Sunday, July 26, 2009

EAC approves Internet Voting Company as a registered vendor - will Internet Voting be far behind?

The Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) just approved Everyone Counts, an Internet Voting Company to participate in the EAC Voting System Testing and Certification Program. E1C now joins several other EAC registered voting vendors. The whack-a-mole attacks on election transparency have stepped up a level.

In a letter to Everyone Counts, dated July 21, 2009, the EAC states

On behalf of our Commissioners and our Executive Director, let me take this opportunity to welcome Everyone Counts, Inc. to the EAC’s Voting System Testing and Certification Program. We have reviewed your registration package and have found that it meets all of the requirements noted in our Program Manual. As such, this letter is official acknowledgement that Everyone Counts, Inc. is now officially registered and may participate in the EAC’s Voting System Testing & Certification Program.

In addition, Everyone Counts, Inc. will now be included in the EAC’s listing of registered voting system manufacturers publicly available at

Everyone Counts (E1C) now has achieved more legitimacy by becoming an EAC approved vendor. This will lend their other products, like Internet voting - some bit of creditability through association.

Is it a conflict of interest for the EAC to register a voting vendor whose COO is a former EAC Chairman? Everyone Counts lists former U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) chair Paul DeGregorio as their Chief Operating Officer? And isn't it a conflict of interest for a (former) top nations elections officials to go through the revolving door of Election official/voting vendor? See Virtually Voting: Bush's U.S. EAC Chair Cashes In to Head Company Running 'All-Digital' Elections by Brad Friedman of BradBlog.

E1C conducted the 2008 primary for "Democrats Abroad" and also an online election for the city of Honolulu Hawaii. While the Democrats Abroad election was touted as a success, there is no way to ensure the integrity of that election.

The election in Honolulu had the low low voter turnout of a mere 6.3%, killing the claims that Internet voting increases voter turnout.
Low turnout mars Hawaii's digital vote
Poor turnout in Hawaii election clouds use of digital voting technology
HERBERT A. SAMPLE AP News May 28, 2009

They built a new digital voting system, but the voters didn't come.

There was some disagreement Wednesday over why only 6.3 percent of eligible voters used a new, first-in-the-nation digital voting procedure to cast ballots for Honolulu neighborhood board seats via the Internet or by touch-tone phone.
"Kevin Poulsen, senior editor at Wired News asks the question "is internet voting safe" and has a poll at the end of the article. Poulson's background as a former black hat hacker should give added weight his message :

Is Internet Voting Safe? Vote Here
..."Threat Level can imagine someone writing a bot that infects unpatched PCs en masse, watches for interactions with the voting website, then changes the votes in the PDF to whatever the malware writer wants. Reading and interpreting the ballot would require some skillful engineering, but no more than what hackers have already shown in breaking CAPTCHAs like peanut shells, among other things. Conficker's author could code this in his sleep...."

The threat that internet voting poses to our democracy is so great that computer scientists from all over the country have endorsed a resolution opposing it over at VerifiedVoting

Computer Technologists' statement on internet voting
September 11th, 2008

Because of the increasing frequency of proposals to allow remote voting over the internet, we believe it is necessary to warn policymakers and the public that secure internet voting is a very hard technical problem, and that we should proceed with internet voting schemes only after thorough consideration of the technical and non-technical issues in doing so. Please read our statement, and, if you are a "computer expert", consider endorsing it.

Computer scientists, voters rights and election transparency advocates have their work cut out for them now. It will be even harder to defend our elections against the non transparent, insecure internet voting that is being pushed more and more insidiously.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments must be approved to eliminate spamming.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.