DRE has been presented as a safe, reliable and easy-to-use voting and tabulation device which can process votes much faster than normal physical count. However, the program is also vulnerable to a wide range of hacking and tampering attempts. Some of the potential hackers and their intent are listed below:
- Political parties: Like every other machine, DRE contains glitches and is susceptible to hacking and breakdowns. These glitches can be used by rival political groups to ensure their candidates success in the elections by adding votes to them, despite the ruling of the majority in favor of another candidate. A classic case of the vote “flipping” during the election serves as an example. .
- Hackers: Using DDOS attacks and polymorphic virus, hackers can creep into the system and leak election results online, before the tabulation process is complete. While some hackers might do it for fun, others may have sinister plans, such as creating panic among people or making them distrust democracy and state.
- Poll Workers/Election Officials: These people possess knowledge of the system and have access to the mainframe. They can easily override controls and tamper with the number of votes before a formal tabulation is conducted. Experts are of the opinion that if the system is tampered, the fraudulent program or malware may remain undetected. .
Clayton, M. (2012, November 7). Voting-machine glitches: How bad was it on Election Day around the country? Retrieved from The Christian Science Monitor: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Elections/2012/1107/Voting-machine-glitches-How-bad-was-it-on-Election-Day-around-the-country
Fischer, E. A., & Coleman, K. J. (2005). The Direct Recording Electronic Voting Machine. The Library of Congress. Retrieved from http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/60725.pdf