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Voting Machine Audit Logs Raise More Questions about Lost Votes in CA Election

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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-14-09 01:19 AM
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Voting Machine Audit Logs Raise More Questions about Lost Votes in CA Election


Voting Machine Audit Logs Raise More Questions about Lost Votes in CA Election

By Kim Zetter

January 13, 2009

Computer audit logs showing what occurred on a vote tabulation system that lost ballots in the November election are raising more questions not only about how the votes were lost, but also about the general reliability of voting system audit logs to record what occurs during an election and to ensure the integrity of results.

~snip~

The logs are at the core of an investigation that the California secretary of state's office is conducting to determine why the GEMS tabulation system deleted 197 ballots from the tallies of one precinct in Humboldt County during the November 4 general election. But instead of providing transparency into what occurred on the system, the GEMS logs have so far only baffled state investigators. Deputy Secretary of State Lowell Finley has referred to the logs as "'Greek' to anyone other than a programmer."


~snip~

"These audit logs could give us some assurances if they were genuinely designed so that a casual bystander could look at them and understand them," says Doug Jones, a University of Iowa computer scientist and former chairman of a board that examines and approves voting machines for use in Iowa. "(But) having them cryptic and obscure destroys the value in terms of election transparency."

~snip~

The audit logs appear to record only limited types of events on the system and provide no comprehensive record that tracks every event performed by an election official.

Premier didn't respond to a query from Threat Level about the logs. But Jones said the Premier/Diebold system, as far as he knows, provides no single log file that chronologically lists all events in the life of an election.

Instead, he says, the system keeps "lots and lots of different logs" that appear to have been "independently designed by people who didn't talk to each other" and that are incomprehensible to anyone except the vendor. He assumes Premier has documentation explaining how to interpret the logs, but says if it does, the company doesn't share that information with election officials, making independent audits of a voting system difficult if not impossible.

~snip~

http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2009/01/diebold-audit-...
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kster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-14-09 03:42 AM
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1. K&R...nt
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ColbertWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-14-09 03:52 AM
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2. Good catch! k+r, n/t
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Stevepol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-14-09 05:10 AM
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3. Eventually one of these studies and individual investigators is going to hit pay dirt
and the voting machine companies are going to go down. Every time a state or local precinct discovers and broadcasts the truth about what's happening with these machines, the better it is for democracy and the survival of the human race. Until the US has a working democracy again, there's no telling what could happen. We could have and eventually will have, given the way the political winds always shift eventually, somebody worse than W. When that happens, it's the end of western civ very possibly and the world as we know it.
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juno jones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-14-09 07:13 AM
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4. I still say vote tampering got us Arnie. n/t
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:00 AM
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5. I agree. Something wrong with that Recall election, which occurred when
the new Sec of State, Kevin Shelley, had barely had time to put his name on the door. Full-on 'TRADE SECRET' code shenanigans in that one, in my opinion, with 125 candidates on the ballot, to distribute the votes to, and Time Magazine and Larry King giving Schwarzenegger, a famous actor, millions and millions of dollars worth of free publicity.

I think it may have been the Recall that got Shelley suspicious. He then sued Diebold and demanded to see their source code, and before he knew it he was 'swiftboated' out of office on entirely bogus corruption charges. Driving Shelley out was essential to preventing any investigation of the Recall.

I agree with Greg Palast that the real issue was Enron and their theft of $10 billion of California's budget surplus (and a total theft of about $80 billion--our entire surplus and cushion--by Texas energy corps). Covering it up. Preventing the people of California from getting any of the money back. That was Schwarzenegger's job, and they had a new, and nearly 100% unverifiable, vote counting system all set up, to Diebold him into office. And now, he's doing the other part of his job--taking that massive theft out of the hides of the poor.

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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-18-09 11:09 PM
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6. .
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