Those flipping vote machines

October 27th, 2008

The Brad Blog has a story with videos documenting electronic voting machines flipping votes.

Apparently the scenario is this: Someone makes their vote for candidate X by pressing the corresponding box, but the machine puts a big green check mark against candidate Y instead.

…so far, all of the confirmed reports of vote-flips this year have been away from Democratic candidates

I guess the implication is that the machines have been programmed this way by nefarious GOP operatives as yet another way to rig the election.

Now, my tinfoil hat is among the shiniest when it comes to believing the worst about what America’s neocons have done in the past and will stoop to in the future, but even I can’t believe that when a programmer has the power to simply ignore whatever input is received and concoct whatever output their evil overlords mandate, they would then go all Donald Norman on us and insist on giving the user visual feedback that the deceit is happening.

5 comments to “Those flipping vote machines”

  1. Agreed. It’s just tragically bad UI/UX design.

    The names are aligned at the very top of the buttons and the buttons are sandwiched very close together. Some people are probably more likely to click on the name rather than the middle of the button so they’re inadvertently fat fingering the button above.

    M comes before O in the alphabet so McCain is listed first. If Obama’s name was “Obama Barack” for example the issue would be the reverse as he’d be on top.

  2. I know you’re speaking to fellow geeks primarily, but would be kind and describe what a “neocon” is?

    By the way, I am working the polls on Tuesday to make sure fraud does not take place in my district.

  3. Wikipedia has a lot of background on the Neocon movement: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoconservatism

    My use of it was meant to indicate that I don’t generally blame the entire right or the Republicans in general for aggressive tactics and vote-purging shenanigans but the particular group that comprises the neocon movement tends towards deceit and willful perversion of the constitution in its quest towards its goals.

  4. I don’t see how neoconservatism as defined in Wikipedia (hardly an authority on any subject given the lack of an objective editorial review process) can be linked to voter fraud, supression, or anything of the sort.

    There are individuals of all stripes as well as certain groups whose entire goal during elections is to create confusion in order to facilitate voter fraud. So fraud must be stopped regardless of the source. Assuming a political party for poor programming or quality controls is just like saying all those ACORN people were trying to steal the election.

    Do you have dual citizenship? Is that why you’re so interested in the U.S. election?

  5. I wasn’t holding up Wikipedia as an authoritative source, I said they had a lot of information. Anyone who wants to learn about it can start there (or many other places) and make of it what they will. You asked me to describe a neocon, and they do a better job than I can – perhaps I should have added caveat emptor, but I assumed people know that by now about Wikipedia.

    I also didn’t say that their neoconservatism directly implies that they are the source of irregularities. One only needs look as far as RFK Jr to find a reasonable, rational and credible source who has studied the issues closely and places blame for underhanded activity with regards to the voting system. Yet another source more comprehensive and authoritative than I, and he’s willing to take a stand. I am glad that there are people such as you and he who lend their time and effort to demand some accountability.

    No, I don’t have dual citizenship. I am a Canadian citizen. We’re obviously greatly affected by what goes on in the US. I’ve followed US politics since about 2000, probably about the same time I started blogging.

    This election is being closely watched by more than just Americans and their close neighbours. I think the whole world would like to see America find its way back on track both domestically and in its dealings with the rest of the planet.

    Good luck on Tuesday.