Computer scientist and past president of the ACM Barbara Simons recently spent 15 minutes chatting with Charlie Rose
[no transcript available yet] about the insecurity of electronic voting machines, ranging from Direct-recording Electronic systems (such as the Diebold systems which were shown to be insecure in the excellent Hacking Democracy
[1h21m, also on Google Video
]) to optical scanning machines. Add into her expressed uncertainty and frustrations Virginia's wireless vote-tally reporting
, Florida's problems with demonstrated voting machine hacking
) (not to mention a case in FL with outright wrong machine-tallied results
), questions being raised in Chicago about the accuracy of electronic voting
, a Utah election recount being halted
after being found to be incorrect, possible appearance of impropriety about e-voting machines in Ohio
, and a picture starts to be painted wherein the veracity of election outcomes is cast into doubt. Verified Voting
gives information about which state uses what kind of voting, and provides a lot of numbers.
"We could have reprogrammed it to steal votes, but that's been done before, and Pac-Man is more fun!
The Indian government describes their electronic voting machines as 'perfect
', but has never permitted an independant evaluation. A team of three academic researchers received access to a machine from an anonymous source, and demonstrated
. Concerns are being expressed
in India. At 5:30 this Saturday morning, police arrested
Hari Prasad, one of the research team, at his home, transporting him
The verdict of United States v. Russell Cletus Maricle et al.
is in: all defendants have been found guilty
by a Kentucky jury. What makes this case more interesting than your average vote rigging scheme is that this is the only one that involved electronic voting machines. [more inside]
Diebold accidentally releases GEMS software with "Steal Election
" button intact
Vote for James H. "Jim"?
Voters in certain Virginia precincts will see electronic ballots featuring only part of some candidates' names. For some reason this is said to be "unfixable", even though this has been discovered two weeks ahead of election time. This problem only affects voting machines made by... not the one you'd expect, but Austin, TX-based Hart InterCivic
, whose motto is "Always Accessible". Senatorial Candidate James H. "Jim" Webb (D) is, one may assume, not amused.
Ed Felten shows a hacked Diebold voting machine
(youtubesday) in action, on Fox News of all places. Yeah, that Ed Felten
New security glitch found in Diebold system California, Pennsylvania and Iowa are issuing emergency notices to local elections officials, generally telling them to "sequester" their Diebold touch screens and reprogram them with "trusted" software issued by the state capital. Then elections officials are to keep the machines sealed with tamper-resistant tape until Election Day.
Yale Law School Dean : "I might have been an unwitting accessory to fraud"
Ian H. Solomon's belated realization : "Could we have been so naive?....by my presence, along with other Democratic lawyers, I lent an air of legitimacy to the voting process....We should have had trained observers - computer scientists, not lawyers! - verifying the integrity of polling data from machine upload through the tabulation of countywide and statewide results. Somehow we neglected the most vulnerable step....I realized that I might have been an unwitting accessory to fraud....The time is now for voters from all states that used electronic voting machines to request an audit of results and a manual recount of ballots if possible."
indian electronic voting vs. diebold "Reading this article, some of you might remember that Cold war era joke, about NASA and its multi million dollar experiment with a pen that can write in micro gravity to solve the writing problems of astronauts, and the Russian solution of using a Pencil to solve the same problem."
uncovers what seems to be a serious problem either with California voting machines or the vote tallying system: The Secretary of State's summary of votes
on the Davis recall shows three counties--Alameda, Kern, and Plumas--that apparently had zero
voters who didn't vote on the recall. Not one. All three counties used Diebold machines. Other counties ranged from 0.5% to 10.3% of voters not voting on the recall. More
from Rick Hasen, a top election law scholar. [Via Volokh.]
9th Circuit Court blocks California Recall Election
because six counties would be using outdated punch-card ballots. Perhaps the court should have paid a visit to the
Black Box Voting
web site to look at all the problems surfacing with the Electronic Voting machines.
When in doubt, blame the software.
Who is the governor of Alabama? Both incumbent candidate Don Siegelmand and Republican opponent Bob Riley have claimed victories. The answer lies in the hands of Baldwin County officials, who claim a software glitch "miscounted" almost 7,000 votes. [more inside]
Today, Georgia becomes the first state in the US to have standardized, state-wide electronic voting
. Not wanting to be "the next Florida", Georgia spent nearly $60M to go from paper punch cards to touch screens. What's in store, fame or infamy
? After using the computer myself and hearing raves from all the sweet old ladies, I'll bet on the former.
Another election debacle in Florida.
One year and $30m in technology later, the Reno/McBride primary is marred by late openings and other assorted and sundry glitches. I know, it's a CNN link, but I can't resist anything that includes someone delivering the grade "F-minus-minus-minus" (later determined to be merely an "F-minus-minus" and some Drambuie). Any personal voting horror stories from our Florida contingent? Will the state become a case study in how "throwing money at the problem" never works?
Unisys, Microsoft, Dell to Create New Voting System
The system will integrate election processes from voter registration to counting results, Unisys said. Let the Microsoft jokes begin . . .
In the latest Cryptogram newsletter,
security expert Bruce Schneier makes some interesting points about voting, voting machines and computers. The web version of this article won't be up for a few weeks so I have reproduced it here. Read more...