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Hacking Freedom An Article Anyone Living In A Democracy Should Read

#1 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-August-21, 22:30

This is a chilling read.

Quote

It took me around 10 minutes to crash the upcoming midterm elections. Once I accessed the shockingly simple and vulnerable set of tables that make up the state election board’s database, I was able to shut down the website that would tally the votes, bringing the election to a screeching halt. The data were lost completely. And just like that, tens of thousands of votes vanished into thin air, throwing an entire election, and potentially control of the House or Senate—not to mention our already shaky confidence in the democratic process itself—into even more confusion, doubt, and finger-pointing.

I’m 17. And I’m not even a very good hacker.

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#2 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2018-August-22, 09:00

Massachusetts still uses paper ballots. And not the punch-card type that resulted in the "hanging chad" issues in the Bush-Gore election, we fill in dots with a felt-tip pen. They're read electronically. so there's still the possibility of hacking the records there, but we have the paper trail if a manual recount is needed.

#3 User is online   PassedOut 

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Posted 2018-August-22, 09:23

View Postbarmar, on 2018-August-22, 09:00, said:

Massachusetts still uses paper ballots. And not the punch-card type that resulted in the "hanging chad" issues in the Bush-Gore election, we fill in dots with a felt-tip pen. They're read electronically. so there's still the possibility of hacking the records there, but we have the paper trail if a manual recount is needed.

It is the same here in Michigan. I've worked on elections here and there are procedures after polls close that reconcile the total number of votes recorded with the number of paper ballots deposited. There are procedures for counting absentee ballots and for saving provisional ballots as well. Everything is witnessed by representatives of both major parties and certifications signed by the witnesses.

The actual totals are transmitted electronically, so there is some vulnerability there, but in my experience the poll workers do check that the publicly reported totals match those recorded at the polls. And, as you say, the paper ballots are saved in case they should be needed later.
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#4 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2018-August-22, 09:32

However, there are give states that are currently all-electronic, with no paper trail at all: Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, New Jersey, and Delaware. And nine other states have a mixture of paper trails and non-paper trail machines.

Supposedly these states have plans to improve their procedures, but I don't know how far they are in the process.

#5 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-August-22, 10:23

View Postbarmar, on 2018-August-22, 09:32, said:

However, there are give states that are currently all-electronic, with no paper trail at all: Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, New Jersey, and Delaware. And nine other states have a mixture of paper trails and non-paper trail machines.

Supposedly these states have plans to improve their procedures, but I don't know how far they are in the process.


Axios reports:



Quote

What they're doing:

1) Louisiana: The state is planning to put out a request for proposals to set up a new, more up-to-date system, Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler tells Axios. “If the piece of paper gives them that assurance” that an election can’t be hacked, Schedler said, “I’m all for it.” Schedler said any replacement would be due to the age of the system, not because of any concern there might be a breach.

2) Georgia: There are three proposals circulating in the general assembly that would back using machines with paper trails, a state official tells Axios, but it's not clear that any of them will pass this year. The governor’s budget proposal doesn’t include the funding for such an initiative, per the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

3) South Carolina: State election officials asked the state legislature to provide $20 million to replace the state’s voting system to provide a paper trail of the vote, per their budget request. The House is going to discuss the budgeting next week, but does not have hard numbers yet on whether that request can be met.

4) New Jersey: Deputy Majority Leader Reed Gusciora told Axios he plans to introduce a bill in the state assembly to back an election system that produces a paper trail of votes. A similar measure passed the legislature last year, but it was never funded.

5) Delaware: The Department of Elections this week received seven proposals for voting machine equipment that would leave a voter-verified paper trail of votes, the state election commissioner, Elaine Manlove, told Axios. Manlove said her team wants to make an offer this year, although the machines aren't expected to be in use until 2020.

Nine other states — Pennsylvania, Texas, Kansas, Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, and Mississippi — use a combination of paper ballots and electronic machines without a paper trail, per Verified Voting.


Virginia switched out machines in 2 months when it found 22 polling places were at risk - will be interesting to see how quickly the red states try to protect themselves from favorable outside "help" to their causes.
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#6 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2018-August-23, 09:08

View PostWinstonm, on 2018-August-22, 10:23, said:

Axios reports:

That's the article I got my counts from, but it was from 6 months ago, so I didn't know what progress had been made since.

#7 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-August-23, 09:54

I read today that the DNC hack attempt was actually a test.
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