Kitty Pilgrim Covers the Fallout from the Recent Lawsuit Against the E-Voting Systems in Colorado...
By John Gideon on 9/26/2006, 10:20am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

In Monday's "Democracy at Risk" segment Kitty discusses the ruling from the judge in Colorado (as broken originally by The BRAD BLOG last Friday) against the state's "abysmal" voting machine certification process. Of course, the Secretary of State is trying to make it a partisan political issue.

Says Dobbs in yesterday's report: "[M]any state governments across the country are finally awakening to the threat that electronic voting machines pose to our upcoming midterm elections --- and our democracy."

Says Pilgrim: "[A] judge found the secretary of state's office had violated the law, saying there were no minimum standards. It failed to meet its statutory requirements for testing. It failed to adopt rules and failed to adequately test the machines...In many cases, the state simply allowed the manufacturers to vouch for the safety of the machines."

Says the plaintiff's attorney in CO: "The deficiencies in the testing was an utter lack of competence, and an utter lack any scientific method, and utter lack of any recordkeeping."

Says the Secretary of State: "Colorado voters should not be concerned about the security of the November election...I ask voters to ignore the political rhetoric by a few seeking to destroy that confidence in the election."

The text-transcript of tonight's segment on Lou Dobbs Tonight follows in full...

DOBBS: Tonight, many state governments across the country are finally awakening to the threat that electronic voting machines pose to our upcoming midterm elections --- and our democracy. State officials are now being charged with inadequately testing those machines and ignoring e-voting warnings. Kitty Pilgrim has the report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT, LOU DOBBS TONIGHT (voice over): The state of Colorado certified electronic voting machines made by all of the four main manufacturers.

But a judge found the secretary of state's office had violated the law, saying there were no minimum standards. It failed to meet its statutory requirements for testing. It failed to adopt rules and failed to adequately test the machines.

In many cases, the state simply allowed the manufacturers to vouch for the safety of the machines. And in other cases, the testing was minimal. Voter activists sued over the shoddy oversight.

PAUL HULTIN, PLAINTIFF'S ATTORNEY: The deficiencies in the testing was an utter lack of competence, and an utter lack any scientific method, and utter lack of any recordkeeping. The judge found that it was impossible to tell what tests the secretary of state has done, because the test logs were not test logs but were just sort of the kind of notes --- that scribbles, if you will.

PILGRIM: Despite the fact that the judge said the secretary of state has done an abysmal job, the secretary of state's office issued a press release saying, "Colorado voters should not be concerned about the security of the November election."

And "I ask voters to ignore the political rhetoric by a few seeking to destroy that confidence in the election."

Activists say it's a victory. Even though the machines were not officially decertified, the court demands the machines cannot be used in the November elections until new, more stringent standards are met. Those new standards and testing guidelines will be issued by the court.

The high degree of publicity over the testing has election officials on notice. The public is watching and expects results.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PILGRIM: Now, the court says Colorado should look to states with tough rules, like California, to recertify their machines for November, Lou?

DOBBS: That's incredible.

PILGRIM: It is incredible.

DOBBS: No standards, no testing, relying on the manufacturers. It's just inconceivable.

PILGRIM: The activists are telling me the test logs are a joke. They're all a joke.

DOBBS: Well, secretary of state in Colorado certainly has been put on notice. Thank you very much, Kitty Pilgrim.