Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Will your vote count?

As if we didn't know already, a column in the current Newsweek, "Will Your Vote Count" tells us that electronic voting machines are easily rigged.

May 29, 2006 issue - Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the voting booth, here comes more disturbing news about the trustworthiness of electronic touchscreen ballot machines. Earlier this month a report by Finnish security expert Harri Hursti analyzed Diebold voting machines for an organization called Black Box Voting. Hursti found unheralded vulnerabilities in the machines that are currently entrusted to faithfully record the votes of millions of Americans.

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... LINK

With impeachment at stake, it is not too hard to imagine that the Republican vote fraud engine has subtly rigged key elections to ensure continued control of Congress. Not with easily detected massive fraud, but with just enough tweaking to get the job done while allowing most voters to maintain a comfortable delusion that elections are honest.

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