Gamblers better protected than voters

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Bullypulpit, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    <center><h2><a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/13/opinion/13SUN1.html?pagewanted=print&position=>Gambling on Voting</a></h2></center>

    <blockquote>If election officials want to convince voters that electronic voting can be trusted, they should be willing to make it at least as secure as slot machines. To appreciate how poor the oversight on voting systems is, it's useful to look at the way Nevada systematically ensures that electronic gambling machines in Las Vegas operate honestly and accurately. Electronic voting, by comparison, is rife with lax procedures, security risks and conflicts of interest.

    On a trip last week to the Nevada Gaming Control Board laboratory, in a state office building off the Las Vegas Strip, we found testing and enforcement mechanisms that go far beyond what is required for electronic voting. Among the ways gamblers are more protected than voters:

    1. The state has access to all gambling software. The Gaming Control Board has copies on file of every piece of gambling device software currently being used, and an archive going back years. It is illegal for casinos to use software not on file. Electronic voting machine makers, by contrast, say their software is a trade secret, and have resisted sharing it with the states that buy their machines.

    2. The software on gambling machines is constantly being spot-checked. Board inspectors show up unannounced at casinos with devices that let them compare the computer chip in a slot machine to the one on file. If there is a discrepancy, the machine is shut down, and investigated. This sort of spot-checking is not required for electronic voting. A surreptitious software change on a voting machine would be far less likely to be detected.

    3. There are meticulous, constantly updated standards for gambling machines. When we arrived at the Gaming Control Board lab, a man was firing a stun gun at a slot machine. The machine must work when subjected to a 20,000-volt shock, one of an array of rules intended to cover anything that can possibly go wrong. Nevada adopted new standards in May 2003, but to keep pace with fast-changing technology, it is adding new ones this month.

    Voting machine standards are out of date and inadequate. Machines are still tested with standards from 2002 that have gaping security holes. Nevertheless, election officials have rushed to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to buy them.

    4. Manufacturers are intensively scrutinized before they are licensed to sell gambling software or hardware. A company that wants to make slot machines must submit to a background check of six months or more, similar to the kind done on casino operators. It must register its employees with the Gaming Control Board, which investigates their backgrounds and criminal records.

    When it comes to voting machine manufacturers, all a company needs to do to enter the field is persuade an election official to buy its equipment. There is no way for voters to know that the software on their machines was not written by programmers with fraud convictions, or close ties to political parties or candidates.</blockquote>

    Any bets on whether the fix is in?
     
  2. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Got your excuse for losing all ready I see. Why doesn't this surprise me?
     
  3. HGROKIT
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    HGROKIT Active Member

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    Just a question for my enligtenment. Why do you keep posting links to registration pages? Just post the entire article and give us the source; give credit to the rag the article came from if you must, or the writer. But sending us to the LA or NY Times registration page is pointless. Do you get referral points if we sign up? :D
     
  4. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    Because jim has worries about copyright infringement. He has requested that a portion of the article be posted with a link to the full article.
     
  5. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    Excuses...no. Just the facts. After all, given that the franchise is of far greater importance to our nation than the winnings of a gambler, shouldn't voters be afforded at least the same protections enjoyed by a gambler at the seediest dive in Vegas?
     
  6. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    are you implying that if mistakes occur that it could only be in the favor of republicans? ( The fix is in ?---by who?)
     
  7. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    You read into it what you want to. Wally O'Dell, CEO of Diebold, spear headed a fund-raising drive for the Ohio Republican party and vowed to deliver Ohio's electoral votes to Dubbyuh.
     
  8. HGROKIT
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    HGROKIT Active Member

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    However, the link does not take us to the full article, so I still don't get it.
     
  9. Bullypulpit
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    Bullypulpit Senior Member

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    Sorry, but I get to the article with it...Don't know what to tell you. But I'll give you a general rundown on the article...

    In the June 13 "New York Times" I read an editorial, "<b>Gambling on Voting</b>". A startling piece given our states headlong rush to adopt electronic voting systems. It's a piece J. Kenneth Blackwell would be well advised to read.

    In Nevada, the State Gaming Control Board has access to <i>all</i> gambling software, with copies of all current software on hand. Voting machine manufactures, on the other hand, have declared their source code to be proprietary, and not open to scrutiny. The gambling software is also being constantly spot-checked. Any discrepancies result in the machine being shut down and inspected. Changes in voting machine software are unlikely to be detected.

    The standards for gaming machines are constantly being updated while voting machine standards are hopelessly out of date and horribly inadequate.

    Gambling machine manufacturers must undergo a thorough background investigation before being licensed to sell gambling software or hardware. Voting machine manufacturers need only produce a product and convince election officials to buy it.

    The lab, which certifies gaming equipment has a transparent, arms length relationship with the companies, it polices. The federal labs certifying voting machines are selected, and paid for by the voting machine manufacturers. This represents a clear conflict of interest.

    Finally, any disputes arising from a gambling machine require immediate referral to the Gaming Control Board for investigation...7/24. Voters have no recourse but to call their local election board and lodge a complaint that may never be investigated.

    Given that the franchise is of far greater importance to shaping the fate of this nation, shouldn't it be afforded at least the same protections offered to patrons of the seediest dive in Vegas or Reno? One must also question our state's unseemly rush to adopt these unreliable and unverifiable voting systems. Given the importance of the upcoming election, doesn't it behoove us to wait until the voter has the same protections for their vote that the gambler does for their games?
     
  10. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Why don't you come out and say it??? The republicans are going to "steal" the election? Do it quick so that it can be stopped !
     

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