If you live, work, and vote in Chicago, the Chicago Sun-Times home page (www.suntimes.com) has to have you shaking in your voting booth.

Apparently, the Chicago Board of Elections website has had a small loophole that allowed anyone with rudimentary computer programming knowledge to tap into a page with more than 1 million social security numbers of Chicago residents. The site was designed to tell people their voter registration status.

Peter Zelchenko, a computer consultant who is running for Alderman of the 43th ward in Chicago, discovered the hole and brought it to the attention of the Chicago Suntimes. Residents of the 43rd ward ought to vote him in specifically because he has now protected them against identity theft and fraud — if for no other reason. (Zelchenko has a long history of civic volunteerism. Take a look at his resume at (www.zelchenko.com.)

Read the story here: www.suntimes.com/news/metro/108366,CST-NWS-hack24.article.

I wonder how many other city Board of Elections’ websites have exactly the same problem?

Oct. 24, 2006.