WASHINGTON Among a trove of books seized from Osama bin Laden’s hideaway in Abbottabad, Pakistan is one sure to set U.S. election watchdogs buzzing.
It was a copy of a book that sought to detail the vulnerabilities of electronic voting systems to hackers hoping to tamper with election results.
Disclosure that the late al-Qaida leader had a copy of the book -- Black Box Voting: Ballot Tampering in the 21st Century -- came Wednesday when the Directorate of National Intelligence declassified much of the contents seized after Navy Seals shot Bin Laden dead in a nighttime raid on May 2, 2011.
The book was written by Bev Harris, a grandma who discovered 40,000 secret voting machine files on the Web -- files that she believes showed an effort to manipulate a Georgia election.
The discovery that Bin Laden had a copy likely didn’t come as a total surprise to the U.S. intelligence community. In 2009, McClatchy reported that the CIA had been monitoring foreign countries’ use of electronic voting systems and found apparent vote-rigging schemes in Venezuela, Macedonia and Ukraine, not to mention a raft of concerns about the machines’ security.
Those worries have only been fanned by recent hacks of Target Corp., Sony Corp. and even the CIA’s Twitter account.
Intense debate over election security also has accompanied the push by 29 states into online voting, especially for U.S. troops and civilians living overseas.
If nothing else, listing by the intelligence directorate could be something akin to a best seller’s listing.
On her web site Wednesday, Harris said that Amazon.com was reinstating her book, and it should be available by the weekend.