Yet Another Massive Diebold Security Flaw? What A Surprise...

from the shocking dept

It's only been a couple of months since the last major Diebold e-voting machine security flaw, so apparently it's time for yet another one. Bryan writes in to point out the report from the Open Voting Foundation, who took apart a Diebold machine to show how easily it could be hacked. At this point, it's difficult to know how to respond. These reports seem to come out every few months -- and Diebold's response has been just to laugh it off or make life difficult for election officials who question the accuracy of their machines. While there's some evidence that Congress is finally starting to pay attention, it's truly amazing that politicians have ignored such reports for so many years. Safe and accurate elections should be the goal of everyone -- and to think that it's been treated as a laughing matter by those who create the machines, despite report after report of flaws and questionable behavior, is really disturbing.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    MissingFrame, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 12:31pm

    Slot machines have better regulation?

    If the same thing was in a Vegas slot machine, somebody would be doing time for gambling fraud.

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

  2. identicon
    Mousky, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Slot machines have better regulation?

    Gaming machines in Vegas are under far more scrunity than voting machines. Money talks.

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

  3. identicon
    William, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 1:05pm


    There still more accurate than the paper ballots in FL.

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

  4. identicon
    Todd, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 1:10pm

    no worse than paper methods

    I watched a news report on the 'failed democracy' and how bad evoting machines are. The problem with the story, is that these problems aren't new. Problems such as lack of training/skilled employees and malfunctioning maching have always existed in public elections. Previsouly we were unaware of how ballots were miscounted. Now in this digital/information age we expect exact and accurate voting results. I think it is obsurd that we can't vote from any web broswer. I can take out loans, pay bills, file insurance claims all online, all which require identity verification, but for some reason legislators are too afraid to allow the web to be used for voting. I fully agree that this issue should be addressed, but we shouldn't not use evoting machines until they are perfect, because the alternative isn't any better. By using evoting machines in the meantime we can gain valuable experience to move towards a goal of accuracte vote counting.

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

  5. identicon
    Whatever he said, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 1:30pm

    useless anyway

    The Electoral college holds the vote, and true ballot counting isn't going to happen, but I'd vote for it!

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

  6. identicon
    Lazlo, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 1:30pm


    Unless they are not interested in free and fair which case the security flaws might provide an advantage: introduce uncertainty into the process, allow results manipulation...

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 1:32pm

    Re: hello

    If by "They" you are referring to the machines in question I say you are a sucker full of unquestionable ignorance.

    At least with paper ballots there is a paper trail. A way to physically prove the votes are the votes and if someone commits fraud it is much more likely to trace it back to the source.

    It is dangerous to do this with an electronic machine. Please read: and educate yourself before you make ignorant comments.

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 1:34pm

    Re: no worse than paper methods

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

  9. identicon
    Eslinda, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 1:39pm


    Everyone here seems to forget that thye president of Diebold promised to return Bush to the White House in the last election. Hmmm...

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

  10. identicon
    Lay Person, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 1:49pm

    I don't understand...

    Why must we even network the voting machines? Why not just burn the results to a disk and then tally to a central database the results.

    This would be slower but it would allow less chance for fraud.

    This method would still be manual but the results would be quicker than the old punch method.

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 1:59pm

    Re: no worse than paper methods

    yea, billy bob really has DSL with WiFi at his farm house, he can even vote from the outhouse - multi tasking

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

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 2:01pm

    Re: useless anyway

    some states require the electoral college to vote the way the majority voted , technically their vote counts, but they are just a dummy passing on what we say

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

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 2:12pm

    Re: hello

    William, I live in Florida, voted by paper ballot, and my choice won the election. I would venture to say you live on the west coast and have predominatley leftist views. The correct person won that election. get over it

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

  14. identicon
    Useless Tools, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 2:44pm

    More of the same...

    More liberals complaining, no action.

    More articles written, no action.

    More people overlooking the real issues, all with no action.

    If you idiots put half the effort from sitting online complaining about things into organizing and taking REAL ACTION, something would possibly get done. Then again, that'd be real work, something you obviously can't do if all you can muster is some anger in online posts.

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

  15. identicon
    lil'bit, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 2:55pm

    Who benefits?

    Why do "improvements" always have to be newer technology? How long was the wait between election day and results for - Lincoln? The people who want instant results are the media, so they can have a "scoop".
    I would much prefer pencil and paper, hand counted balloting - if it meant every vote counted, a paper trail was established for verification, etc.
    The real reason for the controversy over the voting machines by Diebold and others is to distract us from asking why 3 million votes went uncounted in 2004 - predominately the votes of those statistically more likely to vote democrat, although the uncounted ballots included military absentee ballots (good thing our kids in uniform are in Iraq to spread democracy, wink, wink)
    eVoting? - Hard as it is to believe, there are actually poor people who can't afford computers actually living in the US (and actual citizens!)
    Vote by Mail - postage paid, is the way to go.

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

  16. identicon
    jsnbase, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 4:07pm

    Re: More of the same...

    How is accurate tabulation of elections a liberal issue?

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

  17. identicon
    AMP, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 4:18pm

    Re: Who benefits?

    Great idea, because nothing could ever happen to the US mail! Pure genius!

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

  18. identicon
    alaric, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 4:47pm

    Clint Curtis / Ray Lemme

    Its worthwhile to google clint curtis and ray (raymond) lemme. It'll open your eyes a bit.

    Regardless e-voting is both illegal and unconsitutional because no one can ever count votes and no one can verify results. Its all done in the black box and only diebold and GOP really know what goes on in there.

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

  19. identicon
    Another realist, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 5:04pm

    Fortunately, none of this affects those of us who already figured out the real answer:

    Don't vote.

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

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 5:46pm


    I was at the ATM staring at this Diebold machine and thinking "Since they make such poor voting machines that are easily hackable, and have no interest in making them better, I wonder about this machine. hmmm........"

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

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 6:02pm

    Re: More of the same...

    Posting angry rants does absolutely no good, and detracts from the issue.

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

  22. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 6:16pm

    I think what is apparent is that the current voting system is heading towards being broken. There is no such thing as a perfect system. No matter how much time and effort is spent trying to "build a better mouse-trap", there will always be those who work to compromise it's integrity. Let's face it, we live in a country dominated by the media, who is controlled by those with means who are doing their best to protect their interests; not mine and not yours (unless you are member of that elite, and reading this now). Anyway, we like to think we live in a democracy, the truth is we really don't. I'm no conspiracy theorist, just an average working guy, like many of you, but I can see the writing on the wall. Could things be better? Sure. Could they be worse? Hell ya! For now, I'm thinking we are still all doing pretty well, alleged voter fraud or no. The answer to this taxing problem, is there is no answer. You pick what works for now, and tweak it along the way. This is what the guys who wrote the US consitution were thinking about when they wrote it. They never intended it to not be modified, as long as the spirit of the thing is not compromised. What's happening with our electoral system, is that we are all losing "spirit" in it and pointing fingers, casting blame, etc. I think the political system in this country needs an overhaul.

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

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 6:40pm

    i love bush. he is the best president in america! we should make him dictator for life! /sarcasm

    the sad part is.... people actually think that way, and they hold alot of power

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

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 8:03pm

    So sad

    Putting aside the blatant, all-out attempt to change the results of an election by counting hanging chads, dimpled chads, and partially-dimpled chadless hangings, prohibiting the counting of some ballots out of one side of the mouth while talking them into existance from the other, manufacturing and promoting absolute falsehoods as fact, race-baiting and hate mongering to gain political advantage, intolerantly demanding tolerance of everyone else, you folks (and you know who you are) would it be possible for you to come up with an actual productive idea for a solution? I hate to break it to you, but not every bad thing in this world is the fault of GW, the GOP and/or greedy capitalists. Can you think for yourself and think of a viable solution that could be good for everyone including, even Repubicans?

    I didn't think so.

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

  25. identicon
    Nolan, Jul 31st, 2006 @ 10:26pm

    I Don't know about the rest of you . . .

    but when I voted my machine generated a paper receipt.

    Now if the receipt is used for any purpose other than to placate the public, I don't know.

    There exist a problem with secret ballots, if your vote is secret, then there is no audit possible.

    Paper ballots are damn easy to create.

    Electronic ballotsare just as easy to fabricate.

    The act of counting itself has oversight problems.

    What way can you think of to make sure your vote is not tampered with? Make it public record. But this creates a whole host of privacy issues. So what do you want more? accuracy and accountability? Or privacy?

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

  26. identicon
    alaric, Aug 1st, 2006 @ 6:08am

    So sad

    Yeah its so sad the GOP does not want votes counted. How absurd is it to say we are pro democracy and then to refuse to let people count votes.

    The hanging chads were 1/4 of the story in florida. Polling places which turned away african americans, with a helpful dose of GOP cuban intimidation, and the illegal removal of tens of thousands of african americans from the polls for allegedly having criminal records even though they did not is also a point.

    The discrepancies between the voting in rural florida counties and statistical analysis and polls should also concern you since those counties used scan voting systems which were sent to the very easily hackable gems tabulator.

    To try to claim voting reform as an attempt to cheat the GOP out of rightful votes is plain absurd.

    The real world is beyond rush, fox, o'reilly and the corporate media (cnn, msnbc, abc, etc.) and itis not broadcast because it would challenge the GOP and DEm's corporate masters

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

  27. identicon
    Lay Person, Aug 1st, 2006 @ 2:47pm

    Re: So sad

    Quit being a coward...

    We need a name, upon which, to hang all that ignorance.

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

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