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Kentucky Officials "Changed Votes At Voting Machines"

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the smoking-gun dept.

The Courts 494

The indispensible jamie found a report out of Kentucky of exactly the kind of shenanigans that voting-transparency advocates have been warning about: a circuit court judge, a county clerk, and election officials are among eight people indicted for gaming elections in 2002, 2004, and 2006. As described in the indictment (PDF), the election officials divvied up money intended to buy votes and then changed votes on the county's (popular, unverifiable) ES&S touch-screen voting systems, affecting the outcome of elections at the local, state, and federal levels.

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Election Fraud (4, Funny)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267307)

We never had it before electronic voting systems. And it is impossible to catch because there is no paper trail.

Re:Election Fraud (-1, Troll)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267331)

shut the fuck up and now that you've elected your Obama, you've got to keep it until the peremption date, in 2012, until then, how does it feel to have your money adopted by the Zimbabweans?

Re:Election Fraud (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267401)

Since the article doesn't mention it, the people indicted were DEMOCRATS. Quite the conundrum, eh, SlashKos? On one hand, vote fraud is bad, but since it's your guys (Democrats) doing it is almost makes it ok, right?

Re:Election Fraud (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267541)

a circuit court judge, a county clerk, and election officials are among eight people indicted for gaming elections in 2002, 2004, and 2006

You see, this is why I don't vote;
Those guys are much more qualified to pick a candidate than I am. Why bother?-)

Re:Election Fraud (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267873)

Easy: If you don't vote, you have no right to bitch about the people you didn't vote for screwing things up :)

Re:Election Fraud (4, Insightful)

ChefInnocent (667809) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267581)

Feeling particularly trollish? It doesn't matter what party does the fraud (I say this as someone who voted Democrat in the last election); these people should be tried and hung for treason. This cuts into the very fabric of what our country is suppose to be.

Re:Election Fraud (5, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267719)

It doesn't matter what party does the fraud

Quite so.

But it should be pointed out that /. tends to mention the Party of a wrongdoer if the wrongdoer is Republican, and omit it if he's a Democrat.

these people should be tried and hung for treason.

Sorry, treason is explicitly defined in the Constitution. I doubt seriously the definition can be stretched to fit this.

Re:Election Fraud (5, Funny)

MrMarket (983874) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267957)

But it should be pointed out that /. tends to mention the Party of a wrongdoer if the wrongdoer is Republican, and omit it if he's a Democrat.

You must be new here. /. is full of Liberation engineers and IT industry protectionists. Neither of which really have a home in the US two party system. You might confuse the trend in the last 8 years of Bush bashing with Democratic leaning, but it was actually just a low tolerance for idiocy. Rest assured, the idiots in the current majority party will also be called out.

Re:Election Fraud (1)

rpillala (583965) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267753)

I agree that it doesn't matter case-by-case, but I think it's important to watch for trends. If the majority of election fraud is committed by members of the same party, it could indicate a conspiracy at a higher level of the party than whatever level the individual elections decided.

Re:Election Fraud (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267999)

I agree completely - this is treason - regardless of the political affiliation of whoever does it.

It all needs to be prosecuted and the guilty dealt with as harshly as possible.

It's that or kiss this country goodbye.

Re:Election Fraud (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267651)

Perhaps this AC is under the impression that the Slashdot demographic is primarily democratic? I observe that we have quite a mix here and if there is anything disproportionate from the general public, it would be a larger than normal portion of Libertarians and other alternatives.

Democrats and Republicans are both evil in their own ways. They both serve the interests of business and heavy contributors. Their games are very well established and you can't get elected through any of those parties unless you play their games and participate most fully. (Gotta get dirty with them to keep the political career going.)

(What we need is a "judge dread" to clean the system out... the system will not clean itself out.)

Re:Election Fraud (2, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267695)

One of the things I like about slashdot, after the number of people with true expertise, is the wide representation of many view points. On a few other popular sites I visit things feel much more slanted in one direction or another. Here in discussions of politics or religion (to name a couple of the more inflammatory topics) there seems to be a good number of people from all over the spectrum. I prefer that to an echo chamber. (Yes, we are pretty bad about the FOSS thing - but I'm willing to let that slide.)

Re:Election Fraud (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267763)

The F/OSS thing doesn't have a particularly controversial position. If you understand it, your probably support, endorse or apply it. If you don't understand it, you probably don't. I have yet to know someone who both understood F/OSS and didn't also support it or use it. My brother is a hard core Microsoft supporter but also uses F/OSS because it works... the Microsoft thing pays for his house and stuff like that though.

Re:Election Fraud (3, Insightful)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267915)

Well - I'd agree with you but how many people feel that way about religion and politics? Most of them. So I'd say FOSS/Closed is controversial because there are a number of people on both sides of the issue. Head on over to somewhere like stack overflow and see if you can drum up some controversy - bet you can.

MOD PARENT UP! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267717)

Factually, the AC is correct: Those indicted were Democrats.

Re:Election Fraud (2, Interesting)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267979)

Nobody said that Democrats could not do evil things and betray the trust of the people.

What we're saying is that when Republicans do it, the criminals are protected and sheltered by the party. When Democrats do it, we eject them from the party and prosecute them.

And on Slashdot, no matter the discussion, we add fuel to the fire.

Re:Election Fraud (5, Informative)

mmontour (2208) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267443)

From the article:

, the Election Day scheme, carried out in primary and general elections in at least 2004 and 2006, was accomplished by taking advantage of a "feature" on all DRE (usually touch-screen) voting systems and "voter unfamiliarity with new voting machines."

Essentially, they tricked voters into leaving the 'booth' after pressing the "Vote" button on the ES&S iVotronic. That button, does not actually cast the vote, as one might think (and as these voters were told), but instead, it brings up a review screen of the voter's "ballot."

So this looks like basic social engineering, not exploiting any specific flaws of the electronic machine (other than poor UI design).

Re:Election Fraud (5, Interesting)

titten (792394) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267615)

The flaw exploited would be the fact that the voter had no 'receipt' or evidence of what they voted. Had there been such a thing, nobody would leave without it.

Re:Election Fraud (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267673)

...and a receipt would also mean that people in positions of authority could force you to vote a certain way. "Vote for Joe Schmoe and bring me the receipt to prove you did it or you'll lose your job", that type of thing. People could also buy and sell votes, because there would be a a way that the buyer could know for certain whether or not the voter voted the buyer wanted him to (and of course refuse payment until the seller brings proof to the buyer).

Re:Election Fraud (4, Insightful)

ChromaticDragon (1034458) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267691)

While some sort of verification would seem necessary, there is a rather significant problem created if anyone can "leave [with] it".

If you can walk away with proof of "what" you voted, you can prove it to anyone willing to buy your vote. Or to Guido who is threatening to beat up your little ones if you don't vote a specific way.

This is a rather serious problem all the world over. So whatever we do to verify or to authenticate, it cannot involve the voter walking out with the means to show anyone how they voted.

Re:Election Fraud (-1, Troll)

dfetter (2035) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267809)

If you have any evidence of wide-spread, or even common, retail vote-buying, or any other hunk of repulsive Republican propaganda intended to keep voting machines dishonest, please bring it forward now. Otherwise, you either look like a liar or a dupe.

Re:Election Fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267825)

Actually it can. Each vote is assigned a randomly-generated transaction ID, stored in a database. Someone is given a slip of paper with their ID on it, anonymously logs onto the relevant website, enters the ID, and can find out what the recorded vote was. If left at this, Guido could log on with the ID on the slip of paper he asks for and find out how you voted. That's why you have each voter get two slips, one corresponding to a 'false' vote which can be verified but isn't counted in tallies. If they did the false vote first or second (and thus receives its slip first or second) is known only to the voter, unless Guido is watching over their shoulder. If shoulder-surfing is allowed in a polling place there are larger problems than Guido.

And to rebut the suggestion that "ah! but Guido would require both votes be for the desired option" you could easily make the system require that the two votes contradict.

Re:Election Fraud (5, Insightful)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267985)

Voting machines can work .... but ....

Press the button on the the screen marked "Obama" the machine prints out your vote...you check it says you have voted for Obama , you put this in the ballot box

What you put in the ballot box is not kept by you ...

It is easily machine readable so is quick to count ...

The voting machine does not need to remember who voted, how many votes etc ...it cannot be gamed

The paper voting slip is as anonymous and as verifiable as the old "place cross here" system ...

Re:Election Fraud (1)

mmontour (2208) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267851)

The voters thought that the screen that came up after they clicked "Vote" was their confirmation that the vote had been cast. They left without thinking anything was wrong, just like the Florida voters who mis-punched their famous butterfly ballots in 2000.

No voting system is going to let you leave with a paper receipt showing how you voted. That is too vulnerable to abuse.

Re:Election Fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267989)

No voting system is going to let you leave with a paper receipt showing how you voted. That is too vulnerable to abuse.

No, but it can give you a receipt that shows that you did vote, and it can show you a physical receipt that shows your vote, going into a ballot box, where your vote can't be tied to you.

Re:Election Fraud (2, Interesting)

Columcille (88542) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267447)

If it is impossible to catch how did they catch these guys? Election fraud has always happened and always will, no matter what the method of voting. And some people will get caught while others get away, just like it's always been. There are reasons to oppose electronic voting - and reasons to support it. At least be a little realistic in your opposition.

Re:Election Fraud (0, Flamebait)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267769)

If it is impossible to catch how did they catch these guys? Election fraud has always happened and always will, no matter what the method of voting. And some people will get caught while others get away, just like it's always been. There are reasons to oppose electronic voting - and reasons to support it. At least be a little realistic in your opposition.

Want to get rid of election fraud? Get rid of secret ballots. You don't need a secret ballot to have an election.

Identify the valid reasons why people want secret ballots, find other means to alleviate those concerns, and get rid of the secret ballot. That's the only way to have a fair election. Considering that current election methods are not proof against corruption, there is no reason to think that those who are in power represent the popular vote, and therefore, their election does not grant them any sort of moral authority to speak for anyone. May as well claim that your right to wield power came from the flip of a coin, it holds no less validity.

Re:Election Fraud (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267845)

That is the best part of the joke. The first part is a little snarky - the second part is pure comedic gold. Saying this pretty much kills it though. And I wouldn't say anything - but the point of the joke is not to oppose electronic voting and so I've got to correct that misunderstanding.

The whole thing hinges on the fact that here at the dot we regularly rail against things that are considered 'new' because there is an electronic component. Well - what happened in this case is just good old election fraud, and a computer happened to be involved. So it is ironic that we, who complain about this very thing, are now involved in carrying it out.

So I am just trying to use humour to point that out. I am not really for or against electronic voting. I just want the best tool for the job - whatever that is. I'm not really for or against either of our two major parties in the U.S. Though I do tend to think they both stink.

The fact that people think I'm making a statement about either of those things means I was a little too clever for my own good I guess. That it is currently modded funny leads me to believe at least a couple people got it though.

But basically - your post is an exact summary of what I was trying to say.

Re:Election Fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267487)

I blame the electrons. Now that they have free will...

Re:Election Fraud (2, Funny)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267637)

Sure you can get it retail but you need a counting machine to handle wholesale.

Re:Election Fraud (3, Interesting)

worthawholebean (1204708) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267681)

That's not true at all. The U.S. has a long history of various forms of electoral fraud. See for example this book [amazon.com] .

Re:Election Fraud (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 4 years ago | (#27268003)

It's hard to be as funny as I am and yet so misunderstood. I dig deep for these precious pearls of humour. I cast them out to slashdot and how do you act? Like undeserving farm animals that don't even appreciate what they've been given. Like chickens, or cows or something. A good word picture escapes me at the moment - but I think (despite your post to the contrary) that you will figure it out.

Re:Election Fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267783)

Well, the (almost) impossible part's true on that one.

There's a reason why, "Chicago: Where the Dead vote early and vote often..." is as funny as it is.

Treason (5, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267313)

Elected officials subverted the voice of the people for personal profit. Execute them. I am serious. There needs to be an example made, quickly and decisively.

Re:Treason (4, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267333)

Bear in mind that the people who write the laws are the winners of elections. You can see how they might be disinclined to change a system that demonstrably favours them.

Re:Treason (2, Interesting)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267393)

Bear in mind that the people who write the laws are the winners of elections.

That's why it's critical that this be handled harshly. When the guardians deliberately attack their charges, the penalties must be severe.

Re:Treason (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267567)

If they penalties aren't severe enough, perhaps you could run for election and get them upgraded?

Re:Treason (1, Troll)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267603)

"That's why it's critical that this be handled harshly. When the guardians deliberately attack their charges, the penalties must be severe."

The crimes by government against the people can not be tolerated. They are worse than mere murder (other than mass murder) because they damage us all. Likewise, massive financial crimes damage all of us.

People such as election fraudsters and Bernard Madoff should be executed (and not by silly lethal injection) in public. Hanging would do fine.

Re:Treason (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267757)

The crimes by government against the people can not be tolerated. They are worse than mere murder (other than mass murder) because they damage us all. Likewise, massive financial crimes damage all of us.

People such as election fraudsters and Bernard Madoff should be executed (and not by silly lethal injection) in public.

You are aware that Madoff didn't work for the government, correct? He was an old-fashioned private-citizen criminal....

Re:Treason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267997)

WHich is why the officials AND those that paid them should be executed. I am not a believer in execution, but for acts of treason (such as reagan's cutting deals with Iran BEFORE being elected, or W's spying on American) SHOULD be done with a swinging. A Badly done one at that. The rich and unscrupulous (like these officials, reagan, and W) do not care if you take away 5-10% of their money as long as they get their way. BUT, if they know that they will pay with their life, well, that is a different thing. Those kind of ppl tend to be total cowards in the first place.

Re:Treason (1)

itschy (992394) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267345)

And don't spare those that made this, against all warnings, possible.

Re:Treason (3, Insightful)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267347)

Even though I do not agree with a death sentence, I agree with the acting decisively part. Our countries are there for the people. The people IS the country, so to speak.

And since this directly went behind the backs of the people, treason is the proper definition here. Imagine what shenanigans will happen, if this kind of behaviour is not come down upon hard.

Re:Treason (1)

Atrox666 (957601) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267455)

"Imagine what shenanigans will happen, WHEN this kind of behaviour is not come down upon hard."

There, fixed it for ya.

Re:Treason (4, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267807)

And since this directly went behind the backs of the people, treason is the proper definition here

Article III, Section 3 of the US Constitution:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.

I trust you can demonstrate how this action fits, since you have declared that "treason is the proper definition"?

Re:Treason (0, Troll)

Scutter (18425) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267381)

Seriously. How is this not treason?

It IS treason. (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267609)

Seriously. How is this not treason?

It IS treason, plain and simple. And for further proof of the pussification of America, look back 200 years and see how they would have handled this case back then.

The importance of honesty and integrity with our elected officials is not any less critical today than it was 200 years ago, so why should the punishment be?

Re:It IS treason. (1)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267953)

"look back 200 years and see how they would have handled this case back then."

You're apparently the one the crucial information -- care to share it?

Or are you just evoking the Righteous Forefathers to cover that you're blowing hard-line smoke out your ass?

Re:Treason (1)

Curien (267780) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267633)

Uh... because treason is defined in the Constitution, and this is not it.

Re:Treason (4, Informative)

bentcd (690786) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267685)

Seriously. How is this not treason?

In the context of the U.S., its Founding Fathers were very reluctant to label as treason anything that could be used by a tyrant to strike down on legitimate internal opposition. Therefore, they were left with only two very specific acts that would be considered treason:

Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. (...)"

"Conspiracy to rig an election" is just not on that list.

Re:Treason (2, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267829)

Founding Fathers were very reluctant to label as treason anything that could be used by a tyrant to strike down on legitimate internal opposition.

That was good and wise and as it should be. You don't want the ruling party to define treason to include "speeding, if my opponent is doing it".

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them

I'm willing to accept that they staged direct attacks on their political enemies. Our own government doesn't hold that warfare must include physical action; ref.: the new Cyber Command.

Re:Treason (1)

worthawholebean (1204708) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267713)

The US Constitution defines treason as "levying war against [the US], or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort." This isn't it.

Re:Treason (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267761)

As others have posted, it's not actually treason. However, it's also true that treason is not the only crime whose punishment should be death.

Re:Treason (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267839)

Seriously. How is this not treason?

US Constitution, Article III, Section 3:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.

Well, it's not levying war against the US.

It's not adhering to the enemies of the US.

And it doesn't actually give aid and comfort to the enemies of the US.

So, basically, that's how it's not treason.

Re:Treason (2, Interesting)

SterlingSylver (1122973) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267591)

Executing corrupt pols is always a popular choice, but we should really consider public humiliation. Bring back the stocks. Seize all their assets, all their family's assets. Then, after a month or two of leaving them in the town square, throw them in federal PYITA prison, and let them rot for all eternity

Re:Treason (2, Insightful)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267993)

So now I'm thinking of the Battlestar Galactica in which Roslyn rigged the election. How many people who cheer her on as a strong leader are calling for charges of treason here?

Just a thought from my sociological mind. Personally, I think they should all swing.

Frosty piss (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267315)

I've got a frosty piss for anyone that didn't believe this sort of thing was already going on in a widespread manner.

Standards of democracy? (1, Troll)

heironymouscoward (683461) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267359)

I suspect that in elections from 2000 to 2006, the standards of democracy in the US fell to below what we would consider acceptable in emerging democracies. Where there would be monitoring from outside observers.

Not to make this more political than it will be, but do we know what direction those stolen votes went? Do we know how much this influenced the national vote?

Another thing I did not find in TFA: how was this uncovered?

Re:Standards of democracy? (5, Interesting)

itschy (992394) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267511)

I suspect that in elections from 2000 to 2006, the standards of democracy in the US fell to below what we would consider acceptable in emerging democracies. Where there would be monitoring from outside observers.

Actually, many international Organizations wanted to monitor the US-american elections.
They were not allowed.
Go figure...

Re:Standards of democracy? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267955)

Why not elections in 2008? Because the "right" guy won that time?

Re:Standards of democracy? (4, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267963)

Not to make this more political than it will be, but do we know what direction those stolen votes went?

Well, it took some googling, but it seems the five involved were Democrats. So it's probably pretty safe to assume the stolen votes were stolen from various Republican candidates and given to various Democrat candidates.

Though why anyone should care about the Party of someone running for the local School Board is beyond me (yes, one of the elections in question was for the local School Board).

Note, by the way, that what happened was good, old-fashioned, vote-buying. With a twist, in that the people actually handed the money to buy votes in the field decided to keep the money and just change a few votes themselves.

Uh, not exactly a voting machine security flaw (5, Informative)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267377)

Apparently the people told voters that hitting the "Vote" button would complete their vote, when it actually just brought up a confirmation screen. It was after the voter left that the people charged went and changed the votes, then completed the vote.

So, yeah, that's definite election fraud and those involved should go to jail for a nice long stretch. But the headline leads you to believe this was somehow a voting machine flaw, rather than a social engineering attack based around shitty UI design ("Vote" means vote, not, "Confirm my Choices").

Re:Uh, not exactly a voting machine security flaw (2, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267457)

But the headline leads you to believe this was somehow a voting machine flaw, rather than a social engineering attack based around shitty UI design ("Vote" means vote, not, "Confirm my Choices").

In what way is that not a security flaw? If an ATM were to fail to log me out for several minutes after returning my card and money and receipt unless I know to hit a specific button, it is a problem with the ATM.

Re:Uh, not exactly a voting machine security flaw (1)

magusxxx (751600) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267537)

Maybe the people rigging the votes made sure the machine didn't show the 'Confirm Vote' screen until the voter was long gone. It is a security flaw if you can rig the machine so instead of the ATM logging you out in 10 seconds someone changes it to 60. Why should this be a changeable feature?

Re:Uh, not exactly a voting machine security flaw (1)

Dotren (1449427) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267579)

But the headline leads you to believe this was somehow a voting machine flaw, rather than a social engineering attack based around shitty UI design ("Vote" means vote, not, "Confirm my Choices").

In what way is that not a security flaw? If an ATM were to fail to log me out for several minutes after returning my card and money and receipt unless I know to hit a specific button, it is a problem with the ATM.

Bad analogy.

As the GP said, the button they hit wasn't the "you're finished" button, it was more like the "next screen" button. In your analogy would you really walk away from an ATM BEFORE you finished your transaction and told it "I'm done"? Probably not because, in the ATM situation, you generally don't get your card back until you're completely done and logged out of the system.

In this case, it sounds like the voters were convinced by the guilty parties that hitting the "Vote" button meant they were done, when, in reality, it was more like the standard "Next" button you see on most web forms.

Badly designed GUI + social engineering != security flaw.

Re:Uh, not exactly a voting machine security flaw (5, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267661)

Badly designed GUI + social engineering != security flaw.

It most certainly does! We've held MS to that standard for years with such things as "nakedgirl.gif.exe" tricking users into running unknown binaries, and rightfully so. Social engineering alone doesn't indicate a problem, as con men have been around since roughly the beginning of time. Software misfeatures (such as a button labeled "Vote" that doesn't actually cast your vote) that make fraud trivially easy absolutely are vulnerabilities.

Re:Uh, not exactly a voting machine security flaw (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267855)

We've held MS to that standard for years with such things as "nakedgirl.gif.exe" tricking users into running unknown binaries, and rightfully so.

No, we've been holding MS to the standard that programs should not autoexecute on download/copying, etc. And when it runs, not any program should be able to change system settings. In the Unix/Linux world, downloading a malicious file does nothing. The user has to set it to be runnable and then explicitly run it. Even then, the program is limited to what rights the user has and cannot change system files or settings without admin rights.

Microsoft has changed the behavior so programs don't do that any more (most of the time). However, there may be flaws where hackers get around it.

Re:Uh, not exactly a voting machine security flaw (1)

silanea (1241518) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267827)

Badly designed GUI + social engineering != security flaw.

I disagree. It does not matter which attack vector or medium is used to break intended behaviour. And the fact that a UI allows such a severe subversion of intended functionality simply by telling users bullshit just makes this flaw all the more serious and shameful than a true machine exploit. A simple "Please review your choice and confirm it to be counted. It has not been stored yet!" and a biiiiiig red button labeled "Yes, this is my choice! Cast my vote!" should have been enough to avoid exactly this kind of flaw.

Voting machines do one thing, and one thing only. They should be incredibly simple to engineer and implement. It is beyond me how the manifacturers managed and still manage to screw them up so royally.

Re:Uh, not exactly a voting machine security flaw (1)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267601)

Perhaps not the best phrasing; it's a flaw in the design, but it's not like flaws that allow you to manipulate the vote database with impunity and without an audit trail, or manipulate the machines totals. It depends partly on shitty design, and partly on lack of education for the voters.

Interesting you should mention ATMs - I used one near my house the other day that would have allowed me to withdraw money from the previous user's account. It's one of those ones where you just swipe the card, and apparently the person who used it before me took their money and receipt and left, and didn't notice that it gave them a prompt to do another transaction afterwards. Shitty design - if you aren't keeping the card for the duration of the user session, allowing multiple transactions per swipe are a very stupid idea.

Re:Uh, not exactly a voting machine security flaw (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267707)

it's a flaw in the design, but it's not like flaws that allow you to manipulate the vote database with impunity and without an audit trail, or manipulate the machines totals.

Understood and agreed. It's more of a bad specification than an outright bug in that the screen works (IMHO incorrectly) as designed. Still, that and the unexpected ATM behavior you described are security issues, even if someone thought they were good ideas at one point.

Re:Uh, not exactly a voting machine security flaw (1)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267619)

There was an ATM scam a while back similar to this.

People would use matchsticks to jam the cover of the dispenser, where the money comes out, closed and then wait around a corner for someone to make a withdrawal. The machine would say "please take your money" only they couldn't as the cover wouldn't open, so they would go in to the bank to complain, meanwhile the scammer would prise the compartment cover open and take the money.

Re:Uh, not exactly a voting machine security flaw (4, Insightful)

ControversialMatt (1070718) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267509)

Which is interesting, because it contradicts the image many of us have of the average end user. Personally I believed that they would be programmed by now to automatically click OK on any popup without reading it.

Re:Uh, not exactly a voting machine security flaw (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267523)

But the headline leads you to believe this was somehow a voting machine flaw, rather than a social engineering attack based around shitty UI design

A shitty UI design is a voting machine flaw!

Re:Uh, not exactly a voting machine security flaw (1)

Ender305 (1504031) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267539)

This is partially the fault of the voting machines(no paper trail) and partially the fault of the stupid people who didn't look at the next screen after they hit "Vote".
Election fraud will always exist, no matter how people vote.

Re:Uh, not exactly a voting machine security flaw (1)

itschy (992394) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267561)

But the headline leads you to believe this was somehow a voting machine flaw, rather than a social engineering attack based around shitty UI design ("Vote" means vote, not, "Confirm my Choices").

If you are told it's alright that you can't actually verify your vote, because the machine can not be fixed to misplace it and than thats exactly what happens, I'd say it's a damn big security problem with these machines!

Re:Uh, not exactly a voting machine security flaw (5, Insightful)

An Onerous Coward (222037) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267729)

I think the point your respondents are missing is that -- while the machines are clearly flawed -- the electronic voting machines didn't greatly magnify the officials' ability to corrupt the vote. Had one of them altered hundreds of votes using a USB stick and three minutes of "alone time" with the machines, this story would have a completely different flavor for me.

IOW, Kentucky electoral officials can't hack. What scares me is that this is probably why they got caught; there must have been a dozen people involved. I'm sure the more tech-savvy vote riggers are just getting away with it.

Re:Uh, not exactly a voting machine security flaw (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267905)

that's definite election fraud and those involved should go to jail for a nice long stretch

How about we call it treason and hang them? Seriously, it should be treasonous to screw around with the electoral process like this.

Life inprisonment (4, Insightful)

Joebert (946227) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267379)

Conviction for tampering with election results should be met with life inprisonment. The scope of things affected by gaming elections warrents nothing less.

Death would be better, but sometimes we get the wrong guy and at least with inprisonment we can let them out of jail and make sure they live well with a fat stack of cash for the rest of their life.

Re:Life inprisonment (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267497)

+1

Re:Life inprisonment (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267569)

I don't think you're qualified to be discussing this if you can't spell "imprisonment" correctly in three tries.

Re:Life inprisonment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267775)

Wanna bet they were changing the votes to favour the GOP?
I'd like to see a study revealing how many American inmates identify themselves as Republican.

Re:Life inprisonment (2, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267907)

Wanna bet they were changing the votes to favour the GOP?

One million dollars please? We already know they were Democrats. But who cares? I tend to vote Republican but I'm more than ready to throw a Republican politician to the dogs for committing this crime. I trust that honest Democrats will feel the same way about these particular cretins.

Re:Life inprisonment (1)

$1uck (710826) | more than 4 years ago | (#27268005)

I'm a liberal... and I say send them to Texas (i.e. hang em til they're dead or just make them live in Texas not sure which is worse) regardless of political affiliation.

jamie (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267471)

So the last story has an update that was basically supplied by jamie (article was discussed last year), and this article is from jamie. So why is kdawson posting these if jamie is the one that seems to be doing the work?

Treason! (1)

ewenix (702589) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267489)

This is why we need to bring back public hangings.

Re:Treason! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267689)

"I heard you was hung."

"And they was right."

new methods for perennial problems (2, Insightful)

rodentia (102779) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267501)

same old solution: vigilance.

Re:new methods for perennial problems (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267555)

That you, Mad-Eye?

Re:new methods for perennial problems (1)

ChefInnocent (667809) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267635)

And vigilante justice...the courts aren't going to do the right thing.

I preferred hanging chads (1)

olddotter (638430) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267563)

Were any of these guys named Chad?

Seriously. I would much prefer paper voting. Be it punch card or optical scan (used where I am). Of those two it seems optical scan is easier for people to deal with at least I have heard no major problems.

Hang them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267605)

After hanging the traitors, they should find out who bought the votes and go up the chain.

Re:Hang them. (5, Funny)

tonyreadsnews (1134939) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267749)

It might be easier if you ask them who paid BEFORE they are swinging from the rope. Unless you plan on hanging them by their ankles.

Apologize Now (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267649)

I want everyone who sneered at me in 2000 and 2004, saying "changing those electronic machine votes would require a conspiracy so vast, with nobody ever leaking, that it's impossible, you're crazy, just get over it" to apologize now.

Not just to me, though I want that now. But also to the entire country, for standing in the way of fixing this basic corruption that destroys democracy that should be ancient history by now.

Apologize. Preferably door to door. But a reply here would start to count.

Re:Apologize Now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267941)

the votes weren't changed, they just scammed the voters into thinking they had completed voting and then redid their votes.

so, uh, everyone else was right. you were wrong. you can start by apologizing here.

Re:Apologize Now (1)

erikina (1112587) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267987)

They were right, though? :P

What wasn't in the article (1)

deepthinker42 (257176) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267675)

From other articles, one of the defendents, Mr. Jones, is a Democrat, which makes me believe that all of them are. Interesting that the article didn't mention it.

Repeated Beatings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267777)

Beat them to within an inch of their lives, allow them to heal....

THEN BEAT THEM AGAIN!!!

And repeat for each *individual* vote that was altered.

No difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267779)

It's great that they're cracking down on the voter fraud, but these Kentucky guys in Clay County must have been gigantic idiots to even mess with the results.

I just took a look at the elections results [yahoo.com] from Clay County for 2002, 2004 and 2006 and none of the elections are even close! The county is overwhelmingly Republican, and all of the elections were won by over 30% margins!
(except for a 2002 primary race between two Republicans)

If someone is going to try and pull off some election fraud, you would think they'd try it in a county that was at least CLOSE.

Doesn't surprise me (2, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#27267785)

It really doesn't surprise me about this. A lot of judges and officials really just don't "get it" IMHO for stuff like this. During this last presidential election, the lines were very long in some areas depending on where you went to vote (I waited until about 5:30 and didn't have to wait but about 30-40 minutes, so it wasn't too bad).

Now, I work in government, so the election committee was discussing turnout on the mass email the next day. One of the judges wrote, commenting about low long the lines were and how ridiculous it was, and actually suggested that perhaps just calling (by phone) a random subset of people and basing the whole election off the sample would be better than letting each and every person vote.

Sure, no possible way THAT could be abused . . .

Re:Doesn't surprise me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27267971)

One of the judges wrote, commenting about low long the lines were and how ridiculous it was, and actually suggested that perhaps just calling (by phone) a random subset of people and basing the whole election off the sample would be better than letting each and every person vote.

So... a representative republic?

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