Author Topic: Election Security  (Read 407 times)

yossarian22c

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Election Security
« on: December 27, 2018, 11:33:29 AM »
Based on our current media and political climate candidates are encouraged/forced to accept the results elections for the smooth transition of power. Gore challenged in Florida but stopped short of demanding a full recount, since then the most litigated was Franken's narrow election in Wisconsin. We have only seen true litigation in these extremely close races with the narrowest of margins. But what about when a race is decided by 100,000 votes but there is clear evidence that at least some of the electronic machines were manipulated? The margin on its face doesn't justify a lot of litigation and the people who won the election would be in charge of any government investigation. It seems like something that could get buried pretty easily.

There is a lawsuit (not public yet, so we'll deal with this in mostly hypotheticals and generalities for now) in a particular state that I believe has a high probability of showing that certain voting machines were tampered with. Having looked at some of the data I'm 99+% confident that actual votes were tampered with.

If it can be shown the electronic voting machine was tampered with it casts doubt on the democratic outcome of an election which causes all kinds potentially very negative consequences. On the other hand if we allow widespread electronic voting fraud then we are subverting democracy.

Either way I feel like we lose as a society. I really wish there was a strong center that supported true election security (voter ID is a sham and mail-in is rife for abuse). But I largely see both sides either largely ignoring the issue or supporting only the voting measures that help them politically. I hope we can get this fixed before we have the courts either overturning the results of an election or ordering new elections, I really fear what the extremes on either side would do should they end up on the losing side of one of those decisions.

NobleHunter

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Re: Election Security
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2018, 12:16:28 PM »
It doesn't help that even in straightforward recounts the parties usually abandon principle for whichever approach seems likely to have the desired outcome.

Seriati

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Re: Election Security
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2018, 12:39:56 PM »
Gore challenged in Florida but stopped short of demanding a full recount...

Gore didn't "stop short," his specific intent was to only "recount" in the four counties with the most Democratic voters.  It was clearly designed to harvest more Blue votes, and reduce the chance that other counties would offset that by finding more red votes.

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But what about when a race is decided by 100,000 votes but there is clear evidence that at least some of the electronic machines were manipulated?

Tough to say in the abstract.  I'm not always convinced that evidence is clear, I'm also not always convinced that the a negative inference is legit either (ie, that the election should "flip" or that it can be re done fairly after such an accusation is made).

Ideally, we'd toss the results (and maybe the prior candidates as well) and start over, but it hasn't been the history of the situation.  I mean I haven't heard that Doug Jones is going to resign or submit to a re-election in connection with Roy Moore being targeted by social media manipulation (confirmed reports that Democratic operatives generated fake Russian accounts to follow Moore and that the media picked up his Russian "connection" as a targeted negative story, for example).  Not direct vote manipulation, but election manipulation (at least by the Trump investigation standard - though with more actual proof at this point).

I think I'm pretty well on record that I don't think electronic voting should be used or allowed.  Funny how the politicians keep moving forward on it even though they know its manipulatable and that they don't have adequate security.  Almost like each side secretly believes their dirty tricks will be the ones that win the day.

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Having looked at some of the data I'm 99+% confident that actual votes were tampered with.

But are you as confident about the way in which they were manipulated?  It'd be easy enough to "tamper" by putting say 50k votes for each candidate into the system, or flipping 100k randomly, to create a tamper trail that could be uncovered if you lost, rather than getting caught putting yourself into office with 100k votes that would be tied directly to yourself.  Same thing about putting in 100k for your opponent - best of both worlds - you still win, nothing happens, you lose - proof the other guy stole the election (either you get put in office, or you can play to get a re-election where you get to ride the "stolen election" coverage).  Or heck, they (or someone that supports them) could have just thought they wouldn't get caught.

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I really wish there was a strong center that supported true election security (voter ID is a sham and mail-in is rife for abuse).

Identification of citizens is not a "sham," the idea that it has to disenfranchise anyone is both a lie and a sham.

I think there is a strong majority that supports election security, however, there are virtually no politicians (the ones who get to make the decisions) that do.  The same way that everyone, but the politicians, wants money out of politics and we get more and more money in politics every year.

yossarian22c

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Re: Election Security
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2018, 01:38:36 PM »
Gore challenged in Florida but stopped short of demanding a full recount...

Gore didn't "stop short," his specific intent was to only "recount" in the four counties with the most Democratic voters.  It was clearly designed to harvest more Blue votes, and reduce the chance that other counties would offset that by finding more red votes.

You're correct, I forgot that tidbit of partisanship by Gore as part of the recount effort. Just goes to reinforce NobleHunter's point above.

yossarian22c

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Re: Election Security
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2018, 01:50:37 PM »
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But what about when a race is decided by 100,000 votes but there is clear evidence that at least some of the electronic machines were manipulated?

Tough to say in the abstract.  I'm not always convinced that evidence is clear, I'm also not always convinced that the a negative inference is legit either (ie, that the election should "flip" or that it can be re done fairly after such an accusation is made).

The evidence I've seen is based on data analysis. To my knowledge no one has actually investigated the machines and memory cards used. It is absolutely clear though who the manipulation was supposed to help, it also matches the party in power before and after the election which makes a false flag seem less likely.

Pete at Home

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Re: Election Security
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2018, 03:01:19 PM »
Wasn’t Gore the deplorabilly that made this whole electronic fiasco possible by starting the groundswell for wholesale abandonment of the paper trail?

TheDeamon

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Re: Election Security
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2018, 01:26:50 PM »
Wasn’t Gore the deplorabilly that made this whole electronic fiasco possible by starting the groundswell for wholesale abandonment of the paper trail?

Yes and no, many states used to push for electronic voting, others have kept to what they've been using for years. Idaho has been using electronically scanned paper ballots for decades now(at least since I first voted in 1999).

The "biggest" thing about the Florida recount was to end the creation of ambiguous ballots(like the infamous "butterfly ballot"), and likewise end mechanical voting methods, which brings us back to "hanging chads" being left over from hole-punches on voter ballots.

And as those chads were, to my recollection, created by pushing through "preformed holes" those ballots were prone towards having new "chads" detach from the ballot over time as they were handled in each successive recount...

That the butterfly ballot was also one of the ballots that could have a Hanging Chad just added to the mayhem. But in the wonder-days of 2000/2001, everybody fixated on the "Technology Solution" which meant shifting to computerized voting from more archaic forms, rather than going for something that leaves a more concrete record behind. (Although some of the saner computerized balloting methods have the voter also get a print-out they return to the precinct workers to store in the event of a recount)

D.W.

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Re: Election Security
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2019, 12:40:09 PM »
Michigan does the scanned paper ballot.  It would be nice to get a print out though to confirm the machine read what you fed it... 

TheDrake

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Re: Election Security
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2019, 12:52:06 PM »
If you don't trust the machine, why would you trust the printout?

An output could only catch a bad scan, not fraud.

Seriati

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Re: Election Security
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2019, 01:36:32 PM »
TheDrake is partially correct.  Machine generated receipt that the voter reviews and leaves with the election authorities does offer some protection from error (though many people won't check the receipt), a better version though is the user generated form that the machine reads (like an optical scanner), far less ability for their to be a mismatch when the recount occurs.

D.W.

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Re: Election Security
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2019, 11:49:45 AM »
If you don't trust the machine, why would you trust the printout?

An output could only catch a bad scan, not fraud.
Bad scans is what I fear.  A distant second to that would be flawed programming / code that outputs incorrectly.  Then a WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY distant third, overt fraud / hacking.

TheDrake

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Re: Election Security
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2019, 12:05:52 PM »
I don't think I'd worry much about a flawed scan. It's a basic fill the oval type thing, that they've been using for decades for everything. Most forms can do character recognition flawlessly, unless somebody has really funky handwriting. The post office scans and routes hand written addresses routinely.

D.W.

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Re: Election Security
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2019, 12:58:58 PM »
not bad points
but *censored* like "use the black felt tip pen only" being listed on the instructions, then being provided a pencil... makes people nervous some times.  :P

TheDeamon

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Re: Election Security
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2019, 01:14:08 PM »
not bad points
but *censored* like "use the black felt tip pen only" being listed on the instructions, then being provided a pencil... makes people nervous some times.  :P

Still holds that in the event of a recount, the ballot is clearly marked and capable of being tabulated by a human being, and the ballot is likewise unlikely to have its condition/vote change or become "confused" as a consequence of being handled.

Unlike what was going on with the "punch a hole" ballots with their hanging chads and everything else associated with them.

TheDrake

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Re: Election Security
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2019, 01:36:48 PM »
Given what we know about unconscious manipulation, I don't know why anyone would trust a hand recount.

Scientists have to conduct double-blind studies to avoid putting their thumb on the scale, I don't know why we would think that humans can perform this job accurately.

Anybody working in this capacity is by definition engaged politically, and has their preference.

yossarian22c

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Re: Election Security
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2019, 01:41:22 PM »
Given what we know about unconscious manipulation, I don't know why anyone would trust a hand recount.

Usually b/c there are observers from each party along with a government official that have to agree on the status of the ballot. One big security issue is that not enough of the machines are properly audited for accuracy in each election because of the time and effort involved in fully validating the output of even 2-5% of all of the machines. We need better (preferably open sourced) means of validating election results.

TheDeamon

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Re: Election Security
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2019, 02:32:06 PM »
Given what we know about unconscious manipulation, I don't know why anyone would trust a hand recount.

Usually b/c there are observers from each party along with a government official that have to agree on the status of the ballot. One big security issue is that not enough of the machines are properly audited for accuracy in each election because of the time and effort involved in fully validating the output of even 2-5% of all of the machines. We need better (preferably open sourced) means of validating election results.

Probably getting to the point where the ballots could be imaged as they're being processed and then allow for those images to be placed in a public database for review by the general public.

The challenge is access control to the hardcopy and validating X ballot on image Y is one and the same.