Why didn’t we know it then?

To the editor:

In 2006, the standard for approving voting technology in New Hampshire said: “Before approving any voting machine or device, the ballot law commission shall, following a public hearing, find that there is clear and convincing evidence that the voting machine or device being examined has been designed and manufactured with adequate safeguards to insure the integrity of election results.”

Yet this commission approved use of firmware known to have the following vulnerabilities, according to a report, “Voting Systems Technology Assessment Advisory Board,” issued by the California Secretary of State’s Voting Systems Technology Assessment Advisory Board,” which was presented to the N.H. Ballot Law Commission:

“The attack could:

-manipulate the electronic tallies in any way desired. These manipulations could be performed at any point during the day. They could be performed selectively, based on knowledge about running tallies during the day. For instance, the attack code could wait until the end of the day, look at the electronic tallies accumulated so far, and choose to modify them only if they are not consistent with the attacker’s wishes.

-print fraudulent zero reports and summary reports to prevent detection.

-modify the contents of the memory card in any way, including with the electronic vote counts and electronic ballot images stored on the card.

-erase all traces of the attack to prevent anyone from detecting the attack after the fact.”

By modifying firmware or software, as stated in the report, “It is even conceivable that there is a way to exploit these vulnerabilities so that changes could persist from one election to another. ?In other words, these vulnerabilities mean that a procedural lapse in one election could potentially affect the integrity of the subsequent election.”

Why did then Attorney General Kelly Ayotte and Secretary of State William Gardner allow use of this technology that clearly violated the approval standard and the N.H. Constitution?

Why weren’t citizens and local election officials told about these defects in 2006 so we could take the necessary steps to protect our elections?

Deborah Sumner


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