seppos elections free and honest???

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    The Diebold paperless touch-screen voting system was first deployed on a statewide basis in Georgia for the 2002 election. The outcome in Georgia was a “stunning” and “historical” upset in which Republican candidates won both the governor’s mansion and a seat in the U.S. Senate. The Republican challengers in Georgia had been trailing the Democratic incumbents in both races by 5 to 11 point margins the week before the race.

    Although most Georgians expected incumbent Sen. Max Cleland to win, the Diebold voting system declared the dark horse Republican candidate Saxby Chambliss the winner. Chambliss won 53 percent of the vote, according to the Diebold-generated tally. A similar upset occurred in the gubernatorial race in which a Republican candidate won for the first time in 130 years. The upset in Georgia was of national significance. As Chambliss says on his web site: “With our win on Nov. 5, we returned control of the U.S. Senate to Republicans and gave President Bush the tools he needs to implement his agenda for America.”

    Because the Diebold system is paperless and the “counting” of the votes is done out of sight, within a networked computer system, there is no way for any voter to know if his or her vote was counted correctly.

    The experts’ “analysis of a voting machine” discovered a host of security flaws in the software and exposed how the system is virtually wide-open to vote fraud and manipulation of the results. The Diebold voting system is open to “insider” attacks at every point of contact on the network, including the voter, and from “outsider” attacks on the data as it is transmitted.

    Obvious flaws in the code were left uncorrected. The report said, “There appears to have been little quality control in the process.”

    Because the voting machines communicate in a network, anybody with access to the data, from the poll worker to a telephone company employee, could manipulate the data and the outcome.

    The AccuVote-TS voting machine requires a voter to insert a “smartcard,” bearing a computer chip, before voting. However, the study found that Diebold’s “use of smartcards provides very little (if any) additional security and, in fact, opens the system to several attacks.”

    By forging or altering a smartcard, a voter can vote multiple times, access administrative functions, and even close the polling station by shutting down the machine, according to the study.

    The system could be tricked by anyone with $100 worth of computer equipment, Adam Stubblefield, one of the experts from Johns Hopkins, said.

    If a voter were to cast multiple ballots, there is “no way for the tabulating system to count the true number of voters or distinguish the real votes from the counterfeit votes,” the report said.

    A poll worker could access the data in the system and change the ballot so that votes cast for one candidate would be counted for another. In this way an underdog candidate would win in an upset. Voters in Georgia reported that when they touched one candidate’s name on the screen another candidate’s name appeared.

    As James and Kenneth Collier wrote in 1992 in their book, VoteScam: “The concept is clear, simple, and it works. Computerized voting gives the power of selection, without fear of discovery, to whomever controls the computer.”

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