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Ohio Report Faults Montana ES&S Op Scan Voting Machines

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Op-Ed/Press Release


JANUARY 6, 2008

CONTACT: SARA BUSEY, 406-549-4120

Ohio Report Faults Montana Voting Machines

Ohio has just done Montana voters a huge favor.

Last summer, Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner asked an independent review team of nationally accredited academic and corporate computer and election experts to test Ohio’s voting machines. Many are the same machines used in Montana to count our votes.

The results?

Released on December 14th, the $1.9 million EVEREST review found “critical security failures” in machines made by Election Systems and Software (ES&S). Forty-four of Montana’s fifty-six counties use one or more ES&S machines. M100 precinct counters are used in twenty-three Montana counties, the 650 central counters in eleven and the AutoMARK in all.

Researchers found the M100 optical scanners are “susceptible to attacks at the polling location that could affect election integrity,” and “an unauthorized individual could delete records of votes by zeroing out the vote totals.” The 650 central counter was, “successfully tampered to alter elections data in erratic ways and with obvious, but unpredictable results.” The AutoMARK’s sensitive inner machine was easily accessed by disassembling its cover.

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