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Electronic voting not secure, CIA says

I have always said that a pencil and paper is all you need for voting; and fellow citizens counting the ballots, and, if necessary, recounting them. The paper trail is good. The


CIA seems to agree with me, noting some interesting developments in places like Venezuela.

Discussions - 5 Comments

Could there be wide-ranging agreement from left to right on this issue - time to drop electronic voting machines - in the US? I think so.

Good to flag that item. Was this your first mention of support for a paper trail (and, presumably, against electronic voting machines)?? Where have you been the last six or seven years? Oh, this was the first time it was brought up in the same breath as Venezuela by a CIA guy - I see. Do note this, though, in regards to whether "the CIA agrees" with you or not:

"While Stigall said that he wasn't speaking for the CIA and wouldn't address U.S. voting systems..."

Yet, from the same article:


"Numerous computer-security experts have concluded that U.S. systems can be hacked, and allegations of tampering in Ohio, Florida and other swing states have triggered a campaign to require all voting machines to produce paper audit trails.

The CIA got interested in electronic systems a few years ago, Stigall said, after concluding that foreigners might try to hack U.S. election systems."

But I shouldn't have to remind any conservatives of the possibility of threats to voting integrity from WITHIN our country. I'm very glad to see it brought up here at NLT.

Anyone here remember Michael Connell? See too this article which was linked to at the bottom of the page Mr. Schramm posted. Connell was Karl Rove's computer nerd/IT guy, and he died in an...hmmm...interesting plane crash near Canton - barely 50 miles from the Ashbrook Center - on December 19th. Surely NLT would be abuzz (along with The Corner, Powerline, etc.) if such a series of events would have taken place in Venezuela! (and rightly so) But NLT was oddly silent about the whole Connell affair.

For an example of how some electronic voting fraud has likely taken place in the US (Kentucky, in this case), with no apparent assistance from foreigners, see

this very thorough report, which looks pretty bad for both Repubs and Dems. To wit:

"Many of the voters, it seems, had no idea that their votes were manipulated after they'd left the touch-screen voting machine. While the Early Voting scheme involved finding voters who might wish to be paid to have their vote cast a certain way, the Election Day scheme, carried out in primary and general elections in at least 2004 and 2006, was accomplished by taking advantage of a 'feature' on all DRE (usually touch-screen) voting systems and 'voter unfamiliarity with new voting machines.'"

"Essentially, they tricked voters into leaving the 'booth' after pressing the 'Vote' button on the ES&S iVotronic. That button, does not actually cast the vote, as one might think (and as these voters were told), but instead, it brings up a review screen of the voter's 'ballot.'"

"Instructing the voters that they were done, the conspirators then, after the voter had left, would change the voters' votes as they saw fit, before finally pressing the 'Cast Ballot' button."

From the indictment itself:

"It was part of the conspiracy that WW serve as the Democrat election judge in the Manchester Precinct. It was further part of the conspiracy that CW serve as the Republican election judge in the Manchester Precinct."

Yes, I agree, we need to just bring back paper and pencil.

While we are at it, can we institute ordinal balloting, multi-member districts and the single-transferrable-vote for legislative races, and the alternate vote for executive contests? Tabulations for such contests are a bear, but the benefits of getting rid of single-member districts and first-past-the-post would well be worth it.

Another great thing about a paper trail is that it would put to rest the fears of (most) nutty conspiracy theorists. But maybe not all.

Quite right, Julie! Now how to put to rest the bizarre fears of this variety of conspiracy theorist?

I guess its impossible to switch out a box of ballots. Interesting this comes from the CIA, I would trust them as the authority when it comes to rigging elections. Votes on a paper ballot turn into statitics and what did Twain say about those.

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