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November 07, 2006

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CO-5 is most definitely where Haggard and his church are situated (as well as James Dobson)

cosmic epicenter of strange and ugly things

Karl Rove's brain?

DaveC's comment in the other thread deserves an update.

rilkefan: Done.


These touch-screen things should be required to re-calibrate for each voter.

ie, the voter would go up, and before voting, the machine would present several targets, which the voter would have to touch. (I think Palm Pilots have you do this when you set them up.)

Otherwise, it could be maliciously calibrated in the morning so that a touch of the Dem button were registered as a touch of the gop button, but a touch of the gop button registered correctly.

To report voting problems:

1-866-OUR-VOTE

http://www.citizenactionny.org/#voterstory

Diebold, and many other companies, make touch-screen ATMs, too. i've never seen one of them get out of "calibration" in that way.

Steele's campaign is handing out voter guides in AfricanAmerican neighborhoods that label Steele as a Democrat and claim that he has the endorsement of the democrat who lost the primary, Mfume.

This is just not acceptable. We need to have a voting system we can feel confident of, with rules that are transparent, laws that are enforced, and machines that just plain work.

Uniform national standards governed by a nonpartisan, independent body work.

"Diebold, and many other companies, make touch-screen ATMs, too. i've never seen one of them get out of "calibration" in that way."

I have. Not as much as I suggest above, but enough so that they're hard to use because you have to figure out where it thinks the buttons are, because they don't quite match the image.

But those aren't from intentional tampering, as I suggest above. Recalibrating for each voter would remove this possibility.

Cleek, I've run into a badly calibrated touch-screen ATM as well. Ended up getting the wrong amount of cash because of it. But it's only happened once. (Also, my Palm screen gets uncalibrated occasionally.)

Apparently, according to NPR, Diebold's ATMs cost 10x as much as Diebold's voting machines.

It is cobbled together parts thrown together on the cheap.

And the machine's worth? 1/10 the convenience of being able to get money out of the machine.

MSNBC providing us with the real news of the day.

I still think the optical-scan ballots are just as good and probably a great deal more reliable than the touch-screen technique.

It's what's used in my precinct, anyway. I suppose I could show up sleep-deprived and hungover to see if that makes it any harder to vote for who I want to, but I'm not sure that would knock me down enough IQ points to confuse me to the point where I could screw it up.

Suggestions welcome. Think of yourselves as Handicapper Generals.

MSNBC providing us with the real news of the day.

look at their front page. there's a picture of a guy standing near some water, with some big bold yellow words near him : "WHAT ELECTION?"

Slightly retarded acting guy ahead of me in the 2 person voting queue didn't seem intimidated in the least by the optical ballot.

The gatekeepers made me state my address, and compared my signature with the one on file. Fortunately for me, they didn't make me recite the last four digits of my 9 digit zip code.

I hear that in Cook County, they accept personal checks as a voter ID.

It's the last year for the giant lever machines in New York City, which makes me very sad. I like to imagine my political enemies are being tormented in the basement with every heave-ho.

I walked in this morning at 6:10 am, and voted by 6:40 am, at the Fairfax County Government Center. I showed my photo ID just to keep things quick, and there were no problems on that end. Then I did something I've never done before: Voted a straight D ticket all the way down. The touch-screen machine at least displayed the proper choices when I touched them, and summarized them properly at the end. What vote it actually recorded, absent a paper trail, I knoweth not.

I also engaged in a little bit of partisan dickery this morning, something I've not done in that way in the past. On the way in, the first person I met handed me a Republican Party sample ballot. The next one -- about five yards away -- handed me the Democratic equivalent, upon which I conspicuously crumpled up the R one and threw it in the wastebasket with a flourish.

It's the last year for the giant lever machines in New York City, which makes me very sad.

Ditto and how. My first vote ('92 - good year for it) was on one of those. There's something about the monolithic nature of those beasts, and the big solid "THUNK" when you throw the lever, that feels right for the shambling, arcane process of the electoral system. I will miss them intensely.

DaveC I hear that in Cook County, they accept personal checks as a voter ID.

Probably cash works better, and not just in Cook County

Okay what demon spawn of hell scheduled NPR's fall fund-raiser to coincide with the election?

Why is USA Today saying machines are bedeviling States? Voting machines are the device from the bible?

If We Can Send A Man To The Moon, Why Can't We Make A Decent Voting Machine?

Actually, we have not had that capability for a couple of decades, much to my sorrow. Not nitpicking – I understand the point and agree with it. It just gives me an opening to lament that our space program should have had us with permanent lunar bases and regular trips to Mars by now. SF fan, what can I say.

The machines in my district worked just fine (touch screen). Even doing a write in was a no brainer. My only complaint is lack of a paper trail. And I would question the use of flash memory.

BTW – huge thanks to all the volunteers. Most in my neck of the woods are retires. Everyone I encountered today was great – non-partisan, friendly, and working very hard with new technology. (I’m trying to picture teaching my mom to use the equipment they had to master – not pretty.)

It just gives me an opening to lament that our space program should have had us with permanent lunar bases and regular trips to Mars by now.

Heh. (Warning, audio file that plays automatically.)

OCSteve: actually, I disagree. I think that unmanned space missions are a lot better -- certainly when you add cost into the mix. Also, as an ethicist, I am disturbed when people say (not you; you didn't; just riffing here) that it's important to send people into space because it's inspirational or something. I think: first, creating robots that we can control from earth as they do valuable science on Mars is plenty inspirational, and second, we should try to inspire people with the truth, not fantasy, especially since in this case the truth of the amazing things that we send out into space is so incredible.

And, for the record, I share your sorrow on that count, OCSteve.

Okay what demon spawn of hell scheduled NPR's fall fund-raiser to coincide with the election?

yeah, no kidding. and it's been a long one, too.

i've been listening to a different college station in town (the jazz station, WNCU). they use Pacifica, Free Speech Radio and NPR, all mixed together. but even those other guys (who are waay to the left of NPR) can't seem to get the reporting about robocalls and fake ballots, etc. right.

Maybe my problem is that until Andrew started messing with my head by getting me into BSG, I wasn't a scifi fan at all, but I spent large chunks of my childhood trying to build robots. (The most successful being the robot that hit people. -- I was very dependent on broken things that I could cannibalize, and in this case the body was an old rusted potbellied stove, I had found arms, and I was trying to think what to do with the motor from an old record player. All that occurred to me was to have it spin about where the robot's shoulder was, and use it to make the arm go out and in, sort of like the way those long metal thingos that link train wheels to one another transform piston in-and-outing into the circular motion of wheels, only in reverse.)

Uniform national standards governed by a nonpartisan, independent body work.

Precisely so. Humanity has already made a decent voting machine: paper ballots and pencils.

I'm against the manned space program, period.

also, I posted in another thread, but will be headed to the DCCC's election night party here in DC in about an hour, will try to post a report when I get home (unless some can point me to instructions for posting here via blackberry).

Incoming threadjack. Apologies in advance.

Setting aside all of the emotional and inspirational arguments for a manned space program--which I find convincing on their own, but which I acknowledge many people do not--there are pragmatic arguments for it. These arguments rest, however, on the premise that eventually colonizing other worlds is a desirable goal.

If you don't believe that it is, there's not much I can do to convince you that we should have a manned space program. I can and do preach about the foolishness of having all our eggs in this fragile basket we call Earth, or the benefits of having new worlds to spread to and form new cultures and civilizations on. A manned space program is a necessary prerequisite to making colonization happen. It's as simple as that.

I'm off shortly to a party thrown by the Sierra Club and several other environmental groups. I'm wearing all blue today (which is a lot easier to do than wearing all red, at least for most men), plus Webb, Democrat, and Drinking Liberally pins and "I Voted" sticker. I also dug out the straw boater I bought for some reason during grad school, which I decided back on this year's primary night should become my traditional election watch hat.

while I'm only watching from the sidelines and appreciate hilzoy's outrage, it seems to me that these matters tend to be discussed by a sufficient number of people to make a difference only in proximity of major elections, i.e. when it's already too late -
so what I would suggest is to start thinking hard about how to avoid such irregularities in 2008 and pressure politicians who ignore the problem by branding them antidemocratic;

P.S. it's not that there isn't the odd case of a voting irregularity over here in western Europe, but afaik both the criminal energy of the fraudsters and the ineptness of the people organizing the vote are truly unique to the US - as far as the technical side of things goes, I still think hand-counted pencil marks on paper are the way to go

I wish robotic space exploration was as inspirational as manned missions are, but I honestly think that without a manned space program to maintain popular interest we can probably kiss current levels of funding for robotic exploration goodbye.

If you don't believe me, then how about a little demonstration: Of those of you who favor robotic exploration over manned missions, how many can, off the top of your heads, name a project lead on the Viking program? How many typical voters do you suppose could even tell you what the Viking program was? Only one person who worked on Viking is even a household name, and that's because he wrote a series of books and created an award-winnning television series popularizing science, not because of his work picking out landing sites.

Now consider the number of folks who know what Neil Armstrong did.

Also, as an ethicist, I am disturbed when people say (not you; you didn't; just riffing here) that it's important to send people into space because it's inspirational or something.

My argument to that would be: Neil Armstrong and “one small step” vs. the Mars Rover. One gave me goose bumps at the time and still does when I hear it today. The other, while very cool, seems like a science project at the national level.

I think that the personal element is needed to get the populace behind spending that kind of $$ for questionable short term goals. The long term goals have been huge, but as you know, many folks have a short attention span.


The most successful being the robot that hit people.

Hilzoy building a robot that hits people… The possibilities seem endless. Certainly it would be easier than convincing them of something via good writing and scrupulous logic :)

Cross posted with Gromit. I think we where going the same place…

Yikes, OCSteve and I are experiencing some kind of mind meld here. Glad I already voted. ;)

Eric the Red was a project lead on the Viking program, but his bad habits - like killin' a man just to watch him die - led to repeated reprimands from NASA administrators, and eventually he decided to go study volcanos in Iceland.

OCSteve: I also built a burglar alarm for my room that hurled a bookbag full of encyclopedias across the room at intruders. Unfortunately, I could only get it to do that when an excessively polite burglar closed the door...

LOL

It just gives me an opening to lament that our space program should have had us with permanent lunar bases and regular trips to Mars by now. SF fan, what can I say.

Yeah.

If I ever win a really, really silly amount of money in the lottery (which I am likely to do only if the Doctor slips a triple rollover winning jackpot ticket under my door) buying myself a ticket to space is high on my to-do list.

Of course, if the Doctor did slip a Lottery ticket under my door, I'd be heading for the TARDIS in a hot minute. Never mind just space travel when you can go anywhere, any when...

buying myself a ticket to space is high on my to-do list

One of the most frustrating things I can say – you’ll have to do it with the Russians as we don’t have that capability.

How’s that for commentary on the “space race”?

One of the most frustrating things I can say – you’ll have to do it with the Russians as we don’t have that capability.

Be sure to pack duct tape!

Be sure to pack duct tape!

I don’t go to the grocery store without that. 5 rolls minimum Jes.

I think: first, creating robots that we can control from earth as they do valuable science on Mars is plenty inspirational

Yes, and in the process, you'll have ensured the success of the Cylon race. Starting when they realize they don't want to be controlled from Earth, anymore. Plus, the control system lag is hell.

But BSG tells us it's already happened, somewhen/where.

Hilzoy: I love our Roomba and I don't even do robotics - though they assist you if you lean that way :)

If you plan on seeing more SF, I'd reccommend Gattaca.

Congrats Katherine. Also to all others here, with the Dems taking the house.

I don’t go to the grocery store without that. 5 rolls minimum Jes.

Of course. Plus my Swiss Army knife. I'm a long-term MacGyver fan...

wired's take on e-voting

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.11/images/1211Found800w.jpg

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