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Who reconciles the paper trail with electronic tallies?

Who reconciles the paper trail with electronic tallies?

Posted May 18, 2006 17:50 UTC (Thu) by diakka (guest, #10310)
In reply to: Who reconciles the paper trail with electronic tallies? by scripter
Parent article: Diebold election insecurity systems

Maybe each person that votes would receive a slip of paper with a secret validation code on it. Later on, all the codes with the corresponding votes could be posted to a website. Each individual could verify that their vote without revealing their identity. Granted, this system wouldn't be perfect. Fake validation codes could be generated that wouldn't get checked by anybody. Probably someone out there has thought up a more intelligent system, but this seemed like the most obvious one off the top of my head. Essentially the reconciliation would be paralellized and would put the responsibility to the individual citizens.


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Who reconciles the paper trail with electronic tallies?

Posted May 18, 2006 20:22 UTC (Thu) by kweidner (subscriber, #6483) [Link]

That approach is vulnerable to vote selling and other ways to pressure voters. A proper secret ballot is supposed to ensure that the people who voted have no way of proving that they voted a certain way.

Also, what's the procedure if people claim that the posted vote doesn't match who they intended to vote for? How many (unverified) complaints would be necessary to force a new election?

I think the old fashioned way of sticking pieces of paper in a ballot box still works best. A touchscreen system could still be useful for filling out the ballot and printing it, especially if it's a more complicated vote than a single check box. Automated scanning or an internal tally could provide a preliminary result, to be confirmed by manual count.

Who reconciles the paper trail with electronic tallies?

Posted May 18, 2006 21:10 UTC (Thu) by jmorris42 (guest, #2203) [Link]

> Maybe each person that votes would receive a slip of paper with a secret
> validation code on it.

Or maybe geeks could realize this isn't a problem that can be solved with technology. Seriously. Me or half the readers here could design a open source secure voting system and spec the hardware to run it on in a way it would also be virtually tamper proof. Except for one small problem. It would make zero difference.

In the end it isn't who votes, it isn't who votes for who. It is who counts the votes that matters. I live in Louisiana, I understand these things. When the dead in New Orleans rushed to the polls in 1996 at the last minute to put Mary Landriau into the Senate, it was generally admitted that massive fraud had occured, but the Democrats hung tough and threatened to 'shut down the Senate' if there was any sort of investigation and she was seated; where she remains today. A few nerds waving around hash codes to add further proof of the misdeeds would have changed nothing. Political problems are solved politically, not with technology. The only solution that would have worked would have been a few Republicans with a spine, but since that isn't likely to happen in our lifetimes.....

The root of the problem is a failure of trust in the people running elections in major urban areas. Which is why nothing will be done regarding installing secure voting machines. Democrats run almost all of the major urban machines and like being able to pad a percentage point or two onto their totals and want nothing to do with some technology that would hinder that. Being able to ALSO crank up their moonbat base with conspiracy theories about Dibold is just gravy.

Note that I am NOT accusing Democrats of being less moral than Republicans on this issue, it is just the facts on the ground that happen to give them both the ability to pull off the fraud in the first place and by being able to dominate the MSM message keep most people from realizing that EVERY major documented case (most historians now admit Kennedy/Nixon was crooked enough to have changed the outcome of TX and IL) of actual voter fraud in the last seventy five years has been committed by their side. If the circumstances so favored the Republicans they would certainly abuse it and DO sometimes commit other questionable acts to help boost their numbers.

Which brings us back to how do we get elections we can trust? Self government doesn't require perfect elections, only ones honest enough that people are willing to be bound by their results. I'm afraid the answer to that isn't technology either, the problem is with thee and me. We keep right on allowing politicians to take us for granted instead of holding them accountable. If government is broken it is because WE broke it.


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