This Doesn't Sound Too Good

…and we’ll likely see many more of these stories as we get closer to election day. I see some possible consequences of these problems. One is that we won’t have real electronic voting realized as machines may need to generate a paper (or at least physical trail) that can be separately audited and reconciled against the electronic version. Though what do you do if they do conflict? Another consequence, that I don’t see happening real soon, is that we will lose at least some of our privacy in voting. Possibly a database where we can “look-up” our vote to see if it was recorded correctly, but would require tracking a vote to an individual. What if someone lies on how they did vote?

On an computer at Diebold Election Systems the person below found 40,000 unsecure files.

…Harris began to wonder if it were possible for the company to extract votes during an election and change them without anyone knowing.

A look at the Diebold tabulation program provided a possible answer.

Harris discovered that she could enter the vote database using Microsoft Access — a standard program often bundled with Microsoft Office — and change votes without leaving a trace. Diebold hadn’t password-protected the file or secured the audit log, so anyone with access to the tabulation program during an election — Diebold employees, election staff or even hackers if the county server were connected to a phone line — could change votes and alter the log to erase the evidence.

It has also been discovered that some of the companies have foreign interests or are owned by Felons.

Landes said she realized that the right to vote was useless as long as she had no way of verifying that her vote was recorded accurately.

“When we’re using lever machines, touch-screen voting machines or the Internet, we are not voting, the machine is voting,” Landes said. “We’re inputting our choice and hoping the machine is (recording it) correctly.”

She was concerned that voting machines were closed to public scrutiny, and the people who made them were not subject to background checks.

If you can’t tell if you voted correctly how do you know?

Road Rage
More Jobs, Cheaper Computers

One Response

  1. Helga May 30, 2004