Congrats to the President

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by efusco, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. jchu

    jchu New Member

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    Gary,

    If I understand your post correctly, that is the Raison D'etre for the Fred's House of Pancakes forum. For those who would rather not put up with politics, debates of morality etc. they can choose to ignore everything posted to FHoP. Danny created this area of PC for topics not Prius or Hybrids. Check out the other threads in FHoP and you'll get the jist.

    Just an FYI
     
  2. Ken Cooper

    Ken Cooper New Member

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    Looks like the rallying cry for those who voted Bush back into power was, "moral values". Sure wish those folks had placed more emphasis on "actions" rather than "values".
     
  3. Gurmail

    Gurmail Member

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    Evan, it would be so easy for you to move to Canada , being an experienced doctor. The salary is lower than the US as Cananda has a national health service which employs a lot of doctors and drives the prices down quite a bit. You could, ofcourse go into lucrative private practice. With the Canadian Dollar almost equalling the US one, the wage diiference has diminished somewhat. However, apart from political reasons, you have the least cause to move as you probably do very well financially and I am sure have good health care coverage. The US is a great country for those with a lot of money.
     
  4. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
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    Taking jchu's advice a while back, I mostly started laying off this thread. But I figured I'd come back just to see where it had gone.

    Canuck, I believe this discussion has been very civil. Heated at times, yes; but extremely civil compared to other threads I've seen. It would not take me long to find a discussion board where the participants blatantly launch personal attacks if only because they are not intelligent enough to address facts and opinions. I further believe that Danny, Evan, and other moderators are so determined to maintain civility, any abusive posts would be removed and the poster warned/banned.

    Finally, to all those who are seriously planning to leave the country, please pass this plea to all other previous-Americans you bump into abroad. "You have given your opponent an even larger majority. If you truly want change, please come back in time to redeclare your citizenship and register to vote in the next election."
     
  5. KMO

    KMO Member

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    Er, you can vote as an expatriate, can't you? Admittedly those will be postal ballots that will never get counted because the American media insist on getting the result in under 3 hours, but hey, it's better than nothing.

    What is that about, anyway? The outgoing president stays in office for 2 whole months! Why the rush to declare the result before counting? Why even have machines, rather than the conventional paper ballot?

    In this country, the voting is entirely paper and pencil based. And our new government takes office the very next day.

    Why do you need machines? What are they for?
     
  6. IsrAmeriPrius

    IsrAmeriPrius Progressive Member

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    My ballot (click here for a sample of a ballot in a nearby jurisdiction) had twenty eight different contests on it, counting races for political and judicial offices as well as state and local measures. It would be quite complicated to manually tally all those races using paper ballots.

    There are, however, more reliable voting methods than pure electronic touch screen machines or the old fashioned lever actuated mechanical voting machines. The most promising and accurate, in my opinion, are the paper ballots which can be read by optical scanners.

    In Los Angeles County, where I vote, we have a new (interim) InkaVote system (click here). A marker is used to mark dots on a computer card which is placed in the voting machine. The cards are then read by optical scanners. Some of the newer touch screen machines print paper receipts and keep a paper trail, much like an old fashioned cash register.
     
  7. Gurmail

    Gurmail Member

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    KMO, machines are generally more efficient and faster in just about everything. I favour an all electronic system that also keeps a supplemental aper record and prints a recept for the voter. Later, some people's recepts could be randomly checked( perhaps online or by phone) and results compared to discourage any fraud( concerns about Diebold, the current machine provider). I agree with your point about waiting till all the votes are counted since there is a two month wait.
     
  8. KMO

    KMO Member

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    Paper ballots with optical scanners sounds perfectly reasonable. As long as the optical scanners are self-contained machines with very simple operating software, so can't be hacked or manipulated.

    A paper receipt for an electronic voting machine, I'm doubtful about. How do you get anyone to ever count the paper receipts? Given the court mess in 2000, I can imagine court orders that refuse the right to count them.

    And the huge danger of an electronic machine is that it "knows too much". It's too sophisticated, and hence hackable, especially if it's connected to a network. Unlike a simple optical scanner - it doesn't have to know anything about what it's counting.

    The other thing to be careful of is that ballots that show up as null or bad votes on the automatic machine have to go to human inspection, rather than just being discarded. Machines generate far too much spoilage if left unattended.

    The current systems that have just been installed are laughable, and as such I can't accept the latest election as valid. Far too much fishy stuff going on, and there's no way of auditing it.

    It'll be interesting to see over the next 4 years how hard various parties fight for or against proper auditable voting systems.
     
  9. jchu

    jchu New Member

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    Paper receipts could be machine countable in the event of a recall if they are optically scannable. In the early days of electronic tax filing with the IRS, one option was an optically scannable format which one printed out at home. It produce a one page layout that on operator at the IRS would plop down on a scanner instead of keying in the informaton. I remember these forms as that is what I used when I was still on a MAC 512SE.
     
  10. VARedDevil

    VARedDevil New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(KMO\";p=\"48973)</div>
    Bottm line KMO: It doesn't really matter if you accept the election as valid or not. I think voter fraud, or attempt at voter fraud, is rampant on both sides. There is no perfect voting system...simple paper ballots can get "lost", voting boxes can end up "missing"...we're trying to come up with a system that will work...every new system will have flaws and weaknesses. The idea is to improve every time. Which we will. There are too many watch dogs on both sides to not let that happen.
     
  11. Gurmail

    Gurmail Member

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    Kmo, I agree with your concerns. I just feel that it is more efficient and faster for a voter to be able to read a summary of the issue he/she is voting about and press a button on a screen to make the choice. The current machines show it to you afew times and later ask you to confirm it, allowing you to make any changes. All I want is for the machine to generate two small(but comprehensive optically scannable) paper records. One given to the voter and the other kept in the machine, at the booth etc. That's why I advocated randomly checking some receipts with voters by phone, internet etc to discourage fraud.
    Another problem has been the refusal of the current manufacturer, Diebold, to allow experts to inspect the software in the machines( and the known Republican leanings of the maker) claiming it is too secret and proprietary!! Not even govt experts. I think some state should have invoked public domain rights and sized and inspected some machines anyway. Even if Diebold won in courts and got a few million in damages, it would have been worth it. Alternatively, the govt should refuse to use their machines. All other important software is routinely sold to consumers and is often analyzed by them.
     
  12. KMO

    KMO Member

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    Varred, if believe voter fraud, or attempt at voter fraud, is rampant on both sides, then surely what you need is auditable voting systems? Together with a much better registration system.

    This is what's truly bizarre - all accountability is being removed from the process. And I can't understand why Republicans would go along with it, let alone push it. Are they that confident that they will always be the ones in control of the voting machines? What would they say if, say, George Soros owned Diebold?

    Or are they just acknowledging that democracy isn't that big a deal, and it's not that important to them whether votes are counted?

    The potential operational glitches of paper ballots, hanging chads and all the rest are nothing compared to the fundamental flaws of the current voting machines. At least errors in the former can be detected.

    I'm just kicking up a fuss here because I'm terrified. The US seems to have accepted faith-based voting with barely a murmur, so I'm no longer so sure that it couldn't happen here.

    It seems to be a paradigm shift so much bigger than the result of just one election. Going from "your vote will count, and will be seen to be counted", to "your vote will count, trust us" is HUGE.

    A bit like Guantanamo bay, I suppose. You go from "innocent until proven guilty" to "they're all very bad people, trust us".

    Maybe I'm stuck in the fabled "pre-9/11" mindset. I suppose we can't risk not having control of the voting systems. What if the people voted for the wrong candidate? We've got to protect the country; from the people if necessary.


    BTW Gurmail, receipts given to voters is generally accepted to be a bad idea. It loses the privacy of the vote, and opens up the possibility of vote buying or coercion.
     
  13. VARedDevil

    VARedDevil New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(KMO\";p=\"49116)</div>
    KMO: We had over 110 million people vote this year. That's no small amount to account for. Yes, there needs to be an auditable way of keep the votes. And there is software that can do that. They have to get the bugs out of the systems. Diebold just happened to be one of many companies that bidded for the voting contracts. None of the companies that made the machines are non-partisan, so that conspiracy theory is out the window. As far are proprietary rights, or what are commonly referred to as Intelectual Property Rights, that what our market based system is built on, to supposedly enhanced development and improvement. Unlike the EU which favors open standards, which I do do by the way, the U.S. does not. There are very few technological devices that are open standard (802.11, WiFi, is one of the few). We're not a perfect country, nor is our process. Will it ever be perfect, highly unlikely, but I guarantee you that we'll keep working at it until we get as close as possible. There's always going to be someone to cry foul on both sides. If it wasn't the voting machines, it would be the ballot was too hard to read, hanging chats, the OCR machine broke, etc. etc. It's not a perfect evolution. In our system right now, unfortunately, I don't feel every vote counts. The electoral college, does not necessarily reflect the will of the people, as witnessessed in the 2000 election. If you're a democrat in Virginia, your vote doesn't count, VA is a red state. Is that right? I don't think so. We need to get refine the way our votes are counted and then get rid of the electoral college.

    Whether you like it or not KMO, technology is going to catch of with GB too. You'll be doing electronic balloting soon also. It's inevitable.
     
  14. bruceha_2000

    bruceha_2000 Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(IsrAmeriPrius\";p=\"48931)</div>
    Hmmm, Step 1:
    INSERT THE BALLOT.
    Make sure holes at top of ballot card fit over red posts.

    Already the uncareful voter has voted for someone other than the one intended. ;-)
     
  15. IsrAmeriPrius

    IsrAmeriPrius Progressive Member

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    Well, it is time for a retraction. I just came across this news item:

    BROOKVILLE, Ind. (Nov. 12) - A hand recount of ballots cast using optical scanning technology gave a Democrat enough extra votes to bump a Republican from victory in a county commissioner\'s race.

    The erroneous tally was caused when the Fidlar Election Co. scanning system recorded straight-Democratic Party votes as votes for Libertarians in southeastern Indiana\'s Franklin County.

    The recount Thursday pushed Democrat Carroll Lanning from fifth to third in the three-seat commissioners race, while Republican Roy Hall fell to fifth.

    Democrats had suspected a glitch after preliminary election results included a Libertarian congressional candidate winning 7.7 percent of the vote in Franklin County, more than four times better than he did across the entire district.

    Fidlar workers said no programming problems were found in the Accuvote 2000 ES system, but said the Rock Island, Ill.-based company is going over its programming elsewhere in the state and in Wisconsin and Michigan, which, like Indiana, have straight-party voting.

    Fidlar national sales manager Bill Barrett on Friday called the glitch an \"isolated incident\" and said no other election results were in question.

    A spokeswoman for the Indiana secretary of state\'s office said state officials were waiting to learn more from the company and Franklin County. Pre-election tests had found no problems, Kate Shepherd said, and the state was unaware of other similar troubles.
     
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