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Special Report Covers Hacking of Voting Machines - But Diverts Attention From Real Story

Reported by Janie - June 27, 2006 -

Tonight on "Special Report with Brit Hume", Fox News Correspondent Orlando Salinas shockingly filed a report concerning the Diebold voting machines that were hacked in Leon County, Florida recently, but the report focused on the Supervisor of Elections not receiving permission to perform said test, rather than the outcome of the test itself.

Salinas started off strong: "Last year without notifying state officials, Leon County FL election's supervisor Ion Sancho challenged computer experts to hack into his multi-million dollar optical scanning machines. And they did."

IS: "The company in fact, said it was impossible to manipulate the code on this card."

OS: "Now the state, hoping to avoid any more surprises says it must be notified before anymore random testing is done, not because it was embarrassed the first time, but so the process can be public."

Comment: For a second there, I thought this was actually going to be about the hacking of the voting machines, since Fox most certainly has not covered that issue, but once again Fox is diverting the issue from what's important - to something that will protect the Republican Party.

How exactly could Sancho have made the test more public? The press was notified, and the FL voters were able to find out the results. It sounds like "public" is precisely the opposite of what these officials want.

Sue Cobb (FL Sec of State): "It's sort of a matter of detect, discuss and correct if there are any vulnerabilities that are found, and it is not necessary for us to approve how or when the supervisors go about their testing."

OS: "Voting machine manufacturers, like Diebold, whose machines were breached, also demanded notification. But the Leon County Supervisor of Elections says his only allegiance is to county voters."

Comment: Diebold wants notification? So they can make sure the machine being tested isn't one that's been tainted?

IS: "I don't really care what the political fall out is. Voters need to vote on equipment that is safe and secure and I can verify is accurate."

OS: "FL's successful hack attack was felt in CA, where elections officials recognized similar flaws in their machines and ordered immediate changes. One FL politician applauds random testing."

Comment: Fox, of course, fails to mention that despite these findings in California, the Republican Secretary of State decided to re-certify Diebold anyway.

Robert Wexler (D): "I don't want the supervisors of elections to be held hostage by the manufacturers of the machines, or by the Secretary of State. They need to be independently empowered to test their own machines."

OS: "FL Governor Jeb Bush says test the voting machines, but do it in the open."

JB: "There needs to be integrity in these machines, and you can’t manipulate the machine, there ought to be some supervision of people that want to gain the system."

OS: "FL election supervisors say they support open and transparent testing, but disagree with the Governor about submitting plans beforehand."

Fox successfully filed an entire report on the testing of electronic voting machines, rather than the results, thus diverting attention from the real issue which will certainly rear its ugly head in the upcoming 2006 elections.

For more information on this continuing and Democracy-threatening problem, check out Blackboxvoting and Bradblog.