The nation's three most commonly
purchased electronic voting machines are all vulnerable to
fraud, a study released on Tuesday found.
The study also concluded, however, that steps could be
taken to reduce the chances of hackers breaking into these
systems and undermining the integrity of state and national
"These machines are vulnerable to attack. That's the bad
news," said Michael Waldman, executive director of the Brennan
Center for Justice at New York University Law School.
"The good news is that we know how to reduce the risks and
the solutions are within reach," Waldman said.
The Brennan Center Task Force on Voting System Security, an
initiative of the Brennan Center, conducted the study, which it
called the most comprehensive study of electronic voting
machines to date.
Larry Norden, chairman of the task force of government and
private scientists, voting machine experts and security
officials said about 80 percent of voters will vote on one of
these electronic systems in November mid-term elections.
Norden said he hopes the study will prompt states and
Congress to begin mandating that security measures recommended
by the task force be part of the protocol for every county in
the United States.
Rep. Rush Holt, a New Jersey Democrat who has introduced
legislation to upgrade security for electronic voting machines,
arranged to attend a news conference on Capitol Hill on Tuesday
where the report was to be released.
Holt's bill has 192 cosponsors, most of them fellow
Democrats, an aide said. He introduced the bill last year and
it remained unclear whether Congress would enact it into law.
The measure would require all voting machines to produce a
paper record voters could inspect to check the accuracy of
their votes and election officials could use to verify votes in
the event of a computer malfunction or other irregularity.
"Anything of value should be auditable," said Holt.
"Votes are valuable, and each voter should have the
knowledge and the confidence that his or her vote was recorded
and counted as intended."
Copyright © 2006 Reuters Limited