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Mon Jul 21, 2014, 02:03 PM

Electronic Voting Machines Failed to Record all my Votes

Pennsylvania held its primary on May 20th. At the polls, I ran into a bunch of friends and we decided, as a joke, to write my name in for Representative for the 137th district. (No democrat had gotten on the ticket to oppose Republican Joe Emrick). Laughing, we all got instructions for how to do a write in vote on the Sequoia AVC Advantage machines and took our place in line.

That night a friend called me with the results. “You got 2 write in votes.”

“But 5 people voted for me,” I told her. “You were there when we all voted.”

“Yeah, I don’t get it either.”

A call to voting machine technician yielded nothing but frustration. After explaining what happened, I was informed that my friends were idiots who didn’t know how to follow instructions. After I icily pointed out that there were 2 PhDs, a master’s degree and a BA among the 5 voters and everyone knew how to use a computer, he switched to a new explanation. “Your friends must have lied about voting for you.” Once he got picked that line of reasoning he stuck to it. My friends were only humoring me when they said they’d written my name in. No, it didn’t matter that I had witnessed 2 of them quizzing the poll workers on the instructions.

So I got 5 signatures on 5 depositions, all attesting that, to the best of the signee’s knowledge, they had written my name in for Representative of the 137th district. In response I received a letter from the County of Northampton Board of Elections stating that the machines are tested and inspected before every election. The fact that they failed during a real life experiment didn’t seem to bother them.

I’ve heard rumors that I’m not the only one who had this problem. People in other districts wrote in someone’s name as a lark, but it didn’t register on the final tally.

It appears all that paranoia about electronic voting machines may have not been so paranoid after all. And, if you’re thinking about running a write-in campaign in Pennsylvania, be advised that the machines will not make it easy for you.

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Reply Electronic Voting Machines Failed to Record all my Votes (Original post)
perdita9 Jul 2014 OP
DFW Jul 2014 #1
blkmusclmachine Jul 2014 #2
Stevepol Jul 2014 #3
former9thward Jul 2014 #4
AndyTiedye Jul 2014 #5
Peace Patriot Jul 2014 #6
Stevepol Jul 2014 #8
Scuba Jul 2014 #7
bigwillq Jul 2014 #9

Response to perdita9 (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 03:40 PM

1. NEVER trust those things

My brother does high tech stuff for DARPA, and TEN YEARS AGO, he said, "give me a cell phone and a laptop, and I'll make any electronic voting machine give you any result you want."

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Response to perdita9 (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 03:55 PM

2. A "bug," or a feature???

 

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Response to perdita9 (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 04:33 PM

3. Electronic voting machines are easily rigged and in most cases impossible to recount.

With touch screens often it's technologically impossible to recount. Even the touch screens with the little print-out are easily rigged, and in most states almost impossible to recount the rolls that contain the print-outs. In most states it's either illegal to audit or where the scanners are used, very expensive to recount. It almost never happens. MN and a few other states are exceptions.

The German Constitutional Court, the highest court in Germany on constitutional issues, ruled electronic voting machines illegal in 2009.

Unless an average voter can understand how the vote can be verified and trusts the process, you can't have a democracy and use electronic voting at the same time.

That's more or less the truth about electronic vote counting. Unless the vote results are audited and can be verified, you can't have a democracy. It's just too easy to rig the vote and about the only way anybody can get caught is if the instigator or one of his or her cronies squeals. One or two well-placed voting machine company execs or technicians could theoretically change the results of a whole national election. Of course, it's easier at the state or local level.

Here's an article about the German court case:

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Germany-bans-computerized-by-Paul-Lehto-090303-583.html

This is just one of maybe a dozen reasons the US doesn't have a real democracy anymore.

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Response to perdita9 (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 05:58 PM

4. Write-ins are difficult even with paper ballots.

Poll workers often just ignore them (especially when there is not a known write-in campaign).

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Response to perdita9 (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 06:39 PM

5. Those who Control the MACHINEZ Control the Election Results

It really is that simple.

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Response to perdita9 (Original post)

Tue Jul 22, 2014, 04:41 AM

6. "all that paranoia about electronic voting machines"?????

IT NEVER WAS "PARANOIA." It was, and still is, COMMON SENSE.

And our situation--as to having a real democracy based on real vote counting--is worse now than it was in 2004, and worse than anyone indicated upthread.

1. Every state in the U.S. uses electronic voting systems run on 'TRADE SECRET' code--code that the public is FORBIDDEN by law to review. This plague of e-voting was fast-tracked across the U.S. during the 2002 to 2004 period.

2. Half the states do NO AUDIT AT ALL (audit = comparison of electronic totals with ballots), generally because there IS no ballot. The other half do only a miserably inadequate 1% audit. (Experts whom I respect say that a minimum 10% audit is needed to detect fraud in electronic voting systems).

3. And perhaps worst of all, about 75% of the electronic voting systems in the U.S. are controlled by ONE, PRIVATE, FAR RIGHTWING-CONNECTED corporation (ES&S, which bought out Diebold, aka Premier).

4. Even states that do mail-in ballots can be rigged because, a) the ballots are run through electronic scanners, and b) the audit is grossly inadequate.


So that's it, folks. Our election outcomes can be decided by the far rightwing Urosevich Brothers, who run ES&S/Diebold. We ought to be far more alarmed at this than we are at the Koch Brothers. The Urosevich Brothers have the power of Josef Stalin, who was reported to have said that, "He who casts a vote decides nothing. He who counts the vote decides everything." (He probably didn't say it, but still....)

I won't go into my theories about who the Urosevich Brothers are allied with, and what it means for all of us, except to just give a hint. Our current Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was a founder of ES&S, which 'counted' his first two Senate elections with 'TRADE SECRET' code and NO PAPER BALLOT (no audit possible). His own e-voting company! And he's still invested in it, big-time (through the umbrella McCarthy Group).

Senator Hagel Admits Owning Voting Machine Company
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0301/S00166.htm

The Most Ominous Monopoly
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-carmichael/the-most-ominous-monopoly_b_291767.html

Back to basics: If we are forbidden to SEE how our votes are counted, if we have been deprived of this most basic of democratic principles, we really do not have a democracy any more. The commenters upthread are correct about that.

What are we going to do about it?

The power to decide on voting systems still resides with the states and counties. Likely, if we manage to influence our local state and county officials to dump these machines, our 7%-approval-rating (unelected) Congress will likely grab the power over voting systems from our states and counties. But the gauntlet will have been thrown in that case: the People vs. the scofflaw Congress. (The U.S. Constitution gives the states the power over election systems.)

Even more pertinent: The People vs. the Corporate State.

This coup d'etat that took place between 2002 and 2004 (vast spread of these machines) was accomplished largely by corruption--ES&S/Diebold getting millions of our tax money from Congress with which to entice local officials into the anti-democratic e-voting systems. They held plush conferences at places like the Beverly Hilton (2005) where our local election officials were wined and dined into idiocy (or worse). There is NO current federal legal requirement that we all use these nefarious machines. We can return to paper ballots--which we most certainly should do--if we can get our corrupted, elitist local officials to comply. This is more feasible than influencing Congress (which is hopeless). Not easy, but doable.

This should be ITEM NO. 1 on any program of reform for the U.S. Return vote counting to the PUBLIC VENUE!

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #6)

Tue Jul 22, 2014, 12:00 PM

8. Amen!

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Response to perdita9 (Original post)

Tue Jul 22, 2014, 07:41 AM

7. Paper ballots, hand counted, in public, cameras rolling, nothing less.

 

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Response to Scuba (Reply #7)

Tue Jul 22, 2014, 05:37 PM

9. That's the way it should be (nt)

 

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