electronic voting

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Editorials: With Russian hackers apparently bent on wrongdoing, Pennsylvania must protect its voting systems | LNP

Last week, the Trump administration informed election officials in 21 states, including Pennsylvania, that Russian hackers targeted their election systems before last year’s presidential election, The Associated Press reported. Pennsylvania was not the only key battleground state targeted; so, too, were Florida, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin. The targeting was reported to have been mostly preparatory — scanning computer systems for weaknesses that could be exploited — and to have been aimed at voter registration systems, rather than vote-tallying software. The notification “came roughly a year after U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials first said states were targeted by hacking efforts possibly connected to Russia,” the AP reported. …  In 2015, the state Supreme Court rejected an appeal from voters who sought to halt the use of direct-recording electronic voting machines in Pennsylvania. Election officials say that because the machines aren’t connected to the internet, they’re safe. But they don’t produce a verifiable paper trail — which now seems like a glaring deficit. Read More

Brazil: Government tries to prove e-voting is safe | ZDNet

Brazil’s Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE) and the Brazilian Computer Society (SBC) have signed a cooperation agreement to apply best practices to the technology supporting voting processes in the country. According to the TSE, the involvement of the Brazilian Computer Society aims at “establishing means of integration, research and improvement of computing” at the electoral tribunal. … Flaws found in the Brazilian electronic voting system in the general election of 2014 pointed to the possibility of fraud. At the time, two of the top computer science universities in Brazil suggested that it is possible to easily break the secrecy of the machines and unscramble the order of votes recorded by the devices. Read More

Nigeria: Electoral Commission inaugurates committee on e-voting system | Premium Times

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has inaugurated a 20-member Inter-Agency Technical Committee to assess a newly-developed e-voting system. The commission disclosed this in a statement issued by INEC Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, on Thursday in Abuja. The e-voting machine was developed by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI). The agency, led by the Minister for Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, had in June paid a visit to the commission for a demonstration of a prototype e-voting machine developed by NASENI. Read More

Botswana: Congress Party in talks with electronic voting machine experts | Mmegi Online

Dumelang Saleshando told Mmegi on Monday as a follow-up question to the press conference that was held by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) on Saturday at Thapama Hotel here. The BCP is an official constituent member of the UDC as was confirmed by the UDC president, Duma Boko during the press briefing. “There are some people that we are talking to about the issue of EVMs. It is not necessary at this stage to state who those people are. We have not taken a decision that the people we are talking to will end up being our experts,” said Saleshando. Read More

India: Doubts over electronic voting security again as RTI reveals theft of 70 voting machines | Times of India

Information accessed under Right to Information (RTI) Act is once again fueling questions about security of electronic voting machines (EVMs), which are at the centre of a debate on tamper-proof technology. The Election Commission of India, however, has brushed aside all such suggestions and maintained that it follows strict protocol to guard EVMs, and once looted, these machines are condemned and never find their way back into the system. Information provided by the Election Commission under RTI has revealed at least 70 cases of theft of EVM across three states – Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh – over successive elections. Read More

Nigeria: Electoral Commission bars journalists from presentation of e-voting machine | Nigerian Tribune

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Thursday, barred journalists from covering the official presentation of electronic voting machine to the commission by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu. The solar powered electronic voting machine, which was developed by the National Agency of Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), an agency under the supervision of Dr Onu, was to address the numerous challenges bedeviling Nigeria during the general elections. Read More

Editorials: Internet voting and paperless machines have got to go | Barbara Simons/Minneapolis Star Tribune

“They’ll be back in 2020, they may be back in 2018, and one of the lessons they may draw from this is that they were successful because they introduced chaos and division and discord and sowed doubt about the nature of this amazing country of ours and our democratic process.” — Former FBI Director James Comey, testifying about the Russian government before a House Intelligence Committee hearing, March 20, 2017

We are facing a major national security threat. As former Director Comey stated, we know that Russia attacked our 2016 election, and there is every reason to expect further attacks on our elections from nations, criminals and others until we repair our badly broken voting systems. Despite a decade of warnings from computer security experts, 33 states allow internet voting for some or all voters, and a quarter of our country still votes on computerized, paperless voting machines that cannot be recounted and for which there have been demonstrated hacks. If we know how to hack these voting systems, so do the Russians and Chinese and North Koreans and Iranians and …. Read More

India: Row over India’s electronic voting machines leaves electors dazed | Al Arabiya

The brouhaha over use of smart electronic voting machines (EVMs) in India’s legislative elections has reached an ear-splitting pitch, leaving the 850 million constituents confused and confounded. All set for the five-year general polls scheduled for 2019, India’s Election Commission has time and again asseverated that the voter-friendly devices are tamper-proof and cannot be manipulated, but opposition parties have been demanding a ban on the high-tech gizmos and want the poll panel to return to the good old paper ballot system. Browned off by the belligerent mood of seven national and 35 recognized state parties bent on blowing the whistle, the exasperated commission has now thrown a gauntlet before them and invited politicos of all hues to examine the EVMs from June 3 onwards and show how the indigenously-manufactured machines can be hacked. Read More

Georgia: As millions pour into Georgia’s congressional runoff, the voting machinery is among the worst in America | Salon

There are so many disturbing aspects to the special election happening in Georgia’s sixth congressional district, it’s hard to know where to begin. For starters, the election runs on Microsoft Server 2000. That is not a typo. “That’s a crap system,” said Douglas Jones, a computer science professor at the University of Iowa in a phone interview; adding that the database in use, Microsoft Access is a “toy database” that should never be used for industrial applications. Fulton County Elections Director Richard Barron acknowledged in testimony on the troubled first round of the election, that the system is “inflexible.” But delving into his testimony further, and speaking to both local and national computer experts it’s evident that the results of the first round of the election on April 18th are legitimately suspect and that no election running on this type of computer system can be verified as accurate. Read More

India: Electronic Voting Machine row: Why Election Commission is not going back to ballot paper for polls | India Today

Since 2000 the country has witnessed 107 Assembly elections and three Lok Sabha polls (2004, 2009, and 2014) where EVMs were used to cast and record votes in all the constituencies and at all the poll booths. The parliamentary polls of 2004 were the first general elections to be fully conducted through electronic voting machines (EVMs). The incumbent government lost power. Before that the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry and West Bengal in 2001 were completely conducted using EVMs. During the first two Lok Sabha elections in 1952 and 1957, and simultaneous Assembly polls, each candidate was allotted a separate ballot box. The poll symbol of the candidate or his party was pasted on the respective ballot boxes. Read More