Should Computers Be Used In Elections? – Part 2

Update: Per The US Supreme Court Docket, this Friday 4/19/2024, the case is “DISTRIBUTED for Conference”, i.e., the Court’s Justices will decide whether they should grant the petition for review (they accept and will hear the case).

Halderman Report And Court Demonstration

The Federal District Court of Georgia unsealed the 96-page Security Analysis of Georgia’s Ballot Marking Devices. Professor J. Alex Halderman and Assistant Professor Drew Sringall authored the report. The report shows many exploitable vulnerabilities in the voting system, confirms that votes can be altered in the machines and that the software is vulnerable and can be hacked.

On January 18, 2024, Halderman demonstrated to the court, how he could hack into the voting machine using only a ballpoint pen. Using a BIC pen to reboot the machine by simply inserting it into the power button and holding it down for five seconds, he rebooted the machine into Safe Mode and gave himself Super User access, granting almost unlimited ability to manipulate data on the machine.

Halderman was also able to use a $10 smart card and a $20 USB smart card reader to program voter cards that could be reused county-wide. He also made a poll-worker card and a technician card that also granted “Super User” access. Commands to manipulate the machines could be automated. Once the fake cards were made, anyone could insert them into the machines and automatically exploit the vulnerabilities.

Further, attacks could be programmed to occur only on certain ballots.


“Instead of cheating on every ballot, you could program malware to cheat on every second ballot, every third ballot, et cetera. So that if a voter noticed a problem and complained and then was instructed to go back to the machine, try again, we’ll see if it is a problem with the machine. When the voter repeated the same selections, the ballot would come out correctly.”

The result would make the attack undetectable at the local level since most poll workers would assume a voter simply made a mistake, rather than thinking the machine was compromised.

South Dakota County Commission Real-Time Presentation

On March 19th, 2024 at a Brookings County Commission meeting in South Dakota, Rick Weible, gave a real-time presentation on election software vulnerabilities. Weible was able to boot up a forensic copy of the election system on a non-conforming laptop. This is a “complete violation of the [Elections Assistance Commission] certificate” which “required that the Trusted Platform Module be enabled.” Here is the transcript at 3:28 in the linked video:

“you’re probably wondering if I can even log in to this laptop to actually get in. Yes, I can. And there it is going in right now. So I have been able to even circumvent their security and default the password to whatever I wanted it to be. And there is the … software. And yes, now I have the ability to decrypt the thumb drives of this county and any other county across the United States.

United States Supreme Court

There is a new case before the United States Supreme Court involving vulnerabilities in electronic voting machines. This case is different from others. If the Court takes the case, it will be the first case before a court with the power to limit or ban computerized voting machines in U.S. elections.

Case Background

The case, Kari Lake, et al., Petitioners v. Adrian Fontes, Arizona Secretary of State, et al, docket number No. 23-1021 is based on the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial election. Kari Lake was running against Katie Hobbs, then the AZ Secretary of State. Because Hobbs had an obvious conflict of interest in being in charge of counting the election, she was asked to recuse herself, but she refused. Election officials working under Hobbs broke into sealed election machines and inserted reprogrammed memory cards, causing them to fail. There is a video of workers doing this and later “testing” the machines where they jam.

Case Links

  1. Should Computers Be Used In Elections? – Part 1
  2. Should Computers Be Used In Elections? – Part 2  ⬅ You are here
  3. Should Computers Be Used In Elections? – Part 3

2 thoughts on “Should Computers Be Used In Elections? – Part 2”

  1. Most of the justifications for fraud are anecdotal in my view. Also all the problems cited are not because of a as yet not developed computer voting method. The bottom line is that it is crucial to move to computers. Yes, the systems have to be fraud proof. But as I previously commented the banks use bullet proof systems already so computer voting can be given the same protection as money. I’ll reiterate, it the banking systems were not extremely well designed for security, billions of pension, paycheck and credit card statements would be violated every day. Bad people are trying so the banks keep watching and adding security. Please don’t try to tell me that a vote couldn’t be made as secure as money.

  2. Yes it is true that voting systems can be made more secure as banking systems currently are.
    What I see is that the funding to do so is a the problem. the federal government, individual States, and municipalities all have to be committed to doing it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Exit mobile version


Get great content like this delivered to your inbox!

It's free, convenient, and delivered right to your inbox! We do not spam and we will not share your address. Period!