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UPDATED: Complete Video Now Linked! Also, Complete Text Transcript!
By Brad Friedman on 9/27/2006 1:28pm PT  

Heard from Bobby an hour or so ago, that he's going to be on MSNBC's HARDBALL with Chris Matthews tonight at 5:10pm ET (2:10pm PT).

He'll be discussing his recent Rolling Stone piece on Diebold's duplicity in their voting systems, and our elections from 2002 on up to now. At least, that's what he's been told.

As well, we're hoping he'll put out the words calling on folks to demand that Congress pass legislation for Emergency Paper Ballots this November.

UPDATE 3:35pm PT: Full video now linked below! Kennedy spoke about how easy it now is to steal an election on an E-Voting Machine ("in just 60 seconds") as based on recent studies by Princeton, NYU's Brennan Center and the non-partisan GAO office.

He also discussed the new congressional Emergency Paper Ballot legislation, and even recommended your friendly neighborhood BRAD BLOG as a good source for information on all of the above.

Video links now below. Thanks to Bobby for the kind plug. Thanks to Chris Matthews for letting him get out a sentence or two in a row. (Thanks to HotPotatoMash for the video links!)


-- Video in Flash Format is now here...
-- Video QuickTime format is here...

UPDATE: A Complete text transcript of the interview now follows in full...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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'We Must Restrict Access to the Buttons' Says Diebold as They Allow Faulty, Hackable Machines to be Used Everywhere in the Country this November!
Company Refuses to Supply Latest Machine for Testing to Either Princeton OR the US Elections Assistance Commission - Good Thing They Don't Actually Make Nuclear Missiles!
By Brad Friedman on 9/24/2006 1:23pm PT  

In addition to The New York Times' article in Sunday editions today headlined "Officials Wary of Electronic Voting Machines" (we covered that report yesterday), the Times had another piece, buried in the Business Section of Saturday's edition headlined "The Big Gamble on Electronic Voting."

Other than still referring to the machine used in the Princeton Report --- which showed a Diebold touch-screen system could be hacked with an undetectable vote-flipping virus in a minute's time, which could then spread itself to every machine in the system --- as coming from a mysterious "third party", it is a very good article which I highly recommend.

(For the record, I told everyone where the machine came from --- VelvetRevolution.us was given the machine by a source of mine --- when I broke the story originally both here, and at Salon. Not sure why AP, WaPo, NYTimes et al has such trouble figuring it out. Guess they don't use Google.)

Randall Stross' Times piece is very smart. It includes his efforts to press Diebold as to why they won't supply the latest and greatest touch-screen machine to Princeton to test. Since Diebold claimed in their silly, disingenuous reply to the Princeton Report that the Diebold AccuVote model used in the testing was "two generations old" and "to our knowledge, is not used anywhere in the country," one would think Diebold would be more than happy to supply their newest machine for similar security testing. Congrats to Stross for making that point abundantly clear!

Diebold's response about the "two generations old" system is stuff and nonsense, and in the article Diebold spokeshole Mark Radke was extraordinary.

Radke refused Stross' encouragement to supply such a machine to either Princeton or even the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC). That refusal, and the reasons for it, underscore the load of crap that Diebold is still trying to sell to an unsuspecting public and media.

Radke claims, in the piece, that sharing such machines with computer scientists, or even the EAC is "analogous to launching a nuclear missile" and Diebold must restrict "access to the buttons."

Funny reply from a company who sent these machines out like candy in their early development, with almost no inventory control whatsoever (one of the reasons why I was even able to get the machine to Princeton!). Also a funny reply from a company that has failed to warn their customers about the safe use of these machines, by not telling them about the dangers of sending these machines home with poll workers on overnight "sleepovers" for days and weeks prior to an election. Such "sleepovers" sullied the integrity of San Diego's recent U.S. House Special election in June, and the practice will be carried out again across the country this November.

Diebold, apparently, is just fine with that.

The Diebold company and their dishonest business practices in these regards are an irresponsible menance to democracy, our American Values, and our way of life. They, and several of the other voting machines companies, have succeeded in undermining the very core of our Republic. The media and both major political parties are also guilty for allowing them to do so.

Please read Stross' article in full and be amazed.

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Plaintiff Rep Says Machines to be Allowed in November, With New Security Measures, But Must Be Recertified From Scratch Thereafter
[UPDATED Now to include CNN's Initial Coverage, Official VoterAction.org Statement, Trial Testimony and Depositions from the case.]
By Brad Friedman on 9/22/2006 4:54pm PT  

I just received a phone call from Holly Jacobson of VoterAction.org, the group that has supported voter lawsuits attempting to decertify e-voting machines in Colorado, California, Arizona, Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

She called us from Colorado just after leaving the courtroom, where the case in that state against the use and purchase of e-voting systems made by Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and Hart InterCivic was being heard yesterday. She called and said: "We won!"

That call came moments after I'd received a report that CNN's Lou Dobbs had reported an hour or so ago that they had lost the case...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Republican Head of State Calls for Paper Ballots this November!
By John Gideon on 9/22/2006 11:06am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Last night Lou and Kitty tackled the argument in Maryland over whether Linda Lamone should just let Diebold do an investigation of what went wrong last week or whether Gov. Ehrlich should get his way and have the voters vote on paper ballots.

The text-transcript of tonight's segment on Lou Dobbs Tonight follows in full...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Votes Written on 'Scraps of Paper' in MD With Machines Down and No Paper Ballots Available!
WaPo Columnist Says 'Switch to Paper', Repub Gov Wants Paper, Dem Election Director in Denial, Congress Needed to Step in Immediately!
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2006 5:59pm PT  
At Piney Branch Elementary School in Takoma Park, officials quickly ran out of paper ballots and began telling voters to use scraps of paper after electronic balloting ended at 8 p.m., said Dennis Desmond, who voted with an ersatz paper ballot.

Officials, he said, were calling out the names on the ballot while people wrote down their choices on blank paper. Desmond estimated that 50 people voted that way. Voters also were asked to provide biographical information about themselves as election officials attempted to make the ballots legal.

He said that election officials dispatched a worker to a nearby store to buy envelopes and masking tape so the ersatz ballots could be enclosed and sealed.

-- From Washington Post coverage of Maryland's Sept. 12 Primary Election Meltdown

In addition to the front-pager we reported on last night from today's Washington Post covering Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich's call for a return to paper ballots in the state this November, WaPo has two additional stories today underscoring the desperate need for the LET AMERICA VOTE ACT to be passed immediately by the U.S. Congress. The simple proposal I've made calls for Emergency Paper Ballots to be mandated at every polling place this November in the face of machine breakdowns from coast to coast all primary season long.

One of the other two WaPo stories on this today, this one by Marc Fisher, on the front page of the Metro Section headlined is "If Paper Ballots Restore Trust In Elections, Let's Switch." It includes this information in response to last week Primary Election Meltdown:

The obvious solution, as Gov. Bob Ehrlich said yesterday, is to put the machines in the closet (actually, returning them to the store is an even better idea; does anybody in Annapolis still have that receipt for $106 million?) and go back to paper ballots. The governor bemoaned flaws in the Diebold electronic poll books that Maryland used for the first time last week to check in voters: "Technology is a wonderful thing, but clearly, given their apparent inability to function appropriately --- when in doubt, go paper, go lower technology."

...As well as this extraordinary exchange from MD's embattled Democratic State Elections Director and Diebold apologist, the not-yet-resigned, Linda Lamone...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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BRAD BLOG SOURCES, STORIES COVERED EXTENSIVELY...
EXTENDED EXCERPTS FROM THE ARTICLE...
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2006 12:08pm PT  


Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who filed a landmark article last June in Rolling Stone concerning evidence of a stolen 2004 Presidential Election in Ohio, is set to rock the country again in tomorrow's Rolling Stone, The BRAD BLOG can now report.

The issue is currently on the stands in some sections of LA and NY, and will be available across the nation tomorrow.

Through interviews with a number of BRAD BLOG insider sources over the past several months, Kennedy, along with co-writer Dick Russell, will expose a plethora of new details concerning the scandalous and outrageous overtaking of our public election system by private companies such Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and others.

The article is titled: "Will The Next Election Be Hacked? - Fresh disasters at the polls --- and new evidence from an industry insider --- prove that electronic voting machines can't be trusted".

Many of the items covered may be familiar to readers here, as a good number of them were originally broken on these very pages over the last year or so. We worked closely with Kennedy and Russell on this story during its development over the past several months.

The article, however, covers several new and sometimes explosive details of Diebold's rollouts in both Georgia and Maryland dating back to 2002, as well as Florida, Ohio and Texas in 2004.

Characterizing the unchecked spread of electronic voting as "insane," Kennedy and Russell conclude, "It is time for Americans to reclaim our democracy from private interests."

Some of the damning details covered in the extensive piece include: the now-infamous and mysterious patch applied to the paperless touch-screen systems in GA just prior to the Chambliss/Cleland election; the presence of Diebold elections division president Bob Urosevich in the tabulation room in MD in 2002; Diebold's interest in downplaying, hiding the significance of several scientific reports in 2004 warning of the vulnerabilities in their machines; Rep. Bob Ney's (R-OH) involvement with former staffers and Diebold lobbyists in passing the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) through congress; ES&S shenanigans in Texas in 2004; E-Voting anomalies in Ohio and Florida may have given the election to George W. Bush; the Diebold electronic voting machine which kicked off the 2000 Presidential Election debacle...

The article is now posted in full at the RS website. Extended excerpts from the article follow below...

###

...TROUBLE COMING THIS NOVEMBER...

[A]s midterm elections approach this November, electronic voting machines are making things worse instead of better. Studies have demonstrated that hackers can easily rig the technology to fix an election – and across the country this year, faulty equipment and lax security have repeatedly undermined election primaries. In Tarrant County, Texas, electronic machines counted some ballots as many as six times, recording 100,000 more votes than were actually cast. In San Diego, poll workers took machines home for unsupervised “sleepovers” before the vote, leaving the equipment vulnerable to tampering.
...
“Every board of election has staff members with the technological ability to fix an election,” Ion Sancho, an election supervisor in Leon County, Florida, told me. “Even one corrupt staffer can throw an election. Without paper records, it could happen under my nose and there is no way I’d ever find out about it. With a few key people in the right places, it would be possible to throw a presidential election.”

Much more now below...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Democratic Election Administrator Still in Denial!
DIEB-THROAT Says 'We Put Out Junk' in Maryland in 2002
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2006 12:27am PT  

From Page 1 of Thursday's WaPo:

A week after the primary election was plagued by human error and technical glitches, Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) called yesterday for the state to scrap its $106 million electronic voting apparatus and revert to a paper ballot system for the November election.

"When in doubt, go paper, go low-tech," he said.

Ehrlich said that, if necessary, he would call a special session of the Maryland General Assembly to change the law to allow paper ballots.

The Republican Governor's call comes after hearings today to investigate Maryland's primary election meltdown on September 12th.

Ehrlich had called for paper ballots last February. The Democratic MD House supported the initiative in a 137 to 0 vote. The Democratic Senate let the bill die without a vote before ending their session.

As BRAD BLOG readers know well, Maryland was one of Diebold's original showcase states and implemented paperless Diebold touch-screens back in 2002. They've had more experience with them than any other state. Yet they still couldn't manage to get them to work correctly in a sparsely attended primary for a mid-term election.

Democratic Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. is against the idea of using paper ballots. He told WaPo, "We paid millions. These are state-of-the-art machines"

Miller clearly doesn't read The BRAD BLOG.

As DIEB-THROAT, our currently-anonymous Diebold insider source, who had a great deal of personal experience helping to roll out the systems in Maryland in 2002 told us recently: "We put junk out when HAVA [the Help America Vote Act] came out...We had no plans for paper trails, nothing."

According to WaPo, Gene Raynor, Baltimore's election director had the decency to resign. Diebold apologist and Maryland State Board of Elections administrator, Linda Lamone ought to do the same.

But Lamone, ever in denial, said Ehrlich's call for paper ballots was "crazy" and vowed that "her staff would 'work around the clock' to correct the problems that plagued the primary" according to WaPo.

Like you've been "working around the clock" to get it right since 2002, Ms. Lamone? Got anymore lipstick for that pig?

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Primary Election Results All Zeroed Out!
By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2006 3:39pm PT  

Results from last Tuesday's Primary Election in Maryland (which was in and of itself a debacle), have apparently been scrubbed from the Maryland Board of Elections website! As of right now, 6:36pm ET, no election totals are currently available on the site after they've previously been there all week as counting has continued.

I'm currently on the air and thus not able to look into it further, so I've not been able to get any explanation for this. But I thought you should know. A screenshot from one of the pages (they are all currently zeroed out!) is below...

UPDATE 7:23pm ET: Courtesy of HuffCrimeBlog.com's Steve Huff, here's a screenshot from the Google archives of the same page above as it was seen on 9/14/06 with all of the unofficial results still being added...

I've tried to contact the MD Board of Elections by phone, but it's after hours and nobody is currently answering. Just FYI. If anybody has any luck in the morning or additional info on any of this, please let me know!

UPDATE 9/20/06 11:20am ET: Website numbers are currently back up. Will try to learn what happened and report back when I do. No idea if the numbers now restored will synch up with what was there before they were zeroed out. We've seen similar computer drop-outs, only to be restored later with races flipped (in the 2004 Ohio Presidential and in the 2005 Ohio Hackett/Schmidt race, for example) but never this late after Election Day. We'll keep our eye on it and try to get more for you later today.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2006 12:38pm PT  

As I wrote on Sunday, when your Ford Pinto blows up in the course of regular use --- such as when it gets hit from behind in a rear-end collision --- you don't blame the driver for the disaster.

Diebold's response in general (along with the other voting machine companies and the elections officials who are now their "unofficial" representatives in the media) to the mountain of problems we've seen with electronic voting machines at the polls so far this year has been to blame the poll workers. Indeed, Diebold's official response to the catastrophic findings by Princeton University that Diebold touch-screen systems can be hacked with an election-stealing virus implanted undetectably in a minute's time --- one that can then spread to every machine in the system --- has been to say that if poll workers and elections officials do their job properly, that could never happen. That's simply nonsense and they know it.

Computerworld's blogger, Martin McKeay, posted a brilliant reponse to Diebold's nonsense the other day. His on-the-money reply ends this way:

Diebold may be a private company, but the service they're providing is consumed by the voting public. As such, saying "It's secure, trust us" is not an acceptable answer. This is not a situation where security through obscurity is an acceptable answer. Not only do the results of each election have to be verifiable but how we arrived at those results also needs to be verifiable. Code verification has been one of the most asked for requirements since the first evoting machine was developed. There are very few situations where the saying "trust, but verify" applies more than in voting.

Here's my final comment, and it's directed right at [Diebold Election Systems, Inc., President] Dave Byrd: Quit attacking the critics of your product and attack the basic problems your product has continually displayed. Rather than attacking researchers and running off election officials who want your products verified, take the time to address the fundamental problems with your products. Give us a paper trail, quit using WindowsCE, allow verification of your software. Part of being in a democratic society is that the voting process needs to be transparent to anyone who's willing to take the time to look. Until Diebold is willing to accept thattransparency , you're going to keep getting hammered by your critics and your products will never be acceptable. It's only going to get worse unless Diebold changes their tactics.

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Diebold's Showcase State Has Been Using the Machines Since 2002...and Still Can't Get Anything Right!
By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2006 4:53pm PT  

We covered it on the day it happened, and again a day or so later. But here's more.

Consider this your preview of what will likely be happening everywhere this November 7th. Everywhere.

Alhough the Maryland Meltdown has received more notice because it occurred where the DC media and politicos live, it mirrors just about every other primary in just about every other state so far this year. Disasters in almost every one of them.

And remember, along with Georgia, the state of Maryland was Diebold's "showcase state." They've used these shitty, hackable, failed Diebold machines in more elections and for a longer time than any other state in the union.

From Saturday's Washington Post... [emphasis added]

2 Candidates Question Vote In Pr. George's

Congressional candidate Donna Edwards announced plans yesterday to file a lawsuit over apparent voting irregularities in Tuesday's primary election in Prince George's County, while defeated county executive challenger Rushern L. Baker III demanded an independent investigation of the process.

The separate announcements signaled that Tuesday's voting, a flawed process by many accounts, may not conclude the close primary contests for a seat in Congress and the county executive's office. The election itself was "horrendous," the Prince George's elections administrator said yesterday. And the victorious Democratic county executive candidate, incumbent Jack B. Johnson, said it warranted investigation.

"The integrity of the election is at stake," said Edwards, who ran against Rep. Albert R. Wynn in the 4th District Democratic primary and is waiting for the race to be decided when provisional ballots are counted next week in Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

Jonathan S. Shurberg, a lawyer working with Edwards, said they will ask a judge to take possession of voting machine memory cards in two, possibly three, precincts in Chillum. The request will be made either in Prince George's Circuit Court in Upper Marlboro or U.S. District Court in Greenbelt over the next several days.

Edwards said her legal complaint will focus on the security of voting machines that contained voting cards and were not delivered to the county Board of Elections until late Wednesday. "When we read reports about how easy it is to hack into these machines, there has to be concern," Edwards said.
...
"We're not doing this for the campaign," Perry said. "We're doing this as a duty. Voters have been disenfranchised."
...
The county's interim election administrator, Robert J. Antonetti Sr., acknowledged yesterday that the primary was the most troubled election he has overseen during 34 years in the field. "This was horrendous," Antonetti said.

Much more to read in the full article...But as to those memory cards which we now know can be hacked undetectably in a minute's time:

According to Baker's campaign, only 60 of 206 precincts managed to transmit their results electronically. Election workers at the remaining polling places had to remove voter memory cards from each machine and drive them to Board of Elections headquarters in Upper Marlboro.
...
Antonetti said that a number of cards were accidentally left in voting machines and that the last of those cards --- close to three dozen in as many machines --- were expected to be delivered to his office late yesterday [ed note: Friday after the Tuesday election!]. On Wednesday, election officials said data were not received from 81 of the county's 2,056 voting machines. The numbers represented two whole precincts --- in Chillum and Landover --- as well as cards from machines at 34 polling stations.

American democracy is in big trouble. But BRAD BLOG readers have known that for some time. Wish everyone else did.

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Princeton Professor Says Key To Gain Entry To Memory Card Is Standard Key Found Anywhere
By John Gideon on 9/18/2006 9:14am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

The UK's SC News reported today that Princeton's Professor Felten discovered that the key to gain entry to the memory card slot on the Diebold AccuVote TS is the same key that you may have to open your desk drawer, filing cabinet or even a hotel mini-bar [emphasis added]:

"The access panel door on a Diebold AccuVote-TS voting machine - the door that protects the memory card that stores the votes and is the main barrier to the injection of a virus - can be opened with a standard key that is widely available on the internet," Ed Felten, professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University, said today on his "Freedom to Tinker" blog.

Felten said he became aware of the problem when, after performing a demonstration concerning the security flaws of Diebold machines, Princeton staff member Chris Tengi noticed the key that came with the voting machine was the same one he had at home.

"This seemed like a freakish coincidence - until we learned how common these keys are," Felten said. "Chris' key was left over from a previous job, maybe 15 years ago. He said the key opened either a file cabinet or the access panel on an old VAX computer. A little research revealed that the exact same key is used widely in office furniture, electronic equipment, jukeboxes and hotel mini-bars. It's a standard part, and like most standard parts, it's easily purchased on the internet."

Avi Rubin, Johns-Hopkins University Professor and computer scientist, points out in his blog this morning:

"This example serves to illustrate to even non-technical people the public relations tactics of the vendor and its supporters. Was it really too difficult for them to design a more secure key? Who do they think they are fooling when they say that someone would have to pick the lock to access the memory cards?"

So we now have a key that can be obtained from nearly anywhere and a "secret" password [1111] that everyone knows, and Diebold's David Bear says if proper access controls are maintained at the polling place there should be no problems. Perhaps Bear is talking about someone looking over the voter's shoulder to ensure they don't spend two minutes hacking into the machine?

All of this comes on the heels of the report from Princeton University, thanks to The BRAD BLOG, that was first reported here.

As well, it comes on the heels of the challenge to the Busby/Bilbray special U.S. House election in June in San Diego when these Diebold voting machines were sent home overnight --- in violation of both state and federal law --- for "sleepovers" with poll workers for days and weeks prior to the election. Here's a video that we missed at the time: Poll workers, on May 30th, taking home their pre-programmed, election-ready Diebold voting machines to store in their houses and cars 7 days prior to the June 6th election!

Any of them could easily have opened the "secure" systems with a mini-bar key, or, as the Princeton folks demonstrated on FOX "News" last week, they could have picked the lock themselves in 10 seconds. Of course, as we now know, it would have taken them less than a minute thereafter to insert a vote-flipping virus on the machines which could then affect every other machine used in the race.

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(Please TAKE ACTION To Spread the Shocking Virus Video Virally!)
By STOP George on 9/17/2006 1:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by STOP George, and cross-posted here at DailyKos.

In case you haven't visited YouTube, DKos, The BRAD BLOG or other blog sites recently, you may read this excellent diary summarizing the Princeton University report, where they were able to reverse the voting results of a Diebold machine without leaving a trace. I took the initiative to post this incredible video onto YouTube and, as you can imagine, it really took off --- it has now been viewed by at least 38,000+ people.

I was discouraged (but not surprised) to learn later that this powerful demonstration by an Ivy League University, showing a direct threat to American democracy, hardly got one sentence of exposure on corporate network news and the corporate printed media. These machines only represent 10% of the electorate, afterall. (NOTE: I've been informed that CNN covered this issue well on Friday --- my initial search was limited to the internet prior to the creation of this diary)

Imagine my shock to find out today that none other than FOX News had Professor Ed Felten & his team actually demonstrating their study to their right-wing audience!!!

The video of the virus hack demo, as performed LIVE on FOX News is available in full below...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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DOBBS: 'The Integrity Of Midterm Elections Cannot Be Guaranteed'
By John Gideon on 9/16/2006 5:35pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

On Friday's (Sept. 15) show Lou and Kitty reported on the new Princeton University study and the lawsuit in Colorado to stop the use of e-voting machines. The BRAD BLOG reported on their inside access to the Princeton study earlier this week.

The director of the Princeton study, Ed Felten, was also interviewed live on CNN's American Morning where he demonstrated the hack. FOX News also had him as well, and we'll have that video in full shortly.

UPDATES: The Fox "News" video is now available here. Lou Dobb's version of the virus hack is here:


A text-transcript of a shorter version of the report from Lou Dobbs Tonight follows in full...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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University of Iowa Professor, E-Voting Expert Calls on Company to Publicly Release Information to Back Up Response
Charges 'No Third Party Security Analyses' Have Ever 'Found Their System to be Secure'
By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2006 3:19pm PT  

Noted University of Iowa computer scientist and e-voting expert, Douglas W. Jones, posted a reponse via email this morning to Diebold's official reply to Princeton University's recent report, detailing the ease with which Diebold's AccuVote touch-screen voting machine may have a virus inserted into its system.

Such malicious code, the first-of-its-kind report details, could flip votes, steal an election and replicate itself from one voting machine to the next. The dirty deed could be done by a single individual with about a minute's worth of unsupervised access to a single machine or memory card, and could be designed to be undetectable to either voters or elections officials.

The mainstream media appears to have finally found this issue fit to report, after all our years of covering it here. There has been a good deal of MSM coverage over the last two days, since The BRAD BLOG broke the full story, both here and in shorter form over at Salon; some of it has --- no surprise --- been better than others. We'll have more on that hopefully later this evening.

In the meantime, Diebold released their predictably misleading and disingenuous response late Wednesday evening. To which Jones replied via email this morning. This is his response...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Man Appointed by SoS to Certify Voting Machines for State Has No Computer Science College Education, Failed to Test Machines for Hackability or Much Else
Colorado Democratic Party Calls on Voters to Vote by Absentee Ballot, Citizens Group Calls for Investigation of SoS
By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2006 2:06pm PT  

It's incredible (or is it at this point?) but the lawsuit filed by several Colorado voters to ban touch-screen voting machines manufactured by Diebold, ES&S, Hart InterCivic and Sequoia in the state has revealed that the state's appointed "expert" --- responsible for certifying voting systems --- has no actual college training in computer science and failed to do any actual testing of the systems before certifying them!

As reported in an excellent article from Rocky Mountain News news this morning...

[Democratic candidate for Sec. of State, Sen. Ken] Gordon and the Democratic Party were alarmed by a deposition in the case released this week, in which the secretary of state's staffer in charge of testing the machines says he did only 15 minutes of security checks. The staffer, John Gardner Jr., also said he had no college training in computer science, causing Gordon and others to question whether he was qualified for the job. Gardner also had been information technology chief for the El Paso County clerk, which runs elections there.

The plaintiff's attorneys say Gardner's security checks on the four systems did not include attempts at hacking. Instead, Gardner merely checked whether the manufacturers included security documentation.

"Of course" Gardner should have tried hacking, [plaintiff attorney Paul] Hultin said. "Isn't that the idea of a test?"

The issue was also covered quickly in a Denver Post article last night:

...the Secretary of State's office certified a kind of voting machine for Jefferson and Mesa Counties that does not meet state requirements.

The information comes from the deposition of John Gardner - the man appointed by [Colorado Sec. of State] Gigi Dennis as an expert and charged with certifying the machines.

But Gardner testified he is not an expert in the areas required by state law. He also admitted that the Secretary of State's office was under pressure to certify the voting machines because counties had already purchased them.

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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