Friday, October 31, 2008

machines are insecure and vulnerable

shape-shifting electronic votes are more than fantasy, according to reports from states including West Virginia, Missouri, Nevada, Georgia and Colorado. Whether by accident or design, touch-screen voting machines have "flipped" votes from a caster's chosen candidate to one he opposes.

Unlike the old days when campaigners hung around street corners haranguing voters with handouts and pints of beer, the electronic era presents a sophisticated challenge to democracy.

Now, says Crispin Miller, author of Loser Take All: Election Fraud and Subversion of Democracy 2000-2008, changes can occur seamlessly, without a breath of suspicion. Electronic glitches are only one of a range of mishaps, mistakes and dirty tricks that may decide outcome on Nov. 4.

Complaints about the electronic machines have mounted, along with calls for a return to paper ballots, like Canada's.

"More traditional systems are better," says Jeremy Epstein, a technological security expert and member of two Virginia legislative commissions that studied voting machines. "Paper-based and hand-counted ballots are fast, accurate and cheap. Studies show that machines are insecure and vulnerable to attack."

Fraud fears grow as [US] voters throng polls - The Toronto Star - October 21, 2008

(The article title is not great, something like "voting machine errors and voting surpression plague election" might have been closer to the mark.)

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