Hacking Democracy

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“The American electoral system is rotten and we need to deal with that,” Ion Sancho, supervisor of elections in Leon County, Florida, told Mother Jones Radio. Sancho and Bev Harris, founder of Black Box Voting, point out the vulnerability of our voting system in an HBO documentary, Hacking Democracy, airing November 2.

The film follows Harris and Sancho as they stumble upon Diebold’s software on their FTP site, dig through trash and find illegally discarded voting records, and stage a mini-election with a computer hacker. In that election, the outcome of the vote is opposite the votes cast: 7:1 instead of 2:6.

As Sancho points out, this is not just a Diebold problem. It is a problem with all electronic voting machine companies: “The other companies are just much better at keeping secrets.” Hacking Democracy should cure anybody of trusting electronic voting machines that do not have a paper trail.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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