An Engineer Explains Why We Must Kill Software-Based Voting

Posted by freedomforall 3 days ago to Government
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"First, my qualifications. I've written over a million lines of code in the last 42 years, including nationwide systems for companies whose names you would recognize instantly. I have been granted quite a few patents on systems containing software and algorithms for solving real-world problems. This is my job and life, and I do it five or more days a week, sometimes lying awake at night designing those systems and algorithms in my head while the hours tick by. Ask my wife. There are many, many engineers like me in the U.S., engineers who do this because they love it.

And in every election, when I shove my ballot into an electronic voting machine, or touch the screen to vote, I feel nauseated because I cannot see what's behind the algorithmic curtain.

You see, the great thing about software is that you can have a chunk of expensive electronic and mechanical hardware sitting there, and you can easily change the function of it with a simple software update. That makes my life easier as a developer, but it's a hideous feature when applied to voting machines because they are systems critical to our republic that should not be easily corrupted.

Let me list just some of the ways one could engage in election cheating by fiddling with software:

- Change the voting ratio between two candidates by any fraction
- Display an entered vote correctly to the voter, then change the vote before tabulation
- Display a summary of votes to an election official, and change that total later
- Allow remote modification of vote totals via the internet or local WiFi
- Change votes or methods at a certain time of day, or at a later date, even after voting machine certification concludes, or before/during auditing
- Change votes in a random fashion on election day to make it appear to be a legitimate voting trend
- Change voting trends by precinct, or using historical voting statistics
- Update the software secretly with a new algorithm
- Provide intermediate vote tallies to remote actors who are gaming the election in other ways
- Make adjustments to the votes of one candidate and tracking adjustments to other candidates down ballot

Any cheat you could do with a paper ballot becomes extremely easy with an electronic voting machine, plus a lot more. Want dead people to vote? You don't need to dig up their identification or voter registration card; just program the machine to register 1.02 Biden votes for every actual vote. So every 50 Biden votes result in one nonexistent person voting Biden as well. That's 2% that costs you no visits to the cemetery or morgue.

You see, the problem with software-based voting machines is not the software or the design of the machines, but rather the integrity of the designers. If the designers are crooks, then your election is hosed.

This is the problem with artificial intelligence (A.I.) as well. A.I. could be a very cool adjunct to help us through life, but unfortunately, many software coders today grew up in amoral California or amoral socialist countries, and these people have zero moral inhibition writing A.I. code that conducts Big Tech criminal activity.

Behind every dishonest voting machine is a pile of dishonest programmers who have no moral inhibitions against giving local and regional politicians the tools they need to steal elections. And these highly intelligent idiots don't consider for a minute that those same tools could be used by the government against their side when they fall out of favor. Software geeks are pretty smart in many ways and quite stupid in many others. I don't trust them with my future or my government. Should you?

A reader will retort that the voting machines should use open source code, so the good geeks can examine what's happening behind the curtain. That won't prevent bad geeks from modifying voting machine code on the day of the election, or even after, to change vote totals. Not every problem has a competent and honest solution in software.

Common sense tells us that the best voting system uses a mechanical method to mark a ballot in a clear way (such as pen and paper). This method allows the ballots to be securely archived in case of disputes. While hand-counting and protecting ballots can be labor-intensive, it's possible to have high confidence in the outcome. With software-based voting systems, your vote is at the mercy of some group of geeks, perhaps in another country, who have no respect for your life or your vote. Due to the social media sewer, they most likely have only hatred for conservative Americans and your vote.

I'm not anti-technology, but I'm antiā€“bad technology and against inappropriate use of technology. Electronic voting qualifies. It seems like the smarter we get in creating amazing tools and systems the dumber we get in using them. (Of course, all the above applies as well to COVID statistics.)

We can put these genius idiots out of business by taking control of local government voter organizations. Ready to get to work?"

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  • Posted by $ WilliamShipley 2 days, 4 hours ago
    My professional stats are about the same as his, a couple years longer but I don't share his pessimism. I agree that a digital-only solution is entirely unacceptable. On the other hand, paper ballots can be found by the box full in convenient trunks in any close election.

    I would argue for a voting machine that electronically recorded the voter's vote and simultaneously printed an internal copy on a roll of paper. There would be an external copy that the voter could take with them that was linked by a non-sequential id to the internal one and the vote. (probably a UUID).

    This would allow a spot check of individual devices recounting the paper record against the recorded vote. Any discrepancy would be cause for an intensive investigation and probably rejecting the entire contents of the machine. Individual voters could voluntarily provide their copy for audit -- although that would break the privacy of their vote. Many wouldn't care.

    While the machine could be furnished by a company the contract would require the source code to be published for comment in an open-source fashion.
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  • Posted by mccannon01 1 day, 1 hour ago
    I have programmed computers since 1972 and I, too, have over a million lines of code behind me in many languages on many platforms and I concur with all this author says.
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