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Former Student Gets Year In Prison For College President Election Fraud 274

Gunkerty Jeb writes, quoting Threatpost: "A former Cal State San Marcos student was sentenced to a year in prison this week for election tampering by using keystroke loggers to grab student credentials and then vote for himself. Matthew Weaver, 22, of Huntington Beach, Calif., stole almost 750 students' identities to try and become president of the San Diego County college's student government. His plan went awry when the school's computer technicians noticed an anomaly in activity and caught Weaver with keystroke loggers as he sat in front of the suspicious computer."
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Former Student Gets Year In Prison For College President Election Fraud

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  • Re:Wow! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @12:13PM (#44309161)

    How about the mayor in Florida that lost voting machines that were later shown to contain many more votes for the Ds than those for R. The mayor is a stanch R supporter, and when questioned how the fuck did these voting machines get lost, she replied "it happens, voting is a complex business". Yup, so complex, they were deliberately disconnected, moved to another room, and covered in a pile of boxes to disguise they were there.

    That's just one example of the Bush / Fox / FL stolen election.

  • by Valdrax ( 32670 ) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @01:26PM (#44309953)

    Wow...just wow.
    I can understand him getting kicked out of school, but freaking federal prison for a year for just messing with a STUDENT school election?!?!
    This is a freaking school election...not a federal / city/state is college, it means NOTHING....

    Read the full article (especially the link). He committed wire fraud -- the winner of the presidential election gets a $8000 stipend, and the vice-president gets $7000. He planned ahead (even putting together a PowerPoint presentation the year before for his frat brothers to run for the #2 slot) to "win" these prizes. Fraud over wire for financial gain is a serious federal crime with a maximum of 20 years in prison.

    He also attempted to cover up his crime once caught *red-handed* at the machine he was entering the votes from in a computer lab by later creating Facebook profiles in other real people's names and generating a lot of fake comments intended to make it look like those people had conspired to frame him, and he sent it to local media outlets. It was stupid in way that shows how much smarter he thinks he is than the people around him.

    This kid is a budding con artist. He was acting for financial motive to defraud the school, and he was willing to trash the lives of others to try to get out of paying the penalty for something he did. This kid has displayed blatant, selfish disregard for others and a willingness to hurt or exploit them for profit.

    This isn't a harmless prank. These are the actions of a malicious liar with an inflated sense of his own capabilities who doesn't seem to grasp the idea that consequences should apply to him for his actions. They should have thrown the book at him. Imagine the harm he could have done if he'd waited a few more years to "ripen" as a criminal and landed himself in management somewhere.

  • Re:Ah, no... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @03:16PM (#44310945)

    I can see them being punished by the school, but WTF...Federal Prison?!?!?

    No matter where he did this, he stole people's credentials (illegally), and used it to access system (illegally).

    CFAA [] is a federal statute, so he broke federal law -- and therefore gets federal prison.

    I have no sympathy for him. None at all.

    I think it is important to note that the position also came with and $8,000 dollar stipend. So, not only did he steal identities of people, he also used the stolen identities to steal $8,000 from the school. If there was no money involved, I think the school may, and I stress may, not have referred the matter to the police.


  • Re:Wow! (Score:4, Informative)

    by david_thornley ( 598059 ) on Thursday July 18, 2013 @12:50PM (#44319021)

    Sure, I remember Franken vs. Coleman. Probably better than you do.

    On election night, the preliminary returns showed a very slight lead for Coleman, and the collated returns somewhat later showed an even slighter lead. As it happens, differences of a thousand votes or so are common from election-night return, and Coleman's lead was a lot smaller than that.

    Minnesota law mandates a recount when the margin of victory is that small, and that is done by going to the actual paper ballots. The tabulation machines are good but not perfect. Once that count was done, Franken had a slight lead. This was perfectly normal variation. The fact is that the election was so close that the state hadn't actually established a preference in any statistically valid manner, so from a statistical point of view they were equal.

    That being done, the Coleman campaign kept pushing for more iffy ballots to be counted, since they were behind. The Franken campaign never had reason to do so. Each batch of increasingly iffier ballots pushed Franken's lead a teeny bit higher. It would appear that, in that election, Democrats were more likely to come up with slightly unclear ballots than Republicans. The system for absentee ballots turned out to have a few issues (the instructions that went with them were incomplete), and this was remedied for the next election. (FWIW, I don't think Mom's ballot was counted.)

    The details were overseen by a panel of three judges, who examined the questionable ballots. It isn't necessarily easy to discern voter intent unambiguously, and it's arguable whether an individual ballot is unambiguous or not (illogical though that seems). Finally, the counting was over, and the state Supreme Court spent about a month reviewing the process. At the end, they concluded it was as fair as it was going to get, and Franken won.

    Of the eight judges and justices involved, four were nominated by Republicans, two by Democrats, and two by Jesse Ventura when he served a term as Governor as an independent. The final certification was signed by the Republican governor. If there was partisan influence, it wasn't from the Democrats.

    There were some questions left about ballots. One precinct had apparently lost the ballots from one machine, and in one precinct there were doubts about whether spoiled ballots were properly disposed of (tearing them in half works). Franken's final lead was significantly larger than any questions about them.

    Overall, it looked like a very careful nonpartisan recount. If somebody has actual evidence against that, I'd like to see it.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"