News Release

Hacking the Vote: A Real and Present Danger


Black Box Voting and the National Ballot Integrity Project Task Force announced Wednesday that they “have been able to hack into both Diebold’s and Sequoia Voting Systems’ voting machines.” Harris is the executive director of Black Box Voting. Karp is a board member with Black Box Voting. Delozier works with the Texas Coalition for Visible Ballots. Wynne is with the National Ballot Integrity Project Task Force.

At the National Press Club this morning, Harris and others demonstrated methods of manipulating vote-counting programs. Harris said: “We are able to use a hidden program for vote manipulation, which resides on Diebold’s election software. This is a hidden feature enabled by a two-digit trigger (not a ‘bug’ or an accidental oversight; it’s there on purpose). Also participating is Dr. Herbert H. Thompson, computer security expert and editor/author of 12 books including How to Break Software Security. Thompson shows how easily an election can be rigged by implanting a virus. Also, Jeremiah Akin, an independent computer programmer from Riverside, Calif., shows how to manipulate Sequoia Voting Systems software just before an election by switching the labels on the names of candidates. Andy Stephenson, associate director of Black Box Voting, shows how an unscrupulous person with no computer skills whatsoever can sabotage an election.”

In addition to their demonstration at the Press Club, they scheduled a public demonstration Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. in “The Ballroom” at Heldref Publications, 1319 18th St. NW in Washington.
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Winberg and Christensen are spokespersons for Findlaw, the legal web site. Winberg said today: “According to our new poll, roughly four in 10 Americans say they are worried about potential problems with electronic voting machines to be used in the November election. Forty-two percent of those surveyed are concerned about potential vote tampering in electronic voting machines. Thirty-eight percent say they are worried about the accuracy of the machines. Roughly one-third of voters nationwide will use touch-screen computer voting machines in the upcoming November election. The machines are controversial because of concerns over testing procedures, security measures to prevent tampering, the accuracy of vote counts, lack of paper trails, the potential for software bugs and vulnerability to computer hackers. … New electronic voting machines are being installed in several states, including California, Ohio, Maryland, Connecticut and Florida, the site of several major vote-tallying controversies in the 2000 presidential election.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167