Hackable Diebold Machines Covertly Re-Certified
in California by SOS
Bradblog - 2/17/2006
State Senator Outraged, Says Machines, Certification Violates State, Federal Standards and Law...
Secretary of State McPherson seems to have a thing for making major announcements late on Fridays just before holidays. Following in what seems to be a pattern of his, he announced late this afternoon that he was certifying Diebold Optical Scan and AccuVote TSx (touch-screens) for use in elections in the state.
The re-certification (they had been originally decertified in California in 2004 when it was revealed Diebold had installed illegal software updates on the machines) is conditional on some items but not on the one thing point he had announced last December when he sent the system back to federal authorities for further testing. At that time he said he was sending the machine's memory cards to the federal Independent Testing Authority (ITA) Lab for reinspection in light of the news out of Leon County, Florida that the cards used "intepreted code" which is specifically banned by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). A "hack test" in that county revealed that an entire election could have its results flipped by a hacker exploiting that "interpreted code" -- without a trace being left behind.
McPherson made his announcement today without waiting to hear back from the ITA lab.
Last summer, after a massive mock election test with Diebold touch-screen machines revealed that 10% of them failed entirely with screens freezing and printers jamming -- later reports would reveal that as many as 30% of the machines actually failed! -- McPherson said, "We certainly can't take any kind of risk like that with this kind of device on California voters."
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