Democracy?

Voting Machines May Not Be So Safe

Editor, Times-Dispatch: The article, “Election Officials Feel Safe, Secure,” mentions reports that electronic voting machines do not reliably report how people have voted and are easy to manipulate. Jean Jensen, secretary of the State Board of Elections, says these reports come from “self-professed security experts” who do not understand how elections work.

I beg to differ. Avi Rubin, a professor at John Hopkins University, is very outspoken

about the lack of security in these electronic voting systems. In order to dispel these types of statements, Rubin became an election judge in Maryland during the primary elections in March.

He found that despite what election officials and voters think about these machines, they still contain major flaws. He describes how the data get submitted after polls close. All voter machines record data on a PCMCIA card and the data from those cards are submitted to one machine, which transmits the data via modem. There is no cryptography (read: security) in this transmission. It would be very easy for someone to intercept the transmission and change packets of information and then continue on with the transmission as if nothing had happened.

There’s also the debate about a verifiable paper trail. If I don’t get a printed-out result, how do I know for sure that my vote was counted as I intended? Check out Rubin’s report on his experience as an election judge at http://avirubin.com/judge.html for his take on these electronic voting machines.

Ms. Jensen says electronic voting systems in Virginia are being evaluated by an outside security firm. Yes, but is this outside firm, a “self-professed security expert”? I hope for our sake it employs experts and take into account some of the issues the opponents of electronic voting have been investigating. Kristy Hite. midlothian.

Bring on the new Imperialistic Monarchy! Long live King George! Who needs democracy anyway? It’s too hard! We don’t want to vote! It requires too much thinking! Let us be ruled by a King who will make our decisions for us!

See also this article. No big suprise.

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