I'm a computer guy . I know a million billion ways that computers can be made to do things that they were not intended to do. At least once a week, without fail, I have someone ask me if they have a virus. The question arises because their computer is doing something they don't expect it to do, or is acting strangely and therefore the computer, like a person, must be sick. When these persons are windows users, I tend to be more "attentive." and ask whether they have a AV program, has it been run? has it been running in the background all this time? Have they gone to a weird website or downloaded something from someone they don't know or downloaded something from someone they knew, but the "thing" was something the "someone" didn't know the origins of.
In other words, while I know there are many things that could go wrong, it doesn't mean those things have gone wrong. Only an examination of the system can determine that.
So, in the wake of Hillary Clinton's victory in NH, people are starting to ask whether or not the infamous Diebold machines have given Hillary the "corporate boost." by shuffling a few votes. Well my first question would be: why?
Seriously. neither Obama nor Clinton are serious threats to the corporate machine. Perhaps said corporate machines would like to see Clinton on the ballot in November than Obama, but in my opinion, Obama's on the ticket regardless unless he starts getting single digit votes for the duration of the primaries and the democratic party does a Jesse Jackson on him come delegate time. So in my opinion, putting the fix in for Hillary at this point in the game not only not makes sense but would increase the likelyhood of being found out.
The second thing is that for some reason, people insist that exit polls are infalible. I don't understand where this idea comes from. But until a pollster can guarantee that the person they are talking to is not lying, then polling will always be subject to error, and with gender and race involved, I expect a whole lot of liars talking to pollsters.
Thirdly I read this over at Counterpunch:
In New Hampshire, 81 per cent of the voting was done in towns and cities that had purchased optical scan machines from the Diebold Election Systems (now called Premiere Election Solutions), a division of Diebold Corp., a company founded by and still linked to wealthy right-wing investors. In those towns, all voting was done on the devices, called Accuvote machines, which read paper ballots completed by voters who use pens or pencils to fill in little ovals next to the candidate of their choice. The ballots are then fed into, read, and tallied by the machines. The other 19 per cent of voting was done in towns that had opted not to use the machine, and to use hand-counted paper ballots instead.The machine tally was Clinton 39.6 per cent, Obama 36.3 per cent - fairly close to the final outcome. But the hand-counted ballot count broke significantly differently: Clinton 34.9 per cent, Obama 38.6 per cent.
What is it about these folk that they do not understand that unless you are comparing samples from the same batch the analysis is false? Simply put, just because hand counts in one county go one way and computer counting goes another in another county we do not have evidence of fraud. What needs to happen is a hand count of votes from the same county and same voting place as the machines. That is the only way to show, beyond reasonable doubt, that there is fraud. Everything else is conjecture and circumstantial. Would you like to be charged with Felony fraud and convicted on circumstantial evidence? No? I didn't think so.
it simply isn't enough to say that so and so can be done to a voting machine. My computer can have a keylogger installed on it. it does not because no one else has access to my system. A program can be slipped into a voting machine but to date no one has been able to prove that one has been installed on one let alone one that is accessible over the internet, has been activated and made to flip votes in a manner to present a specific margin of victory.
I'm not saying it can't be done, I'm talking the odds of a very specific set of steps have all been done within a specific time frame. I'm not talking Hollywood Manchurian Candidate type of stuff either.
So how about this as a solution:
1) The OS and program to be run on voting systems are handed to a neutral third party to be examined. any person who wishes to see the code can do so.
2) the machines are delivered to voting areas with blank HD and the third party installs the OS and programs as vetted.
3) There are no internet connections, phone connections or connections of any kind allowed to the machines other than that needed to input the vote and produce the paper trail.
4) at the end of the voting process the parties involved all have representatives that show up at each polling place with their own laptop approved by their party . The data is transferred to mobile media in front of everyone.
5) 2 computer is chosen at random from the representatives. It is loaded with a fresh copy of the tabulating software and all tabulation is done on those random computers. If the tally is identical on both systems then the results are reported.
This scenario deals with all concerns. No net access to the voting machines. No stealth software since it doesn't come from Diebold but rather a third party with open access to the entire OS freely viewable by the public. No stealth vote flipping at the count stage since the systems used to count are not controlled by Diebold and is verified by all interested parties.