This is hot off the presses and guaranteed to raise a stink:
Online Journal.com reported that the GAO report stated that “some of [the] concerns about electronic voting machines have been realized and have caused problems with recent elections, resulting in the loss and miscount of votes.”
Some of the GAO’s findings are:
1. Some electronic voting machines “did not encrypt cast ballots or system audit logs, and it was possible to alter both without being detected.” In short, the machines; provided a way to manipulate the outcome of the election. In Ohio, more than 800,000 votes were cast on electronic voting machines, some registered seven times Bush’s official margin of victory.
2: the report further stated that: “it was possible to alter the files that define how a ballot looks and works, so that the votes for one candidate could be recorded for a different candidate.” Very many sworn statements and affidavits claim that did happen in Ohio in 2004.
Next, the report says, “Vendors installed uncertified versions of voting system software at the local level.” The GAO found that falsifying election results without leaving evidence of doing so by using altered memory cards could easily be done.
The GAO additionally found that access to the voting network was very easy to compromise because not all electronic voting systems had supervisory functions protected by password. That meant access to one machine gave access to the whole network. That critical finding showed that rigging the election did not take a “widespread conspiracy” but simply the cooperation of a small number of operators with the power to tap into the networked machines. They could thus alter the vote totals at will. It therefore was no big task for a single programmer to flip vote numbers to give Bush the 118,775 votes.
While none of this means that it actually happened, it certainly means vote manipulation with electronic voting machines could happen and could have happened in Ohio in 2004. Again, this is a write-up from sources who tend to believe vote manipulation did happen, so I would recommend reading the GAO report (found here courtesy of BradBlog), and see for yourself if the write-up I have excerpted here accurately portrays the findings in the report. As I side note, if in fact, it does turn out that the vote was stolen in 2004, I better get used to the taste of crow because I am going to have to eat a few heaping servings.
Regardless, I have come to the conclusion that electronic voting needs to go the way of the Edsel– not because I believe anything has happened, as I do not think that has been demonstrated, but because of a much more pragmatic reason. Whether or not the vote is actually stolen, if enough of the electorate thinks the voted has been manipulated (and if you read the lefty blogs as I do and/or Marc Crispin Miller’s Fooled Again, as I have, a significant number do), that in and of itself does a great deal of damage and should be avoided at all cost.
I generally am of the belief that in government, if the truth is on your side, perceptions should take a back seat. This is not one of those cases.
I should also point out that the media silence on this is rather odd.
(h/t John S. in the comments)