Monday, January 23, 2006

Election Officials Questioning Electronic Voting Systems' Reliability

Four times over the past year, Leon County, Fla., supervisor of elections Ion Sancho told computer specialists to break in to his electronic voting machines. And on all four occasions they did, using relatively unsophisticated hacking techniques to manipulate the machines' memory cards.

To Sancho, the results showed the vulnerability of voting equipment manufactured by Ohio-based Diebold Election Systems, which is used by more than 800 jurisdictions nationwide.

Increasingly, the Washington Post reported yesterday, election officials are thinking twice before trusting electronic voting systems like Diebold's, recognizing what the Government Accountability Office said in a report to Congress last year -- that there are still pressing concerns about electronic voting systems' "security and reliability."

***

Diebold and some officials were eager to spin Sancho's experiments, saying his conclusions about the vulnerability of electronic voting systems are unfounded. A Diebold lawyer faxed Sancho in June: "We believe this to have been a very foolish and irresponsible act."

But the question election officials -- and voters themselves -- should be asking is: should corporations be dictating how democratic elections are run?

No Diebold executive -- or any other advocate of electronic voting -- has ever been able to explain the benefit of having elections without a paper trail. At least 25 states require paper ballots -- proof of how people voted -- and if more election officials acknowledged the electronic systems' vulnerability, perhaps every state would offer such voter protection.

5 Comments:

Anonymous trinity said...

David R. Mark said...
"At least 25 states require paper ballots -- proof of how people voted -- and if more election officials acknowledged the electronic systems' vulnerability, perhaps every state would offer such voter protection."


On this issue, we are in complete agreement. I am all for paper ballots to back up electronic systems.

I would suggest that all votes be recorded on paper, with one receipt going to the polling officials, and the other one going to the individual voter to keep for their own records, in case election results come under dispute.

It's inexcusable in this day and age not to have a tamper-proof voting system.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Is that a pig that flew by?

12:26 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Anonymous said...
"Wow. Is that a pig that flew by?"


Come on, Anon! We probably would agree (I take it you do agree?) on a lot more than you think, but first we'd have to cut through all that emotion, distrust and partisanship. ;)

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paper trails on all ballots is simply common sense.
This is something that should not even be an issue. If DieBold cannot produce paper trails with their machines, then immediately cancel any and all contracts for them to supply voting districts.
Who the hell would disagree?
(The pollsters would reach the same conclusion if they would ask questions relevant to everyday Americans once in a while).
So why then, are Republicans in Congress blocking efforts for closer scrutiny of voting procedures?
So why then must the issue be heard by the Supreme Court later this year?
Why then, are Republicans/conservatives labeling anyone who brings up alleged voting improprieties in Ohio and Florida in 2000 and 2004 as extreme left nut jobs not worthy of the time of day instead of using such concerns as a mechanism to enforce closer scrutiny of the election process to satisfy all concerns of everyone over impartiality of the vote?
Why then is the MSM more obsessed with Hillary making a "plantation" comment than weighty issues such as this?
To use a cliche, beam me up, Scotty. There is no intelligent life in this Democracy.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a saying in England that I think fits this post.

"No shit, Sherlock!" ;-)

Common sense? When did that ever apply to the voting system in this 'democracy'?

1:50 PM  

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