It all started with a simple tweet
. Nova Scotia commentator Parker Donham wanted to show his support of a local candidate by taking a picture of his marked ballot and posting it to his Twitter followers. Elections Nova Scotia
took a dim view of this violation of the Elections Act, and tweeted a reply: "please be advised that your action is being referred to the RCMP for investigation"
, stating it is illegal to bring a recording or communication device into the polling station. Donham defends his action
, and much controversy ensues
. [more inside]
posted by GhostintheMachine
on Oct 8, 2013 -
Last year, The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU's Law School released a report
) detailing new, more restrictive state laws that affect voting rights and are likely to impact the outcome of the 2012 elections. The restrictions "fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities." On August 3rd, 2012, they updated their analysis
with a pdf
of passed and pending State government legislation. Their conclusion: after a century in which the United States "expanded the franchise and knocked down myriad barriers to full electoral participation... that momentum [has] abruptly shifted." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Aug 17, 2012 -
"I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting. It had been one of those days,'' - Jim Greer
, former state party chair of the Florida G.O.P, in a deposition for his lawsuit against the party. Scott Horton at Harper's covers
the NYT's pox-on-both-your-houses story
on vote suppression
posted by crayz
on Aug 2, 2012 -
It's Election Day in America
, and as is so often the case in this fickle
land, the results of the 2010 midterm elections are up in the air. Although President Obama's party is expected to suffer significant losses, record numbers of districts remain competitive
, and even minute errors in polling could mean the difference between a historic Republican landslide
and an unexpectedly robust Democratic defense
. At stake are control of not just the Senate and House, but myriad state and local offices, many of which will play key roles in the dynamics of the 2012 presidential race -- and, more subtly but no less crucially, the once-in-a-decade congressional redistricting
process. Much uncertainty surrounds the behavior of the electorate -- how many will turn out, and how informed will they be? To help move those statistics in the right direction, look inside for voter guides, national and state fact checkers, and an assortment of other resources to keep tabs on as the results roll in. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Nov 2, 2010 -
The Indian government describes their electronic voting machines as 'perfect
', but has never permitted an independant evaluation. A team of three academic researchers received access to a machine from an anonymous source, and demonstrated
. Concerns are being expressed
in India. At 5:30 this Saturday morning, police arrested
Hari Prasad, one of the research team, at his home, transporting him
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed
on Aug 22, 2010 -
Pennsylvania polling places regarding September 08 elections to have everything but voters.
posted by duende
on Oct 26, 2007 -
The Marquis de Condorcet
and Admiral Jean-Charles de Borda
were two men of the French Enlightenment who struggled with how to design voting systems that accurately reflected voters' preferences. Condorcet favored a method
that required the winner in a multiparty election to win a series of head-to-head contests, but he also discovered that his method easily led to a paradoxes
that produced no clear winners. The Borda method
avoids the Condorcet paradox by requiring voters to rank choices numerically in order of preference, but this method is flawed because the withdrawal of a last-place candidate can reverse the election results
. Mathematicians in the 19th century attempted to design better voting systems, including Lewis Carroll
, who favored an early form of proportional representation
. Economist Kenneth Arrow argued that designing a perfect voting system was futile, because his "impossibility theorem"
proved that it's impossible to design a non-dictatorial voting system that fulfills five basic criteria of fairness
. (more inside)
posted by jonp72
on Aug 27, 2007 -
California Restricts Voting Machines
: after a source code review
voting machines turned up
"significant, deeply-rooted security weaknesses"
in voting machines by Diebold, Hart, and Sequoia, the California Secretary of
State decertified all three vendors' systems. These weaknesses have been well
covered here at MeFi
, but some are bad enough to shock even the
, including the revelation that Diebold "uses at least two
hard-coded passwords -- one is 'diebold' and another is the eight-byte
." Time to think about open voting
posted by jacobian
on Aug 5, 2007 -
Mexico's election: now being recounted,
but some are saying it was stolen with our help
. Many countries in Latin and South America have been moving to the left lately, following in the footsteps of Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia and Chile.
Argentina actually caught us messing with things during their election, too. Exit polls in Mexico (as in Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004) showed a lead for the more leftist (relatively) candidate, and for those who scoff at using exit polls as evidence--in 2004, US Republican Senator Richard Lugar, in Kiev, cited the divergence of exit polls and official polls as solid evidence of “blatant fraud” in the vote count in Ukraine. As a result, the Bush Administration refused to recognize the Ukraine government’s official vote tally.
So, honest election, or what?
posted by amberglow
on Jul 3, 2006 -
E-voting systems hacker sees ‘particularly bad’ security issues ...On Tuesday, Dec. 13, we conducted a hack of the Diebold AccuVote optical scan device. I wrote a five-line script in Visual Basic that would allow you to go into the central tabulator and change any vote total you wanted, leaving no logs....
More from the Washington Post here,
where ... Four times over the past year Sancho told computer specialists to break in to his voting system. And on all four occasions they did, changing results with what the specialists described as relatively unsophisticated hacking techniques. ..."Can the votes of this Diebold system be hacked using the memory card?" Two people marked yes on their ballots, and six no. The optical scan machine read the ballots, and the data were transmitted to a final tabulator. The result? Seven yes, one no. ... Verified Voting
and Black Box Voting
have much much more on all of this.
posted by amberglow
on Jan 23, 2006 -
Site Bars Black Box Voting Head
"A politically progressive website at the forefront of discussions about electronic-voting machines and election irregularities is barring Black Box Voting founder Bev Harris from posting to its site. In a written statement
, site administrators said that they barred Bev Harris because her postings on the site 'have made positive discussion of verified voting increasingly difficult.' .... 'We no longer believe that it is productive to allow her to use DU as a platform to promote herself while simultaneously trashing us, our moderators and others who have been previously supportive of her cause,' site administrators wrote in the statement."
posted by ericb
on Dec 7, 2004 -
Florida is the New Florida
Although many discussions of voting anomalies focused on Ohio, a statistical analysis
of Florida voting patterns
performed by sociologists at University of California, Berkeley
suggests that electronic touch screen voting
in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade may have credited George Bush with up to 260,000 extra votes in Florida. The discrepancy is not enough to change who won Florida, but it could have narrowed Bush's lead to 90,000 votes instead of 350,000, highlighting the need for better auditing of elections with electronic voting.
posted by jonp72
on Nov 18, 2004 -
Yale Law School Dean : "I might have been an unwitting accessory to fraud"
Ian H. Solomon's belated realization : "Could we have been so naive?....by my presence, along with other Democratic lawyers, I lent an air of legitimacy to the voting process....We should have had trained observers - computer scientists, not lawyers! - verifying the integrity of polling data from machine upload through the tabulation of countywide and statewide results. Somehow we neglected the most vulnerable step....I realized that I might have been an unwitting accessory to fraud....The time is now for voters from all states that used electronic voting machines to request an audit of results and a manual recount of ballots if possible."
posted by troutfishing
on Nov 16, 2004 -
Robert J. Vanderbei
is trying to show us we're not as divided as it seems.
It's not quite the City Vs. Country conflict that you may have understood it to be in this years election. Methinks, perhaps, this extends to other political opinions as well.
Lots of great voting result visualizations
are available at this blog
. Including my favorite, state results, with electoral votes dictating the relative size of the state. I'm not explaining it well. Go look here
I *promise* this'll be the last political post for a while. I know we're all wretchedly sick of it.
posted by Parannoyed
on Nov 7, 2004 -
A bizzare pattern of impossible anomalies
This has long been known : the welter of financial ties of Diebold and ES&S to the radical religious right
(with stakeholders currently, it seems, on the secretive CNP
) and Bob Fitrakis notes : "Wherever Diebold and ES&S go, irregularities and historic Republican upsets follow." Howard Ahmanson
was the original funder for Bob and Todd Urosevich's Data Mark,which became ES&S, Bob later left to head Diebold
,maker of HAVA Act
mandated touch screen voting machines used in Ohio and Florida and elsewhere....Ahmanson
is a Christian Reconstructionist
(a form of Dominionism
) who has talked of imposing Biblical law on the US - including the death penalty for gays and drunkards - and is also a main funder of the Chalcedon Foundation
. However, the most bizzare patterns of anomalies in Florida came not from touch-screen but optical scan machines. Florida's central vote tabulator also is Diebold made
, raising questions on the a bizzare pattern of anomalies
in which a large number of counties in Florida had increases in Republicans votes over expected levels - by an overall average of 50% to 100% and - in one county, as high as 700%
. Meanhwhile, here are graphs of variance
between exit poll results for battleground states.
posted by troutfishing
on Nov 5, 2004 -
Operation Clark County "Remember that it's unusual to receive a lobbying letter from someone in another country."
The Guardian takes an initative for those of us overseas wondering if there's anything helpful we can do about you-know-what. Write to a swing voter, explain how you feel. Some samples
are on offer, their hectoring tone could have quite the wrong effect. If you were a computer selected Clark County voter, what, from a foreigner, would change your mind?
posted by grahamwell
on Oct 13, 2004 -
The Afghans vote for Karzai. All 15 of President Hamid Karzai's rivals said they were withdrawing from the election because systems to prevent illegal multiple voting had gone awry. The move effectively left Karzai as the only candidate in the fray.
posted by mr.marx
on Oct 9, 2004 -
DOWN FOR THE COUNT
At around 8:50, Soubirous’s campaign manager, Brian Floyd, received a call from an election observer in Temecula informing him that the vote count had been stopped – apparently by Registrar Mischelle Townsend herself. The reason was not made clear. So Floyd and another Soubirous campaigner named Art Cassel jumped into a car and drove to Townsend’s office to investigate. Sure enough, the counting area appeared to be near-deserted. But then they noticed two men huddled at one of the vote tabulation computers.
posted by jonah
on Jul 27, 2004 -
Punkvoter is about organizing the many diverse and regional movements into one voice of political change. Punkvoter is our way to educate today’s youth about what is really going on in Washington, DC and how we can collectively force change. This is our chance to be a strong voice against the serious flaws in the current political system. This is our way to talk about new laws and scenarios that could change our quality of life for years to come. Punkvoter is your organization. It will be run with the same energy and spirit of all punk efforts. With your help we will be a credible force to truly shape the future of our nation. (Flash intro features tunes, main site is here, an impressive membership list is here.
There's a soundtrack
to your demockracy.
posted by ashbury
on Apr 7, 2004 -
The Abilene Paradox: A sunny afternoon, a family playing cards on a terrace. One of them thinks they should move - not that he cares, on the contrary, but he thinks the others want to - so he proposes a trip to Abilene. No fun, hot, bad food. Back home one of them admits that he had preferred to stay home. Everybody would have liked that, only they did not admit to it when it was still time to enjoy the afternoon.
Everyone talks about free speech, but it's surprising how few people (even its most vociferous defenders!) realize why it's so important. The Abilene Paradox -- which describes in familiar terms how entire groups can be motivated to act contrary to their own wishes -- can only occur when communication breaks down...or is broken down. Just a bit of pragmatism to start your day.
posted by effugas
on Jul 21, 2003 -
Are American elections fixed?
This article discusses the possibility, particularly due to the influx of computer touch-screen voting. While the tilt of the writer is obvious, many valid points are raised. Whatever your affiliation, how can one be comfortable with computer voting?
"It doesn't matter who casts the ballots. What matters is who counts the ballots."
posted by eas98
on Apr 4, 2003 -
Robbie Floyd - seemed agape even hours after learning of his defeat Wednesday.
"It was hard to believe that that type of mistake had happened," he said.
posted by specialk420
on Nov 18, 2002 -
I'm amazed. (And no, this isn't a Lone Star thread.) For all the politics fuss we've engaged in over the last 2 years, I'm a bit surprised that no one thought it a fit topic for discussion that Florida lost 100,000 votes
this week. In Broward County. But of course, those are the *only* votes we lost track of, right...?
posted by baylink
on Nov 8, 2002 -
Are we using the worst voting procedure?
"Voting theorists argue that plurality voting is one of the worst of all possible choices." Plurality voting, in which each voter selects one canidate, is vulnerable to a third party spoiler (Nader) or with many canidates can lead to the (near) election of a candidate most voters despise (le Pen). Some alternative voting systems include instant runoff where canidates are ranked by voters, a Borda count where voters assigns points to each canidate, or approval system where voters vote for as many canidates as they like. (via argmax.com
posted by Quinn
on Nov 5, 2002 -
Florida Machine Records Votes for Wrong Candidate.
OK, I know Matt Drudge isn't exactly a venerated news outlet, but he is
in South Florida. And he's reporting that a West Palm Beach voter called in to a South Florida radio talk show to report that when he voted for McBride this morning the machine counted his vote for Bush. After he'd tried three times, the voter said, an observing poll worker finally acknowledged that the machine would have to be reprogrammed, since earlier voters had experienced the same problem. There is no official confirmation of this problem, but calls to the same radio show two years ago evidently foreshadowed the 2000 election debacle. I'll be keeping an eye on sites like Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo
as the day wears on. In the end, what should the electorate do (in addition to initiating lawsuits) if outcome-determining irregularities surface in yet another Florida election?
posted by maud
on Nov 5, 2002 -
Making Rehnquist Proud
Just like Rehnquist and his earlier political service, Jim Crow is still hard at work.
"Tim Hutchinson and the Republican Party have claimed that they want to reach out to African-American voters, but when election time comes they have nothing to offer but intimidation and harassment," Cook said. "We ask Tim Hutchinson and his party to stop disenfranchising African-American voters and obstructing the democratic process."
posted by nofundy
on Oct 25, 2002 -
Those who vote for Democrats only aid the terrorists.
"In a series of TV and radio ads in each of five states hosting top Senate contests, President Bush utters the tag line to a narrated paragraph slamming the Democratic senator of that state for being partisan during a time of national duress." Has anyone seen any of these ads? What did you think of them?
posted by homunculus
on Feb 17, 2002 -
Should Election Day be a holiday?
Vote, then do some barbecue and watch fireworks... Will this be the development that could increase voter turnout, or will people just waste the day away? How else could voter turnout be improved?
posted by owillis
on Jul 30, 2001 -
It's simple: Don't let the blacks vote, your guy "wins".
"Florida's conduct of the 2000 presidential election was marked by "injustice, ineptitude and inefficiency" that unfairly penalized minority voters, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has concluded in a report that criticizes top state officials -- particularly Gov. Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Katherine Harris -- for allowing disparate treatment of voters."
"A computer analysis by The Post showed that the more black and Democratic a precinct, the more likely it was to suffer high rates of invalidated votes."
"No inquiry so far has been as broad as that conducted by the commission -- or as specifically focused on the rights of minorities. The commission held three days of hearings, interviewed 100 witnesses and reviewed 118,000 documents."
posted by owillis
on Jun 5, 2001 -