I voted today. Have you?

Just got back from casting my ballot. My civic duty is done and now all that’s left is the waiting to see how things turn out. I’m mildly optimistic, but content to know I’ve done my part. Hopefully enough of you will as well to bring about a much needed change in this country.

For now I’ll get back to finishing up the restage of my PC I started last night.

27 thoughts on “I voted today. Have you?

  1. I will post my prediction and sentiments that I have stated elsewhere here:

    R Losses in the House-17-25 (teaches a needed lesson to neocons from the conservative base)

    Rs retain the Senate with wins in MO, VA, and TN. (Am really, really hoping for a surprise in MD)

    To Dems that were hoping for a landslide, the trendlines in the polls don’t reflect that.  That opportunity was lost about a week ago.  Temper your expectations.

  2. I just voted too, per fax.  The main reason I’ve kept my American citizenship is so I can vote where my vote is more important.

  3. I can’t wait for the first “100 Hours” after the new Congress is sworn into office.

    Truly *amazing* things shall happen !

    To help celebrate this revolution of democratic-fueled Morality, visit a fundamentalist church service this weekend and help spread the joy to our lost brothers and sisters!  Help squelch their hate-based-sadness.

    They’ll need some joy in their dark, hate-filled lives come this evenings poll-results.  Make sure to give them lots hugs—lots.


  4. I did my duty. Now all I can hope for is that the voting machine I used wasn’t hacked.

    I read a scary story about Cayahoga County in Ohio where we can some questionable activity. Seems that the memory cards that will be used today still had data from May 2nd’s primary election. Diebold had no system in place to erase the cards, nor did they have any procedures for the Board of Elections to do it.

    So what does the BoE do? They have their employee’s and volunteer’s to bring in their personal notebook computers. They plugged the voting machine memory cards into their personal notebook computers, and copied the old data off the cards onto their notebooks, then erased the cards.

    Not to diss the people that work their hearts out making sure out votes get out, but these volunteer’s are not really all that computer savey. These memory cards are likely to have viruses on them now and could very possibly have code on them to affect the vote in Ohio.

    I found that on one of the blogs I read last night, but can’t find it now. It’s going to be an interesting night…

    Go Claire McCaskill! smile

  5. ***Dave: They plugged the voting machine memory cards into their personal notebook computers

    That’s what I Googled and came up with this. It even has a movie about it but you need Quicktime which I don’t want so didn’t watch.
    I just read some of the search info you get under the headline when you Google (there’s gotta be a word for it) and it makes me wonder how much election fraud is going on through Diebold’s operating system.
    In Oz we still use pencils to fill out paper ballot papers.
    Sometimes I think we’re rather archaic … until I see the rorts in your system.
    Good Luck.

  6. If you believe John Kerry, the paper ballet machines were fixed in Az back in 2004.

    I choose to use the electronic machine since it had a paper printout that I could use verify the votes I was casting was at least being printed out.

    As well, we shall see what we shall see…

  7. If you watch the HBO special documentary “Hacking Democracy”, you will find that it doesn’t matter what the paper trail says. If it is a Diebold machine, the votes can be tampered with. There is executable code on those memory cards. They showed a demonstration of a security researcher from Finland who manipulated the code on one of those memory cards. They then proceeded to hold a mock election, where the only question was, “Can these machines be hacked to change the outcome of the vote?”

    There were 8 votes submitted to the machine. It was an optical scan reader. 6 people voted no, 2 voted yes. When the results were tallied from the memory card, it ended up 7 yes and 1 no, and the poll paper receipt said the same thing.

    What the security researcher did, was manipulate the vote before hand, by changing the variables in the code on the memory card. The vote data on the card started out with 5 yes votes, and the no votes started out as -5.

    And yes, the card was scanned by the tabulation computer to make sure it wasn’t tampered with (again, by another Diebold program called Gems, which is also the tabulation software).

    What happens is, the program just quickly tallies the votes, and if they come out to anything other than 0, it says the card was tampered with. If the variables are changed so that say one is -2 and one is +2, that would still equal 0 to the Diebold program, and it would pass the card off as being safe and untampered with.

    Another way that those machines can be hacked, is with the tabulation software “Gems” from Diebold.
    They showed two ways in which this program can be manipulated by anyone with even the slightest knowledge of Excel and Windows.

    If you start the program normally, using Gems.exe (or clicking the icon), it will start the application. Everything works how it should this way. You can’t change any of the vote tallies, etc. Now, here are the kickers:

    1) If you go to the Gems program directory, and into the subfolder Data, all of the poll data, etc are kept in .XLS Excel files. You can click any of them open, and change the data in them. The poll paper receipts will read the original data that was present before the data in the .XLS file was maniuplated, but the .XLS files are what is submitted for the counting state and nationwide. If you open Gems back up, the data that you changed appears in the tamper-proof section of the running program. By then, it is too late.

    2) The counters in the Gems program can be swapped to count backwards instead of forwards in one of two ways: change the settings in the source code and recompile it (sad thing is, the source code for Gems is sent out along with the compiled program by Diebold to each voting district that uses their machines), or by changing the .ini file for the program. There apparently are settings in the .ini file that are integers representing the total number of votes per candidate or proposition number. If you change one of those integers into a negative number (like say you start it off with a -1 value instead of a 0 value), the software will use negative numbers when counting votes. Basically, it will start subtracting each vote from that integer for that particular candidate. So -1 + -1, -2 + -1 and so forth. The Gems program reads the value from this integer (which is supposed to be 0 across the board) and uses it in the formula for tabulating the votes in the .XLS file I mentioned earlier.

    The Gems software does not audit this .ini file to determine if it was tampered with in this way after it has been originally setup by the election officials or anyone else who has access to it. The reason you can edit the file is that each integer has to be either used or commented out by the supposedly trained election officials to account for the number of candidates or propositions being voted on. They are supposed to be zeroed out, like so: X=0.

    We won’t even go into the issues with the touch screen machines.

    Anyhow, for some good news: Rickyboy Santorum is expected to get his ass handed to him by Casey “WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!”

  8. I was wrong on the House losses by a pretty wide margin.  MO, VA, and TN are still holding slim R leads.  WaPo retracted its earlier call in favor of the D in MD.  Let’s see what happens there.

  9. TN went R and it appears MO is going to go D.  The lead in VA appears to be about 1760 using the Sec. of State numbers with absentee ballots counted.  This one is going to the courts.

  10. TheJynXeD, I watched that documentary. I first found and watched it on Google video. I then downloaded it via bittorrent so that I could make a DVD so that my parents could watch it as well.

    I suggest it to anyone who hasn’t watched it. It’s very eye opening. At least it was to me.

    It’s nice to see this morning that MO will not be the state that makes the senate stay republican.

  11. And to show the “power” of voting…

    Rummy is GONE!!! WooHoo!

    If I wasn’t having problems with my back right now, I would be dancing in the streets!

  12. Les, I bet you fed the two headed monster didn’t you?  You know, the one that’s going Godzilla on the country?  Had I voted I would have voted straight green party or independent where there was a good liberal libertarian independent candidate and abstained where there wasn’t a decent third choice.  The idea, if you won’t be party to revolt, is to give the monster too many heads to be tyrannical and if your lucky it might even destroy itself after so many heads have grown on the same body.  Whatever, I’m not going to be party to issuing in the fourth reich.  Sieg Heil pawns.  BTW, I now rank -7,-5 on the political compass.

  13. Dave M: I first found and watched it on Google video.

    Loved that video – did it make you sick too.  wink

    Theo, when I vote (which is every time there’s an election cos it’s compulsory in Oz and I have no problem with that) I vote Independent or Green.
    Both our major parties are controlled by something other than good and honourable, let alone long-term and strategically wise.
    One day the majority of hoi polloi will become as disillusioned as I and catch up to me, or not.  smile
    People who bitch about the state of the nation and don’t vote are gutless wankers.

    BTW, I now rank -7,-5 on the political compass.

    I notice you still like a bit of authority.
    If you still believe in the concept of God it could be holding you back and enslaving you.  wink

  14. LJ19:
    People who bitch about the state of the nation and don’t vote are gutless wankers.

    No, people who ignorantly perpetuate the system without taking the time to discover the causes of its problems have no right to complain about a system they are perpetuating.

    I notice you still like a bit of authority.
    If you still believe in the concept of God it could be holding you back and enslaving you.

    Current anarchist scholarship rejects the ideas of individualist anarchism (x,-10) as entirely unfeasible.  Chomsky amongst others believe in anarcho-syndicalism which is roughly equivalent to libertarian socialism.  Small organized directly democratic communities would be above -10 and well below 6 which is about equivalent to our current republicanism.  3 is equivalent to a republic with 4 or 5 parties.  -1 would be similar to a country like South Africa which has 21 political parties vying for power each election.  As you go further down the y-axis republicanism is eventually eliminated all together and he have direct democracy at about -3 and anarcho-syndicalism probably encompasses between -8 and -5 depending on how the communities and intercommunal relations are setup.  Finally all the way at the bottom (-10) you have no official law and every person is a sovereign entity.

  15. I now rank -7,-5 on the political compass.

    Who cares?  Holding your political compass in your lap by not voting isn’t going to get you, or anyone else, anywhere, theo.

  16. Your knee jerk reaction to the two sites I posted is uninteresting and unintellectual.  Both of you are capable of more than that. I’ve seen it. BTW zilch did you get my e-mail about the book challenge?

  17. I did, theo, and replied.  Did you not get my reply?  Wouldn’t be the first time something was lost in cyberspace.  I’ll send it again.  Check your spam filters- mine need fine tuning from time to time.

    My knee jerk reaction was not to the two sites you posted, but rather to your not voting.  I must confess I didn’t even look at the sites, until just now.  Interesting stuff, but it doesn’t change my mind about voting.  Perhaps the moral righteousness gained by not participating in the corruption of electoral politics is personally satisfying, but you keep your hands clean by abstaining from work.  Work is dirty but it gets stuff done.

  18. Anarchists are more than willing to get their hands dirty in political activism, actions of revolt and working their everyday job.  The kind of dirt one would accumulate from voting would be more likened to rolling around in a pig pen.  Voting in a republican system is akin to getting dirty without doing any actual work to make anything significantly better in the mind of an anarchist.

    I didn’t get your reply and if you sent it right after writing that last post, I still haven’t gotten it.  My spam folder hasn’t received anything from you much less my inbox.  Maybe put the text of the reply in a private message and send that to my SEB account.  I would be sure to get that.

  19. Anarchists are more than willing to get their hands dirty in political activism, actions of revolt and working their everyday job.

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but this non-anarchist is also more than willing to get his hands dirty in ways other than voting, up to and including civil disobedience.  But being a pragmatist, I don’t merely look at my hands and soul, but also at the bottom line:  what accomplishes change in the real world?  Voting does.  Slowly, dirtily, corruptly.  But not voting doesn’t send any message to anyone other than “I don’t care”.

    Theo, I’ll send you that message privately right now.  Cheers, zilch

  20. People think, “I don’t care” because they themselves are too apathetic and ignorant to bother to find out why very politically active people like anarchists don’t vote.  The problem is with the people not the anarchists.  The anarchists are trying to change this as best they can by educating people before they organize for a revolution.

  21. The anarchists are trying to change this as best they can by educating people before they organize for a revolution.

    I really am not concerned about anarchists and I don’t care why they don’t vote.  I am also not concerned about a ‘revolution’. 

    I was very active in the politics of the 1960’s and 1970’s—I don’t need an “education” in politics.  I have my own political concerns but refusing to vote does not do any good.

  22. i was offered 2 votes in the last english general election because as a student i was registered as living in 2 areas, i heard this was the case for many other students, but knowing and caring little about politics my opinion wasn’t really valid. maybe we should be given the option to cast only part of a vote if we don’t feel strongly or even an antivote to say “any party but that/those ones”

  23. The problem is with the people not the anarchists.

    If we were angels, we could be anarchists.  We’re demonstrably not angels, so government is necessary, at least until we’re genetically engineered to be docile, or downloaded in the Final Mind, or subjected to the Rule of the Beast.  These prospects seem distant, so I’ll stick with voting for now.  And civil disobedience, when and if necessary.

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