In the fall, I sat with Jim March, an anti-Diebold tech expert in Sacramento, Calif., while he showed me on his home PC how to steal an election...The system stores its votes in a format recognizable by Microsoft Access, a common office database program. If you've got a copy of Access and can get physical access to the county machine- or, some activists say, if you discover the county's number and call into the machine over a phone line -- the vote is yours to steal...While I sat at his computer, March helped me open a file containing actual results from a March 2002 primary election held in San Luis Obispo County, Calif. -- a file that March says would be accessible to anyone who worked in the county elections office on Election Day. Following March's direction, I changed the vote count with a few clicks. Then, he explained how to alter the "audit log," erasing all evidence that we'd tampered with the results. I saved the file. If it had been a real election, I would have been carrying out an electronic coup. It was a chilling realization.
February 19, 2004 6:19 AM