Reports Story of Last Month's Leon County, FL Election Results Flip and Even October's GAO Report on Lack of Security, Accuracy in Electronic Voting Machines!
Better Late Than Never!
By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2006, 8:39pm PT  

We're torn between complaining about Washington Post's delinquency in covering anything to do with our crumbling electoral system and jumping for joy that they've actually filed a credible report on the problems we (and many other "conspiracy theorists", "sore-losers", "tinfoil hat wearers", "anarchists" and "insurgents") have been yelling and screaming about for months --- if not years!

Given our endlessly optimistic nature, however, and the dearth of honest-to-God reporting by the Mainstream Corporate Media on these matters since...well, forever...we'll go ahead, slap a siren on this item, and focus on the "victory" side of things!

In tomorrow's paper, page A6, in a "Special to The Washington Post", Zachary Goldfarb covers the matter of last month's hack of Diebold optical scan machines in Leon County, Florida which completely flipped the results of a mock election test without a trace being left behind.

As well, for the first time, WaPo even discusses some of the findings of the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) 107-page report on the failures of electronic voting machines which was released last October!

The story cannot be good news to Diebold and the other voting machine vendors, however. They've all had it pretty easy up until now as the Mainstream Corporate Media has played into their "company line" that such concerns were the stuff of "conspiracy theorists" and "sore-losers". Goldfarb even recognizes the fact, even if he doesn't call WaPo on being one of the media outlets who have contributed to Diebold and Friends' appalling ability to marginalize Election Integrity advocates with such insultingly dismissive and democracy-loathing remarks:

Questions about the security of electronic voting machines have been circulating widely in recent years. But many of the concerns have been dismissed as the fantasies of Internet conspiracy theorists or sore-loser partisans who could not accept that their candidates simply got fewer votes. Critics have not demonstrated that any real elections have had returns altered by the manipulation of electronic voting systems.

But the questions raised by [Ion] Sancho [Election Director of Leon County, where the hack demo occured], who has held his post since 1989, show how the concerns are being taken more seriously among elections professionals.

"While electronic voting systems hold promise for improving the election process," the Government Accountability Office said in a report to Congress last year, there are still pressing concerns about "security and reliability . . . design flaws" and other issues.

Well, there it is. In plain black and white WaPo ink! Go figure!

Goldfarb goes on to make the case quite clearly concerning the Diebold hack as pulled off by Finnish computer security expert Harri Hursti, including Diebold's pathetic response to it:

Using a device bought for about $200, he was able to easily alter the final vote by changing the program stored on the memory card.

"You have to admit these systems are vulnerable and act accordingly," Hursti said.
...
"More troubling than the test itself was the manner in which Diebold simply failed to respond to my concerns or the concerns of citizens who believe in American elections," he said. "I really think they're not engaged in this discussion of how to make elections safer."

He is also critical of state officials who he believes should have caught the vulnerabilities earlier. He said that vendors such as Diebold have too much influence in the administration of elections, a view that resonated with Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, the founder of the Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition. Sancho is "truly an advocate for voters," she said. "What he is doing in Leon County goes completely against the grain of county election commissioners elsewhere, who are allowing vendors to dictate how to run their own elections."

Well, God Bless America...Perhaps the Mainstream Corporate Media is finally paying attention! Go read the whole thing with your own eyes!

We've heard tell of another major news organization that may soon roll out legitimate coverage of these matters as well.

Can it be that we are finally not alone? Stay tuned...