Spot The Unattended Voting Machines

from the fun-for-the-whole-family dept

When the e-voting companies respond to all of the security holes that people like Avi Rubin and Ed Felten point out, one of the popular claims is that for any of these attacks to work, someone would need to be able to spend a fairly long time examining the machines -- and since they're kept locked up and protected, that would never be an issue. Of course, in years past we've seen reports that the voting machines are often left out in the open for days before an election, and indeed, that's exactly what Ed Felten found. He wasn't even looking for it this weekend when he came upon a bunch of e-voting machines left out in the open in preparation for Tuesday's election. Once again, this doesn't do much to raise the level of trust anyone has with these machines.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Kevin, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 10:14am

    Hacking Democracy

    I don't know if anyone has seen it, or even the legality of it, but the documentary "Hacking Democracy" is available on Google Video. I am in the military overseas so I won't be able to see it in theaters, but it was so good I definitely want to buy it and convince my friends to see it. It is truly eye opening and I highly reccomend watching it. It highlights many of these issues.

     

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  2.  
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    Kevin, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 10:15am

    Re: Hacking Democracy

    My mistake, it doesn't come out in theaters, only on HBO. But still, I watched it and was amazed that while fighting overseas for this democracy, this crap is happening.

     

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  3.  
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    ehrichweiss, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Hacking Democracy

    Actually it is in SOME theatres apparently. I saw it advertised at a local "alternative" theatre here in Kentucky, or I thought I did but they don't seem to be running it now so I can't say for certain. Maybe they worked out a deal with HBO to play it.

     

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  4.  
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    Popeye, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 10:36am

    Fighting Overseas ...

    Actually, that gives me an idea .... why not stick with the traditional paper ballot for a bit longer? While it has it's flaws, it's gotten us through a couple hundred plus years worth of voting ...

    In the meantime, let's ship these e-voting machines to Iraq, Afghanistan and all the other places where we are fighting for "democracy". Field test them there, where they can only foul up the election of a democracy in it's infancy - couldn't get too much worse ...

    Why not? We outsource a lot of things, but this wouldn't actually affect jobs here in the US. Once the bugs are worked out over there I'll stop voting by absentee ballot here.

     

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  5.  
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    dataguy, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 10:55am

    Re: Fighting Overseas ...

    How would you know the bugs are worked out without an audit trail? If the chosen electronic system has an audit trail then it is just so much additional overhead added to the system we already have.

     

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  6.  
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    exitstageleft, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 10:59am

    Mike...and here...

     

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  7.  
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    STJ, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 11:03am

    Isn't that part of MTV"S hack the vote?

     

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  8.  
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    dorpus, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 11:04am

    Outsource Democracy

    In the true spirit of free markets, shouldn't American votes be sold on ebay to the highest bidder?

     

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  9.  
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    lil'bit, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 11:24am

    voting machines/software

    All we want or need the voting machines to do is tabulate, verifiably, votes. In other words, we want nothing more than a calculator, and a very basic one at that. So why do the companies insist they can't share programming code because it's proprietary? Do they have some other way of adding 1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1++1 than the rest of us do?
    Given the absolute basic level of math/calculation going on, one would think the machines would be marketed on their security, verifiability and back-up features.

    Oh well, it would not be the first time I seem out of touch with how the real world works . . .

     

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  10.  
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    Billy, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 11:57am

    Later

    They will address the security issues after the Republicans fix / rig another election.

     

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  11.  
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    Tom, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 12:07pm

    Personally, I have issues with the government not owning the machines and all the software on them, specifically to include the source code. And with the government owning it, then it should be available to the general public to review! (Although could require a FOIA request.)

     

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  12.  
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    Jason, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 12:26pm

    We should completely eliminate paper and other non electronic ballots. All electronic, all the way. Simply have the machine print a receipt out when you are done. To combat fraud, simply make the penalty for tampering with election results a slow and horrible execution, carried out in public view. Just think, we would instantly know the results of elections. The polling place should be opened for an entire week, and at the cutoff time at the end of the week, the votes are counted, and winners announced. As technology progresses, we can eliminate polling places all together, and let people vote from their home. Simply register your IP address when you register to vote, and limit the number of votes from that particular IP to the number of registered voters living in the house with that IP. If you are against this idea, then you are more than likely a member of the party that requires voter fraud to win, the democratic party, or you are an "African" AMERICAN, who has been brainwashed by the "reverend" Jessie Jackson into thinking your "civil rights" are being denied. By the way, the US Constitution does NOT guarantee the right to vote. Go ahead, look it up. You won't find it anywhere. You won't find the word "democracy" in there, either, but you will find the word republican. You don't even have to read it, because I know you are too damned lazy. Simply find an online copy of the US Constitution, and use the search function of your browser.

     

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  13.  
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    Jason, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 12:31pm

    Re:

    Also, Billy, I challenge you to produce any solid evidence of Republican voter fraud. You can't, because it's not there. With the current whiney ass pussy democratic party in this country, if there was even a HINT of fraud, they would have raised holey hell and never let the Republicans win.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Seth, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 12:46pm

    I found a duplicate of this post -- or vice-versa

    This link is a trackback from the original article's comments. Seems to be word-for-word identical with the TechDirt post. Is someone copy-pasting you, or are you copying someone else?

    http://tech.hostfreeweb.info/2006/11/06/spot-the-unattended-voting-machines/

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    jsnbase, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 12:48pm

    Are we unclear on the concept?

    By the way, the US Constitution does NOT guarantee the right to vote. Go ahead, look it up. You won't find it anywhere.

    It doesn't say anything about license plates, either, and yet there are two on my car. What's your point, crazy person?

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    tommo, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 12:52pm

    e-voting

    I live in Palm Beach county, Florida, ground zero to election malfunction.

    We now have e-voting machines, but the system we got, is from a company that gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Republican party to get the contract. I wonder how fair are the machines, or if my vote really counts or was changed by the machine.
    In the last election there were reports that the machine would not take the vote, for the person the voter wanted, he had to go back 3 times before the machine marked his choice properly, and submitted his vote

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 1:02pm

    Kilroy

    Billy,

    Please embrace the concept of "moving on." Moveon.org was founded to push the concept after the contested 2000 election. You would like the site and what they preach.


    Jason,

    Do your homework. Perform a google search on the following words "ohio voter fraud." There is more than a "hint" of voter fraud from the 2004 election. I grew up in Northeastern Ohio as a Conservative Rebublican yet I refuse to ignore such things even if they "benefit" my party.

    To all:
    Politicians should never be trusted. Never. They are from an elite ilk bent on obtaining power and money. They take sides and preach wedge issues to push you into voting for them. Approach your politicians as you would a used car salesman, with cautious suspicion and distrust. There is ALWAYS a catch. Party loyalty and the refusal to admit your party has/can do wrong is simply letting politicians take advantage of you and control you while lining their own pockets.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 1:08pm

    Re: Outsource Democracy

    perhaps not eBay... but who says they aren't already (*cough... Flordia 2000... cough*).

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 1:13pm

    Re: voting machines/software

    The way I see it you are completely "in-touch" with the real world. The problem is the majority in this country are sheeple who are so damn ignorant and content to be spoon fed shit from a tube that they don't see it as an issue - "It's America, it can't happen to us."

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Later

    The same way they've addressed the country's security issues by creating the HS department (which still has yet to decently secure our ports), push and pass legislature which erodes our privacy rights further (Patriot Act, RFID) and then reroute a large percentage of national funds to fight a war that has made us more hated than before while increasing our already bloated deficit to an all-time high?

    Does that sum up what our beloved Rep's will do?

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Chuck who knows it all, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 1:34pm

    Yeah blame the Republicans

    because the ignorant product of teacher's unions and 60 years of liberal controlled public schools have yielded an electorate so stupid, that they cannot check a box on a ballot with a pencil.

    Solution: Congress spends $4,000,000,000 on electronic multi-language voting machines, so the illegal aliens from Asia and Mexico can vote in their native gibberish and later claim they have been disenfranchised.

    We deserve it. We are fat, stupid cowards who are standing around while our democracy is hijacked by people too unmotivated to learn our official language. Our forefathers had to fight the British off of our soil for the right to vote, today we let anyone do it, and feel guilty should someone DARE suggest it be done in our official language by people who can read a ballot and follow simple instructions.

    Not only should you have to have a G.E.D. to vote, you should have to have a piece of paper showing that at some point in life you paid single or jointly filed State, Fed and SS taxes. An uneducated, jobless fool has no authority to make electoral decisions. Tough excrement.

    IT'S NOT THE MACHINE STUPID!!!

    Finally, If you are senile, illiterate, or just dumb like a box of rocks and cannot operate the machine, do the nation a favor and stay home. Watch some Telemundo, Dr. Phil, or Survivor and eat yourself to death. See you at the polls bitches!

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Check the Roll, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 1:51pm

    Spot the Unattended Machine

    Is Spot the name of the machine, like the dog in the first grade readers???? If so, that would explain how this machine lifted itself up from the storage area, opend the door and walked out to an "unattended" area, right?

    Hey, stupid! A human was involved and until you remove the human factor, NO voting machine or paper ballot will be totally secure! Let's face it, you can point at the machine all you want, but until you show me one walking around on it's own, sorry, you can't convince me.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Yeah blame the Republicans

    What about old people who have never seen these kinds of machines before? They fought in wars and paid taxes for decades. They built the country you live in and they are the reason you are here. Are they too dumb to vote just because they don't know how?

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Dosquatch, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 2:00pm

    Re: Outsource Democracy

    In the true spirit of free markets, shouldn't American votes be sold on ebay to the highest bidder?

    Bah, this is far too short-sighted. There's no need to rig elections or buy votes. As long as you can buy the politician, it really doesn't particularly matter who gets elected. Business figured this out ages ago.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Dosquatch, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 2:11pm

    Re:

    Jason wrote: [holy shit, I'm not even willing to quote this stuff]

    Easy there, Sparky - it might be time to switch to decaf.

    Seriously, which one of you guys showed him how to turn the computer on?

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Crimson Dawg, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Hacking Democracy

    An alternative theater in Kentucky?

    Does that mean they have indoor plumbing?

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    GDR, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Later

    Hey Billy! STFU!!

    Quit crying sissypants or we'll have to fix another one!!

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re: Yeah blame the Republicans

    I've used the machine. My dad, an 87 year old WWII vet has easily used the machines. If YOURE TOO dumb to use it or to ask for assistance to use it, your vote shouldn't count 'cause obviously you're a plastic thingy short of a six-pack.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Fighting Overseas ...

    Actually, that gives me an idea .... why not stick with the traditional paper ballot for a bit longer?
    Because it is too labor and time intensive to correct large numbers of paper ballots by hand. Voting machines are much more efficient

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    My Vote, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 2:32pm

    Can I vote for Kilroy? (Comment #16)

    Thanks for the bipartisian advice! Vote character not party.


    ...but if you vote party vote Republican!!! LOL

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 3:15pm

    Re: Yeah blame the Republicans

    Haha +1 I agree.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    jon, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 3:36pm

    so wait, let me get this straight someone's idea is to get a receipt out of the machine, and that constitutes a paper trail? bah...

    i could program something to have you enter the number 1 and then spit out a receipt that shows the number but records a number 2 in the background.

    i don't trust the machines, i don't trust the government, and when you add the two together there's my vote...no confidence in the current administration (and it stands for the dems too)

    why isn't anyone trowing a fit about both parties? they both suck, they're both ruining the country...this is not what our forefathers wanted, or even drafted...

    we are lazy and fat and pander to any cry baby out there....we need to go back and look at some things, you want to be an american citizen, you learn the language, you take pride in the country, you stick up for it. if you're not a citizen, you don't get the benefits from it, you get to vote about it, you don't to cry about it.

    if your country is so bad that you gotta come here, then go home and do something about it there, instead of enabling your country to continue in it's floundering. stop sending it money!

    we need more bands like the DK's hahahaha

    but seriously, if you can't punch a piece of paper then you shouldn't be voting, i'm down with the no high school/g.e.d diploma then no voting, if your not a citizen - no voting, if you can't formulate a proper sentence without sounding like you're chatting on IM then you can't vote, if you listen to top 40 you can't vote, or if you believe that we should keep california (really just hollywood) instead of giving it back to mexico, you can't vote!

    well i think i'm about done....

    but seriously, raise a stink, make should there is a paper trail of your vote NOT A RECEIPT! don't give them a chance to fudge it, cuz they will given half the chance...

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Dan, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 4:37pm

    At my precinct the Votron 3000 was sitting out a week early, in a community building, where anyone could have access, I was alone with it for an hour setting up for a dinner, and could easily have midified it in any way.
    It only takes a few minutes to "hack" one, and vaters are allowed at least 10 minutes.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Rob, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 5:41pm

    Why are there so many Libertarians in Congress?

    I'm not specifically suggesting anything but there's a way to get those currently in power (that means you Republicans) who don't seem to care about (or more than likely, don't understand) the problems with current electronic voting to start paying attention. I'm picturing Libertarians (or pick your favorite minor party) winning by enormous landslides across the country. By enormous landslides, I mean by about 50-100,000 more votes than the number of people who should have voted in that district. Maybe the computer illiterate (by my own impression, well over 50% of our elected officials) will start to realize that there's a problem. Unfortunately, until it adverses affects them, most elected officials just prefer to pretend like there is no problem.

    If you need a list of potential non-Republican/Democratic candidates in your area, just ask Google...

    If you need detailed instructions on how to properly hack the voting machines in your area, just ask Google...

    If you need to know how to get your current elected officials to pay attention to the things you think are important, your out of luck.

     

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  35.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Nov 6th, 2006 @ 5:51pm

    Re: I found a duplicate of this post -- or vice-ve

    Hi Seth,

    That's one of a few sites that copies posts from Techdirt and resposts them on their own site. There are a few that do that. They tend to disappear after a month or so when they get no traffic.

    Mike

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    |3331373|3|_||3, Nov 6th, 2006 @ 6:35pm

    Oh dear

    Billy:
    You idiot, if the Reps tamper withthe machines and win, then who appoints the investigatiors? If they loose, then they are a bunch of dumb shits and rdeserve the punishment.

    Perhaps the best solution is to give myself all the presidential vote (I am not an American Citizen, so I cannot be president [Though my sister is US-born, so canbe]), then to give all my friends the senate and House seats, who are also not american, and some of whom have never visited America. THis might show how useless the system is, especially when we start fixing all the laws.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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