Thursday, July 08, 2004

Experts warn of potential problems with electronic voting machines

Posted on Wed, Jul. 07, 2004 By Sumana Chatterjee
Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - Just four months before November's elections, vulnerabilities persist in electronic voting machines used nationwide, a group of computer experts told House lawmakers on Wednesday.

The experts are concerned that this fall's elections may be plagued by hackers, fraud and computer malfunctions. Some argue for the return of the paper ballot as a backup to verify voters' intentions.

But election commissioners who plan to rely on electronic balloting insisted that their machines work well. They said sufficient security measures and fallbacks are in place to assure that electronic voting is accurate.

Nearly 50 million Americans are expected to vote using touch-screen machines this fall. Many states and counties moved to electronic voting machines after the contested 2000 election results from Florida.

"No matter how you cut this, voters are concerned about their votes being counted," said Rep. Juanita Millender McDonald, D-Calif., a member of the House Administration Committee, which has oversees voting systems.

"Given the gravity of the security failings the computer security community has documented ... it is irresponsible to move forward without addressing them," said Avi Rubin, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute in Baltimore. The institute's doctoral candidates found significant design and programming flaws in software for Diebold voting machines, a popular system.

The general problem, according to Rubin, is that there's no way for election officials to be sure that electronic machines are free of malicious code designed to manipulate election results.


The mainstream media has finally grabbed this issue but it's conveniently too late for the news to have a impact on the problem.

I will say it again...we're Chenneyed...sorry for the profanity.


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