Studies find coding flaws persist

When California Secretary of State Debra Bowen asked e-voting manufacturers to submit their source code for a review by two university scientists, five of the eight vendors declined.

According to a statement Bowen’s office issued in July 2007, four of those that refused did not intend to have any systems operating in California after Jan. 1, 2008. The fifth vendor intended to take part but didn’t submit its code in time.

Diebold Election Systems (now Premier Election Solutions), Hart Intercivic and Sequoia Voting Systems submitted their code but might have regretted it. The study revealed programming errors that made the software vulnerable to compromise. Perhaps most troubling, the researchers confirmed that the companies had not fixed some problems detected in prior years.

Another document that e-voting critics considered vindication was a thesis written by Rice University Ph.D. candidate Sarah Everett in 2007. Through a series of studies, she found that although voters liked touch-screen machines, fewer than 40 percent noticed when the machine changed their choice sometimes right in front of them.

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.