Why DC Voting Machines Played the University of Michigan Fight Song

At Freedom to Tinker, J. Alex Halderman explains how his team hacked the DC internet voting pilot project in 36 hours and opines that people concerned about clean elections will not be supporting internet voting any time soon. Electronic voting on touch-screen direct-recording machines doesn’t appear to be all that secure either. Halderman and Feldman have documented problems with the Sequoia AVC-Edge DRE voting machines used in the 2008 elections. They demonstrate by reprogramming it to run Pac-Man.

Comments (5)

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  1. Ken says:

    This doesn’t give me a lot of confidence in the voting system.

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    Converting Washington DC voting machines to play Pac-Man is probably a better use for the machines.

  3. Bart I says:

    And then there’s vote-by-mail, which makes it possible to buy votes with confidence that the ballots are both legitimate and contain the votes that were purchased.

  4. Virginia says:

    I (as always) agree with Devon. Pac man does sound like abetted use of the time.

    This post relates to your other post about HIT. If we don’t trust government voting machines, why trust medical records?

  5. mdb says:

    All these problems exist if you hook the machines to the internet. There is a simple solution to this problem. In MA we have scan tron machines, probably in theory these could be hooked to the internet, but they are not. We also had a small controversy during the past election with 2 sided ballots and extra long ballots that did not hide your votes. Both could have been fixed with touch screens. I know it is sexy to have everything hooked to the internet, but touch screens could be securely used today – just unplug them from the internet.