READER COMMENTS ON
"ES&S Relents In California, Finally Submits Voting System Source Code to SoS"
(13 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 6/26/2007 @ 7:49 pm PT...
Anyone who thinks they can be sure the machines will give an accurate vote is kidding themselves. Codes can be changed in many different ways, tests can be fudged by using dates other than election day, etc.
The machines can't be proved to be honest or dishonest, before or after the elections. Anyone who thinks so is naive or lying. Only hand counted paper ballots will insure election integrity. OK, so some of us say we can use optical scanners, so long as there are randomly chosen audits. Perhaps. But ES&S doesn't make an optical scanner, as far as I know. They should be dumped all together.
And then there are the tabulating laptops, using what, excel? What a joke.
Will California become the next Florida or Ohio? Probably
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 6/26/2007 @ 8:11 pm PT...
Gee, here in San Diego we have our new Registraar of Voters Seiler, and her little helper Michael Vu. What's the matter you don't trust them? Hahahahah. Of course you don't trust them. A bunch of apologists and lackeys. How in the world did the last Registraar (Michael Haas) get promoted for doing such a shitty job? What a bunch of f*ckheads running this place (San Diego, not the Sec. of States office.)
I would like to make sure the code sent to the Sec. of State is identical, line for line, with the code in escrow. No differences whatsoever should be acceptable.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 6/27/2007 @ 12:26 am PT...
Very good questions Brad.
Secretary Bowen must INSIST that Iron Mountain produce the source code that was supposedly deposited there as required by law.
I suspect that once again a vendor has thumbed their nose at the law and failed to make the deposit. Which would explain the need for ES & S having to send in a copy. More ominously, perhaps the source code at Iron Mountain might reveal things they don't want revealed. It would be rather interesting to now obtain the Iron Mountain version and compare the two.
I do not see any way that the citizens of LA County can have confidence in their elections. If Conny McCormack has nothing to hide why has she been so secretive, why the withdrawal of the MTS system from a review, and now even the ES & S source code they are currently using, required to be ALREADY deposited in California, is "not available".
I smell a rat!
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 6/27/2007 @ 4:17 am PT...
RE: How does the state know that the code they got from ES&S is the same code used to build the code running on the machines used in LA County?
They cannot. To make the connection between the source code and the actual system used in LA, the state must do 3 things. The state is also be provided the build environment. The state must perform a reference build (aka witness build) using the source code and the build environment. The State must compare the software components from the reference build to the software components of the LA system.
Since state law only requires source code be escrowed (and not a copy of an instlled system) this uncertainty remains whether the source code comes from Iron Mountain or directly from ES&S.
It would be interesting to compare the two copies though. State law requires the source code of the certified system be escrowed. If the ES&S and Iron Mount copies are dirfferent, which is the correct one one and why can't ES&S produce it?
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 6/27/2007 @ 5:39 am PT...
"Only hand counted paper ballots will insure election integrity."
Stalin disproved that. He used paper ballots and hand counts (computers were not around then).
He gave the blueprint for all election criminality when he said "it is not who votes that counts, but who counts the votes". Any system can be corrupted so long as there are corrupt government people willing to do it.
John, you asked "Why did the code come from ES&S and not from Iron Mountain, Inc., the escrow agent?"
Judy at post #3 says "I smell a rat!", which is what I said we should expect:
PS. Everyone get ready for surprises when experts look at the source code and freak out. I suspect it will be the wrong version (not the one certified) and be substantially in non-compliance. Buggy too.
(Dredd Sedd). When they go thru the process that John W mentions in post #4, strangeness will manifest itself and the excuses will flow.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 6/27/2007 @ 5:57 am PT...
But Dredd: Since there will always be corrupt election officials, don't you agree that we still need the LEAST corruptable system? Which is paper ballots?
In fact, since I agree with you, that there will always be corrupt "counters", we need TWO things:
1. The least corruptable system (paper ballots, wouldn't you agree?)
2. Election Transparency...which again I think paper ballots provide the MOST ELECTION TRANSPARENCY.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 6/27/2007 @ 8:31 am PT...
Big Dan #6
I never leave my common sense at home when I go to work to blog. Well almost never.
Please note that my criticizm in post #5 was critical of a statement that contained the words "only" and "insure". It was naive and beautifully representative of the movement.
The election integrity movement, when it comes to electronic machines, is a dismal, dismal, dismal failure.
Yet it, as far as elections, is the most cocky and rudely outspoken movement in the blogosphere.
To my way of thinking that means a change is in order or the definition of insanity is being met ("doing the same thing over and over but always expecting a different result").
So I have changed from doing the same thing over and over and have started pointing out the flaws in the movement that "never" (e.g. past 40 yrs) corrects flaws in electronic elections.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 6/27/2007 @ 9:12 am PT...
You are doing a terrific job keeping up with this Brad. You think and act like mainstream reporters used to think and act, when they were supported to do so by their newspapers.
When I read about what you're looking in to, I don't finish an article with a sense of frustration, like "why doesn't he ask this question?" or "why doesn't he check in to this?"
Keep up the great work.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 6/27/2007 @ 9:21 am PT...
Brad is "on the road again", and John G is our fearless post man right now.
Anyway, there is one thing that will insure the "integrity" of elections.
Remove the law and replace it with faith.
If we all just believe and just have faith that our elections are free of criminality and corruption, then we can all rest assured that whatever election officials tell us is the gospel.
Bask in the wonder of feeling good about our government management of elections.
Then the integrity election some voting machines but not others movement can stop fighting about it. No?
Faith in place of the law: "its not just for fundies any more".
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 6/27/2007 @ 9:37 am PT...
(Psst...but you know, I'm secretly advising Mr. Gideon, just to keep him honest anyway. Even while he's doing all the heavy lifting in my stead!)
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 6/27/2007 @ 11:24 am PT...
Rather than having millions of voters trudging a path off to the voting booth on election day, why can't we just select a town/city/county soothsayer - witchdoctor - or fortune teller to select the next winning candidate.
Election 2008 - Please click here.
The results would be every bit as exciting as the "Magic Blackbox Electronic Voting Machines" that KKKarl Rove usually manages a magic win for his Republican Party candidate.
Elections should be more like pulling bunnies from a top hat - much more exciting, much more fun.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 6/27/2007 @ 12:42 pm PT...
Dredd #9- Oops! Thanks for the admonishment. I'm reading this stuff too darn quick, and missing important bylines. Thanks to all of you for your tireless work on this. And thanks to John Gideon for this particular commentary.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 6/27/2007 @ 1:31 pm PT...
Is this not the same ES&S which has refused to give its source code to the Christine Jennings campaign in Florida because it is a "trade secret?" Courts have been ruling in favor of ES&S.
I gusss it's different when ES&S won't get the contract unless it complies with the customer's requirement. What's good for the goose isn't necessarily good for the gander.