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Diebold
December 13, 2005 12:06 PM   Subscribe

Diebold boss resigns pending fraud investigation
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome (164 comments total)

 
Too late. The damage has been done.
posted by chasing at 12:28 PM on December 13, 2005


Non-Raw Story link

also

Diebold Shares Rally on Resignation of Controversial CEO Walden O'Dell

not that i don't like raw story.
posted by rxrfrx at 12:32 PM on December 13, 2005


I would note: the "fraud investigation" pertains to an allegation of insider trading. It has nothing to do with "voter fraud" as I am sure this discussion will invariably regress to suggesting.
posted by dios at 12:34 PM on December 13, 2005


Am doing such a fucking happy dance right now. 1 down, 10,000 to go...
posted by dash_slot- at 12:34 PM on December 13, 2005


Thanks for the links rxrfrx. They really call into question the use of the "raw story" version.
posted by dios at 12:35 PM on December 13, 2005


No, they don't. Sheesh
posted by Cycloptichorn at 12:40 PM on December 13, 2005


Voting Machine Controversy
August 28, 2003 by the Cleveland Plain Dealer

The trouble with e-voting
August 30, 2004 CNN/Money


"I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year"


None Dare Call It Stolen

September 7, 2005, Harpers

Election 2004, Ohio results
posted by matteo at 12:42 PM on December 13, 2005


Dios is suggesting Diebold was involved in voter fraud?
posted by Yer-Ol-Pal at 12:42 PM on December 13, 2005


So long Wally:
"For years, O'Dell has given generously to Republican candidates. Last September, he held a packed $1,000-per-head GOP fundraiser at his 10,800-square-foot mansion. He has been feted as a guest at President Bush's Texas ranch, joining a cadre of 'Pioneers and Rangers' who have pledged to raise more than $100,000 for the Bush reelection campaign. Most memorably, O'Dell last fall penned a letter pledging his commitment 'to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President.'"
posted by Otis at 12:43 PM on December 13, 2005


crooks is crooks is crooks. if they're doing the nasty on the stock market, they shouldn't be hosting our elections. whether or not voter fraud has happened in the past, and whether or not Diebold was implicit if it did, they're nasty crooks and shouldn't be allowed within 30 yards of a polling station.
posted by carsonb at 12:44 PM on December 13, 2005


It has nothing to do with "voter fraud" as I am sure this discussion will invariably regress to suggesting.

Perhaps you could head that off at the pass by posting some good, cogent links that argue why this didn't happen?
posted by BobFrapples at 12:45 PM on December 13, 2005


More Metafilter conspiracy masturbation. Wonder how many Mefi members support Larouche ("the bee hive" in French)...
posted by ParisParamus at 12:46 PM on December 13, 2005


"Perhaps you could head that off at the pass by posting some good, cogent links that argue why this didn't happen?"

How about because you have the burden of demonstrating it did?
posted by ParisParamus at 12:46 PM on December 13, 2005


unless they're there to vote. and then only once!
posted by carsonb at 12:47 PM on December 13, 2005


Anyone read the GAO (Government Accountability Office) Sept. 2005 report regarding electronic voting systems?

While electronic voting systems hold promise for a more accurate and efficient election process, numerous entities have raised concerns about their security and reliability, citing instances of weak security controls, system design flaws, inadequate system version control, inadequate security testing, incorrect system configuration, poor security management, and vague or incomplete voting system standards, among other issues.

For example, studies found (1) some electronic voting systems did not encrypt cast ballots or system audit logs, and it was possible to alter both without being detected; (2) it was possible to alter the files that define how a ballot looks and works so that the votes for one candidate could be recorded for a different candidate; and (3) vendors installed uncertified versions of voting system software at the local level. It is important to note that many of the reported concerns were drawn from specific system makes and models or from a specific jurisdiction’s election, and that there is a lack of consensus among election officials and other experts on the pervasiveness of the concerns. Nevertheless, some of these concerns were reported to have caused local problems in federal elections—resulting in the loss or miscount of votes—and therefore merit attention.


See the full report here.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:47 PM on December 13, 2005


Womp.

Womp.

Womp.

Another one bites the dust!
posted by delmoi at 12:48 PM on December 13, 2005


The company was thrust into the center of controversy during the 2004 presidential election campaign, after O'Dell wrote in a Republican Party fundraising letter that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year...
Diebold -- heavily criticized for selling voting machines while O'Dell raised money for Republican candidates -- tried to appease Wall Street in June by banning top executives from making political donations. The policy places the same restriction on all employees of Diebold Elections Systems, which is headquartered in McKinney, Texas." - AP [from one of your approved links, dios, ole pal].

Seems like the investors saw that the perception of political corruption was getting bad for business.
posted by dash_slot- at 12:50 PM on December 13, 2005


So, Paris, let's say George Soros takes over Diebold. You'd have no problems with using Diebold machines in the next elections?
posted by Otis at 12:51 PM on December 13, 2005


mmmmmmm! masturbation!
posted by Yer-Ol-Pal at 12:52 PM on December 13, 2005


Dios is suggesting Diebold was involved in voter fraud?

Ummmm....what leads you to say that? Not that I'm normally quick to stick up for Dios, but no need to go putting words in his mouth (or keyboard) based on hasty misreading or whatever.
posted by alumshubby at 12:53 PM on December 13, 2005


"So, Paris, let's say George Soros takes over Diebold. You'd have no problems with using Diebold machines in the next elections?"

No.

Wasn't this company called Diebold-Tabs? Where did the tabs go?

Or was it Diebold-Chads? ;- )
posted by ParisParamus at 12:55 PM on December 13, 2005


How about because you have the burden of demonstrating it did?

Look around you in the thread, PP my dear. Others are doing just that...

Of course, I don't really expect you to read any of that and expand your tiny world.
posted by BobFrapples at 12:56 PM on December 13, 2005


My world is less tiny than yours....na-nah-na-nah-nah
posted by ParisParamus at 12:58 PM on December 13, 2005


So are your pants!!!

*no idea what that is supposed to mean*
posted by BobFrapples at 12:58 PM on December 13, 2005


Not that I'm normally quick to stick up for Dios, but no need to go putting words in his mouth (or keyboard) based on hasty misreading or whatever.

Yeah, no need to, alright. How about, "it has been suggested that ..."
posted by nervousfritz at 1:02 PM on December 13, 2005


"Its tiny and full of mirrors giving the illusion of a large world full of like minded people." - me -
posted by Elim at 1:03 PM on December 13, 2005


Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio

104 page report by the ranking minority member of the House Judiciary Committee
posted by edverb at 1:03 PM on December 13, 2005


Paris - Care to make any statements about whether Wally O'Dell should be indicted?
posted by bshort at 1:04 PM on December 13, 2005


It is really nice to see that a criminal organization (Diebold) is in charge of counting so many of our votes.

A fucking Banana Republic would be less obvious about its corruption, for crying out loud.

NOTE: The idea that a crooked boss does not a crooked company make is bullshit. When the very top of the org chart is a crook, that criminality will leak its way down through the company. The rank and file employee is probably OK, but the company direction and upper management are quite likely just as crooked as the guy driving the ship.

Of course, O'Dell is innocent until proven guilty. So if there is no evidence that he committed fraud, the above might not apply.

A further note, for the very dense: vote fraud is not all that can seriously hurt a democracy -- the appearance of vote fraud can be just as bad. And America has the appearance of massive vote fraud, in spades. You can keep playing the "I can't hear you" game all you want -- the fact of the matter is that a significant percentage of the American populace now thinks our electoral system is bunk.

That's a huge fucking problem, even in the unlikely scenario of Diebold et al. being completely on the up and up.
posted by teece at 1:04 PM on December 13, 2005


Don't American Voters deserve better than "weak security controls, system design flaws, inadequate system version control, inadequate security testing, incorrect system configuration, poor security management, and vague or incomplete voting system standards?"
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 1:05 PM on December 13, 2005


Dios: I would note: the "fraud investigation" pertains to an allegation of insider trading. It has nothing to do with "voter fraud" as I am sure this discussion will invariably regress to suggesting.

If it looks like a duck, quakes like a duck and walks like a duck, it IS a duck. No regression required (more of a lateral deduction).
posted by Skygazer at 1:07 PM on December 13, 2005


USCERT Cyber Security Bulletin SB04-252 (September 1 through September 7, 2004)
Diebold GEMS Central Tabulator Vote Database Vote Modification

GEMS Central Tabulator 1.17.7, 1.18
A vulnerability exists due to an undocumented backdoor account, which could a local or remote authenticated malicious user modify votes.

No workaround or patch available at time of publishing.
posted by edverb at 1:15 PM on December 13, 2005


So, is THIS enough to open an independent investigation into voter fraud in the 2004 election? It damned well should be.

Why is is that CEO's are unaware of basic things like paper trails and the rest of us are well aware of how simple a process it would be?

Our electoral process is so flawed and filthy and being run by incredibly biased people that the Iraqi election will likely be more honest and transparent than our own. And that's just shameful.

Where's that often touted Kerry warchest now? Let's bust that sucker open and make some craters!
posted by fenriq at 1:18 PM on December 13, 2005


Hey, if Ohio was fraud, all of you who think so should be ashamed of yourselves for not taking to the streets; suing, etc. G-d, you are wimpy!
posted by ParisParamus at 1:31 PM on December 13, 2005


"Suing in the Streets" was my favorite Martha & the Vandellas hit.
posted by Spatch at 1:36 PM on December 13, 2005


We know that, because of the massive flaws in Diebold's proprietary trade-secreted software, it is easy to alter vote counts, and to remove all trace of the evidence. This is a fact, and has been demonstrated time and time again. Regardless of whether vote counts have been manipulated in the past, the fact that they could be easily manipulated in the next election, practically risk-free, should not be acceptable to anyone.

The fact that ParisParamus and dios are not uncomfortable with this state of affairs appears to indicate that they are less interested in democracy and more interested in maintaining a status quo in which their guys win. Saying that Diebold systems without paper trails are objectively shitty does not make you Michael Moore. It makes you a regular human being.

ParisParamus would have no problems with these voting system even if George Soros running Diebold. Well I fucking would, and that's because I believe that obvious holes in the security of elections should be fixed.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 1:44 PM on December 13, 2005


hey, ease of dios, he's just clarifying an important point. That said, I hope Odell gets some time in the clink and we rid ourselves of the justifiable-paranoia inducing Diebold. I mean seriously, as an engineer and a scientist the company fails on so many levels

And has for PP, just replace his sentences with wank-wank-wank-wank and you'll lose none of the meaning
posted by slapshot57 at 1:45 PM on December 13, 2005


Hey, if Ohio was fraud, all of you who think so should be ashamed of yourselves for not taking to the streets; suing, etc. G-d, you are wimpy!

It's true. Liberal America is wimpy. Heed the call of Paramus and take action to improve voting systems.

Will you be joining the campaign, Paris? I mean, my sources tell me you're a patriot.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 1:47 PM on December 13, 2005


G-d, you are wimpy!

Don't worry Paris...maybe you won't be "first against the wall when the revolution comes" so to speak (that'll be reserved for those con artists to whom you owe your entire petty victory dance), but you'll make the top 500,000 I'm sure.

In case you didn't notice -- your House Majority Leader is under indictment, as are some of his aides, as are GOP congressmen (and more to come), as is the White House Procurement Officer, and the Chief of Staff to the Vice President, and GOP election operatives in several states, along with criminal investigations into the Chief White House Political Advisor and President's Deputy Chief of Staff, and the Senate Majority Leader. Anyone I missed? Oh yeah -- your slush fund bagman, who connects them all. And soon, Walden O'Dell.

So it's a long list before it reaches down to the dregs of your trolling, apparatchik freeper ass.
posted by edverb at 1:49 PM on December 13, 2005


Look. I would be all in favor of something better, whatever that is. But let me pose this question: why is a propriety system easier to cheat with than an open system? Can't an open system be hacked easier--because it's open? I just don't get the equities here.

Why don't I think there was fraud? Because the judicial system isn't so corrupt ("or corrupt at all), and the MSM isn't so right-wing--it leans Left!--that it could supress the evidence of corruption/fraud. SO WHERE IS IT?

Also, Kerry is one of the world's largest dicks, so I really don't think Bush needed to cheat.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:53 PM on December 13, 2005


Kerry is one of the world's largest dicks

really? he should have chosen Rocco Siffredi as running mate then, instead of that North Carolina scrawny guy
posted by matteo at 2:00 PM on December 13, 2005


Why don't I think there was fraud? Because the judicial system isn't so corrupt ("or corrupt at all), and the MSM isn't so right-wing--it leans Left!--that it could supress the evidence of corruption/fraud.

I'm going to make this very simple for you. It is possible to log into a Diebold machine, whether as an external hacker or as an authorised insider, alter the voting numbers, and delete evidence that you have altered the voting numbers. If this has occured, there would be no evidence for the MSM (it leans left!) to cover up.

Whatever my opinion of you, Paris, I don't think you're a toddler. I therefore think that you already knew and understood this, that you don't believe what you're saying, and that you're either just a liar or the most advanced ironic-trolling device that Lockheed Martin ever produced.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 2:00 PM on December 13, 2005


An open-source system would not be appropriate here. What would be appropriate was a system whose code could be scrutinised by Congress. This would result in holes being fixed that Diebold, to be irrationally generous, appear to have overlooked.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 2:03 PM on December 13, 2005


Can't an open system be hacked easier--because it's open?

Gain adminstrator access to a remote Windows box not your own.

Now gain administrator access to an remote OpenBSD box not your own.

Surely the OpenBSD one was a piece of cake, right? Because it's open!
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:05 PM on December 13, 2005


"So, Paris, let's say George Soros takes over Diebold. You'd have no problems with using Diebold machines in the next elections?"

No.


And then:

I would be all in favor of something better, whatever that is.

Well, we appear to be making progress.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 2:10 PM on December 13, 2005


Paris, this isn't a competition between open sourse Electronic Voting vs. proprietary EV: it's between trustworthy and suspect.

If there was a system of EV which was very, very difficult to hack (ie, as difficult to fraudulently alter the results as it is with paper ballots), I'd guess most Mefites would likely be in favour of it 99-1 (most folks here are earlier adopters).
posted by dash_slot- at 2:11 PM on December 13, 2005


Paris, an open system is certainly not easier to cheat. It has the scrutiny of everyone and everyone and flaws are immediately brought to light. If I made a voting system that was riddled with flaws which nobody insepct it short of a small group of people, it may very well pass. This same system would probably fail if it were put out to just the MeFi community. In short would you buy a car if it were impossible or illegal for you mechanic to look under the hood? An open system can be proven correct or incorrect, we don't have to take it on faith.
posted by cmfletcher at 2:12 PM on December 13, 2005


but I'm wandering off topic, sorry.
posted by cmfletcher at 2:12 PM on December 13, 2005


As they say, obscurity is not security.
posted by 4easypayments at 2:14 PM on December 13, 2005


Yeah, for the record I fully support electronic voting systems with an accompanying and well-scrutinised paper trail. However, given Diebold's record on fixing their flaws, I would rather Diebold wasn't in charge of those systems.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 2:16 PM on December 13, 2005


The USA always totally amazes me (in a really bad way) when you start talking about your electoral systems - and i mean the whole kit and dice, not just diebold. Total fucking amateur hour, corrupt and/or incompetent. For a country that professes to be fond of democracy, you sure do go about it in a half-arsed manner.

One of the most mediocre democracies on the planet.
posted by wilful at 2:17 PM on December 13, 2005


hey, ease of dios, he's just clarifying an important point

Precisely. And in his loving, charming, and usual fashion, he has to throw in a dig to accompany the clarification. Yay!
posted by juiceCake at 2:19 PM on December 13, 2005


OK, lets get a better system. I'm as opposed to big shitty corporations as the next enlightened boy.

Just don't confuse a shitty Presidential candidate and campaign with a shitty voting system--ok?
posted by ParisParamus at 2:19 PM on December 13, 2005


One of the most mediocre democracies on the planet.

Well let's not go too far here. Even if Bush is a dictator, he's not in quite the same league as most African leaders, because he obviously has the support of a significant proportion of people. On the other hand, most people in a fraudulent African democracy would openly admit that their elections were suspect, without feeling the need to shield themselves from any thoughts or deeds that don't involve flag-hugging and blind faith in corporations.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 2:25 PM on December 13, 2005


Welcome aboard, Paris! Write your congressman.

Just don't confuse a shitty Presidential candidate and campaign with a shitty voting system--ok?

Quite right; they're entirely seperate problems. It's just that one of them is more likely to cause massive criminal damage than the other one.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 2:28 PM on December 13, 2005


A further note, for the very dense: vote fraud is not all that can seriously hurt a democracy -- the appearance of vote fraud can be just as bad.
Agreed. I know a lot of people, including myself, who refuse to take any election involving machines with no tracking capability, using closed software that can't be properly audited, with a host of security problems that let vote totals be changed invisibly, as legitimate.

Your last presidential election, for example.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 2:30 PM on December 13, 2005


Interestingly, none of the stories I've read (other than the Raw Story link) mention anything about fraud investigation--voting, financial or otherwise. The release on PR Newswire references only "personal reasons," while only AP story only went so far as to mention O'Dell "challenging investors."

Believe me, I'd love to see these crooks get locked up to, but this story (and thread) may be suffering from "Fitzmas Syndrome," leading to some premature ejaculation celebration.
posted by slogger at 2:31 PM on December 13, 2005


Interestingly, none of the stories I've read (other than the Raw Story link) mention anything about fraud investigation--voting, financial or otherwise. The release on PR Newswire references only "personal reasons," while only AP story only went so far as to mention O'Dell "challenging investors."

Exactly, which was my point here.
posted by dios at 2:32 PM on December 13, 2005


A better electronic voting system that is cheaper, more reliable, tamper resistant, and oh so easy to use. Not perfect, but certainly much better than that Diebold mess.
posted by cmfletcher at 2:33 PM on December 13, 2005


An open-source system would not be appropriate here. What would be appropriate was a system whose code could be scrutinised by Congress.

I don't believe it needs to be developed in an open-source manner, but publishing the source code and hardware specifications offers significant benefit.

An open system would be analyzed by every serious security research firm on the planet, not just for the challenge, but for the associated publicity for their practices.

Additionally, it would likely be analyzed by an enormous number of people for academic reasons, most of whom benefit from having their name attached to a problem report.

The fact that an article about a CEO's resignation nearly-instantly changes to the topic of voter fraud indicates that the current system has a credibility problem that needs to be addressed if we value democracy.
posted by I Love Tacos at 2:34 PM on December 13, 2005


wow, I didn't think the GOP machine had this many wheels that could come off.

but the damage is done, and there's no real fix
posted by Busithoth at 2:34 PM on December 13, 2005


Well, there's definately legal action going on, even if the extra-blogospheric organisms haven't picked up on it yet.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 2:35 PM on December 13, 2005


The release on PR Newswire references only "personal reasons"

STOP THE PRESSES
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 2:37 PM on December 13, 2005


wasn't it brad blog that broke the clint curtis story, too? nothing ever came of that, despite "congressional inquiries"... i hate to be a kill-joy, but... not a whole lot of the justice and seeing-it-done-thing going around these days, from my vantage point... maybe this will turn out differently.
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 2:42 PM on December 13, 2005


Sorry dios, that's not how it reads.

Moving on: it would not surprise me if the 'resignation for personal reasons' was a simple smokescreen. Do you not concede that possibility?
posted by dash_slot- at 2:43 PM on December 13, 2005


I don't think that the CEO's resignation, the day after security fraud allegations are filed, is a coincidence. Just sayin.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 2:44 PM on December 13, 2005


that should be "securities fraud"; freudian slip :D
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 2:45 PM on December 13, 2005


I'm just hoping to get more hard news on the story. Like I said, I like to see sleezebags get nailed as much as the next MeFite, but seeing bradblog corroborate Raw Story doesn't go deep enough for me. And unfortunately, Google, Google News and Yahoo aren't turning up much for me at the moment. Even the "STEELE+STEELE" website doesn't have any info on the story either. If you have more links, please post em!
posted by slogger at 2:53 PM on December 13, 2005


The Government Accounting Office report was bi-partisan, so no liberal-LaRouchies there, the corrupt republicans are being investigated by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, typically not a bastion of liberalism, in addition to the Plame affair, the doctored yellow cake documents used to send this country to war, Enron and everything else going on with this corrupt administration, no one with an ounce of logic should be expected to trust those people occupying the White House and their underlings, whether in congress, the senate, on the judicial bench and within Diebold.
If there is any real accountability left in this country, if things come to pass that the last elections were rigged, it would seem logical that any persons elected in those fraudulent elections would be forced to step down and any legislation that was passed during that time be nullified.
In addition, this would grease the skids for an investigation into the 2000 election and vote rigging there and subsequent removal and nullification of legislation passed during that time from those elected by fraud.
Oh, and dios and PP would turn into pot smoking, cheeto-munching liberals for the rest of their natural lives.
posted by mk1gti at 3:31 PM on December 13, 2005


Waiting for my Cheetos. Or, would that be Cheatos?
posted by ParisParamus at 3:43 PM on December 13, 2005


America: The best democracy money can buy.
posted by hypersloth at 3:49 PM on December 13, 2005


Diebold settled a lawsuit here in California. The state Attorney General de-certified the machines as well. (Whether or not that's changed, I'm not sure.. I voted absentee in our recent special election.)
posted by drstein at 3:51 PM on December 13, 2005


George and Jeb,on a plane "we are going to win florida, you can bank on it "from Fahrenheit 911.
posted by hortense at 3:55 PM on December 13, 2005


for the record, the GAO released a report saying explicitly that the diebold system was engineered such there there would be no evidense of tampering and that tampering would require access to a single terminal.

You'd like to believe that the guys who promised to deliver ohio (through some perfectly legal means of course) accidentally built a backdoor into their system that would allow voter fraud with no foot prints and that this back door was not used despite abnormalities between exit polls and final counts? cmon man... please. get real.

GAO report: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05956.pdf
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 3:57 PM on December 13, 2005


http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05956.pdf fp's autolink has me spoiled.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 3:58 PM on December 13, 2005


But seriously guys, where's the outrage? This shouldn't be a partisan matter of repubs v democrats, or a technical matter for the serious papers and the blogosphere only, this should be a national scandal. It simply shouldn't be tolerated.
posted by wilful at 4:11 PM on December 13, 2005


It simply shouldn't be tolerated.
posted by wilful at 6:11 PM CST on December 13


It shouldn't be tolerated that a Corporation's CEO resigned?

Because that is what the link is about.
posted by dios at 4:13 PM on December 13, 2005


Don't be obtuse.
posted by cytherea at 4:15 PM on December 13, 2005


I’m from Cook County. I know personally older guys who used to rig elections. It’s different now with an (apparently) square shooter like Orr in charge, but how is rigging paper ballots any different than rigging electronic ones? You can cheat any system if you want to bad enough. I don’t know whether it’s the case here or not, but it’s certainly possible. And there is certainly motive.

(Dios’ point aside - lotsa liberal spin on those links - but if indeed the fraud investigation pertains only to an allegation of insider trading, securities fraud is certainly NOT something you want in a company involved in voting anyway.)
posted by Smedleyman at 4:15 PM on December 13, 2005


To clarify - I very much suspect impropriety here. Fortunately, again, Orr seems to have gotten the message. He’s pro-paper trail, etc.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:17 PM on December 13, 2005


This shouldn't be a partisan matter of repubs v democrats, or a technical matter for the serious papers and the blogosphere only, this should be a national scandal.

Politics are no longer about good governance, or open debate. They're about beating the other guy.

As such, it's entirely unsurprising that the people who won don't have any desire to make sure they won fair. It's also unsurprising that people with doubts are afraid to go too far with their vocalization because the alleged crime is impossible to prove.

It's a very real problem that isn't going to solve itself. The only way to view it as an acceptable situation is if:
a) it really is rigged
b) you're on the side that rigged it
c) you don't respect democracy
posted by I Love Tacos at 4:22 PM on December 13, 2005


And please don't take my last statement as an indictment of Republicans. The Democrats have told their share of whoppers as well.

The only difference is that they're not currently in power, and their media machine isn't as brutal.
posted by I Love Tacos at 4:24 PM on December 13, 2005


Don't be obtuse.
posted by cytherea at 6:15 PM CST on December 13


I admit being obtuse. But I must say that these threads are too predictable. There, in the third comment, I point out that the allegations of fraud are SEC allegations, and have nothing to do with voting fraud, and yet here it comes, discussion as if it was proven fact that this is all related to the fact that Diebold was stealing elections.

The only way to view it as an acceptable situation is if:
a) it really is rigged
posted by I Love Tacos at 6:22 PM CST on December 13


Step A being, of course, the step with no evidence proven yet.

I oppose rigging elections. That is a violation of the law.

But I don't demonize and act like the greatest evil in the world is Diebold because there isn't any evidence that Diebold did in fact rig the election. All there is a bunch of whining from people whose candidate lost. And if you tell me it was stolen when Gore lost, and then you tell me it was stolen when Kerry lost, eventually, I am going to assume that it is just sour grapes. If you can't accept and admit the probability that Bush did in fact win, then your allegation of cheating seems less a concern for the sanctity of the election and more of a sore loser whine.
posted by dios at 4:32 PM on December 13, 2005


I Love Tacos
I'm totally with you there re repubs vs. dems, there really needs to be more opportunities for third parties in this country. More Greens, more Socialists (on the Swedish/Canadian/British model), more (insert political party here). The system in the U.S. is so rigged and corrupt as to be illigitimate. And so are both of it's worthless 'political parties'.
And electronic voting machines with a paper trail? Please! It's still going to be counted by a 'central tabulator' that could just as easily be rigged anyway. Mail in ballots? Counted by that 'central tabulator'.
What is wrong with going back the the same, reliable system other first world democracies use such as paper ballots, exit polls, representatives from each party human-counting ballots and experiencing a system that has been largely found to be problem-free? Why do 'muricans hate accountable elections so much?
Oh, sorry, I kinda nudged you from your slumber, never mind, go back to bed . . .
posted by mk1gti at 4:34 PM on December 13, 2005


there isn't any evidence that Diebold did in fact rig the election.

Let's also apply this litmus test to the much-vaunted presence of massive stockpiles of WMD in Iraq, or the much-touted Saddam-Osama connection. This is fun!
posted by clevershark at 4:38 PM on December 13, 2005


Uh, your point?
posted by dios at 4:39 PM on December 13, 2005


Certainly there is a motive here to rig the election. And there is the appearance of impropriety, which should be investigated (albeit probably isn’t because it’s the winners in charge - catch-22).

However, I have to agree with dios. Motive is irrelevant in proving a criminal case. No evidence, no case.
And to reiterate, the paper ballot system was subverted. I know from guys who did it. It’s the corruption culture that has to change
posted by Smedleyman at 4:42 PM on December 13, 2005


I know personally older guys who used to rig elections. It’s different now with an (apparently) square shooter like Orr in charge, but how is rigging paper ballots any different than rigging electronic ones? You can cheat any system if you want to bad enough.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:15 PM EST on December 13

Seems to me this would be a case of local vs. National. We will always have cheating on a local scale but the Diebold machines are being used across the nation. Plus it is a lot easier to prove fraud in a city alderman race than in a Presidential race. (What do you mean there were 12,321 votes for Smedley? There are less than 6,000 voters registered in the entire city!)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:48 PM on December 13, 2005


Because that is what the link is about.

Dill.

So the 2000 elections in Florida were, in your opinion, how elections should be run?

And the whiff of scandal that hasn't been resolved about voting machines and patterns (such as the GAO statements above) is simply a matter of partisan politics?

You've clearly bought totally into the game that politics is all about winning and losing and taking sides.

Which is why you live in a shitty half-baked democracy.
posted by wilful at 4:48 PM on December 13, 2005


As I said, I oppose rigging of elections. I hope that if any rigging was done, it is found out by our government. It was in fact investigated, and nothing was found. Until time that there is some indication from the FEC that there was a problem, I am inclined to continue viewing these allegations as partisan nonsense (and predictable partisan nonsense at that; see, e.g., this thread dealing with a resigning by a CEO as if it was evidence of proof).

The same people who mock others for not being as "enlightened" or "reality-based" all of the sudden suspend their skepticism and accept, uncritically, that there was a massive conspiracy to steal a federal election because their guy didn't win.
posted by dios at 4:51 PM on December 13, 2005


dios, if you oppose rigging elections, then I would hope you oppose Diebold's refusal to take easy action to prevent the rigging of elections, in the same way ParisParamus does. I would hope this would be your opinion regardless of whether their CEO resigns on corruption charges or not.

The question of whether the elections were stolen is secondary to the fact that it was possible they were stolen, using an identified methodology, and it is still possible that the next one will be stolen using the same methodology, and action to remove that possibility was and is being consciously avoided by Diebold.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 4:52 PM on December 13, 2005


dios, I don't think anyone has suggested that voter fraud has been proven. But there have been enough irregularities that a reasonable person would like steps taken to help prevent it from happening in the future. It is very possible to have a voting machine that is secure, produces a paper trail, and is easy to use.

Considering the full contex of this CEO's resignation, and the importance of the issue, it would have been a miracle were voter fraud to not come up.
posted by cytherea at 4:53 PM on December 13, 2005


“but the Diebold machines are being used across the nation.”

Yeah, but it’s the counties and other local authorities, parish, township, whatever, that administer and create the rules for those things.
I agree with the direction you’re going though. There should be nationalized standards. And we are headed that way, sorta...

“(What do you mean there were 12,321 votes for Smedley? There are less than 6,000 voters registered in the entire city!)”
*shifts eyes* *coughs* *loosens tie*
Nothing to see here, ok?
*chews cigar*
posted by Smedleyman at 4:55 PM on December 13, 2005


Australia (probably in common with many other nations) has an independent authority that is entirely responsible for the conduct of all elections, including electoral boundaries (so no gerrymander) and all rules and procedures surrounding them. It's a very open system with numerous checks and balances, nothing is hidden or unanswered. After every review, a full public inquiry is held as a matter of course, and reports to Parliament. The bureaucrats in charge are not beholden to the executive.

Seems fairly fundamental for any half-decent democracy.
posted by wilful at 5:12 PM on December 13, 2005


Let's hear it for Australia's system. Let's all give 'murica's system the well-deserved boot to the bollocks it deserves.

If someone thinks I'm taking sides here, I'm not. I'm just someone that believes in honesty and accountability, two qualities the american system simply does not have. Every american really needs to consider this notion. Paper trails on electronic machines are not going to fix this problem.

The american system is corrupt. It is not representative (of *any* party). If the american system were used in a third world country with international monitoring there would be viable accusations of vote rigging and vote fraud going back over a number of years. The 2000 and 2004 elections are just the best (or worst) examples of it.
posted by mk1gti at 5:21 PM on December 13, 2005


Let's hear it for Australia's system. Let's all give 'murica's system the well-deserved boot to the bollocks it deserves.

If someone thinks I'm taking sides here, I'm not. I'm just someone that believes in honesty and accountability, two qualities the american system simply does not have. Every american really needs to consider this notion. Paper trails on electronic machines are not going to fix this problem.

The american system is corrupt. It is not representative (of *any* party). If the american system were used in a third world country with international monitoring there would be viable accusations of vote rigging and vote fraud going back over a number of years. The 2000 and 2004 elections are just the best (or worst) examples of it.
posted by mk1gti at 5:33 PM on December 13, 2005


"The american system is corrupt. It is not representative (of *any* party). If the american system were used in a third world country with international monitoring there would be viable accusations of vote rigging and vote fraud going back over a number of years. The 2000 and 2004 elections are just the best (or worst) examples of it."

You're talking out of your ass (or worse). In 2000, the electorate was just split; a few tens of thousands of votes in one state decided things. In 2004, the margin was a few million in favor of Bush.

So, in your twisted mind, because you don't like the outcome, the sytem is corrupt, fraudulent, etc.

Go bond with Noam, ok?
that's less than one percent of all those who voted.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:37 PM on December 13, 2005


"The american system is corrupt. It is not representative (of *any* party). If the american system were used in a third world country with international monitoring there would be viable accusations of vote rigging and vote fraud going back over a number of years. The 2000 and 2004 elections are just the best (or worst) examples of it."

You're talking out of your ass (or worse). In 2000, the electorate was just split; a few tens of thousands of votes in one state decided things. In 2004, the margin was a few million in favor of Bush.

So, in your twisted mind, because you don't like the outcome, the sytem is corrupt, fraudulent, etc.

Go bond with Noam, ok?
posted by ParisParamus at 5:38 PM on December 13, 2005


Oooooopppsss, hit a nerve with the ole PP. . . Ssssssssssssss

PP "It burns, it buuurrrrnnnnns"
posted by mk1gti at 5:42 PM on December 13, 2005


LOL.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:43 PM on December 13, 2005


Leon County dumps Diebold after it's demonstrated by Finnish security expert Harri Hursti that votes can be changed on the memory card without detection.
Diebold Elections Systems head of research and development Pat Green specifically told the Cuyahoga County board of elections that votes could not be changed on the memory card.

According to Public Records responses obtained by Black Box Voting in response to our requests shows that Diebold promulgated this misrepresentation to as many as 800 state and local elections officials.
Hmmm.
posted by edverb at 5:53 PM on December 13, 2005


Dios:

1. We've been claiming for years that Diebold is run by criminals.

2. We've presented a great deal of evidence, all circumstantial, but extremely strong. The most damning piece of course is that the system is designed with a huge backdoor that anyone could use, that is not logged, and that the company refuses to remove.

3. Now out of the blue, the head of Diebold is charged with a completely separate felony, a very serious one.

4. He immediately resigns. (And please, do not claim as "someone" did that 3. and 4. may be unrelated.)

Now, even the dumbest person, which you are not, would say, "This man may well have committed a felony; if so, it's more likely that he has committed other felonies."

This is not only common sense, it's a matter of law. Juries are allowed to consider previous convictions as evidence. Juries considering multiple charges are allowed to use guilt on one charge as evidence towards guilt on other charges. "We proved he shot the guard with that very gun, so he probably shot the other guard too, even though we don't have direct evidence for that."

As a matter of experience and of law, people who have committed one crime are far more likely to have committed others. You would not hire a mugger to babysit your child.

It's even the same *kind* of crime -- it's abstract informational crime, fraudulently manipulating votes or stocks.


You know this perfectly well but you pretend you do not because you want to make us angry.


Beyond that, you are aware that voting is something where trust is of the utmost importance -- yet you act as if "unable to prove fraud has occurred" is the gold standard for elections.


This has come up before. You seem even to be aware of these flaws in your argument, because you deliberately dance around these points, misinterpreting here, question people's choice of words there, but never confronting them.


You know all this but you persist. You clearly simply enjoy getting people angry. You are therefore clearly a Stupid Fucking Troll and I'm just going to ignore you henceforth to the best of my ability.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:54 PM on December 13, 2005


"If WMDs are not found in Iraq, and in large quantity (or at least objective evidence that they were destroyed), then, in terms of American politics, the war was a sham, and the President should be indicted."
posted by ParisParamus at 8:57 AM PST on April 29
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:05 PM on December 13, 2005


But they were found. Dick.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:06 PM on December 13, 2005


Eh. I don't think dios is in the wrong for being skeptical. Could be Diebold engaged in voting fraud, but without something to back that up specifically...eh. Feels a bit Fitzmas-y.
posted by cortex at 6:06 PM on December 13, 2005


(and god forbid anyone disagree obnoxiously with the prevailing political opinions around here -- that's just beyond the pale! They should be agreeing obnoxiously!)
posted by cortex at 6:07 PM on December 13, 2005


ParisParamus:

Which WMD's were found? And why am I a dick?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:08 PM on December 13, 2005


Paris and Dios; Lately I've been reading bios on Stalin and Mao. Not because I consider them personal heroes but because I wanted to really read about the kind of mindset that approves of widespread state-sanctioned brainwashing. The mindset that most clearly approves of tactics of suppression of dissent and removal of freedoms isn't liberal or democratic, it's the party and mindset that you consistently try (and fail) to defend: conservatism and republicans are contemporary america's Stalinists and Maoists. Read it and weep PP and Dios, you're both hard-core commies. For reference, check out The Manchurian Candidate and Seven Days in May as well as All The President's Men for what real hard-core commies look like. I think that when you do, you'll find out that your beliefs and ideologies are much closer to them to anything that the United States stands for.
Move away from the dark side, Luke, accept The Force!
posted by mk1gti at 6:09 PM on December 13, 2005


Try: 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium; 1,500 gallons of chemical weapons; a bomb loaded with sarin gas; radioactive materials; 17 chemical warheads containing nerve agents.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:12 PM on December 13, 2005


Now that I've got this out of my system, let's stop and see what the future is going to hold for Diebold.

Let us hypothesize that Wally is indeed guilty of securities and voting fraud.

The SEC is fairly merciless so a lot of people are going to get caught in the works. People who love liberty would hope that some of those people might squeal on the voting fraud to avoid a long jail sentence.

Trouble is that the SEC can't directly prosecute voter fraud.

Now, I think those guys over there are pretty honest. The SEC is a nice cash cow for the government and stocked with old-school Republicans so the Bush administration has probably made very few changes to the setup there. When I worked on the Street, I felt that the SEC was pretty strict as to the letter and the spirit of the law. Certainly, we talked about making sure they were happy an awful lot.

However, they can't prosecute voter fraud and it's not clear what they'd do. I know that they do cooperate with other law enforcement branches like the FBI or DEA.

I don't actually know which government organization handles voter fraud -- but I'd have to fear that they'd already been subverted by the Bush government and thus would never prosecute under any circumstances.

If only there were two or more organizations that might be able pursue an investigation and the government has been unable to subvert one of them! Perhaps some individuals state's Secretary of State's Election Commission or would do it -- but how would the SEC even know they were interested? And why would the SEC talk to them even if they were?

I suppose our big hope, now as always, is that someone who knows the whole scheme and sees their life being pissed away will let loose on the whole scheme, just for the Hell of it (and of the course for the fifteen minutes of fame).
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:19 PM on December 13, 2005


All from http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/pol/112023305.html

" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enriched_uranium#Low-enriched_uranium_.28LEU.29
For use in commercial light water reactors (LWR), the most prevalent power reactors in the world, uranium is enriched to 3 to 5 percent 235U. It is not a direct bomb risk.

nitial testing by chemical teams from the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team) found no evidence of chemical warfare agents, but more detailed tests are being conducted in Baghdad as well as the United States, said Maj. Michael Petrunyak, chemical officer for Task Force Freedom.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/iraq/2004/05/iraq-040518-rferl03.htm
"The Iraqi Survey Group confirmed today that a 155-millimeter artillery round containing sarin nerve agent had been found," After more than a year's search, it appeared that the Iraqi Survey Group -- the U.S. team searching for evidence of weapons of mass destruction -- had finally found some on 15 May. But the amount was small, and the significance was not immediately apparent.
The agent used in the shell found on 15 May is believed to be old.
United States Department of Defense.
News Transcript
The Iraqi Survey Group confirmed today that a 155-millimeter artillery round containing sarin nerve agent had been found. The round had been rigged as an IED, which was discovered by a U.S. force convoy. A detonation occurred before the IED could be rendered inoperable. This produced a very small dispersal of agent. The round was an old binary type requiring the mixing of two chemical components in separate sections of the cell before the deadly agent is produced. The cell is designed to work after being fired from an artillery piece. Mixing and dispersal of the agent from such a projectile as an IED is very limited. The former regime had declared all such rounds destroyed before the 1991 Gulf War. Two explosive ordnance team members were minor exposure to nerve agent as a result of the partial detonation of the round."

Is this dickish, too?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:19 PM on December 13, 2005


Apologies for the piss poor formatting and the derail.

Carry on.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:21 PM on December 13, 2005


Eh. I don't think dios is in the wrong for being skeptical. Could be Diebold engaged in voting fraud, but without something to back that up specifically.
Immediately on dios' first statement, there was a good post with lots to "back it up".

But forget that. You're again saying: "My gold standard for voting is that you can't prove that fraud happened. Oh, and it's fine that the system has been designed so that defrauding it is trivial, and that you could never prove that fraud happened."

So why bother voting at all? Why not just let the government tell us how we voted?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:30 PM on December 13, 2005


ParisParamus writes "Try: 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium; 1,500 gallons of chemical weapons; a bomb loaded with sarin gas; radioactive materials; 17 chemical warheads containing nerve agents.
"

What PP posts WMD proof without links?? WTF? Guess we're just gonna have to trust him.

posted by HyperBlue at 6:38 PM on December 13, 2005


"Try: 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium; 1,500 gallons of chemical weapons; a bomb loaded with sarin gas; radioactive materials; 17 chemical warheads containing nerve agents."

TRUE FACT: The reason the UN inspectors never found WMDs in Iraq? It was up PP's ass the whole time.
posted by stenseng at 6:53 PM on December 13, 2005


It was up PP's ass the whole time.
----------------------------------------------
Which would say a lot about his histrionic, illogical screeds during the entire time he's been on MeFi.

PP, we're sorry, we really and truly are. Is there any bio-weapons decontamination facility we can get you to? Please let us know, we're concerned about your personal safety here. Please don't die with WMD's shoved up your poop chute. We want to help.
posted by mk1gti at 6:56 PM on December 13, 2005


If you can't accept and admit the probability that Bush did in fact win, then your allegation of cheating seems less a concern for the sanctity of the election and more of a sore loser whine.

Dios, my point was that a lack of confidence in the electoral system is a problem for all honest brokers, whether or not it is based on actual misdeeds.

Any speculation beyond that was invented by you and assigned to me.
posted by I Love Tacos at 7:02 PM on December 13, 2005


I wonder if Paris and Dios would be cool with the situation if the head of Diebold was clearly a leftwing partisan who raised shit loads of money for the democrats and guranteed them swing states and had all these problems. I wonder if they would be all "People, people let's not make this a witch hunt. They are convicted of a separate crime, there's no evidence of fraud in the election." I don't know that they wouldn't, but I wonder.
posted by I Foody at 7:05 PM on December 13, 2005


All there is a bunch of whining from people whose candidate lost.

P.S. My candidate didn't lose.
posted by I Love Tacos at 7:05 PM on December 13, 2005


I don't know about the rest of you, but we're talking about a human being here, PP is walking around with WMD's shoved up his *ass* for christsakes! Somebody call 9-11 in his area stat!
posted by mk1gti at 7:09 PM on December 13, 2005


guys, I'm pretty sure PP has left the building, back to backslapping with the rest of the freeper trolls.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:11 PM on December 13, 2005


Re: ParisDouchamus...

Flag and move on people. Please.
posted by papakwanz at 7:33 PM on December 13, 2005


"If WMDs are not found in Iraq, and in large quantity (or at least objective evidence that they were destroyed), then, in terms of American politics, the war was a sham, and the President should be indicted."
posted by ParisParamus at 8:57 AM PST on April 29



what does Paris come back with?


Try: 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium; 1,500 gallons of chemical weapons; a bomb loaded with sarin gas; radioactive materials; 17 chemical warheads containing nerve agents.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:12 PM CST on December 13 [!


whoa, someone should tell the prez. does bush know this? holy crap ! mission accomplished!
posted by nola at 7:37 PM on December 13, 2005


Try: 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium; 1,500 gallons of chemical weapons; a bomb loaded with sarin gas; radioactive materials; 17 chemical warheads containing nerve agents.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:12 PM PST on December 13 [!]


Where is the link that points to this information, Paris?
posted by Balisong at 7:46 PM on December 13, 2005


Boy, that went well. What's funny is, as partisan is this thread is, the issue of the integrity of our voting process should be completely non-partisan issue. I mean, it's only a freakin' fundamental cornerstone of a democracy. Right?

Let's say you are running for 6th grade class president against Frank Grimes. It's a hotly contested battle. On election day, the teacher proclaims that Frank's best friend is going to photocopy all the ballots, hand them out, supervise the voting, and then count the votes. You can trust him right?

But it's great to see the Paris WMD quote trotted out yet again. And Paris has his standard reply on the clipboard, ready to be pasted in at a moment's notice!

Meanwhile, Rome burns. (Sigh)
posted by Otis at 7:52 PM on December 13, 2005


The US is a lot better than Rome, bud.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:56 PM on December 13, 2005


And more flammable.
posted by Balisong at 8:00 PM on December 13, 2005


Way to poke your head out from under the covers before diving underneath again there PP . . .
posted by mk1gti at 8:13 PM on December 13, 2005


Great analogy there Otis, and exactly my point. We need to stop the political grandstanding here and start taking a good hard look at the electoral process in the U.S. It sucks and is so pathetic it would be laughable if it wasn't so tragic.

C'mon here people, let's work the problem! (Gene Kranz, Apollo 13)
posted by mk1gti at 8:16 PM on December 13, 2005


"Hitler and Stalin had the right ideas. Boy, I love molesting children." - posted by ParisParamus at 8:57 AM PST on April 1

Good lord, I can't believe you said that.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:23 PM on December 13, 2005


The 1.77 metric tons of uranium "found" in Iraq were not secretive or WMD.

It was well known that the uranium was there, and could have conceivably been used for nuclear power or a bunch of other things. We simply removed what we already knew was there and had no evidence of it actually being used for any sort of weapon.

It was a "well, while we're here.. we'll be taking that out of here just to be sure you don't do anything with it."


Then there was the Sarin nerve gas bomb which was an IED. To say that this was always in iraq is a completely unreasonable assumption that Paris is making despite this quote:

"However, a senior coalition source has told the BBC the round does not signal the discovery of weapons of mass destruction or the escalation of insurgent activity."


I can't find anything on his other stuff.. but the google searches for these two were easy, and quickly produced evidence that shows these aren't ANY sort of "smoking gun" as Paris wishes they were.
posted by twiggy at 8:25 PM on December 13, 2005


What was found is really beside the point. What is meaningful is what was thought was there by every credible source; even the powers that were opposed to the War. And that's why the US was and is right, and the others are FOS hypocrites.

Go ahead, run Al Gore or John Kerry again. MAKE MY DAY!
posted by ParisParamus at 8:28 PM on December 13, 2005


The date's a giveaway I suppose.

Still, the point holds. You can't hold anything to someone who insists on scatalogical references and purile statements.

I fail to comprehend how it's an open secret that Kennedy (a Democrat) stole the election from Bush, but it's impossible that Bush could have tampered with anything.

This is a crucial point in our history. If we don't seize the opportunity to refine the voting process, we won't have a democracy anymore. I sure as hell don't want to have to fight for one, but I will.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:28 PM on December 13, 2005


Another thread sacrificed to both dios and ParisParamus. Add another notch to your belts boys, you powned this one.
posted by fenriq at 8:29 PM on December 13, 2005


What is meaningful is what was thought was there by every credible source and I hate minorities - posted by ParisParamus

Horseshit. And it's still a derail.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:31 PM on December 13, 2005


Thank you, Fenriq.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:32 PM on December 13, 2005


"and I hate minorities - posted by ParisParamus"

WTF? Never said that. You should be banned from Mefi for putting vile words in my mouth.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:34 PM on December 13, 2005


"I kick puppies" -- ParisParamus
posted by twiggy at 8:35 PM on December 13, 2005


WTF? Never said that. You should be banned from Mefi for putting vile words in my mouth. - posted by ParisParamus

I never said anything of the kind. All I said was colorless green ideas sleep furiously. The vertebrate silence worries the legal sail. The urchin sat on the roof and cried, as if rabbits were running along the tin-pipe towards the eternity, holding lycoperdons in their mouths. Go USA!
posted by Smedleyman at 8:42 PM on December 13, 2005


This is a crucial point in our history. If we don't seize the opportunity to refine the voting process, we won't have a democracy anymore. I sure as hell don't want to have to fight for one, but I will. -- Smedleyman
------------------------------------------------

Which is why it's not a derail but is brought quite smartly right back on topic, which is the U.S. has a rigged electoral system and that needs to be corrected and made accountable. Period, end of sentence. Right back on topic.

The U.S. has a rigged electoral system that needs to be fixed, and holding Diebold accountable is the first step in doing so.

People are starting to wake up and acknowledge this problem and talking about it here on this thread is part of the process of informing others and making sure that the idea of accountable electoral reform is kept alive.
posted by mk1gti at 8:44 PM on December 13, 2005


OK, so are there currently any investigations into Diebold for issues pertaining to voting? The articles above all reference stock-trading or financial issues, which won't have any effect on the quality of our democracy, I imagine.

I know there's a lawsuit in Ohio right now, and that Diebold lost & was decertified in CA, but are there any serious investigations?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:08 PM on December 13, 2005


Only three comments in, and Dios not only invents an imaginary strawman you folks spend 140+ comments attacking, but he manages to personally attack everyone on Metafilter in one fell swoop. Efficient trolling.
posted by Rothko at 9:13 PM on December 13, 2005


Image hosted by Photobucket.com
posted by stenseng at 9:18 PM on December 13, 2005


OK, so are there currently any investigations into Diebold for issues pertaining to voting?

I think the problem is, there isn't. Least not that I've seen (been looking since getting into the thread - lots of Op-ed tho'.).
----
I don't know that dios was trolling. He tends to define his terms narrowly and defend from there. The broader topic was "Diebold" which conflicted with what he was focusing on. It's the web. Communication errors abound. Dios is correct that there is no evidence of foul play and all the op-ed makes it look like partisan bitching (whether it is in fact is unprovable), but other folks are correct that there should be a higher standard for voting oversight and investigation than the evidence for criminal indictment. I like the Australian method insofar as I've read it described here.
An automatic oversight would be nice.

But, lots of smart folks, egos, slow refresh rates and fast typing skills and it's easy to get 140+ comments in. Enough people got that though. Thought I read "Work the problem" up there from mk1gti.

So - given open source and some kind of independant oversight committee, with the kind of money being thrown at elections, is the problem going to get fixed?
Ultimately, it seems to me even if you don't rig the election you can still spend your opponent into oblivion.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:28 PM on December 13, 2005


And despite some of the feedback, I think that for the most part people stayed very much on topic on this thread.
posted by mk1gti at 9:37 PM on December 13, 2005


I don't think dios is in the wrong for being skeptical. Could be Diebold engaged in voting fraud, but without something to back that up specifically...eh. Feels a bit Fitzmas-y.
posted by cortex at 9:06 PM EST on December 13 [!]


Precisely. But his point is that because the thread isn't about voting fraud we shouldn't predictably talk about voting fraud and yet some have. Oh the humanity and all that.

I suppose he's the model poster who ne'er wavers from the focus of a post and never, I say NEVER, ever even, talks about something related to the focus of a post but not actually, the main focus of the post.

I shall watch, and learn.
posted by juiceCake at 9:39 PM on December 13, 2005


wow. what a fucking trainwreck. pancakes anyone?
posted by slogger at 11:42 PM on December 13, 2005


Self-link: [url=http://slackdaddy.org/node/56]Pancake![/url]
posted by hypersloth at 3:35 AM on December 14, 2005


argh... Pancake!
posted by hypersloth at 3:35 AM on December 14, 2005


Yes, I think you should be a lot more concerned with scuzy campaign finance than fantasy voting machine fraud. NJ Corruption, anyone? Connecticut? Horrid mediocre governors like George Pataki? Do-nothing legislatures like New York has?
posted by ParisParamus at 3:58 AM on December 14, 2005


Meanwhile...

OH Senate Says 'Yes' to Faulty Election Reform Bill

which includes a provision that eliminates the requirement for random audits of voting machines. The bill now awaits signature from Governor Bill "7% Approval" Taft.

The End of Democracy in Ohio?
posted by Otis at 6:03 AM on December 14, 2005


Do not take the thing from his hand.
posted by klangklangston at 7:07 AM on December 14, 2005


Yes, I think you should be a lot more concerned with scuzy campaign finance than fantasy voting machine fraud.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:58 AM PST on December 14


Okay, if you want to talk about Tom Delay, I guess that's cool.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:19 AM on December 14, 2005


Wow that was a mess.

I'll just add that dios' and PP's outright dismissal of the possibility of voter fraud pretty much squares with the conservative nitwits in my family.

At least a year prior to the 2004 "election" I was busy emailing friends and family about the fatal flaws in these electronic voting machines. As a network admin cum programmer, it disgusts me that such poorly designed systems would be used for quite possibly the most important function of our democracy. Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of secure computing knows these machines are a joke.

My relatives haven't talked to me since. And this was well before the mockery of an election we had in 2004.

The "ends justify the means" meme is becoming more prevelant amongst the Republicons these days, it seems.
posted by kableh at 7:53 AM on December 14, 2005


(strings swell in a flourish)


TV Announcer: Welcome to another installment of (strings swell dramatically)...

DIOS PLAYHOUSE

In which we present great moments in history and how they might've played out if that Loveable Lump, that Obediah of Obtuseness, that Sultan of Strict constructionism, that hobbiest of Karl Rovian debate techniques, DIOS had been present .

Let's join our teledrama, already in it's 58th act, shall we shhhh...

(Curtain rises. Polite applause.)


[Scene is Bridge of Titanic. White bearded Captain surveying horizon with Binoculars. First mate DIOS is at the helm.]

Captain of the Titanic: Dios, there is an iceberg up ahead. Please make the necessary corrections to modify our course.

First Mate Dios: (Rolling eyes) Captain, you are so predictable. This is the biggest most powerfully built ship in the world and further more, it is unsinkable. Just because an Iceberg is in our course and we are headed towards it, and icebergs are known to sink ships. Let's not regress to labelling this iceberg a "ship sinker". That would be a regression, unfair to the iceberg and simply prove that you harbor a whiny sour grapes anti-iceberg prejudice.


Curtain falls.


Thanks for joining us for another presentation of...

DIOS PLAYHOUSE.

(strings swell in a flourish)

Polite applause.

Fade to black...

Fin


posted by Skygazer at 10:47 AM on December 14, 2005


Given situations such as this and this and particularly this, I've often wondered why some enterprising DA or state attorney general hadn't filed fraud charges against Diebold long before now.
posted by lexalexander at 11:29 AM on December 14, 2005


don't forget this.
posted by Otis at 11:37 AM on December 14, 2005


So, what we have is:

1. Demonstrable method of being able to rig Diebold voting machines undetectedly,

2. Demonstrable motive for doing so among those who are in positions of senior leadership of Diebold,

3. A documented, flat refusal by Diebold to correct the problem,

4. A documented, demonstrated lie by Diebold that there is even a possibility to alter the data on their voting machines, and now

5. The CEO of Diebold stepping down from his position a day after a fraud investigation is launched.

Look, I'm a Republican, and I cannot see how anyone in their right mind would not take one look at this situation and say there is something seriously wrong here. The potential for abuse, and the flat denials and refusals of Diebold to address it, and the transparent apologetics of their supporters is highly suggestive of an intent to commit or at least enable conspiracy to defraud the voting process.

Anyone with any sense of integrity or a value for the legitimacy of our electoral process ought to be standing firmly against this whole thing. Anyone who doesn't at least have enough basic honesty to admit this is a serious problem really doesn't rise to the level of meriting much respect at all.

It's called Integrity. I know it's a hard concept for some people. But it is of paramount importance, in my opinion.
posted by darkstar at 3:24 AM on December 15, 2005


.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:33 AM on December 15, 2005


Darkstar, that's a good comment, pity the only people left who need to understand it aren't subject to reason, and won't pay attention in the least.

And followed up by what? A fiendishly well-thought-out retort, the sort of deep, probing insight we've come to expect of our dear ParisParamus.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:29 AM on December 15, 2005


Well, in any event, some people appear to be waking up and taking certain measures to do the right thing. This article today notes that one Florida elections official has tested the Diebold systems and found that they are susceptible to hacking. Based on these tests, the Diebolds are being scrapped:
Ion Sancho, Leon County's election chief, said tests by two computer experts, completed this week, showed that an insider could surreptitiously change vote results and the number of ballots cast on Diebold's optical-scan machines.

After receiving county commission approval Tuesday, Sancho scrapped Diebold's system for one made by Elections Systems and Software, the same provider used by Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The difference between the systems: Sancho's machines use a fill-in-the-blank paper ballot that allows for after-the-fact manual recounts, while Broward and Miami-Dade use ATM-like touchscreens that leave no paper trail.
posted by darkstar at 6:49 AM on December 15, 2005


While a lot of people commenting in this thread are too much Bush Haters to have any credibility, I do get the impression that Diebold-Chads is an odious corporation. Any private company dealing with something so sensitive and important as voting should be heavily regulated, and heavily scrutinized to assure their system is not hackable, and to be sure their system does not even have the appearance of being hackable.

I hope they go DOWN!

And no, on second thought, I don't trust Soros to run Diebold. Soros seems way too self-rightous and arrogant.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:56 AM on December 15, 2005


Tip: Next time you open up a bank account ask who manufactures their ATM machines. If they say Diebold. Do the right thing. Leave.

Diebold ATM's page and election systems
posted by Skygazer at 10:53 AM on December 15, 2005


PP, I agree with that.
posted by darkstar at 10:56 AM on December 15, 2005


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