(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick

How E-Voting's Small Glitches Have The Media Missing The Big Picture

from the afraid-this-would-happen dept

As was expected the media reports on the e-voting situation from yesterday include lots of reports about how there were minor glitches here or there, but no major problems to report -- basically setting things up so that these machines are still in place in two years and we go through this whole debate in the weeks before the 2008 election again. The problem is that they're completely missing the point. It's not about the "little glitches" here or there -- which were expected, but about the fact that there's simply no way to know if there were any "big glitches." The problems people are worried about isn't that a machine doesn't work, but that there are more fundamental problems with how the votes are counted and (in many cases) no way to go back and recount. Those are the "glitches" that no one sees -- which is exactly the problem. We don't, for a second, believe that there's any big conspiracy going on -- but given the level of incompetence everyone has seen from many of these e-voting companies, there still seems to be no real indication that we can trust them to count the votes properly.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Matt Bennett, Nov 8th, 2006 @ 12:40pm

    I don't think there's any consipracy either. But, in future, there easily COULD be.

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2006 @ 1:09pm

    negative vote counts = big problems

    beating a dead horse? damned skippy.

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

  3. identicon
    bob, Nov 8th, 2006 @ 1:20pm

    No e-voting gets my vote

    I have a hard time believing that electronic voting can be trusted... actually I just don't. We should be able to see the source code and there has to be a hard copy of every vote.

    Paper voting is long and tedious but fair.. except for Chicago and Florida (joking)

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

  4. identicon
    Eric the Grey, Nov 8th, 2006 @ 2:34pm

    Makes me wonder..

    It makes me wonder if ANYBODY saw Man of the Year.

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

  5. identicon
    MixMasterFestus, Nov 8th, 2006 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Makes me wonder..

    I did, and I also doubt that such a huge glitch could occur (but, with the way these companys have been working...). Still, the movie was freaking hilarious, so that is enough to make me believe that it is possible that a similar glitch could occur (but not likely) (and I take other things into account, I ain't that much of a dumbass.)

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

  6. identicon
    Alex, Nov 8th, 2006 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Makes me wonder..

    I actually really wanted to see that, but never got around to it. Was it good?

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

  7. identicon
    Mark Bender, Nov 8th, 2006 @ 2:52pm


    Every mearsument has errors. There is no getting around that. The big problem for the electronic voting in my view, is that the system was built on a PC platform. The system should have been built as an embedded platform with proprietary software and hardware.

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2006 @ 3:45pm

    um.. say again?

    i for one DO think there is a conspiracy going on..
    i find it far too convenient that the machines just happen to be extremely hackable in over 20 different ways

    and its no accident when you prehack the save cards and the machines start up and say there is a zero status (zero votes for each option) when they have negative and positive values there

    also WHY THE FUCK do the memory cards have executables on them?

    you couldnt design a more perfect system for stealing elections
    not to mention the former CEO of the company promised bush an election

    its a real shame that the word 'conspiracy theorist' has been turned into such a negative label

    here are the facts, our country spends MORE money each year on keeping secrets than most countries even have to spend total on EVERYTHING. is it so hard to believe that the billions and trillions of dollars our government sets aside to spend on secret plans (spelled conspiracies) is ACTUALLY BEING SPENT ON IT?

    you think its never happened before?
    its ABSURD! OFCOURSE IT HAPPENS EVERYDAY most of them are small and not nessiarily evil master plans, but some sure as hell are

    WHY THE FUCK do people seem so set on blinding themselves to the obviousness of it all? are you FUCKING RETARDED PEOPLE!!?!?! WAKE UP!!

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

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2006 @ 3:48pm


    how are we ever going to fix the problem when we are unwilling to admit there is a problem

    the elections are suerly rigged in several areas, the systems are perfectly designed on purpose to allow them to be rigged
    there IS a conspiracy, its not a theory, its a fact, stop shying away from the obvious signs right infront of your faces..

    Mike i expected more from you

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

  10. identicon
    Craig Earon, Nov 9th, 2006 @ 6:44am

    E-voting machines not user friendly

    With all the controversy over the electronic voting machines, one of the more obvious problems is the fact that dead people can't use them to vote. From reports I have seen, most dead people must vote using absentee ballots. Most polling places turn away dead voters.

    Since we are unable to identify valid voters using normal IDs (picture license, etc), I have to wonder just how many non-citizens voted this week too? I heard that one county had more registered voters than people that live in the county. There are a number of people that have homes in different states as well. If I have two homes in different states, do I get to vote twice (or more times)?

    So, the problems with the electronic voting machines is just one concern I have in many with the way that voting is handled in the USA. If you don't trust electronic voting, you do have options. Just don't tell me that everything is working perfectly. Let us come up with a solution that is accurate. We get the representation that we deserve if we are willing to overlook all the possible failings in the system!

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

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