Skip to comments.Congressmen Push for Paper Ballots
Posted on 01/17/2008 4:33:20 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts
Both New Hampshire primary elections are going to be recounted, since Dennis J. Kucinich has put up $27,000 to get the Democratic recount started, and Albert Howard (who was on the New Hampshire Republican ballot) has donated $56,000 to re-tally the Republican vote.
But the only reason these elections can even be recounted is because voting precincts in New Hampshire use paper ballots. And now some folks on Capitol Hill want to make it easier for other states to switch to non-electronic voting systems before the November election.
Rush Holt, a Democratic representative of New Jersey, introduced new legislation today that would reimburse all state and local jurisdictions that opted to convert to a paper ballot voting system, offer emergency paper ballots or convert audits by hand counts.
Speaking at a news conference in Washington this afternoon, Mr. Holt said theres still time to make sure the 2008 presidential election doesnt see the same voting controversy as happened in Florida in 2006, when some 18,000 electronically recorded ballots were marked no vote, and there was no accounting for what happened.
This bill, called the Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act of 2008, is a modified version of a bill Mr. Holt introduced last year that would have required a voter-verified paper ballot for every vote cast, in addition to random auditing. Since that more all-encompassing bill is still awaiting the House floor, Mr. Holt introduced this one, which moves from a paper ballot mandate to a paper ballot enticement.
(Excerpt) Read more at thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com ...
Paper ballots are the Democrats’ idea of a make work stimulus.
I have always wanted a system in which you have a paper ballot which contains a removeable stub that contains an ID code ( bar code or number coded etc..). The code will not in any form identify you as the person who cast that particular ballot, but would be used by the election officials as some kind of input into a data base so the vote can be registered online and eventually check by the voter. So the only real use it will have is so the voter can go online and check to see if their vote was counted , and if it was counted correctly. The ballots could be issued in a random draw by the voter, so it couldn`t be traced by anyone but the voter.
Doh! Why can't we have electronic voting machines that will print out a running record of the vote per machine plus a receipt of your own vote?
Howard, believe it or not, was on the ballot in NH, just like Ron Paul, from TEXAS, etc. He got FORTY-FOUR votes, so the recount will cost him $12,500 per vote that he got. Almost as much as some of the “real” candidates??
A fool and his money...
Nonsense. There are plenty of ways to make electronic systems secure. The problem is that nobody seems interested in doing so.
Explain how you would attack the following: A board using nothing but common of-the-shelf components is constructed with a microcontroller that can interface to two flash-based memory cartridges. The board has no non-volatile storage of its own. The controller can only execute code from the first cartridge port, and it is incapable of writing to the media stored there.
Each cartridge has a read-write port and a read-only port, and is constructed in such a way that when a cap is placed on the read-write port it cannot be written unless or until the cap is removed. The cap my be held in place with a number of seals, one for each interested party. Designs for inexpensive cartridge readers are readily available.
The machine should be constructed with a place to affix a number of padlocks (say, four). When the locks are installed, the machine cannot be opened. The cartridges may be viewed through a window, but not tampered with.
Before an election, the initial contents of both memory cards are prepared and published. The "code" cartridge is write-protected and sealed by election judges from all parties, who then use the read-write port to confirm its contents. The "ballot" cartridge is temporarily write-protected, verified by all the election judges, and then loaded into the machine. Seals are applied to hold the cartridges in the machine, and the machine is locked up using a padlock from each party.
After the election, in full view of election judges from all parties, the locks are removed and the "ballot" cartridge is write-protected and sealed. Members of all parties read out the contents of both cartridges and exchange digitally-signed copies. If the copies don't match, each party summons someone else in the party to supply another reader, until the contents of the cartridges are reliably established.
Where's the room for tampering?
Maybe I have that mixed up with a different series, but in a way I support the notion when it comes to elections.
It is much easier to falsify computer data than it is to produce actual ballots.
You might want to think about that a little further. This is an excerpt from a piece I first posted in 2003,
The concerns are on two levels. First, from the perspective of those not familiar with the technology, it is a device whose inner workings and inherent security they cannot possibly understand. If they can't understand it, how can they be assured that it is honest? Second, those who DO understand signal processing, software, and communications technology know that is far too easy to defraud the system in a way that would be irreversible and undetected. Either way, touch-screens are a loser.
Now, as users of ATMs, cell phones, the Internet, and other electronic media, it might at first seem a little strange that so many people have such concerns. Upon further consideration however, the key distinctions between voting and a service handling mere money become obvious:
Governments are monopolies. One can go down the street to another bank and take the offending bank to court. An evil government can land you in prison (or worse) because they ARE the court. The stakes associated with voter fraud are far higher than with an ATM and so is the temptation to defraud the system.
And also show anyone else who was interested that he "voted correctly"? A proper secret ballot requires that nobody--even the voter himself--be able to prove how he voted except in near-unanimous elections (if 120 people voted, and there are 119 votes for John Smith, the person who didn't vote for John Smith knows how everyone else voted). Otherwise, it would be possible for someone to coerce anyone who would be able to prove how he voted, to actually do so.
People are allowed (and encouraged) to compare their own records with those of their financial institutions. In a secret-ballot system, such comparison is impossible.
I don't get that either. It seem so simple. When I pay a bill online, I always print out a confirmation page. As usual, capitalism is way ahead of government.
The one problem is that printed ballots, and probably receipts would need to stay inside the polling place. Otherwise, the voter could be 'detained' by some 'friends' just to make sure he voted the way he was instructed to. Then they could beat the tar out of him if the receipt said otherwise.
That said, all Dems should be required to use a butterfly ballot!
We just finally got electronic voting, probably not even paid for yet.
This must be practice for next November.
Bumb and what makes everyone think its Howards money being used for a recount?
No matter what, the Rats will have something to whine about. I say lets go back this and get it done and over with:
Although even this would cause whining in the Rat packs .. they'd cry that "so-and-so didn't make eye contact with me while my hand was raised" ...... EGADS !!!!
How can the contents be confirmed and by whom? It would take a programmer familiar with the language of the "code" cartridge who also has full knowlege of further 'instructions' that might be on the microcontroller board. That isn't a very transparent system to the average poll worker and one that is full of opportunity for whoever might wish to have a leveraged affect on the electoral process.
One year in CA, each county had their own ballot (a paper punchcard). Each county and some large precincts had their own paper ballot- with the order of the main candidates different! So a box of ballots from Orange County, which is pretty republican, scanned in Marin county, which is pretty democrat, will yield different vote tallies since the punch in Orange, say slot 1, is for Reagan, but in Marin, slot 1 is Kucinich. This was discovered when I got the wrong absentee ballot (I travel a lot) that was printed for human eyes “Humboldt” rather than “Los Angeles” but my neighbor got an LA ballot and we compared, standing out under the eucalyptus tree we share. A few phone calls verified that the paper ballots were indeed all different depending on county and precinct. Otherwise there was nothing digital to distinguish the two. The paper folder that had which hole to punch directed us to different punches for the same candidate. Confusion and fraud potential built in.
Anyone else from CA have data on this?
Paper is mutable, negotiable, volatile, flammable, punchable. Paper can be trucked and shuffled.
Dems and libs love it! The Washington state gubernatorial race is a case in point- each count of paper ballots was different and closer to a dem win, until the dem won. But, if I ask my computer here for a checksum of a file, every time, it will say the same even if I write C code to ask a million times. Pretty immutable, and if you depend on cheating and trucing boxes of paper around, intolerable.
If you have a voting machine with a secured paper tape for audit, once the paper tape is swapped for another and the paper tape does not match the electronic record, what do you do to resolve the discrepancy? Well, a court would probably go with the tape record, which can be printed anywhere and anytime for anyone’s advantage.
That Youtube video, in which some professors with unlimited access to a voting machine wrote their own code and then proved that they could hack their own code given, again, unreasonable access to the machine, had a lot of influence.