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Winning Elections

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  • PsychicWarVeteran
    Flesh Bag of Mostly Water
    • Mar 2004
    • 2554

    Winning Elections

    Used to be it was whomever got the most votes (excluding, of course, the idiocy known as electoral colleges). Now, it would seem, it is becoming a different game entirely. If you live in the US and your precinct uses touch-screen voting machines, here's hoping your vote actually gets registered the way you entered it.

    Emphasis is mine:

    PRESS RELEASE -- JULY 31, 2006

    SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA -- “This may be the worst security flaw we have seen in touch screen voting machines,” says Open Voting Foundation president, Alan Dechert. Upon examining the inner workings of one of the most popular paperless touch screen voting machines used in public elections in the United States, it has been determined that with the flip of a single switch inside, the machine can behave in a completely different manner compared to the tested and certified version.

    “Diebold has made the testing and certification process practically irrelevant,” according to Dechert. “If you have access to these machines and you want to rig an election, anything is possible with the Diebold TS -- and it could be done without leaving a trace. All you need is a screwdriver.” This model does not produce a voter verified paper trail so there is no way to check if the voter’s choices are accurately reflected in the tabulation.

    Open Voting Foundation is releasing 22 high-resolution close up pictures of the system. This picture, in particular, shows a “BOOT AREA CONFIGURATION” chart painted on the system board.

    The most serious issue is the ability to choose between "EPROM" and "FLASH" boot configurations. Both of these memory sources are present. All of the switches in question (JP2, JP3, JP8, SW2 and SW4) are physically present on the board. It is clear that this system can ship with live boot profiles in two locations, and switching back and forth could change literally everything regarding how the machine works and counts votes. This could be done before or after the so-called "Logic And Accuracy Tests".

    A third possible profile could be field-added in minutes and selected in the "external flash" memory location, the interface for which is present on the motherboard.

    This is not a minor variation from the previously documented attack point on the newer Diebold TSx. To its credit, the TSx can only contain one boot profile at a time. Diebold has ensured that it is extremely difficult to confirm what code is in a TSx (or TS) at any one time but it is at least theoretically possible to do so. But in the TS, a completely legal and certified set of files can be instantly overridden and illegal uncertified code be made dominant in the system, and then this situation can be reversed leaving the legal code dominant again in a matter of minutes.

    “These findings underscore the need for open testing and certification. There is no way such a security vulnerability should be allowed. These systems should be recalled”

    OPEN VOTING FOUNDATION is a nonprofit non stock California corporation dedicated to demonstrating the need for and benefits of voting technology that can be publicly scrutinized.
    "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
    --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars
  • Miqque
    Champion of the Balance
    • Apr 2004
    • 1002

    How wonderful. Election by computer programmers. There's a reason for hard evidence, such as paper.

    Demolish the electoral college! Outdated!

    ... just another sailor on the seas of Fate, dogpaddling desperately ...


    • Doc
      Eternal Champion
      • Jan 2004
      • 3630

      It seems that we are not very serious about that whole "one person, one vote" mantra. It is being threatened more with every election. While I consider the more serious issues in Florida and Ohio in recent years to be the greatest threat to voting rights, the ceding of voting to machines, which have been misused repeatedly and often, should be a concern to all of us, particular when those machines are manipulated by people. Election officials seem to hide behind the supposed objectivity of machines, ignoring how easily those machines are manipulated by people.

      Fair elections in Iraq? How about here in the US? Maybe Jimmy Carter should monitor our elections for the UN...


      • Morgan Kane
        Lost in the multiverse
        • Jun 2006
        • 1428

        In France, most of people are voting with papers and correct results are known at most 2 hours after the closinf of the vote..... but the governement and town councils want to change that ......


        • voilodian ghagnasdiak
          Warrior On The Edge
          • Jun 2006
          • 2591

          No PWV electronic polling shouldnt be allowed. Im sure that voting tabulations are crooked enough whilst being counted on hard copies. Lets keep the Butchers thumb off of the scale. If people not wanting to get off their ass and physically go and cast a ballot is going to create a fixed poll situation, then those people shouldnt have the right to vote at all.