27 votes

Computer Voting Needs To Go

How do we get the computers out of the process? Does anyone know if a movement for this is underway ANYWHERE? There is NO WAY now for us to ensure the integrity of our elections with the computers in the mix.

Just watch this 10 minute testimony before Congress...maddening! They steal from us everything! Our money, our jobs, our private land, our VOTEs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7R1_ixtlyc

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We are the GOP and We want Computer Voting...

This is how we work to get the person elected whom we want...not you little people/ We are the rulers. We pick for you for hyour own good.

Look what would happen should we allow your right to vote to go unchecked...you would vote for someone who would attempt to bring us rulers down. We got the money, we got the mass media in our pocket and we got the industry that makes computers...

Now go away and mind your own business and stay the heck out of ours.

fearless brave joyful peaceful loving grateful, compassionate

I have better odds on the roulette wheel

At the Bilagio......

For Freedom!
The World is my country, all mankind is my brethren, to do good is my religion.

Truthbearer's picture

Yes true...

...but unless the people get active, it will not happen. The same old cheating fraud and vote rigging will continue unabated because the corruption is too far out of control. Most people refuse to wake up and stop it.

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It's as simple as either

It's as simple as either getting rid of computer voting all the way or having all the votes be counted twice. If voting dispute, advantage to the paper ballots.

I had an interesting experience yesterday voting in Pa.

I proceeded through my candidates and came upon one listing candidates for the Republican committee in the county. One was listed and I selected it but as I attempted to cast the ballot it forced me back and instructed me to pick two. Only one was listed so I wrote in my own name. As I attempted to cast the ballot it again kicked me back to the same candidates. After three attempts, and after which I removed my write in, another persons name appeared on the ballot. I then selected the two names and it still took me two times to be able to cast my ballot. Seemed rather strange at the time.
Update...just communicated with another person working to promote Paul delegates and he encountered the same issue.

There are no politicians or bankers in foxholes.

Make the Software Open Source

I made a post on this a while ago but it didnt get much feedback. The idea is to make the insides of the system public; so if anyone tries to sneak a vote-flipping algorithmen inside, it can and will be detected.
http://www.dailypaul.com/224951/open-source-voting-software

So how can you prove that the CPU has no backdoor?

Or how about the motherboard or plugin hardware?

Or the software bios?

Or that some unknown hardware or software flaw can be hacked?

There are only 2000 voters per precinct. How hard can it be to find a dozen people to count to 2000 honestly and trasnparently?

If the machine cheats, who get hung?

Free includes debt-free!

Of course you can rig

Of course you can rig anything, even paper counting (magic trick anyone?). I also prefer paper voting and hand counting over any electronic interference - it is much harder to cheat if everybody understands how the vote is counted.
However, if you need computer voting, use a system at least some people with programming skills can check instead of using a black box system.

I agree.

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Free includes debt-free!

You can't

...but you also can't prove a human being has integrity. Although it is wise to do everything you can to make cheating impossible, it is perhaps even wiser to do everything you can to make the detection of said cheating simple and obvious.

We will never cure cheaters of the desire to cheat, and it is arguably impossible to create a system in which it is impossible to cheat. The most effective tool is the legitimate threat of instant exposure and punishment if cheating is detected. If the risk of getting caught is very high and the punishment is severe, the willingness to attempt it will drop.

Publicize everything: the hardware, the software, database, storage methods, data validation algorithms, hash generation algorithms. Publish everything necessary for any interested person to take the raw vote info (election [x], candidate [y], date [z], etc.) to generate on their own the data that should be the same as their logged vote, and the ability to retrieve any vote by a unique vote ID (not associated with a voter ID, to guarantee anonymity).

If their manually calculated vote info doesn't match the receipt, report fraud.

If their receipt doesn't match the remote logged vote info, report fraud.

Not everyone will validate their vote, but certainly a large enough portion of people will to statistically identify likely fraud.

Yes, people cheat.

Make cheating a capital offense. It would raise the cost of hiring cheaters.

Machines can only count votes, only people can make a vote count.

What's the chain of custody once I make my choice. Tough question.

Right now government pretends to own the fruits of our labors and we "vote" for men who support our taxation.

Maybe we should put the Federal Government on the PBS plan. If I approve of their programming and policies, I can sent a donation or make a gift to the the government. [Gold and silver Coin only please, it's the Government's law.]

The job of Congress is to create and keep funded a government constrained by the Constitution. Ultimately, We the people would vote our support with our coined Money.

I bet they won't lose our votes then!

Donations by district would be transparent, as well the monthly spending by the Congress, the Executive and the Judiciary.

A "Cash and Carry" government with only the taxation allowed before the 16th Amendment.

Then I might be motivated to get a job, when I don't have to fund this government's atrocities.

Just thinking out loud. Ever since the Helping America Vote Act of 2002 was passed (ominous title). Voting was controlled by a monopoly power, the EAC. Politicians themselves have no motivation to change the Voting systems that elected them, and precincts are not under the central authority of the EAC.

We need to strike at the root, and contest the voting process at the precinct level, moving up the chain as needed. Make voting systems a market process, or roll your own, by precinct.

We have marked paper ballots read by a die-bold scanner. I don't know if the votes are hand counted or not, unless a challenge is made.

Free includes debt-free!

Bob Schulz of We The People

Givemeliberty.org is doing something about this in the state of N.Y.
I am listed as one of the plaintiffs.
There are 3 plaintiffs for every state.
This began back in 2008 and presently in the courts.

" In Thee O Lord do I put my trust " ~ Psalm 31:1~

Me, too, but nothing is

Me, too, but nothing is happening, and they have delayed it so this election will not count, either..

well as long as no

accidents (like a powerful magnet right next to the diabold machine a day or two before the election) happens, diabold will continue to have accurate and correct voting. Although if for some reason someone were to accidentally damage the accurate and correct voting machines then they would have to switch to paper ballet. So we should do our best to keep away these http://catalog.apwcompany.com/category/electromagnets?gclid=... which could easily be forgotten about in our pocket due to small size and could totally corrupt the machine if one was to get your magnet to close to the fair and accurate machine.

So in short to ensure that the machines are in good working order, do not carry any small but but very powerful magnets in your pocket because they could totally and completly make the machine useless for voting. Especially for those of you that get there before the voting starts.

Have you tried this on a computer?

?

Free includes debt-free!

it will erase any memory on a hard drive

assuming its powerful enough (if its an electromagnet that is almost guaranteed) and possible make the hard drive unusable, and depending on the screen it could completely mess it up (I know a couple of kids who were kicked out of an arcade permanently for messing up their screen with a regular fridge magnet, I would kinda be curious as to what powerful magnets would do). Of course this depends on if you get it close enough to the hard drive or screen. Furthermore you can easily mess up a mother board with static electricity (I completely ruined one accidentally like that once), and a powerful magnet can easily do more than static electricity.

So keep the powerful magnets away as they could easily mess up the computer systems.

Note the military largely uses much more expensive systems that are impervious to this, but I doubt diabold does.

Try a New Experience - THINK

Think - Is there one legally verifiable way to make sure my vote is counted.
Answer- ____________________________________________________________
Think - What are my voting options?
Answer- ____________________________________________________________
Think - Which of my voting options is easiest to verify?
Answer- ____________________________________________________________
Think - What would be required to verify my vote?
Answer- ____________________________________________________________
Think - How would I acquire what is needed to verify my vote?
Answer- ____________________________________________________________
Think - Will this action guarantee that my vote should be counted?
Answer- ____________________________________________________________

If you do not know the Answer to the above questions, then it is time to Try a New Experience - THINK

Respectfully yours,

Free-Idaho - Lets Keep it That Way

Voluntary Association+Mutual cooperation+110% Personal Responsibility = 100% Individual Liberty

The “ONLY” legitimate justification for the USE of FORCE is the PROTECTION of LIFE, LIBERTY and PROPERTY.

The use of Force or Fraud in any of its forms to achieve Social, Political, Economic, Cultural, Religious, Personal or any other reason should be a Capitol Offense.

The Philosophy of Liberty http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/read.php

Voluntary Association + Mutual Cooperation + 110% Personal Responsibility = 100% Individual Liberty

We need to start that

We need to start that movement.

Black Box Voting Org...

Black Box Voting is the oldest/largest/most respected election fraud group around. Started by Bev Harris. They crusade against voting machines.

http://www.blackboxvoting.org

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~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

Yes, I learned all about them

Yes, I learned all about them after 2008. They are fighting the good fight, but they are not getting very far very fast. I'm thinking grass-roots level -- city council, county, district stuff. Paper ballots and a big friggin' clear plexiglass box that can only fit in one folded ballot at a time. Anyone allowed to watch the entire process, count people entering, count people exiting. Then a public counting of each vote with a document camera and a projector.

Electronic voting isn't inherently flawed by itself

I have to play devil's advocate here. The usage of electronic systems, computers, networks, etc. to expedite and simplify the whole voting process is not a bad thing. It's just the implementation we have right now that is so absolutely ridiculous. I discuss how it could be done much better here:

http://www.dailypaul.com/218123/electronic-voting-can-work-b...

In short, we have the technology to make it much faster, more immediately transparent, and as verifiable as it could ever be using a non-electronic system already. It just hasn't been done. The biggest improvement would be to maintain a multi-copy paper trail AND a mirrored electronic database, anonymized but public so that all competing parties could constantly keep an eye on it.

It is impossible to guarantee that no fraud can occur, electronic or not. However, it seems to me that an electronic system can actually make fraud much easier to identify quickly--and therefore discourage--if the system is built the right way.

What's the hurry.

They don't take office for months?

Free includes debt-free!

It is IMPOSSIBLE...

to validate the output of a digital system without knowing the input (and vice versa). Any system that contains black boxes is inherently flawed as a transparent voting system.

Every step of the process must be witnessed by representatives from all the parties. Digital systems are complex black box systems and fail the requirement of even the possibility of transparency.

Besides, computer voting is EXTRAVAGANTLY more expensive than paper voting...

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~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

What does the system need to do.

Then we can look at what glass/grey/black boxes are needed to produce the desired result.

input - anonymous but verifiable vote.

output - secret and untraceable ballot.

input - secret and untraceable ballot.

output - aggregate anonymous but verifiable votes and count.

input - challenge by anonymous voter.

output - verification vote properly aggregated.

An option for those who skip the secret ballot and make it public by exposing an unverified vote in the aggregate.

Free includes debt-free!

Not a black box

If the hardware design is open, the software is open, and the vote hash algorithms are public, that hardly constitutes a black box. This is what I mean about a ridiculous implementation. Yes, a black box is a very bad idea. That's why you make it transparent. The problem is not the automation; it is the opacity of the process. Open-source everything and the transparency problem is solved.

I write code for a living and design and build open hardware for a hobby. It doesn't have to be complex; anyone with a working knowledge of the basic platforms used (read: a lot of people) could fully comprehend and explain it.

Did you see the steps I outlined in the above linked DP post to address these issues?

Black boxes...

"In science and engineering, a black box is a device, system or object which can be viewed solely in terms of its input, output and transfer characteristics without any knowledge of its internal workings, that is, its implementation is "opaque" (black)."

The "black box" I was referring to was the internal workings of a voting machine with respect to input and output. The essence of a black box is not just opaqueness but replacability with another box with different internals.

Load up any computing device with open source software, and as long as the device has the means to load and offload code and data then I can replace your open source code with mine, do my dirty work, leave no trace, reinstall your open source code, done.

Please explain the theory or mechanism on how "open source" code protects anything. If you validate that the proper software is installed prior to elections how to do you verify it when the voting starts? The current machines have several I/O interfaces and some even have wifi!!

Is the output of the code you write in any sense mission-critical or process-critical (things will break and people will lose money if any of the outputted data is wrong)? If so, how do you validate your output with respect to input?

I stand by my original assertion --> "It is impossible to validate the output of a digital system without knowing the input". And just because you can look at some code with your eyes and can verify that it is installed on a voting machine does not mean that that malicious code cannot be installed, even for just a few moments, and have it do its dirty work while leaving no traces. Especially since these voting machines are replete with various industry standard I/O devices.

I have a friend who has the contract for the maintenance of voting machines for two counties. He regularly on schedule goes to the warehouses ($$$climate-controlled$$$), runs diagnostics and, UPDATES THE MACHINES WITH DATACARDS and he does all this ALONE with no third party representatives present.

BTW, I have degree in computer engineering technology and did UNIX client-server development for nearly 20 years. I "retired" a few years ago because of my profound distaste for java(mostly on windoze :( ) and that I moved way out in the country. :)

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~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

Fair points

Theoretically, the hardware and software designs don't have to be open, as long as everyone can verify what the specified output should be based on any given input. It is better to keep everything open for the sake of transparency. If your closed-source implementation is better than my open one, but the results are the same, then it doesn't matter, from a practical standpoint.

The "openness" of the system would include complete documentation of exactly what is meant to come out of the system based on any given input, not just that the code happens to be published. Therefore, if you did swap out good code for dirty code to effect some nefarious outcome, it would be extremely easy to identify, because the logged vote info would not match the prescribed result based on known input data.

For a simple example, let's say this is the system:

  • Timestamp = UNIX time of cast vote
  • Voter ID = Unique random ID generated upon polling place arrival, one per voter but not associated with any personal info
  • Election ID = Unique ID for election (e.g. GOP Primary, etc.)
  • Vote ID = Unique ID for vote (e.g. President, 6th District Representative, etc.)
  • Vote Option = actual choice (Ron Paul, Karen Kwiatkowski, etc.)
  • Vote hash = SHA1(Timestamp + Voter ID + Election ID + Vote ID + Vote Option)

All of these bits of data would be printed clearly on multiple copies of a receipt, 1 or more for you, 1 or more for the polling staff. They would also all be stored exactly as-is in the internal database of the machine, as well as sent to the public mirrored database.

The first step of validation is for the voter to look at the printed receipt, which should match their vote and also the summary shown on the machine. If it doesn't match their vote, there is obviously a problem. If the machine summary and the paper version don't match, there is obviously a problem. If everything appears correct (minus the SHA1 hash, which can't be calculated by hand simply), then continue.

The second step is to validate the vote hash. Ideally this could be done on the spot with a separate machine or, better, a trusted personal device such as a smartphone. Enter the info, compute the hash, and bam! Instant validation. If the personally computed hash doesn't match the machine-computed hash, there's another obvious problem. This step could also be done at home with EXTREMELY simple open software for any platform, if no smartphone is available.

The third step is to validate the remote recorded vote with the known good paper copy. This is where the mirrored public database is required. Since all votes are recorded anonymously, making this info public is not a problem. Anyone at all should have full read access to the entire database. You can enter your vote ID and verify that all recorded info, including the hash, matches exactly with your receipt.

By this point, it really doesn't matter who wrote whatever software is running on the machines or whether it's open or not. The input is known, and the output has been validated to follow a known, simple, public specification. Anyone can access a real-time result count at any time. There is really no room for fraud unless everybody intentionally ignores every single safeguard.

On top of that all, there is also a paper trail if a manual count is necessary.

But...

if you are handing out pieces of paper to voters as records of their vote why not just stop there and skip the whole computer part and just add proper exit polling (with cameras). :P

You said:

"Therefore, if you did swap out good code for dirty code to effect some nefarious outcome, it would be extremely easy to identify, because the logged vote info would not match the prescribed result based on known input data."

What known input data? The voting record receipts given to voters? (the only trustable source of votes). Without these peices of paper I see no way to validate the computer vote. The internal database is completely unreliable. Especially SQL db's.

Also, in your hypothetical you are claiming the computer database is the "known input data"? The only way that would "work" is if you were validating the paper trail against the electronic database. :\ The goal here is to validate the database against the voter paper trail.

In a computerized system where you receive a paper record as "proof" the only way those would be called into play is if it is taken to court and a judge orders a recount and that is NOT happening nowdays no matter how much people are screaming and pointing out evidence of fraud.

Also, at the end of the day, paper voting is MUCH cheaper than voting machines. Voting machines have to be stored in climate-controlled warehouses and with frequent diagnostics and maintenance. With paper you just call the printing press in time enough for the election and you need to round up some boxes to store paper ballots. Basically the same amount of staff, and surprisingly, from what I've been seeing they end doinnearly the same amount of hand counting.

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~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

Receipts are the known input data, yes

And that's what the database is validated against, yes. That's the whole idea. Say 1% of the people who participate in any given election bother to validate their recorded vote against their receipt. In a general presidential election with 50 million people who actually vote, that means 500k people are going to validate their recorded vote against their receipt. That is a HUGE sample and should provide plenty enough evidence to suggest tampering, if it exists.

There is definitely no way to validate the computer database without a paper trail, true. That's where we are right now. Computerized voting, no receipts. Obviously bad.

But we shouldn't skip the computer part because, if done right, a computerized system still makes it much easier to detect fraud AND it provides instant results. Fraud that occurs at the polling place would show up on the receipt and be immediately identified by any attentive voter. Fraud that occurs after the fact by manipulating the database would be easily identified by that 1% sample of concerned voters. I'd think should be enough to bring about an official investigation and/or recount.