When the hackers warn that your machines are easy to hack, it is wise to listen.. ComputerWorld reports that the famous German hacker club, Chaos Computer Club, has gone to court to get an injunction against the use of electronic voting machines in German elections. They argue, quite sensibly, that as an organization of hackers, they are quite confident that they could hack whatever machines might be used. Hopefully, people will listen more to these people than they have to organizations of computer professionals like the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) who have consistently argued against the use of paperless electronic voting machines.
The Chaos Computer Club press release on this issues says, in part:
"There is a growing resistance stirring among the population against the use of the NEDAP voting computer, known to be vulnerable to manipulation", said CCC spokesman Dirk Engling. "After a virtually identical voting machine from the same manufacturer was recently completely rejected in the Netherlands, more and more concerned citizens have turned to the CCC. The voters do not understand why the same rejection cannot also be drawn in Germany. The legal path which has now been chosen is the last chance to save the transparency of the elections in Hesse."
I find it amazing that even though respected members of the computer industry have consistently argued against the use of paperless electronic voting machines, non-technical people and journalists keep suggesting that the industry might be able to build reliable machines that we could trust. Perhaps now that the hackers have spoken, the non-technical types will finally begin to realize that those of us in this industry understand what we do much better than they do...