E-Voting Roundup

NY Times: Who Tests Voting Machines?

Whenever questions are raised about the reliability of electronic voting machines, election officials have a ready response: independent testing. There is nothing to worry about, they insist, because the software has been painstakingly reviewed by independent testing authorities to make sure it is accurate and honest, and then certified by state election officials. But this process is riddled with problems, including conflicts of interest and a disturbing lack of transparency. Voters should demand reform, and they should also keep demanding, as a growing number of Americans are, a voter-verified paper record of their vote.

In the NY Times Magazine, Clive Thompson advocates an open-source e-voting solution: A Really Open Election

First off, the government should ditch the private-sector software makers. Then it should hire a crack team of programmers to write new code. Then — and this is the crucial part — it should put the source code online publicly, where anyone can critique or debug it. This honors the genius of the open-source movement. If you show something to a large enough group of critics, they’ll notice (and find a way to remove) almost any possible flaw.

Chicago Tribune: Not all voting for new technology

Armed with reports from computer scientists and news accounts of problems involving touch-screen voting, nearly two dozen area residents turned out to lobby against the new technology. The [Portage County (Ohio) Board of Elections] voted 4-0 to put off the purchase.

Miami Herald: Secretary of state tries to calm voters

Amid controversy over touch-screen voting machines and a purge of felons from the voting rolls, Secretary of State Glenda Hood sought on Thursday to reassure anxious voters that 2004 won’t be a rehash of the 2000 presidential debacle.

Howard Dean starts his syndicated column discussing e-voting: Electronic Voting – Not Ready For Prime Time

Without any accountability or transparency, even if these machines work, we cannot check whether they are in fact working reliably. The American public should not tolerate the use of paperless e-voting machines until at least the 2006 election, allowing time to prevent ongoing errors and failures with the technology. One way or another, every voter should be able to check that an accurate paper record has been made of their vote before it is recorded.

The Onion: Infograph: Electronic Voting Machines: “What are some of the machines’s potential problems?”

More insecure e-voting

Law.com: Count Crisis?

A scathing internal review of the iVotronic touch-screen voting machines used in Miami-Dade and Broward, Fla., counties, written by a Miami-Dade County elections official, has raised fresh doubts about how accurately the electronic machines count the vote.

California election panel desires to dump Diebold

AP: Panel: Don’t use Diebold touch-screen voting machines

California should ban the use of 15,000 touch-screen voting machines made by Diebold Election Systems from the Nov. 2 general election, an advisory panel to Secretary of State Kevin Shelley recommended Thursday.
By an 8-0 vote, the state’s Voting Systems and Procedures Panel recommended that Shelley cease the use of the machines, saying that Texas-based Diebold has performed poorly in California and its machines malfunctioned in the state’s March 2 primary election, turning away many voters in San Diego County.

E-Voting in the US and India

At tomorrow’s “Super Tuesday” presidential primaries, voters in California, Maryland and georgia will be voting using the oft-maligned Diebold e-voting machines.“Electronic Vote Faces Big Test of Its Security

“People complain about hanging chads,” said Aviel D. Rubin, technical director of the Information Security Institute at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and a co-author of the first study that found security flaws in the Diebold machines. “But if an electronic machine has malicious code in it, it’s possible that all of the chads are hanging — and then you have to question every vote.”

NY Times:Graphic: Counties Using Electronic Voting Systems
While the US hesistates to fully adopt electronic voting, India plans to have its first fully-electronic general election vote. BBC News: Gearing up for India’s electronic election. India’s 668 million registered voters will use more than 500,000 electronic voting machines from two suppliers: Bangalore-based Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India, based in Hyderabad.

Suing Diebold

E-Voting activists file law suit against Diebold

Bev Harris on behalf of the California members of BlackBoxVoting.org, and Jim March, Joseph Holder, Jim Hamilton, Douglas McDonald, and the Community Labor Alliance have filed this lawsuit, which seeks an order requiring the DIEBOLD defendants to disgorge and make restitution of any money or property acquired by means of their unlawful, unfair and fraudulent acts and practices.

Source Documents
More coverage is at BlackBoxVoting.org
Note: In a different suit, Nonprofit ISP Online Policy Group (OPG) and two Swarthmore college students are seeking compensation from Diebold for misuse of copyright law.