure no vote is counted twice or no voter is discounted. Even this will cause “fraud” by way of having a county or 10 not be able to connect to “the voter network”.

    Sorry to debunk this but it’s what will happen, guaranteed. The only other thing is that the total cost it would create this network would be too much for acceptability.

  2. Ogre says:

    I’m with Jeremy. Let’s go back to darn paper ballots and counting by hand. It worked for years, why change it just because we can? Voting should NOT be made easier in any way, shape, or form. If it’s too difficult for someone to go to the polls and vote, stay home, I don’t want your vote.

  3. Well, the majority rules. That is the way it should be.

  4. Jeremy says:

    Woa there Ogre! Paper is very old school but it’s what we got right now. Like I said, in maybe 10 years time we’ll be able to do things much better than we are today. Personally, I’d like to see everything upgraded to touchscreens with paper receipts. That way you know without a doubt how your fote was read.

    The deal with a reader running out of memory is just stupid. Considering you can go down to your local geek store and pick up a 110$ hard drive that can hold every single vote in the country 3DES encrypted and still have room for Windows Bloatware, and maybe a couple of movies, our problem is with the idiots trying to put out crappy systems. A low memory voting booth should never have been purchased.

  5. Patty-Jo says:

    I like the idea of a touch screen with a paper receipt. I for one would definitely check to make sure my vote is counted correctly. There was fraud and cheating and other problems in the days of strictly paper ballots too. It’s never been a perfect system, and there is a lot of room for improvement. But it’s what we’ve got, so I’ll keep voting and and just hope for the best.

  6. Joyce McCloy says:

    One big difference between voting and banking online: Voting must be secret and anonymous.
    Banking is private, but not anonymous.

    This makes it almost impossible to protect the electronic vote from being manipulated.

    Further, there is no true oversite of the voting machine companies. Convicted felons writing the source code, (convicted of using computers to embezzle) chief exectutives caught up in bribery scandals, etc.

    In North Carolina, as in other states, we have election officials with non-technical degrees making multi million $ purchasing decisions.

    Not all NC Counties have been rubed into buying touchscreens, because they went on their gut feelings, which have been validated.

    Of course, we still have the Boss Hogg of NC Elections, Gary Bartlett – running around saying what a fine election North Carolina had.

    Outrageous and ridiculous.

    See my website ( http://www.ncvoter.net )for more information, and for Pete’s sakes, listen to the computer scientists and security experts, not the propaganda!
    For an excellent over view at a national level, see http://www.votersunite.org

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