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SDD threat to health of U.S. elections

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Software Driven Devices [SDD] endanger the health of U.S. elections in a way that no previous technology has been able to threaten.


The manufacturers of SDD technology have blinded the public to the danger with an overload of jargon--DRE, Op Scans, VVPAT, etc.  Efforts in the "voting integrity" movement have focused on the DRE threat with its touch-screen technology complete without any recount ability.  Some argue instead that optical scanners are the way to count ballots since a recount would then be possible.


In the end however, there are only two ways to count ballots--by SDD or by hand.  While the SDD vendors offer different levels of technology and complexity, all SDD options include the danger of malicious self-deleting software.  No SDD has yet been built that cannot be hacked or infected with a virus.


Hacking and viral attacks have been made against major businesses, government and military computers, communication networks, and university data bases.  Voting machines are not immune to such threats.  Indeed, since the payoff for a successful hack is the outcome of an election, voting machines are at great risk of viral attack.


Researchers at Florida State University, investigating the 18,000 "undervotes" in Sarasota's 2006 congressional race, found a security flaw that would allow the introduction of a virus on the SDD touch-screens used there.  That flaw may be present in similar SDD machines in 16 states.


Several public hacks of SDD optical scanners have demonstrated that any machine using software is at risk of infection.  Yet Congress is posed to vote for "reform" legislation that will further embed the dangerous SDD technology in our election infrastructure. 


Our supposed protection from the undetectable viral threats are "paper trails" and "audits".  Yet a recent audit in Ohio showed the votes didn't add up.  Now what?


All over the country reports of SDD vote-flipping, where your vote is not only taken from you but given to the opponent of your candidate, have occurred.  There is only one protection from electronic election fraud--ban SDD from the voting booth and counting room.


America's love of technology has ushered in a new level of election fraud, previously undreamed of by political fixers.  SDD "improvements" have opened the lid to a Pandora's Box of new threats to honest elections.


The way out of the SDD quagmire is simple.  Paper, pencil, and public counting.  Instead of trying to repair SDD security holes that cannot be fixed, we need to demand a return to hand-counted paper ballots.


Public observation of hand-counting is the most secure way to count ballots.  It is the only way to guarantee an honest count.  The time has come to simply say no to the SDD threat to our country.  Congress must be told that we do not want any form of SDD to infect our body politic.


Hand-count paper ballots, in public, now.

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Michael Richardson is a freelance writer living in Belize. Richardson writes about Taiwan foreign policy, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Black Panther Party. Richardson was Ralph Nader's ballot access manager during the 2004 and (more...)

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