Sequoia Voting Systems say their touch-screen machinesprovide “nothing less than 100% accuracy.” But when theydemonstrated their new paper-trail electronic votingmachines for the California state senate, they found themachines failed to record votes from testers usingSpanish-language ballots. These omissions wouldn?t have beendiscovered without the paper trail. In wired.com, Kim Zetter quotes election consultant DarrenChesin as saying, “We did it again and the same thinghappened?The paper trail worked flawlessly, but it caught amistake in the programming of the touch-screen machineitself.
Computer-style voting machines make a lot of people nervous, since we know how easy it is to hack into computers. If this was done, votes could be changed and the next Presidential election could be rigged in an undetectable way.
When we wrote that California’s election used flawed voting machines, we got a quick, insightful reply from a “Concerned San Diego County Employee,” who says, “Essentially, the only threat(s) to the voting machines are internal since the machines are not connected to the internet?A number of techniques and procedures can (should) be implemented which can eliminate all but the most sophisticated attacks?An attack would be an ‘inside job’ by either someone at Diebold or the County where such an attack might take place.”
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In Tuesday’s California vote for governor, one county cast their ballots on computerizedvoting machines that are easy to hack. Election officials want to avoid hanging chads, but the real problem is that a poll worker or an outsider could change the vote on these machines without being detected.
Kim Zetter writes in wired.com that Alameda County uses 4,000 touch-screen voting machines manufactured by Diebold. But last month, Maryland officials released a report saying the machines are “at high risk of compromise” due to security flaws in the software, allowing the votes to be changed as officials transmit them electronically.