Monday, November 06, 2006

Electronic Voting and Hacking Democracy

Election day is almost here, and as of this morning more that 191,000 absentee ballots have been requested by Maryland residents. The governor of the state called for the state to scrap its $106 million electronic voting apparatus and to use paper ballots; a plan that was rejected. The machines were manufactured by Diebold, a company who has come under attack for the integrity of its voting machines in an HBO documentary Hacking Democracy; Diebold unsuccessfully attempted to prevent the documentary from airing. The documentary is by the founder of Black Box Voting, Bev Harris, who has been questioning voting irregularities since the 2000 election in Florida when Al Gore received negative votes. Diebold has been known for its secretive nature refusing to release the computer source code installed in its machines. In Florida, a DUI charge was dismissed because a manufacturer refused to reveal more technical details about its breathalyzers. And late last month a former Democratic Maryland legislator Cheryl C. Kagan received three disks containing the Diebold source code, which were apparently stolen and the FBI is currently investigating.

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