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Losing Senate candidate says: Oops, never mind; drops lawsuit over election results, his Twitter account

Repeat Senate loser Shiva Ayyadurai tonight dropped his lawsuit against the Massachusetts Secretary of State's office, just one day after he'd filed a new complaint alleging that that office and Twitter were part of a ruthless global conspiracy out to destroy him and deprive all Americans of their free-speech rights.

In a filing in US District Court through his latest attorney, Ayyadurai averred:

NOTICE IS GIVEN that, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1)(A)(ii), Plaintiff Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai now hereby voluntarily dismisses with prejudice all claims in this suit. In addition, all parties voluntarily withdraw all pending motions in this matter. There is no further action by any party on this matter, no questions in controversy remain among the parties, and each party will bear its own costs and fees.

The move, which still needs to be approved by US District Court Judge Mark Wolf, comes as Wolf was considering tens of thousands of dollars in fines against Ayyadurai for violating court rules - by delaying key court dates and possibly by having a "shadow" counsel write a key legal memorandum - and as Ayyadurai was seeking to formally have Twitter added as a defendant in the case.

Technically, Ayyadurai still has a second lawsuit pending against Secretary of State Bill Galvin, calling for a hand count of all the ballots in the Republican Senate primary last September, but no action has occurred in that case for several months.

Dropping the case could free up some of Ayyadurai's time to work on a potential 2020 statewide ballot question which, if approved by the state Attorney General's office and if he can get enough valid signatures, would ask voters to remove Galvin from any oversight of voting machines and would require the state to use a complex system of safeguards - including ballots printed with holographic foils, watermarks, "multi-colored micro-numismatic invisible ultraviolet designs" and other measures to prevent counterfeiting - and which would require all ballots be counted by hand and copies of all ballots be digitally photographed and then placed on a server where anybody could look at them.

In both his suits against Galvin's office, a central issue were tweets by Ayyadurai - until Twitter deplatformed him in February - in which he alleged Galvin destroyed one million electronic ballots in the Republican primary. Galvin's office repeatedly countered there were no such electronic ballots to begin with, that paper ballots, stored in secured warehouses, were the only ballots used in Massachusetts.

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Comments

Or maybe now he is a part of the conspiracy.

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So, he's come to his senses?

On this matter at least. It appears the "Dr. Shiva" is capable of recognizing a rake after he's stepped on it seven or eight times and thwacked himself in the face. I have a feeling, though, that this is a specific rather than general epiphany, and that the lesson won't translate to other tools with the potential for self-harm.

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that uses abstruse hocus-pocus words to gull the simpleminded. No bona fide election security expert is arguing for needless, expensive anti-counterfeiting measures on ballots like holographic foils and UV watermarks (or if you prefer to sound like an overweening douche, "multi-colored micro-numismatic invisible ultraviolet designs".)

It's not a simple topic, but the short path to election security is to shun purely electronic voting systems, rely on voter-verifiable paper ballots, and routinely conduct risk-limiting audits. Read an actual election security expert like Matt Blaze if you're interested in learning more about it from someone who is widely respected in the field, as opposed to wasting another second on some Trumpie fuckwad who has proven himself again and again to be an utter clown, a ghastly public nuisance, a nagging burden on state taxpayers, and a disgrace to the fine institutions that awarded him degrees.

Time for you to bugger off to the ignorant backwoods of Florida, Shiva, as you are the Florida Man of empty, delusional PhDs. That tired, transparent shtick of yours might actually fool some of the rubes there. Here in the Commonwealth, you will forever be a sorry joke, the overeducated drunk at the end of the bar muttering tortured explanations of why he ended up such a repeat loser in life to an audience of no one.

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some people who follow this blog might be confused why this guy gets so much coverage, but for those of us that were around in CompSci circles his ultimate career/life trajectory has been absolutely shocking. This is a someone who was respected by many.

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Was he? I could very well just be out of the loop, but I got my BS in CS in 2004 and I had never heard of him until a few years ago.

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Completed my CS degree in 2008. Also never heard of him. Maybe the later classes heard of him, as in the 2010s?

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Not in a serious CS way...more like "this is what happens if you eat too many hot pockets" or something like that.

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As long as I can remember, he's been "some crank who claims to have invented email".

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Starting to understand why tech companies seem fundamentally hostile to the concept of society and consequences for their actions - just creeps hiding being libertarian views at every level.

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I don't want to turn this into a thread about the virtues and vices of Richard Stallman (though advocacy of free software and open software is not generally a "libertarian view"), but comparing him to Shiva Ayyadurai is ludicrous. The contributions of Stallman to software engineering are vast; many thousands of engineers use tools that he designed and developed every day, and larger systems enabled by them are used by millions. Nothing developed by Ayyadurai has had any influence at all.

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Of course it's also true that Shiva didn't chase tons of highly talented women out of the tech sector so tomato tomatoe.

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the bogus claim to inventing email was how most folks there heard of Ayyadurai for the first time, and the consensus was that they couldn't wait for that embarrassing schmuck to get his eventual, inevitable comeuppance.

I suppose it's like learning that the guy who organized the Fyre Festival or Elizabeth Holmes from Theranos was a classmate: shameless fraudsters destined for a prison sentence someday.

That's gotta make for some awkward reunion moments. "Hey, Shiva, how ya been? Still making the dumbest bullshit claim in MIT history?"

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I personally knew Ray Tomlinson, whose claim to have actually invented Internet e-mail is as strong as anybody’s, and in stark contrast to Shiva, one of Ray’s most salient characteristics was modesty. He always insisted that his e-mail innovations were just good, incremental engineering advancements and he resisted people wanting to make a big deal out of it. Also in contrast to Shiva, every time someone described Ray as having “invented e-mail” he would correct them and point out that what he did was add to existing email the ability to send mail to people whose accounts were on different computers in different locations. Among other things, he chose the at sign as the delimiter to separate mailbox name from host name.

Against this background, Shiva’s fuckery always annoyed the hell out of me.

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What a monumental waste of taxpayer funds and judiciary time.

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stored in secured warehouses, were the only ballots used in the Massachusetts

I like it and I'm going to use it from now on.

As in "Baby wheels are a marine species endemic to The Massachusetts"

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Definite articles everywhere! Fixed.

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Just reading these stories about Shiva A. gives me a headache. But I can't imagine researching, reporting and writing these stories. I am surprised your head hasn't exploded.

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you could have had a deep and lasting influence on the regional parler

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Somehow saying "I live in The Massachusetts" sounds cooler than "I live in Massachusetts". But maybe it's me, I'm weird like that LOL

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but does that mean that the official name is The Commonwealth of The Massachusetts?

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A lot of things add "the", particularly road names.

I used to live off "The Dover Road." I also lived on "The Handle Road" .

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“The Southeast Expressway.” “The Jamaicaway”(maybe). “The Mass Pike”. “The Leverett Connector.”

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...election losers did the same thing. That is, accepted defeat and disappeared, like a decent humble human being. Looking at a certain Orange Turd whose supporters are STILL crying over the election. #getoverit

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accepted defeat and disappeared, like a decent humble human being

If I were a betting man, I would bet a whole bunch that he'll be back.

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Or edited out. Adam's right and I apologize if I jumped too quickly to conclusions.

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I obviously still see the value of anonymous comments, but they go into a queue where I have to approve them first - I'm not totally insane.

In this case, I didn't see this comment as Trumpian, but simply a bad-penny comment - we're talking about a person who keeps running for Senate and who filed not one but two lawsuits over last year's results (ditto for his e-mail-daddy claims and even his claims to be more of an anti-vaxxer than Bobby Kennedy, Jr - he sued the Morgan and Morgan frontman, then sued one of Kennedy's supporters).

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can't-be-seen UV marks" can be sung to the tune of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"?

I think not.

For an explanation, see the supremely complicated graphic on the door of a certain Southie barber shop, where all such elaborate conspiracies are properly unpacked.

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Just when it was starting to look like he might be pulling together a coherent legal argument...

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TIL Shiva used to be married to Fran Drescher of Nanny fame. I wonder how those two got together...?

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"I'm a loser... I'm a loser..."

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I watched that religiously when I was a kid.

Edit: Good Lord the Beatles were so cute! Sometimes I forget. I'm sitting here grinning ear to ear.

Thanks, Scratchie!

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Not being a lawyer myself, what remedies can we hope for to discourage this kind of abuse of the legal system by Ayyaduri? Are court-imposed fines the only option?

I know that lawyers can be declared vexatious litigants and sanctioned under a variety of codes that exist for licensed attorneys. However, since Ayyaduri always seems to go pro se and duck out right before a judge gets set to drop the banhammer, I'm not sure what else can be done.

I do, however, applaud him for keeping MIT in the race for venerated local institutions who produce alumni with a significant net negative benefit to society. They've got a long way to go to catch Harvard Law, but who doesn't love an underdog?

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Actual plaintiffs can also be deemed vexatious litigants, whether or not they have convinced a lawyer to work for them.

Since lawyers don't want to be sanctioned by the court, people who are bringing that sort of harassing or meritless suit are often acting pro se.

(I am not a lawyer either.)

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Few people understand the systems in place for voting.

1) Paper ballots are marked.

2) The ballot is fed to a reader whose software also checks to make sure it is the correct ballot for that voting location. Ballots are coded to only go into a single machine at the voting location. If that ballot does not belong there, it is kicked back.

3) The reader scans the ballot and adds votes to two memory cards secured with a security tab. If either security tab is broken the ballots have to be recounted. One memory card is used for tally purposes at a later date and the second is untouched as a secure back up.

4) At the end of the voting night a printout is created which tallies the machine votes per candidate and race. One copy is posted on the entry door of the voting location. This is posted next to a ticker tape printed when the machine was activate that morning at 7 AM showing a zero vote count so that people can see there was no compromise to the machine.

A second ticker tape at the end of the night is printed and the results copied into the clerk's log book. That printed ticker tape is included with the clerk's log book when returned to city hall. A third ticker tape is printed and left attached to the reader. The reader with its paper tape attached and the two secure memory cards are packed for return to city hall by the police officer.

Number of unmarked ballots, cast ballots and anything kicked back are tallied. Numbers have to match. Number of people voting via the check-in books and check out books have to match, and that has to match the number of people that voted per the reader machine.

The cast ballots are locked in a case and secured with a security tab. The reader and ballots are taken to city hall by a police officer.

Preliminary counts are derived from the paper ticker tapes and log books. The working memory card is used to validate the numbers. The second memory card is not touched unless there are issues. If a recount is called for the security tag is broken and ballots recounted by hand.

There are so many redundant systems in place that fraud is not likely.

And for what its worth, none of the state's voting systems that carry the votes otherwise are not connected to the internet at all so there is no chance for hacking.

You can venture all the conspiracy theories that you want but it will not hold water... at least not here. All election workers also take a constitutional oath to uphold a fair and impartial election and are subject to sworn testimony.

That's only a piece of what happens on voting day. Most people think the election workers have it easy. Far from it.

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That's only a piece of what happens on voting day. Most people think the election workers have it easy. Far from it.

Indeed. If you get the chance, I suggest signing up for one of the volunteer positions to assist at a polling place. You will see a lot more of the process, and likely you will leave not only reassured but grateful and proud of the work that is done to make our elections happen, and glad that you were a part of it.

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the state's voting systems that carry the votes otherwise are not connected to the internet at all so there is no chance for hacking.

“Oh, you sweet innocent summer child.” — actual security experts.

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the Commonwealth, which is why Bozo the Sham Inventor of Email's claims are going nowhere. Election fraud is very hard to commit here except in ones or twos, and the penalties far outweigh the utterly negligible impact.

Large-scale election fraud in MA can only really exist is some asshole's fevered brain, no matter how much insane blather and pseudoscientific mumbo-jumbo you spew in court. Documenting your hallucinations in a chart just makes it more obvious what a gibbering conspiracy-minded nimrod you are, which is exactly what Ayyadurai did.

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