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Mon Nov 3, 2014, 04:16 PM

In my state we have voting by mail,

which is nice. However, considering the news that the NC electronic machines are screwed up, what about the scanners, which the general voter does not even see? Does anyone know about those going "awry"?

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply In my state we have voting by mail, (Original post)
sadoldgirl Nov 2014 OP
Jackpine Radical Nov 2014 #1
LeftInTX Nov 2014 #4
Jackpine Radical Nov 2014 #5
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #2
Chakaconcarne Nov 2014 #6
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #8
RobertEarl Nov 2014 #10
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #11
notrightatall Nov 2014 #3
Kelvin Mace Nov 2014 #7
RebelOne Nov 2014 #9

Response to sadoldgirl (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 04:19 PM

1. In my state we have voting by carrier pigeon.

The polling places in Democratic districts are surrounded by rings of NRA shotgunners & mounds of dead pigeons.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 04:48 PM

4. In Texas voting is via passenger pigeon

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Response to LeftInTX (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 04:49 PM

5. Good system. Saves on shotgun shells.

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Response to sadoldgirl (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 04:42 PM

2. OK, as someone who has studied this issue very closely

 

who lives in NC and sat on the 2005 Select Committee on E-Voting that drafted the current laws governing voting machines:

1) The screw ups I have seen so far do not alarm me. Touchscreen systems have to be calibrated, and if not properly calibrated can cause the "vote switching" error we have been hearing about. If you do a search on Google on the issue you will find people on both sides making the same claim: The machine is cheating for the other guy.

2) In NC, by law, TS systems have a printer attached that prints out your choices as you make them, including any changes. Voters are advised to check the paper tape against the screen and report any discrepancies.

3) Optical scan systems work just like SAT exams. You fill out a paper ballot, and it is then scanned and tallied.

4) By law, at the end of the election, the BoE must conduct a random audit of a statistically significant number of polling precincts comparing the paper count to the digital count. The paper ballots are hand counted during the audit and the results are compared to the digital tally. If there is a difference, the ballots are counted again and if the same discrepancy comes up, the polling place will be audited more thoroughly. Absent some evidence of actual tampering with the paper ballots, the paper count is the count of record if there is any differences between the paper and digital count, meaning we trust the human count, not the computer.

5) By law, the source code of the voting machines must be presented to the BoE prior to the election for certification. once certified it may not be changed without being resubmitted for re-certification.

6) By law, the CEO of the voting machine vendor must sign a sworn affidavit that the source code has not been changed after it was certified and that the certified code is what is running on the machines during actual voting. Should this turn out to be untrue, the CEO would be facing a felony charge.

Of all the ways we can handle ballots, OpScan (with strict auditing) offers the best balance of speed, reliability, accuracy and cost. I personally don't like TS machines, but two of the largest counties in the state had already bought them before the new law was passed, so we had to accommodate them.

I really do not lose any sleep over theories of election being stolen via voting machines. Why? Because it is not as easy as many people believe, and the penalties for getting caught are pretty severe. There are much easier and lower risk methods of influencing elections (like voter suppression) than tampering with a voting machine.

I have also worked with a lot of poll workers over the years and they take the job and the charge to be fair pretty serious.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 05:05 PM

6. Thank you for the information!~

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Response to Chakaconcarne (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 05:19 PM

8. You are very welcome,

 

You might be interested in a longer discussion of the issue here:

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/Kelvin%20Mace/15

Also, my colleague on e-voting reform posted on "vote flipping" in 2008 on my blog:

http://blackboxvoting.com/s9/index.php?/archives/323-Is-there-a-party-default-on-touch-screen-machines-NC-votes-flip-to-Obama.html

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 05:24 PM

10. Who owns the voting machines in NC?

 

And do you have any links to audits being performed? With an eye towards those audits showing mistakes by the machines?

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 06:43 PM

11. The state has a contract with ES&S

 

which took over when Diebold left in in 2005 rather than comply with the requirements of the new law. The auditing results are part of the election certification process which is conducted by the NCBoE. I'll be honest, I last dug into the numbers in 2008, and I have just read reports from my colleagues in 2010 and 2012. But, since people are kicking up a fuss, I guess I will dig into the numbers again after the election.

Again, far more damage was done by the Koch brothers and their bogus ballot mailers than by flipped votes. That, and the Scalia 5 did us no favors.

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Response to sadoldgirl (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 04:45 PM

3. Mail in voting leaves a wonderful paper trail.

 

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Response to notrightatall (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 05:12 PM

7. Yep, I am a BIG fan of mail in voting

 

Cheap and lots of eyes on the process.

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Response to sadoldgirl (Original post)

Mon Nov 3, 2014, 05:22 PM

9. I have voted by mail before here in Georgia.

That was before we had early voting. Now I save the price of a stamp and just go down the road to my local library for early voting.

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