Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Your vote, your identity, at risk on Maui
by Larry Geller
We always appreciate leaks. Please send to leak =at= disappearednews.com.
This leak should concern voters anywhere, but particularly those in the 13th precinct in Maui County. The photographer will remain anonymous, and for you clever detectives, I’ve removed identifying information embedded in the pictures. The photos contain enough detail to confirm that the pictures were taken at the Haiku Community Center, right near the kitchen. According to the leak source, they were taken several days before the election. These things were just dumped there, not secured in any way. Anyone could mess with them.
There were items out in the open also at Paia Community Center and at Precinct 13-4 in Huelo. Maybe more than that. Did you see anything? Let me know.
(click for larger)
This stuff was just left around for anyone to mess with or even take home.
In the center is a precinct-level Hart eScan optical scanner. If you voted with a paper ballot, you’ll remember it as the thing that ate and supposedly made a record of your vote. The grey thing is the Hart eSlate electronic voting computer. The box contains precinct supplies, including the Hart memory cards and pollbooks.
Now, suppose someone wanted to, umm, study the election process and just took that little brown box home with them? Or if some kid needed something for show and tell at school? No election at that precinct.
Suppose some geek wanted to play with the memory cards on their computer? Then McCain could be elected as mayor of Maui. Ha, ha.
No joke. This is your election process at work, Banana Republic style.
In fact, we do not know that no one messed with this box. Look how easy it would be:
Opening the box (which confirms that they were not secured) the photographer was able to identify Hart memory cards, ballots, security seals, provisional ballots and registration forms. Yup, anyone could have rummaged through the box and even taken some ballots home, or stuck the memory cards in their own computer. Did anyone meddle? We cannot say they did not.
Now read this:
The pollbooks have names (addresses?) and social security numbers for every registered voter in the precincts.
Do you live on Maui? What about identity theft? It appears that your personal information was left around for anyone to copy, for days before the election.
No one was protecting these things. The integrity of the election at these three precincts in the 13th House District on Maui cannot be assured. Voters personal information was not protected.
How many other precincts left their equipment and supplies unsecured?
And what will happen in November?
A couple of days ago we mentioned that an electronic voting machine was apparently reprogrammed after the polls were open. This didn’t seem to bother anyone. Who checked to be sure the correct program was loaded? Just another questionable aspect of voting in Hawaii.
Or make a fuss in any way you think will help.
And please keep sending your leaks. Please send tips and leaks to leak-[at]-disappearednews-[dot]-com. Thank you!
The voting equipment should not have been left out in the open. It is a violation of normal, chain-of-custody election protocols and probably (I HOPE!) a violation of both Maui County and State election procedures. Someone should follow up with Rod Hiraga to find out if he regards this as acceptable or not.
I have reviewed the results from District 13 and can see no anomalies in the results which might suggest anyone took advantage of the security breach to commit voter fraud. In fact, there were no primary contests which would have provided much incentive for fraud.
Count me as one of those who would love to be able to explore the inner workings of an electronic voting machine, or even to try to see if the memory card can be read and the tallied results altered.
Probably the biggest threat in real world tersm would have been if someone walked off with some of the stuff and prevented the polling place from opening on schedule. Or, identity theft from getting access to the voter information in the poll books.
I assume this problem will not re-occur for the General Election. I also assume that District 13 voters will be watchdogging the County Clerk's Office for any similar foulup in November.
Sounds inflamatory. Too bad it's not accurate. The photographer should have inventoried the contents of the generic supply box more carefully. Anything relating to a ballot is not delivered until election morning as with other sensitive material such as the pollbooks and memory cards. These items are delivered by the delivery/collection teams the morning of the election. Items delivered in advance include voting booths, generic supplies, etc. While I share your concern regarding the integrity of the voting machines, please don't inflame the public with unsubstantiated remarks regarding identity theft and advance delivery of sensitive election materials. I am not working with the election this year, but have experience working in Maui precincts and on the delivery and collection team for the past 15 years. I can only assume the photographer does not have the same understanding, which is unfortunate.