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Sunday, August 29, 2004

Vote Theft for Dummies

This is how easy Diebold has made it to tamper the voting,- whether intentionally or unintentionally. According to this report, all it takes is a two-digit code,- which makes sense as not everyone tasked with tempering with your inalienable rights would have what it takes to operate longer passwords.

Here is the summary:
Issue: Manipulation technique found in the Diebold central tabulator -- 1,000 of these systems are in place, and they count up to two million votes at a time.

By entering a 2-digit code in a hidden location, a second set of votes is created. This set of votes can be changed, so that it no longer matches the correct votes. The voting system will then read the totals from the bogus vote set. It takes only seconds to change the votes, and to date not a single location in the U.S. has implemented security measures to fully mitigate the risks.

This program is not "stupidity" or sloppiness. It was designed and tested over a series of a dozen version adjustments.

Now, the report does not state that the vulnerability was coded intentionally, but that hardly matters. As far as I am concerned, by failing to immediately address the issue election officials in charge would demonstrate their utter contempt for the electoral democracy they are in charge of upholding,- if not the intent to manipulate the election results. Given the fact that some of those officials have already discussed ways to postpone or cancel the Presidential election, that would not come across as outright surprising.

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