57 Ala. L. Rev. 1123 (2005-2006)
The Risks of Computerized Election Fraud: When Will Congress Rectify a 38-Year-Old Problem

handle is hein.journals/bamalr57 and id is 1135 raw text is: THE RISKS OF COMPUTERIZED ELECTION FRAUD: WHEN
WILL CONGRESS RECTIFY A 38-YEAR-OLD PROBLEM?*
After the 2004 presidential election, many Americans expressed con-
cem that the software used in some electronic voting machines had possibly
been rigged to return a favorable result for the incumbent President
Bush.' Although most of those who expressed concern believed that no
change in the overall outcome of the election would have resulted even if
some electronic voting machines were manipulated, they believed that alle-
gations of fraud should nevertheless be investigated.2 The call for investiga-
tions by political figures, including John Kerry,3 a losing presidential candi-
date, convinced the investigative arm of the United States Congress-the
Government Accountability Office-to investigate the charges of voting
irregularities caused by malfunctioning or manipulated electronic voting
machines.4 The concerns that electronic voting machines are highly suscep-
tible to manipulation are not new, and neither are congressional investiga-
tions into the vulnerabilities of computerized election systems.
Articles entitled Vote Tally by Computer Assailed, 12,000 Mysteri-
ous San Francisco Votes, and Those Votes That Weren't Counted ran in
the San Francisco Chronicle during November of 1968 and reported allega-
tions that vote-tallying software had been manipulated to produce an out-
come for a particular candidate.5 These early news articles, as well as the
reports and studies commissioned by Congress and federal agencies that
followed,6 demonstrate that concerns about the safety and accuracy of elec-
tion systems utilizing computer software have existed since the systems'
*   The author would like to thank Professor Wythe Holt, Professor Bryan Fair and Professor Bill
Henning, all of The University of Alabama School of Law, for their assistance in writing this Comment.
The author would also like to thank Mr. Robert Marshall and Mr. Creighton Miller, both law librarians at
The University of Alabama School of Law, for their invaluable help in researching this Comment.
1. See, e.g., Adam Liptak, Voting Problems in Ohio Set off Alarm, N.Y. TtIMES, Nov. 7, 2004,  1,
at 37; Matthew Marx, Advocates Propose 11 Ways to Test Vote, COLUMBUS DISPATCH, Dec. 13, 2004,
at A4; Carl Weiser, Electoral College Today more than Ritual, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, Dec. 13, 2004, at
Al.
2.  Weiser, supra note 1; Marx, supra note 1; Rick Klein, Federal Office to Probe Vote Procedures,
BOSTON GLOBE, Nov. 24,2004, at Al.
3.  Weiser, supra note 1; Marx, supra note 1; Liptak, supra note 1.
4.  See Associated Press, GAO to Examine U.S. Voting Irregularities, MSNBC, Nov. 24, 2004,
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6575858; Klein, supra note 2.
5.  See Vote Tally by Computer Assailed, S.F. CHRON., Nov. 18, 1968, at 6; Jerry Bums, 12,000
Mysterious San Francisco Votes, S.F. CHRON., Nov. 22, 1968, at 1; Editorial, Those Votes That Weren't
Counted, S.F. CHRON., Nov. 25, 1968, at 46.
6. See, e.g., ROY G. SALTMAN, GEN. ACCOUNTING OFFICE, EFFECTrIVE USE OF COMPUTING
TECHNOLOGY IN VOTE-TALLYING: FINAL PROJECT REPORT (1975), available at http:llwww.eac.gov//
bp/docs/NBS_SP_500-30.pdf.

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