Make your own free website on

Security concerns electronic voting

Vote Fix Links
Paper Ballots, Emergency Ballots, All-Mail Voting
Investigation-less election
Voter Registration Rolls Online?
Illegal This But Not That?
Solution or Problem: Federalize Voter Registration for Federal Elections
PA Power Insight
Myth or Fact
Question Them All
"little" Fraud?
Assorted Items
PA Watch
Populism vs PA Constitution
2007 Watch: PA Constitutional Convention
Move toward PA Con-Con
Guidelines for Variety election issues and observing at the Polls
Initiatives and Referendums: Gutting Republicanism
No Voter ID = Passport to Fraud
Illegal Immigrants Voting in U.S. Elections Facts
Goals of HAVA:
Paper Ballot Make It A Voter Choice
PA SB 977 and HB 2000
Both Sides: Electronic Paperless (Selker) vs Paper (Mercuri)
Know It: Second Chance Voting
Holding Breath Will Fayette Purchase Paper Ballot eScan and Electronic eSlate?
Discussion Sites
All laws repugnant void
Activists Absent
Board Discussion
Opinion None of the Above
To Show or Not to Show State Rep. Roberts Phone Calls
Discussion PA Politics 101.2 Media Woke Up to 1 Man Agenda?
Discussion PA Politics 1000.2 PA Clean Sweep's Reform Agenda
Discussion PA Politics 102
Voter Registration Lists
PA Law Changes First Time Voter
Discussion PA Politics 101
Discussion PA Politics 1000.1 Candidates
Lawmakers Arrogance
Blogging Net the Truth Online
Voting Technology 2006
e-Voting Truth
Should taxpayers fund WW2 memorial with religious engravings?
Net the Truth Online About Election Fraud
Issue File Voting by Mail
Powerful Information
Citizen Advisory Group Proposed
Demand PA SURE used
Inspector/s of Voter Registration
Interviews of Note
Motor Voter Law and Deceased
Back to the Future?
John Fund's Political Diary
Year 2000 Highlights Palast Update
Buchanan Vote 2000 Hoax
Fraud 2000: The Confusion
Fraud 2000: Holes
Fraud 2000: The Machines Background
Fraud 2000: Quote of the Millennium
Fraud 2000: Spotlight
Fraud 2000: Undervotes Trail-less
Fraud 2000: Built on the Past
Fraud 2000: Solution in search of Problems
Fraud 2000: Recounting the Ways
Fraud 2000: Dimples
Alert: Fraud 2000
Fraud 2000 Proof
Fraud 2000: Flaws
Fraud 2000: Courts
Fraud 2000: Count and Recount
Fraud 2000: Count and Recount 2
Fraud 2000: Analysis Debate
Fraud 2000: Past to Future
Ballot Fraud of Old
1984 Florida Ballot Problems
Local, State, National Election News
Daily Developments
Voting Fraud Tale Spin
Discussion Internet Free Speech on Trial?
STOP tax reform plan Guts PA Constitution
PA Constitution Doesn't Need Makeover
About Vote Fix
Why Vote Fix Is Up
Security concerns electronic voting
Paper/Opti-scan vs Touch-screen
Voter Confidence/Increased Accessibility Act 2003
Vote Fix Guestbook
PA election reform status
Fayette County Watch
Election 2007 Watch Fayette Politics
United States a republic, not a democracy
Voter Identification (ID) Proof
Citizens Demand Security
Solutions Here
Federal Legislation Update
Testimony HAVA
Net Voting
So Little time
Useful Items
Comments on voting machines
Public Comment on voting machines
Supporting material
Link resources submitted to commishes
Vote Fix Research
Contact/Voice a View
Motor Voter Happenings
Trail of Treachery Chad-Fraud
Fraud 2000: How it went
Fraud 2000: How it Went Then
Trail of Treachery: Varied News & Opinions
Track Vote Fraud

for your review

Be informed, question your government officials

Pennsylvania: Coalition Calls For Improvement as Voting Machine Problems Are Reported In Primaries

CNN Broken government series
Lou Dobbs Tonight  Encore Presentation: America Votes 2006: War on the Middle Class
October 29, 2006 Guests Michael Shamos, David Dill, and Michael Vu
October 28, 2006
October 27, 2006 Lou Dobbs Tonight Last- Minute Efforts Underway Aimed At Reducing Risk From Electronic Voting 
October 26, 2006 Lou Dobbs Tonight Electronic Voting Machines' Testing
Encore Presentation: America Votes 2006: War on the Middle Class

Glitches, Hiccups and Human Error??

Allegheny County voters must learn new machines in just 6 weeks

Friday, April 07, 2006

By Jerome L. Sherman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

After more than 40 years of casting votes on massive mechanical lever machines, Allegheny County voters now have less than six weeks to learn how to use a new generation of computerized equipment.

County officials have not yet signed a final deal with Nebraska-based Election Systems & Software, but they're already preparing a major educational campaign to familiarize 877,999 registered voters with the company's iVotronic, a touch-screen machine weighing less than 15 pounds.

That campaign likely will encompass TV ads, countywide demonstration sessions and extensive training classes for as many as 6,500 poll workers.

2nd-choice supplier of voting machines had problems elsewhere

Friday, April 07, 2006  By Dan Majors, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Today is the final day of the weeklong early-voting period before Tuesday's primary runoff election in Jefferson County, Texas.

Residents who vote today will be casting their ballots on touch-screen machines purchased from Election Systems & Software, or ES&S, the same Nebraska-based company that is selling 4,700 of the ATM-like machines to Allegheny County for use in Pennsylvania's May 16 primary.

"It's been going good," said Jefferson County Clerk Carolyn Guidry. "Turnout is low because it's a runoff election, but it's going good so far."

And yet Ms. Guidry is not happy. She's especially upset with ES&S.

Because of incomplete instructions and faulty memory cards, all of the votes cast in Jefferson County's March 7 primary had to be recounted March 13. County commissioners withheld a $1.9 million payment to ES&S and threatened legal action.

Yesterday, Amanda Brown, a spokeswoman for ES&S, said the problems have been resolved and the county made its payment.

"We're getting them up and running for their runoff election," she said.

Still, there is bad blood in Jefferson County.

"I don't call the issue resolved, because we still have equipment issues, we have training issues, and we definitely have a big customer service issue," Ms. Guidry said.

Election officials in Summit County, Ohio, are likewise concerned. They've purchased optical-scanning voting machines from ES&S for their May 2 primary, and there have been numerous headaches.



Visit as many different sites as possible for viewpoints and information on this issue.
Verified Voting analysis of

ES&S iVotronic

Brief Description

Voters analysis entitled: AVS Sidesteps Wireless Security Issues

google search results
Hart InterCivic eslate

Nov. 4, 2002
Tyler Hamilton at thamilt@ .
What hit Chaum was a rather complex, but foolproof, way of creating an electronic voting machine with an audit trail. A component of that is the ability of individual voters to verify after the election that their electronic ballot has indeed been counted.

Under Chaum's system, a person selects candidates on a touch-screen terminal and presses "finish" when complete. The machine prints out an anonymous receipt on a double-layer of translucent plastic, which displays the names of candidates the voter selected. If the receipt appears accurate, the voter peels the two layers of plastic apart, and in doing so, the text printed on top of the receipt disappears. This keeps the vote secret.

Left over are two separate receipts, each encrypted with patterns of seemingly meaningless black squares and a serial number. The voter decides which of the two gets handed to an election official and shredded. The other receipt is given a special sticker and is taken home by the voter. Because the receipt is encrypted, it can't be sold.

Keep in mind that the voting machine has saved a digital version of the voter's encrypted receipt. After the election, this digital version is posted on an official government Web site. Voters can go to the site, type the serial number of their physical receipt, and see an exact image online. By comparing the images and the serial numbers, they can be sure their votes are included in the final tally. If it isn't, something's wrong.
Not so long ago, Chaum says he saw no hope for Internet voting. But after doing some consulting work with the U.S. government, he thought of some new ways that could make it work as a complement to electronic touch-screen voting.

"My ideal world would be to vote from any precinct through touch-screen voting, and where needed, have secure remote voting, which I believe is now possible," he says, giving the future a vote of confidence. Professor Mercuri at Bryn Mawr College, meanwhile, says the thought of an Internet election is "terribly horrifying."
Critics warn, however, that overzealous politicians with new money to burn are making a bad situation even worse by jumping too quickly on the technology bandwagon. Many of those critics are technologists themselves, arguing that opportunistic companies are selling automated and online voting systems that aren't yet ready for prime time in terms of reliability, security and privacy.

"After 2000, there was this knee-jerk reaction to try to solve the problem," says cryptographer David Chaum, known as the inventor of digital cash, or eCash.

"The states bought tonnes and tonnes of these touch-screen systems. They rushed to buy, but the systems are worse than punch cards ... to me it's unbelievable."
Chaum, and academic experts such as professor Rebecca Mercuri at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, maintain that the biggest problem with current electronic voting systems is that they fail to provide an audit trail. In other words, if somebody deliberately tampers with a touch-screen terminal or if software works incorrectly there is no sure way for authorities to know there is a problem. If a problem is suspected, the anonymous nature of the votes makes it virtually impossible to investigate.

"If any candidate wishes to seek a recount, the only one they will get from the touch-screen machines is a print-out of the same electronic data residing inside of the machines," wrote Mercuri in a critique of the latest Florida election.

In Mercuri's opinion, a print-out of the data doesn't cut it. She knows, with her own background in computer programming, that it's easy for one thing to be displayed on a touch screen and another thing to be saved in a machine's memory whether by mistake or as sabotage. A printout of the existing data would simply be an "Enron-style" audit, meaning what voters see is possibly a mask on the truth.
Rebecca Mercuri
Bryn Mawr
Rebecca Mercuri

Experts Have Concerns About Touch-Screen Voting

c.2002 Newhouse News Service


Most DRE systems include small printers designed to churn out voting totals at day's end, but to print a copy of every ballot as it is cast is cumbersome and expensive, said Robert Naegele, a Pacific Grove, Calif., consultant and former chief technical adviser to the National Association of State Election Directors.

Chaum, to solve the problem, has created a two-layer receipt that, with the use of a scanner and a Web site, would let voters confirm their votes without revealing their identities.

While that system is reliable and secure, the specialized printers it would require are expensive.

On Tuesday, Chaum's company, SureVote, announced a version that does not require a scanner and works with the $50 printers that many DRE systems already use to print results at the end of the voting day. The technology isn't commercialized yet.

Mercuri said today's snazzy-looking touch-screen systems offer only the illusion of progress. In many cases, voting districts are better off sticking to the technology they have, or if they must switch, moving to optical scanning systems that allow paper ballots to be independently recounted, she said.

That is, until something truly innovative, such as Chaum's technology, comes along, she said.



Unilect Patriot direct recording electronic voting machines used in Mercer, Beaver, and Greene Counties were recently decertified by the Pennsylvania Secretary of State. has posted the complete article "PA Secretary of the Commonwealth decertifies UniLect Patriot Voting System."  The report says that 10,000 instances of votes were reportedly not counted in 3 counties utilizing these previously certified direct recording electronic machines. 
Quoted material:
On October 1, 2004, the Department of State examined the system and found it to be operational and in proper working order. During a reexamination on Feb. 15, however, the System failed to sense screen touches multiple times and did not register nor record votes. The screen also "froze" and stopped accepting touches during the reexamination. The Department believes these malfunctions help explain why there were more than 10,000 instances where a vote was not counted in the three counties during the 2004 general election. According to a study released by Grove City College, the undercount percentages in each county were: Mercer - 7.29 percent; Greene - 4.5 percent; and Beaver - 5.25 percent.
From:  PA Secretary of the Commonwealth Decertifies UniLect Patriot Voting System
Commonweal Institute

Electronic Voting Machines Project

We hope that you can take the time to become informed on these issues, and inform others. ...

More with extensive links...

See full article at Wired News

Voting Machine Leaves Paper Trail 

Voting machines that print individual ballots -- an election accessory many computer scientists have clamored for -- are moving a step closer to widespread availability.

In response to concerns raised by election officials and security-minded techies, one of the largest makers of touch-screen voting machines has introduced a prototype capable of producing paper ballots. ...

"The idea is to provide a voter-verifiable ballot," said Lou Dedier, the ES&S vice president and general manager who built the original test model in his garage. Dedier said his mock-up was based on suggestions from elections administrators.

The planned rollout comes as a coalition of computer scientists, led by David Dill, a Stanford computer science professor, is lobbying election officials and voting machine manufacturers to fix security flaws in the current crop of touch-screen voting machines. The coalition believes the flaws are serious.

In particular, computing experts worry that hundreds of thousands of direct-recording electronic, or DRE, voting machines used in elections nationwide do not provide an auditable paper trail that records individual votes. In order to ensure that votes are not lost because of a computer malfunction or tampering, critics say DRE machines should be able to print and store individual ballots immediately after a vote is cast.