Why computer does not "Means of choice" are

For the US elections, the quirks of election computers are already a running gag, in Holland you can laugh far less. That even German elections already take place via computer, for the first time on 13. June 2004, most of the Federal Councilors did not become aware. But in principle, the computer-understood elections are not to protect against unnoticed manipulations.

How to assist a company?

With chuck: that works the fastest with women: That’s the most secluded with computers: That’s the safest!

This Burospreuch still comes from the time when computing with the ability of a simple calculator took rough, air conditioning regions. Today they still do the part, but then call servers, while the usual calculators and PCs stand on the desks and the companies can actually be based on – if they are suddenly no longer functioning. In the normal day of work, however, take a lot of work the Buroangstellten and ensure that these can not only do their job faster today, but also, as it was the case in time, comes from the above joke.

Where the old Kalauer is still up to date, is in politics: which candidate is gaining a choice is often enough a greeting, which is decided which politician is caught shortly before choice with women or worse in flagranti. And the computers can also choose a choice: on the one hand through the principal invoices, which after their tendency can lead to that, above all things in countries like the US, which contain different time zones, the election result sometimes shifts to prediction, because the trail of the seemingly underlying party quickly race into the polling stalks to prevent this, during the alleged winners already believe in having the profit in the box and therefore no longer make the kisser to visit the polling station.

Even simple and easy controllable: punch card

However, where the computers can also climb true problems, the choice is itself. While these in Germany until recently continued to do with a cross or several on one or more more or less coarse paper, which even undergone those who could only be limited to writing, was rationalized in America: the Wahler should be holeers in Punching cards punching, so that they could be paid directly after the choice and the election results were faster available. The Hollerite machines, once not used to election, but used for the public payment, are legend.

In principle, a hole in a punch card is not much different than a cross on a sheet of paper, if it is clear where to make the hole or cross. Ambiguities at this point in the US prasident election 2000 in Florida provided that these, with the George W. Bush came to power for the first time, until today is controversial. However, there were any doubts about the function of the election computers and since the time of mechanical punch cards or computers evaluated pencil strokes is now seemed to end, this also concerns Germany: The ballot of the Burger turns to the course of the future, for example via touchscreen monitor or gross , with the names of the candidates stored panels, on which the corresponding Knopfe is printed or names to touch.

That sounds quite comfortable at first glance. But the problems are very different: During an election analysis is difficult, if common ballots are paid among witnesses and also the entire handling of the notes to the payment under witnesses happens because for manipulation paper sheet or punch cards had to be made aside or added aside, can be made aside Nobody see what’s in the interior of a computer. If the welfler prints a specific button on this button, he’s, of course, he hopes that his voice is paid according to his wish. But in reality something else can happen – the voice can be twice, not or not attributed to another party. And even if everything has been done with the numbers with right things, the election results can still be turned off when reading – witnesses that see the bits in the store and on the line running, there are no.

Tic Tac Toe? chess!

In order to prevent such manipulations, the election computers usually do not operate under-gear operating systems such as Windows – Auber once again in the US in the tested Diebold electoral machines. In fact, your manufacturers often ame that on them on the election program nothing else can do – but then they were not a computer. These are always reprogrammable, what the Chaos Computer Club together with the Dutch group "Wij Verwouwen StemComputers Rivet" ("We do not trust election computers") with a particularly skilled chess train, by name, in addition to proof that in the case of election computers of the Fabrikat Nedap, which is also used in Germany, if not with a 100% identical model, the payment can be manipulated instead of the actual for The computer has recorded a chess program – not exactly a trivialitat.

To prevent this, then the EPROMs are sealed and the device is scurred, but there is always a way in the interior of a computer. Sometimes he does not even have to be inflated because the interfaces not only output the election result but also load programs because programs can be entered or activated via a service mode or certain keyboard shortcuts. Security measures should prevent this, but they are not met. Even the danger is when the data, which already there is already, are read wirelessly, for example via WLAN – here a manipulation is really no difficult exercise.

Even the electoral secrecy is no longer assisted with computers as they can be accidentally. And then, of course, the election result can also be faled by a simple device defect without Bose intention. If there are no physically visible items like ballots in the game, this is not readily recognizable, as it is a principal disadvantage of the cash card against cash: both can be stolen and both can not be recorded correctly if it is not recorded correctly Machine is used for payment, only in cash falls immediately when it remains stuck or the ad is not reacted, while the money card does not look at what is happening with it (the money-way card). In the US, there were several thousands of such trap and problems with the congress choice that has just taken place.

Secured and manipulated

In the case of the money card, at least relatively stimulated over so-called Shadow accounts can be determined, where missing money is left. For a polling computer, it is not really realizable with still as many test sums and countercuts, where missing voices have been left or voices were posted incorrectly. Primitive manipulations may be discovered and also certain types of technical failure, but in principle there is no 100% security: if the hardware ames simply when writing into the memory that another button has been printed than the one that chasted by the beam has been, this can not discover any pruisance of the world.

And what do you get lost with a crash, through which the same votes of the last hours or even the whole day are lost? Who can protect that members of a party do not false the choice that they make themselves in areas where typically a different party wins the choice, many voices disappear by making them – for example, by electrical discharges – bringing the election computers to crash or complete destroy? In contrast to a tendered ballot box of such not immediately visible

The argument, with which the punching cards were introduced, namely that the choice is filled in this way much faster, does not always apply to: Since election computers are not used every day, optional helpers are often not familiar with the operation and combat with technical malfunctions or simply to get the device on election day in good time and really get into progress. The election results MOGE at the end are actually improved, if everything worked. But if anything has not worked, it may take much more long to get the problem under control than if usual ballotes have to be paid a second time. And it is not possible, as in the elections, to pay a second time independently in other ways.

Paperbackup against crash?

Computers that print a protocol list as possible remedy. If the wahler gets this hand, he can check if the device has registered his election request correctly. However, he can not check whether this wish is actually stored correctly, or the device has been assigned by a manipulation of the software the voice internally assigned to another party. If the protocol slip is in an urn, so in the end could you also pay off the protocol lists instead of the computer data, but then the advantage of computer choice is logged up and as the only preference could be a possible easy operation and less paper consumption in the field. Similarly, the digital puncture pen is also classified.

However, the lower paper consumption is made more than destroyed by the increased technical effort – a environmental effect does not certainly do not occur if the ballot does not have four-digit candidate numbers. And with the simpler operation is a matter of taste, as the alter generation with a cross on a sheet of paper is still better clear than with the button chippling on any computers.

Even the cost arguments do not draw: even if fewer staff and fewer electoral helpers are needed, which usually work voluntarily anyway and thus no money cost, the financial expense for manufacture, installation and operation of the computers is significantly higher than the one, for each whale accordingly Provide a lot of paper, even if the computers can be used again in the next year and the paper notes do not. For even in electoral machines, the technique continues and after a few years after a renewal – otherwise the Hollerite machine with punch cards was still used today.

At least there is no internet voting…

That theoretically no one hundred percentage of security is possible, so you could live, but the possibility of manipulation has already been demonstrated in such a mass that you really have to ask why it is so important now, the centuries-based principle of vote with a cross on to replace a note through the button square on a computer. The only ones who were really interested here are the manufacturers of electoral machines and those who trust themselves to manipulate them. The Chaos Computer Club therefore occurs for a ban, as there are too many technical and organizational vulnerabilities.

An online petition to abolish the election computers, however, is not better than the controversial advised: The first version is more than 10.000 signers failed due to u-lasted database and also with the second version is not clear whether the payment works…

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