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Peter Tatchell writes: As early voting in the US presidential elections gets underway, ES&S iVotronics touch-screen electronic voting machines have been observed in four separate states flipping the votes – mostly from Barack Obama to John McCain but sometimes to third party candidates too. This has already occurred during early voting in the states of West Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri and Texas.

A county clerk in West Virginia invited a video crew to watch his demonstration of the reliability of the disputed voting machines but instead he saw the machine flipping the votes, as critics claimed. He put this down to the faulty calibration of the voting machine. However, even after he recalibrated the machine it continued to flip votes. Read more and watch the video.

Question: Do you worry whether the technology will let you down in this election? And will that favour any one candidate?


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jeffxandra wrote:
Oct. 29th, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC)
To be honest, I've always been concerned that voting machines provide less of an auditable trail than an ATM. The machines in Maryland have never given me trouble (to my knowledge) but it is somewhat unsettling.
wtf wrote:
Oct. 29th, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC)
I do worry about this, especially because many local early voting sites are electronic-only. Sure, there's a paper backup, but that's only good if officials actually use it.
pariskan wrote:
Oct. 29th, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC)
As a computer programmer, I am appalled.
letitshine wrote:
Oct. 29th, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC)
I am glad to see legislation being presented to make federal law to have all voting take place on Saturday or Sunday.

However, for a federal election, the should CERTAINLY be federal regulation! I don't understand why the laws vary so much from state to state with regard to federal elections! We should all be allowed to vote early absentee and ON PAPER! NOT COMPUTER.

These are machines and they can be manipulated! These are PC BASED COMPUTERS, connected to the INTERNET! They CAN BE HACKED.

Its beyond frustrating and...sad.
tyskkvinna wrote:
Oct. 29th, 2008 04:59 pm (UTC)
I agree completely.

My rule always is "if it's a computer, it can be tampered with". Sure, you can tamper with paper... but I think it's easier to provide a paper trail on it when you start with paper.

And I say this as a computer programmer!
(no subject) - brennakimi - Oct. 29th, 2008 06:04 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 29th, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: The Electoral College - brennakimi - Oct. 29th, 2008 10:50 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: The Electoral College - pariskan - Oct. 30th, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC) Expand
ratphooey wrote:
Oct. 29th, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC)
I do worry about this. I worry that the neocons have rigged the machines to tilt the vote to their candidate.
freak2760 wrote:
Oct. 29th, 2008 06:48 pm (UTC)
I was wondering when the "OMG!! TEH REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO STEALZ TEH ELECTION!!! AGAIN!!" comment would show up.

Thank you for the lack of a reasonable comment.
(no subject) - ratphooey - Oct. 29th, 2008 06:55 pm (UTC) Expand
okay then.... - freak2760 - Oct. 30th, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC) Expand
Because I can't stop feeding the troll - ratphooey - Oct. 30th, 2008 11:42 pm (UTC) Expand
stick and stones.... sticks and stones.... - freak2760 - Oct. 31st, 2008 12:46 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - freak2760 - Oct. 31st, 2008 04:52 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - ratphooey - Oct. 31st, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC) Expand
For the last time.... - freak2760 - Oct. 31st, 2008 08:20 pm (UTC) Expand
Keep on digging your own hole - ratphooey - Nov. 1st, 2008 12:23 am (UTC) Expand
Re: For the last time.... - life - Nov. 2nd, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - pres_man - Oct. 29th, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC) Expand
brennakimi wrote:
Oct. 29th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
Nice article, but didn't you ask this same question in the last post?
janet_prime wrote:
Oct. 29th, 2008 07:03 pm (UTC)
It's the reason I choose the paper ballot -- Evanston, just north of Chicago, has only a couple of the electronic ones per polling location, and all the punch paper stations still. Last election, the electronic ones were largely empty, while there was a small line waiting to get into the standard booths.

Of course, being in Chicagoland has all of us very educated about how many ways there are to cheat on election results. Though I have to say that the city and county have gone a long way to clear up the worse abuses over the last 20 plus years since the Chicago Machine broke down. And whistle blowers are listened to.
carmy_w wrote:
Oct. 29th, 2008 11:55 pm (UTC)
If I was using an electronic machine, I'd want to see a paper printout so I could verify that my vote went where I intended it to go. And I'd raise a fuss till I saw it, and I'd raise a fuss if it was incorrect.
pres_man wrote:
Oct. 30th, 2008 02:11 am (UTC)
One has to then wonder, how many other voters are going to miss out on their chance because you (the generic you) decided to make a fuss and hold up the line. This is especially worrisome in this particular election as it is suppose to have the largest turn out ever. If enough people make a fuss with comments about "where's the paper!", lots of voters might get disenfranchised. Hmm,... that's a thought.
(no subject) - ysathora - Oct. 30th, 2008 12:50 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - pres_man - Oct. 30th, 2008 03:17 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - ysathora - Oct. 30th, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - splitting_minds - Oct. 30th, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC) Expand
polarisdib wrote:
Oct. 30th, 2008 03:36 am (UTC)
I AM worried about the technology, but I'm not worried about any conspiracy behind it. The problem with that interpretation is that these were machines designed by entire companies full of people, many of whom need to know what goes into making them, and most of whom probably have different political opinions. The machines are faulty, not their use. That said, my local county has hit on a solution involving both paper ballots and machine counters, which I definitely think is the way to go from here on out.

meggins wrote:
Oct. 30th, 2008 03:50 am (UTC)
It is a concern. I'd be very upset if I thought my vote was negated or changed by a machine. I get nervous enough with the paper ballots my precinct uses. (We have to fill in a little circle, like some standardized tests, and I always wonder if I filled it in enough or maybe too much.)
akasa wrote:
Oct. 30th, 2008 09:34 am (UTC)
For years there have been groups lobying and begging for a paper trail and non-reliance on these voting machines. You can see how well that went.
Maybe with it being apparant we can demand a recount no matter who wins and demand a paper vote with it.
lizlux wrote:
Oct. 30th, 2008 05:02 pm (UTC)
I'm scared to death of it! Out of all the Palin-bashing, fear-mongering, and other pointless topics that the media has obsessed over during this campaign, that is the one topic that is so fundamentally crucial to the election but has been completely overlooked. Faulty voting machines and corrupt individuals are in a large part responsible for the fact that our nation has been run by an imbecile for the last 8 years, and we still have not fixed this issue!! If McCain wins, at this point I shutter to think about the future of our country and what will go down.
tamrinm wrote:
Oct. 31st, 2008 07:17 am (UTC)
I remember the last election I voted in was a paper ballot where I connected a separated line to indicate what my vote was. I felt pretty secure with that system because it seemed to be pretty hard to falsify or misinterpret the intention of the voter. But, ever since the hanging chad it has become the thing to have electronic voting and I voted on a machine this year.

There has been a lot of outcry over Republican's committing voter fraud with these machines, but this demonstration proves that it could happen to anyone. I just think that the Democrats are so worried that they are being a lot more aware than the Republicans when they are voting. I made sure when I voted that I read through my ballot before I submitted my vote, and I recommend that everyone do the same thing.
blibrestez54 wrote:
Oct. 31st, 2008 05:51 pm (UTC)
Will next week's US presidential vote be free and fair?
Based on the conduct of the last major election, Yes, Indeed I'm worried about next week's US presidential vote of being free and fair because of the conduct of the last election. The 2004 election was marred by vote-fixing that would disgrace a banana republic. Four years later, few new safeguards have been implemented to prevent a re-run of the voter exclusion and ballot tampering of 2004.
joan_of_arcaic wrote:
Nov. 2nd, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
Excelelnt suggestion in the reader's comments for story.
Many voting locations offer an alternative paper + optical scan system that has a countable paper trail. If your location offers it, and your e-voting touch-screens don't have printable receipts, I recommend voting using a paper ballot!

Posted by: Renee | Sunday, 02 November 2008 at 04:17 AM
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