1
stackodev
20d

Under what circumstances would a fair election include counting a person's vote as a fraction instead of an integer?

http://blackboxvoting.org/fraction-...

Comments
  • 1
    No politics here, please.
  • 0
    Facebook. Or Twitter if you're not conservative bc that'll just be censored lmao
  • 1
    I had assumed that an article that included source code from the voting software purportedly showing how single votes were counted fractionally would be of interest to a programming community website. Maybe I've underestimated the programming community's dedication to accurate software. Shouldn't it be a bipartisan issue to discuss the fairness of an election no matter who was running against whom, or no matter who won?
  • 0
    @stackodev Maybe you should post more info with the link that actually mentions the software? Just spit balling an idea lmao
  • 1
    It's a multi-part article. Read the whole thing for context (that kind of goes without saying, I'd think, in our discipline), but part 3 is where the DB code is shown. http://blackboxvoting.org/fraction-...

    In part 4 they use the code to test against Alaska in the 2004 election and found how easily one could use the fractional voting feature to get any result they wanted, and without detection by either the voter or by polling officials. http://blackboxvoting.org/fraction-...

    More detail on the weighting changes is at http://blackboxvoting.org/fraction-...

    But read the whole thing.
  • 1
    NO POLITICS
  • 1
    @example-user Programming logic is not political. This is a legitimate question I'm asking. Why would you use a double (float) to represent one person's vote? Why?
  • 0
    Hello mr red.
    I scrolled to the map and now I know why this is relevant.

    credibility dropped 99.96% seeing that.

    Got some hard evidence from a legitimate source and not some random blog - I too can draw a map and colour it in to fit my agenda.
  • 0
    @C0D4 Not that it matters to this basic math question, but for the record I voted independent. I do not have a dog in this fight. I'm accepting Biden's victory. I simply want to know whether there's a good reason to use a float when an integer is more appropriate to the use case.

    Do you have an answer? Or are you just here to troll?
  • 0
    @dfox Do you interpret my question as being political in any way? I can no longer edit it, but I didn't mean it to be political. I'm just posing it, as an independent voter accepting of the election outcome, as a legitimate programming question for others to comment on.
  • 2
    Given that the machines are supposed to count whole votes, and that floating point inaccuracies are a well-known problem, there is no legitimate reason why these machines wouldn't use integers and maybe convert to double on final output for giving percentages.

    At the very best, it's completely incompetent devs who are afraid of integer overflows and too stupid to use 64 bit integers.
  • 1
    @stackodev here to troll.

    And no, if an integer is more appropriate, which in this use case it would be, there would be no reason to accept decimals/fractions.

    But how would you prevent double counting, or triple counting when at the end of the day these are still heavily reliant on user input.

    The US election system is broken beyond a joke, every state has its own way of doing things, that in its self creates inconsistencies.
  • 0
    @stackodev

    OK. I'll leave all your information aside.

    Let's leave even voting systems aside.

    As previously stated, some systems are still not able to deal with 64 bit _unsigned_ integers (or 128 bit if you wanna get freaky).

    The sad fact is that nearly everything IT related to cities, countries and states is... Fuckity fucked up beyond repair and the most vivid imagination a sadistic torturer could have has become reality there.

    The number of problems stem from fragmentation (OS, software, versions, hardware compatibility) to sheer incompetence and lobbyism.

    When I just look at the fact that someone uses float / double for a thing that needs to be one or zero, I can only come up with the conclusion that he's either up to no good or that they "tried" to outsmart 32 bit integer range in the most error prone way possible.

    You can look at the GMP opensource library for an implementation.

    It's hardly discussable without a political context, as it's just _too_ much screaming in screaming case that the system was deliberately set up to allow fraud.
  • 0
    @IntrusionCM All systems are able to deal with 64 bit signed and unsigned integers, even if the CPU itself has only 32 bit registers. It will just not be as fast as with native 64 bit registers.
  • 0
    @Fast-Nop not entirely true.

    _modern_ stuff should handle it fine, but that's exactly what I'm questioning.

    I have seen MySQL 4 in production roughly 10 years ago...

    Older Z mainframes.

    COBOL.

    Yes. If you start from scratch your answer is correct.

    But in reality many IT systems are literally hold together by duct tape and prayers.
  • 0
    @IntrusionCM Actually, you just use several 32 bit instructions instead of one 64 bit instruction.

    Considering this C snippet:
    #include <stdint.h>
    uint64_t sum(uint64_t a, uint64_t b) {
    return a + b;
    }

    On a 32 bit ARM controller, GCC compiles that into:
    adds r0, r0, r2
    adc r1, r1, r3
    bx lr

    Basically, you add the high- and low-words separately and spill over the carry flag. "bx lr" is just the return from the function.
  • 1
    @Fast-Nop Yes.

    But you'll need more than a compiler ;)

    Database support, multi platform, cross os and so on.

    Most of the time you'll have to support archaic systems that should have died a dozen years ago.
  • 0
    @IntrusionCM But how ancient are the voting machines? It's not like they were designed when the US population was like 10 million people or so.
  • 1
    @Fast-Nop That’s what I was thinking. For the past 10-15 years, all voting systems have been modernized and outsourced to multiple companies using more advanced technology. Almost nobody relies on aging government IT setups to count votes. It’s too important to incumbents hoping for reelection to allow voting to be so backwards. And the modernization occurred precisely in response to what happened in Florida during the Gore/Bush election in 2000. Nobody wanted hanging chads so there was a big push to modernize.
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