As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Just Push The Yellow Button

Boy do we need Debra Bowen as our Secretary of State. And all the election protection groups need to be aware of this:

It seems there's a little yellow button on the back every touch-screen computer made by Sequoia Voting Systems, that allows any voter, or poll worker, or precinct inspector to set the system into "Manual Mode" allowing them to cast as many votes as they want.

Concerns about the flaw were first reported some thirty days ago to California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson's office by Ron Watt, a Tehama County, CA precinct inspector who has been a poll worker in the county for the last fifteen years. And yet, as recently as a radio interview last Tuesday, McPherson -- who has been crowing about having the country's most stringent security process for voting systems -- denied he was aware of any security issues with Sequoia systems.

"They didn't care about it," Watt told us tonight about his "late September or early October" discussion with McPherson's voting systems chief Bruce McDannold. "He said he didn't think it was an important issue. He said I don't believe this is really a vulnerability."

Read the whole thing from Brad Friedman. Election issues are getting attention, but only in the immediate run-up to the election when nothing can be done about it. HBO is running Hacking Democracy tonight, a movie Diebold tried to get shut down. So the visibility is greater. But the threat of stealing elections is real without awareness.

Again, this is why Debra Bowen's campaign is so important. Bruce McPherson knew how easy it was to hack voting machines and did nothing about it. I'll be phonebanking for Debra via People For the American Way tonight, and I'm charged up to continue helping her. I don't think it's an existential threat to democracy as long as we pay attention to it and elect officials who will do the right thing.