Rigging Elections: What’s The Solution?

Posted: October 14, 2016 in Election 2016
Tags: , ,

Debbie Lewis
October 14, 2016

People are up in arms about the “new” revelations regarding rigged elections.  Several videos surfaced recently showing what appears to be election workers stuffing ballot boxes.  As if that’s the only way to rig an election!  Rewind to the DNC’s manipulation of the Democratic Presidential nomination, the super delegates and what they did to Bernie Sanders (how Bernie supported Clinton after that is beyond me!).

Researching for several projects over the years, I’ve found a WHOLE lot of interesting information on vote fraud.  Computer professionals believe there is a much better way to protect our elections from vote fraud…paper ballots!

For many years, concerns about possible vote fraud have weighed on voters, even to the point of doubting the outcome of different races. Flashbacks to ACORN or the vote flipping in 2008 and the hanging chad incident in Florida in 2000 have to be right up there in our concerns.

Computer professionals have led the charge, crying out AGAINST computer voting.  Why?  Read on…

One of the many concerns with computer voting (the machine is called a Direct Recording Electronic or DRE.) is there is no verifiable paper trail.  According to an article from NBC News from 2012, another concern would be the ease in writing code to tamper with the vote count. The code could be written in such a way that almost no one could detect it.  Still another reason to fear DRE’s is that there is no real way to audit the machines.  Also, Fox news did a report in early 2008 regarding a study done at Princeton University on how easy it would be to tamper with computer voting.  Then there are calibration fears.

While this, alone, seems like a lot, there’s more.  Some machines did not count votes at all. An investigation and subsequent report issued by Florida Fair Elections Center entitled “Sarasota’s Vanished Votes” found that across the state of Florida in the November 2006 election, IVotronic Voting systems undercounted by more than 100,000 votes.

There have been other concerns, still. Voting screen problems were rampant and could be caused by the climate where the DRE’s were manufactured to the climate where they were stored.  But there’s more:

Video Cards
Video Drivers
Touch-screen Controllers
Infra-Red Boards
Memory Overload
Careless or Improper Maintenance
Programming Bug
Defective or Dead Batteries
Defective Power Sup

all play a part in voting screen issues.

But, again, there is an answer to vote fraud.  Paper ballots.  Cyber security expert and former CEO of Cybrinth, Stephen Spoonamore thinks paper ballots are a far better system for protecting against vote fraud.  As he says, the paper ballots can be verified, counted, and everybody can who wants can watch the count.  And, Spoonamore, again, a cyber security expert, considers electronic voting a National Security risk.  Why?  The ease of tampering with the machines.

So, in our quest to have transparency in voting, and a paper trail with which to verify the count, paper ballots make sense.  There are many places where you can choose to vote by paper ballot (which are still counted by computer) or computer, but shouldn’t people still be worried about whether or not the votes are accurate (after all, when you have only a 60% turn out for presidential elections, every vote should count!)?

Technology is a great thing, but when computer professionals tell us paper ballots are far more secure, shouldn’t we be listening???  Just a thought!






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