The State of the Art, Voting and Gaming Edition

Assuring a computer’s software configuration is also a notoriously difficult problem, and research has focused on mechanisms to ensure that only approved code can boot or that a machine can prove to a remote observer that it is running certain code. For example, commercial systems such as Microsoft’s Xbox game console have incorporated mechanisms to try to resist modification of the boot code or operating system, but they have not been entirely successful. Although mechanisms of this type are imperfect and remain subjects of active research, they seem appropriate for voting machines because they offer some level of assurance against malicious code injection. It is somewhat discouraging to see voting machine designers spend much less effort on this issue than game console designers.

—Ariel J. Feldman, J. Alex Halderman, and Edward W. Felten, Security Analysis of the Diebold AccuVote-TS Voting Machine