I don’t care how you tag the article, and I’m as skeptical as the next guy, but I think the claims need to be considered until proven false. A lot is at stake here, and I don’t find the claims all that outrageous, although they may turn out to be so on deeper investigation.
Here’s a related item: Broward machines count backward. Apparently they counted up to 32,000 votes, then began subtracting. Opinion? News? Worthy of consideration?
Why the fuck isn’t the source code to all of the electronic voting systems open source? The actual implementation is going to be boring; there won’t be any meaningful intellectual property created, so it isn’t like I’m asking software companies to give away meaningful intellectual property. Do certified build control procedures, have them observed by, say, the EFF, then release the source code to the internet. A million or so people will look for bugs and/or security loopholes in it. Build control procedures verify that the source code distributed was used to create the executable on the voting machines, keeping both the writers and the reviewers honest.
The example Musicat gives is an excellent example: the implication is that someone used a signed 16-bit data type instead of an unsigned data type (doing so would cause those symptoms). That sort of thing is caught in code reviews. That sort of things is unforgivable, given the importance of elections.
I doubt there was wide spread election fraud, nor am I suggesting this would catch all of it. I frankly don’t think it matters whether fraud was or was not committed; best practices would require the widest peer review possible. I am baffled that such a thing was never done, and apparently never suggested.
You seem to think that fantastic claims, like cannibalism, are so radical that they are not worth investigating. But I don’t feel that an irregular election charge is that radical. Around here, we have a phrase, voting “Chicago style,” which means early, often and using dead people to mark ballots. You think this has never happened?
Bashere, as far as revealing the intracies of the software design, I think that would be a good idea. But it would be difficult to tell if the published software was the version actually used, wouldn’t it?
I think a random check of results each time an election is held should be mandatory. Quality Control isn’t just for moon rockets, but for any process where the outcome has serious consequences.
Nope. That was my point about build control procedures. Software companies face this problem all the time: making sure that the version testing has been testing is the one that is being released. So software companies have reasonably rigourous procedures for rebuilding software. All of the source code is extracted from the version control system, then the software is built using whatever compiler is used, then compared against the target copy. If they match exactly, on a byte-by-byte level, then the source code is the source that was used to build the executable.
If Diebold, or whomever writes the voting software, were to give the source and build instructions to a reliable thrid party (I suggested the Electronic Freedom Foundation, the rough software equivelent of the ACLU), independent verifications could be performed. The voting machines could be checked to make sure that the voting software matched the code distributed.
This wouldn’t eliminate all sources of electronic fraud, but would make them more difficult and would cause them to require a much high degree of skill. Submitting the code to a huge peer-review would eliminate the sorts of bug you mentioned occurred (which really was a beginner’s bug) and elminate some of the concerns.
Nonsense. I’m not responsible for your dangling modifiers. You said, “I think the claims need to be considered until proven false”. And I responded, “Considered what? True?” If you meant “considered worthy of investigation”, you should have said so.
Where the heck is Kimstu to tell you how vague you were?
Considered: 2. regarded with respect or esteem. (Webster’s Ninth Collegiate Dictionary, paper edition)
I don’t believe “Considered” requires a word following in all cases. “This needs to be considered” is not an incomplete sentence. It means something needs to be looked at or examined. With “respect or esteem” would indicate that it is not to be discarded lightly.
Bashere, good points. I wonder if those QC procedures are commonly used in practice?
Sorry, didn’t mean to be snarky with you. There is a substantive difference, though, between news and opinion. This includes online sources.
The masthead on the Common Dreams website states “Breaking News and Views for the Progressive Community”. Under headlines, they have links to news articles from news organizations like the AP, Reuters, and Knight Ridder. Your link in the OP, on the other hand, takes us to the Featured Views section of the website, which is clearly opinion. Nothing wrong with that, in and of itself, but it’s not a “news article”, and even Common Dreams doesn’t try to claim it as one. Do you see the difference?