Diebold uses Microsoft Access db


Also known as Microsoft Jet. Voter fraud in Ohio? How could that be?

That's what dreams were made for

Threat Level
Ohio Audit Says Diebold Vote Database May Have Been Corrupted

Problems found in an audit of Diebold tabulation records from an Ohio November 2006 election raise questions about whether the database got corrupted during the tabulation of election results, says a report released today (PDF).

The document, from a team of researchers tasked with auditing the November election in troubled Cuyahoga County, have called for a thorough examination of the database to determine if corruption did occur and the extent to which it may have affected the election results.

The database is built from Microsoft's Jet database engine. The engine, according to Microsoft, is vulnerable to corruption when a lot of concurrent activity is happening with the database, such as what occurs on an election night when results are uploaded and various servers are interacting with the database simultaneously. This is why Microsoft advises against using the Jet engine in a complex environment:

and when your system is fracked and corrupt, the only recourse is to deny, obfuscate and refuse to cooperate as long as possible:

According to the report, Election Director Michael Vu initially denied the audit team access to the raw vote data to examine because he said Diebold had asserted trade secrets protection over the data. By vote data, they're referring to the vote totals and election reports, not the machine source code. It's unclear why he believed the company had a right to assert such claims over such essential public records data.

The audit found more problems with the way the election was administered -- some optical scan ballots were scanned twice while others weren't scanned at all. This kind of problem isn't new to Cuyahoga. Two audit reports on last year's May primary in the county revealed severe data tracking problems by the election staff. And two Cuyahoga election workers were convicted in January of tampering with a recount in the 2004 presidential election by cherry-picking precincts for recount that they knew would match the election results. They were concerned they'd have to work overtime if the recount didn't match the results.

All of these issues led to the resignation of Election Director Michael Vu and the four members of Cuyahoga's board of elections.

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One point about your title: I'm a programmer who learned to program by developing VBA applications in Access - ie., Jet. I was *totally* confused by the transition from the title to your article - and I know what Jet is. The non-programmer who reads this is going to be very confused, indeed.

Did you think jet as corporate jet? Funny. I see your point though.

Did you think jet as corporate jet?

No! Nothing that stupid! Well *mumble-mumble*, okay... yes. What can I say? I wasn't expecting a technically-oriented article when I clicked the headline, I was expecting something along the lins of corporate cronyism/quid-pro-quo stuff... ;-)

Understandable - wouldn't be the first time I phrased something fuzzily. Also understandable because it sounds plausible based on MS and Diebold's corporate profiles - both are solidly Republican companies.

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on April 19, 2007 3:48 PM.

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