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Trust But Verify Expand / Collapse
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Posted Tuesday, November 18, 2008 10:46 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Trust But Verify






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Post #604877
Posted Wednesday, November 19, 2008 3:20 AM
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The main problem with technological electoral system is the quorum of corruption. Every election on a national scale is a complicated transaction involving millions of people. It can be assumed that based on our crime statistics that there are some untrustworthy people involved in each election. The saving grace with paper electoral system is that the limit of these is very small. I an election system with two parties one can assume corruption on both sides cancelling the other. The only corruption that persists is where there is no counter corruption to negate it. :) . In order to win an election beyond this ‘normal’ static white noise corruption is to have an organization that would needs to span many people across many geographies and many persuasions and many walks of life. Such an enterprise would be almost impossible to hide hence the paper votes generally work and are as corruption safe as possible. The quorum of corruption to win a paper election is so huge we can consider them safe.
Electronic voting system could reduce the corruption quorum to just one. This is unsafe knowing that we know that there are corrupt people among us. It is particularly a problem for political elections where corruption could be sourced not only from selfish monetary gains but from altruistic and ideological motives. Individuals that would normally be considered trust worthy could change their attitudes just for elections.
The efficient nature of technology is not welcome for political elections. We need an inefficient political election process with a high corruption quorum.
Post #604984
Posted Wednesday, November 19, 2008 4:52 AM
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I think this is an area that really needs a technological solution applied. What about those registered voters who are confined to bed in a hospital or without transportation?

I believe the US voting process can be better by using the technology we have today and I thought of an idea while waiting in line...Use electronic machines that provide an authorized printed receipt of your selections. I agree we need the ability to "trust but verify".

Post #605042
Posted Wednesday, November 19, 2008 6:03 AM
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The electronic voting machines we use here in Amherst, OH (west of Cleveland) tally electronically, but also literally print your selections on a paper tape that is captive in the machine, but visible behind a clear window for each voter to read and verify before finalizing the voting "transaction." The voter cannot walk away with the paper, but it is available to the Board of Elections if needed in a recount. It seems like a good compromise.
Post #605072
Posted Wednesday, November 19, 2008 6:08 AM
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I am amazed at the problems they are having with the new electronic machines. Plenty of people handle banking online and through IVR systems with a very low percentage of real problems. It may just be the press the voting machines get, but they seem extremely unreliable - and they are conceptually very simple machines.

What amazes me even more is how unreliable all of the US voting systems have been. Here is Connecticut, they moved us to paper ballots similar to the "fill in the bubble with a #2 pencil" tests we all used to take. Some tests were done of the scanning machines that read these ballots and sending the same group of ballots through 10 times yielded 10 different results. Most of the differences were in ballots being readable on one pass, but not another pass.

The old systems of paper ballots and manual counts were obviously going to be a 2-3% issue in just human error (minimum). I cannot believe any vote counting system we have ever had is much better.

So, although the new machines are unreliable, are they more or less unreliable than the old systems? Is it just that we know how unreliable the new ones are and we did not know the problems with the old ones?

Regardless, I think it is only a matter of time before there is a "Google Vote" application built and we can all just adopt that. It will be able to trend the voting statistics right next to the flu spread trend (which they were able to predict faster than the CDC). And eventually they will make an iPhone application for voting directly from your phone - but the app will probably get stuck in the app store waiting for approval and never get released.
Post #605074
Posted Wednesday, November 19, 2008 6:51 AM
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Problems with voting systems are only visible during close elections. The assumption is that there is error in every system. Figuring a 3% error in voting systems means that any election within 3% will show the problems. The press will magnify them and everyone will be pointing the finger at someone for cheating. All human systems are flawed including voting systems. Some method of verification is essential.

The idea of having the voter receive a paper receipt of their choices is bad. Fake copies will proliferate making the problem worse.
Post #605097
Posted Wednesday, November 19, 2008 7:10 AM


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In Canada, we put an X in the box beside the name of our candidate still. But I don't really understand why the voting system in the US is such a problem. I use ATM machines to get money out of the bank and deposit money. There are millions of people using these machines every day and expecting them to work well, and for the very most part, they do. I also use my banks online system to service my transactions. I don't understand why the financial sector can do it and the voting system can't.

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Post #605115
Posted Wednesday, November 19, 2008 7:19 AM
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What you don't realize is that ATM machines do have some of the same issues. Transactions are lost and misdirected all the time. In some recent consulting, I was shocked to learn that an international banking related firm was (and as far as I know still is) manually dragging files from an FTP server that had ATM transactions that needed to be applied.

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Post #605122
Posted Wednesday, November 19, 2008 7:22 AM


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Michael Earl (11/19/2008)
I keep my money buried behind my house.


Gee then, where exactly do you live?

I know that the ATM system isn't perfect, but I still trust it - that was more the point.


Mia

I have come to the conclusion that the top man has one principle responsibility: to provide an atmosphere in which creative mavericks can do useful work.
-- David M. Ogilvy
Post #605125
Posted Wednesday, November 19, 2008 7:23 AM
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skjoldtc (11/19/2008)
The idea of having the voter receive a paper receipt of their choices is bad. Fake copies will proliferate making the problem worse.


If you're referring to the comment by Timothy Beight then you misunderstood. The voter gets to see the receipt, but the voter doesn't receive it. We had the same thing in Utah. You are asked to verify your vote was recorded correctly by looking at a printed receipt which you can see behind a plastic cover. But you can't actually touch the receipt and you never get a copy. I really like this idea as it satisfies the ability to verify the vote through an audit. I was very confident my vote was correctly recorded.


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