Tag Archives: voting

How Do You Check Your Vote?

How do you check your vote?

It’s a simple question with a simple disturbing answer.

You cannot check your vote!

And when I say “you” I mean you. I don’t mean the system, the authorities, electoral officials, foreign auditors, or any third party. I mean you – just you.

There isn’t an electoral system on Earth that allows voters to check their votes. Americans cannot check their votes. Canadians cannot check their votes. Germans cannot check their votes.  Indians cannot check their votes. The same holds for the British, the Japanese, the Koreans, the Australians, the French, and the Danes. Everywhere people cast ballots they are denied the means to personally check them. Amazingly, billions of people all over the world go through the motions of voting without demanding a rigorous system to check their votes and assess the integrity of their elections.

Well this is planet moron!

“Oh, come on,” cried Karen. “Surely you can trust law-abiding and well-ordered electoral systems to properly count ballots?  And, aren’t you undermining the public’s confidence in the democratic process by demanding ways to verify votes? Are you a crypto-fascist?  An Asian supremacist?  A wife beater? Do you want the terrorists to win? Do you eat black puppies?”

Let’s all calm down and look at the “checking your vote problem” with Informed Naked Ape Protocol (iNap) in mind.  When you cast your vote you are forced to trust the electoral system. Informed Naked Ape Protocol has much to say about trust.

iNap #9: If you don’t control it you cannot trust it.

I don’t control the electoral system in the United States. I didn’t control it in Canada either. If you don’t personally and absolutely control a thing you can never trust it. I’ve voted in American and Canadian electoral systems and trusted neither because:

iNap #2: Trust is for imbeciles.

“Oh, John you’re so negative, so cynical, so filled with bitterness.”

It gets worse.

iNap #4: Assume corruption.

It’s wise to assume that any system you deal with is corrupt. Corruption is the default state. Things are either innocently or intentionally fucked up until there are deep, open, and relentlessly verified scientific arguments to the contrary.

iNap #7: Practice relentless verification.

iNap #10: Only scientific and mathematical arguments are admissible.

How can I analyze the integrity of Idaho’s electoral system? I would need unfettered access to state voter registrations, paper ballots, voting machine memories, and electoral officials. I would have to personally inspect every component of the entire system to pass judgment. I lack such access and so do you. Don’t pretend otherwise. You cannot verify the integrity of your electoral system. Once again you are forced to trust and as I’ve said before and will repeat until my dying day:

iNap #2: Trust is for imbeciles.

It’s time to stop believing in electoral systems because that is precisely what we are doing. We believe our systems are sound yet tolerate their inability to meet basic needs like personal vote checking. Would you believe your money was safe in bank that didn’t let you check account balances? Well imbeciles, that’s what you’re doing when you vote! Belief in anything is a giant red flag because:

iNap #3: “Belief” is a bullshit word.

All modern voting systems are broken. Without a sound open source mathematically rigorous means of checking personal votes and verifying vote aggregates elections are nothing more than cynical and insulting public relations spectacles “full of sound and fury and signifying nothing.”

Yes, Karen, all our electoral systems are broken but they don’t have to be. It’s entirely possible, indeed technically trivial, to create voting systems that:

  1. Count only registered votes.
  2. Permit voters to check their votes.
  3. Allow full secure public vote aggregation verification.
  4. Satisfy the highest standards of public disclosure and scrutiny.

iNap #6: Demand full analytic disclosure.

In the next few posts, I will outline such a system. We know how to do this; the creators of block-chains and public-key cryptography have already done all the hard work. We could have much better electoral systems up and running in months. Major obstacles are not technical; they are entirely political.

I Voted for Nothing

I have just returned from another biannual exercise in futility: voting in mid-term US elections. Once again my preferred candidate, none of the above, was not on the ballot; so, once again, I held my nose and did my best to sabotage the fetid dreams of the rotting things that were. Any barely sentient ape knows that voting, especially in the corrupt US system, is almost a complete waste of time. The choices we’re presented with have been exquisitely gamed by armies of conniving manipulative hacks all hell-bent on not asking the important questions.

Behold your ballot: the primary process purged principled people leaving a scummy residue of stunted subhuman choices. Most are ignorant delusional leftists, grasping smarmy right-wing car salesmen, or outright apolitical narcissist psychopaths. I wouldn’t cross the street to pee on any of them. Where are assassins when you need them?

As bad as voting is the alternative, despotic rule, is still worse so I always haul my cynically enlightened ass to the polls and do what I can to erect roadblocks. I always vote for divided government by carefully selecting bitter opposites. I will vote for Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Independents, even Communists and Greens provided I can pit them against someone they detest, abhor, loathe, hate, and want dead on the other side. I want to minimize agreement and maximize conflict because conflict always results in doing nothing, and nine times out of ten, doing nothing is vastly superior to political something. So, until we get some qualified candidates – don’t make me laugh it hurts; it’s critical to vote in people who want to smash in their opponents heads.

The original republican design of the US government recognized the fundamental importance of doing nothing and divided government into three coequal branches to prevent the political class from doing things just for the hell of it!  This basic design has degenerated into an out-of-control executive, a cowardly self-serving congress, a swamped navel gazing judiciary, and an ever-expanding underachieving overpaid bureaucracy that fills in the details on massive template laws like Obamacare. It doesn’t take much of a constitutional scholar to see that this is not what the originators intended. Today we endure a massive, bloated, expensive, inept, corrupt and stupid government run by simpletons, parasites, and criminals.

Fortunately for us, government isn’t nearly as important as political assholes of all stripes think it is! As long as ordinary citizens can buy off and safely ignore government they will tolerate its existence. So keep doing nothing boys and girls; it will keep your heads off the bloody spikes you probably deserve.


Election Reflections

About the only surprise coming out of the recent US election was Puerto Rico’s foolish vote to seek statehood. People, you don’t board the Titanic after it has hit the iceberg. In time Puerto Ricans will learn what Quebec separatists have already painfully absorbed. If fence-sitting is your main tactic for extorting favors from larger entities stay on the goddamn fence. The minute you hop off the larger entity goes back to giving less than a crap about you. The new independent senator from Maine should pay attention. Nobody in the larger United States, or anywhere else for that matter, cares a whit about Maine. It only comes up in postcards featuring lighthouses. As a person from an even smaller state Montana, (yes tiny Maine has more people than Montana), I am not belittling you I’m merely pointing out that there aren’t enough of you to tip elections one way or the other so the political establishment will not, can not, and never will give a fresh firm shit unless you’re in position to extract favors. Sending a fence-sitter to the senate is smart politics but only if he stays on the fence! The people of Montana weren’t smart enough to elect an independent and reelected a garden variety Obama stooge. This only makes sense if you want to be ignored.

My Iranian born wife is a new American citizen and this was her first presidential election. She reliably cancelled my vote so the political establishment sucked a big goose egg out of our household. During the interminable election I kept reading about couples fighting about their partner’s choice. Some went so far as to “misplace” ballots and get snotty about driving each other to the polls. In my naive, brain-dead youth, I used to swallow, “think not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”, hogwash. I really felt that my relationship with my country was vitally important, certainly more important than a possibly temporary spouse. People get divorced all the time but their countries abide. Well, not really, I’m a dual citizen; my wife holds three citizenships. Countries matter but if you don’t value your wife or husband more than your country you’re either in a bad marriage or you’re a moron. In a few short years, when our runaway fiscal train finally jumps the rails and plunges into the abyss, a good spouse will be far more valuable than bankrupt government social programs. For lucky bastards like me that’s already the case.