My Photo

Salut!

  • Jen-Luc Piquant sez: "They like us! They really like us!"

    "Explains physics to the layperson and specialist alike with abundant historical and cultural references."
    -- Exploratorium ("10 Cool Sites")

    "... polished and humorous..."
    -- Physics World

    "Takes 1 part pop culture, 1 part science, and mixes vigorously with a shakerful of passion."
    -- Typepad (Featured Blog)

    "In this elegantly written blog, stories about science and technology come to life as effortlessly as everyday chatter about politics, celebrities, and vacations."
    -- Fast Company ("The Top 10 Websites You've Never Heard Of")
Blog powered by Typepad
Bookmark and Share

« ig nobel dreams | Main | the long goodbye »

Comments

The likelihood of voting machines being hacked is irrelevant. Have these people never heard of Murphy's law? Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong? Applies to hackers too: Whatever can be hacked, will be hacked, if for no other reason than malicious fun. Banks know this and act accordingly when buying technology from vendors. Government agencies should too. It makes me wonder who's paying these companies kickbacks to make their machines so insecure. Inept republican hackers?

I don’t think this is a partisan issue. All Americans have a vested interest in an honest and fair electoral process. The rush to embrace electronic voting in the wake of the Florida debacle was ill-considered and the consequences are just beginning to be felt.

It’s also important to remember that this is just part of the problem. If progressives fear flawed voting machines, conservatives agonize over corrupt political machines and voter registration drives among the “undocumented”.

What’s changing is a breakdown of trust. We have to work on that. It’s essential in a civil society. If you don’t believe that the other side is playing by the rules, there’s not much incentive for you to do so.

If you don't like electronic machines, why don't you ask your state rep to ditch the fancy machines for the plexiglass boxes with a slot in the top used by the rest of the free world?

I hope you don't let politics get in the way of enjoying Chicago. They really know how to stuff ballot boxes there. I had a wonderful time and hope you will too.

I don't want to freak you out about ATMs but you might want to read this:

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/09/programming_atm.html

Hey have u trysted the tryst yet?

What I would like to add is that so far, it has not been external hacking that has been the problem at all; nearly every accusation of fiddling with these machines has been about an "inside job".

And despite the idealistic comment above, the fact is that substantiated accusations of electronic voting fraud in recent years have been overwhelmingly against Republicans. This should be no surprise; they are the party that has given by far the most support to Diebold and other electronic-voting-system companies (and vice versa, I might add).

I am aware that the following is a cliché but it is also true: when in doubt, follow the money. And if you do, you will see that the money has been overwhelmingly Republican. One is honestly compelled to ask, "If fraud was not their intent, why did they so staunchly support the adoption of electronic-ONLY voting systems? What is the reason for their consistent objection to systems that leave a paper trail?"

And to the same poster's later comment, I reply: Yes, there has been a breakdown of trust. But that did not spring from nowhere! The reason there has been a breakdown of trust is that there has been a breakdown of the number and kind of people who hold public office, who have demonstrated that they deserve our trust. Quite the contrary: recently it has almost seemed as though they were in a contest to see who can demonstrate most convincingly that they do NOT.

Anyone care to Wiki 'ostracize'?

"...the fact is that substantiated accusations of electronic voting fraud in recent years have been overwhelmingly against Republicans..."

I'd like to see a little proof of that.

Especially in light of the revelations that ACORN (the Democratic ballot-stuffing organization) has been accused of delivering thousands of bogus voter registrations.

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/122380023686751.xml&coll=2
ACORN investigated

Again:

http://www.forbes.com/prnewswire/feeds/prnewswire/2008/10/10/prnewswire200810101752PR_NEWS_USPR_____NEF064.html
Government Money Used to Support ACORN Fraud

"The fact is, year after year, ACORN has consistently displayed contempt for the law and a willingness to accept rampant fraud as a simple cost of doing business....
"... corruption at every level of ACORN including embezzlement, cover-ups, misuse of taxpayer funds and voter fraud."

http://www.news-register.net/page/content.detail/id/515263.html?nav=511
ACORN fraud

"ACORN has been accused of submitting fraudulent voter registration forms in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin. On Tuesday, Nevada authorities raided ACORN's Las Vegas office as part of an investigation into possible registration fraud.

ACORN, which receives a substantial amount of taxpayer funds, makes no secret of its liberal agenda. And its claims that accusations of fraud are politically motivated don't ring true. In Nevada, for example, the secretary of state who launched the investigation is a Democrat."

Anyone who wants to find out about real ballot-stuffing has only to look at the politics of Mayor Daley's Chicago (Daley Sr). Things have not changed.

A search for simply ACORN will turn up a multitude of articles.

And of course you will find allegations of Republican fraud.

From organizations like Daily Kos.

"As if that prospect weren't depressing enough, Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars alerted me yesterday to an item in The New Yorker about a new stealth move by some Republican lawyer in Sacramento who filed a ballot initiative to end the practice of granting all 55 of California's electoral votes to the statewide winner -- you know, like they do in every other sizable US state. Under the new initiative, only two electoral votes would go to the statewide winner; the rest would be determined, individually, by whoever won each district. Would that be enough to "steal" an election in a predominantly Democratic state? Tough to say. But The New Yorker piece points out that in 2004 George Bush carried 22 of the 55 districts. In a close presidential election, it could make a very big difference. Just ask Al Gore. I'm beginning to get that sinking feeling of disenfranchisement again. Enough with this outdated electoral college already!"

You're contradicting yourself here. In the first statement, you say that some Republican lawyer is trying to do away with the process of the electoral college (awarding all of the electoral votes to the overall winner), and then you finish with "Enough with this outdated electoral college already!" Which is it?

Perhaps you should be celebrating the effort rather than demonizing it as a "new stealth move".

Before you throw your entire support behind the idea though, consider this: proportional awarding of votes is what cost Hillary Clinton the primary. Party because senior members of her team didn't understand the concept, and partly because awarding partial credit to Obama kept him in the game long enough to become credible.

Personally, I think the entire thing should be based on the popular vote, and everyone should vote on the same day for both primaries and the general election. If we did that, we wouldn't waste so much time and money on ethanol (thanks Iowa!).

"Personally, I think the entire thing should be based on the popular vote, and everyone should vote on the same day for both primaries and the general election. If we did that, we wouldn't waste so much time and money on ethanol (thanks Iowa!)."

I can't agree. The Founding Fathers thought long and hard before they set us up as a republic - not a direct democracy. The Electoral College is not outdated - it just doesn't give the Left the big advantage they want.

I will agree that the whole country should vote of the same day, and I would also insist that the Media stay out of the picture till it's all over. The way it is now, they "call the election" when the Eastern half of the nation has voted (sometimes even just after New Hampshire!), and this is seen as influencing people on the West Coast.

Besides - for Jennifer - how is "winner take all" fair? It didn't use to be that way. If party A gets 55% of the vote, and party B gets 45%, why should party B have to be thrown out the window - along with everybody who voted for them? As I recall, WTA only came into effect when it favored the Democrats. Now that going back to the way it was might favor the Republicans, that is seen as in Instrument of the Devil.

The larger point about election machines is very valid, but parenthetically I have to note the "double standard" here: in 2000 Al Gore won the popular vote, but lost the election. Left-leaning people were, understandably, upset that the electoral college didn't more accurately reflect the true will of the people. Yet when a republican legislator in CA tries to update the system to reflect the true will of the people more accurately, it's derided as an attempt to "steal" an election!

I voted yesterday in the Canadian election. Pretty civilized affair. Walk into a local school; provide identification and address verification. Get paper ballot; vote; put vote in ballot box.

Is it really so difficult in US?

The comments to this entry are closed.

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Physics Cocktails

    • Heavy G
      The perfect pick-me-up when gravity gets you down.
      2 oz Tequila
      2 oz Triple sec
      2 oz Rose's sweetened lime juice
      7-Up or Sprite
      Mix tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker and pour into a margarita glass. (Salted rim and ice are optional.) Top off with 7-Up/Sprite and let the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.
    • Listening to the Drums of Feynman
      The perfect nightcap after a long day struggling with QED equations.
      1 oz dark rum
      1/2 oz light rum
      1 oz Tia Maria
      2 oz light cream
      Crushed ice
      1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
      In a shaker half-filled with ice, combine the dark and light rum, Tia Maria, and cream. Shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass almost filled with crushed ice. Dust with the nutmeg, and serve. Bongos optional.
    • Combustible Edison
      Electrify your friends with amazing pyrotechnics!
      2 oz brandy
      1 oz Campari
      1 oz fresh lemon juice
      Combine Campari and lemon juice in shaker filled with cracked ice. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Heat brandy in chafing dish, then ignite and pour into glass. Cocktail Go BOOM! Plus, Fire = Pretty!
    • Hiroshima Bomber
      Dr. Strangelove's drink of choice.
      3/4 Triple sec
      1/4 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
      2-3 drops Grenadine
      Fill shot glass 3/4 with Triple Sec. Layer Bailey's on top. Drop Grenadine in center of shot; it should billow up like a mushroom cloud. Remember to "duck and cover."
    • Mad Scientist
      Any mad scientist will tell you that flames make drinking more fun. What good is science if no one gets hurt?
      1 oz Midori melon liqueur
      1-1/2 oz sour mix
      1 splash soda water
      151 proof rum
      Mix melon liqueur, sour mix and soda water with ice in shaker. Shake and strain into martini glass. Top with rum and ignite. Try to take over the world.
    • Laser Beam
      Warning: may result in amplified stimulated emission.
      1 oz Southern Comfort
      1/2 oz Amaretto
      1/2 oz sloe gin
      1/2 oz vodka
      1/2 oz Triple sec
      7 oz orange juice
      Combine all liquor in a full glass of ice. Shake well. Garnish with orange and cherry. Serve to attractive target of choice.
    • Quantum Theory
      Guaranteed to collapse your wave function:
      3/4 oz Rum
      1/2 oz Strega
      1/4 oz Grand Marnier
      2 oz Pineapple juice
      Fill with Sweet and sour
      Pour rum, strega and Grand Marnier into a collins glass. Add pineapple and fill with sweet and sour. Sip until all the day's super-positioned states disappear.
    • The Black Hole
      So called because after one of these, you have already passed the event horizon of inebriation.
      1 oz. Kahlua
      1 oz. vodka
      .5 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
      .5 oz. dark rum
      .5 oz. Amaretto
      Pour into an old-fashioned glass over (scant) ice. Stir gently. Watch time slow.