The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.



Guest Bloggers
VoteTrustUSA is pleased to feature articles by the many fine authors concerned about accurate and transparent elections.

Missouri: Amidst Intense Last-Minute Drama, St. Louis County Rejects Diebold PDF  | Print |  Email
Guest Bloggers
By Brad Friedman, The Brad Blog   
December 22, 2005
Citizen Activists, Increasing Concerns about Diebold Security, Company Integrity Said to Have Been Key to Decision

ALSO: FOIA Requests Filed About Closed-Door Hearings, Concerns Emerge About ES&S, the Company Chosen Instead of Diebold, and a Diebold Lobbyist Reportedly Inquires About BRAD BLOG...And FAMILY!!!

This article appeared originally on The Brad Blog. It is reposted with permission of the author.

Add St. Louis County to the growing list of Elections Boards around the country who have now rejected Diebold, Inc. voting machines in the last-minute scramble to select new election hardware prior to the Jan. 1, 2006 Help America Vote Act deadline to have such "upgrades" paid for with Federal tax dollars.

The bad news for the once-great, now-disgraced Diebold, Inc. (stock symbol: DBD) of North Canton, Ohio, comes as the latest blow in a growing string of disappointments for the company which last week saw the resignation of it's CEO, the filing of several Class Action Securities Fraud lawsuits and the devasting revelation that their voting machines can be easily hacked allowing the results of Diebold elections to be completely reversed.

The loss of the contract in St. Louis County, who chose to go instead with Election Systems and Software, Inc. (ES&S), is estimated by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to be at least $9.6 million.

The last minute decision came amidst intense lobbying by both citizen's election integrity advocacy groups and paid Diebold lobbyists, at least one of whom was reported to have been inquiring about both The BRAD BLOG itself and the financial background of the father of yours truly!
Florida Gov. Bush Expresses Concern About State Election Systems in Light of Leon County Hack Test PDF  | Print |  Email
Guest Bloggers
By Brad Friedman, The Brad Blog   
December 18, 2005
Counters Previous Positions by both the Acting Secretary of State and Voting Machine Company Diebold

This article appeared in The Brad Blog. It is reposted with permission of the author.

Over the weekend, at least two reports out of mainstream Florida papers -- one in the Miami Herald and one in the Tallahassee Democrat -- report that Gov. Jeb Bush himself is now questioning the reliability of Florida's electronic voting system in light of the recent hack test in Leon County, home of the state's capitol Tallahassee. That security test, carried out last week, successfully flipped the results of a simple mock election test held on Diebold, Inc. voting equipment. The hack, which changed the results of an election from 2-6 to 7-1, left no trace of evidence behind.

After reports of the test were released, Florida's Sec. of State's office had initially criticized the messenger, Leon County's Director of Elections, Ion Sancho, suggesting that the matter was not the state's concern, but rather was an issue between Diebold and the county. That, despite the fact that it was the state of Florida who had certified the particular Diebold made machinery for use in the Sunshine State.

Acting FL Sec. of State David Mann also echoed Diebold's statement on the matter, criticizing Sancho himself because they believe that in allowing the hackers to gain access to the memory cards -- where a very short executable program capable of changing the election results had been secretly placed -- the test did not replicate 'real world' conditions.

Bush, who may be realizing the untenable position the state and their friends at Diebold now find themselves in, is at least taking the public stance that Sancho's findings and concerns should be taken seriously.
The Dirty Little Secrets of Voting System Testing Labs PDF  | Print |  Email
Guest Bloggers
By Avi Rubin, Johns Hopkins University   
December 16, 2005
This article appeared in The Huffington Post. It is reposted with permission of the author.

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke at a voting system testing summit hosted by the Secretary of State of California, Bruce McPherson. It was an event that included members of the US Election Assistance Commission, Secretaries of State, local election officials, vendors, voting machine testers, representatives from NIST, social scientists who study voting issues, and computer scientists, such as myself.

Most notable by their absence were Wyle Laboratories and Ciber Inc. Let me explain.

Before election officials can purchase voting systems, those systems need to be certified by a federally accredited lab called an Independent Testing Authority (ITA). There are three such labs in the US: Ciber, Wyle Labs, and Systest. These labs are tasked with testing any proposed voting systems against federal standards, in this case, the 2002 federal standards, soon to be replaced by the 2005 voluntary voting system guidelines (VVSG). You would think that these labs would be very interested in attending a summit such as this, and in fact, they were all invited. Only Systest showed up.
A Campaign To Unite California Election Reformers PDF  | Print |  Email
Guest Bloggers
By Dave Berman,   
December 13, 2005
This article appeared in GuvWurld on December 12, 2005. It is reposted with permission of the author.

A recently released report by the non-partisan watchdog arm of Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), has laid bare the unsecure and unreliable conditions of U.S. elections. Beyond just what could happen, the GAO has meticulously documented what has happened in the past few years, concluding:
Nevertheless, there is evidence that some of these concerns - including weak controls and inadequate testing - have caused problems with recent elections, resulting in the loss and miscount of votes. (p.38)
When votes are lost and miscounted, there is no way to be certain what the true outcome should be from an election. We can thus say that current election conditions ensure inconclusive outcomes, and provide no basis for confidence in the results reported. Among the many citations, the GAO report refers to an April 20, 2004, Staff Report from the California Secretary of State's office which reported that Diebold had admitted to violating state law in each of its 17 client counties (listed below):
California Voting Summit Shuts Out Voting Reform Advocates PDF  | Print |  Email
Guest Bloggers
By Miriam Raftery, The Raw Story   
December 01, 2005
Panels Appear Stacked With Electronic Voting Proponents

This article appeared originally on The Raw Story and is reposted here by permission of the author. VoteTrustUSA's Director of Legislative Issues and Policy was similarly not invited and received the same form email mentioned below.

A California summit on voting equipment, where many of the speakers had apparent conflicts of interests, barred entry to consumer groups calling for election reform, RAW STORY has discovered.

California Election Protection Network, a nonpartisan coalition representing 25 California election integrity groups held a press conference Monday outside the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Sacramento, where the "Voting Systems Testing Summit" was convened by Republican California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson.

The State appears to have skewed presentations in favor of electronic voting, with advocates far outnumbering critics. Some panels contain exclusively vendors of electronic voting equipment and representatives of testing labs chosen by these vendors.
Democracy Breakin': Ohio's Electric Boogaloo PDF  | Print |  Email
Guest Bloggers
By Brad Friedman, The Brad Blog   
November 19, 2005
Originally published at Huffington Post.  Reprinted by permission of the author.

The Corporate Mainstream Media may not give a damn about our democracy. Neither might the bulk of our politicians on both the Left and Right side of the aisle. But clearly the citizens do, and even at least one rightwing blogger who has recently seen at least some of the light...

The response to our article on the "staggeringly impossible" results of last week's election in Ohio on several Election Reform initiatives which would have struck deep into the heart of far-right Republican Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell has been notable to say the least.

To give you an idea of what that story documented, here are the numbers from just one of the four Election Reform initiatives which all ended up failing by numbers which defy reasonable explanation when compared to the historically accurate Columbus Dispatch poll completed and published just days before the Election in the Buckeye state:
ISSUE 3 (Revise campaign contribution limits)
PRE-POLLING: 61% Yes, 25% No, 14% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 33% Yes, 66% No
The results on that issue alone was so far askew that it was enough to give the usually dubious Mark Blumenthal of Mystery Pollster pause enough to comment, "These results had MP seriously wondering whether the pollsters or election officials had mistakenly transposed 'yes' and 'no' in their tables."
Carter Gets It - But Will His Electoral Commission? PDF  | Print |  Email
Guest Bloggers
By Linda Schade and Kevin Zeese, TrueVoteMD   
May 01, 2005
The best news coming out of the first hearing of the Carter-Baker Commission was that the co-chairs recognized that Americans are losing faith in their democracy, that even in the 2004 presidential election - among the most passionate elections in recent history - 40% didn't vote and, more and more, people are not confident that their votes are counted as they are cast. The bad news is that a corporate conflict of interest of a member of the Commission raises doubts that they will recommend the common sense solution – voter verified paper ballots.

With regard to the counting of votes, people are concerned about paperless electronic voting because it provides no independent record for audits or recounts. The machines have been shown to be a high security risk by insiders who can put undetectable malicious code in the software, by election officials who have access to the machines and by outside hackers – all of these people can change the outcome of an election. And, of course, all Americans know computers make mistakes. For example, computers freezing and crashing are experiences we have all had – it is also an experience that election administrators have seen with the use of computers in elections.
The Carter-Baker Election Commission: Corporate Conflicts of Interest and Bi-Partisan Myopia? PDF  | Print |  Email
Guest Bloggers
By Linda Schade and Kevin Zeese   
April 21, 2005
The last two presidential elections revealed that American democracy is in distress.  A full public airing is much needed and the stature of the Carter-Baker Commission promises to garner the national attention and respect required to truly grapple with the scope of the problem. That is, until people begin to look at the make-up of the Commission and its agenda.

Perhaps the hottest issue in election reform is making sure that votes are counted accurately. It is now widely understood that paperless computer voting systems are vulnerable to human error, computer failure and malicious tampering and therefore verification of the vote is essential. Paperless electronic voting vs. voting with a voter verified paper ballot (VVPB) is now an issue under consideration in state legislatures across the country. So far, 14 states have passed laws requiring a VVPB, many others are considering bills and still others traditionally vote on voter verified paper ballots.

Sadly, the Carter-Baker Commission has compromised itself at the outset by including a figure with an embarrassing corporate conflict of interest on the key question of vote counts. Ralph Munro is the Chairman of VoteHere, a company with millions invested in the ‘vote verification’ market. VoteHere is literally banking on the successful marketing of their cryptographic product as the verification method in spite of the fact that voter-verified paper ballots are the solution most recommended by independent computer security experts. Munro should recuse himself to save the Commission from further awkwardness.

Election Integrity News

A free weekly newsletter
with election news
from around the country

Current Issue
March  4, 2008

Previous Issues