|Et in Arcadia ego
Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Location: The Void
|Black Box voting fraud?!
Sun Jun 19, 2005 7:15 pm
6/12/05: Request to the California Secretary of State
Under Election Code 19202
Jim March, Member of Board of Directors, Black Box Voting 916-370-0347 / email@example.com
Bev Harris, Executive Director, Black Box Voting 206-335-7747 / firstname.lastname@example.org
EC19202 reads as follows:
Any person or corporation owning or being interested in any voting
system or part of a voting system may apply to the Secretary of State
to examine it and report on its accuracy and efficiency to fulfill its
purpose. The Secretary of State shall complete his or her examination
without undue delay.
Black Box Voting, Inc., a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501c(3) consumer protection organization for
elections, requests a formal examination under this statute of a specific Diebold Election
Systems component: the programmed “electronic ballot box” memory cards used in optical scan
and touch-screen voting systems.
As your office may be aware by now, Black Box Voting, Inc. was allowed to test the Leon
County, Florida Diebold optical scan system (firmware 1.94w). During this testing, we proved
that Diebold memory cards contain executable code, that the firmware in the optical scan places
a “call” to the executable code on the memory card, and that the operation of the election
system can be changed in various malicious ways without detection. We succeeded in loading
altered code onto the optical scan via the memory card, which altered votes undetectably. We
also succeeded in pre-stuffing the ballot box in a way that does not alter the overall number of
votes, but flips a predetermined number of votes to another candidate.
We specifically request that the Secretary of State's office evaluate the following:
1.Whether or not executable code is present on these cards;
2.Whether or not the firmware of the touch-screen and/or the optical scan (either precinct
count or central count) ever places a call to executable code on the memory card;
3.Under what specific conditions any executable code on the memory card is checked by
the firmware for accuracy (via checksums, hashes, file size);
4.Whether or not it is possible to load manipulated code on the memory card so as to
perform malicious functions such as vote shaving, vote “skimming,” vote changing, altered
reports, altered audit log, pre-stuffing of the ballot box, over-writing results of other precincts,
or any other substituted code;
5.Whether or not it is possible to override and invalidate the California certified version of the
firmware or software by executing program “updates” via the memory card.
We make this request for:
1.The latest optical scan systems (firmware 1.96.4);
2.The paperless touch-screens as used in Alameda County on Nov. 2, 2004;
3.The new TSx system proposed for certification;
4.Any older optical scan models still in use in California.
Request under 19202, page 1 of 2
Note that on touch-screen precinct terminals, the exact filenames involved on the memory card
and the type of executable may be different than those on the optical scan systems. The call to
the executable may be obscured in Dynamic Link Library (“.dll”) files. We have found references
to this under the name “abc.” All files under the name “abc,” AboBasic,” “AccuBasic,” and
“ABasic” should be examined to determine exactly where they are invoked in system designs for
all Diebold voting equipment.
We also have evidence that altered code can be centrally loaded on ALL cards from GEMS by
altering files at the C:\PROGRAM FILES\GEMS\ABASIC directory, propagating the “hack”
either county-wide or to hand-selected precincts as a batch. We believe the altered code can
be linked to a specific day, can be loaded months or even years prior to elections, and can be
constructed so as not to appear during pre-election and post-election Logic and Accuracy tests.
Both of us have personally witnessed Diebold employees, other contractors, and even local
volunteers handling Diebold memory cards, unsupervised by county officials.
We are convinced that a design which invokes executable code on a memory card is
unsupportable in a certified software environment where security is of critical importance. This
code is allegedly “certified,” but if a standard feature exists within the design allowing alteration
of code on removable modules, long after certification and even during the middle of elections,
the intent appears to be to provide a vote-tampering mechanism. This Diebold design clearly
sacrifices security for “flexibility” – and in the election environment, that translates to “quick and
We ask for a timely response on this matter. Regardless of what you find, we request that a
formal report be issued to address these issues as soon as possible.
Member of the Board of Directors
Black Box Voting, Inc.
Black Box Voting, Inc.
"If the President has commander-in-chief power to commit torture, he has the power to commit genocide, to sanction slavery, to promote apartheid, to license summary execution."