MentalFloss has an article up about the Diebold Accuvote system, which is the electronic voting machine that a quarter of Americans will be using to vote this coming election. It turns out, they're distressingly easy to hack.
In 2006, a Princeton computer science professor and his students were testing the system’s security when they discovered a decidedly low-tech way to crack the Accuvote. Each machine logs its votes on a memory card housed behind a locked panel, but the lock is the same type used on hotel minibars and jukeboxes. The universal key that opens it is widely available. Whoops!
In September 2011, even more terrifying news emerged[. ... A] team of computer scientists on the lab’s Vulnerability Assessment team built a little gizmo that could latch onto an Accuvote’s circuitry and automatically change voters’ ballots. The kicker? The parts needed to build [it] cost only $10.50.
Stuff like this is why I'm getting real sick of hearing people describe America as "The world's greatest Democracy." We're probably closer to the bottom than we are to the top. Close to half of Americans don't vote. A quarter of Americans will be voting on machines that are trivially easy to hack. 22 states in the US have voter ID laws that disproportionately prevent poor people from voting. Done right, a candidate only needs 22% of the popular vote to win the presidency.
I'm not looking forward to the rest of the election season. It seems unlikely that it will stop annoying me.