Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) today issued the following statement in response to the creation by Princeton University scientists of software capable of altering the results of electronic voting machines without detection:
“This report shows that stealing electronic votes takes less time than making five-minute rice,” said Holt. “They’ve done exactly what all of us have feared possible: successfully hacked a voting machine and changed the outcome of an election,” said Holt. “We should count ourselves lucky that it was a mock election—but only if we act today to make it impossible before November 7, when real votes and real elections will be on the line.”
As reported by Princeton University today, in a paper published on the Web today, a group of Princeton computer scientists said they created demonstration vote-stealing software that can be installed within a minute on a common electronic voting machine. The software can fraudulently change vote counts without being detected. The paper appears on the Web site for the Center for Information Technology Policy. The researchers obtained the machine, a Diebold AccuVote-TS, from a private party in May. They spent the summer analyzing the machine and developing the vote-stealing demonstration.
Holt’s Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2005 (H.R. 550) would create national audit standards for such voting machines, making it far more difficult for such electronic attacks to take place or succeed. The bill has 211 bipartisan co-sponsors and a hearing on the bill and the issues surrounding it is scheduled for September 28 before the House Administration Committee—the day before Congress’ targeted adjournment. Holt called for swifter action on the bill.
“Princeton’s computer scientists have now shown the world how quickly an election can be stolen,” said Holt. “The question now is whether Congress will show the country how quickly they will offer protection by passing H.R. 550.”
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