Friday, October 8, 2010

Video Cure for Internet Voting. Ireland voting machines to be traffic cones?

Must see video testimony! DC's Board of Elections detected the hack of their internet voting system BECAUSE Professor J. Alex Halderman & U. of Michigan students wanted the hack detected. "A real attack might be completely invisible and could have run on undetected much, much longer...". Halderman's team also changed the BoE password to protect it foreign hacker attempts..Files stolen from NM's SoS whistleblower..Ireland to turn €50m voting machines into 'traffic cones or fleeces' (with video)...

All this and more in today's voting news below...

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AL: Bessemer, Ala: mayor fires city clerk over absentee ballots
When Brooks refused to go off-site, the mayor fired him about 5:30 p.m., forced him to turn over his keys to the mayor and had a police officer escort him out of Bessemer city hall, Brooks said. The absentee ballots for today's election were locked in the city clerk's office, and Brooks said the mayor, who is a candidate in today's election, had the key to the office.

CA: andidate's DOB an issue for voters (Orange County)
When Miller Oh filed to run for City Council in Buena Park, he dutifully put down his correct age: 52.
Oh admits his registration says he’s 46, as do his Social Security records, his passport, and every other legal document he has.

CT: Probate judge to run as write-in candidate after ballot glitch

CT: State to Tackle Ann Coulter Voter Fraud Allegations Next Week
Whether conservative pundit Ann Coulter falsely used her parents’ New Canaan address as her voting address is up to the state Election Commission.

DC: DCBOEE Lessons Learned from Digital Vote by Mail Hacking (internet voting)
[DC BoEE idea of lesson learned is to ignore computer scientists overall warning that
internet voting can not be secured period, at least for 10 years and not this internet.]

See Internet Voting Watch section for more on the DC internet voting pilot hack

GA: Election law change approved by feds (early voting on touchscreens)
Electronic voting, as well as paper absentee ballots, must be provided for at least 45 days before elections starting next year.

Guam: BREAKING NEWS: Justice Department Sues Guam Election Commission: Overseas Citizens Must Have Right To Vote! The Department of Justice filed their complaint today in the U.S. District Court of Guam following news that the Guam Election Commission had failed to deliver timely ballots to overseas service members and citizens who are registered to vote on island.

Guam: Justice Department Announces Lawsuit to Protect Rights of Military and Overseas Voters in Guam

IL: Cahokia voter fraud plea deal
Wiggins pleaded guilty to 43 counts of voter fraud, but 39 of those counts were dismissed. Brown, 27, who worked in the Cahokia Streets Department, originally received 22 counts of voter fraud but 19 of them were dismissed. Wiggins, 44, is married to the village clerk.

The charges originally levied against all four men included perjury, improperly marking ballots, and mutilation of election materials.

ME: Court Denies Challenge to Maine's Clean Election Law
On Tuesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit rejected a motion for an emergency injunction to invalidate the matching funds provision of Maine's Clean Election law, the contribution limit for gubernatorial candidates, and certain public reporting requirements.

MI: Outgoing circuit judge questions integrity of next election Seems county clerk Joyce Watts' office last week circulated a sample ballot upon which the name of district Judge William Baillargeon appeared in a smaller font than the name of his challenger, Andrew Marks.
The county clerk's office oversees conduct of those elections.

"The clerk's son, Jason Watts, was the primary consultant to the Cronin campaign, and he was reported to have had special access to his mother's office election night," the judges' letter said.

MO: Appeals court should decide next week on election dispute A state appeals court will decide by October 15th whether to order a new election in a state representative race won by one vote.

MO: Court to rule on voter fraud case by Oct. 15
According to Day several Somali voters had been given “unlawful assistance” after not showing even a “rudimentary ability to speak English.” The Somali interpreter would not speak in English with the election judge but assisted a number of voters.

MT: Top Montana official wants all-mail elections

NC: Block challenges Ellison's voter registration
The mayor's wife is questioning the voter registration of Laurinburg's lone councilwoman.

Desiree Block filed a challenge with the Scotland County Board of Elections on Monday alleging that Council member Joy Ellison lives outside of the city limits.

NM: Files stolen from Secretary of State whistleblower
Former Bureau of Elections Director A.J. Salazar says someone broke into his office Wednesday night and stole Secretary of State files, tax records and a smoke detector.
Salazar says he first noticed something was amiss Wednesday night when his Blackberry phone started to show that someone had accessed his email account and was forwarding messages that he had previously sent to the FBI to an unknown recipient.

NY: State Report: 44 of 62 counties experienced voting problems on Primary Day

NY: NY comptroller notes voting machine problems*
..Privacy problems in 20 counties included failure to use privacy sleeves, leaving ballots in view of poll workers, and workers standing too close as voters filled out ballots.

Ballot layouts or small print caused voter confusion in 15 counties, while 21 reported machines that malfunctioned. Those included machines that had to be changed or repaired and paper jams.

Another 11 counties said poll workers had trouble opening or closing machines, which delayed opening stations and reporting results.

NY: Onondaga Co. election problems included in report (Video available) The State Comptroller's report cited at least ten different problems with the new ImageCast machines in Onondaga County during the primary. One of the problems cited was a lack of privacy as voters walk over to insert their ballots into the machine.

NY: Military Voters to Receive Absentee Ballots by Email The New York State Board of Elections, in complying with the MOVE Act (Military & Overseas Voters Empowerment), has established a new webpage to allow military and overseas voters to obtain their general election ballots by email in addition to the existing fax and mail options.

NY: Microsoft Cloud Helps Deliver Virtual Ballots to Voters Overseas
In alignment with the new Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act passed in 2009, Democracy Live technology called LiveBallot allows voters living anywhere in the world to register for and securely access an absentee ballot online, according to Bryan Finney, executive director of Democracy Live. It’s important to note that LiveBallot isn’t Internet voting, Finney said, but instead a tool that enables voters to print, mail and track ballots, and find out when they’re received and processed by a county election office.

OH: Elections board to seek funds to finish the year The Trumbull County Board of Elections will ask the county commissioners this week for $74,182 to finish out the year, in part because of a settlement agreement reached in August with the company that supplied the elections board with its current touch-screen voting equipment in 2005.

SC: Voting machine lawsuit dismissed
On Oct. 5, Federal District Judge Cameron Currie dismissed Brett Bursey’s complaint against the voting machines used in South Carolina. Bursey had argued that the machines, which do not produce a paper ballot that can be recounted, violate federal statutes.

TN: Election lawsuit dismissed; judge says Democrats did not prove intentional fraud Judge Arnold Goldin ruled plaintiffs proved election imperfections -- but not fraud or conspiracy.
Goldin said that while "the plaintiffs' proofs certainly pointed out imperfections in this election" that the public should perceive as "negatives," they were unable to prove that they "rise to the level of fraud or illegality" such that results should be thrown out.
But Newman and Stranch said that if they appeal, they would likely ask judges to send the case back to Goldin with instructions to use another state Supreme Court precedent, Forbes v. Bell, from 1991. Newman explained it like this: "It says that if the mistakes and omissions are sufficient to effect a vote result or render a vote result uncertain, under the law that is sufficient to overturn an election."

TN: Goldin Dismisses Election Challenge Suit
What he heard in a day of testimony from the plaintiffs and depositions he read from election officials was that no one under oath who testified believed the problems were intentional.

TN: The Election Lawsuit That Got Away

The issue is that Sherry Bryant, a former employee of the Putnam County Election office, committed a “Class D Felony,” by registering to vote and voting some 25 times though she was a “convicted felon.”

TN: Politics & Media 2010: Writer's Picks
Best of Nashville 2010..Ellis is what embattled Tennessee progressives could use a lot more of: a fighter. His efforts on behalf of vote reform got him branded an alarmist by the entrenched forces of legislative stagnancy — until the electronic voting-machine snafus during the recent primaries showed his warnings were dead-on.

TX: Partisan Battles Plague Voter Registration Drive

WA: Washington ban on inmate voting upheld on appeal
A federal appeals court has upheld Washington's ban on voting by prison inmates.

Internet Voting Watch

Alex Halderman's DC Council Testimony (HAS THE MUST SEE VIDEO)
Key new insights from Halderman, starting 9:01:
Other attacks did go undetected.The Michigan team had been controlling and monitoring the routers and switches connected to the pilot network from the beginning.
Access was easily achieved because a default master password was left unchanged, which one can look up in the owner's manual. This was a 4-letter password.
The team could watch in real-time as system administrators configured and tested the equipment....more

Video-Cure for Internet voting – WARNING: Viewing may case severe, permanent eInSecurity WARNING: Viewing will likely raise severe, permanent distrust in any Internet system.

Absolutely Devastating Testimony on Internet Voting (with youtube short vid)
Very short version of testimony on video

The story behind the 'Hail to the Victors' voting site hack For Halderman and his team, that window opened at 3:30 on the morning of Sept. 29 — the day the site was slated to go live. According to Halderman, it was then that the team discovered a weakness in the site’s design that would allow any good hacker to infiltrate it.
Halderman said that within hours of hacking into the site, “we had the same access to the server as someone who controls it.”

UM Hack Of DC Web Voting Has A Darker Side

Hackers hijack internet voting system in Washington DC
All your votes are belong to us
The system, which was paid for in part by a $300,000 federal grant, was hijacked just 36 hours after Washington DC elections officials began testing it ahead of live elections scheduled for next month. Scientists from the University of Michigan pulled off the hack to demonstrate the inherent insecurity of net-based voting.

DC: DCBOEE Lessons Learned from Digital Vote by Mail Hacking (internet voting)
[DC BoEE idea of lesson learned is to ignore computer scientists overall warning that
internet voting can not be secured period.]

DC To Pursue Online Voting Despite Hacks
Elections board commits to fixing problems after researchers easily commandeered a demo version of Washington, D.C.'s web-based voting system.

Prof who hacked DC elections test site testifies,0,541741.story
A University of Michigan professor who with his students hacked a prototype D.C. voting website and had it play the school's fight song said Friday that it will be decades, if ever, before voting can be performed safely over the Internet.
"Clearly stealthiness was not our main objective. Otherwise we wouldn't have played the fight song," Halderman said. "A real attack might be completely invisible and could have run on undetected much, much longer."

Bruce Schneier - Hacking Trial Breaks D.C. Internet Voting System
Sounds like it was easy.

Eat your heart out Diebold

Stuxnet worm ushers in cyber war threat to nuclear plants

Pentagon: The global cyberwar is just beginning The Pentagon and its NATO allies are looking at how to improve their defenses against a cyberwar, but the basic question of how to define a cyberattack is complicating efforts.

NATO faces more than defense challenges as cyber threats grow,,6072197,00.html Cyber attacks on defense systems are a concern for NATO. NATO plans to reform its mutual protection policy to include the increasing threat of cyber attack. But while protecting member nations from computer viruses is a huge task in itself, it is far from the only challenge.


Chamber of Commerce Denies Foreign Money Funding Campaign Ads
The details of the allegations are a little complicated, but to put it as simply as possible: Think Progress is alleging that foreign chapters of the Chamber in places like Bahrain (which are known as "AmChams") funnel money to the U.S. Chamber. That money, Think Progress says, ends up in the fund that pays for campaign ads.

In the statement denying the report, Freeman said "AmChams are independent organizations and they do not fund political programs in the United States."


India: Experts to review 'paper trail' for EVMs

Ireland: €50m voting machines to be turned into 'traffic cones or fleeces'
The machines, which were bought eight years ago at a cost of €50m, will now have to be shredded and recycled at an additional cost to the taxpayer after the Government received "no serious offers" to buy them.

Ireland: Cowen admits €50m spent on electronic voting is gone (YouTube)
You can read the full transcript of the exchange on the Oireachtas website here

Scotland: New laws to avoid election fiasco
The Local Electoral Administration (Scotland) Bill is the latest measure to be introduced following the publication of the Gould Report, commissioned after more than 100,000 ballot papers were rejected in the 2007 Holyrood and council elections.

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