Florida's Whistleblowing Programmer Demonstrates for House Committee on Elections How Simple it is to Hack an Election
Predicts Texas, Like Florida, Will 'Get Rid of E-Voting'....
By Brad Friedman on 6/27/2008, 11:28am PT  

Blogged by Brad from the road...

From yesterday's Daily Texan...

Committee weighs risks, benefits of electronic voting machines
Fla. 'vote-flipping' programmer voices doubts about tool

Clint Curtis touched a hidden button on the screen of a simulated electronic voting machine as onlookers witnessed votes switch from one candidate to another.

The House Committee on Elections invited Curtis, a computer programmer from Florida, to testify Wednesday on the accuracy, risks, benefits and security of electronic voting technology. The committee also heard from other expert witnesses, election officials and the Texas secretary of state.

Curtis said a Florida representative approached him in 2000 to design "vote-flipping" software to help the congressman win an election. Requesting a fraudulent program for a machine is not illegal in Florida, but using one is.

"You cannot trust electronic machines, no matter how many honest people you have. It only takes one person with access to the machine," said Curtis, an advocate for hand-counted paper ballots. "Programmers can be bought."

The committee watched as Curtis clicked on an invisible button that suddenly placed the losing candidate of his mock election safely in the lead.

"24 lines of code can flip an election," Curtis said.

He offered to write a new code from scratch in less than three minutes, emphasizing the ease of creating a "flipping" code.

On Wednesday, coverage of his testimony by the Dayton-Beach News-Journal (who endorsed Curtis during his 2006 run against Tom Feeney, the Republican U.S. House Rep who Curtis alleges asked him to create vote-rigging software) included this:

"They seem to understand," Curtis said in a telephone interview afterwards. "They seem to get it. I think they'll do what Florida did, get rid of (electronic touch screens) and get something voters can count on."

For those who don't know Curtis, where have you been? You can read his remarkable story, first broken by The BRAD BLOG back in late 2004, summarized here. He is now hoping to run against Feeney again in Florida again this year, though he must first win his Primary against a Democratic Party-backed candidate. If you'd like to help him beat the millionaire chosen by the short-sighted Dem insiders, please stop by (and feel free to donate!!!) at www.ClintCurtis.com.

DISCLOSURE: We were invited, by the Republican who heads the committee, to testify at the hearing this week as well. Due to prior travel plans, unfortunately, we were unable to be there, but happy that Curtis, and several others who we recommended, were able to show up and speak truth to power.

(Hat-tip to John Gideon's "Daily Voting News" from yesterday.)