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How to Hack the Vote and Steal the Election

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the vote-early-vote-often dept.

587

divisionbyzero writes "Many people have asked for it so that the government will have to deal with it. So here it is: a guide to stealing an election that uses electronic voting machines written by Jon Stokes over at Arstechnica. From the article: "In all this time, I've yet to find a good way to convey to the non-technical public how well and truly screwed up we presently are, six years after the Florida recount. So now it's time to hit the panic button: In this article, I'm going to show you how to steal an election.""

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587 comments

Lack of ethics (5, Interesting)

Scott Lockwood (218839) | more than 7 years ago | (#16594838)

I agree that this is perhaps THE most pressing issue right now for Americans, but is it really ethical to distribute this kind of information? At what point do you take responsibility for what you post, and NOT diseminate information that, in the wrong hands, will cause what you are trying to prevent?

Re:Lack of ethics (5, Insightful)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16594896)

I'd go as far to say that it is more ethical to distribute it. The information becomes widely known. Maybe someone will hack an election to make it very obviously hacked, thus forcing a re-vote with an honest, verifiable way to count votes.

Re:Lack of ethics (5, Insightful)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595160)

I just hope someone does it. MY PARTY!!! lol... the system is screwed.

When people give a shit more about some gays marrying in NJ than they do about genocide in Darfur, military and civilian deaths in Iraq & Afghanistan, and people dying in this country due to being priced out of receiving their necessary meds, we have become a country that has lost focus on things that *actually matter*.

That being said, I'm not optimistic anyone that's in my camp has the guts to steal an election, we'd rather give it away. Liberal media my ass... I wish!

Re:Lack of ethics (2, Insightful)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595326)

When people give a shit more about some gays marrying in NJ than they do about genocide in Darfur, military and civilian deaths in Iraq & Afghanistan, and people dying in this country due to being priced out of receiving their necessary meds, we have become a country that has lost focus on things that *actually matter*.

You left off the words "to me".

Re:Lack of ethics (-1, Offtopic)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595396)

I hereby declaire the pirate party shall sweep the congressonal, executive, and judicial elections.
We win.
-nB

rant, whay is there a timeout between posts when said posts are in a different topic entirely?
-gaah

Re:Lack of ethics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16595566)

Gays aren't marrying in NJ. They are civil unionning. The difference is huge.

And marriage is kind of important. It's where most of the babies come from. And yes, belive it or not, babies are actually a critical part of society.

Re:Lack of ethics (5, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595246)

> I'd go as far to say that it is more ethical to distribute it. The information becomes widely known. Maybe someone will hack an election to make it very obviously hacked, thus forcing a re-vote with an honest, verifiable way to count votes.

And if they get away with it, honestly, is that really so bad?

DATELINE: January 27, 2009 - President Stallman and GNUHSEC announces arrest of Redmond, WA voting-machine hackers.

President Stallman today announced the disruption of a terrorist plot, allegedly involving electoral fraud originating from a the terrorist organizations known as the Red Mond Alliance and the Darlings of McBride, both of which owe allegiance to a shadowy figure known only as the Monkey of the Thrown Chair.

"Let the elections of 2008 stand as a warning to all who would attempt to defraud the American public", warned Vice President Eric Raymond. "The GNUTIA (Gnu's Not Total Information Awareness) surveillance programme is fully operational, and GNUHSEC (Gnu's Not Homeland Security) agents will not tolerate any future incidents of voter fraud."

Re:Lack of ethics (1)

paganizer (566360) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595420)

And I just wasted my mod points.
BTW, if you happen to be a prefessional writer, PLEASE expand this into at least a short story?

Re:Lack of ethics (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595496)

"Let the elections of 2008 stand as a warning to all who would attempt to defraud the American public", warned Vice President Eric Raymond.

That's where my suspension of disbelief broke apart... We all know that if Stallman became Ruler, ESR would be the first against the wall, even faster than Ballmer!

Re:Lack of ethics (1)

Keebler71 (520908) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595340)

But can't you also get the information "widely known" by circulating a story about how easy it is without including the specific (or at least accurate) directions to commit this felony?

Re:Lack of ethics (4, Insightful)

Recovering Hater (833107) | more than 7 years ago | (#16594908)

Or is it more unethical to have access to information that threatens us all and not say anything for fear that some "bad guy" might use it against us? The truth is that some "bad guy" is already sitting around thinking up ways to to use the information or writing the information down for himself from scratch. Security through obscurity never works for long.

But what about (1)

Scott Lockwood (218839) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595022)

the fact that this gives more bad guys the tools they need than might have had them before?

Re:But what about (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595260)

The process is broken - better to make it obvious than let them powers that be sweep it under the rug, because you know they will.

Re:But what about (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16595286)

Security through obscurity doesn't work for long. I'd feel pretty safe at guessing that by now more than a handful of people with the capability have also figured out what to do and probably some who even had intentions at the next election. The bad guys have the tools already, even if it's only one than that's enough, your argument protects and shields only that bad guy and ensures that he gets full cooperation of the voting machine when it comes round to the election.
 
The lack of ethics problem going on is with the people responsible for not fixing the issue when first alerted. And to put a tinfoil cap on I myself why would people on purpose install and setup machines with a known configuration that enabled a fixed election even after being notified of the issue, it's beyond a simple little hole like IE problems or something. somebody has gone out of their way to ensure that the election can be fixed, that is who you are currently putting your trust in, i myself would advise against that.

Re:But what about (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595336)

the fact that this gives more bad guys the tools they need than might have had them before?
If some guy from Ars Technica can think of this stuff, then they bad guys already did.

Re:But what about (3, Insightful)

johneee (626549) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595412)

Hannibal is brilliant by all accounts (especially his own...) and one of the few people who understands technology and communication well enough to be able to put esoteric subjects into terms understandable to an intelligent lay person, but he's not anything close to the only person to be able to figure this kind of thing out - especially since he probably didn't spend a whole lot of time on this article compared to the amount of time someone who wanted to actually steal an election would.

If Hannibal can do this then someone who wanted to steal an election, and could spend a trivial amount of money on doing it could absolutely do the same. It is utterly absurd to think that the analysis he did in the course of researching and writing a single article couldn't be done (and probably was done a long time ago) by any one of hundreds of other organizations if they had a small team working on it for months or years.

The result? The only people for who this is news are the people who don't have a vested interest in stealing an election - and those are the people who need to know about it. Bravo to my favourite tech site for doing this.

Well (3, Insightful)

The Creator (4611) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595430)

It's better that many bad guys know of a "hack" that doesn't work anymore, than that a few know of one that still does.

It's like a tamper seal. You want it to break. (2, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595462)

In this case, having one bad guy with the directions really isn't any better than 10 bad guys with it.

In fact, the more bad guys that have it, the more likely the problem will get fixed, thus it's actually better that the most 'bad guys' possible get it. If only one person knows how to rig the election, chances are higher they'll be able to get away with it. If 100 people know and all try to rig the election, chances are none of them will get away with it, because the tampering will be too obvious.

Frankly I think the best thing to happen would be for someone to utterly steal the next election; make "Mickey Mouse" or "Elvis" get 100 seats in Congress or something. The cost of having to repeat a single election is certainly much smaller than continuing for decades with a flawed process, where nobody can tell whether the vote is being rigged or not.

Re:Lack of ethics (1, Redundant)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595174)

Or is it more unethical to have access to information that threatens us all and not say anything for fear that some "bad guy" might use it against us? The truth is that some "bad guy" is already sitting around thinking up ways to to use the information or writing the information down for himself from scratch. Security through obscurity never works for long.

You're correct in saying that Security through obscurity never works but the question is what is the correct way to approach a security problem?

Personally, I think that broadcasting the information is a highly risky approach and should only be done after you've exausted most private channels; for example, if you knew of a factoring method that made 1 in 16 RSA keys insecure it would make more sense to contact RSA and inform them of this weeks/months before you publish the method because it will take time for them to adapt their system.

The reality is that it will take less time for a hacker to take advantage of a potential exploit then it will for a company to fix an exploit so you should give a company the opportunity to fix the problem before you announce it to the world.

Re:Lack of ethics (1)

The Creator (4611) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595500)

That has already been tried.. *surprise* *surprise* companies don't fix bugs unless their customers demand it.

OTHUMOR (0, Troll)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595546)

Security through obscurity never works for long.

What? It's worked for the Apple Macintosh for nearly 20 years now! When was the last time you saw a virus targed for the Macintosh?

Re:Lack of ethics (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#16594930)

Well, if you look at it from a pure ethical standpoint, no; but then if you look at the "ethics" of some in Congress, perhaps this information could be put to good use, a.k.a. rousting out the bums.

Re:Lack of ethics (2, Insightful)

rainmayun (842754) | more than 7 years ago | (#16594954)

Yes, if your ethics demand that you do whatever is in your power to change the situation. The alternative to this? Security by obscurity... and we all on Slashdot know how well that works...

Explain the problem (2, Insightful)

nuggz (69912) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595006)

But people aren't listening because they don't understand the problem.
Explaining how easy it is might help people understand this is a serious problem.
Can you think of a better way to explain how easy it is? and how much of a problem it is?

Re:Lack of ethics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16595014)

Security by obscurity doesn't work - if the author could figure this out, someone else can and will too. Nobody in power seems to be listening to the warnings that these machines are critically flawed, so it's time to push the point a little harder.

Re:Lack of ethics (4, Insightful)

Atraxen (790188) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595098)

Correct. As a chemist, I know what harm chemistry can cause - illegal pharmaceuticals, explosives, etc. And so, I demand an immediate crackdown on publically accessible chemistry texts, to ensure a brighter tomorrow.

Correct. As a firearm owner, I know what harm firearms can cause - killings, accidental shootings, property damage, etc. And so, I demand an immediate crackdown on publically accessible repair manuals, to ensure a brighter tomorrow.

Correct. As a driver, I know what harm poor driving can cause - vehicular homicide, property damage, etc. And so, I demand an immediate crackdown on access to automobiles, driving instruction literature, etc., to ensure a brighter tomorrow.

Congressmen should maintain an exemption to all of the above, to ensure they can oversee said systems, and protect the workings of our great society. Public oversight should not be necessary, as I have full trust in the state.

Re:Lack of ethics (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16595122)

The Republicans have already hired people to do this, under the guise of proof of concept, and its on the public record, prior to the last Federal election. So, no, I don't think we will keep pretending this is not an issue and keep hiding information about it.

Re:Lack of ethics (1)

SomeGuyTyping (751195) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595320)

Seems this info should come out right AFTER an election to give sufficient time to put a new process in place for the next election

Re:Lack of ethics (1)

70Bang (805280) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595468)


The (our) state's Secretary of State has taken time to frequently announce "the system is working to where a proper piece of recognition with a picture will permit you to vote without hassle.

Then again, the state purchased many, many voting machines three years ago but their contracted company couldn't make it work. ES&S was sneaking sotware so untested code was going to be used. When a whistleblower terminated her about an hour later, the state turned around and hired her as a watchdog.

ES&S and Diebold seem to have a combined corner on the market but collectively have a problem of getting things to work.

The state's BMV finally went live (six->eight years late, after several governor and buckets of money after a "CEO" ("Half of the time I don't know what's going on.") resigned.

In both situations, why not pick a precinct or two to test either of those systems, kick the bugs, then go state?

As it is, you're going to look at a lot of handcounting in Indiana if one of their engineers used meters|yards improperly. :(

Re:Lack of ethics (1)

JasonKChapman (842766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595486)

I agree that this is perhaps THE most pressing issue right now for Americans, but is it really ethical to distribute this kind of information? At what point do you take responsibility for what you post, and NOT diseminate information that, in the wrong hands, will cause what you are trying to prevent?

If it were a matter of public safety, or even the personal safety of some segment of the public, I might agree with you. But in this case, it is no more harmful than refusing to give up a seat on a bus or burning a draft card. Bigger, maybe. More tumultuous. But no more harmful.

Disseminating such information helps set the stage for a very real court challenge, one that will hopefully force the courts, lawmakers, and the public to focus on the very real mess that this can become. If one court in one state determines that some legal standard, say blood-alcohol tests, for example, are unreliable, that decision can then be used as precedent in future cases. Similarly, if one court in one jursidiction determines that electronic voting systems are too vulnerable unless X, Y, and Z steps are taken, it becomes a matter of public record and can be used to force a more rigorous security standard on such systems without which the results are automatically suspect.

Re:Lack of ethics (1)

hurting now (967633) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595530)

Your right, this is THE pressing issue. And the politians have completely ignored it. Yes, it is completely ethical, and even needed to properly get the attention of our political representatives.
They must understand that this is a completely flawed system. That poster is posting nothing more than a compilation that is readily available on the internet.
The voting machines are flawed and he is only organizing the readily available info.

How quaint. (1, Funny)

pupstah (78267) | more than 7 years ago | (#16594856)

Anyone using this to aid H.R. Clinton will be granted a one way ticket to Iraq to stand out in the middle of a city street wearing a Bush t-shirt.

w00t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16594866)

I'm #1 biatches

In two easy steps ... (5, Insightful)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16594878)

1. Make sure head of company that supplies voting machines is a vociferous supporter of your party
2. There is no step two ...

Re:In two easy steps ... (0, Troll)

msobkow (48369) | more than 7 years ago | (#16594988)

There is so a step 2.

Make sure you have enough connections that if the vote is questionable or close, the courts will arbitrarily award you victory regardless of the numbers.

Worked for Shrub... :(

That Makes Absolutely No Sense (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16595148)

1. Make sure head of company that supplies voting machines is a vociferous supporter of your party

Ahh, that old canard again. As if it wouldn't be patently obvious it was hacked if something suspicious happened.

No, the Democrats have perfected stealing elections to an art. Have corrupt union heads and mobsters in your pocket to get their constituents to vote for their preferred candidate.

Re:That Makes Absolutely No Sense (1, Insightful)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595512)

the Democrats have perfected stealing elections to an art

oppose proof of identification at voting places.

Re:In two easy steps ... (1, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595186)

Make sure head of company that supplies voting machines is a vociferous supporter of your party

Er, the head of ANY company is generally a supporter of some particular party -- And good GOD, sometimes they are even ENTHUSIASTIC supporters!

What are you saying, are we supposed to take away the voting rights of any executive that might be connected to voting machines?

Oh, I think I got it. We only allow voting machines to be created by "vociferous supporters" of the party that YOU like.

Re:In two easy steps ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16595572)

or just simply forget about voting machines and use something that actually works properly.

Re:In two easy steps ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16595542)

Supporter? Don't you mean beneficiary?

(The term "support" is really just a slick way to say "benefit from". People "support" political parties or laws for exactly that reason: they benefit from the law in some way or have at least convinced themselves of it.)

ow (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16594886)

THIS MAKES ME HARD!

German Petition against voting machines (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16594900)

All germans, please sign this petition:

http://itc.napier.ac.uk/e-Petition/bundestag/view_ petition.asp?PetitionID=294 [napier.ac.uk]

It currently has 13748 votes.

Thanks!

Re:German Petition against voting machines (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595132)

``It currently has 13748 votes.''

And now we watch the /. effect do its job...

Re:German Petition against voting machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16595140)

In /English/ law, parliament is not informed how many signatures were on a petition, merely that there /was/ a petition. To maximise the effect, it's actually worth setting things up one signature to a petition. That would then be reported as n number of different petitions, which would attract significantly more attention. Don't know if the same applies in Germany, and I'd be interested to know.

Re:German Petition against voting machines (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16595448)

Yeah, and i'm accountable for 13745 of them!!

Are you the RIAA? (5, Funny)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16594912)

Are you the RIAA, going on about "stealing" intangible concepts that cannot be stolen? You can't steal an election, any more than you can steal music.

    -- The Diebold P2P Network Team

Re:Are you the RIAA? (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595050)

Actually you can. See, if you steal the election from the people, they no longer have one! Erm...

If you steal the election, the people no longer have their result! Mpff...

If you steal the election, the people will have a different result than they originally had!

Rats...

Litigation (2, Funny)

Xehn (669415) | more than 7 years ago | (#16594936)

In other news, the Bush administration has filed a lawsuit against Arstechnica, stating that releasing this information is a "danger to national security". Meanwhile, GOP officials are scrambling to determine who 'leaked' their 2006 Election Strategy to the press.

Re:Litigation (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595302)

In a related story, President George W. Bush has filed a separate lawsuit against Ars Technica, involving an alleged patent infringement.

Finally, in other news, the FBI has is investigating the mysterious disappearance of Jon "Hannibal" Stokes. A spokesperson for Ars Technica, a Web site for PC enthusiasts, had no comment.

Re:Litigation (0, Flamebait)

jmnet (934063) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595382)

Also in the news...a group with ties to the Democratic party was caught with filing fradulant voter registration cards. These cards have the names of folks that have been dead for 100 years. ::NEWS FLASH:: The liberals in this country know they do not have a snow ball's chance in hell that they will win an election running on the issues alone, so they have to revert to smear tactics and claim voter fraud where none exists, just to try to have a shot. Nice try, but it didn't work in 2000, didn't work in 2004, and it will not work this year. Oh, by the way, President Bush cannot run for re-election, so stop tring to run against him!

Jackie

Too Late (1, Insightful)

heauxmeaux (869966) | more than 7 years ago | (#16594938)

This would only apply if the population of the US actually gave a shit about who was running thier country.
Put down the Ruffles, get off the couch and REVOLT!
God knows you could use the excersise.

Re:Too Late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16595166)

Dude Ruffles All Dressed will stop any revolution.

Why not? (5, Interesting)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#16594972)

I'm not in any way encouraging anyone to actually go out and steal an election. This article is intended solely as a guide to the kinds of information and techniques that election thieves already have available, and not as an incitement to or an aid for committing crimes.
Why not? I'd rather have a hacker with good intentions to steal or otherwise grossly manipulate an election (libertarian party coming out as first) and get the system fixed subsequently, than to have the republican/democrat party keep themselves in power and dismiss the people complaining about election fraud as conspiracy theorists.

Since you cannot validate the correctness of the election either way, I'd opt for the path which fixes the situation.

Motivation (4, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595094)

(libertarian party coming out as first) and get the system fixed subsequently"
If you really want election reform you have to make it in the best interest of the the Dem/Rep party. The best way to do that would be to have a third party victory. As long as someone in the Professional Politicians Club get's elected, the powers that be don't care about voting accuracy. They have no reason to.

Re:Why not? (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595110)

I don't necessarily disagree, but the site is almost obligated to put up that message if they don't want to be brought to court after it happens. They're simply trying to cover their asses.

Re:Why not? (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595300)


That's ridiculous. There's no information in this article that isn't in the public domain and relatively easy to work out. If someone rigs an election this site would in no way be culpable. I mean I think it would be quite funny if someone did hack the election in an obvious and outrageous way... say 23% of the vote going to the Erisian Liberation Front. But if someone goes and does it, they can't blame me for giving them the idea.

Re:Why not? (2)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595416)

Do it, but make it obvious - libertarian party (or Ben Stein, if you like) wins the election with 120% of the voters voting.

I don't want to "steal" the election... (0, Troll)

fudgefactor7 (581449) | more than 7 years ago | (#16594996)

Stealing implies taking from someone their rightful property; what I want to do is "copy" votes...mine, theirs, and everyone's and put them in places that will do the most good.
 
Who is to define "good", you ask? Why, that would be me, silly.

Re:I don't want to "steal" the election... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16595594)

Existential narcissism at it's best folks.

Liberal Vote Counting Procedure (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16595000)

1. COUNT (they lose)
2. RECOUNT (they still lose)
3. RECOUNT EVERY SPOILED BALLOT AS DEMOCRAT (they still lose)
4. THROW OUT MILITARY BALLOTS (they still lose)
5. RECOUNT ONLY DEMOCRAT COUNTIES (they still lose)
6. SUE IN COURT (they still lose)
7. DECLARE ELECTION A FRAUD

At any stage where they don't lose, claim victory and declare the election over.

Re:Liberal Vote Counting Procedure (-1, Troll)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595314)

I know your post is a troll, but I just find it interesting enough to mention that with a difference bigger than the scientifically proven error margin, Kerry had won, according to some study comissioned by a joint venture of universities and media. Also, it is important that this matched the result of exit polls closely.

Been done already (4, Informative)

MECC (8478) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595012)

Its already been done. [rollingstone.com]

From the referenced url: '"Electronic voting machines also caused widespread problems in Florida, where Bush bested Kerry by 381,000 votes. When statistical experts from the University of California examined the state's official tally, they discovered a disturbing pattern: "The data show with 99.0 percent certainty that a county's use of electronic voting is associated with a disproportionate increase in votes for President Bush. Compared to counties with paper ballots, counties with electronic voting machines were significantly more likely to show increases in support for President Bush between 2000 and 2004."'

'Charles Stewart III, an MIT professor who specializes in voter behavior and methodology, was initially skeptical of the study - but was unable to find any flaw in the results. "You can't break it - I've tried," he told The Washington Post. "There's something funky in the results from the electronic-machine Democratic counties."'

Re:Been done already (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16595206)

Ever thought that maybe the Electronic Voting Machines might be immune to the type of election fraud that the Democrats have been caught doing over and over in the last century?

Re:Been done already (2, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595434)

Or that they're susceptible to the types of election fraud that the Republicans have been caught doing over and over?

Trying to pretend one side or the other is lily-white is stupid, we should use a system that is immune to anything that either side might try.

Re:Been done already (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16595262)

Could it be that the richer counties that are more likely to vote Republican are the only ones that can afford electronic voting machines?

Re:Been done already (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595604)

Its already been done.

I'm not going to argue whether the conclusion come to by the U Cal professor was right or wrong. But I do have 3 things that I throw out for consideration by those who do believe it.

1) Why is there only suspected fraud on the part of the Republican Party? I'm totally serious here - are the Democrats too stupid to cheat themselves?
2) If the Democratic Party seriously believed cheating had occured, why didn't they make a really big deal of it? Wouldn't they stand to gain by convincing people that the election was rigged?
3) Why isn't the Democratic Party pushing harder for an end to Diebold voting machines? Who'd want to use them if they thought that doing so was in their worst interests?

It just seems to me that in this day and age, it's getting harder to keep secrets. If there was vote fraud already, why hasn't someone confessed or been caught? Surely everyone at Diebold can't honestly favor the Republican Party. If the Democrats win the House and/or Senate in a few weeks, will you think that THOSE elections are fraudulent? Or is it only fraudulent when Republicans win?

Time for 3rd parties to step up (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595036)

Seems like some 3rd party candidates need to read this guide, rise to the challenge, and get 70% of the vote.

Now that would be a mandate for change!

Moo (2, Insightful)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595038)

How to steal an election in seven easy steps:

1) Put the word Linux on your website.
2) Add copious amounts of Microsoft bashing.
3) Add Socialist blurbs to the website.
4) Call the current astate of affairs evil.
5) Advocating lowering the voting age to 10.
6) Ask KDawson to post a link to your website.
7) Have everyone on slashdot believe you are the |37357 |]()()|] @®0|\||}

Well, it may not work, but most kids here think it will.

Premium access ? (0, Offtopic)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595082)

He wants to make a political statement but his PDF is not free to download, you have to be premium member of Ars Technica ? Am I missing something here ?

Re:Premium access ? (4, Informative)

HWguy (147772) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595170)

Yes, you are missing something. The entire article is available. You just have to click through it page by page. The PDF is a convenience for subscribers. You can make your own PDF with just a little work if that's what you need.

Re:Premium access ? (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595226)

``He wants to make a political statement but his PDF is not free to download, you have to be premium member of Ars Technica ? Am I missing something here ?''

Yes. This means you have to authenticate before you can download the information. So they know who is interested...and send some agents over for a friendly talk.

Know Where To Look (2, Informative)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595088)

Folks, if there's gonna be wholesale election fraud, a smart fraudster is going to do it where nobody is looking. Don't expect it to take place in the precincts that make the news for irregularities.

Expect it to take place in places where Candidate X carries 70-75% of the vote.

That is, expect it to take place in places where Candidate X carries 75-80% of the vote.

If you don't want anyone to notice you're doing it, do it where nobody will notice; if the election is close enough (which so many of them are,) your candidate will carry the day.

Re:Know Where To Look (3, Funny)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595264)

Here's the way to know if the election is hacked:

Republicans do well - wholesale voter fraud, machines were manipulated, etc.

Democrats do well - most open and transparent election in years; the people have spoken.

I look forward to reading the post-election commentary, no matter who does well.

Re:Know Where To Look (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595488)

``Expect it to take place in places where Candidate X carries 70-75% of the vote.

That is, expect it to take place in places where Candidate X carries 75-80% of the vote.''

Why change these results if your candidate already won anyway?

Re:Know Where To Look (1)

Zeek40 (1017978) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595494)

Expect it to take place in places where Candidate X carries 70-75% of the vote.
Those are the situations where it doesnt really matter though. Because of our goofy Electoral College system, it doesnt matter if canidate A wins state X by 1% or by 25% of the vote, all of state X's Electoral College votes go to canidate A. Remember, you're not actually voting for your president in the US, you're just giving a suggestion to the Electoral College.

Re:Know Where To Look (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16595550)

All locks can be picked and seals bypasses given the right tools and time. What happens to voting machines if the seal is found to be broken when the votes are tallied? Is it just sorry, too bad, your votes don't count. Is breaking a seal a denial of service exploit?

Maybe the best way to stop ill conceived electronic voting is to determine the type of flash memory a machine uses and just drop new memory chips behind the machine after voting. A little creative littering might scare the right people into fixing the problem before something happens. As it stands, I don't think the machines will be replace due to the political embarrassment of spending money on junk until something happens or appears to have happened.

My captcha was "legally". Sometimes I wonder...

How to Steal an Election (1)

Talennor (612270) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595188)

1. Get extra ballots.
2. Fill them out for your employer/candidate.
3. Stuff them into ballot box.
4. ???
5. Profit!

And if you don't think that this is actually done, well I'll just point out that here the "Profit!" line actually works as long as you can get away with it.

Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595224)

Remember Andorra? Of course you do! How did you get elected as governor every two years?

1) First year i denied all requests and printed tons of money. Everyone was angry, and inflation was high. But noone could do anything because it wasn't an election year.
2) Second year i printed no money, and gave everyone everything they wanted. Everyone was happy, and inflation was low. Everyone re-elected me because it was an election year.
3) Rinse, wash, repeat.

Back thewn, i though it was a game, and had no relevance to real life.

Would you trust Windows CE to run your country? (1)

Marcion (876801) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595330)

I would not trust my country's election with Windows CE! If they try to bring them into the UK then I will blockade the ballot box, anyone with me?

a better solution (1)

J-1000 (869558) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595338)

Ideally technology should be used to enhance the existing voting process, not replace it entirely. How about this: have the voter complete a standard voting card, then place it in a template and press a button. This action takes a digital photograph of the voting card. Later on, if any voting card is questioned the digital photograph can be used as a reference to help resolve the confusion. Punch cards with their hanging chads, for all their faults, can at least be subjected to a system of checks and balances comprised of non-technical individuals. They should be made better though. Heck, I don't see why Scantron-type #2 pencil bubbles wouldn't be better than chads.

Re:a better solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16595578)

Because we all know that digital photos can't be manipulated.

Here's hoping (5, Insightful)

dlc3007 (570880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595364)

The best thing that can possibly happen for this country and secure elections would be for Buggs Bunny to win 100% of the vote in at least one, preferably multiple districts. Until people see these results come in on election night, they'll never believe that it can really happen.

Access? (2, Informative)

mogrify (828588) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595368)

In an article that exposes flaw after flaw in the electronic voting system, the one thing that really made my jaw drop is that the master vote tabulation is stored in an Access database. To my mind, Access is crippleware designed for quick-n-dirty solutions on small data sets for people that don't know any better. Putting it into a production application is madness. Madness!

I've been waiting for this (1)

morleron (574428) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595376)

Wow! After nearly a decade on Slashdot I have a "first post". But, I didn't come here to write about that. I came here to write about the story, which is not only believable, but presents a scenario which I suspect that we will see played out this year. That's right, the Republicans, with a little help from their good friends at Diebold, will make sure that they maintain control of both the House and the Senate. Given the Bush Administration's coordinated and continuous assault on our civil liberties this is not only the next logical step in the restriction of same, but will also ensure that no one, especially those nasty Democrats, will ever be able to prove that such a thing has happened. The scary thing is that, in state-wide races, it is not necesaary to manipulate large numbers of votes. All one needs to do is identify the "swing" districts in a given state and infect the machines there with vote-stealing code. This not only limits the number of people who need to be involved in the scheme, it has the additional benefit of producing entirely plausible results as the chosen "stolen districts" are historically unpredictable. I doubt that even sophisticated statistical analysis procedures would be able to detect vote fraud of this type. The implications for the future of this country are dire indeed. We may very well see the end of American democracy with this election.

Just my $.02,
Ron

The presumption is that voting matters (2, Insightful)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595402)

The incorrect presumption here is that voting matters. Does it really matter if you vote for a Demopublican or a Republicrat? Either way they're going to pick your pocket and line their own. No matter who you vote for, the government always gets elected. Funny how that works.

let everybody vote - then worry about the machines (1)

geoff lane (93738) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595406)

Get rid of the complex rules about who is allowed to vote. That stops officials arbirarily omitting names from the electorial role. So long as you are over 16 and not in jail you should be able to vote (even crazy people.)

Article seems lacking details (1)

pkcs11 (529230) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595424)

Step One: Upload vote stealing or vote adding software.
What kind of HOWTO is this??!

I've never told anyone before, but... (2, Interesting)

golgotha007 (62687) | more than 7 years ago | (#16595520)

Ventura, California, Buena High School, 1988 Class President election:

It was the first year of electronic voting, done on a room full of Apple IIe's.

Some kind of voting program was running. I simply made a break in the program, figured it which variables belong to which candidate and bumped the variable count up for my favorite. After that, i simply continued the program and then logged my official vote.

My favorite was Todd Turner. I hear he won by a landslide. No one contested the results. Lucky Todd.

And Todd, if you happen to read this, don't get mad at me, ok? I mean, you probably would have won anyway, right?
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