READER COMMENTS ON
"Good Overviews of California's 'Top-to-Bottom Review' of Voting Systems and the Pathetic Election Official/Vendor Talking Points in Response"
(21 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 7/31/2007 @ 10:03 am PT...
I don't want an investigation. I want it stopped!!!!!!!!! NOW!
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 7/31/2007 @ 10:50 am PT...
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 7/31/2007 @ 10:51 am PT...
according to it the greatest danger comes from HACKERS.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 7/31/2007 @ 10:56 am PT...
Time to completely de-certify all electronic voting systems.
There are SO MANY more and better hacks and arguments than the Red Teams reported or have time to report.
When voters vote to select their government servants, they are literally the legal masters, the true source of all ultimate power, as is always the case in any democracy or republic. Given that voters when voting are exercising their sovereignty to select servants, for the servants to contract with Sequoia, Diebold, ES&S, Hart Intercivic, Triad, Avante, or whoever their personal favorite corporate vendor is in order to GANG UP against the public and assert trade secrecy to keep vote counting forever a secret is completely illegitimate, because servants can NEVER legitimately keep secrets from their employers/taxpayer-masters. We pay their salary, we give them 100% of all the delegated power and money they will ever get. They simply can not hide the ball in this context. Ever. Period. The rest of the year, when we are "subjects" instead of rulers, may occasionally be a different story, like bona fide national security secrets.
But with voting, for this reason alone, and with no need to show a single hack or harm, the whole agreements of our government to gang up with corporations in order to defeat the public's right to know the truth about their elections are completely illegitimate. They must end, now.
No matter what the perceived challenges are from total decertification, the harms are far greater to fly our democracy straight into this hurricane, when we can clearly see via trade secrecy gang bangs against the public's right to know, that the government has renounced its loyalty IN PRACTICE to we the people. That is nothing less than a revolution against democracy (via contracts) and they've sworn an oath to uphold democracy and the public interest.
So, they have no choice in the matter, if they but do their job. Decertify all. Now.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 7/31/2007 @ 12:47 pm PT...
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 7/31/2007 @ 1:02 pm PT...
I prey that Debra Bowen will have the courage and fortitude to stand up against the voting machine lobby, election officials and other vested interests and put these machines out to pasture. Governor Crist did it in Florida and he still seems to be riding high. I realize that California is the number one voting machine market and that these vendors and their supporters will not go easily into the night but its position as a leader and number one market are all the more reason why California, under Secretary Bowen MUST make the critical decision to lead the state and, hopefully, the country out of this wilderness we have wandered into since the 2000 election debacle. I truly believe that Bowen has the chance to be the one to set this dangerous industry on its ear and move us back toward a more democratic and open form of voting and possibly deal the death knell to Holt's and Feinstein's horribly compromised bills. She also has the chance to be the one who, under what I am sure is extreme pressure, might let these companies off the hook and further institutionalize this dangerous, undemocratic way of voting. It is the test of her political lifetime. May she be up to the challenge!
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 7/31/2007 @ 1:16 pm PT...
Oops! I should have written pray rather than prey in first sentence of my last post. Guess I can chalk the error up to my atheistic bent- I'm more likely to prey than pray! Oh well, I'll pray that Ms. Bowen doesn't let these voting machine companies to continue to prey on our democracy.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 7/31/2007 @ 3:17 pm PT...
The UC state-hacker teams had user manuals and source codes. Does anyone else, except for a few techies working for Diebold, Sequoia, etc.? Un F-N Likely. So the question should be, how easy was it to access the e-voting machine code, sans the user manuals? Yeah the logic’s a bit deep for a California politico, but it’s funny none of the conspiro-nuts have yet mentioned that point (on the other hand, that doesn’t help their cause of fomenting Ultimate Paranoia, so they don’t bother mentioning it).
That the system was hackable by a few UC wizards paid by ChairGal Bowen does NOT imply that it was so hacked (or that any hacking was done only by GOPers--. and objecting to Bowen, one of DiFi's galpals, doesn't mean one has swastikas pasted up in the basement). Additionally the state/fed voting machine networks most likely have a login system that would have stymied nearly all potential cracks (those who have ever attempted to gain unauthorized entry to a Fed or State network soon learn that), even before reaching the code, whether one has CRACK-warez or not. It’s possible that some people working for the voting machine companies have access (who says they are all conservatives, or that some nefarious leftist-hacker might not alter the elections as well—?), but then so might Debra Bowen’s office.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 7/31/2007 @ 5:17 pm PT...
Right, Nefarious9. I see no reason why any citizen should have to trust Debra Bowen's office or Diebolds.
Glad to see that you agree with those of us who believe the systems should be fully transparent to all CITIZENS so that nobody can either steal an election and nobody can question one.
As to the "state/fed voting machine networks mostly likely hav[ing] a login system that would stymie nearly all potential cracks."... What world are you living on?
And if you think it takes manuals or source code to crack into these systems, you're wrong on that count as well. (But you know that...or you're just in a fine state of self-delusion.) Press on!
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 7/31/2007 @ 6:00 pm PT...
ever heard about the kids hacking the Pentagon computers
, you know the most secure system in the world (if you believe the advertising).
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 7/31/2007 @ 8:30 pm PT...
The voting machine networks are specific to districts, which you might have realized if you had skimmed a few pages of the UC Davis goy's, er guys' book report. As even the head geek said (Bishop?), any serious hacking at the booths depends on having some app. written a priori, which would require a lot of skill (ie knowledge of the v-machine code): then someone could go in and load some malicious ware, but I sorta doubt there's a USB port or any sort of accessible drive at the usual booth, and the effects would be limited to that district, or less (and it's not mentioned whether any attacks could be traced or not: most networks, even little LANs or whatever have event/security logs, so there's the whole issue of "cloaking". A script kiddie might hack someone, and everything he does is recorded and traced (why hackers rarely work from home, even with proxies), and the Feds show up a few days later. So many details are left out.
I'm not a pro hacker, but know a bit about networking, and while I have no doubt that some v-machines or v-machine networks are hackable (at least by proficient hackers), there are many other issues which the reports don't really address.
It's not quite clear if the geeks were saying, 1.-- we can set up a v-machine network in the UC Davis wank-lab, and hack it (penetrate the security, and then alter the code), or whether they are saying, 2--. we can access the network online from a PC (crack the password encryption, sometimes 2-3 layers), and then alter the code (or database), or whether they meant 3.-- they could do this only at voting booth (perhaps with malware written just for that purpose). Or a combination of those. I think the real hack is #2, and most people probably think of that sort of thing, but the hack teams seemed to think that was very difficult with any of the systems (though there's a great deal of info. I still have to read). I agree the system should be transparent, and monitored by non-partisan groups, but I don't think one should trust Miss Bowen anymore than one trusts (or distrusts) Diebold execs.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 7/31/2007 @ 8:55 pm PT...
It's *Not* just the software.
Nobody should trust the silicon either.
Nobody should trust the networks/telco system either.
Nobody should trust the elections officials either. (Whoops there goes your Policies and Procedures argument)
And to that Steve Weir guy, "Prove that no voter had his vote changed, or deleted." You CANT! So your flawed logic is not even an argument, except for MORE SENSATIONALISM LIES FOR THE CMSM!
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 7/31/2007 @ 8:57 pm PT...
Uh, I think a VERY important point is being missed by the focus on hacking (and Nefarious9, you seem to be overlooking that that main danger from hacking is 'insiders' and,given the windows administrator access to the GEMS database, that alone should give you BIG concern.)
THE important point is the finding that none of the systems met the HAVA requirements ('current law') for usage in an election.
And it is HAVA which is paying for these systems (read our tax monies).
And only 40% of the HAVA monies allocated for the States has been spent.
And most contracts have clauses related to non-performance.
And Counties/States CAN return such monies even if they have already been distributed.
So there is NO rational for using voting systems that violate the law; or is the law going to be further demeaned under the Bush Administration modus operandi?
An ancillary -and also most important point- is how did these systems ever get approved by the Federal testing labs to begin with?
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 7/31/2007 @ 9:28 pm PT...
"""that main danger from hacking is 'insiders' and,given the windows administrator access to the GEMS database, that alone should give you BIG concern"""
Yes, but. First off, that WinAdmin. probably has some Fed inspecting him, --or he should have one. His reports and logs are not just private info either. I imagine it's a fairly responsible position, and anyone who claims (without hard evidence (logs, tracerts, whatever) that since he's the Admin. and has access, he can just do any thing he wants---change the votes of 1000s makes a serious accusation/defamation. The conspiracy buff's paranoia too often "dominates" the real issue.
Most of the v-machines are limited to districts---the reports don't make it clear whether they are networks across the entire district, or just voting locations, etc. I agree a sinister Diebold exec with access to the database could do some damage, but could he do it and get away with it? Especially with all the current paranoia over vote fraud? Sort of unlikely. Moreover as some of the people who dispute the claims of votefraud on OHio 2004 have argued, any big discrepancies (75% voting GOP in a highly democratic district, etc.) would be noted. You could correlate the votes with party registration (and this was done) and have a fairly close estimation as well; that together with pre-vote and exit polls (the official exit poll in Ohio showed Bush ahead as predicted, however f-ed up that is) and you have pretty reliable indicators.
Many dems argued for v-machines anyway. Didn't the Divine Miss F-stein want v-machines? Methinks she did. Maybe the vote-conspiro people are correct, and there is some real deceit going on, but my own experience around El Lay leads me to believe that most election workers are liberals if not socialists, and any vote fraud would probably in favor of Demo Peoples. And I believe that would be the case around SF as well.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 7/31/2007 @ 9:35 pm PT...
Just to beat a dead horse to death here for you:
It's not about right or left; it's about right or wrong.
Lots of partisans here, but we try not to close our eyes to any of it, whichever party it comes from. Arguing for "v-machines" is wrongheaded no matter which party you're with.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 7/31/2007 @ 9:51 pm PT...
Arguing for "v-machines" is wrongheaded no matter which party you're with
OK. Then keep the punch-type ballots. Sounds cool with me. Keep everything on video tape, and some type of bonding system; even require people to perform election work, like jury duty. Put a call into Miss Bowen, or Miss DiFi, if you can penetrate her security.
I will grant (I don't really know or care about rest of nation: Californians for Secession!) that the Kevin Shelley termination was rather odd. Shelley was investigating the v-machines, right after Ahhnuld came to power. Shelley may have done some underhanded things (it looked more like bad accounting, and Ahhnuld just wanted him gone), yet he was investigating the Diebold machines which had been used in the Recall. Did Ahhnuld perhaps come into power via some f-ed votes? Es poseeblay. Ah maybe I could get into the paranoid conspiracy game (man let's chat about the GRASSY KNOLL)..........
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 8/1/2007 @ 5:24 am PT...
No masterful cracker would brag about cracking the evoting machines mentioned in the Bowen Reports. There would be no outstanding skill involved to brag about.
Skilled crackers go after the CIA, NSA, Pentagon, MicroSoft, and hardened sites for their trophies. Read some disturbing history in the book The Cuckoo's Egg, showing how cracking the entire US Government computer system was done by one person. And how an amatuer had to reveal it to them because they would not believe it possible.
Really, Nefarious9, did you as a teenager brag about feeling up the fat 300 pound teenage girl on your block to your macho pals? Or would your brag trophy be the beautiful teenage girl on the cheerleader team?
Get my point? Cracking these machines presents no challenge so no vialble cracker is going to do it for bragging points. S/he would be laughed out of the cracking community.
Real crackers would be paid to do it for other reasons, related to power and money, by corrupt officials who have no intention to win any other way.
Showing skilled cracking prowess was not Secretary of State Bowen's intention either. Her intention was to make reality official, and dispense with the fantasies that have been tickling the brains of folk like you who do not get it.
Cracking the electronic voting machines is ho-hum simple. It is like using the vast realm of military universities to develop a curriculum to train psywarriors to fool and dupe simple minded unfettered faith in government folks like you.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 8/1/2007 @ 6:14 am PT...
I guess you haven't read the report, nor do you know that much about the US Govt., or "cracking". The geeks themselves admit that cracking the e-vote box (especially at the booth) would take some work. For some corrupt database admin. or govt. with access it would not take much work: his problem would be covering his steps.
All those Fed cracks of 10 years ago or so, Mitnick, etc. resulted in a great deal more security, encryption, etc. The JohntheRipper or Crack types of warez are not going to provide access into the state/fed databases, and that's been the case for 10 years at least (many people don't realize what's entailed in unauthorized entry: 2-3 layers of password security, and then knowing what to do if you gain access to files, and leaving no trace (IP address, login, etc.) on logs (rather difficult--and even some right-wing admin has to check his event logs, and the Govt. can verify those.
Bowen's hackers had user codes. But most people wouldn't except e-vote employees or execs. And since vote tampering is a serious crime, any crack would have to be "cloaked," and transparent, or the script kiddie's headed to Leavenworth to entertain the Unabomber.
Like most of the votefraud people, you seem to think that all govt. officials are conservatives, if not fascists, and so are the voting machine execs. That is not a warranted assertion. Anyone who has done some Govt. work soon realizes that most Fed personnel are quite liberal if not socialist. I don't trust them or the e-vote machine execs, but that doesn't mean one buys into the ultra-paranoia of the conspiro-bots.
It's highly unlikely that Ohio 2004 was hacked; if it was then the pre and post vote polls (Zogby, etc) were off (the Ohio GOP had at least 5%+ more registered voters than dems as well). The DNC decided not to take action. So any conspiracy martyrs might take issue with the DNC.
Simply pointing out the facts doesn't imply that one sides with the conservatives either (as with 911 conspiracy types who think if you don't buy their BS, you sympathize with Cheney, etc). Moreover, the great majority of votes were still normal ballots.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 8/1/2007 @ 6:41 am PT...
Nefarious9 Try ten weeks or ten months or ten minutes ago:
Richard Clarke, former White House adviser on cybersecurity and now an ABC News consultant, told ABC News' "Good Morning America" that the espionage case clearly shows how far government computer networks lag behind corporate systems in terms of online security and monitoring programs.
(ABC news, emphasis added). And:
In the latest of many incidents of government neglect, the federal bureau that collects the most personal and confidential information about Americans has lost hundreds of computers used to store the sensitive data.
The U.S. Census Bureau, the leading source of quality data about the nation’s people and economy, has admitted that 672 laptops containing personal information are missing.
(Corruption Chronicles, emphasis added).
"I guess" Iraq wants demockcrazy. "I guess" Katrina victims like incompetence.
"I guess" millions of records of citizens and government employees, including vets, were not really compromised by government officials.
"I guess" you think bushie gummit guestimations are gospel?
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 8/1/2007 @ 9:33 am PT...
Steve says, in Comment #6:
"...to lead the state and, hopefully, the country out of this wilderness we have wandered into since the 2000 election debacle."
I don't think we wandered into that wilderness-we were herded into it.
The 2000 election (Insert sarcasm) did two things:
Throw an election and create the set up for DRE voting.
I'm not saying punch cards shouldn't have been replaced. But its overlooked in how many other areas across the country the punch card system worked pretty well, as long as it was maintained and chads cleaned out. So why is it that in Florida, Harris responsibility (Ulitmately, it's hers) to insure machines were working properly was overlooked? A more responsible media might have roasted her over the whole debacle. But lap dogs never question the hand that feeds them.
The punch card fiasco created cover and backup to the real problem, which I think was the optical scan systems. You know, the matter of 16,000 votes for Gore that get wiped out of the system due to a memory card, if memory serves. How many other places was that not caught? Wasn't it a simple card, programmed by Hursti, without any physical access to the optical scan, that proved ONE way to change votes?
2000 had an impact on two fronts: the election results and herding the masses to voting without the pesky paper ballot- and no way to verify the accuracy of the machines. Wouldn't want the Supreme Court to have to make another ruling against the power of the people.
It's interesting that just about everyone on the government level, Democrat or Republican, dropped the ball, not only in demanding a recount of Florida but, right on the heels of the 2000 election, passing legislation that virtually eliminated the ability to recount at all.
Wonder how long HAVA had been waiting in the wings before 2000?
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 8/1/2007 @ 10:14 am PT...
Gore got a recount. He didn't get a 2nd recount (that's what Harris stopped--rightly or wrongly, that was the law. Gore wanted a 2nd recount, which was more than the law allowed). The first recount had him losing even more than he had originally. And it's to be noted that some of the DEMOCRATS involved in the
Florida 2000 debacle, and in the recount, denied vote tampering, as they did in Ohio 2004. It's only a few whack jobs (mostly green, or some socialists) that later said it was tampered with. OK maybe it was: the DNC did not press the issue (in Ohio at least). But who's doing the tampering?? Govt officials are mostly Dems--the Dems control the Feds---CA Dems run the CA election rackets, except out in the sticks. (And where is a real-life, rather than simulated hack of the e-vote boxes/networks (that could have been set up, rather easily say in 2006)?) The paranoids can't quite realize that, just like the fail to note that it's the Feinstein and Hillaries (and their supporters) who are behind the War Effort, nearly as much as Buscho is.
parent elections, ending the possibility of tampering via e-vote.