All men and women may be created equal, but a new report from Alameda County suggests that all voting machines are not. The report examines security vulnerabilities with the Sequoia voting equipment used in the County. According to a report by Pacific Design Engineering that was done for the County, the Sequoia voting system is a secure system, when basic physical security initiatives are in place. (I have a hard copy of the report; it is not at present online).

The most important take-away is in a table in the report that outlines a series of vulnerabilities that voting systems have to attack, both in precincts and in the central office. It then compares the vulnerablities of a Diebold system, as documented in various reports, with the Sequoia system. The study finds that the Sequoia system is only vulnerable to one of the 12 precinct attacks and one of the five central attacks and both can be mitigated through security procedures. By contrast, the Diebold system has been found to be vulnerable to 13 of 15 precinct attacks and 4 of 5 central attacks.

The report then identifies threats and countermeasures. The report finds that the County already has in place many countermeasures needed, and suggests new countermeasures for some specific threats.

We will publish more on this once we get the report posted and can more fully digest it.