1 Nov 2006: Touchscreen Calibration Issues with Voting Machines

Direct-recording electronic voting systems from several major vendors, including Diebold, ES&S, and Sequoia, have touch-sensitive screens. The screen shows pictures of buttons with labels for the various candidates, which the voter selects by touching the screen with their finger. Some voters using these machines have reported problems where they pressed the button for one candidate and a different candidate was selected. These issues are most likely the result of poor touchscreen calibration rather than any security problems with the voting machines’ software.

Read the rest of this entry »

31 Oct 2006: ACCURATE Comments on VSTCP Manual

Today ACCURATE submitted a public comment to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) on the draft Voting System Testing & Certification Program (VSTCP) Manual. The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Verified Voting Foundation endorsed the comment.

The VSTCP Manual is an important document. When finalized, it will essentially be the rulebook that the EAC, vendors, and test labs will follow throughout the testing and certification process. The Manual also outlines the EAC’s approach to publishing testing- and certification-related information, as well as how and when the EAC will solicit information from the public. The Manual also acknowledges some of the critical purposes of the federal process: to support state and local election officials and to increase voter confidence.

Read the rest of this entry »

31 Oct 2006: More security flaws

A group from the University of Connecticut recently performed a study of the Diebold AccuVote-OS (precinct-based optical scanner), finding significant vulnerabilities. Avi Rubin’s blog discusses their findings. Also, a Dutch election official recently banned use of the SDU DRE voting system, apparently a follow-on to the We Don’t Trust Voting Computers study, which found a variety of security vulnerabilities with NEDAP DRE systems, including radio emissions that could be detected several meters away.

13 Sep 2006: Princeton group finds new Diebold flaws

Computer scientists at Princeton University, have released a study describing how a Diebold voting system may be vulnerable to a virus-like infection that can spread through the memory card interface, much like pre-Internet computer viruses spreaded through floppy disk sharing.

20 Jul 2006: Wagner testifies before House

David Wagner (an ACCURATE member) testified yesterday before the US House of Representatives at a joint hearing of the Committee on Science and Committee on House Administration. A webcast of the hearing, along with written testimony from each of the witnesses, may be found on the Committee’s web page. For your convenience, here is a a quick link to Wagner’s written testimony.

11 May 2006: Diebold security flaws

Harri Hursti, with Black Box Voting, announced a significant security flaw with Diebold’s AccuVote-TS and TSx voting systems. Avi Rubin and Ed Felten have written an analysis.

23 Feb 2006: ACCURATE/Usenix Electronic Voting Workshop ’06

Join us in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, August 1, 2006, for the first USENIX/ACCURATE Electronic Voting Technology (EVT) workshop. EVT seeks to bring together researchers from a variety of disciplines, ranging from computer science and human factors experts through political scientists, legal experts, election administrators, and voting equipment vendors. The workshop will include short paper presentations as well as vibrant panel discussions with substantial time devoted to questions and answers. Attendance at the workshop will be open to the public, although speakers and presentations will be by invitation only.

19 Feb 2006: Security analysis of the AccuBasic interpreter

The California Voting Systems Technology Assessment Advisory Board has released a report analyzing the security of the Diebold AccuBasic interpreter, used on Diebold optical scan and touchscreen machines. The report’s authors include ACCURATE PI David Wagner, Advisory board member David Jefferson, and ACCURATE graduate students Chris Karlof and Naveen Sastry.

19 Feb 2006: USACM Voter Registration Database study

The USACM has released the results of a study on voter registration databases, with the goal of providing technical guidance on implementing HAVA’s requirement for statewide voter registration databases. The report discusses how to provide accuracy, privacy, usability, security, and reliability for these databases.

The study is available at http://www.acm.org/usacm/VRD/

The authors of the study include ACCURATE PI David Wagner and ACCURATE Advisory board member Lillie Coney.