[link to index of press clippings]

Longmont Colorado Times-Call

Witness: It’s easy to hack terminals

Testimony begins in suit over voting machines

By Colleen Slevin
The Associated Press

DENVER -- A computer security expert testified Wednesday that studies have found electronic voting machines like those approved for Colorado’s elections can be tampered with and reprogrammed in about a minute.

Douglas Jones, a University of Iowa computer science professor, said Finnish computer expert Harry Hursti found problems with the Diebold TSX machine earlier this year in Utah.

Jones’ testimony came in a lawsuit filed in Denver District Court by 13 voters who want a judge to bar the use of these voting machines in the November election, saying they are unreliable.

State officials have defended the machines and said they produce paper backups that can be used for recounts or audits. Diebold says its system produces fewer voting errors than other systems.

Jones said the Finnish study found a computer card about the size of a credit card could be inserted into the computer to reprogram it. Jones also cited a Princeton University study released last week that showed how a virus could be inserted into an electronic voting machine.

He said security tape usually placed over the opening where the card inserted isn’t always reliable.