Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New York Times Hacks State's Voter Rolls

A few days ago the NYT revealed that they had attempted to hack Washington State's voter rolls in order to test its vulnerabilities. In three minutes they were able to “update the registrations of several prominent executives in Washington State.”

What they did is get hold of publicly available voter information, then simply use the Secretary of State’s website to change a voter’s address. Voila! The ballot gets re-routed, and the voter wonders why they didn’t get a ballot. The article cites the potential of thousands of registrations being changed this way, impacting the outcome of elections. Is that really a danger?

Theoretically, yes. Even Secretary Reed’s staff admitted it could happen, although they cited several security measures already in place that would make it difficult to do on a grand scale. This is one of the many vulnerabilities with a vote-by-mail system, where someone really could submit ballots for a hundred other people and not be noticed. It’s a little harder to pull a hundred levers in a polling place without being stopped.


  1. I think I'll vote a couple of times just in case they lose my original.

  2. Sam Reed is culpable in all this. He just got done telling us how wonderful the changes have been but nothing will keep the Democrats in King County from stuffing their vehicle trunks with ballots from dead people. Voting by mail and signing your name on the outside of the envelope is so bogus that only a DemocRAT could endorse it.

  3. Sorry folks: If I remember correctly, the NYT just committed a felony. If all business's are considered as entiteies, then they would be elgible to spend a few nights in the hotel greybars, just as if you or I had hacked to the database, and changed some one else's "identity".
    But this author is correct, the system was proven hackable in the 2000 election. an has been vulnerable since then. And that not counting the bad programing on the machines, or the updates to keep the machine functioning, or the totalizing machines that do not keep records of the inputs of the day, or the changes made from the initialization of the machine, It goes on and on ........... our votes aren;t sacred anymore.