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Election fixes stir worries on ballot security

from Houston Chronicle:

Some fearful computer codes are vulnerable

But Behrman said he was shocked when he saw German use a series of passwords and an “encryption key” — a series of numbers on a nail file-size computer memory storage device — to reach a computer program that said “Adjustment.”

“A hundred percent of precincts reporting, and everything had been distributed to the press,” he said. “Then and only then did I see how they were going to do this, and frankly I never thought it was possible.

“Basically it turns out, without regard to any ballots that have been cast, you can enter arbitrary numbers in there and report them out in such a way that, unless you go back to these giant (computer) logs and interpret the logs, you wouldn’t know it has been done.”

:

Computer scientist Daniel Wallach, who started Rice University’s Computer Security Lab and was on the task force that recently studied California’s electronic voting systems, is skeptical about the eSlate system supplied to Harris County at a cost of $12 million by Austin-based Hart InterCivic.

The “encryption key” code could be extracted from voting equipment at each precinct, according to Wallach, who studied the company’s systems in California.

 Read entire article.

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