Blogged by Brad Friedman from Boulder, CO...
"I don't want to preside over the dismantling of voter services that have been successful and accurate," LA County Registrar of Voters Conny McCormack tells the LA Times this morning. "I suppose I do take that personally."
McCormack's systems were "dismantled" after ES&S, one of her vendors, refused to supply its source code in time for testing of her paper-based InkaVote Plus system, and after her other vendor Diebold's touch-screen machines were disallowed for use because they were found vulnerable to hacking. Only one such machine will now be allowed per polling place in order to marginally meet federal disability voter accessibility standards, and the paper trails from those machines, as per Bowen's orders, will have to be 100% hand-counted.
Though that didn't keep McCormack from signaling, in a Bush-style signing statement, that she didn't think she had to actually count them prior to the final certification of the election. In a a statement [PDF] posted on the LA County Registrar's website in reply to Bowen's order, McCormack wrote, "However, it is important to clarify that the SOS Order does not require the 100% manual count audit to occur prior to completion of the official results certification."
The link to that document from the front page of the site has now been replaced by McCormack's resignation statement.
The LA Times Hector Becerra goes on to report that McCormack "angrily accused Bowen of unfairly attacking the voting machines to gain political points."
While we're not sure what "political points" Bowen gains (she was elected last November on the promise of doing exactly what she's done, won't have to run again for another three years, and has come under considerable criticism in the media for her courageous, principled stand), it's little surprise that McCormack, who has been fighting for the voting machine companies instead of the voters for years --- even appearing on a Diebold sales brochure to sing the company's praises --- would bug out of the nation's largest county just a month before the first Presidential Primary Election in 2008, leaving the voters to whatever may happen.
McCormack's official statement of retirement [PDF] didn't mention her anger at Bowen for taking away her toys and those of the companies she's concerned about. Rather she claimed...
I have been approached by several foundations and, at this stage of life, am interested in shifting my energies and experience to election administration research and consulting both within the U.S. and worldwide.
So the question we pose to you is...
- Sequoia Voting Systems
- Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S)
- Hart Intercivic
- Other voting machine company
- An Internet voting company
- Election Technology Council (ETC) as Lobbyist
- Other "Foundation" supporting voting machine company interests
- None of the above, leave her alone, she'd never do something like that!
Let us know your opinion. The BRAD BLOG will, of course, let you know when we find out. It shouldn't be long. Something tells us, McCormack already knows where she's going from here...
UPDATE: I'm told the print edition version of Becerra's LA Times story on Conny was longer than the one posted on the web as linked above. In the carbon based version, there is a quote from yours truly, as Becerra interviewed by phone for reaction to McCormack's announcement late yesterday: