Kansas officials stonewall mathematician investigating voting machine "sabotage"

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Even in Kansas, they’re not in Kansas anymore.


Makes you wonder why Dorothy wanted to go back there,


It’s just too bad that when electronic voting machines started to appear, no one was able to foresee the possibility of fraud or other error that would require auditing or recounts, and no provision was made for any public accountability. I mean, who woulda thunk it?


All voting machines should be audited. Any machine that cannot be audited should be assumed to have failed the audit. All machines which have failed the audit should be replaced.

As a resident of Kansas, it is frequently disheartening to be reminded that your state is basically Florida of the Midwest.


I went back and read the article, but really didn’t get any additional information. Does anyone know more about the patterns that led to the inquiry in the first place? I’m not doubting they exist, I’m genuinely curious about what the irregularities are and how they were identified.

Looks like more info is here. From that artcile:

Clarkson, a certified quality engineer with a Ph.D. in statistics, said she has analyzed election returns in Kansas and elsewhere over several elections that indicate “a statistically significant” pattern where the percentage of Republican votes increase the larger the size of the precinct.

While it is well-recognized that smaller, rural precincts tend to lean Republican, statisticians have been unable to explain the consistent pattern favoring Republicans that trends upward as the number of votes cast in a precinct or other voting unit goes up. In primaries, the favored candidate appears to always be the Republican establishment candidate, above a tea party challenger. And the upward trend for Republicans occurs once a voting unit reaches roughly 500 votes.


So THAT’s what’s the matter with Kansas. Explains a lot. Interesting,


Has anyone asked the Koch brothers? I’m sure they would know what’s going on. Didn’t one of them own Diebold (a manufacturer of voting machines)?


hmm, Kansas you say, yet they seem surprised that mathematics could be used to discover underlying statistical patterns.


In the original novels, at least, she and her aunt and uncle moved to Oz permanently. Can’t say I blame them!


There was a funny talk given at the Last HOPE (2008): Hacking Democracy - An In Depth Analysis of the ES&S Voting Systems.

Or watch Hacking Democracy, not the same/different movie.

/I suspect they’re not issuing each other DMCA take down notices.


OK, so this has little to do with the article, but I love sharing things like this:

Dorothy just wanted something that she could believe in,
A gray dustbowl girl in a life she was better off leavin’.
She made her escape, went from gray into green,
And she could have got clear, and she could have got clean,
But she chose to be good and go back to the gray Kansas sky
Where color’s a fable and freedom’s a fairy tale lie.

– <a href=‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DQx7iF-yOc’’>Wicked Girls (concert video) by Seanan McGuire


Exactly the same thing happened in Ohio 2012, except, if I recall correctly, the paper trail was intentionally destroyed. Because freedom.


only without the ocean and hot Cuban women.

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Not to mention, one of the Koch bunkers is out on the east end of Wichita-ish.

Have we considered telling the RIAA and MPAA that insecure voting machines could be used to pirate premium content?


If you learn how the election is counted, you’re more likely to be radicalized.


we have the technology to make the possibility of fraud impossible. we use it every day in banking and ecommerce. its time for voting to be web-based. i’m imagining something like bitcoin or git where each subsequent vote generates a hash based on the vote before it. that way any change in the votes is obvious. we verify identity, store the records on file for up to 4 election cycles, and make the voting data open to researchers without sharing anything personally identifiable. showing votes by all the discrimination vectors (gender, ethnicity, sexuality, etc.) and by state, city, zip code.


I really like the system we use up here in Canada, where we use a device called a pencil to mark an X on a piece of paper. A lot harder to game.