National: Computer experts sound warnings on safety of America’s voting machines | Pat Beall USA Today
Millions of voters going to the polls Tuesday will cast their ballots on machines blasted as unreliable and inaccurate for two decades by computer scientists from Princeton University to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Toyed with by white hat hackers and targeted for scathing reviews from secretaries of state in California and Ohio, Direct Recording Electronic voting systems, or DREs, have startled Illinois voters by flashing the word Republican at the top of a ballot and forgotten what day it was in South Carolina. They were questioned in the disappearance of 12,000 votes in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, in 2002 and 18,000 votes in Sarasota County, Florida, in 2006.“Antiquated, seriously flawed and vulnerable to failure, breach, contamination and attack,” U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg wrote of Georgia’s aging DRE system before ordering the state to replace it in 2019. “No one is using a computer they purchased in the 1990s,” said Warren Stewart, senior editor and data specialist for Verified Voting, a nonprofit advocacy group tracking election systems. But voters in more than 300 counties and 12,000 precincts will be casting ballots using DRE technology already aging in the 1990s, when flash drives were bleeding edge tech and Netscape Navigator was the next new thing.