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Diebold Admits Flaw In Voting Software 281

Posted by samzenpus
from the is-anyone-shocked dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "At a public hearing in California, Diebold's western region manager has admitted that the audit log system on current versions of Premier Election Solutions' (formerly Diebold's) electronic voting and tabulating systems — used in some 34 states across the nation — fails to record the wholesale deletion of ballots, even when ballots are deleted on the same day as an election. An election system's audit logs are meant to record all activity during the system's actual counting of ballots, so that later examiners may determine, with certainty, whether any fraudulent or mistaken activity had occurred during the count. Diebold's software fails to do that, as has recently been discovered by Election Integrity advocates in Humboldt County, CA, and then confirmed by the CA Secretary of State. The flaws, built into the system for more than a decade, are in serious violation of federal voting system certification standards."
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Diebold Admits Flaw In Voting Software

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  • by v1 (525388) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @06:48PM (#27249031) Homepage Journal

    The flaws, built into the system for more than a decade, are in serious violation of federal voting system certification standards.

    Sure, you and I care, but who's the them that's going to DO anything?

    Besides the obvious "toss them out on their arse", I'd like to see them heavily fined. And I mean like "we want a refund"

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Moblaster (521614)

      The "them" will "do" what they can to steal an election here and there. And no refunds shall be due to you -- since of course you didn't get a receipt now, did ya?

    • by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @07:12PM (#27249305) Journal

      And I mean like "we want a refund"

      Yeah! I want my eight years back!

      Nader 2000

    • by BSAtHome (455370) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @07:13PM (#27249311)

      "we want a refund"

      But the problem is that they probably have a EULA which excludes any damages in whatever form whatsoever (limited warranty). This would then require the invalidation of that clause, which then could be a devastating result for the software business as a whole. No software company wants to pay for any damage ever...

      • by RudeIota (1131331)
        While probably true, I would like to believe that this is more of some company not playing by government regulations than the government not playing by some company's rules.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        there is consumer software and there is software for critical applications like
        1. medical equipment
        2. power plants
        3. space missions
        4. defense operations

        which require very high standards. and even if they cost 10 times as much, you just can't use lower grade replacement there.

      • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @09:33PM (#27250647) Homepage

        Refund or not, the Diebold saga is now five or six years beyond being funny. They should have lost whatever contract they have *years* ago.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

        But the problem is that they probably have a EULA which excludes any damages in whatever form whatsoever (limited warranty). This would then require the invalidation of that clause, which then could be a devastating result for the software business as a whole. No software company wants to pay for any damage ever...

        I don't know about Diebold specificaly, but the licenses I've seen, including those from MS, usually specify that the maximum liability is the cost of the product, in other words, "a full refund" but no more.

    • by afidel (530433) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @07:14PM (#27249323)
      Well at least here in Cuyahoga County, Ohio we threw out the massively expensive and even more massively flawed Diebold systems and went with proven, reliable optical scan machines. I haven't heard anything about the board of elections trying to recoup some of the millions we spent on those things but I agree that they definitely should have sought compensation.
      • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @07:50PM (#27249679)

        There are 4 boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order. Starting now.

        And if your goal is the opposite, what is the order in which one removes these boxes from use?

        • by WNight (23683) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @08:35PM (#27250157) Homepage

          Soap, ammo, jury, and leave ballot because it doesn't change anything anyways.

        • by Haeleth (414428) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @04:38AM (#27252771) Journal

          There are 4 boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order. Starting now.

          And if your goal is the opposite, what is the order in which one removes these boxes from use?

          One doesn't.

          There's no need to remove the soap box. It's easier just to force your opponents to take even more extreme positions against you, so that people just stop taking them seriously.

          There's no need to remove the ballot box. Half the country would still vote for your party even if its leader publicly killed a kitten at every campaign appearance, and the other half would still vote against you even if you were running against Hitler.

          There's no need to remove the jury box. You just need to make sure you select the right juries.

          And there's no need to remove the ammo box. A bunch of ragtag militias with peashooters can't pose any realistic threat to your rule. (You might, however, beneficially threaten to restrict gun ownership, because that guarantees that all the gun nuts will concentrate exclusively on protecting their precious gun rights, and won't notice anything else you do.)

        • by rbanffy (584143)

          Jury first, because it's a subtle one and not too many people will ever notice.

          Ammo second, because you can always say it makes the world a safer place for children.

          Then you are free to pick soap or ballot. Take one away and the other will take care of itself.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Well at least here in Cuyahoga County, Ohio we threw out the massively expensive and even more massively flawed Diebold systems and went with proven, reliable optical scan machines.

        In Florida they were switching optical scan machines to "silently ignore" mismarked ballots in contested locations, e.g. predominantly black precincts, and to "reject" mismarked ballots in precincts which could be counted on to come in Republican. I don't know if you've got the same kind, but that technology can be used against you as well.

      • by c41rn (880778) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @09:24PM (#27250585)
        I don't know if you were going for sarcasm or missed it in the article, but the machines in question (the flawed machines in Humboldt County) ARE optical scan machines. They are made by Diebold and they have software flaws that cause errors in how the votes are tabulated. For example, their software was in some cases dropping the entire first batch of scanned ballots (batch 0).

        However, it is precisely because they are optical scan ballots - with a paper trail - that led to the flaw being found. Mitch Trachtenberg, a volunteer AFAIK, was able to scan all of the ballots post-election and tabulate them using his own open-source software. The discrepancy between his results and the official results is what led to the discovery of the flaw in Diebold's software.

        I'm glad that they were using optical-scan ballots and that they saved the paper copies (and made them accessible), but it's still vulnerable to software flaws, "errors", etc., even if it is optical scan.
        • Yes, use a machine print the ballots, use people to count them.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

          Mitch Trachtenberg, a volunteer AFAIK, was able to scan all of the ballots post-election and tabulate them using his own open-source software. The discrepancy between his results and the official results is what led to the discovery of the flaw in Diebold's software.

          Whether Diebold is a villian here or not is clearly debateable. But the hero is Mitch and anyone working with him to independently verify the results. In this case, he is the check in checks and balances.

    • by pjt33 (739471) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @07:30PM (#27249475)

      It's a shame your constitution defines treason so narrowly.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by iminplaya (723125)

        No it isn't, believe me. This is bullshit. We walked into this on our own, staring right at it, refusing to see because it might jeopardize their favorite lizard's chances. Now, after doing nothing about it, the "victims" want revenge. Diebold, or whatever they call themselves, should lose their corporate charter, and the offenders fined from their personal accounts, and possibly future profits garnished also. Sweet and simple

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Sure, you and I care, but who's the them that's going to DO anything?

      I know, lets take a vote!....

      ok, ok, everyone who wants to vote, open internet explorer and make sure that little padlock looking thing is showing...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jo42 (227475)

      Declare all elections held using Diebold equipment null and void. See what happens then.

  • Umm, duh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @06:49PM (#27249037)

    These flaws have been reported in many mainstream press outlets, investigated by a half-dozen independent groups, and yet it was still cleared for use in state, county, and federal elections. Let's ignore Diebold for a minute -- I know plenty of other people here will (rightfully) hang them. This points to a major systemic flaw in our certification programs for voting machines. Period. End of discussion.

    This isn't just Diebold. This is dozens of state, local, and federal agencies that abjectly failed in their duties to their constituents to protect the voting system. This is huge. Epic. I cannot stress enough the damage this has caused to the confidence in the system. Again, let's ignore Diebold and ask the really hard question -- Where do we go from here? Can e-voting systems be trusted? What changes need to be made to the system (and they better be major)? What do we do to restore voter confidence in a system that just got skinned, gutted, and mounted?

    • Re:Umm, duh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @06:56PM (#27249123) Homepage Journal

      e-voting can not be trusted. Not at all.

      Hell I can give you code that looks perfect, but then have the compiler put a backdoor in for me.

      Computer science is not ready for this type of system to be used on a scale the size of a state.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by corsec67 (627446)

        Hell I can give you code that looks perfect, but then have the compiler put a backdoor in for me.

        And then I could give you a processor that has a backdoor in it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by geekoid (135745)

          And then I could use my software backdoor to change the results and blame it on your processor.

          MUAHAhahaha...hum

      • by InlawBiker (1124825) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @07:14PM (#27249327)

        Since paper voting -- given enough effort -- can also always be corrupted, we may as well go with the new, efficient tech. Where before people had to collude, hide, counterfeit or use some other elaborate scheme to throw an election, now all they have to do is:

        DELETE * FROM VOTES WHERE CANDIDATE = 'OPPONENT';

        Think of all the man-hours being saved.

        • Ha! My preferred candidate is named 'NEMESIS'!!!! My votes stay!!!!

        • NO! (Score:3, Insightful)

          Paper voting is not perfect but the flaws are known. Electronic voting machines can be given different kinds of flaws from year to year... the long and short of it is, paper may not be perfect but it's a hell of a lot BETTER than electronic systems.
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Since paper voting -- given enough effort -- can also always be corrupted

          What good is a ballot, Mister Anderson, if you are not permitted to perform a recount?

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          why must dba's always shout?
      • by Locke2005 (849178)
        E-voting backed up by an auditable paper trail can be designed to be trusted. I agree that E-voting with no physical audit trail cannot be trusted at all. Your reference to the compiler backdoor scenario pointed out by Ken Thompson 25 years ago [albion.com] is also correct; thorough review of the source code is not sufficient to guarantee security.
      • by AK Marc (707885)
        e-voting can not be trusted. Not at all.
        Hell I can give you code that looks perfect, but then have the compiler put a backdoor in for me.


        Really? No voting machine can be trusted? So you fill them with disappearing ink so that the printed ballot from the electronic system will also get wiped?
        • by Obfuscant (592200)
          So you fill them with disappearing ink so that the printed ballot from the electronic system will also get wiped?

          If the only action of the electronic voting system is to print a paper ballot, then it is not truly an electronic voting system.

          If the system is going to print a paper ballot anyway, you might as well just use paper ballots. Not this butterfly crap that is confusing, but good old "blacken in the circle" optically-scanable paper forms. They are simple, rugged, and can be recounted a dozen times

      • by vadim_t (324782)

        Possible solution:

        Invent your own language and write a compiler for it in-house. Do not explain what it'll be used for. Doesn't matter if it's a crappy version of BASIC. Before getting any developers, choose a development environment and stick to it. A particular version of GCC for instance, and make sure to keep all that well checksummed to be sure there can't be any changes to the environment.

        Once the compiler is built, hire programmers to make your vote counting application.

        Explanation: It's very unlikel

        • Wow, that's...one of the most convoluted solutions I have ever heard. Why not just get used to the fact that software on its own is as unacceptable for handling elections as it is for building houses?

          • by vadim_t (324782)

            That's of course the most practical solution. But that's not very fun to think about.

      • by RudeIota (1131331)
        ... And I could give you a corrupt poll official that seems honest, but isn't. Since votes seem to mostly not be recounted for accuracy [wheresthepaper.org], it isn't too hard to imagine a ballot counter with an agenda.

        I get your point though - the potential damage is far greater by compromising an automated system. My point is though, that almost nothing can be fully trusted.
      • by jd (1658)

        First, I disagree. E-voting as implemented cannot be trusted at all, but that does not mean E-voting in general cannot be.

        Let us take the simple case where every transaction is placed in a transaction journal. It is never erased from that journal, no matter what. You can "delete" as many times as you like, each delete is itself just a transaction that is logged. You now have a fix for the above problem, and indeed for any other problem to do with summing things up, as each vote is independently stored in th

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cduffy (652)

          (Well, technically the voter can tell, as they have their public key and know what vote they cast, so can re-generate the vote, re-encrypt it, and look to see if a vote posted over the network matches the vote that was re-calculated. But nobody else could do this, and given the time overheads, this could never be used to check up on voters to see who they voted for. It could only be used by voters themselves to ensure their vote was in the system.)

          One of the massive historical problems folks need to solve i

          • by jd (1658)

            You are correct. The proposal I'm putting forward (where a voter needs to serially scan perhaps millions of votes) is - at least in principle - just too expensive for vote selling. At least with computers as they stand. The compute cycles required for any large-scale checking would require a significant piece of big iron, which means it won't be portable. To go round and check, using portable computers, would need an army of vote-checkers of a size comparable to the number of voters.

            Adding random data would

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

            and I do know folks whose votes in the most recent US presidential election would have been viewed in an extremely unkind light by immediate family members

            Not to belittle your main point, but people in that situation that have far more pressing problems than something as abstract and distant from daily life as who gets elected to office, even a local office.

    • Re:Umm, duh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @06:57PM (#27249133) Journal

      What do we do to restore voter confidence in a system that just got skinned, gutted, and mounted?

      Skinning, gutting, and mounting those responsible for certifying these machines would be a good start.

      • by Compholio (770966)

        What do we do to restore voter confidence in a system that just got skinned, gutted, and mounted?

        Skinning, gutting, and mounting those responsible for certifying these machines would be a good start.

        We could probably get away with that if we convict them of treason.

      • Re:Umm, duh? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by arth1 (260657) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @07:33PM (#27249509) Homepage Journal

        Skinning, gutting, and mounting those responsible for certifying these machines would be a good start.

        The problem, as I see it, is that the certification process is a farce. The vendors who sell something sign that they meet the requirements. If "independent" testing is required, the vendor pays for that too, hiring "independent" testers to sign papers.

        I.e. it's all based on trust. No, sir mayor, I can assure you that there's NO offal in our sausages!

        Until the government people who make the requirement actually do QA testing themselves, without "assistance" from the vendors, the public is going to get scammed. And this will continue as long as we here in the US have a deep distrust for government, and rather would hire companies and corporations to do the job instead of hiring government workers at a decent pay. There are neither people nor funds for the local governments to do the job themselves, so they HAVE TO trust the vendors or their cronies.

        • by tixxit (1107127)
          Of course, the cheaper solution would be to require the code to be open source. Then you'd get thousands of reviewers, free!
      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        Eeww, even dead I wouldn't want to mount those guys.

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      Again, let's ignore Diebold and ask the really hard question -- Where do we go from here?

      Why is that a hard question?
      Electronic voting is imminently desirable.
      The only real problem is that the software is crap
      and the people certifying the crap software have been doing a crap job.

      The hard question is determining whether the certification process was marred by incompetence or willful/malicious blindness.
      Either way, reforming the process isn't all that hard if you're willing to buck the mfgs.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Obfuscant (592200)
        Why is that a hard question? Electronic voting is imminently desirable.

        Why? I have no desire for electronic voting.

        I much prefer a simple, paper ballot. It is a physical object that can be counted and recounted. If there is a question of ballots being lost, simply count all the ballots and see if the number matches the number of ballots that were turned in. If there is a need to recount, you can go back to the original ballot and count it again.

        AND I prefer elections to be run using polling places, wher

    • by Kaboom13 (235759)

      This points to a major systemic flaw in our certification programs for voting machines.

      Our certification programs involve a supervisor of elections, some Diebold salesmen, and some "scholarship money" at the local strip club.

    • by rts008 (812749)

      This points to a major systemic flaw in our certification programs for voting machines. Period. End of discussion.

      This point has not been addressed at all, it seems.

      I would love to wear out a crotch-bat on Diebold's[or whomever they are calling themselves now to escape the negative publicity from past problems being made public] upper management; you raise an important point.

      This isn't just Diebold. This is dozens of state, local, and federal agencies that abjectly failed in their duties to their constituen

    • by mi (197448)

      Let's ignore Diebold for a minute -- I know plenty of other people here will (rightfully) hang them. This points to a major systemic flaw in our certification programs for voting machines. Period. End of discussion.

      The problem was, all criticism of Diebold — however legitimate — was coming from people with "Bush was appointed" and "Elections Stolen" on their T-shirts. This discounted their opinions down to zero, because they were viewed as partisan hacks.

      Now that the opposite side has won the

  • by gznork26 (1195943) <gznork26@gmaiWELTYl.com minus author> on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @06:51PM (#27249069) Homepage

    ...every election that these machines have been used for in each of those 34 states. If the machines should not have passed certification, and yet they were certified (were they?) then the agency doing the certification ought to be brought up on charges as well, and any OTHER systems that they certified ought to be open to question as well. This could get you dizzy.

    ---
    Read my political short stories at http://klurgsheld.wordpress.com/ [wordpress.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

      If the machines should not have passed certification, and yet they were certified (were they?) then the agency doing the certification ought to be brought up on charges as well, and any OTHER systems that they certified ought to be open to question as well.

      No point. The end result will turn out to be like an ISO9000 system - the certifiers had a process and they followed it to the T. The problem is that the process does jackshit. But everybody followed the rules. And the people responsible for creating the rules? Those will be the politicians that voted for the laws that specified electronic voting systems in the first place.

  • by rackserverdeals (1503561) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @06:53PM (#27249083) Homepage Journal
    when they lose the election.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by noidentity (188756)

      Funny how they admit flaws when they lose the election.

      Why would they admit non-existent flaws when the machines correctly ignored the votes cast, and properly logged deletions when the machines were being watched?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Kral_Blbec (1201285)

      What do you mean? They won.

  • American Idol (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @06:54PM (#27249095) Homepage Journal
    We can vote with high confidence for American Idol but the guys who make our freaking ATM machines can't get it right? Maybe the American Idol guys should be making our ATM machines instead.

    Up until the last election it seems that most Americans thought the election for American Idol was more important. I hope that the last election marked a change in this attitude. It'd be nice if we could avoid electing another idiot to high office... Aaah who am I kidding?

    • Re:American Idol (Score:4, Informative)

      by Mike Buddha (10734) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @07:20PM (#27249399)

      Actually, we have no idea how fair or to what confidence level American Idol singers are voted on. We have nothing except what we're told by the producers.

    • We can vote with high confidence for American Idol but the guys who make our freaking ATM machines can't get it right?

      Wait.. You think that they actually count the votes for Idol? I was under the impression that they picked whoever had the highest network ratings and simply charged people $1 to 'feel' like they're voting.

      BBH

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      Out of curiosity, what makes you think we have high confidence on American Idol votes? I've never seen any kind of investigation of independent review of them, do you know something I don't?

      Or are you just trying for some "shocking" example without worrying about if your example is even close to correct, much less relevant.

  • One Word: Scantron (Score:5, Insightful)

    by indytx (825419) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @06:55PM (#27249105)
    We can all agree that punch cards are terrible, but there are other alternatives which are secure and accountable. Scantron ballots are used in Texas, and there's always a paper ballot trail of the actual vote in case of a ballot contest. I'm no Luddite, but I've never understood this rush to replace technology that works with the next big thing just because it's the next big thing.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I'm a Humboldt County resident (where these machines were investigated). The machines with the flaw are the scantron-style voting machines that are built by Diebold. My understanding is that the flaw isn't in the vote collection, it's in the vote tabulation.

      I agree with you though that it's nice that at least there is a paper trail to follow unlike with touchscreen voting.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      Scantron: More then meets the eye.
      I mean: Not anything more then meets the optical eye.

  • I don't understand how this companies electronic ballot boxes can be tolerated. Given the history of Diebold stories this announce doesn't surprise me. I'm sure there are plenty of other folks who aren't surprised. I'm damn near certain if there was public access to the code operating these machines then the faults would have been determined much earlier. Surely something is horribly horribly wrong here.

    Does this acknowledgement mean that Diebold machines will be retired from service immediately? And, more

    • Simple - a whole generation of voters have been brought up on Microsoft Windows computers and expect computers to be unreliable and error prone and don't care about it.
  • Seems unlikely (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pembo13 (770295) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @07:11PM (#27249287) Homepage

    I know the whole don't attribute to malice what can be attributed to ignorance thing. But Diebold is an ATM maker, I find it hard to believe that they were this ignorant. I would think that an ATM would be a more complex device than a voting machine.

    • by pavon (30274)

      The Voting Machine division was acquired from outside, and shares none of the same engineers, management (apart from the top) or accountability with the rest of the company.

  • I've seen it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @07:15PM (#27249329)

    I used to work as a "Computer Audit Analyst" for the Florida Division of Elections, certifying voting systems for use in the State of Florida. Certification for Premier/Diebold, ES&S, and Sequoia was pretty much a given, no matter the fact that their systems are complete shit and the certification process is a joke. Scan a few thousand ballots, have an independent testing lab review your source code, and you're good to go. Google "sequoia yellow button" to see what I mean.

    Not to mention the attitudes of the folks who work there. They call people like me "activists" with a sour tone of voice, grudgingly fill public records requests, and the newly-built [2006] voting-systems lab was the size of a damn closet. Think the types of people who think F/OSS is so high-school students have something to tinker with.

    Sadly, most American voters don't even think about the voting backend, and are wholly uninterested in the fact that three corporations have a legally-enforced triopoly in voting equipment, sell overpriced shit to the counties, and take legal action against anyone who finds security flaws in their systems.

  • Many of them have represented material breaches of public trust, and have uncovered dishonest development and business practices throughout their organization. Yet they're still selling voting systems to several states. Unbelievable.
  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @07:51PM (#27249697)
    I'm much more worried that the Diebold system works exactly as designed, which is much more sinister than a "flaw" unexpectedly creeping into the software. I say the developers should either prove this wasn't intentional or go to jail for conspiracy to commit election fraud.
  • Really, everyone involved. Good Job.
  • You know it works.

    http://openvoting.org/ [openvoting.org]

  • by gillbates (106458) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @08:39PM (#27250185) Homepage Journal

    Ignore your rights and they'll go away

    Diebold executives could be charged with:

    1. Violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
    2. Graft.
    3. Obstruction of justice.
    4. Treason.

    And this is just off the top of my head. But sadly, this isn't receiving the outrage it should, and I suspect the reason is because Americans have always been largely apathetic to things which didn't directly affect them.

    We needn't worry about things like democratic process and the right to vote; if we ignore the problems long enough, we won't have to worry about election fairness, because there won't be any elections. This is how it starts, folks. For that reason alone, these guys should be charged with crimes.

    • Anyone else feel like it's all a show nowadays? Remember those millions of missing Bush emails the federal courts wanted? Obama is siding with Bush on getting the suit dismissed [citizensforethics.org]. Now that's change I can believe in!

      With the two party system being virtually identical, 3rd parties getting no real attention, it gets hard to be upset by who gets elected by a buggy machine. Apathy has set in, people won't get upset until they can't watch the next staged "reality show".

  • by Walkingshark (711886) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @11:17PM (#27251299) Homepage

    You don't fuck with elections. The reason we have elections is so that we don't have to murder tyrants all the time. Its a courtesy to the people in power that we remove them from office with a ballot instead of a razor sharp blade.

    When stupid worthless moronic assholes like the ones working at Diebold, who intentially designed their equipment to make elections more stealable, start fucking with the electoral process for personal gain on such a widespread level, the only answer is to convict them of treason and hang them from the nearest high tree.

  • by BlueParrot (965239) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @06:00AM (#27253143)

    Usually when software goes wrong I can see that it may be hard. Internet Explorer may be shit when compared to the competition, but then I guess writing a browser may be difficult, I could see how you could mess that up. Similarly having the implementation of an encryption scheme fail, I can see how you coudl mess that up. That stuff is hard.

    However, how the fuck do you mess up counting votes? I can see it fail on the hardware end, optic sensors giving wrongr eadings, inkjet printers not working... but failing to write a program that count votes? This is beyond pathetic. From what I've read about Diebold it sounds as if they were too lazy to actually write and audit the software and simply did the equivalent of sticking the results in some generic spreadsheet program.

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