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Senators call for '9/11-style' commission on computer voting security

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15 years too late

As anyone who rememberts the Slasdhdot Diebold wars can testify... Not quite 15 years ago:

https://m.slashdot.org/story/40566

(Far, far more in the /. archives)

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Windows

Re: 15 years too late

Yep, complete with sucide-in-Mexico with a person taking a close look at problems, as I remember.

Still, here we read:

"There is no credible doubt that Russia attacked our election infrastructure in 2016,"

Actually, after practically a year of Hillary-and-NYT-generated hot air with various progressives, churnalists, Merkel and other Disgustables in hot pursuit, I still haven't see a shred of credible evidence that would support such a statement.

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Re: 15 years too late

To "Destroy all Monsters".

"I still haven't see a shred of credible evidence" . . . Then you are willfully blind.

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Re: 15 years too late

15 years ago, or so, a number of people where warning about "electronic voting" machines, especially those from Diebold.

We know the problems, "touch screen pads", no "paper trail", no credible means of recount. At the very least the units that require a "scan card" to fill out allow a recount or even a hand tabulation in a real dust up.

Talk to some real experts, they were warned, not to marketeers.

Yet we still see the vulnerable machines in use.

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Re: 15 years too late

OK, let's see your "credible evidence". Bring it on! Let us all share in your empirical riches.

Otherwise we shall suspect that you are talking hot air.

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Windows

Re: 15 years too late

"I still haven't see a shred of credible evidence" . . . Then you are willfully blind.

Sorry, I don't have access to the Super-Duper sources you evidently have.

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Re: 15 years too late

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/14/the-russian-hacking-story-continues-to-unravel/

El Reg, please stop dropping comments or just become straight BBC bluepillnews w/o excuses FFS.

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A History Lesson

So a couple Congress criminals want us to ignore the fact the entire reason for this fiasco was their knee jerk reaction to Florida in 2000. What they forget to mention, the donkey county they had the most problems with had a ballot laid out by a donkey. Whether the layout had cost Gore any votes has always been pure speculation. But in the aftermath, instead of looking how to make paperish ballots less confusing the Congress criminals decide in their collective wisdom rivaling that of a flea that electronic voting was the answer. So an eighth-assed idea becomes what is done here combined with the typical incompetent implementation. What do you think was going to happen?

Note, Congress has had an abysmal reputation with many Yank humorists comparing them to criminals, fleas, thieves, etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A History Lesson

Note, Congress has had an abysmal reputation with many Yank humorists comparing them to criminals, fleas, thieves, etc.

You Johnny-come-latelys. We've hated our Parliamentarians for longer than you have even been a country. In fact, we tried to blow the crooks up the year before the first substantive colonisation of what is now the US.

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Re: A History Lesson

Yes, we learned from the masters.

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Re: A History Lesson

It's about money and control. Paper in large volumes is hard to fake, data is not hard to fake.

Plus, tons of profit on feeble voting machines.

How many of these companies would benefit from Republican domination?

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Anonymous Coward

Not The Real. Problem

I don't see this addressing problems like that seen in Chicago in the 2016 election: more votes cast than registered voters. If you assume an actual turnout of less than 60% as in the rest of the country, that is potentially 400,000 fraudulent votes from that city.

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Re: Not The Real. Problem

Correct. This is a deliberate distraction to hopefully prevent any meaningful investigation into the growing mass of illegal voting evidence.

Since it's the Democrats who benefited from all those criminal votes, one might wonder why a Republican senator would lend himself to this sort of thing. The answer is simple: Lindsey Graham always seems to side with the Democrats because he is one. Just like John McCain.

These two and several other RINO senators allow Democrats to keep pretending their dirty tricks are actually "bipartisan" legislation, and they've been performing this service for the Dems for many years. Probably they have a goodly supply of kneepads.

But they will feel the sting of woke voters in their next primaries. Count on it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not The Real. Problem

Since it's the Democrats who benefited from all those criminal votes

Really? Do you really swallow that line of pure BS? You really want to join that trope?

I don't see much benefitting from where I sit.

Voting machine fraud was already VERY clearly visible when George W Bush was elected, which is from when I have been following the whole voter machine fraud and the work - as mentioned before - of Dr Rebecca Mercuri who is pretty much world's foremost expert on this matter.

If you want to talk about voting manipulation, the voting fraud commission IS the manipulator for the next election as they seek to repeat the game of getting people off voting registers who are well entitled to vote. Next up: gerrymandering and "accidentally" misjudging the amount of voting resources in districts not favourable to the Republicans - that was a pure replay of what happened during the Bush election.

Accusing the opposition of what you do yourself is getting old, but they will thank you for the heads up. It's a sign that you are not confident to win with voting integrity intact.

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Re: Not The Real. Problem

"Since it's the Democrats who benefited from all those criminal votes"

"Really? Do you really swallow that line of pure BS? You really want to join that trope?"

From the Wikipedia page for Terry McAullife, Governor of Virginia... On April 22, 2016, McAuliffe signed an executive order restoring voting rights to more than 200,000 felons in Virginia. The order was overturned by the Virginia Supreme Court as a violation of the Virginia Constitution, as the Virginia governor does not have the authority to grant blanket pardons and restorations of rights. On August 22, 2016, McAuliffe announced that he had restored the voting rights to almost 13,000 felons on a case-by-case basis using an autopen.

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Re: Not The Real. Problem

So how do felons vote then?

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FAIL

Re: Not The Real. Problem

You're absolutely correct.

What you've described is not the real problem.

In fact, it's not a REAL problem at all:

Registered Voters, Chicago Illinois, 2016 general election: 1,570,529

Votes Cast, Chicago Illinois, 2016 general election: 1,115,664

(https://chicagoelections.com/)

This is a 71% turnout, which is consistent with the region historically.

The real problem is morons who still believe Fox News and ultra-conservative blogs after they've repeatedly proven that they believe lying is a valid tactic for pushing their political agendas.

There is no credible source which supports the story you're repeating.

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Re: Not The Real. Problem

What universe do you live in?

First you claim more votes cast than registered voters. Ummmm, how? You have to show that you're a registered voter at the polling station or they won't let you vote. There's a fiddle factor at voting time due to provisional ballots, but they get checked and are disallowed if the person was not entitleed to vote. So, yes, technically some small fucking fraction of those who turn up to vote will be unregistered and get provisional votes, and some of those provisional votes will later be accepted.

How do you then get from a turnout of 60% (your estimate) to 400,000 fraudulent votes? 60% of fucking what? The population of Chicago in 2016 was 2.7 million and either 60% or 40% of that is more than 400,000. And how does that relate to whether any of that 60% were unregistered? What proportion of that 60% were unregistered? And what proportion of that 60% were unregistered but entitled to vote as opposed to unregistered because they were not entitled to vote?

How the fucking fuck do you get from that 60% turnout to 400 fucking thousand fraudulent votes? The maths doesn't add up. The logic doesn't make sense. It's complete and utter bollocks.

You are either Kris Kobach or Donald Trump because you're out of your fucking mind and lying your socks off.

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Re: Not The Real. Problem

Looking at Chicago in another way:

The Chicago population has roughly 2,000,000 of people of voting age. The Chicago Tribune says 180,000 of those are illegal immigrants, so say 120,000 of those are of voting age and assume a pool of 1,880,000 people eligible to register to vote. Nationwide, 80% of the people who can register, do. If the percentage holds for Chicago, we would expect about 1,500,000 registered voters. In this last election, less than 60% of registered voters, actually voted. If this held true for Chicago, we'd expect to see about 900,000 votes.

What we actually saw was 1,101,178 voters voting and 1,115,664 votes cast - both those numbers are from the Chicago election board. So more than 200,000 votes than we would expect to "normally" see, and a roughly 20% greater turn out than the average for the rest of the country.

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Re: Not The Real. Problem

@etatdame

Your maths and reasoning are almost as bad as those of the original anonymous coward...

You pull figures out of your arse, without justifying them: "so say 120,000 of those are of voting age and assume a pool of 1,880,000 people eligible to register to vote."

You do, at least, state that you're assuming that the nationwide 80% eligible to vote actually register therefore the same figure holds for Chicago. But surely Chicago has the number that did actually register, so your assumption starts to look like it was made to conceal the real figure.

You do, at least, state that you're assuming nationwide figure of 60% turnout ought to apply to Chicago. And then complaining because it doesn't. You need a hell of a lot more than that before you can jump from high turnout to voter fraud.

As others have said, Chicago historically has high turnout. Of course, that could be caused by historic voter fraud, so that's not really evidence either way without further research.

But we do know the red states have a long history of voter suppression. They aim to prevent those who are likely to vote Democrat from voting. And have a lot of success. They mainly go after the poor, because the poor are more likely to vote Democrat. Of course, there's a strong correlation between poverty and dark skin colour, so it gets exposed as racism, when it's exposed. But it's still happening. So if we looked at turnout county by county and state by state, we'd find turnout is lower in the red states and a lot lower in poor counties in red states. That voter suppression brings the average US turnout down. So Chicago's higher turnout is at least partially due to not suppressing votes by the poor.

So, you're full of shit. Just like the original AC. You bring in needless assumptions. Just like the original AC. Your logic is crap. Just like the original AC. Were you both home-schooled by Betsy DeVos?

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Re: Not The Real. Problem

I' m not 'complaining' about anything. Just attempting to see what kind of numbers we would expect to see if the national averages also held true for Chicago.

The 120,000 number was derived from another assumption that I should have spelled out: that the percentage over age 18 was the same as for the rest of Chicago.

But I'm curious - why the anger and need to resort to personal attacks in what could be a civil discussion?

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Re: Not The Real. Problem

What we actually saw was 1,101,178 voters voting and 1,115,664 votes cast - both those numbers are from the Chicago election board.

Both of those numbers are from this story: http://chicagocitywire.com/stories/511195461-election-board-lists-more-general-election-votes-than-voters-in-chicago

That story also includes this explanation from the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners:

Jim Allen, a board spokesman, said that the list [of 1,101,178 voters] turned over to the Chicago Republicans was incomplete and handed over prematurely.

“Not all voters were entered electronically into the system at first,” he said. “They have since been added.”

End of story.

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Re: Not The Real. Problem

As someone who lived in a state with endemic voter fraud, New Jersey, the pols are smart enough to make sure the numbers look reasonable. Thus there, if the fraud is done correctly, less votes than registered voters in all precincts. Chicago has been suspected of cooking (in Cook County) the election results for decades now and if so they have plenty of practice of doing it. They are not going to make so elementary a mistake as have too many votes for the number of registered voters. One common way of voter fraud is not to purge the roles of the recently deceased and have someone vote for them. This method has been done for decades in some areas of the US, North Jersey being one of the areas. Given that it is not very likely that the poll workers know most of the people in an urban precinct this trick is relatively easy to do. There are other tricks to do election fraud that would not show up in comparing the vote totals, percentage voting, etc. and would require an intense effort to stamp out.

What is over looked is most voter fraud is an effort to swing a narrow vote to other way in a state or local election. Given how US Presidential elections are actually done, a narrow victory could be swung by carefully done voter fraud in that state if the statewide vote is close enough. Typically this effective if the statewide race is decided by a few hundred votes or less. Get over a few thousand and this becomes more difficult to pull off. I do not remember what the margin in Illinois was but if it was a few thousand votes then I doubt Chicago voter fraud, if it occurred, changed the actual outcome.

The answer to whether voter fraud occurs in the US is yes it does and has been occurring for decades if not over a century. The real question is there the political will to stamp it out on both sides. Where I grow up it was the donkeys doing the fraud but that does not say in other areas the elephants are not guilty also. Also, the issue of 'Russian hacking' is an effort to hide the real problems with how elections are run in the US and that electronic methods leave a lot to be desired for vote auditing and recounts.

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Re: Not The Real. Problem

The only proven cases of voter fraud I've seen from the last election were a couple cases of trump supporters voting twice. Ironically because they were afraid of all the supposed voter fraud.

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Re: Not The Real. Problem

"But I'm curious - why the anger and need to resort to personal attacks in what could be a civil discussion?"

Insecurity, and the overwhelming need to feel both right about everything and in the comforting safety of the majority, establishment camp.

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it...

"It is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits; it is evidently equally foolish to accept probable reasoning from a mathematician and to demand from a rhetorician scientific proofs".

- Aristotle, “Nicomachean Ethics” Book I, 1094.b24

"The uncompromising attitude is more indicative of an inner uncertainty than a deep conviction. The implacable stand is directed more against the doubt within than the assailant without".

- Eric Hoffer

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Re: Not The Real. Problem

"End of story".

In other words, "I have spoken - I, the sole and ultimate repository of canonical truth. Let no one dispute what I have said, on pain of death".

I am sure everyone is suitably impressed.

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There are several "real" problems and several fake ones

Dead voters not getting purged from the rolls is usually due to poor processes, not corruption. Republicans looking to point to corruption want to review all the registration lists so they can point to all the dead people and say "see, here's all the fraud that helped Hillary win the popular vote" but in most places the voter registration rolls are not plugged into the social security "death master list". Many precincts all over the country have no way of knowing who died, so they simply remove voters from the rolls if they haven't voted for a while.

Besides, dead voters on the rolls are only a problem if they vote so you have to demonstrate not only that dead voters are on the rolls but they are marked as having voted after they died (several months after they died, as they could have sent in an absentee ballot) If you had CCTV cameras you could possibly identify them as they walk to the desk with the nice old ladies who check you off the list when you vote, but if you vote absentee for a dead person it would be more difficult to catch you. Though obviously coming up with a better way to remove people when they die the best solution - you just have to make sure it isn't doing more than that.

Which brings up what is more likely the biggest source of potential fraud - absentee ballots. To start with, they're less secure since there's no 'in-person' element. Just a signature, and signatures are completely 100% worthless for proving you are who you say you are. It is all too easy to send in a request for an absentee ballot for someone else, so long as you have a way to intercept their mail. That's simple for family members / spouses, or people who live in apartments where the locks on the communal mailboxes are trivial to pick. Not only that, but since most states don't share information on their vote registration rolls and who has voted, people who maintain residences in multiple states can easily vote twice with little chance of detection. Or even if they only vote once, they can vote in the state where they think their vote will matter more - one has to wonder how many of the votes cast in Florida in presidential elections are people who legally should be voting in their home state.

Obviously hacking (whether by Russians, political parties, or griefers) is a concern, as is trust in the companies making the machines, but that part should be the easiest to address. Require all votes leave a paper trail, and using that paper trail require a recount of a 2% of every state's precincts selected randomly (plus maybe allow each political party to choose a few precincts if they feel there are some that need checking due to election day irregularities) and if the tallies differ by some small amount require a full statewide recount. Heck, a full hand recount wouldn't be that hard after EVERY election, if you only recounted the president, senator and congressman, and not all the rest. Whether to recount those would be governed by state or local laws anyway.

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Re: There are several "real" problems and several fake ones

@DougS - The real point about voter fraud, is yes it occurs. There are several methods to use and which one is the most abused, I do not know. The point is not is there any but how much. The how much is important in very close elections (Florida in 2000) and did it swing the election from the actual winner. At what I suspect the likely levels of voter fraud, I doubt any statewide election with over a few thousand votes difference would be affected (the exact number probably varies a little based on state population).

The real problem with voter fraud is that neither party is really willing to stamp it out. I think this partly because it gives the losing party in very close election the ability to cry foul even the net effect of all voter fraud in the election is a complete wash. This is important in being able to challenge an election in court.

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Re: Not The Real. Problem

Short answer: the question is ex-felons, not felons.

There are 9 states (including Virginia mentioned here) where felons don't get their voting rights back even after they are released and finish probation. So these ones would vote normally if they were not forbidden. 3 of the 9 states have small print automatically restoring first-time offenders or "minor offenses", but the general restriction applies.

Most of the rest do restore voting rights after release (15) or after parole (28). There are only 2 that apparently allow votes in prison (Vermont and Maine).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not The Real. Problem

What a load of bullshit. The big problem is simple, non-qualified people voting. There has been no systematic investigation of this because any attempt to do so is labelled racist or equivalent. Yet small samples do show that there are illegals voting and in some areas the number implied to have voted (from sampling) being greater than the victory margins. Al Franken's election as Senator being a case in point.

The cry is that having to have some form of ID is discriminatory; yet the evidence we do have from comparing areas that do require photo ID and those that don't shows that needing ID is no barrier to legitimate voters especially as such ID is either free or very cheap.

The Democrat's oppose the process because it will be removing a wad of votes that they rely upon to win, votes that they are not entitled to as the voters concerned are not qualified to vote.

TRhe whole process is shot through with bias, what is definitely needed is a bi-partisan investigation into voter fraud - but the Democrats won't agree as they know what it will uncover - large scale organised voter fraud run by the various branches of the Democrat party.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not The Real. Problem

You forget at least two Democrat officials were caught on tape organizing illegal votes, but then to see that might require opening two eyes...

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Re: Not The Real. Problem

In my state of NH there were almost 2 million out of state voters that never actually moved to or lived in NH during the election and most voted democrat. Hell if the rino's would get off their asses in congress the economy would be humming along right now and taxes due this year would be lower with no punishment for not purchasing overpriced "gouged" insurance policies either. Trumps economic plan is a work of art but to enact it fully the Congress would have to kill a bunch of tax loopholes the rich contributors to their campaigns so love and that is something they will never do since they can't have the rich paying as high a percentage or higher than a regular worker and 12% is not unheard of according to Warren Buffet who once said on TV he was sickened that due to his accountants he actually paid a lower percentage than his secretary and though he would still pay the lower rate because he could he thought it was unfair that the system was set up to let anyone do that.

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Re: Not The Real. Problem

Fox News unlike CNN doesn't stage their news stories by hiring actors to be refugees, dead people, or say they are continents apart while I'm watching a video with both feeds and the same vehicles are going past both reporters seconds aparts because they are in the same parking lot. Yeah and the part where the CNN reporter and executive are tricked into saying the russian story is being pushed for the ratings and they don't believe it and there is absolutely no proof whatsoever.

For someone using the Anonymous mask icon you sure are uninformed about CNN, I remember on facebook when anonymous posted an image hacked from MSNBC 2 weeks before the election showing Hillary with a commanding lead with the number of votes and the percentage of the overall vote, it's amazing that MSNBC could actually predit a couple weeks in advance exact votes and percentages or was it that the election was supposed to be rigged.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not The Real. Problem

In my state of NH there were almost 2 million out of state voters that never actually moved to or lived in NH during the election and most voted democrat ...

Please report to the nearest emergency department immediately, you are suffering from severe brain trauma which causes double vision and paranoid delusions.

The total population of NH as of July 1st, 2016 (the last official figure available) is 1,334,795 people.

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Two million out of state voters in NH

This is what happens when idiots actually believe the crap they are fed by fake news hucksters like Breitbart.

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Re: Not The Real. Problem

They seem to shout a lot and be very angry a lot of the time on Fox. And hire women who like showing all they got, which is a lot, on Fox.

Seems to have worked on you, for sure. Ever tried turning off the telly and reading some serious journalism? USA is one of the dumbest nations on the planet.

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Re: Not The Real. Problem

Looking for how things might be rigged? How about this quote from Walden O'Dell, chairman of Diebold, shortly before the election that saw GW Bush returned to office...

"''I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president [GW Bush] next year.''

That is hardly unusual for Mr. O'Dell. A longtime Republican, he is a member of President Bush's ''Rangers and Pioneers,'' an elite group of loyalists who have raised at least $100,000 each for the 2004 race.

Conflict of interests, perhaps?

Sauce: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/09/business/machine-politics-in-the-digital-age.html?mcubz=0

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Re: Not The Real. Problem

One of my friends was horrified when Fox News was removed to try and save the merger because of low viewer numbers. He complained that the comedy channels on Sky had gone down by one. I wouldn't know I haven't watched Fox News because I won't subscribe to Sky.

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- Senators call for '9/11-style' commission on computer voting security -

So lots of posturing, dithering, and voting any piece of legislation put in front of them into law without bothering to read it?

Sounds about right.

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Two US senators on Friday introduced legislation to set up the National Commission on the Cybersecurity of the United States Election Systems

The commission later concluded that there is no security. They then congratulated themselves with a trip to the pub, followed by hookers and blow.

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Anonymous Coward

Transparency and accountability

As long as there is no effort to establish transparency and accountability into the process from the bottom up (i.e. including the selection of officials, auditors, architecture and accompanying software, hardware and remote voting* facilities) it's just camouflage for another con trick.

* Instead of asking soldiers to vote in cleartext so they could be manipulated, a trick they started to use when Bush was elected

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What's new?

Damn, we'll need a dreadful new word for this dreadful new phenomenon.

How about Gerrymandering?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's new?

Gerrymandering is the process of redrawing electoral boundaries to compartmentalise voters so that a minority of votes can still get a majority of seats. Nothing to do with election fraud. Comes from Governor Gerry and his salamander-shaped constituency.

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Re: What's new?

I know that very well.

The point I meant to make is that it's no more than another skin on a well-known issue of manipulating elections. Something that's come a long way since the eponymous Gerry. Or indeed before him, though I don't know if the Romans had a word for it.

What greater gerrymander for our times than Cameron reneging on his 2015 manifesto commitment to enfranchise Brits longer-term abroad? The very ones who might expect to lose most from brexit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's new?

What greater gerrymander for our times than Cameron reneging on his 2015 manifesto commitment

Errm, how about the over-representation of Scotland and Wales in the Westminster Parliament? Funnily enough NI don't see that over-representation.

That's been a persistent net difference of 28 seats largely in favour of the Labour party. I'll grant you that prior to 2005 Scotland was even more grossly over-represented, but its still a strongly tilted playing field.

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Coat

I wonder if there really is someone called "Gerry Mander" on Linkedin that could take on this

Just saying.

Who'd have thought the USG would resort to technology to solve a human problem and then f**k up the implementation?

I'm shocked. Shocked I say.

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'9/11 style' commission on computer voting security

So, they will find the three biggest centres for computer voting security are crash hijack aircraft into them? No chance of that working: no valid targets.

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Re: '9/11 style' commission on computer voting security

No they will conclude that Russian backed hackers did it and so America will invade Iraq in retaliation

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Re: '9/11 style' commission on computer voting security

They did Iraq already, they need a new target.

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