… J. Alex Halderman, a computer science professor at the University of Michigan, and Ph.D. student Matt Bernhard have assembled a number of reasons that they say render US voting machines susceptible to outside interference that could affect the accuracy of their tallies. In 2002, after the chaotic presidential election two years before, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act. The legislation provided funding for several private electronic voting machine manufacturers, including Diebold. Voting machines today fall predominantly into two categories. Optical scanners can be small, like the ones used at local polls or huge, or like the ones used at central voting centers to read absentee ballots. Direct Recording Electronic machines are touch screen devices that may or may not have a printer attached that makes a hard copy of the votes cast so they can be verified. According to Verified Voting, more than 20% of the DREs in use in the United States lack printers, making it impossible to detect fraudulent activity. “These machines are just so poorly engineered, the only real way to secure them is to destroy them and start over,” says the University of Michigan’s Matt Bernhard. In fact, their operating systems are often based on obsolete platforms such as Windows 98 or Vista.
… Testing and certification of voting systems used to be done by a consortium of state election directors, explains Pamela Smith, president of the Verified Voting Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to “safeguarding elections in the digital age.” That testing used to be done by a coalition of state voting commissioners but the EAC “really professionalized it,” Smith says. “They made it much more stringent and rigorous. There’s a lot of transparency there.” The law to terminate the EAC makes no provision whatsoever to transfer testing and verification of voting machines to another agency. Testing and verification will simply disappear.
… It is not too early to begin making plans for the next election before it is too late. Volunteering for voter registration drives, becoming a poll watcher, or offering assistance for those who need help getting to the polls are all ways that we as individuals can resist the effort to prevent certain Americans from voting.
But the best way to resist is simply to vote. It is time to get out and go to the polls. No more hiding behind the illusion that one vote won’t make a difference. If the Trump fiasco has done nothing else, it should have convinced every American that voting is not only a privilege but also a duty.
Full Article: Hacking US Voting Machines Is Child’s Play | CleanTechnica.