California Hearing on Premier "Zero Deck" Counting Error, March 17

Contact: Kate Folmar  (916) 653-6575


Secretary of State’s Office to Hold Hearing to Examine Ballot-Count Errors Previously Unknown in California

WHEN: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: Secretary of State’s Building

1500 11th Street
Sacramento, CA


The Secretary of State’s Office will conduct a public hearing to receive reports and take testimony on the “Deck Zero” anomaly in Premier Election Solutions’ Global Election Management System (GEMS) version 1.18.19.

The Deck Zero software error, which can delete the first group of optically scanned ballots under certain circumstances, caused 197 ballots to be inadvertently deleted from Humboldt County’s initial results in the November 4, 2008, General Election.

Upon discovery of the software error, Humboldt County subsequently corrected its election results. Two other California counties, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, used the same software for the November 4 election but encountered no similar problems in counting ballots.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s office conducted an independent investigation into the Premier GEMS 1.18.19 software errors and uncovered even more information that was previously unknown to county and state elections officials.

For more about the investigation and the public hearing, go to

In the days after the hearing, Secretary Bowen will consider what action – including possible withdrawal of state approval – to take on the Premier GEMS voting system.