What if we used computers for voting, not just driving?

From OpEd News, Interview with Barbara Simons: What the Heck Does the Recent Volkswagen Scandal Have to Do with Our Elections? <read full interview>

Since the Volkswagen hacking was disclosed we have been using that to highlight the potential of rigged elections as we have for earlier, more dramatic, vehicle hacking demonstrations.

Both modern cars and voting systems are significantly computerized. VW was playing a very high stakes financial game that led someone to installed cheating software (malware).

The stakes are also very high in modern elections. I continue to be amazed that some losing candidates either are pressured not to rock the boat – sometimes by their own party (I know of candidates to whom this was done) – or actually accept negative results without questioning the computerized voting machines that “declare” those results.

Any large software program contains undetected bugs. That’s why software vendors such as Microsoft and Apple send out frequent software updates, many of them to fix security holes. Likewise, it also can be very difficult to detect cleverly hidden malware.

Computers can greatly facilitate both car performance and ballot tabulation. But just as laboratory tests are not adequate for testing pollution controls in the presence of malware, so too we cannot depend solely on voting system “certification” to verify that our voting systems are accurate and secure

Read the full interview <read>



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