change.org has not eliminated the risk of voter fraud in its Ideas for Change in America campaign that I first wrote about a few days ago: “I committed voter fraud @ change.org”. This morning I was able to log in using the same disposable email accounts I used to test their system with New Year’s Eve. I chose to vote on some of the more inane Ideas in Round 2, to see if ballot stuffing could be used by supporters to help ensure an Idea ends up in the Top 10 Ideas to be presented at the National Press Club January 16.
The flaw allowing this vote fraud, which could have been addressed by monitoring IP addresses instead of email accounts, not only casts doubts on the integrity of the election results, it means that any reported numbers of membership by change.org are inflated. I count as at least five members, after having my initial account finally deleted for being a pain in their ass.
By default Ideas’ home page is sorted by “Recently Popular Idea”, perhaps a misnomer for “Ideas We’d Like to Promote”. You must click “Top Rated Ideas” if you want to see real-time status of Ideas there. As in any election, ballot items presented at the top of a list are those most likely to get casual votes. It would be much more helpful to have all Ideas presented on a single page together, grouped by category, the way they were presented at the end of Round 1.
Legalize Marijuana; End the war on drugs; Repeal the PATRIOT Act; and Save Small Business From the CPSIA (Toys); are all Ideas in the top 10 list of vote-getters, yet they never seem to appear on the lead page. All of these are also Ideas that would be embarrassing for change.org were they to end up on the list to be presented to Obama January 16.
The category Economy must be particularly troublesome for change.org. In the real world this would probably rank as one of the top 3 issues for Americans. What are the three Ideas there?
- Forgive student loans
- Decriminalize marijuana
- Save Handmade Toys From the CPSIA
Save Handmade Toys, the top-ranked Idea in Economy at the end of Round 1, is now in second place, but listed last on the Economy page. Ideas at the top of the list tend to get more votes. As lame as student loans would be as the most important issue in our economy it is obviously the lesser embarrassment of these three Ideas and is almost guaranteed to end up at the top of the Category, though I doubt it will be in the Top 10.
More significant are the overall vote counts. An Idea like Toys already has nearly 1500 votes at time of this writing, ranking it #9 overall so far. I will be taking screen shots of the top ideas as this “election” progresses to see how Ideas and vote totals evolve over the next few days.
Snagging a spot at the National Press Club means the results of this blatantly rigged election will get a lot of attention. It will be interesting to see if they get away with the fraud.