The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Security and Auditability of Electronic Voting Machines



Venetis is plantiff's counsel in a four-year lawsuit spearheaded by the
Constitutional Litigation Clinic at Rutgers School of Law. According to
expert reports conducted as a part of the lawsuit, "approximately
10,000 voting machines used in 18 out of the 21 counties in New Jersey
can be manipulated to throw an election." The report concluded that
"vote-stealing software can be easily installed in the AVC Advantage
[Sequoia electronic voting machines] in less than eight minutes. The
technical knowledge needed to write vote-stealing software is
widespread and common."

Venetis said today: "The possibility for disenfranchisement due to
voting machine insecurities puts at risk the more than 5 million
registered New Jersey voters. It is most unfortunate that the state
continues to defend these insecure voting systems."

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Jefferson is a computer scientist at Lawrence Livermore National
Laboratory in California. He has also served as a technical advisor to
five Secretaries of State of California on issues related to elections
and voting, and has led or participated in several formal studies of
voting system reliability and security. He said today: "The most
important property that a voting system can have is meaningful and
transparent auditability. We must not depend on the reliability of
hardware or the correctness of software. Even if the voting system is
proprietary and is riddled with bugs, security vulnerabilities, or even
malicious code, we must be able to demonstrate we can detect the
problem and call the winners properly anyway, and do so in such a way
that even the losing candidates will be convinced of the correctness of
the outcome. Today this is only practically achievable with scanned
paper ballots (or to a lesser extent, a voter-verified paper audit
trail) accompanied by a mandatory, statistically sound, risk-based
post-election audit procedure."

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A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.