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Election WTF

Last post 05-01-2010 7:12 AM by dhromed. 30 replies.
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  • 04-27-2010 8:35 PM

    Election WTF

     Hi there,

          Long time reader of thedailywtf, first time poster. This isn't exactly "front-page" quality, but I thought it was quite shocking/amusing when it happened. Here we go, and I hope I can present this story in a nice fashion.

     

        Alright, like many of you, I'm the "go-to" guy for tech problems. I got quite a reputation in my small town for this. I'm still young (21), however I've got some nice experience under my belt, including doing some small things here and there for the town, the local school and library (Tech support, wiping off old computers for sale, setting up our school's first Linux computers, etc). Basically, when they don't want to pay a HPC for a trivial task, I am usually called (Which I don't mind of course. It's better than minimum wage burger flipping ;) )

      Ok, so there was a provincial election awhile ago. I won't identify which county or province I'm from to protect the guilty. I'll just say I'm from a small town in a Canadian province.

      So I'm sitting down in the livingroom with my father (who works for the town), watching the election results pour in. Oddly though, no results were coming in for my entire county. After 30-45min of waiting for results for my county and none coming up from ANY polling station, the phone rang. My father answered and a few seconds later he hung up and turned to me.

      Father:  "Alex,  erm...they're having some trouble down at the counting station, they were wondering if you could go down and take a look."

      Alex: 'What kind of problem?'

      Father: "I don't know, they said their tallying software isn't working, can you just go down with me and we'll see what's happening?"

      Alex: 'Alright'

      So we go down to the counting station, which, for those of you don't know, is where polling stations call in with their results. The counting station then tallies the results from each polling station and reports that number to the Election Board and the media outlets. When I get there, everyone is frantic. The phones are ringing off the hook, there was probably about 25-30 people in that room, bustling around, answering phones, typing on laptops and computers, doing calculations, I don't know really.

     Then I saw their "tallying software". On the wall, projected by a laptop (which was being used by a 16-18 year old girl) was a giant OpenOffice Calc spreadsheet.......yup...this is going exactly where you think it's going. With all those people "qualified" to do an election, all those people in that room., not a single one of them knew how to do a SUM formula.....

     I took control of the computer from the young girl, Typed in 5 SUM formulas at the bottom for each political party and voila, the results showed up! I was given a small round of applause.

     

    TWTF: None of them knew how to use a SUM formula

    TRWTF: They didn't even bother checking my results, they just started reporting them. I could've easily "mis-typed" and disregarded results from rows of polling stations.

    ^^^ And yes, I know I would'nt get away with that..they would obviously check the results by hand....right? 

    TEBWTF (The Even Bigger Worse Than Failure): They had the spreadsheet nicely done up, colour coded, designed really well. I wonder why they spent so much time making it look pretty, yet no one bothered to see if it actually tallied results (you know...the whole purpose).


    All in all, I was quite shocked to find out "this" is what goes on during an election. I look back at this with a mix of amusement, disgust and fear.

     

     

    Thats my story. Sorry if it is not clear or well written, I'm running on a lack of sleep at the moment. I hope you guys find some amusement in this story. I know I do.

  • 04-27-2010 8:49 PM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    I like how somebody too young to vote is entrusted with tallying the votes.  I hope she wasn't the daughter of one of the candidates.  (Or is the voting age different in Canadia?)

    10$ more and ill install windows 7 premiom on it
  • 04-27-2010 8:55 PM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

     I am unsure of her exact age, but I believe she was in Highschool at the time. She looked 16-18 (as I said). The voting age in Canada is 18, so she MIGHT have been able to vote, but I doubt it. They are considering lowering this age to 16, though.

  • 04-27-2010 9:10 PM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    TEBWTFF (The Even Bigger Worse Than Failure Failure): that no one had the 1337 h4xx0r skillz to type "openoffice calc SUM" into google
    Amen
  • 04-27-2010 9:17 PM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    AlexSolonik:

     I am unsure of her exact age, but I believe she was in Highschool at the time. She looked 16-18 (as I said). The voting age in Canada is 18, so she MIGHT have been able to vote, but I doubt it. They are considering lowering this age to 16, though.

    Was btk hitting on her?  Because if so she was no older than 14.

    Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.
  • 04-27-2010 9:20 PM In reply to

    • emurphy
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on 01-14-2005
    • Granada Hills, CA
    • Posts 576

    Re: Election WTF

    AlexSolonik:
    I won't identify which county or province I'm from to protect the guilty. I'll just say I'm from a small town in a Canadian province.

     

    It's Yellowhead, isn't it.

     

  • 04-27-2010 10:28 PM In reply to

    • SQLDave
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on 08-08-2008
    • St. Louis-ish
    • Posts 175

    Re: Election WTF

    AlexSolonik:
    I won't identify which county or province I'm from to protect the guilty. I'll just say I'm from a small town in a Canadian province.
     

     

    Is it Dog River? Hank Yarbo, is that you?

     

     

    AlexSolonik:
    TEBWTF (The Even Bigger Worse Than Failure)

     

    I like that. "Even Bigger". "TRWTF" implies that the original WTF was not a true WTF, as if there could only be one for a given post. TEBWTF says "Yes, the obvious WTF in the original post was indeed a WTF, perhaps even a big one, but here's one that's EVEN BIGGER."

    I see a whole slew of new *WTF abbreviations.

    YAWTF (Yet Another)

    ABSWTF (Another, But Smaller)

    AUWTF (An Unrelated... possibly "AUR" for the less literate)

    TMOAWTF (The Mother Of All)

    AHWTF (A Hidden)

    WTFP2 (WTF Part 2)

    ATDSOAWTF (A True Dick Sucker Of A)

    AWTFYMHM (A WTF You May Have Missed)

    TCIWTF (The Coma Inducing)

    AWTFPETEAMC (A WTF Powerful Enough To Elicit A Morbius Comment)


    ...and so on. 

     

  • 04-28-2010 12:39 AM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

     Just one really minor observation: the subject of this thread is a tautology.

  • 04-28-2010 1:16 AM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    What's this "Worse Than Failure" that you speak of?
  • 04-28-2010 4:28 AM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    SQLDave:
    Morbius Comment
     

    The Morbius Belt: an argument so folded in on itself that it has only one side.


    In complex analysis, a meromorphic function on an open subset D of the complex plane is a function that is holomorphic on all D except a set of isolated points

  • 04-28-2010 8:42 AM In reply to

    • db2
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on 06-15-2006
    • Posts 348

    Re: Election WTF

    AlexSolonik:

      Father:  "Alex,  erm...they're having some trouble down at the counting station, they were wondering if you could go down and take a look."

      Alex: 'What kind of problem?'

      Father: "I don't know, they said their tallying software isn't working, can you just go down with me and we'll see what's happening?"

      Alex: 'Alright'

    I don't know, Mr Wentworth just told me to come in here and say that there was trouble at the counting station, that's all. I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition.

  • 04-28-2010 8:57 AM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    da Doctah:

     Just one really minor observation: the subject of this thread is a tautology.

    i think... you are 13, have some manner of xkcd-word-of-the-day-look-at-me-i-totally-know-shit-guys calendar, and now you are you are trying to amaze us all with you ability to, not only read a word and look it up, but then use it in a sentence online.

    You sir, are a word smith and we are not worthy.
  • 04-28-2010 9:43 AM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    db2:
    AlexSolonik:
    Father: "Alex, erm...they're having some trouble down at the counting station, they were wondering if you could go down and take a look." Alex: 'What kind of problem?' Father: "I don't know, they said their tallying software isn't working, can you just go down with me and we'll see what's happening?" Alex: 'Alright'
    I don't know, Mr Wentworth just told me to come in here and say that there was trouble at the counting station, that's all. I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition.

    NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is OpenOffice...OpenOffice and Linux...Linux and OpenOffice.... Our two weapons are Linux and OpenOffice...and 16 year old girls.... Our *three* weapons are Linux, OpenOffice, and 16 year old girls...and an almost fanatical devotion to Open Source.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as Linux, OpenOffice.... I'll come in again.
    It's... Monkey Piston's Frying Circle!
  • 04-28-2010 10:02 AM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    Perfect example! This(!) is why I get queasy when I think about the entire concept of giving local gov't bodies the responsibility of counting votes. I'm not saying the locals are idiots, but there's a far greater variance in quality and opportunities for WTFery. Of all the responsibilities the Federal/State gov'ts can take on, this should be one of them.
  • 04-28-2010 10:13 AM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

      TRWTF is still using the phrase "Worse Than Failure".

  • 04-28-2010 11:03 AM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    bjolling:

    db2:
    AlexSolonik:
    Father: "Alex, erm...they're having some trouble down at the counting station, they were wondering if you could go down and take a look." Alex: 'What kind of problem?' Father: "I don't know, they said their tallying software isn't working, can you just go down with me and we'll see what's happening?" Alex: 'Alright'
    I don't know, Mr Wentworth just told me to come in here and say that there was trouble at the counting station, that's all. I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition.

    NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is OpenOffice...OpenOffice and Linux...Linux and OpenOffice.... Our two weapons are Linux and OpenOffice...and 16 year old girls.... Our *three* weapons are Linux, OpenOffice, and 16 year old girls...and an almost fanatical devotion to Open Source.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as Linux, OpenOffice.... I'll come in again.

    Linux and 16 year-old girls go together like Muslims and not exploding.

    Let the healing begin!

  • I may not agree with everything Morbs just said, but he expresses himself in a way that is dignified, respectful, polite and non-threatening!
  • 04-28-2010 11:06 AM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    Bumble Bee Tuna:
    TRWTF is still using the phrase "Worse Than Failure".

    I just realized: he's 21 and lives with his parents.  Ladies and gentlemen: I have found The Real Worse Than Failure.

    Let the healing begin!

  • I may not agree with everything Morbs just said, but he expresses himself in a way that is dignified, respectful, polite and non-threatening!
  • 04-28-2010 11:22 AM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    Nope - the real WTF is the notion that someone's kid can be brought in to handle the results of an election... Someone with whom the local authority has no contract, no idea of their qualifications, no idea if they are a registered member of any of the parties being voted for, just no idea at all really...

     

    I'd call you a liar, but no - somehow the idea that town hall could conspire to such an accomplished level of WTFery isn't beyond my powers of belief...

     

    Muppetman.

  • 04-28-2010 11:41 AM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    muppetman:
    Muppetman.
     

    Matt Damon!


    In complex analysis, a meromorphic function on an open subset D of the complex plane is a function that is holomorphic on all D except a set of isolated points

  • 04-28-2010 11:46 AM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    chikinpotpi:
    da Doctah:

     Just one really minor observation: the subject of this thread is a tautology.

    i think... you are 13, have some manner of xkcd-word-of-the-day-look-at-me-i-totally-know-shit-guys calendar, and now you are you are trying to amaze us all with you ability to, not only read a word and look it up, but then use it in a sentence online.
     

    It's a good thing you're not getting paid to make these guesses, because I would have just won all the toys on the top shelf.

  • 04-28-2010 12:05 PM In reply to

    • Xyro
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 06-10-2007
    • Location location = new EnterpriseLocatorFactory() .newLocator(Locale.US) .getLocationFacade(this, true) .getLocation();
    • Posts 1,715

    Re: Election WTF

    da Doctah:
    chikinpotpi:
    da Doctah:
    Just one really minor observation: the subject of this thread is a tautology.
    i think... you are 13, have some manner of xkcd-word-of-the-day-look-at-me-i-totally-know-shit-guys calendar, and now you are you are trying to amaze us all with you ability to, not only read a word and look it up, but then use it in a sentence online.
    It's a good thing you're not getting paid to make these guesses, because I would have just won all the toys on the top shelf.
    Those are Morb's "special" toys. I dare not even utter where they've been.  Friendly warning, I wouldn't touch those if I were you...  Unless you're into that sort of thing.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.  BTK certainly doesn't think so.

    #!/usr/bin/perl

    ($_,@x,@y,$r,$o)=( "Xyro's signature!", 0xe4e10e9d0a4803ea, 0x92b0b7684cda510e,
    0x9d2a504b06a54c04, 0xb04804bca984dc0c, 0xea4889b4dadb1108, 0x90534665a4c79811)
    ;%_=map{$_,1}split//;%_=map{$o++,$_}sort keys%_;@x=map{sprintf'%x',$_}@x;for(@x
    ){$r.=$_{hex$_}for(split//)}$r=~s$Xa$xa$;$_=$r;s;(^|! )(\w+);$1\u\L$2;g;print#!
  • 04-28-2010 12:15 PM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    JesusChrist:
    TEBWTFF (The Even Bigger Worse Than Failure Failure): that no one had the 1337 h4xx0r skillz to type "openoffice calc SUM" into google
    If they knew what to ask, they'd already know half the answer (or more).

  • 04-28-2010 12:48 PM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    alegr:

    JesusChrist:
    TEBWTFF (The Even Bigger Worse Than Failure Failure): that no one had the 1337 h4xx0r skillz to type "openoffice calc SUM" into google
    If they knew what to ask, they'd already know half the answer (or more).

    I was going to say:

    openoffice calc add shit up

    But none of the first results are useful.  However:

    excel add shit up

    First result.  So:

    stop being poor you goddamn hippie and just buy excel already

    Let the healing begin!

  • I may not agree with everything Morbs just said, but he expresses himself in a way that is dignified, respectful, polite and non-threatening!
  • 04-29-2010 10:39 AM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    Qwerty:
    Canadia
    This is the only accepted spelling of that country in BTK-land, and for that, you get a gold star.

    SpectateSwamp exposing aliens. Obviously the World needs SSDS


    [10:07] <fatdog> so from now on.. be sure to wear nice clean underwear
    [10:07] <mps> fatdog: That is simply not going to happen
  • 04-29-2010 11:40 AM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    21 at time of writing, not 21 at time of story. I was home during that week, but I've been moved out and on my own since 17.
  • 04-29-2010 5:14 PM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    No big surprise. In my experience, people in this sort of position politically are well-meaning but thick as pigshit. Good story.
  • 04-29-2010 5:17 PM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    Politicos, though. An early voting experience:
    me: "Why's there a number on the back of my polling paper?"
    her: "That's so we can match up your paper to your identity, so if you write something on it we disapprove of, we can come and find you ."
    me: r-r-r-ippp
  • 04-29-2010 5:50 PM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    Matt Westwood:
    Politicos, though. An early voting experience:
    me: "Why's there a number on the back of my polling paper?"
    her: "That's so we can match up your paper to your identity, so if you write something on it we disapprove of, we can come and find you ."
    me: r-r-r-ippp

    Wow, life in Soviet Russia sounds like a fucking blast.

    Let the healing begin!

  • I may not agree with everything Morbs just said, but he expresses himself in a way that is dignified, respectful, polite and non-threatening!
  • 04-30-2010 1:46 AM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    morbiuswilters:

    Matt Westwood:
    Politicos, though. An early voting experience:
    me: "Why's there a number on the back of my polling paper?"
    her: "That's so we can match up your paper to your identity, so if you write something on it we disapprove of, we can come and find you ."
    me: r-r-r-ippp

    Wow, life in Soviet Russia sounds like a fucking blast.

    Thatcher's Britain, sadly. Don't worry, it got worse.
  • 04-30-2010 10:25 AM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    Matt Westwood:
    Thatcher's Britain, sadly. Don't worry, it got worse.

    Well, yeah, it's Europe.  Did you think it was going to get better?

    Let the healing begin!

  • I may not agree with everything Morbs just said, but he expresses himself in a way that is dignified, respectful, polite and non-threatening!
  • 05-01-2010 7:12 AM In reply to

    Re: Election WTF

    morbiuswilters:

    Matt Westwood:
    Thatcher's Britain, sadly. Don't worry, it got worse.

    Well, yeah, it's Europe.  Did you think it was going to get better?

     

    It gets worse before it gets better.


    In complex analysis, a meromorphic function on an open subset D of the complex plane is a function that is holomorphic on all D except a set of isolated points

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