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E-Voting Firm VoteHere Discloses October Break-In 172

Posted by timothy
from the what-are-the-28%-thinking-exactly dept.
linuxwrangler writes "In the ongoing saga of electronic voting 'security,' eVoting company VoteHere is the latest to reveal that they were the victim of a computer break-in. According to VoteHere founder, Jim Adler, the concern isn't about their source code which they plan to reveal 'eventually,' anyway, but is about the possible release of salary and other HR data. Astoundingly, the 'hot poll' associated with this story has (as this is being posted) 28% of respondents saying they would trust their vote on the internet and 41% saying 'not now, but maybe soon.' Feel free to cast your vote." Reader nSignIfikaNt points to the Assocated Press' article as carried by CNN.
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E-Voting Firm VoteHere Discloses October Break-In

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  • by c0dedude (587568) on Monday December 29, 2003 @11:19PM (#7832548)
    Neato! I caught this story right when it went on slashdot's main page, 0/3 comments and got the vote tally, we can safely say that this is pre /. effect. Now, I think I know which way most slashdoteers are going to vote, and we've already seen vote skewing here [forbes.com] when a sig told people to vote no on Verisign all through September and October (it got around 5000 votes at the end of the month as I recall), let's see how slashdot affects a slightly larger traffic/voting site:

    So here are the current vote totals, pre /. effect:

    24692 Responces
    27% Yes
    41% Not today, but maybe soon
    29% Never (Likely to spike? Let's see!)
    2% None of the above
  • Exactly.

    Lets not forget that these evoting corps seem to be doing everything in their power NOT to make it secure.

    More E-Voting SNAFUs [slashdot.org].

    I just wish I remembered the news source that mentioned that the big 3 corps that made the voting material were big republican donators. Anybody has a link?
  • by USAPatriot (730422) on Monday December 29, 2003 @11:43PM (#7832672) Homepage
    The EFF is organizing a petition to encourage IEEE to set trustworthy standards for electronic voting. Read about it and join the petition here:

    http://www.eff.org/Activism/E-voting/IEEE/ [eff.org]

    "EFF supports the IEEE in taking on the issue of setting standards for electronic voting machines. We also support the idea of modernizing our election processes using digital technology, as long as we maintain, or better yet, increase the trustworthiness of the election processes along the way. But this standard does not do this, and it must be reworked."
  • by Barto (467793) on Monday December 29, 2003 @11:46PM (#7832684) Journal
    I don't have a problem as long as the program used is open source, and the program running on election day is verified to be that same program.

    You can take steps to keep track of, record and back up electronic votes if something goes wrong. Remember, bad things can happen with paper voting too (eg vote counting buildings catching fire, flooding). There isn't that much difference with e-voting, PROVIDING you take equivalent digital precautions.

    Here in Canberra, our voting machines run Linux, with GPLed e-voting software. Find the code at http://www.elections.act.gov.au/evacs.tar.gz

    Barto
  • by York the Mysterious (556824) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @12:49AM (#7832921) Homepage
    I don't think the problem is that these systems run Windows though that's certainly not helping the security situation. I believe the problem is more the secrecy these companies are taking as well and the inherent risk to the accuracy of the voting that comes with computerizing the process.
  • by shanen (462549) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:07AM (#7832977) Homepage Journal
    Bev Harris is one of the leading activists on this issue, and has written extensively on it in various forums. I don't think she's technically that strong, and I was quite surprised to see her name here on SlashDot, but she knows a lot on this issue. Didn't know to include a link to her well-known Web site. I think this is the correct URL: http://www.blackboxvoting.com/

    Someone should mod her comments up even higher.

  • by MoggyMania (688839) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @02:29AM (#7833325) Homepage Journal
    As somebody that worked as an Inspector for my area (that is, the person present and in-charge of a voting site) back in 2002, let me tell you: if more people volunteered and got to see what a chaotic mess ballot-handling is *now* most of them would be all for computers.

    The Inspector position requires a grand total of *two hours* of training, during which we sit watching a few lectures and quick run-throughs. That includes everything from what time you show up, how to set up booths, all the way down to tallying votes after the poll closes and where to bring the materials afterwards. Officials working with an Inspector can show up for training but don't have to. This means that at any one polling place, you might have *one* person that *might* know WTF is going on and *might* be there.

    My location alone had problems with volunteers not paying attention, marking things wrong -- we at one point were HUNDREDS of votes off in the tally because of one person screwing around -- misplacing things...people showing up and trying (almost successfully) to intimidate pollworkers into letting them vote twice or without an ID...there's no doubt in my mind that half my team could have easily been bribed for very little money, as they were only there to supplement their income.

    Overall, the day was a real eye-opener for me. The assumption that having it all done by hand means it's being controlled by professionals, or that public "paid volunteers" are automatically going to be more trustworthy than a trained force is from what I saw simply inaccurate...anybody certain that it's a great setup needs to spend a day volunteering as Inspector to find out what things are *really* like before assuming computers are inherently less reliable, believe me!
  • by sean.peters (568334) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @12:22PM (#7835565) Homepage
    Motor-voter registration (renewing your driver's license automatically registers you to vote) came into effect nation-wide years ago. And in many states, all you have to do, if you find that it's election day and you haven't registered, is show up at the polling place with ID and sign an affirmation that you are a legal voter in that election district.

    How much easier does it need to get?

    Sean

"Love may fail, but courtesy will previal." -- A Kurt Vonnegut fan

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