Election Defense Alliance Blog

EAC Takes Aim at Paper Ballots

May 30, 2007

"So what did the techno-advisory group come up with
in their recommendations for dealing with the "problem" of handling and counting paper ballots?

Paper ballots must now all be technology-enabled. . . 'machine readable.'

Let's think about this for a moment."

By Nancy Tobi

I went to Washington, DC last week. Our nation's capital. I wish I could say that I went solely to enjoy the warm and nourishing hospitality of my food and lodging angel, Arlene. Or that I went to enjoy the May roses not found in New England until much later in the summer. I wish I could say that I went to embrace the massive willow oak in the park outside the congressional office buildings, or that I went just so that I could lie on my back on the grass in the park and feel the rays of the DC sun melt into my face.

In-Depth Analysis of Amended Holt Bill

HR 811 as Amended Now Sets Software Nondisclosure, Secret Vote Counting in Federal Law

UPDATE:
Text of Amended Holt Bill released May 8th from House Committee on Administration

Click here to open and download PDF
UPDATE:
Click here for Clause-by-Clause Analysis

ACTION ALERT: House Admin Comm Spiking FL-24 Investigation

The following emergency response action comes from The PEN (Peoples' E-Mail Network)

Please phone the House Committee on Administration (HCA) TODAY using the phone numbers provided below.

Everyone has heard about the dramatically suspicious results in the Jennings congressional race in FL-13, but did you know that there were massive parallel shenanigans going on in FL-24 as well? And yet we got a tip late today that tomorrow the House Administration committee is secretly, and without public notice, preparing to dismiss their own inquiry into this other still NOT conceded race run by Clint Curtis, the famous voting software rigging whistle blower.

CA 50 Plaintiffs Petition CA Supreme Court for Review

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2007
Contact Linda A. Poniktera - 619.987.7200
Plaintiffs Petition California Supreme Court
On Ruling In California’s 50th District Election Contest


Petition Seeks To Confirm Courts' Jurisdiction Over Elections And Continuing Importance Of Voting Rights

San Diego, CA April 27, 2007 –
In a press conference today near the San Diego Convention Center, the nonprofit legal firm Psephos announced that plaintiffs Gail Jacobson and Lillian Ritt have petitioned the California Supreme Court regarding the Jacobson v. Bilbray election contest requesting discovery and a recount of the vote in the June 2006 special election in California’s 50th Congressional District. The election was terminated via a premature swearing-in only 7 days after the June 6, 2006 election although the Congressional Record stated that 68,500 votes were still uncounted and the election was not yet completed or certified.

The EAC Gopher Bash

April 14, 2007

By Nancy Tobi

"With an Executive Commission permanently controlling election systems, no matter what your local, state, or federal government may legislate, the EAC gopher can come up with its own voting system requirements whenever they want.'


The Holt Bill (H.R. 811) is being advertised as a "paper trail" bill, but it also makes permanent the Election Assistance Commission (EAC). The EAC is four White House appointees who control the nation's voting systems.

State, County Resistance Slowing Rush to H.R. 811

Originally published at: http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/election-officials-predict-chaos-pro...

"Wait a Minute-- Counties Have Something to Say"

Election Officials Predict Chaos, Protest Reform Bill

By Heidi Bruggink
April 12, 2007

Eyeing the passage of Rep. Rush Holt’s (D-N.J.) election reform legislation, election officials are protesting what they believe is a poorly planned, even dangerous, set of changes.

The Voter Confidence and Increased Accountability Act of 2007, which boasts more than 200 bipartisan cosponsors, appeared to be sailing toward confirmation before Congress adjourned for Easter recess. However, the House Administration Committee vote was postponed unexpectedly after election officials from across the country testified before the Elections Subcommittee and scores of others contacted their representatives predicting problems that could make the 2000 and 2004 elections “look like the proverbial walk in the park.”

Fired Federal Prosecutors and Election Fraud

Scoop News   http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0703/S00213.htm

Fired Federal Prosecutors And Election Fraud

Sacked for Indicting Republicans
and Not Indicting Democrats?

Michael Collins
“Scoop” Independent News
Washington, DC

Top U.S. law enforcement official Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez engineered a Pearl Harbor Day for eight Republican appointed federal prosecutors. From one end of the country to the other, previously well regarded prosecutors were summarily fired (allowed to resign) on December 7, 2006. Chief of the Office of U.S. Attorneys, Michael Battle spread the news. In a rare case of the messenger shooting himself, Battle abruptly decided that he too would resign after the firings turned into a major scandal this month.

Hand-Count Paper Ballot Bill Introduced in Texas

Originally published at
http://www.opednews.com/maxwrite/print_friendly.php?p=genera_vickie_k_07...
March 11, 2007

Texas Rep. Lon Burnam Submits Bill for Hand-Counted Paper Ballots in Texas

By Vickie Karp and Karen Renick

Who: Rep. Lon Burnam, District 90, Tarrant County (Fort Worth), Texas
What: Submission of HB 3894, The Texas Hand Counted Paper Ballot Bill of 2007
When: Friday, March 9, 2007
Where: State Capitol, Austin, Texas
Why:

With the acknowledgement and validation from computer experts, government reports and university studies nationwide that electronic voting systems, including optical scan counters, are vulnerable to easy hacking and manipulation without detection, the need for drastic change in our voting systems has become evident. Well-intentioned legislators at both the federal and state levels have presented the costly "solution" of adding printers to electronic voting machines for a "voter verifiable paper audit trail."

San Francisco Seeks Code Disclosure in Sequoia Contract

Before The City agrees to use Sequoia Systems' electronic ballot
scanner and counter, officials want more details about its software.

Original article published in San Francisco Examiner
http://www.examiner.com/a-566744~The_City_may_require_e_voting_disclosur...

by Joshua Sabatini, The Examiner, Feb 15, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco could become one of the first cities to require an electronic voting company to disclose the details of its software in an effort to ensure all votes are counted.

Electronic voting machines have stirred controversy as voter-rights activists say the machines cannot be trusted, especially since the software used to tally votes is kept secret.

More than 20 voter-rights advocates turned out at a Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee hearing Wednesday to oppose the proposed $12.6 million four-year contract with Sequoia Voting Systems Inc.

Under the contract, The City would receive 610 optical scan voting machines (machines that read a paper ballot) and 610 touch-screen voter machines, intended for use only by the disabled.

"This system is going to be a paper-based system. It's not going to be an electronic-based system. The voters aren't going to see any difference at all," said John Arntz, the city's elections director.

Supervisor Chris Daly, chairman of the committee, postponed the vote on the contract until next week, putting pressure on Sequoia to agree to an unprecedented commitment to disclose its software details.

"I'm not prepared to move forward with this contract language without some public disclosure of your technology within the contract," Daly said. "We're willing to discuss this," said Steven Bennett, representing Sequoia. Voting machine companies have kept their software private citing proprietary reasons.

Voting Systems Fail to Meet ADA, HAVA Access Requirements

http://demos.org/pubs/improving_access.pdf

Improving Voter Access
A Report on the Technology for Accessible Voting Systems

February 14, 2007
By Noel Runyan

View the document (pdf)
http://demos.org/pubs/improving_access.pdf

Improving Voter Access is a new report by technology expert Noel Runyan, published by Demos and Voter Action, that finds that state voting systems are widely noncompliant with federal ADA and HAVA access requirements for voters with disabilities.

Twenty percent of U.S. adults with disabilities -- more than 8 million eligible voters -- say they have been unable to vote in presidential or congressional elections due to barriers at or getting to the polls The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requires that all polling places in elections for federal office anywhere in the United States have at least one voting system that shall be accessible for individuals with disabilities, including nonvisual accessibility for the blind and

Sequoia Hacked, Suit Filed to Decertify in NJ

Original source:
http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-11/1171172999136630.x...

N.J. voting machines face twin challenge
A lawyer calls them uncertified. A professor calls them easy to rig

Sunday, February 11, 2007
BY KEVIN COUGHLIN
Star-Ledger Staff

The electronic voting machines used in most of New Jersey were never properly inspected as state law demands, according to a new legal claim filed by voter rights activists. Had the machines been tested, they would have proved to be a hacker's dream, the activists say.

This week Newark attorney Penny Venetis, representing a coalition of plaintiffs, will ask a judge in Trenton to decommission machines used by 18 of the state's 21 counties.

Sequoia Hacked by Princeton Prof; Suit to Decertify in NJ

Sequoia_Princeton_Hack_021107http://www.bradblog.com/?p=4141&print=1

SEQUOIA TOUCH-SCREEN VOTING MACHINES HACKED, FOUND VULNERABLE TO VOTE-FLIPPING BY PRINCETON UNIVERSITY!
New Jersey Attorney to Ask Judge for Decertification of Company's 'AVC Advantage' System After Machines Found Untested by State
Princeton Professor Paid $86 For Online Purchase of 5 Machines That a NJ County Paid $40,000 for...

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, with additional reporting by Brad Friedman

Florida's Governor to Recommend Dumping DREs

Original article at South Florida Sun Sentinel

Gov. Crist to recommend ditching touch-screen machines
By Anthony Man
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted January 30 2007, 5:18 PM EST

Gov. Charlie Crist is preparing to recommend that the controversial touch-screen voting machines used in Broward, Palm Beach and 13 other Florida counties be scrapped and replaced with optical scanners that would count paper ballots.

U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Boca Raton, said the governor would recommend spending at least $20 million on optical scanners for the 15 counties with touch-screen machines when he presents his proposed budget to the state Legislature on Friday.

Decertified Test Lab OK'd Majority of E-Voting Systems in 2006 Elections

Original article published January 13, 2007 at OpEdNews

Banned Test Lab Certified Electronic Voting Machines
Used by 68.5% of Nation's Registered Voters in 2006 Elections

By Michael Richardson

Last week Christopher Drew of the New York Times informed a shocked nation that the leading "independent testing authority" of electronic voting machines, Ciber, Inc. of Greenwood Village, Colorado had not been following its own quality-control procedures and could not document that it completed required tests for reliability and security.

Hursti vs. Sequoia in Riverside County Hack Challenge

Original article published January 14, 2007 in Desert Sun, Palm Springs CA
http://www.thedesertsun.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070114/NEWS0301/701140319/1006

Hacking Debate Gains Traction

by Nicole C. Brambila

Could a computer programmer hack into Riverside County voting machines in 15 minutes without any tools?

Supervisor Jeff Stone bets not.

Frustrated with confrontations from Save R Vote, a Temecula-area community
watchdog group created to oversee Riverside County elections, Stone challenged the group on Dec. 5 to hack into the county's voting machines, laying odds it couldn't be done.

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen Appoints VoterAction's Finley as Deputy SoS for Voting Systems

Breaking news bulletin from Bradblog: URL: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=3999

It may not be a very good day in the corporate offices at Diebold, but The BRAD BLOG has learned some big news that may well indicate today is a very good day indeed for the voters of America and specifically in California.

As incoming Sec. of State Debra Bowen was sworn in to her new office just moments ago, The BRAD BLOG can now reveal that one of the nation's top critics of unverifiable electronic voting systems --- and a key player across several states in the legal battles against voting machine company's such as Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia Voting Systems and Hart Intercivic --- is today being named by the new California Sec. of State Debra Bowen as Deputy SoS for Voting Systems Technology and Policy.

National "Voters' Request" for Congress to Revise Holt Bill

The following cover letter and attached "Request by Voters" is a nationally distributed appeal to Congress for needed election reforms proposed by the election integrity movement. Election Defense Alliance joins many other organizations in endorsing these proposals for effective legislative reform, to correct the damage wrought by HAVA and
to amend or replace well-intentioned but seriously misguided proposals currently present in the "Holt Bill" (H.R. 550).

Judge Denies Source Code Review in FL-13 Contest

Original story posted by Brad Friedman at BradBlog: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=3959

JUDGE DENIES PLAINTIFF MOTION TO REVIEW PAPERLESS VOTING MACHINE SOURCE CODE
IN CONTESTED FL-13 U.S. HOUSE ELECTION

Court finds Plaintiff's Request for 'Access to Trade Secrets' of ES&S Would 'Result in Destroying, Gutting' Voting Machine Company's 'Protections'
Judge Rules Jennings, Voters Motion Based on 'Nothing More Than Conjecture'

In a ruling issued this afternoon [Friday 12/29], the presiding Florida Circuit Court Judge William L. Gary denied the plaintiffs requests to allow review of the source code for the paperless touch-screen machines used in the contested U.S. House race in Florida's 13th district between Democrat Christine Jennings and Republican Vern Buchanan.

New York City Choosing Between Op Scan and DRE

By Helen Klein
12/29/2006
Original story at http://tinyurl.com/ydx3mt

The New York City Council is poised to make its voice heard on the controversial issue of which voting machines the Board of Elections should choose for New York City.

A resolution recommending that the Board of Elections select paper ballot optical scanners, was introduced earlier this year by City Councilmember Charles Barron and has 44 additional sponsors. The council will be holding a hearing on the matter in January, with the city’s election commissioners supposed to be making a decision in
February.

In general terms, the choice the Board of Elections faces is between optical scanners and touch screen voting machines,also known as DREs (Direct Recording Electronic).

As the last state in the union not to have complied yet with the Help America Vote
Act (HAVA), which was passed in 2002 in the wake of the controversial 2000 presidential election, New York is under orders from the federal Department of Justice to replace its old lever machines with machines that comply with HAVA’s requirements.

These, basically, mandate that voting machines be handicapped-accessible and recountable, and provide a second chance to vote, in case of error. To comply with Department of Justice requirements, New York State must have its new voting machines up and running by the September, 2007, primary election.

Mismanagers of Florida Voting Machines in Charge of Sarasota Audit

Original Content at http://www.opednews.com/articles/genera_press_re_061124_more_questions_a...

November 22, 2006
Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Nick Berning or Josh Glasstetter
202-467-4999 / media@pfaw.org

Questions About Competence and Impartiality of Sarasota Voting Machine Auditors

One member of the auditing team, Bureau of Voting Systems Certification chief David Drury, previously authorized the illegal distribution of uncertified voting machines in Florida

SARASOTA COUNTY-Doubts are arising about a second member of the team assembled to audit the voting machines implicated in Sarasota County's massive 13th Congressional District election undervote.