Thursday, September 14, 2006

Manual recount time

American elections need manual votes and counts. Period.

For proof, watch this video from the Princeton Center for IT Policy. They demonstrate proof-of-concept software that is loaded onto a memory card for one of Diebold's vote-counting machines. You boot up once with the poisoned memory card, then remove it and replace the memory card with a regular one (used to keep track of votes on that machine). You need a key to access the memory card, or a lockpick. The software deletes itself tracelessly after the election is over. Time alone needed by a nefarious election stealer to reprogram the machine: approximately one minute.

Since these voting machines have been reported to be left overnight at poll workers' houses (as in, if I remember right, the Busby-Bilbray election to replace felon bribe-taker extraordinaire Duke Cunningham in California's 50th District), the prospect of unfair elections in the world's only remaining superpower is too dire to ignore. We need elections that are above suspicion.

Diebold has come up repeatedly on Bruce Schneier's blog. These people are not to be trusted to program their way out of a paper bag, much less deliver secure voting systems to America.

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