Monday, May 22, 2006

MSM waking up on electronic voting

Parts of the MSM are awakening from their self-enforced slumber regarding the US electoral process and the vulnerabilities to it that are being presented by electronic voting machine companies like Diebold and ES&S. Newsweek [via Bradblog]:
How bad are the problems? Experts are calling them the most serious voting-machine flaws ever documented. Basically the trouble stems from the ease with which the machine's software can be altered. It requires only a few minutes of pre-election access to a Diebold machine to open the machine and insert a PC card that, if it contained malicious code, could reprogram the machine to give control to the violator. The machine could go dead on Election Day or throw votes to the wrong candidate. Worse, it's even possible for such ballot-tampering software to trick authorized technicians into thinking that everything is working fine, an illusion you couldn't pull off with pre-electronic systems. "If Diebold had set out to build a system as insecure as they possibly could, this would be it," says Avi Rubin, a Johns Hopkins University computer-science professor and elections-security expert.

Finally, some attention to this ridiculous situation. Will it be enough?


Blogger misneach said...

This kind of think makes me a bit curious as to wether or not there were impartial international observers in the U.S. for the 2004 election, and how reliable the final vote tally was. I only bring this up because loads of people in my age group who normally didn't vote did in 2004, and non-sadist elements in the election still lost. It just makes me wonder...

2:22 PM  
Blogger theBhc said...

Your statement is worrisome from this perspective: invitation of observers, both domestic and international is left up to the states and/or counties. The most partisan state election official in the country, Secretary of State in Ohio Kenneth Blackwell, also served as co-chair of the Bush/Cheney campaign in Ohio. Blackwell refused to grant any access to election observers. None. International standards require election officials to be non-partisan, something the US has never bothered with. In fact, election officials are often as partisan as can be. Katherine Harris, Sec. State in Florida in 2000 was also chair of the Bush/Cheney state campaign then.

For more on this see 2004 US Election: An International Perspective.

As shown by this delegation, access to the polls is granted inconsistently among states and even left to the county to decide: Missouri law provided for international observers but not for domestic observers; Ohio did not allow any independent observation; while in Florida, the individual counties decided who would have access.

Of course, it is well known now what a debacle Ohio was, despite the lack of coverage in the MSM. If you are unaware of much of this, The Free Press, out of Columbus, Ohio, has covered the Ohio election debacle with some close scrutiny, mostly if not entirely ignored by the MSM. Bob Fitrakis has been on the forefront and his columns and stories are a good place to start.

4:42 PM  

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