Calls for Company to Open Their Software for Public Inspection!
By Brad Friedman on 4/13/2005, 3:46pm PT  

Reuters reported yesterday that attorney, Paul Lehto has filed suite in Washington state against Electronic Voting Machine company, Sequoia Voting Systems Inc.

An electronic voting machine maker is battling a voter rights advocate in Washington state who wants to force the company to reveal the machines' software blueprint.

Paul Lehto, an Everett, Washington, lawyer has filed suit against Sequoia Voting Systems Inc., a privately held company based in Oakland, California, and Snohomish County, where his practice is located, arguing Sequoia's contract should be voided.

The lawsuit, filed last week in King County Superior Court, pits the right of a company to guard proprietary information against the public's need to know how elections are tabulated, Lehto said.

''These are entities that are providing the most central governmental function that we have, the counting of the vote,'' Lehto said Tuesday. ''If they are not only controlling that process but purporting to own it, then that is a serious problem.''

You go, Paul!

And for Sequoia's part:

Alfie Charles, a spokesman for Sequoia, said the underlying code, or software blueprint, for the company's voting machines was not disclosed because it is considered a trade secret and its release could compromise security.

''Electronic voting (machines) performed extremely well. ... They provided certainty in ballot results in places where they haven't had it in the past,'' Charles said.

Yes, we'd hate to violate the "trade secret" for counting the votes in the world's most important democracy. And paid for by your tax dollars to boot! Shame on these companies.

Which reminds us, if you haven't already, now is a great time to Send an Email to the Voting Machine Companies letting them know you've had enough! The Velvet Revolution webletter is ready to go, you just need to sign it and send! It'll take you 30 seconds!

(DISCLOSURE: Paul Lehto is also a legal advisor for VelvetRevolution.us, a Voting Rights and Election Reform organization co-founded by BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman.)