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Letter to Alaska Division of Elections PDF Print Email
By Jake Metcalfe, Alaska Democratic Party   
August 11, 2006

Lt. Gov. Loren Leman
Division of Elections Director Whitney Brewster
(sent via email)

Dear Lt. Gov. Leman and Director Brewster:

Thank you for meeting with representatives of the Alaska Democratic Party on Aug. 8. As we discussed, Diebold Elections Systems’ touch screen voting machines may not have been properly certified. If, as charged, Diebold’s certification was obtained fraudulently, that certification would be invalid and the use of those machines in an election would not be allowed under Alaska law.

Given the potential that Diebold’s touch screen machines depend on software source code that has been reviewed by no one except Diebold, and that federal certification requirements have not been complied with as required by AS 15.20.910, we urge that you do not use the Accuvote TSx touch screen machines in the upcoming elections.

Our elections are too important to risk the chance that votes will be cast and counted by a voting system that may not be properly certified.

Information reported by Vote Trust USA, a national non-partisan, non-profit group devoted to ensuring the integrity of elections, indicates that Diebold defrauded the federal certification process that was supposed to make sure the software is honest.

See:
http://votetrustusa.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1644&Itemid=51

and

http://www.votetrustusa.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1648&Itemid=51

These reports state that Diebold violated the federal certification process for its touch screen machines by withholding parts of its software system from testing by an Independent Testing Authority (in this case, Wyle Labs). The reports state that Diebold's NASED (National Association of State Elections Directors) certification for the touch screen machines is invalid.

Reported information shows that Diebold and its corporate predecessor, Global Election Systems, withheld from review source code to the several versions of WinCE (Windows Compact Edition) used in the touch screen machines by the company.

A statement released August 3, 2006, Dr. Richard. R. Lee, PhD describes how the Windows CE operating system used by the Diebold machines is not Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) software as Diebold claimed in its request for NASED certification. Dr. Lee, recognized by Microsoft as an Embedded MVP for his work with Windows CE, states: “It is not possible to build a functioning release of Windows CE for any platform strictly from the executable components provided by Microsoft.” Lee said this "Compact Edition" is sold by Microsoft as an unfinished "kit" that must be completed by a hardware vendor such as Diebold. Windows CE, therefore, cannot be treated as COTS.

Federal Elections Commission (FEC) 2002 rules state, “…devices and software are exempted from certain portions of the qualification testing process so long as such products are not modified in any manner for use in the voting system.”

On March 27, 2006, a representative of Wyle testified before a California legislative hearing that Wyle treated Windows CE as "COTS" (Commercial Off The Shelf) and hence did not do source code review as required of any customized code by the Federal Election Commission rules.

Reported information indicates that Talbot Iredale, V.P. for Research and Development for Diebold, specifically instructed subordinates to not turn over the WinCE source code to Wyle Lab for the required source code reviews.

The following link gives an overview of information compiled by Jim March, who conducted a three-year investigation of Diebold's certification:
http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/36349/wincefraudwalkthrough-36369.pdf

The declaration of Richard Lee can be found at:
http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/36349/RRLee-WINCEdeclaration-36366.pdf

Given the serious nature of these charges and the ramifications of conducting an election using an uncertified voting system, I urge you to suspend any use of the Diebold touch screen equipment until these matters are fully investigated and resolved by the appropriate authorities.

Sincerely,


Jake Metcalfe, chair
Alaska Democratic Party

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