As we have said: Making it harder to vote, not a good idea

New report: California: Ranked-choice voting linked to lower voter turnout <read>

The headline only articulates part of the problem:

The analysis revealed a significant relationship between RCV and decreased turnout among black and white voters, younger voters and voters who lacked a high school education… Studies have also found high rates of disqualified ballots due to voter errors. In addition, some minority groups were particularly disadvantaged by the RCV process

How Do We Know? Two cases tell the tale

Bradblog has an instructive post bringing home the limitations and possibilities of optical scan paper ballot elections: Caught on Tape: Election Officials Behaving Badly

How Do We Know?

It used to be “Do you know where your children are tonight?” Now we must ask “Do you know which laws and regulations were violated yesterday?”

Laws and regulations are insufficient to protect us from individual, organized, and corporate skulduggery. The reality is thoroughly articulated by Truth-Out: Capitalism and Its Regulation Delusion: Lessons From the Volkswagen Debacle

Editorial: No Crisis in CT, unless we make one

For Connecticut this is a time for our legendary “Land of Stead Habits”. A real crisis would be a knee-jerk reaction to claims of a crisis. It would be the National reaction to 2000 and the Help America Vote Act all over again.

There will be a time to change deliberately, once better systems are available and proven.

September Primary Post-Election Audit Drawing

Yesterday, Secretary of the State, Denise Merrill, conducted a random drawing of 15 districts for post-election audit of the September 2015 primary. There were 143 districts in the primary, yielding 15 as 10%. Several of the districts were exempt from selection (but not from determining the 10%) based on close vote recanvasses.

Marks questions marks: Colorado democracy black and blue

“Where their is smoke there is fire”.  We say, “Where there is black and blue there is a victim” and “When it quacks like a cover up, suspicion is justified”.  In this case we have ballots filled-in in black and blue with cross-outs. We suspect Colorado democracy is the victim.

Once again, a blow to those who claim there  is no voting fraud.  A further justification of counting votes by scanner in public in polling places, limiting mail-in voting, and  limiting central scanning, while  arguing for requiring adversarial election officials in every operation.

VW demonstrates the Myths of Conspiracy Theories

Myth:  Conspiracies don’t exist

Truth: Conspiracies exist.  People, corporations, and governments are frequently discovered to have committed conspiracies, often charged, and even convicted of Conspiracy to Commit [some crime]. The recent Libor financial scandal comes to mind, the Tobacco companies covering up studies linking tobacco to cancer, the recent disclosure that Exxon hid studies predicting global warming for decades, the NSA cover ups exposed by Snowden, and the FBI conspiring with Whitey Bolger, to name a few.

Myth:  If Conspiracy X were true, too many people would know and it would have come out by now.

Truth: There are may conspiracies that remain unknown or not well-known for years or decades.  Some may never be known.  Many actually take only a few individuals who are highly motivated by fear of consequences, real intimidation, or perceived intimidation.  Many suspected conspiracies are not investigated, even some where participants come forward publicly or surface their concerns through channels.

“Who Could Have Imagined” System rigged to make tests look good.

Over the years, we an others have pointed out that voting systems cannot be tested to assure performance before an election.  Not the system itself before it is setup/programmed for a particular election.  Not a setup and programmed system either.  Not even if a system is completely secured and is somehow proven to run approved/certified software.

Here is some proof, not from a voting system – from a crime by an automaker.  In this case it only puts the environment and lives in danger, rather than Democracy.

TSA provides “Security Theater” , not “Peace of Mind”

The Intercept covers the lack of security and abundance of BS from the TSA: TSA Doesn’t Care That Its Luggage Locks Have Been Hacked 

In a spectacular failure of a “back door” designed to give law enforcement exclusive access to private places, hackers have made the “master keys” for Transportation Security Administration-recognized luggage locks available to anyone with a 3D printer…

Now that they’ve been hacked, however, TSA says it doesn’t really care one way or another.

What reminders and lessons can we learn from this?

Sierra Club pitches nonscience nonsense for obscure company

It seems that for the Sierra Club, reason and science end at the edge of the environment.  They are now touting a product for Internet voting from a company that simultaneously claims that they have a product that is “a revolutionary mobile voting platform designed to securely cast votes in elections across the globe.” while running a Contest  awarding $230,000 to actually accomplish that “In this Challenge, we are asking Solvers for help in overcoming the significant obstacles that stand in the way of bringing safe, secure, and easy voting to people worldwide.”

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