Sunday, July 9, 2006

US Election System Still Frought with Systemic Problems The road to reform in election corrections has been slow going

That messy 2000 election was supposed to be the jolt America needed. After chronic flaws in the country's voting process became painfully public, an ambitious reform effort was supposed to make hanging chads and butterfly ballots relics of election nightmares gone by.

But nearly six years later, it hasn't turned out that way. In the state of Washington, the 2004 governor's election took more than six months to resolve--again before a court. And some liberal activists still believe that vote tampering and dirty tricks handed Ohio to the GOP, enabling President Bush to win re-election. Now, heading into the midterm congressional elections, despite the expenditure of billions of dollars, a litany of problems remains.

Also, several good links via SANS NewsBites Vol. 8 Num. 53:

--Study Finds Popular eVoting Machines Susceptible to Fraud
(27 June 2006)
A Brennan Center for Justice study of electronic voting machines concluded that the three most widely used voting machines are vulnerable to fraud, but there are measures that can be taken in all three cases to boost their integrity. Roughly 80 percent of American voters are expected to use electronic voting machines in elections this November.
Representative Rush Holt (D-N.J.) has introduced a bill that would require all voting machines to provide a verifiable paper audit trail.
[Editor's Note (Schultz): The fact that a verifiable paper trail is being proposed is in and of itself an extremely positive step forward as far as fairness in electronic voting goes.
(Pescatore): I think we are past the point where any rational person believes that most current voting machines are safe enough. The first generation of ATM machines weren't secure enough either - the real issue is making sure the current problems are bounded and managed, and that the next generation of voting machines make big leaps forward.
(HONAN): The Irish Commission on Electronic Voting recently published their report highlighting serious concerns with the software used in the electronic voting machines purchased by the Irish Government.]

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