Saturday, November 04, 2006


Hacking Democracy

HBO aired Hacking Democracy last night. It was refreshing, I thought, to see this critical issue break out of the alternative media and onto the mainstream TV screen.

I had just read this article: Just Push the Yellow Button and Vote as Many Times as You Want and was prepared for the worst, but the video was worse still than that.

In Hawaii the Hart machines are beginning to be used. They now have a printer attached, so in theory there is a paper trail. If the printers don't jam, that is, and of course if none of the continuous paper rolls don't "disappear" or fade out, as that type of paper is prone to do over time.

A better deal would be to have the machine produce a replica of the paper ballot everyone else is using. Feed that into the ESS Model 100 ballot readers. That would also mean no election-night delays as the outputs of the two computers would not have to be merged.

I've let slip the magic word: "computer". It's important to remember that these are not "voting machines" as we knew them. That is, they are not mechanical contrivances to punch a hole in a paper ballot. They are computers, and voters don't seem to understand that they can indeed be hacked, and hacked invisibly. Or they can be hacked overnight, when no one is looking, or when they are taken away to be audited, etc. In 2004 there were cases where people were allowed to work on the machines in secret after the vote. Was the vote hacked? You tell me.

Try and see the video if you can get hold of a copy. People have TIVOd the program. Even if you don't have an HBO subscription, find out how you can watch it with someone or get hold of your own copy to view. It's worth the effort.

On the web, the most comprehensive site, and a good starting place for your research on these computers, is The Brad Blog. The information is incredibly dense, but just wade in. And learn.

And be afraid.


Post a Comment

Requiring those Captcha codes at least temporarily, in the hopes that it quells the flood of comment spam I've been receiving.

<< Home


page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Newer›  ‹Older