Why Electronic voting is STILL a bad idea

Dec 2015
That's the joy of Tom Scott's video's on YouTube, you feel a little smarter after watching one. :)
Most of the seniors in our little retirement town DO paper/absentee ballots. It's been years since I stood in line at a polling place, but WE are required in Arizona to sign our envelopes on the paper ballots, so there's absolutely no anonymity, but most of us don't care much about anonymity.
AND YES--I feel smarter but am amazed at how articulate and brainy Scott is. Considering how much corruption and hacking we have now I do not trust the machines--at all.
Feb 2006
My family does this.....

At least 21 states have provisions allowing certain elections to be conducted entirely by mail. For these elections, all registered voters receive a ballot in the mail. The voter marks the ballot, puts it in a secrecy envelope or sleeve and then into a separate mailing envelope, signs an affidavit on the exterior of the mailing envelope, and returns the package via mail or by dropping it off.

Diebold, Hear This: We Won't Rest

I am choosing to participate in a campaign of electronic information distribution in order to defend the democracy of the United States. This site and many others provide access to Diebold memos that expose flaws in the company and its products.

Diebold makes voting machines that are used in 37 states, but they provide no verifiable record and lack even basic protection against fraud. See Rebecca Mercuri's site and the book Black Box Voting: Ballot-Tampering in the 21st Century for comprehensive information on electronic voting machines and the serious threat they pose to democracy.

See papertrailpatriots.org for the latest updates on this protest.

Wendy Seltzer's response to Diebold's cease-and-desist demand provides the legal argument that this posting of information is fair use. According to the Copyright Act, "the fair use of a copyrighted work ... for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, ... or research, is not an infringement of copyright."

Participate in This Protest
Join me in protecting democracy by keeping this information in the open.

To post a copy of this entire site including this page, you will need about 150 megabytes of space. Just follow these three steps:

  1. Download diebold.zip and put it on your website.
  2. Unzip the file in your website directory.
  3. Move the diebold.zip file into the newly created "diebold" directory.
Or, you can download just the archive of messages (about 7.7 megabytes) and post it on your own website.

After you have posted the materials, send a link to [email protected].

Excerpts from the Diebold Memos
"Elections are not rocket science. Why is it so hard to get things right! I have never been at any other company that has been so miss [sic] managed." [source]

"For a demonstration I suggest you fake it. Progam them both so they look the same, and then just do the upload fro [sic] the AV. That is what we did in the last AT/AV demo." [source]

"I have become increasingly concerned about the apparent lack of concern over the practice of writing contracts to provide products and services which do not exist and then attempting to build these items on an unreasonable timetable with no written plan, little to no time for testing, and minimal resources. It also seems to be an accepted practice to exaggerate our progress and functionality to our customers and ourselves then make excuses at delivery time when these products and services do not meet expectations." [source]

Diebold voting machines are used in 37 states and lack even basic protection against election fraud.
"I feel that over the next year, if the current management team stays in place, the Global working environment will continue to be a chaotic mess. Global management has and will be doing the best to keep their jobs at the expense of employees. Unrealistic goals will be placed on current employees, they will fail to achieve them. If Diebold wants to keep things the same for the time being, this will only compound an already dysfunctional company. Due to the lack of leadership, vision, and self-preserving nature of the current management, the future growth of this company will continue to stagnate until change comes." [source]

"28 of 114 or about 1 in 4 precincts called in this AM with either memory card issues "please re-insert", units that wouldn't take ballots - even after recycling power, or units that needed to be recycled. We reburned 7 memory cards, 4 of which we didn't need to, but they were far enough away that we didn't know what we'd find when we got there (bad rover communication)." [source]

"I need some answers! Our department is being audited by the County. I have been waiting for someone to give me an explanation as to why Precinct 216 gave Al Gore a minus 16022 when it was uploaded. Will someone please explain this so that I have the information to give the auditor instead of standing here 'looking dumb'." [source]

"Johnson County, KS will be doing Central Count for their mail in ballots. They will also be processing these ballots in advance of the closing of polls on election day. They would like to log into the Audit Log an entry for Previewing any Election Total Reports. They need this, to prove to the media, as well as, any candidates & lawyers, that they did not view or print any Election Results before the Polls closed. However, if there is a way that we can disable the reporting functionality, that would be even better." [source]

"4K Smart cards which had never been previously programmed are being recognized by the Card Manager as manager cards. When a virgin card from CardLogix is inserted into a Spyrus (have tried CM-0-2-9 and CM-1-1-1) the prompt 'Upgrade Mgr Card?' is displayed. Pressing the ENTER key creates a valid manager card. This happens in Admin mode and Election mode." [source]
Jun 2013
An updated Tom Scott video on one of my pet hates
What a load of crap, he has no idea how elections are administered in the US.

Paper ballots are the worst, they introduce mistakes, errors, and invite corruption to the process.
Apr 2015
Stockport, Cheshire. UK
What a load of crap, he has no idea how elections are administered in the US.
He doesn't need to, he knows how computers and other electronic devices work, that's enough to see how much of a mistake of using them in the electoral process is

Paper ballots are the worst, they introduce mistakes, errors, and invite corruption to the process.
As he points out, paper ballots are not perfect, but if you really want to corrupt a political voting system on a large scale, electronic voting is the way to go.
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Jul 2014
I had one problem with the video, the assumption of secrecy as necessary condition.
In our New England Town meetings, we stand to be counted, and everyone can see what you stand for.
The Australian ballot is relatively new, the idea that your vote can't be traced back is another faulty assumption.
Get past that and you can have internet voting, you log in, you vote and you can see how you voted.
That's how my bank works, I log in and I have money in my bank, and there are a lot more people who want to screw with my money than there are that want to screw with my vote.
If I log into my bank and the money is gone, or the money is wrong, I'm on the phone to the bank telling them there is a problem, because I can see there is a problem, If I can never see how I voted after I press the button, that vote can be dicked with and I'll never know.
A database which can be audited relies on people being able to verify that there vote was entered properly.
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Jul 2014
It removes the possibility of intimidation or bribery
Is that a thing?
I don't know anyone who won't say who they voted for.
People put signs in front of their house, bumper stickers on their car, they wear campaign T-Shirts, campaign buttons, etc.

And we have a number of states now where all voting is done by mail, which means the ballot arrives along with the information proving who cast the ballot.
Although people swear they never look.
I don't like the way some of the electronic voting is done, but I can see real advantages to internet voting.