Interpreter Code = a translation program. There are Federal
Election Commission ("FEC") standards set for the Independent Testing
Authorities ("ITAs") dated 1990 and 2002. In 2002 the standards forbid
"interpreter code" because it is not transparent--it's very difficult
to see what is going on when you have two complex languages and
something mediating the two. The other reason why it is forbidden is
that it is easier to modify from the field. A memory card with
malicious code can't perform its function without its partner--the
interpreter code--lying in wait within the computers. All the CA
Diebold equipment has interpreter code, including the precinct
scanners--EXCEPT for the absentee ballot scanners.
Yes, Diebold is most certainly using interpreter code on their CA
equipment (except the absentee voting scanners) . In fact Steve Freeman
(our primary CA SoS sanctioned tech) even said so in November 2005.
Scroll to end for his "Executive Summary."
What's Up In California with the Diebold equipment: Whether McPherson did it out of intelligence OR,
more likely, it was just dumb luck--the fact that he sent the Diebold
equipment back to the ITA's actually was, according to BBV, a stroke of
genius. During the recent Voting Summit (that CEPN were persona non
grata) all the experts more or less scape goated the ITAs for all the
implications of negligence of due diligence (which is incorrect,
because there's plenty of blame to go around). BUT we have long known
that the ITAs are a "house of cards" that don't check for
vulnerabilities brought to their attention by activists, which is a
likely because they are partially funded by, and essentially work for,
As a result the ITAs are being watched like never before and so now
that McPherson has asked them to again review the Diebold equipment
specifically with an eye for the possibility of interpreter code, then
they will have a difficult time avoiding looking for it. If they claim
it's not there, then they are liable. Alternatively, if they do reveal
it is present, then Diebold will have to pull out of California, which
would send shockwaves across the nation--at least 35 states would have
to pull their Diebold certifications.
FEC Guidelines are Tantamount to Law in CA (and approx. 35 other states):
The FEC standards (guidelines) are much more than mere recommendations
for California, because we've agreed to meet federal testing standards
as a condition of certification. Presently our equipment must have a
NASED number. To accomplish this the ITAs must follow the federal
guidelines. There are about 35 states that have this requirement. Some
notable states that do NOT require a NASED number are Ohio and Alaska.
35 states have this requirement! Again, to appreciate this, we
must realize that now that McPherson has sent the Diebold equipment,
which we know full well has FEC illegal "interpreter code" back to the
ITAs for examination does mean that their confirmation of this fact
will be devastating for Diebold. (Seemingly the only way out will be if
the ITAs claim the interpreter code is not there.)
The Federal Qualification "NASED Number" Soon to be an "EAC Number":
NASED, the federal qualification authority is in the throes of being
turned over to the EAC. Soon all equipment will require a EAC number
(instead of a NASED number).
Who Runs NASED Federal Qualification Authority?
Who Will Run the EAC Federal Authority ? What is interesting is
that Wilke will now be moving from NASED to the EAC. Additionally,
while the NASED was transparently beholden to evendors to move the
federal guidelines authority to GOP political appointees, will it
really be any less corrupt?
- R. Doug Lewis: If you do some investigations you'll see
that all roads seem to lead back to this guy. He started out as a
computer salesman in TX and is an avid supporter of paperless voting.
- Tom Wilke: He is the man charge of overseeing the NASED testing labs.
Steve Freeman Executive Summary
Page 7, number 13
13. ABasic Files. AccuBasic report files are used to configure
AccuVote-OS and AccuVoteTS report contents and printing in precinct
count mode. They are actually loaded into the memory cards for the
AV-OS and AV-TS where their logic is executed. There are 24 report
files supporting modifications to the reports for different states and
jurisdictions. A few of these may provide options that are attractive
to local jurisdictions as they provide variations on what summary
reports are printed optionally or automatically and the order they are
prepared. At the current time, the Federal testing only uses one of
these files and does no source code review, leaving this to the states
to verify. Within our state testing, we only verified the reports for
the same file, 194US.abo, revision 1.15, and have checked the source
files. Since the source file is not reviewed in the Federal testing, we
have no absolute verification that the installed file found in the
witnessed build (forwarded by Ciber) was created from these source
files but signature information in the .abo file matches what would be
expected from the source file.
The source code I was given clearly does not directly affect stored
votes or even the voting result content of the reports. It just sets up
the report options that will be available to the operator and some
operator display information that sets up the options. The .abo file
given is without risk to the election results.
The actual file used is selected in the AV-OS Options window of GEMS
from the pulldown list in the Report field so the local user could
potentially select any of these files or a modification of that file.
The risk occurs in the opportunity to replace the verified file with
some other .abo file (prior version, one the other existing versions
installed in the GEMS/ABASIC directory, or by replacing the current
code with rewritten code performing other operations.) In a
certification report last year, we recommended that the unverified
report files be deleted from the GEMS directory leaving only the
verified files. The California Use Procedures should specify which
files are approved for use and provide information so that the approved
files may be verified. The risk involved with these files suggests that
jurisdictions using this system should safeguard these files, as well
as the election definition media that is used load these files to the
Compliance with the federal qualifications standards is compulsory in California--not voluntary.
For DREs, the California Elections Code states:
Article 4. Direct Recording Electronic Voting Systems
19250. (c) As of January 1, 2006, all direct recording electronic
voting systems in use on that date, regardless of when contracted for
or purchased, shall have received federal qualification and include an
accessible voter verified paper audit trail. If the direct recording
electronic voting system does not already include an accessible voter
Federal Qualification for new systems requires adherence to the 2002 Voluntary Voting Guidelines/Standards.
verified paper audit trail, the system shall be replaced or modified to include an accessible voter verified paper audit trail.
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