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Q: Media coverage on touch-screen voting machines ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Media coverage on touch-screen voting machines
Category: Reference, Education and News > Current Events
Asked by: jan35-ga
List Price: $30.00
Posted: 31 Aug 2003 06:56 PDT
Expires: 30 Sep 2003 06:56 PDT
Question ID: 250736
Reference: I am interested to
know if there has been national media recognition of the
problems/scandals involved with computerized voting machines. If there
has been national media coverage, print or television, I would like to
know what it was. By national print I mean large newspapers like the
New York Times or popular main-stream magazines. I only need a
cross-sample of about 10 items.
Subject: Re: Media coverage on touch-screen voting machines
Answered By: legolas-ga on 31 Aug 2003 08:59 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Jan35,

I have compiled a list of interesting articles from large media
outlets. I've included a brief synopsis of the article as well as the
title and link. I hope this is satisfactory.


"Software exposes California recall to tampering"
"As if elections officials in California don't have enough to worry
about as they prepare for a bewildering Oct. 7 recall vote, computer
scientists say shoddy balloting software could bungle the results and
expose the election to fraud."


"Government IT Review"
"Johns Hopkins University computer security researchers, along with a
colleague from Rice University, found that high-tech voting machines
manufactured by North Canton, Ohio-based Diebold Election Systems can
be easily tampered with."


Ehrlich Orders Voting System Security Study
"The review comes two weeks after computer scientists at Johns Hopkins
University said the voting system was so flawed that a 15-year-old
hacker could tap into the software and tamper with election results."


"New Security Woes for E-Vote Firm"
"Following an embarrassing leak of its proprietary software over a
file transfer protocol site last January, the inner workings of
Diebold Election Systems have again been laid bare.",1848,59925,00.html


"Electronic elections: What about security?"
"some experts worry that despite rigorous testing, the machines may
not be as secure as their makers promise."


"Trustworthy Voting"
Ziff Davis (Yahoo)
"The Diebold code was riddled with serious holes and flaws that would
make it possible to rig voting machines or let someone vote an
unlimited number of times without detection."


"Hack the Vote"
"...a report released last week by the Information Security Institute
at Johns Hopkins University says the touch-screen machines are Swiss
cheese—full of holes—for hackers."


"Voting machine review ordered"
Baltimore Sun (Yahoo)
"With the analysis pending, the state's purchase of the new machines
"is not a certainty," Fawell said."


"Rage Against the Voting Machine"
Villiage Voice
""No question: what happened in Florida during the 2000 presidential
election has been a huge benefit to this industry," acknowledges
Deborah Seiler of Diebold Election Systems."


"E-voting flaws risk ballot fraud"
"Some versions of electronic voting software could allow for ballot
fraud on a massive scale, computer security researchers reported


"The Polls Have Closed, but Voting Problems Linger"
"Election Day 2002 was fraught with polling glitches, and the smoke
has yet to clear in some states still struggling with the fallout.",2933,69344,00.html


While not specifically from the US, this piece at Scoop is a very
interesting read...
"U.S. Election Integrity Flaw Discovered at Diebold"
"Walk right in, sit right down. Replace vote-counting files with your


If you have any questions about the answer provided, please ask for
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Search terms:
computer voting machine
gems vote system
diebold election system

Also, search on AP, Reuters, and other wires. You can search different
wires on:

Also, used
jan35-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
I was not sure that I had been clear with my question, but you gave me
exactly what I wanted...and saved me a bunch of time. Thank you

Subject: Re: Media coverage on touch-screen voting machines
From: sugah-ga on 31 Aug 2003 12:23 PDT
You are aware, I feel sure, that this whole issue is surrounding the
recent security controversy generated by associate professor Avi
Rubin, "co-author of a recent report claiming security flaws with
Diebold Election Systems software".

Per one of your links:

Posted 8/14/2003 3:53 PM     Updated 8/14/2003 8:24 PM

Software exposes California recall to tampering

"SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — As if elections officials in California don't
have enough to worry about as they prepare for a bewildering Oct. 7
recall vote, computer scientists say shoddy balloting software could
bungle the results and expose the election to fraud. Their worst-case
scenario is the accidental deletion or malicious falsification of
ballots from the 1.42 million Californians voting electronically —
9.3% of the state's 15.3 million registered voters...."

[On the face-value of the original question, is it coincidental that a
lot is riding on California's very important recall election and that
it is quite near??]

"...Diebold, based in North Canton, Ohio, produced a 27-page rebuttal,
accusing researchers of a "multitude of false conclusions." Dozens of
elections officials have vouched for the security of Diebold systems
since the July 23 report...."

Please read the other side of this disputable claim:

Press Release	Source: Diebold, Incorporated

Diebold Responds to Johns Hopkins Professor's Disclosure of
Relationship With Voting Industry Competitor

Tuesday August 19, 2:49 pm ET
"MCKINNEY, Texas, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Diebold Election
Systems is shocked and disappointed by recent admissions from the
Johns Hopkins associate professor Avi Rubin, co-author of a recent
report claiming security flaws with Diebold Election Systems software.
Mr. Rubin revealed that, at the time he participated in the study, he
held a financial interest and a position on the advisory board of
VoteHere Inc., which is a Diebold competitor in electronic elections
( Mr.
Rubin provided further background by acknowledging that he is known in
the field for his position "as a strong skeptic about whether there is
any viability in [e-voting and is] known for suggesting that there are
very difficult problems for any company to overcome."
Diebold Election Systems has consistently questioned the conclusions
drawn by the Johns Hopkins-issued report. In the study, a prior
version of Diebold's touch screen software was analyzed while it was
running on a device on which it was never intended to run, on an
operating system for which it was not designed, and with minimal
knowledge of the overall structures and processes in which the
terminal software is embedded. In addition, many of the weaknesses
attributed to the operating system on which the software was tested
are inapplicable to the embedded operating system actually used by
Diebold. As a result, many of the conclusions drawn by the researchers
are inaccurate or incomplete with respect to the security of the
software element of Diebold's voting system. It is now clear, by Mr.
Rubin's own admission, that questions of bias must be considered.

"Political leaders and experienced elections officials across the
country have supported the electronic voting format as holding the
greatest potential for ensuring impartial, secure and accurate
elections," said Thomas W. Swidarski, president of Diebold Election
Systems and senior vice president of Strategic Development and Global
Marketing for Diebold. "We remain confident in the integrity and
security of our voting systems, and are committed to working
hand-in-hand with elections officials nationwide to deliver the most
reliable products and services, all directed to protecting the
democratic voting process."

Diebold is open to working with states and jurisdictions on unbiased,
constructive research conducted by third parties, using our current
hardware and software within a simulated, real-world election

"We entered the election systems business knowing that our technology
and 144 years of broad experience in security would help ensure the
integrity of the vote and accuracy of the election process," Swidarski
continued. "The close presidential election in 2000 was a clear
indication that an updated, technological solution was necessary to
restore confidence in our election process."

Diebold Election Systems is a global leader in the deployment and
electronic voting systems. During the November 2002 gubernatorial
elections, more than 33,000 Diebold touch-screen systems were in use,
providing accurate, secure election results for jurisdictions
throughout the United States. Diebold Election Systems is a wholly
owned operating subsidiary of Diebold, Incorporated, a global leader
in providing integrated self-service delivery systems, security and
services. Diebold employs more than 13,000 associates with
representation in more than 88 countries worldwide, and is
headquartered in North Canton, Ohio, USA. Diebold reported revenue of
$1.9 billion in 2002 and is publicly traded on the New York Stock
Exchange under the symbol `DBD.' For more information on Diebold
Election Systems, Inc., visit the company's Web site at, or call 1-800-433-VOTE."
Subject: Re: Media coverage on touch-screen voting machines
From: legolas-ga on 02 Sep 2003 07:45 PDT
Thanks so much for the five stars - and the tip! I'm so glad the
answer was exactly what you needed.



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