I don't know how many people here read Slashdot daily, but one of the postings this morning is a reference to an article in Ars Technica called How to Steal an Election by Hacking the Vote. If you're interested in voting machines and voting security, the article, although lengthy, is worth a read.
In describing some of the vulnerabilities of the AccuVote TS/Diebold system, from the article:
poll workers can't guarantee that it wasn't compromised. There are two things wrong with this scheme:
- If you want to invalidate all the results stored in machines in a precinct that favors your opponent, just cut the tape or the ties on those machines. If the election supervisor sticks to the rules, then he or she will be forced to throw out all of those votes.
- According to author, security researcher, and Maryland election judge Avi Rubin, one would almost have to have a CIA background to be able to tell if the security tape applied to the AccuVotes in the Maryland primary had been removed and reapplied.
This article walks through a step-by-step process for hacking a Diebold machine, with helpful graphics and diagrams. It also has a complete real-world example of Diebold vote tampering in Shelby County, Tennessee, also, again, with diagrams. (Where, of course, we have a hot and extremely close Senatorial election right now.)
It's friday, so if you have a chunk of time, read the article.
The bibliography at the end of the article is worth perusing, as is Dr. Avi Rubin's blog which discusses all these issues in pretty fine detail and is updated near daily. If you're interested in the electronic voting issues, it's definitely worth reading. Not only is Dr. Rubin an expert in computer security currently at John Hopkins, he's another fine Wolverine! Go Blue!
(Michigan alumni rule!)