Voting Machines: Good or Bad?

Community Corruption and Lies Law and Order Liberty/Politics Voting and Elections

Machines may be the future but anyone who has worked cybersecurity or espionage knows how vulnerable computers can be to tampering, hacking, and even programming errors. There is an old computer saying GIGO – Garbage in Garbage Out. We don’t need malicious intent to subvert our elections it can be done by carelessness, lack of understanding, lack of training, or just plain stupidity. Voting machines are not the end of democracy but they are a major factor killing our Republic and people’s faith in elections.

In many cases, because of design defects, improper safeguards, and operator error Voting Machines shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near elections. Researching this blog was a challenge because of the amount of partisan propaganda on both sides. Many of the more objective sources go back to the early 2000s before the situation became so polarized. Later, like up to and after 2016 the Democrats were pounding the drum about the vulnerability of our elections to fraud. After they won in 2020 (all of a sudden,) we had the safest and fairest elections on the planet even though there had not been any substantial changes to the process or the machines. Now it was Republicans who began beating the drum of danger and fraud. You might be tempted to ignore them since there is so little objectivity. I had to scroll through 8 pages of searches to get past the partisan propaganda to serious articles that outlined the dangers to our elections. As a SabersEdge reader I know you are here because you are tired of the empty, self-serving, propaganda spread by both sides on every issue.

Through my research, I have come to believe that anyone who advocates for electronic voting is either self-interested tech who needs to defend the sizable expense their county spent to get these damned machines, a fraudster with a vested interest in maintaining vulnerabilities around our elections, or completely ignorant of electronic security and hacking. Whichever category they fall in they should not be making decisions about our elections. If you care about election integrity and want Americans to have confidence in your elections you must first get rid of ANYONE who you have elected in your local or state government that defends these subversive little mechs that lurk in your county. You need to impeach, fire, or un-elect them as soon as possible and put in someone who takes election integrity seriously and can restore faith in elections before the nation falls apart and more people die (yes, more people. If you don’t know that people are dying over this issue you probably aren’t even reading this because it is hard to be a SabersEdge reader and keep you head safely in the sand).

We have a very limited time to restore faith in elections unless the last elections have utterly destroyed it. Democrats had no faith in 2016 (actually, they have complained about the validity of every election they have lost since George Bush Sr. and filed suits to overturn the elections accordingly – Republicans challenged only 2020, and now maybe 2022. So, which party is really full of “election deniers?”) So now neither side has faith in our election process. Currently, 60% of the population does not have faith in the election process (in a supposedly free society?) Avoidance, denial, partisanship, or even good old procrastination on this issue will lead to civil war. If that is not fixed there will be war because peaceful secession has never worked in America – any serious student of history, who can set aside their own normalcy bias, will realize we are on the brink of Civil War. Even the United Nations has recognized this fact and has posted an alert for people thinking of traveling to America. Yet too many prefer to put their head in the sand. Denial and refusal to fix the problems are exactly what was happening in 1850s America. The thought of slavery and war was just too painful to contemplate so people didn’t. Even after the Confederates fired on Fort Sumter and President Lincoln called up 100,000 volunteers so that Washington D.C. could invade the seceding states and (as Major Taylor said,) “the Lincoln Administration waged cruel war on one of the founding principles of the United States. That being just government rules by the consent of the governed.” If these issues continue to slide toward Civil War it will make the last war look like an audition. If you want to see modern civil war take a look at pictures from Syria or more timely: Ukraine. Back to the issues undermining the Republic:

    Douglas W. Jones (computer scientist at the University of Iowa,) wrote a book called “Broken Ballots” where he asserts that although technology changes it continues to remain vulnerable, and perhaps is increasingly vulnerable, to both malicious and unintentional errors. To protect the system, he explains, you need paper ballots where results can be checked, double-checked, and rechecked. However, even this won’t help in places like a county in Georgia in 2020 when they went to audit votes from the election and the room where the records and actual paper ballots were kept was completely empty. That is not an accident. You don’t just go, “oops, we misplaced an entire county’s vote ballots.” We need to take election security more seriously and acknowledge that election tampering is the most fundamental betrayal of the Republic there is. It indirectly gives “aid and comfort to our enemies” and is akin to other treason and betrayal. Anyone convicted of election fraud should have their rights to citizenship revoked and never be allowed to vote again. The situation is that serious.

    Without auditable, paper ballots, cast predominantly in person so you can verify the actual voter is voting and voting in their own mind, elections are meaningless. As long as we use machines that are programmable elections are subject to algorithms and programming that the people do not know and cannot know and election officials argue that auditing machines compromise them. If that is the case how do we know the machines are not already compromised? The answer is that we don’t. And if the whole system is that delicate then the voting machines need to go and we need to go back to having a Republican and Democrat sitting at each table tabulating votes together.

    So, as so often happens, the destruction of our confidence and our liberties started in our Federal Government with the Help America Vote Act of 2002. Assuming they intended to actually help voters is problematic because it assumes the voting machines will be the norm and helps counties buy them. Yet before 2002 anyone who studied voting machines knew that they were “extraordinarily problematic” for security reasons. The first of these direct-recording electronic voting machines was used in Illinois in 1970. Has Illinois ever been shown to have problematic elections and a problem with fraud? It is Chicago Illinois Democratic machine (when I was just a young tike) that spread the slogan “Vote Early, Vote Often.” In school, we were taught the corruption of the Chicago Democratic machine was legend and “a bad time in our history.” Yet I now believe that seems to be the overall Democratic operating plan for all elections.

    There are two main types of machines. Optical scan voting machines, like the ones that score standardized tests, and direct-recording voting machines. Both have vulnerabilities but direct-recording machines by their very nature are not suitable for free and fair elections. That is because the user cannot verify the programs and algorithms that are tallying their votes. It can be difficult for even programmers to find malicious code in a program as they have to go through each line of code to find it. Although the first of these direct-recording machines were deployed in the 1970s in Illinois, the vast expansion in the use of those machines happened after the Help America Vote Act was passed in 2002 until now they are used by 30% of voters in America. In fact, some areas mandate them. The worst are those that have no paper record of votes cast, but even then, the number of key elections cities that just “lose” their voting records would be enough probable cause to launch a lawsuit in a just society.

    “This is an old rule in computer security that I first learned in the 1970s, no less true today. And that is: the biggest threat to all of our systems is not the malicious outside hacker but rather the fact that there are lots of perfectly honest normal people making errors. We humans have an amazing ability to be remarkably accidentally inventive with the mistakes we make. With fill-in-the-bubble ballots, a typical error would be printing the ballot with the candidates in one order but programming the scanner with the candidates in a different order. There was a famous incident of this happening [in] Pottawattamie County, [Iowa], in 2006 in its June primary. The net result was that the numbers that came up were pretty nonsensical and bore no relationship with anyone’s expectation of the outcome of the race. The election officials noticed. They did a hand count, and that completely resolved the problem. And they could because they had paper ballots.”

    Sophie Bushwick

    J. Alex Halderman, University of Michigan Center for Computing and Society rolled out a voting machine on stage at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and demonstrated how devastatingly vulnerable voting machines were to malicious intent. He ran an election between the traitor Benedict Arnold and George Washington for the first president. Everyone in the experiment voted for George Washington on the screen yet when the machine spit out the results Benedict Arnold won the election 2-1.

    It was communist dictator Joseph Stalin (who killed more Russians than Hitler killed Jews – just to demonstrate the quality of the person we are talking about here,) who said that it doesn’t matter who votes, it matters who counts the votes. Voting machines seem to have been created in that mindset. Created for dictators so that they could control elections they were banned in the US. Then the companies realized there was a big market opportunity and campaigned to get their machines accepted to “modernize” our ancient election system…there is the old saying… if it’s not broke don’t fix it. They repackaged the machines and said that they had fixed the problems that made them usable to dictators. Only they didn’t and they can’t because of the way computers work.

    Most common tricks of Voting Machines used by tyrants in their dictatorships:

    • 1. you can preprogram machines as to the percentage of the results – the final count will reflect the percentages you predetermined – no matter what the votes were.
    • 2. You can assign Candidate “Anderson’s” votes to be worth .6 while you give the votes for candidate “Beto’s” as being worth 1.4. So if you have 10 votes for Candidate Anderson and 10 for Candidate Beto the machine will record that Candidate Anderson got 6 votes and Candidate Beto got 14 votes (or it could be programmed just as easily vice versa.
    • 3. You can see the trends of the votes and decide to add 10, 1000, 1,000,000 votes in bulk to change the percentages for the candidate of your choice.
    • 4. Programs can be set to “switch” a certain number of votes from Candidate Anderson to Candidate Beto or vice versa.

    These can be done by anyone who pre-programs the machines, tabulators, or anyone who has the admin “back door” that programmers put in every program, or to hackers who break in. The above are all things that can be done by insiders. But demonstrations of vulnerabilities have demonstrated that it only takes minutes to break into these machines and do these things from outside by hacking. Yet why do officials ignore these vulnerabilities? I have my suspicions. What do you think?

    The problem for all of us, but especially youth – because we are determining now what kind of future they will have to live in – is that the system is so corrupt there is no accountability. Unfortunately, helicopter parents have created quitters and not dragon-slayers. But SabersEdge Association invites all with a heroic heart and fighting spirit to join and learn what we need to do to build a future worth living in. We can do it. But it won’t be easy.

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    Corruption is endemic to the system now and history shows that corrupt systems will not fix themselves. We have a President (Biden) who has openly admired the Chinese totalitarian system and said we should follow their example – that Democracy and Republics are too slow. What he fails to understand is that the Chinese Dragon can be felled by a swarm. If you study nature, and you study our Republic, it operates more like a swarm or a flock. Each person, with common foundational beliefs grounded in a classical education and our founding documents was to go their own way, do their own thing, and each individually contribute to what America was to become. This has created the most powerful, richest nation, that the world has ever seen. But it responds to outside threats slowly. Like batting at a swarm of bees the bat moves right through, maybe even does a little damage, but then the swarm begins to react. The swarm of freedom will overcome the Russian bear, the elephant, or the donkey because of its very nature. Once aroused, the swarm has depth, flexibillity, and persistence that no one animal can match. So too our Republic, and those who believe in freedom have a flexibility that tyrants cannot match and will ultimately bring them down. While this cancer of control, corruption, and tyranny has contaminated our country to the point where the corrupt system won’t fix itself. We need to do everything we can to restore confidence in elections because without it there is no freedom. We must make America great again but we do that not by what most conservatives idea is of “going back” (the problem with going back is that where we were got us to where we are -we need to learn to think in a way that has a future in order to boldly go where no one has gone before.) I believe that we must go forward grounded in the fundamental principles of our founding with the freedom and wisdom of Western Civilization built up slowly from Rome to 1776 adapting them to a new time and situation, as needed. Share you own thoughts below, or right me. I love to share ideas. I have shared mine, now you share yours.

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