Security flaws could taint 2012 US election: report

Jul 25, 2012
A voter uses a digital voting machine during the presidential primary election in April 2012 in Maryland. Security flaws in voting technology in a number of US states could taint the outcome of the 2012 election, a study concluded Wednesday, saying it was "highly likely" some systems will fail.

Security flaws in voting technology in a number of US states could taint the outcome of the 2012 election, a study concluded Wednesday, saying it was "highly likely" some systems will fail.

The report by two activist groups and the Rutgers University School of Law said that vulnerabilities could increase in some jurisdictions which allow some voters to cast ballots online, by email or fax.

The report, produced with the Common Cause Education Fund and the Verified Voting Foundation, repeated recommendations from those groups that any electronic votes have a paper to allow an audit or recount.

"We need a paper ballot that we can go back to not when but if the machines crash or the Internet goes does down," said Pam Smith of the Verified Voting Foundation.

The report also highlighted concerns by technology specialists that electronic votes, either on touch-screen ballot machines or from remote locations, could be vulnerable to manipulation by hackers.

"On Day, November 6, the stakes will be high. A number of critical races will be very close, and some might be decided by very few votes," the report said.

"At the same time, it is highly likely that voting systems will fail in multiple places across the country. In fact, in every national election in the past decade, computerized voting systems have failed."

A voter casts his ballot at a voting machine in March 2012 in Georgia. Security flaws in voting technology in a number of US states could taint the outcome of the 2012 election, a study concluded Wednesday, saying it was "highly likely" some systems will fail.

The report graded each of the states, and said the systems used in 20 were either "inadequate" or needed improvement. That includes 16 states which use paperless machines without a paper backup in some or all jurisdictions.

Six states were ranked "good" and 24 "generally good."

Any glitches could affect local races as well as the presidential race if the vote is close in key .

"You can see which states could potentially pose the most difficulty if the margins are razor thin," Smith said.

The move comes with US trying to upgrade technology, in some cases seeking to allow overseas and military voters to cast ballots remotely.

At the same time, officials hope to avoid a repeat of the 2000 election fiasco when the presidential vote was tainted by Florida punch card ballots with "hanging chads" that made them difficult to interpret.

Susannah Goodman of Common Cause said there have been some "positive trends" in election security in recent years but that some elections officials are overlooking cybersecurity threats that could affect online votes.

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User comments : 10

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freethinking
1.4 / 5 (10) Jul 25, 2012
This Novembers election will be the most corrupt one ever. Progressives are known to vote early and often, dead people seem always to vote progressives, same goes for criminals and non citizens. Then there are always the bags of "found" progressive votes.

Romney will need to win by an overwhelming majority. Close races always goes to Progressives. They keep counting till they win.

The USA should go back to voting at polling stations, with ID, and why not go to purple fingers.
Claudius
2.3 / 5 (7) Jul 25, 2012
In order to fix the endemic corruption in the voting system it will be necessary to ensure that citizens can directly monitor the counting of the votes from the point at which the vote is cast to the final count. If at any point monitoring of the vote count is concealed from citizen oversight, the system will remain corrupt. The current system does not allow citizens to oversee the counting of votes, which is why it can be manipulated. It does not matter whether the votes are on paper or not, it is oversight of the counting that is the key.
freethinking
2 / 5 (6) Jul 25, 2012
Now I know why the deceased and pets vote predominately Progressives.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign is asking Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to launch an investigation into voter-registration forms that are being sent to Virginia residents and addressed to deceased relatives, children, family pets and others ineligible to vote.

http://www2.times...2081517/

We need to ensure that only eligable people who are alive cast their votes.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.4 / 5 (5) Jul 25, 2012
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (4) Jul 25, 2012
Day was not only an admitted drug trafficker, but he also had served as the longtime Clay County Republican commissioner of the Board of Elections.

"I bought my first vote with half a pint of liquor," Day testified. He described how that mushroomed to a seemingly routine method to buy protection from politicians and win their elections. He said he even bought votes for the sheriff.
"That showed people on the ground who had the power and who had the money to buy the votes," Day testified. "As time went on, $5 a vote, $10 a vote. I have paid as high as $800 a vote. ... Election after election, day in and day out, every election I ever worked, it went on."

Read more: http://www.foxnew...1gcmltpd
unknownorgin
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 26, 2012
The election will be tainted by the electorial colledge to a large degree.
Claudius
3.4 / 5 (5) Jul 26, 2012
Day was not only an admitted drug trafficker, but he also had served as the longtime Clay County Republican commissioner of the Board of Elections.

"I bought my first vote with half a pint of liquor," Day testified. He described how that mushroomed to a seemingly routine method to buy protection from politicians and win their elections. He said he even bought votes for the sheriff.
"That showed people on the ground who had the power and who had the money to buy the votes," Day testified. "As time went on, $5 a vote, $10 a vote. I have paid as high as $800 a vote. ... Election after election, day in and day out, every election I ever worked, it went on."

Read more: http://www.foxnew...1gcmltpd


Why bother paying for votes if you are the person who counts the votes, with no citizen oversight? "As long as I count the Votes, what are you going to do about it? Say?" (attributed to Boss Tweed)
freethinking
2.2 / 5 (6) Jul 26, 2012
Then we all agree. We will make sure only those eligible to vote, can vote with voter registration of some sort, then make sure only votes cast legally get counted accurately, by having observers through out the process. Anyone who tries to corrupt the vote is dealt with harshly. None of this is rocket science.
Dug
5 / 5 (1) Jul 26, 2012
Assuming we actually had a two party system (Obama turning out to be Bush clone), much less a real democracy - where voters had a choice of qualified problem solvers to start with, and not just another big money political puppet - then this might all matter.
Claudius
2.7 / 5 (6) Jul 26, 2012
Assuming we actually had a two party system (Obama turning out to be Bush clone), much less a real democracy - where voters had a choice of qualified problem solvers to start with, and not just another big money political puppet - then this might all matter.


The reason why we have no democracy, why the two-party system is a farce, is because the voting process has been corrupted, probably for a long time. In other words, there are no voters, in fact. When you show up at a polling place and cast a "vote" it is in fact a meaningless gesture, as long as there is no "chain of custody" of the vote from start to finish, supervised by citizens.

Therefore, before we can even begin to reform the government, we need to reform the voting process. Any other efforts are wasted time and effort.