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Thursday, October 28, 2004

e-voting standard problems


When the Maryland State Board of Elections ordered more than 5,000 voting machines from Diebold Election Systems in 2002, the touch-screen computers came with assurances that they met federal voting standards.

Election officials quickly discovered that those assurances meant little. The machines had indeed been certified by a third-party testing lab, but the federal voting system standards to which the touch-screen computers were held hailed from 1990 and did not address many of the problems in the latest voting technology.

The issues in the certification system were further highlighted when Diebold's source code for a similar system leaked out, allowing security researchers to analyze the software. The verdict: The code had serious flaws.

For Maryland, the revelations resulted in an arduous six-month process that involved implementing 23 recommendations by security researchers. The issues also confirmed serious problems with federal standards that are intended to ensure the reliability of voting machines.

CNET News.com - October 28, 2004
E-voting: Can it be trusted?
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