Watch This Programmer’s Testimony That Voting Machines Can Be Easily Manipulated [VIDEO]

November 5, 2014

2:30 pm

Voter fraud and vote manipulation has plagued our electoral process in recent years, which has led to the rapid rise of voter ID laws throughout the country. Whether voter fraud is a myth is left to you, but the reality is that measures have already been put in place to combat the chances of its occurrence. To the surprise of literally no one familiar with American politics, the GOP killed in the Senate races yesterday and will take full control of Congress. Yet, for a party that has advocated fully that there must be rampant voter fraud, it should come as a surprise then that former Republican Congressman Tom Feeney had allegations against him for requesting that a programmer help him create software to manipulate voting machines. In a clip posted on Reddit this morning, former NASA programmer Clint Curtis testifies that Feeney had approached him to rig voting machine so as to sway votes.

Yesterday alone, there were reported instances of voting machines working incorrectly in Virginia, which brought some heated excitement honestly. Election season overall has always been an exciting pastime for me – the canvassers, the debates, and the predictions on who will win what race – it’s pretty fun to see the likes of political analysts and regular people get into the hype. During yesterday’s midterm elections, this similar hype went on into the night, as polls closed and votes were counted – this picture from CNN is pretty telling of how ridiculous election night coverage gets. Underneath all of this excitement for the electoral process, though, lies the negative underbelly of American culture – one of apathy, deceit, ignorance, and every ill trait you can consider. From the depressingly low 38 percent participation rate to the instances of voter suppression, elections in America have turned into something less than the ideal.

“In October of 2000, I wrote a prototype for present Congressman Tom Feeney at a company that I worked for [Yang Enterprises] that did that…it would flip the vote 51-49 to whoever you wanted it to go to and whichever race you wanted to win.”

In the video, you hear Curtis testifying that there are definitely programs that can secretly manipulate votes. How does he know this? Well, because he helped develop the program for touchscreen voting machines that enabled this. Initially thought to be created as a measure to detect Democratic fraud, Curtis later learned that it was intended to benefit the Republican Party. What’s troubling to hear about the testimony is how simple it is to actually manipulate the voting machines through simple code – that literally almost anyone with some intermediate knowledge can rig an election and without detection. Watch the rest of the testimony below:

 

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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