I was one of ten people present at the "hack" of the Leon County, Florida voting system, which took place on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 around 4:30 in the afternoon at the county elections warehouse. Leon County's voting system is the Diebold Accu-Vote OS 1.94w (optical scan). The Leon County Supervisor of Elections, Ion Sancho, authorized a "test" of his Diebold voting system to see if election results could be altered using only a memory card. Harri Hursti, a computer programmer from Finland facilitated the test, and it has come to be known as the "Harri Hursti Hack."
And there, on the central tabulator screen, appeared the altered results: Seven "Yes" votes and one "No" vote, with absolutely no evidence that anything had been altered.
It was a powerful moment and, I will admit, it had the unexpected result for me personally of causing me to break down and cry. Why did I cry? It was the last thing I thought I would do, but it happened for so many reasons. I cried because it was so clear that Diebold had been lying. I cried because there was proof, before my very eyes, that these machines were every bit as bad as we all had feared. I cried because we have been so unjustly attacked as "conspiracy theorists" and "technophobes" when Diebold knew full well that its voting system could alter election results. More than that, that Diebold planned to have a voting system that could alter results. And I cried because it suddenly hit me, like a Mack truck, that this was proof positive that our democracy is and has been, as we have all feared, truly at the mercy of unscrupulous vendors who are producing electronic voting machines that can change election results without detection.
Beyond this, however, what is the real significance of the "Harri Hursti hack?" There are several answers to that question...
(See also: Beyond Belief: Black "Overvotes" and Election Theft)
Monday, January 23, 2006
Conspiracy Practice (V): Diebold in Florida - "I Saw It Hacked"
Susan Pynchon, in Counterpunch, January 23, 2006: