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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, August 23, 2014
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Current Chairman Paul DeGregorio Now Running a Desperate Misinformation Propaganda Campaign Just Days Before Election...
By Brad Friedman on 10/27/2006 1:33pm PT  

I only have a second as I've got to hit the road to get up to Santa Barbara to speak at tonight's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner (along w/ Wes Clark), so I'll try to be quick about it...

The U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) is a complete and utter failure. The current commissioner, Paul DeGregorio, has done nothing to instill confidence in elections or provide a lick of oversight in the deployment and use of these voting systems across the nation in the Midterm Election. In his latest interviews and editorials, he is reprehensibly doing nothing but echoing Voting Machine Company propaganda and Election Officials who choose to be apologists for them.

See DeGregorio's latest editorial here from the Tallahassee Democrat, in which he posts completely unfounded and unsupported "opinion" in contradiction of virtually all scientific evidence.

Contrast DeGregorio's nonsense with the comments of his predecessor, the honest, Bush-appointed, non-crony, Rev. DeForest Soaries, from this unaired network interview, in which he flatly states there are no standards for electronic voting systems in place and that 'elections in America are ripe for stealing.'

The EAC, under the "leadership" of DeGregorio, has become hopelessly compromised as he's allowed even the disinformation experts, such as "Thor" Hearne from the phony GOP front-group "American Center for Voting Rights," to set the agenda for the commission. Note that DeGregorio and Hearne are old St. Louis GOP colleagues. What a scam.

Below are a few choice pieces of information unsubstantiated horse excrement, from DeGregorio's editorial yesterday.

On this one point only, I can actually agree with DeGregorio: "Americans should be confident that their vote will be counted, whether they touch a screen or fill in an oval."

Yes, they should be confident, but they have absolutely no basis for that at this time, thanks to folks like you, Paul. Your words do not give such confidence. Transparency gives confidence. We've had quite enough "faith-based elections" in this country. Anyway, read on for some of DeGregorio's most shamelessly misleading garbage... (You can contact the EAC here.)

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

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[NOTE: Please Bring a Video Camera to the Polls To Document These Things This Year!!!]
By Brad Friedman on 10/27/2006 1:15am PT  

We didn't much report on these incidents back in 2004 because they seemed anectodal at the time and couldn't be independently confirmed. After two years now of thousands of such reports from '04 --- almost always showing votes hopping to Republican candidates only --- and still the Voting Machine Companies and Elections Officials saying "it never happened," it seems appropriate to report a few of these incidencts as we hear of them before Election Day, during Early Voting, so folks can look into them.

Here are three different reports over the last day or two of touch-screen votes flipping from Democrats or Libertarians over to Republicans.

-- In Texas...
-- In Arkansas...
-- In Missouri... (via Email. See below.)

From: [redacted for privacy]
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 10:38 PM
Subject: Vote Miscount in MO

[snip]

A friend of our family’s went last Friday to early vote in Maplewood at Sunnen Park. He voted for Claire McCaskill, but each time he, the election worker, and the election supervisor pressed the screen for Claire, the screen said he had voted for Jim Talent.

I sent this info along to a friend that works in Claire’s campaign. I have the name and number of the guy this happened to if you are interested.

[snip]

PLEASE BRING A VIDEO CAMERA WHEN YOU GO TO VOTE THIS YEAR SO THESE INCIDENTS CAN BE DOCUMENTED! Spread the word...Thank you.

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The Vote-Rigging Whistleblower Turned Congressional Opponent to Alleged Vote-Rigger Creeps Closer and Closer to the Bush's...
By Brad Friedman on 10/27/2006 12:07am PT  

In a cover story interview in the Crawford, Texas Lone Star Iconoclast, Clint Curtis has a few no holds barred thoughts on his race in Florida's 24th Congressional district, on his opponent, the corrupt Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Abramoff), and on his plans to fight back at the retaliation Feeney has levelled against him for blowing the whistle on Feeney's vote-rigging attempts and other alleged malfeasance...

[S]ince I did testify before Congress, and I did contact several of the agencies like the FBI — in retaliating against me rather than just a straight standard campaign, there is a section of [Sarbanes-Oxley] which says that it is a criminal offense to retaliate against a whistleblower who has provided information on a federal crime — espionage.

He has broken that law, so we are actually going to file that with the U.S. Attorney’s office, and hold him accountable for that, too. It might actually get more investigations going, and it’s his turn to start explaining things.

If you don't know who the fearless Curtis is, what cave have you been living in? We originally reported on his remarkable story in December of 2004 and have been doing so ever since. The rest, as they say, may well be history in the making.

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
- Curtis is now running for U.S. Congress against Feeney.
To support or for more info, see: www.ClintCurtis.com
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The November Train Wreck Begins To Pick-Up Steam...
UPDATE: Multi-Partisan Group of Maryland Candidates Call for Use of Emergency Paper Ballots instead of the Machines in Wake of 'Lack of Confidence' After Latest Reports of Diebold Touch-Screen Chaos!
By John Gideon on 10/25/2006 10:39pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

And so it begins! Today the Washington Post has revealed, in a superbly written and investigated story, that Diebold secretly made modifications to thousands of their voting machines in Maryland and that everyone involved seems to have forgotten to tell the State Board of Elections about it.

It seems that after the state bought machines in 2002 they began experiencing intermittent and wide-spread screen freezes. Finally in 2005 Diebold installed all new systems boards in all 4,700 machines.

And, oh by the way, they forgot to tell the State Board of Elections that they had done anything. The State Elections Administrator, Linda Lamone, and her staff seem to have known but members of the SBOE seem to have been left out of the discussion.

UPDATE FROM BRAD: This is a very detailed story with a duplicitous cast of characters and it is very well investigated and told. Kudos to WaPo's Cameron W. Barr for this coverage! We look forward to seeing much more of it!

Also see Baltimore Sun's coverage which offers still more damning details about the duplicity of both Diebold (who still has the MD contract and hasn't yet been sued) and the MD State Board of Elections as headed by the Democratic Diebold-apologist Linda Lamone (who still has a job, remarkably enough.)

UPDATE FROM JOHN 10/26 4:45am PT: A coalition of candidates in Maryland has now asked that only paper ballots be used in the upcoming election. The coalition, with candidates for different offices and representing different political parties, has joined together under the banner of the non-partisan Candidates Alliance for Recountable Elections (CARE). A media release explains their stance on this subject and is below...

NOTE: The coverage of the Hart Intercivic screen display problems in Virginia having been found now in other states such as Texas and California has been moved to it's own item here....

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

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Candidate Names Truncated on 'eSlate' Review Screens...
By John Gideon on 10/25/2006 10:35pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

As reported by The BRAD BLOG on Tuesday, Hart Intercivic machines being used in Virginia are cutting off the names of candidates when they appear on the review screen. Thus James H. "Jim" Webb shows as James H. "Jim" on the screen.

Well, when a problem is found in one place it is going to be found elsewhere too. Now counties in Texas are reporting the same problem according to the Austin American-Statesman.

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 mandates that a voting machine must provide the voter with an ability to review their vote before they finalize the process. These machines may be in violation of that law but that can be left to the attorneys. It might be nice if those attorneys showed up now, instead of after the election when it'll be too late.

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Citizen Journalists Needed...Don't Let Them Fool You Again...
By Alan Breslauer on 10/25/2006 5:03pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer


Enlist at www.VideoTheVote.org.

Watch for more from VelvetRevolution.us soon.

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Computer Scientists Warn in New Report That U.S. Military and Overseas Ballots Now Vulnerable to Loss of Privacy, Identify Theft, Hackers, Tampering by Both American and Foreign Governments
System Never Publicly Tested or Used Even in a Primary Election to be Used for First Time in Nov. 7th Midterm Election!
By Brad Friedman on 10/25/2006 1:56pm PT  


"We believe that overseas voters deserve at least as much protection when they vote as when they purchase a book from Amazon...Our service people should not be voting on a system that creates risks of identity theft, hacking, and vote tampering and which requires voters to relinquish their right to a secret ballot."
-- From an Oct. 25, 2006 report by independent computer scientists and security experts on the Dept. of Defense's new overseas military voting system.

Last month we reported on the Defense Department's newly announced scheme to allow military and overseas ballots to be cast via the Internet. It was pointed out, among other concerns, that in many cases troop and overseas citizen votes would be subject to conversion from unsecured email voting into faxed documents by a private company who, in turn, would then forward the vote to the appropriate county jurisdiction.

The San Jose Mercury News quoted experts at the time who charged the system was "ripe for fraud" as military voters would apparently not be warned that their ballots might be seen by others and transferred into faxes, etc. by "a private contractor whose top executives have made political contributions to Republican Party organizations."

Underscoring those initial reports today, a group of independent computer scientists and E-Voting experts including David Jefferson of Livermore National Laboratories, Avi Rubin of Johns Hopkins, David Wagner of UC Berkeley, and Barbara Simons, a former researcher for IBM, have released an alarming short paper warning of "significant risks" found in the newly announced plan from the DoD's "Federal Voting Assistance Program" (FVAP).

The group had been members of a scientific peer review panel for a previous DoD Military and Overseas Internet voting scheme in 2004. At the time, they found the plan featured "a large number of security risks and vulnerabilities, including denial of service attacks, insider attacks, viral attacks on voters' PCs." That experimental program was subsequently cancelled after the findings.

But now, in September of this year --- just over one month ago --- the DoD announced and implemented their new scheme for military and overseas citizen voting via the Internet, to be used this November 7th without any public testing or peer review whatsoever.

According to today's report, the new DoD voting scheme --- known as the "Interim Voting Assistance System" (IVAS) --- has been put in place without any "publicly available external security examination" and has "never been used in a public election before (not even in a primary)."

The scientists say that security concerns about the new, untested system include loss of privacy and identify theft for the military and overseas voters and, even more troubling, they found the system to be vulnerable to hackers and tampering by governments both foreign and domestic.

The six page report is now available here [PDF].

From the report's troubling introduction:

None of these security concerns is original; all were raised in a DoD internal review, discussed below.

IVAS was announced to the public only last month (September), and has been designed and built only over the last several months, an extremely short time for a system of this complexity and importance. The current system has never been used in a public election before (not even in a primary), and has not been subject to any publicly available external security examination. The technical specifications have not been made publicly available.

In an email received by The BRAD BLOG this morning, Simons summarizes the report's three main findings, characterized as "serious concerns about the security issues posed by this new system."

Her succint, yet alarming, email is posted in full below....

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

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Dobbs Also Picks Up on BRAD BLOG's Chicago Voter Database Hack Story
By John Gideon on 10/24/2006 9:11pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.Org

In this segment of 'Democracy At Risk' Lou and Kitty cover the latest cautionary report on voting and elections, in this report from Electionline.Org, a national non-partisan, non-profit group. Lou also reports on yesterday's breaking story from The BRAD BLOG regarding the elections security breach discovered in the Chicago, Illinois voter registration data base.


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

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

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PLUS: Curtis' New Radio Ads - 'Take the Test, Tom!'
ALSO: Is Curtis Farther Ahead Than Even Zogby Says? - A 'Professional Pollster' Says Yes...
By Brad Friedman on 10/24/2006 2:15pm PT  

The endorsement from Esquire magazine is short and sweet, and is now added to the list --- along with the Daytona Beach News-Journal's endorsement of publications supporting Clint Curtis over the corrupt Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Abramoff) in Florida's 24th U.S. House Congressional District:

District 24
Tom Feeney (R)
Clint Curtis (D)
The congressman’s golf vacation to Scotland with lobbyist Jack Abramoff in 2003 (all expenses paid!), about which he lied, should cost him his job.
Esquire endorses: Curtis

So much for Feeney's discredited attempts to sell the idea that Curtis is "not fit for Congress." Looks like the nation's newspapers and magazines seem to think it's Feeney who's not fit for the post.

And the voters, in yesterday's Zogby poll showing Curtis and Feeney in a "virtual toss-up," would seem to agree. Notable numbers, if only because Curtis has had almost zero money to use in his campaign while Feeney has had more than $1 million.

(Donate to Curtis here if you'd like to help --- unlike Feeney, Curtis is currently getting no money from either the national party or huge corporate PACs.)

In the meantime, the Curtis campaign has just released two new one-minute radio spots. They're both linked below. In the first one, he challenges Feeney to a public polygraph test for the both of them. (Clint has already passed one himself in re: his allegations about Feeney.)


-- Curtis for Congress, Audio Ad: "Take the Test, Tom!"


-- Curtis for Congress, Audio Ad: "Vote for Clint Curtis!"

Let us know what you think, and remember that donations made above will help to get these things on the air all over the 24th district in Florida to counter Feeney's disgraceful smear campaign against Curtis.

One last thought, posted below the fold is a comment sent to the Clint Curtis Blog from someone who claims to be a professional pollster who says about that Zogby poll showing the dead heat that the "That poll is even better news than advertised. That's not a dead heat --- you may well be winning!"

He goes on to add, "I'm a professional pollster and let me give you a polling insider's tip about how to interpret a poll like this one." Those "insider tips" are beneath the fold...

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
- Curtis is now running for U.S. Congress against Feeney.
To support or for more info, see: www.ClintCurtis.com

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

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Personal Information, Social Security Numbers, Birthdates of 1.5 Million Voters Exposed to Online Tampering, Downloading, Identification Theft!
Breach Discovered, Video-Taped by Illinois Election Integrity Organization...
By Brad Friedman on 10/23/2006 2:58pm PT  

Blogged from the road by Brad Friedman

Another stunning security breach has been exposed in our nation's electoral system, The BRAD BLOG has learned, as the online voter registration database --- containing the personal information of some 1.5 million voters in Chicago --- has been found to be vulnerable to both downloading and hacking.

The flawed electronic database which allowed the retrieval and modification of personal voter information --- including social security numbers and birthdates of Chicago voters --- was discovered recently by members of the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project (IBIP), a non-partisan group of Election Integrity advocates.

IBIP members say they were not only able to get full editing access to the online database, they also found they could modify the records for registered voters, setting them to inactive and otherwise changing addresses and other key information fields.

The ability to gain access and hack the system, said by IBIP to be covered on the front page of tomorrow's Chicago Sun-Times, was documented by the group on video-tape. (UPDATE 10/24/06: As promised, the Sun-Times story is now here...)

An exclusive version of that video-taped hack has been made available to The BRAD BLOG.


-- Streaming Flash version...

Cook County elections officials are said to be scrambling to plug the hole in what has become an ever-increasingly unsecured system of voting in America in light of new regulations, encouraging the use of electronic voting systems, and state-wide registration databases, as set forth by Congress's Help America Vote Act (HAVA) after the 2000 Election Debacle.

In a news release sent to The BRAD BLOG earlier today (complete release posted at the end of this article), Bob Wilson, the Cook County chair of IBIP, says that the vulnerability would allow a malicous hacker to change voter registration status for thousands of Chicago voters.

"For example, you could change the status of all the voters in a precinct to inactive after the registration deadline so that when one of those voters checked their online status they might believe they were ineligible and wouldn't attempt to vote," Wilson says.

"Or, you could change their polling place information," he added, "so they would show up at the wrong precinct on election day . . . the possibilities are nearly endless and could cause election day havoc."

The problem was discovered by IBIP weeks ago, and the group immediately notified the appropriate authorities. "We had hoped that the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners would take quick action to plug this hole, but apparently that's not the case," IBIP member Peter Zelchenko is quoted as saying.

He estimates it would have taken little more than five minutes to fix the problem originally, but late last week IBIP and Zelchenko became aware that the security breach was significantly more severe than first thought. The Board was immediately notified again and finally began taking action over the weekend to install a new web interface for the system.

Zelchenko, an information technology expert who originally discovered the flaw, says the latest alarming discovery underscores the vulnerability of our new electronic system of voting in America. As reported by the news release:

Peter Zelchenko, 43rd Ward Alderman Candidate with more than 30 years of computer programming and database design and management experience, discovered the flaw during what he described as a "what if" session. Zelchenko said, "This situation shows how vulnerable the entire electronic voting system is. Identity theft is only one possible outcome. Election theft is another very real possibility." According to Zelchenko, "This was a very serious vulnerability. Here we have an online database that can be accessed by millions of PCs throughout the world. Clearly, this indicates that the whole system is inherently insecure."

Since the vulnerability reportedly affects only the online version of the voter registration database, as opposed to the master copy, it is hoped that the damage may be controlled and that any tampering might now be minimized. Such tampering --- either the collection of personal information for political, or more nefarious purposes, or legally registered voters having their online records deleted or otherwise set as inactive --- may have already occurred before the problem was discovered.

Whether the problem has been corrected by now or not, the remarkable security breach may have already given some voters incorrect or misleading information concerning the status of their registration or the correct location of their polling place when checking the online system for information.

We'll try to update this story when new information is available from the Sun-Times as we continue to be on the road and are unable to keep up and/or follow-up as much as usual.

The complete news release from the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project follows in full...

UPDATE, Posted by John Gideon 4:45pm PT: ABC News has now picked-up this story...

UPDATE by Brad, 8:09pm PT: Though we gave this story to ABC, having spoken to them earlier today, they didn't see fit to credit us. And yet, we always give them proper attribution for their stories. Sigh...Still always the bridesmaid I guess.

UPDATE 9:34pm PT: Chicago Tribune reports (and attempts to slightly downplay, as expected from the conservative Trib) "Voter information open to hackers". Associated Press reports "Group says data vulnerable, election officials investigating".

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

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Experts Begging Diebold to 'Come Back to Reality, Secure Nation's Voting'
Is that the Diebold Secret Source Code that Arrived in my Mail Today?
By Alan Breslauer on 10/22/2006 10:50pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Diebold's "system is utterly unsecured," said cyber-security expert Stephen Spoonamore in the online print version of ABC World News' report on Sunday Night.

Spoonamore continued, "The entire cyber-security community is begging them to come back to reality and secure our nation's voting."

With the election only 16 days away, ABC World News worries "about another Florida style ballot fiasco" in tonight's e-voting segment. One major concern, it seems, is that e-voting machine maker Diebold's source code is turning up in random mail boxes, as The BRAD BLOG reported last Thursday. Yet, despite this latest revelation coming on the heels of a Princeton study evidencing the ease in which Diebold machines could be hacked, Diebold maintains everything is peachy.

-- ABC's Video report here...
-- ABC's printed report (with additional details) here...

UPDATE FROM BRAD 9:22pm PT:

We're delighted to see that ABC News has finally decided that there is a story here worth reporting. Wish they had come on board long ago. In any case, the print version of their story, written by Jake Tapper, Rebecca Abrahams and Eduardo Sunol, has several notable details above and beyond the video report. In addition to the comments from Spoonamore above, there's this...

Diebold, the company that makes the voting machines, told ABC News, "These discs do not alter the security of the Diebold touch-screen system in any way," because election workers can set their own passwords.

But ABC News has obtained an independent report commissioned by the state of Maryland and conducted by Science Applications International Corporation revealing that the original Diebold factory passwords are still being used on many voting machines.

The SAIC study also shows myriad other security flaws, including administrative over-ride passwords that cannot be changed by local officials but can be used by hackers or those who have seen the discs.

The report further states that one of the high risks to the system comes if operating code discs are lost, stolen or seen by unauthorized parties --- precisely what seems to have occurred with the discs sent to Kagan, who worries that the incident indicates the secret source code is not that difficult to obtain.

"Certainly, just tweaking a few votes in a couple of states could radically change the outcome of our policies for the coming year," she said.

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News-Journal Says Curtis is 'Independent Thinker', 'Prepared Well' to Serve Florida's 24th Congressional District
Feeney's Record, Refusal to Discuss Issues 'Gives Voters Reason to Look for a Better Choice'
By Brad Friedman on 10/21/2006 10:30pm PT  

(Blogged on the road by Brad from the Bioneers Conf. in Marin, CA)

It was one thing when Daytona Beach News Journal endorsed computer programmer turned vote-rigging whistleblower turned congressional candidate Clint Curtis over his Democratic primary opponent (whom Curtis thumped in that race).

It's quite another thing --- a coup, in fact --- that now the News Journal has endorsed Curtis over the powerful sitting U.S. Congressman and former Florida Speaker of the House, the corrupt Tom Feeney (R-Abramoff), in their race for the U.S. House seat in Florida's 24th district.

Feeney, of course, is Jeb Bush's former gubernatorial running mate, the man who promised to deliver Florida's electoral vote to George W. during the 2000 fiasco no matter what the Supremes had to say, the only so-far unindicted Congressman to have gone with Jack Abramoff on a paid golf trip to St. Andrews, Scotland, and the man whom Curtis accused --- via affidavit, video-taped Congressional testimony, and lie-detector test --- of commissioning a vote-rigging software prototype in 2000.

Shamefully, Feeney has done little more than mount a disgraceful smear campaign against Curtis, attempting to paint him as "crazy" and not fit for office. The campaign seems only to have highlighted Feeney's own lack of seriousness as a legislator; one fit more for prison than the U.S. House of Representatives.

The News Journal's complete endorsement of Clint Curtis seems to bear that out, to Feeney's eternal disgrace. Here's a few snippets...

Curtis has prepared well to serve Dist. 24

Clint Curtis, a former Republican who switched parties to challenge U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Oviedo, offers voters in the 24th congressional district a real --- and better --- choice.
...
Feeney is not really talking issues in this campaign, though, choosing to focus largely on denigrating his opponent. It would appear that Feeney assumes that being Republican is enough.
...
Curtis, however, has gone beyond the personal battle between Feeney and himself. He has defined his positions clearly: He supports energy independence and development of a constantly renewable energy supply. He favors a single no-fault universal health plan. He would like to see a renewal of the space race and stronger support for NASA.

Feeney's record gives voters reason to look for a better choice.
...
Curtis is a novice at politics, but he is an independent thinker who demonstrates his ability to serve the public by thoroughly studying issues and developing well-thought-out and imaginative stands.

· RECOMMENDATION: Clint Curtis for U.S. House, District 24.

...

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
- Curtis is now running for U.S. Congress against Feeney.
To support or for more info, see: www.ClintCurtis.com
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What the U.S. Media Didn't Tell You
By Alan Breslauer on 10/21/2006 10:35am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

mexico vote graph

With the US election looming, Kenneth Anderson revisits the recent Mexican presidential election for the November/December issue of The Humanist (go directly to PDF).

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ALSO: State Report Finds Sensitive Voter Registration Database Vulnerable to 'Across-the-Board Access'
Diebold, State Election Director Lamone Continue State of Denial...
By John Gideon on 10/19/2006 8:42pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon (with additional snark provided by Brad Friedman)

The Washington Post is reporting in Friday editions that the FBI is investigating the "possible theft" of Diebold electronic touch-screen voting system source code in Maryland.

While the Maryland State Board of Elections admits that the disks contained "the software...used in Maryland in the 2004 elections," Diebold denies everything. Of course. They gave their catch-all apologia --- the software is for "versions...that are no longer in use in Maryland" --- although they were forced to acknowledge "the version of one program apparently stored on the disks is still in use in 'a limited number of jurisdictions.'"

The disks feature logos from Ciber Inc. and Wyle Labratories, Inc., two labs that test voting machines and software (sort of) for Diebold. Both firms deny the disks are theirs.

According to the article...

The disks delivered to [ex-Delegate Cheryl C.] Kagan's office bear labels indicating that they hold "source code" --- the instructions that constitute the core of a software program --- for Diebold's Ballot Station and Global Election Management System (GEMS) programs. The former guides the operation of the company's touch-screen voting machines; the latter is in part a tabulation program used to tally votes after an election.

Three years ago, Diebold was embarrassed when an activist obtained some of its confidential software by searching the Internet. The company vowed to improve its security procedures to prevent another lapse.

The release of such software poses a risk, computer scientists say, because it could allow someone to discover security vulnerabilities or to write a virus that could be used to manipulate election results."

WaPo goes on to report...

The Washington Post obtained copies of the disks Wednesday and allowed Avi Rubin, a computer scientist at Johns Hopkins University, along with a colleague and a graduate student, to review the software on the condition that they make no copies of it.

"I would be stunned if it's not real," Rubin said.

Rubin, who has said that electronic voting systems that do not produce a paper record of each vote cannot be secured, led a team that produced an analysis that pointed out security vulnerabilities in the Diebold software found on the Internet in 2003.

Sam Small, the graduate student, said the version of Ballot Station "was consistent with what we've seen previously." Small could not gain access to the GEMS software because the material on two of the disks was protected by a password."

...

The Diebold statement said "it would take years for a knowledgeable scientist" to break the encryption used on the software apparently contained on the disks delivered to Kagan. But Rubin said "the data and files were not encrypted" on the Ballot Station disk he reviewed.

So will Diebold just continue to deny that anything has happened or can happen? Will MD State Election Director Linda Lamone just pass on Diebold disinformation as she always does (despite knowing better...since she's seen the unredacted scientific reports on these systems from security organizations like SAIC and RABA?) Or will someone finally understand that this is a massive problem that needs immediate attention?

Maryland, along with Georgia, was one of Diebold's original "showcase states," implementing Diebold's hackable paperless touch-screen voting across virtually the entire state since 2002. With failure after failure, we might add.

If it's all not bad enough, in what is reported by WaPo as "an unrelated development" in the same article, a new report from Maryland state auditors revealed that the state's new voter registration database does not have proper security controls in place for access to the data...

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

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BRAD BLOG FRONT PAGE: They're Not 'Glitches', And They're Not the Fault of the Poll Workers! Stop Blaming Them!
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2006 2:40pm PT  

On the same day as NYTimes front paged a story on the coming electoral meltdown. Chicago Trib follows suit in a front pager today that focuses on massive problems in Chicago and Cook County.

Like the Times, who modified their original headline yesterday shortly after publishing to refer to "Voting Woes" instead of "Voting Chaos" as it was originally described, the Trib turns backflips to downplay the concerns, blame as much as possible the poll workers and "human error," along with "glitches" and "hiccups," instead of placing blame where it squarely deserves to be placed: on the Voting Machine Companies and the Elections Officials who approved this garbage for use in our elections.

The headline is "Voting Glitches Feared on Nov. 7," but as a close reading of the article reveals, these are not "voting glitches." They are not even "glitches." They are FAILURES of the voting machine companies and elections officials. Period. End of story. Got that?

The story rightly refers to "a virtual meltdown" in last spring's primary in Chicago and Cook County, and goes on to add that vote totals can be completely fried...

[I]t will still be possible for workers to accidentally fry vote totals if they forget to disconnect the power from ballot scanners before data cartridges are removed at the end of the night.

"We don't want you to erase any of the memory," warned Gail Weisberg, Cook County's equipment manager/coordinator, during a training class last week in Hoffman Estates.

So vote totals can be entirely "fried" and yet we're actually using this system on November 7th?! Moreover, note the language above that says it's "possible for workers" to fry the vote totals. Instead of the more appropriate, "it's possible that the poorly designed systems could have their entire vote totals fried."

As I've gotta hit the road to head up North for speaking engagements and meetings over the next several days, and as things are now melting down all around us, as predicted --- with some 20 days left until Nov. 7th --- my patience is just about worn thin with the apologists, liars, and those journalists, "advocates," and public officials who have no excuse to claim ignorance anymore.

So I hope you'll pardon the more graphic language I feel compelled to use below...

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

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