Sunday, March 05, 2006

Florida Issues 'Technical Advisory' for 'Security Enhancements' on 'All Voting Systems' in State!

Breaking news from

Picking up in the tradition of California's Sec. of State Bruce McPherson, who seems to have a fondness for
Friday night releases of important information which he hopes nobody will notice, Florida's Division of Elections Director, Dawn K. Roberts, issued a "Technical Advisory" memorandum calling for "enhancements to voting system security procedures that each supervisor of elections must address immediately." The memo was issued late this evening at the end of the work week.

Roberts' memo (posted in full below) would be the first official acknowledgment, to our awareness, by the state of Florida of the security concerns raised by the recent
Leon County, FL "hack test" conducted by Election Supervisor Ion Sancho [pictured above]. That now-infamous test -- in which computer security professional Harri Hursti had managed to access and change information on the Diebold optical-scan voting machine memory cards -- resulted in the results of the test election being completely flipped, without a trace being left behind.

In a related bit of news, we were recently told by Sancho, during an on-air interview we conducted with him last Tuesday on
The Young Turks radio program, that Florida state election law disallows the manual hand recounting, or auditing, of machine-counted ballots.

In the case of the Leon County hack, we learned, the actual paper ballots used in the mock election -- had they been examined by hand -- would have revealed the correct election results instead of the flipped results as reported by Diebold's optical scan counter.

However, since Florida law specifically disallows ballots which have already been counted by machine to be hand-counted or even audited, the true election results would never have been known. Even in the case of a recount -- which would not have occurred in the case of the mock election test, since the flipped results were nowhere near close enough to have triggered a mandatory recount -- such ballots could only be rescanned by the machines which has miscounted them in the first place.

That point of Florida law was also confirmed to us, during another radio interview on Thursday, by Duvall County Election Supervisor, Jerry Holland who is, nonetheless -- and unlike Sancho -- a supporter of the Diebold optical-scan voting machines.

AP picks up the story (hat tip to John Gideon) and adds that Sancho has been sent "a letter threatening legal action" by the State Division of Elections. A fine thanks for helping the state discover that their elections could be stolen by a single malicious individual. Ah, Florida...

has more on this, including the threat letter to Sancho who is ready to fight. "We will be talking to our lawyers over the weekend," Sancho said. "Somebody is going to pay for it."

The complete "Technical Advisory" memorandum issued late this evening by Florida's Division of Elections Director, Dawn K. Roberts, is available on
here... [a WORD version may be downloaed here]

Thanks for the good work Brad!


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