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Diebold Admits Voting Machine Audit Log Flaw (March 22 & 23, 2009)

In a hearing in California last week, Premier Election Solutions, formerly known as Diebold, admitted that a flaw in its voting machines software can lose votes and fail to log the loss. Logs are an essential component of election audits. The flaw exists in all versions of the companys tabulation software.

From SANS NewsBites Vol. 14 Num. 89 - 11/7/2012

TOP OF THE NEWS --Lawsuit Filed Over Experimental Patches Installed on Voting Machines Without Testing (November 5, 2012) A lawsuit filed in US District Court in Ohio seeks to have Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted remove experimental software patches that were installed on Election Systems and Software (ES&S) vote tabulation machines without testing or certification. The machines are being used in 39 counties in Ohio. Husted's office says that the software is intended to streamline the process of counties reporting election results to the Secretary of State's system. Internal memos at the Ohio Secretary of State's office indicate that the software patches were not tested because they are not involved with the tabulation or communication of votes. Ohio state law prohibits the installation of untested software updates on voting machines. A Husted spokesperson has called the lawsuit ridiculous.
[Editor's Comment (Murray): While it is possible to so manage and limit changes to software so as to be able to make statements about the extent of those changes, it is extremely rare to see such management. In its absence, any change calls into question the integrity of the entire system. All that said, it is not difficult to demonstrate the integrity of a tabulation after the fact. We call such demonstrations recounts. While costly, and sometimes controversial, they are effective. (Northcutt): Long time readers know my concerns about electronic voting machines, also known as computers. This is one more step to the abyss. (Paller): Most of the people who are concerned about electronic voting machines and internet-based voting are, like Avi Rubin and Stephen Northcutt, real cybersecurity experts who recognize how vulnerable the technology is to manipulation. The reason that electronic voting is becoming common and ultimately will replace most manual systems is that the manual systems are also subject to massive fraud possibilities - fraud that has changed Presidential election outcomes. In the end decisions will be made locally and will come down to a tradeoff between multiple approaches all of which have substantial vulnerabilities and one of which is faster, less expensive, and more convenient. ]

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