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REPORTING · 8th November 2010
Merv Ritchie
Earlier this year someone took it upon themselves to interfere with the community poll the Kitimat Daily presents for their readership. An automated program was written to vote as fast as once every three seconds. We wrote about this attack on the residents of Kitimat free and fair sharing HERE.

It happened yesterday evening again. Within 15 minutes the vote count for Corinne Scott jumped by 110 votes.

We see many have voted more then once, some up to 18 times, but this type of jump is remarkable.

So just to be fair to all we must bring it to your attention, the results of this poll are by no means anywhere near realistic.

Our next step will be to add beside each candidates name the number of votes that should be subtracted from the total. This number will be the amount of votes exceeding 10, (allowing for up to ten votes from one household) received from a single computer.

Watch for the updates and see for yourself.

We do not know who is doing this. And no assumptions should be made. One could do this, knowing we would expose it, in an attempt to discredit a candidate.
Hacked Poll and Programming
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 13th November 2010
No, this is a great program and like all other programs everywhere, almost anything can be hacked. Even the military has troubles.

Our system puts a cookie up so that you can see the current vote. It stays put so you can always see the vote status whether you log out or not.

The only way to be able to vote again is to erase that cookie. This takes a few mouse clicks of opening tabs selecting and clicking to erase cookies. At the best it would take 30 seconds and some operating/browsers take many more steps and much longer.

No, one vote every three seconds cannot be done with Mozilla or Explorer. Not even with using windows.

We wont go into details but we do know from our hockeyville days that a program can be written to vote many times very quickly, beating cookies and protection scripts.

This was done here on our site and it was noticed immediately.

We do not wish to spend money writing new programs to stop this. We will just expose it and stop the poll. No problems.

Merv
Automated Voting
Comment by Doug Thomson on 13th November 2010
Merv,
Having built a host of CMS websites I know the problem with your poll is not hacking, it is poor design. If you allow people to vote every 3 seconds, it can hardly be surprising that they do vote every 3 seconds. The model of repeat voting is well established in any number of online contests and people are quite used to this practice ... it isn't necessary malicious at all. Any decent polling module allows you to create a poll that prevents repeat voting and it only takes a couple of minutes to do so. So, fix your polls!
Discrediting candidates
Comment by Michael Craven on 9th November 2010
By writing "voting by automation" by two candidates names is discredits them which I feel is unfair. It would make a lot more sense to remove the poll or restart the poll from 0 votes. Don't you think?

Yes, a consideration, we are still assessing the situation. These however are the only two being subjected to automated voting. We show this simply to advise of the skewed results, not to suggest either are complicit. It started on candidate Scott first and then the next day began on deLisser. Roughly one vote every 3 seconds. We do not really have the time to write new programs to prevent this.