Wednesday, September 22, 2004

I'm not especially enjoying the ride.

Have you heard of Global Election Management System, or GEMS?

You will.

We may be rushing into hell in a bucket with Wally Diebold and his ilk (I've temporarily suspended my dislike of that word) in charge of counting our votes this election cycle.

Activists Find More E-Vote Flaws


"You have to know in advance what you want to change," Thompson said, "but it's pretty easy to write a script to find the data that you want to change. If you want Stan Smith to have more votes than he currently has, you write a line of your script that says select everything in the table where candidate equals Stan Smith, and increment the votes. Then you delete the votes from another candidate by the same amount."

Thompson acknowledged that the hack would take an insider with knowledge of the voting system and election procedures and access to GEMS. But this could include technical people working for a county or Diebold employees who sometimes assist technically challenged election officials on election night. It's unlikely that unsavvy election officials or observers would notice or understand the significance of someone writing five lines of code in Notepad.

I know Walt wrote the line for the original Earth Day, but Pogo's immortal words just seem so apt for our current situation:

"We have met the enemy and he is us."

And we only have ourselves to blame if we let them get away with it.


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