READER COMMENTS ON
"CA State Senator Says Diebold Re-Certification in Violation of State Law!"
(21 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 2/23/2006 @ 3:00 pm PT...
Keep those calls coming nonstop and visit their offices.....we're taking out the Diebold trash.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 2/23/2006 @ 3:32 pm PT...
Christine Craft of our local progressive radio station "Talk City 1240am" Has been keeping on top of this story and has also been giving lots of plugs for Bradblog.
I look forward to seeing more Sacramento people around these pages!
Kudos to Debra Bowen for her nonstop efforts in getting real verifiable elections in our state.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
Grizzly Bear Dancer
said on 2/23/2006 @ 5:23 pm PT...
Good Job Senator Bowen! We need to take note of all US office holder trying to keep this a government of the people in the land of rampant Bushit. Thank you Brad.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 2/23/2006 @ 6:40 pm PT...
The New Enlightenment at Hermes Press has posted a comprehensive article on the history of election fraud, in which your work is prominently cited. Part One is called How American Elections Became a Criminal Enterprise. Everyone should really read this.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 2/23/2006 @ 6:57 pm PT...
I bet Californians weren't thinking of this in their "special election" of Arnold Schwartznegger. By switching to a GOP governor, they got a GOP SOS (see Blackwell/Ohio). GOP SOS's are for stealing elections on their crony's electronic voting machines, and that is #1 on their itinerary (Ricky/Medium Right: That means "things to do").
I believe that since Ca. is a blue state, the GOP SOS is trying to ram these machines in at light speed, and will make a prosecutable mistake, due to his arrogance and the short amount of time he wants them installed. Think about it: he wants to get them in by the 2006 elections...they've never had such a short deadline, and he is making traceable mistakes that could lead to bigger prosecutions beyond Ca. That's what I think.
We've never had our eyes on this issue so well, and they've never had such a short deadline, and they've never tried to do it in the bluest of blue states, with all those blue eyes watching in the most liberal state. I think he's going to jail, and this will get bigger and bigger.
They made a big mistake. And Schwarznegger is getting a HUGE pass on this. He nominated McPherson!!!
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 2/24/2006 @ 3:02 am PT...
Somehow writing 8 paragraphs of "market talk" does little to relieve my apprehension about Diebold. You could write a 100 paragraphs on the "fine points of Diebold", and facts are facts. It is hackable and used as such, Wally. Slamming Brad and Sen Bowen will not win support for Diebold. Brad and Sen Bowen speaks forth on a number of issues. Isn't it odd that you slam them for wanting fair elections for the citizens of our country and democracy? Hmm... All we want here is open fair elections where each vote is counted with a legible paper trail for the voter, no shenanigans. By the way, how much is Diebold "compensating" you
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 2/24/2006 @ 3:23 am PT...
There's no actual market talk above. And I don't slam either Brad or Senator Bowen for "wanting fair elections for the citizens of our country and democracy" at all. I slam them (and I actually think "slam" is a bit harsh) for posting easily-disprovable bullshit on the internet, which is a totally different thing.
Somehow you've managed to miss the entire point of my prose. I take full responsibility, clearly 8 paragraphs are a little excessive.
Short version: Brad's facts in his original post are all wrong, and you can refer to my earlier reply if want to see the specific errors (I'm of course assuming you don't). Senator Bowen's premise is based on some of the same incorrect facts, which is mostly just kind of embarrassing.
Good luck with the democracy and everything. I hope that all works out!
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 2/24/2006 @ 4:13 am PT...
"Democracy and everything" are not a bad thing! Where would you be without democracy?? Yes Wally, I get your "prose", I don't think you get mine, but that probably won't change. Your last sentence "Good luck with the democracy and everything. I hope that all works out!" is the scariest of all!
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 2/24/2006 @ 5:41 am PT...
WALLY O'DIEBOLD #6
At number 1 you give questionable reasons as to why computerized voting machines were decertified. All of your ramblings can be swept away with a simple question: "If these machines are so good and the body politic and critics are so fond of them, why were they decertified in the first place?"
Wally something is terribly wrong with them and they were properly decertified, which brings us back to why were they recertified if the only "improvement" to them has been to add wireless access? If you are up on your facts you will realize that the wireless error is the worst possible addition to an already helpless and defenseless machine.
At number 2 you give even more questionable reasons why a large failure rate of 20% was followed by a 0% failure rate days later, when nothing had changed on the machines. What changed was the test, and the latter test is a cover up.
At number 3 you raise a straw-man argument. The issue is not whether or not HAVA regulates interpreted code, the issue is why is interpreted code not good. HAVA is a civil rights type legislation not directed to computer language issues. There is a plethora of professional writings by professional computer science people that point out this elementary principle. We who have developed software for decades know the grave situation interpreted fosters.
The rest of your post does not merit response. It is incredibly unprofessional and unaware.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 2/24/2006 @ 9:22 am PT...
The reasons in (1) are not questionable. All DREs were decertified in California, none for "violating state law". That's not to make broad statements about computerized voting one way or another, that's simply reporting history. You can totally look it up. Kevin Shelley decertified all DREs in California (and subsequently re-certified most of them) before resigning in disgrace, but none were decertified for "violating state law".
Your second point r.e. adding wireless is just silly. The only thing that's been added to the DRE in question (i.e. the Diebold AccuVote-TSx) is a voter-verified paper audit trail. No wireless capabilities were added to the machine at all. In fact, the TSx machine includes no wireless capability whatsoever. I know Brad just wrote that it uses wireless infrared communications, but the fact is that he's just wrong.
Your third point r.e. the 100% success rate on the re-testing is based on an incorrect premise. Something did change on the machines between the tests. Two things, in fact. As a result of the first test, a minor mechanical adjustment was made to the printer mechanism to prevent any jamming. Also a hard-to-detect bug was found in the new VVPAT-related user-interface code as a result of the test and it was fixed. Give the programmer guys a break --- the bug was found because of around 20 errors in 10,000 votes cast (error being "the machine hung", not "the vote was misrecorded or lost" --- they were all recorded correctly). So two issues were identified and corrected as a result of the first test, and the follow-up test passed with a 100% success rate. Sorry. I suppose a certain segment of society actually wants their voting machines to perform poorly.
Regarding your final point, my argument is not a straw man at all (but ironically, yours is). The issue is not a philosophical one about the merits of interpreted code in general, as you suggest, but rather a specific one of "is it banned by HAVA, as reported by Brad" (no, it's not) and "is it banned by the FEC standards" (debatable, but you can probably argue either way). And since it's not, any claims of "illegal certification" based on it, such as those made by both Brad and Senator Bowen, are spurious.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 2/24/2006 @ 12:02 pm PT...
As always, I read your latest post with great anticipation. Unfortunately I felt that it was not imbued with as much truthiness as it could have been. For your consideration, I humbly offer these few helpful corrections to your post:
1. Your statement "after they had previously been de-certified in 2004 for violation of state law" isn't actually accurate, which is the polite way of saying "you're totally wrong". All DREs from all vendors in California were decertified in 2004, none for "violation of state law". The secretary of state at the time made addition of a voter-verified paper audit trail a condition of re-certification of the Diebold TSx machine on the grounds that it was considered "new equipment" (and all new equipment was required to add a VVPAT or its equivalent). All other DREs, including the older Diebold TS machine, were re-certified in California a long time before last week's announcement. Other types of machines, such as Diebold's AV-OS optical scan machine, were never de-certified at all, and last week's decision by the secretary of state actually has no real impact on the AV-OS unit at all. It was certified before his announcement, it was certified after his announcement. Big deal. The re-certification of the TSx, of course, is a big deal, of course, both for the counties that want to use it and for Diebold (which wants to eventually get paid for the $30+ million worth of equipment it delivered more than two years ago).
2. Your statement "after at least 20% of their machines failed during a massive mock election test last summer" conveniently leaves out the "...and after 0% of their machines failed during a follow-up massive mock election test a few weeks later last summer." That strikes me as just a tad disingenuous on your part, but hey - it's your blog and your credibility. I like to throw around the 100% success rate (in bold, even) from the follow-up test almost as much as detractors like to toss around their "20% failure rate". Of course "20% failure rate" is one interpretation of "around 20 issues recorded in 10,000 votes cast on 100 machines, with no votes actually lost or mis-recorded." But then, so is "0.02% failure rate", if you actually think about it. Obviously it depends a lot on what side of the fence you live on. Either way, there's only one interpretation of "100% success rate" in the follow-up test, which (I suppose) is why you tend to fairly universally leave it out. To his credit, Mr. McPherson probably does take it into consideration (but I admit that's pure speculation on my part).
3. Your statement "after the same machines were shown to contain hackable "interpreted code" which is banned outright by federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) guidelines" isn't accurate at all. HAVA doesn't ban anything of the sort. Voluntary guidelines from the FEC make a statement about interpreted code being disallowed, with a list of exceptions that apply in this case. As for "hackable", last week's report actually suggests that the "interpreted code" used in the TSx touchscreen machines is not especially hackable, due to the use of digital signatures and the like to prevent tampering. (The paper correctly notes that's predicated on election administrators picking some appropriate encryption keys, which they're instructed to do in the operator's manual.)
4. Your statement "after previously announcing that certification review would not proceed in CA until those federal authorities re-examined that banned code (they didn't do so the first time they examined Diebold's machines)" is erroneous as well (I detect a bit of a recurring theme throughout the original post). Mr. McPherson announced that he was going to ask the federal ITAs for a security audit of the reporting code (aka the infamous "interpreter"). There's been no report made public thus far (at least to my knowledge) but that doesn't mean they haven't given one to Mr. McPherson (and I don't know whether they have, but neither do you I suspect). Moreover:
a) The ITAs did review the "interpreter code" in question in the past. Many times, in fact, and it has passed FEC compliance tests many times. Thus, one can infer that the ITAs and the NASED committee have made numerous findings that the code in question does not actually violate any FEC standards, regardless of how much critics would like that to be the case. And,
b) The request by California's secretary of state for an additional security audit, over and above the usual FEC certification review, does not magically render the code or product in question "uncertified". Point of fact, Diebold's TSx and AV-OS units both possess current and valid federal certifications, neither of which was ever brought into question by Mr. McPherson's request for additional review to ensure the products meet his own higher standards. Thus any conclusion that he's certified the equipment "illegally" in California based on the argument that it's not federally-certified as required is (and I apologize for the technical term) "bullshit".
5. Your statement "and after his own secretly-conducted independent analysis [PDF] confirmed that such unsecure and buggy code indeed existed in the machines and would put our elections at grave risk of being hacked and/or tampered with --- stunned virtually everyone when it was announced quietly last Friday night after the week's news cycle had ended and before the long holiday weekend began" is highly debatable. The report obviously makes no such conclusions: point of fact it identifies some fairly academic code issues that they characterize as serious but "easy to fix" and mitigated through the use of "enhanced" procedures which, quite frankly, constitute standard operating procedure for the machines in the first place. As for virtually everyone being "stunned", I humbly submit for your consideration the theory that perhaps the "everyone" in question is just a little more stunnable than the average rational person.
6. Senator Bowen's entire letter is based on a couple of incorrect premises. See for example points (4) and (5) above. I also find it just a tad hypocritical on her part that she states in her letter "finally, there is a significant legal issue that needs to be addressed regarding the lack of public notice and absence of a public hearing that should have preceded your decision to re-certify the Diebold machines." I've been to the public hearings, and my memory's not what it used to be but I don't actually recall Senator Bowen showing up to any of them to make any comments. Of course she wasn't actually running for secretary of state at the time, so I guess one can understand why she wouldn't have been interested back then. Are you as worried as I am that she's actually starting to suffer from "one trick pony" syndrome? It's her campaign I suppose, and she's the professional politician while I'm just a humble purveyor of fine voting equipment.
I don't really expect any corrections or anything, just thought I'd do my part. Cheers!
Keep up the good work,
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 2/24/2006 @ 2:53 pm PT...
Walden O "Dell"
If that was true, explain your argument better....
Walden O'Dell:" I know Brad just wrote that it uses wireless infrared communications, but the fact is that he's just wrong."
Prove it Walden. Lets see you prove these "machines" have no infra-red ports on them when I have personal photographs that have been taken of their outsides/insides and also testimony from a Jeff Fsher....
Come now Mr. O'Dell, surely you can explain that one....Did you know the constitution specifically forbids votes to be counted in secret, and that your *entire line of machines* counts votes in secret with no oversight? And proned to errors, malfunctions and convenient "flipping" of the votes?
You say the FEC does not ban interpreted code....yet the FEC didn't write the standards. That was the EAC.....And I can prove to you, in the law, Mr. O'Dell that those EAC standards say specifically interpreted code is ILLEGAL.
100,000 actual errors & miscounts in Palm Beach alone, Walden O'Dell. 100,000 on SEQUOIA TOUCH SCREENS. And Diebold is worse!!
Doug E. :crazy:
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 2/24/2006 @ 4:38 pm PT...
"What Bev Harris assert happened, didn't happen."
Deny reality much Deanie Lowe and Walden O'Dell?
Proof that the time logs were ALTERED before/after election day.
Care to defend yourself? How about defending these "errors" in court. You claim they did not happen, Mr. O'Dell. I've passed this on to many highly qualified attornies. According to the evidence these vote miscounts did in fact happen.
That's enough that you're now on record for alleged perjury to multiple media personalities....so how much did the neocons give you again? Your little party is over.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 2/24/2006 @ 10:55 pm PT...
The AccuVote-TSx machine does not have an IrDA port. And yes, I can prove it. But probably not to you, for pretty obvious reasons.
None of Diebold's machines counts anything in secret. Lots of people have reviewed everything it does. I would hazard a guess that the AccuVote-TSx is --- by far --- the most comprehensively-reviewed voting system in the history of the entire world. Of course you haven't reviewed it, but based on the quality of your posts I suspect you're probably not qualified to do it anyway.
As for errors and flipping votes, I refer you to parallel monitoring tests undertaken by disgraced former secretary of state Kevin Shelley and his replacement Bruce McPherson indicating that the AccuVote-TSx records votes with 100% accuracy. Vote all day on it... it's never going to flip your vote no matter how hard you try.
You're wrong about the EAC and standards. The EAC doesn't use the word "illegal" in any standards document related to voting systems. Which stands to reason, of course, because the EAC is neither a legislative nor a judicial body. The (current) relevant standards for voting machines are the 2002 FEC standards. That changes in 2007.
As for Bev Harris' latest idiotic story, why would I care to defend anything in it at all? The story doesn't have anything to do with Diebold. You've totally got the wrong company.
And in terms of your hilarious "perjury" accusations:
a) Perjury can't actually be perpetrated by anonymous posters on a public message board on the internet. Perjury generally applies to making verifiably false statements under oath in a court of law. And,
b) Even if you could perpetrate perjury by posting on the brad blog, I'm pretty sure it can't be perpetrated via a third-party (such as yourself) just making up imaginary quotes and then attributing them to someone else. Which of course you did pretty liberally above. And,
c) You haven't passed anything on to "many highly qualified attornies (sic)". Come on. It's pretty obvious from your posts that you don't associate with a lot of attorneys, highly-qualified or otherwise. Even if you did, they'd just tell you what I'm telling you. And finally,
d) I can't believe I actually have to explain this, but I am not actually Wally O'Dell. Use your f'ing head, dude. I'll bet you're probably the only one here who didn't realize that. How does that make you feel?
Your posts highlight why I wish people like Brad would be more careful about fact-checking things before they post them on the internet - there's a measurable segment of society who really will believe anything they read, no matter how ludicrous it sounds to normal people.
Keep up the good fight!
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 2/25/2006 @ 2:08 am PT...
"I would hazard a guess that the AccuVote-TSx is --- by far --- the most comprehensively-reviewed voting system in the history of the entire world."
You work for Diebold. Otherwise you can't make the claims you have here, and actually get away with it.
You have reviewed the source code or else why would you claim they are lying?
Since you can't prove they are lying, and you don't actually know what the standards are or have reviewed the relevant EAC rules.......you have nowhere to stand. I didn't say that was perjury here, I said if you made those statements in court after we unleashed all the PDF records that would be perjury.
And you, or at least O'Dell and everyone working at Diebold have made these claims of yours over and over. With no relevant proof except for your "say so". So why is anyone to not claim its perjury, aka lying, when you go around saying these things to the media everywhere?
Even here too?
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 2/25/2006 @ 4:25 am PT...
You and the Beaver need to visit Black Box voting (link here).
They are the ones who won a lawsuit in California against Diebold.
All you say was litigated in that case, and you lost.
The fact that every republican in election officialdom is following the fascist Bush and disobeying law flagrantly, does not change the law nor the facts.
The bottom line is tha res judicata has been established in several lawsuits and your tired citation to the dissent and arguments that lost is of no import.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 2/26/2006 @ 9:49 am PT...
Pay more attention to the Beaver.
When a California court issues an injunction against Diebold on behalf of BBV and the Attorney General, you are full of bu$hit if you do not realize that Diebold lost.
I have read the Order granting the injunction and it is the law in California. It orders Diebold to stop doing bad election things.
If you don't get that I do not wish to discuss anything with you because you are deranged and full of deceit.
Next for you is deletion of your false posts for spreading disinformation, then you go back to the cage with the rest of the trolls who are honesty challenged.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 2/26/2006 @ 10:35 am PT...
The court didn't issue an injunction. Diebold and the state came to a mutually agreed-upon settlement agreement, outside of the courtroom, and the judge signed the agreement which made it binding. Call it "Diebold lost" if you like. The net result is that 18 counties in California were using Diebold voting equipment before the agreement, and 18 counties (yes, the same ones) will be using Diebold equipment in the June primary. Many of them will be using the AccuVote-TSx: the very same ones that have been sitting in California warehouses since 2004. But OK... "Diebold lost". You say potato, I say po-tah-to.
I am not deranged, nor am I full of deceit. You are either misinformed or a little deceptive, however.
At least we can agree on one thing though: we both fully expect my posts here to be deleted (albeit probably for different reasons). Clearly nobody around here would recognize a real "Dieb-Throat" if it showed up and bit them on the ass. Your loss.
Bring on the subpoenas, that's what I say!
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 2/26/2006 @ 12:23 pm PT...
DOUG ELDRITCH #15
Oh yes, I have reviewed the source code. I'm not really sure what that has to do with anything I posted above, however. To wit:
1. Brad lied about why the DREs were de-certified in California (which has nothing to do with my review of any source code).
2. Brad conveniently left out the follow-up volume test which passed with 100% success (which has nothing to do with my review of any source code).
3. Brad claimed HAVA bans interpreted code, which it doesn't --- I pointed out that the relevant standards are FEC, which have nothing to do with HAVA (which has nothing to do with my review of any source code).
4. Brad claimed that none of the interpreter code re-submitted to the ITA had been previously reviewed, which I pointed out was erroneous. I also pointed out that the request for an additional review of certain source code by the California SoS doesn't magically cause the products in question to lose their existing federal certification. Which it doesn't. (And which has nothing to do with my review of any source code).
5. Brad claimed that the Berkeley review "confirmed that such unsecure and buggy code indeed existed in the machines and would put our elections at grave risk of being hacked and/or tampered with", and I pointed out that this is basically the opposite of what the report said (which has nothing to do with my own review of any source code).
6. I suggested that Senator Bowen is a hypocritical opportunist and is in danger of becoming a one-trick pony (which has nothing to do with my review of any source code).
As for your nonsense about perjury and making claims in the media and such, Diebold rarely ever responds to the media which is why there's so much disinformation out there. It's a major failing: I think I'll fire the PR staff and have it replaced with a better one.
You're sorely mistaken on your key points. Specifically:
1. Black Box Voting did not win any lawsuit against Diebold in California, or anywhere else for that matter. Diebold settled a lawsuit with the state of California - it never went to trial, and nobody "won" or "lost" anything. Of course Bev Harris would like you to believe she won a lawsuit against Diebold, but then again she's a pathological liar so you should probably disbelieve most of what comes out of her mouth.
2. Nothing I (or you) say was litigated in that case. Nothing in that case was litigated at all, the case was settled before going to court.
3. Your fascinating diatribe regarding republican election officials and Bush and fascists really has nothing to do with Diebold or anything I've posted. I'll assume you have some kind of ADD afflicition or something.
4. "Several lawsuits"? Er, no. There was one lawsuit, and it never even went to court. Any other lawsuits are figments of your imagination.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 2/27/2006 @ 3:51 am PT...
Wally The Liar #19
1) The judgment of the court says "the the entry of the ... Permanent Injunction" (page 6, emphasis added).
2) "On or before January 14, 2005, counsel for the Qui Tams shall submit to counsel for Diebold a request for payment of the Qui Tams' expenses, costs and attorneys' fees pursuant to Government Code §12652(g)(8) and supporting materials." (page 3)
3) "Amount of Payment: DESI[Diebold Election Systems, Inc.] will pay a total of TWO MILLION SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS ($2,600,000)" (p. 6).
4) Paragraph after paragraph states "DESI shall not ..." (link here).
Clearly Diebold lost the case, paid almost 3 million dollars, including attorney fees to the winners, and was ordered by permanent injunction to do and not to do many things.
Wally if you don't learn the difference between a loser and a winner, you will remain a loser. Check with the Beaver on this and get a clue.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 5/2/2006 @ 5:10 am PT...
Very good site. You are doing great job. Please Keep it up... .!