Monday, October 22, 2012

NY Times: "WA State Voter Registration Flawed and Vulnerable"

This election carries a lot of emotion.

A number of people are speculating there will be riots following the election that may disrupt the entire country. This concern is based on a number of polls, particularly one by PEW that found 86% of all Americans are either "angry" or "frustrated" with the federal government.

Earlier this year, USA Today published an article that said, "More than 24 million voter-registration records in the United States— about one in eight — are inaccurate, out-of-date or duplicates. Nearly 2.8 million people are registered in two or more states, and perhaps 1.8 million registered voters are dead."

USA Today published a column yesterday saying that voter fraud has been downplayed by those who oppose voter ID, but the evidence they use is very thin and that, in fact, voter registration is extremely vulnerable.

They said, "Chaotic voter registration rolls make it easy to commit voter fraud." They say voter fraud is so easy that "James O'Keefe released a video of a 22-year-old undercover reporter who obtained Attorney General Eric Holder's ballot in Washington DC, and could easily have voted if he chosen to."

There is so much focus on voter fraud that The Hill is reporting that, "United Nations--affiliated monitors from Europe and central Asia will be at polling places around the US looking for voter suppression activities by conservative groups."

The Hill reports, "The observers, from countries such as Germany, France, Serbia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, will observe voting at polling places and other political activity."

Giovanna Maiola, spokeswoman for the UN oversight activity, told The Hill, “They [will] observe the overall election process, not just the ballot casting. They are focusing on a number of areas on the state level, including the legal system, election administration, the campaign, the campaign financing [and] new voting technologies used in the different states.”

Welcome to America where our voting is overseen by the United Nations, because far left progressives are concerned about the elections.

Secretary of State Sam Reed's office is telling us that Washington State has 3.9 million registered voters this election---an all time high. He predicts 81% of them will vote.

In this cloud of corruption, the New York Times is reporting that the voter registration in Washington State is flawed and vulnerable.


The New York Times is reporting, "In the last five years, Maryland and Washington State have set up voter registration systems that make it easy for people to register to vote and update their address information online. The problem is that in both states, all the information required from voters to log in to the system is publicly available."

They say it took them less than three minutes to track down the information online needed to update the registrations of several prominent executives in Washington State. Complete voter lists, which include a name, birth date, addresses and party affiliation, can be easily bought — and are, right now, in the hands of thousands of campaign volunteers.

They say a hacker could use that information to, say, change a person’s address online to ensure that the voter never receives a ballot in Washington, where voting is now done entirely by mail.

The Times says, "But the real concern, critics say, is that large numbers of voters from one political party, or demographic, could have their information changed by automated computer programs. A program that could change tens of thousands of voter records at once, they say, would require only a dozen lines of code."

Critics say that hackers could use botnets, networks of infected computers, to change voters’ addresses. And new machine learning technologies can beat captchas, or people can be paid to type them in, in real time, for as a little as a penny per captcha or less.

“They could influence an election with 20,000 votes for less than a penny a head,” said J. Alex Halderman, one of the computer scientists who first discovered Washington’s loophole. “That would be a great return on investment for them.”

Last week, Mr. Halderman, David Jefferson, a computer scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, and Barbara Simons, a retired IBM computer scientist, sent a letter to Washington election officials with seven recommendations for security.

Shane Hamlin, Washington’s co-director of elections, said that the state’s registration closed last week, but that his team planned to review transaction logs for unusual activity. “Their suggestions are all reasonable and doable. Some we have in place and can build on, some are longer term.”

John Fund writes for USA Today, "A 2012 Rasmussen poll found that 64% of Americans think voter fraud is 'very' or 'somewhat' serious. Blacks (64%) and those earning under $20,000 a year (71%) agreed."

Fund says, "The Supreme Court has backed that concern. In 2008, it found states have the right to pass photo ID laws; the majority included liberal Justice John Paul Stevens. In a unanimous 2006 decision reinstating Arizona's voter ID law, the court stated: 'Voter fraud drives honest citizens out of the democratic process. ... Voters who fear their legitimate votes will be outweighed by fraudulent ones will feel disenfranchised'."

Fund concludes, "We can make it easy to vote and hard to cheat. We should keep trying."

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.

 

12 comments:

  1. a hacker could use that information to, say, change a person’s address online to ensure that the voter never receives a ballot in Washington

    This is voter suppression, not voter fraud. Voter fraud means actually casting votes that would be counted. You haven't shown any examples of this being a problem, because it's not. No investigation (even by Republicans) has found a real problem with voter fraud. If there is a problem, show some real verifiable numbers.

    A program that could change tens of thousands of voter records at once

    And would be so easily detected by the most basic server security that someone would be going to jail for a long time. Plus, if tens of thousands of people didn't get their ballots, you don't think that would raise alarms?

    could influence an election with 20,000 votes for less than a penny a head

    Again, with voter suppression, not fraud, and only if it could go un-detected (couldn't happen). But, if you want to see real voter suppression on a huge scale, clandestine hackers are not the problem. Republican state leaders are attempting to disenfranchise millions right now in broad daylight.

    Welcome to America where our voting is overseen by the United Nations, because far left progressives are concerned about the elections

    When we monitor elections in 3rd world countries, we assume election fraud when exit polls vary widely from results. That describes our last two elections with the variance favoring Republicans (Diebold?). The outside world is becoming increasingly concerned with the integrity of our elections because of mass disenfranchisement efforts by Republicans and planned Tea Party vote challengers at the election sites, etc. This isn't a proud moment in our history of democracy. Don't blame the left, look in the mirror.

    Nice long post with lots of irrelevant numbers, but you haven't illustrated any problems that voter id would solve.

    Mark

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  2. We must return to the physical counting of paper ballots at the precinct level to significantly prevent election fraud and the loss of our republic. States like Washington have all mail-in elections where the ballots are electronically counted. Voters should never rely on a few partisan county and state employees, or easily hacked systems, to protect our most important freedom. This problem is ripe for correction by initiative petition.

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  3. Just remember the 3,000 dead people that voted in King county in 2004. How many dead people and illegal immigrants are vote in November 6th.

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  4. 3,000 dead people voted? Really? I sure can't find anything to back that up. What is your source?

    Maybe you're right, but this sounds like one of those 'fun to quote facts' that someone just made up.

    Mark

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  5. Mark

    How do you 'disenfranchise' people buy requiring them to prove their indentity and citizenship?

    Seems like common sense precautions to me. States have made provisions for elderly or disabiled to obtain I.D, so whats the problem?

    The U.N. is a paper tiger, if we withdrew our financial support it would collapse.

    Craig in Lacey

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    1. Craig,

      You disenfranchise them by throwing new requirements at them at the last minute that they can't meet. States have not made adequate provisions for elderly and disabled and that's why the courts are throwing these laws out.

      Of course, if you care to document the states that have enacted these laws and provisions they've enacted, I'd love to hear them.

      Personally, we recently had to get an ID for our daughter who has chosen not to drive yet. It took about 4 hours of me driving her around to get an official birth certificate (hospital one wouldn't do) and then to the dmv for the ID. It was many, many miles of driving and hours of waiting in line. Plus, about $80. Can't imagine a grandma doing that just to vote.

      If there was a problem with voter fraud it would be one thing, but there isn't and these laws are designed only to keep certain people from voting - people who tend to vote Democratic. You know it and I know it. Be honest, non-existing voter fraud is just a cover.

      I support a national voter id card so long as it's free, very easy to obtain from home, and the requirement is known at least a year before the next election.

      btw - The UN has no authority over our elections anyway. The broader point is that the global community has lost faith in the validity of our elections because of this type of activity, proprietary voter machines, polling place thuggery, etc. and we are supposed to be the bedrock of democracy.

      Mark

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    2. Wait a minute, last minute? I don't think so, most of these laws have been passed with plenty of time and forewarning, some over a year ago. The courts haven't ruled these requirements unconstitutional, only that more time is needed to institute them. I diagree with the court.

      I do agree a national voter I.D is needed, but not so easy to obtain from home or what's the point. The DEM's would never allow one anyway.

      All grandmas are not invalids. Just to vote? Really? It's only our most treasured constitutional right, well that and free speech.

      Get rid of the machines, should be paper ballots anyway. There's plenty of polling place thuggery by the rt and lft to go around, thats for sure.

      The U.N. are baffoons, we should get out.

      Craig in Lacey

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    3. If it's not last minute, why are the courts saying more time is needed?

      I'm a dem and I don't think I'm alone on a national voter id card. It would make voting easier for students, people who move, etc. There are a lot of advantages. Concerns about big brother watching you seem rather quaint compared to today's reality and the information tracked on all of us by commercial interests and even our cell phone gps records.

      We have the technology to make it easy and secure to process ID requests over the internet and then mail out the card. I got my official state birth certificate from another state over the internet by answering just a few questions, they were able to cross reference records as ascertain it was truly me. But, it was expensive. Let's use that technology, but make it free. Then it won't matter if grandma is an invalid or not.

      I like voting machines for getting results fast, but they should run open source code and be publicly monitored with at least checksum verification at very frequent intervals, and of course, paper ballot backup.

      If the goal is to truly verify the validity of voters, technology will allow us to do it easy, cheaply, and fairly.

      But, as I said, that is not the goal of the current efforts by Republicans. They are using non-existant voter fraud as a cover to keep certain people from voting in this election. When more people vote, Democrats win. When fewer people vote, Republicans win. So Republicans have made voter suppression one of their key campaign tactics over the last several elections.

      You haven't seen anything in polling place thuggery compared to what you'll see this year. The tea party is trying to organize a million people to staff polling places to challenge minority voters' status and use these challenges to slow down the process so that people bail from the lines. I believe it's going to get ugly.

      Mark


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    4. They're saying its last minute because it took so long to get to court and be ruled on. Who's going to pay for this hi-tech stuff, you just said it was expensive and then said it can be done cheaply or free. Do I see another tax coming? hmmmmmmm.......

      Reagan won both times by a landslide, even Nixon won handily ( crook that he was) at the height of 'Nam and with every frizzy- headed liberal voting against him, no lack of voter turnout there. I think you may be oversimplifying things.


      I agree this is going to be quite a thuggery battle, tea party v. the new black panthers. It may indeed get ugly. What a shame=(

      Craig

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  6. The timing was intentional to make it difficult for as many voters as possible.

    I said it was expensive for me, not them. It was a private company and I'm sure there was a ton of profit. I'm in the software business and I promise you that the profit margin is sky high once the development cost is covered. Plus, when you factor national economies of scale over individual counties doing their own registration, it seems feasible that it wouldn't cost any more. But let's find out.

    It might be your opinion that I'm over simplifying things, but it's actually your own party that believes voter suppression is it's path to victory. That's been well documented.

    So you think a million tea partiers is equivalent to a couple new black panthers? Hee hee hee.

    And you still haven't denied that the true goal of the republicans to suppress democratic votes and that the non-existent voter fraud is just a cover because admitting their true intent would look really bad.

    Mark

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    Replies
    1. Well documented by whom?

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    2. For starters, Paul Weyrich, co-founder of the Heritage Foundation. Google "goo-goo syndrome".

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