There are good reasons to believe that US democracy isn’t as pristine as we’re led to believe:
In a paper published on the Web today, a group of Princeton computer scientists said they created demonstration vote-stealing software that can be installed within a minute on a common electronic voting machine. The software can fraudulently change vote counts without being detected.
“We have created and analyzed the code in the spirit of helping to guide public officials so that they can make wise decisions about how to secure elections,” said Edward Felten, the director of the Center for Information Technology Policy, a new center at Princeton University that addresses crucial issues at the intersection of society and computer technology.
The paper appears on the Web site for the Center for Information Technology Policy.
The researchers obtained the machine, a Diebold AccuVote-TS, from a private party in May. They spent the summer analyzing the machine and developing the vote-stealing demonstration.
“We found that the machine is vulnerable to a number of extremely serious attacks that undermine the accuracy and credibility of the vote counts it produces,” wrote Felten and his co-authors, graduate students Ariel Feldman and Alex Halderman.