We've been talking about the ridiculousness of e-voting machines for well over a decade
. If a machine doesn't include a paper trail for backup, it's suspect. That's been the case since e-voting machines have been on the market, and many of us have been pointing this out all along. And the big e-voting companies have a long history of not really caring
, even as their machines are shown to be vulnerable
in a variety of ways
. So it come as little to no surprise to find out that security firm Cylance has announced that it's found yet another set of e-voting vulnerabilities
in the Sequoia AVC Edge Mk1 voting machine. Sequoia especially has a long history of buggy, faulty machines.
Of course, with all the talk of "rigged" voting this year, the fact that some machines are hackable is very, very bad
. Mainly because it just enables conspiracy theory talk to seem much more believable. It remains true (for somewhat ridiculous reasons) that while these vulnerabilities do exist, a widespread hack would be quite difficult
. The real problem is at the margin, where low level vote changing could occur. As Ed Snowden rightly notes
, the hacking may not be difficult, but using that to rig an election is much more difficult, and would almost certainly be caught.
That said, this remains ridiculous. Even the appearance of potential
vote hacking is a problem in actually getting the public to trust the results of an election. I can pretty much guarantee that no matter who wins tomorrow, someone will allege e-voting machine hacking, and point to this (or perhaps other) vulnerability disclosures in the days leading up to the election. And that's bad. For over a decade we've been sounding the alarm that it's ridiculous to use such electronic voting machines, and it would be a damn good idea to fix things
. Would have been nice if someone listened.