Friday, December 16, 2005

Elections Official: Some Voting Machines Could Be Hacked

There's new evidence that computer hackers could change election results without anyone knowing about it, WESH 2 News reported.

The supervisor of elections in Tallahassee tested voting machines several times over the last several months, and on Monday, his workers were able to hack into a voting machine and change the outcome. He said that same thing might have happened in Volusia County in 2000.

The big controversy revolves around a little black computer card that is smaller than a floppy disk and bigger than a flash drive. The card is inserted into voting machines that scan paper ballots. The card serves as the machine's electronic brain.

But when Ion Sancho, Leon County's Supervisor of Elections, tested the Diebold system and allowed experts to manipulate the card electronically, he could change the outcome of a mock election without leaving any kind of trail. In other words, someone could fix an election and no one would know.

"The expert that we used simply programmed it on his laptop in his hotel room," Sancho said.

Sancho began investigating the problem after watching the votes come in during the infamous 2000 presidential election. In Volusia County precinct 216, a memory card added more than 200 votes to George W. Bush's total and subtracted 16,000 votes from Al Gore. The mistake was later corrected during a hand count.

After watching his computer expert change vote totals this week, Sancho said that he now believes someone on the inside did the same think in Volusia County in 2000.

"Someone with access to the vote center in Volusia County put it on a memory card and uploaded it into the main system," Sancho said....

The concerns come on the heels of the resignation of Diebold CEO Wally O'Dell, a Republican fundraiser and staunch Bush supporter. Diebolds were used in Florida and Ohio in 2004, and skeptics are raising a lot of questions.

The same Diebold voting machines are still being used in Volusia, Brevard, Seminole and Osceola counties. They are also used in 26 other counties across the state....

(related posts)

|

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home