April 24, 2014

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Security Seals on AVC Advantage Voting Machines are Easily Defeated

On September 2, 2008, I submitted a report to the New Jersey Superior Court, demonstrating that the DRE voting machines used in New Jersey are insecure: it is easy to replace the vote-counting program with one that fraudulently shifts votes from one candidate to another.

In Section 10 of my report, I explained that

  1. There are no security seals on New Jersey’s AVC Advantages
    that prevent removal of the circuit-board cover;

  2. Even if there were security seals, physical security seals are easily defeated and would not significantly increase the security of elections in New Jersey.
  3. And in conclusion, one cannot achieve trustworthy elections solely by trying to ensure that a particular computer program is installed in the voting machine.

In October 2008, the State of New Jersey (and Sequoia Voting Systems) reacted by installing new security seals on the circuit board cover of voting machines in New Jersey. That is, they reacted to point 1 and ignored points 2 and 3.

In December 2008 I submitted to the Court a new report, and a new video, demonstrating how New Jersey’s new security seals can be removed and replaced without leaving evidence of tampering. It took me about 7 minutes the first time I tried it; I estimate it would take less than half that time with practice.

The video available here is now available in a compressed mp4 format, though it still takes a while to load. not well compressed and takes forever to load over the Internet; sometime in the near future I hope to make available a better-compressed video.

Comments

  1. joe says:

    curl tells me this video is 4.4GB. That is definitely not well compressed…

  2. Preston L. Bannister says:

    The first election where the local county used “tamper-proof” seals, I found that most of the seals came off easily, without damage. So after the election, I re-affixed (more firmly) the undamaged seals.

    Don’t know if anyone at the county noticed, or what they thought.

    Then again, how do you test a tamper-proof seal is properly attached? Rip it off, and check for damage! Now you need to affix a new seal. How do you know the new seal is properly attached? Er….

  3. Anonymous says:
  4. Bill Bucolo says:

    Friends, I’ve been at this election reform work since before the 2004 General Kabuki (aka election) and I’m pretty sure all this back and forth on voting machines boils down to either ignorance and/or intent, and I’m thinking it’s intent at the core of the problem… deep in the bowels of the GOP/corporate/quasi-government power structure that runs far too much of our country. It is that, and stubborn ignorance the closer we look to the surface. That was usually in the form of partisan election officials at local jurisdictions around the country, happy to preside over win after win, and each spending millions of dollars in HAVA money on crapware produced by their fellow GOP-centric hucksters at Diebold (now Premier), ES&S and Sequoia. Their balky stuff worked just well enough to systematically deliver a smidgen more votes for their candidates consistently, nearly every time everywhere they were used.

    The Stupid part of this drama is when the victims (always Democrats) remained in denial, or even finally figured out maybe something was up, but still failed to do anything about it. What else could explain the behavior of Kerry and his crew in 2004 in the face of blantant cheating and suppression throughout Ohio, and systematic failures and persistent statistical anomalies in scores of other important jurisdictions around the country? Those 18,000 “lost” votes in Sarasota in 2006 also come to mind.

    All in all, if they’re that stupid, maybe it’s a good thing the elections WERE stolen from them, although on second thought, I guess even chowderheads would’ve been better than the criminals currently in office.

    And then there’s the media silence… the oddly persistent blind eyes to all this for years in most of the corporate news media. A story might appear once in a while, usually in a local paper or 3 minute TV segment, but almost no follow up, ever. And each time an issue was reported it was attributed to “just a glitch.” There must have been thousands of computer glitches but no one ever admitted to smelling a rat, except a small cadre of election reform activists who rarely ever got the national problem exposed to the public. Some of the best publicity came from comedian Jon Stewart and his jokes about Diebold… but he was preaching to the choir, so the news never seemed to get beyond his phony news show.

    Anyway, it’s just a miracle that enough people had had enough by 2006 and 2008 that GOP cheating and fumbling couldn’t overcome relative landslides in both years. But it is telling that in spite of huge lopsided turnouts nationwide in favor of Democrats in both election cycles, somehow the GOP avoided suffering an adverse landslide each time. They were still shaving off a little here and a little there.

    The election reform activists around the country have hammered away at this for years, and finally it is sinking in that something stinks about our elections, and now we’re seeing paper ballots in more places, and occasional audits, and discoveries are being made more and more often.

    But the bottom line is this: We’d better expose and stop the criminals and their machines by 2010 or it could start all over again and become permanent.

    We need transparent elections. More paper ballots and random precinct level auditing, and less invisible electrons.

  5. Chris Brudy says:

    Bill Bucolo states the situation succinctly. There is no way to tell whether Republican machines and their Republican programmers have been stealing elections since the turn of the century, or not. Judging from polls taken just before the 2004 elections, however, we would be fools if we didn’t think the elections were rigged.

    Even though the Democratic Party has turned a blind eye to election integrity, we must come to our senses and realize that nothing short of hand counts, on election day, and in the precincts themselves, are the only method of assuring an honest count.

    Audits of machine tabulations can be beaten far too easily, if they occur at all.

    We will not be governing ourselves until we are willing to count our own votes.

  6. Hawkeyeaz1 says:

    The metal cap can also be removed by gripping the exterior and pulling while unscrewing/spinning. The screw head has grips to prevent it from backing out, and those will allow you to remove the cap if you pull sufficiently hard while turning. Then you could pop the cap off and possibly reuse the entire thing (if the cap holder is serial numbered), without damage to it.

    Of course that technique could also potentially strip the threads too.

  7. Hawkeyeaz1 says:

    The metal cap can also be removed by gripping the exterior and pulling while unscrewing/spinning. The screw head has grips to prevent it from backing out, and those will allow you to remove the cap if you pull sufficiently hard while turning. Then you could pop the cap off and possibly reuse the entire thing (if the cap holder is serial numbered), without damage to it.

    Of course that technique could also potentially strip the threads too.

  8. security seals,container seals says:

    Nice Stuff….!