The Associated Press reported yesterday that several memory cards were "lost or stolen" during Cuyahoga County's May 2006 primary, jeopardizing the November vote count of 48 of Ohio's 88 counties that use Diebold electronic voting systems or central tabulators. http://www.ohio.com/mld/beaconjournal/news/state/15696778.htm
"Anyone who has physical access to a voting machine, or to a memory card that will later be inserted into a machine, can install malicious software using a simple method that takes as little as one minute," computer scientists from Princeton University reported last month. http://itpolicy.princeton.edu/voting
Nationwide, the election results from any Diebold machine are now suspect, with these stolen memory cards in circulation. In 2003, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) warned that altered memory cards could allow someone with physical access "to falsify election results without leaving any record." http://theory.lcs.mit.edu/~rivest/voting/reports/Fischer-ElectionReformAndElectronicVotingSystemsDREs.pdf
The Center for Information Technology Policy and Dept. of Computer Science at Princeton University reported that, "Even careful forensic examination of these records will find nothing amiss." (supra)
Election Science Institute (ESI) observed Cuyahoga's election system and practices during May, and released a scathing report in August finding that, "the election system, in its entirety, exhibits shortcoming with extremely serious consequences..." (Emphasis in original) http://www.electionscience.org for August, 2006 Cuyahoga County report.
All electronic voting systems are suspect, regardless of which vendor manufactured or maintains them. "Anomalies" and "glitches" have been reported in every state since the introduction of these machines into our election system. A slew of lawsuits have been filed to remove the machines from use, to force a hand count of voter-prepared paper ballots, and to force the use of voter-prepared paper ballots in the upcoming elections.
Electronic voting systems strain scarce public funds with their exorbitant cost to purchase, upgrade, maintain and provide training for poll workers and election officials. Maryland's Governor Bob Ehrlich called the systems a "1000 percent increase in cost" from hand counted paper ballots, and recently restored paper ballots, cutting the state's losses for the e-voting purchase.
Emergency legislation has been introduced to require all states to provide paper ballots for any voter in the U.S. who refuses to vote on electronic voting systems in the midterm elections. See www.BradBlog.com for updated status on this pending legislation. For 2008, Rep. Dennis Kucinich introduced HR 6200, which will replace e-Voting nationwide with a hand-counted paper ballot system.
Prior Knowledge, Failure to Warn the Public
Important agencies and institutions warned public officials and corporate media of "severe," and "extreme" problems with electronic warning.
The 2003 CRS report (supra) concluded, "DREs (touch screen voting systems) do not adhere to currently accepted security principles for computer systems."
Compuware provided a security analysis of the four major vendors, Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and Hart InterCivic, for Ohio Secretary of State, J. Kenneth Blackwell, in November of 2003. Compuware did not consider physical security requirements, or political ramifications of electronic votes being counted by private corporations that refuse public oversight, and that are owned by key figures in the military.