READER COMMENTS ON
"Riverside County, CA, to Hold Sequoia Accountable for Lies, Faulty Voting Machines?"
(9 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 8/18/2007 @ 3:49 pm PT...
Due to continued spotlighting by SAVE R VOTE, Riverside County Registrar of Voters Barbara Dunmore has changed her tune in the last 24 hours! While maintaining Wednesday she HAD to purchase $7+ million of Sequoia scanners on a no-bid basis to meet state requirements, she now says she “
misunderestimated misunderstood that the Secretary of State actually DOES allow her to use other companies’ equipment”, or words very close to that effect! So she tells the special BOS subcommittee studying the Blue Ribbon Committee report that they MUST buy $7 million in new scanners, RIGHT NOW, WITHOUT COMPETITIVE BIDS, when neighbor San Bernardino, running the exact same system, will get by spending only $1.5 million. Whose pocket is Dunmore in and why is she not representing the best interests of the citizens, voters and taxpayers of this county?
Word on the street is that at least one or two members of the Board of Supervisors had a “come to Jesus meeting” with Dunmore and they are hoppin’ mad that earlier this week she did not present the panoply of options (some WAY less expensive) to the special BOS subcommittee studying how to plan the best exit strategy from this boondoggle. She appears to have steadfastly held to her position that Sequoia was the ONLY option, and likely opined that they were the ONLY certified scanning system in CA, which of course, if she said it, would be patently false. It would be reminiscent of her testimony to the BOS on 2-7-06 when she
sweet fast-talked the Board into purchasing $15 million (less a “whopping” $2 million “trade-in for the first round of $15 million machines) of shiny new Sequoia Edge II machines with printers, when Napa, Shasta and Tehama Counties simply added printers to their identical existing machines. Ms. Dunmore spent all of the time leading up to the June 2006 elections fighting the new printer requirement, and effectively ran the clock out on a cheaper $2 - $4 million add-on solution, and instead forced the county to buy all new for $15 million.
Both Sequoia and Dunmore have been caught in false statements on any number of occasions, and their credibility is now at zero.
Nevertheless, the BOS will be pitched by Sequoia top dogs on Tuesday, August 28th to stick with them, notwithstanding the very damning report entitled The Trouble With Touchscreens [click for actual video report] on HD Net TV on Tuesday of this week.
Options the BOS can and may consider include the following, with those with an asterisk having been recommended by SAVE R VOTE:
*Hand counting every vote in February 2008 – the easiest election in recent history with only 3 items on the statewide ballot – SAVE R VOTE volunteers to work with the ROV to recruit counters for every precinct
*Leasing some type of scanning equipment but only if it is digital imaging optical scanners as recommended by Harri Hursti to the Blue Ribbon Committee in March, 2007
*Purchasing digital imaging optical scanners that take photo-like images of the ballots and store them for future audit, ensuring a much higher level of security and auditability
*Putting the issue out to bid immediately and writing the specifications in such a way that multiple vendors may submit competitive bids
Staying with the original recommendations of Dunmore, and blowing another $7 million, bringing the $$$ paid to Sequoia to nearly $40 million since the year 2000.
This idea of sticking with a bad vendor with bad equipment and secret software is ludicrous. However, I believe that the BOS MAY be beginning to see the error of their ways, and they need to hear from the citizens of Riverside County and any election integrity advocates/experts when they meet at 9 a.m. on August 28th at 4080 Lemon Street in Riverside. Individuals may speak for three minutes after completing a speaker request slip. Those who wish 6 or 9 minutes (the max allowed by Board policy), may solicit “donations” of speaker time from others in the audience who are willing to give up their three minutes.
I urge every voter in Riverside County who has a concern about the integrity of the election system to show up on the 28th and make your voice heard, or donate your time to others at the meeting.
Today’s Press Enterprise – ROV may now consider going to competitive bid…
Thursday’s Press Enterprise – ROV says she will sole-source another $7 million to Sequoia…
Sequoia’s propaganda showing scanners that provide NO VERIFICATION to the voter that his/her vote was scanned accurately…
Developments with Sequoia continue to occur almost by the hour. For constant updates, go to www.bradblog.com. Another great site for Sequoia information is www.blackboxvoting.org.
The bottom line? Voters CAN make a difference by speaking up and demanding to be heard. And the Press Enterprise is to be commended for filing the above two very timely reports to their readership. Thank you Kim Trone! See you all at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting on August 28th at 9 a.m.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 8/18/2007 @ 6:51 pm PT...
great news! many thanks to Brad, Debra Bowen and everyone who is helping to uphold the integrity of our voting rights.
what a colossal tragedy we are trying to avoid....
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 8/18/2007 @ 11:32 pm PT...
... flex said...
"great news! many thanks to Brad, Debra Bowen and everyone who is helping to uphold the integrity of our voting rights."
"what a colossal tragedy we are trying to avoid...."
Too late for that. We are living through the tragedy and we will have to bear witness to all that's happened to the next generation.
Because the seeds for succeeding and greater tragedies will be planted if we try to pretend that all this never happened... and thus by our cowardice guarantee that it will all happen again to our grandchildren.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 8/19/2007 @ 12:06 pm PT...
What other voting systems do we have to choose from. All are currently decertified in CA. And they all are proprietary with a lousy track record. Is there an open source system available say from the Open Voting Consortium that could be submitted for certification. Which system takes digital pictures of the optical scan ballots cast.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 8/19/2007 @ 5:16 pm PT...
... EllenB asked...
"Is there an open source system available say from the Open Voting Consortium that could be submitted for certification."
The OVC is really not relevant to the question at hand.
Indeed, one could say that they are the software equivalent of "paper trails"... open source was once thought to be a good idea to counter the insanely bad idea of secret and proprietary corporate code running our elections... but it turned out that it does not solve the basic problems at all.
E-voting using current technology has fatal flaws. Inescapable flaws. Chief among these flaws is the simple fact that the voters cannot verify for themselves what is actually happening inside the machine as they vote.
Open source code does absolutely nothing to change this.
Public access to the source code currently running our elections is a must-have for a variety of reasons... but having open source code will not change the simple facts regarding black box voting.
Those simple facts...
Even if you've memorized the code you think is running inside the machine forwards and backwards you can never be certain as to what code is actually running inside the machine at the instant you cast your vote... much less what might happen to it afterwards.
Open source is not a cure for the fatal flaws in e-voting. It is a non-solution whose time has passed... along with the concept of viable e-voting.
But damn... they're still gonna try.
Hey, ACCURATE, is it time to trot out the "Crypto Crusaders" yet?
(Old-style Saturday morning cartoons voiceover)
"The Crypto Cruusaaders! Election transparency by burying the process and results in concrete bunkers accessible only by the moles... and the NSA..."
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 8/19/2007 @ 6:02 pm PT...
In yet another startling display of either incompetence or arrogance, Riverside County ROV Barbara Dunmore revealed in the August 18, 2007 edition of the Desert Sun that she “can’t” (won’t?) count the votes cast by disabled voters on the one remaining e-voting machine per precinct in the 28 days allowed by law following the upcoming February 5, 2008 Presidential Primary Election.
In a comment following the story by one reader, it is noted that due to the very low usage projected for the one machine per precinct (to be used ONLY by disabled voters), only 20 votes per hour would need to be hand-counted to meet the 28-day certification requirement.
What does Dunmore have against the disabled community? Hand-counting the few votes to be cast by disabled voters who choose to use the few remaining machines should be a walk in the park. Instead, she is treating it like it would require climbing Mt. Everest blindfolded.
Maybe when confronted with a few questions about it from the media, the BOS and the disabled community, she will flip-flop like she did a few days ago. Last Wednesday she said she could ONLY buy $7 million in new equipment from Sequoia (sole-source), then “discovered” on Friday the state would “allow” her to competitively-bid the scanners needed to count the paper and absentee ballots that the rest of the voters will be using. This “discovery” by Dunmore came only after members of the Board of Supervisors and the media questioned why there was only one option.
There is a much too cozy relationship between Dunmore and Sequoia, and the Board of Supervisors should continue to question motives and options to ensure they are not dragged into another tentacle of the e-voting octopus boondoggle with Sequoia Voting Systems.
How much longer are the citizens and voters of Riverside County going to have to be subjected to this arrogance and incompetence and withholding of full disclosure of options?
Riverside voters need to be at the BOS meeting on Tuesday, August 28 at 9 a.m. to raise questions to the Board about the plan to purchase sole source from Sequoia.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 8/19/2007 @ 7:06 pm PT...
... leftisbest said...
"... the one machine per precinct (to be used ONLY by disabled voters)"
Errr... clarification? Is that yet another special ruling by Dunmore?
As I understood it the one DRE machine is left there to (technically) comply with federal disability requirements... but under the new SoS rulings the machines are not restricted to disabled use only?
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 8/20/2007 @ 1:46 am PT...
In answer to the_Zapkitty's inquiry -
The intent is for them to be used by disabled voters, but five votes MUST be cast on each machine to ensure anonymity. The exact language in the decertification/ recertification document is "In order to provide accessible balloting to voters with disabilities in compliance with the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), jurisdictions may use no more than one Edge Model I or II per polling place on Election Day. To protect voter privacy, jurisdictions are required to ensure that at least five persons voluntarily cast their ballots on each such devise over the course of Election Day."
Another important requirement is "User jurisdicitons are required to conduct a 100% manual count audit of the electronic results tabulated on each DRE machine in use on Election Day."
In regard to the question posed earlier by EllenB -
regarding who manufactures DIGITAL IMAGING optical scanners (DIOS) that are certified, I believe that Hart InterCivic has one - a model 6.2.1 that is likely to be recertified. Hart had the fewest security issues of the three companies that cooperated in the Top To Bottom Review (TTBR).
Another company, http://www.dominionvoting.com/index.php?p=21, is rumored to be on the verge of approval by the EAC of DIOS equipment that will comply with 2005 standards. Currently most only comply (allegedly) with 2002 standards. There clients have been primarily Canadian but they are now making inroads into the US. A statement from their Web site provides some insight - "Every ballot is saved as a high-resolution digital image and given a unique visual auditing trail that allows you to visually verify the machines interpretation for any and every ballot cast."
DIOS is the system Harri Hursti recommended to the Riverside County Blue Ribbon panel studying the election system in Riverside County. I believe it is likely the best possible technology for security of the votes and auditability.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 8/20/2007 @ 2:49 am PT...
So where did the line "... the one machine per precinct (to be used ONLY by disabled voters)" come from? Was this a statement by Dunmore or by someone else?