Judge Won't Allow Researchers To Reveal Report On E-Voting Machines

from the it's-not-like-we-have-an-election-coming-up-that-use-these-machines dept

You may recall that earlier this year, after some serious problems were discovered with Sequoia's e-voting machines in New Jersey, that the state asked a group of independent researchers to investigate the machines and prepare a report. Sequoia threatened to sue the researchers though. Luckily, a court allowed the researchers to investigate the machines, and said that 30 days after the court had received the report, it could be released. However, Sequoia, in its usual "It can't be our fault, no, no!" fashion, has convinced the judge to suppress the report.

Despite the fact that we're a month away from an election that will use these machines that time and time again have been shown to have problems accurately and reliably counting votes, no one is allowed to see the report. Voters in New Jersey won't be told the results of the report until after it's too late to request absentee ballots. As the head researcher on the report notes, even New Jersey's governor and secretary of state are not allowed to read the report and use it to make public policy decisions that would more likely create a fair election. For so many years now, the e-voting companies have dismissed concerns, blocked attempts to investigate, threatened investigators and almost never admitted any fault, despite tons and tons of evidence that the machines simply do not work that well. It's a travesty that this report is being suppressed.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    some old guy, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 10:11am

    One of these days

    One of these days the truth will finally come out that we, the people didn't actually elect G.W. to president twice. I wonder, what would happen on the world stage when that happens?

    At this point, is there anybody left that actually believes we, the people really mattered in the past two elections?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    mike allen, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 10:23am

    wiki.....

    Is not anyone at the test company brave enough to drop a copy on wikileaks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Christopher Froehlich, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 10:25am

    Re: wiki.....

    Ditto. Had the same thought myself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    streadwick, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 10:29am

    Re: One of these days

    Maybe they're trying to hide the evidence of the biggest farce in the history of the USA. If and when the truth ever comes out about G.W. and the stolen elections it will be enough to shake this country to it's roots.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    snowburn14, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 10:34am

    Who needs the report anyway?

    Seems to me, we know all we need to know about the machines and the company who provided them already: they shouldn't be trusted. Anyone who would have relied upon the report as the basis for...well, for anything at all really...should respond to this suppression as they would to a report indicating the machines were horrendously flawed and the company completely corrupt. To the residents of New Jersey: request an absentee ballot immediately. To the NJ legislature (or whoever determines the means by which votes in the state are counted): get a new system in place, by November if at all possible (I wouldn't hold my breath), and start looking into whether any case can be made for breach of contract or outright fraud against Sequoia...I'm not a lawyer, so I'll allow myself the fantasy that such a case could be made, but anyone living in the Boston area throught the "Big Dig" knows government contracts come with no liability whatsoever, no matter the negligence and cut corners involved.
    I'm still undecided on whether we need to require a paper trail in every voting system (though I lean toward yes, given cases like these), but at the least there should be full disclosure as to how the system works - or doesn't as the case may be. Do they really think there's anyone who could hack the voting system that can't now because the report was suppressed?

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 10:34am

    Democracy is like Magic

    You have to hide the mechanics of it to make the illusion seem real.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    simon, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 10:47am

    difference between comunism and democracy

    in communism you know who's gonna win no matter who you gonna vote (actually it never matter, all candidates were pre-elected before anyway)

    the democracy is a brand new kind o game, people really are made to believe first that they matter in an election because someone has to pay for it and some seats have to be traded... rest is up to who has the best hacking system (sometimes this can be a real challenge)

    so, let's sit and watch who's gonna hack this years elections...

    and the winner is... (to be submitted)

    anyone dares to guess ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Greg, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 10:50am

    Re: Re: One of these days

    To you and some old guy.

    You two are absolute idiots. The election wasn't stolen. Get over it already. Algore was the one trying to steal said election. No matter how many recounts there were, the results were the same.

    And if you want the biggest farce in US History, try looking at the Clinton's and the hundreds of scandals they were never put in prison for.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 10:51am

    Re: difference between comunism and democracy

    "the democracy is a brand new kind o game, people really are made to believe first that they matter in an election because someone has to pay for it and some seats have to be traded... rest is up to who has the best hacking system (sometimes this can be a real challenge)"

    Actually democracy is far older then communism (in actuality communism was the "brand new game" circa 1900 or so). Also, most of the time, both have representative elections although the mechanical systems are often quite different.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Matt Bennett, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 11:04am

    This does seem a prime case where "contempt of court" would be justified. Haven't reporters willingly gone to jail in order to protect their sources? Is this any less justified?

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Charlie, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 11:07am

    Would it be such a bad thing that a roomfull of morally reputable people (say, nuns) sit down and count paper ballots, taking their time to make sure its right? Do we need to know immediatly who won or lost? Can't we do this simple but important task right? WTF is wrong with this country that we screw this up? Obviously the wrong people are making the decisions in this country. I would seriously consider retiring in another country but am afraid the US would some day bomb it. Disgraceful.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anymouse government worker, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 11:07am

    "We, the people" don't matter.....

    When have "we, the people" ever mattered in the election of a president? Do our votes get counted and tallied to determine who gets elected?

    Sorry, that's a democracy, we live in a republic. OUR VOTES DON'T MATTER, THEY ARE JUST A 'SUGGESTION' AS TO HOW WE WOULD LIKE OUR STATE TO CAST IT'S ELECTORIAL VOTES. There is no requirement that the state vote the way 'we, the people' suggest (just because there haven't been any cases of states voting for someone other than the winner of the popular vote YET, doesn't mean that it can't or won't happen at some point).

    I for one welcome our galactic overlords.... at least they don't have to resort to smoke and mirrors to rule, the threat of certain destruction if we resist is enough (oh wait.... that's the Bush administration, not the alien overlords)

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Eliot, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re: One of these days

    I'm not history major, but I'm sure that GW is hardly potent enough to be considered the USA's biggest farce.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Gary Pighetti, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Re: One of these days

    Dear Greg:

    You're priceless: first you engage in an ad hominem attack; then you make an unsupported generalization about "Algore;" and then make another gross generalization about American history and the Clintons.

    You're ignorance is exceeded only by your inability to have an original thought. Take a vacation from the web, Dude; you exhibit clear indications of brain damage.

    What a moroon,
    GP

    PS: You made my day

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Bob, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 11:34am

    All the political BS aside. Not reporting on the findings of the investigation is wrong. If there is nothing to hide then there is nothing to fear.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Joe, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 11:39am

    Confused...

    As a programmer, I am completely confused as to how someone can create an machine that can't ADD. Seriously, can't Add? Is there anything simplier for a computer?

    Here's the formula that's the solution to the problem:
    Total4Candidate1 = Total4Candidate1 + 1

    Wow, what a concept.

    I fail to see what is so hard about creating a machine that counts how many times a button or lever is pressed. The hard part should be controlling WHO presses the buttons.

    And not only does it counts wrong, but to have facts suppressed because releasing information regarding its failures would cause the company to lose money or potentially fail...(my assumption is that that's Sequoia fears, but they probably made some claim about protecting voting integrity to "ensure people vote").

    Selling a machine that doesn't work sounds like fraud, or at least false advertising on Sequoia part.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 11:40am

    I am going to vote by NOT voting. They shouldn't have any problem counting that one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    streadwick, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: Re: One of these days

    Al Gore didn't have good enough connections to steal back the election, Greg. And if I remember correctly, when our favorite president Bill Clinton left office there was a substantial surplus in our nation's coffers which Bush wasted no time in squandering and turning into a deficit. Clinton was far from perfect but at least he was entertaining and could make an eloquent speech. Speaking of absolute idiots, Bush was counting on you and millions more like you to orchestrate his two-term disaster. By the way, take that other guys advice and get yourself an absentee ballot for the next election.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 11:43am

    Re:

    It is possible that the judge suppressed the results because he found the report to be of questionable quality. It is also possible that he suppressed the report because it would be so defamatory to the evoting system that it would cause major problems for the upcoming election.

    Regardless of the reasons, the judge should give the public information about why he suppressed the report.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    streadwick, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: Re: One of these days

    GW is as impotent as you can get but the people pulling his strings are the ones you have to worry about.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    J.Locke, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Re: One of these days

    "And if you want the biggest farce in US History, try looking at the Clinton's and the hundreds of scandals they were never put in prison for."

    You mean like when they used that homosexual prostitute to pose as a reporter and throw softball questions to the president, that was hilarious . . . wait the was Bush? Oh you must mean those ridiculous "no-bid" contracts handed out to political contributors and close family friends . . . no wait that was Bush too, I know you mean when they let Enron defraud the state of California of out hundreds and millions of dollars and did nothing to get federal regulators to stop it . . . ooops, that was Bush again, ohh you mean when they were hiring and firing people unconstitutionally in the justice department . . . no wait, that was Bush too . . . ohh yeah you must mean when they outed that undercover nuclear proliferation CIA spy in order to cover up their treasonous misinformation campaign for war in Iraq . . . wait no, Bush again . . . I know your talking about those “secret meetings” they had in the white house that they won’t tell anyone anything about (since when does a KING answer to commoners?) . . . no wait that was Bush again . . . wait I can think of dozens and dozens more Bush scandals, but I’m not really sure what Clinton scandal you talking about . . . that fallacio thing? People only go to jail for that in Utah.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    streadwick, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 11:54am

    Re: "We, the people" don't matter.....

    Didn't Al Gore get more popular votes than Bush? I could be mistaken but I thought at least 2 presidents were elected by the Electoral College while losing the popular vote. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Casey, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 12:01pm

    Clinton Surplus

    Hah, the Clinton surplus. Anyone can create a surplus when you put it across multiple books. The mob is as good at that as the Clintons were.

    Clinton is continuously credited with a surplus and lowering the deficit. So explain how the deficit went from 4.4 trillion in 1993 to 5.8 trillion at the end of his second term if he was reducing it every year in office?

    There was a deficit every year, a true surplus in money is required to reduce the national debt.

    He lied to us, that’s how. He continues to get away with it. I hate Bush as much as most liberals, but don't sit there and hold your guys up to be any better. Who is in control of Congress right now? Who put the people in power to create this financial crisis? Dem's.

    Right, Bush stole the election by hacking... multiple manual recounts?

    Who is trying to defraud the people with these voting machines again? I don't know, what side has New Jersey Always gone for? Isn't it a Democrat controlled state government?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Clinton Surplus

    "Hah, the Clinton surplus. Anyone can create a surplus when you put it across multiple books. The mob is as good at that as the Clintons were."

    Anyone but Republicans it would appear? LOL?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    streadwick, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Clinton Surplus

    Who the hell knows what to believe anymore? Maybe we should all vote Libertarian and see if they can do any better. But then again the Republicans would probably hack our votes and steal another election!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    NeoConBushSupporter, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Clinton Surplus

    "Clinton is continuously credited with a surplus and lowering the deficit. So explain how the deficit went from 4.4 trillion in 1993 to 5.8 trillion at the end of his second term if he was reducing it every year in office?"


    I agree anyone can generate a surplus through prudent fiscal policy and an equitable tax-structure, that was no great accomplishment on the part of the Clintons. Now the Bush Administrations ability to get Americans to spend trillions of dollars and thousands of lives on a war against a country that was never even a threat to us, now that’s an accomplishment to brag about.


    VOTE McCain 2008 - The politics of failure have failed, together we can make them work again.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    lx, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 12:20pm

    Re: One of these days

    I hate to break this to you but:

    a) NJ is VERY Democratic. It goes blue by a landslide in just about every election. Blaming the voting machines for throwing the election would be arguing your counter point here - Bush should have gotten MORE votes.

    b) While no one actually likes Bush (well maybe in 2000, but certainly lesser so in 2004) the best the Democrats could come up with were Gore and Kerry. If you want to blame anyone for those elections, blame the Democrats for nominating people who were seen as the 'greater of 2 evils' by the majority of voters.

    Seriously, if things are ever going to get better, both parties need to pull their heads out of their proverbial dark place and focus on making things better instead of proving how the other party is worse.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    California, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 1:46pm

    Voting Machines

    Yes,

    Just reading these comments and this asinine story. Most people should not be allowed to vote and those that do should have to pass a test to do so.

    Please lord make it so -- no wait there is no lord or faries or starship enterprise -- we are just stuck here on this rock with 6 billion humans who argue about events a decade ago and worry that their stupid vote will not get counted right.

    Just remember -- "please don't vote in 2008." It is the only hope.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: One of these days

    "that fallacio thing? People only go to jail for that in Utah."

    Nope!!! You want go to jail for it here. We like that kind of thing. Just don't tell the kids.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Dan, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 3:04pm

    New Jersey should ban the use of all machines until they can be independently verified as functionally accurate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Greg is a Moron, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 3:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: One of these days

    > Idiot Greg Sez:
    >
    > The election wasn't stolen. Get over it already.
    > Algore was the one trying to steal said election


    Greg is probably benefiting from the Wall Street bailout. Scum.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    mischab1, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 3:57pm

    Re: Re: "We, the people" don't matter.....

    I think it has happened at least once but it wasn't Al Gore vs Bush.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    KC, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 4:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: One of these days

    Greg,
    The election was stolen in 2000 by Supreme Court decision. You don't mind because you're guy won. A complete recount of the entire state of Florida revealed a win for Gore; only a partial recount showed a win for Bush. The disenfranchisement of voters in Florida is a documented fact in 2000 and 2004 was a fiasco...for democracy. Facts still matter...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Sean, to KC, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 11:27am

    See, it would be "your guy won," because you aren't saying, "you are guy won."

    It makes it very hard to take a point as valid when it can't even be spelled properly, so work on your basic grammar and then try to convey messages.

    There are incredibly stupid people on both sides, be it Republican or Democrat; I'm just glad not to be stupid.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Sean, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 11:31am

    If we are going to remove the ability for me to be sure my vote when to who I want, then I will not vote.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Lee, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 1:07pm


    At this point, is there anybody left that actually believes we, the people really mattered in the past two elections?

    I don't see why you care whether they count your votes accurately or not. Even if they do, when <whoever you voted for> gets in, they do what they damn well like and this is almost never what they used as an election platform. I'm amazed that anyone buys into this "we live in a democracy" BS.

    Disclaimer: I live in the UK where we blindly follow every stupid fad coming out of the US :S

    PS. Your post form eats anything that looks like an html tag even if I choose 'Plain Text'. Additionally, when I use &lt; and &gt; entities, these are mutated into < and > during preview, meaning that it's necessary to keep changing them back to entities in the Comment Editor! Please! encode!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 11:00pm

    Re:

    a roomfull of morally reputable people (say, nuns)

    You're kidding us, right?

    And talk about separation of church and state...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 3:56am

    Re: One of these days

    LOL

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 3:57am

    Re: Re: Re: One of these days

    Ditto...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 11:26am

    Why can't we...?

    I know this basically won't work but I think everyone should mass email sequoia. This is disgusting to me how a company would rather save themselves than save the nation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: One of these days

    Actually, no matter how many recounts the results were NOT the same. They kept coming up with different results. Every single time. I live in Ohio, and I can tell you that the last election was a complete farce in this state.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    KS Girl, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 1:15pm

    e voting

    The safest way to vote if via snail mail. You have your own paper copy and you won't have to stand in line. You also have a chance to better scrutinize those "other" races that aren't always as obvious such as judges, bond issues, etc.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    KS Girl, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 1:15pm

    e voting

    The safest way to vote if via snail mail. You have your own paper copy and you won't have to stand in line. You also have a chance to better scrutinize those "other" races that aren't always as obvious such as judges, bond issues, etc.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Charlie, Oct 7th, 2008 @ 11:30am

    Re:

    mobiGeek...just what kind of illiterate a-hole are you? The key phrase there is 'morally reputable'. I don't care if its nuns, third-graders, or congenital straight-arrows. There is no bigger atheist in the world than me yet I don't see many reports of nuns creating societal havoc thru immoral acts. Nor did I advocate turning over the American electoral system to the Catholic church which you seem to imply. Come on. Its just a few sentences that I wrote. I shudder to contemplate your inability to even remotely understand anything lenghtier. What a waste of space.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Bravest343, Oct 11th, 2008 @ 12:43am

    The Great Awakening

    I have read most of the comments on this topic and I send out a'lot of credit to those people who commented strictly on the topic. As far as the other's with half of a brain, isn't it time to wake up and see what is really happening. I can't blame you people though because you're too stuck in seeing and hearing whats in front of you. It's time to wake up and see the real picture, you know the one thats behind the one that you are seeing right now. I can give you some credit for voicing your opinion and you know who you are, so please if you do not have you're brain in gear, do not endulge your mouth!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Howard U, Oct 11th, 2008 @ 6:24pm

    Election

    I'm herte in Palm Beach county Florida. We have a new system of electronically read paper ballots. We recently had a 'small' primary election and there was a close race. It required a recount. They just couldn't get it right. First there was 3,000 ballots that got thrown away. Then there as an overage after a recount and a second recount. I'm not too sure but I think a judge ruled that the election be carried forward to the November election. So much for that system. Oh, I think we threw away the touch machines even before they were paid for.
    What a joke, look for us on TV again on election day holding things up and looking for the equivalent of hanging chads.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    daaltje, Oct 12th, 2008 @ 9:30pm

    What? Outside of Chicago

    You guys have to learn from Daley. In Chicago they have it sewed up so tight that they can have observers all day and night.

    We had a polling place in Chicago. They forgot to bring in the ballot box and nobody came and said anything. It was brought in the next day. Just left unguarded.

    In Chicago you get into trouble if you put up a sign for the non-Daley candidate. The "boys" will come around and talk to you first, bringing you their sign.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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