Re: Diebold on eBay

From: Ginny Ross <ginnypdx_at_comcast_dot_net>
Date: Sat Jun 17 2006 - 00:31:58 CDT

Alan Dechert wrote:

>>>Next: can we got God's sake keep this quiet, discuss it on this list
>>>only and hope Diebold doesn't get wind of this? Lord only knows what
>>>they'd pay to keep it out of all our hands.
>This is a public forum and eBay is a very public forum. So there isn't much
>chance of keeping it secret.
>Who *really* cares about this boat anchor, anyway? ;-)
>Alan D.
Well then, good luck on your bidding, and I hope you get a good deal!

I just keep thinking of the game-show like auction programs on BBC America though. I hope you document and photograph this story so you can make it into a blog entry and let the world know.

You could do a web video

(snarky voice) "Cost to taxpayers? $6,000 per machine (or whatever)
"Highest bid on eBay? $7.24"
"Ability to hijack democracy? Priceless...."

By the by, I would like to ask some tech advice. In Oregon we have mostly ES&S and Sequoia Opscans and the Election supervisor here is John Lindback. He is quite sharp, but sees this in a partisan framework unfortunately. He downplays our concerns and frames them on the other side of a spectrum, with the conservative need for stringent Voter ID on the other end.

Anyway, he recently said something about the 'programming' that I would like some clarification on. Paraphrasing, Lindback conveyed the following while speaking at a DFA meeting:

" Vote-by-mail results in a paper backup and a history of recounts
have never shown a problem. The voting machines simply tally votes,
unlike the voting machines used elsewhere that are of major concern.
The vote counting machines in Oregon aren't 'programmed' in the same
sense as the Diebold/etc machines. They are 'set up' for different
elections, often by county employees, but the underlying software would
generally not be updated." (written by an attendee at the event)

My question is, the "underlying software" is not changed or updated --- ever? Whaa? Maybe that's why our election officials feel confident about their L&A tests and their indepentent audits. But it is a bit hard to understand. Anyway, I think the question is "could" it be changed or updated by some action of employees or vendor employees? Would the "set up" of the election have any interface with the software that might give someone access to the "underlying software."

They are going to use this line of reasoning from J. Lindback, possibly, to water down or completely avoid the verification we think is the bare minimum acceptable.

We are about to begin a legislative effort and we need to be ready for everything and the kitchen sink, just as Alan and the CA OVC group has been facing in Sacramento! So thanks for any clues.

Ginny Ross

"TO REVIEW: The election was run on highly hackable Diebold voting machines that were sent home overnight and unsecurely with poll workers for days prior to the election which rendered the machines both illegal and uncertified for use in the election under both federal and state laws, requirements and statutes. The GOP has since rushed to swear-in Bilbray before the votes were counted, or the election even certified by the State of California.

PDA's strongly worded declaration of "No Confidence" posted on their website and is currently being emailed to all of their 60,000+ national members, urging the public to sign VelvetRevolution's Petition demanding a manual hand count of the ballots."

~Brad Friedman

"What Mr. Hursti discovered in Utah is the most serious vulnerability that we've ever seen in a voting system. This particular vulnerability is serious enough that you can affect multiple machines from a single attack. That's what makes it so dangerous. I can't talk about in any more detail than that because we're trying to keep the technical details of this vulnerability secret until the problem is fixed."

~ David Jefferson, the Computer Scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory who independently reviewed Hursti's work for California's secretary of State, Bruce McPherson.

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Received on Fri Jun 30 23:17:08 2006

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