Le vote électronique n’est pas démocratique

 Voici une confirmation de nos dénonciations pour fraudes électorales en Suisse.

http://desiebenthal.blogspot.ch/2012/04/electionsfraudes-trop-faciles-machines.html
Le vote électronique sévèrement critiqué dans une étude menée aux USA.
Julien L. | numerama.com | jeudi 26 Juillet 2012

jeudi 26 juillet 2012

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Le vote électronique sévèrement critiqué dans une étude menée aux USA
Julien L. | numerama.com | jeudi 26 Juillet 2012

L’issue de l’élection présidentielle américaine sera-t-elle affectée
par les déboires du vote électronique ? Une étude menée par deux
organismes et une université s’en inquiète. Elle pointe les faiblesses
des systèmes mis en place dans certaines circonscriptions et invite les
États concernés à se mettre à niveau au plus vite.



Le 6 novembre prochain se déroulera l’élection présidentielle
américaine. À cette occasion, plusieurs millions d’électeurs se
déplaceront pour désigner le prochain président. Mais à quelques mois du
scrutin, une étude conduite
(.pdf) par deux organismes (Common Cause et Verified Voting Foundation)
et la faculté de droit de l’université Rutgers s’inquiète des effets
néfastes du vote électronique sur le décompte final.

Le jour des élections, le 6 novembre, les enjeux seront élevés.
Un certain nombre de scrutins seront très serrés et pourraient se jouer
à quelques voix près. […] Il est hautement probable que des systèmes
électroniques de vote ne fonctionneront pas à travers le pays. En fait,
dans chaque élection nationale au cours de la décennie passée, les
systèmes de vote électronique ont failli
“, résument les auteurs du rapport.

Machines qui ne démarrent pas, plantage pendant le vote, cartes
mémoires illisibles, bulletins électroniques perdus… les problèmes ne
manquent pas. “Nos élections sont si complexes, avec tellement de
juridictions différentes et de technologies impliquées que les soucis
sont inévitables. Et à mesure que la technologie utilisée se
complexifie, l’éventualité d’une erreur a sensiblement augmenté
“.

Impossible évidemment de ne pas avoir en tête l’élection
présidentielle de 2000, où le duel entre George W. Bush et Al Gore s’est
joué en Floride, l’un de ces fameux États pivots (swing state) où ni le
parti républicain ni le parti démocrate n’a vraiment l’ascendant. Les
résultats finaux ont séparé les candidats de 537 voix, ce qui a conduit
plusieurs recours devant la Cour suprême et la plus haute juridiction de
Floride. Sans succès.

Ce scénario, Common Cause, Verified Voting Foundation et la faculté
de droit de l’université de Rutgers veulent l’éviter. En effet, certains
États-clés peuvent faire basculer une élection dans un sens ou dans
l’autre. Le moindre soupçon sur la sincérité du scrutin, le moindre
problème de décompte des bulletins, et c’est l’image de la “plus grande
démocratie du monde” qui est ternie.

Dans le rapport, quelques États américains sont ainsi invités à
prendre des mesures pour atteindre de meilleurs standards de fiabilité
et de contrôle. C’est le cas de la Louisiane et du Mississippi.
Cependant, des efforts sont à faire partout, selon le rapport. Six États
obtiennent une note moyenne satisfaisante : le Minnesota, le Wisconsin,
l’Ohio, New York, le Vermont et le New Hampshire.

Pour corriger ces défauts, plusieurs pistes sont avancées. Une
sauvegarde sur papier doit être systématiquement réalisée, afin de
procéder, si nécessaire, à un nouveau décompte ou un audit. “Il faut des bulletins en papier […] si les ordinateurs ou Internet ne fonctionnent plus“,
expliquent les auteurs du rapport. Le vote par Internet est d’ailleurs
critiqué, celui-ci pouvant être altéré et affecter le secret du vote.

( photo : CC BY-NC-ND Robin Stevens )

Voir en ligne : Le vote électronique sévèrement critiqué dans une étude menée aux USA

Page 1 of 4
Summary of testimony of Andrew W. Appel before N.J. State Senate, State Government
Committee, May 26, 2005.
My name is Andrew Appel. I am a Professor of Computer Science at Princeton
University, where I have been on the faculty for 20 years. My specialties in research and
teaching include computer security and the design and analysis of computer software,
especially at the interface between software and computer hardware. The kind of
problem I study is, how do you analyze a piece of software to tell whether it does what
it’s supposed to, and how do you tell whether software has security weaknesses that
permit fraudulent operations?
These questions are particularly relevant to voting machines. In fact, I have
studied voting machine issues in great depth over the past year, and last fall I taught a
course at Princeton University on election machinery, particularly as it relates to practices
in New Jersey.
I support S.29/S.2463, requiring a voter-verified, auditable paper record of each
vote cast. With paper ballots, the voter gets a chance to make sure that his or her vote is
recorded accurately, and in a recount, Republican and Democratic observers can see for
themselves that county officials are adding them up correctly. S.29 would be an even
better bill if it provided for mandatory recounts of randomly selected precincts, to make
sure there’s been no funny business with the machines. In addition, I would say that
precinct-based optical scan technology has many advantages—not only does optical scan
have a voter-verified auditable paper record, but voting doesn’t have to be interrupted if
the machines break down, and it’s easier to accommodate unexpectedly large voter
turnout.
Without voter-verified paper records, we would have to trust that the voting
machine software and hardware is working correctly. As I’ll explain, it’s not realistically
possible to verify that voting-machine software will accurately count the votes. I’ll
explain what the problems are, and why there are no good solutions.
When you push the button for your candidate, a computer program inside the
machine decides what to do about it. It’s supposed to add your vote to the total for your
candidate; this total is not a mechanical counter, it’s just a number in the memory of the
Page 2 of 4
program. It’s easy to write a program that will count the votes correctly; but it’s also
easy to write a program that cheats, that moves half the Republican votes into the
Democratic column. Of course, when election officials test the machine before the
election they might notice that! But computer programs are very flexible; we can make
one that behaves correctly on every day except the first Tuesday after the first Monday of
November, and cheats just between noon and 5 p.m. on election day; or only cheats after
the first 100 votes are cast; or only cheats after a certain write-in vote is entered. Voting
on a direct-recording electronic machine without a voter-verified paper record is like
walking into the booth and telling your choice to a little leprechaun; you have no way of
knowing whether he’ll accurately remember it.
You might think that someone could look at the software in the machine to make
sure it doesn’t cheat, but that’s not really possible. In my testimony today I have time to
explain just two of the reasons why that doesn’t work. First, it is prohibitively difficult to
analyze the computer program inside a voting machine to make sure that it accurately
counts the votes under all circumstances; and second, even if the that could be done, it’s
really difficult to tell whether that program that was examined and analyzed is still
installed in the machine on election day, or whether it has been fraudulently replaced
with another program that manipulates elections by adding votes to the wrong candidate.
First, the difficulty of analyzing computer programs. The typical voting machine
has about 30,000 to 60,000 lines of computer source code. If we think of a computer
program as a kind of “machine,” that’s like a machine with 30,000 different moving
parts—an incredibly complex device. It’s incredibly difficult to analyze how all those
parts will interact with each other in response to any conceivable combination of inputs.
Computer scientists have been working for years on this, and I can tell you that while we
continue to make progress on this problem in the laboratory, the problem is far from
solved for real-world applications like voting-machine software.
Consider this: major software vendors, who have every incentive to produce good
programs, still can’t manage to produce software that’s perfectly reliable and resistant to
fraudulent takeover by computer viruses. For example, if your computer uses the
Windows operating system, every week or two you’re asked to update with new patches
to correct bugs and security vulnerabilities. Microsoft spends a billion dollars a year in
Page 3 of 4
software testing and software review, and still there are bugs, and still there are security
holes found by malicious outsiders every month: that’s the state of the art. For any
computer program of substantial size, it’s impossible for even the most expert computer
scientists to guarantee its correct operation without an expenditure of millions of dollars
to pay for hundreds of person-months of effort.
The problem is actually worse than that with voting machines. For most kinds of
software we can assume that nobody inside the company would have much to gain by
making the program malfunction. But in elections, the stakes are very high: there’s
certainly enough motive for an insider at a voting-machine company to try to throw
elections by writing fraudulent software. It’s easy to write software that behaves well
whenever it’s tested—on every day except the first Tuesday after the first Monday in
November—but moves votes around during the election. Furthermore, an electionfraudster
could try to hide his fraud among the 30,000 or 60,000 lines of legitimate
software, making it even more difficult to detect. Even without a fraudulent insider, this
could happen; for example, when computer viruses take over your machines, it’s not
because there’s a fraudulent insider at Microsoft corporation, it’s because even Microsoft
finds it very difficult to write software without vulnerabilities that allow fraudulent
outsiders to take control. In summary, we cannot rely on the computer software in a
voting machine, and we cannot effectively review and audit that software.
Finally, even supposing that New Jersey were willing to spend the millions of
dollars that it would take just to audit and review the computer program designed by a
voting-machine manufacturer; we have no way of knowing whether that program is the
one actually installed on the voting machine at election day! If we ask the machine to
print out what program is installed, then we’re really asking the software in the machine
to tell us about itself. It’s easy to write software that cheats on the election, but when
asked about itself, will print out a copy of the certified software.
On some models of voting machine, such as the Sequoia AVC Edge, used in one
county in New Jersey, installing new software is as easy as inserting a smart card and
typing in a password. My colleague Professor David Dill, a computer scientist at
Stanford University, had this procedure demonstrated to him by a county election official
in Santa Clara, California. On other models, such as the Sequoia AVC Advantage used
Page 4 of 4
in Mercer County, a simple hardware modification is necessary, as I’ll demonstrate right
now with this circuit board.
Inside a voting machine is a circuit board about a foot square, depending on what
model of machine it is. I have here a similar circuit board, from a personal computer but
very similar in technology to what voting machines use, and you can see here two
important components: the central processor that executes the instructions and the ROM
memory that contains the instructions. These instructions control everything the
computer does; you could put instructions here for the Space Invaders video game, or for
a voting machine, or even for a voting machine that fraudulently moves votes from the
Republican column to the Democratic column. Now suppose I show up at an elementary
school or a firehouse in Mercer County the day before an election or the day after. I’ll
find a few Sequoia AVC Advantage machines, unattended—most schools don’t have
round-the-clock security guards. I’ve seen the machines just sitting there in the John
Witherspoon Middle School lobby two days after the recent school board election. I
could pick the lock on the cabinet, unscrew 10 screws to remove a metal panel inside, and
pull out the software ROM just like this. Now I can install a fraudulent ROM that cheats
on elections, like this. Screw the screws back in, and now this machine will cheat on
elections for the next 20 years.
The only foolproof way to check that the computer still has the authorized
software is to pull out this ROM chip—let me do that now—and install it into an analyzer
machine to examine its contents. Are we prepared to let each of the partisan pollwatchers
do that on the morning of election day? That doesn’t seem like a good idea. But it
illustrates the lengths we’d have to go to, if we try to audit elections without a voterverified
paper record that permits recounts that are independent of the computer software.
If the machine prints out voter-verified paper ballots, so that we can conduct
recounts to check that the machine is accurately counting votes, then erroneous or
fraudulent software will be caught. Without a voter-verified paper record, there’s no way
to be sure that the vote totals reported by the machines actually correspond to the voters’
choices. I urge you to provide for voter-verified paper ballots, and to remember that this
can be accomplished not only by equipping DRE machines with printers, but perhaps
even more effectively by the use of optical-scan ballots.

http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~appel/papers/NJSenate.pdf 

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