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...

DOBBS: The midterm elections just weeks away and new evidence tonight that the integrity of those elections cannot be guaranteed. A new Princeton University study finds hackers can easily tamper with electronic voting machines by installing a virus to disable machines and change vote totals. Kitty Pilgrim reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Princeton scientists spent the summer analyzing the Diebold AccuVote TS Electronic Voting Machine, the results were alarming, confirming the machine is very vulnerable to tampering.

EDWARD FELTEN, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: You could infect one machine, and before election, when the poll workers are setting things up, for the vote, they actually move memory cards from one machine to another, and they may propagate the virus.

PILGRIM: The Princeton group only studied one type of machine, that model will be used in 357 counties across the country by 10 percent of the voters in November. They say the vote can be easily manipulated without being detected.

The malicious software can modify all the records, audit logs, and counters kept by the voting machine. So that even careful forensic examination of these records will find nothing amiss.

Across the country, voter activists have participated in hearings and studies to point out that without a voter-verified paper trail, the results of electronic voting can be badly botched, either intentionally or unintentionally, through computer crashes or human error in running the electronic voting machine.

Some activists in Colorado are so concerned that they are suing to stop the use of electronic voting machines in November. The state uses machines used by Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia, and Hart. A suit has been has been filed on behalf of a group of Colorado citizens against the Colorado secretary of state, saying testing was not adequate. And they are calling for the electronic machines been to be decertified.

PAUL HULTIN, WHEELER TRIGG KENNEDY: The chairman of the state Democratic Party has called for the resignation of the secretary of state and for the use of absentee ballots in the election, because of the concern about the broken certification process at the secretary of state's office.

PILGRIM: There is a hearing next week to seek a ruling from the judge to make absentee ballots available in November.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PILGRIM: And, Lou, activists say they have just enough time to get the absentee paper ballots printed before November.

DOBBS: And these machines, in these counties, about 10 percent of the total vote this fall? They don't have an audit trail, a paper trail?

PILGRIM: No, they do not. And that's the great worry. That you can lose the vote, and tamper with them and ...

DOBBS: Kitty, thank you very much. Kitty Pilgrim.