Saturday, September 16, 2006

How to steal an election using an automated voting machine

From Gizmodo:

Some Princeton researchers made a demonstration video of how it's possible to steal an election with a Diebold voting machine in under a minute. Anyone with physical access to the machine can put in malicious software to steal votes—such as election workers who have unsupervised access to the machines before elections. All they have to do is open up the machine with a key (or pick the lock), remove the old memory card, stick in your own memory card, boot the machine, and it automatically installs any software that was on the memory card.

At the end of the demonstration election, the poll machine prints out the incorrect "stolen election" result. The internal memory card also stores in the incorrect result. Every piece of evidence of how the election actually went reflects the "wrong" result. And, after the election is over, the vote stealing software can delete itself. There's no evidence left that the vote has been conducted incorrectly.

Like I said before, I'm not worried about hackers from the outside trying to manipulate the election results. What I'm worried more about are dagdag bawas INSIDERS who have unsupervised access to the machines.


Sabi ni David Bear, Diebold Spokesperson back in May 12, 2006:

David Bear, a spokesman for Diebold Election Systems, said the potential risk existed because the company’s technicians had intentionally built the machines in such a way that election officials would be able to update their systems in years ahead.

“For there to be a problem here, you’re basically assuming a premise where you have some evil and nefarious election officials who would sneak in and introduce a piece of software,” he said. “I don’t believe these evil elections people exist.”

Maybe you haven't been to our country, Mr. Bear.

Sabi ni Instapundit:

While I think that most of the "stolen election" claims are a mix of sour grapes and conspiracy theory, I think that we'd be much better off going to a more secure voting method, in order to forestall such corrosive charges. This isn't perfect, as there are other ways to steal an election, but it can't hurt.

It may be easier and faster to count the votes using automated, but it's also easier to rig elections from the inside without getting caught if the administration is determined to do it.

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