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Photos - Voting Machine Security Seals Penetrated

Black Box Voting - Photos - Voting machine security seals penetrated

See photos below - a couple of 54-year old women from Black Box Voting bought $12 worth of tools and in four minutes penetrated the memory card seals, removed, replaced the memory card, and sealed it all up again without leaving a trace. This experiment shows that the seals do nothing whatever to protect against access by insiders after testing, and the seals also are worthless in jurisdictions like Washington, Florida, California, and many other locations where voting machines are sent home with poll workers for days before the election.

The Busby-Bilbray contest in San Diego now has proof that the optical scan machines sent home with poll workers subjected the tamper-friendly memory cards to an non-recoverable lapse in chain of custody. The recipe for tampering has been on the Internet for over a year:

The photos below blow apart claims by elections officials that voting machine "sleepovers" -- sending voting machines home with poll workers for days or weeks prior to elections -- are secure because of seals over the memory card.

Two Black Box Voting studies in Leon County, Florida proved that election results can be altered in such a way that the supervisor of elections cannot detect the tampering. Not to worry, we were told by elections officials. The memory cards are sealed inside the machines.

But then Black Box Voting purchased an optical scan machine and obtained discarded voting machine seals from King County, Washington. Here's what we found:

Click for big version

The cover can be removed without detection by removing five screws. Inside, all that stands between a pollworker (or an insider at the warehouse or elections office) and the open-for-business memory card is a washer which you can unscrew.

Click for big version

See the memory card: It is the item in the slot that says "this side up." Diebold's first line of defense is a metal door that pivots down over the memory card slot.

Click for big version

See how the door works: The hole in the right side of the door is over-large, so you can move the right-side bolt in and out at will. Therefore, they seal the right-side bolt.

Click for big version

See the hole in the top of the right-side bolt: The plastic seal is threaded through that.


See the plastic seal: This plastic seal was used by King County. It had been broken and discarded, so we used the high-tech method of putting an orange rubber band on it to hold it together for this demo. The seal is pointless anyway, as you'll soon see.


See the screws holding the Diebold AccuVote optical scan machine together: There are five. We tried a Phillips-head screwdriver on the thing.


See the screws come out: What's inside?


See the left-side bolt. Can you remove it? We stuck a small Allen wrench into the bolt.


See that nut on the screw: (Red arrow) We got out a pair of pliers.


Is it possible that Diebold does not know this??? Grasp nut with pliers, twirl Allen wrench and see what happens.


See the bolt come off. But can you get the memory card out?


See the metal door pivot to the right: Remove the memory card.


We then put it all back together without leaving a trace. Cost for materials: $12. Time: 4 minutes to open, remove card, re-insert card and re-seal everything.

San Diego, June 6 2006: Sent these voting machines home with poll workers for sleepovers. They said the seal on the memory card bay made it secure.

STILL GOING HOME FOR SLEEPOVERS in King County, Washington: King County elections officials told citizens on Aug. 29 2006 in a videotaped statement that they are using the door and plastic tab seal as shown in these pictures, and they are sending the voting machines home with poll workers for the September primary election.


Black Box Voting has prepared a Citizen's Tool Kit -- basically a brain dump of the things that worked during our last three years in the field. It is organized into modules, each only a few pages long, bullet points, easy to follow.

Two modules can help you address this issue in your area: Media Module: (tips to get this into the media in your location) Adopt a public official module: (tips to educate, persuade, and hold public officials accountable)


Full 20-Module Tool Kit is FREE: It is a Declaration of Independence for Citizens. You can download it here: (Adobe Acrobate 7 or higher recommended)

- It's time for you to recognize your own power.
- You don't need us.
- You don't have to find someone to follow.
- Pick any module. Pick a single action in it. See it to its completion.
- You've just opened the door to an unexpected evolution.

"Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." -– Declaration of Independence

* * * * *

Black Box Voting is a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501c(3) elections watchdog group supported entirely by citizen donations. We refuse funds from any vendor or vested interest.

To support Black Box Voting: click to or send to: Black Box Voting 330 SW 43rd St Suite K PMB 547 Renton WA 98055

* * * * *

Please plan to participate this fall to restore control of elections to the citizenry. Thank you for your stewardship of our republic.

Be part of the solution: Please sign up for the NATIONAL HAND COUNT REGISTRY:


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