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Green Party Calls For Recount, Wants To Push For Open-Source Voting Machines (nbcnewyork.com) 299

The Green party candidate in the U.S. presidential election, Jill Stein, has raised over $5 million in donations to fund a recount in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, which are the states key to Hillary Clinton's loss on November 8th. She is seeking a recount in these three states after computer scientists discovered Clinton averaged 7% worse in counties with e-voting machines vs. counties with only paper or optical scan ballots. An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: On November 23, the Stein/Baraka Green Party Campaign launched an effort to ensure the integrity of our elections," calling for "publicly-owned, open source voting equipment." In approximately 48 hours (as of 1:20pm EST (GMT-5) on Nov-25-2016) $5,026,516.15 has been raised to pay for a recount in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and [they are] currently collecting towards a recount in Michigan. The Green party also states: "The Green Party Platform calls for 'publicly-owned, open source voting equipment and deploy it across the nation to ensure high national standards, performance, transparency and accountability; use verifiable paper ballots; and institute mandatory automatic random precinct recounts to ensure a high level of accuracy in election results.'" More details can be read on MSNBC news. The Washington Post asks: Why are people giving Jill Stein millions of dollars for an election recount? UPDATE 11/25/16: Washington Examiner is reporting that Green Party officials have filed for a presidential vote recount in Wisconsin.
UPDATE 11/26/16: Hillary Clinton's campaign said Saturday that it will take part in the recount in Wisconsin.
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Green Party Calls For Recount, Wants To Push For Open-Source Voting Machines

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  • by sl3xd ( 111641 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @07:09PM (#53361881) Journal

    And an entirely different campaign will be accused of being a bad loser...

    Still, if it's paid for, then it'll be worthwhile: It'll either increase confidence in the results (and maybe get some to accept their candidate lost), or it'll identify weakness that can be fixed.

    I don't really expect it to change the results of the election - I'd bet faithless electors in the Electoral College is more likely to change the result than this.

    • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday November 25, 2016 @08:02PM (#53362185) Homepage Journal

      And an entirely different campaign will be accused of being a bad loser...

      Actually, it seems to me like the opposite. The Green Party comes out looking legitimately concerned about the future of the nation, since nothing about such a recount could deliver a victory to Jill Stein.

      I don't really expect it to change the results of the election - I'd bet faithless electors in the Electoral College is more likely to change the result than this.

      Agreed — which is to say, about as likely as Trump is to keep any of his promises.

      • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @08:31PM (#53362345)

        The Green Party comes out looking like a sycophant of the Democratic Party...

        FTFY.

  • by Smidge204 ( 605297 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @07:09PM (#53361883) Journal

    There is no way to verify the integrity of the machines on voting day, nor to safeguard the integrity of the polling data between the voting machine and the final tally. Open source means nothing here.

    Electronic voting as a whole is a gigantic boondoggle. There are only three reasons for it to exist: People who are too impatient to wait for manual counting, people who are looking to make a tidy profit selling a broken solution to a problem that doesn't need solving, and people who are interested in a way to fuck with the polls without getting caught.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with a slip of paper and a pen. Or have people dip their finger in ink like we've all seen done...
    =Smidge=

    • by sl3xd ( 111641 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @07:15PM (#53361923) Journal

      Electronic voting as a whole is a gigantic boondoggle. There are only three reasons for it to exist: People who are too impatient to wait for manual counting, people who are looking to make a tidy profit selling a broken solution to a problem that doesn't need solving, and people who are interested in a way to fuck with the polls without getting caught.

      You forgot: It exists to make a lot of money for those who sell machines.

      The standard of integrity and validation is higher for slot machines. When the average Vegas casino is more transparent than election machines, there's a pretty serious problem.

    • There is no way to verify the integrity of the machines on voting day, nor to safeguard the integrity of the polling data between the voting machine and the final tally. Open source means nothing here.

      Wait, no way? Seriously? You cannot imagine a way? You can't picture, say, election officers using compilers themselves built from verified sources installing the software into the election machines on election day?

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with a slip of paper and a pen.

      On that, at least, I agree. It doesn't use all that much paper, especially in comparison to bullcrap like the spam that the USPS apparently exists to enable.

      • Wait, no way? Seriously? You cannot imagine a way? You can't picture, say, election officers using compilers themselves built from verified sources installing the software into the election machines on election day?

        You honestly think that these "election officials" would be tech savvy enough to know what a verified source is, and be able to use a compiler? They can't even calibrate a touchscreen properly.

        More importantly, you honestly think that they would CARE?
        Smidge=

        • You honestly think that these "election officials" would be tech savvy enough to know what a verified source is, and be able to use a compiler? They can't even calibrate a touchscreen properly.

          That doesn't matter. They only need a relatively secure PC (running Linux, BSD, etc so as to get away from Windows and telemetry) with a turnkey script.

          More importantly, you honestly think that they would CARE?

          Yes, yes I do.

          • And how do you verify the integrity of the machine that's used to verify the integrity of the voting machine? (Not that this secondary system can guarantee the integrity of the first system in the first place...)

            Yes, yes I do.

            The same election officials who have been implicated in various negligence and election tampering incidents? Taking data cartridges home, turning in unsealed bags of paper ballots, throwing out certified ballot rolls, etc?
            =Smidge=

    • There is no way to verify the integrity of the machines on voting day

      Sure there is! The proper application of cryptography will solve these issues. Only allow signed firmware to run and have each machine have it's own key (stored in an MCU). On voting day after all the machines are put out, you use a simple NFC device to do an authentication exchange. If the authentication fails, then the machine has been compromised. It requires plenty of time and money to bypass the security of one device, much less thousands.

      nor to safeguard the integrity of the polling data between the voting machine and the final tally.

      Sure there is! You print the voter selection onto a card w

      • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

        Sure there is! The proper application of cryptography will solve these issues. Only allow signed firmware to run and have each machine have it's own key (stored in an MCU). On voting day after all the machines are put out, you use a simple NFC device to do an authentication exchange. If the authentication fails, then the machine has been compromised. It requires plenty of time and money to bypass the security of one device, much less thousands.

        That's not anywhere near sufficient. The most likely way to hac

        • And yet, after all that, there is no way for anyone to reliably confirm, on election day, that the software and data on the machine are exactly as they are supposed to be. Any verification mechanism would necessarily rely on the system in some way, which could be rigged to fake its own authenticity.

          =Smidge=

    • With a voting machine that runs on free software, counties can hire whom they wish to reprogram the machines to conform to new voting laws yet to be passed into law, counties can make changes to their voting paper layouts that the current voting machine software can't parse (perhaps changes needed in order to accommodate more candidates as a result of more people taking an interest in setting policy), counties become less beholden to whatever limitations the proprietors put into current software and more in

      • by jbn-o ( 555068 )

        An article [blackagendareport.com] stressing that Democrats don't have a history of fighting for voting rights, aren't doing so now, and how the Democrats (and their media friends at CNN) are still peddling self-contradictory logic about the security of American elections (which are simultaneously strong enough to dismiss any criticism as "conspiracy theory" but weak enough to be interfered with by Russians).

  • Lets call Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @07:14PM (#53361919)
    Jill Stein is calling for recounts in three states where Hillary lost and not calling for recounts in New Hampshire, Minnesota & Nevada, three states where the results were even closer but in those states Hillary "won". Somehow Stein has gained more money for recounts ($4.7 m) than she managed to raise in her entire campaign ($3 m), even though clearly no Stein supporter believes that she will pick up enough votes to win any state. Gee Hillary, we wonder where all that money is coming from.
    • who stand to lose a lot from a Trump presidency. My interests here align with them. The Enemy of my Enemy and what have you.
    • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @07:42PM (#53362081)

      Jill Stein is calling for recounts in three states where Hillary lost and not calling for recounts in New Hampshire, Minnesota & Nevada, three states where the results were even closer but in those states Hillary "won". Somehow Stein has gained more money for recounts ($4.7 m) than she managed to raise in her entire campaign ($3 m), even though clearly no Stein supporter believes that she will pick up enough votes to win any state. Gee Hillary, we wonder where all that money is coming from.

      So you're alleging that the real objective of the Green Party recount is not in fact abstract curiosity about the election integrity, nor even to see if Jill Stein really won.

      What you're actually claiming is they want to see is if a recount would flip those three states to Clinton and give her the Presidency, and in fact most of the donors to the recount campaign are hoping for this exact outcome.

      Well yeah.... that's all actually quite obvious.

      As for them not asking for recounts in the states Clinton won, it costs millions of dollars to do a recount, you can hardly expect them to raise millions of dollars for an action that could only help their opponent.

      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by Solandri ( 704621 )

        As for them not asking for recounts in the states Clinton won, it costs millions of dollars to do a recount, you can hardly expect them to raise millions of dollars for an action that could only help their opponent.

        It's statistically invalid to sample (count votes with some margin of error) all the states, then resample only a few states whose results were close to but not in the direction you were hoping for. In science, that's called data fraud. You're deliberately casting your selection bias onto the

        • by Jzanu ( 668651 )
          Except they are not aiming for a full recount. This targeted recount is to investigate the discrepancy between paper and electronic results and identify sources of fraud. This is about process improvement itself.
    • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @07:42PM (#53362083)

      Jill Stein is calling for recounts in three states where Hillary lost and not calling for recounts in New Hampshire, Minnesota & Nevada, three states where the results were even closer but in those states Hillary "won".

      Correct because the states selected could change the outcome of the election. I think all states should have a recount but there isn't enough money to do that.

      Somehow Stein has gained more money for recounts ($4.7 m) than she managed to raise in her entire campaign ($3 m), even though clearly no Stein supporter believes that she will pick up enough votes to win any state.

      Because it's not about Stein, it's about the possibility that the election may have been stolen.

      Gee Hillary, we wonder where all that money is coming from.

      I actually had the same thought and considered that it's quite possible that people across the globe are giving money for this recount because they fear what Trump may do as president.

    • by r1348 ( 2567295 )

      Also, her fund raising rates are flat throughout the whole day, and totally independent of average hourly internet use. Somehow, she manages to keep the same fund raising rates at 3am and at 5pm.

    • Jill Stein is calling for recounts in three states where Hillary lost and not calling for recounts in New Hampshire, Minnesota & Nevada, three states where the results were even closer but in those states Hillary "won".

      No doubt there will be plenty of money available from the same people who voted for Trump to fund such recounts should they prove necessary, given that Trump voters have median yearly incomes $10,000 higher than Clinton voters.

      I was recently asked in a discussion on G+ whether I would be agitating for the dissolution of the electoral college if the vote had not favored Trump. I answered truthfully, which is to say that I would in that case likely spend my limited energy somewhere else at this time — b

    • No bullshit nor conspiracy. A lot of people want a more open election process, including verifiable voting machines and always having at least a few random recounts. But apparently for a recount to happen on of the candidates needs to request it, and Hillary doesn't want to (she would look like a sore loser and a hypocrite). But if we can't have random recounts we can at least ask someone with the authority to request one.

  • yeah.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by starblazer ( 49187 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @07:15PM (#53361921) Homepage

    yeah... its "over"... but they have the right to request the recount, so they are taking them up on that option.

    And... it's not the dems requesting it, which is surprising.

    Oh well, if the Greens want to waste their money, let them.

    To the ACs whining about "They can't accept the outcome"... they are using legal avenues to make sure its right. It's not like the Greens are asking for special consideration because "AWMG RIGGED!!!"

    Trump was crying like a 2 year old about everything (CROOKED, RIGGED, WAHH) was so unfair and as soon as he got his way, he smiled and sat contently in the corner. Just like a two year old that got his way.

    Let them, they are allowed to request it and they did.

    • And... it's not the dems requesting it, which is surprising.

      Fool. Stein has supposedly raised more money for this bogus recount which she can't win than she raised on her entire campaign. Only states that Trump won are being contested, not states that were even closer but Hillary supposedly won. Of course it is the Democrats (and Soros) behind this, Stein is just a shill because Hillary made such an issue of contesting an election not being "Presidential".

      • by fgouget ( 925644 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @08:02PM (#53362183)

        Of course it is the Democrats (and Soros) behind this, Stein is just a shill because Hillary made such an issue of contesting an election not being "Presidential".

        So you're saying Stein cannot possibly consider Hillary to be the lesser evil and couldn't possibly decide to verify that Hillary lost on her own. As for the funding it cannot possibly be the over 50% of Americans who voted for Hillary either. For you it really has to be some conspiracy. Just because... ???

      • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

        By this action Stein puts the green party on the map of possible parties outside the big two. Make a lot of noise and news - and if the recount actually changes the election people will remember that in the coming election.

        It's a strategic choice. Stein can't win the battle this time since it's already lost but by making a heck of a racket she will have one strategical piece in place for the next election. Her plan is probably to be one of the top candidates for the 2020 election.

    • Re:yeah.. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @07:52PM (#53362137)

      yeah... its "over"... but they have the right to request the recount, so they are taking them up on that option.

      And... it's not the dems requesting it, which is surprising.

      It's fairly straightforward politics.

      A recount is unlikely to change anything (even the supporters acknowledge this), and the Democrats requesting one makes them look like sore losers and erodes their public support at a time when they're trying to build public support so they can check the more extreme parts of Trump's agenda. They also have a chance of building a good enough relationship with Trump that they can moderate him somewhat (see how Trump's positions changed the moment he chatted with Obama for 90 minutes).

      Trump is also known to be quite punitive, if Clinton asks for a recount it's quite possible he re-changes his mind and tells his incoming Attorney General to go after her on the emails. A conviction would be very unlikely, but no one wants to go through a trial like that.

      So the Dems requesting a recount has a fairly high cost with little upside.

      The Greens however, have no elected officials that lose credibility on a lost recount, so they can ask for a low-probability recount without losing anything but a bit of money.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2016 @07:18PM (#53361949)

    Look at the Russian hacks, they were targeting the vote registration data. From that data you get the list of absentee voters and the list of habitual non-voters. When Florida is busy receiving all those faxed votes, it has no way of telling they come from a US military base in Afghanistan or a Russian propaganda base in Moscow. They simply don't validate the origin of absentee votes sent by post or fax.

    Ohio didn't send out 1 million absentee ballots (the Republican governor withheld absentee ballots from people who moved within Ohio, i.e. renters not home owners), yet Ohio had a record year for absentee ballot voting.

    And it was Russia:

    http://time.com/4472169/russian-hackers-arizona-voter-registration/

    "Russians Hacked Arizona Voter Registration Database -Official...Russians were responsible for the recent breach of Arizona’s voter registration system, the FBI told state officials in June. He said hackers gained access after stealing the username and password of an election official in Gila County, rather than compromising the state or county system."

    This is Illinois's hack:

    http://time.com/4471042/fbi-voter-database-breach-arizona-illinois/

    Florida was also hit, and likely many more too.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2016/10/12/politics/florida-election-hack/

    "Feds believe Russians hacked Florida election-systems vendor"

  • Of course... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cirby ( 2599 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @07:29PM (#53361997)

    There's no actual promise by the Green Party to actually spend that money on the recount effort.

    For that matter, they shouldn't need to spend much money at all on it. So why is Stein asking for even more cash?

    Oh, yeah. Graft. So, Jill, who gave you all of that money? Since it's a political campaign donation, I'm sure you kept track of the names of all of those donors, right? And you'll give it back if the recount fails?

    What? No? What a shock...

    • Re:Of course... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ronaldbeal ( 4188783 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @07:51PM (#53362129)
      Stein has no legal standing for a recount in Michigan: "A candidate for an office canvassed by the board of state canvassers or is the office of representative in Congress, state representative, or state senator for a district located wholly within 1 county may petition for a recount of the votes. The petition must allege that the candidate is “aggrieved on account of fraud or mistake in the canvass of the votes by the inspectors of election or the returns.” " Mich. Comp. Laws 168.879(1). Since Stein has no chance of winning, from a legal perspective, she can not be "aggrieved." Hillary is the only candidate that would be "aggrieved" if there are irregularities in the vote, and thus, she is the only one who can petition for a recount. Republican legal teams are already drafting motions for injunctions due to standing.
  • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @07:30PM (#53362007)

    Call me old-fashioned, but I think elections should be:

    (1) held using pen and paper only (no electronic voting, no mail voting)
    (2) on a Sunday (no conflict with work)
    (3) require a photo ID
    (4) stain people's right thumb to indicate that they have voted

    Two other reforms:

    (a) only citizens should count in the allocation of seats and electors
    (b) congressional districts should be created algorithmically and have an upper limit on the ratio of the square of the boundary size of the district to the area of the district

    • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *

      (2) on a Sunday (no conflict with work)

      Confirming that absolutely NO ONE works on Sundays.

  • Why? (Score:4, Funny)

    by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @07:35PM (#53362035)

    Why are people giving Jill Stein millions of dollars for an election recount?

    Because orange isn't green.

  • When you allow ballots to be mailed in, who is going to audit that real people registered .. and voted? I mean it's auditable but in real life not practically.

    And then there is the electronic ballot .. they need to give you a paper receipt so you can check how you own vote was counted.

  • Quick survey says... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2016 @07:42PM (#53362079)

    So, maybe I'll do a blog post about this, but the data is surprisingly easy to find. Buffalo county, which uses exclusively e-voting touchscreen machines, and voted for Obama in 2012, ended up voting for Trump by a huge percentage in '16. La-fayette county, Obama '12, Trump '16, all e-voting machines, huge discrepancy in vote. Door County, Obama '12, Trump '16, but much much closer in vote count; optical scanning of paper ballots and not a touchscreen machine.

    This is literally the first 3 counties that voted Obama in '12, Trump in '16 that I selected pretty much at random. It does nothing to dispel the claims of potential fraud, nor do the many demonstrations of e-voting machines being easy to hack. That a bunch of experts have claimed it would be hard to do so because the machines aren't on the internet only shows that the only expertise they have is manipulating things on the internet. There are plenty of actual, physical manipulations of vote counts in US election voting history, New York in the 19th century was rife with it for some time periods. Not everything, surprisingly, has to be done through the internet.

    There's nothing wrong with seeking not just a re-count, but in checking the machines used for signs of tampering which is an incredibly necessary idea. Secure elections are a cornerstone of democracy, and double checking one already rife with hacking and blatant media manipulation is an obvious idea.

  • Not rhetorical.... serious question here. Have recounts like this, this long after the election, ever made a difference to the results?
    • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

      Al Franken. And of course the presidential race in 2000, if there had been a full statewide recount.*

      *Since this site is crawling with wingnuts, no, I did not stutter. A full recount of the votes in Florida put Gore in the lead under any scenario. No, the link you're pulling up right now is not about a full. state. wide. recount, but a county-based one. No, it doesn't matter that that's what Gore first asked for, as he was following Florida law, which allowed recounts by county but didn't lay out one fo

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        Not an answer. I asked whether such recounts ever *have* made a difference to the results of a presidential election, not whether they would have, should have, or ought to have made a difference.
  • Supposedly there is a 7% difference between the machine tally and the paper tally. They ascribe this to voting machines being hacked. I suggest it might as well be thought that the machines are correct and that the traditional ways of "hacking" paper ballot totals are responsible for the difference.

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