News Release

Security and Auditability of Electronic Voting Machines

PENNY VENETIS
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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DAVID JEFFERSON
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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MICHAEL ALVAREZ
JONATHAN KATZ
Alvarez and Katz are both professors of political science at Caltech. They are also co-directors of the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167