READER COMMENTS ON
"Vote-PAD: The Simple Voting Device that May Save American Democracy!"
(35 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 1/25/2006 @ 2:32 pm PT...
Why not just use it for everybody?
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 1/25/2006 @ 2:57 pm PT...
Please, yes Vote PAD for everyone!!!!
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 1/25/2006 @ 2:57 pm PT...
That's exactly what I was thinking...
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 1/25/2006 @ 2:58 pm PT...
Where can one get more technical details on the use of interpreted code in voting machines?
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 1/25/2006 @ 3:24 pm PT...
Brad, what is this new technology called "paper" that you speak of? It must be very advanced!
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
Roger Drowne EC
said on 1/25/2006 @ 3:26 pm PT...
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 1/25/2006 @ 3:49 pm PT...
"Spread the word, far and wide, to every Middlesex village and farm..."
O.K. That's was a few years ago. But the principle is the same.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 1/25/2006 @ 3:54 pm PT...
What kind of paper ballot counter are they going to use?
What brand of optical scanner? I don't like optical scanners (and, of course, DRE's).
Bigfoot of San Diego
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 1/25/2006 @ 4:10 pm PT...
The brand of optical scanner (or the use of any scanner at all!) is up to the jurisdiction. They can hand count these ballots if they choose.
Huge problems exist, obviously, with many of the optical scanners out there. But at least with Vote-PAD we end up with a countable paper ballot. And the incentive to purchase the shitty, paperless (or uncountable toilet-paper rolled) touch-screen machines are *completely* unnecessary to meet the HAVA disabled-voter requirement.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 1/25/2006 @ 4:35 pm PT...
Hand-count or optical-scanner-count. Cheap. Easy to use. Pretty much invulnerable to butterfly effects or interpretive code. Sounds terrific.
Now, how do we mass e-mail to every voting area in the country to let them know this is *THE* way to go?
We should get the word out before the next election. We don't want to have to take electronic voting machine tallies to court and face expense and possible losses.
Note: In some states the whole state uses one system and in other states each voting precinct chooses its equipment.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 1/25/2006 @ 4:43 pm PT...
It is time to get on the phone, email, etc with voting officials across the country and introduce them to VOTEPAD and AutoMARK!!!!!
Accurate elections with paper ballots only, no muss, no fuss. No gears, no peers. JUST HAND COUNTED PAPER BALLOTS AT THE DAMN PRECINCT LEVEL AND AUDITS!
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
Martin from Germany
said on 1/25/2006 @ 5:15 pm PT...
Now you just have to get rid of the Diebold "Central Tablulator". The Vote-PAD is a step in the right direction, but it will not eliminate the risk of tampering with the numbers "higher up" in the chain. After the 2004 elections i actually started to wonder if the media could just declare a winner and nobody would check...
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 1/25/2006 @ 5:30 pm PT...
This is excellent! From a primarily rural agricultural county no less!
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 1/25/2006 @ 5:35 pm PT...
Of course the city of Davis is in Yolo County. Davis is home of the University of California Davis. The town is one of the most progressive in the state. Bicycles are held in higher regard than automobiles! They even have stoplights on the streets where only a bike path crosses!
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 1/25/2006 @ 6:10 pm PT...
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 1/25/2006 @ 6:12 pm PT...
Think like Karl Rove. How is he going to keep this from becoming the voting system of choice? How is he going to make sure he still counts the votes? Expect him to fight dirty. Because when he no longer counts the votes he, and a lot of other republicans, are going up river for a long, long time.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
Grizzly Bear Dancer
said on 1/25/2006 @ 6:34 pm PT...
People did check HOWEVER their voice fell on deaf ears BECAUSE the mass media has been in a process of corporate takeover since the 80's and complete in the 90's. Now what comes out of this conglomerant Bushit administration bullhorn goes. Nuthin else matters. As a rock music fan I can remember when these corporate buyouts occured. They would throw a couple mill to a mom and pop radio station and they usually couldn't refuse. This gave ultimate control of the microphone. It also effectively was the beginning of the death of rock radio however learning about the hijacking of America from the inside, 2 back to back rigged presidential elections, a war based on lies, 9/11 coverup of an inside job, and the master plan to delist the GRIZZLY BEAR based on the increase in numbers of bears in the isolated population of Yellowstone means little in comparison. They've whitewashed the complexities of the real issues of the brown bears survival by simplifying the story into 1 fact without looking at the whole story. Scarcity in different foods once available. Increased roads, offroad vehicles allowed on their lands along with Bushit cronies developing the wildlands uncontrolled. A remedy to connect this isolated population (since Yellowstone bears are showing the signs of in breeding) and what the real effects of delisting the bear will have on them is overlooked. Instead of taking an attitude of preservation and looking at the benefits of this great wild animal and other inhabitats in the wildlands the brown bombers are gonna wakeup from hibernation to experience the shaft of the Bushit administration. Protection from extinction in the lower 48 states is precisely the reason they were given the Federal protection in the first place. The greedy uncaring Bushit administration who have completely removed any control or say of the American people in regards to US forestry last December does not place any regard for these great animals or (American lives for that matter) so right now they are fcked. My only recourse it to try and talk to a Senator to request a court hearing. If at least 40 Senator do not stand up and honor the oath they took and filibuster against the Alito nomination, the Bushit administration will have complete reign of all 3 branches of government. The changes that will occur to the United States form of government will be it's final blow. It can no longer be a titled a Democracy of the people. I dare any fcking Bushit supporting troll to read what Barbara Boxer wrote on her website in a letter as to why she is not supporting the Alito confirmation and comment on even 1 judicial decision Alito has made in favor of the working class American. These bastards will not take my flag. Bush is such a lyer U ever notice how he gets all happy when he can even complete a sentence to make a statement where he doesn't look like a complete jackass. Sometimes i think if i had one chance to box Bush, Cheney and all these corrupt loser bastards, i could destroy them all. Notice how Harry Belefonte posseses more integrity in his little finger speaking his mind, telling the truth than the lying murderers we call our government leaders.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 1/25/2006 @ 8:23 pm PT...
VOTE-PAD will become Rove & Diebold's worse nightmare once I've had my say about it!!!!
In fact, we need to get a real law that shows there is no need for a Diebold tabulator. Why do we even have them? All of them use banned code, so lets force the suckers out. One legislature or five at a time!!!!
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 1/25/2006 @ 9:27 pm PT...
This "Vote-PAD"" may be the thing to fight for, to end this Diebold chicanery.
Another issue comes to mind, that's just as large a scandal, and will still be there, even if Diebold-type machines are defeated: minority voter disenfranchisement.
Without it, Gore would've handily won Florida in 2000, and, most likely, Kerry in Ohio in 2004; we would've been spared this jackass and his hooligans-in-the-shadows if there were no disenfranchisement. No wonder only about half the country bothers to register.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 1/26/2006 @ 1:55 am PT...
Bob that's why the vote is only half the battle...
The other is AUDIT. Only with the most strict audits can we rule out most types(and not all) of disenfranchisement and evil
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 1/26/2006 @ 5:34 am PT...
As I'm sure most of you are aware, Canada just had an election which used ballots (nation-wide) that looked like this:
Number of notable voting irregularities: 0
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 1/26/2006 @ 7:36 am PT...
Months ago, I got an estimate from the female rep that sells Votepad, of what my small Illinois county, would pay if we used it.
I was going to give it to my County Clerk, & I did, personally, hand my county clerk a two inch thick copy of my download from the Votepad website, which she did read.
Unfortunately, the Votepads were almost as expensive as the electronic voting machines, after everything is purchased & updated for every election & only available from one company that makes them, which, I figure, can charge any amount since they alone make them.
Plus, despite what the clever sales reps told me, they may not be HAVA compliant, so that the counties that use them can be sued.
It bummed me out.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 1/26/2006 @ 8:18 am PT...
The neoCons have been spouting off how their view of "democracy" if forced on a few nations would bring peace to the world because peace and "democracy" go together.
However, the neoCon view of democracy is about as valid as Hamas' view of democracy. Hamas has now won the election in Palestine (link here).
Thus, terrorists can have democracy of the kind the neoCons envision. Their vision is blind.
What I have pointed out ad nauseum here is that voting and elections in and of themselves are mere hollow endeavors.
The American concept of democracy, instead of the neoCon concept of democracy, is the one to follow.
It requires a constitution of basic rights which are never voted on because they are permanent and the apply to everyone, especially to limit what the government can and can not do.
The Bill of Rights is the prime example of a good democracy, as is the rest of the US Constitution.
Terrorists can have democracy, but it is no better than the democracy the neoCons envision.
Do not get me wrong, we must use better voting machines, fully verifiable and fully auditable, in addition to all the rest of the stuff of a good democracy.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 1/26/2006 @ 9:04 am PT...
Charlene #22 -
Your post is very strange because I know for a fact that Vote-PAD was not for sale 'months ago' as you say. There is not anywhere near enough information on the Vote-PAD website to make a half-inch stack of paper let alone two inches.
The rest of your facts are either incorrect or misleading. The cost of Vote-PAD is one time only and a fraction of the cost of any electronic voting system. The Vote-PAD does not require ballot programming for every election. It does not require special storage as do computer based voting machines. The Vote-PAD can be thrown on a shelf anywhere.
So Charlene, which is it? Diebold, Sequoia, ES&S, Hart Intercivic? Just who do your work for?
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 1/26/2006 @ 10:40 am PT...
How exactly were they(Vote-Pads) not HAVA compliant? Surely, you have something tangible to back this statement up. Give a link.... anything.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 1/26/2006 @ 11:48 am PT...
Comment #4, there's a lot on blackboxvoting.org in the forums. about interpreted code.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 1/26/2006 @ 2:19 pm PT...
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 1/27/2006 @ 8:04 am PT...
I am a sincere citizen who hates this electronic voting machine scam as much as anyone & I've been trying to do something about it in my county for a while. I do not work for any company.
Our county bought ES&S with AutoMark for a lot of money which we can't afford, & it stinks. So did their "ex-county clerk" male representative, who was a bully & tried to shut me up when I pointed out all the ways his product sucked & also that he couldn't guarantee it's performance, in front of my fellow citizens at a meeting to train election judges.
I downloaded the information that their sister website--is it Voers Unite? It was so long ago, I can't remember the exact name of the site, but there is a link to it on the site & that's how I found it. They asked citizens to download info re how unreliable these electronic vote machines are with data from all over the nation detailing all the awful things that occurred in various elections, & give it to their own Clerks. They feature a map that shows which counties have been given the info on the site. You'll notice mine is marked as having been done.
It was 2 inches thick, & I ran my ink out doing it. But I did give it to my clerk, who is female, & she read it.
I figured out that the woman who sells Votepad is the same woman you contact on the other site, although I believe I read on BradBlog that she quit since then because it was an obvious conflict of interest.
I got the quote for the price of Votepad for our county from her--it took a few days between asking her for it & getting the e-mail back. I would tell you exactly what it was, but I erased it. I was so disgusted because I had thought this was the answer too. Maybe it still is--expensive is not good but accurate vote counting is--but is it really HAVA compliant? I don't know.
I was on the phone with my state's board of elections & that governing body for HAVA--I, once again, forget it's name--it was months ago. The governing body for HAVA said Votepads were not HAVA compliant--& I never got a straight answer from the Board of Elections.
I sent the female rep an e-mail telling her that I wondered if this is not just an elaborate marketing ploy to get people to hand-deliver their product's info to county clerks. I felt duped, like that's what it was, after I got the quote.
They SAY it is HAVA compliant--but when I tried to get a definative answer from the county board of elections in Illinois & the governing body for HAVA--it was one vote on the fence & one vote no.
I remember, that call was made the same day the GAO report came out re how unreliable these machines are--but I didn't know of the report til the next day. I was on the phone so long trying to get to the bottom of this that I didn't have time to check my news. I was aggravated because when I was speaking to this woman at the governing body for HAVA, the report was already out & I could have quoted it to her as she smugly told me these machines are "thoroughly tested" & trustworthy. Witch. If she had any training in computers, she MUST have known that was a lie. But it's the official lie, so I guess she could not have told the truth & still worked for HAVA.
Then I figured it may be compliant but the Board of Elections, being the political body it is--doesn't want citizens to know it is--because they have an ulterior motive for selling the electronic vote machines in this state, for instance. I thought maybe they are "misrepresenting" it, so no one will buy the Votepads. I mean, I couldn't prove they told me what they did. Or they could claim some low level person told me this & they were mistaken.
I tried to find out--I called several local representatives who all said they were told by a lawyer who came down from the Board of Elections with our county's check in hand, (who has now left it so I couldn't find him to ask him, by the way--I told you I tried)--that electronic vote machines were necessary to comply with HAVA.
Some local representatives said, at the time I called them, that they had argued that spending all this money was unecessary in a small county like ours but they were told at the time, by this lawyer from the State Board of Elections with the check in his hand for our county, that we MUST use electronic to be HAVA compliant. The head of our local board of elections told me he couldn't "remember" who, exactly, it was, from the State that told him we MUST use electronic to be compliant.
I thought well, 'can't remember' worked for Reagan.
I also thought I might be on the verge of uncovering corruption in our state.
This lawyer no longer works for the Board of Elections.
Ask for a quote on the price of Votepads for YOUR county & find out for yourselves.
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 1/27/2006 @ 8:32 am PT...
Let me add, I even read the HAVA document itself, trying to ascertain whether or not electronic is mandated.
I thought it was too vague to tell. It would take a lawyer--which is the point of being vague I suppose, from the government's point of view.
(I even read the contract that Chicago has with their "vendor" for electronic vote machines on the net--in hopes that I could tell my county clerk if there is a way to cancel our contract & not lose money with our vendor, if we find out that we CAN use Votepads.)
Oh, I remembered one other thing. The woman I spoke to at the governing body for HAVA that day told me there are MORE requirements that the states must meet for HAVA that are NOT in the document.
I figured if that is true, the government doesn't WANT any citizen to be able to figure anything out for themselves.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 1/27/2006 @ 9:54 am PT...
Charlene #28 and 29 -
Thank you for the explanation. Yes, you must have downloaded information from www.votersunite.org. In the interest of full disclosure, I am the Executive Director of VotersUnite having taken over from the founder, Ellen Theisen, who resigned so she could follow her idea for an inexpensive, fully HAVA compliant voting assistive device for the voter who is disabled.
Vote-PAD costs approximately $2000 per polling place. That is far less expensive than any DRE or the AutoMARK. It does not require ballot programming each election. It does not require special storage facilities each election. There is a reason that voting officials are flocking to get more information on Vote-PAD.
Vote-PAD is NOT a voting system or voting machine. It does meet all of the requirements for accessibility as defined by HAVA and the voting systems standards. The telephone system that will be used by Vermont is closer to a voting system than Vote-PAD yet it does not require federal certification. If your election officials are telling you anything else; they are quite simply wrong.
In the interest of full-disclosure I have no interest in Vote-PAD in any way except that I want counties to have the chance to meet the legal requirements without spending exhorbitant fees for high-tech when they can go low-tech and do the same thing.
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 1/27/2006 @ 1:04 pm PT...
# 30, Mr. Gideon;
I remember now that the estimate for Votepads (which, by the way, yes I DID get months ago from Ms. Theisson--sp?----in Oct '05--I know because I still have one message from you refering to the subject in Oct 05 that I neglected to erase. I looked it up in my deleted files) was way too expensive because a county would have to have BOTH electronic machines AND Votepad to satify HAVA, & the cost of both would be way too much, since even the cost of electronic machines by themselves is way too much & the government does not cover it all.
I was told by a woman at the governing agency for HAVA in Oct 05 that the electronic machines were necessary for all national elections, & that paper ballots with paper hand counting--the old time way--were only allowed for local elections. (I guess Bush is only concerned with rigging national elections, not local ones)
She said Votepads were not certified by the State, & therefore, a county clerk would be foolish to buy them.
I had wanted to send a letter to all the local papers re the rip job these electronic voting machines really are & have been for the voters. (Note 2 major rigged elections in 2000 & 2004.)
However, being the responsible person that I am, I felt I needed to be very certain that what I said was true & also, to offer a solution, rather than leave people hopeless about this crappy government we have.
In light of all this, how can you guarantee that your Votepad meets HAVA requirements?
After all, it would be VERY irresponsible of your company to SAY they were, if you are not sure.
You can't expect counties to spend big bucks on your "I think so".
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 1/27/2006 @ 2:00 pm PT...
Charlene #31 -
Again, let me be crystal clear, it is not my company. I have nothing to do with Vote-PAD except by knowing Ellen and giving her encouragement. I hope we can get that understood. Good!
Now, let's look at the cost. You say the Vote-PAD is "way too expensive because a county would have to have BOTH electronic machines AND Votepad to satify HAVA, & the cost of both would be way too much, since even the cost of electronic machines by themselves is way too much & the government does not cover it all".
Yes, that's true. So a county has a choice. In every choice they have they can pay around $2000 for the Vote-PAD or from $3500 on up for a DRE or touch-screen voting machine that is accessible for the disabled. AND, in every election they can pay to have every one of the accessible machines reprogrammed for the ballot. AND, they can pay for special storage. AND, they can throw the things away after about 5 years because they are obsolete. The Vote-PAD is a one time only cost, it needs no special storage, it is reusable year after year with no upgrading, and it will not go obsolete unless paper ballots go obsolete.
Whomever told you that the Vote-PAD is not HAVA compliant is misinforming you. They could not have known then because the device was not even being sold in Oct of last year. The first public demonstration was not until Dec.. It is totally HAVA compliant. But I won't repeat all of that again.
Anyway, thanks for your interest I'm sure Ellen appreciates it.
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
said on 1/27/2006 @ 3:40 pm PT...
Mr. Gideon #32
Has the Vote pad been certified by any State yet, so that a county clerk would know, before buying them, that it will not be rejected by their state?
How can you continue to claim the Votepad meets HAVA, if it has not been certified, & who said it meets HAVA requirements, besides you & Votepad? By what authority do you & Vote pad claim this?
Now, that is a fair question, & I noticed you didnt answer it yet.
Don't new papers of some kind have to be printed for each election with Vote pad & is it true that the cost is $50 or so for each voting precinct? I was confused about the "25" of something or other you get with your purchase.
Isn't $2000 a big tag for something that is made of paper & plastic? It seems exorbitant, as if someone is taking advantage of the country's dire situation.
Of course, it's important to get will honest vote counting--but still, no one likes an opportunist that price gouges them, especially on a patriotic matter such as this.
The woman I spoke to in Oct 05 at the national governing body for HAVA is the one that told me paper CANNOT be used for national elections--she said it must be electronic, according to HAVA.
It's not a choice between two things---you have to have both, from what I was told, & no one can afford it.
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
J.John Deva Sagayam
said on 2/6/2006 @ 9:28 am PT...
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COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
said on 5/3/2006 @ 2:33 pm PT...
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