Friday, January 26, 2007

I can't believe they're just throwing them away!

In today's Hartford Courant, Ann Marie Somma examines what Connecticut towns are doing with their old lever-style voting machines, now that we'll be using Diebold OS tabulators to count our votes.

It turns out that many machines are going to an ignominious end at the junkyard!
"Middletown sold all 41 of its lever machines to a local recycling company for $50, said Sandra Faraci, the town's Democratic registrar of voters."
Screw that! I want a voting machine for my home.

How cool would THAT be? I'd hold an election every week, on every stupid issue I could think of.

Paper or plastic? Have a election to choose!
Chinese or Italian for dinner? Schedule a referendum.
Who's turn is it to take out the garbage? To the voting booth to decide!

Of course, I'd have to appoint myself Secretary of State, and no election is final until I certify it. Just in case my wife brings in voters from out of area to override my votes.

Anyway, this sad news story is a good excuse for me to repost my video of the Diebold voting machine demonstration by Susan Bysiewicz last September at the Bridgeport City Hall Annex. I've written quite a few posts about these machines, and there are some serious potential problems with them. I'll repost the articles in the coming weeks and elaborate upon them.

But for now, meet the new machine that's replacing our tried and true ol' green monsters:


Anonymous said...

Contact our local registrar of voters office and see if you can go in and talk to them about getting a LeverMan.

Preferably with the previous election ballot still on it.

They will think you are crazy but tell Antoinette that Tessa sent you and then...oh yeah, that will make her know you are in with the wrong crowd!

carterman said...

$50 for 41 one machines? WHAT!?! Are we talking about the giant voting machines with the built in privacy curtain? Gosh. If it's true I would have paid that just to setup them up in my yard as art. "Voting Machine Army"

Anonymous said...

Are these the same Diebold machines that brought us Ohio in 2004?

fuzzyturtle said...

OMG... !!! Get one and make it an outhouse! If you win the Roto Rooter PIMP MY JOHN sweepstakes, you can have a fridge, TiVo and XBOX in there!!

but I think you may need a generator too.. or a really long extension cord.

CT Bob said...

anonymous, no I believe Ohio uses the electronic touch-screen voting machines, not the optical scanners (OS) that we're getting. The touch-screen (TS) machine is much easier to fudge because it doesn't have a paper trail, except I think a receipt it gives you that says you voted, but not for whom.

The OS tabulators are simple "vote counters", which records your paper ballot and adds up the numbers. They're just as hackable as the TS machines, but because your actual vote is on a paper ballot, there can be a manual recount of the votes exclusive of the machines.

So in the event of a recount, they rescan the ballots and see if the numbers match the original results. If they don't match or other descrepencies are found, then the Sec. of State's office can order a manual hand-recount.

It's not a perfect system, and the UConn Computer Science department has made a detailed study of the system and recommends significant security improvements, but at least we're not totally at the mercy of Diebold with the paper ballots to fall back on.

MikeCT said...

Off topic, but.... am I blind, or do you not have an RSS site feed on your Web site? Here are the instructions.

CT Bob said...

Mikect, I believe my site feed is active, but I'm unfamiliar with how they work. I just checked, and the feed is

Do I have to put a button or something up in order for people to access it? I see all those mysterious buttons on everyone's blogs, but as today is my birthday and I'm getting closer to codgerdom, I confess I can really figure out how it works. If I need to set anything up on the blog, please let me know.


MikeCT said...

You could just add a text link that says something like "Atom Feed" somewhere in your right column. Inquiring minds want to subscribe!