Diebold Elections...

Brad Blog and Salon.com both report on Princeton University study documenting the 'hack-ability' of Diebold touch screen voting machines. From Brad Blog:

A vote for George Washington could easily be converted to a vote for Benedict Arnold on an electronic voting machine and neither the voter, nor the election officials administering the election would ever know what happened. It wouldn't require a "conspiracy theory" or a "conspiracy" at all. It could be done by a single person with just a few moments of access to the voting systems.

Those new findings are detailed, and illustrated on video-tape, in a new first-of-its-kind study released today by computer scientists and security experts at Princeton University's Center for Information Technology Policy.

The scientific study has revealed, for the first time, that a computer virus can be easily implanted on an electronic voting machine which could, in turn, result in votes flipped for opposing candidates. The virus, as well, could be written to then spread itself from one machine to the next resulting in a stolen election. The malfeasance would likely never be discovered, the scientists have said.
Here's the video:

Go read the articles for full details, I'm going to make a take a slightly different path.

Diebold should have this security thing down by now for one simple reason: Their other product is ATMs. That's right. The next time you go to the ATM, look around for the little Diebold logo.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if they can give me a receipt telling me I just withdrew $40.00 and have $89.34 left in my account at a different bank than the one associated with the ATM I just used (for a $2.00 fee!) they should be able to build a voting machine that prints out a slip of paper that says that I just voted for candidate X. All they have to do is have a drop box right next to the machine to hold the little print-outs in case they are needed for a recount. Hell, it doesn't even need to rely on the voter to get it from the machine to the box! After printing on one of those cash register receipt rolls, it could just scroll past a window so the voter can verify their votes, then be collected on another spool! No room for human error!

I'm perfectly happy having a first count done by machine. But if there is a dispute - either a close election or the result differs significantly from exit polling, there would be a paper trail to check. It doesn't seem all that complicated.

I'm sure that banks want to be absolutely sure that the crisp $20s coming out of their ATMs aren't being stolen. We should be just as concerned about our elections. Diebold should be just as ready to please us as they are the banks.

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