TX Official Claims 'Machines Not Faulty'; NH Official Claims Not to Know Whether They Use Same Diebold Op-Scan Voting System Seen Hacked in HBO Documentary (It Was)...
By Brad Friedman on 5/13/2008, 1:13pm PT  

Miller-McCune's David Rosenfeld files a good story on the dreadful state of the hackable, insecure, error-prone machinery --- both DRE/touch-screen and paper-based optical scan --- still used across our electoral landscape in 2008.

Despite a few small-ish errors, Rosenfeld succeeds where so many before him have been unable: Properly quoting both the scientists and Election Integrity experts who know what they're talking about, while giving fair opportunity to respond from voting machine company and elected officials who are either in denial, uninformed, or simply willing to lie.

Folks like Ellen Theisen of VotersUnite.org, Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org, computer scientist David Wagner of UC Berkley, and yours truly (from The BRAD BLOG) are quoted from the truth-telling side.

On the misleading and/or state of denial and/or lying side, we hear from a Diebold spokesman, and officials from both the NH and TX Secretaries of State offices.

The latters' comments --- particularly those from the SoS offices, where one would think they have a duty to both be informed and tell the truth about their voting systems (unlike Diebold, where we might expect them to continue their long, unfettered, and desperation-built reputation for lying) --- are simply stunning.

Diebold spokesperson Chris Riggall (yes, an unfortunate name for a voting machine spokesperson) offers the usual nonsense in response to all of the many independent tests around the country which have found the company's voting systems --- both paper-based and touch-screen --- to have been easily hacked in seconds. "In some cases the studies have been lacking in appropriate perspective and balance," Riggall misleads in response.

But the TX and NH SoS officials quoted were even more outrageous in their outright states of denial, and/or the ease with which they are willing to simply mislead (okay, lie to) the reporter...

"The machines were not proven to be faulty," TX SoS spokesperson Scott Haywood lied to Rosenfeld, by way of just one example.

NH Deputy SoS David Scanlan's comments are arguably even more pathetic and/or disingenuous, as concerning the charge that the very same Diebold optical-scan systems used to hack a paper-based election --- as seen live in HBO'S landmark 2006 documentary Hacking Democracy (watch the stunning hack here) --- were also allowed for use to tabulate 80% of the ballots in the recent, incredibly anomalous, NH Primary Election.

"I know we use an Accuvote," Scanlan told Miller-McCune.com's Rosenfeld. "I'm not technical enough to tell you whether it's the same one that was used in the film, but it's possible."

Not technical enough, Mr. Scanlan? Not technical enough or not interested enough? Or just not honest enough to admit to the reporter what just about anyone familiar with elections already knows and can look up on the Internets in two minutes time.

New Hampshire uses the very same, hackable, Diebold Accuvote-OS with firmware v1.94w as seen being hacked in Hacking Democracy.

In addition to running a horribly administrated election last January, Mr. Scanlan would also appear to be either a liar, or criminally negligent in not knowing which secret, hackable vote-counting system his office has approved to tabulate 80% of the ballots cast by citizens in his own state. Take your pick. It's one or the other.

And as the film came out nearly a full two years ago, it's further negligence that Scanlan and/or his boss SoS William Gardner hasn't bothered to find out, demand a security upgrade from Diebold, and/or bothered to institute any sort of post-election audits to at least try to determine whether their voting systems have counted ballots accurately.

Read Rosenfeld's full article here, to fully appreciate both the bad guys mentioned above, and the (finally) the equal treatment offered to the good guys, such as yours truly and others, for a welcome change.

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