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?