Ohio Elections Official Calls Machines Flawed

All five voting systems used in Ohio, a state whose electoral votes narrowly swung two elections toward President Bush, have critical flaws that could undermine the integrity of the 2008 general election, a report commissioned by the state's top elections official has found.


From Information Clearing House


Voting Machines Don't Measure Up in Colorado

Christopher Osher reports for The Denver Post, "A significant number of electronic-voting machines in use in Colorado aren't reliable enough nor secure enough for compliance with state laws, the Colorado secretary of state said today."


Colorado Voting Machines Tossed Out

George Merritt, The Associated Press, writes: "Colorado's secretary of state has declared many of the state's electronic voting machines to be unreliable, but said Tuesday that some of them could still be used in November if a software patch was installed."



Expert Analysis of Colorado's Diebold/Premier Voting Study & Colorado's New Election "Audit" Procedure

You may have heard already about the events in Colorado where the Secretary of State de-certified most of Colorado's voting systems, but did not de-certify the Diebold/Premier voting system which sparked my curiosity.

SOS Announcement http://www.bradblog.com/Docs/CO_CertificationResults_121707_Final.pdf

Overview - Premier/Diebold http://www.elections.colorado.gov/WWW/default/Voting%20Systems/certifications/2007/Premier%20Election%20Solutions.pdf

Detailed Report - Premier/Diebold http://www.elections.colorado.gov/WWW/default/Voting%20Systems/certifications/2007/01-A2_project_overview_binder_premier.pdf

The forwarded email below is an initial assessment of the CO SOS study of Diebold/Premier voting systems by Computer Scientist David Webber.

However, before you read David Webber's expert analysis of the Colorado testing (below), my personal comment on the new election auditing requirement by the CO SOS.

Colorado's new election auditing requirement to select percentages of ballots to audit "makes no sense."

1. Colorado's voting systems currently are "not" auditable on the individual ballot level. For example, the Diebold/Premier GEMS server is incapable of printing a report of the vote counts on each individual ballot (or even the vote counts on each individual DRE voting machine). The auditing procedure being recommended by the CO SOS must be either a statistical sampling procedure because there are no exact unofficial machine counts to compare his ballot samples with, or it must be a post-election voting machine testing procedure that will not show anything at all about the accuracy of the unofficial election results. The only way that the new CO SOS audit procedure could be a valid check of Colorado's unofficial vote counts would be if the data for each identifiable ballot could be publicly released first prior to randomly selecting individual ballots. Or alternatively, all of Colorado's ballots could, after the election, be run through an "auditing machine" which stamps a humanly readable identification number on each paper ballot record and creates a report displaying those humanly readable numbers with the vote counts on each ballot. I have not heard of any certified system which does this yet, although some may be under development. Although I have heard talk of efforts to make Colorado voting systems auditable on the ballot level, to both protect ballot privacy and be auditable on the individual ballot level is possible, but tricky.

2. The audit amounts that the CO SOS specifies are insufficient in many cases and depend on the total number of ballots cast in a race being audited in a mathematically incorrect way. i.e. He uses a fixed rate of total ballots cast approach to calculating audit sample sizes which is fundamentally incorrect.

So my conclusion is that the CA SOS election auditing procedure will do very little to verify the accuracy of Colorado's election results.

Colorado should specify election auditing requirements similar to those in this flexible, yet much stronger, legislative proposal requiring 95% confidence-level election audits:


---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: David RR Webber (XML) Date: Dec 19, 2007 1:35 PM Subject: RE: [vote-technology] Question re. CO Voting Study & Diebold


OK - the detailed report reveals that Diebold was given a conditional "Yes" pass on accuracy and security - but did in fact fail or partially fail many tests in those categories. Overall it appears they were not approved for use because of failing in other areas.

So it seems inaccurate to say they passed all the tests.


"At some point, the Testing Board had to come to a final conclusion with respect to GEMS. They chose at the end to change the "suspended" items to a "fail" status. That approach is perfectly valid in a test methodology, under the condition that it is applied consistently. In reality, if Diebold does not rectify the problems associated with its GEMS election management software, it will not be able to provide any of the voting devices.

Those devices require GEMS for use in an election".

For me - the tests also did not prove the Diebolds DREs are safe. The Smartcards remain a huge area of concern. Just because the ones used in testing passed - you have no idea what is on the encrypted smart cards used for a live election - nor how they effect balloting. The smartcard provides an almost perfect means of introducing changed behaviour on election day - that is practically undetectable.

The VVPAT printer records offer some recourse - but would the following tests detect discrepancies between the VVPAT records and the digital counting records that could prove tampering / malfunctions?

BOTTOM LINE - if Diebold was an airplane - it would not be getting FAA approval for passenger use - although you could probably taxi it around the runway OK!!!


page 6 of the detailed report contains this very interesting item:

Audit trail information:

a) Judges shall be required to include device serial number on all reports regarding use of the device. Additionally, the county shall include the device serial number on applicable reports from the device.

b) Counties will be required to perform additional post election audit functions for the device to accommodate for security deficiencies. In an effort to increase confidence in the recording of votes by the device, the post-election audit shall include a hand count of at least the following amounts of ballots:

Considering the closest race in the election, if the difference between the top two candidates for the race is:

10% or greater, then hand count 60 ballots for every 10,000 cast;
9.00% - 9.99%, then hand count 65 ballots for every 10,000 cast;
8.00% - 8.99%, then hand count 70 ballots for every 10,000 cast;
7.00% - 7.99%, then hand count 80 ballots for every 10,000 cast;
6.00% - 6.99%, then hand count 95 ballots for every 10,000 cast;
5.00% - 5.99%, then hand count 115 ballots for every 10,000 cast;
4.00% - 4.99%, then hand count 140 ballots for every 10,000 cast;
3.00% - 3.99%, then hand count 185 ballots for every 10,000 cast;
2.00% - 2.99%, then hand count 275 ballots for every 10,000 cast;
1.00% - 1.99%, then hand count 550 ballots for every 10,000 cast;
0.01% - 0.99%, then hand count 1200 ballots for every 10,000 cast.

Created by the Colorado Secretary of State's Office 6 2007-CDOS-DIE-001-0402

Voting Systems Certification Program Binder - A2-05 - Conditions to Recommendation

The verification of the hand count of paper ballots shall match the totals generated from the GEMS software as indicated in Software condition #1c. Counties shall load only the master database from the secured storage location for processing the post election audit ballots as indicated in Software Condition #1b. Counties shall prepare database and batches of ballots prior to scanning into system (for election results) to accurately generate reports in batch sizes as necessary for the audit. If the county or system is not capable of accommodating the requirement of batch size after the outcome of the election is revealed, the highest percentage of ballots shall be used for the audit process.



Funds are urgently needed immediately by the National Election Data Archive in order to continue its legal effort to establish a federal right to public oversight over the electoral process.

Since June 2006, the National Election Data Archive has brought the only case to federal court that is currently suing a state in order to establish a federal right to public access to election records.

Even with scientific vote count audits, if there is no public access to view election records, then the public cannot verify the integrity of elections. It took the National Election Data Archive 1.5 years to bring its public access to election records case into federal court. We have spent $5,000 on the case so far, but are virtually out of funds and may need as much as $20,000 more, or alternatively pro-bono or contingency attorneys to finish the case.

PLEASE help us financially or we will have to drop this crucially important legal case within a few weeks.

There is no other case currently in federal court that is poised to establish a nation-wide right to public access to election records
(and hence public oversight over elections). There is also no federal legislation proposed currently in Congress to establish a federal right to public access to election records.

If we have to drop this federal court case now due to lack of funds and legal help, it could take another two years to bring another similar legal case to this point. This is crucial and without your help our federal legal suit to establish a federal right to election oversight and access to records will be dropped. Here is our current legal filing with the court:


Our legal case is ideally suited to establish a federal right to public access to election records because:

Utah's current election statute is possibly the most secretive with respect to public access to election records of any State currently. Clearly Utah law violates of federal statute such as the National Voter Registration Act which requires public access to voter registration records.

Utah current election statute is clearly unworkable because it is being violated during every election by Utah's own election officials in order to perform their jobs of tallying votes.

Prior federal case law has established that the right to vote includes the right to have that vote accurately counted, and this right to have votes accurately counted cannot be verifiably assured without the right to "know" that votes are accurately counted, and this knowledge cannot be established without a public right to access election records.

To establish a federal right to public access to election records only requires winning that right in one federal case in one state. The right to public oversight over elections via public access to election records can be won here in Utah for the entire nation, but only if we have funding and legal resources to continue the case that we have spent almost two years getting to federal court.

Here is how you can donate to help fight for a federal right to public oversight over elections, and finish the mountain of work that is still required to make it possible for U.S. elections to become verifiably transparently accurate.

Please donate now. We need to raise at least a few thousand dollars immediately, and perhaps as much as $20,000 to cover all costs for this federal court case to establish a public right to access election records for the entire nation.

In Pima County, AZ, the Arizona court recently decided that the plaintiffs had a right to obtain and examine copies of the Diebold/Premier's GEMS server vote count database. Following the 2004 election, an AK court decided that the Alaska Democratic Party had a right to obtain copies of the Diebold GEMS server vote count database. Unfortunately neither of these cases establishes a nation-wide right for public access to similar election records. We need funding NOW to continue the only federal court case that is positioned to achieve this right for the entire nation.

Without a public right to access election records, there can be no public oversight over elections. It is urgent that we obtain funds now or we will be forced to drop this particular effort.


or mail a check to: US Count Votes P.O. Box 682556 Park City, UT 84068

If you want us to continue our legal effort to establish a federal right to public access to election records for all federal elections, please donate something now. Thank you.

There is also a lot of work remaining to explain the procedures for evaluating election auditing discrepancy results in order to make valid decisions for whether to certify an election or increase the audit sample. We need your help to get that done.

A full-time (4 day/week) volunteer position is open in Park City, UT. Possible college credit can be obtained from your college or this could turn into a paid position for someone who can successfully organize fund-raising events.

Thank you.

Kathy Dopp Executive Director, National Election Data Archive

The material expressed herein is the informed product of the author Kathy Dopp's fact-finding and investigative efforts. Dopp is a Mathematician, Expert in election audit mathematics and procedures; in exit poll discrepancy analysis; and can be reached at

P.O. Box 682556 Park City, UT 84068 phone 435-658-4657

http://utahcountvotes.org http://electionmathematics.org http://electionarchive.org

History of Confidence Election Auditing Development & Overview of Election Auditing Fundamentals http://electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/paper-audits/History-of-Election-Auditing-Development.pdf

Vote Yes on HR811 and S2295 http://electionmathematics.org/VoteYesHR811.pdf

Voters Have Reason to Worry http://utahcountvotes.org/UT/UtahCountVotes-ThadHall-Response.pdf

"Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day," wrote Thomas Jefferson in 1816


Colorado Secretary of State Caught in Conflict Over Voting Machines

John Ingold for The Denver Post reports that "Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman faced a deluge of criticism Thursday over revelations that a firm hired to lobby his office on behalf of an electronic voting-machine company also does work for his Congressional campaign."




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