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Re: [RLC-Action] Re: Encourage Senator Hagel to run for President!

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  • Jason Burkins
    ... Amen to that!
    Message 1 of 24 , Jan 8, 2007
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      Part of the needed reforms are a voter verifiable paper trail on all
      voting machines.







      Amen to that!
    • DGHarrison
      I m trying to change things for the better before we are so forgone into authoritarianism that there is no hope in the electoral process. Part of the needed
      Message 2 of 24 , Jan 8, 2007
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        I'm trying to change things for the better before we are so forgone into authoritarianism that there is no hope in the electoral process. Part of the needed reforms are a voter verifiable paper trail on all voting machines. -- Chuck Moulton

        I have long opposed voting methods that do not retain a valid paper ballot that can be counted post election, as during recounts. Voting machines that rely solely on ephemeral digital electronic data are a deadly threat to the people. Digital data can be manipulated too easily, regardless of any supposed safe-guards programmed into the system. (I don't do electronic gambling for this very reason, not even video slot machines pass my smell test.)

        But, it just occurs to me that there is another sinister aspect to a change from voting via paper ballots only. When we voted by writing on paper ballots, we knew that any close election could be determined by a physical recount of the ballots. Ideally, there should be no difference in the final. If one candidate got 15,000 votes and the other got 14,999 votes, then there should be 15,000 paper ballots for the one and 14,999 for the other. The recount is supposed to determine whether there were any mechanical errors caused by the counting mechanism, such as getting two ballots stuck together and counting as one. Unfortunately, human error is often an unintentional part of counting as well. Humans can be fumble fingered, too.

        That being said, the recount can be done over and over (according to the dictates of the law) to ensure that the final tally can be replicated to demonstrate that there was no fat-finger counting involved. As a practical matter, it is likely that the final tally could come out differently with each recount (which is why the law usually dictates how many times the ballots can be recounted).

        It has become fashionable to demand that digital voting methods be modified to provide each voter with a receipt confirming how he voted on his electronic ballot. This could be done just like the register tapes you get from the grocery store. Because we don't trust that the electronic ballot is an accurate (uncorrupted) representation of how we voted, this demand for a receipt is becoming a strong issue. There is still the possibility that a corrupted digital system could physically print out exactly what you keyed into the voting machine, even while it still electronically alters your input in favor of the opposition. Yikes!

        But, here's the part that just occurred to me. If we are all able to walk away from the polling place with a paper receipt, I fear that the "secret ballot" will become even more easily corrupted. The way this would come about is that crooked politicians and/or their supporters could more easily offer bribes for votes. We all know that bribery is happening already. Voters are offered perks and payouts if they vote for the right guy. Personally, if someone were to offer me money to vote for a candidate, I'd take the money and then vote for the guy's opponent. How would they ever know who I voted for? Unless the briber has deep pockets, he may not want to spend that much money without a way to verify that he is getting what he's paying for. And, even if he thinks he bought enough votes to win the election but still loses, he'd never know whose legs to break. Perhaps that alone keeps bribery from being a bigger problem than it is.

        The paper receipt, however, changes all that. Voters can be asked to show their receipt in order to obtain the payoff. It would not only be more cost effective, but it would also give bent-nosed brutalists an opportunity to orchestrate a reign of terror. Whole towns could be targeted with the vilest of intimidation. The thugs would know whose legs to break. Just think about the strong-arm tactics of unions, and understand how they would be able to manipulate elections without even spending the pay-off cash. All they would have to do is threaten workers with potential job losses on top of threats of physical violence.

        No, I don't think it is a good idea to give voters a paper receipt that shows how they voted. The secret ballot would be compromised. And even if no one ever did threaten violence to influence the outcome of an election, what good would the paper receipt be to a recount? Not only would it be impossible to track down all the individual voters, many will have discarded, lost, or accidentally destroyed their receipts. On top of that, the "chain of custody," so to speak, will have been broken. Who could ever trust the veracity of any subsequent recount?

        I find that I have come out against providing voters with a paper receipt showing how they voted. The only solution for limiting corruption in the voting process is to require paper ballots whose chain of custody remains intact. Cumbersome though it may be, I'd rather be a little inconvenienced than a lot disenfranchised.

        Douglas G. Harrison
        New Hope, Minnesota



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      • George Blumel
        I was a bit harsh on Hagel in previous response --his record on spending is not as bad as I thought. In checking National Taxpayers Union standings, Hagel has
        Message 3 of 24 , Jan 8, 2007
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          I was a bit harsh on Hagel in previous response --his record on spending is not as bad as I thought. In checking National Taxpayers Union standings, Hagel has a B+ for most of his career. My other criticism stands -- he is not sufficiently concerned about defense as he does not support the war on terrorism which is really a war against an enemy dedicated to destroying or controlling us --Islamo-fascism.   -Geo.
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Monday, January 08, 2007 4:40 PM
          Subject: [RLC-Action] Re: Encourage Senator Hagel to run for President!

          > > I don't think Chuck Hagel's company has has enough voting
          > > machines in the key electoral states for him to win the
          > > presidency.
          > >
          > > http://www.blackbox voting.org/ bbv_chapter- 3.pdf

          > If you really think this is how our elections are decided, what
          > are you doing here?

          I'm trying to change things for the better before we are so forgone
          into authoritarianism that there is no hope in the electoral process.
          Part of the needed reforms are a voter verifiable paper trail on all
          voting machines.

          -Chuck Moulton

        • Robbie Honerkamp
          ... I don t think anyone is seriously advocating giving voters a receipt they can take with them, for the reasons you mentioned (buying votes, chain of custody
          Message 4 of 24 , Jan 8, 2007
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            DGHarrison wrote:
            >
            > No, I don't think it is a good idea to give voters a paper receipt that
            > shows how they voted. The secret ballot would be compromised. And even
            > if no one ever did threaten violence to influence the outcome of an
            > election, what good would the paper receipt be to a recount? Not only
            > would it be impossible to track down all the individual voters, many
            > will have discarded, lost, or accidentally destroyed their receipts. On
            > top of that, the "chain of custody," so to speak, will have been broken.
            > Who could ever trust the veracity of any subsequent recount?

            I don't think anyone is seriously advocating giving voters a receipt
            they can take with them, for the reasons you mentioned (buying votes,
            chain of custody issues). The push for a paper trail is all about
            keeping an official paper copy of each vote. As I understand it, the way
            this works on most machines that support this feature is there is a
            small receipt printer that prints out the voter's ballot. The paper is
            scrolled underneath a clear cover so that the voter can see their ballot
            but cannot access it. If the voter agrees with what is on the printout,
            they press a button on the voting machine screen, the electronic ballot
            is cast, and the paper ballot is rolled up.

            Paper trails are very important- so important, I would argue that it
            should be illegal to implement electronic voting machines without a
            paper trail that can be audited to verify the accuracy of an individual
            machine.

            Robbie
          • Adam J. Bernay
            I personally have no problem compromising the secret ballot. I also have no problem with people being allowed to buy votes. because I don t think it would
            Message 5 of 24 , Jan 8, 2007
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              I personally have no problem “compromising the secret ballot.”  I also have no problem with people being allowed to buy votes… because I don’t think it would happen.  Who in their right mind would pay that kind of money to win an election?  And if they have that kind of money, they probably know things that would be good for a legislator or executive to know anyway.

               

              But I just don’t see it happening.  How much would people charge?  Let’s say an individual vote costs $20.  Other than small local races, you are talking HUGE SUMS!  Who would do that?

               

              I do believe in paper trails, but it should be both one in the backup ballot box and one to the voter.  If I have a right to my medical records, surely I have a right to my ballot.

               


              From: RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com [mailto: RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Robbie Honerkamp
              Sent: Monday, January 08, 2007 4:45 PM
              To: RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [RLC-Action] Re: Encourage Senator Hagel to run for President!

               

              DGHarrison wrote:

              >
              > No, I don't think it is a good idea to give voters a paper receipt that
              > shows how they voted. The secret ballot would be compromised. And even
              > if no one ever did threaten violence to influence the outcome of an
              > election, what good would the paper receipt be to a recount? Not only
              > would it be impossible to track down all the individual voters, many
              > will have discarded, lost, or accidentally destroyed their receipts. On
              > top of that, the "chain of custody," so to speak, will have been
              broken.
              > Who could ever trust the veracity of any subsequent recount?

              I don't think anyone is seriously advocating giving voters a receipt
              they can take with them, for the reasons you mentioned (buying votes,
              chain of custody issues). The push for a paper trail is all about
              keeping an official paper copy of each vote. As I understand it, the way
              this works on most machines that support this feature is there is a
              small receipt printer that prints out the voter's ballot. The paper is
              scrolled underneath a clear cover so that the voter can see their ballot
              but cannot access it. If the voter agrees with what is on the printout,
              they press a button on the voting machine screen, the electronic ballot
              is cast, and the paper ballot is rolled up.

              Paper trails are very important- so important, I would argue that it
              should be illegal to implement electronic voting machines without a
              paper trail that can be audited to verify the accuracy of an individual
              machine.

              Robbie

            • Bob White
              The goal is a secret, secure and verifiable vote. Paper may have a place in this, but let it not be so insecure that goons in, for example, Kings County
              Message 6 of 24 , Jan 8, 2007
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                The goal is a secret, secure and verifiable vote.  Paper may have a place in this, but let it not be so insecure that goons in, for example, Kings County Washington can "find" a missing ballot box to win an election.

                It's bad enough that some states don't require id to be presented at the polling place prior to voting (and none require purple stains on the thumb afterward).

                What if the receipt merely returned an id number uniquely identifying the vote cast.  The voter could then bring this receipt to a controlled place (e.g. voter reg office) after the election and re-read the choices he had made.

                It's not clear to me what good this would be as it would be a bad idea to allow someone to change the recorded vote.  The time to verify one's vote is before casting it -- and the touchscreen machines (at least in Fla) do that.  But it would be reassuring if one's recorded vote could be verified later on, proving that one's vote was recorded properly even though that wouldn't prove that it was added to the official tally.


                Robbie Honerkamp <robbie@...> wrote:
                DGHarrison wrote:
                >
                > No, I don't think it is a good idea to give voters a paper receipt that
                > shows how they voted. The secret ballot would be compromised. And even
                > if no one ever did threaten violence to influence the outcome of an
                > election, what good would the paper receipt be to a recount? Not only
                > would it be impossible to track down all the individual voters, many
                > will have discarded, lost, or accidentally destroyed their receipts. On
                > top of that, the "chain of custody," so to speak, will have been broken.
                > Who could ever trust the veracity of any subsequent recount?

                I don't think anyone is seriously advocating giving voters a receipt
                they can take with them, for the reasons you mentioned (buying votes,
                chain of custody issues). The push for a paper trail is all about
                keeping an official paper copy of each vote. As I understand it, the way
                this works on most machines that support this feature is there is a
                small receipt printer that prints out the voter's ballot. The paper is
                scrolled underneath a clear cover so that the voter can see their ballot
                but cannot access it. If the voter agrees with what is on the printout,
                they press a button on the voting machine screen, the electronic ballot
                is cast, and the paper ballot is rolled up.

                Paper trails are very important- so important, I would argue that it
                should be illegal to implement electronic voting machines without a
                paper trail that can be audited to verify the accuracy of an individual
                machine.

                Robbie



                --Bob White-- home:727-490-7363, cell:727-463-6061
                Polina  Nastya my blog:  http://milkchaser.blogspot.com/

                "Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling into at night. I miss you like hell.
                - Edna St. Vincent Millay
                "

              • George Blumel
                With all of those voting problems add the multi-languages. I thought it was a requirement for citizenship that you had to read English. So, is the Spanish on
                Message 7 of 24 , Jan 8, 2007
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                      With all of those voting problems add the multi-languages. I thought it was a requirement for citizenship that you had to read English. So, is the Spanish on our ballots for the illegals? 
                   
                      A good book to read on this subject: Stealing Elections -How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy by John Fund (Encounter Books, San Francisco).
                   
                                                                                                                                      -Geo.
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: Bob White
                  Sent: Monday, January 08, 2007 8:38 PM
                  Subject: Re: [RLC-Action] Secure, Verifiable Ballots

                  The goal is a secret, secure and verifiable vote.  Paper may have a place in this, but let it not be so insecure that goons in, for example, Kings County Washington can "find" a missing ballot box to win an election.

                  It's bad enough that some states don't require id to be presented at the polling place prior to voting (and none require purple stains on the thumb afterward).

                  What if the receipt merely returned an id number uniquely identifying the vote cast.  The voter could then bring this receipt to a controlled place (e.g. voter reg office) after the election and re-read the choices he had made.

                  It's not clear to me what good this would be as it would be a bad idea to allow someone to change the recorded vote.  The time to verify one's vote is before casting it -- and the touchscreen machines (at least in Fla) do that.  But it would be reassuring if one's recorded vote could be verified later on, proving that one's vote was recorded properly even though that wouldn't prove that it was added to the official tally.


                  Robbie Honerkamp <robbie@shorty. com> wrote:

                  DGHarrison wrote:
                  >
                  > No, I don't think it is a good idea to give voters a paper receipt that
                  > shows how they voted. The secret ballot would be compromised. And even
                  > if no one ever did threaten violence to influence the outcome of an
                  > election, what good would the paper receipt be to a recount? Not only
                  > would it be impossible to track down all the individual voters, many
                  > will have discarded, lost, or accidentally destroyed their receipts. On
                  > top of that, the "chain of custody," so to speak, will have been broken.
                  > Who could ever trust the veracity of any subsequent recount?

                  I don't think anyone is seriously advocating giving voters a receipt
                  they can take with them, for the reasons you mentioned (buying votes,
                  chain of custody issues). The push for a paper trail is all about
                  keeping an official paper copy of each vote. As I understand it, the way
                  this works on most machines that support this feature is there is a
                  small receipt printer that prints out the voter's ballot. The paper is
                  scrolled underneath a clear cover so that the voter can see their ballot
                  but cannot access it. If the voter agrees with what is on the printout,
                  they press a button on the voting machine screen, the electronic ballot
                  is cast, and the paper ballot is rolled up.

                  Paper trails are very important- so important, I would argue that it
                  should be illegal to implement electronic voting machines without a
                  paper trail that can be audited to verify the accuracy of an individual
                  machine.

                  Robbie



                  --Bob White-- home:727-490- 7363, cell:727-463- 6061
                  Polina  Nastya my blog:  http://milkchaser. blogspot. com/

                  "Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling into at night. I miss you like hell.
                  - Edna St. Vincent Millay
                  "

                • Chuck Moulton
                  ... Not necessarily. Encryption allows the best of both worlds. Here is one technique (there are many others):
                  Message 8 of 24 , Jan 8, 2007
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                    > No, I don't think it is a good idea to give voters a paper
                    > receipt that shows how they voted. The secret ballot would be
                    > compromised.

                    Not necessarily. Encryption allows the best of both worlds.

                    Here is one technique (there are many others):
                    http://theory.lcs.mit.edu/~rivest/voting/papers/Chaum-SecretBallotReceiptsTrueVoterVerifiableElections.pdf

                    Sorry, it seems like action lists always degenerate into discussion
                    lists without strict moderation.

                    -Chuck Moulton
                  • DGHarrison
                    I personally have no problem compromising the secret ballot. I also have no problem with people being allowed to buy votes... because I don t think it would
                    Message 9 of 24 , Jan 8, 2007
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                      I personally have no problem “compromising the secret ballot.”  I also have no problem with people being allowed to buy votes… because I don’t think it would happen.  Who in their right mind would pay that kind of money to win an election?  And if they have that kind of money, they probably know things that would be good for a legislator or executive to know anyway.

                      But I just don’t see it happening.  How much would people charge?  Let’s say an individual vote costs $20.  Other than small local races, you are talking HUGE SUMS!  Who would do that?

                      I do believe in paper trails, but it should be both one in the backup ballot box and one to the voter.  If I have a right to my medical records, surely I have a right to my ballot. -- Adam

                      A good point. The vote of the typical voter is purchased indirectly, with political promises amounting to billions of dollars rather than with cash, and it would cost a fortune to buy the votes of the average American directly. But then again, we've already heard that the Democrats have obtained the homeless and soup kitchen vote with bribes of cigarettes. Such votes might not cost them that much after all, and a receipt would allow them to monitor and control their vote buying scheme. I guess I'm just a cynic.

                      Okay. That's my last comment on this issue. The moderator will soon suggest that we take it to another discussion board.

                      Doug Harrison
                      Minnesota


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                    • rickgaber
                      ... SecretBallotReceiptsTrueVoterVerifiableElections.pdf I m not persuaded that precluding the danger of the selling of votes is worth such a
                      Message 10 of 24 , Jan 9, 2007
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                        --- In RLC-Action message 1562, "Chuck Moulton" <chuck@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Here is one technique (there are many others):
                        > http://theory.lcs.mit.edu/~rivest/voting/papers/Chaum-
                        SecretBallotReceiptsTrueVoterVerifiableElections.pdf

                        I'm not persuaded that precluding the "danger" of the "selling of
                        votes" is worth such a highly-complicated, intensely high-tech
                        system. Here's a MUCH, much
                        simpler one:
                        http://FreedomKeys.com/gabersystem.htm
                      • Ray Holtorf
                        I seem to remember Thommy Thompson as being ideal when Bush snapped him up for HHS. Does anyone know his pre-Bush administration record? There was also Tom
                        Message 11 of 24 , Jan 9, 2007
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                          I seem to remember Thommy Thompson as being ideal when
                          Bush snapped him up
                          for HHS. Does anyone know his pre-Bush administration
                          record? There was
                          also Tom Ridge, and a Governor from Michigan. I recall
                          each had excellent
                          libertarian-ish qualities, and then all were snapped
                          up and placed in big
                          government departments in the Bush administration. At
                          first I thought it
                          was a sign those departments would be reigned in - now
                          it seems an effort
                          to remove them from the race.

                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "George Blumel" <gblumel@...>
                          To: RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com
                          Cc: Jason Burkins
                          Date: Mon, 8 Jan 2007 09:15:55 -0500
                          Subject: Re: [RLC-Action] Encourage Senator Hagel to
                          run for President!

                          > We ARE in serious trouble. In this dearth of
                          candidates that we have, Newt
                          > is the best of a bad lot. So far. At least he knows
                          all the issues and is
                          > clear where he stands. I'm hoping for that Knight on
                          the white horse.
                          > Mark Sanford is a good man. Who else is even
                          remotely possible out there?
                          > ----- Original Message -----
                          > From: Jason Burkins
                          > To: RLC-Action@yahoogro ups.com
                          > Cc: Jason Burkins
                          > Sent: Sunday, January 07, 2007 10:27 PM
                          > Subject: Re: [RLC-Action] Encourage Senator Hagel to
                          run for President!
                          >
                          > If Newt is the best we can do, we're in serious
                          trouble.
                          >
                          > Time for somebody new. Gingrich is too tainted in
                          the public eye.
                          >
                          > Jason Burkins
                          > jason@burkins. net
                          > Libertas Consulting
                          >
                          > On Jan 7, 2007, at 10:14 PM, David Briggman wrote:
                          >
                          > I think Newt's about the best this party can hope
                          for.
                          >
                          > Unless Ron Paul steps up, which is doubtful, I'll
                          llikely work for Newt.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > On 1/7/07, Bob White <oxanastapol-rlc@...>
                          wrote:
                          > The best thing about Hagel running for President
                          would be that he would
                          > make the others look better by comparison.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >

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                        • Adrian Augustine
                          Well I don t want to bash our former Governor, hes far better than our current Democratic one, but here s my analysis... a) the bad news Tommy never really was
                          Message 12 of 24 , Jan 9, 2007
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                            Well I don't want to bash our former Governor, hes far better than our current Democratic one, but here's my analysis...

                            a) the bad news
                            Tommy never really was a fiscal conservative on spending issues. Many Republicans secretly blame him for the large deficits his GOP successor inherited when the recession hit. After heading up HHS Tommy has also displayed some nanny state tendencies that are troubling.

                            b) neutral to positve
                            He was really good on tax cuts, but then again every GOP governor in the 90s was considering the overflowing tax revenue that was streaming in from the economy.

                            c) the good news
                            He was a pioneer when it came to reforming welfare and implementing school choice before it got traction in other states and at the federal level. Tommy never was much of a social conservative in the evangelical sense. For the lack of a better term I'll describe him as a secular traditionalist.

                            While Tommy may not be that impressive of a speaker, he is a really good retail politician. I don't know how his small town Wisconsin charm(population of Elroy, WI: 1,758) will work in other states but Iowa and New Hampshire seem like pretty good testing grounds.

                            Anyway, I think Tommy is like most GOP candidates for the nomination, some good, some bad...nothing perfect.

                            Adrian Augustine
                            Wisconsin

                            Ray Holtorf <rayholtorf@...> wrote:
                            I seem to remember Thommy Thompson as being ideal when
                            Bush snapped him up
                            for HHS. Does anyone know his pre-Bush administration
                            record? There was
                            also Tom Ridge, and a Governor from Michigan. I recall
                            each had excellent
                            libertarian- ish qualities, and then all were snapped
                            up and placed in big
                            government departments in the Bush administration. At
                            first I thought it
                            was a sign those departments would be reigned in - now
                            it seems an effort
                            to remove them from the race.

                            .


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