Sunday, December 18, 2005

Voting Machines - What's Old is New Again

It should really come as no surprise that electronic voting machines can be "hacked," but the interesting point here is that there are alleged hacks carried out by, you guessed it, those who are purportedly neutral and in control of those machines.

For those of you who take comfort in "auditable" paper printout electronic voting machines, be assured they are not. Here's a cautionary note: One can program a voting machine to

1. Appear to record a vote for "A" to a voter on a monitor screen
2. Actually record a vote for "B" for election purposes
3. Print out a vote for "A" for voter "comfort"
4. Revert to a vote "A" as the vote sent to the election authority, for audit purposes.

Sounds comforting, doesn't it?

In pertinent part from the AP via the Sarasota Herald Tribune:

TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Jeb Bush said the state should review the way it tests electronic voting machines after a local elections official said the devices could be hacked to change race outcomes.Bush's remarks Friday come after the acting secretary of state, David Mann, said he was confident in the process of certifying voting machines. Mann said he was "concerned" only that Leon County Elections Supervisor Ion Sancho might have given an outsider access to computer codes for a test of the Diebold optical-scan machines.Sancho sent state elections officials a letter Friday requesting they do "further investigation" of Diebold Election Systems' Accuvote 2000. Sancho said his internal tests showed the optical-scan machine's memory card produces false results when hacked by elections office insiders.

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