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Hotel Minibar Keys Open Diebold Voting Machines

Oh. My. God. Via the really smart people at Freedom to Tinker:

On Wednesday we did a live demo for our Princeton Computer Science colleagues of the vote-stealing software described in our paper and video. Afterward, Chris Tengi, a technical staff member, asked to look at the key that came with the voting machine. He noticed an alphanumeric code printed on the key, and remarked that he had a key at home with the same code on it. The next day he brought in his key and sure enough it opened the voting machine.

This seemed like a freakish coincidence--until we learned how common these keys are.

Chris's key was left over from a previous job, maybe fifteen years ago. He said the key had opened either a file cabinet or the access panel on an old VAX computer. A little research revealed that the exact same key is used widely in office furniture, electronic equipment, jukeboxes, and hotel minibars. It's a standard part, and like most standard parts it's easily purchased on the Internet. We bought several keys from an office furniture key shop--they open the voting machine too. We ordered another key on eBay from a jukebox supply shop. The keys can be purchased from many online merchants.

Nuts, anyone?

Or maybe a stiff drink?

UPDATE Alert reader AppleP has a brilliant solution at Kos:

Princeton needs to release the software they used to change the vote. Widespread access to this would end all e-voting immediately.

Agreed. The injunctions would be filed immediately.

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