Computing Texas Hold'em
- Dr. Avi Rubin, a Johns Hopkins professor
, computer security
and electronic voting security
expert, writes about learning and playing poker. [more inside]
Diebold accidentally releases GEMS software with "Steal Election
" button intact
"One dude's quest to save democracy!" Free for All!
is a new documentary about the 2004 Ohio election results, which decided the presidential winner. It covers some familiar ground, but also a lot of details you might have missed. You can see it in theaters on October 8, or view it online right now.
Here's Roger Ebert's review.
David Byrd, the President of Premier (formerly Diebold
), has acknowledged that an error in touch-screen voting machines used in half of Ohio's counties
may cause some votes to be "dropped". Oh, and there's no time to fix the problem before the elections. Premier Election Solutions and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner are issuing guidelines
to counties for how to avoid the problem.
Diebold Election Systems is no more
(at least in name). Taking a page from the cigarette companies, Diebold is changing their name
and hoping to reverse the downward spiral
after their recent news
California Restricts Voting Machines
: after a source code review
voting machines turned up
"significant, deeply-rooted security weaknesses"
in voting machines by Diebold, Hart, and Sequoia, the California Secretary of
State decertified all three vendors' systems. These weaknesses have been well
covered here at MeFi
, but some are bad enough to shock even the
, including the revelation that Diebold "uses at least two
hard-coded passwords -- one is 'diebold' and another is the eight-byte
." Time to think about open voting
A frightening and well-made full-length HBO documentary.
A manual for electoral apocalypse
in America. Quite a bit's been written both on MeFi
and other places about how bad Diebold machines are. Rolling Stone wrote an article about election fraud in 2004 that was discussed here
on MeFi. Tonight, Ars posted a very
thorough, very clear article about how we are completely screwed if we do not enact expensive, fundamental changes in how we handle elections in America. It's too late to do anything about the elections in a couple weeks, but perhaps steps can be taken to fix things before 2008...
[O]ne muggy day in mid-August , [Diebold consultant Chris] Hood was surprised to see the president of Diebold's election unit, Bob Urosevich, arrive in Georgia from his headquarters in Texas. With the primaries looming, Urosevich was personally distributing a "patch," a little piece of software designed to correct glitches in the computer program. "We were told that it was intended to fix the clock in the system, which it didn't do," Hood says. "The curious thing is the very swift, covert way this was done. . . . It was an unauthorized patch, and they were trying to keep it secret from the state," Hood told me. "We were told not to talk to county personnel about it. I received instructions directly from Urosevich. It was very unusual that a president of the company would give an order like that and be involved at that level."
- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Will the Next Election be Hacked?
Security Analysis of the Diebold AccuVote-TS Voting Machine.
These voting machines are even more broken than you think. Ars Technia has posted nice summary of this article.
The research was done in part by Professor Ed Felten who writes for the Freedom to Tinker
web site, which is well worth reading.
Worst Ever Security Flaw in Diebold Voting Machine
A single switch is all that is required to cause the machine to boot an unverified external flash instead of the built-in, verified EEPROM."
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.
Just 'cause they're made by Diebold doesn't mean you have to kick them!
A 61-year-old man was arrested after an alleged "poll rage incident" today, kicking over 2 pricy voting machines. See here
for more fun & games from the Ohio primary elections. Thanks to malfunctioning Diebold machines and overall shenanigans, polls are open 'til 9:30 tonight. Congressional rep Stephanie Tubbs-Jones was on the case
While making a required filing to the state ethics commission, Ohio Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Kenneth Blackwell finds Diebold shares in his stock portfolio that he now claims to have bought "accidentally." Yes, that
Diebold -- the e-voting company whose chairman promised to "deliver the vote
" to George Bush. And yes, that
Blackwell, whose state helped deliver the White House
to the GOP. Blackwell insists that the humble amount of Diebold stock was in one of those "blind trust
" type of arrangements that worked out so rewardingly for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. [newsfilter via RawStory.]
Diebold whistleblower busted for whistleblowin'.
Stephen Heller, who leaked classified information showing how Diebold illegally used uncertified voting machines in California in 2002, is being charged with sundry computer crimes by the LA County DA's office.
E-voting systems hacker sees ‘particularly bad’ security issues ...On Tuesday, Dec. 13, we conducted a hack of the Diebold AccuVote optical scan device. I wrote a five-line script in Visual Basic that would allow you to go into the central tabulator and change any vote total you wanted, leaving no logs....
More from the Washington Post here,
where ... Four times over the past year Sancho told computer specialists to break in to his voting system. And on all four occasions they did, changing results with what the specialists described as relatively unsophisticated hacking techniques. ..."Can the votes of this Diebold system be hacked using the memory card?" Two people marked yes on their ballots, and six no. The optical scan machine read the ballots, and the data were transmitted to a final tabulator. The result? Seven yes, one no. ... Verified Voting
and Black Box Voting
have much much more on all of this.
"After watching his computer expert change vote totals this week, Sancho said that he now believes someone on the inside did the same think in Volusia County in 2000."
Leon County, FL election supervisor alleges fraud in the Bush/Gore election. "In Volusia County precinct 216, a memory card added more than 200 votes to George W. Bush's total and subtracted 16,000 votes from Al Gore. The mistake was later corrected during a hand count."
California holds a "No Hearing Hearing" on Diebold certification. "In June, over 200 people traveled to Sacramento to voice their concerns at a public hearing before a panel of advisors to the Secretary of State on voting systems. Since then, every scheduled meeting of the Voting Systems Panel has been cancelled, and now the Secretary has simply disbanded the VSP without notice, without hearings, without any type of due process."
This isn't the only jurisdiction in which Diebold is attempting to circumvent legal requirements - in North Carolina they filed for and received a broad exemption from new disclosure rules
recently passed into law. The EFF are now suing to force Diebold to comply with the law
As if that wasn't enough, an official Certification Test
(PDF) for Diebold's Optical Scan voting machines confirms an earlier threat analysis test
(PDF) that the memory cards on these machines run uncertified and arbitrary executable code, a charge that Diebold has vigorously denied
Project Censored places "Distorted Election Coverage" at number 3
on their list of ignored news stories of the last year. In more recent ignored news a Diebold insider speaks out
(which security guru Bruce Schneier considers "sensationalist" but "good information"
) - just as Diebold shares plunge
and top executives flee. In July Diebold's voting machines were rejected by the state of California
after "possibly the most extensive testing ever on a voting system" revealed a high incidence of crashes and paper jams. Not to mention the undocumented backdoor
in Diebold's GEMS vote tabulator.
Meanwhile, in Ohio, two officials of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections have been indicted by a grand jury
on charges that they "did not permit a random selection of precincts for the recount and it did not let witnesses oversee the opening of the sealed ballot cases and the first recount of the votes."
And John Conyers is urging Americans to oppose a proposed national ID voting requirement, which he calls a "21st Century poll tax"
. Is this what democracy looks like?
20 Amazing Facts About
Read this and cry. Or move to another country.
A bizzare pattern of impossible anomalies
This has long been known : the welter of financial ties of Diebold and ES&S to the radical religious right
(with stakeholders currently, it seems, on the secretive CNP
) and Bob Fitrakis notes : "Wherever Diebold and ES&S go, irregularities and historic Republican upsets follow." Howard Ahmanson
was the original funder for Bob and Todd Urosevich's Data Mark,which became ES&S, Bob later left to head Diebold
,maker of HAVA Act
mandated touch screen voting machines used in Ohio and Florida and elsewhere....Ahmanson
is a Christian Reconstructionist
(a form of Dominionism
) who has talked of imposing Biblical law on the US - including the death penalty for gays and drunkards - and is also a main funder of the Chalcedon Foundation
. However, the most bizzare patterns of anomalies in Florida came not from touch-screen but optical scan machines. Florida's central vote tabulator also is Diebold made
, raising questions on the a bizzare pattern of anomalies
in which a large number of counties in Florida had increases in Republicans votes over expected levels - by an overall average of 50% to 100% and - in one county, as high as 700%
. Meanhwhile, here are graphs of variance
between exit poll results for battleground states.
By entering a 2-digit code in a hidden location in the Diebold voting machine, a second set of votes is created. "This set of votes can be changed, so that it no longer matches the correct votes. The voting system will then read the totals from the bogus vote set. It takes only seconds to change the votes, and to date not a single location in the U.S. has implemented security measures to fully mitigate the risks."
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."
Diabold touchscreen voting has suffered a setback. The Sec. of State of California (Kevin Shelly) has just decertified 14,000 Diabold AccuVote machines and ordered an investigation of whether or not to charge the company with fraud. Main story here
(Washington Post reg required).
A few .pdf related documents include the decertification order/finding
what must be done to be recertified
including allowing voters a strictly paper vote option. (more inside)
NationalCity Diebold ATM crashes, giving anyone admin access.
Amazing, some college students found a crashed Diebold WindowsXP ATM and were able to use it like a desktop machine. Your money isn't feeling too safe right about now. Your vote is probably just as unsafe.
The Diebold scandal
might have reminded us all of Stalin's famous quote, "who votes doesn't count, it's who gets to count the votes." But, perhaps another modern version might read, "who votes doesn't count, it's who gets to draw the maps of the voting districts."
As you are settling in to greet your new overlords
, you might want to take a look at one of their software tools: Caliper Maptitude
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.]
In Lebanon, 144000 e-votes casted by 19000 registered voters.
No need to blame Middle East crisis, try Lebanon , Boone County, Indiana. Diebold is no longer alone.
The Diebold Memos' Smoking Gun
Volusia County Memos Disclose Election 2000 Vote Fraud
"If voting could really change things, it would be illegal."
More fun from Diebold: on Tuesday, two PA-based student groups announced they will engage in "electronic civil disobedience" by ignoring Diebold's demands to remove public access to leaked memos from Diebold offices, which indicate among other things "...that Diebold, which counts the votes in 37 states, knowingly created an electronic system which allows anyone with access to the machines to add and delete votes without detection."
How to hack an election 1.12: Diebold tries to silence incriminating evidence
: Diebold, maker of proven-to-be hackable voting systems, plays global whack-a-mole
, in effort to scare ISP's into taking down websites with incriminating material. They used the DCMA to shut down BlackBoxVoting.org.
But the incriminating data just keeps popping back up on the Net
, and Gun-and-Voting rights activist Jim March calls the bluff and challenges Diebold “Diebold: You are cordially invited to bite me. Bring it on. Make my day."
. March has created a legal strategy/toolkit for voting rights activists who want to fight Diebold, a company which has knowingly - for 10 years - sold security-compromised voting technology, and whose CEO, an aggressive Republican fundraiser
, has said he is "he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."
In internal memos published by Scoop
, Diebold's officials admit that their voting records database is (and has been for a long time) hackable ( [anyone can] "access the GEMS Access database and alter the Audit log without entering a password" ) but that this isn't necessarily a problem because "It has a lot to do with perception. Of course everyone knows perception is reality." For background to this story, see my summary of Mefi posts on the Voting Fraud story
, from this
thread. Diebold's funky voting systems are in the process of being "Certified", in Maryland and elsewhere, by SAIC, a company convicted of major frauds within the last decade and which has extensive ties to the Bush Administration
, the CIA, and which "proudly lists DARPA in its annual report as one of its prime clients.", and owns Network Solutions, Inc. SAIC has not, it seems, noticed the GEMS database story (see main link). If Diebold systems win certification, we can expect an awful lot of This
sort of thing.
Computer security expert Dr. Rebecca Mercuri has some pointed analysis on the subject.
You can join the effort to demand truly secure voting systems at VerifiedVoting.Org
by David L. Dill, a Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. Go team.
Important expose and interview runs on Salon today.
"This evening the site the aritcle features is shut down.
As soon as we get that new server up we'll host the materials (yes, we have a copy) that Diebold doesn't want the public to see. Diebold cannot silence everyone. "
The links (2) for this piece can be found at URL given here.
"If you're not outraged you are not paying attention. "
, as usual, is both outraged and paying attention.
Are our elections fixed? Diebold Election Systems
makes electronic voting machines being installed throughout the US. The problem? The systems contain serious security flaws
that could possibly have been the reason for major swings in vote counts and discrepancies with exit polling. Also, a step-by-step guide
to manipulating Diebold results -- and covering your tracks.
Who Counts your Votes? This book published back in 1992
is a good launching pad to begin the quest regarding elections and election fraud in America. Joseph Stalin had a saying: ``Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.'' When I voted on November 5, I was handed a little card stuck it in to a Diebold voting machine and presto all the votes I submitted were counted correctly right? Well I'm not sure after I read the article Diebold: The face of modern balloting at http://www.bartcop.com/110702otter.htm
and some of the articles at
Perhaps we Americans have handed a bit to much over to computers and the people who own the companies that make the computers and that write the code. Perhaps to restore faith in our Democracy its time to to go back a simple hand counted system, with observers from multiple parties stationed in the local precincts counting the paper ballots.