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Chimpanzee demonstrates erasure of voting system log

News Articles

News clip: ***NEW*** Chimp video
Download: chimpanzee hacking Diebold audit log

"Impossible." -- David Bear, Diebold   

Simply by double-clicking the file, we opened a real Diebold audit log file, using real Diebold software. We then highlighted the records we wanted Baxter to obliterate.

What the chimp did: Baxter then hit the "Delete" key, erasing the audit log records, and then the "Enter" key, confirming the command.


Conspiracy to conceal electronic voting machine problems in Ohio ?

Black Box     (select for full story)
Bev Harris

I have come into possession of a pair of letters written by a former Hart-Intercivic technician to the Secretaries of State for Ohio and Texas. These letters detail a "long history of concealing problems" and a willingness to ignore potentially serious problems "largely for the sake of corporate profit".


Mysterious touchscreen voting machine found

USA Today      (select for full story)
September 29,2004

"ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Members of the State Board of Elections were surprised to hear reports Tuesday that Diebold touchscreen voting machines similar to those used in Maryland were found abandoned recently on a street and in a bar in Baltimore. .."


 Judge rules e-voting vendor misrepresented law

Associated Press       (select for full story)

"A manufacturer of electronic voting equipment knowingly misrepresented its claims when it sent threatening letters to the Internet providers of people who had posted the company's internal documents online, a federal judge has ruled.

Diebold Inc.'s letters claimed the leaked documents violated its copyrights under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act and demanded that they be removed immediately. But the same law bars making threats when the copyright holder knows no infringement occurred.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel issued a summary judgment in favor two Swarthmore college students, who posted the material, and their Internet provider Online Privacy Group, which declined to comply with Diebold's demands..."


Calling for Ballot Reform - One Hunger Striker and a Chimpanzee

If Congress doesn't pass the Federal Paper Ballot Emergency Act, and soon, John Kenney might die.

Sunday, September 26, 2004
by Rebecca Trela -      (select for full story)
Washington, D.C. - Scripps Howard Foundation Wire

Kenney, 44, is on a hunger strike seeking reform of what he believes are critical flaws in the use of electronic voting machines. He wants Congress to require paper ballots for the November election and improved methods for counting punch cards and other machine-read ballots.

Since Sept. 7, the former real estate agent and overseas school principal from western New York State, has drunk only water, coffee and juice with electrolytes. He is prepared to continue with his effort until the Nov. 2 election - a total of 55 days.


Fixing the Vote

Scientific American
October 2004
by Ted Selker     (select for full story)

"... The infamous 2000 U.S. presidential election dramatized some very basic, yet systemic, flaws concerning who got to vote and how the votes were counted. An estimated four million to six million ballots were not counted or were prevented from being cast at all--well over 2 percent of the 150 million registered voters ..."


Making sure that your electronic vote will be counted

Consumers Report October 2004 (select for full story)

"NO HANGING CHADS Some 50 million people are expected to vote electronically. Critics worry about rigging and recounts.

Next month, nearly one-third of voters will be able to cast their ballots on a computer touch screen--a highly controversial development. Some surveys show that people trust electronic voting, but the prospect alarms some computer scientists and voters’ rights groups.

People in precincts that already offer e-voting have reported the use of unauthorized software, nonworking machines, and delays in tallying votes cast onscreen ..."


Lost Record '02 Florida Vote Raises '04 Concern

Published: July 28, 2004, New York Times, By ABBY GOODNOUGH  (select for full story)

"MIAMI, July 27 - Almost all the electronic records from the first widespread use of touch-screen voting in Miami-Dade County have been lost, stoking concerns that the machines are unreliable as the presidential election draws near.

"The records disappeared after two computer system crashes last year, county elections officials said, leaving no audit trail for the 2002 ...

..."This shows that unless we do something now - or it very well may be too late - Florida is headed toward being the next Florida..."


1,500 Phantom Votes Were Cast in Last Week's Election

Carolina Morning News, June 19, 2004, by Mark Kreuzwieser  select for full story

" Election officials now say that 1,500 votes certified June 10 were phantoms, ballots never cast by Jasper County voters...

"..officials had uncovered 1,500 votes more than the number of voters who actually signed in at polls on June 8...

"..."Evidently, it was a (voting) machine error," Jasper Election Commission Chairman Lawrence Bowers said during candidates' protest hearings..."


Today Indiana, Tomorrow Your State

Intervention Magazine, June 07, 2004, By: Elaine Kitchel  select for full story

"Take Indiana, for instance. WISH TV, an Indiana television station, did a recent in-depth investigation of the election woes plaguing some Indiana counties after some precincts ran out of republican ballots shortly after the polls opened, and after some counties reported thousands more votes than registered voters...

"...Is it any wonder Orange resigned her position after she blew the whistle on ES&S when the company asked her to cover up a software problem it had? “I was faced with a moral and ethical dilemma, and I felt the only thing that I could do was come forward and tell the Marion County Clerk what had happened,” Orange continued in her interview with WISH-TV..."


Two Voting Companies & Two Brothers Will Count 80% of U.S. Election -
Using BOTH Scanners & Touchscreens

By Lynn Landers of  select for full story

"Voters can run, but they can't hide from these guys. Meet the Urosevich brothers, Bob and Todd. Their respective companies, Diebold and ES&S, will count (using BOTH computerized ballot scanners and touchscreen machines) about 80% of all votes cast in the upcoming U.S. presidential election.

"Both ES&S and Diebold have been caught installing uncertified software in their machines....

"...Even if states or counties hire their own technicians to re-program Diebold or ES&S software (or software from other companies), experts say that permanently installed software, called firmware, still resides inside of both electronic scanners and touchscreen machines and is capable of manipulating votes..."

Testing of voting machines inadequate, election experts say

San Diego Union Tribune, By Erica Werner, ASSOCIATED PRESS, June 24, 2004  select for full story

"WASHINGTON - Electronic voting machines are not tested thoroughly enough before being used in elections, voting experts said Thursday.

"The processes that we're talking about here are much more out of control than anyone's willing to admit. There's virtually no control over how software enters a voting machine," Michael Shamos, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, told a House Science Committee subcommittee hearing..."

The Money Trail: The inside story on Diebold and the NFB

Black Box Voting  select for full story

" ... Election officials feel that they have been bullied by the members of the NFB, many feel that they have no choice but to acquiesce ... As a blind person, it is important to me to be perfectly clear, so I will explain. The Diebold, Inc. machines have no accountability, no way of verifying votes."

— Kelly Gutensohn, a blind mother of eight who recently filed a racketeering lawsuit against Diebold and the National Federation of the Blind.

Riverside County’s outspoken registrar was a national poster child for touchscreen voting, but problems with the machines may have just ended her career

Los Angels City Beat, by Andrew Gumbel   select for full story

"RIVERSIDE - Late Monday [21 Jun 04], word came that Mischelle Townsend, Riverside County’s Registrar of Voters, had abruptly quit her job mid-term. She said she wanted to spend more time with her family, and nurse her father-in-law through his impending knee surgery. Worthy sentiments, for sure. But she didn’t mention anything about a controversial March 2 election for county supervisor that was still being contested, and the recount that had become entangled in problems attributable, in part, to the county’s electronic voting machines. Nor did she mention anything about potentially explosive new details regarding the possible manipulation of those machines. Likewise, no mention of the big list of questions to this effect from Los Angeles CityBeat sitting on her desk since last Saturday...

"The man who headed Sequoia’s resuscitation team in Riverside, southern sales manager Phil Foster, was subsequently indicted in Louisiana for “conspiracy to commit money laundering and malfeasance” - charges later dropped in exchange for his testimony against Louisiana’s state commissioner of elections..."


Diebold Reveals Software Illegally Used in Maryland Elections

Maryland Citizen Group Demands Answers and Accountability

News Release, Campaign for Verifiable Voting in Maryland, June 17, 2004    select for full story

"Diebold Election Systems, Inc. has admitted that the electronic voting machines used in the March 2004 primary in Maryland contained software that had not been federally qualified (which makes it use in the Maryland primaries ILLEGAL). Maryland law requires that voting systems and any modifications to those systems comply with applicable federal qualification standards before the State Board of Elections may certify them for use in an election..."


League of Women Voters drops support of paperless voting machines

By Rachel Konrad, ASSOCIATED PRESS, June 14, 2004   select for full story

"The League of Women Voters rescinded its support of paperless voting machines on Monday after hundreds of angry members voiced concern that paper ballots were the only way to safeguard elections from fraud, hackers or computer malfunctions..."

"...My initial reaction is incredible joy and relief," said computer scientist Barbara Simons, 63, past president of the Association for Computing Machinery and a league member from a chapter in Palo Alto, Calif. "This issue was threatening to split the league apart. ... The league now has a position that I feel very comfortable supporting..."

The Disability Lobby and Voting

New York Times Editorial/Op-Ed   Published: June 11, 2004  select for full story   (NYT free registration may be required)

“…The National Federation of the Blind, for instance, has been championing controversial voting machines that do not provide a paper trail. It has attested not only to the machines' accessibility, but also to their security and accuracy — neither of which is within the federation's areas of expertise. What's even more troubling is that the group has accepted a $1 million gift for a new training institute from Diebold, the machines' manufacturer, which put the testimonial on its Web site. The federation stands by its "complete confidence" in Diebold even though several recent studies have raised serious doubts about the company, and California has banned more than 14,000 Diebold machines from being used this November because of doubts about their reliability.

“Disability-rights groups have had an outsized influence on the debate despite their general lack of background on security issues. The League of Women Voters has been a leading opponent of voter-verifiable paper trails, in part because it has accepted the disability groups' arguments…”


Fight over electronic voting riles League of Women Voters

CNN (Associated Press)   June 11, 2004  select for full story

"...Some local chapters are so angry that they are flouting regulations and planning to speak against the national stance Friday and Saturday at the league's biennial convention in Washington. They're threatening to nominate new board members and a new candidate for president who would rescind the league's support for paperless voting systems..."


Fla. Elections Office Failed to Log E-Voting Flaw
Florida elections office was aware of touch-screen voting glitch in Miami-Dade months ago.

Matthew Haggman, Miami Daily Business Review 06-02-2004  select for full story

Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood's office was notified about a systematic malfunction in the electronic voting system used in Miami-Dade and Broward counties two months earlier than she acknowledged last week.

On Thursday, Hood, an appointee of Gov. Jeb Bush, told the League of Women Voters that she only learned about an audit function problem in the iVotronic machines by reading a Daily Business Review article on May 13. "It was not reported, as required by state statute, to the division of elections," Hood said in response to a question on Thursday.


Who Tests Voting Machines?

New York Times Editorial, May 30, 2004   select for full story

"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..."

Lax controls over e-voting testing labs

By Elise Ackerman (San Jose') Mercury News, Posted on Sun, May. 30, 2004   select for full story

" ... Neither the testing procedures nor the testing results are considered to be public information, and these testing laboratories have not traditionally been subject to direct oversight by election officials. For years, the testing system was managed by a private center that also accepted donations from voting-equipment manufacturers.

``I was shocked,'' Shelley recalled. ``Everyone seemed to be in bed with everyone else. You had these so-called independent testing authorities floating out there in an undefined pseudo-public, pseudo-private status whose source of income is the vendors themselves...''


Solano County drops Diebold voting system
Decision follows California secretary of state's call for probe

Oakland Tribune, May 26, 2004, By Ian Hoffman, STAFF WRITER    select for full story

" ...On Tuesday, Solano County supervisors said no in a 3-1 vote and sent packing the nation's largest supplier of touch screens and second-largest supplier of voting systems. "There was a confidence issue with the way Diebold conducted business with the county and the state in the past year," Rosenthal said. "I think from the board's position, they were told one thing and it was something else. What it was was Diebold oversold the (testing) status of their equipment and led the board to believe something that was not true..."


As the U.S. Congress considers legislation to restrict the use of electronic voting machines, 13 House of Representatives members have ordered an investigation into e-voting security.

By Paul Festa, CNET, May 17, 2004   select for full story

"In a letter dated May 14, a bipartisan group asked the General Accounting Office--Congress's investigative arm--to study the security and reliability of a wide range of electronic voting technologies. "While the existing data indicate that these machines can be more accurate than outdated punch card voting machines, experts are becoming increasingly concerned that many of these electronic voting machines have other flaws," the letter read ..."

In review of [ES&S] iVotronic’s performance in Homestead, 162 ballots failed to appear, problem slow to surface

Matthew Haggman Miami Daily Business Review 05-26-2004  select for full story

" For the second time in two weeks, an internal memo from a Miami-Dade County election official has exposed a new round of auditing flaws that have plagued the iVotronic touch-screen voting machines used in Miami-Dade and Broward counties..."

Count Crisis?
Elections official warns of [ES&S] glitches that may scramble vote auditing

Matthew Haggman Miami Daily Business Review 05-13-2004  select for full story

"A scathing internal review of the [ES&S] 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..."


House Seeks Further E-Voting Research, by Roy Mark, May 18, 2004   select for full story

"With national elections less than six months away, two key committees of the U.S. House of Representatives are seeking a General Accounting Office (GAO) investigation into the security and reliability of electronic voting machines. "


Blind voters rip e-machines


By Elise Ackerman, San Jose' Mercury News, Posted on Sat, May. 15, 2004   select for full story

"Disabled-rights groups have been some of the strongest supporters of electronic voting, but blind voters in Santa Clara County said the machines performed poorly and were anything but user-friendly in the March election ..."

"Noel Runyan, a blind voter and computer scientist who is an expert in designing accessible systems, said touch screens are a good idea in theory, but they need a thorough redesign to work in practice. He said the voting companies appeared to have ignored feedback they solicited from groups of blind voters as they were developing their systems ...."


Washington State Lawsuit Seeks to Decertify Diebold Optical Scan System 

In the first pre-emptive lawsuit against voting machines filed by a candidate, Andy Stephenson -- a candidate for Washington Secretary of State -- has filed for an injunction to decertify Diebold GEMS central count software used in four Washington counties...

The release notes submitted by Stephenson demonstrate that the software had over 600 changes, including many new features, requiring it to undergo certification according to Washington state law.

"... The panel delivered a scathing report and accused the state's largest supplier of DREs, Diebold Election Systems, of jeopardizing the primary by using uncertified software and marketing a voting system before it was fully functional..."

PBS Online NewsHour, May 5, 2004  select for full story 

"They've been doing a bait and switch on software that has resulted in the disenfranchisement of voters in various counties, and that has resulted in a reduction in the confidence not only of DREs, but in voting, in general."


E-Voting Oversight Overwhelms U.S. Agency

Associated Press, May 4, 2004  select for full story

"As alarm mounts over the integrity of the ATM-like voting machines 50 million Americans will use in the November election, a new federal agency has begun scrutinizing how to safeguard electronic polling from fraud, hackers and faulty software ..."

"We've found some deeply troubling concerns, and the country wants to know the solution," said DeForest B. Soaries, Jr., a Republican and former New Jersey secretary of state named by President Bush in December to lead the agency .."


PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

Video replay of May 5, 2004 newscast on electronic voting   (Cable or DSL connection recomended. Select the "PLAY VIDEO" link under the heading "Electronic Voting")


The Touch of Corruption

The biggest problem with touch-screen electronic voting may not be the electronics
— By Jon Spayde-,, May 2004 Issue   select for full story

"The problem the United States faces is bigger than one of machines and technology. It involves a crisis of confidence brought on by a crisis of conflicts of interest."


Diebold knew of legal risks

By Ian Hoffman, STAFF WRITER, Oakland Tribune 

Attorneys warned firm that use of uncertified vote-counting software violated state law

"Attorneys for Diebold Election Systems Inc. warned in late November that its use of uncertified vote-counting software in Alameda County violated California election law and broke its $12.7 million contract with Alameda County ..."


E-Voting developers on the defensive

CNN web site April 26, 2004   select for full story

Computer scientists, lawmakers worried about glitches

A growing number of federal and state legislators are expressing doubts about the integrity of the ATM-like electronic voting machines ..."

" ... The head of the newly created federal agency charged with overseeing electronic voting called Diebold's problems "deeply troubling." The bipartisan U.S. Election Assistance Commission, formed in January to develop technical standards for electronic voting ..."


Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell commissioned a study ...

In December 2003 Ohio's Secretary of State commissioned a study of security problems with machines. Fifty-seven were identified and no follow-up study was done to determine if they were corrected. We only have vendors claims that they were "fixed".  


Maryland Voters File Lawsuit to Force Upgrade of State's Electronic Voting Machines

WASHINGTON, April 21 /PRNewswire/   select for full story

A cross-partisan group of registered Maryland voters filed a lawsuit today against the Maryland State Board of Elections and its Administrator, charging that new Diebold AccuVote-TS electronic voting machines recently purchased by Maryland fail to comply with both state and federal law...


Secretary of State [California] Kevin Shelley Bans Diebold TSx for Use in November 2004 General Election

News release from California Secretary of State  (select for full story)

Also Decertifies All Touchscreen Systems in California Until Security Measures are Met

"... The report indicated Diebold's persistent and aggressive marketing led to installation in a number of counties of touchscreen systems that were neither tested, qualified at the federal level, nor certified at the state level, and that Diebold then lied about it to Secretary of State officials ..."


New voting equipment [ES&S] didn't pass state muster

By John Fritze, The Indy Star, April 21, 2004  select for full story

Marion County clerk says Omaha company [ES&S] tried to cover up error by reinstalling old software.
The Marion County Election Board will hold an emergency meeting Thursday to discuss whether to take any action ..."

" ... The problems have not been confined to Indiana ..."


A Compromised Voting System

New York Times Editorial, Published: April 24, 2004   select for full story (free registration required)


California's secretary of state, Kevin Shelley, is expected to decide in the next week whether the state's electronic voting machines can be used in November. His office has just issued two disturbing studies one on machine malfunctions in last month's primary, another on misconduct by one of the nation's leading voting machine manufacturers that make a strong case against the current system. Refusing to certify the state's electronic voting machines at this late date is a serious step, but there are compelling reasons for Mr. Shelly to decertify some, and perhaps all, of them ..."

Citizen Online April 2004

select for full story

"Indiana discovered problems this week with equipment made by Election Systems & Software Inc., which apparently installed uncertified software in five counties without notifying the state's election commission..."


Computer World, January 26, 2004

select for full story

"Avi Rubin, technical director for the Johns Hopkins' Information Security Institute in Baltimore, which evaluated the Diebold source code, says the company's developers used Data Encryption Standard, an outdated encryption technology, and "then they used it wrongly ... "

"His team's research claims that smart cards used by voters to access the machines can be counterfeited, letting voters "cast multiple ballots without leaving any trace." Furthermore, security was lax enough to permit precinct workers to fiddle with the machines' vote tallie ..."


The Baltimore Sun, January 30, 2004

select for full story

"Prominent computer scientists have studied the Diebold code - some of which was found unprotected on the Internet - and found hole after hole in its security."

"Wertheimer said it would take nearly a complete rewrite of the computer code to fix the machines' flaws."  Dr. Michael A. Wertheimer, spent 21 years as a cryptologic mathematician at the National Security Agency.


Ohio's Governor agrees:

On April 1st, 2004 Governor Bob Taft was quoted as saying that the state should be "cautious and deliberate" in the acquisition and deployment of new technology, "particularly if you're talking about technology where there is no way to go in after the fact through a more manual kind of recount to verify that the machine results are accurate where questions are raised."


Even Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell confirms the need for a paper trail on important issues.