Sequoia touch-screen systems, found vulnerable to failure and undetectable manipulation, to be used again in 13 states...
By Brad Friedman on 10/26/2012, 2:47pm PT  

President Barack Obama may have voted for Mitt Romney yesterday when he cast his Early Vote at the Martin Luther King Community Center in Chicago's 4th Ward. Nobody knows for sure. Even him.

He cast his vote on a 100% unverifiable touch-screen e-voting system made by Sequoia Voting Systems (which is now owned by a Canadian firm named Dominion Voting.) It is scientifically impossible to ever know if his vote was recorded accurately, as per his itent, or not on that type of voting system.

"I can't tell you who I voted for," the President joked, as noted by our colleague Mark Crispin Miller in a short blog item today wryly headlined "Obama votes for Romney". The President's joke may not have been nearly as funny as he had intended it.

We confirmed with the Chicago Board of Elections that Early Voters in the Windy City must do so on the oft-failed, incredibly-vulnerable, and easily-hacked (see below for details) Sequoia AVC Edge touch-screen voting system which is still used according to's database for Early, Disabled-Accessible or Standard polling place voting in some 234 jurisdictions across all or part of some 13 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

On Election Day, the Board's Communication Director told The BRAD BLOG, voters are allowed to vote on their choice of either paper ballots (also tallied by Sequoia's incredibly faulty computer tabulators --- the same ones which announced losing candidates as "winners" in 3 different elections in Palm Beach County, FL earlier this year) or Sequoia's 100% unverifiable AVC Edge touch-screens.

The Intellectual Property of those Sequoia systems is still a proprietary trade secret owned by a Venezuelan firm named Smartmatic, which has been tied to the country's long-time President Hugo Chavez. That point was lied about by Sequoia's then CEO Jack Blaine when he was asked directly about it by a Chicago Alderman some years ago, as The BRAD BLOG detailed exclusively back in 2008.

Sequoia has since been purchased by the Canadian firm Dominion Voting, which also subsequently lied about the company's Intellectual Property being owned by the Chavez-tied company when they announced their takeover of Sequoia in 2010. Dominion confirmed as much when we called them on it after their announcement. And, yes, we are still the only ones to have reported that as well.

A few other quick points of note which should deeply concern every voter in the nation --- of any party, or none at all --- about the 100% unverifiable Sequoia touch-screen voting systems that the President foolishly entrusted yesterday to accurately record his vote...

  • That's the same 100% unverifiable voting system which has a "Yellow Button" on the back which, if pressed in a specific sequence, will go into Administrative Mode and then, as an election official explained to us when The BRAD BLOG first reported this in 2006: "You can then vote as many times as you want. You won't ever have to stop until someone physically restrains you from voting."
  • That's the same 100% unverifiable voting system that the Computer Security Group at the University of California Santa Barbara showed, on video tape in 2008, how a single person with simple insider access and a USB thumb drive could hack every voting system in the county at once, in about 10 seconds, such that even a 100% hand-count of the systems' "Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails" (which are never actually counted after an election, results are based on the internal numbers recorded separately) would be unlikely to reveal that, in fact, the entire system had been hacked. As the video shows, UCSB found they could easily insert "virus-like software that can spread across the voting system, modifying the firmware of the voting machines. The modified firmware is able to steal votes even in the presence of a Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)."
  • That's the same 100% unverifiable system that was decertified by the Secretary of State of California in 2007 [PDF] after a study by world class scientists and computer security experts (including the UCSB group) commissioned by the state, found that, among a host of "multiple vulnerabilities" on the systems, the expert reviewers "demonstrated that the physical and technology security mechanisms...were inadequate to ensure accuracy of integrity of the elections results" ... "contain serious design flaws that have led directly to specific vulnerabilities, which attackers could exploit to affect election outcomes" ... including "significant security weaknesses...the nature of which raise serious questions as to whether Sequoia software can be relied upon to protect the integrity of elections" ... "lack reliable measures to detect or prevent tampering" ... "lacks effective safeguards against corrupted or malicious data injected into removable media...with potentially serious consequences including alteration of recorded votes [and] adding false results...when the malicious data is loaded for voting counting" ... that the "cryptography used to protect the integrity of precinct results can be easily circumvented" and that the reviewers "were able to bypass Sequoia voting system elections management system controls to compromise the server host, despite vendor assurances to the contrary" and "were able to create a working exploit on the Sequoia Edge that shifted votes from one candidate to another and was not detectable on the voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT)."
  • That's the same 100% unverifiable voting systems that is still used, despite all of the scientifically verified findings detailed above, across the entire state of Nevada, which, again this year during Early Voting, has already resulted in reports of votes-flipping (in favor of Obama, in this case), just as it did both before the 2008 election and, more recently, in the contentious 2010 U.S. Senate race between Sen. Harry Reid and Sharron Angle. At the time, before the 2010 election, we detailed the justifiable concerns of both Republicans and Democrats about those very same NV machines in "Hacking Harry Reid (Or, Sharron's Angle)".
  • Similarly 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems made by other companies will once again be used to record the votes, accurately or otherwise, nobody can ever know, form some 30 million voters, or 1/3 of the U.S. electorate.

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