Keeping elections honest in Penticton

Letter to editor

In October of 2014 two community activists Vicki Lightfoot and Kevin Proteau approached Penticton City Council with concerns over electronic vote counting machines. While they didn’t imply Penticton council hacked the machines Lightfoot’s point was that they could be hacked. Similar concerns were expressed in Osoyoos by council candidate Sy Murseli.

Lightfoot said that while council presently allows a council candidate to appoint a scrutineer what is the point when these voting machines can be set to alter the vote in any manner you wish.

Proteau offered a solution: Use the electronic machines on election night and then the next morning recount them by hand with qualified scrutineers in attendance. It wouldn’t take longer than a morning. Maybe even get a high school civics class to conduct the recount. That would be a great way to introduce them to the election process. (Herald, Oct 8, 2014)

Under experienced supervision it would also introduce them to importance of secure elections and making your vote count.

 

After a federal election Judge Gary Hearn speaking of the Robocalls affair called voter suppression a serious crime.

Though council promised to look at this matter what we received on Election Day in 2014 was a giant-sized screw up. Voters were prevented from entering near deserted voting chambers as new registrants voting for the first time flooded the polls effectively taking precedence over long time voters.

There were too many loose ends in the 2014 civic election leaving the possibility of tampering by the inadequate securing of elector paper ballots. Penticton voters will never know whether an efficient election with secure ballot protection would have changed the result of the election or not. Municipal councils have a duty to ensure that voters wishes are respected that they are allowed to vote and that those votes are securely held so that no allegations can be made that their votes were tampered with.

Safeguarding electoral ballots and the scrutineer sealing of ballot boxes before and after elections adequate voting opportunities along with a manual vote count is the only way voters can be sure their vote is honored and respected.

Please ask your MLA to bring municipal elections under the Elections Act the same as provincial and federal elections.

 

Attachments area

Preview YouTube video PART 2A: hack a Sequoia Advantage with Andrew Appel

PART 2A: hack a Sequoia Advantage with Andrew Appel

Preview YouTube video Hacking Democracy – The Hack

Hacking Democracy – The Hack

Elvena Slump

When Pentictonites go out to vote in a municipal election on voting day they like to think their wishes are respected. But are they?

Letter to editor 

On a cold winter day in 2007, Andrew Appel, a Princeton computer professor and election specialist, changed the outcome on voting machines in seven minutes. He proved something that should alarm everyone: in effect, it took seven minutes per machine to steal an election.

In testimony to a House of Representatives Technology Committee on September 28, 2016, which is now suddenly paying attention because of the fear of “Russian” hacking, Appel noted:

“Installing new software in a voting machine is not really much different from installing new software in any other kind of computer. Installing new software is how you hack a voting machine to cheat. In 2009, in the courtroom of the Superior Court of New Jersey, I demonstrated how to hack a voting machine. I wrote a vote-stealing computer program that shifts votes from one candidate to another. Installing that vote-stealing program in a voting machine takes seven minutes, per machine, with a screwdriver.” http://whowhatwhy.org/2016/10/31/easy-hack-voting-machines-endanger-democracy/

Appel has demonstrated and says it takes no super-hacking skills to alter voting counts: “I did this in a secure facility and I’m confident my program has not leaked out to affect real elections, but really the software I built was not rocket science — any computer programmer could write the same code. Once it’s installed, it could steal elections without detection for years to come.”

I urge everyone to watch this video explanation of vote machine hacking at; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t75xvZ3osFg&feature=youtu.be

There has been a lot of controversy in Penticton over the last civic election. The two Accuvote OS machines in current use in Penticton are more reliable that the newer machines because unlike the newer touch screen models apparently they can’t be hacked over the internet. However they can still be hacked using Appel’s method of altering the software. Alternatively elector voter cards can be destroyed altering the vote count. Because the Accuvote OS machines use a paper vote a manual vote count which includes a paper tally of actual number of votes against number of voters which will ensure that all votes were counted and all voters wishes are respected should be mandated by the provincial government.

Please take the time to review the above web links and ask your MLA to bring municipal elections under the Elections Act the same as provincial and federal elections.

Elvena Slump

Mayor cites population decline as Penticton ranked 34th best place to work in B.C.

Welcome to Penticton

Posted: Tuesday, December 27, 2016 2:50 pm

Relatively low household incomes and a shrinking population have left Penticton near the bottom of BC Business magazine’s annual ranking of the best cities in the province in which to work.

Penticton was listed at 34th among 36 cities of at least 10,000 people, down from 29th last year. It outranked only Port Alberni (35) and Powel River (36), but fared much worse than Okanagan rivals Kelowna (4) and Vernon (22).

Atop the list was Squamish, which scored highly on average household income and population growth, followed by Fort St. John and Dawson Creek, both of which polled well on average income and income growth, despite high unemployment rates.

Dragging down Penticton’s rating was a 2.25 per cent decrease in five-year population growth, which was the worst among the 36 contenders, and an average annual household income of $80,678 that ranked fourth worst.

Those factors were offset by an average annual shelter cost of $18,204, which placed Penticton 11th overall, and a 20 per cent spike in five-year income growth that was fifth best.

Mayor Andrew Jakubeit described the rankings as “subjective.”

“Fort St. John and Dawson Creek were Nos. 2 and 3 on the list, but most people wouldn’t compare those places to the paradise we have here in terms of lifestyle or beauty. After all, you still need to live where you work,” he said in a statement.

Jakubeit was pleased to see Penticton was competitive in categories that compared cost of shelter and income growth, but, “I think to have a negative (population) growth rate hurt our rankings as people generally associate more opportunities in cities that are growing.”

He went on to note real estate sales are on a record pace – already over $1 billion this year across the entire South Okanagan – as is construction activity, the value of which sits at $195 million in 2016, up from $60 million a year ago. The city was also recently named the country’s fourth most entrepreneurial – down two spots from last year – by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

“So while rankings can be utilized in branding or marketing, it still comes down to one’s personal preference,” said Jakubeit, “and all we can do is try to create an environment where economic activity is welcomed, can flourish, and there is a healthy balance of live, work and play.”

The editor of BC Business also cautioned against reading too much into the numbers.

“As with most such rankings, designing the list is as much art as science: we struggle to find the right balance between factors such as household incomes, unemployment rates and shelter costs,” Matt O’Grady, who couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday, wrote in a note to readers.

“Rankings are a great tool, but important life decisions like where to live and work are highly personal.”

read more