Alex Halderman: we will never know if the Wisconsin vote was hacked unless we check now


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/23/alex-halderman-we-will-never.html


#2

I’m so glad my state doesn’t allow the touchscreen-only machines. Paper trail or it didn’t happen.


#3

“…sometimes with software that is a decade or more out of date — because they simply don’t have the money to replace those machines.” <— HUH?! Why does this cost the local counties money at all? The asymmetric nature of local economies pretty much guarantees some counties will always be starved for funds - does this mean we allow their citizens to have their votes put at risk? Why isn’t this paid for from state-level funding pools, which would allocate funds to each county as needed (based roughly on population)? I won’t be so naive as to wonder why there there isn’t a federal law mandating open source voting code that’s undergone at least a once-per-election audit? Clearly however, we’re past due for some election law reforms.


#4

Pretty sure that would be because AMERICA!!!


#5

An investigation would be worthwhile given the circumstances, but can the FEC call for one? I don’t see Clinton doing it at this point, I definitely don’t see Wisconsin doing anything about it, nor do I honestly see it diverting us from our current disastrous course.

As with so many things related to American voting machines, it’s a feature and not a bug (excepting the actual bugs in the crappy software).


#6

And if we do? So? We genuinely don’t have a legal framework prepared for that possibility and it’s doubtful that hack changes the result. I’m not saying it’s not important to know, but there are other things we should be worrying about.


#7

I like it, but it makes me sad…


#8

I’m not exactly disagreeing with you, but I think the argument can be made that if hacking votes were to become routine then preparing for future elections would be pointless. Ultimately I think the hacking thing sounds like it affects certain areas and not others, and that many places respond to warning about election machine security appropriately.

I think @tamooj has it right that counties paying for their own voting machines is actually a huge problem. Will America end up with a system where wealthy people get to vote and poor people get to have their votes dictated by whoever spends the most money to hack them?

But obviously 2018 does matter more. There is no non-partisan body in America that holds government accountable for it’s actions, so you can only get fairness by winning first.


#9

Hallelujah and yippee ki-yay


#10

Also, consider Diebold, a major manufacturer of voting machines has regularly contributed LARGE sums of money to the RNC (or other supporting organizations).


#11

The general welfare would be served by checking the ballots, but Hillary’s campaign is unlikely to want to do so. The primary election suffered from the same kind of statistical anomolies as the general, but in that case Hillary benefitted.


#12

I have kind of been under the impression that any suggestion that voting irregularities even exist is racist. I guess that has been because most of the noise about the subject has been coming from the right, and the reaction from the left about any statement from the right is to scream “Racist!”. Sometimes that is an appropriate response.
Maybe we should approach the subject from a non-partisan perspective, and with the view that free and honest elections are critical to democracy, that there is an incentive for people to game the system, and that the integrity of the election process is more important than the wants of any party.


#13

You certainly got the wrong impression. Probably out of a deliberate misinterpretation, but that’s hard to say.


#14

Any candidate can demand a recount. So Jill Stein is. She’ll have to pay for it, though, so is soliciting donations. https://jillstein.nationbuilder.com/recount


#15

Then you’ve been under the wrong impression (this is my surprised face). Historically speaking, voting irregularities (real ones, not the febrile ravings of talk radio hosts) have often been a deliberate result of racism in this country. That is why liberals and progressives (although not always Democrats) have been in the forefront of calling them out for what they were. That is why they can also spot bogus racist dog-whistling about certain racial groups being prone to voter fraud.

In contrast, over the past two decades conservatives and the GOP have relied on various forms of gaming the system (e.g. disenfranchisement, intimidation, gerrymandering, voter ID laws that affect the poor and minorities, not looking into irregularities, etc.) to win their elections.


#16

Wait, so now she’s concerned that Trump beat Clinton?

Well, that’s useful.


#17

She would say she’s concerned about the integrity of the vote. I do have feelings about this, but if Clinton won’t act, Stein at least has standing to do it.


#19

Of course we do. We have done recounts in the past and have even had election results change back and forth. Remember Florida and the hanging chads?

You doubt it. Fine. But instead of taking your word for it, let’s go ahead and make sure. OK?

That’s some powerful Aristotelian/Descartian thinking right there. That kind of false ‘logic’ which lies at the heart of authoritarianism, conflict, and a great deal of inadequate ‘science’. It should be obvious that doing one in now way detracts from the ability to do the other.


#20

Good luck with that.


#21

Is this one of those, we shouldn’t try because we probably can’t make it happen lines of thought? aka defeatism or possible fatalism?