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Election Officials And Crackers Challenge Diebold 219

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the give-it-the-harri-hursty-test dept.
Rick Zeman writes "The Washington Post is reporting that election officials in Florida have manipulated election results in controlled tests. From the article: '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. To Sancho, the results showed the vulnerability of voting equipment manufactured by Ohio-based Diebold Election Systems, which is used by Leon County and many other jurisdictions around the country.'"
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Election Officials And Crackers Challenge Diebold

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  • As they say (Score:5, Funny)

    by mgv (198488) <[Nospam.01.slash2dot] [at] [veltman.org]> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:21AM (#14531688) Homepage Journal
    To err is human, but to really foul things up it takes a computer.

    After all - people have been trying to rig results for a long time. But this just makes it so easy for one person to potentially change the outcome of an election....

    Michael
    • But this just makes it so easy for one person to potentially change the outcome of an election....

      What do you mean "potentially"?

  • by rts008 (812749) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:22AM (#14531692) Journal
    "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032138/quotes [imdb.com])

    North Carolina had the same problem with their voting machines (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20051130/1121207 _F.shtml [techdirt.com]).

    The only new thing here is the current state finding Diebold non-compliant.
  • by James_Duncan8181 (588316) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:27AM (#14531706) Homepage
    Windows XP + network connection + data held in an *Access DB* and then transferred by memory card with no crypographic checksum.

    If I prepared work like that for a client, I'd expect to get chucked out by security.

    I'll also note the following:
            a) Diabold say that a paper trail is not needed for security, but provide one on their own ATMs. Apparently independent verification of election results is less important then $$$ transactions.
            b) Both local and remote vulns have been demonstrated on their voting machines, but the ATMs have not been pwned.
            c) Diabold refuses to let the source code be reviewed, and chose to run on Windows XP so neither the program or the OS of the box can be verified safe.
            d) Diabold machines can have the vote totals rewritten on their memory sticks as they do not cryptographically sign or encrypt the totals. That's plain text on a card that can be removed from the machine and has a standard file format.
            e) Diabold security is fucked whether or not they put the same code they have tested on the box. With tested, verfied boxes they cannot add XP security patches for known flaws after te verification date (and if there is one thing worth keeping an 0-day for...). If they do add security patches etc then we are trusting closed source biaries to be added to election counting machines without the possibility of review. One bad actor and the elecetion is up for grabs.

    No thanks. I'm not usually a conspiracy theorist but is is as if they were designed to be broken into.

    Would a BSD box with one simple program, output to the framebuffer, a results paper trail and a constant SSH tunnel to the FEC be that hard? *sighs*

    Fuck Diabold.
    • by Jaazaniah (894694) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:38AM (#14531738)
      Seriously, if someone has the knowledge of the system you just proposed, why not take the long shot and propose to work for the gov't and put that together? Not only would you be able to demonstrate how insecure Diebold's system is with a tiny PDA that can read/write their memory sticks, but you'd also be able to demonstrate that you can't do that to yours. At least not on the fly with a PDA.

      Steps to stopping the stupidity:
      1) Put down (favorite game) when you're off work.
      2) Write plan, put something together.
      3) Get in touch [senate.gov] with someone with the power to make the (smart) decision.
      4) Show off.
      • Steps to stopping the stupidity:
        1) Put down (favorite game) when you're off work.
        2) Write plan, put something together.
        3) Get in touch with someone with the power to make the (smart) decision.

        4) Go to jail because now they can prove you tried to find a way to subvert the system.

      • I'm actually now seriously considering that.

        It may actually only be a few weeks worth of coding, and I can think of only a dew things that need to be covered.

        1: Graphic selection via a touch screen.
        2: Voice reading of the candiate names for the blind.
        3: A safe, intepreted language to provide a sandbox.
        4: An aim for the minimum number of LOC to make it easy to verify.
        5: No open ports, but constant transmission of votes as they are made on an SSH, public-key encrypted tunnel (so it will be noticed if the tota
      • Someone already is. (Score:5, Informative)

        by KingSkippus (799657) * on Sunday January 22, 2006 @10:40AM (#14532413) Homepage Journal

        There's an organization called the Open Voting Consortium [openvotingconsortium.org] whose mission is "the development, maintenance, and delivery of open voting systems for use in public elections." They are directly opposed to the shenanigans that Diebold has engaged in.

        Problem is, they spend their donations on actually developing the system, not in paying off Congressmen to give them lucrative exclusive contracts. Still, one can hope that it changes someday. (And donate to support the effort...)

        • Problem is, they spend their donations on actually developing the system, not in paying off Congressmen to give them lucrative exclusive contracts.

          Why should government listen to an organization that is not part of the government (assuming OVC isn't)? They have their own non-partisan government organization which has been formed using our own rules of democracy and tax money.

          I would feel uneasy about _any_ non-government organization being adopted by the government as your wishes expressed, for fear of pol
    • As nifty as a paper trail sounds, there are problems with that too. For example, how do you verify that the votes people input are logged correctly on the printout? Bits are easy to flip, whether done on purpose, or by executing buggy code.

      And do you really think that vote anonymity--an essential feature of our process--would last if people walked out of their polling place with some sort of receipt? If you can connect an identity to a vote, you can directly coerce or otherwise influence that voter with
      • by gaijin99 (143693) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @07:45AM (#14531913) Journal
        The voter doesn't take the paper with him, as you say that would ruin the whole anonymous ballot thing. The voter gets the paper, looks at the human readable output to verify that his vote was correctly recorded, and drops the paper into a ballot box on his way out. If the paper shows that his vote was incorrectly recorded, he can ask an election official to remove his vote from the machine, destroy that paper ballot, and try again.

        The election officials keep the paper ballots, machine printed recepts that is, so that in the event of a dispute they can be hand counted. Since, theoretically, every voter looked at their recept and verified that it recorded what they truly intended to vote for, if someone hacks the machines and falsifies the votes recorded there, the paper ballots get the final say in the event of a dispute.

        It also gives you a good indication of where the falsification of the electronic votes got started since you can say: hmmm, district 123 shows 4000 votes for candidate X on the computer, but the paper ballots only show 1000 votes for candidate X, who messed with the machines in district 123?

        Essentially we're keeping the old paper method of vote recording as a backup in the event that its suspected that someone hacks the machines.
        • One little change - the voter wouldn't be able to touch the paper trail - it would be behind glass. Otherwise folks would walk off with them, and in the event of an audit the counts wouldn't match - thus making it impossible to detect true fraud.

          Have the paper drop into a box after verification - otherwise it goes in a trash box. Do a random audit of x% of the results, and a systematic audit any time there is cause to do so...
          • no, for reassurance the person should hold the paper receipt and drop it in the box themselves. That's the way most balloting systems (with paper) work these days. Even the punch cards we use here, we put the punch card in an paper folder and drop it in a container.

            I'm assuming current counter-measures against ballot box stuffing are sufficient from someone printing up a couple of thousand fake votes and putting them in the box.
            • Printing a password that is encrypted with a password on each ticket would avoid stuffing. (It is funny that you could even encourage people to try stuffing anything they like in the boxes, knowing that the encryption is too strong to crack from a sample ticket). You just discard any tickets that do not decrypt to the password when counting.
        • The voter gets the paper, looks at the human readable output to verify that his vote was correctly recorded, and drops the paper into a ballot box on his way out...

          The election officials keep the paper ballots, machine printed recepts that is, so that in the event of a dispute they can be hand counted...the paper ballots get the final say in the event of a dispute.


          Sorry to be argumentative, because I'd like there to be an elegant solution to this problem, but doesn't this essentially turn the electronic vot
    • Control over the election of the President of the United States is probably the biggest cash cow you could have. Couple that with control over the elections of the Congress, and you have a way to influence how a trillion dollar budget is spent. Now how much would you pay?

      The only thing stopping wholesale cheating is the use of exit polls, and even they weren't enough in the last presidential election. If the exit polls and actual poll results differ by 30%, people will get upset. In reality, even a small de

      • The only thing stopping wholesale cheating is the use of exit polls, and even they weren't enough in the last presidential election. If the exit polls and actual poll results differ by 30%, people will get upset. In reality, even a small deviation should raise alarm flags and cause a recount,

        Why in the heck would exit polls stop wholesale cheating? You are assuming:
        a) people are telling the truth about whom they voted for
        b) either all the people are polled or a good sampling
        c) and the most important, the

    • c) Diabold refuses to let the source code be reviewed, and chose to run on Windows XP so neither the program or the OS of the box can be verified safe.

      Do you have the source code for Unix?

      Also, do you have the source code for the compiler that compiled that version of Unix?

      And finally, do you have the source code for the compiler that compiled the compiler [acm.org]?

      Granted, all of this requires a level of sophistication not yet achieved. However, unless you are capable of manually examining the entire sys

    • by Bobzibub (20561) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @01:09PM (#14533159)
      Canada's national election happens to be tomorrow.....

      "All votes are made on the same standard heavy paper ballot which is inserted in a standard cardboard box, furnished by Elections Canada. The ballot and the box are devised to ensure that no one except the elector knows the individual choice that was made. Counting the ballots is done by hand in full view of the representatives of each candidate. There are no mechanical, electrical or electronic systems involved in this process."

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_electoral_sy stem#Non-partisan_election_officers [wikipedia.org]

      Scandalous!

      Cheers,
      -b
      • In all fairness, you could use paper ballots in the New England states, which don't vote for all that much. You might only vote for 5 offices in any given year.

        In 2004, here in Columbus (Franklin County, Ohio) we voted for 57 different offices, judgeships, city/county/state initiatives and referenda. If you multiply that out by the 590,000 votes cast, then you see why electronic balloting is a necessity.
    • The fact that a paper trail is such an obvious solution and that it is so easy to implement is what makes the chosen convoluted, hackable, no-recount alternative used so suspicious.

      What honest and experienced company would chose anything but that easy and elegant solution that is currently implemented on every ATM and all cash registers if not because they want to open the possibility to election fraud? Hell, they might even had to pay to remove that standard feature from the hardware. No amount of electron
    • Apparently independent verification of election results is less important then $$$ transactions.

      Obviously. That's why Diebold was hired in the first place. Being capable of ensuring the "right" President is elected is worth big money. Not to you and me, but to corporations and powerbrokers and such. You scratch their back, they scratch yours. Damn straight there isn't going to be verification!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:45AM (#14531758)
    If they did we'd have this problem fixed by now. We've know they were insecure for years now; ever since the accidental release of diebolds e-mails detailing backdoors and holes that were not patched. Who remembers that security researcher who went before congress and said specifically that his code, which was to illustrate a backdoor into the machines, was used to hack the elections in ohio? I forget his name.

    Fact is, CEO's and friends of voting machine companies get into power. Why? Guess. It isn't the 20% of the vote they need to swing; it's the 6% after they've divided everyone on the issues. Voting laws and policys are consistantly broken, and is anything done about it? The answer lies in the question; Has anyone been taken out of power yet? Dictatorship only works if people are divided; if they stand for something and stand by it for hell or high water.

    And I might, just might give credit to the guys who said "well, it's stil the will of the people" if it weren't for that they can't prove their position since there's nothing for them to count. The election board can't even tell them who voted for who so they can go around asking people.

    Of course, the best way you can tell the government you don't like what you're doing is to decide you stand for something and stand for it tall. I personally chose the constitution; it ain't perfect, but it's something everyone can agree on. Of course, ever since the civil war and reconstruction the constitution's layed dormant. To make a long story short, if you want to get rid of the current government, the best way is to simply stop working for them; stop giving them your money. How do you do that? Well, basically the 14th amendment set you up to be a federal citizen by the name of a "U.S. citizen" and social security turned you into a corporate legal fiction so that income tax, which worked only on corporations, now works on you. How do you get out? You rescind your federal citizenship, declare your citizenship of your state as it was before reconstruction, rescind your birth certificate (to remove proof of being under the 14th), rescind your social security (to correct your status as a soverign instead of a corporation), then begin rescinding everything else; drivers lisence, fishing lisences, gun lisence, any contract with the federal government and it's munincipal corporations (read; the states are corporations). You can get a non-binding play-ID from the SS office if you want to get a bank account, for example. Then you simply stop paying income and social security taxes, atwhich point you stop giving the government 30% of your income and begin working to reinstate lawful government in your state via holding elections and office and organizing locally. More to the point, if enough people do it quickly enough, the federal government will have about 10 trillion in debt to pay off, and no way repay it back which means a massive collapse. :X...

    The price? Reading a few books; learning how history, governments, and legal documents work. Mabye $500 in books total. A good place to start is here:

    http://www.usa-the-republic.com/revenue/true_histo ry/Contents.html [usa-the-republic.com]

    Do a find for john ainsworth and ed wahler on this page

    http://mp3.rbnlive.com/Stadt06.html [rbnlive.com]

    They've been preparing a book and an organization to do this on a massive scale. The book comes out in march-ish along with the publicisation of the startup and they hope to do it state-by-state.

    • While government in general is massively inefficient, the true "cost" of your proposal to "rescind" everything (even were it legal) would actually be - no police, no firemen, roads getting crappy even quicker, massive theft and robberies since social programs wouldn't be funded, etc.
    • You'd have a lot more credibility if you could name someone who has actually done this. As it stands, the second you try it, they'll simply treat you as the crackpot criminal tax evader you are.

      This reminds me of the crackpot theory [straightdope.com] that you don't have to pay income tax because the 16th amendment wasn't properly ratified.

    • I would have liked it if instead of saying "here's how you do it" you said "here's how I did it."

      I worked with a guy a few years ago that got wrapped up in this, um, er, philosophy. He actually got the HR department for a fortune-500 company to stop witholding social security from his paycheck on the basis of a poor reproduction of a letter on congressional letterhead from a Congressman with these unique ideas. About 9 months later, he gets word from HR that not only are they resuming witholding, but com

  • My impression is that the Bush family is the most corrupt family every to have political power in the United States. These are people who believe that they are more than 100% right, and that other people don't matter.

    It does not surprise me that Jeb Bush's state is involved in voting machine vulnerabilities. Quote from the story "... vendors such as Diebold have too much influence in the administration of elections, a view that resonated with Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, the founder of the Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition."

    The president of Diebold said he would deliver the votes to Bush [commondreams.org]. And he did [whatreallyhappened.com].

    I wrote short reviews of books and movies about the corruption, but I only barely touched the surface: Unprecedented Corruption: A guide to conflict of interest in the U.S. government [futurepower.org]. Note that, although Michael Moore's manner of expression is sloppy, other authors supported his main points in the movie Fahrenheit 9/11. For example, George W. Bush does hold hands with Saudi leaders, his father was at a meeting with a brother of Osama bin Laden on the day before 9/11, and so on.
    • My impression is that the Bush family is the most corrupt family every to have political power in the United States. These are people who believe that they are more than 100% right, and that other people don't matter.

      I think you overestimate the influence of morality. The interest of this family (and their party) has little to do with right and wrong. Despite our president's delusions that the voices in his head are Jesus Christ telling him what to do, that's really not the point.

      At some point (hint R

      • Even at full capacity, it would've taken 10-20 years of taking all of Iraq's oil profits (or it may even have been total net sales...) to pay for the initial cost of the war. Iraq's oil fields aren't running anywhere close to full capacity due to initial damage from the war and constant ongoing damage from insurgent activity.

        Note that by "initial cost", I mean the initial 80-100 billion that Bush requested for the war. What's the price tag up to now? 200b? 300b? It's a hell of a lot more. Plus there's
        • If this was about oil, it was a damned stupid financial decision.

          Yep, fucked the country over good and half of the voting public willingly bent over for another reaming too.

          It wasn't about oil - it was about oil infrastructure. Most of the oilfields in Texas are dry (or too expensive to extract from, even at $70/barrell) but what Texas has a lot of are the companies that build rigs, build pipelines, do geo-petrol exploration, etc. Those companies have made a killing since the Iraqi invasion.
        • by Black Parrot (19622) * on Sunday January 22, 2006 @11:56AM (#14532765)
          > If this was about oil, it was a damned stupid financial decision

          Ah, but you neglect the distinction between who is going to pay for it and who was supposed to profit from it.

          The oil companies were supposed to supposed to benefit from it (by means of the distribution contracts rather than by pwning the oilfields per se), but you and your descendents will be paying for the war, yea unto the seventh generation.

          (Saw a news story somewhere this month about a new estimate of the war's total costs to the USA running to the amount of two trillion dollars. Cheney and his cronies won't be picking up the tab; they're already getting tax breaks on their record profits, while the national debt goes ballistic.)
          • Ah, but you neglect the distinction between who is going to pay for it and who was supposed to profit from it.

            Exactly right. Hussein overthrown, friendly government installed, Haliburton cleans up mess, US military keeps the peace, total cost to US taxpayers astronomical.

            Once the dust clears, friendly government sells drilling rights to US oil companies (you think the Bushes have a piece of one?), who patiently wait for the dust to clear to jump in and make astronomical profits.

            For that kind of money

        • Maybe, but they didn't pay for the war. Your tax dollars paid for the war. OK they pay taxes as well, but that is only a small part of the total cost.

          They however, will get all the profits.
        • Maybe the war wasn't about the actual commodity, but how the oil was being traded. Saddam was, apparently, going to start trading oil in euros instead of dollars. The petrodollars are essential for the US's economy, and if the world (or even some big players) started using euros instead of dollars for trading, then the US gets a massive hit. As Iran is now calling to trade in euros, the war is seeming more likely. Oil is still pretty much everywhere - the more immediate danger is the currency. If the d
        • If this was about oil, it was a damned stupid financial decision.

          Not if you're a Saudi oil barron (oh, and who is the Bush family friends with?). You've seen your product more than double in price for no real increase in the cost of actually getting it out of the ground.

          The UAE has so much oil and natural gas money they're building an underwater hotel [dubaicityguide.com].
      • Despite our president's delusions that the voices in his head are Jesus Christ telling him what to do...

        Argumentum ad hominem [infidels.org].

        The people running things, both Rep and Dem, are very wealthy and in many instances, particularly in the White House, are ex-CEOs. They are making national decisions based on profit margin, not for us, but for themselves.

        A nicely demonstrative example of Argumentum ad Lazarum [infidels.org] there.

        I'll leave the rest to the viewers at home.
    • Weak. (Score:2, Informative)

      by lheal (86013)
      You believe Moore's lies and distortions because you want them to be true.

      Diebold is a fine example of how the small-mindedness of some people manifests itself. Particularly, it shows that proprietary softare and oafish business practices are next of kin.

      But it has nothing to do with President Bush.

      You defend Moore's dishonesty, but tout Diebold's ineptitude as evidence of President Bush's alleged corruption because his brother is governor of Florida?

      That's some strained reasoning.
      • Re:Weak. (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Qzukk (229616)
        Florida?

        Volusia county, enough said. Maybe not because of Jeb Bush, but someone there is pulling a little too hard for the Republicans. Of course, the same thing can be said about Democrats in Ohio, but what do you expect when the two major parties in our country are basically scraping the bottom of the barrel in order to look for candidates? Somebody's gotta make it look like people actually want to vote for these guys.

        Diebold's ineptitude

        See, here's the problem: their secure and successful ATM venture
        • See, here's the problem: their secure and successful ATM venture tarnishes their image as "a bunch of inept oafs" as you would, for lack of a better word, "defend" them.

          ATM mistakes happen all the time, you are arguing out of ignorance of the history of ATM failures (where a transaction was incorrect, not just the thing going into breakdown mode).

          "Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence" rings hollow when the company has created and deployed a system that has not been brok
    • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @10:00AM (#14532262) Homepage Journal
      My impression is that the Bush family is the most corrupt family every to have political power in the United States.

      Bush family? Sad to say, Abraham Lincoln was more corrupt than all the Bushes combined. With GW, it isn't considered treason to say that the Gulf War II was wrong. In Abraham Lincoln's regime, it would have been. As unconstitutional as W's wiretapping efforts were, Lincoln wiped his arse with the constitution by suspending it completely.
      • I think you are confusing corrupt for dictatorial. Compared to those immediately before and after, Lincoln wasn't very corrupt at all.
      • Lincoln had half the country threatening to run off and create their own slave colony. Bush is chasing phantom terrorists around the world on false pretenses. Not even close.
      • As others point out, this isn't corruption at all. How did this get rated insightful? Lincoln took away a lot of rights in wartime, it's true; he even had a yankee anti-war senator sent down to jefferson davis to get him to shut up. But if you look at US history, it was routine to have massive civil liberties violated in wartime, and it still is. It's only recently it occurred to Americans to complain about it (I'm exaggerating a bit of course - there certainly were some voices speaking against wartime
    • F 9-11 was crap on many levels. It was a crappy movie from a propaganda point of view, because he began by focusing on the 2000 election, turning off any potential 'switchers' who supported Bush in 2000 but then grew uncomfortable with his actual leadership. It was crappy from a investigative point of view as well.

      So, Bush hangs out with the Saudis, and they influence our policy, eh? THEN WHY THE FUCK DID WE GO TO WAR WITH IRAQ!? Hello, the Saudis were against the war! They were doing diplomacy up until the
    • I agree completely. Take, for example, the manner in which Joseph P. "Bush" made millions from insider trading and stockpiling of liquor during prohibition, supported appeasement of Nazi Germany, and stuck a deal with Joe McCarthy to help his son's senate campaign.

      Then there's the way that John F. "Bush," after a Senate career buillt upon the tacit support of Joe McCarthy, was elected--without a majority of the popular vote--President in 1960, despite allegations of voter fraud in Texas and Richard Daley's
  • by ajs318 (655362) <sd_resp2NO@SPAMearthshod.co.uk> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @08:50AM (#14532076)
    This is my idea for a voting machine. It depends for its operation on the idea that when a current is passed through two solenoids in series, both armatures will pull in. The machine itself has two units: the voting booth unit and the presiding officer's unit, linked by a cable. When not being used for an election, the machines would be made available for public scrutiny.

    The voting booth unit {VBU} has a large rotary switch, a pushbutton and a meter with a green zone. The Presiding Officer's unit {POU} contains a power supply, and a column of non-resettable electromechanical counters, all but one of which are covered by a metal plate. This plate is fastened in place with a wire with an aluminium seal bearing the Returning Officer's mark. The counter readings before the start of the election are recorded on a paper label affixed to the underside of the cover plate. There is also a switch labelled "CHARGE" and "VOTE".

    Each voter is issued with a unique, identifiable token -- a postcard with their name and address on it. The voter shows the token {Token One} to the Presiding Officer, who first spoils Token One and then moves the switch on the POU to "CHARGE" as the voter steps into the booth. The Presiding Officer then moves the switch to "VOTE". The voter has now traded Token One for a second token, all of which are absolutely anonymous, identical and indistinguible from one another: Token Two is an electrical charge stored in a capacitor contained within the VBU.

    The voter spins the rotary switch to their preferred candidate, checks that the meter is in the green zone and depresses the voting button. The VBU capacitor is discharged through the coil of one of the concealed counters in the POU. One terminal of each of these counters is commonned together; the current through any one of the candidate counters also flows through the master counter, and returns to the other plate of the capacitor. The charge in the capacitor is soon exhausted, and cannot be replenished unless the Presiding Officer moves the POU switch to CHARGE. The voter then has the option to move the rotary switch to a different position so as to conceal their preference -- or to leave it there to advertise their preference.

    Every voter has a receipt to show that they have voted {the spoiled Token One} but once a vote has been cast, the only record of that vote is the fact that the master counter and one of the candidate counters have advanced by one place. There is thus no way to link a voter with their vote. The master counter is in view of {and the counting mechanism is within earshot of} the PO, who can thus confirm visually and aurally that a vote has been cast {or separately, manually record a "no vote" if the voter leaves the booth without voting for any candidate}. All the candidate counters are concealed until the close of polling, when a few minutes' worth of mental arithmetic will reveal the true count. By virtue of its simplicity, and the fact that it has been subjected to public scrutiny, we can take for granted that the mechanism is behaving as it is supposed to; the Returning Officer need only inspect the tamper-evident seals to determine whether the result is valid or compromised.

    {In case the above constitutes a patent claim, I hereby licence it for use royalty-free in all applicable jurisdictions, in the hope that it will be of service to Humankind}.
    • by Minwee (522556)
      I have a slightly more revolutionary idea for a voting machine that involves a pencil, several pieces of paper, a large folded sheet of cardboard that can be used as a booth, and a locked wooden box with a small opening in the top.


      You'll have to wait until the morning after the election to get results, but it's a fair bit more reliable and secure than any electronic system in use today.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22, 2006 @10:38AM (#14532406)
    Is anyone else disturbed by the racist tone of this story?
  • Electronic voting machines and their makers never fail to amaze me. I mean, voting's a big deal, right? Elections are supposed to be honest, the results are supposed to be untampered, and we're supposed to come out with a real winner chosen by the people, no matter who we're electing for what position. Voting is practically the backbone of our democracy, and one of the most influential ways that we can speak out in our towns and in our country... And yet, for some reason, most if not all voting machines app
    • by Cognitive Dissident (206740) on Sunday January 22, 2006 @06:23PM (#14534705)
      The reason for this is more than 'apathy', it's active suppression. The major news outlets that aren't actually controlled by the same people who are behind Diebold and its ilk are intimidated by the constant barrage of 'media bias' attacks from the segment of the media that is allied with Diebold & Co. There is a perfectly good book that documents the theft of our last several elections by Mark Crispin Miller, just published a few months ago. But he can't get PBS or NPR (specifically WHYY) to let him appear and promote it. I have submitted stories on this but only get rejected. Can anyone figure how to get this information about censorship onto the main page of slashdot?

      Mark Crispin Miller's Blog [blogspot.com]

      The story [blogspot.com] on his blog noting Joe Bageant's recent essay on his inability to get airtime on WHYY's "Fresh Air"

      Joe Bageant [joebageant.com] is a journalist and recently a very popular blogger of the plight of the 'redneck' culture in the neo-con political machine. His most recent essay is specifically about the refusal of WHYY to allow Mark Crispin Miller to appear on Fresh Air or otherwise promote his book [joebageant.com] -- Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election and Why They'll Steal the Next One, Too (Unless We Stop Them) [amazon.com] He hits tha nail on the head:

      It is safe to say that WHYY and the rest of the public media gang are simply scared to death of uttering the book's title on the airwaves. They know that the neocons will jump up all over their asses claiming liberal bias. Maybe even launch one of their infamous letter writing campaigns. The Republican game plan of unrelenting bullshit, that steady grinding away day in day out -- it works. They have managed to wear down those media they don't already control from the top, make them either doubt themselves or make them damned afraid of repercussions. We can well imagine what the GOP assault on public radio and television has created around places like WHYY. Hell, if they can get Bill Moyers they can get anybody. Right?

      It's censorship by intimidation. Large numbers of people are never going to hear about htis book because they don't search Amazon.com for new books about election fraud or by Mark Crispin Miller on a regular basis. They rely on the mass media to keep them informed, and it isn't working anymore. I also agree with his suggestion to contact WHYY directly and let them know that their fear of 'conservatives' reactions will attract the wrath of lots of 'liberals' whom they depend on for their funding at least as much as corporations or the government:

      By the way, if you wanna give WHYY hell personally, the phone number is (215) 351-1200. Email is talkback@whyy.org
  • Old news (Score:3, Informative)

    by plsuh (129598) <plsuh@@@goodeast...com> on Sunday January 22, 2006 @01:52PM (#14533397) Homepage
    What's really amazing/frightening to me is how long it has taken for the mainstream media to pick this up. The tests done by Harri Hursti for Leon County were conducted and reported back on December 13th, 2005! The Post waited until a slow news day over a month later to report on it. Since then, there's been a whole slew of additional activity on the voting machines front. For more details, see the original blackboxvoting.org article [bbvforums.org].

    --Paul

    Disclaimers: I have been working with the good folks at TrueVoteMD.org [truevotemd.org] to get the d*mned things banned in Maryland, my home state; I'm also a plaintiff in a lawsuit in Maryland that seeks to force the Maryland State Board of Elections to follow exsting state law and get rid of them.
    • Keep it up! I tried to complain about e-voting in Frederick Co. during the 2004 election. I got a patronizing smile for my efforts.
  • What Sancho did "is analogous to if I gave you the keys to my house and told you when I was gone," said David Bear, a Diebold spokesman. As Bear sees it, Sancho's experiment involved giving hackers "complete unfettered access" to the equipment, something a responsible elections administrator would never allow.

    So, they're saying that a hacker without physical access would never have been able to get in and that it was only because they were allowed to touch the physical unit that they could make it do such
  • In the 20th century, dictators managed to get elected thanks to their understanding of the full power of radio or television. In this new century, the wide adoption of riggable and unaccountable election systems will become the tool of choice for all dictators wannabes.

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg

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