Kevin Evanto Tries To Wiggle Out of His Comments...
By John Gideon on 4/18/2006, 8:31am PT  

My article yesterday "The Approaching 2006 E-Voting 'Train Wreck' Continues On Course" seems to have hit a nerve in the Allegheny County Executive's Office. Apparently the County Executive's Spokesman, Kevin Evanto, does not like his remarks, as printed in The Daily News characterized as being "silly".

Evanto told The Daily News:

"The ES&S iVotronic machines are fully HAVA compliant," spokesman Kevin Evanto said. "They have been certified by both the U.S. government and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The optical scan machine does not have a voter-verifiable paper trail."

Even if it did, Evanto said it may violate state voter privacy provisions.

Yesteday afternoon Evanto sent me an email in which he defends his statement; well a part of it:

From: Evanto, Kevin
To: Gideon, John
Subject: My "Silly" Statement

John,
A voter-verifiable paper audit trail is defined as a "vote receipt" printed by an electronic voting machine showing the elector his/her vote as it is being acquired by the electoral system. Optical scan machines that are legal in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania cannot have this feature because VVPAT is not permitted by our state. Get your facts right before you make sweeping, incorrect statements to the public. And if you don't believe me, contact the Secretary of the Commonwealth's Office in Harrisburg.
Kevin

To which I responded:

From: Gideon, John
To: Evanto, Kevin
Subject: My "Silly" Statement
Kevin,
Your statement, as you were quoted was:
""The ES&S iVotronic machines are fully HAVA compliant," spokesman Kevin Evanto said. "They have been certified by both the U.S. government and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The optical scan machine does not have a voter-verifiable paper trail."

"Even if it did, Evanto said it may violate state voter privacy provision."

Clearly according to HAVA and the EAC Section 301 Advisory the iVotronic is NOT HAVA compliant. It does not provide any means for a mobility impaired voter to vote without assistance and in private. ES&S admits to that by responding to the legal complaint by agreeing to install a binary switch on half of the machines.

At the same time the above was announced it was also announced that the county would place optical-scan machines at each polling place. These are the machines that you claim violate voter privacy provisions? So the county will knowingly install a voting system that violates state law?

And to the issue of the definition you give for a voter-verifiable paper audit trail. By its nature an optical-scan voting system provides a voter-verified paper audit trail; the paper ballot filled out by the voter.

Nice try, Kevin. I guess we will leave it to the readers to decide about "sweeping, incorrect statements".