How would you feel if your bank refused to issue a bank statement detailing all transactions? How would you feel if your bank's ATMs did not issue receipts? How would you feel if your bank, doing all these things, just said, "Trust us!"
How would you feel if your bank's president was on the record saying that taking away all your money was his personal goal?
Diebold insists that their machines are secure, and that they don't need voter-verified paper audit-tapes that keep a real-time log of the votes cast -- but this latest attack, which requires only a few minutes to execute, shows that America's votes should not be run on Diebold hardware.
--Er, make that "less than a minute to execute...."
Already this year, glitches have occurred in Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia. Maryland became the latest on Tuesday, when technical problems, human errors and staff shortages led officials to keep some polls open an extra hour.
The fall elections shape up as the most technologically perilous since 2000, election officials say, because 30% of the nation’s voting jurisdictions will be using new equipment. They include large parts of Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, scenes of key Senate races. “If you’re ever going to have a problem, it’s going to be that first election,” says Kimball Brace, president of Election Data Services.
Diebold, Inc., manufacturer of electronic voting machines, has been sending out many cease-and-desist letters to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), after internal documents indicating flaws in their systems were published on the Internet. The company cited copyright violations under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and demanded that the documents be taken down.
Now EFF and the Center for Internet and Society Cyberlaw Clinic at Stanford Law School are fighting back, seeking a court order on behalf of nonprofit ISP Online Policy Group (OPG) and two Swarthmore College students to prevent Diebold’s abusive copyright claims from silencing public debate about voting, the very foundation of our democratic process.
Nothing like a technology company addressing security flaws in its products by deploying lawyers instead of engineers.
Diebold spokesman David Bear did not return Salon's calls for comment on the Princeton study. In the past, he has denied that such security concerns are notable.
"[Our critics are] throwing out a 'what if' that's premised on a basis of an evil, nefarious person breaking the law," Bear told Newsweek after the March Emery County study. "For there to be a problem here," he further explained to the New York Times, "you're basically assuming a premise where you have some evil and nefarious election officials who would sneak in and introduce a piece of software … I don't believe these evil elections people exist."
Yes, of course. Noooooobody would ever want to change election results! Right. I suppose all the security on ATMs is pointless, too. Let's just leave people's money in pidgeon-hole boxes. People will take only what's theirs, right?
About 80 percent of American voters are expected to use some form of electronic voting in the upcoming election, in which the makeup of the U.S. House will be decided, as well as 33 Senate seats and 36 governorships.
[L]et us remember that it was Congressman Peter King (R-NY) who said: "It's already over. The election's over. We won. It's all over but the counting and we'll take care of the counting." (The video of King making this remark can be seen at www.velvetrevolution.us)
Diebold and Electronic Systems & Softway (ES&S)
ES&S managed many aspects of the 2004 election, including voter registration, printing of ballots, the programming of their voting machines, tabulation of votes (often with armed guards keeping the media and members of the public who wished to witness the count at bay) and the first reporting of the results -- for 60 million voters in 47 states. Actual counting of votes by citizens is very rare in the U.S., except for a few counties in Montana and other states, where paper ballots are still hand-counted. (http://valleyadvocate.com/gbase/News/content?oid=oid:91516)
The largest investors in ES&S, Sequoia (another voting machine company), and Diebold are government defense contractors Northrup-Grumman, Lockheed-Martin, Electronic Data Systems (EDS) and Accenture. Diebold hired Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC) of San Diego to develop the software security in their voting machines. A majority of officials on SAIC's board are former members of either the Pentagon or the CIA including (http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=5517):
Army Gen. Wayne Downing, formerly of the NSC
Bobby Ray Inman; former CIA Director
Retired Adm. William Owens, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Diebold chairman, president, and C.E.O., Walden O'Dell, is a prominent Bush supporter and fund-raiser who proclaimed in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year." (See "Hack the Vote," by Michael Shnayerson, Vanity Fair, April 2004.) (http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=5359)
One of the longest-serving Diebold directors is W.R. "Tim" Timken. Since 1991 the Timken Company and members of the Timken family have contributed more than a million dollars to the Republican Party and to GOP presidential candidates such as George W. Bush. Between 2000 and 2002 alone, Timken's Canton-based bearing and steel company gave more than $350,000 to Republican causes, while Timken himself gave more than $120,000. In 2004, he was one of George W. Bush's campaign Pioneers, and pulled in more than $350,000 for the president's reelection bid. (http://www.motherjones.com/commentary/columns/2004/03/03_200.html)
On a CNBC cable TV program, Black Box Voting (which opposes electronic voting) executive Bev Harris showed guest host Howard Dean how to alter vote totals within 90 seconds by entering a two-digit code in a hidden program on Diebold's election software. "This is not a bug or accidental oversight," Harris said. "It is there on purpose." (http://valleyadvocate.com/gbase/News/content?oid=oid:91516)
Managers of a subsidiary of Diebold once included a cocaine trafficker, a man who conducted fraudulent stock transactions and a programmer jailed for falsifying computer records. The programmer, Jeffrey Dean, wrote and maintained proprietary code used to count hundreds of thousands of votes as senior vice president of Global Election Systems, or GES. Diebold purchased GES in January 2002. According to a public court document released before GES hired him, Dean served time in a Washington state correctional facility for stealing money and tampering with computer files in a scheme that "involved a high degree of sophistication and planning." He left when Diebold acquired GES. (http://www.wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,61640,00.html)