Thursday, 26 March 2009

Counting paper, versus counting bits...

I would like to hear from anyone with a technical background who can defend the idea that electronic voting systems are a good alternative to paper based ones. Yes, I know there are some highly theoretical defences of the technology, but honestly...

It was reported by McClatchy that "Most electronic voting isn't secure" - appearing last month before a U.S. Election Assistance Commission field hearing in Orlando, Fla., a CIA cybersecurity expert said:
"You heard the old adage 'follow the money,' " Stigall said, according to a transcript of his hour-long presentation that McClatchy obtained. "I follow the vote. And wherever the vote becomes an electron and touches a computer, that's an opportunity for a malicious actor potentially to . . . make bad things happen."
In a separate report, in Bruce Schneier's respected blog, we hear:
the first documented case of election fraud in the U.S. using electronic voting machines (there have been lots of documented cases of errors and voting problems, but this one involves actual maliciousness)
So, the CIA can do it in any other country, and in the USA it takes five Clay County officials, including the circuit court judge, the county clerk, and election officer.

Many things are stupid, but electronic voting is high up the list. I wouldn't say that Governments wanted it because they could fiddle it, I think they just don't know enough to realise that it is inherently insecure.

1 comment:

  1. I've stumboled across articles over the years mainly dealing with them Diebold voting machines, a quick Google will reveal the ease of there disasembly (access panels,card readers etc.), SD cards with applications to run on the things and do what you want. Hackaday had some videos too.

    I'm thinking there not such a great idea. Mind you a few years ago the Brum postal votes for the election were mared by postel votes from dead people and all sorts. Where theres a will theres a way :p