Ban the DREs, says Harri Hursti!

Even if we say so ourselves, the Hursti article below, following up his appearance last Friday before a panel in Riverside County, CA, is a MUST READ — for everyone who’s interested in American democracy in any case. And certainly for those who have been supporting the Holt Election Reform which still includes it’s PFAW-supported advocacy for the use of dangerous, disenfranchising touch-screen DRE voting systems.

— Brad

Hackin’ Harri Hursti a Hit in Riverside County, California
As we Sit Down for a One-on-One Debriefing with the Finnish Computer Security Expert and Discuss American Elections, Rush Holt’s Reform Bill, Debra Bowen, ‘Black Hats’ and Why Elections Matter
Big Turnout and Good Press Coverage Accompany his Riverside Visit, Even if Jeff ‘1000 to 1’ Stone Was a No Show…

We sat down to interview Hursti for a documentary film for an hour or two on Friday night after his appearance that morning before the Riverside County, California, “Blue Ribbon” panel convened to investigate massive problems during the County’s 2006 election, and continue chatting into the wee hours.
The headline from those discussions is probably that Hursti, now famous for his hack of a paper-based Diebold optical-scan voting system in Leon County, Florida, in late 2005 (as seen live in HBO’s documentary Hacking Democracy), advocates digital optically-scanned paper ballots — where the image of the scan can then be made available to all on the Internet — as the most secure and most transparent method of voting for the type of elections we have in these United States.

That may come as a surprise to advocates of Rep. Rush Holt’s Election Reform bill, who have been pointing to the “Hursti Hack” as a way to suggest that op-scan tabulation is “just as bad” as Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) touch-screen voting systems. Holt’s bill (HR811) would allow for the continued use of DREs, despite the continuing warnings from computer scientists, disabilities and minority rights advocates, and the Election Integrity community that the devices should be banned.

Hursti heartily disagrees with those Holt supporters and told us again that DREs are not safe for use in elections, with or without a so-called “voter verified paper audit trail.”

More details on that in the full story linked below. Including: Hursti’s thoughts on CA SoS Debra Bowen’s proposed “red team” hack testing of all voting systems in the state, on American Elections in general, and a sampling of the rather impressive turnout — by both press and public — for Hursti’s appearance in Riverside where Supervisor Jeff Stone had previously announced a “1000 to 1” wager for someone to come in and try to manipulate the county’s Sequoia DRE touch-screen voting systems. Hursti was and is willing to take Stone up on that, but Stone himself, continues to back off and didn’t even bother to show up last Friday for Hursti’s presentation…


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