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Will Hackers Try To Disrupt the Iowa Caucuses? 162

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the if-the-gop-can-do-it-anyone-can dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Iowa Republican Party is boosting the security of the electronic systems it will use to count the first votes of the 2012 presidential campaign after receiving a mysterious threat to its computers in a video urging its supporters to shut down the Iowa caucuses .... 'It's very clear the data consolidation and data gathering from the caucuses, which determines the headlines the next morning, who might withdraw or resign from the process, all of that is fragile,' says Douglas Jones, a computer science professor at the University of Iowa who has consulted for both political parties. The state GOP fears such a delay could disrupt the traditional influence of Iowa's first-in-the-nation vote. 'With the eyes of the media on the state, the last thing we want to do is have a situation where there is trouble with the reporting system,' says Wes Enos, a member of the Iowa GOP's central committee. The GOP is encouraging party activists who run the precinct votes to use paper ballots instead of a show of hands, which has been the practice in some areas so the ballots can provide a backup in the event of any later confusion about the results. 'There is really only one way — and it needn't be a secret — to help assure that results cannot easily be manipulated by either Anonymous or by GOP officials themselves,' writes Brad Friedman. 'The hand-counted paper ballot system, with decentralized results posted at the "precincts," is the only way to try and protect against manipulation of the results from either insiders or outsiders.'"
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Will Hackers Try To Disrupt the Iowa Caucuses?

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  • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @09:08AM (#38501908)

    But the Iowa caucus will say they did if Ron Paul ends up winning.

    • Ironic (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Why should the Iowa primary have verifiable paper ballots, so results can't be changed, and then have the entire main U.S. election be electronic with questionable machines that can be?

      • Re:Ironic (Score:5, Informative)

        by Rob the Bold (788862) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @10:25AM (#38502420)

        Why should the Iowa primary have verifiable paper ballots, so results can't be changed, and then have the entire main U.S. election be electronic with questionable machines that can be?

        Not the exact answer to what you asked, but relevent to the question anyway:

        Iowa's party-candidate-selection-system is a caucus, run by the parties. It is not a primary and is not run by the state. You gather at someone's house, rented hall, community center or wherever your party arranged for your precinct, cast a ballot and sit around arguing for your candidate(s) until someone gets a majority.

        Caucuses seem to favor the most dedicated party members' votes, since it requires a bigger commitment from the voter than a primary.

        • It also is not a secret ballot. So changing the vote would be harder since the people at the precint saw how people voted. It is pretty hard to change the vote later when the vote is a show of hands. Since it is not a secret ballot you are more likely to get things like voter itimidation by employers, and vote buying.
          • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @11:56AM (#38503340)

            It also is not a secret ballot. So changing the vote would be harder since the people at the precint saw how people voted. It is pretty hard to change the vote later when the vote is a show of hands. Since it is not a secret ballot you are more likely to get things like voter itimidation by employers, and vote buying.

            Actually, for the Iowa Republican caucus [iowagop.org], it is a secret straw poll. In the Democratic Party [iowademocrats.org] caucus, supporters of candidates divide into groups based on the candidate they prefer (which would obviously not be secret). In both cases, only registered voters in the precinct are allowed to participate, but you can register on the spot.

            • According to In 2008, some precincts used a show of hands. It looks like the rules are different for each precinct.
              • According to In 2008, some precincts used a show of hands. It looks like the rules are different for each precinct.

                I quote the Iowa Republican Party website here, that states that the caucus candidate preference poll is by paper ballot.

                First, the Presidential Poll is taken. At the beginning of your precinct caucus meeting, the Caucus Chairman will call for the Presidential Preference Poll. Any Presidential candidate or candidate representative will be given the floor to speak on behalf of his or her candidate, and then ballots will be passed out for the poll. You can write your preference on the ballot and the results will be reported to both the precinct caucus and the national media.

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by Gideon Wells (1412675)

              Register for now. If Ron Paul wins I suspect Iowa will join the growing trend of needing to register months in advance, require a photo ID, can only register at approved locations with populations of a certain size after giving a DNA sample and a bi-weekly drug test.

              Sorry, nm, I was looking a decade into the future if the trend continues.

      • by trout007 (975317)

        I'm not sure where you vote but where I live in Florida we use an optical scan ballot. This is a paper ballot that gets scanned at the polling place and checked for under/over votes then counted. The paper ballots are fed directly out of the scanner into a locked box. They can be validated in the future if needed.

        I like this system the best because there is only one machine required per polling place but you can have dozens of people actually filling in ballots in booths made with cheap little privacy scree

        • This is how they do it in Wisconsin as well, although February's GOP primary here will be the first time I've ever voted in a primary election in this state before. Still, I would assume that the methods are similar.

        • by cusco (717999)
          Two points, first that the optical scan machines are at least as easily hacked as the touchscreen ones, and second that almost everywhere the physical ballots can only be inspected with a court order obtainable only with actual evidence of wrongdoing. If 1000 people claim to have voted for Pherd Farkle in a precinct that went 9,999 to 1 for Fleegal Beagle there is no way to check the paper ballots to see what actually happened. BTW, malfunction of the scanner is not normally considered sufficient cause to
          • Optical scanner at least as easily hacked? To what purpose? Do they then destroy the paper ballots before there is a chance for a physical recount?

            And, okay, that level of distrust of the judicial system is warranted, perhaps, sometimes, but give some specifics.

            And if things are that bad in the judicial system, touchscreen's lack of physical record separable from identity is still a lot easy to do social engineering on than the paper ballot, which is what you seem not to understand.

            • by cusco (717999)
              Black Box Voting has been on this since the late '90s at least, as has Greg Palast. I highly recommend you check them both out. Diebold makes most of the optical scan readers (whatever its new name is, forget now), as well as a minority of the touch screen machines. They got the tech by buying a company founded here in Seattle by a guy who spent several years in prison for computer fraud and a cocaine dealer (they met in prison) (really). For years the fraudster continued in charge of Diebold's election
    • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Seumas (6865) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @11:33AM (#38503104)

      Yes. Exactly this. I've been saying for almost an entire year, now, that if Paul were to win the caucuses, the GOP would suddenly claim that these extremely important and relevant events that they spend months and millions on were "not relevant and don't mean anything". Further, they would claim that it was Paul's "army" of supporters that must have "hacked" the voting machines. (Because the media and GOP only refer to Paul's supporters with loaded words like "army").

      • Ron Paul IS a republican so these statements saying that if he wins the republicans will be upset are ridiculous.

    • by Mikkeles (698461)

      Doesn't matter: the politicians always win.

    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by AngryDeuce (2205124)

      Oh, I'm sure they're going to come up with every excuse in the book. Many commentators are already backing away from it with a pained expression on their face.

      I just hope, when the GOP machine figures out a way to nullify the caucus (can't have a non-war monger President, the military-industrial complex could collapse and then the communists would win!) that Ron Paul decides to run as an independent. I don't know if he'd win, but I'll vote for anyone over Newt Gingrich or any of the other tea-tards on the

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by anagama (611277)

        I'll vote for Obama over those guys; as much as he fucking pisses me off, at least he's not at war with gays, Muslims, and reproductive rights. That is a deal-breaker for me.

        That's inaccurate.

        War with Muslims:
        http://nothingchanged.org/obama_and_muder_of_innocents_by_drone.html [nothingchanged.org]

        Related topics include attempting to undermine the cluster bomb treaty:
        http://nothingchanged.org/obama_loves_to_cluster_bomb_innocent_people.html [nothingchanged.org]

        Plan B is interesting in that a person with a Masters in Public Administration from the U.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by artor3 (1344997)

          Obama ended DADT, dropped all federal support for DOMA -- not at war with gays.

          Obama doesn't villainize Muslims the way the Republicans do. The fact that he uses drones to attack the Taliban is irrelevant, as they aren't true Muslims, just murderers and thugs using religion as an excuse. It is sad that innocent bystanders occasionally get killed, but if you think Obama is murdering those people, you're insane.

          Obama ended torture, and would have closed Gitmo had not the Congressional Republicans blocked hi

          • by anagama (611277)

            Obama forgave all the torturers thus making him complicit. But that's par now that we have a system where certain people are simply above the law.

            Obama doesn't villainize Muslims the way the Republicans do. The fact that he uses drones to attack the Taliban is irrelevant, as they aren't true Muslims, just murderers and thugs using religion as an excuse.

            Nice job of rationalization, that. And if you think only a handful of innocents being killed by remote control bombs is OK -- that's insane. If you think

          • by pclminion (145572)

            The fact that he uses drones to attack the Taliban is irrelevant, as they aren't true Muslims, just murderers and thugs using religion as an excuse.

            No true Scotsman... That type of argument has been and will always be, bullshit.

            Also, you feel comfortable making a determination as to whether a given person is "truly" a member of a given religion, something that would be immediately recognized as ignorant and bigoted had you done it in any other context. Even if you yourself are a Muslim, Islam is so fractu

        • For one thing, any way you can post links that aren't from a site named nothingchanged.org? I mean, I'm not positive, but something is telling me they're not an unbiased source...

          Anyway, how is that different than any Republican candidate (with the exception of Ron Paul)? You think that Newt or Mitt or Rick or (God Forbid) Michele is going to do any different at all in that regard? You think the drone strikes are just gonna stop? Come on.

          They both may be similar on 90% of the issues, but the 10% that's

          • by anagama (611277)

            Of course they're all from the same site -- it's my site. If you bothered to look, you'd find all the citations you seek. It's a hassle to have to keep repeating them, so I aggregated them.

            Par.2: Obama ran in 08 as a candidate who would be different from the Mitts and Newts. He turned out to be their brother in policy however. It's very faint praise to say he's no worse than the GOP, which should be a hint at how much he sucks.

            What exactly has Obama done to avoid the christian nation thing? Nothing.

            • Generally, the guys at the top of a country can only do what they are allowed to do by the next strata lower.

              Kim Jong Un could not suddenly open up North Korea if he wanted to. He's going to have to learn to work the old-boy network there just as his father and his grandfather did, and he is just as likely to be corrupted thereby.

              If we want to change things, we have to do it ourselves, and that is either by open opposition or by working from within. Neither way is free of opportunities for corruption, but g

    • Re:No. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @12:58PM (#38504090)

      Good, he's a nutjob.

      Ron Paul wants to define life as starting at conception, build a fence along the US-Mexico border, prevent the Supreme Court from hearing cases on the Establishment Clause or the right to privacy, permitting the return of sodomy laws and the like (a bill which he has repeatedly re-introduced), pull out of the UN, disband NATO, end birthright citizenship, deny federal funding to any organization which "which presents male or female homosexuality as an acceptable alternative life style or which suggest that it can be an acceptable life style" along with destroying public education and social security, and abolish the Federal Reserve in order to put America back on the gold standard. He was also the sole vote against divesting US federal government investments in corporations doing business with the genocidal government of the Sudan.

      Oh, and he believes that the Left is waging a war on religion and Christmas, he's against gay marriage, is against the popular vote, opposes the Civil Rights Act of 1964, wants the estate tax repealed, is STILL making racist remarks, believes that the Panama Canal should be the property of the United States, and believes in New World Order conspiracy theories, not to mention his belief that the International Baccalaureate program is UN mind control.

      • Ron Paul wants to define life as starting at conception, build a fence along the US-Mexico border, prevent the Supreme Court from hearing cases on the Establishment Clause or the right to privacy, permitting the return of sodomy laws and the like (a bill which he has repeatedly re-introduced), pull out of the UN, disband NATO, end birthright citizenship, deny federal funding to any organization which "which presents male or female homosexuality as an acceptable alternative life style or which suggest that i

    • But the Iowa caucus will say they did if Ron Paul ends up winning.

      So in other words, you're saying that the idea of Ron Paul winning isn't just improbable, it's not even remotely believable? Personally, I find that reassuring. Libertarianism is basically a sociopathic belief system; it takes fundamentally sociopathic qualities such as lack of concern for other human beings and excessive regard for the self and then extols them as virtues. If you want to believe you don't have any responsibility to society, that you're better than everyone else, and that everyone is just a

      • by Magius_AR (198796)

        Libertarianism is basically a sociopathic belief system; it takes fundamentally sociopathic qualities such as lack of concern for other human beings and excessive regard for the self and then extols them as virtues.

        Except you don't understand that socialism is just as much sociopathic (ifnot moreso) by saying all human beings are selfish assholes that won't lift a finger to help the less fortunate unless we take money from them at gunpoint and deliver it personally. In fact, even by the textbook definitio

  • by SJHillman (1966756) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @09:08AM (#38501910)
    Iowa has electricity and computers? You really can make anything out of corn.
    • Funny.

      I'm sure Robert Noyce would find that funny as well. He and I graduated from the same high school. Yes, in Iowa.

    • by vlm (69642) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @09:23AM (#38502016)

      Iowa has electricity and computers? You really can make anything out of corn.

      LOL you're more correct that you know. Oldest trick in the book is subsidized growers turn 10 barrels of diesel into a big pile of unneeded corn, they you gotta do "something" with it lest the state be buried under corncobs, so you burn it to get the energy equivalent of burning 2 barrels of oil worth of steam to generate electricity. Along with environmental degradation due to topsoil loss, pesticide and fertilizer overapplication, etc. Its amazing how one industry simultaneously wastes both tax money, crude oil, and edible food.

      You can also turn corn oil into biodiesel. I like cooking with corn oil, smells OK and frys up tastily. Good enough smoke point too.

      Computers are mostly by weight plastic, and at least some plastics are made from corn byproducts, so theoretically some of your computer is probably corn.

      Then a little off topic but not too far, lots of corn gets turned into corn syrup, which gets turned into energy drinks, which combined with electricity is turned into computer software using carbon based /. reading bioreactors.

      Corn is really a very versatile feedstock for chemical engineers. You'd be surprised, pretty much if you can make it out of crude oil, given an infinite supply of free subsidized corn and an infinite supply of energy from burning free subsidized corn, you can make the same product out of corn.

  • First Votes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jmac_the_man (1612215) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @09:10AM (#38501926)
    Caucuses are a bad idea to begin with. They value a better organized/paid for campaign over a better candidate. Also, why are Iowa and New Hampshire so special that they get to vote first and eliminate candidtes that may do better in other areas? The first primaries should be done on a rotating basis.
    • why are Iowa and New Hampshire so special that they get to vote first and eliminate candidtes that may do better in other areas?

      They're first becuase they're first--which means they're powerful, which means you don't piss them off by trying to make them *not* first.

      • by cusco (717999)
        That's the best explanation that I've ever read. I'll have to steal that some time.
    • Caucuses are a bad idea to begin with. They value a better organized/paid for campaign over a better candidate. Also, why are Iowa and New Hampshire so special that they get to vote first and eliminate candidtes that may do better in other areas? The first primaries should be done on a rotating basis.

      The truth of it is you need a good organized campaign to win the nomination, a poorly run campaign will sink you, all the early caucuses do is let donors save their money on candidates that will not win. Most candidates will not drop out unless they are below 1%, or if their campaign was tight on money, they will stick it out until super Tuesday that is typically when 2 or 3 candidates are left. Yes Iowa, Wyoming, and New Hampshire get a bigger say in the primary but truthfully it's just to make them feel

    • by vlm (69642)

      Caucuses are a bad idea to begin with. They value a better organized/paid for campaign over a better candidate. Also, why are Iowa and New Hampshire so special that they get to vote first and eliminate candidtes that may do better in other areas? The first primaries should be done on a rotating basis.

      Really bad idea. Its a "balance of power thing". Those states serve almost no other purpose in American politics.

      There would be incredible outcry if a politically large state got to go first and make the little states even less relevant, like CA or PA or NY or FL.

      PA / CA / FL get to shine on election day. Caucus day is when NH and IA get to shine. Only fair.

      The other problem is the candidates pander exclusively to their donors wishes, so it doesn't really matter which stuffed suit, from either party "wi

      • Re:First Votes (Score:5, Informative)

        by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @09:37AM (#38502112) Journal

        There would be incredible outcry if a politically large state got to go first and make the little states even less relevant, like CA or PA or NY or FL.

        It's this kind of comment that demonstrates how undemocratic our system is. One person, one vote should be the law of the land. If that were the case, what size state you live in would be irrelevant.

        • Re:First Votes (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @10:02AM (#38502274)

          There would be incredible outcry if a politically large state got to go first and make the little states even less relevant, like CA or PA or NY or FL.

          It's this kind of comment that demonstrates how undemocratic our system is. One person, one vote should be the law of the land. If that were the case, what size state you live in would be irrelevant.

          Our system is quite democratic. But what you (and many others) seem to forget is that we don't have one system, we have fifty. Each state holds it's own election -- not for president, though, but for the slate of people who will represent the state in the electoral collage. They're the ones who elect the president, not you.

          Now most states "bind" the electors such that they're forced to vote for whichever presidential candidate's slate gets the most votes in the state, so to make it "easier" these days the ballot just lists the presidential candidate instead of the people pledging to vote in the electoral collage for that candidate. I'm sure it's just a side effect that the ballot being that way makes people think they're voting for the president, when they're not. So yes, state elections for the electoral college are democratic, but so what? This country wasn't supposed to be a democracy anyway, it was supposed to be a republic.

          • While the over all system is set by the Constitution, states can change their internal system to a degree. For example you don't have to have all your electors go to whoever won the vote in your state, and indeed Maine and Nebraska don't. Some of the electors go to the overall winner, some go to whoever won various districts. Other states could so the same and change distributions to be based on districts, or maybe percentage of the total vote.

            Any changes to a state's system does not require a constitutiona

          • by Jeremi (14640)

            Each state holds it's own election -- not for president, though, but for the slate of people who will represent the state in the electoral collage. They're the ones who elect the president, not you.

            A historical mistake that we are more than half way towards obviating [nationalpopularvote.com].

        • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @10:44AM (#38502564)

          The US is, and always has been, a Constitutional Federal Republic. It was never designed as a direct democracy and indeed has many provisions to prevent such a thing. The Constitution itself is one such thing. It is an undemocratic document. It is specifically designed to be hard to alter. You can't just have 50%+1 people vote to alter it, the process requires a much greater majority, and puts power in the hands ultimately of the states, not the people or the federal government.

          I know that "undemocratic" is supposed to be a scare word that gets people to agree with you but when you look at things logically you discover that the US was never designed to be a direct democracy. Also looking at the way some things have gone, you can see how maybe that is a good thing. Something to be said for the fact that a simple majority of people can't just dictate to the minority how things will be done.

          So yes, the American system isn't democratic, it is republican. Not in the sense of the political parties, but in the sense of the systems of government. It has a strong democratic tradition, more than many republics, but it is still a republic. What's more it is a republic of independent states meaning that there is a level of state autonomy.

          If you don't like it that's fine but then what you have to propose is a constitutional amendment to more or less eliminate large parts of the Constitution. The only way the system could become a direct democracy would be to first alter the way the government works to a large degree and second to remove this super legal document that sits above other laws.

          Such a thing could be done, but you are going to need to convince a lot of people, takes 75% of the states to amend the Constitution.

          • Something to be said for the fact that a simple majority of people can't just dictate to the minority how things will be done.

            neither approach works. why defend one that is broken?

            mob mentality does not work (true democracy where each person has 1 vote). representative does not work, either; we send people to vote on our behalf and what happens? they line their own pockets.

            I'm open to ideas on what MIGHT work; but to say that one or the other is better is absurd.

            so far, I can't see ANY system of man-gove

            • by Rutulian (171771)

              I know this will sound crazy, but I think the problem is campaigning. We should get rid of it. Think about it. How would you vote for a candidate if they didn't campaign and plaster all media outlets with their garbage 2 years ahead of the actual election? You would be forced to vote for people you personally know and interact with. You would have to know something about their actual character and record of public service, not just what they say about themselves (or their opponents say about them). I think

        • by swalve (1980968)
          It is. It's just that you aren't voting for the president. You are voting for who your state will vote for.
        • Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner.

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        The interesting aspect of starting in smaller states is that in order to win in smaller states, candidates generally have to do more face-to-face politicking. That means the candidates have to talk more, and the money talks less, than in other places. That makes it easier to find and vote against the real dopes. Which is why George W Bush had his butt handed to him back in 2000 by John McCain in NH.

        As far as caucuses versus primaries, caucuses definitely take longer, but also tend to differ in their results

      • bears repeating:

        the average american is in no way represented by the american government.

        I don't even bother trying anymore. its a rigged game. playing only makes me feel dirty.

    • Caucuses are a bad idea to begin with. They value a better organized/paid for campaign over a better candidate. Also, why are Iowa and New Hampshire so special that they get to vote first and eliminate candidtes that may do better in other areas? The first primaries should be done on a rotating basis.

      They favor the more dedicated voters in each party, since caucusing requires more time and effort than voting in a primary.

    • Caucuses are a legacy from the days when communications traveled at the speed of a messenger. It was necessary for a participatory democracy to collect in small groups to select delegates to go to a nominating convention in exactly the same sense that the people selected congressmen and the states selected electors to cast votes on their behalf.

      Subsequently, it's been codified as probably the best compromise way that individuals can still have a voice in the political process.

      By the way, I'd love to hear t

  • Request? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @09:15AM (#38501950)

    Is the title a request or a challenge?

    • Re:Request? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @10:13AM (#38502338) Homepage Journal

      Is the title a request or a challenge?

      It's an indication of just how bad the Republican field for 2012 really is. There is such widespread disgust for the current crop of GOP candidates, where even the frontrunner can't break 25%, in a year where the average Republican would walk 500 miles just for the opportunity to vote against this sitting president. The Republicans are begging for someone who's not Mitt Romney, to the point where people who aren't even invited to Republicans' 4th of July cookouts are taking a turn at the lead of the pack. It's like when kids are playing baseball and the two team captains are picking sides and there are only spazzes left and the kid who's the neighbor of one of the captains, whose mom is always trying go get them to play together, the spaz is waving his hand saying, "Ooh ooh! Pick me! Pick me!" and the team captain refuses to make eye contact, looking anywhere but at the spaz as if someone who knows how to field a grounder is standing just out of sight.

      That's how bad the GOP field is. Mitt Romney is that spaz and this story of the supposed "hacker attack" on the Iowa Caucuses is just a way of creating plausible deniability when either a spaz or some other two-headed circus freak wins the thing. It's the only way they'll be able to explain it to themselves.

      I just can't imagine what's running through Jon Huntsman's head right about now. A relatively normal, reasonable guy who just refuses to put on the size 22 shoes and red nose that his party seems to require since it went crazy due to there being a black guy in the White House.

      • Yeah, in the one Republican candidate debate I watched, Jon Huntsman (and Ron Paul!) seemed like the relatively sane ones

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by repapetilto (1219852)

          The last one was my first real exposure to Romney... He just seemed like a nothing. The republican version of Obama, trying to associate himself with hopeful ideals rather than any kind of policy (his advisors think we are all idiots). If he is nominated it will be a joke. Really, I know of no actual person (who not a talking head or politician) who is excited at all about him. Hes like the "company man" or something. Groomed for this job and paid his dues to whoever is pulling the strings. Really it just c

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @09:16AM (#38501966)

    This year the GOP primary rules have changed to assign delegates proportionally instead of winner-take-all. This makes it much harder to get 50% of the delegates and win the nomination through the actual vote. Instead we'll likely end up with a brokered convention [endoftheam...ndream.com] where the party leaders will elect whomever they want. This can effectively remove "undesirable" candidates whom the people want but the party doesn't (meaning Ron Paul).

    • by arogier (1250960)
      If I recall correctly a brokered convention wasn't necessary for Obama to trump Hilary as the Democrats used proportional representation in 2008.

      In a brokered convention the most Ron Paul would be able to do is pledge his committed delegates to another candidate, provided the pledged delegates agree. Perry will probably be in a similar situation. What those delegates would probably do is support the not-Paul and not-Romney candidate. Huntsman will probably run on the Americans elect ticket turning the Charm
      • I think that Perry, Bachman, and Santorum have already assumed that either Romney or Gingrich is going to win and they are basically designing their campaigns around that fact. Since Gingrich, and esp. Romney is seen as being weak on the "culture warrior" front, those 3 have essentially made being the culture shogun their one and only campaign message.
        • by arogier (1250960) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @10:47AM (#38502584) Homepage Journal
          Bachmann and Santorum were probably resigned to that when they entered, but Perry entered with the expectation of winning. Perry actually started the flavor of the month trend by knocking off Bachmann. For Perry the culture war isn't his message so much as the thing he was pushed into resorting to as his last agonal breaths before quitting after the South Carolina primary in a dignified manner. Entering the campaign Perry's message was simply "Texas, Fuck Yeah". Seeing 2000 and 2004 along with Texas's attempts to brand itself as America Plus, it wasn't and unrealistic expectation or strategy. It was just a dumb one.
        • by swalve (1980968)
          I agree- they are running for a cabinet post at this point, I think.
      • If I recall correctly a brokered convention wasn't necessary for Obama to trump Hilary as the Democrats used proportional representation in 2008.

        The issue never appeared before the convention. Hilary made a deal with Obama and dropped out. She could of forced the issue at the convention but it would of resulted in a split in the party.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Wait until it happens, then it MIGHT be a story, if it's another super slow week here slashdot !!

  • Sorry Ron Paul (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GeneralTurgidson (2464452) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @09:25AM (#38502034)
    The Republican party will make sure you don't receive the nomination.
    • Re:Sorry Ron Paul (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MrDoh! (71235) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @09:45AM (#38502160) Homepage Journal

      But if he does, they can blame it on some anonymous hackers.

      Which of course it must be if (insertRandomCandidateHere) wins.

      It's a bit of a waste though, everyone knows they save the real hacking for the final tally counts to decide president, not this early stage. Maybe the GOP are just upset 4chan peeps are going to decide the next president and not Karl Rove?

      • by arogier (1250960)
        There isn't a chance for Rove or 4chan to decide the president in 2012. Rove isn't endorsing primary candidates so much as eliminating them and there are too many olds for 4chan to take it to the convention.
    • by roman_mir (125474)

      If he doesn't, then you shouldn't be sorry for him.
      Be sorry for the world.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      One can only hope he doesn't get it. If you think Obama was bad? Paul will be worse.

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @09:33AM (#38502086) Homepage

    Punish it for what it is: an attempted coup. Maybe this shouldn't count as "real voter fraud," but in general, democratic societies ought to punish organized voter fraud as a form of "attempting to overthrow the government." If the federal government were to hang a few people for attempting to systematically defraud the electorate, I think you'd see a lot fewer people willing to engage in the practice.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Punish it for what it is: an attempted coup. Maybe this shouldn't count as "real voter fraud," but in general, democratic societies ought to punish organized voter fraud as a form of "attempting to overthrow the government." If the federal government were to hang a few people for attempting to systematically defraud the electorate, I think you'd see a lot fewer people willing to engage in the practice.

      Here are a few:

      How the GOP Rules America: Voter Suppression and Political Apartheid
      http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/yellow/36325/how-the-gop-rules-america-voter-suppression-and-political-apartheid [smirkingchimp.com]

      Patterns of Touch Screen Voting Machine Fraud Identified and Documented in Florida, Ohio, New Mexico and Elsewhere in 2004
      http://www.flcv.com/fraudpat.html [flcv.com]

      Republican voter suppression: Maria’s Story
      http://horsesass.org/?p=39248 [horsesass.org]

      New Requirements Under HB 2067 (Voter Suppression Law)
      http://www.sunfloweract.or [sunfloweract.org]

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      That only works when fraudsters are actually getting caught.

    • by greg1104 (461138)

      The last big shady insecure voting machine company [wikipedia.org] scandal was at a company led by a major Republican supporter [wikipedia.org]. This call toward Anonymous is simple misdirection, like a magician making you look at the thing he's pointing to so you miss where the action is at. The most likely cause of US voting fraud are the corrupt and heavily financed members of the major parties, who are frantically trying to preserve the status quo right now. And they're surely not going to vote to hang themselves.

  • Iowa and New Hampshire, small population states that they are, are legends of importance only in their own minds.

    If Ron Paul's organizational ability holds true to form, Iowa and their caucuses will be overrun by his supporters and he will win. Iowa will then get to see how much their "first in the nation" predictor factor means in places like California, New York, Florida and Illinois where Paul has a less broad appeal.

    • Iowa and New Hampshire, small population states that they are, are legends of importance only in their own minds.

      Hi. I'm an Iowan. I'd like to point out that we're not the ones who are telling CNN to keep our caucuses in the 24/7 news cycle. That's the rest of the United States. We just want to hold our caucus and be done with it. The unrelenting campaigning is something that pretty much every Iowan finds quite distasteful. Our own electoral campaigns tend to be much nicer by comparison. When Jim

      • by chill (34294)

        Thanks for the informative reply.

        You misunderstand my position. Caucuses tend to work better in smaller areas, where democracy and elections are more direct. Iowa makes them work. Congrats.

        My barb was directed at one thing and one thing only. Iowa's insistence that the caucuses for national elections be held FIRST in the nation and that they are in a special position because of that primacy. That is what keeps you in the 24/7 news cycle, and what gives serious question about your proclaimed distaste for all

        • by rjh (40933)

          Who participates in the caucuses? It's a banner year if ten percent of eligible voters make it to a caucus. (In fact, I wonder if Iowa has ever broken ten percent.)

          So, yeah, if ten percent of eligible voters care, and the other ninety percent are all "I'm going to take a long nap, wake me up on January 4" -- which seems to be the case -- then I think it's inappropriate to say that Iowans as a whole demand our caucuses be first, or that they deserve some kind of special prominence.

          Don't think that the loud

      • by iluvcapra (782887)

        I'd like to point out that we're not the ones who are telling CNN to keep our caucuses in the 24/7 news cycle.

        You guys could just move your caucuses to March if you're so desperate to get out of the limelight. You have only your state parties to blame, not CNN or dirty coastal elites.

        And yet, while the rest of the country is arguing about gay marriage, Iowa is actually doing it, having decided that it is required by our State constitution.

        And then a buncha pricks from Dubuque recalled half your supreme court, so now every social conservative in the US thinks it's practical and desirable to fire judges they disagree with. Wonderful outcome!

        NB. It's impossible to get good sushi anywhere in the midwest, the fish just doesn't keep. And you can get amazing Ethiopian food

        • by rjh (40933)

          In point of fact, there's a good sushi restaurant in Iowa City -- Takanami, just east of the University of Iowa's Pentacrest. There's also the Drunken Fish on Laclede's Landing in St. Louis, which has the best sushi I've ever had anywhere: better than California, better than Oregon, better than anywhere out East.

          The rest, though, seems like exactly the kind of vitriol I have no interest in engaging in. Sorry.

  • The real question (Score:2, Informative)

    by assertation (1255714)

    is do hackers need to? The Republican candidates themselves seem to be disrupting the whole affair by being a clown show.

  • So...this is almost like saying that unless you can be ABSOLUTELY IRONCLAD SURE that your electronic voting system is secure, then paper ballots provide the best transparency, redundancy, and confirmatory trail of any solution?

    Ironic that they're concerned enough about reliability and security to make this move for their primary, but nobody seems to care that much about the GENERAL election.

  • Seems to me if everyone raises their hands on camera, it would be much more trustworthy than "lol.. whoops - we just found 7000 votes on *insert_media_here* that got misplaced. We'll be sure to add those to the recount"*

    Sure, pics can be doctored up too but it's a bit harder to do when there are multiple copies. Especially if anyone/everyone observing is able to take a picture.

    [*] - http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2011/04/07/whoa_prosser_gains_7,381_votes_after_computer_error_is_fixed [townhall.com]

  • I thought that the point of electronic voting systems was that they are insecure!

  • "...corrupt the database used to gather votes and crash the website used to inform the public about results"

    Crashing the public facing website I could see but the actual back end database should not be reachable from the Internet.

  • "If a hacker gets in and messes it all up, we can reconstruct (the results)," said Drew Ivers, chairman of Texas Rep. Ron Paul's campaign in Iowa and a member of the state GOP central committee. "It would take a little while. It might take a day or two, but we can do it."

    What's left unsaid...it will have nothing to do with the way that people actually voted but hell, it'll be just like that Bush election in Florida back in the day...

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