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Diebold election insecurity systems

Diebold election insecurity systems

Posted May 18, 2006 2:13 UTC (Thu) by glennc99 (guest, #6993)
Parent article: Diebold election insecurity systems

I actually participated in an election in Ohio this month, and I can tell
you that 'auditable paper trails' (which Ohio mandates) are still going
to be useless.

The Diebold machines in Ohio are required to use the 'optional' "print
the ballots into a sealed canister" function. Unfortunately, none of the
voters actually look at the printout as it goes in, so if there *was* a
hacked firmware that deliberately mis-counted and mis-printed the
votes, odds are very good that it wouldn't be caught.

In my precincts, exactly *1* voter, a law professor, examined the ballot
closely. He caught the fact that for a certain race, the title of the
position was combined with the name of the candidate in such a way that
the printed tape truncated the name. The truncated name did not match
his idea of what the name of the person he voted for should be.

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Diebold election insecurity systems

Posted May 18, 2006 6:51 UTC (Thu) by ekj (guest, #1524) [Link]

Agreed -- very few people will control the paper-ballot. But even if only say 1% of the voters glance at the paper-ballot, the odds are pretty high that phony software that say changes 5% of the votes will get caugth.

On the average, that would mean that once every 2000 voters someone observes a paper-ballot coming out with something other than what they voted.

A better system would be for the machine to print the receipt, which the voter then folds and puts in an old-fashioned ballot-box. Requiring the voter to handle (even if only fold and insert in ballot-box) the paper would probably increase the chanse that voter glances at the paper by a factor of atleast 10.

Need for auditable reports

Posted May 27, 2006 3:38 UTC (Sat) by nealmcb (subscriber, #20740) [Link]

The most vexing problem I see is that even most advocates of paper ballots don't recognize the problems with the security of the tallying system, and don't demand auditable reports. We even have laws to require audits of elections (one of which I helped pass in Colorado), but the equipment doesn't produce any sort of report that can be meaningfully audited by hand counts of paper ballots. See

for more info.

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