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"And the stars are projectors, yeah, projecting our lives down to this planet Earth." - Modest Mouse


3.02.2004

How To Fix An Election 

Big Tuesday polling has revealed more issues with electronic voting machines. Today nearly 10 million people cast their votes on machines built by Diebold, Sequoia Voting Systems, Electronic Systems & Software and other vendors. It's estimated that 50 million voters will use e-machines to vote in the 2004 presidential election, in spite of mounting opposition amidst charges of security vulnerabilies and the inherent unaccountability of the software.
...computer scientists have been protesting the switch. They're particularly concerned that few of the computers provide paper records, making it nearly impossible to have meaningful recounts, or to prove that vote tampering hasn't occurred.

Politicians, voter-rights advocates and even some secretaries of state have acknowledged that the systems could theoretically fail -- with catastrophic consequences.

In several software and hardware tests, critics have shown it's easy to jam microchip-embedded smart cards into machines, or alter and delete some votes -- in some cases simply by ripping out wires. They've cracked passwords to gain access to computer servers and showed that some systems relying on Microsoft Windows lacked up-to-date security patches that should have been downloaded from the Internet.

Computer experts told Maryland lawmakers in January that the hardware contained "vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malicious individuals." Among their surprises: all of Maryland's machines had two identical locks, which could be opened by any one of 32,000 keys or be easily picked.
Who will break in to the machines first? BushCo or the hacker community?

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