While I didn't think this article was all that well done, the issue is.
What concerns me, is not what the article says, but the complete apparent naiviety of the company rep selling them.
Kathryn Ferguson, a spokeswoman for Sequoia Voting Systems, which recently sold touch-screen machines to Palm Beach County, Fla., said that her company's rigorous testing ensured that the voters' choices were correctly recorded. In such a test, a predetermined set of votes are cast -- say, 500 Gore votes and 400 Bush votes -- and if the results show the same set, then you know the system is tabulating correctly.
The system can't be tampered with between the test phase and the election, Ferguson said, because it includes an "event log" that keeps track of everything that's happened to the system.
It would be trivial to program the machine so that it correctly passes tests and then cheats on the real thing.
As to an 'event log', I can't believe how utterly ignorant that is. If someone has physical access to the hardware, then they can be hacked and not leave a trace. Nothing suggests that these devices even begin to approach the physical security needs to keep a black hat hacker out. (Even then it is generally just uping the skill level, not making things impossible...)
Since the code can't be audited, there is no reason to believe that a talented individual didn't alter it when it was written (or compiled or ...).
There is no way that these things should be so blindly trusted. The degree of ignorance and blind faith that these have been treated with is disturbing.
Congress should pass a law requiring all election software to be subject to public audit, that all hardware be under guard during the non election times (including while in storage the rest of the year).
I'd also like a printout ballot (could be very minimalistic...).
It just is scary how uniformed and trusting individuals (and the government) can be with respect to a technological implementation that has so much potentail (and liklihood) for abuse.