Friday, December 23, 2005

Major flaw in Diebold voting machines

It is possible to preload a memory card with negative votes that are not recognized by the machine, but which affect the final outcome in an undetectible manner. In the test described in a Wired article, a mock vote was held on the question of whether Diebold machines could be hacked, with eight votes. The eight votes fed into the machines (via optically scanned paper ballots) were six "no" votes and two "yes" votes. The outcome recorded on the rigged card was one "no" and seven "yes"--the memory card was preloaded with -5 "no" votes and 5 "yes" votes. By balancing out the preloaded votes (with a sum of zero), the final record showed an accurate number of votes, but not an accurate record of what the votes were.

Further flaws indicate that the Diebold machines execute code residing on the memory cards, without doing checks on the content of that code which are required by Federal Elections Commission standards.

As a result of the hacking demonstrations by Finnish security expert Harri Hurst in Florida on December 13, Leon and Volusia counties in Florida have cancelled their contracts with Diebold.

Much more at

No comments: