The Supervisor of Election, as defined by Florida statutes, is the custodian of all election documents and records, from voter registration to candidate filings and election results. So, you can imagine my surprise when a senior election office official acknowledged that while they maintain custody of the Microsoft SQL Server database where all votes are recorded, no one in the office can log into the database or query its data.
Election Systems & Software, the company who owns the election management system software the county uses, refuses to give them a user account. The company says it is a preventative measure to reduce the risk of record tampering, whether intentionally or accidentally. ES&S also issued a mob-like warning: if the election office accesses the database through a backdoor, or other means, the company will automatically revoke all results pending certification and terminate the contract immediately. [...]
ES&S clients find themselves locked into a system and contract that equates secrecy with security and views data sharing as a high risk threat. What ES&S is doing is nothing short of unethical and runs counter to industry practices regarding data collection systems.
For years, the company has hidden behind the veil of proprietary rights and patents, when asked to share even the most basic components of their software. But a software company can't have proprietary rights to a user's data, and any patented rights surely do not extend to a user's data.
ES&S is based in Omaha, Nebraska and has nearly 500 employees. The company is owned by the McClatchy Group, a private equity firm, which means their financial records aren't public. Conservative estimates say the company controls nearly 50% of the U.S. election system market, which equates to approximately 70 million votes processed using any combination of the company's hardware and software.
The company has a well-earned reputation for routinely filing lawsuits against competitors and election officials when they don't win contracts or has them taken away. They have even gone so far as to sue voting jurisdictions and groups advocating for greater election security.
Not looking to push the issue or make any enemies, Wolf dropped the reporting project and focused on other areas.
L.A. Unified says that the M-16 automatic rifles, which were modified to semiautomatic since they were acquired in 2001, are "essential life-saving items" and will continue to be available to trained officers. The armored vehicle will be used only under extraordinary circumstances, officials said.
So, the bar I work at opened back up last night, and I gotta say, y'all: Just fucking don't go to restaurants right now. Just don't do it.
I understand that people want to support restaurants that they love, but there's a level of nonchalance here that really betrays how poorly America is dealing with this pandemic.
America has a considerably higher rate of COVID cases and fatalities in relation to our population than most other countries. What seems like "progress" to us, currently, is what would seem catastrophic to other countries.
And, to zoom in smaller: yes, you want to support your small businesses. I appreciate that, I know your heart is in the right place. But you're putting me in danger, and my loved ones in danger --- as well as yourself and your loved ones.
Everyone who came in last night seemed like they were just cosplaying four months ago.
With everything that's going on right now (COVID, BLM protests, governmental abuse of power, climate disasters,) nothing goes away because you get tired of it, or tired of thinking about it.
"B-b-but patio seating!"
So fucking what. I'm changing gloves / washing my hands every single time that I grab anyone's plate or cup or anything to make sure that nothing cross-contaminates. I'm sanitizing constantly --- but I'm a human, and there's only so much I can do.
I'm creating this illusion of normalcy for you in order to pay my bills, and it's fucking awful.
A surgeon literally came in last night and said, "oh, you have better masks than we do!" and it was fucking awful.
If that's a fine environment for you to enjoy a meal, be my guest.
We're letting capitalistic gears drive what should be an empathetic decision.
Just don't go to restaurants right now. Support in other ways. Just know that things aren't normal, even as much as we all really want them to be.
(Oh, other small note: nobody tipped any more than usual, even though they "want to support us." V cool.)