Leon County, FL Dumps Diebold Voting Machines
Finnish security expert Harri Hursti demonstrated how easy it is to hack the vote:
A test election was run in Leon County on Tuesday with a total of eight ballots. Six ballots voted "no" on a ballot question as to whether Diebold voting machines can be hacked or not. Two ballots, cast by Dr. Herbert Thompson and by Harri Hursti voted "yes" indicating a belief that the Diebold machines could be hacked.
At the beginning of the test election the memory card programmed by Harri Hursti was inserted into an Optical Scan Diebold voting machine. A "zero report" was run indicating zero votes on the memory card. In fact, however, Hursti had pre-loaded the memory card with plus and minus votes.
The eight ballots were run through the optical scan machine. The standard Diebold-supplied "ender card" was run through as is normal procedure ending the election. A results tape was run from the voting machine.
Correct results should have been: Yes:2 ; No:6
However, just as Hursti had planned, the results tape read: Yes:7 ; No:1
The results were then uploaded from the optical scan voting machine into the GEMS central tabulator, a step cited by Diebold as a protection against memory card hacking. The central tabulator is the "mother ship" that pulls in all votes from voting machines. However, the GEMS central tabulator failed to notice that the voting machines had been hacked.
The results in the central tabulator read:
Yes:7 ; No:1
This is my 2004 essay on the problems with electronic voting machines. The solution is straightforward: machines need voter-verifiable paper audit trails, and all software must be open to public scrutiny. This is not a partisan issue: election irregularities have affected people in both parties.
Posted on December 14, 2005 at 3:30 PM • 103 Comments