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Thread: 2020 Democratic Primaries

  1. #121
    Iowa alone is bigger than England.
    Smaller than entire UK, though. But that's not the point. We don't ship all the results to London to be counted. They're counted in their constituencies, by hand, in the presence of officials from all sides and the media, then the results are read out on TV. It's not hard.

    In the western isles they have to ship ballot boxes to the count by boat, and yet they manage. This is not beyond the wit of man.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    None of the flaws with electronic voting you listed are fundamental flaws. We routinely see problems because the politicians who set the design requirements and pick the system to use are among the least qualified people to do so. The contract always winds up going to some shit-tier company whose owner is friends with the right people. For an example, see last night. The way to build a provably correct system that is transparent, verifiable, and open without compromising voter secrecy has been a solved problem for a long time now, and is in wide use anywhere that isn't an election, where everyone seems to prefer random inexperienced companies that can't sell their crap to anyone else. The only real downside to the existing solutions is that it can be hard to explain the inner workings to people without a background in math.
    The fundamental problem of electronic voting systems is that attacks against them scale in ways that are completely impossible with paper voting, and they're a complete black box so that even if everything is being doing properly in theory it's very difficult to verify that it's actually being done in practice.

    You're thinking of the problem like a software guy, which is far since you are one, but building the right software is just the first step in the process. If I had a) no trust in the electoral process in my country but, b) a belief that the software ostensibly being used in electronic voting machines was secure I would still not c) trust that the software being used on some or all of the voting machines was actually a non-tampered with version of the software from b). I would also need to be sure that the data that left the machines was the same data that arrives at the counting place. In abstract, I know the techniques that can be used for that but are they actually being done here?

    Your assertion about the problem with shit-tier companies (or worse, corrupt-tier companies) is in fact a mark against electronic voting, not a point in it's favour. Like, you say "we make sure we hire good companies to make good software", you might as well say "well, people should just not cheat at elections". Sorry, but they're probably not going to do that. The development stage of the process is yet another point where the integrity of the entire election can be compromised for relatively little effort. And given the stakes of the elections in most developed countries,

    Also, it's worth pointing out that in this case the system was just a fancy IM service for the purposes of this caucus. It was just relaying the votes that were hand-counted at each of the voting precincts, and reportedly the bug was just a display issue. The app certainly didn't help any, but it was not the root cause, and the problem it caused was fairly minor and easily worked around. There were a lot of things that went wrong, and most of those things were the fault of the DNC's election officials. Those would have happened with or without the app. The 2000 election debacle and many others happened entirely without electronic assistance.
    If it's that easy to fuck up an election by accident, think about how easy it would be if you were trying.
    Take the suffering and plague away now, let the madness become the truth, cause it's never too late for mercy when the red tides rise to you
    As power tends towards violent ends, I'll choose to give up nothing, cause it's too late to be the hero, and it's too late to see the truth
    I'm exempt of absolution
    But it's never too late for you

  2. #122
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    The fundamental problem of electronic voting systems is that attacks against them scale in ways that are completely impossible with paper voting, and they're a complete black box so that even if everything is being doing properly in theory it's very difficult to verify that it's actually being done in practice.
    You can make a system that is verifiably correct, one that literally anybody can look at and say "yes, that's a fair and correct tabulation of the results". It's going to be difficult explaining much more here without going into cryptographic hashing, public key encryption, and zero-knowledge algorithms, so I'm hoping you'll trust me on this. The systems are also provably correct, as in it's possible to write a mathematical proof that proves beyond a doubt that it works and to establish bounds on the amount of compute necessary to compromise each individual vote, which can be set arbitrarily high. Such proofs are standard practice in critical systems, and it's alarming to me that they never seem to happen around election systems which I would consider pretty critical.

    (edit: I've got specific solutions in mind, so I should at least give a high-level description to keep this fair: when you create the voting system, you can classify any information as either public or private. Private information (at minimum, the voters identity) will only be available to the person who casts the vote, which enables the voter to point at a vote and say "that one's mine" and make sure it's being counted fairly and hasn't been tampered with, and without letting anyone else connect that vote to the voter. Public information (at minimum, the vote totals, but this can also include things like voting precinct or whatever else you want for extra verifiability) is available to anyone who looks at the results without needing any decryption.)

    There are still vulnerabilities, but they're all external to the system and they're a proper subset of the vulnerabilities that paper ballots have. That is, any successful attack that could be done could also be done to paper ballots. It's a subset though, so it doesn't have all the vulnerabilities that paper has - you can't intentionally miscount someone's vote without making it plainly obvious to anyone who looks at the results, for instance.

    You're thinking of the problem like a software guy, which is far since you are one, but building the right software is just the first step in the process. If I had a) no trust in the electoral process in my country but, b) a belief that the software ostensibly being used in electronic voting machines was secure I would still not c) trust that the software being used on some or all of the voting machines was actually a non-tampered with version of the software from
    We've done this before, and we're not going to convince each other. The problems you're citing are solvable, although it has been compounded by the poor choices made so far. I think you're over-inflating this problem, and that it applies equally well to any paper ballots, which have the additional downside that you can never check on what happened to your vote after it left your hands.

    b). I would also need to be sure that the data that left the machines was the same data that arrives at the counting place. In abstract, I know the techniques that can be used for that but are they actually being done here?
    Given the general quality of the systems we're talking about, probably not. At least not beyond the protection that UDP has built in, which is still susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks.

    Your assertion about the problem with shit-tier companies (or worse, corrupt-tier companies) is in fact a mark against electronic voting, not a point in it's favour. Like, you say "we make sure we hire good companies to make good software", you might as well say "well, people should just not cheat at elections". Sorry, but they're probably not going to do that. The development stage of the process is yet another point where the integrity of the entire election can be compromised for relatively little effort. And given the stakes of the elections in most developed countries,
    If you get engineers involved and use an open system, there's more than enough people in the country skilled in the art to verify the quality of the software. There's an adage in cryptography: "The enemy knows the plan." We know how to build systems that are secure even when attackers know everything about how that security works. I'm not just saying "use good software", I'm saying we should involve the people who know what good software looks like, and ideally a lot of them. If we don't want to trust a handful of engineers to verify the security (smart move), then make the system open for inspection by the general public.

    Paper ballots have a bunch of problems that can be solved with electronic systems, we just need to stop politicians from assuming that any random electronic system will solve them without creating new ones. We shouldn't have to tolerate solvable problems just because our leaders don't have the expertise to solve them themselves. Your last paragraphs do raise a good point though, and I'll agree that maybe it's for the best if we steer away from electronic systems until we're willing to change how we make decisions in these areas.
    Last edited by Wraith; 02-05-2020 at 01:54 AM.

  3. #123
    As the results come in I'm pretty surprised by how bad Yang did. I didn't think he would win or even get close but he's showing up at 1% with 62% of the vote reported. That's 'drop out of race' bad.

  4. #124
    New Hampshire was always his make-or-break state, but I'm also surprised at how poorly he did. Early reports from districts had me thinking he might even walk away with a delegate or two, which I also didn't really expect before yesterday. I'm still going to hold off any judgment until the full results are released. This is all way too weird and suspicious.

  5. #125
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    If Biden goes out it will mean Bloomberg will be the Bernie alternative for the DNC. All about the Bs.
    Buttigieg better than billionaire Bloomberg.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  6. #126
    There are a number of examples of end-to-end auditable voting systems here:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/End-...voting_systems

    But practically no electorate will ever trust them. Physical paper trail is something anyone can understand and therefore trust (and even then, trust has its limits).
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  7. #127
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    As the results come in I'm pretty surprised by how bad Yang did. I didn't think he would win or even get close but he's showing up at 1% with 62% of the vote reported. That's 'drop out of race' bad.
    Not that Yang has any chance, but the kind of people who support Yang (young and anti-establishment) don't turn out for caucuses.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  8. #128
    Young and antiestablishment I thought was Sanders target market.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  9. #129
    That is part of his base. But he also gets union supporters, left-wing activists, low-education whites. There's a reason he only got 25% despite the the very favorable demographics of the state. If you're wondering, New Hampshire is even more favorable to him.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  10. #130
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Young and antiestablishment I thought was Sanders target market.
    The movement that raised Yang appears to be more orthogonal to—or removed from—the establishment than directly opposed to it. Sanders has energized anti-establishment/anti-politics progressives, but most of his supporters are interested in reforming Dem politics or furthering a progressive agenda through a political process. In an electoral system with proportional representation, they would be a part of the establishment—on the left; the Yang Gang would be an extraparliamentary movement akin to the Pirate Party.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  11. #131
    That's a good point. Yang's supporters are more outside of the political structure than anti-establishment.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  12. #132
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Buttigieg better than billionaire Bloomberg.
    I'd vote for Bloomberg over Buttigieg. Neither has enough governance experience for me but Bloomberg's is still far ahead of Mayor Pete's.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  13. #133
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    I'd vote for Bloomberg over Buttigieg. Neither has enough governance experience for me but Bloomberg's is still far ahead of Mayor Pete's.
    I haven't been paying much attention to Bloomberg - can you go into why you like him more? I was thinking that by the time I get to vote Buttigieg is looking like he might be the least bad choice left. Though I'll be very surprised if Bloomberg ever becomes viable anyways.

  14. #134
    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    You can make a system that is verifiably correct, one that literally anybody can look at and say "yes, that's a fair and correct tabulation of the results". It's going to be difficult explaining much more here without going into cryptographic hashing, public key encryption, and zero-knowledge algorithms, so I'm hoping you'll trust me on this. The systems are also provably correct, as in it's possible to write a mathematical proof that proves beyond a doubt that it works and to establish bounds on the amount of compute necessary to compromise each individual vote, which can be set arbitrarily high.
    Again, the main problem here isn't writing verifiably correct software. Just because good voting software is on github or wherever for everyone to check over doesn't mean that the code that's on github is the same was what's actually running on the machines. Something being computationally secure doesn't equate to it being secure if it's meant to exist in the physical world. That's "my burglar alarm is encrypted with state of the art technology, would take more than the age of the universe to crack but I left my window wide open" territory, and the best cryptography in the world is useless when I can just physically break or change the thing and get what I want.

    Also, if you can't explain it to me how do expect to explain to the general public, such that they have trust in it? Remember, elections must not only be fair but be seen to be fair.

    Such proofs are standard practice in critical systems, and it's alarming to me that they never seem to happen around election systems which I would consider pretty critical.
    Well, if most critical systems fail it reflects very poorly on the people who paid for the software to be created and will probably cost them a lot of money. On the other hand, if election software fails... well, I guess that depends how it fails, doesn't it?

    (edit: I've got specific solutions in mind, so I should at least give a high-level description to keep this fair: when you create the voting system, you can classify any information as either public or private. Private information (at minimum, the voters identity) will only be available to the person who casts the vote, which enables the voter to point at a vote and say "that one's mine" and make sure it's being counted fairly and hasn't been tampered with, and without letting anyone else connect that vote to the voter. Public information (at minimum, the vote totals, but this can also include things like voting precinct or whatever else you want for extra verifiability) is available to anyone who looks at the results without needing any decryption.)
    How does the voter verify their vote after the fact without violating secrecy? It's not enough that third parties can't find out how you voted, you have to be unable to show anyone else how you voted or else you can be bribed, blackmailed or threatened.

    We've done this before, and we're not going to convince each other. The problems you're citing are solvable, although it has been compounded by the poor choices made so far. I think you're over-inflating this problem, and that it applies equally well to any paper ballots, which have the additional downside that you can never check on what happened to your vote after it left your hands.
    I keep hearing about how this particular problem is solvable. I am yet to hear an actual solution.

    If you get engineers involved and use an open system, there's more than enough people in the country skilled in the art to verify the quality of the software. There's an adage in cryptography: "The enemy knows the plan." We know how to build systems that are secure even when attackers know everything about how that security works. I'm not just saying "use good software", I'm saying we should involve the people who know what good software looks like, and ideally a lot of them. If we don't want to trust a handful of engineers to verify the security (smart move), then make the system open for inspection by the general public.
    That is not how government software projects work and you know it.

    We shouldn't have to tolerate solvable problems just because our leaders don't have the expertise to solve them themselves.
    There's a lot of solvable problems in the world we shouldn't have to tolerate, and yet here we are.

    Your last paragraphs do raise a good point though, and I'll agree that maybe it's for the best if we steer away from electronic systems until we're willing to change how we make decisions in these areas.
    Better not do electronic voting or you'll never be rid of them!
    Take the suffering and plague away now, let the madness become the truth, cause it's never too late for mercy when the red tides rise to you
    As power tends towards violent ends, I'll choose to give up nothing, cause it's too late to be the hero, and it's too late to see the truth
    I'm exempt of absolution
    But it's never too late for you

  15. #135
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    Again, the main problem here isn't writing verifiably correct software. Just because good voting software is on github or wherever for everyone to check over doesn't mean that the code that's on github is the same was what's actually running on the machines. Something being computationally secure doesn't equate to it being secure if it's meant to exist in the physical world. That's "my burglar alarm is encrypted with state of the art technology, would take more than the age of the universe to crack but I left my window wide open" territory, and the best cryptography in the world is useless when I can just physically break or change the thing and get what I want.
    That's not how it works; you only need one trusted instance running on some government-secured machine somewhere. Add redundancies if you want to protect against that being compromised too so that any successful attack would require coordinated teams at multiple locations. It's possible to secure voting machines with tamper-proof self-verification hardware, but it's not really necessary since we can make the system trustless, and we'd be better off going that route and making it ridiculously expensive to compromise enough systems in a short enough timespan to avoid being easily thwarted. There's are possibilities for physical intrusions, but the same is true for paper ballots, and you need a lot less technical skill to fuck with them in the same way; it's easier to add extra layers of security to an electronic system like what we're talking about. See the recurring allegations of large stacks of disappearing ballots or suddenly appearing untraceable mystery ballots.

    Also, if you can't explain it to me how do expect to explain to the general public, such that they have trust in it? Remember, elections must not only be fair but be seen to be fair.
    I agree that's an issue, but it's solvable. My record isn't very good at doing this myself though. The public uses and trusts a lot of things they don't understand. I think you're greatly overestimating the importance of this - if government officials say it's trustworthy, most people are just going to trust it without further explanation and without regard to how often they've been wrong in the past, and you know it. Since that's part of why we keep running into the same problems over and over.

    How does the voter verify their vote after the fact without violating secrecy? It's not enough that third parties can't find out how you voted, you have to be unable to show anyone else how you voted or else you can be bribed, blackmailed or threatened.
    You can be bribed, blackmailed, or threatened to get the information on your vote today, that's not new. It's also silly, because the information is nearly useless unless you do the same to a ridiculous number of people. This is a non-issue.

    If you really wanted to make sure nobody can check on their vote afterwards that's actually a simpler system to build, but you'd lose the ability to know that your vote wasn't tampered with or destroyed or whatever, which would put us back to where we are today and leave the current mistrust unsolved. The reasonable thing is to let the system be verifiable, because we don't lose anything that matters by doing so.

    I keep hearing about how this particular problem is solvable. I am yet to hear an actual solution.
    Because it'd be a waste of my time to come up with an effective education campaign for it right now. Be reasonable here; do you really think that nobody can be taught enough about how something new works to trust it?

    That is not how government software projects work and you know it.

    There's a lot of solvable problems in the world we shouldn't have to tolerate, and yet here we are.
    Damnit, will you stop treating everything like an argument? I agreed with your conclusion that we shouldn't be pursuing this right now, because yes, that's not how government software projects work, that's not how politicians award contracts, and there's a ton of shit in this world that could easily be made better that isn't better because we'd rather have useless tribal squabbles than improve anything. I just don't want to take electronic voting off the table forever, because it can solve a lot (but not all) of the flaws of the current system if society ever becomes willing to put in a bit of effort to do it right.

  16. #136
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    I am pretty certain the biggest fuck up in America in a vote had literally nothing to do with electronic voting. And the main reason why it’s still controversial is that the Supreme Court ruled against another manual recount.

    So I could understand why you would insist on high security standards for electronic voting, but it’s naive to think that it’s unique in its ability to bring back a false outcome.
    Greece shows us that there is a kind of politician worse than the ones that break their election promises; the ones that keep their election promises.

  17. #137
    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    That's not how it works; you only need one trusted instance running on some government-secured machine somewhere. Add redundancies if you want to protect against that being compromised too so that any successful attack would require coordinated teams at multiple locations. It's possible to secure voting machines with tamper-proof self-verification hardware, but it's not really necessary since we can make the system trustless, and we'd be better off going that route and making it ridiculously expensive to compromise enough systems in a short enough timespan to avoid being easily thwarted. There's are possibilities for physical intrusions, but the same is true for paper ballots, and you need a lot less technical skill to fuck with them in the same way; it's easier to add extra layers of security to an electronic system like what we're talking about. See the recurring allegations of large stacks of disappearing ballots or suddenly appearing untraceable mystery ballots.
    At some point voters have to walk into an actual building, into a booth and press buttons on a physical machine. And the audit trail for those machines and everything that goes into them is not likely to be small, especially given that they sit in a warehouse somewhere for four years. Contrast with physical votes where every stage of the process, from collection, transport to counting can be scrutinized and verified by live human beings representing all parties in the election.

    Given the likely suspects for 'messing with elections' expense and technical expertise aren't likely to be an issue.

    Another point I'd like to make re: verification by technical experts. History shows us that technical flaws in open source software are not discovered overnight. Remember Heartbleed? Introduced in 2012, not discovered until 2 years later. I swear there's other flaws in security protocols that have been found and are known to have been around much longer, but I can't remember the names. If you compromise an engineer on the team creating this stuff, can you guaranteed that the flaw he used will actually be found before it can be exploited to disrupt an election?

    I agree that's an issue, but it's solvable. My record isn't very good at doing this myself though. The public uses and trusts a lot of things they don't understand. I think you're greatly overestimating the importance of this - if government officials say it's trustworthy, most people are just going to trust it without further explanation and without regard to how often they've been wrong in the past, and you know it. Since that's part of why we keep running into the same problems over and over.
    People also lose their shit when they don't like the result of something they felt passionately about. People are already saying Iowa was rigged, and it would be nice to be able to demonstrate to them that it wasn't in a way that doesn't require a degree in computer science. I understand this stuff better than most, but there's still a hell of a lot I have to take on trust, which is fine for proving that twitter.com is actually twitter.com, but I have a bit higher standards about how we pick our governments.

    During the Scottish independence referendum, when it was becoming clear that the results weren't going to go the way the Nats wanted there were a lot of people on twitter claiming the results were rigged, and a lot of other people on the Yes side who were at the counts, explaining how the counting process worked and that no, it wasn't being rigged, and the suspicious looking photo you just saw wasn't suspicious, for the following reasons and that they, personally witnessed it being done properly. I felt like that was a pretty good thing, and almost certainly would not have been possible with an electronic system.

    You can be bribed, blackmailed, or threatened to get the information on your vote today, that's not new.
    I can't, because there's no way for me to prove who I actually voted for last time around. If someone tries to make an issue out of who I voted for, I can just lie.

    It's also silly, because the information is nearly useless unless you do the same to a ridiculous number of people. This is a non-issue.
    That's going to be a hard disagree for me on this one, it's vital.

    Historically, it's one of the primary reasons secrecy is considered necessary for a vote to be truly democratic, and was a major landmark in the efforts of the US and UK to turn their democracies into something worthy of the name.

    Tenants used to be threatened with things like eviction if they didn't vote the way their landlord wanted, or they could be fired if they didn't vote the way their employer wanted, and bribery was commonplace. These are obviously tactics that working class voters were more vulnerable to, so you can guess whose interests those tactics were used to advance. Given the openly amoral nature of public life these days, I have little doubt that the same thing would happen again. Someone would probably make an app for it, probably the Iowa guys.

    See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballot...872#Background

    You'd need to have a system where the person can verify their vote in such a way that they can't share that verification with anyone else, and it can't be too much of a pain in the ass for them.

    Because it'd be a waste of my time to come up with an effective education campaign for it right now. Be reasonable here; do you really think that nobody can be taught enough about how something new works to trust it?
    The problem I was referring to was verifying that all of the equipment used in election is what it says it is and does what it says it does.

    Damnit, will you stop treating everything like an argument?
    No, you're treating everything like an argument!

    I agreed with your conclusion that we shouldn't be pursuing this right now, because yes, that's not how government software projects work, that's not how politicians award contracts, and there's a ton of shit in this world that could easily be made better that isn't better because we'd rather have useless tribal squabbles than improve anything. I just don't want to take electronic voting off the table forever, because it can solve a lot (but not all) of the flaws of the current system if society ever becomes willing to put in a bit of effort to do it right.
    I'd never say never, but I can't see myself being happy with electronic voting using anything descended from current technology base, and/or a radical change in how our society is governed, which is something not something I have much faith in actually happening.

    It's worth noting that the problems with paper voting, like accessibility, could also be solved with technology.
    Take the suffering and plague away now, let the madness become the truth, cause it's never too late for mercy when the red tides rise to you
    As power tends towards violent ends, I'll choose to give up nothing, cause it's too late to be the hero, and it's too late to see the truth
    I'm exempt of absolution
    But it's never too late for you

  18. #138
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    At some point voters have to walk into an actual building, into a booth and press buttons on a physical machine. And the audit trail for those machines and everything that goes into them is not likely to be small, especially given that they sit in a warehouse somewhere for four years. Contrast with physical votes where every stage of the process, from collection, transport to counting can be scrutinized and verified by live human beings representing all parties in the election.
    Yes, look at all the live human beings who have to be trusted to maintain the integrity of the election. All those points of failure and attack vectors. We don't need most of them.

    Given the likely suspects for 'messing with elections' expense and technical expertise aren't likely to be an issue.
    So we shouldn't make it harder to mess with because some people might still be able to do it?

    Another point I'd like to make re: verification by technical experts. History shows us that technical flaws in open source software are not discovered overnight. Remember Heartbleed? Introduced in 2012, not discovered until 2 years later. I swear there's other flaws in security protocols that have been found and are known to have been around much longer, but I can't remember the names. If you compromise an engineer on the team creating this stuff, can you guaranteed that the flaw he used will actually be found before it can be exploited to disrupt an election?
    That's why I wanted it open to public inspection. There's no reason we'd need to trust just one engineer or one team of them, we can get way larger numbers than that verifying it.

    People also lose their shit when they don't like the result of something they felt passionately about. People are already saying Iowa was rigged, and it would be nice to be able to demonstrate to them that it wasn't in a way that doesn't require a degree in computer science. I understand this stuff better than most, but there's still a hell of a lot I have to take on trust, which is fine for proving that twitter.com is actually twitter.com, but I have a bit higher standards about how we pick our governments.
    So why don't you want the system to be open and verifiable by the public?

    I can't, because there's no way for me to prove who I actually voted for last time around. If someone tries to make an issue out of who I voted for, I can just lie.

    That's going to be a hard disagree for me on this one, it's vital.

    Historically, it's one of the primary reasons secrecy is considered necessary for a vote to be truly democratic, and was a major landmark in the efforts of the US and UK to turn their democracies into something worthy of the name.

    Tenants used to be threatened with things like eviction if they didn't vote the way their landlord wanted, or they could be fired if they didn't vote the way their employer wanted, and bribery was commonplace. These are obviously tactics that working class voters were more vulnerable to, so you can guess whose interests those tactics were used to advance. Given the openly amoral nature of public life these days, I have little doubt that the same thing would happen again. Someone would probably make an app for it, probably the Iowa guys.

    See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballot...872#Background

    You'd need to have a system where the person can verify their vote in such a way that they can't share that verification with anyone else, and it can't be too much of a pain in the ass for them.
    This is dumb. You're seriously worried that landlords are going to go around committing federal crimes to force people to reveal secret information just so they can see their vote and decide whether to evict them or not? If they're going to such lengths, why not just get their bank account info or credit card numbers, or literally anything more valuable? What kind of hellscape is post-Brexit UK turning into that makes this seem like a plausible scenario?

    The problem I was referring to was verifying that all of the equipment used in election is what it says it is and does what it says it does.
    Tamper-proof self-verification hardware if you must (it has to be specialized hardware, unfortunately, there's no software solution), or my preference would be to make the system trustless so you don't need to care at all.

    How do you verify that all the equipment used in tabulating paper votes is what it says it is and does what it says it does? Or if done by hand, that nobody's cheating? It's easier to get to a higher standard of security with electronics than with human-handled paper.

  19. #139
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  20. #140
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    I'd vote for Bloomberg over Buttigieg. Neither has enough governance experience for me but Bloomberg's is still far ahead of Mayor Pete's.
    Unfortunately, virtually no one cares about experience anymore, including people who really should know better. My preference order is Biden, Bloomberg, Klobucher (she'd be 2nd if not for her treatment of staff), Buttigieg, and Warren. But as long as the first 4 of that group stay in the race, the chances of Sanders winning go up. Especially if Warren underperforms in the next few states.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  21. #141
    When their candidate isn't the incumbent President the Democrats have done better traditionally with younger, fresher faces than experienced Washington insiders.

    Done a list going back 60 years to JFK. LBJ isn't on the list since he only ever fought an election as the incumbent President.

    Young and fresh at the time: Obama (won), Clinton B (won), Carter (won), JFK (won)
    Older experienced DC insiders: Clinton, H (lost), Kerry (lost), Gore (lost), Mondale (lost), McGovern (lost), Humphrey (lost)

    Not sure on which list to put Dukakis.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  22. #142
    I care about experience. I prefer candidates with less of it, the ones who haven't been ground up by the system until they're just dull complacent cogs serving the party machinery. Within limits, of course, I do need them to have some sort of executive experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    My preference order is Biden, Bloomberg, Klobucher (she'd be 2nd if not for her treatment of staff), Buttigieg, and Warren. But as long as the first 4 of that group stay in the race, the chances of Sanders winning go up. Especially if Warren underperforms in the next few states.
    Why do you like Bloomberg, and do you think he has a shot?

  23. #143
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    When their candidate isn't the incumbent President the Democrats have done better traditionally with younger, fresher faces than experienced Washington insiders.
    When i say "experienced", I'm not talking about Washington, though DC can provide it. I'm talking about governance (and maybe some related areas which are akin. Eisenhower might not have had real governance experience but I don't think anyone would say he was unprepared for the job). Governors are experienced. They've been the executive in charge of the machinery for administering to the needs of several million+ people, they've had to work with/through/despite a large and diverse legislature to do so, and they've had to interface with competing or complementary federal forces in that time as well. I tend to regard them as more experienced than US Senators because their experience IS executive, though we have had some senator-Presidents (LBJ being one) who were able to use their very strong working relationships and knowledge of Congress to push forward an agenda that others would have had trouble with.

    WRT your list, Rand, the way you've worked it you're going to see the same thing with both parties, and I don't think it's a matter of "fresh." I learned that priority list in my high school Government class. Governors win more than Senators. Senators win more than Vice Presidents. Vice Presidents win more than Generals. Generals win more than House Representatives, College Professors, or Business Leaders.

    I just don't think being mayor of a large town prepares you anywhere near enough. I don't think being mayor of New York prepares you enough though the scale and scope of THAT job comes a lot closer than South Bend.
    Last edited by LittleFuzzy; 02-06-2020 at 04:31 PM.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  24. #144
    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    I care about experience. I prefer candidates with less of it, the ones who haven't been ground up by the system until they're just dull complacent cogs serving the party machinery. Within limits, of course, I do need them to have some sort of executive experience.

    Why do you like Bloomberg, and do you think he has a shot?
    Would you apply that logic to any other field? Do you think politics is easy? Do you think there's a small learning curve? At least at the legislative level, there's overwhelming evidence that more experience is better than less experience.

    Because he's centrist. Running NYC is roughly the same as running a small state. He'd have a real shot if he entered early. But a Biden collapse does open the door to another moderate candidate. He's no worse than the rest.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  25. #145
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Would you apply that logic to any other field? Do you think politics is easy? Do you think there's a small learning curve? At least at the legislative level, there's overwhelming evidence that more experience is better than less experience.
    No, I'd only apply it to executive leadership. This is a special case because we need to break out of the cycle we've been stuck in. Private companies also like to do the same thing for similar reasons - occasionally you need to bring in leadership that hasn't been too shaped and blinded by the existing system to see how it can be better. Reasonable limits to all this, of course.

    Applying the same to the Legislative branch is harder to justify, but I do want to point out that the system in congress is set up to make sure that more experience is better than less experience - you just don't get the opportunity to do much unless you already have seniority.

  26. #146
    Except there's nothing like being the head of an executive branch in government. CEOs don't have Congress to deal with. Or interest groups. Or the courts (to the same level). Government bureaucracies aren't the same as private-sector ones. The kind of personalities you deal with are different. Nothing but executive experience prepares you for that. Legislative experience helps a bit.

    All else the same, experienced legislators sponsor more bills, show up for work more, etc. Relevant experience is vital in every field. Politics is no exception. Except the stakes are much higher. A bad surgeon can only kill a few people. A bad president can kill thousands or even millions.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  27. #147
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Except there's nothing like being the head of an executive branch in government. CEOs don't have Congress to deal with. Or interest groups. Or the courts (to the same level). Government bureaucracies aren't the same as private-sector ones. The kind of personalities you deal with are different. Nothing but executive experience prepares you for that. Legislative experience helps a bit.
    Obviously they should have people who do have experience with these things who are part of their team, and ideally the candidate should be someone with a good grasp of their own skills and abilities and able to delegate to the more skilled and knowledgeable where needed. I don't think there's anyone on the planet who comes with all the skills that are necessary to run the richest and most powerful country in the world, so this is true no matter who we're talking about or what kind of experience they have.

    All else the same, experienced legislators sponsor more bills, show up for work more, etc.
    The system is set up to make sure this is true. I'm still not claiming that there aren't more solid reasons to have legislators with experience.

  28. #148
    At a private company, you break out of a cycle by bringing in new leadership; in a democracy, you bring in new leadership by breaking out of the cycle.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  29. #149
    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    At a private company, you break out of a cycle by bringing in new leadership; in a democracy, you bring in new leadership by breaking out of the cycle.
    I've been watching attempts to do this fail for decades while partisanship and useless power games become more and more deeply entrenched, while politicians become more insulated, out of touch, and stubborn. DC is a meat grinder that relentlessly wears down everything good about the people who go in there. I don't think we can break out of these patterns without a good leader to help us do it.

  30. #150
    What I mean is that breaking out of a bad cycle is what you need to start doing first if you're to have any hope of electing a different breed of leader. Those who hope to be elected to lead have to be able to not only survive but thrive in the political system. For better or worse, you've been electing different kinds of leaders for a while now—see eg. the Tea Party, the new generation of DemSoc legislators, etc. The leader that can help you break out of harmful patterns is the electorate.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

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