Feeds

Ohio voting machines confiscated in criminal investigation

'Candidate withdrawn'

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Ohio investigators are treating a warehouse where 15 electronic voting machines have been quarantined as a crime scene following a report someone may have illegally tampered with them to remove a candidate's name from the ballot.

Officials from Ohio's Franklin County Board of Elections asked for a forensic analysis of the touch screen machines after Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner reported seeing something she regarded as odd while voting during last November's election: A gray bar and the words "candidate withdrawn" appeared where candidate Jay Perez's name should have been. Brunner's husband, who was using a nearby machine at the same time, said Perez was on his ballot.

"This is a huge problem," Brunner told The Columbus Dispatch. "There is great concern that not every voter has the same ballot."

Investigators have already found that last April someone manually disabled a logging feature in Franklin County machines that is designed to help officials track unauthorized changes to the devices. They also found that many of the machines hadn't been tested prior to the November election, according to preliminary results submitted by SysTest Labs, a Colorado quality assurance and testing company.

Ohio has a checkered history with elections. Two state elections officials were convicted of rigging a 2004 recount after admitting to doing precounts and displaying the evidence while being videotaped. Last year, a study commissioned by Brunner's office found state e-voting machines contained critical security failures that could jeopardize the integrity elections.

Brunner alerted the director of the Franklin County Board of Elections of the missing candidate a few days after the election and officials promptly pulled every suspect machine to check the ballots. Perez's name was listed on each one. Officials have also checked ballots and paper tapes, but have also found no evidence to support Brunner's account.

But she says there are reports from other precincts of voters seeing the same "candidate withdrawn" words on their machines.

Brunner has conceded investigators may never learn what really happened.

Separately, Princeton University Ed Felten said e-voting machine seller Sequoia Voting Systems has threatened him and a fellow researcher if they conduct an investigation into vulnerabilities into devices submitted by the state of New Jersey for testing. "We will also take appropriate steps to protect against any publication of Sequoia software, its behavior, reports regarding same or any other infringement of our intellectual property," a Sequoia attorney wrote, Felton reports. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.