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Diebold Patch May Be Evidence of '02 Election Tampering

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the you-can-trust-us dept.

Security 526

An anonymous reader writes "Stephen Spoonamore, founder of IT security firm Cybrinth and former advisor to John McCain, claims he has new evidence of election tampering by Diebold in the 2002 Georgia gubernatorial and senate races. A whistleblower gave Spoonamore a patch that was applied to Diebold machines in person by the Diebold CEO. Spoonamore confirmed that the patch did not correct the clock problem it supposedly addressed, but contained two parallel programs. Without access to the hardware, he could not learn more. He reported his findings to the Justice Department, which has not acted."

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526 comments

and (5, Insightful)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249481)

the worst thing is even if the next election was rigged no body would really do anything.

Manipulating elections another way (1, Troll)

buswolley (591500) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249567)

McCain might also have tried to manipulate elections an old fashioned today by commenting on the probable timing of Obama's arrival in Iraq.

This is obviously a major security issue for Obama, and shows us why McCain should not be president.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUKN1830368120080718 [reuters.com]

Re:Manipulating elections another way (-1, Troll)

megaditto (982598) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249675)

Well, let's stop for a moment and ask ourselves: would would Iraqi insurgents like to see become the next US president? Obama or McCain? Now isn't that interesting...

My point is, Obama should feel pretty safe in Iraq.

Re:Manipulating elections another way (4, Insightful)

buswolley (591500) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249703)

perhaps. However, there are many many many factions there. Do you know and trust all their motivations? Some factions might like the war because it is profitable, or gives them an edge in gang fights.

Re:Manipulating elections another way (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249931)

White male, 38, athletic build, looking for younger man or woman to eat out my asshole while I fuck my wife (41, read headed MILF type). If she likes you, you can eat the creampie.

Re:Manipulating elections another way (4, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249761)

My point is, Obama should feel pretty safe in Iraq.

Not from the Blackwater goons. And he might want to stay away from the showers.

Re:Manipulating elections another way (3, Insightful)

Spasemunki (63473) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249799)

The extremists among the Iraqi insurgency and other terrorist groups are devoted to the idea of pushing the broader Islamic world into open war with the West. They would probably prefer that the winner of the election prolong the occupation so that they can continue to claim to be fighting against Western aggression and collaborators, rather than just killing their own people. The last thing that the kookiest of the terror groups want is a president who is interested in multi-lateral diplomatic settlements to points of conflict between Muslim countries and the US. A diplomatic resolution to conflicts over Iran's nuclear program, for instance, amounts to a disappointing fizzle if you're interested in widening the rift. An invasion and war, on the other hand, would push moderates in Iran into the arms of Islamic radicals that promise to defend them.

Re:Manipulating elections another way (2, Informative)

gerardolm (1137099) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249871)

Oh, God, no! Once US troops leave, Iraqi insurgents will be able to kill... other Iraqi people. Big deal to you, eh? Are you aware of all the other wars and everyday murders of innocent people (including children) in the rest of the world?

Re:Manipulating elections another way (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249885)

Well, let's stop for a moment and ask ourselves: would would Iraqi insurgents like to see become the next US president?

They just wouldn't care.

Re:Manipulating elections another way (1)

packeteer (566398) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249887)

Just because they want a particular person as president does not mean its actually good for them. I think they would be better off with McCain as president. He would keep the troops there that are a huge recruiting tool. Obama may or may not pull them. The country is probably going to fall into a civil war eventually. It would be much harder to recruit suicide bombers to blow up their own neighbors.

Re:Manipulating elections another way (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249933)

Well if you want to surrender Mccain's your man. He's got experience.

Re:Manipulating elections another way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249955)

what's the difference?

Re:Manipulating elections another way (-1, Flamebait)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249843)

This is obviously a major security issue for Obama, and shows us why McCain should not be president.

So, you were for McCain before this? If not, then why would you make us believe that THIS is the reason why McCain should not be president, as if you didn't have a reason before this. Also, THIS is what you call a good reason for someone to not be president, and yet, it's OK to say that Iran is not... IS a threat. That you do... do not... do... did, but not very often attend a church. Or, that your beloved grandmum who wiped your ass, fed and raised you is now a racist bitch... No, I think that you are just a politically biased hack who will point at anything at all and say, "See, McCain left the seat up. THAT's why he shouldn't be president!"

And, therefor, THIS is why we shouldn't listen to people like you.

Besides, everyone and their dog knows that Obama is headed to the MidEast over the next few days. You don't need security clearance to know that! For that matter, I doubt that McCain is even privy to Obama's schedule.

Re:and (3, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249583)

The worst thing is that the damage is done. No one you can vote for will ever restore the Constitutional rule-of-law and guarantee of due-process that are now in tattered, burning shreds.

Obama is to the right of Nixon - and is considered "center-left".

Once was America, now the Uber-Banana Republic.

Re:and (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249641)

Once was America, now the Uber-Banana Republic.

Now is when we sing the UBR anthem...
[hand on crotch] "Yes, we have no bananas. We have no bananas today."

Re:and (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249919)

"Hail, hail, Freedonia, land of the brave and free"

The last man nearly ruined this place
He didn't know what to do with it
If you think this country's bad off now,
Just wait 'til I get through with it!

The country's taxes must be fixed
And I know what to do with it
If you think you're paying too much now
Just wait till I get throught with it!

I will not stand for anything that's crooked or unfair
I'm strictly on the upper knot, so everyone beware
If any man's caught taking graft, and I don't get my share
We stand'im up against the wall and

POP!

Goes the weasel!

Re:and (1)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249865)

Once was America, now the Uber-Banana Republic.

So, no more Red Phone from Russia.

Instead we bring you : Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring BANANAPHONE.

Metagovernment (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249849)

This is why we, the geeks, are developing the Metagovernment [metagovernment.org] , and building real, practical direct democracy. Are you in?

Re:Metagovernment (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249911)

Geekocracy?! Talk about rule by the unwashed. :D

Suspicious... (1)

rwillard (1323303) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249483)

...and scary as hell, but just because you don't know what a patch did doesn't make it evidence of tampering.

There absolutely should be a full investigation, though.

Obstruction of Justice Dept. (4, Funny)

twitter (104583) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249539)

If the patch is not suspicious enough, inaction by the Justice Department is damning.

Re:Obstruction of Justice Dept. (5, Funny)

Sparky McGruff (747313) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249551)

That's impossible. The bush administration would never use manipulate the Justice Department for political purposes.

Re:Suspicious... (5, Insightful)

statemachine (840641) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249611)

Three problems with your point:

1) The patch was made to certified machines, thus making them non-certified.

2) It was only applied in 2 counties. (*cough*Democratic counties*cough*) Why not the whole state?

3) I'm fairly certain that if *I* merely open the ballot box or machine during the election, that satisfies the requirement for "tampering" regardless of me touching ballots or flipping bits, and I'd be making an extra stop at the local police precinct before going home.

Of course, it all depends on who's prosecuting and how it gets presented.

Re:Suspicious... (4, Insightful)

Gorobei (127755) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249613)

But if:

1. it doesn't fix the problem it claims to fix
2. it was personnally installed by the CEO of the vendor's firm
3. it was only installed on a subset of machines (and those in democratic strongholds)

alarm bells should be going off all over the place.

If, at my bank, we tried to push a change that hit even one of the above, ten people would be on the phone to in-house lawyers, compliance, management, etc.

Had one of my new guys yesterday wanting to push a change. "I'll tell you what it does," he said. "Don't bother," I said, "if what it's doing is not obvious, it's not going anywhere."

Re:Suspicious... (5, Insightful)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249649)

The CEO personally getting involved is more suspicious to me.

I mean Deibold is a fairly large company, why is the CEO applying patches to products in person?

And how often does he do this?

Re:Suspicious... (5, Insightful)

Joker1980 (891225) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249835)

why is the CEO applying patches to products in person?

And how often does he do this?

Whenever he needs to get paid

Anybody surprised? (2, Insightful)

fluch (126140) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249495)

Honestly? Surprised that there exists interests in changing the outcome of an election in a favourable way?

Re:Anybody surprised? (4, Interesting)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249545)

Yes, Republicans. For all the screaming about we on the left have been doing about these rigged elections, the Republicans have largely blown it all off as a bunch of whiny, sore losers. And, I say this with actual understanding of their point (I'd be suspicious of our cries as well were the tables turned). I think if you could get Republicans to see how truly corrupt our election system has become, they'd be as outraged as well. But, it's hard to get a credible spokesman (read: a fellow Republican) to come out as vehemently against this as someone like Greg Palast has.

Re:Anybody surprised? (1, Flamebait)

novakyu (636495) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249941)

Yes, Republicans.

Er, did you even read the summary? The summary says:

Stephen Spoonamore, founder of IT security firm Cybrinth and former advisor to John McCain, claims he has new evidence of election tampering by Diebold in the 2002 Georgia gubernatorial and senate races.

So, since you like blaming Republicans for everything, perhaps you will think that this is only because this accusation will benefit Republicans, but if you RTFA, it says that some of the voting irregularity was Democratic candidates (a senator and a governor) losing to Republican candidates, despite having led the polls by a significant margin.

Why don't you just come out and say that you hate Republicans for some irrational reason (perhaps you were molested as a child by Republicans)?

Re:Anybody surprised? (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249947)

I think if you could get Republicans to see how truly corrupt our election system has become, they'd be as outraged as well. But, it's hard to get a credible spokesman (read: a fellow Republican) to come out as vehemently against this as someone like Greg Palast has.

I think you severely underestimate a *partisan's ability to write off information that could force them into a state of cognitive dissonance.

Abu Ghraib was written off as "hazing" and "a fraternity prank."
I don't really see that mindset getting too outraged over election fraud in their favor.

*This goes both ways really. Anyone remember Dan Rather's fake documents?

"Contained two parallel programs" (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249503)

Were the Diebold voting machines Euclidean or non-Euclidean? Without this key bit of information, we can't know if these programs intersected or not.

Absentee Ballot! (4, Insightful)

CyberSnyder (8122) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249505)

I think I'll vote via absentee ballot and send it via registered mail. Paranoid? Maybe.

Re:Absentee Ballot! (1)

Ryvar (122400) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249527)

I think I'll vote via absentee ballot and send it via registered mail. Paranoid? Maybe.

If this story is true, then I can't think of anything more foolish than purposefully drawing attention to oneself.

Re:Absentee Ballot! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249619)

plus they don't count the absentee ballots unless the rigged results are close enough that the absentee ballots might change the outcome.

Re:Absentee Ballot! (2, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249625)

Speaking of drawing attention to one's self, why did the whistleblower in TFA claim the Diebold CEO himself flied out to 2 counties to apply patches?

The whistleblower(or article writer) may have been embellishing things(it's how the FBI runs: pay rats riduculous amounts of cash to embellish the "evil deeds" that the mark is doing). Either Diebold is a 1-person company, or the CEO prefers a "hands-on" approach to doing business :)

Re:Absentee Ballot! (5, Informative)

Phroggy (441) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249705)

Here in Oregon, enough people were opting to vote by mail that they just decided to get rid of polling places altogether. We do still have ballot boxes at various community locations (libraries, schools, etc.) so you can drop off your ballot instead of paying for postage.

Oregon's vote by mail system does not protect against vote buying. However, Oregon citizens are willing to risk that potential danger in exchange for the ability to have voting parties, where a group of friends can get together, discuss each issue on the ballot, answer each other's questions, and make an informed decision while eating cookies and generally enjoying each other's company.

Re:Absentee Ballot! (4, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249891)

Here in Oregon, enough people were opting to vote by mail that they just decided to get rid of polling places altogether. We do still have ballot boxes at various community locations (libraries, schools, etc.) so you can drop off your ballot instead of paying for postage.

We do that on local government elections here in Australia, but the electoral commission sends out a reply paid envelope for you to send back. One time I got about five ballot papers addressed to names like "John J Jones, Jane Q Smith" which I very carefully did not open, complete or send back. I suspect somebody forgot to remove example records from a database, though it might have had something to do with the fact I lived next door to a hostel with a large itinerant population who could be persuaded to fill out ballot papers in false names.

Re:Absentee Ballot! (1)

statemachine (840641) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249961)

Oregon's vote by mail system does not protect against vote buying. However, Oregon citizens are willing to risk that potential danger in exchange for the ability to have voting parties, where a group of friends can get together, discuss each issue on the ballot, answer each other's questions, and make an informed decision while eating cookies and generally enjoying each other's company.

Ah yes. Voting by peer pressure. Much better.

Re:Absentee Ballot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249875)

Ummm, in most states absentee ballots aren't even counted unless the election is "close" (I say most because there are places like Oregon that are absentee only, which is the direction we should move towards as it boosts turnout as well).

No actors in the DOJ. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249509)

> He reported his findings to the Justice Department, which has not acted.

Bush co already patched the justice dept.
No worries.

Of two minds... (1)

Legion_SB (1300215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249535)

Intellectually, I hate this. Our constitutional republic* requires free and fair elections.

But in terms of news-as-entertainment, this is the stuff the best thrillers are made of.

(*: used in place of "democracy" for maximum correctness)

Re:Of two minds... (2, Funny)

lordofwhee (1187719) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249811)

Intellectually, I hate this. Our oligarchy* requires free and fair elections.

But in terms of news-as-entertainment, this is the stuff the best thrillers are made of.

(*: used in place of "democracy" for maximum correctness)

Fixed that mistake for ya.

This needs a "paranoia" tag. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249537)

I live in Atlanta, and lived here in 2002. "King" Roy Barnes and Max Cleland didn't get "robbed" of anything. They lost their elections because they were both liberal Democrats running in a conservative state in a big Republican year. Barnes in particular had become so personally obnoxious that a good many in his own party crossed over to vote against him out of pure spite.

Good grief, people. Put the tinfoil hats away.

It would take a paranoid to do nothing. (2, Insightful)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249671)

We're talking about McCain's aid and a respected businessman. The allegation is serious enough to warrent an investigation regardless of who reported it - you can figure out what software does impartially. When it's someone from the side that won, there's all the more reason to look. Some people put principles like one man one vote before the good of their party. As politicians are fond of saying, millions of people have died defending those principles.

The only reason to dismiss these charges is if you think Spoonamore has an axe to grind. Chances are, he will soon face smears of that nature but they don't hold up. The Bush adiministration has shown a willingess to punish those who say things that make them look bad. Spoonamore has much to lose and nothing to gain but everyone's freedom. His act is selfless and commendable.

Re:It would take a paranoid to do nothing. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249757)

You already posted in this article with another one of your accounts [slashdot.org] . Please try to keep it down to one account per article, kthx.

Re:This needs a "paranoia" tag. (4, Insightful)

Stanislav_J (947290) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249713)

The point is not whether those who won the election would have won anyway even without tampering. Obviously, those who perpetrated the alleged act believed that there was a chance there might be an upset, and alleged act itself remains criminal.

Re:This needs a "paranoia" tag. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249775)

I'd really like to hear a Republican explain how the Republican party is "conservative"?

Re:This needs a "paranoia" tag. (2, Insightful)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249923)

I'd really like to hear a Republican explain how the Republican party is "conservative"?

Whether they are or not is largely irrelevant at present. They still claim to be conservative, and conservative voters accept that claim to a such a degree that they vote for them. That's all.

Re:This needs a "paranoia" tag. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249781)

And if the CEO of Diebold was making sure of that, he needs to go to jail. Doesn't matter if the results were actually changed - and there's no way we can know at this point, anyway.

Re:This needs a "paranoia" tag. (3, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249807)

It seems there is an allegation of tampering that no one seems to be able to prove or disprove. Regardsless of who won or should have won, that fact alone should give anyone pause when it comes to voting by machine. With hand marked ballots counted by hand, there will be a representative of a party of my own conviction at most polling stations, who can tell me with conviction: "No tampering has taken place here". When votes are counted by hands in the presence of representatives of all partirs, I can be pretty sure that there is no widespread tampering, without having to take any expert's word for it.

Sure Sign (5, Insightful)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249549)

The first flag should've been that it was the CEO who performed the patch. If a CEO _ever_ gets his hands dirty, you can rest assured that there is something illegal going on that needs to be covered up.

Re:Sure Sign (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249771)

I am not denying or claiming that anything is wrong but how does CEO's hands-on involvement for patching indicate anything?

Something is fishy about that update. (4, Informative)

JavaManJim (946878) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249557)

As an IT support person, the scope of the Diebold patch update is suspicious. Why just two counties? Why not the whole state? Why a special trip by the CEO? Too many bells are going off here.

When I did IT updates. I would update a few test configurations and select users then let them run for a bit. Then roll out to the masses. About 2,500 PCs if you will.

The justice department needs to begin investigating this immediately.

This whole situation stinks to high heaven.

Thanks,
Jim

"Up against the wall, MF" (2, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249569)

I wonder how many people have stopped to think through the implications of this charge. If it's proven to be true, it could very well mean Diebold's CEO is guilty of treason. In a time of war (which President Bush has repeatedly said is the case), that's a death penalty offense. While I don't favour the death penalty, I think you have to take a very serious look at it for somebody who hasn't just killed people, but who has attempted to kill democracy in an entire nation. This particular incident may have been restricted to one state, but Diebold has been very active in attempting to get its machines and methods protected from legal supervision at the federal level.

By the way, what's their new name? I keep forgetting.

Re:"Up against the wall, MF" (4, Informative)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249733)

If it's proven to be true, it could very well mean Diebold's CEO is guilty of treason.

And how is this making war against the United States or giving Aid and Comfort to it's enemies in time of war? Here in the USA, that's how treason is defined in the Constitution. [wikipedia.org] Calling any and everything you don't like "treason" is exactly why it was defined that way, and why the Constitution specifies that a conviction can only be obtained by direct confession in open court or on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act. I knew that the standards of education here were dropping, but I didn't thing they'd dropped that far.

Re:"Up against the wall, MF" (3, Insightful)

GSloop (165220) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249893)

IMO, subverting an election would be very close to "in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort."

The enemies of the Republic would be any that would attempt to subvert the rule of the republic - which would include elections. (This is in practical terms, the equivalent of a coup.)

I'm not sure I exactly agree with this definition, but clearly an argument could be made that subverting elections would in essence be "war" against the republic.

It's certainly on less shaky ground than our governments declaration that all held at Guantanamo are legitimately held "unlawful combatants."

-Greg

Re:"Up against the wall, MF" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249899)

I think it would be far more of a deterrent if these billionaire criminals (I'm not just thinking of this specific situation, but any situation where someone who is already so well off it defies the imagination of ordinary people, commits illegal acts to get still more) were stripped of their assets and forced to live on minimum wage for a number of years set by sentencing in their trials.

Re:"Up against the wall, MF" (2, Informative)

VirusEqualsVeryYes (981719) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249915)

By the way, what's their new name?

"Diebold Election Systems, Inc.", the subsidiary of Diebold, Inc. involved in electronic voting systems, was renamed "Premier Election Solutions [wikipedia.org] ", a.k.a. Premier or PES. The parent company remains Diebold.

Re:"Up against the wall, MF" (4, Funny)

y5 (993724) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249921)

I wonder how many people have stopped to think through the implications of this charge. If it's proven to be true, it could very well mean Diebold's CEO is guilty of treason. In a time of war (which President Bush has repeatedly said is the case), that's a death penalty offense. While I don't favour the death penalty, I think you have to take a very serious look at it for somebody who hasn't just killed people, but who has attempted to kill democracy in an entire nation. This particular incident may have been restricted to one state, but Diebold has been very active in attempting to get its machines and methods protected from legal supervision at the federal level.

So what you're saying is, not only are liberals going to actively pursue the death penalty, but they're going to have to admit that we're at war to get there?

I don't know if I see that happening.. But I'm heading to the grocery store for some popcorn, just in case.

(yes, you can mod me down now)

Diebold == Premier Election Solutions (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249573)

Remember folks, Diebold is now known as "Premier Election Solutions" [wikipedia.org] --they changed their name to get away from the bad PR! So don't call them "Diebold" any more and don't forget!

Just like MediaSentry becoming "SafeNet", we shouldn't be so quick to forget who the scumbags are!

- I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property [eff.org]

More pieces of the puzzle ( muzzle? ) (5, Informative)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249575)

2003;
The head of a company vying to sell voting machines in Ohio told Republicans in a recent fund-raising letter that he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

The Aug. 14 letter from Walden O'Dell, chief executive of Diebold Inc. - who has become active in the re-election effort of President Bush - prompted Democrats this week to question the propriety of allowing O'Dell's company to calculate votes in the 2004 presidential election.

O'Dell attended a strategy pow-wow with wealthy Bush benefactors - known as Rangers and Pioneers - at the president's Crawford, Texas, ranch earlier this month. The next week, he penned invitations to a $1,000-a-plate fund-raiser to benefit the Ohio Republican Party's federal campaign fund - partially benefiting Bush - at his mansion in the Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington.

The letter went out the day before Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, also a Republican, was set to qualify Diebold as one of three firms eligible to sell upgraded electronic voting machines to Ohio counties in time for the 2004 election.

Re:More pieces of the puzzle ( muzzle? ) (1)

Gregb05 (754217) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249841)

There's mansions in UA now? Man. Things sure have changed since I went off to college...

Oh wait, never mind, that was before I went to college. You're full of shit.

Re:More pieces of the puzzle ( muzzle? ) (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249963)

>The head of a company vying to sell voting machines in Ohio told Republicans in a recent fund-raising letter that he is "committed to
>helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

He stopped short of saying a name. No crime here, end of story.

It's a good thing there's at least some publicity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249577)

Sources close to Spoonamore said he was very concerned that he would lose his contracts as a result of coming forward and would take a "large financial hit." These sources added that, despite his concerns, Spoonamore felt obligated to reveal what he knows to the public. "He felt he had no choice as an American citizen but to come forward, and he also knows the likely consequences of him doing so," one source said.

If anything happens to this man: he gets killed in an auto accident, accidentally ODs on something, gets hit with a bolt a lightning; I may have to hold some folks in Washington accountable for it. Which means, I'll bitch and moan about the conspiracy like a complete impotent citizen of the US that we've all become. We're no match for the corporate lobbyists (Diebold's especially) in Washington.

My CAPTCH is "dissent" - how interesting. Maybe CmdrTaco and gang is involved.

and (1)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249581)

don't expect the media to notice, they'll look very hard for dimpled chads etc and announce no problems with this election.

The CEO personally installed patches? (5, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249599)

The story says "The computer patch was installed in person by Diebold CEO Bob Urosevich, who flew in from Texas and applied it in just two counties, DeKalb and Fulton, both Democratic strongholds."

If that's accurate, that's astonishing to me.

I don't know much about "The Raw Story," which describes itself as an "alternative" news source. If this had appeared in the mainstream media I would regard it as something close to a smoking gun. I hope this isn't the end of the story.

Re:The CEO personally installed patches? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249959)

Bingo, that's the most suspicious part of the story right there. The CEO evidently didn't trust anybody else because he wanted to make sure that everything would be done exactly according to (his) plan. No tests, backups, logs, probing interviews, etc. And no subordinate would have to be briefed on what was to be done and why.

Why not open source voting code? (1)

DanLake (543142) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249601)

Why doesn't Diebold allow for open source code? What could possibly be proprietary about code that essentially says "choose A, B, C" and counts up the totals? Are there some super-efficient algorithms for that they don't want to get out?

The source could be freely distributed, compiled and signed by a 3rd party as unmodified and genuine. It doesn't prevent other monkey business from going on in the machines, but the secrecy is crazy.

Re:Why not open source voting code? (4, Funny)

Phantom of the Opera (1867) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249677)

Why doesn't Diebold allow for open source code?

* They are afraid of scrutiny. They might have errors and some might turn out to be embarrassing.

* Competition might ensue.

* Hide any funny business.

* Have to follow someone else's rules

* Have to spend effort/expense making code available.

* Code files too big as they were written with PowerPoint (tm)

What was the problem (1)

Exanon (1277926) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249615)

The more I read about these election problems the same quesiton always pops up in the back of my head: What was wrong with paper ballots counted by hand?

In a digital world it is as safe as can be.

"Facts" wrong (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249623)

FTA: "...The first red flag went up when the computer patch was installed in person by Diebold CEO Bob Urosevich..."

Oops. Bob Urosevich was not and has never been the CEO of Diebold. That seems like a pretty important oversight for a front-page non-fiction piece.

FUD.

Re:"Facts" wrong (4, Informative)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249765)

Hm, you're right, there's only a few dozen websites out there claim Bob Urosevich was the CEO of Diebold Election Systems.

As far as I can tell his "official" title was, Bob Urosevich was the President [wikipedia.org] of Diebold Election Systems from January 2002 until the second half of 2004. Prior to 2002, he was the Chief Operating Officer and President of Global Election Systems (which was bought by Diebold).

Re:"Facts" wrong (1)

AaronLawrence (600990) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249951)

Yes, this is a significant mistake, although it could be a mistake by someone in the reporting chain (some people are fuzzy on the difference between corporate positions). If the rest of the accusation is true though, then it's even worse - even more unlikely a President woould get involved than a CEO.

Re:"Facts" wrong (5, Informative)

jmalicki (1764) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249785)

Actually, he was President of Diebold Election Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Diebold... a slight oversight, but not as simply wrong as you make it out to be (and it's understandable how one might confuse it with the parent company). See for example http://web.archive.org/web/20030811034309/www.diebold.com/news/newsdisp.asp?id=2915.

After this we blame other countries... (1, Flamebait)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249627)

...Spoonamore confirmed that the patch did not correct the clock problem it supposedly addressed, but contained two parallel programs. Without access to the hardware, he could not learn more. He reported his findings to the Justice Department, which has not acted...

When one cites this case, can't the argument be made that the USA is just like any other third world country?

If you asked me, I'd say "yes" "yes" "yes" it is.

How many more are there? (2, Insightful)

grizdog (1224414) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249629)

The software engineers try to get a handle on how many bugs are left after a certain number have been found, but how do we get a handle on how many events like these might be happening after one has come to light?

It has long been pretty clear that these voting machine vendors, Diebold chief among them, have had something to hide because of how cagy they have been about allowing people to examine their machines. It's very frustrating that their arguments seem to always win out - it makes you wonder how many Secretaries of State (for non-US readers, that is a state-level office that is frequently in charge of elections. Not to be confused with the Federal level Foreign Minister) want to know what is going on, or really d know what is going on, and just want deniability.

Pure speculation! (1)

zygotic mitosis (833691) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249643)

Now, come on. I believe that Diebold is totally evil as much as the next guy, but really. Unless we have more information, how can this be considered evidence of anything?

and the sad thing is this guy may go to jail for.. (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249667)

and the sad thing is this guy may go to jail for leaking this as he broke the law by doing so.

Yes but they didn't answer the big question....... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249683)

Who is going to be the next President? I can't wait until November I wish Diebold would just tell us now.

What Patch? (0, Redundant)

Ignis Flatus (689403) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249723)

seriously, what patch? i don't see no patch. dump the code somewhere, chances are, someone will recognize it, or knows someone else who will.

also, i'm not convinced the CEO coming out himself means squat. if it's a sensitive matter and last minute, sometimes you just do things yourself if you want them done right.

i hate electronic voting as much as anyone and would prefer paper ballots and hand counts. it works for canada. but this article is just a bunch of conspiracy theorist crap. if you've got the evidence, show it.

Re:What Patch? (1)

lordofwhee (1187719) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249889)

i hate electronic voting as much as anyone and would prefer paper ballots and hand counts. it works for canada.

We lose all our paper ballots, remember?

Diebold is a bunch of crooks (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249739)

Jeff Dean, Senior Vice-President and Senior Programmer at Global Election Systems (GES), the company purchased by Diebold in 2002 which became Diebold Election Systems, was convicted of 23 counts of felony theft for planting back doors in software he created for ATMs using, according to court documents, a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of two years[8]. In addition to Dean, GES employed a number of other convicted felons in senior positions, including a fraudulent securities trader and a drug trafficker.

Avi Rubin, Professor of Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University and Technical Director of the Information Security Institute has analyzed the source code used in these voting machines and reports "this voting system is far below even the most minimal security standards applicable in other contexts.
Following the publication of this paper, the State of Maryland hired Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) to perform another analysis of the Diebold voting machines. SAIC concluded "[t]he system, as implemented in policy, procedure, and technology, is at high risk of compromise."

Any Evidence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249745)

Do we know if this whistleblower has any credibility? Are we relying solely on Raw Story's claims? Do we have any actual references here?

Re:Any Evidence? (5, Insightful)

tomhath (637240) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249861)

Credibility? You want credibility on an anonymous third-hand account of something that allegedly happened six years ago? Get real. There will be many, many claims of fraud, affairs, and other misdeeds against the Republicans in the next four months. To paraphrase Dan Rather "We're sure the story is true, even if the evidence doesn't support it".

a video worth watching (1, Interesting)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249805)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u6lCBnRoHQ [youtube.com]

if you believe in the American Dream then you better wake up because the only people that are dreaming are asleep...

not to sound like a troll but do you really think voting does any good? the evidence seems to prove otherwise, i think its all smoke & mirrors...

WTF??? (3, Funny)

dkeisling (1328667) | more than 5 years ago | (#24249913)

FTA: "he identified two parallel programs, both having the full software code and even the same audio instructions for the deaf." And I thought Braille on a drive up ATM was pointless.

Delivering on his promise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24249957)

Wasn't this the guy who promised to "deliver the votes" to a politician? Can't remember who it was...

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