Voting Machines

...over the past twenty years, we have let corporations into our polling places, locations so sacred to democracy that in many states even international election monitors and reporters are banned. With the implementation of "black box voting" (the use of electronic voting machines), these corporations are recording our votes, compiling and tabulating them, and then telling us the total numbers - and doing it all using "proprietary" hardware and software that we cannot observe, cannot audit, and cannot control. If the vote-counting corporation says candidate X or candidate Y won the vote, we have no means of rebutting that, and they have no way of proving it. We're asked simply to trust them. From Thom Hartman's book Threshold pg 210.

One problem is that the tabulation software is "proprietary." A private company owns the code to the count—and the privateers will fight fiercely, with GOP help, to keep the ballot counting code their commercial secret. Greg Palast (12/1/2016)

Old, faulty voting machines put US democracy at risk, report warns (9/15/2015)

How to Rig An Election (11/2012 Harper's Magazine)

Romney ties to Voting Machine Co (10/23/2012)

Cutting Through Hype, Hypocrisy In Voter Fraud Claims

Computer Voting Is Open To Easy Fraud (12/23/3)

Voting machines are uncertified, unstandardized, often produce no audit trail, and are made by hard right-wing Republicans. The US is probably the only country in which election infrastructure is in the hands of private partisans.

As if that were not enough of a problem, the source code for these machines is proprietary and is protected as a trade secret, so it is not available for audit. By accident, some of it leaked out  (Diebold's web site was not secured.)

See Richard Stallman's comments.

From the Election Defense Alliance

  • U.S. elections have been outsourced to (highly partisan) private corporations.
  • Every study (from Princeton to GAO) concurs that computerized voting is extremely vulnerable to manipulation.
  • Polling methodology has already morphed to account for consistent "red shifts" in election results, so the polls mirror the elections and everything looks consistent.
  •  Ever wonder why voters seem to be voting against their own interests, the Progressive agenda is DOA, and America looks to be veering further and further Right ?
Diebold Source Code!!! --by ouranos ( "Dr. Avi Rubin is currently Professor of Computer Science at John Hopkins University. He 'accidentally' got his hands on a copy of the Diebold software program--Diebold's source code--which runs their e-voting machines. Dr. Rubin's students pored over 48,609 lines of code that make up this software. One line in particular stood out over all the rest: #defineDESKEY((des_KEY8F2654hd4" All commercial programs have provisions to be encrypted so as to protect them from having their contents read or changed by anyone not having the key... The line that staggered the Hopkins team was that the method used to encrypt the Diebold machines was a method called Digital Encryption Standard (DES), a code that was broken in 1997 and is NO LONGER USED by anyone to secure programs. F2654hd4 was the key to the encryption. Moreover, because the KEY was IN the source code, all Diebold machines would respond to the same key. Unlock one, you have then ALL unlocked. I can't believe there is a person alive who wouldn't understand the reason this was allowed to happen. This wasn't a mistake by any stretch of the imagination." 

A warning. (excerpt follows)

"On May 6, 2007 the House Administration Committee reported out a modified bill called HR 811, also known as the Holt bill. In that bill's markup in committee, it got better and it got worse in various particulars, if you follow the debate. One way in which it got much worse is that instead of source code for the computer that would be given away for any citizen's inspection, they committee put in language that made the source code a government-recognized trade secret, available only to "qualified" experts, and then only if a strict nondisclosure agreement is signed that incorporates trade secrecy laws of the states, which almost always contain harsh punitive damages and attorneys fees clauses for violating the secrecy.

This language is particularly ominous. I know of no time before that an American legislative body has ever tried to pass law to reinforce secret vote counting. Of course, having a copy of the source code does not tell us if that code is the same as what's used on election day, nor does it tell us what the actual voting computers are asked to do on election day. It would be, of course, illegal for the software to differ, but it is readily possible to conceal a double Trojan Horse, for example, such that it is highly resistant to being found. It is not possible to verify that a piece of software remains unchanged, if it were, the problem of viruses would be solved since each program could self-verify whether or not it had been changed. As stated in the classic computer paper "Reflections on Trusting Trust" the only code you can trust is the code you wrote yourself and know nobody else has accessed."

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) says electronic voting machines cannot be made secure.

A note from Bruce Schneier.

Open Voting Foundation supports solutions for open voting. These solutions include software using open standard specifications that can be inspected by the public for flaws and even improved by the public. The software must also capture and count votes in ways that the voter can verify individually and would be statistically impossible to tamper with on any significant scale.

Hacking the Vote

Clinton Curtis testimony on elections before the Judiciary Committee.


Diebold Admits Voting System Flaws (3/23/2009)

Diebold voting machines critically flawed

The Diebold Conslpiracy !?

An interesting website about Diebold:

Steven Heller says 'Diebold Cannot be Trusted to Run Elections in America' (from Brad Blog.)

Diebold vs North Carolina Board of Elections


A short video

Here's how it looks in New Hampshire.

Election Problem Log

Voting Technology: Beyond HAVA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization championing reliable and publicly verifiable elections. Founded by Stanford University Computer Science Professor David Dill, the organization supports a requirement for voter-verified paper ballots for elections, allowing voters to inspect individual permanent records of their ballots and election officials to conduct meaningful audits and recounts.See this link also.:

See also and  Black Box Voting.

Securing (Or Not) Your Right to Vote

Election Machine Problems in Ohio  (Dec 15, 2007 Levy | Steven Levy writes for Newsweek: "Vulnerabilities in election machines are so severe that voters have no way of knowing for sure that the choices they enter into the touchscreens and ballots will actually be counted. 'The studies show that these machines are basically poison,' says Avi Rubin, a Johns Hopkins computer-science professor and voting-security expert."

Sign the petition for independent inspection of voting machines in the US.


Problems are presented on a documentary called 'Invisible Ballots' has excellent people like Dr. David Dill, Dr Rebecca Mercuri, Dr. Avi Rubin and Bev Harris (author of Black Box Voting.)  A preview is at

You can watch it on-line here:

Invisible Ballots - A Temptation for Electronic Vote Fraud

Invisible Ballots - A Temptation for Electronic Vote Fraud ...
140 min -


Connecticut uses Diebold machines that are programmed by a Massachusetts firm. The University of Connecticut has identified massive vulnerabilities, the programming is outsourced so that we have no way of verifying the code, and the experience in the last election is that the custody of the machines has also been compromised. So how did it work out last November ? Take a look at this.

Evaluation of CT's voting machines from the University of Connecticut and others is troubling. According to the report: the Diebold machines "can be compromised with off-the-shelf equipment in a matter of minutes even if the machine has its removable memory card sealed in place. The basic attack can be applied to effect a variety of results, including entirely neutralizing one candidate so that their votes are not counted, swapping the votes of two candidates, or biasing the results by shifting some votes from one candidate to another. Such vote tabulation corruptions can lay dormant until the election day, thus avoiding detection through pre-election tests."

So how did it work out in Connecticut last November ? Take a look at this.

League of Women Voters of Connecticut page doesn't talk about it.

Diana Urban, State Senator from Stonington, says she is working on it with True Vote Ct.

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