Re: Fw: Did you see The New York Times Magazine?

From: Brent Turner <brent_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Tue Jan 08 2008 - 13:33:36 CST

This is disgusting- For MoveOn to spin the NY Times article as a call for
HCPB, and then fundraise off it, is a slap at the OS community.


Joan Blades knows better. Every time I have asked her for help, she has
pleaded ignorance and referred me to David Dill.


Brent Turner



From: Edmund R. Kennedy []
Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2008 11:24 AM
To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list
Subject: [OVC-discuss] Fw: Did you see The New York Times Magazine?


Fall out from the NY Times article.


10777 Bendigo Cove
San Diego, CA 92126-2510
Work for the common good.
My profile: <>
----- Forwarded Message ----
From: "Noah T. Winer, Political Action"
To: Edmund R. Kennedy <>
Sent: Tuesday, January 8, 2008 10:45:05 AM
Subject: Did you see The New York Times Magazine?
Click here to add your name: 
 <> "We must
act quickly to secure our elections with paper ballots and audits before
Sign the Petition 
Dear MoveOn member,
This Sunday's cover story in The New York Times Magazine makes plain the
threat: The winner of the 2008 presidential election could be decided by
flawed, insecure, and hackable electronic voting machines.1
This is the most prominent news coverage this issue has ever gotten, so it
could be our one last chance to get this right before the election in
Congress is poised to consider a new emergency paper ballots bill next
week—but we'll have to convince them to act right away.2
Can you sign this urgent petition asking local, state, and federal officials
to require paper ballots for our votes? Clicking here will add your name:
<> &t=3
The petition says: "We must act quickly to secure our elections with paper
ballots and audits before November."
Elections are run at the state level, so we'll deliver your signature and
comments to local election officials in addition to members of Congress. 
Electronic voting machines are so unreliable and insecure, we might elect
the wrong person president in 2008. As The New York Times Magazine reports:
[Voting machines] fail unpredictably, and in extremely strange ways; voters
report that their choices "flip" from one candidate to another before their
eyes; machines crash or begin to count backward; votes simply vanish. (In
the 80-person town of Waldenburg, Ark., touch-screen machines tallied zero
votes for one mayoral candidate in 2006—even though he's pretty sure he
voted for himself.) Most famously, in the November 2006 Congressional
election in Sarasota, Fla., touch-screen machines recorded an 18,000-person
"undervote" for a race decided by fewer than 400 votes.3
You can read more from this scary report at the end of this email—and
forward it along to your friends and family. It's really compelling.
Congress hasn't been able to solve this problem yet, but there's one more
chance next week. Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey is expected to introduce an
emergency bill to offer funding to states who switch from unreliable
electronic voting machines to paper ballots and audits.4 We'll ultimately
need a mandate for these things, but this bill would be a crucial first step
to prevent some of the most dire threats to the 2008 election.
But to pass the bill in time, we'll need to light a fire under Congress. At
the same time, we'll have to urge local election officials to read The New
York Times Magazine story—and replace electronic voting machines with paper
ballots and audits before November.
Sign this emergency petition to stop the threat from electronic voting
machines right away. Click here to add your name:
<> &t=4
Thank you for all you do.
–Noah, Jennifer, Laura, Carrie, and the Political Action Team
  Tuesday, January 8th, 2008
P.S. Here's more from this week's disturbing New York Times Magazine story.
Please forward this along to all your friends and family.
Can You Count on Voting Machines?
By CLIVE THOMPSON, The New York Times Magazine, January 6, 2008
Jane Platten gestured, bleary-eyed, into the secure room filled with voting
machines. It was 3 a.m. on Nov. 7, and she had been working for 22 hours
straight. "I guess we've seen how technology can affect an election," she
said. The electronic voting machines in Cleveland were causing trouble
For a while, it had looked as if things would go smoothly for the Board of
Elections office in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. About 200,000 voters had trooped
out on the first Tuesday in November for the lightly attended local
elections, tapping their choices onto the county's 5,729 touch-screen voting
machines. The elections staff had collected electronic copies of the votes
on memory cards and taken them to the main office, where dozens of workers
inside a secure, glass-encased room fed them into the "GEMS server," a
gleaming silver Dell desktop computer that tallies the votes.
Then at 10 p.m., the server suddenly froze up and stopped counting votes.
Cuyahoga County technicians clustered around the computer, debating what to
do. A young, business-suited employee from Diebold—the company that makes
the voting machines used in Cuyahoga—peered into the screen and pecked at
the keyboard. No one could figure out what was wrong. So, like anyone faced
with a misbehaving computer, they simply turned it off and on again. Voilà:
It started working—until an hour later, when it crashed a second time.
Again, they rebooted. By the wee hours, the server mystery still hadn't been
Worse was yet to come. When the votes were finally tallied the next day, 10
races were so close that they needed to be recounted. But when Platten went
to retrieve paper copies of each vote—generated by the Diebold machines as
they worked—she discovered that so many printers had jammed that 20 percent
of the machines involved in the recounted races lacked paper copies of some
of the votes. They weren't lost, technically speaking; Platten could hit
"print" and a machine would generate a replacement copy. But she had no way
of proving that these replacements were, indeed, what the voters had voted.
She could only hope the machines had worked correctly.
Click here to keep reading:
Then sign our urgent petition for paper ballots before the November
election. Just click here to add your name:
<> &t=5
1. "Can You Count on Voting Machines?," The New York Times Magazine, January
6, 2008 
2. "Rep. Holt To Offer New Election Reform Proposal," National Journal Tech
Daily, December 10, 2007
3. "Can You Count on Voting Machines?," The New York Times Magazine, January
6, 2008
4. "Rep. Rush Holt to Push for Paper Ballots and Vote Count Audits for
2008," AlterNet, December 27, 2007
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Received on Fri Jan 11 16:16:32 2008

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