voting machines

Mathematician suspicious of election fraud hires lawyer to force Kansas to hand over voting records

Kansas mathematician said this week that she had retained a lawyer and had scheduled a discovery hearing to force Secretary of State Kris Kobach to hand over voting records after they showed evidence of election fraud.

“I don’t understand why those patterns are there, the patterns are very definitely real. But we don’t know what’s causing them or why they’re there,” Wichita State University statistician Beth Clarkson told KSHB last month. “They do fit what would be expected if election fraud is occurring, and that’s very concerning.”

Brad Blog’s Brad Friedman explained the suspicious activity in a recent column:

Confirming a theory initially reported by two other statisticians in 2012 [PDF], Clarkson has found that computer-reported results from larger precincts in the state, with more than 500 voters, show a “consistent” statistical increase in votes for the Republican candidates in general elections (and even a similar increase for establishment GOP candidates versus ‘Tea Party’ challengers during Republican primaries). Those results run counter to conventional political wisdom that Democrats perform better in larger, more urban precincts.

Kobach, however, went to court to block Sedgwick County from releasing voting records to Clarkson.

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BRING BACK THE GOOD OLD PAPER BALLOT

If the Defense Department, the CIA, and our largest corporations can be hacked, certainly 50 states and over 3,000 separate county systems are no match for individuals or nation states that might want to influence the outcome of elections. This is particularly true because nowadays things in the world of electronics and elections are as complex as ever. Even if we are casting our ballots on the Internet, the process of touch screens, optical scanning, or any kind of tabulation without a paper trail, may leave us vulnerable.

The Most Insecure Voting Machines in America

The Most Insecure Voting Machines in America

Rob Pegoraro has a great write-up in Yahoo News about the recently decertified voting machines in Virginia. He shows that you don't even need coding skills to hijack election results. Winvote machines can be hacked over wifi using Microsoft Access. Click the link to read all the sordid details.

Columbia County becoming known for hand-counting votes

Columbia County is gaining a reputation for voting integrity, thanks to its rigorous policy of hand-counting votes: County inspectors hand-tally all but state races and certified blowouts. Because of that policy, county Democratic Election Commissioner Virginia Martin has been invited to two recent panels on voting security.

 

America's Looming Crisis in Voting Technology

The nation’s voting equipment is quickly becoming obsolete. But even if local governments could afford upgrades, no new machines exist to buy.

More and more often these days, Neal Kelley and his staff find themselves rooting through shelves at used computer stores in Orange County, Calif., looking for something they can’t find anywhere else: laptops that run on Windows 2000. Kelley is the registrar of voters in Orange County, and one component of his election equipment still runs on the Microsoft operating system from 14 years ago.

As in most places around the country, Orange County’s voting technology is based on federal standards set after Congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) in 2002. The razor-thin presidential election in 2000 between Al Gore and George W. Bush revealed that outdated technology had left thousands of votes uncounted. With HAVA, Congress encouraged local governments to install electronic voting equipment, resulting in a wave of upgrades across the country. Between 2002 and 2004, Congress allocated more than $3 billion for some 8,000 local jurisdictions to replace the punch card devices and lever machines they had been using for more than 30 years. But today, a decade later, that upgraded election infrastructure is quickly becoming obsolete.

In a worst-case scenario, current equipment will start to fail in the next couple years, forcing fewer voting booths to process more ballots, a recipe for longer lines and voter frustration. “What you don’t want is disenfranchised voters who are deciding not to cast a ballot because of these issues,” says Kelley. “We can’t let ourselves get to that point. We need to be ahead of this curve.”

It’s an impending crisis for states and localities. “Jurisdictions do not have the money to purchase new machines,” the Presidential Commission on Election Administration reported in January, “and legal and market constraints prevent the development of machines they would want even if they had the funds.” In other words, the newer technology simply isn’t there. And even if it were, localities couldn’t afford it.