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Ohio Study Confirms Voting Systems Vulnerabilities 91

Posted by Zonk
from the never-thought-i'd-be-longing-for-paper dept.
bratgitarre writes "A comprehensive study of electronic voting systems (PDF) by vendors ES&S, Hart InterCivic and Premier (formerly Diebold) found that 'all of the studied systems possess critical security failures that render their technical controls insufficient to guarantee a trustworthy election'. In particular, they note all systems provide insufficiently protection against threats from election insiders, do not follow well-known security practices, and have 'deeply flawed software maintenance' practices." Some of these machines are the ones California testers found fault with last week.
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Ohio Study Confirms Voting Systems Vulnerabilities

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  • The only people who are motivated to manage voting booths are the elderly who haven't got anything else to do and people who are totally wrapped up in their own candidate's campaign. The first doesn't care who wins the election, so long as their retirement benefits aren't touched. And the latter has so many ways to defraud the election, it's not even funny.

    Whether you set up the process with electronic voting or you use old fashioned paper slips, someone somewhere can either cause votes to disappear or have
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      If systems like PGP and Freenet are possible, why not a secure voting system?

      Instead of contracting out to private businesses, whose best efforts are, apparently, pitifully inadequate, why don't they hold an open, international competition? (Wasn't the AES algorithm the result of an open request?)
    • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @08:52AM (#21707636)
      First of all, if you think the people managing the booth aren't trustworthy, offer to do it yourself. I honestly see no reason why you shouldn't be able to do it.

      And second, yes, a meteor striking or a truck crashing the voting site would certainly crush a voting booth. But since it's as likely as me getting abducted by aliens, I'm actually willing to take that risk.

      I'm honestly amazed how people keep using incredible horror scenarios as an excuse for something not working (or, in case of terrorism, being necessary), without even considering that it's so unlikely that it doesn't matter at all. There is a minuscle chance that you die in the shower from lightning or some other freak accident, does that mean you don't shower anymore now?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by BadAnalogyGuy (945258)
        So if there is a miniscule chance of these horror scenarios occuring, then what's to say that your (meaning "security experts") horror stories regarding voting booth irregularities aren't just another bunch of horror stories to be tossed aside as statistical anomolies? If we are going to say that deliberate tampering is a big problem with electronic voting booths, then how can we overlook the deliberate tampering with non-electronic systems?

        We've been blessed with a populace who is generally honest enough t
        • then what's to say that your (meaning "security experts") horror stories regarding voting booth irregularities aren't just another bunch of horror stories to be tossed aside as statistical anomolies?

          because it is already happening in other countries and chances are that it is and has been occuring here too.

          If we are going to say that deliberate tampering is a big problem with electronic voting booths, then how can we overlook the deliberate tampering with non-electronic systems?

          we didn't overlook the prob

          • I've personally worked for the Alaska's Division of Election, so this might not hold true for the equipment used by other states but:

            The major problems with the system as it is are: 1) poor physical security 2) risk of sabotage of code and components [corruption] 3) no paper trail to verify votes 4) code must be/remain open source to make sure the voting machines are not doing something shady without anyone's knowledge etc...

            1) All TSX (touch-screen machines) are always under lock and key when not being fielded. When they're out in the wild they are under constant supervision of either staff or a group of volunteers (who as far as the staff knows don't know each other - integrity through numbers approach)
            2) Only the staff has the a key to open the machine's controls. Said staff is so busy wi

      • by stinerman (812158)

        First of all, if you think the people managing the booth aren't trustworthy, offer to do it yourself. I honestly see no reason why you shouldn't be able to do it.
        Last I checked, you have to be a registered Democrat or Republican in order to work the polls. At the very least, there have to be equal numbers of both parties working a precinct.
        • Interesting - In Australia it is the opposite - Party Members need not apply & those who are active in the community politically while not being a party member need not apply either. Strict impartiality is the expectation inside the polling booth and within the designated polling precinct.
        • Here in the USA it doesn't matter who you're affiliated with, as long as you're completely impartial when dealing with voters (et al). You can't campaign on the Division of Elections' property, and so on.
          • by stinerman (812158)
            Not in Ohio. In Ohio you must at the very least vote a partisan ballot in the next primary in order to be a poll worker. That registers you as a member of the party.
    • by Goaway (82658) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @10:00AM (#21707966) Homepage

      Whether you set up the process with electronic voting or you use old fashioned paper slips, someone somewhere can either cause votes to disappear or have extra votes sent to a certain candidate. It doesn't matter what system is in place.
      Yes, it does matter what system is in place. Namely, the system where elections are handled by volunteers, and you never leave any part of the process in the hand of a single person, nor do you let people pick their own tasks. You just make sure that chances are that there is always one honest person in place at each step.

      And you have routines in place for dealing with what happens if votes are lost in an accident, such as re-doing the election.

      This isn't difficult stuff, it's been worked out centuries ago.
      • The way these literally corrupt machines are going, I think citizens in states where they are the only option should call for a VERY public boycott. Get several hundred people picketing outside, signing petitions to vow not to vote unless they have PROVEN methods. Sure the county/state/whatever will come back saying they're "secure". In the scheme of things a few hundred voters not voting because of bad voting may give enough bad press that it would give the officials enough concern to maybe at least listen
        • "In the scheme of things a few hundred voters not voting because of bad voting may give enough bad press that it would give the officials enough concern to maybe at least listen to the issue." -> In the scheme of things, a few hundred voters not voting from bad practices may give officials enough bad pres that they may listen.

          Run sentence, run!

        • Or instead of jumping the gun straight to picketing and boycotting, you could take a trip down to your local office of elections and raising your concerns in person. Perhaps, given the chance to elucidate you as to the invalidity of your concerns, you won't even need to picket.
      • by Sique (173459)
        And moreso: You open every step of the election to the public, so everyone can watch the distributing of the ballot sheets, the checking of the voter's paper at the election place, the sealing of the voting boxes, the putting of the ballots in the box after voting, the opening of the boxes, the counting of the votes, the transport of the resealed boxes with the votes and the results to the voting offices and the addition of the single results to the final sums.

        The only step in the voting process that must n
    • I think you're correct in your descriptions of two groups of people who are motivated to manage voting stations (although I don't think they are the only two groups), but you seem to draw the wrong conclusions. The "elderly people" who don't care who wins are fine to have in the system -- if they don't care who wins, then they have no reason to cheat and will tend to keep the process honest. But the campaign workers are even more important to the process: they have an incentive to cheat, but as long as wo
    • by N3Roaster (888781)
      About one year ago the voting booths where I vote were moved farther into the building and away from the windows. Much harder to crash a truck into them, or into the ballot box (though more likely this was done to make it easier to handle more voters). Then again, we're still using paper ballots and permanent markers.

      Still, your scenario reminds me of a story my grandfather once told me. He was living in Florida at the time and registered as a Democrat. The person at the poles told him that his name wasn't
    • by mstahl (701501)

      [The elderly don't] care who wins the election, so long as their retirement benefits aren't touched.

      The elderly are the only people who actually vote in this country! The AARP is a huuuuuuge lobby and anyone who wants to get elected to any position anywhere—particularly the presidency—has to cowtow to them quite a great deal. That group also includes a lot of veterans, which need constant placating as well. Never ever ever underestimate the elderly vote because those people have the highest turnout of any demographic.

  • by Slartibartfast (3395) <[ken] [at] [jots.org]> on Saturday December 15, 2007 @07:37AM (#21707330) Homepage Journal
    I think we've seen sufficient evidence that Diebold has been inhaling deeply, if you will. And we, as a relatively technology-savvy audience, are acutely aware of the potential for disaster -- just imagine, if you will, a virus that infects just voting machines. Personally, while it pains me to say it, I think we should stick with the solution we use here in New Hampshire: good ol' SAT-like ballots. Darken the oval next to the candidate's name, and you're done. The Machine will either accept it, or reject it (in which case you do a new ballot, and the old one gets destroyed). Simple, easy, accountable. Yes, being able to use a computerized voting machine for tabulation is incredibly seductive, but voting is already something inherently prone to attempts at manipulation. Let's not introduce yet more potential, shall we?
    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @10:24AM (#21708132) Homepage
      The other thing you have in NH (where I used to live and my mother used to practice law) is a highly respected and quite non-partisan Secretary of State, Bill Gardner, who has kept his office throughout both Republican and Democratic state administrations. He's demonstrated time and again that his number 1 goal as far as his duties as an election official are concerned is to get the correct results (meaning the results accurately reflecting the will of the people). He's about as far from Ohio or Florida Secretaries of State when the electronic voting was put in place (Katherine Harris and Ken Blackwell) as you can get.

      In other words, there's a reason why NH's system is so good. Heck, I love a state government where a man I'd gotten to know as an elevator operator was elected to the state House.
    • Voting machines are never networked, so there's no way for such a virus to propagate.

      The votes aren't tabulated on a computer until after the paper ballots (which the machines spit out after each individual vote) are counted against the electronic counter. In effect this electronic counter is more of a guide-point for the paper counters, so if your results deviate from it you probably need to recount the paper ballots.

      One of the great features of the machines used in my office is that it allows even th

      • No, they aren't networked. But they *are* computers. For example, my office was recently struck by a virus which propagated by USB pen drives; stick the drive into a computer, it fired up the autorun file, installed itself, and infected any future keys -- a play on Ye Olde floppy drive propagation. Bottom line: run an OS, be potentially susceptible to an attack of some sort. For the record, I essentially agree with you -- I'm a pretty non-paranoid sysadmin. But when it comes to stuff like voting, I'm w
        • The machines we have don't have USB ports, and don't run on any popular OS. They are never plugged into each other (directly or indirectly). There really is no way for such a virus to spread across these machines.

  • Wrong! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tim Ward (514198) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @07:39AM (#21707338) Homepage
    Whilst I have no faith in electronic systems, I do know about pencil-and-paper elections, having taken part in several in the UK and been on UN election monitoring missions in Kosovo and Ukraine.

    It is perfectly possible to make pencil-and-paper elections secure against the malpractices you suggest, as well as many others that you haven't thought of but the election designers certainly have!

    Even if the entire system were corrupt, in terms of every single person involved in running the election being involved in a conspiracy, there's no way they could hide what they're doing from observers.

    Now, in civilised parts of the world people don't always make use of all their observation opportunities. For example, in the UK the candidate can watch the ballot box being sealed, make a note of the number on the seal, and check that the same seal is still on the box when it is opened later at the counting hall. But we don't bother - we trust the officials, and we've been working for something like 17 hours with another 4 or 5 to go so we take the opportunity to have something to eat whilst the ballot boxes are being shifted around. But, if there were any suspicion that the election officials tampered with the boxes in their cars, we could do this check.

    Oh, and as we all said goodbye to each other when leaving Kosovo the first time we were all calling out "bye, see you in Florida!", including the Americans.
    • What would the impact be of a carbomb going off in one of the vehicles transporting the ballots? If a district were known to be heavily in favor of a certain candidate, wouldn't the destruction of those ballots negate their votes?

      If we encourage black voters in the South to remember to vote on November 10 "Election Day", and they somehow end up missing the election on November 7, have we not corrupted the system?

      Or if we have a company of 10,000 employees who were all pretty underpaid and "encourage" them t
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rvw (755107)

        What would the impact be of a carbomb going off in one of the vehicles transporting the ballots? If a district were known to be heavily in favor of a certain candidate, wouldn't the destruction of those ballots negate their votes?

        Let's say there is an accident, not a bomb. The car catches fire, the votes are destroyed. How many votes are in this car? 500? 5.000? I suppose there won't be 50.000 votes in it. Let's say 5.000 votes are destroyed. I think that's a high number (but I may be wrong). You could simply calculate if this would change any of the results. Probably it won't matter if all those votes of this one accident went to candidate A or B. And not all those votes will be for one candidate alone. So if those votes couldn't

        • We keep track of voters by their polling place, so in the unlikely event that a box of votes from a certain polling place were to be blown up, abducted by aliens, or what have you, we would simply contact the voters of that polling place to recast their ballots. Yes, it really is that simple.

      • Or if we have a company of 10,000 employees who were all pretty underpaid and "encourage" them to vote a certain way, with informants watching the polls, haven't we silenced their individual voices?

        This is the exact reason that a take-home election reciept is a bad idea. Which is why most voting systems don't have it... not just the tyranny of the employer, but also the undue influence from peers & family. (Can you imagine how long I'd be sleeping on the couch if the wife knew who I voted for la

      • Various frauds ... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Tim Ward (514198) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @09:57AM (#21707946) Homepage
        Loss of car

        What would the impact be of a carbomb going off in one of the vehicles transporting the ballots? If a district were known to be heavily in favor of a certain candidate, wouldn't the destruction of those ballots negate their votes?

        Depends.

        Round here, in a local election there are three ballot boxes for my ward, and they are probably transported to the count in two cars. The loss of any one of those boxes would clearly invalidate the election. Whether the election would have be run again in the entire ward, or just in the area(s) for the lost box(es) I don't know, but I think "the entire ward" would be a good guess.

        For a parliamentary election, there are around forty ballot boxes for this constituency. If one box were lost, and that box held, say, 1,500 ballots, and the count of the remaining boxes gave someone a majority of, say, 4,000, then the result would be clear without that box. Otherwise I expect that again the entire election would be re-run.

        (A car transporting me to a polling station, of which I was in charge, in Kosovo broke down. I finished the journey sitting in the back of the van that our armed guard was driving. A novel experience for a Brit - most of us can go through life never seeing a real live gun, and having one a few way away from you is a bit weird.)

        Publicity for false election day

        Dunno about the American South, but round here that's something I'm pretty sure would go through the courts, with a re-run of the election a possible outcome.

        Company pressure

        There's no way you can have an "informant watching the polls" in a propery run election. Everybody in the polling station needs to have a good excuse ... and being the candidate's officially appointed observer is a good excuse, so each candidate can have someone watching inside each polling station for any bad goings-on. Your putative "informant" might be able to gain entry to the polling station but wouldn't be able to watch people marking their ballots, as there would be too many other people watching them in turn.

        Now, this sort of buying / forcing votes is possible with postal votes - your crooked employer could lean on his employees to request postal votes and then hand over the ballot papers. There isn't an answer to this, which is why we (my party) really don't like postal votes very much, other than for the traditional good reasons (housebound etc).

        (This sort of employer pressure was thought to be widespread in the Ukraine election that was re-run because of the various complaints. I went to the Boxing Day re-run (a novel way to spend Christmas away from my family) and we were told that the employers hadn't applied any pressure the second time round, basically everybody involved had decided to stop trying to cheat and to hold a clean election.)

        if we can't actually verify that each vote is registered

        Do you mean voters who don't make it onto the electoral register? Yes, that's part of the wider system rather than polling day security. There's two theories about natural safeguards here:

        (a) candidates will make efforts to get everybody onto the register
        (b) actually it probably doesn't matter that much, as someone who can't be bothered to get onto the register is quite likely also somebody who can't be bothered to vote, so who cares.

        And there are plenty more ways of gaming elections you haven't thought up yet ... and the system has thought them up, and has safeguards in place ...

      • Stealing/destroying ballot boxes and misdirecting voters are highly visible -- their effects cannot be hidden, so they can be noticed and remedied. All ballot boxes should be traceable, so if a box from a particular polling station goes missing, its absence will be noted and the vote for that district can be run again. Fooling people about the day or place of voting cannot be done in secret, so any effort to do this will be noticed (at worst, it will be noticed when they show up at the wrong time or place
  • by Homology (639438) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @07:49AM (#21707374)
    From Venezuela is Not Florida [zmag.org]

    But Venezuela is not Pakistan. In fact, it's not Florida or Ohio either. One reason that Chavez could be confident of the vote count is that Venezuela has a very secure voting system. This is very different from the United States, where millions of citizens cast electronic votes with no paper record. Venezuelan voters mark their choice on a touch-screen machine, which then records the vote and prints out a paper receipt for the voter. The voter then deposits the vote in a ballot box. An extremely large random sample - about 54 percent - of the paper ballots are counted and compared with the electronic tally.
    • The important thing isn't whether Chavez could be confident of the vote count handed to him, but whether Venezuelans could be confident of the vote count handed to them by Chavez.

      I've heard that Venezuela's military commanders promised a coup d'etat if Chavez tried to ramrod his wildly unpopular socialist reforms down the nation's throat, but you'll notice that the vote count released to the public indicated that the margin of defeat was under 1%. That's what's called in the political industry "saving face
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Homology (639438)
        I read the Newsweek article but is difficult to believe what "mainstream" media like Newsweek write. Too often they are very wrong and just spout out state propaganda justifying whatever upcoming war.
        • Hmmm... believe Newsweek or believe the state-run media of megalomaniacal dictator Hugo Chavez? Somehow this is a tough choice for you, isn't it?
    • by sgt_doom (655561)
      And Venezuela also has the luxury of an honest president in Hugo Chavez (Viva Chavez!).

      Here in America, after the coup of 2000 by the Bush Crime Family with the aid of those Opus Dei members of the Supreme Court, we can only fantasize about honest elections.....

  • ... or do you not trust ATM machines?

    Trillions of dollars are transfered via electronic means, perhaps even more than that if you define a time line.

    The only difference here is the anonymity of the voter, who they voted for. Where security dealing with verifying a qualified voter before they vote and that they only vote once, should be no more an issue as when it was when it was all paper.

    The fact that this electronic voting problem exist at all, but also full scope across all machines tested really does id
    • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @08:58AM (#21707664)
      I don't have to trust ATM machines. I have a full paper trail from the moment I get my money to the moment I get my statement. I punch in my desired amount, I get money. I can count that money and verify that it is as much as I wanted. I get a recept, stating the same. And a day later I can see on my account info that the amount was deducted from my account. And I can verify every single step thereof, and should there be the slightest discrepancy, I can immediately notice that.

      Now, how should I notice whether my vote has been counted correctly or whether it has been twisted around?
      • by MikeUW (999162)

        Now, how should I notice whether my vote has been counted correctly or whether it has been twisted around?

        I think this is equally applicable to paper voting...on an individual level at least. When I vote, I mark a piece of paper and put it in a box - once it's in the box, there is no link back to me (except maybe fingerprints). That's the last I ever see of of my ballot. I personally have no means to verify that the piece of paper I submitted has been counted correctly, or if my vote was altered in any way.

        • by swillden (191260)

          I personally have no means to verify that the piece of paper I submitted has been counted correctly, or if my vote was altered in any way.

          Not true.

          If you really want to, you can stick around and watch the ballot box, see when it is sealed, watch when it is opened and observe the counting process. Note that you'll probably have to make arrangements in advance for the latter steps, but you can do it. In fact, it's normal procedure for representatives of parties and/or candidates to observe in this way.

          • by MikeUW (999162)
            I imagine you are right about this. However, this is not well known (at least not among my peers in Canada - and you can bet that I don't really plan to verify so myself). However, the fact that there is an option to do this should be relatively common knowledge...if anything to provide a benchmark against which the trustworthiness of electronic systems should be measured.
            • by swillden (191260)
              In practice it's not so important that individual citizens observe the election process, because the political parties and the candidates do. They're mostly watching to see that nothing is done that damages their chances at winning, rather than being focused on the fairness of the election, but if all of them do it the effect is the same.
      • by 3seas (184403)
        A voting paper trail doesn't provide you the voter with any evidence either. but leaves it up to the counters.
        • by Homology (639438)

          A voting paper trail doesn't provide you the voter with any evidence either. but leaves it up to the counters.

          Bingo! But a proper paper trail will make election fraud much more difficult.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dupup (784652)
      ...or do you not trust ATM machines?

      When you undertake a transaction with an ATM machine, the machine is just the conduit to the bank. You're trusting in the bank's paranoia about money to keep everything square. And the bank provides sufficient paperwork and even a dispute resolution process in case of a discrepancy. The ATM does not balance your account nor even decide if you have enough money to withdraw, the bank does. Before Diebold set about fixing^H^H^H^Hmaking voting machines, they made ATMs.

      • "Before Diebold set about making voting machines, they made ATMs."
        Or not. But hey why worry about pesky details. You think the ATM hardware vendor could come up with something as horrible and cheap as the voting machines? GES bought a few companies and eventually was bought by Diebold.

        Bob and Todd Urosevich are the criminal brother who are behind ES&S and Diebold which are responsible for counting 80% of all the votes in this country. HAVA funneled $3.9 BILLION dollars into a handful of these v
    • by Björn (4836)
      ... or do you not trust ATM machines?

      ATM machines are very reliable, but nevertheless they malfunction all the time. That is why they have electronic or sometimes even paper journals. If an ATM gives you to little money your bank can check your receipt, the journal and the amount of money still in the machine. In most cases you should get your missing money.

      I don't think ATMs are a useful comparison for electronic voting machines, mostly due to the anonymity requirements.

    • I don't trust ATM machines.

      I do trust the very sophisticated checks and cross-checks that are built into the banking industry that would prevent any systematic corruption of ATM machines. So I'm comfortable using them, and I do so a few times each month.

      Voting machines are just a pretty face. There are none of the kinds of checks and cross-checks behind them that make the banking industry work. Companies like Premier (aka Diebold) have shown deliberate resistance to incorporating any of those kinds of m

  • Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Saturday December 15, 2007 @08:35AM (#21707548)

    I don't see what all the fuss is about. When your only choice is between the Democrats and the Republicans, who gives a crap whether the machine you vote on is rigged? It's like being offered a choice of getting thrown in a shark tank or a piranha tank.

    • Trust me ... take the shark tank. You might lose a leg or an arm (or maybe you'll get away scott free), but the piranha will just leave your bones.

      I'll leave it up to the reader to decide which party is more aptly described by a tank of sharks or a tank of piranha.
    • We need a new moderation option. +1 "Sad but True"
    • If you had a multi-party system, you could even have a candiru [wikipedia.org] tank. Perhaps you should look on the positive side.
  • by djfake (977121) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @08:39AM (#21707572) Homepage
    The fact that the US cannot come up with a definitive "voting tabulation method" tells you that the whole thing is crooked from the git-go. And even if we did, we'd still have (at least) fifty different electoral commissions for national elections. Why is it so difficult to comprehend a system that tabulates votes and leaves an audit trail? But what's even more reprehensible is that the majority of Americans don't even consider the integrity of our elections when voting - or do they? The US has one of the lowest turnouts in the Western world (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_turnout [wikipedia.org]). Democracy at its best.
    • why is it so very gorrammed hard to follow the method used in india ( http://techaos.blogspot.com/2004/05/indian-evm-compared-with-diebold.html [blogspot.com])? is that so very difficult?

      i think it's pretty clear that american manufacturers of e-voting devices are either unforgiveably incompetent or deliberately introducing devices with obvious non-security. i'm not sure which prospect i find more troubling, but to be honest, what i find even more troubling is the fact that the media largely appears to be ignoring the
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jc42 (318812)
      Why is it so difficult to comprehend a system that tabulates votes and leaves an audit trail?

      Actually, that's one of the major difficulties. With an election, an audit trail must have an important property that isn't required by a financial system's audit trail: The audit trail must not expose a voter's actual votes.

      With financial systems, there's no serious problem if the auditing system allows the bank employees to see the numbers in a customer's records. There are even situations where it's considered
      • by djfake (977121)

        Actually, that's one of the major difficulties. With an election, an audit trail must have an important property that isn't required by a financial system's audit trail: The audit trail must not expose a voter's actual votes.
        Why - once the vote is cast - does it need to remain secret?
        • by jc42 (318812)
          Why - once the vote is cast - does it need to remain secret?

          Several reasons:

          1) Your boss learns that you didn't vote the way he told you, so you're out of a job.

          2) The local gang of thugs learn that you didn't vote the way they told you, so they come around and break your childrens' kneecaps (or yours, if you don't have any children).

          3) The local banker learns that you didn't vote the approved way, so the next time you apply for credit, you're turned down.

          4) The politician you didn't vote for wins, and he a
          • by djfake (977121)
            But those are reasons for it to remain private, but not necessarily secret. . .
  • by DeeQ (1194763) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @08:43AM (#21707588)
    Your vote counts! Just not necessarily who you wanted it to count for.
  • Aside from the myriad problems with any electronic voting system, the real issue that everyone misses is that the entire voting practice is fundamentally flawed at the roots.

    The concept of a "winner takes all" system is that the losers must suffer the tyrrany of the winners. How is that so much different from a dictatorship? You are still under tyrrany, and in some ways it's worse -- it's the tyrrany of the majority, which means of course it's much harder to effect changes since you'll have the majority a

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Sorry, you obviously are a product of the modern educational system. The Founding Fathers actually thought this through, that is why the Constitution is written the way it is, with the various provisions and the Bill of Rights. Or as Winston Churchill once said, "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the other ways that have been tried."
      • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

        by Homology (639438)

        Sorry, you obviously are a product of the modern educational system. The Founding Fathers actually thought this through, that is why the Constitution is written the way it is, with the various provisions and the Bill of Rights. Or as Winston Churchill once said, "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the other ways that have been tried."

        Yeah, several your "founding fathers" where slave owners...

        • Yeah, several your "founding fathers" where slave owners...

          There is only one nation that has ANY basis for condemning the US over slavery and that is England. Even there, they don't have much room.
  • What's the problem? Nobody votes anyway...
  • I can't really see where this matters. Two groups of lying thieves, take your pick. It's kind of like George Carlin says, "It's their club, and you ain't in it. It's the same club they beat you over the head with."
  • by Anonymous Coward
    As someone who has some insight into one of the named companies, I'm aware of several of the root-cause problems experienced:
    • Regulatory-driven reactive security model: The firm views security as something specified by their regulators and only seeks to meet that requirement. They do not perceive any value-added benefit from exceeding client specifications. This results in a product that matches specifications written by election commission consultants, who are hardly qualified to develop security standards.
  • What does the security of the machines matter?

    Aren't the voting results returned by phone? And isn't the Administration even now working diligently to get the big Telcos immunity for doing anything they ask them to do - or anything they think of themselves that the Administration likes?

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