UP Colleges computerize Student Council elections

,----[ Quote ]
| To be used will be the Halalan Voting System, a Linux-based application
| developed by UP students, which will run on existing computers in the
| participating colleges.
| [...]
| “Halalan had initially been conceived to run on the UP Diliman campus’ wide
| area network (WAN). But unresolved issues on the reliability of its
| connectivity caused the application to be made to run in its backup mode, via
| LAN in colleges opting to adopt it,” said John Bitanga, Unplug president, who
| also spoke with Tech Times.
| “Halalan is basically a relational database system running on SUSE Linux.
| When first used in 2007, its developer platform was PostSQL. However, it has
| been enhanced this year and migrated to the MySQL platform. Both run on Open
| Source,” Bitanga added.



A Far-Fetched Fix for E-Voting Woes: Open Source

,----[ Quote ]
| "Absolutely, open source voting software could be used and should be used.
| There are two major issues facing open source voting software," said
| Almond. "First, no one in the U.S. has funded a project to build the
| software. Second, the voting laws across the U.S. are not sufficiently
| standardized to make the creation of this software practical." * *
| However, others note that the solutions to e-voting problems go beyond
| questions of proprietary versus open source programming of the machines. If
| the use of open source did nothing else, though, it would promote public
| trust for the electronic voting process, believes David Dill, professor of *
| computer science at Stanford University and cochair of the USENIX Electronic
| Voting Technology Workshop. * *


Open Voting Process Demonstrated in San Luis Obispo

,----[ Quote ]
| We used the Ubuntu (Linux) operating system, which is also free and open
| source. As always, our code is publicly available [1].



S.F. supervisors' panel backs Sequoia voting machines

,----[ Quote ]
| Such so-called open-source code would allow for public scrutiny of the
| * * * * * * * *^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
| accuracy of the equipment and act as a guard against tampering with
| elections. The problem is, no company sells open-source systems, citing *
| concerns about giving away their technology to competitors. *
| [...]
| The contract also mandates that Sequoia switch to open-source code within a
| * * * * * * * * * ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
| year if another company brings such a product to the market. Supervisor Tom
| Ammiano, who sits on the committee, also recommended the creation of a task
| force to evaluate the city's options in the future, including whether San
| Francisco could create, manufacture and sell its own voting technology. * *


ES&S e-voting system used in California cracked wide open

,----[ Quote ]
| "Once done, all the files can be accessed and potentially modified, including
| sensitive files such as the password file which can be cracked by openly
| available cracker programs. New users may be added with known passwords and
| used by the same attacker or other attackers later." *


California to Start Review of Voting Machines

,----[ Quote ]
| Vendors have time to submit their machines including documentation
| and source code until July 1st or face severe restrictions, including
| decertification, for the 2008 elections. Scheduled to start next week,
| the review will include a red-team attack and going through the
| source code.


,----[ Quote ]
| ...California Secretary of State Debra Bowen commissioned the study
| which pitted two hacker teams, better known as "Red Teams" against
| voting machines manufactured by Diebold, Hart and Sequoia....
| Abbott's team was able to access election data directly by exploiting
| vulnerabilities in the Diebold machine's Windows operating system - an
| operating system that all three e-voting machines use....
| Vigna's team also found physical security on the Sequoia voting
| machine to be inadequate. *They gained access to the machine's insides
| by unscrewing a few locks and discovered that the screws with not
| protected by seals....
| The study adds that all three machines used some form of Windows
| operating system and that each machine's *firmware was easily
| overwritten by the teams...


End the secrecy of electronic voting

,----[ Quote ]
| We have no opportunity to determine whether electronic voting machines are
| properly programmed to record and count our votes -- merely because the
| corporate vendors of these machines insist on keeping their programming *
| "source code" a trade secret.


E-voting vendor succumbs to California source code demands

,----[ Quote ]
| "... there are serious concerns regarding the motivations and apparent
| personal agendas of a number of the currently proposed examiners," ES&S
| exec StevenPearson wrote in a letter agreeing to turn over the source
| code.


John Edwards supports "open source" for voting systems

,----[ Quote ]
| John Edwards has become the first presidential candidate to support
| "open source code" for election systems.


Microsoft Muscles the NYS Legislature

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft’s proposed change to state law would effectively render
| our current requirements for escrow and the ability for independent
| review of source code in the event of disputes completely meaningless
| - and with it the protections the public fought so hard for.


Halt e-voting, says election body

,----[ Quote ]
| Despite the commission saying security needed to be "strengthened", Mr Will
| said: "We are pleased that the evaluations point to a high level of system
| security and user confidence in e-voting systems tested and that the security
| and integrity of the polls was not compromised. *


Most vote machines lose test to hackers

,----[ Quote ]
| "The vendors appeared to have designed systems that were not high assurance
| (of security)," said Bishop, a recognized expert on computer security. "The
| security seems like it was added on.'' *


State legislators keep e-voting apps in public hands

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft, whose Windows software is used in some of the vendors' devices,
| sought to amend the law to avoid the strict escrow provisions. *
| [...]
| But Lipari had his worries before the matter was resolved. Earlier
| this month, in his blog, he called Microsoft the "800-pound gorilla
| of software development" as he called attention to its plans. Microsoft,
| he said, had been steadily lobbying legislators and circulating an
| unsigned document that would redefine the law.


,----[ Quote ]
| "Nineteen machines had 21 screen freezes or system crashes, producing a
| blue screen and messages about an "illegal operation" or a "fatal
| exception error."
| "Especially with this blue-screen problem, you don't know whether it's
| the printer drivers, you don't know whether it's Diebold's own code or
| whether it's Windows,"


,----[ Quote ]
| Problems found in an audit of Diebold tabulation records from an Ohio
| November 2006 election raise questions about whether the database got
| corrupted during the tabulation of election results...
| The database is built from Microsoft's Jet database engine. The
| engine, according to Microsoft, is vulnerable to corruption when a lot
| of concurrent activity is happening with the database, such as what
| occurs on an election night [and Microsoft advises againt using Jet in
| a complex environment]...
| The report mentions that election staff had trouble with the server
| crashing and freezing on election night....
| The report notes that with punch card machines election officials used
| to be able to determine definitively if all ballots had been counted
| in the results....