If this is what it looks like, it's terrifying: an electronic voting machine that won't let you vote for who you want to vote for.
Tagged With voting machines
We knew how you could hack a voting machine, but California has discovered that some of its machines practically invite you to play. Machines made by Premier Election Solutions are finally under investigation for their faulty, omissive, easily alterable logs.
Artifex, makers of the Linux Ghostscript Postscript interpreter, is suing Diebold for breaking the fair use terms of its software. Diebold used the freely-available software, which is fine, but when they authored some changes to Ghostscript Postscript, they neglected to follow the very reasonable rules such use requires. Biggies like HP, Xerox, and IBM all use Ghostscript legally and honestly, so why can't Diebold?
It's amazing that you can fall asleep with the polls showing one thing and wake up to a world you don't even recognise. Despite who I may have supported as of November 4th, as a fervent supporter of both democracy and touchscreen technology, I accept DRE 700:259 as the 44th President of the United States. But I'm totally using a paper ballet in 2012.
Well, the election is over! Luckily, it was pretty clear from about two hours in who would be the winner this time around , so even if there were a couple of iffy voting hijinks, it wouldn't be anything to take up to the Supreme Court. Still, some post-election voting humour never hurt anybody - check out this Rube Goldberg machine by some kids over at the University of California Berkeley and feel relieved that, unlike in 2000, it's easy this year to laugh about this kind of stuff.
When I went to vote this afternoon, I was kind of disappointed to find that my location was using paper ballots. Not that I have anything against that really—other than the waste of paper it is actually pretty hard to screw up as a voter (although, once my ballot was scanned I suppose anything can happen). I guess the gadget dork in me was just hoping for a touchscreen model—despite the potential reliability issues. So, I have a two part question for you: Which voting method would you prefer? Which did you actually use?
Remember the voting machines in West Virginia that just couldn't bring themselves to let people vote Obama? Jackson County Clerk Jeff Waybright, who "hates stories like this" was good enough to show Video the Vote how a mis-calibrated voting machine would take a vote for Obama (or anyone) and turn it into a vote for another candidate—and not necessarily John McCain, either, though that's what would happen if you picked a straight Democratic ticket. So yeah, this could definitely happen to you.
Voting is great and everything, but wouldn't it be awesome if you could make your vote count more than once? Or, even better, change other people's votes to be for your candidate of choice? Well, good news, America! Now that we're using poorly-designed and insecure electronic voting machines, you can do just that with some simple hacking! And thanks to some researchers at Princeton, anyone can be a voting machine hacker. Here, we'll show you how!
Voting from home, over the internet. That's the dream. It's when the vast majority of people will finally vote. Hell, even I might register to vote if you could online. But this year, fittingly in the election that the internet has mattered more than ever before, we're taking a solid (baby) step in that direction. Starting Friday, a pilot program will let about 700 U.S. citizens in Germany, Japan and the UK vote over the internet using hardened PCs.
Even though the great state of West Virginia is only at threat level orange for having the closest thing the average American has to a voice tampered with, in at least three counties, voters have complained that when they tried to vote for Barack Obama, the touchscreen voting machine cast their vote for John McCain. One voter reported that all of their Democratic votes, for every level of government, were magically transformed into real American Republican ones.
With the election coming up in a mere two weeks, our friends over at Dvice decided to take a very in depth look at the technology behind all of the states voting machines and just how susceptible they are to both malicious hacking and human error. What results is a beautiful interactive map showing the different machines used in each state and a rundown of every type of voting machine used in the entire country. You'll definitely want to spend some time playing around with this and then worrying about how the election is going to be hijacked by a combination of hackers and bumbling old people in Florida (again).
Conspiracy theorist or not, any time I'm typing information into a computer at any time of the day, I know that it can be lost at a moment's notice, by the simple glitch of a program or power supply. There's simply no permanence to digital information, which makes the potential alteration of such data both frightening and perfectly realistic. Apply that principle to something like a presidential election, and the prospects become downright scary. That is, unless you're Homer Simpson. Then it's just kind of funny.