Ohio has published a report on an investigation into electronic voting machines, Wired reports on it, summarising one particular finding thus:
They found that a voter or poll worker with a Palm Pilot and no more than a minute’s access to a voting machine could surreptitiously re-calibrate the touch-screen so that it would prevent voters from voting for specific candidates or cause the machine to secretly record a voter’s vote for a different candidate than the one the voter chose. Access to the screen calibration function requires no password, and the attacker’s actions, the researchers say, would be indistinguishable from the normal behavior of a voter in front of a machine or of a pollworker starting up a machine in the morning.
…and if you think that’s bad enough, then here’s an interesting comment from a collection of complaints about voting in Florida in 2006 that were assembled after an FOI request:
Vote for one candidate registered as vote for different candidate
Upon opening ballot for first time voter saw “x” by Katherine Harris’s name though voter had not touched screen yet.
So the machines are quite capable of getting things wrong without a malicious attack (well, assuming that wasn’t the cause in the above events).
So, who would you like to win today ?
(Via Bruce Schneier)