From Socialist Voice, April 2005

Electronic voting wide open to abuse

Following the recent controversy over the storage of the electronic voting machines that the Minister for Local Government spent more than €50 million purchasing, the recent US presidential election produced more evidence—if more is needed—of how this type of voting system is wide open to abuse by the establishment.
     The American campaigning journalist Beverly Harris has shown in her recent book Black Box Voting: Ballot-Tampering in the 21st Century that electronic control with remote modems is invisible to the election supervisors and the representatives of the parties monitoring the election. This outside intrusion leaves no record, even in the audit log, if an illicit “back door” is used to get into the machine. The companies that produce the software have refused access to it to verify security measures.
     According to Harris, a manipulation method she discovered in Diebold’s Accu-Vote vote-counter is able to read totals from an untraceable bogus vote set within its software. She demonstrated on television how this is done by entering a two-digit code at a hidden site. A second set of votes is created, and these can be changed in a matter of seconds, so that it no longer matches the correct votes. She believes that the “editing” of an election is quite possible.
     In November 2003, in the election for governor of Alabama, 6,300 votes changed overnight, giving victory to the candidate of the Republican Party. In Texas the same month three Republican candidates won, each with exactly 18,181 votes. In King’s County, Washington, in the primary election of September 2004, it was discovered that three hours were missing from the audit log.
     One of the senior programmers at the Diebold GEMS central tabulator system that counted a third of the votes in the Bush-Kerry election in thirty-seven states has a police record for computer fraud. The chief executive of Diebold, Walden Dell, is a major backer of the Republican Party, having contributed more than a million dollars. He donated $100,000 to the Bush campaign and is reputed to have helped raise $600,000 for the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004.
     The best thing to do with the voting machines is to bring them to a recycling plant and turn them into something more useful. Because if you believe that establishment politicians or the elite would not fiddle an election, then you must still believe in the tooth fairy.

Home page  >  Publications  >  Socialist Voice  >  April 2005  >  Electronic voting wide open to abuse
Baile  >  Foilseacháin  >  Socialist Voice  >  Aibreán 2005  >  Electronic voting wide open to abuse