Diebold Source Code Out and On the Loose

by Last Night in Little Rock

On ABCNews.com last night and this morning is this story: Electronic Voting Machines Could Skew Elections. A former Maryland state legislator received an anonymous envelope with three CD-Roms inside containing the source codes for the Diebold election systems.  With these codes, an election could be stolen.  Life imitates art ("Man of the Year"), or art imitates life? The source codes? What are kind of company are they running there?

When I watched "Man of the Year," all I could think of was President Bush stealing the 2004 election in Ohio.  

TChris wrote about Diebold security concerns here five months ago.

Regretably, it is entirely possible that the metadata on the CD-Rom could tell the company the source of the leak.  Somebody could get fired.

Instead, they should be promoted. Like "Man of the Year," it sounds like Diebold is running a computer shop that can allow an election to be stolen.

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    Re: Diebold Election Systems Source Codes Out and (none / 0) (#1)
    by jarober on Mon Oct 23, 2006 at 06:56:41 AM EST
    The left keeps trying to push the stolen election meme.  Remind me again: which party is the only one to get convicted of election fraud in the last election cycle?  It wasn't the Republicans.  

    Re: Diebold Election Systems Source Codes Out and (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dadler on Mon Oct 23, 2006 at 12:17:47 PM EST
    Why do we use exit polling and it's accuracy as proof that foreign elections are legitimate IF we completely ignore wild innaccuracies in exit polling after our own elections?

    Re: Diebold Election Systems Source Codes Out... (none / 0) (#2)
    by Lora on Mon Oct 23, 2006 at 09:34:35 AM EST
    Given the current level of technology, NO company can make electronic voting entirely secure from hacking.

    Paper ballots, hand-counted, is the ONLY way to help assure a hack-free election.

    Yes, the paper ballot process can be corrupted.  Honest election officials, safeguards and oversight need to be put in place.

    But electronic voting corruption can affect millions of votes and may be impossible to trace.

    "We're counting the vote - get over it!"
    (slogan from Black Box Voting.)

    Re: Diebold Election Systems Source Codes Out (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 23, 2006 at 09:38:55 AM EST
    Nice....Diebold giving away the keys to an election.

    I'm with Lora...I trust electronic voting about as far as I can throw the voting machine.  We may have to bring a bottle of water into the voting booth and short circuit the mofos to preserve what is left of our democracy.

    Diebold, you going to wait? (none / 0) (#4)
    by oldtree on Mon Oct 23, 2006 at 10:04:29 AM EST
    are you all going to sit around and wait?   if you do,  we will have the same results as we did in 2000 and 2004, where the person that clearly won, isn't serving

    get the hell up and find a way for a jurist in your state to demand paper ballots.  you know they will do it again if they can

    wonder how they are going to make it look like they won when the vote is going to be 60/30 demo?  

    watch and learn my fellow idiots,  the fix is in

    Re: Diebold Source Codes Out and On the Loose (none / 0) (#5)
    by aw on Mon Oct 23, 2006 at 12:02:49 PM EST
    I love the way Diebold won't let anybody take a look because it's a "proprietary" system.  Like some competitor would want to steal that piece of crap.

    How did our election system end up in the hands of a "proprietary" system anyway?  We paid for it; we should own it.

    Re: Diebold Source Codes Out and On the Loose (none / 0) (#7)
    by jarober on Mon Oct 23, 2006 at 01:25:35 PM EST
    Exit polling is inherently inaccurate, and I don't think anyone should use it for any serious purpose. I won't talk to exit pollers, and I doubt I'm the only one.  It's unclear what demographic they miss.  In countries with a history of authoritarian rule, I'd expect such exit polls to be even more invalid - way too many people would be afraid of making their vote known.

    If you take exit polls seriously, you probably have other fantasy issues that need addressing.

    Re: Diebold Source Codes Out and On the Loose (none / 0) (#8)
    by Dadler on Mon Oct 23, 2006 at 01:45:00 PM EST
    Your basis for calling exit polls inherently inaccurate is groundless.  Show me an expert in the field who will pooh-pooh exit polls as you do.  Are you calling statisticians and polling experts ignorant of their own jobs?

    I'll say it again: our government uses accuracy of exit polls as proof that a foreign election was legitimate.  I'm assuming you believe that is wrong, and that elections we considered illegitimate because of such concerns should've been considered legitimate?  And that we should immediately tell the world that we no longer consider exit polling data as part of our effort to ensure free and fair elections abroad or at home?

    Perhaps you're also unconcerned that a partisan hacker could steal your vote electronically.  If so, I urge you to check out VOTERGATE, a short film spotlighting the work of a nice little grandmother in uncovering the completely insecure and inequitable state of voting in large parts of the nation.

    Whether you'll read the comprehensive link I sent you to earlier or watch this film and actually ponder it seriously for a moment, well, that's the only fantasy pertainent here.  Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie, Me, and a hot tub, that's not exactly electoral in nature.


    Peace out, my fellow free American.


    Re: Diebold Source Codes Out and On the Loose (none / 0) (#9)
    by Dadler on Mon Oct 23, 2006 at 01:59:43 PM EST
    Add Jar,
    And since I doubt you'll look at the first link, I'll quote from it regarding your "I don't know what demographic they missed", which in the election in question refers to Bush voters:

    Using Edison/Mitofsky's [the actual exit polling company] data tables we demonstrate that the "reluctant Bush responder"
    hypothesis is implausible because it is inconsistent with the combination of high response rates and high
    discrepancy rates among the precincts with the highest percentage for Bush.

    Also, the greatest discrepancy in general between exit polls and "results" was in areas with electronic voting.  

    That says something very ominous that you should be concerned about, regardless of party affiliation.  Unless you don't care.