11.04.2004



Would you trust your money with these things?


Bev Harris's Black Box Voting, a nonpartisan, 501(c)3 nonprofit, consumer protection group for elections, has filed the largest Freedom of Information request in the history of the law, to obtain internal computer logs and other documents from 3,000 individual counties and townships. Says BBV:
The central servers are installed on unpatched, open Windows computers and use RAS (Remote Access Server) to connect to the voting machines through telephone lines. Since RAS is not adequately protected, anyone in the world, even terrorists, who can figure out the server's phone number can change vote totals without being detected by observers.

The passwords in many locations are easily guessed, and the access phone numbers can be learned through social engineering or war dialing.

This means the voting machines are virtually no more secure than if you left your laptop at the coffee shop, up and running. If you think there've been no problems before, think again:
The audit log is a computer-generated automatic record similar to the "black box" in an airplane, that automatically records access to the Diebold GEMS central tabulator (unless, of course, you go into it in the clandestine way we demonstrated on September 22 in Washington DC at the National Press club.)

The central tabulator audit log is an FEC-required security feature. The kinds of things it detects are the kinds of things you might see if someone was tampering with the votes: Opening the vote file, previewing and/or printing interim results, altering candidate definitions (a method that can be used to flip votes).

Three hours is missing altogether from the Sept. 14 Washington State primary held six weeks ago.

There's a 30-minute documentary viewable online. Watch it. On the BBV website, there are several documents that make for interesting (and upsetting) reading. There are real reasons for concern.

This is not about sore losers -- this is about making sure that the people's choice really is the people's choice, not a corporation's or a terrorist's choice, so that we the people maintain ownership and control of our own elections in the years to come.

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