NOT the election thread

jmervyn

Diabloii.Net Member
NOT the election thread

So I'm wondering... regardless of the election tomorrow, and the victors of whatever stripe, I'm more than a little concerned about the so-called "legions" of lawyers hired to contest the results. While the slashdot article (which I can't read) apparently refers to the Democrats being behind it, one would be foolish to assume that the Republicans won't consider the same tactics when faced with key losses.

Do you think this election is "pre-condemned" to slog through the courts, in a manner reminiscent of the 2000 elections?

Is the use of electronic voting machines a guarantee of more legal theatre?

And, assuming that all this is terribly, terribly wrong, what would you suggest to resolve it?
 

Drosselmeier

Diabloii.Net Member
My advice would be to find a way to get rid of electronic voting. The system is so full of security flaws which people seem unable to root out that the best solution seems to be to go back to a paper ballot. When secure machines are built, then the switch to e-voting can be done but it seems stupid to do it before then. The correct counting of votes is more important than whatever efficiency gains can be made by e-voting.

Before that problem is resolved there will always be room to challenge election results. It's a wide open door for people who want to contest the results, whatever their real reasons are.
 

kobold

Banned
Yes, I think that the election is doomed to have groups yelling that they have been wronged.

Using an electronic vote system that doesn't allow for a receipt of some sort is opening the door for people who aren't comfortable with the whole concept to say that their vote wasn't included.

I don't think that they need to be providing a voter with a receipt, but that there have to be enough safeguards in place to be able to show that the votes have been recorded and handled appropriately. More independant auditing of the system, coupled with an education program for voters, would be a step in the right direction, methinks.
 

S Z

Diabloii.Net Member
I have to wonder how healthy a democracy is when the major political parties expect to have to fight it out in the courts. I worry more when the sides seem eager rather than reluctant to duke it out in the court system which is already heavily partisan. Though given the number of dirty tricks performed at a local level to disenfrancise voters or not follow procedure I can't say I am surprised.

As for EVM's, am I right in the assumption that they still do not have a paper trail, and thus no means of independant auditing? If so, it's absurd. And only serves to cast doubt on an election (even without refering to comments by employees of Diebold).

P.S. Mark me, the Repubs will maintain control of the House and the Senate easily.
 

jmervyn

Diabloii.Net Member
My advice would be to find a way to get rid of electronic voting. The system is so full of security flaws which people seem unable to root out that the best solution seems to be to go back to a paper ballot. When secure machines are built, then the switch to e-voting can be done but it seems stupid to do it before then. The correct counting of votes is more important than whatever efficiency gains can be made by e-voting.
I see two problems with this. First, as evidenced by the 2000 election, the current (largely mechanical) systems are grievously flawed already, and are ripe for legal challenges. I didn't bring it up in the first post, but the entire can o'worms about voter ID will only make it worse.

Second, I find the entire Diebold issue reprehensible. Relatively simple solutions involving Open Source have already been proposed, but rejected out-of-hand in favor of proprietary solutions like Diebold's. I'm not the only one wondering why... Not to get overly partisan, but the Dems currently would rely on voter ID fraud as opposed to ballot tampering - the blame lies largely in the Republican camp at this point, IMO.



 
I could build a secure voting machine for under 75$ a piece and code it in under 200 lines of code, I really have no idea why they make it so hard.

Hell an old punch card machine would do it.


There is a lovely article on www.arstechnica.com called "hacking the vote" good read.
 

Amra

Diabloii.Net Member
I don't have time to read all the given links.

It seems to me that the media and public think they need to know the election results immediately. We must know NOW!!!

That irks me. I wouldn't mind waiting a week (or longer) for results as long as I knew they were spot on. What is with the rush?

These people "serve" for up to 6 years. Shouldn't we make sure the system is as foolproof as possible before allowing them to make laws/policy that we live by?
 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
We did this, it was called the 2004 election. The sky failed to fall on our heads. You have to remember that there is another powerful factor involved - political parties are willing to cave prematurely because they don't want to look like obstructionists. The last two elections were a game of chicken. I'm sure these elections will be no different. And if it isn't close then it isn't going to matter much anyway.

I don't have time to read all the given links.
Yeah, he uses them like punctuation.

It seems to me that the media and public think they need to know the election results immediately. We must know NOW!!!

That irks me. I wouldn't mind waiting a week (or longer) for results as long as I knew they were spot on. What is with the rush?

These people "serve" for up to 6 years. Shouldn't we make sure the system is as foolproof as possible before allowing them to make laws/policy that we live by?
I agree entirely.



 

DurfBarian

Diabloii.Net Member
Do you think this election is "pre-condemned" to slog through the courts, in a manner reminiscent of the 2000 elections?

Is the use of electronic voting machines a guarantee of more legal theatre?

And, assuming that all this is terribly, terribly wrong, what would you suggest to resolve it?
Yes. Yes. I don't know, but getting rid of the black-box electronic voting approach seems like a good start. Rethinking the mishmash of mechanical systems that have been in use for decades? Great idea. Replacing Diebold's partisan sneakiness with yet more hanging chad sounds like a less than good solution.

I would also like to see no exit polls. Make the news outlets start reporting the election results only when they are election results.

Any chance we could get Canada to come in and monitor our elections for us? :wink2:



 

jmervyn

Diabloii.Net Member
Replacing Diebold's partisan sneakiness with yet more hanging chad sounds like a less than good solution.
To be clear, I'm not advocating a return to mechanical systems - just that there are quality electronic systems that can be assembled from off-the-shelf components plus Open Source code.

Neither do I think that the GOP has a "Directorate of Vote Tampering" as I'm sure some do here. However, I <do> think that in the mindless avarice that grips so many in power, considering an open solution that would run pennies on the dollar is something considered akin to pedophilia.

Any chance we could get Canada to come in and monitor our elections for us? :wink2:
Our problem isn't election legitimacy, it is electoral participation. The issue here is how the votes that <are> cast get considered.



 

DurfBarian

Diabloii.Net Member
Pennies on the dollar is fine, so long as you can spin it as "me saving money for the taxpayers." Pennies on the dollar becomes way out of bounds as soon as it becomes clear that those dollars will no longer go to campaign contributor X.
 

jmervyn

Diabloii.Net Member
Pennies on the dollar is fine, so long as you can spin it as "me saving money for the taxpayers." Pennies on the dollar becomes way out of bounds as soon as it becomes clear that those dollars will no longer go to campaign contributor X.
Agreed, which is why I consider it shameful behaviour by the GOP, even though it has nothing to do <directly> with them. It's more along the lines of economic power aligning with political power.

"See this new, slick, glossy touchscreen? How can you possibly be accused of doing nothing when you buy these beauties (for only $5K each plus S&H)? And you'll find that you stay in power at least 0.25% more per election by using our product!"



 
Considering the EMOcrats can't get their "ideas" through legislation and have resorted to judicial legislation you know damned well they're going to go to the courts to contest every election that isn't a blowout.
 

jmervyn

Diabloii.Net Member
Considering the EMOcrats can't get their "ideas" through legislation and have resorted to judicial legislation you know damned well they're going to go to the courts to contest every election that isn't a blowout.
Smeggums, sometimes you remind me of the show Mythbusters. You know, with the flames leaping out unexpectedly from somewhere? :badteeth:



 
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