A rapt audience watched as professor Alex Halderman, an expert on electronic voting machines, changed votes in a hypothetical election before their eyes. At a Georgia Tech demonstration this week, Halderman showed how to rig an election by infecting voting machines with malware that guaranteed a chosen candidate would always win. Four people from the audience voted on the same kind of touch-screen machines used in real Georgia elections, casting ballots for either President George Washington or Benedict Arnold, the Revolutionary War general who defected to the British. Despite a 2-2 split in this election test run, the voting machine’s results showed Arnold won 3-1. Halderman’s hack is a warning to Georgia, one of five states that relies entirely on electronic voting machines without an independent paper backup.
“Voting is not as safe as it needs to be,” Halderman, a computer science professor at the University of Michigan, said Monday. “The safest technology is to have voters vote on a piece of paper.”
… Any technology can be hacked, but hand-marked paper ballots provide a way to recount and audit elections to ensure they delivered fair results, said Halderman, a member of the board of directors for Verified Voting, a Philadelphia-based organization whose mission is to safeguard elections.
“We have to move to a different way of doing things so in case anything happens, we can recover. That’s what a voter-marked paper ballot does,” said Marian Schneider, the president of Verified Voting.
Full Article: Demonstration shows Georgia voting machines could be hacked.