- Inadequate procedures to preserve and secure ballots, voting machines and other voting materials;
- Inadequate standards for the random selection of the initial 3% of the statewide votes to be hand counted in the recount;
- The absence of procedures to conduct a recount of votes cast on electronic voting machines; and
- Inadequate procedures to ensure uniform and proper treatment throughout the state of access by recount observers to provisional, absentee, and spoiled ballots, to poll books, to voting machines and to other materials.
- The entire certification process is hidden from the public.
- Procedures used to conduct testing, the tests themselves, and the results of such testing should be available to the public should be in the regulations.
- We are primary stakeholders, and deserve to be included.
- The State Board should not be allowed to “waive” any testing at its discretion.
- The revised regulations do not prohibit wired networked connections; just this week we learned about infared wireless connectors on Diebold voting machines.
- Independent security experts must be able to petition the Board to perform tests.
- Penalties to vendors for installing uncertified code should be spelled out.
- Controlled disclosure of source code to independent experts to evaluate source code for vulnerabilities and flaws MUST be allowed.
- Require for a professional “Red Team” test, whose reports would confirm the accuracy and security of the voting system.
- We need volume testing; some outlines for comprehensive testing including “Mock Election Tests”.
- Essential and explicit security standards and specifications are absent.
New York Times
February 23, 2006
Voter Groups See Flaws in Plan to Upgrade Balloting
By JENNIFER MEDINA
ALBANY, Feb. 22 Voter advocacy groups contended on Wednesday that New York was moving forward with a flawed proposal to modernize its voting system that could lead to widespread security problems on Election Day.
Next week, the State Board of Elections is scheduled to discuss proposed regulations for the brands and types of voting machines that will be certified for this fall’s elections. Legislation passed last year allows local election boards to choose their own machines as long as they meet the state board’s standards.
But the advocacy groups said the measures did not require enough tests to see if the machines would work or independent tests to determine if hackers could penetrate the machines’ security systems. Tests conducted by other states, including California, have found that nearly 20 percent of the machines tested did not count votes properly, said Bo Lipari, the executive director of New Yorkers for Verified Voting, a nonprofit advocacy group.
The proposed Final Voting Systems Standards do very little to improve the many serious weaknesses present in the Draft Standards. It is troubling that the detailed technical commentary the State Board received from our organization and other experts was simply ignored in this latest revision.
New Yorkers for Verified Voting finds the proposed Final Standards in their present form to be unacceptable. Approving these standards as written will jeopardize the integrity of our vote in New York. It is incumbent upon theNew York State Board of Elections to guarantee each citizen’s right to vote, and to prove to the public that they can be confident that their votes will be accurately counted. The Final Standards fail in this regard. We need to do better.
Attached (below) is the introduction to our commentary on the Final Standards. Because so few changes were made to the draft regulations, we feel the only adequate response to the Final Standards is to resubmit our original commentary to the Draft Standards.
The full version submitted to the NYS Board of Elections contains NYVV’s complete commentary for the Draft Standards.
The Life and Death of Public Records
By Terry Allen, In These Times
Posted on February 21, 2006, Printed on February 21, 2006
Sometimes it’s the small abuses scurrying below radar that reveal how profoundly the Bush administration has changed America in the name of national security. Buried within the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 is a regulation that bars most public access to birth and death certificates for 70 to 100 years. In much of the country, these records have long been invaluable tools for activists, lawyers and reporters to uncover patterns of illness and pollution that officials miss or ignore.
In These Times has obtained a draft of the proposed regulations now causing widespread concern among state officials. It reveals plans to create a vast database of vital records to be centralized in Washington and details measures that states must implement — and pay millions for — before next year’s scheduled implementation.
Bush’s Mysterious ‘New Programs’
By Nat Parry
February 21, 2006
Not that George W. Bush needs much encouragement, but Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales a new target for the administration’s domestic operations — Fifth Columnists, supposedly disloyal Americans who sympathize and collaborate with the enemy.
“The administration has not only the right, but the duty, in my opinion, to pursue Fifth Column movements,” Graham, R-S.C., told Gonzales during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Feb. 6.
“I stand by this President’s ability, inherent to being Commander in Chief, to find out about Fifth Column movements, and I don’t think you need a warrant to do that,” Graham added, volunteering to work with the administration to draft guidelines for how best to neutralize this alleged threat.
“Senator,” a smiling Gonzales responded, “the President already said we’d be happy to listen to your ideas.”
In less paranoid times, Graham’s comments might be viewed by many Americans as a Republican trying to have it both ways – ingratiating himself to an administration of his own party while seeking some credit from Washington centrists for suggesting Congress should have at least a tiny say in how Bush runs the War on Terror.
From: Lisa Pease
To: ‘Voting Activists’
Subject: Tell the LA Times about Diebold
Lloyd Dent had an excellent idea – see his note below. If you have time tomorrow, take a minute to draft a note to the LA Times. You can talk to them in three ways:
Key points to consider:
The Times is not giving the latest moves regarding our vote adequate coverage.
Diebold has not passed Federal Qualification criteria, yet our Secretary of State gave Diebold what is essentially a green light for CA.
Our County registrar is not responsive to the expressed wishes of the community she allegedly serves.
Then don’t forget to call the SoS’s office on Tuesday per the earlier message. If you need a copy of that again, let me know and I’ll resend to any who ask.
From: LLOYD DENT
To: Lisa Pease
Subject: RE: ACTION ALERT! SoS has certified Diebold
There is something we can do right now! Neither Doris nor I have seen any mention of the certification of Diebold machines in the LA Times (Sat or Sun). We can write letters to the Editor about this. We have been told by another group that you are more likely to get a letter published if the Times get a lot of letters on a subject, thereby showing general interest. I will write a letter, and I recommend that you send a message to your group encouraging as many as possible to also send a letter. The letters should not be a form letter, but rather have different approaches.
More information is available at the Secretary of State’s website: http://www.ss.ca.gov/ under Voting Systems Information. Friday’s Press Release is there, with the Conditions of the conditional certification at the very end of the document.
2004 Election: Why we must not get over it is an interactive CD-ROM that contains videos and documents relating to the 2004 election and the problems with electronic voting.
Order it for free or download it and share it.
It contains MCM’s CSPAN interview.
This has national implications. For the first time ever, we have the opportunity to subpoena key voting industry witnesses to get them under oath in front of a senate hearing to investigate what the Sam Hill they were doing when they created and recommended tamper-friendly voting systems.
We’re sure by now you’re aware that Calif. did an about face and certified Diebold’s entire line of products — hackable touch screens, hackable optical scanners, and extremely hackable GEMS tabulators — despite 100% public opposition and numerous attacks proving the sytems’ fatal flaws and insecurities.
But this isn’t just California. Get these people under oath in California, and you get them questioned for the whole nation.
Everything is at stake.
We are putting some very important phone numbers and emails here along with simple instructions for what we all need to do.
We have everything to lose if we don’t all take a few simple steps immediately. EVERY STATE is experiencing issues with secret, privatized voting equipment examined by mysterious private contractors who won’t answer any questions at all about what they do.
Here is the most efficient, easiest strategy to counteract shoving illegal and insecure systems that we never asked for down our throats. This action is the culmination of years of hard-core work by Black Box Voting and others. JUST DO IT.
Here are the simple, painless suggestions. See below for why they are so important.
This comes down to only FIVE emails, FIVE faxes, FIVE calls.
Do you have one good excuse for not being able to make five contacts?
On second thought– don’t think one up. Just do it, please.
Remember; your tax dollars are paying not only for this equipment, but for the voting machine examiners who refused to answer any questions in last week’s Calif. Senate Elections Committee hearing.
WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT THIS CALL TO ACTION:
1) All we need is three out of five senators.
2) All five are interested and willing to listen
3) This is the FIRST time Black Box Voting has issued a call to action.
We believe grass roots calls to action lose their punch when overused.
We have waited until now because, like the Black Box Voting Hursti project, we know THIS effort is highly strategic and can create real change, quickly.
WHO TO CONTACT:
California Senate Rules Committee. Only they have the power to authorize subpoenas.
WHY DO WE NEED SUBPOENAS?
Key voting industry witnesses, including all federal testing lab personnel, chickened out of Calif. Senate Election Committee’s Feb. 16 hearing on how this stuff got certified in the first place. They don’t want to answer questions.
Subpoenas will legally compel them to show up so they can be questioned under oath. Black Box Voting believes that perjury will follow. A plan is in the wings for what to do if/when key witnesses perjure themselves.
By the way, documents can also be subpoenad – like the NONDISCLOSURE AGREEMENTS signed by voting system examiners, which reportedly have prevented them from telling what they know. And like the documents requested under Calif. public record law by the Senate Elections Committee which the current secretary of state — in violation of the law — has failed to answer or provide.
HERE IS THE CONTACT LIST FOR THE FIVE RULES COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Urge support for subpoenas of election industry and certification insiders. (Among those who chickened out of testimony on Feb. 16: Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and Hart Intercivic; Ciber labs, Wyle labs, and voting system examiners).
IT’S ONLY 5 EMAILS/FAXES/CALLS. MAKE THEM ALL.
Senator Don Perata (Chair) D
District office (510) 286-1333
Fax (510) 286-3885 Perata
Senator Jim Battin (Vice-Chair) R
Fax: (951) 653-9524 Battin
Senator Roy Ashburn R
Fax: (661) 323-0446 Ashburn
Senator Debra Bowen D – She is on the rules committee and is also the chairperson of the Senate Elections Committee.
Debra[at]debrabowen.com – (Ms. Bowen is mounting this case and will be busy preparing,
emails are welcomed– See below*)
Fax (310) 318-6733 Bowen
Senator Gilbert Cedillo D
Fax (916) 327-8817 Cedillo
This is about volume of calls logged, emails sent. Make the contacts and make sure this goes out to your list.
WHAT TO SAY:
Be concise, be polite, be professional. Here’s your message:
You want Rules Committee support for subpoenas of election industry and certification insiders to answer the Elections Committee’s questions about voting machine programming, examination and certification.
A sample letter is provided below in this email.
That’s it. Short and simple. Polite, professional, firm. Short clear message.
WHO ARE THE KEY WITNESSES?
Diebold head programmers, federal testing labs (Ciber, Wyle) that repeatedly certified flawed systems, voting system examiners who took taxpayer money, spent hours on so-called “security exams” on systems a 12-year old can hack, repeatedly recommending for certification.
The Calif. Secretary of State’s office decided to certify Diebold — again — despite the new UC Berkeley report.
QUOTES FROM THE LATEST REPORT, COMMISSIONED BY THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA:
“Harri Hursti’s attack does work: Mr. Hursti’s attack on the AV-OS (Optical scanner)is definitely real. He was indeed able to change the election results by doing nothing more than modifying the contents of a memory card. He needed no passwords, no cryptographic keys, and no access to any other part of the voting system, including the GEMS election management server.”
— (Comment from Black Box Voting: Note that Diebold has lied repeatedly to election officials and secretaries of state about this. We have videotape and documents from Diebold documenting this posted at our Web site) —
“Interpreted code is contrary to standards: Interpreted code in general is prohibited by the 2002 FEC Voluntary Voting System Standards, and also by the successor standard, the EAC’s Voluntary Voting System Guidelines due to take effect in two years. In order for the Diebold software architecture to be in compliance, it would appear that either the AccuBasic language and
interpreter have to be removed, or the standard will have to be changed.”
— (Comment from Black Box Voting: Note that California can only run software certified by the Federal ITA process, by state law. The “Berkeley team” is saying flat-out that such certification was not done correctly. It follows that the entire Diebold product line should be illegal under state law.)
WHAT’S ALL THIS ABOUT KEY WITNESSES CHICKENING OUT?
The Feb. 16 California Senate Elections Committee hearing on certification was hit with no-shows by ALL FOUR major vendors (Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and Hart Intercivic). Representatives from Wyle and Ciber t
esting labs also declined to appear. The Secretary of State’s office is now “legally late” on a series of public records requests made by California Elections Committee Chairperson Debra Bowen.
Sen. Bowen has to get permission from the California Senate Rules Committee to have subpoenas issued.
Only three of the Rules Committee Senators are needed to invoke port subpoenas.
California Senate Election Committee
Dear Senator ____,
I urge you to take a courageous stand to issue port subpeonas to key representatives and officials from Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and Hart Intercivic, as well as Wyle and Ciber Testing Labs and state voting system examiners who fail to appear for your hearings on this matter.
I also urge you to subpoena documents as needed, including the non- disclosure agreements signed between examiners and vendors, and all other documents needed to assess the integrity of the certification process.
Voters must be able to ensure that voting systems are secure from tampering, either by outsiders or by insiders. If the citizenry cannot see for itself that elections are secure, that our votes are being counted as we cast them, it is only a matter of time before the very fabric of our nation is torn to pieces.
Flawed, hackable systems have been approved that violate FEC guidelines. Some of these systems are so deeply flawed that they defy common sense. It is imperative that the elections industry insiders who were party to the design, examination and recommendation of these systems appear before California’s Senate Election Committee in open hearings under oath to answer questions and address these serious concerns.
FROM CALIF. SENATE ELECTIONS COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON BOWEN:
“We are going to need an enormous amount of people power in the next couple of weeks. Together we can change this whole pathetic mess. Let’s stand up for our democracy RIGHT NOW.”
“Email is great because it is easy for us to log and report — and we can actually prove how many emails we’ve received!”
“Please email me in support of issuing subpoenas rather than calling you will save my staff a great deal of time logging calls, and you know what kind work we have to do right now. You can always call and fax later!”
THANKS EVERYONE, IN ADVANCE, FOR MAKING FIVE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT CONTACTS FOR DEMOCRACY.
Thanks to M.S. English for collaborating with Black Box Voting to craft this message quickly and effectively. Her Web site is recommended for those who want to get up to speed on the history of the voting machine issue:http://www.whoscounting.net
Recommend the Chapters on “Technology” and “The Companies” as a Primer.
For more information, see the free online chapters of Black Box Voting:
Available in .pdf format on the home page at
(scroll down, look in right hand column)
HERE ARE MORE LINKS YOU MAY FIND OF INTEREST:
Here is a copy of the Diebold GEMS program. Thirty million votes will be counted on GEMS in the brutal battle for control of congress in 2006. Be your own “federal testing lab” — see for yourself:http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages
(Is this not ridiculous? You could teach a pigeon to hack the audit log. Your 12-year-old sister and all her giggly friends can change administrative passwords and election results.)
Details: The true scariness of the Herbert Thompson GEMS hack: With Visual Basic script, a one-minute access by anyone — even years ahead of time — can implant a trojan horse. Thompson’s script demonstrated May 2 in Leon County, Florida was able to make “intelligent guesses” to find names and ballot questions and then manipulate them.http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages
Article: Key Witnesses chickening out on hearing:
More extensive article on Calif. certification issues:
Voting system examiners blocked from telling what they know:
Electronic voting machines: Who cooked this turkey?
IF YOU WANT TO DO MORE:
Now comes gathering evidence in the form of public records.
Black Box Voting will work with any who volunteer to send customized public records request letters. We will help you learn the ropes, will suggest strategic records to start collecting NOW to protect Election 2006.
This year, it is all about mentoring individuals to regain their power as citizens. It takes no more effort to write a public records letter than to write your congressman — but when you write for public records, you end up with something tangible: Evidence.
To participate in the 2006 Election Cleanup Crew, email crew[at]blackboxvoting.org. Please allow a few days to respond, due to our heavy schedules — this is a one-on-one, personalized project, and we are so very proud of the many citizens who are stepping up to the plate.
We are quietly developing leaders in “cells” throughout the country, helping citizens learn the skills to oversee their own government.
PDA’s Own Marcy Winograd Launches Campaign against Rep. Harman in CA
Over a hundred progressives turned out in Venice, California, Saturday night to launch Marcy Winograd’s campaign challenge to pro-war Congresswoman Jane Harman, who represents California’s 36th Congressional District. Marcy is the President of Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles (PDLA). Marcy’s supporters pledged to claim the Democratic Party as the party of the grassroots peace and social justice movement. Amid resounding applause and calls of “Dump Harman!” Marcy told her supporters that the campaign will be about mobilizing the progressive movement throughout Southern California. “Either way, whether I win now or in 2008,” said Winograd, “progressives will come out ahead because Harman will know that elected Democrats must listen to the people, lest the people rise up. Challenging pro-war Democrats are the true Party patriots, demanding the Party adopt a winning platform that will represent the overwhelming majority of Democrats who favor an end to the US occupation of Iraq.”
Rep. Harman has been a supporter of the Iraq war, the Patriot Act, new nuclear weapons development, and illegal government wiretapping of private American citizens. As a Congresswoman, Marcy would immediately join the “Out of Iraq” caucus in Congress, vote to de-fund the war, and lobby to spend the war billions on social programs for education, health care, housing and the environment. This is an exciting time for Progressive Democrats in Southern California to have a real progressive candidate to support. To contact Marcy, please email her. Winogradcoach[at]aol.com