Directed by Simon Ardizzone and Russell Michaels
"Hacking Democracy" has been broadcast many times on HBO, exposing the dangers of the voting machines used in America's mid-term and presidential elections. Electronic voting machines count almost 100% of America's votes in county, state and federal elections. The Diebold voting machines and their hackable software are still used today in twenty eight states. The security holes and complete lack of transparency still pose an extraordinary risk to US elections.
Filmed over three years this daring exposé follows tenacious investigator, Bev Harris, and her team of citizen activists and hackers as they take on the electronic voting industry, targeting the Diebold corporation.
"Hacking Democracy" uncovers incendiary evidence from the trash cans of Texas to the ballot boxes of Ohio, exposing secrecy, votes in the trash, hackable software and election officials rigging the presidential recount.
"Hacking Democracy" takes a clear eyed, non partisan look at the secrecy, cronyism and privatisation of elections in America as it captures a citizen's movement intent on taking back elections, and democracy itself.
Ultimately proving our votes can be stolen without a trace "Hacking Democracy" culminates in the famous 'Hursti Hack'; a duel between the Diebold voting machines and a computer hacker from Finland – with America's democracy at stake.
Our expert hacker, Harri Hursti, shocked the nation when he successfully hacked the entire Diebold voting system, in Leon County, Florida. He did it using just one memory card and he changed all the votes, virtually undetectably.
The memory cards are America's electronic ballot boxes – they contain the votes. Diebold Election Systems went on the record, making the claim that there is "no executable program" in their memory cards. Harri Hursti suspected that their claim was false, and we set out to prove it.
Florida's courageous Election Supervisor, Ion Sancho, gave us permission to prove that Diebold was lying about their machine's security. A mini election was held, with our hacker excluded from the county's computer room. Not only did Harri change all the votes, he even made the machine print out a false 'Zero Tape' – the paper safeguard that is supposed to show that there are no votes pre-loaded inside the voting machine.
Following our hack California's Secretary of State ordered an investigation by the top computer scientists at UC Berkeley. Their report confirms that, "Mr Hursti's attack on the AV-OS is definitely real."
Watch Hacking Democracy and see how the 'Hursti Hack' was done.
DIEBOLD ATTACKS "HACKING DEMOCRACY"
Two days before HBO's premiere broadcast of "Hacking Democracy", Diebold issued an outraged letter to the channel's Chairman, demanding that HBO "pull the documentary" from the schedule. While Diebold had not even seen "Hacking Democracy" their error filled letter also contained this extraordinary false statement about the film:
"HARRI HURSTI IS SHOWN ATTACKING A DIEBOLD MACHINE IN FLORIDA. BUT HIS ATTACK PROVED LATER TO BE A COMPLETE SHAM."
Download the complete letter from Diebold President, David Byrd. The quote is on page 2
The 'Hursti Hack' forms the climax of the film and proved for the first time that votes stored on Diebold's memory cards can be changed undetectably. In fact our ground breaking hack was scientifically proven to be completely true. California's Secretary of State commissioned a special report by scientists at UC Berkeley to investigate the Hursti Hack.
Page 2 of their report states:
"HARRI HURSTI'S ATTACK DOES WORK. MR. HURSTI'S ATTACK ON THE AV-OS IS DEFINITELY REAL. HE WAS INDEED ABLE TO CHANGE THE ELECTION RESULTS BY DOING NOTHING MORE THAN MODIFYING THE CONTENTS OF A MEMORY CARD. HE NEEDED NO PASSWORDS, NO CRYPTOGRAPHIC KEYS, AND NO ACCESS TO ANY OTHER PART OF THE VOTING SYSTEM, INCLUDING THE GEMS ELECTION MANAGEMENT SERVER."
Download the report from the University of California, Berkeley
"Watch the 'Hursti Hack' in the film and decide for yourself who is telling the truth and who is a sham!"
In May, 2010 Diebold Election Systems (re-named Premier) was bought by Dominion Voting Systems.
But the same hackable Diebold software is still inside the voting machines and is still counting America's votes.
Dominion also bought all of America's voting systems made by Sequoia, giving this private Canadian corporation control over voting machines in 28 states, which, it announced. . .
"...will allow Dominion to expand its capabilities and operational footprint to every corner of the United States.”