Archive for December 8th, 2004

A note on the crowd. The Council Chambers were comfortably filled by the crowd of what was described probably accurately as “Chapel Hill Liberals.” Many I recognized were involved in peace activism over the years, in Bill of Rights activism — in ACLU or other, some were “Raging Grannies,” one man read political poetry (corny political poetry but he was loved for the effort).
There was a big table of hand-outs outside the Chambers most all about Verified Voting efforts and organizations.

One handbill handed to all of us read:

VERIFY OUR VOTE RALLY

Sunday, December 12th
Noon – 2 pm (12/12@12)
NC State Capitol grounds
Raleigh
116 West Jones Street (at the end of Hillsborough Street)

Be part of simultaneous rallies at State Capitols across the country

Speakers:
Joyce McCloy, NC Coallition for Verified Voting
David Allen, Black Box Voting
Chuck Herrin, Republican computer security analyst
Cecil Bothwell, The Progressive Project
and many more including elected officials and musicians

Voices for Verified Voting
a coallition of concerned citizens organizing to educate others about election irregularities, and mobilize effective action to ensure transparent, verifiable elections

for more information: http://www.51capitalmarch.com/
to set up a table with information, contact: info@divas4democracy.net

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Public testimony is going on now. George Entenman at the pulpit following a guy from Wake County. David Allen talks about initiatives at NC legislative initiatives. Props to Joyce McCloy of NC Verified Voting from David. She put this together. She tells us about upcoming NC laws for verified voting. see her site.
Justin testifies that folks need to be poll watchers.
More audience testimony. Things getting cranky as I have to leave without any more power. Basically the “I’m sure there was fraud involved, but I can’t prove it” people are reving up.
Running out of power. Thanks to Chapel Hill Town Hall computer folks for providing wireless so I could live-blog this meeting.

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Justin is debunking the arguments for machine voting. “We trust software to control airplanes, so why not voting” not the same standards for planes. “we don’t connect to the internet, only to phines lines, so hacking is impossible.” (shows hack examples including Kevin Mitnick) “Open Source eliminates all problems wuth trusting the source code” even if we have good software it must be installed and verified. “Our system can print out paper ballots at the end of the day” funniest one. can i let the printer fix my spelling too? “only a few people will bother to loks at a paper ballot, so why bother?” even small checks give a good audit.
Next speaker, Lewis Pitts from Legal Aid appologizes for not being as funny and clear as geeks. But then he switches the subject to democracy and activism. He notices that he is among Chapel Hill liberals. Notes MLK Blvd vote favorably. Much from MLK told here. Stem winding liberal talk completely off the voting topic. Uses the MLK “silence of good people” quote from Letter from the Birmingham Jail. Found the quote: “More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.” “Keep hope alive”
While this is a mostly Democratic audience, the problem of flawed voting is trans-party. I hope that that becomes the case.

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Intro by Christian Stalberg who asks if any public officials are in the audience. None are — except that I am there as Mr. Sally Greene.
Greetings now from Congressman David Price. Who is clued as to the problems with voting machines and with other procedures. He mentions the “Help America Vote” act which was to replace broke and funky voting procedures (read machines) with better. Unfortunately places like Carteret County bought new equally bogus and/or flawed machine. They just got shiny e-baubbles not better machines. Lots of talk about Florida and the purging of the voters there. He introduced a bill (like one already on the books in NC) which requires that you be notified if you are to be removed from the voting rolls. This bill is stalled it seems. Protect American Voters.
He has another called “Count Every Vote” act which addresses the pretext on which the Supreme Court denied the recount in Fla. This has to do with recount protections.
Rush Holt’s bill requiring a paper trail is co-sponsored by Price.
John Conyers requests assurance that 2004 be inspected for fraud from GAO. They will do this. The Democratic National Committee will participate in Ohio review.
David Allen of Plan Nine and blockboxvoting.com. NB: Plan Nine is publishing Dr. Fun! Testifies as an alphaGeek and shows geek pride. Gives a review of the pathetic security and lack of functionality of the machines and software. He points out that 4500 votes were lost in Carteret because there was no error trapping in the machines.
Justin Moore from Duke CS and National Committee for Voting Integrity. These slides will also be seen by the NC Legislature. Pretty much a summary of the applications/os/hardware layers of computers. Def CS slides — bland sans serif fonts and too much text on each slide. Nonetheless, he describes open source correctly ;-> Shocking info: bugs are in all software! Shows examples in Italian airport monitors. Now into the clouds (that is the clouds of CS and process graphs). Examples from Guilford County (NC) where the software counted backwards. Paper trail saved it. Gaston County: data transfer breakage not noticed by software so that no votes were recorded from some precincts. Craven County: broken touch screens followed by multiple uploads from the same precinct. also no passwds on some machines. but that’s okay with Craven. Cateret County: overflow caused rewrite. disk is full did not stop voting.

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Robert Johnson went down to the crossroads and sold his soul to the devil in trade for being made the best guitar player the world had ever seen. A while back I ran into an energy witching group, then a few weeks later into large and quite odd animal apparitions.
Today I came across this set of inscriptions. You should be able to recognize what they stand for.
Or would this help?

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Reconnected with old friend, poet, book designer and friend of many beatniks, David Southern, through a request for help in finding an open source replacement for the late Dyna-web SGML search engine. David is working on the Carlyle Letters project at Duke University Press. The solution and the connection is close at hand. I believe that Nassib Nassar‘s Amberfish will do all that Dyna-web did and much more.
In a kind of intellectual barter, David pointed me to “Breakfast Comix” by Tom Raworth who I met years ago at David’s digs out in the county. Loaded with post-structuralist and poetic humor. Even more post-beatnik visual humor on Tom’s site.

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