You Think Your Vote Will Count?
Maybe your vote will count and maybe it won't. Or, maybe you won't even get to vote.
Computer security experts say they have found the worst security flaw yet in the oft-criticized touch-screen machines that Maryland voters will use in this year's elections, leaving one computer scientist to warn that the state should have "stacks of paper ballots" on hand in case of a complete Election Day breakdown.
The machines, made by Diebold Elections Systems, are "much, much easier to attack than anything we've previously said," said Avi Rubin, a Johns Hopkins University computer science professor who first cast doubt on the reliability of the technology in a 2003 report.
"On a scale of one to 10, if the problems we found before were a six, this is a 10. It's a totally different ballgame," he said.
The new problem is being described as an intentional hole left in the system to allow elections workers to update voting software easily. Instead of using pass codes or other security protocols, anyone with access to a voting machine could install new software that could easily disable a precinct full of machines, Rubin said.