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4503 Electronic Votes Lost in NC 165

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the exited-polls dept.
ctnp writes "While it wouldn't have made a difference in the outcome, 4530 votes were lost in one North Carolina county after one machine was configured to store 3,005 votes instead of the expected 10,500. 'The machines flash a warning message when there is no more room for storing ballots. 'Evidently, this message was either ignored or overlooked,' he [Jack Gerbel, CEO of machine-providing UniLect] wrote.'"
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4503 Electronic Votes Lost in NC

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  • Shock! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rueger (210566) * on Friday November 05, 2004 @12:27AM (#10731779) Homepage
    Hold on! You're surely not suggesting that those modern electronic computer machines might not work properly!

    No, this must be the sneaky terrorist attack on democracy that Bin Laden promised last week!
    • Re:Shock! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by collegeshaw (690545)
      Not a shock at all in my mind. What did they expect? Everyone in the tech world KNOWS these machines were going to screw up. The worst part is that the votes were totally lost. With no audit trail, how will we ever know what the true outcome was. My thoughts, the Republicans stole the election via Diebold and other online voting machines, and we're never going to find out the true extent of it.
      • My thoughts, the Republicans stole the election via Diebold and other online voting machines

        Riiiight... Time to get that tin-foil hat adjusted.

        No, this is just a simple case of total incompetance by the voting machine manufacturer. First for having such a silly limit, second for poor programming that didn't just lock the machine from further voting, third for not having a paper audit trail. I would expect a few lawsuits from this.

        Unfortunately for us, the people that are actually approving and buying th
        • Incompetence?

          http://www.equalccw.com/CDDOCMENTATION.pdf
          htt p ://www.equalccw.com/ElectionSupportGuide.pdf
          http ://www.equalccw.com/smokinggun.pdf
          http://www.equ alccw.com/testnote.pdf
          http://www.equalccw.com/te stnote2.pdf
          http://www.equalccw.com/testnote3.pdf
          http://www.equalccw.com/voteprar.pdf
          http://www .equalccw.com/dieboldtestnotes.html
          http://www.eq ualccw.com/initialprar.html
          http://www.equalccw.c om/vancouverstaff.html
          http://www.equalccw.com/AT L-TSRepair.zip
          http://www.equalccw.com/initialpra r.html
          http:/
    • Actually if you look at some of the links in other threads it appears in Florida the supposedly safe optical scanner districts were where the election seems to be stolen. The returns in the paperless electronic voting show believable increases for Dems and Republicans. All the optical scanner precincts show consistent huge gains for republicans and losses for the Dems. Either they were rigged(presumably the old fashioned way with ballot stuffing or the scanners were miscounting though you would catch tha
  • by my_fake_account (823601) on Friday November 05, 2004 @12:30AM (#10731793)
    What were they using? 8k memory sticks?

    I live in NC. Yes, the ballot was long this time, but it still wasn't much data per voter. I don't think there were any votes that would have taken more than three bits (and none more than four) to store the choice.

    Even if the entire ballot is stored verbatim per voter, I still don't think it would have amounted to more than one or two k per ballot.

    The storage device must be tiny. Or the ballot data must be really inefficiently laid out.

    My county uses pen and paper for voting. It's cheap and easy.

    • I think that the problem was that they set a configuration option which allocated only a small file for storing the votes. While I agree with you that the actual file size was probably tiny, since that was put in as the hard limit on file size, that's what the system could store.

      Now what kind of idiot specifies a system where you can only store 10000 ballots? Assuming each ballot took a full 1k to store, then 10000 ballots are only 10M. Since cameras and phones carry more memory that that these days, it's
      • *Now what kind of idiot specifies a system where you can only store 10000 ballots?*

        probably the kind of a salesman that makes the client pay per capabilities...

        "yes it's 10$ per vote".

        or they were using game&watches as storage.
      • "Now what kind of idiot specifies a system where you can only store 10000 ballots?"

        An idiot who wants to limit potential damage to only 10,000 votes?

        Oo oo, how about this: An idiot who was only paid to make a machine that supports 10,000 votes?
    • Hmmm, each ballot, yeah, each ballot was a powerpoint presentation. Yeah.

      Yeah, that's the ticket!

    • 10 REM REMEMBER THIS KIND OF SHIT?
      20 REM IT'S BEEN YEARS FOR ME, BUT IT TURNS OUT I CAN STILL WRITE IT...
      30 REM THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO BIAS IN THIS POLL PROGRAM, I SWEAR TO GOD!
      40 INPUT "HOW MANY VOTES TO STORE? ", MAXVOTES
      50 DIM VOTES(MAXVOTES - 1)
      60 FOR I = 0 TO MAXVOTES - 1: VOTES(I) = 1: NEXT I
      70 CURRENTVOTE = 0
      80 REPEAT
      90 INPUT "DO YOU WANT TO VOTE FOR (1) PRESIDENT BUSH OR (2) THE FLIPFLOPPER KERRY? ", ANSWER
      100 IF ANSWER != 1 AND ANSWER != 2 THEN ANSWER = 1
      110 IF CURRENTVOTE < MAXVOTES THEN VOTES(
      • Boole, Sheet, and Shuvler
        Attorneys at Law
        =-=-=-=-=-=-

        orkysoft
        Slashdot ID #93727
        http://slashdot.org/~orkysoft

        Re: Copyright Infringement

        Dear orkysoft

        We represent UniLect Corporation ("Unilect"), maker of the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. voting system. [unilect.com]

        Unilect is the owner of copyrighted software relating to its electronic voting machines ("Unilect Property").

        It has recently come to our clients' attention that you appear to be in possesion of copyrighted material, in particular, copyrighted software used in ou
    • after one machine was configured to store 3,005 votes instead of the expected 10,500

      I think its nothing to do with the memory available. The devices can be configured to accept a certain maximum number of votes... presumably the size of the voter list for a particular station. This would make sense as a way to limit the amount of manipulation one could do by hijacking a particular machine
  • by dtfinch (661405) *
    By design? Is there like an if(v<=3005) acceptVote()? How many of these machines served more than 3005 votes? And lastly, WTF???
  • Happened in florida (Score:5, Informative)

    by moosesocks (264553) on Friday November 05, 2004 @12:42AM (#10731863) Homepage
    Don't look now, but something even dumber happened in florida [miami.com] as well.

    To summarize, since there should be no more than 32,000 people in a precinct, the machines were not configured to handle more votes than that. As a result, they counted BACKWARDS once the 32,000 person limit was reached.

    Methinks this is a buffer overflow issue (32,768 votes as opposed to the 32,000 quoted in the article). How thick can you be to design a polling system storing votes in an int...
    • Methinks this is a buffer overflow issue (32,768 votes as opposed to the 32,000 quoted in the article). How thick can you be to design a polling system storing votes in an int...

      It seems unbelievable that something like that is a mistake. A freshman CS major (or any one of thousands of /.ers) could come up with a better system. It's really not that hard to write a decent backend for a voting machine. The word "trivial" comes to mind, and yet there's been screwup after screwup...malice, or shockingly incom

    • by cgenman (325138) on Friday November 05, 2004 @12:57AM (#10731963) Homepage
      Why would you ever use a signed int in a voting machine? Obviously they should have used a much larger available counting variable, but how could someone writing the code think "Eh, maybe we'll need negatives"?

      Now that's incompetence you can count on.

      • Why would you ever use a signed int in a voting machine?

        Perhaps they were using java, which didn't have unsigned types last time I checked.

      • If the machines are in heavily Democratic minority precincts like Miami/Dade and Broward I think using negative numbers to count votes is the preferred methodology. I'm sure Florida's governor approved, what's his name again?
      • Why would you ever use a signed int in a voting machine?

        Because you suspect another programmer is going to try to commit fraud and you want that fraud to be more obvious to outside observers? That's what I guessed when Travis County's (Austin, TX) preliminary results included negative 2 votes for a writein Presidential candidate, anyway.
    • by dtfinch (661405) *
      This begs a much bigger question:

      How in the hell did one voting machine take over 32000 votes? Suppose they had a 16 hour window to vote, that would mean it averaged less than 2 seconds per vote.

      Also, (short)32767+1=-32768. They shouldn't see it count backwards unless it displayed the absolute value in addition. Did the programmer for some silly reason anticipate negative values and stick an abs() in there? Or did they reinvent some wheels and write their own itoa()? No matter how it happened, wow, what a
      • by hab136 (30884) on Friday November 05, 2004 @01:24AM (#10732097) Journal
        How in the hell did one voting machine take over 32000 votes? Suppose they had a 16 hour window to vote, that would mean it averaged less than 2 seconds per vote.

        Read the article:

        Election officials quickly determined the problem was caused by the Unity Software that pulls together votes from five machines tabulating absentee ballots.

        In other words, they were feeding absentee ballots to 5 machines, and then the machine that added up those 5 machines' totals overflowed.

        No 16 hour time limit, as these are the mail-in votes.

  • Which county? I live in North Carolina... I thought we all used the tried and true Florida-style punch card system (butterfly ballot optional).
  • It gets worse. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 05, 2004 @12:45AM (#10731890)
    The deeper you dig the more dirt piles up.

    Mandate [scoop.co.nz]
    this [tompaine.com]
    lying [ustogether.org]
    cheating [infoworld.com]
    sinners [opednews.com].
    • thank you for letting me know about this. For those of you interested in doing something about this, i would recommend checking in at www.indymedia.us for any news of protests happening in your area. There is a big enough statistical case that can be made that the votes have been tampered with. Hopefully, we can turn this into a large enough issue, that there won't be such doubt about each vote counting.
      • Please... Lies, damn lies, and statistics. Look at the simple facts. A map of results [usatoday.com] by county shows that the majority of the country really does lean conservative. Larger cities have a higher proportion of social-services users, larger gay communities, blacks, etc. which are definately liberal voter bases. The populatio of those larger cities can overwhelm the rest of the state. Look at the senate races too - the repulicans picked up a number of seats. Look at the gay-marriage initiative - all states that
        • What is fraud?

          Isnt having a vote on banning gay marriage as the same time as voting for president fraud. Its a great way to get all the christian fundamentalists out and then when they do what a surprise they vote for their mullah bush.

          It is ironic that the US worries when other countries choose their leaders on religious issues but Bush is actually courting that.

          Also worth noting that the redneck states voted for bush because they think he is strong on terrorists yet they are the least likely to suffer
          • Also worth noting that the

            redneck states voted for bush

            This is why the democrats lost (not just the presidency either but 4 senate seats and 4 house seats.) I heard a man on Tavis Smiley yesterday say something to the effect of "The democratic party has slammed the door in the face millions of working class union members." These people aren't interested in pushing the gay agenda or concerned about the finer points of the patriot act, they are concerned about getting a decent wage and being represented

        • It's tough being a fiscal conservative with a liberal social bias. We look for the moderate candidates which can't seem to win the primaries. You end up with a far, far, far left candidate and a mid-right with lots of faults. You leave the voting booth feeling unclean no matter who you voted for.

          Which election are you talking about here? From my viewpoint, Kerry is slightly right of center, while Bush is far right. Even going back to the primaries, there wasn't a single left-leaning candidate fielded by
        • Walt, i don't know if these are lies or not. I guess i want people to make a stink about it because it's the only way i see the politicians forcing a paper trail. I also think that there was enough monkey business from these companies to make me question whether or not their machines accurately counted the votes. I want a commision to investigate it. I'm upset bush won, but i don't expect this to change this election. I just don't want it to happen again. if it did in fact happen. -Bill
    • It would be nice if such sources weren't so rabidly liberal--I'd rather see honest concern for democracy than myopic, immature resentment.

      I think the reason Bush won was because people got tired of the left throwing insults.

      • I think the reason Bush won is two fold.

        1. Moral Issues. This just makes me sick to think about honestly. The fact that a majority of people in America think that "moral issues" are more important that the security of the US and the world in general and the US economic situation strikes me as utterly idiotic. The gov't has no business legislating morality. At least America doesn't, I could name a few others that did have a claim to legislating morality (not without drawing the wrath of Godwin, however
        • No, the reason Bush won is onefold: 2001.09.11. Many minds had a hard time coping with such an unfathomable occurrence and Bush was conveniently there to provide some strong associative bonds. It's all Psych 404.

          If you want to dig in deeper, everyone was going on and on about the 'record turnout'. Like 65% or something. Quick math says about 35 million people didn't bother voting. There's your margin.

          That being said, Bush won. Any problems should be fixed, and the best place to go is your election offic
        • 1. Moral Issues. This just makes me sick to think about honestly. The fact that a majority of people in America think that "moral issues" are more important that the security of the US and the world in general and the US economic situation strikes me as utterly idiotic.

          Though I agree with your sentiments, failure to recognize these facts will not win future elections. Think of the message being sent by insisting that Christians understand the Muslim world while at the same time telling them that they must
          • Re:It gets worse. (Score:3, Insightful)

            by geminidomino (614729) *
            Think of the message being sent by insisting that Christians understand the Muslim world while at the same time telling them that they must compromise their fundamental Christian beliefs.

            Who ASKED them to compromise their beliefs? Letting gays marry doesn't FORCE them to take it in the back door. No one's FORCING them to have SAFE sex or have abortions.

            No, the Xians are being asked to get their thrice-damned noses OUT of everyone else's business. No more than that.
            • Who ASKED them to compromise their beliefs?

              You just did, by...

              Letting gays marry doesn't FORCE them to take it in the back door. No one's FORCING them to have SAFE sex or have abortions.

              No, the Xians are being asked to get their thrice-damned noses OUT of everyone else's business. No more than that.
              ...belittling their concerns.

              One of the biggest stumbling blocks about the Gay Rights Ordinance here in Kentucky was renting rooms. Instead of saying they were "stoopid", we listened and discussed the tole
      • It would be nice if such sources weren't so rabidly liberal--I'd rather see honest concern for democracy than myopic, immature resentment.

        Well, considering that the country is pretty much split in half, and that you won't get the rabidly conservative to admit to any of it (like Ohio's Sec. of State Blackwell), all you can do is examine their evidence. The fact that Blackwell wants to keep using punchcards despite all the problems they cause should tip you off to his intentions though. Then we should al

        • I agree on the last point. If Clinton lied about something of the magnitude of the PATRIOT act, like Bush has repeatedly, the Pubs would have eaten him alive.

          I'm not saying I discount the sources, there is just a lot of speculation amidst the facts. One example is Palast's first reasoning for voting fraud in one state was basically that the Dems should have won.

          "It would be nice" is not the same thing as "I don't believe a word of it because."

      • I think the reason Bush won was because people got tired of the left throwing insults.

        Oh yeah, and the right was just the picture of graciousness through the whole thing weren't they? You're delusional if you think they weren't slinging the insults just as much as the left.

        • Absolutely--I've heard many a die-hard Republican call Kerry and idiot.

          I'm just saying in this case, if the libs wanted to win, they needed to take the moral highground.

          The real problems with the Bush presidency got faded out by all of the Bush hate.

      • Re:It gets worse. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by demachina (71715)
        There are two sites in there that make there case based on numbers and not rabid liberal rhetoric. I agree the rhetoric in some of them hurt the case.

        The most striking conclusions:

        The exit polls were consistently wrong only in major swing states and only in Kerry's favor. That is still the most damning indicator the election was stolen. If you are stealing elections exit polls are always the biggest obstacle. Since the Republican's started seizing power the exit polls just started to completely go to
    • I think this is one of the big reasons that Kerry lost. The constant whining, conspiracy theories and gnashing of teeth by the left is a HUGE turnoff to moderates. I would suggest the left take a hint from their own PAC, MoveOn!

    • Do you have any links that aren't to obviously partisan sites? (Or dubious statistics - the "Surprising Florida Presidential Election Results" doesn't count because almost all pre-election polls were wrong in the demographics that actually voted. The method they used to determine "expected votes" is highly suspect. Note too that the Infoworld article doesn't convince me in the slightest that the outcome of the election was ultimately effected, so don't try and call that one out as being non-partisan proo

      • It's worth noting that even if those articles were right and Kerry won Ohio - he still lost the popular vote. And that's the vote that matters, right?

        Just like it mattered last time eh? And counting the accidental Buchanon punches who changed their punch to Gore, since there was no candidate near Bush where the same mistake could have been made, Gore won Florida by a hefty margin in 2000.
      • There won't be any evidence, convienently.
    • From one of the linked articles: "We need to take a few days to plan and then take to the streets in massive numbers."

      That's just plain irresponsible.

      Bush was reelected because more voters believed he was trustworthy than believed Kerry was. You may disagree with the outcome, but that's why we have elections.

      Rather than protest this election, pick a better guy next time.
    • As an interested party, I have taken a look at a lot of the "vote fraud/machine error" data that is getting passed around. Very little of what I have seen looks conclusively like fraud. Yes there is such a thing a vote "spoliage" and yes there were some obvious problems with voting machines. But there is no "smoking gun" out there, as far as I can tell. That said, I am deeply concerned about the potential for fraud and failure that these new machines present. More important than nitpicking over a decid
    • Though it would be interesting if any of these pan out, the provided sources will be suspect because they are obviously partisan and the names choosen for the links indicates so is the poster. Still, looking for fraud as a major factor in the outcome is a worthwhile effort if confirmed by an independent source.

      What pains me is I'm afraid that much of these are just attempts to shift the blame for the loss and delay the needed introspective analysis of its underlaying causes which for now I attribute to our
  • Flordia 2000. I say we go back to the way the founding fathers wanted it. Instead of voting for a slate of electorals that have pre-promised their vote to a canidate. Lets bring polotics local again, and we vote for electors, that are well respected in the comunity, wise, etc.... Then let them go and think about the canidates for about a month and a half then they can vote for the prez.
    • I would trust a system like that more than I do the current one. I don't think a modern presidential election is something that can be adequately resolved in a period of hours. I believe in representative government, but my fear is that a system like thatr would just end up favouring the ruling party in congress.
    • People will want to know who the elector will vote for before they will choose them. So you'll have the same voting problems voting for someone who promises to vote for X instead of directly voting for X.
  • everyone knew something like this would happen. its starting to be known. god (that i dont believe in) knows what's going to happen next...a few thousand more votes lost, especially in important swing states?

    If we only hear about the minor problems, how many other problems are we not in the know about?

    I'm not one who worships conspiracy theories, but what http://blackboxvoting.org/ [blackboxvoting.org] talks about is entirely possible, on both small and large scales.
    Actually, I don't want to know. Better to get the f

    • Actually, I don't want to know. Better to get the four years out of the way and then elect a more progressive president. (Sorry, but I'm a bit on the liberal side, seeing as how I'm almost everything that current republicans seem to despise and refuse to give rights to.)

      You don't want to know? Huh? If it's false, you'd be able to set your mind at ease a lot more readily than you would by sticking it in the sand. On the thoer hand, if it's true, why in the heck would you think that it would matter

  • by infonography (566403) on Friday November 05, 2004 @12:58AM (#10731971) Homepage
    I saw a pic of ballots being loaded into a truck with a Bush 2004 sticker on the back.

    In other news, I talked to a guy on the internets that heard from someone else that there was a website that had a 2nd hand account of really nasty about what's his name. And when they went back the site was mysteriously gone.

    Wait there, I think there is helicoptor above my house.

    Time passes.

    I heard it and it was too dark to see, guess it must have been one of those black helicopters.

    You know what Stuart? I like you. You're not like the other people here
    in the trailer park. Oh no, don't get me wrong, they're fine people, good
    Americans. But they're content to sit back, maybe watch a little Mork and
    Mindy on channel 57. Maybe kick back a cool Coors 16-ouncer. They're
    good fine people, Stuart. But they don't know what the queers are doing
    to the soil.

    You know that Johnny Werzner kid - the kid who delivers papers in the
    neighborhood? He's a fine kid. Some of the neighbors say he smokes
    crack, but I don't believe it. Anyway, for his 10th birthday, all he
    wanted was a burrow owl, just like his old man. "Dad, get me a burrow
    owl. I'll never ask for anything else as long as I live". So the guy
    breaks down and buys him a burrow owl. Anyway at 10:30 the other night I
    go out into my yard and there's the Werzner kid looking up in the tree. I
    said, "What are you looking for?" He said, "I'm looking for my burrow
    owl." I say, "Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick! Everybody knows that a
    burrow owl lives in a hole in the ground! Why the hell do you think they
    call it a burrow owl, anyway?!" Now Stuart, do you think a kid like that
    is gonna know what the queers are doing to the soil?

    I first became aware of this, about 10 years ago, the summer my oldest boy
    Bill Jr. died. You know that carnival that comes to town every year?
    Well this year it came with a ride called the Mixer. The man said "Keep
    your head and arms inside the mixer at all times." But Bill Jr., he was a
    daredevil, just like his old man. He was leaning out saying, "Hey
    everybody! Look at me, look at me!" POW! He was decapitated. They found
    his head over by the snowcone concession. A few days after that, I open
    up the mail and there's a pamphlet in there, from Pueblo, Colorado. And
    it's addressed to Bill Jr. And it's entitled, "Do you know what the
    queers are doing to our soil?"

    Now Stuart, if you look at the soil around any large U.S. city with a big
    underground homosexual population - Des Moines, Iowa, perfect example.
    Look at the soil around Des Moines, Stuart. You can't build on it, you
    can't grow anything in it. The government says it's due to poor farming.
    But I know what's really going on, Stuart. I know it's the queers.
    They're in it with the aliens. They're building landing strips for gay
    Martians. I swear to God.

    You know what Stuart, I like you. You're not like the other people, here
    in the trailer park.

    Thanks to the Dead Milkmen, And since you read this all the way to the end, I should mention I am pro-kerry. It's over folks, they won this round.
  • Because obviously machines never fail. Wouldn't it make more sense if the machine refused to allow voting until the problem was fixed? Wouldn't one of 4,530 voters have noticed the warning? What the hell is really going on here?
  • by BortQ (468164) on Friday November 05, 2004 @01:03AM (#10732002) Homepage Journal
    4530 is nothing compared to all the votes that I knocked off when I hacked that Florida machine. You'd think they would get suspicious if you stay in the booth for sooo long, but I guess they are used to the slow-pokes in the sunshine state.

    Anyway, thanks /. for giving me all the info about evoting fraud that I needed before the election. I was expecting for it not to work, but the machines are dead fuckin simple.

    God bless America, and my h4xxor 5killz 2.

    • It helps that the machines use the same lock as the "bic pen" Kryptonite lock!
    • 4530 is nothing compared to all the votes that I knocked off when I hacked that Florida machine. [...] Anyway, thanks /. for giving me all the info about evoting fraud that I needed before the election. I was expecting for it not to work, but the machines are dead fuckin simple.

      Come on now, do you really expect us to believe a 1337 h4xx0r tampered with votes.... and voted Republican??

  • Re:Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution
    make my point clear. The revolution was so sucessful that people are fleeing the island.

    I wouldn't be surprised to start seeing sane democrats fleeing USA from the right wing Christien fundamentlists nuts over there...

    Posted Thursday November 04, @06:13PM (#10729532)

    Later that day...
    Disappointed Democrats immigrate to Canada [pej.org]


    Now that is beautiful

    --- Republicans are just plain stupid [commonalty.com]

    • As a fellow Democrat who sincerely hates Bush and believes that Republican voters are deaf, blind, narrow, and ignorant, I should point out that your sig is incorrect and should be changed.

      Republican voters do not have lower IQ's on average. I'll give them that. Nor are they less educated, as far as holding college degrees. The data in your sig is completely made up to insult Republicans. I've seen it elsewhere. And Bush's past test scores suggest that he is probably more intelligent than Kerry, and 98% of
    • No, Republicans are not just plain stupid [4mg.com], that would be a hoax.

      Neither is Bush [vdare.com], For all that to be blunt 120-125 IQ does NOT impress me at all; I've TAed math classes in university where that apparently qualifies as below average...and when I think of the bottom half of my classes...oi.

      Now please give me back the 20 minutes of my life I just wasted on searching Google.

    • "I wouldn't be surprised to start seeing sane democrats fleeing USA from the right wing Christien fundamentlists nuts over there..."

      Its already happening [boards.ie].

  • A deeper problem? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by xenocide2 (231786) on Friday November 05, 2004 @02:17AM (#10732296) Homepage
    Everyone was afraid of what would happen if things went blatantly wrong. We appear to have avoided that malady. But there was always the question, how will we know if they've tampered with it? The answer was a meek "Well, the exit polls will keep the ballots true."

    And today we see the exit polls distinctly differing from the actual counts, and collectively sigh that our nation won't go through the same disaster it did four years ago. If we can't trust the exit polls, why can we trust the voting machines?
    • The exit polls have been looked over extensively and found to be time-biased towards different demographics. Early on many of them were more than 50% women and more than 50% democrat. The conjecture is that those two groups were on average able to go to the polls earlier in the day and had thrown off the exit polls early in the election process.

      I could flame about house-wife democrats and democrats with no jobs but instead I'll just say that I agree that the answer was more than meek, it was weak.

      There sh
  • by metalpet (557056) on Friday November 05, 2004 @02:18AM (#10732299) Journal
    How about:

    "Evidently, our voting system was so poorly designed we didn't bother to prevent people from using it once the system knew it couldn't store any new vote."

    The more I read about those voting machines, the more 2 possibilities come into focus:
    - The field of voting machine design and development attracts the dumbest people in the country, or
    - The glaring design flaws have been inserted purposefully, to achieve plausible deniability.

    To explain the 2d one a bit, if a system appears to have a sound design, yet it is somehow exposed that the votes stored by that system were manipulated, the focus will quickly go toward the people in control of the system.
    On the other hand, if the current designs happen to miscount votes, it may be a local nerd that happened to carry a few smartcards in his pocket, it may be some foreign hacker that was wardialing random US numbers using carded VoIP accounts and found a voting system that picked up, or it may just be the system crumbling under the weight of its own ineptitude, among 20 other possible reasons.
    Since each of those scenarios is more likely than a global conspiracy scenario, Occam's razor ends up providing a nice layer of protection.

    Of course this is silly. The first explanation is the correct one.
    Diebold as a collective entity is stupid. Unilect is stupid. W is stupid.
    Let's all point our fingers and laugh at them.
  • People, blame the machines all you want. But the truth is, GWB won the election by a wide margin. It's very sad, but there is a truth in this. Here's what my dad told me on Wed. morning: America is going down. Religious morons in the hick states are multiplying like rats. In 50 years the US will be a 3rd world country. If I weren't rooted here I would consider Canada or Italy.
    • Just read my sig. They are the agricultural, energy, and low-tech industrial backbone of this country. Our overconsumption seems to drive their growth, faster than technology can drive them back out. So, eat less, and feel better.
    • by TiggsPanther (611974) <tiggsNO@SPAMm-void.co.uk> on Friday November 05, 2004 @04:03AM (#10732625) Journal

      In this case the /. summary (at least) isn't implying that the lost votes would have changed who won. And that's not really the issue in hand.

      No, regardless of whether the votes would have made a difference or not it's bloody worrying that such an error was overlooked. If these machines become more and more used and the operators ignore messages like this routinely then next time (whether in the US, UK, or anywhere else) it might well be a significant difference lost.

      • This is not a problem with the people running the machines. This is a problem with the software running on the machines, and possibly the people who made that software.

        This machine's entire purpose in life is to count, and to count with perfect reliability. I'm a software quality engineer, and there is no way a bug of this sort would have made it past my team without all hell being raised-- and not just internally, given the product.

        It's just not that hard to test a counting machine. Any freshman CS

        • Yes, primarily the problem was with the machines. But when a machine does throw up a glitch that should have been picked up in testing, but wasn't, then the operators do have to pay attention.

          And that's where the primary worry comes in. Whether by accident, incompetence or malice these errors do occur from time to time, and slip through the testing net. The problem itself doesn't lie with the operators, true, but vigilance should be exercised from start to finish with machines put to such a task as an ele

    • Religious morons in the hick states...

      Hmmm...the Republicans called those religious "morons" their friends. Yep, that's why we lost all right.
    • Excellent plan, call yourselves the open-minded and inclusive party then label anyone who does not agree with you a religious moron. I honestly cannot imagine why the Democratic Party is not more popular.

      Finkployd
      • I understand what you're saying, but perhaps in reality they actually ARE religious morons? It's possible, you know.
        • There are religious morons on both sides. There are also black morons on both sides, and while morons on both sides. The problem is not religion, the problem is not morons. It is a difference of opinion.

          It is also a lack of information. The "stupid rednecks" that the left hates are not unreasonable people. They just have different priorities that do not include inherently distrusting mainstream media and searching out "the truth" in alternative and foreign media.

          Foxnews and CNN are not presenting them wit
    • Obviously you don't know much about Italian politics. Ever hear of a guy called Berlusconi? He makes GWB look like a fscking Fabian.
  • Bad design? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by spiff42 (718678) <sdNO@SPAMsymlink.dk> on Friday November 05, 2004 @03:59AM (#10732611) Homepage
    Isn't it a design flaw if the machine acceps several thousand votes and dosn't display the warning until after the vote has been committed. Why not make it impossible to input a new vote once the limit has been reached? In that case it would not be possible to overlook or ignore the flashing message.

    Of course I live in a country where we are still using pen and paper. Also, I guess we would have a more difficult task of creating a UI for electronic voting, since we have 10+parties and personal votes with several candidates per party.

    Anyway, congrats to the winners, although I would rather have seen Kerry as your president.

    /Spiff

  • It's not because of an evoting machine, but they've already found one example where Bush was given 4000 extra votes [dailykos.com] in Ohio. In one precinct.
  • by Rob Simpson (533360) on Friday November 05, 2004 @05:49AM (#10732900)
    ...in Franklin County [franklincountyohio.gov], Gahanna 1-B. (from kos [dailykos.com])

    Franklin County, OH: Gahanna 1-B Precinct
    638 TOTAL BALLOTS CAST

    US Senator:
    Fingerhut (D) - 167 votes
    Voinovich (R) - 300 votes

    US President:
    Kerry (D) - 260 votes
    Bush (R) - 4,258 votes

    Hmmm...

  • by jyang (86770) on Friday November 05, 2004 @01:02PM (#10735173) Homepage
    following post is from http://www.democraticunderground.com/

    Just for example:

    Franklin County. 77.3% of voters registered Dems. Only 15.9% registered Reps. 58.5% of the votes reported FOR BUSH???

    Holmes County. 72.7% of voters registered Dems. Only 21.3% registered Reps. 77% of the votes reported FOR BUSH???

    Calhoun County. 82.4% of voters registered Dems. Only 11.9% registered Reps. 63.4% of the votes reported FOR BUSH???

    See the data in following links.
    http://ustogether.org/Florida_Election.htm
    http://ustogether.org/election04/florida_vote_pa tt .htm

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