Security Seals on AVC Advantage Voting Machines are Easily Defeated

by Andrew W. Appel

On September 2, 2008, I submitted a report to the New Jersey Superior Court, demonstrating that the DRE voting machines used in New Jersey are insecure: it is easy to replace the vote-counting program with one that fraudulently shifts votes from one candidate to another.

In Section 10 of my report, I explained that

  1. There are no security seals on New Jersey's AVC Advantages that prevent removal of the circuit-board cover;
  2. Even if there were security seals, physical security seals are easily defeated and would not significantly increase the security of elections in New Jersey.
  3. And in conclusion, one cannot achieve trustworthy elections solely by trying to ensure that a particular computer program is installed in the voting machine.
In October 2008, the State of New Jersey (and Sequoia Voting Systems) reacted by installing new security seals on the circuit board cover of voting machines in New Jersey. That is, they reacted to point 1 and ignored points 2 and 3.

In December 2008 I submitted to the Court a new report, and a new video, demonstrating how New Jersey's new security seals can be removed and replaced without leaving evidence of tampering.

The new report: Certification of December 1, 2008 by Andrew W. Appel.

[Click here for high-resolution version of video.]

Medium-resolution 20-minute video:

To start the video, press the "play" button in the control bar under the picture. You may need to wait a few minutes for the video to load.

More Princeton e-voting research