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View Diary: ELECTION FRAUD: It's the Voting Machines, Not the Voters (139 comments)

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  •  I watched the videos (0+ / 0-)

    and I laughed at them all .

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 09:35:15 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  What happens to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      War on Error

      the machine and the software before and what happens to the machine, software, and data after delivery to the voting site?

      I don't know if you are serious about the unhackability of the machine, but you've got some huge holes if you aren't considering what happens to the software before and after the machines are delivered to the voting site and what happens to the data after it's collected.  There are easily muliple opportunities to manipulate the software and data.

      The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

      by dfarrah on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 07:52:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I run the machine , (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        War on Error

        software is not a problem .

        There are no "huge holes" .

        The "data" you speak of is black and white print on a piece of paper .

        I dare anyone to hack the machine I run .
        For every possible hack , there is in place already a trump .
        Every way they suggest its hackable , it isn't .

        "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

        by indycam on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 08:34:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You don't run ALL the voting machines, Indycam (0+ / 0-)

          And the entire diary counters what you claim.  Who are you?

          It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

          by War on Error on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 10:01:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I never said I run all machines , (0+ / 0-)

            so why say that ?

            And the entire diary counters what you claim.
            so therefore I am wrong ?
            Who are you?
            What would you like to know ?

            Are you so invested in the idea that all electronic voting machines are bad that the reality of one being fine and dandy bothers you ?

            I have told people not to vote on bad machines
            I can explain to people why other machines are untrustworthy and I can show how the machine I run is trustworthy and unhackable .

            If you would like , we could do a hack / counter hack on line war-game .
            You try to hack my machine and I will defeat your efforts .
            Try your best to steal a vote .

            I have run this machine for more than a few years now , I have thought long and hard about it , about any weakness it might have , about any way to defeat its safety measures .

            People have paid me big bucks to figure out and fix up complicated electro / mechanical / optical / chemical machines .

            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

            by indycam on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 10:49:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  As if voters can determine a bad machine. (0+ / 0-)

              Or a true vote count.

              Again, my proof is in the diary and the comments.  Scientists with as much credibility as yours don't agree with you.

              And hats off to The BradBlog.  Use the search feature there to find the huge proofs of problems.

               

              It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

              by War on Error on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 11:00:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  So my hands on knowledge (0+ / 0-)

                means nothing to you ?

                You want all electronic machines to be bad ?
                You don't want any of them to actually work ?

                Scientists with as much credibility as yours don't agree with you.
                Send me one and I will show them the machine I run , then I will challenge them to steal a vote .  

                "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                by indycam on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 03:27:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  yikes (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              War on Error

              Dunno if I'm supposed to sit through the 22-minute video to try to figure out what voting machine you're talking about.

              The person in the video says he's from Santa Cruz County, and the video is called "Touchscreen," so maybe it's an AVC Edge II?

              I assume you know that an AVC Edge has been hacked from soup to nuts. You say you've seen all the videos, presumably including the one where the computer science professors program the Edge to play Pac-Man. I can't tell whether you're asserting that the Edge II is improved and hack-proof, or that the hacks that have been done aren't practical, or what.

              I know a bunch of computer scientists who work on voting machine issues. There is some range of opinions among them, but I can't imagine any of them saying that any electronic voting machine in use "is not hackable." Moreover, I know and can review their rationale for their opinions. You're not giving us much.

              •  My case is in the diary & some comments (0+ / 0-)

                To counter my case, I think you will have to pick each item above and address it specifically.  I purposefully included several types of machines to demonstrate the vulnerabilities of each.

                Broadly dismissing the proven vulnerabilities of voting machines of any type and demanding a rebuttal is creating a round robin here.

                So, it will be helpful to choose a vid or research above, and if you disagree, make a specific case for why you disagree.

                I'm just the messenger here, reporting what experts have found.

                It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

                by War on Error on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 12:18:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  As they are set up here , not hackable . (0+ / 0-)

                I challenge your professionals to steal a vote on the machine I run .
                 

                "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                by indycam on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 03:30:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  they'll have to find you first ;) (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  War on Error

                  Even if it's true that the machines you run aren't hackable "as they are set up here," it isn't very useful if you say nothing about how they are set up there. You might think you can teach a thing or two to the computer scientists -- and for all I know you're right, or perhaps you've implemented what they would recommend as the best security practices -- but a pseudonymous challenge doesn't seem to help.

                  There's a further complication. Even if you are in some sense correct that your equipment isn't hackable as it is set up, why should anyone take your word for it? Why should anyone have to? If you could prevent "[my] professionals" from hacking your equipment, would that prove that you couldn't hack your own equipment? Beyond your equipment, how would we know whether the identical equipment in other places is equally unhackable?

                  In short, how do we get past dueling assertions to election verification? I think that is the most important question, and it seems to get short shrift here.

                  •  You don't have to take my word for it . (0+ / 0-)

                    I challenged , if your experts can't steal a vote on the machine I run here ...
                    If on the other hand they can't ...

                    Send your experts on line or in real life .

                    I didn't make the set up , the set up was done by others ,
                    I run the machine , I see what they have done re the set up .

                    how would we know whether the identical equipment in other places is equally unhackable?
                    Identical equipment set up the same way has the same protections .

                    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                    by indycam on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 04:39:58 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  hmm (0+ / 0-)

                      What, you think I have a stable of experts that I can send to Indycam County? If you think you have something to teach computer security experts, maybe you should contact some yourself, instead of issuing a pseudonymous challenge through me.

                      I didn't make the set up , the set up was done by others ,
                      I run the machine , I see what they have done re the set up .
                      You seem to be assuming what you set out to prove. How do you know that you see what they have done? I'm not for a moment suggesting that election techs in Indycam County are doing anything wrong; I do question your confidence that you can see what they (and, perhaps, others) did.

                      Incidentally, if you think the equipment is secured by tamper-evident seals, you might be right, but I've seen some harrowing demonstrations of such seals being almost undetectably defeated, or being evaded entirely.

                      Identical equipment set up the same way has the same protections .
                      So far I don't think you've said anything about how it is set up. If you've read any of the security assessments, they tend to be very specific -- except that they are often intentionally vague about the details of attacks.

                      Assuming for the sake of argument that the security measures you've seen are indeed rock-solid, how would you know if they are equally rock-solid everywhere else?

                      •  OK , security seals (0+ / 0-)

                        how and when did they get tampered with and to what end ?

                        I'm willing to take on any challenge .

                        Lets say you are the person trying to hack the machine I run , you got around the security seals in such a way that I can't see that you did , what did you do once you got beyond them and what did that do towards stealing a vote ?

                        And when did you do this ?
                        Before the day of the election or day of the election ?
                        It can't be after the day ...  

                        "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                        by indycam on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 05:17:54 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Listen to the Engineer from India above (0+ / 0-)

                          Interesting.

                          It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

                          by War on Error on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 07:57:09 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  "I'm willing to take on any challenge" (0+ / 0-)

                          Excellent. I challenge you to drop the trash talk, read the literature on voting system security, and then write a serious, non-polemical diary on the topic. Between the "we're dooooooomed!" posts and the "hey, no problem" posts, I'm feeling pretty lonely (sniff).

                          Perhaps I should stop there, but I'll try to address the rest of your comment.

                          If the attackers can program your system to play Pac-Man, they can program it to do pretty much anything else one can imagine a (not very powerful) computer doing. Maybe some people miss the point because Pac-Man is easy to detect -- but the hack wouldn't have to be visible on screen in any way.

                          If the system has VVPAT, the attackers have to deal with that somehow. They can change some votes on both the system and the VVPAT and see if the voters notice. In experimental studies, most voters don't -- and even those who do notice may correct their votes without reporting the problem to authorities, so there is no assurance that the hack will ever be detected. Or the attackers can change some votes on the system only and see if the discrepancy between the system and the VVPAT is detected -- far from a sure thing in a state with a 1% manual tally, never mind a state where there is no routine audit whatsoever. Or they can arrange for the VVPAT not to print at all (or intermittently not to print at all), leaving a bad choice between unverifiable voting and taking the machine out of service.

                          •  "Trash talk" ? (0+ / 0-)
                            and even those who do notice may correct their votes without reporting the problem to authorities
                            The vote that was corrected shows on the tape . The report is made .
                            Or they can arrange for the VVPAT not to print at all (or intermittently not to print at all), leaving a bad choice between unverifiable voting and taking the machine out of service.
                            If it does not print , no vote is cast . That's not stealing a vote . If the printer has problems , the machine is down . The voters are then told to vote on a paper ballot with an ink pen .

                            If you keep claiming it can be done , I challenge you to show step by step how . Not just vague claims that others can .
                            Please , show me how on my machine , how a vote is stolen .

                            For every attempt I will have a trump .
                            But if you refuse to attempt I can not show you the trump .

                            Do your best to hack , I will stop you .
                             

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 08:53:47 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  yes indeed (0+ / 0-)
                            Do your best to hack , I will stop you .
                            You're not insulting my parentage, of course. But you're personalizing an issue that has very little to do with the two of us.
                            The vote that was corrected shows on the tape . The report is made .
                            And that helps the voters who didn't correct their votes how?
                            If it does not print , no vote is cast .
                            How could anyone possibly prove that, always and everywhere? You just don't seem to be thinking about this from a security perspective.
                          •  I'm talking about the machine I personaly run . (0+ / 0-)
                            And that helps the voters who didn't correct their votes how?
                            If you make a mistake on our paper ballot , you may correct it or you may not .
                            You as the voter may bring your miss-marked ballot back and request another .
                            You as a voter may bring your miss-marked ballot back to me not knowing that you have miss-marked the ballot .
                            If I run your ballot into the scanner and it reports a problem
                            you as a voter may take another ballot and try again or you may say run it as is . This last election I had a few people miss-mark and then say run it as is .

                            On the touch screen , they get to see the printed out ballot , they get to review the printed out ballot in black and white , they get the choice to redo their vote or run it as is .

                            The printed out ballot is easier and faster to review for accuracy . The traditional ballot takes longer to review and is more difficult to review .

                            How could anyone possibly prove that, always and everywhere?
                            I am talking about my machine and how it is set up here . The paper ballot is the ballot , if it is not printed it can not be counted .
                            A blank piece of paper is not countable .
                            You just don't seem to be thinking about this from a security perspective.
                            If you think that is the truth , you are grotesquely mistaken .

                             

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 12:36:20 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  "I'm talking about the machine I run" (0+ / 0-)

                            OK, but you seem to be talking about two different systems at once -- one a ballot scanner, the other a DRE with VVPAT. And you haven't actually identified either one, so I'm working pretty hard just to make educated guesses.

                            Obviously, on an opscan system, if there isn't a ballot, there isn't (or shouldn't be!) a vote.

                            Here, for reference, is the SoS's description of the security review and consequent mitigations in effect as of December 2009 for systems including the Sequoia Optech 400C, which may or may not be the scanner to which you refer. Are you familiar with this document?

                            I don't think anyone has programmed an Optech to play Pac-Man, but as this document describes in some detail (and other documents describe in more detail), it has plenty of security vulnerabilities in its own right, at least as of December 2009. The mitigations were designed to address those vulnerabilities.

                            I don't know anecdotes about the Edge II in particular, but it certainly is possible for VVPAT printers to malfunction. I want to underscore that the VVPAT paper trail is essentially irrelevant unless it is actually used.

                            I'm not alleging that you don't care about the security of your machines. To me, "thinking from a security perspective" entails some familiarity with security analyses -- which you may have, but you haven't evinced it in your comments.

                          •  ... (0+ / 0-)
                            I want to underscore that the VVPAT paper trail is essentially irrelevant unless it is actually used.
                            It is used . It is the ballot . It is the ballot that is counted .

                            Yes there are two machines that I run .
                            You can clearly see the touch screen that I run in the video I posted above . At 1:35 they give the name / model .
                            http://www.dailykos.com/...

                            This electronic voting machine is used to fill out a paper ballot . The voter does not touch the paper . The printer hold the uncast blank ballots / blank paper , the ink and the cast ballots .
                            It is the ballot box .
                            The cast ballots are what is counted .
                            Just as with the optical scanner , it is the paper that matters .

                            You have yet to provide a real method of hacking a vote on my machine , you have not even come close to doing so . Until you can come up with a real scenario that shows that you are really trying to steal a vote from my machine , I'll stay away .

                            Lets say you were planing a bank robbery and you wanted to explain to me how you were going to do it . I would want to see the whole thing from start to finish . Not just a report that someone had once open a safe somewhere else .
                            Please give me a step by step , start to finish , on how a vote is stolen on my machine . Please don't repeat the story about pong or any other game .

                            If you can do it in such a way that I don't have a trump ,
                            I'll stop running the machine until there is a trump for the problem .
                            You have read reports and books all about this subject , you are very concerned , you know whats what , so you should be able to steal a vote from my machine seeing as I'm just some no nothing bumpkin who doesn't read the books and papers etc .

                            If you would like , I could ask the election clerks office to let you have access to a machine in its sealed container .
                            I'll do all the normal paperwork and set up the machine right in front of you and then let you do whatever you are going to do . But of course if you do anything to my eye that looks funny , I'll get on the cell phone and get you for tampering with my equipment .

                            When , where , what .

                            A) When will you do it ?
                            B) Where will you do it ?
                            C) What will you do ?

                            A)
                            1-When the machine is stored away in the warehouse before the election clerks get them .
                            2-When the machines are being fixed up and such by the election clerks .
                            3-After the election clerks have them all ready for the poll workers .

                            B)
                            1- In the warehouse .
                            2- In the election clerks office .
                            3- In the poll workers homes .

                            C)
                            1- Change the software to print out the wrong name .
                            2- Change the software to print no name .
                            3- ????

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 05:12:53 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  jeebus (0+ / 0-)
                            This electronic voting machine is used to fill out a paper ballot . The voter does not touch the paper . The printer hold the uncast blank ballots / blank paper , the ink and the cast ballots .
                            It is the ballot box .
                            The cast ballots are what is counted .
                            Just as with the optical scanner , it is the paper that matters .
                            I don't know why you don't answer my questions. (This is just weird: "At 1:35 they give the name / model"? And then I should take three big steps to my right? What on earth is that about?) Were you familiar with the document I linked to, or weren't you?

                            If your county is still doing 100% manual tallies of the Edge VVPATs -- the December 2009 conditional approval is still in effect as far as I know -- it isn't because the Edges are unhackable. It's because the Secretary of State's office commissioned a landmark study that demonstrated that the Edges (among many other systems in use in California) are very much hackable, and the 100% manual tallies are one of the required mitigations. Rest assured, Sequoia did not market the Edge by saying, "It's great, it produces paper ballots and then you hand-count those." The electronic counts govern unless they are superseded by hand counts -- and hand counts aren't required under California law, apart from the provisions of the conditional approval (and the 1% manual tally).

                            If you aren't familiar with the Top To Bottom Review and why Debra Bowen took the step of requiring 100% manual tallies for the touchscreen VVPATs, I encourage you to read more about it. Maybe things will go better if I challenge you to read more about it. Maybe you know this stuff and just don't like to write about it for some reason. Dunno.

                          •  I ask you to hack the machine (0+ / 0-)

                            I say is unhackable .
                            You say it can be done .
                            So do it or admit that you can not .
                            If you can not come up with a real way to hack the machine
                            then I stand correct .
                            You maybe need to actually get in touch with someone who actually has real experience , hands on , over multiple years , with the machine and the set up used here .

                            Maybe once you talk with someone who has real experience , hands on , over multiple years , with the machine and the set up used here you will start to understand , or maybe not .

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 07:00:51 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  that's your rebuttal of the Top-To-Bottom Review? (0+ / 0-)

                            Dude, I freely admit that I personally couldn't even sink the Titanic. Does that make the Titanic unsinkable? Or is it completely irrelevant?

                            If you really want to know the security issues with the equipment you're using, the TTBR is a phenomenal resource. If you have some useful comments about it based on your multiple years of hands on experience, that's fine. But if you think that your experience and confidence somehow refute a report you don't seem to know anything about, then all I can say is, not so much. I'm trying to meet you halfway, but you're not moving.

                          •  I know why the Titanic sunk (0+ / 0-)

                            I know who's fault it was
                            I know what was done post the sinking to the other ships that were built in that yard before and after the sinking of the titanic .
                            I had a relative go down on the titanic .

                            If you really want to know the security issues with the equipment you're using
                            You read the report so you know the " security issues" , right ? Now use your knowledge to hack in to my machine and steal a vote , please . If you can not even after reading about the " security issues" , why is that ?
                            a report you don't seem to know anything about
                            You read it , right ? So you know how to hack the machine I run , right ?
                            So you should be able to do the trick , right ?

                            Just do it !

                            If after doing all the reading you have done you still don't know who to hack my machine , then you need to find more to read , maybe like what someone with real hands on experienced has to say ?

                            Is the machine I run hackable ?
                            Or is it not ?

                            You have not shown that you know how to do it in real life .
                            You haven't even come close to stealing a vote on my machine .

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 03:43:10 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  yes, your machines are hackable (0+ / 0-)

                            And if you learned about the issue, you would know how, just as you know why the Titanic sank.

                            You haven't disputed any portion of the TTBR's analysis of how the Edges (and Optechs, for that matter) can be subverted. You haven't even disputed that most voters never check the VVPATs, so even the extreme mitigation of hand-counting the VVPATs isn't failsafe. You really don't have an argument here. It's an interesting spectacle, but it's rapidly getting less interesting.

                          •  If you claim its hackable (0+ / 0-)

                            prove it by hacking my machine .
                            Its just that simple .
                            If you want to be taken seriously ,
                            do what you claim can be done .
                            Until you show that you can do what you claim ...

                            And if you learned about the issue
                            Are you claiming I don't know ?

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:04:00 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I can only judge by what you write (0+ / 0-)

                            You didn't even say whether or not you had read the document that details the Secretary of State's policy on the systems you've been talking about. I don't know how much you know about the TTBR; I only know that you haven't addressed its substance in any particular.

                            I don't know how I can make this any plainer. Suppose I told you that I don't believe in climate change, but maybe I would accept it if you come to my town and show me that temperatures are rising. Hey, the Hudson is an estuary, so maybe you can show me changes in the tide marks, or something.

                            And maybe you would think to yourself, "Well, maybe he's just confused," so you would point to some studies that explain the evidence for climate change. No, no, I would say, don't tell me to read stuff. My challenge is clear. Come to my town and demonstrate to me that the river is rising.

                            At what point would you just shake your head and give up?

                            I imagine you think that's a terrible, terrible analogy, because after all, your machine is nothing at all like my town. I could probably come up with a more exact analogy, but maybe this one captures the extent to which we are talking past each other.

                          •  Ok (0+ / 0-)
                            You haven't even disputed that most voters never check the VVPATs,
                            You think my voters do not check the tape , is that what you are claiming now ?
                            From real life hands on experience I can tell you that you are mistaken . I ask every voter to read the tape to make sure it is recording their choices correctly , once I see them read the tape and tell me that it has recorded their choices correctly , only then do I tell them to hit the last button .

                            What else you got ?

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:10:44 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  but it's not about you (0+ / 0-)

                            Look, if you manage to get every voter to check the VVPAT, that's commendable. Truly. However, there is no way that I could possibly verify it, so while your belief that you accomplish that may help you, it doesn't do much for anybody else.

                            Moreover, you aren't the only poll worker in California, so for most verification purposes, it really doesn't matter how much or little success you have in getting voters to check the VVPAT. We need to know how well everyone else is doing.

                            If you think most California voters are checking the VVPATs, I sincerely hope you are right. I'm not against VVPATs. But their mere existence doesn't render the equipment unhackable.

                          •  Once again (0+ / 0-)

                            the machine I run is unhackable .
                            If you think you can steal a vote from the machine I run , do it . Prove you can do it or admit that you can not .

                            it really doesn't matter how much or little success you have in getting voters to check the VVPAT.
                            I as a poll worker am part of the system that keeps the elections / votes from being stolen , no matter if its electronic or paper . For you to claim it does not matter shows your mind set . Have you ever been a poll worker ? Have you ever run an electronic voting machine yourself ?
                            Do you know what an armchair pilot is ?
                            However, there is no way that I could possibly verify it
                            Have you verified everything you have read in your researching of my electronic voting machine ? Or do you just take their word for it ? Has anyone you have read on the subject , other than myself , ever seen what is what here in Santa Cruz re the set up of the security surrounding the touch screen voting machines ?  

                            On a traditional paper ballot , people do not review their voting , they don't mark their ballots correctly , they miss-mark them . The scanner picks up some of their mistakes and spits out the ballot and prints up a very short report of why its spitting out their ballots . I have seen it over and over . The voter gets a 2nd chance to vote . And then they get a 3rd chance if they need .

                            If the machine was not looking over their shoulder , their vote would not count or would be for what the voter did not want .
                            The scanner helps people vote better .

                            The touch screen I run helps voters even more and is hackproof .

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 04:25:08 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  the machine you run has been hacked (0+ / 0-)

                            What next? Do I need to fly a jumbo jet into the Pentagon to demonstrate that it can be done?

                            For you to claim it does not matter shows your mind set.
                            Actually, it shows that you quoted me out of context. Meh.
                          •  OK (0+ / 0-)
                            If the attackers can program your system to play Pac-Man, they can program it to do pretty much anything else one can imagine a (not very powerful) computer doing.
                            When , where and how ?
                            They have to do it .
                            When do they do it ,
                            where do they do it ,
                            and how do they do it ?

                            These are very important questions ?
                            Unless you can come up with a real
                            when , where and how , you have just failed to hack the machine .
                            You as a hacker need to have access to the machine I run .
                            You can't steal a vote from my machine in theory from afar .
                            You need to get your hands on my machine .

                            "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

                            by indycam on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 09:03:03 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  and again (0+ / 0-)

                            Yes, it's true that if no one can gain access to the machine, no one can hack it. It's also true that if no one can gain access to the machine, no one can program it to function correctly.

                            It seems that what you're saying isn't actually that the system you use is unhackable, but rather that the procedures in use in your county assure that no one can hack it.

                            I have no desire to trivialize the security procedures used in your county, whatever those procedures might be. But looking at the problem from 30,000 feet, it doesn't seem that challenging me to send experts to hack your machine really gets at the problem of convincing people (even sensible people) around the country that voting systems are secure.

                            One thing that makes this topic hard to discuss is that some critics of the systems have a weirdly totalizing approach. The questions you're asking about how I would go about hacking "your" machine are similar to the questions I ask about how Mike Connell is supposed to have stolen the 2004 election by providing web hosting for the Ohio Secretary of State. I don't claim to know how all 88 Ohio counties set up their vote counting, but I can tell that a lot of the critics haven't given a moment's thought to what would be necessary to alter the vote counts from a central server. Voting and tabulation systems in general aren't totally secure or totally insecure. Many DKos discussions don't rise to even that level of nuance.

                            I don't recommend learning about these issues from BBV or BradBlog. The California Top-to-Bottom Review, Ohio's Project EVEREST, and EVT/WOTE conference papers are among the more reliable sources.

                            In my opinion, more rigorous auditing of the VVPATs could go a long way toward resolving the security concerns. Many people forcefully disagree, in part because, as I pointed out, voters don't necessarily verify the VVPATs. (Also, audit trails raise their own security issues. For that matter, so do hand-counted paper ballots.) In general, I don't think thermal-paper VVPATs are a great solution, and I'm glad we don't use them in New York -- but I think they can be part of a viable solution.

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