eVoting Flawed : A GAO Review

Despite spending untold millions on new voting equipment, the 2004
election had both real and potential error, according to a recent GAO
report. Moreover, due to January deadlines and little government
guidance for localities, the situation is unlikely to improve for 2006,
because local governments are required to have an electronic voting
machine at every polling place after 1 Jan 2006, according to ComputerWorld.

Word of the 21 October
GAO report about security problems surrounding electronic voting in the
2004 election is slowly making its way through the blogosphere, having
been thoroughly ignored
by the mainstream media. GAO – in a damning but understated manner –
reports that in 2004 “[c]ast ballots, ballot definition files, and
audit logs could be modified” (p 2). Specifically (p 7):

(1) some electronic voting systems did not encrypt cast
ballots or system audit logs, and it was possible to alter both without
being detected; (2) it was possible to alter the files that define how
a ballot looks and works so that the votes for one candidate could be
recorded for a different candidate; and (3) vendors installed
uncertified versions of voting system software at the local level.

Read more…

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