FAQ: What problems do you perceive with our voting machines in CT?

(Note: This question was posed in an e-mail from a registrar. Here is my reply, edited a bit.)

My basic concerns with Connecticut’s new audits are the same ones articulated in the University of Connecticut reports, the reports commissioned by the Secretary of the State of California, and several other report several of which have been covered elsewhere at CTVotersCount.org:

  • The Diebold AccuVote-OS machines can be hacked easily via the memory cards at any point in the process – altered invisibly to do almost anything that can be conceived.
  • The weakest point in the process is in the programming of each election where those that have full access to the cards can do almost anything.

Computer scientists, everywhere, agree:

  • No matter what we do, a computer system cannot be proven or tested to be accurate.
  • The only way to assure an electronic election is correct is post-election audits that are effective.

And history shows:

  • No matter how secure procedures are on paper, procedures are often violated.

With special concerns that apply to Connecticut:

  • In CT we outsource that election programming to Diebold, whose employees or contractors program each election and race. They have the knowledge, access, and cover providing opportunity to manipulate the software and the vote totals.
  • The Brennan Center, my own analysis, and the criteria of many reports by respected organizations all indicate that Connecticut’s audit levels and procedures are insufficient in several aspects to detect errors or deter fraud, especially in less than state wide races.
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