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back to article E-voting glitches hamper elections in seven states

People in at least seven states - six of them considered battleground states - are reporting that bugs and malfunctions with electronic voting machines are hampering their ability to cast votes in a presidential election that is expected to bring out a record number of voters. In Florida, a state that is no stranger to …

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Anonymous Coward

Oh FFS

Here we go again.

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Who's gonna go first?

I wonder which news network is gonna claim a victory first? Wheeeee....

Oh, and what the hell is wrong with paper ballots? God knows the energy going into all these stupid electronic voting thing-a-ma-jiggers ain't saving any trees or cute fuzzy animals compared to good ole paper ballots.

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Silver badge

Just as planned

I predict a "narrow victory" for McCain with some "surprising denouements" during counting.

There should be an icon for FACEPALM.

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It's democracy!

Just not as we know it, Jim.

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Coat

@Redbaron

It's not democracy as anyone knows it. It's a constitutional republic.

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J
Black Helicopters

Incompetents

Americans are utterly incompetent when it comes to elections, it would seem. They make ATMs that are used everyday for years and rarely give you the wrong result (I've never seen it), yet can't make a freaking voting machine to be used a few days every couple years. Right.

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How did they get to the moon?

It just boggles the mind.

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Stop

time saving

because you know it makes sense to use these machine so the balot is counted quicker. I mean we don't want to keep the lawyers waiting, they have cases to file to argue the result after all..

won't someone please think of the lawyers?

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Black Helicopters

I designed the ballot forms

Some birdy told me that the Sequoia machines had a tendency to find extra black lines (no racism here) so when I designed the ballot pampers (sorry papers) to be folded I just asked my friend Jeb where to place the tick mark for McCain. Worked well... tooo well. Since I helped Grinch last time, we decided that we'd play reverse logic; our sworn enemies would claim this; so we aligned the lines differently - if they claim fowl they loose....

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told ya

I've been saying for a while that the Republicans are masters of dirty tricks, and this stinks of their handiwork. It won't be over until the last vote is lost, that's for sure, and it's going to be a hell of lot closer than the polls have claimed with thousands of votes "lost", "miscounted" or simply "invalidated".

THIS is the "democracy" they're exporting by force of arms?

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Paris Hilton

how hard can it be...

to build a voting machine?

Option 1: Touch screen with two buttons, one for Obama and one for McCain. Voter presses a button and the vote is encrypted and sent to a central server for all votes cast in that state (preferrably raided for backup purposes). At a predetermined time, all the votes for this state are transferred to a central server for counting.

Option 2: Two physical buttons, same procedure as above.

Give me tenure, a big research grant, and access to a lab and five graduate students, at least three of them Chinese - and I'll do it for you in a week.

Paris - Because she knows the right buttons to press.

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Silver badge

Glitches,

or undocumented features?

Software coded by a republican? Excuse me whilst I earth my tin foil Stetson.

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Anonymous Coward

Freedom of America

It seems all Americans are free, have the American dream and have a democratic elections as long as the Ballot paper designed and the bug***ed machines are operated by the Republicans.

I have a dream said Martin Luther King. I hope that dream comes true.

I also hope the election is not as controversial as previous vote counting presidential results. I don't think the electorate will react so calmly this time if anything appears untoward.

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Coat

re: how hard can it be

I can do better than that.

1. Printed ballot sheet

2. Pencil

We'll still need the Chinese to make the pencils...

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Stop

Might it be...

... that the hypothetical former Soviet state of Kalashnakovia - war-torn and ruled by feuding arms dealers, oil barons, and drug lords - would make a better fist of its first bash at democracy than the United States of America at its 56th attempt?

Just about everyone has problems with their electoral system - gauging the opinion of a populace and representing that opinion in a governmental structure is difficult enough at the best of times - but while Kalashnakovia, with its roving bands of militants and its backpacker-swallowing hostels may have some situational issues, the US seems to be intent on creating systems and processes to weaken and eliminate the very characteristics of a democracy that make it desirable. Then they try to patch the system with more systems and those systems with even more systems until the whole messy heap is just a joke.

Every time the Americans revisit the whole "lets replace the king of England with a king of our own!" process I feel a little happier with the clunky old electoral system we have down here in the antipodes. A few short weeks of political sparring, a painless trip to the ballot box along with the rest of my fellow citizens (the "Thoughtful Apathetics" AND the "Energised Fanatics"!), and a few hours of counting before... Government! Then we all move on.

Thank you, Engerland. Your Westminster System, like your automobiles, is clunky and not at all sexy but it works - reliable so long as you dont keep trying to take corners at high speed or turn the air conditioning on at the same time as the radio. Reliable for realists.

This All American Wrestling Super Slam Smackdown Cage Grudge Match - The McCaineriser vs The Obaminator - is simply ridiculous, and it seems to attract the same standard of audiences as its lycra-clad inspiration... The argument against compulsory voting - that you dont want people who dont care to be participating in the decision making process - is easily debunked by the fact that American politics now seems to be all about scaring more of your radicalised loons to the voting booths than your opponent. Dueling Kingmaking Krazies!

Worlds Greatest Democracy, my fat arse!

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Dead Voters Votes Stolen

The only certainty we can have about elections is that there will be fraud. After all, politicians are involved. Right?

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Not surprised

Anyone who has visited the USA from another Western country will immediately notice something odd about their public infrastructure. In short, there are two kinds: the ones that can make money for someone and the unimportant ones - like bridges, hospitals, schools and of course, the election system. The shambolic, third world shennanigans which take place every four years in the USA are the predictable result of the unbelievable meaness which the tax-shy American population displays towards the public good. Their greed, stupidity and selfishness, combined with their stubborn parochial aggression has slowly whittled away the huge store of goodwill, which we, fellow Westeners had for them.

I wish the next President good luck and hope that he can restore some sense, if not greatness, to his country. At least fix the voting machines.

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Joke

The answer is

Just bang the rocks together guys...

Arthur Dent ....

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Black Helicopters

Luckily...

...they planned well for this kind of 'bad luck', by putting the army on the streets all weaponed up to the eyeballs:

http://breden.org.uk/2008/09/28/usa-preparing-for-civil-unrest/

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Silver badge

Geeez...

A crease looks like a black arrow used to indicate the choice?!

WTF? Everywhere else on the planet, multiple choice exam papers have been processed for years without a problem... How I hear you ask... well you colour in a box with solid ink... The papers have machine readable calibration marks up the side, and along the top, and amazingly these machines can read multiple choice exam sheets with 50 questions, each with 5 possible answers en mass.

Why on earth can't the 'merkins manage to make a system that can read one mark out of a possible 5 (I assume America has the occasional joke independent like we do in the UK) is beyond me...

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Paris Hilton

@Might it be

As much that I might agree with your sentiments..

[quote]Thank you, Engerland. Your Westminster System, like your automobiles, is clunky and not at all sexy but it works - reliable so long as you dont keep trying to take corners at high speed or turn the air conditioning on at the same time as the radio. Reliable for realists.[/quote]

Cant take corners? Isn't sexy? WTF?

Aston Martin? Clunky Lotus? Nobel?

And you compare that to, what? The Chevy (Buy one get one free)? Crysler [Crashme] Crossfire?

Maybe your 'new and improved GT40' that isn't 40 inches high anymore, to allow fat asses like Clarkson to get in them, could cut the mustard.. but really.. it's a little too late to be re-designing 1960's classics... did you see a new E-Type floating past at the lights on the way to work today?

As far as 'automobiles'.. commonly called 'cars' in the real world, go.. I'd think that any 'crap' some farmer manages to cobble together in a shed in Whiltshire would happly spank your uber-cornering, sexy, air-con, radio blasting, hillbilly wagons.

In reference to democracy... Gordon Clown wasn't even elected.. so you have us there..

Paris.. because shes likes a good spanking....

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Ed

Re: Not surprised

This problem is not the result of unwillingness to pay for a decent system.

The states which are using the old, cheap systems are not having these problems. These issues all involve states which are futzing with new, 'state of the art' voting machines made by companies who should, by and large, be eliminated from the bid for making voting machines due to poor track records, conflicts of interest, and probably other reasons as well.

And, for what it's worth, 'merikins most certainly *can* make decent voting machines - we have them in something like 17 states. We have another around 23 states or so with passable voting machines. And then we have the states that make the news every few elections.

Personally, I think the people who selected the voting equipment in those states should be investigated for voter fraud, along with the companies involved.

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Alert

Live in Kenton County

I live in Kenton County, Kentucky, and at my polling place we did have one of those e-voter machines. They were designated for the "less-than-able" voters who needed assistance. The one I used looked like something I made back in 4th grade science class when learning about electrical currents. I pressed a button and a light appeared. If I hadn't made a selection yet, the light flashed. The big "Ka-chunk" sound after casting my selections sounded like a hole punch.

ATMs and e-gambling machines are too high of a goal to reach for these. Try matching the touch-screen capabilities of my local Walgreen's picture copier and it might be easier.

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