rise of the machines

Diebold Machines Lose Tens of Thousands of Votes in South Bronx, So What Who Cares

A lady voting, what is next?This just in: a catastrophic miscarriage of justice took place in the South Bronx when tens of thousands of votes went uncounted in the 2010 Senate and Governor’s election, but luckily South Bronx is full of Poors and also everyone knew who was going to win anyway. This came to light when the radio station WNYC reported in 2011 that tens of thousands of  votes had been lost in the 2010 races for both Senate seats and and the Governor’s mansion. In response to the very serious problem of the losing of 30% of votes cast, the state Board of Election and the electronic voting machines’ manufacturer ES&S (née Diebold) assembled a crack team of experts to figure out what went wrong. According to WNYC:

There’s some kind of defect in these machines that when they overheat they can create what they’re calling phantom votes,” said Larry Norden, a deputy director with the Brennan Center.

Ah yes, the old “some kind of defect.” That explains everything. The appropriate course of action to remedy this defect, of course, is to replace the broken machine with another broken machine exactly like it, which should solve everything forever. And also to tell people that their vote doesn’t count anyway so not to worry about it.

“One of the fortunate things about this problem in the South Bronx was that, where those machines were used, there were no close elections so it didn’t have an impact, but there’s no question that, in a close election, it would,” Norden said.

For the record, your Wonkette was never actually worried for a minute that voting would have an impact.

About the author

Kris E. Benson writes about politics for Wonkette and is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. This will come in handy for when they finally open that philosophy factory in the next town over. @Kris_E_Benson

View all articles by Kris E. Benson
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  1. Reginald_Perrin

    Screw the poor, why can't they win elections the American Way?….buy elections

  2. Arken

    Is it really too much to ask to put voting machines through stress tests before people use them to vote?

  3. Barb

    I hope they fix these broken machines before the Presidential election or Romney, another broken machine, may not get all the votes he deserves.

    1. Nostrildamus

      You make a good point, though troubling. Romney will have a natural advantage in 2012 because all the machines will sympathize with him.

  4. ManchuCandidate

    It is a common SW error known as VWBoBaP… aka Voting While Black or Brown and Poor.

    A variation of the VMD error (Voting While Demrat) found in Ohio and Florida.

  5. Designer_Rants

    Why did Diebold change their name? Did they murder a bunch of Iraqis or something? Surely no one cares that their most well-known product is "Receiptless Vote Rigging"

    1. sewollef

      Sleight of Brand they calls it.

      In the olden days — before the interwebs — the first nuclear reprocessing plant in the UK [circa 1951] was known as 'Windscale'.

      Following a fire in the reactors, mutated cows and freaky-looking sheep started appearing in the nearby fields, scaring the bejaysus out of the locals. The authorities renamed the site Sellafield, in an attempt to distance the agency from the disaster, and fool the media. It was a cunning plan.

      However, it didn't work out too well, since the inept managers of the site couldn't keep the fucking genie in the bottle and radioactivity kept oozing out into the surrounding countryside.

      I think it's now called Sunny Meadows.

      The cows however, have three heads and moo in Klingon.

      1. Designer_Rants

        Someone on facebook sent me something about Fukishima, how their reactor is in danger of spilling out into the environment (suddenly lots more so), and all the Plutonium in the rods could potentially kill 2.5 billion people globally… Not sure if this is true, and if it is, what can I do about it? Die?

  6. angerbear

    Relax. The winners were already programmed into the machines, so who cares about the specific precinct totals, right?

  7. Pragmatist2

    Somehow the GOP will conclude that this is Acorn's fault and Voter ID will solve the problem

    1. EatFrankRich

      Don't you remember when the CEO of Diebold promised to "deliver the election to Bush" in 2004? Karl Rove doesn't even need the phone, Diebold has been in the bag forever.

  8. SorosBot

    Hey, it's no big deal; I mean according to our media a blatantly stolen Presidential election in 2000 wasn't a big deal, an anyone who pointed out that the President who cheated is way too office was never legitimately elected was shrill and should shut up.

  9. metamarcisf

    So it's just a coincidence that all of these thousands of so-called phantom votes that were lost were cast for Republican Nelson Rockefeller?

  10. Lucidamente1

    When does the Supreme Court issue its next 5-4 decision declaring lost votes in minority districts a constitutional right? (corporations are people, people lose things all the time, QED)

  11. KennyFuckingPowers

    A few thousand disenfranchised votes was enough to bring on Bush. Imagine if the nation would have spent 8 years of peace and prosperity instead of that fuck wad drilling the USA into a big ass hole.

    1. YasserArraFeck

      I don't want to think too deeply about what might have been – my head might 'splode

  12. Not_So_Much

    You know what would solve this? More voter ID laws. And more open carry laws solve everything, per Sharron Angel. Probably.

  13. OneYieldRegular

    To gain access to my local university library, I have to swipe an ID card through a scanner at the library entrance. More than half the time it doesn't work until I've swiped the card through several times.

    The machines are made by Diebold.

    1. PubOption

      The Diebold ATM at my bank has never given me more money than I requested. I do live in a predominately Democratic area, so maybe that's the problem.

    2. tessiee

      "More than half the time it doesn't work until I've swiped the card through several times.

      The machines are made by Diebold."

      It's not so much that the card doesn't work; it's more that the first few swipes are to get all your information into the computer so that they can track what you're reading.

      1. OneYieldRegular

        It's okay. Every time I check out something like "The Anarchist's Cookbook," I also make sure to check out a copy of a book by Jonah "Two Pulitzers" Goldberg.

  14. fartknocker

    I'm sure the Koch Brothers have directed ES&S (a.k.a., Diebold) to upload Version 3.1 of VotePandering in all of the Wisconsin voting machines in anticipation of the Scott Walker recall election.

    1. sewollef

      However, VotePandering Pro comes ad-free, has iPad, iPhone and Android versions and gets you the candidate of your choice from a nice drop down menu.

  15. Jus_Wonderin

    Argh. So busy here. Dawggoneit. Hope I haven't been missed. <grin> Ruff!!!!

    Diebold. That premier voting machine of choice for the 1 percent.

  16. PubOption

    According to Diebold this appears to be a new 'fault', the machines are adding spurious votes instead of discounting legitimate ones.

  17. Mumbletypeg

    Didn't I see this play before? "Phantom of the Blahpera." Production was so mired in malfunctioning set props, misdirected phobic themes and dysfunctional P.R. — that it wasn't long til there were calls for a remake.

  18. James Michael Curley

    The same excuse was given by Republican Ken Blackwell in the investigation of Ohio voter discrepancies by his successor in 207.

  19. bagofmice

    This wouldn't happen if the engineers had a CISSP certification, and didn't want to get their asses sued off. You can hash and log every single vote using RSA keys in less than a gigaabyte of data. You can encrypt the votes and database. Hell, you could even replicate across fault domains like disks and datacenters for less than a terabyte, which costs 50$.

    Regulators need to crack down hard with punitive damages.

    1. tessiee

      I get this in a general way, but not the specifics.

      However, if they can make a push-button register at McDonald's, where the job requirements are, "Can you mumble?" and "Can you mumble without making eye contact?", and get those to work, they can make voting machines that work.

  20. DaRooster

    "Well sure, they don't work but we are still gonna use them. Because at least they don't work in the right way."

    Here it come folks… it's gonna be a hell of a year.
    Rmoney/Diebold 2012!!

  21. Mumbletypeg

    from the article:

    making Rep. Jose Serrano's 16th Congressional District the poorest in the nation…[

    For overall poverty rate, this Bronx district is second only to Puerto Rico of any U.S. jurisdiction, says the article.
    Fuck these election board weasels with their own spikey cavalier turdblossom-excuses for being asswipes.

  22. DocChaos

    When I was a kid it was The Machine that lost/added votes not a machine. And "job creators" were corrupt union officials looting their featherbedding workers' pension funds, and not corrupt plutocrats looting their laid off workers' pension funds.

  23. howifeltersnach

    The US reputation for manufacturing quality products now is just above Russia's reputation. We can't even design and manufacture a simple "counting machine." It can't be that complicated, can it?

    Why does Diebold hate America so much they are willing to go out of their way to soil their international reputation, and why are they oblivious to the fact that they will soon be a major part of a botched US election?

  24. iburl

    "There’s some kind of defect in these machines that when they overheat they can create what they’re calling phantom votes,"

    That's called the "Wi-max connection to Karl Rove's Laptop"

  25. comrad_darkness

    Diebold "Continuing to Deliver the Votes to The Republicans" As they promised.

  26. Isyaignert

    This is how those crooks "win" elections. Everytime I see an ATM with the Diebold name on it, I am tempted to put a sticker that says "… is stealing your vote."

  27. ttommyunger

    "It's not the voters or the votes that matter, it's who counts the votes."- Joseph Stalin. I'm paraphrasing, but that's the sentiment. There should have been a Nationwide hue and cry when this electronic voting shit was proposed. I don't know how it slipped by, but it did and now we're fucked fer sure.

  28. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    If only NY had a voter ID law, at least we would know that it is only American Poor that are being disenfranchised.

  29. GregComlish

    Sometimes my computer starts to overheat. Sometimes it shuts down. Sometimes applications die.

    I have never once seen my computer malfunction such that the a very limited and targeted segment memory was corrupted in such a way that the application was otherwise stable except for a few key variables.

    1. George Spelvin

      Yeah, the "overheating" excuse sounds like it was cooked up by someone who doesn't understand much about digital hardware. This is roughly equivalent to "Sometimes my DVD player overheats and shows an entirely different movie".

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