Alabama Recount Finds Changes in Vote Tallies

elections, reform, vendors, news, problems

(cross-posted to evoting-experts, "Changes Found in Alabama Recount")

Changes found in segregation amendment recount

The statewide recount on a measure to remove segregation-era language from Alabama's constitution is turning up variations from the official canvass, with changes exceeding 100 votes in at least three counties.

These three counites (Hale, Macon and Madison) all use the same type of voting technology - ES&S's Optech-III Eagle optical scan machine. (Note that 75% of all of Alabama counties use the same technology... 95% of counties use optical scan (different models)).

Not surprisingly, the totals in the counties that used DRE equipment didn't change. That's not the kind of thing that inspires much confidence in our crowd. If they had recounted a slew of voter-verified audit trail documents and compared to a retally of electronic ballots, that would be begin to be a proper audit... as Doug Jones, pointed out in his October 2004 CACM piece, "Auditing Elections",

One important aspect to examine is the chain of custody for each piece of evidence pertaining to the election. What machinery produced this data, who collected it from the machine, and how was it preserved? What we need is analogous to the documentation for the chain of custody required to bring evidence to court in a criminal case.

Activists crash tribute

elections

Link: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/palmbeach/sfl-flepore01dec01,0,4605093.story?coll=sfla-news-palm

I find this to be quite sensational... I can understand how melodrama is helpful in some situations, but this is unproductive and only serves to foster friction. I must say, it's difficult to work with elections officials that also have to face this kind of over-the-top grandstanding. (I can imagine that it would have gone down similarly even without the cameras.)

Activists crash tribute

Even as colleagues tearfully eulogized her controversial tenure as Palm Beach County's election supervisor, Theresa LePore had to fend off verbal attacks by critics who crashed the surprise tribute.

Speaker after speaker, many choked with emotion, heaped praise on LePore at a meeting of county supervisors at an Orlando hotel on Tuesday. Suddenly, two women and a man, one with a handheld video camera, burst in through an exit door in the back of the room and stomped onto the podium.

One woman, identified as Bev Harris of Black Box Voting by several supervisors, announced she was "serving" LePore with papers regarding a dispute with her office over public records.

As the crowd realized the drama was real, not part of a farewell skit as some first thought, the supervisors booed and screamed as a woman with a video camera panned the room.

random shuffle

music

Via danah via Metamanda... who are posting random lists of songs from their playlists.

I cheated, however. My tastes are so weird and vast... don't be scared by some of the below! So I decided to randomize a few times until I saw a mix that I would actually listen to without skipping any tracks... (format is: Song Title - Artist Name (Album Name))

  1. Let's Get On With It! - An Albatross (We Are The Lazer Viking)
  2. Love Is A Bitch - Beehive And The Barracudas (In Dark Love)
  3. The Inch - Peaches (Fatherfucker)
  4. Blues Come Easy - Dead Low Tide (Dead Low Tide)
  5. Night Dancing - Trans Am (Surrender To The Night)
  6. Africa And America - King Sunny Ade & His African Beats (Live Live Juju)
  7. W.A. Mozart: Concerto For Flute And Harp K. 299; 2nd Movement - Academy Of St. Martin-In-The-Fields Under Neville Marriner (Amadeus: Original Soundtrack Special Edition: Directors Cut (Disc 1))
  8. Sometimes Gay Boys Don't Wear Pink - The Dwarves (Horror)
  9. Tea Biscuit To Show - The Peechees (Life)
  10. Redefine - Obituary (World Demise)

It still leaves out what I've been listening to mostly lately... Vesselin Paraschkevov's rendtion of Bach's sonatas and partitas for solo violin ("Bach Works For Solo Violin: Sonatas and Partitas, BWV 1001-1006").

EDRi Calls for Repeal of EU Database Directive

copyright, open source

From the EDRi, FIPR and VOSN coalition's recent response (PDF) to the European commission consultation on the review of the "acquis communautaire" in the field of copyright and related rights:

(23) EDRI supports the Commission proposal to extend Articles 5(3)(b) and 5(2)(c) from the copyright directive to the Database Directive (but would question why the latter does not include the sui-generis right). However, we have a more radical proposition. We call for the EC to repeal the database directive. We believe that there is no empirical evidence that the database Directive has increased investment in Europe. We are not aware of any such studies undertaken as part of the Commission review due to be published in 2005; on the contrary, the sui-generis right has introduced a serious imbalance between the rights of users and producers, with the latter appearing to have been given perpetual protection. European scientists and academics have expressed their serious concerns on the impact of the directive on access to scientific information and data (see the Royal Society report). Other member states in WIPO, and particularly the USA, remain unconvinced of the need for an international treaty on databases; many Member States are lukewarm at best. It is time for the Commission to acknowledge that the Database Directive was a mistake, and repeal it.

(24) The European project is often criticised by `Eurosceptics' who argue that the European Parliament is dysfunctional, because none of its legislation has ever been repealed. The Database Directive provides an excellent opportunity to confound these doubters. The principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, discussed above, require the Commission to provide evidence to support legislation, and to review, amend or repeal as appropriate in the light of the evidence. In our view the case for repeal is clear.

NYT: Federal Plan to Keep Data on Students Worries Some

wtf?, privacy, SIMS, berkeley

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/29/education/29college.html?ex=1102309200&en=37aadc694fb148d0&ei=5006&partner=ALTAVISTA1

WASHINGTON, Nov. 28 - A proposal by the federal government to create a vast new database of enrollment records on all college and university students is raising concerns that the move will erode the privacy rights of students.

[...]

But Jasmine L. Harris, legislative director at the United States Student Association, an advocacy group for students, said that since the Sept. 11 attacks, the balance between privacy and the public interest had been shifting. "We're in a different time now, a very different climate," Ms. Harris said. "There's the huge possibility that the database could be misused, and there are no protections for student privacy."

Does this creep anyone else out? I mean, c'mon... it's not even for national security purposes. There has got to be a better way to get the statistical information they need.

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