Donkey Punch

March 25, 2009

CIA sez: Electronic Voting Systems are Not Secure

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — t4toby @ 3:07 pm

Just here to make sure yer old votin’ machine is in tip top order…

One of the reasons I have stopped writng for the most part is that I was feeling more and more like I had nothing original to say.  Whether or not I agree with them, I peruse most of the major lefty sites at least once a day and found it difficult to come up with original material.

I can’t believe I have not seen this report in any major blog:

CIA expert: Electronic voting not secure

A CIA cybersecurity expert said electronic voting machines like those used in the U.S. have likely been tampered with during elections in other countries.

I have written about this before.

Why do we lack the will to spend the time and money to homogenize and streamline our voting system?…I think it must have something to do with the fact that the powers that be do not want a simple and efficient system of voting. They don’t want transparency and effectiveness. Because then they cannot game the system. Cannot bend the ‘democratic ‘process to their will. And that would be bad for business.

Weird. I always thought I was just a raving moonbat. But for whatever reason, CIA agent Steve Stigall has started flapping his lips about the compromisability of electronic voting.

“wherever the vote becomes an electron and touches a computer, that’s an opportunity for a malicious actor potentially to . . . make bad things happen”
Stigall said voting equipment connected to the Internet could be hacked, and machines that weren’t connected could be compromised wirelessly. Eleven U.S. states have banned or limited wireless capability in voting equipment, but Stigall said elections officials didn’t always know it when wireless cards were embedded in their machines.

So were back to my suggestion, no?

We have a computer that you vote on, like our touch-screen systems. You vote and are given a receipt, which is also a ballot. You check that ballot over to make sure it reflects what you voted on the touch-screen, sign it, and drop it into a ballot box. Then one party is responsible for counting the physical ballots, and one party is responsible for the electronic tally.

As far as absentee ballots go, maybe the ballot will have a carbon-copy sort of system and two return envelopes. You send one to one party and one to the other.

So in the end, you have a redundant system that allows for cross checking of numbers. If the two tallies don’t match up, there is a problem. Simple as that.


Paper receipts aren’t a guarantor of electronic voting security, the CIA expert added, because the votes can be changed when or after they are transmitted to a master computer tabulating the votes or when they’re posted online.

Okay, that doesn’t incorporate the adversarial two-party system I proposed, so maybe my idea still holds water.

Any way you slice it, there is a real possibility that the electronic voting machines in the US are at best unsecure and at worst outright enablers of cheating the democratic system.


  1. Hi. There was a guy who was key to Republican’s supposed stealing of elections. He was gonna testify, but the expert pilot crashed his plane. I forgot his name, no time to look it up now. Maybe later.

    Comment by Sallie — March 25, 2009 @ 4:19 pm

  2. Whether or not I agree with them, I peruse most of the major lefty sites at least once a day and found it difficult to come up with original material.

    I initially just wanted a place to save my sillier ideas when I left ’em at other places. That’s pretty much what I do.

    Oh yeah: paper or plastic? The paper ballot: people can watch ’em go from place to place. There’s no requirement for technicians.

    Comment by Righteous Bubba — March 25, 2009 @ 4:32 pm

  3. Why don’t you get to work making such a device and patent it and sell it to the govt.??? Then retire early and help me pay off my debts….

    Comment by grindchopblend — March 25, 2009 @ 6:13 pm

  4. Here a pretty comprehensive run-down of that story, Sallie. I’ll probably write a post about it soon.

    Comment by t4toby — March 26, 2009 @ 9:09 am

  5. RB, you’re more creative and I’m more reactive.

    Comment by t4toby — March 26, 2009 @ 9:10 am

  6. ugh, what a horrible story. sorry that’s what it took, but welcome back to the blargh-o-spear.

    please do write more about this soon.

    Comment by sarah — March 26, 2009 @ 1:31 pm

  7. Thanks Toby. I knew if I mentioned it you would look up the info for me 😉 I heard about this guy on Democracy Now around election time.

    Comment by Sallie — March 26, 2009 @ 5:36 pm

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