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Is the election in actual danger of being stolen?


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Is the election in actual danger of being stolen?
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Kraetos
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2008-10-27, 12:03

Please read this post before simply responding to only the title of the thread. I'm not trying to spark a flame war, I'm really just curious.

Here is what I know/think I know:

Reports of voting machines flipping votes are abundant. Most of the reports agree that the majority of the stolen votes are Democratic votes, flipping to Republican or third party votes, which rules out random malfunction. All of these reports come from some of the most liberal parts of the blogosphere, so I take them with a grain of salt. However, I have seen reports of vote stealing from non-American news sources. The machines in question are made by ES&S or Diebold. The machines are easy to hack; there are how-to videos on YouTube. Also on YouTube are cell phone videos of the machines in question flipping votes in other elections, including this years primaries. When one of these machines changes a vote, there is no record of the original vote or that a change has occurred.

Caution: Liberal-bias ahead.
Widespread Touch Screen Vote Flipping
GOP cyber-security expert suggests Diebold tampered with 2002 election

Furthermore, Diebold maintains the machines that actually count the votes, and access to these machines is not very restricted. Diebold could easily be changing vote tallies after the votes are taken from the voting machines and before they are handed to the authorities. (Not saying they are, just saying that it's technically possible, which is really a pretty big oversight if it's really an accident.) The machines are supposedly designed to track changes made to vote tallies, but this functionality has not been demonstrated. Diebold reportedly has ties to the Republican party.

Diebold Confirms U.S. Vote Count Vulnerabilities

The Army's 3rd Infantry 1st Brigade Combat Team - roughly 1,200 soldiers - has been on duty within the continental U.S since October 1. Army units have been active inside our borders before, but usually it's in response to a national crisis, such as Katrina, and I don't think it's ever been a unit as large as a brigade. Also, these assignments are usually short term, but the 1st BCT will be on duty for 12 months. This brigade has been assigned to NorthCom: a joint command established during Bush's first term, with the stated mission "to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities."

Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1.

This ACORN stuff is bullshit. The idea that having fake registrations in the system will facilitate voter fraud is absurd. For fraud to take place, tens of thousands of people would have to show up to the polls, have an identity that matches one of these fake registrations, and then vote. It's one of the least efficient ways to rig an election I can think of. The amount of coordination required to do this on a scale that would actually have an effect on the outcome is too large to not be noticed. But that hasn't stopped the McCain campaign from repeatedly accusing the Obama campaign of using ACORN to facilitate voter fraud.

Is ACORN rigging the election?

Finally, voter suppression is even more abundant. Registration purging happens all the time, but there is a disproportionate amount of purging going on near college campuses in swing states - areas likely to vote Obama. College students are targeted because their address changes frequently and therefore they are easy to purge.

Some voters 'purged' from voter rolls.

Let me make it clear what I'm not arguing:

- It is 100% certain that the Republicans are rigging the election on a scale large enough to affect the outcome.
- The Democrats are above suspicion.
- The above facts are 100% reliable.
- If McCain wins, I will argue that the election was rigged, no matter what.

I don't know what to think. Most of my information comes from very liberal sources, and I have considered the possibility that this entire thing is being blown way out of proportion. But my gut tells me that there is something going on.

And with all that in mind, what could we, as citizens, do if the election is indeed stolen?

The polls look pretty bad for McCain. FiveThirtyEight gives McCain a 3-6% chance of winning. We could even be looking at a landslide, with 350+ EV going to Obama.

If something unexpected happens in the next week, and McCain does something really good while Obama does something really bad, and the polls reflect it, I doubt I'll go out on a limb to argue that it's not a legitimate victory. But if the numbers stay where they are, vote flipping reports intensify, and McCain wins 270-something to 260-something - is it too unreasonable to believe that the election was stolen?

And if that happens, how do we react?

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope

Last edited by Kraetos : 2008-10-27 at 17:04.
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Yontsey
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2008-10-27, 12:18

Go McCain
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bassplayinMacFiend
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Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2008-10-27, 12:20

The Diebold CEO did promise to carry OH for Bush in '04. Obviously not anything provable in that statement, but still a crazy one to make when you're the one building the non-auditable voting machines being used in elections.
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Banana
is the next Chiquita
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2008-10-27, 12:23

The trouble is that this kind of reports has been cropping up for long time, even back so in 2000 fiasco. The real sad thing is that nobody has seriously taken a effort to actually do something about the holes in the voting system.

So on one hand, it's just more of 'business as usual' and ultimately will be inconsequential just as 2000 election was. Bush was declared the winner and remained so even in face of charges and allegations. On the other hand, even if there were active rigging, I'd be more inclined to say that both sides are guilty as I've seen stories supporting and lambasting both sides. It's kind like trying to tack blame on a member who's just carrying out the orders of a cartel.

There's also one more question. Has there been ever an election in past where last-minute flip happened and turned certain victory into certain defeat? I'm thinking no but that's just me guessing.
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Moogs
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2008-10-27, 12:24

Ron Paul will be the winnar!
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jdcfsu
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2008-10-27, 12:25

You've done a good job of gathering up all the reports and put together an interesting proposition but, frankly, I don't see it happening. It'd have to be one hell of a steal to take it.

I've read reports of early voter turnout heavily favoring Obama, and based on my own experience voting early last week I can say that's more or less correct.

The ACORN thing is interesting but I think it's really just a smoke screen by the Republicans to cast doubt on Democratic votes. But, like you said, it'd be a lot harder for something like that to be effective at all -- which is why I call it a smoke screen.

The electronic voting machines do seem to be a problem because of how easy they are to change. I'm happy that Florida switched everything to the optical scan machines which are pretty hard to mess up.

All that said, I really don't see it happening.

90% of statistics can be made to say anything 50% of the time.
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jdcfsu
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2008-10-27, 12:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banana View Post
There's also one more question. Has there been ever an election in past where last-minute flip happened and turned certain victory into certain defeat? I'm thinking no but that's just me guessing.
Dewey v Truman
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Banana
is the next Chiquita
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2008-10-27, 12:32

Wow, I was wrong. I thought it was a close election, but apparently Dewey was expected to win by landslide. So that's one... any other?
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jdcfsu
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2008-10-27, 12:47

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banana View Post
Wow, I was wrong. I thought it was a close election, but apparently Dewey was expected to win by landslide. So that's one... any other?
I guess the other would Be Gore v Bush. Gore was leading going into the debates, when he rolled his eyes and sneered at Bushes answers, much like McCain did to Obama in the current debates. After the various news agencies started running Gore's facial expressions in the coming days, the polls narrowed and, well, you know what happened.

90% of statistics can be made to say anything 50% of the time.
Website | Twitter
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Xaqtly
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2008-10-27, 12:48

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdcfsu View Post
I'm happy that Florida switched everything to the optical scan machines which are pretty hard to mess up.
Floridians will find a way to get a hanging chad out of those things. Guaranteed.

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billybobsky
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2008-10-27, 13:14

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdcfsu View Post
Dewey v Truman
Polling issues... Not a valid comparison...
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tomoe
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2008-10-27, 13:27

Why don't they just make voting machines that print out a paper receipt, that way you have a physical copy of everyone voted for?
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RowdyScot
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2008-10-27, 13:28

Dunno about other states and areas, but the voting machines in NW Ohio *do* print receipts.
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chucker
 
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2008-10-27, 13:29

Just don't worry about it. Diebold's results aren't so bad.
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PKIDelirium
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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2008-10-27, 13:47

The Diebold machines here print out paper receipts when you lock in the votes, and has a little window so you can look at it before finalizing things.

We have the option of using an optical Scantron machine here, but they only have one of them at each polling place, so it usually has a line.

Early '09 Mac mini (El Capitan), iPhone 7 (iOS 12.3), iPad Air 2 (iOS 12.3), Mid '10 MacBook Unibody (High Sierra), Mid '05 14" iBook G4 (Tiger)
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colivigan
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2008-10-27, 13:48

Homer knows. Doh!
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bassplayinMacFiend
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2008-10-27, 14:32

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomoe View Post
Why don't they just make voting machines that print out a paper receipt, that way you have a physical copy of everyone voted for?
My state uses a Scantron type of ballot. You fill in the circles with a felt-tipped pen, then insert it face-down into the scanner on the way out. My state typically has the highest voter turnout in the country so I'm glad they had a system with paper backup.
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alcimedes
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2008-10-27, 14:37

Yeah, scantron is probably the best compromise between quick results and a real paper trail. (which is what MN uses)
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Taskiss
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2008-10-27, 14:39

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraetos View Post
I don't know what to think. Most of my information comes from very liberal sources, and I have considered the possibility that this entire thing is being blown way out of proportion. But my gut tells me that there is something going on.
I think your gut is liberal, too.

Do you realize the extent of the conspiracy needed to pull off an election scam like you're suggesting?
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bassplayinMacFiend
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Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2008-10-27, 14:40

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcimedes View Post
Yeah, scantron is probably the best compromise between quick results and a real paper trail. (which is what MN uses)
Unless they're hiding a big shredder in that Scantron box.
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alcimedes
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2008-10-27, 14:42

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taskiss View Post
I think your gut is liberal, too.

Do you realize the extent of the conspiracy needed to pull off an election scam like you're suggesting?
1 person actually.

The purely electronic voting machines can be tampered with at the source code level and designed to return whatever results are desired. It would have to be someone who either had access to the source code before they went out the door, or an election official that has physical access to the machines, but really that isn't that small of a circle, and it only requires a single person to pull it off.

It's been shown that they can print your personal paper receipt to say one thing, and have the internal account report another entirely, and the results come out as "good" without any discrepancies.

Google is your frenemy.
Caveat Emptor - Latin for tough titty
I tend to interpret things in the way that's most hilarious to me
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Banana
is the next Chiquita
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2008-10-27, 14:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcimedes View Post
It's been shown that they can print your personal paper receipt to say one thing, and have the internal account report another entirely, and the results come out as "good" without any discrepancies.
How is that done? If your paper say you voted for candidate X but tally comes out for Y, wouldn't it be evident?


(Mind, I'm not defending Diebold in any way- just wanted to know how it can be done)
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Taskiss
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2008-10-27, 14:56

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcimedes View Post
1 person actually.

The purely electronic voting machines can be tampered with at the source code level and designed to return whatever results are desired. It would have to be someone who either had access to the source code before they went out the door, or an election official that has physical access to the machines, but really that isn't that small of a circle, and it only requires a single person to pull it off.
So, do you hack a ES&S system? Or a Sequoia Voting Systems machine? How about one from Diebold?

I think that the idea that one person can hack the vote is unrealistic.

Then you have to cover all the rest of the accusations being made... it's a prelude to an overthrowing of the government. The scenario listed in the OP is certainly not a one man show.

real hackers don't use sigs
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alcimedes
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2008-10-27, 14:59

My understanding is there's no running total given as they go.

I'll have to look it up, there was actually an HBO or Showtime special on the various ways you can hack a Diebold machine to give what look like clean results while completely tweaking the actual vote count on the back end to say whatever you like.

Google is your frenemy.
Caveat Emptor - Latin for tough titty
I tend to interpret things in the way that's most hilarious to me
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Taskiss
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO
 
2008-10-27, 15:16

Here's an interesting article from the folks as scifi.com - a breakdown of all the different voting machines that'll be used in the election.

http://dvice.com/voting/machines.php

real hackers don't use sigs
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Axl
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Ca na da
 
2008-10-27, 15:20

The whole thing is a sham anyway.

But Obama losing… hooooo boy! There will be riots.
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Bryson
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Whitby
 
2008-10-27, 15:25

It is strongly my opinion that McCain was selected to lose: he's the fall guy. So they might have their hands in the pie, but maybe not in the direction you think.
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Wyatt
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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2008-10-27, 15:25

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axl View Post
The whole thing is a sham anyway.

But Obama losing… hooooo boy! There will be riots.
I think the odds of a riot are good, either way. The only difference is where the riot will be.
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curiousuburb
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Join Date: May 2004
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2008-10-27, 15:27

http://blackboxvoting.org/ - (As I recall they had a video documentary in 2000, maybe it's still online)

There are also videos online showing how to hack Sequoia voting machines, RFID ePassport readers (read the hacker's blog about it or the ARStechnica story), and lots of other 'Trust Us, it's Secure... but closed source so you can't check... just Trust Us™' technology.

All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
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jdcfsu
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2008-10-27, 15:47

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
I think the odds of a riot are good, either way. The only difference is where the riot will be.
You mean in real America vs fake America?
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