"We’re allowing one vote per IP address, to reduce the chance of vote-rigging."
The Edmonton Journal Blog Poll is a classic example of something that is rigged. And its so easy to do. First of all, you have to remember that the Don Iveson camp of people are very technical. Many appear to have an exceptional understanding of just how HTML (the web programming language) is used.
And really, anyone who has this ability... and there are a LOT out there who do... can easily manipulate all forms of online polls. It's very easy to create a web script that would monitor "poll results", and then when someone else other than "your favorite person" gets a vote... your script will run and add in 2 or 3 or more votes for "your person".
I've watched this poll for several hours, at varying points of time during the day and evening. And I got curious when I would see one vote increase, and then the next refresh would show a few more being padded on to another selection. So I decided to do some experimentation. And I will explain to you just how easy it is to do.
EJ gives a big clue.. "one vote per IP".. which implies they are not using "cookies" to see if you have already voted. I mean, all one would have to do is delete that cookie, and vote again... And they want you to think that they kind of have that problem solved, by tracking peoples IP addresses. After all, the honest person typically has one, maybe two IP's that their ISP (service provider) has assigned. For the most part, those seldom change but that depends on the service you use. Some ISP's will assign a new IP every time you turn your system on.
This is so easy to get around. The simple "form" is to use a proxy server. What this is, is a place you go to on the internet, and instead of you 'speaking' directly to a web page (or other service), you speak to the proxy server, and it passes your request along... the response to that request is directed back to the proxy server, which then directs the information back to you. Even if you have no clue and are not a "geeky" person, you CAN still do this easily.
Do a search on "TOR" .. you will find a link to the TOR project, that will install software on your windows or mac or linux or android device. When you run TOR, it will make connections to various proxy servers for you, automatically... and then a web page will appear on your system showing you what your "new" IP address is. In my windows system, I use FireFox as my default browser, and there is a little tool bar on the top of the browser that has a little 'command tool'.. More on that in a minute.
So now that your proxy browser is open, you go to the poll address, and make your vote. Once your vote has been "cast", you use this command menu, and select "a new identity". TOR will close, and then re-open again, showing you yet a totally different IP. You can then go back to the poll site, and cast another vote.
And you can repeat this as many times as you want to. Its THAT easy to do.
Now, this is a manual process. Those 'in-the-know' folks seem to have done that type of thing, but they appear to be using an automated script. After all, isn't that one of the prime functions of a computer? To take the manual chores away...
Of course, this is all speculation on my part. I'm certainly not accusing anyone of doing this, for the only "proof" I have is watching the end result.
A result that is clearly biased and complete inaccurate. And as EJ points out, its no where near a credible scientific survey. So my question now is... why do they still run it? Is it perhaps they are also biased and are having some fun in trying to manipulate voters into believing something that is clearly a farce?
Just my opinion... this is a joke. And to keep running it... well.. it speaks volumes on the lack of credibility and more on the concept of grandstanding.
If only we could have the truth...
p.s. .. In testing, I voted for Kerry 3 times, watching Don's count go up by 12.. and several minutes passed between each vote, always refreshing to see if the numbers had changed between votes, and they had not. And to just add a little fun in, I voted for Don 122 times. After each of those votes, his numbers only increased by one... the one I cast.