Monday, August 17, 2009

8/17 Why the "new hack" matters-video, CA SOS Bowen at OpenSource-video, Double voting in an online election

More articles on the "new hack". 2 excellent videos: Video of Computer scientist Hovav Shacham explaining what the new hack is and why it matters. Video of California SOS Bowen at OpenSource World event. CA's SOS used cloud computing to handle peak election night loads on the SOS website. Alabama lawmakers defend voting the machines of others. A group pushes for Vote By Mail in Idaho. Online election for a union in Wichita needs do-over after some people voted twice. Budget cuts continue to impact elections, this time in NC. A Texas county gets e-poll books. In Netherlands, the CCC demonstrates TEMPEST measurement of voting machines. Iran tries more activists in post-election turmoil. *News is light considering it came from 150 alerts for voting issues. *Try to take a minute watching one of the videos to learn why the "new hack" matters.

AL. Legislature really can be efficient
August 16, 2009 House rules allow members to vote the machines of fellow members who are not present when recorded votes are taken, as long as no one objects ahead of time. ...Legislators defend voting the machines of others as simply a harmless practice that is a courtesy for the missing legislator. And if lawmakers only voted when their colleagues were away from their desks for a few minutes and asked them to so, there probably would be no harm in it... The best way to ensure integrity in the legislative voting process would be to require that no one vote ever on any machine but his or her own.

AZ. Good to see county address privacy concern
August 13, 2009 There is an expectation of privacy when voting, so when people found their signatures were visible on the outside of Yuma County mail-in ballots in recent elections, there was reason for concern...Something has now been done about that issue. Most of the early mail ballots sent out for the Sept. 1 Yuma primary election have an extended flap on the ballot envelope that hides the signature of the voter returning the ballot.

CA.Open-source voting: Secure over obscure? (has video of SOS Debra Bowen)
At the OpenSource World event in San Francisco, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen says open-source software can help improve security in voting systems. Even with built-in security measures, though, potential human error among thousands of volunteers will put them at risk.

CA. OpenSource World 2009 ...She (SOS Bowen) also told a great story of how her office decided to try using cloud computing to handle the peak election night loads on the Secretary of State’s website. The result was that instead of spending $800,000 on computer upgrades, they paid a $7 bill to Amazon for EC2 usage.

CO. Release the ballots
Aug 15. Aspen's election process is in doubt. Denying access to the May election ballots is a barrier to truth, not a protection of voters' rights. The integrity of Aspen's voting system requires that they be released now.

ID Idaho group will proceed with petition to put vote by mail initiative on 2012 ballot 08/14/09 A group is proceeding with a initiative petition to put a vote by mail initiative on the ballot for the 2012 election. The group, Idaho Vote By Mail, Inc...the initiative is a non-partisan effort aimed at allowing residents the option of an automatic absentee ballot without having to request it every year

KS. Software glitch mars teachers union vote
Wichita teachers will have to vote again next week to ratify their contract for the coming school year. The union discovered this week that people could vote twice through the computer program used to tally votes. The vote was delayed Wednesday after a union member called union leaders and told them he was able to enter more than one vote using the single access code given to him, said Larry Landwehr, president of United Teachers of Wichita.

NC. Number Of Early Voting Sites Cut To One
August 14, 2009 CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Many Mecklenburg County residents will only have one place to vote early next month -- the Hal Marshall Annex in uptown Charlotte.
Mecklenburg County election officials said the change is due to budget cuts. They said money's tight, and that they don't have a lot of wiggle room. They can't drop elections, absentee voting, legal ads or voting precincts, so they're trimming early

NC. Bid to reseat official falls flat
Local elections board fails to get member reinstated
August 16, 2009 "He was not responsive to the directions of the state board," Leake said, declining to get into specifics.

NC. Et tu? Shakespeare joins Wake election exodus
Sat, Aug. 15, 2009 Shakespeare, who had filed to run for an at-large seat on Raleigh City Council, became the eighth local candidate in Wake County to withdraw this week.
...Because Shakespeare made his decision drop out of the race so late, he will still be on the Oct. 6 ballot. Also on the October ballot but not eligible will be Jerome Goldberg...

SC. ACLU Sues South Carolina Over Fusion Again, This Time Using Voting Rights Act August 14th, 2009 The new, more restrictive, interpretation is that the candidate must file a declaration of candidacy for each party.
The lawsuit says that South Carolina should have asked for U.S. Justice Department approval for this change, but failed to do so.

TX. Commissioners approve purchase of electronic poll books
Wise County. August 16, 2009
The line to vote could be shorter in future elections after county commissioners approved the purchase of electronic poll books.
For a cost of $75,000, elections administrator Lannie Nobles said it will "allow us to do away with the tedious paper check-in system."

TX. Does Collin County understand what a Vote Center is? (updated twice)

TX. Dems opposed to ‘super precinct’ election day plan
August 14, 2009 The Galveston County Democratic Party chairman is warning county commissioners not to push ahead with a recommendation to join a pilot program that calls for combining more than half its voting precincts on election day into a cluster of super precincts...If the county is accepted into the super precinct pilot program, the number of polling places would drop by one-third, from 61 to 40.

WA. Turnout So Far=Low
08/15/2009, As we head into the final weekend before King County’s first-ever all vote-by-mail election on Tuesday, only about 14 percent of the more than 1 million registered voters have mailed in ballots so far, according to the elections office.
Turnout for the election was expected to be around 35 percent.

US. Can DREs Provide Long-Lasting Security? The Case of Return-Oriented Programming and the AVC Advantage By Stephen Checkoway, Ariel J. Feldman, Brian Kantor, J. Alex Halderman, Edward W. Felten, and Hovav Shacham. Introductory Video

US. Hovav Shacham Describes an Electronic Voting Vulnerability (Video)

US. Hacking Voting Machines For Election Security (NPR and with video)
Fri, 14 Aug 2009 Computer scientist Hovav Shacham has figured out a way to hack into older, seemingly more secure voting machines. Shacham talks about the "hack-ability" of electronic voting systems, election security and the best way to run an election with the current machines.

US. E-Voting Takes Another Hit (and why the new hack matters)
Aug 13, 2009 “This research shows that voting machines must be secure even against attacks that were not yet invented when the machines were designed and sold. Preventing not-yet-discovered attacks requires an extraordinary level of security engineering, or the use of safeguards such as voter-verified paper ballots,” said Edward Felten;jsessionid=1BG3LODXQEST3QE1GHPSKH4ATMY32JVN

US. Electronic Voting Systems in the Spotlight Once Again
August 14th, 2009 Voting machine vendors routinely fix the vulnerabilities discovered in their products and then seem to wait for the next one to be found.
... Premier Voting Systems has decided that it will release the source code for its product to the public...

IRAN. Iran tries more activists in post-election turmoil
Aug 16. TEHRAN, Iran — Iran put on trial Sunday 25 more activists and opposition supporters, including a Jewish teenager, for their alleged involvement in the post-election turmoil.

NETHERLANDS. Hacking at Random: CCC demonstrates TEMPEST measurement of voting machines. At the summer hacker festival "Hacking at Random" Andreas Bogk of the Chaos Computer Club has demonstrated a way of measuring electromagnetic radiation from a Nedap voting machine... In his presentation on TEMPEST measurements Andreas Bogk reiterates the CCC's view on voting machines

ZANZIBAR Voter registration flawed, says donors
The European Union and the United States yesterday expressed concern over what they described as flawed voter registration in Zanzibar in preparation for next year's General Election, and called for the shortcomings to be immediately rectified.

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