When Even The Simpsons Make Fun Of E-Voting Machines...

from the and-yet-we-still-rely-on-them dept

Remember back when people first started questioning the reliability of e-voting machines? It was initially focused on Diebold, though later reports have all shown that Sequoia and ES&S are equally as bad. Yet, initially those critics were all brushed off by the e-voting firms as wild-eyed, conspiracy theory. lunatic activists. The only problem is that they keep being proven correct time and time again, and the story has certainly crossed over into the mainstream. If you need proof, look no further than The Simpsons recent clip about e-voting that a ton of you have sent in:
Clearly, the issue has gone beyond the "fringe" and into the mainstream. So, it's really too bad that judges seem to think that the public can't handle a research report on these machines.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    I am not a crook, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 8:38pm

    Cover Up

    Is this a cover up ?
    Will the public ever be told the truth about these machines ?

    Assuming this gets more media attention, it is highly likely that there will be a bad hollywood movie, I'm sure they will get the details all messed up.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    illegalprelude, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 8:42pm

    hahaha

    Hey, this is what happened 2 elections back! Gotta love the Simpsons. This is going to be my first year voting and im gonna be pissed if my machine thinks im voting for Maverick. Thats a negative ghost rider, the pattern is full. Its time for a change and by that, I mean a change in the OS of these e-voting machines...

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    MAtt, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 10:10pm

    beware

    Beware truths that begin with, "everyone knows that..." And The Simpsons (one of my all-time favorite shows, mind you), has pretty much become an ad for the democratic party. Sad, really. Witty, intelligent humor has turned into obvious partisan jabs. And the uneducated (@illegalprelude) use it as a truth basis.
    While I wouldn't be shocked if e-voting machines were faulty, I'm confident in neither the public or the media to handle the facts in moderation.

    @illegalprelude - don't mistake a really close election with voter fraud.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    illegalprelude, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 12:18am

    I dont want this to be a political thread as there is a time and place for all that but do a little digging, the 2000 election was not won by majority vote because majority vote went to Al Gore and im pretty sure he isnt president but funny the person who decided happens to be from the Bush camp....

    but thats crazy talk because Simpsons rules.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 12:59am

    Re: beware

    MAtt wrote:

    Beware truths that begin with, "everyone knows that..."

    Do you have a reference for this? Or is this just one of those things that "everyone knows"?

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Liz, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 3:17am

    Assuming this gets more media attention, it is highly likely that there will be a bad hollywood movie, I'm sure they will get the details all messed up.

    'Man of the Year' starring Robin Williams.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    pat donovan, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 4:15am

    voting

    to the tune of crime of the century..

    and they'd blame the saucer-people if they could.

     

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  8.  
    icon
    Steve R. (profile), Oct 4th, 2008 @ 6:30am

    Reading American Culture

    An unappreciated "proof" that we have achieved an "excess" is when shows such as the Simpsons and the lowly commercial begin to make fun of things such as e-voting and so-called intellectual property.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    JLE, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 7:41am

    Link unavailable.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 8:22am

    Re: beware

    "The Simpsons (one of my all-time favorite shows, mind you), has pretty much become an ad for the democratic party. Sad, really. Witty, intelligent humor has turned into obvious partisan jabs."

    Oh no...that darn liberal media! Where is Hannity to protect us and tell us the truth!

    It's still witty and intelligent humor. There isn't anything wrong with a show making fun of the GOP. They probably think they're a bunch of aholes like most of the country does at the moment.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    SVR, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 9:13am

    Voting Machines

    I propose a simple solution....Ask for a paper ballot or get an absentee ballot.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 10:10am

    lol loved the Ohio reference... but should be Florida! :)

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    comboman, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 10:46am

    Re: beware

    And The Simpsons (one of my all-time favorite shows, mind you), has pretty much become an ad for the democratic party. Sad, really. Witty, intelligent humor has turned into obvious partisan jabs.

    So back in the 90's when the Simpson's made fun of Clinton's womanizing, did you think that was intelligent humor or obvious partisan jabs?

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 11:12am

    Majority vote?

    ...the 2000 election was not won by majority vote because majority vote went to Al Gore...
    US presidential election is not decided by direct majority of the popular vote, so what is your point?

    If you have to blame anybody on the fubar that was the 2000 election, blame Nader and Buchanan for their lack of faith in America's 2-party system ;)

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 11:57am

    Re:

    Read the right side of this article and it'll tell you why Gore lost.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2000

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 1:34pm

    Election TV ads = Time sensitive

    Dan Cohen at Publicis should use his pull to get the
    Maytag Voting Booth Commercial over to Youtube. It will create a lot of buzz.

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    Steve R. (profile), Oct 4th, 2008 @ 1:55pm

    Wrong

    It was a misplaced shot by Bender of Futurama fame.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Re:

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    MAtt, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 3:51pm

    Re: Majority vote?

    If you have to blame anybody on the fubar that was the 2000 election, blame Nader and Buchanan for their lack of faith in America's 2-party system
    Vote for a third party candidate? I'm not throwing away my vote! [from a Simpsons Halloween special]

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    MAtt, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 4:27pm

    Re: Re: beware

    Example:
    Clinton telling Marge that it was a law that he had to dance with her was completely ridiculous and funny ("I'd change it if I could. Really, I would. What? Aw, shoot, looks like Canada's got the bomb..."). Homer saying he wanted to punch George Bush in his "stupid monkey face" was neither witty or funny.
    In general, characterizations of Clinton were (and still are) really absurd and funny, as were those of George H. W. Bush. Jabs at George W. Bush were/are taken straight from left-wing talking points.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 6:16pm

    bad movie? Did you miss Robin Williams in Election Day? I wish 3rd parties had a chance.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    PJ Brunet, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 11:03pm

    Common Sense

    Once electronic, so much easier to tamper with. If you want an honest vote, count by hand, then double count, and create incentive to count correctly.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Bhaktha Keshavachar, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 4:38am

    India uses voting machines

    At the outset I confess I don't comprehend all the intricacies (political or technical) with e-voting in USA, but what really surprises me is that India has been using e-voting for a while now. With all the problems that we have e-voting has silently and efficiently streamlined the massive electoral process. My 80 year old parents and the barely literates (like the auto/taxi driver) here are quite comfortable and seem to have taken it as normal !

    The only "big" problem was that when tallying the votes from each machine, the voting patterns come to be known with not so good consequences ... The manufacturer has come up with a simple solution wherein many voting machines are ganged together and then counted as a whole in one operation.

    The machines are fairly low-tech (no Windoze !), reliable and cheap to produce.

    So ... the obvious question. Is there something to be learnt from this ? (please refrain from comments like Americans are rich (we know that), stupid (not entirely true) ...)

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Scott Lithgow, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 5:17am

    Manual Count

    I wonder sometimes what the accuracy figures are for a manual count so to put the others in perspective?

     

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  25.  
    icon
    Steve R. (profile), Oct 5th, 2008 @ 6:49am

    Re: India uses voting machines

    Every voting system (paper, punch cards, electronic, etc.) is subject to some form of fraud, so the question becomes, which voting system is subject to the least fraud?

    One, question overlooked in this debate occurs before we even get into the voting booth. Is that person even eligible to vote?

    To me the problem with the e-voting machines is that e-voting machine manufactures want to overcharge the public and use proprietary software.

    On the issue of cost. I don't know if we have a real competitive bidding process or not.

    On the issue of proprietary software. The public is paying for and using these machines, the code should be in the public domain. Period, Period, Period.

    There is nothing magical about e-voting. As you point out "The machines are fairly low-tech (no Windoze !), reliable and cheap to produce." Too bad the concept of e-voting been blown out of proportion.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Paresh, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 8:18am

    Gret character

    Bart Simpson, great character

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Brad Eleven, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 9:40am

    Re: Ohio ... should be Florida

    Florida was the 2000 election, where the fixers were obvious.
    Ohio was the 2004 election, where it was far more subtle.
    If only they'd have appointed competent people instead of rewarding fundraising experts, they might have perfected it in time for the 2008 election.

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    Peter Thomas, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 2:11am

    Re: Re: Re: beware

    Did you see the episode where Fox News was on the Simpson's TV?

    Ticker headlines included: "Oil slick found to make seals supple and more healthy... JFK posthumously made a Republican hero..."

    Far more witty than a jab at Clinton's womanising.

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 2:15am

    Re: Re: Re: beware

    It seems Matt needs our help. A while back, he said he has to capitalize his name at work, which is why he said his entire name was usually in all caps. MaTt was a habit he's trying to break, and we're almost there. So let's help him break it and make MAtt patches or maTT patches or something, because MAtt wants to be Matt, or maybe Matthew. Nut today, someone may mistaken him as MatT. Matty Mat Mat. Who wants to make MAtt into a doorstep MAtt? No One! Let's root Matt on as he becomes just plain ol "Matt".

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    MAtt, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 6:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: beware

    That's a great example of witty anti-republicanism. But not witty anti-"W". But I digress.

    The "MAtt" thing is a type-o I frequently make, which I have leveraged to help identify me from any other Matts.

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 6:41am

    I refuse to use these machines - if they are all that's available when I go to vote, I will claim they are not giving me an acceptable method of voting and I am 'disenfranchised'.

    I'll make a pretty big scene about it too.


    TITLE 42, CHAPTER 20; SUBCHAPTER I-A > § 1973i

    "(a) Failure or refusal to permit casting or tabulation of vote
    No person acting under color of law shall fail or refuse to permit any person to vote who is entitled to vote under any provision of subchapters I–A to I–C of this chapter or is otherwise qualified to vote, or willfully fail or refuse to tabulate, count, and report such person’s vote. "

    There are clear questions about the ability of these machines to tabulate and count the votes, correct? Even Diebold has admitted to it.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 6:46am

    Till skimming

    Now with electronic tills, it's easier to skim money. They just use software on the till to change the count to whatever they want it to say:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/30/technology/30zapper.html?fta=y

    Voting machines are no different. This is why they need a voter verified paper audit trail and a random check on the voting machines to catch any fraud.

     

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  33.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Oct 6th, 2008 @ 7:30am

    lawlz

    http://www.theonion.com/content/video/diebold_accidentally_leaks

    diebold accidentally leaked the results of the election a couple of months ago.

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re: India uses voting machines

    It's not just that they are open to fraud. It's that there is no way to expose the fraud, unlike a paper ballot.

     

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

  35.  
    identicon
    Justin, Oct 7th, 2008 @ 10:54am

    Re: Man of the Year

    And that was a great movie. For those who missed it Robin Williams plays a talk show host who, as a lark, runs for president and gets on the ballot in about 12 states needed to win (CA, TX, NY, FL, IL, PA, OH, MI, GA, NJ, NC, & MA which equals ~271 electoral votes). Because of a bug in the software in the machines, he gets elected. When it is pointed out to him that the reason he won was because of faulty software, he decides not to accept the election results and refuses the presidency. To believe any regular politician would follow this same course of action, however, is as funny as this movie was.

     

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

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Cowherd, Oct 11th, 2008 @ 7:20am

    Video link is broken

    The link to the YouTube video is broken. Please correct the link.

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    Another Planet, Oct 12th, 2008 @ 7:13am

    The SIMPSONS

    "The Simpsons" writing has been un-funny and lame for several years by now. A pale shadow of the show's former brilliant glory.

     

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

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 9:09am

    Re: The SIMPSONS

    And the relevance to this is what? Oh, you're just being pretentious because it's the internet. Gotcha, no need to explain further.

     

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

  39.  
    identicon
    orbitas, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 3:07pm

    Copyright violation

    Youtube says:

    "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation"

    Anyone has a copy of the video clip?

     

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

  40.  
    identicon
    Lou, Nov 4th, 2008 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re: beware

    its called karma. he deserves everything and anything that he gets, no limit!

     

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

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2008 @ 5:54pm

    Re: hahaha

    FYI-it;s not a conspiracy and the Simpsons are actually Republicans.

     

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

  42.  
    identicon
    Wang, Mar 21st, 2009 @ 2:06pm

    Forever in infamy

    There is bad news about George Herbert Walker Bush:

    What if basically all racial-minority people would subscribe to the interpretations that George Herbert Walker Bush committed monstrous, racist, hate crimes while he was the President of the United States?

    It will eventually come out: it is only a matter of time.

    Respectfully Submitted by Andrew Yu-Jen Wang, J.D. Candidate
    B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
    Messiah College, Grantham, PA
    Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993

    (I can type 90 words per minute, and there are thousands of copies on the Internet indicating the content of this post. And there are at least hundreds of copies in very many countries around the world.)
    _________________
    “If only it were possible to ban invention that bottled up memories so they never got stale and faded.” Off the top of my head—it came from my Lower Merion High School yearbook.

     

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

  43.  
    identicon
    newest jordan shoes, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 12:31am

    newest jordan shoes

    Easily, the post is actually the greatest on this laudable topic. I harmonise with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your next updates. Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the tremendous lucidity in your writing.

     

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