How They Could Steal the Election This Time

From: Arthur Keller <arthur_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Fri Aug 20 2004 - 15:13:51 CDT

"How They Could Steal the Election This Time"
  Nation (08/04); Dugger, Ronnie

  The vulnerability of electronic voting machines to inside
tampering--either by officials of election jurisdictions or corporate
programmers--raises the specter of election fraud on a massive scale,
so massive that it could cast the outcome of the U.S. presidential
election into doubt and threaten democracy. With so much at stake,
Stanford professor David Dill warns that potential election saboteurs
could include "hackers, candidates, zealots, foreign governments and
criminal organizations," while local officials would be powerless to
prevent tampering. The four leading e-voting system vendors--Election
Systems and Software, Diebold Election Systems, Sequoia Voting
Systems, and Hart InterCivic--are fueling the controversy with
products that have malfunctioned or demonstrated insecurity,
disclosure of sloppy source code, and concerns that major figures
within these companies could be using their influence to promote
political agendas. E-voting critics are particularly scornful of
vendors, who are essentially telling people that their products can
be trusted to ensure secure voting in the face of mounting evidence
that no such security exists. Congress is split over legislation
calling for the addition of voter-verifiable paper trails to e-voting
systems to ensure accurate recounts. Objections to such measures
range from accessibility limitations for disabled voters to concerns
of printer failure to additional costs to falsification or theft of
paper ballots. Leading citizen organizations have also been divided
on the issue: The League of Women voters, for instance, balked on the
need for a paper trail, but reversed its position after former ACM
President Barbara Simons led a revolt in the ranks. Public interest
groups are rallying for the institution of a paper trail, and about
500,000 signatures have so far been collected in support of printed
ballots.
http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040816&s=dugger for full
article (abstract from ACM Technews)

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Received on Tue Aug 31 23:17:17 2004

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