, 45 tweets, 14 min read Read on Twitter
.@HarriHursti is a co-organizer of #defcon2019 & a highly respected, internationally renowned computer programmer & white hat hacker. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harri_Hur…
“BMD” = Ballot Marking Device. BMDs are the systems that I & a handful of others have been warning about 4 several yrs. 1/
4/ Georgia voters are more aware than most voters nationwide and have for the past two years been fighting @GASecofState and his determination to implement these systems statewide.
5/ I also published on Medium what I believe to have been the first article addressing the serious concerns with these new Ballot Marking Devices. link.medium.com/KXHhxZaT2Y
6/ I wrote the piece because, although the issue was being hotly discussed by experts and election “insiders” in email groups and on Twitter, the general public had NO IDEA that these new voting systems—being purchased like hot cakes throughout the US—might be a huge problem.
7/ And most of the public still doesn’t know. The issue has flown under the radar because, among other reasons, vendors and many election insiders decided to misleadingly refer to the MACHINE marked barcoded paper summaries generated by these systems as “paper ballots”.
8/ It’s a fraud on the public, and many election insiders are complicit.
9/ I wrote on Twitter & Medium re: the concerns with Ballot Marking Devices (BMDs) & other underreported election-security problems to such an extent that several media outlets reached out to me and asked me to write about these issues for them. Example ⬇️ whowhatwhy.org/2019/01/02/wil…
10/ Here’s another @whowhatwhy piece that I wrote about dangerous new BMDs: whowhatwhy.org/2019/01/11/geo…
12/ I discussed concerns with the voting machine vendors themselves as well as the new BMDs—and how ES&S is now equipping its ballot scanners with wireless modems (among other problems)— in this piece for @NYRDaily: nybooks.com/daily/2018/11/…
13/ With @philipbstark’s help, I found & reported that ES&S’s ExpressVote XL BMD give voters the option to NOT review the “paper ballot” for fraud or error & doesn’t mark the paper until AFTER the voter decides whether to choose this option. tyt.com/stories/4vZLCH…
14/ Computer science professor Andrew Appel has since labeled this design flaw “Permission to Cheat”. freedom-to-tinker.com/2018/09/14/ser…
15/ But even now, most national media outlets ignore these risky new equipment purchases. It is journalistic malpractice enabled—as noted—by the decision of vendors & many election insiders to misleadingly refer to barcoded, machine-marked paper summaries as “paper ballots”.
16/ The media’s failure to report these concerns also falls on the shoulders of several experts who are developing BMDs themselves or are funded by organizations invested in developing BMDs.
17/ These experts are well aware that the BMDs being sold throughout the US right now are unacceptable. But they refuse to speak out—perhaps out of concern that it will cast a shadow over the BMDs that they themselves hope to sell some day.
Here is one Twitter interaction between two experts. @JoeBeOne is himself developing a Ballot Marking Device and declined to agree with @nealmcb that BMDs should not include the “Permission to Cheat” feature. WTH?! 18/
Perhaps the most vocal proponent of BMDs is @beckerdavidj who is paid by an organization that is itself invested in a business developing BMDs. 19/
22/Here is a research paper —“BMDs can’t assure the will of the voters”—written by three experts (Professors Philip Stark, Andrew Appel, & Rich DeMillo) who do NOT have a financial conflict of interest undermining their credibility. papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cf…
23/ Their points also make sense. Common sense. Which is too often lacking in the election-security field.
25/ Here’s another article I’ve written about dangerous new Ballot Marking Devices. This one focuses on the “hybrid” kind with the “Permission to Cheat” feature. salon.com/2019/03/28/new…
26/ The public deserves to know that these new taxpayer-funded voting systems are at best extremely controversial and—according to many or most independent election-security experts—downright dangerous.
27/ But there is a whole lot of vendor money riding on the idea of having ALL voters use ballot marking devices even though the vast majority of voters are able to mark their ballots by hand.
28/ Speaking of vendor $$$, @Guardian recently gave a platform to Jim Dickson—who claims that ALL voters must use Ballot Marking Devices—w/o disclosing that his organization (American Assoc. of People w/ Disabilities) has received substantial &$$ from voting machine vendors.
30/ Jim Dickson has been around for a long time spreading misinformation and propaganda. Actual experts know he’s a problem but seem to feel constrained by decorum from calling him out publicly. So the media keeps spreading his BS.
31/ @thebradblog has been calling out Jim Dickson for years, as Dickson argued back in the day that ALL voters should use insecure Direct Record Electronic voting machines that election-security experts warned against— as is happening now w/ BMDs. huffpost.com/entry/blind-di…
32/ As discussed in the @TheBradBlog piece in post 31, two major disability-rights groups finally broke rank with him and called for a ban on all DRE voting machines in 2011 due to security concerns.
33/ We are literally watching history repeat w/ the same inane arguments in favor of having all voters use insecure pricey Ballot Marking Devices—most of which are touchscreens like most DREs—rather than limiting use to those voters who are unable to hand mark their ballots &...
... who choose to use them despite the extra security risk. 34/
Many of these BMDs unnecessarily put votes into barcodes that humans can’t read. This is NOT a reasonable accommodation for voters with disabilities, much less appropriate for ALL voters, bc all it does is make voting less transparent & thus less secure. 35/
The same goes for “Permission to Cheat”. How do BMD systems with a “Permission to Cheat” option constitute a reasonable accommodation? How are they appropriate for use by all voters?! They are not. 36/
And given that BMDs are programmed via CENTRALIZED county or state election management systems, they are just as prone to large-scale fraud or error as DREs. What if BMDs throughout an entire county or state are hacked? 37/
If voters report vote flipping with BMDs, we will be no better off than when voters reported vote flipping with DREs in Texas & Georgia in 2018. The greatest concern will not be the voters who notice & correct their ballots, but rather those who don’t. 38/ politico.com/story/2018/11/…
And voters will again have to take election officials’ word for it as to what caused the flipping. 39/
None of this is okay. And yet none of this is known to the general public whose taxpayer money is funding these dangerous purchases. 40/
Again, they don’t even know there’s a CONTROVERSY. They think a “paper ballot” is a “paper ballot”. It doesn’t occur to them that the definition of “paper ballot” has changed to include hackable printouts w/ barcodes from insecure BMDs that may include “Permission to Cheat.” 41/
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