Gov’t panel rejects paper trail for e-voting machines

We should have known not to get our hopes up! We can’t even recommend that ninjas use absentee ballots because often times election officials don’t count them anyway (unless there is a recount)

Maybe now there is a justifiable excuse for not voting…some 13-year old hacker working for the GOP is just going to fix the whole thing anyway

Story via CNET

Previous MNP post on the NIST recommendation for a paper trail

‘Nonlethal’ weapon makes you feel like your skin is being burned off – hmmm, sounds humane

According to documents obtained for Wired News under federal sunshine laws, the Air Force’s Active Denial System, or ADS, has been certified safe after lengthy tests by military scientists in the lab and in war games.

The beam produces what experimenters call the “Goodbye effect,” or “prompt and highly motivated escape behavior.” In human tests, most subjects reached their pain threshold within 3 seconds, and none of the subjects could endure more than 5 seconds.

The ADS was developed in complete secrecy for 10 years at a cost of $40 million. Its existence was revealed in 2001 by news reports, but most details of ADS human testing remain classified. There has been no independent checking of the military’s claims.

The development of a truly safe and highly effective nonlethal crowd-control system could raise enormous ethical questions about the state’s use of coercive force. If a method such as ADS leads to no lasting injury or harm, authorities may find easier justifications for employing them.


E-Voting Machines not secure?! – hmmm, couldn?t have guessed that one?

Well Diebold and the other e-voting machine companies must be pissed. For those ninjas that actually embrace democracy however, this is great news. Remember when those historically democratic districts with these machines mysteriously went for Bush in ‘04, and in other districts with the machines the exit polls didn’t match the “official” reuslts? Hmmmm…

WASHINGTON (AP) – Paperless electronic voting machines in widespread use across the country may be vulnerable to errors or sabotage and cannot be made secure, a draft report by a federal agency said.

The report by researchers at the influential National Institute of Standards and Technology said the paperless voting machines – essentially notebook computers programmed to display ballot images and record voter choices – “in practical terms cannot be made secure.’’

“Many people, especially in the computer engineering and security community, assert that the (voting machines) are vulnerable to undetectable errors as well as malicious software attacks,’’ the report said.

A key weakness is that there is no audit mechanism or paper trail to verify election results other than what the machine itself reports, the report said.

“Potentially, a single programmer could ‘rig’ a major election,’’ the report said.

Couldn’t they have saved some hard-earned taxpayer money and instead of doing a study/report just used some common sense? Actually, that would’ve been way too much to ask…
Story via The Guardian/AP

Read the actual National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) report here

Further Reading:

Great article, “Rage Against the Machines

If you want to get yourself real angry, read this article too (it’s from 2003, but still good ish)
Oh, and if you want to learn how to rig one of these voting machines

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