Monday, March 9, 2009

Report: Diebold Voting System Has 'Delete' Button for Erasing Audit Logs

Again, mistakes by Diebold. Here the original link




An investigation by California's secretary of state into why a product made by e-voting system vendor Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold Election Systems) lost about 200 ballots in Humboldt County during the U.S. presidential election revealed the presence of a "clear" button in some versions of the machine's Global Election Management System (GEMS) software that allows someone to permanently erase audit logs from the system. The secretary of state's report says the logs "contain--or should contain--records that would be essential to reconstruct operator actions during the vote tallying process." The proximity of the clear button to the "print" and "save as" buttons raises the risk of the logs being erased accidentally, and the system provides no warning to operators of the danger of clicking on the button. Premier/Diebold retained the button despite an apparent warning from a system developer, and though the button was removed from subsequent iterations of the software, the version with the button is still used in three California counties and other U.S. states. The report says that under the voting system standards "each of the errors and deficiencies in the GEMS version 1.18.19 software...standing alone would warrant a finding by an Independent Testing Authority (ITA) of 'Total Failure' (indicated by a score of 1.0) had the flaw been detected." The California report's findings bring up issues about the auditing logs on voting systems made by other vendors, and about what course of action states that use the Premier system will follow now that they are aware that their voting software fails to produce a sufficient audit trail to guarantee the integrity of an election.

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