No way to verify voting machines' accuracy

  • Article by: David S. Lavine , Slate
  • Updated: October 25, 2012 - 11:48 AM

The public has been stripped of its ability to have independent, verifiable confidence that when a vote is made, it will be tabulated and recorded properly.

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supervon2Oct. 25, 1212:38 PM

It would be easy to verify if we had ID's. But, the Libeals would be happy if no matter what the voter wanted the results were DFL. Shades of Russian voting would please them no end.

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hobie2Oct. 25, 1212:52 PM

Yes, we can verify counting machines by using a government issued picture ID. Just show it to the machine and it will count the vote properly, with no skulduggery.

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owatonnabillOct. 25, 1212:57 PM

Well, to quote Engineer Scott of the Enterprise: "the more they overthink the plumbin', the easier it is to stop up the drain". The most reliable voting machine of all is still a #2 pencil, held in the hand a verified legal voter marking on a paper ballot in his/her precinct. When you have early voting, same-day registration, vouching, machines you can't depend on, etc., all in a climate where winning-above-all is the order of the day, combined with human nature being what it is, you have a VERY fertile conditions for skullduggery.

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hobie2Oct. 25, 12 1:18 PM

The machine checking is easy enough to fix, but is opposed by one party - and that raises all kinds of flags... Why is the use of dummy ballots to check for accuracy not allowed by the manufacturers, and the laws to do that check opposed by a political party?.. What can possibly be the objection to checking a machine - that we bought and own - with dummy votes? The only reason that makes sense is the public finding the flaws that allow machine cheating... The argument that we would lose all the votes made if we found an error because the count is suspect is bogus. If we find an error, then we use the back-up. Oh.. 1) there isn't one and 2) what is called "back-up" just counts what the main counter counts and is of no use if an error is found... Several things need to happen to assure accurate voting - dummy votes need to be put in with the absentee ballots at random times before the election day - to check that the machines work before a great many people lose their votes if an error is found on election day. Second, to defeat calendar programs that might adjust counts only on election day, a test batch of votes - ten for each candidate so they cancel each other out - is to be put in on voting day before the end of day and the counters checked before and after they are put in, and the votes subtracted from the totals at end of day... Third, every ballot needs to be printed after the vote is done but before the final "send" is made, given to the voter for accuracy and then handed in, a statistical sample done on the ballots to check for machine accuracy during the day, and the printed ballots kept for recount... This recount by checking the end-of-day counter is meaningless. If we are going to spend $50-100 million for government picture Id's, we can spend $100 thousand to have hard records of the votes for recount and machine checks, to have something to actually count in case of machine failure or finding of machine fraud.

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mhrichardson99Oct. 25, 12 1:26 PM

The above commenters are missing the point. In some states, the voter touches a screen, votes for whomever, and there is no verifiable record of who you voted for. No paper backup. That electronic log can be changed. The totals can be adjusted, so the precinct reports potentially hundreds of fraudulent votes for whomever the hacker decides. Who is going to notice several hundred votes from a precinct - but that is what could make the difference in a key area - Ohio - and determine the election. Thank goodness MN has paper ballots as a back-up system. But those are only good if we have a recount and the vote has to be within a certain percentage to rigger that - conspiracy theory - maybe, we should not even have to speculate about voting. It should be secure and accurate.

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garelockOct. 25, 12 2:23 PM

Any honest election judge doing their job can prevent most fraud.The main exception is vouching-there is nothing a judge can do to prevent people from voting in multiple precincts.

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JumpinTimOct. 25, 12 3:23 PM

Are you all crazy? Ballot counters are checked and rechecked for accuracy. I have been an election judge for decades and have never seen any inaccuracies, there is no big conspiracy. If you think there are any problems contact city hall, they will set you straight. This editorial also has nothing to do with the voter ID amendment.

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myanmarickOct. 25, 12 3:43 PM

What we really need is a better audit trail. Software can easily be modified to change the odds of winning. I think a quick trip to the local casino would be a pretty good indicator for those that are not sure about this.

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shootzOct. 25, 12 4:46 PM

These machines were designed to be rigged or give advantage to a particular side. google it

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philpyramOct. 25, 12 5:33 PM

Here's what to look for. Remember this, write it down. It'll happen in one of these critical swing states, like in Ohio in 2004. You'll see vote tabulations differing from exit polls - either statewide or in localities - by 5 to 6 percent in favor of the Republican candidate. That's the positive test that the voting machines have been hacked. You heard it here first.

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