Voting roundup

With the election coming up in less than a week, voting machine security (or the lack thereof) is critical, especially with the popularity of early voting this year. While we’ve previously discussed voting machine insecurities, it looks like the problems haven’t been fixed, and in some cases, it’s escalated. Voters in states like West Virginia and Tennessee have complained about voting machines “flipping” their votes, even after they were recalibrated as in the video above. Voters have been advised to avoid voting straight Republican or Democratic tickets, to avoid the likelihood of their votes being flipped. What if you actually do want to vote a straight ticket? Video the Vote is an organization that advises documenting as much of your voting process as possible. Other ways you can protect your vote include voting absentee so that a paper trail is available, and refusing to accept provisional ballots, which are often thrown out. After seeing videos of ROM swapping and finding out that the locks can be opened with hotel minibar keys, we’re waiting to see what’s going to fail this year… and voting absentee.

Voting insecurities

UCSB researchers demonstrated how disturbingly easy it is to hack into Sequoia’s e-voting systems and delete or add votes with little more than a USB key. Given the fact that recent elections have been very close, and this upcoming national one looks also to be decided by a close margin, it’s absolutely inexcusable that our voting systems could be so easily rigged. Not only that, Sequoia has fought hard against having its equipment tested and verified independently. Can we really afford to be using such insecure machines in democratic elections, when the risk of abuse is so great?

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