Monday, November 5, 2012

Stealing a paperless election

If you voted early in Harris County - and a record number of y'all did - then you got to play with the electronic gizmo with the wheel and the select button (a little bit like that machine at HEB that the kids pop in their "Buddy Bucks").

But what happens if there is a need for a recount? How do you recount bits and bytes in a computer? How do you know that the selection you thought you made on the screen is the same as the selection that was sent through the cables to the server?

Voting equipment is made by private companies who have ties with one of the political parties. The software that operates the system is proprietary. The machines are tested before a county purchases them, but they way they work is kept secret (much like the Intoxilyzer).

In the old days of punch cards and optical scanners there was a paper ballot that could be examined if necessary to determine who won a particular race. Sometimes the results from the hand recount (of the actual ballots) differed from the results of the machine that read the ballots. Sometimes it made a difference and sometimes it didn't.

We will never really know who won the 2000 Presidential election after the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the hand recount. We will never really know who won the 2004 election because the state of Ohio used a computerized system that left no paper trail.

We've all had computers crash and cell phones die and VCR's and DVR's that didn't record when they were supposed to. Do you put so much faith in electronics that you are willing to let machines decide who wins the Presidential election?

Without a paper trail it's all too easy for the ruling classes to steal an election without anyone else being the wiser.

3 comments:

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Paul,
I'm starting to think you are 80-years-old with all this hatred of technology. You are just a bad day away from yelling at neighborhood kids to get off your lawn.

Your pal,
Murray

PirateDeepwater said...

You don't like the idea of proof of your vote Murray? btw, how does that goatee work for you in court?

PirateDeepwater said...

You don't like the proven way of doing things Murray?