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Voting news articles are provided here for research and educational purposes only. We do not review each article in its entirety prior to its posting. Content in the articles themselves and on other websites to which they link may express opinions that are not those of VotersUnite!

Sat, 16 Aug 2003 12:00:00 PST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Saturday, August 16, 2003
Scientists warn poor software could lead to fraud
As if elections officials in California don't have enough to worry about as they prepare for a bewildering Oct. 7 recall vote, computer scientists say shoddy balloting software could bungle the results and expose the election to fraud. Their worst-case scenario is the accidental deletion or malicious falsification of ballots from the 1.42 million Californians voting electronically - 9.3 per cent of the state's 15.3 million registered voters. The software experts also warn that, if any candidate contests the election, a meaningful recount would prove impossible because four counties -- including two of the largest -- don't provide paper backups.


Sat, 16 Aug 2003 12:00:00 EST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Saturday, August 16, 2003
Officials reassessing touch-screen voting
A study criticizing one widely marketed electronic voting system as so flawed it could lead to more election fraud is causing some officials to reassess plans to purchase touch-screen computer terminals. But the study itself by researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore has been criticized by election officials who said the authors of the report don't understand the levels of security built into state and local election systems. "I do think there are a number of states out there that are taking a look just to make sure that the public knows everything is secure," said Kay Albowicz, director of communications for the National Association of Secretaries of State.


Fri, 15 Aug 2003 12:00:00 PST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Friday, August 15, 2003
Can computer ballots lead to fraud?
Computer scientists have a recall warning. They say poor computer software could lead to voting fraud. Riverside County voters have cast ballots electronically several times already, but some experts say in a worse-case scenario, electronic ballots could be falsified or accidentally deleted and any recount would be near impossible, because four counties don't provide paper back-ups.


Fri, 15 Aug 2003 12:00:00 EST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Friday, August 15, 2003
E-voting becomes touchy topic
Diebold basically called the Johns Hopkins study hogwash less than a week later. The research, the company said, was based on outdated, incomplete material and biased from the start. But the security concerns chief researcher Avi Rubin raised were still more than enough to rattle officials across the nation. Legislators in some states have hired outside computer security consultants to reassess Diebold and its competitors. Others in North Dakota and Arizona have put the brakes on new plans involving such equipment. Even in Ohio, where Diebold was born and raised, state officials peppered every vendor -- not just Diebold -- with hard questions, said Carlo LoParo of the Ohio secretary of state's office. "We feel that the Johns Hopkins study raises questions about electronic voting in general. Fortunately, the study came at a time in our process when we can ask tough questions," he said last week.


Fri, 15 Aug 2003 12:00:00 CST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Friday, August 15, 2003
Security questioned earlier
Questions about Diebold Inc.'s security began long before Johns Hopkins University researchers started poking holes in the company's facade. In fact, it was one of the company's own Web sites that kept such questions going, said Bev Harris, a Diebold critic from Renton, Wash. For a time, it was "common industry knowledge" that sensitive files about Diebold Election Systems' electronic voting system were available online, said David Dill, a computer science professor at Stanford University.


Fri, 15 Aug 2003 01:20:00 PST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Friday, August 15, 2003
Scientists warn poor software could lead to fraud in Calif recall
As if elections officials in California don't have enough to worry about as they prepare for a bewildering Oct. 7 recall vote, computer scientists say shoddy balloting software could bungle the results and expose the election to fraud. Their worst-case scenario is the accidental deletion or malicious falsification of ballots from the 1.42 million Californians voting electronically - 9.3 per cent of the state's 15.3 million registered voters. The software experts also warn that, if any candidate contests the election, a meaningful recount would prove impossible because four counties - including two of the largest - don't provide paper backups.


Fri, 15 Aug 2003 12:00:00 EST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Friday, August 15, 2003
Ohio holds on voting machine purchase
The state of Ohio is delaying its $136-million purchase of new voting equipment and services until it can complete further security reviews and audits of electronic voting devices, Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell announced today. The state planned to announce qualified vendors, terms of service and warranty today, but security issues, as well as a court action on behalf of Sequoia Voting Systems Inc. of Oakland, Calif., prohibited the release of the successful bidders, Blackwell said. "Our initial inquiries into security issues regarding e-voting devices leaves some unanswered questions," Blackwell said. "As a result, we will put these voting devices through an extensive security assessment and validation process."


Thu, 14 Aug 2003 12:00:00 GMT    Story Here  Archive
Published:Thursday, August 14, 2003
Editorial: Computerized voting
The hacking and code-tampering scenarios look improbable to many computer experts, but as one of them said, "When the stakes are high enough in an election, partisans and others will do just about anything. And this is a worry." We're not recommending that we back off from or delay our computerization. But we should be alive to the possibility of outright hacking and code tampering that the Johns Hopkins report described.


Thu, 14 Aug 2003 12:00:00 EST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Thursday, August 14, 2003
Voting Machines Will Be Scrutinized
Council member Howard A. Denis (R-Potomac-Bethesda) said that while the independent review may be a step in the right direction, it is important not to play down public concerns about election fraud. "I don't want to have this thing whitewashed and have a lot of happy talk, and have people trying to mollify us and blow off these charges," said Denis, who will convene a public hearing next month to bring together the Hopkins scientists, state election officials and the County Council to discuss the issue. "The electronic machines were forced down our throats by the state. We were used as one of the guinea pigs for this, and on top of it we had to pay for it."


Wed, 13 Aug 2003 12:00:00 EST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Wednesday, August 13, 2003
Editorial: Forget chads, inspect electronic voting
Election officials are pooh-poohing the concerns, noting that no voter fraud has been documented from use of electronic voting machines. But that doesn't mean it can't happen. And other problems have been found, ranging from untrained poll workers who caused election-day delays to malfunctioning equipment, some of which registered votes for a different candidate than the one the person voted for.


Thu, 12 Aug 2003 12:00:00 CST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Tuesday, August 12, 2003
Parts of new voting machines stolen
Cass County Sheriff's Deputy Tom Wallace, who also serves as the county's voting computer technician, reported on Monday that some of the equipment had been stolen from a Logansport storage facility. In a report at the Logansport Police Department, Wallace said he discovered a storage unit at U-Stor-Um, 3476 E. Market St., that contained the new voting machines was broken into and some of the items missing. The burglary is believed to have occurred sometime over the last month.


Tue, 12 Aug 2003 02:00:00 PST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Tuesday, August 12, 2003
E-Vote Machines Face Audit
After weeks of defending itself against charges of bad programming and lax security, Diebold Election Systems is facing an independent, third-party audit of the software for its touch-screen voting machines. Maryland Gov. Robert L. Erhlich Jr. ordered the review after researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Rice University released a report (PDF) last month revealing numerous programming flaws and security vulnerabilities in the source code for Diebold's AccuVote-TS voting machines.


Mon, 11 Aug 2003 12:00:00 EST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Monday, August 11, 2003
Md. orders e-voting review
Science Applications International Corp. will conduct a risk assessment of Maryland's electronic voting system in the wake of a report by researchers at Johns Hopkins University that found alleged security flaws in the system. Gov. Robert Ehrlich ordered the independent review Aug. 6. He wants San Diego-based SAIC to test the electronic voting system manufactured by Diebold Election Systems Inc. of North Canton, Ohio. SAIC will do the work under an existing contract for security services, and will submit its findings to state officials in four weeks.


Mon, 11 Aug 2003 12:00:00 EST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Monday, August 11, 2003
Jolted Over Electronic Voting
The Virginia State Board of Elections had a seemingly simple task before it: Certify an upgrade to the state's electronic voting machines. But with a recent report by Johns Hopkins University computer scientists warning that the system's software could easily be hacked into and election results tampered with, the once perfunctory vote now seemed to carry the weight of democracy and the people's trust along with it. An outside consultant assured the three-member panel recently that the report was nonsense. "I hope you're right," Chairman Michael G. Brown said, taking a leap of faith and approving Diebold Election System's upgrades. "Because when they get ready to hang the three of us in effigy, you won't be here."


Sat, 09 Aug 2003 12:00:00 EST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Saturday, August 9, 2003
Editorial: Safeguarding Maryland's Votes
It's about time that Maryland decided to confirm the suitability of its voting mechanism. Despite the potential benefits of touch-screen technology -- and there are many, especially for voters who have disabilities or who don't speak English -- election infrastructure doesn't necessarily improve in direct proportion with dollars spent. In fact, studies have indicated that some old-fashioned ballots outperform newer vote-casting methods. And election experts have repeatedly voiced concerns about any system that entirely eschews a paper trail.


Thu, 07 Aug 2003 12:00:00 CST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Thursday, August 7, 2003
Voting by touch has weakness, experts say
A national conference of computer security specialists concluded yesterday with almost universal agreement that touch-screen voting technology the federal government is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on since the 2000 Florida election debacle may be vulnerable to errors and tampering. "I believe democracy is actually at risk because of ... electronic voting," said David Dill of Stanford University. [...] At yesterday's conference, there were no computer specialists who were willing to say that solutions would be available soon. The specialists said no completely electronic system was error-proof and that a paper trail was still the most reliable tool against fraud.


Thu, 07 Aug 2003 12:00:00 EST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Thursday, August 7, 2003
Security researchers decry electronic voting systems
David Dill, a professor of computer science at Stanford University, said election officials and computer security experts have not communicated enough to solve election problems. "Democracy rests on your shoulders," he told the audience, which was made up largely of computer security researchers. Election officials might not want the help of computer security experts, "but they badly need your help to make these machines work in elections," Dill said.


Thu, 07 Aug 2003 12:00:00 CST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Thursday, August 7, 2003
Jackson County survives election-night glitch
A snafu involving the Orange Grove precinct delayed the final count for more than an hour. "Precinct workers inadvertently left the memory pack with the voting results in the machine at that precinct," said Dick Paul, chairman of the Jackson County Republican Party. When election officials realized Orange Grove, the last of 67 precincts, had not been counted, a deputy was dispatched to the voting precinct. Election officials unlocked the voting machine and brought the memory pack back to election central, where final results were tabulated before 11 p.m.


Thu, 07 Aug 2003 02:00:00 PST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Thursday, August 7, 2003
New Security Woes for E-Vote Firm
Following an embarrassing leak of its proprietary software over a file transfer protocol site last January, the inner workings of Diebold Election Systems have again been laid bare. A hacker has come forward with evidence that he broke the security of a private Web server operated by the embattled e-vote vendor, and made off last spring with Diebold's internal discussion-list archives, a software bug database and more software. The unidentified attacker provided Wired News with an archive containing 1.8 GB of files apparently taken March 2 from a site referred to by the Ohio-based company as its "staff website."


Tue, 05 Aug 2003 12:00:00 MST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Tuesday, August 5, 2003
Electronic voting may pose risks
Forget hanging, dimpled and pregnant chads, the new voting threats could be hacking, crashing and rigging. Punch-card voting machines may be problem-prone, but new electronic ballot devices -- which some Utahns might start using next year -- could be cataclysmic. That's the assessment of some experts who fear touch-screen voting will invite risky computer problems. Computer voting terminals are being assailed by professors and technology mavens as vulnerable because votes are not being saved on paper but as bits and bytes on memory cards. "You've got to have perfect computers and perfect software, which we know is impossible," says Stanford University computer-science professor David Dill. "Right now, with the touch-screen computers we have, they're not trustworthy. ... It's an invitation to disaster in many ways."


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