Feeds

Ohio voting machines confiscated in criminal investigation

'Candidate withdrawn'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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seeing something she regarded as odd while voting during last November's election: A gray bar and the words "candidate withdrawn" appeared where candidate Jay Perez's name should have been.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But she says there are reports from other precincts of voters seeing the same "candidate withdrawn" words on their machines.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. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.