Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Brown Coakley Voting Machines Hackable: Is this America?

Nathan Barker, a conservative and Brad Friedman, a liberal published a formidable piece on the vulnerability of Massachusetts voting machines. If this is true, how have we allowed this to happen in the United States of America?

Here are snippets from The Gouveneur Times (see link below):

The electronic voting systems used in Massachusetts are notoriously plagued with problems and vulnerabilities, and are in violation of federal voting system standards. Moreover, they are sold, programmed, and maintained by a company with a disturbing criminal background....
The Diebold electronic voting machines to be used in more than 90% of the state's districts are the same demonstrably unreliable ballot scanning systems that were seen being hacked in the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary Hacking Democracy. The rest of the machines used in the Bay State are made by Sequoia Voting System, Inc., the same manufacturer whose machines were "misconfigured," to switch votes in Erie County, NY's Nov. 3, 2009 election and which have failed, and even been hacked, in a number of cases around the country.
The key to the exploit is access to the scanner's memory cards. Those sensitive cards contain the programming instructions for how the machines should read paper ballots as they pass through it. They also track the tally of votes. In Hursti's hack, he was able to make a slight change to the memory cards' programming instructions which flipped the results in such a way that only a manual hand count of every ballot would have revealed the manipulation.
Read it all at The Gouverneur Times. Read the comments as well for more discussion.

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