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A Faerie's Farthing

Flitting through the internets looking for sparkly bits. All content mine and not to be reproduced without permission.

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Friday, October 21, 2005

That's not news!

That's not news!

At the behest of Reps. John Conyers and Henry Waxman - true
American heroes, those two - the GAO has conducted a study of voting machine security. They released their report today; it probably comes as a surprise to no one that they concluded the machines have "substantial problems."

Chief amnog them were a host of security issues. Sure, lost votes are an ugly prospect, but nothing could be worse for voter confidence than vulnerabilities such as these cited in the report:

1. Some electronic voting systems did not encrypt cast ballots or system audit logs, thus making it possible to alter them without detection.

2. It is easy to alter a file defining how a ballot appears, making it possible for someone to vote for one candidate and actually be recorded as voting for an entirely different candidate.

3. Falsifying election results without leaving any evidence of such an action by using altered memory cards.

4. Access to the voting network was easily compromised because not all digital recording electronic voting systems (DREs) had supervisory functions password-protected, so access to one machine provided access to the whole network.


And that's just a small sampling. It's clear that our voting technology needs a lot of work. We need Athan Gibb's TruVote system, or some comparable open-source software, and we need it now. Of course, I'd be perfectly content to go back to paper and pen, but that's not acceptable in our bigger, better, faster, more! "culture" of Americana.


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