Tag Archives: vote

Universal Electronic Ballot Sampling

You may have the right to vote, but you don’t have the ability to verify that your vote was counted. The entire process is needlessly cumbersome, which further impedes the average American’s willingness to cast their vote in the first place. There are solutions to be found in technology, but there’s one technology in particular that may provide a more complete electronic solution for us (certainly, far better than what’s in place now). Here’s something called Universal Ballot Sampling:

The UBS protocol is designed to restore voter confidence in the electoral system. It achieves this purpose by marshalling the power of very basic statistics and ensuring that humans participate only in ways in which their partisanship can have little or no impact on the verification decision. Thus, whatever specific parameters are ultimately chosen for the sampling protocol, the verification decision itself is dictated by a fixed, pre-selected standard rather than the discretionary opinion of election officials or political appointees, as provided for by such legislative proposals as HR 811, currently pending.

You should read more about HR 811… as well as the EFF’s analysis.

When Politics and Technology Collide

Let’s bring up another failed American war (the “war on drugs,” which has been hypocritical from the very start) to talk about marijuana in the courts. Our judges need to smoke more! No, just kidding – I’m not advocating that they inhale anything that can’t be regulated effectively by our government. Only a fool would suggest such a thing.

Stop freaking out, friends – this is actually going to be a TECH related post! Now you can go on with your illusion that I’m nothing more than a simple-minded geek who doesn’t have any right or ability to discuss more serious matters beyond which social network is leeching your identity more.

After reading this recent PC World article, I almost wish I could smoke a natural substance to take my mind off of what’s happening with our country…

The case points to the dangers of electronic voting systems, which make it harder to ensure fair elections, Luke said. Electronic voting machines have been widely adopted in the U.S. since the disputed presidential election of 2000. Laws in California and some other states now require paper records of all votes, but the California law wasn’t in place for the Berkeley election.

This isn’t a joke, people – it’s NOT A JOKE. It doesn’t matter who you want to vote for, there’s absolutely no “checks and balances” inherent in the system.

Governments are installing computerized voting systems with no paper record to verify accuracy. Elections will be controlled by companies that do not allow voters to inspect their software. If vote counting becomes privatized, there may be no way to get it back. Hightech vote fraud is already a reality. If you value your vote, you must get this information to your friends – and fast!

Yeah, I’m just a wacky conspiracy theorist… voter fraud couldn’t exist… that’s impossible… couldn’t ever happen… we must trust our government… we should do what we’re told… we should do what we’re told to do…

Hacking Democracy

I can’t remember why the TV tuner was dialed into HBO the other night, but we happened to catch an airing of Hacking Democracy. I’ve been so busy lately, that I’ve hardly had time for entertainment. This film wasn’t entertaining half as much as it was informative, however.

Electronic voting machines count about 87% of the votes cast in America today. But are they reliable? Are they safe from tampering? From a current congressional hearing to persistent media reports that suggest misuse of data and even outright fraud, concerns over the integrity of electronic voting are growing by the day. And if the voting process is not secure, neither is America’s democracy. The timely, cautionary documentary HACKING DEMOCRACY exposes gaping holes in the security of America’s electronic voting system.

Shouldn’t we be basing every one of these electronic voting systems on open source software and platforms? Wouldn’t that be our best defense against tampering? Otherwise, we’re placing our complete trust in a potentially untrustworthy organization. If there’s a time and place for the “wisdom of crowds,” this is it.

To Vote or Not to Vote

If I have the right to vote, then I also have the right to tell politicians how they can earn my vote. I’m politically independent, and will remain that way until the day I die. What do I ask for? Nothing unreasonable.

  1. No negative campaigning, ever. I don’t mind a healthy debate, but when it comes to mudslinging – there’s no easier way for you to earn my non-vote. You’re trying to prove that you’re more trustworthy than your competitor by illustrating how your competitor is less trustworthy. Are you REALLY THAT STUPID (or is the population of my country RELALY THAT STUPID to reinforce this kind of behavior)?!
  2. Avoid hardline affiliation. So, you’re running on the Democratic ticket? You don’t have to remind me of that every time you open your mouth. Ultimately, it’s what you do in office and with your peers that matters. For whatever it’s worth, today’s conservatives make Barry Goldwater look like a liberal – and even Goldwater (himself) predicted that would eventually happen.
  3. Share your true passions. The “issues” are going to change over time, so don’t try to win me over by guessing what I want to hear. Tell me what you think, and I’ll decide whether or not I like the way you tell me. I don’t want to see what you’re doing on the campaign trail – what were you doing before you hit the campaign trail? Stand by your own convictions, not the convictions someone tells you to stand by.
  4. Stay out of my personal life. Do you pay my bills? Do you decide how I should spend my hard-earned money? Do you tell me which non-profit organizations I should support? Do you live with me? Do you drive across town to get me a Peet’s every morning? Then please, don’t try to make other personal decisions for me.
  5. Consider a new public relations team. I can’t think of anybody more out of touch with reality than someone in “PR” (seriously). If you need good advice, listen to your parents and/or your closest friends. If you want help getting the word out or lining up engagements, just ask the blogosphere. “We” really believe in you – even though we’re not on your payroll.

I’m not throwing my vote away – the system is. These are just personal pet peeves, not necessarily political ones. Hey, this *IS* a personal blog!

Gnomedex Site Redesign

I called upon Gnomedex.com’s original graphic artist to give ‘er another go. Eddie Hollenbeck is back and better than ever, as evidenced by these mock-ups. I definitely have my top choice, but would like to know your preference as well.

Gnomedex Redesign - Option 3 Gnomedex Redesign - Option 2 Gnomedex Redesign - Option 1

I’m starting to get caught up, and I have a handful of other conference participants to announce. Hang in there, my friends – we’re just getting warmed up. If you haven’t purchased your ticket yet, please do. If I haven’t personally invited you to be a discussion leader, don’t count yourself out yet.