How safe is your State’s voting system? We compare New England voting technology with Florida’s and come up with some recommendations: AS HEARD ON WGAN: [11-14-18]
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Craig is on at the WGAN Morning News with Ken and Matt as they discuss how safe our states’ voting system is.
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Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
Airing date: 11/14/2018
How safe is your State’s voting system? We compare New England voting technology with Florida’s and come up with some recommendations.
All things technology tech guru Craig Peterson is on right now. On the WGAN Morning News with Ken and Matt.
back again here at eggs in issues live at the Holiday Inn by the bay. This is, of course, brought to you by the PLC family of collision centers. To find one near you log on to PLC collision. com. Also carpet specialist covering your flooring needs. Located at Park Road in Westbrook united insurance, your business is different review your business coverage at United insurance.net workgroup technology partners faster, safer and easier IT solutions and support for main business online at workgroup main. com new Gen Hospitality Management. Proudly providing service selection and value for your group or companies hotel and event space needs in Greater Portland and also universe dedicated to making you a customer for life. With all that said, It’s time now to turn our attention to Craig Peterson, our tech guru who joins us now as he typically does. Craig, how are you?
Hey, good morning doing well. I’m down in Orlando. In fact right now,
but maybe you could help them do the spouse and Broward County. What do you think about that?
Yeah, exactly. So I was down in the swamp of stuff going on Elmer the land or stuff going on. It presents really kind of an interesting problem. And although there is obviously political implications and opinions on both sides, what seems to be happening right now is frankly, it’s kind of a result of the hanging chads, you remember that back in 2000 I named al gore Yeah, exactly. And, and the problem back then really was that Florida was not using current technology because Chad’s were part of punch cards, right. And, and that’s technology, frankly, out of the 1800s very old technology. And by the year 2000, we had a lot better technology. Well, we’re seeing that again, gentlemen. And what we’re seeing is that these two counties that are having problems are using the equipment that they bought in 2002, after the federal government came out with a grant. Now, you know, I said forever, you can’t have non technology, people making technology decisions, right? It’s, you know, it’s just such a complex topic, and particularly talking about these voting machines. So the voting machines they bought in 2002 don’t hold up well, in humid conditions, guess what they have in Florida, you meditate, and they can only score one race at a time. Which means if you are trying to, for instance, look at the governor’s race, you have to run a all of the ballots through the machines for the governor’s race. And now we need to score the senate race. So now you got to run all those ballots through the machines, again, for the Senate, race, etc, etc. And down here in Florida, there’s another race that really matters. And that race is the agriculture commissioner. I think that’s the title. But in that case, obviously, Florida, a lot of agriculture, but the agriculture commissioner is the person who makes the decisions about concealed carry permits down in Florida. So the republicans are all up in arms with that. So here you go, you’ve got what is a 13 machines, you have to run all 250 ish thousand ballots through these machines multiple times, the machines don’t like the humidity that’s in the air down here. So they’re jamming and just drawing balance. When they jam, it is a complete mess. And then on top of it, you seem to have a woman in charge of it, at least in Broward County, who doesn’t seem to really know what she’s doing. It’s really a crazy thing
that’s putting it mildly. We’re talking to Craig Peterson, our tech guru who joins us now to go over the world of Well, I guess the election technology would be the best place to start, since that’s really dominated the news right now, you’ve of course, been talking to us about these machines in Florida. What would be a good option? I mean, I don’t know how much you know about election machinery and the kind of ballot boxes they have, or whatnot. But you know, here in Maine, we have sort of, you know, we have a paper ballot, that we fill out the oval with, you know, with a pen, and then it gets run through a tabulating machine. And we have, like, the physical we have the physical thing, it’s not connected to the internet early so says, Matt Dunlap. So it seems like we do things reasonably smartly here. What’s the best system in your mind?
Yeah, frankly, that is the best system, you know, whether or not the software safe, reliable, etc, is a completely different story. But that system allows for a real manual recount. In other words, you filled out those bubbles, right? You took some felt pen, right, and fill those in. That is something that a human to look at, right, you can, you can pull those ballots out. So the right way to do this is people fill out the ballot, the run through the machines, the machines come up with the tally. And then what you do is you spot checks, machines, spotcheck for one race or two races are all of the races and make sure everything is as it should be. Now, there will be a little bit of discrepancy because a human I might be able to determine intent better than an on him and I because some people instead of filling in that oval will, right, yes, and the machine’s not going to understand that and they seize the assets spits out the ballot, and in those cases, those ballots can be looked at manually. Many states are using absolutely insane stuff. They’ve got Windows XP running a touchscreen. And in a lot of cases, in this election cycle, we’ve seen voters complaining that they tried to vote for someone and another person on the ballot was actually voted for so. So you
aren’t Craig, what’s the argument for doing it that way? I mean, when I was in Virginia, we had an all digital machine ballot, and I voted that way. And it went smoothly for me. But I don’t understand why you would do it that way. Is it really just to save like, on printing costs? I mean,
Yeah, yeah, for accounting, I mean, what is it?
Yeah, it is. The argument for that is that if you’re trying to have 5 million people casting votes, it’s much easier to have those voting machines where everything is calculated automatically. Some of the voting machines like that do have an audit trail, that they spit out a piece of paper, most of them, frankly, don’t have a good audit trail, and there’s no way to manually recount them. So it’s insanity. We, you know, and you already know, we do not have any national elections, we have 58 elections, and the states typically leave it up to the counties to perform the voting. So we’ve got thousands of different jurisdictions that are in charge of voting. So they’re going to choose different machines, different versions of those machines, they’re going to try and update the software on them. Some of these machines are a little on the complex side, although they’re getting simpler for the people working, not the polls, but working the election, the secretaries of states and things. So it’s a this is a problem, this going to continue on. And last, everybody switches to what main de because I know New Hampshire uses a similar system. In fact, I think it’s the same system throughout New England, we have a lot of those, and they’re moving around the country. But that’s the only way to do it. And then, of course, the other part that’s a real problem right now in Florida has to do with people seeing what’s happening. The light of day is the best disinfectant. And when you’re talking about having the physical balance, like our us here in Maine, it’s fantastic because everyone can look at them. You can have multiple people who are monitoring all at the same time, and they’re not letting people in to monitor the balance to monitor the accounts or anything else. So that’s the political side of it. Right? I personally think that’s absolutely insane thing. Let people in light of day make it so they can be hand counted. And I think everything gets a lot better quickly.
We are going to Craig Peterson Tech Talk. He joins us on Wednesday. 738 let’s talk about a little fake news. Um, how easy is it to create fake news Craig
I know this is really an interesting case because we now have the technology where we can put a person’s face on to someone else so let’s say you wanted to show someone committing a crime all you have to do is have an actor some sort go ahead commit the crime all fake you know and then the computers can now monitor everything that’s going on track the whole thing map it and put someone else’s face on makes a body look similar. It’s absolutely crazy you guys remember Lord of the Rings? The movie series? Of course, of course. And did you ever see the behind the scenes the videos of how they did this with Gollum and he had those white golf balls all over him think
that that’s how you used to have to do it today You don’t have to do it that way at all. So when you’re talking about fake news is that extends all the way out to the video world that frankly some of these videos that you’re looking at are fake. In fact, one of the videos on Facebook that got millions of views showed this jet airliner just a passenger plane doing loops and slips just before it landed and it was shared like crazy it was absolutely fake there’s no way that jet could do what was being shown and yet it went out to millions of people who believe it happened so we’re going to have to be very prudent consumers of news as we go forward because it’s so easy to fake right it’s easy now fake email addresses this easy to fake phone numbers how many times a day you get a call from one of these spam pies right trying to sell you something or they’re from the IRS right lately it’s been for me it’s been insurance and by car insurance but it’s it’s so fake and it’s something we just got to be aware of. Be careful you really can’t believe your eyes anymore.
No, you cannot well, Craig Peterson our tech guru, leaving us with that bit of hope and optimism. Appreciate a Craig we will talk to you again next week.
Take care guys. Bye bye.