By Rady Ananda and Andi Novick
Updated on 19.Aug.08 11pm EST
Certified for use in New York, Sequoia/Dominion's ImageCast ballot marking device (BMD) was designed to allow voters with special needs to create their own paper ballots unassisted. But a series of problems continue to plague the BMD and its scanner's certification. The system comes equipped with a convenient slotted hole that allows anyone to stuff ballots directly into the locked ballot box. It also comes equipped with USB ports that illegally facilitate network, internet and wireless access. Hundreds of documentation discrepancies prevent full certification of the system for counting the votes in 2009, and the lab approved to certify it is now being investigated for shoddy methodology and collusion with vendors.
Sequoia/Dominion BMD: What is wrong with thee; let us count the ways
1. Can't Make a Secure Ballot Box – Exclusive Video
Since New York won't be using theft-enabling software to count the votes in 2008, the ballot-stuffing capability of this BMD destroys the integrity of this year's hand count, and the integrity of future manual audits.
Ballot Stuffing made easy by Sequoia/Dominion Optical Scan BMD
Attorney Andi Novick stuffs several ballots into a hole on top of the ballot box sold by Sequoia Voting Systems and Dominion Voting Systems. The hole enables ballot stuffing of the locked ballot box. In the close-up below, the arrow points to the slotted hole that spans the width of the scanner.
Up to ten cardstock ballots can be stuffed at once.
BMD ballot stuffing slot
The 'black hole' of fraud, now built into our so-called democratic electoral system through the nationwide use of theft-enabling software, just got bigger. This BMD was approved by New York's testing authorities and shipped to counties for use, but look at the gaping hole they missed. In this exclusive video, we show how easy it is to illegally stuff the locked ballot box.
Software-driven optical scanners and DREs conceal the way our votes are counted and expose our votes to unprotectable fraud because software can be rigged without detection. These facts are not debatable - dozens of reports by computer security experts confirm this unprotectable hole in the security of our electoral systems. Matt Bishop, who headed the California Red Team that studied Sequoia, Hart and Diebold/Premier voting systems summarized the problem this way:
"The use of computers in performing voting and tallying introduces serious concerns about the integrity and confidentiality of the voting process."
In May of this year, the National Science Foundation's ACCURATE Center advised the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC):
"Of course, numerous studies have shown that currently deployed voting systems are susceptible to undetectable malicious attacks..."
Various states propose to compensate for this huge 'black hole' of unpreventable computer fraud by hand counting some of the ballots – and, in the case of New York, within 15 days after the election. But this newly discovered ballet-stuffing hole will foil the manual audit. Ballot stuffing can disrupt a post-election audit, trigger an expanded audit when count discrepancies are discovered, and then produce a fraudulent recount of all the ballots.