Sunday, February 19, 2006

Friday night news dump, California style

via The Brad Blog: Hackable Diebold Machines covertly re-certified
Secretary of State McPherson seems to have a thing for making major announcements late on Fridays just before holidays. Following in what seems to be a pattern of his, he announced late this afternoon that he was certifying Diebold Optical Scan and AccuVote TSx (touch-screens) for use in elections in the state.

The re-certification (they had been originally decertified in California in 2004 when it was revealed Diebold had installed illegal software updates on the machines) is conditional on some items but not on the one thing point he had announced last December when he sent the system back to federal authorities for further testing. At that time he said he was sending the machine's memory cards to the federal Independent Testing Authority (ITA) Lab for reinspection in light of the news out of Leon County, Florida that the cards used "intepreted code" which is specifically banned by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). A "hack test" in that county revealed that an entirely election could have its results flipped by a hacker exploiting that "interpreted code" -- without a trace being left behind.

McPherson made his announcement today without waiting to hear back from the ITA lab.

Last summer, after a massive mock election test with Diebold touch-screen machines revealed that 10% of them failed entirely with screens freezing and printers jamming -- later reports would reveal that as many as 30% of the machines actually failed! -- McPherson said, "We certainly can't take any kind of risk like that with this kind of device on California voters."

Apparently the Secretary of State of America's largest "voting market," as Diebold refers to it, was just kidding about that.


The war on checks and balances has many fronts. NSA/FISA is one, this is another, and arguably much more important. The Repugs control Diebold. Once Diebold controls our elections, voting will be as effective here as it was in the old Soviet Union.

This is bad for so many reasons, not the least of which is the way other states are likely to bootstrap what happens here.

How bad is it? Dick Cheney shoots a man, and it still ends up being a good week for the Republicans.

Update: ms in la @ dKos has some related action items. Please help.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Bill Arnett said...

…I don't know about the rest of the "progressive Democrat" world, but I for one am sick and tired of losing these "FIXED" elections to the Rethuglicans. I believe it is a given that wherever electronic voting machines (Diebold especially) are used that the votes are being manipulated to insure Rethuglican victories. It is furthermore clear that these machines ARE going to be used in many states despite their proven flaws - witness California's move to reinstate the machine before their proper testing was concluded. I have made a similar post on Bradblog with the hopes of inspiring affirmative action by the electorate to make SURE every vote is counted.

THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO DEFEAT THIS TACTIC: ABSENTEE BALLOTS!

Think about it; speak about it with others. By voting by Absentee Ballot you guarantee that the election cannot be fixed as there will be a "hard paper" trail of ballots that are easily counted, recounted, and counted again to assure an honest accounting and a fair election.

Many State legislators, for whatever reasons, insist on using these machines, and, while I cannot and will not impugn the honesty of EVERY state voting regulatory authority, there are certainly ones from the past I would both question and impugn, i.e. Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004.

Bushco and his administration have shown that they are above the law, or at least believe they are, so WE THE PEOPLE need to take matters into our own hands and refuse to play their fixed game.

In EVERY STATE utilizing electronic voting machines, especially Diebold machines that where proven to have been defective and recording thousands of extra votes for Bush in 2004 (remember the precinct in Ohio with 642 voters that registered 20,000 votes for Bush?) REFUSE TO WASTE YOUR TIME AT THE POLLS AND VOTE BY ABSENTEE BALLOT. I HONESTLY BELIEVE THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO INSURE A GENUINE, TRUE VOTE COUNT THAT CAN BE EASILY VERIFIED.

I urge everyone who reads this (and I know there will be precious few), PLEASE URGE YOUR FELLOW CITIZENS TO VOTE IN THIS MANNER SO WE CAN TURN THOSE ROTTEN BASTARDS OUT OF CONGRESS FAIR AND SQUARE and not be beaten by phony machine counts.

I will be spending all of next week sending this same posting on every blog and comment section regarding voting I can find. I am not wealthy or I would ADVERTISE THIS SOLUTION ON NATIONAL TELEVISION.

Anyone here have juice with MoveOn.org or any other 527 groups or civic participation groups that can help get the word out? If the Rethuglicans are nervous now JUST THINK HOW SICK TO THEIR STOMACHS THEY WILL BE WHEN THEY CANNOT MANIPULATE THE VOTE BY MACHINE!

WE MUST SAVE AMERICA FROM THE CLUTCHES OF THE MOST PERNICIOUS POLITICAL PARTY OF MY LIFETIME AND I INTEND TO MAKE THIS A PERSONAL MISSION OF RESPONSIBILITY TO WORK FOR THEIR DEFEAT. I HOPE AND PRAY FOR THE HELP OF ALL HONEST CITIZENS WHO ARE TIRED OF SEEING EVERYTHING WE STAND FOR DESTROYED BY THESE THUGS.

11:07 AM  
Blogger <-<--esoder<---<----<----- said...

Most of the news just upsets me. This item scares me. I like to think we are safe in California. But we could go the way of Florida if we let this go on.

Those of us in California need to hammer our state representatives to introduce legislation banning these machines.

1:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi,
Could you do an update on this issue and maybe tie in the story on Bradblog about infrared scanners on the Diebold machines? I took all the actions they asked for on Kos, hope you can do an update on that action too, thanks

2:38 PM  

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