Hack-a-vote – java assignment Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


The paper basically looks to explore the opportunity where my team has been working on Hack A Vote Election Systems which is a major election vendor who has been approached by the New Zealand government to adopt the machines for the next New Zealand elections.

Since the team is in charge of the entire decision making and we can actually make decisions where along with the requirements of the New Zealand government the software shall be updated accordingly. Since the government of the country has decided to use the software for the next elections in the country, it is in the hand of the team to decide the performance of the software.


Direct vote manipulation hack

Since my team who has been working for Hack A Vote Election System has been offered a bribe with handsome money to sabotage the election result and actually manipulate the results in favor of a party participating in the elections, therefore, my team under my orders have decided to use the authority of direct vote manipulation hack.

 Over here, the team has decided to rotate the results in favor of a specific party for which the money has been already received.

To actually make the results and the problems of my team’s choice, the decision has been to made to tinker with the software in such a manner where after every 500 votes at a selected polling station, we can stop the machine for a time period of one to two minutes where we can transfer the votes to our selected individual.

Although this seems an inappropriate method, but the team can actually confirm this by holding the procedure at the back end, whereas the voters can routinely follow their voting. The team has put in malicious already in the system without making the voters or the presiding officer understand the error within the machine. This is the most feasible and the ideal method to gauge in the desired results without making the changes in the overall process.

By hacking the system through the direct vote manipulation hack shall be the ideal method of creating problems in the voting system.

Moreover, the idea of randomizing the vote counts is pretty good for vote manipulation. This is the most obvious and the most convenient method that shall help in creating the desired problem in the voting system of the country New Zealand.


As we are using Direct Vote Manipulation Hack. Malicious code has been inserted in the program and it will start the result manipulation, the moment software is run. The paymasters just want to create a panic on the voting day; they don’t have any preferred candidate for whom they want to manipulate the results for. For that purpose the programmer has inserted malicious code in the master program; which gets activated the moment software is run.

Design and Implementation

The design and implementation of the process that can ensure a timely and an accurate service of the designed software is the most difficult and a daunting task.

The vote results are being manipulated by randomizing the results. The malicious code randomizes the voting count based on total votes cast per candidate and total number of ballots. The winner who has the highest votes now gets the lowest probability to win as it is randomized with the largest vote count

The design of the software has been made specific to the needs of paymasters i.e. creation of panic on voting day.

For this purpose the following malicious code has been added:

BallotGUI.java  line 320 countVotes method added

BallotControl.java line 432 countVotes method call

Through these two additions, higher vote candidate may win or lose; the behavior is random.

As soon as the results will start coming it will start creating a panic and confusion.Hack-a-vote java assignment Case Solution

With the manipulation of the data at the voting counters and booths the results can be randomized and tilted in favor of the party that has tried to enforce specific results for themselves. Along with this, by randomizing the voting count on the total vote cast per candidate and the total number of the votes can be made in favor of the candidate.

Moreover, the winner in spite getting the highest number of votes through the tempering with the software becomes the lowest probable to actually win over the other participant of the elections..................

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