Hacking An Election

from the remains-possible dept

Nothing particularly new here if you’ve been following the whole issue on problems with electronic voting machines, but Salon has a fairly comprehensive piece describing the concerns of those who want to stop current voting machines from being used in elections. It describes some of the not-quite-so-secure techniques Diebold used to “secure” their machines – including leaving the necessary password out in the open. It also talks about how comments in the source code of the Diebold machines make it clear that the engineers knew that parts of the software don’t work, and yet it was still used in elections. The responses from those who defend the electronic voting systems are a bit scary, as they basically ignore the point. Instead, they talk about how other voting methods have problems as well, and how difficult or expensive it would be to fix these voting machines. Whoever said democracy was supposed to be cheap? Update: Whoops. A new report says electronic voting machines in North Carolina lost 436 ballots last year.

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Comments on “Hacking An Election”

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aNonMooseCowherd says:

Re: Fastest way to change them

I believe the fastest way to change them would to have them hacked into and then have 100% of the votes cast for Donald Duck.

Unfortunately this would have exactly the opposite effect: so much attention would be focused on finding who did it that the problems with the voting machines themselves would be ignored.

Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

Link from The Star

The Indianapolis Star reports http://www.indystar.com/articles/3/113971-4383-009.html that “illegal” electronic voting machines were used in three counties during last year’s general election.

Missing from the article is a statement that appeared in the print edition about “election machine employees simply went to the BARN where the equipment was stored to make updates” Geesh, I know this is Indiana, but storing expensive touch-screen voting systems in a BARN?

Newob says:


Why hasn’t anyone thought of implementing a voting system analogous to distributed computing techniques, such as Seti@Home, et al? When verifying a large data set for inconsistencies, it helps to have the data stored in more than one independent location, so erroneous data can be ignored, and nobody can tamper with all the results because nobody knows where all of it is. It seems to be working for SETI so far.

LittleW0lf says:

San Diego uses Diabold Machines

We in San Diego now get the “secure” Diabold voting machines to vote on the upcoming primaries. And if you visit http://www.sdvote.com, it is hyped up as secure even though there are a number of sources that indicate that they are anything but secure. I wonder if a false advertising suit would work against them?

Anyway, to prevent my vote from being “lost”, I am voting absentee this year (so my ballot can be “lost” in the mail instead.) However, I’d be interested in looking at how the system is set up here in San Diego; they say they have a “secure”, inaccessible network to send voting data; are they still using wireless?

I wonder if I start Wardriving March 2nd, if I’ll go to jail for “illegally accessing their inaccessible network” just by receiving their radio waves in my car?

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