Breaking News: Most western democracies flee voting machines; America clings to them, while refusing to enact laws that would at least make them somewhat verifiable.
- In 2009, Germany ruled that “secret, computerized vote counting was unconstitutional,” reasoning that the public must be able to observe and understand (without special technical knowledge) each step of the process used to count the votes.
The BRAD BLOG : Democracy's Gold Standard
While I was off the grid for a brief vacation for a week in August, a short Op-Ed version of a piece I wrote for…
German Court Rules E-Voting Unconstitutional | Germany | DW | 03.03.2009
September's upcoming elections looks set to see a return to the more traditional pencil and paper countrywide…
2. Thus, Germany now conducts hand counted elections. (Germany does still use software to collect and disseminate the hand counted totals, and even that has raised security concerns in the wake of recent parliamentary network breaches by Russia.)
No concerns over election fraud in Germany | German election 2017 - All the news, data and facts…
"Germany's election process is quite transparent," said Klaus Pötzsch of the electoral committee responsible for the…
3. Meanwhile, due to recent concerns over Russian meddling, France now requires hand counted paper ballots even for absentees.
Fears of election hacking spread in Europe
France has followed the Netherlands in placing its faith in paper-based voting systems ahead of key elections later…
4. In 2017, the Netherlands switched to hand counted ballots due to hacking concerns as well.
Fearful of Hacking, Dutch Will Count Ballots by Hand
In a report on Monday, the broadcaster RTL concluded that the Dutch election would be “easy to hack,” citing interviews…
5. Norway also has decided to manually count paper ballots due to hacking concerns.
Norwegian votes to be counted manually in fear of election hacking
People goes to the polls for Parliament elections on Monday, but results are likely not ready before Tuesday. Computer…
6. In Canada, federal elections are counted by hand on election night, & normally counting is done within in four hours. (Electronics are apparently allowed in municipal elections.)
7. The UK used to avoid voting machines like the plague, but quietly deployed them in Scotland for… wait for it…
8. … BREXIT!
https://www.whatthepoliticiansdontsay.com/single-post/2016/04/09/SNP-LABOUR-PRIVATISE-ALL-SCOTTISH-ELECTIONS-FOR-TORY-MP-PETER-LILLEYS-PENSION-POT [“Tory MP Peter Lilley’s company IDOX was given contracts across Scotland by SNP and Labour councils to quietly privatise the entire electoral process and control of postal votes and election counts across Scotland.”]
9. The anger in the UK over the decision to use voting machines is palpable — for the few who know.
10. And they should be upset. Idox, the vote software company quietly used in Brexit, owns Mclaren whose partner (Crocs) is a top 10 Russian IT company that does IT for AlfaBank & the Russia Supreme Court.
11. Moreover, an Idox director and shareholder, Peter Lilley, is a pro-Brexit Tory MP, creating a conflict of interest.
12. The whole notion of having such a company count votes for the UK sounds crazy, doesn’t it?
13. Except our own electronic voting equipment included Kaspersky software in 2016 (though it has since been banned).
DHS bars government from using Russia-based Kaspersky software
In a move likely to escalate tensions between Washington and Moscow, the Department of Homeland Security has ordered…
14. And our two largest voting machine vendors as of 2010 — Diebold/Premier (bought by Dominion Voting in 2010) and Elections Systems and Software (formerly called “American Information Systems”) — have had plenty of conflicts of interest.
15. In 2003, Diebold, Inc.’s CEO was a member of President Bush’s Rangers and Pioneers, “an elite group of loyalists who have raised at least $100,000 each for the 2004 race.” Eleven Diebold executives donated to Bush’s campaign in 2003; no money from Diebold or its executives went to the Democratic presidential campaign.
16. And two weeks before Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel launched his successful 1996 Senate bid, he was chairman of Nebraska-based ES&S, which counted 85% of the votes in the race that ended with him his becoming Nebraska’s first Republican senator since 1972. As discovered by election integrity advocate Beverly Harris, Hagel maintained a substantial ownership interest in McCarthy Group, which owned 25% of ES&S.
17. Meanwhile, Per IT expert Alex Halderman (Univ. Michigan), the only way to verify if an electronic tally is correct is to hand count the ballots or to forensically audit the machines.
Want to Know if the Election was Hacked? Look at the Ballots
You may have read at NYMag that I’ve been in discussions with the Clinton campaign about whether it might wish to seek…
18. Private vendors block forensic audits on the grounds that their code is proprietary!
19. As for hand counting the paper ballots, that is of course impossible with paperless voting machines. Five states in America — Georgia, New Jersey, Delaware, Louisiana, and South Carolina — exclusively use paperless machines. Another ten — including swing states Florida, Pennsylvania, and Virginia — use paperless machines in some counties.
20. Even when machines have paper, it is very difficult to get a meaningful hand recount in contested elections.
21. Many states require a hand recount, if at all, only if the candidates are within a small percentage of each other (usually less than 2%). All this does is tell would-be hackers to flip enough votes to exceed the specified margin.
22. And when that specified margin is exceeded, it is very difficult to get a court to order a meaningful hand recount.
23. Trump, for example, objected to a hand recount in Wisconsin, and the court refused to order one.
Judge rejects Stein’s request for hand recount
CLOSE Madison — Green Party candidate Jill Stein paid $3.5 million Tuesday to clear the way for Wisconsin’s…
24. Although a few Wisconsin counties hand recounted voluntarily, most large counties refused!
25. Michigan excluded from the 2016 recount precincts where the number of voters and number of votes differed, and where votes came from machines with broken seals — the exact places you would normally look for potential tampering.
26. “Here’s a first hand account of the Michigan recount. Trump sent in ‘witnesses’ who intimidated voters & poll workers.” — @kelli_rose
27. The Michigan recount was stopped after just three days.
28. As for Pennsylvania, most of its voting machines are paperless. But a judge in 2016 refused to allow a recount even as to those that had paper. http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/26/opinions/recount-missed-opportunity-opinion-eisen/index.html …
29. Just 26 states require any sort of post-election audit at all. http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2017/07/the_real_way_to_fix_the_actual_election_tampering_crisis_in_the_u_s.html … …
30. IT expert Alex Halderman of the University of Michigan says that, of those 26 states, just two, Colorado and New Mexico, conduct post-election audits sufficient to detect hacking! (Those two states conduct a type of hand audit called a “risk limiting audit”)
31. Pam Smith at Verified Voting agrees that of the 26 states that conduct some sort of post-election audit, the audits are inadequate — “not using sufficient sample sizes, or auditing under only certain parameters that could be outfoxed by a sophisticated attack…”