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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By John Gideon on 12/10/2005 4:49pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

In Virginia they use a mixture of DRE and Optical-Scan voting machines. They are presently involved in a recount of votes due to a close race for Attorney General. One side was able to convince a three judge panel that it was sufficient to just re-add the computer tapes from the machines and that recounting 500,000 paper ballots was not necessary. This is NOT a recount and the people lost in this court decision. In Ohio an activist and seminary student is on a hunger strike and prayer vigil in front of the Statehouse to protest a regressive bill that is passing through the state legislature and will soon be passed by the governor. This bill will in essence make it virtually impossible for homeless folks to vote, would make it virtually impossible for groups to register large numbers of voters, would eliminate oversight of voting machines, and would cancel our right to challenge election results....

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By John Gideon on 12/9/2005 5:08pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Sequoia's parent company, Smartmatic got caught providing a Venezuelan customer with a gift of two days in a Boca Raton, FL resort. Smartmatic spokesman Mitch Stroller confirmed the company initially paid the bill but said RodrÝguez later reimbursed all the money to Smartmatic. He declined to provide proof of the reimbursement or to say when the money was paid back. Uh huh! Activists speak out in Connecticut and act out in Pennsylvania. And the Wisconsin legislature unanimously sends a vvpat bill to the governor....

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By John Gideon on 12/8/2005 5:17pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Today it was announced that a suit is being brought in North Carolina against the certification of three voting systems in apparent violation of state law. Also, Diebold may be sued in a securities fraud law suit. In Florida a friend of the family and Bush donor has joined the long list of cronies to be given jobs; this time Secretary of State. And on the national scene, Rep. Rush Holt has introduced a bill to stop voter intimidation....

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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'Rule of Law' Seems to Elude State Elections Board, Former Diebold Official Who Approved Companies Without Required Source Code Escrow
By John Gideon on 12/8/2005 4:01pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.org

We are on the verge of seeing just how "Immaculate" was the http://www.bradblog.com/archives/00002105.htm\"> "Immaculate Certification" of Diebold, and other voting systems, in North Carolina.

Just as a reminder, the courts found that Diebold would have to follow state law and provide their source code for inspection just like the rest of the vendors. Diebold then said that they would not comply so they were going to go home and not be a part of the selection process in the state.

Then, the North Carolina State Board of Elections decided that they would treat all of the vendors the same and they decided they would let them all ignore state elections laws. The advisor to the State Board is Keith Long, who until recently was an employee of Diebold. Of course that made Diebold happy and they accepted the invitation to be certified by the state.

Thus, the "Immaculate Certification".

Now, in steps the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) who today announced that they were filing suit against the North Carolina Board of Elections and the North Carolina Office of Information Technology Services on behalf of voting integrity advocate and occassional BRAD BLOG commenter Joyce McCloy, asking that the Superior Court void the recent illegal certification of three electronic voting systems.

In a Media Release EFF attorney, Matt Zimmerman says, "This is about the rule of law. The Board of Elections has simply ignored its mandatory obligations under North Carolina election law. This statute was enacted to require election officials to investigate the quality and security of voting systems before approval, and only approve those that are safe and secure. By certifying without a full review of all relevant code, the Board of Elections has now opened the door for North Carolina counties to purchase untested and potentially insecure voting equipment."

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By John Gideon on 12/7/2005 5:21pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Though there were articles a couple of months ago about a potential securities fraud lawsuit against Diebold, http://www.velvetrevolution.us\">VelvetRevolution has assisted in bringing the suit along. Today there was a renewed and expanded announcement about the status of the suit. Two court cases that have been ongoing for a year or more are back in the news again. The Congressman Wexler suit in Florida and the case brought by Linda Soubirous in Riverside Co., CA. are back in court. ...

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By John Gideon on 12/6/2005 5:07pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

In New York, civic groups are shouting loudly about how the board of elections is ignoring the will of the voters. Elections officials in New Mexico counties have barricaded their doors against the voters and are ignoring the voters wishes as they agree to buy Sequoia Edge DREs. Speaking of Sequoia, Alfie Charles has quietly left the company. I wonder where he will end up next? And in Ohio the state legislature is pushing a bill that will be signed by the Governor and that has many repressive attributes....

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By John Gideon on 12/5/2005 5:06pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

The Colorado SoS announced today that 10 counties may have to procure new voting machines. Their ES&S and Sequoia Optech Eagle III-P precinct scanners did not properly count the votes in last month's election and a hand recount in the 10 counties resulted in two races being changed. Is this just an excuse to force the counties to buy DREs? I dunno but these are precinct based optical scan machines and they were being used, in part, to count absentee and mail-in ballots. ...

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A Look Back at the Most Notable Stories from the Week That Was In Our Continually Crumbling Democracy...
By John Gideon on 12/4/2005 5:26pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, of VotersUnite and VoteTrustUSA

As an introduction, the "DVN Top 5" is a feature that I have been providing in the weekly voting newsletter of VoteTrustUSA. The November 28 edition can be found here. The selection of what will be the "Top 5" for each week and where it goes on the list is all mine. The fact that you may disagree with my choices is great because it shows that you have been reading the DVN articles that I've posted throughout the week here on BRAD BLOG!...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By John Gideon on 12/3/2005 5:15pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Today we have a hodge-podge of news items. It seems that most of the news makers of the last few days are having a snooze and getting ready for the next flurry of excitement. Today we have a report from Texas were there is concern about a contract they have with Accenture (you may remember them as Arthur Anderson Consulting and their work with Enron) now that Colorado has just canceled a voter data base contract with them. In Ohio a judge has denied a request by attorneys for Gov. Taft and SoS Blackwell to dismiss a lawsuit against them by the state LWV....

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By John Gideon on 12/2/2005 5:10pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

In a stunning reversal the North Carolina State Board of Elections decided to ignore state law and certify three voting systems for use in the state. Keith Long, an advisor to the Board of Elections who was formerly employed by both Diebold and Sequoia, has said that "none of them" could meet the statutory requirement to place their system code in escrow. Instead of rejecting all applications and issuing a new call for bids as required by law, the Board chose to approve all of the applicants. Long also said that it was not necessary to review the source code, even though state law requires it, because the ITA has already done that before federal qualification....

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By John Gideon on 12/1/2005 7:41pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

In an almost expected turn of events Diebold was certified to be used in North Carolina today. This happened without meeting state code that requires inspection, for security purposes, of their source code. Essentially they lost in court because they were told they could not get a waiver from state law so the state gave them the waiver anyway and they are attempting to get away with this by making the same offer to other vendors....

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Voting Company Apparently Just Kidding About Pulling Out of State!
Former Diebold Rep, Now on NC Election Advisory Board Certifies Diebold, Despite Apparent Failure to Comply with State Law Requiring Source Code Escrow!
By John Gideon on 12/1/2005 3:38pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.org

Surprise! Diebold got certified in North Carolina today. In what the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is calling the "Immaculate Certification" the North Carolina State Board of Elections has decided to certify Diebold. This is the same Diebold that three days ago said that they would have to pull out of consideration in the state because they were not willing to put their buggy software source code from their flawed Voting Machines into escrow claiming they had third-party software that could not be submitted to the state. This is the same Diebold that, as BRAD BLOG correctly surmised, were apparently making faux claims about their need to pull out of NC due to a court's refusal to allow them exemption from that state law. But what else is new for a company like Diebold?

In a blog item just posted by Matt Zimmerman of EFF, says,

Despite Diebold's asserted inability to meet the requirements of state law, the North Carolina Board of Elections today happily certified Diebold without condition. Never mind all of that third party software. Never mind the impossibility of obtaining a list of programmers who had contributed to that code.

And never mind the Board of Election's obligation to subject all candidate voting system to rigorous review before certification, [as per the law which says]:

"Prior to certifying a voting system, the State Board of Elections shall review, or designate an independent expert to review, all source code made available by the vendor pursuant to this section and certify only those voting systems compliant with State and federal law. At a minimum, the State Board's review shall include a review of security, application vulnerability, application code, wireless security, security policy and processes, security/privacy program management, technology infrastructure and security controls, security organization and governance, and operational effectiveness, as applicable to that voting system."

One computer savvy voting activist with North Carolina Verifiable Voting has pointed out correctly that the Board of Elections now has another rather obvious problem. The statute requires the Board of Elections to review all of the code used in vendors' proposed system before certification. Either they ignored this part of the code or they have some super code and security experts in hiding somewhere.

At the superior court hearing on Monday, the state Attorney General said that she couldn't imagine that the Board of Elections would certify a system that didn't meet all of the requirements of the statute. Well, they did and now she must defend them.

And who made the decision to go ahead and ignore the code and certify Diebold? A gentleman by the name of Keith Long was hired to be in charge of the process for the state. And what are Mr. Long's credentials to handle this job? Mr. Long was one of the Diebold representatives responsible for previously selling the Diebold voting system to the state of Georgia.

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Wire Service Mentions GAO Report --- and it only took 'em SIX WEEKS!! (Sure, they only give it one sentence, but we'll take it!)
Has the Associated Press Finally Woken Up?
By John Gideon on 11/30/2005 7:22pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

The depth and pressure of all of the news reports about electronic voting issues must have finally built up so much that the Associated Press 'dam' finally burst and they had to respond! Today they even mentioned the GAO report, well over a month after it was issued with much bipartisan fanfare from members of Congress.

"E-voting under scrutiny as federal compliance deadline looms", by AP Technology Writer Brian Bergstein, correctly says that some states are in trouble and will not be able to meet some mandates of the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

Bergstein runs through the gamut of problems that have been reported in the past few days and some that happened in past elections. With regards to the GAO report he says:

Still, an October report from the Government Accountability Office predicted that overall steps to improve electronic voting machines' reliability "are unlikely to have a significant effect" in next year's elections, partly because certification procedures remain a work in progress.

Bergstein also discusses yesterday's report from North Carolina where Diebold was told to 'put up or shut up': either meet the state law that requires them to put all their source code into escrow, or forget about doing business in North Carolina.

It's almost as if Bergstein had been reading The BRAD BLOG because he also picked up on the California hack story and got an update on that from the SoS spokeswoman, Nghia Nguyen Demovic.

Unfortunately Bergstein didn't report on the "Deadline" and what that means to many states. California is one of many states that will not meet the January 1, 2006 deadline for having accessible voting systems. This is going to be a nationwide problem. Yesterday, the Sacramento Bee had this to say:

U.S. Election Assistance Commission Vice Chairman Paul DeGregorio called the Jan. 1 date "a firm deadline."

"States have been on notice for three years that this deadline is coming up," he said. "If they don't [comply], we fully expect the Justice Department to get involved, to look at this issue."

DeGregorio added that DOJ could file a lawsuit or use a consent decree to get states and counties to update their voting systems. He also said he would not be surprised if voters with disabilities pursue private lawsuits.

We are happy to see the Associated Press finally coming out of their shell with regard to voting technology. Is this something that will last or is it just a passing phase?

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By John Gideon on 11/30/2005 5:15pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

A typical Wed. newsday today. Lot's of news. In Venezuela three political parties dropped out of the legislative elections because they do not think the elections are being fairly administered. There is a lot more from California regarding the now infamous 'hack' but you really need to go to BlackBoxVoting.Org to get the whole story. There are recounts planned in a few states but most of them will be done on DREs so they are really a waste of time. And, there is a comprehensive article from the AP about the HAVA deadline. This article actually mentions the GAO report which is pretty much a first for the AP...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By John Gideon on 11/29/2005 5:06pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

It was an interesting day today. California media are still talking about the 'hack', or no 'hack', and now the SoS is talking about doing a 'hack' on all voting systems. This should be interesting and we will continue to watch as this all develops. Also getting media attention across the country is the court decision in North Carolina. This could have national implications for Diebold because other states require source code escrow. If Diebold is not willing to do it in NC, how are they doing it elsewhere?...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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