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Pentagon's E-Voting System Flawed, Unfixable, Security Experts Say

Claiming that the system is deeply flawed and unfixable, four computer security experts said that the Pentagon's new Internet-based voting service is ripe for attack and should be discarded.

The quartet of security gurus -- three from academia and a former IBM researcher turned independent consultant -- took to task SERVE (Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment), a system that will let selected voters, including military personnel, their dependents, and other expatriates, register to vote and place their ballots electronically via standard PCs and a Web browser.

The four are among a group of ten experts that the government asked to evaluate SERVE, and make up the team's contingent of security analysts.

Their unanimous thumbs down comes less than two weeks before the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) puts SERVE into play on Feb. 3 for the South Carolina presidential primary. Although limited in its scope -- DoD estimates that approximately 100,000 voters will cast ballots using the system, since only those who reside in 50 counties of seven states can use SERVE this election year -- the program's goal is to eventually handle the votes by the six million U.S. citizens who live or are posted overseas.

But SERVE is inherently flawed, said the experts, and should be dumped ASAP.

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