Re: does Diebold have 'quadruple redundancy'?

From: Jim March <jmarch_at_prodigy_dot_net>
Date: Tue Aug 16 2005 - 01:03:57 CDT

Kathy Dopp wrote:

> Utah's Lt. Governor is telling stories to Utah's county commissioners,
> to push Diebold DREs - i.e. saying that the CA tests only had one
> machine with 19 screen freezes, that a MA-based "Association of People
> with Disabilities" has threatened to sue Utah if we purchase the
> AutoMARK opscans rather than Diebold DREs, etc.
> He is claiming that Diebold DREs have "quadruple redundancy" - that
> there are 3 computer chip records of every vote plus the paper trail.

It's "sorta true, sorta not".

In theory, on a TS/TSx Diebold touchscreen, by the end of election day
votes are stored in three electronic locations:

* Internal memory on the TS/TSx.

* PCMCIA memory card used as an "electronic ballot box" and carried back
to elections HQ.

* The hard disk on the GEMS central tabulator (once the PCMCIA contents
are uploaded) - stored on hard disk in MS-Access format where it's
easily "hackable", NOT a "memory chip" (but that's a quibble).

So what's wrong with this picture?

Well so far, one honest elections official in Leon County FL has let a
serious security guru "hack at" an actual field-installed Diebold
system. Hari Hursti was able to prove that the "ballot box" memory card
gets prepped ahead of time not just with the precinct and
candidate/issue data as Diebold reports, but also with a program that is
supposed to control the output of the internal tape printer for
end-of-day totals. Trouble is, this program can do SO much more. It
can be set up to wrongfully alter the contents of ALL THREE MEMORY
DEVICES AT ONCE, in the same fashion, making the "reduncancy" a joke.

Trouble is, this was all done on an optical scan setup vs. touchscreen.
We THINK a similar mechanism exists on the touchscreens...hell, we're
mortally certain of it. But it's not proven yet. (The same three
"reduntant" memory areas exist in optical scan setups and are used in
the same way. Can they be abused in the same way?)

For the optical scan proof see also:

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Received on Wed Aug 31 23:17:26 2005

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