Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Voting system flawed, press says 'so what'

That is what the press said, not with their words but with their silence, as indicated by the lack of coverage of the GAO report issued Oct. 21 that found that there are serious concerns over our electronic voting system that need to be addressed because identified flaws have the potential to change the outcomes of elections (let that sink in for a second ...) but that changes were unlikely to be affected before the 2006 election.

Some examples of problems with the voting systems listed in the report include:

  • Cast ballots, ballot definition files, and audit logs could be modified.

  • Supervisor functions were protected with weak or easily-guessed passwords.

  • Systems had easily picked locks and power switches that were exposed and unprotected.

  • Local jurisdictions misconfigured their electronic voting systems, leading to election day problems.

  • Voting systems experienced operational failures during elections.

  • Vendors installed uncertified electronic voting systems.
  • Here is a highlight sheet of the report.

    How low must the press in this country sink before the public has had enough? A story about the potential loss of our franchise, the very right to exercise our citizenship and give the consent of the governed is found to have significant flaws and the press can't be bothered to inform the people of it? Does no one understand the implications of what it means if your vote is taken from you by fraud?

    You know, when I read Lewis Lapham's scathing satirical column On Message in the latest issue of Harper's I thought he was being too harsh. But considering the state of the media and how uninformed significant portions of the population are, perhaps not

    The Nazis in the 1930s were forced to waste precious time and money on the inoculation of the German citizenry, too well‑educated for its own good, against the infections of impermissible thought. We can count it as a blessing that we don't bear the burden of an educated citizenry. The systematic destruction of the public-school and library systems over the last thirty years, a program wisely carried out under administrations both Republican and Democratic, protects the market for the sale and distribution of the government's propaganda posters. The publishing companies can print as many books as will guarantee their profit (books on any and all subjects, some of them even truthful), but to people who don't know how to read or think, they do as little harm as snowflakes falling on a frozen pond.

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