Sunday, July 29, 2007

Hackers Crack Voting Machines

Since Nashville voters are in the midst of electing a new mayor and city council, I thought I’d scare the bejeezus out of you with this discouraging piece of news:
Most vote machines lose test to hackers

State-sanctioned teams of computer hackers were able to break through the security of virtually every model of California's voting machines and change results or take control of some of the systems' electronic functions, according to a University of California study released Friday.

The researchers "were able to bypass physical and software security in every machine they tested,'' said Secretary of State Debra Bowen, who authorized the "top to bottom review" of every voting system certified by the state.

Holy rigged elections! You can read the entire report at the California Secretary of State’s website.

To be clear, Davidson County uses the ES&S iVotronic system; none of the systems California uses are of this type. Still, that doesn’t mean the ES&S iVotronic is immune to hackers or even bug-free. Verified Voting documents problems in Florida, Texas and North Carolina with the iVotronic.

The biggest problem I have with Davidson County’s switch to the iVotronic is that the system has no paper backup in case a recount is needed. That’s just plain stupid. Machines fail all the time; to not prepare for that inevitability is just irresponsible.

I also don’t understand how a vision impaired person is supposed to vote on these things. Ah, you may say: a vision impaired person can get a paper “absentee” ballot!

Really? Then why can’t we all?

Maybe we should use the purple finger method. I mean if it’s good enough for the Iraqis ....

(h/t Huffpo)