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Action Alert: Diebold Making Unannounced Visits to Counties, accessing voting machines

By Bev Harris, Black Box Voting  Posted by Joan Brunwasser (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   No comments
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Please forward to your local elections officials:

Credible first-hand reports have been received from multiple states
recently that Diebold is making unannounced visits to counties, sometimes
when the elections supervisor is out of town. Diebold has prevailed
on assistants and managed to gain access to the voting equipment.

Elections employees have reported to Black Box Voting that their questions
to Diebold are not being answered to their satisfaction.


1. Program changes: Watch very carefully whether Diebold puts a
card into your machine and boots it up. Alert your staff to be on the
lookout for this. By inserting one card, either the operating system or
the voting software can be altered. Inserting two cards can change both.

Such changes can hide evidence of the kind of security vulnerabilities
found by Harri Hursti and Security Innovation Inc. in Emery County, Utah.
However, replacing the operating system and programs does not ensure
the integrity of your machines, since the security vulnerabilities found
appear to be able to survive overwriting both the operating system and
the programs.

2. Swapping out equipment or components: We have credible reports that
Diebold has been swapped out motherboards in multiple counties. We have
less firm reports that Diebold has made reference to repartitioning memory
and/or other adjustments. Either swapping the motherboard or repartitioning
could obscure evidence of programming that shouldn't be there, and/or
introduce new vulnerabilities to your system.

3. Swapping or recording serial numbers. The Diebold serial numbers do
not appear to be burned into the machine/motherboard itself, but are simply
affixed with a plate that can be swapped.

You should, immediately, photograph each of your machines' serial numbers.

Diebold denies that they have sold used equipment. However, a recent
response from Deborah Seiler, the former Diebold sales rep who is now
Elections Registrar for Solano County, California, gives a perception that
someone is not being forthcoming.

Solano County used the Diebold TSx for one election and then rejected the
system. Seiler, who took office shortly after Solano rejected the Diebold
equipment, has reportedly responded to a public records request for Solano
County TSx serial numbers by claiing that they were given back to Diebold
and that Solano County no longer has them.

Diebold's odd explanation in Utah, that there were perhaps Chinese or Asian
fonts on touch-screens delivered to Utah, would be consistent with selling
machines from California. There were some 800 to 900 TSx machines,
apparently, rejected by Solano County.

Black Box Voting encourages all recipients of "new" Diebold TSx machines
to log serial numbers immediately, photograph or videotape them, and do so
before Diebold arrives to visit your machines if at all possible.


This is your right and responsibility as a public official. Do not allow anyone
to intimidate you.

It would be a good idea to take the keys to the voting machine storage
facility with you when you are not in the office. Advise your staff not to
allow Diebold to access your machines without your presence.

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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

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