Category Archives: news

Ohio EVEREST Report

From their press release:

On December 14th, 2007, Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner released the results of a comprehensive review of her state’s electronic voting technology. The study, called Project EVEREST, examined electronic voting systems – touch-screen and optical scan – from Elections Systems and Software (ES&S), Hart InterCivic, and Premier Election Systems (formerly Diebold). As part of that study, three teams of security researchers, based at Pennsylvania State University (State College, PA), the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA), and WebWise Security, Inc. (Santa Barbara, CA), conducted the security reviews. The reviews began in September, 2007 and concluded on December 7, 2007 with the delivery of the final report. The teams had access to voting machines and software source code from the three vendors, and performed source code analysis and security penetration testing with the aim of identifying security problems that might affect the integrity of elections that use the equipment.

The public report can be downloaded from:
http://www.sos.state.oh.us/

The report is similar to those that Debra Bowen had commissioned in California. In short, the electronic voting machines all had extremely serious flaws.

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Post-Election Auditing Summit

I’m continuing my tradition of posting about conferences that I have not attended…

The Post-Election Auditing Summit was held in Minneapolis October 25-27, 2007.

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Daily Voting News for 2007 elections

I’ve got a backlog of election material to talk about so I’ll do a little bit of link-blogging to catch up.

John Gideon’s Daily Voting News (DVN) links to a plethora of post-election Tuesday articles from this year’s elections:

This is a typical post-election day DVN. Lot’s of reports of failures and problems. Part of the problem with today’s technical elections is that they are “high tech” and probably too “high.” Voters don’t understand it all and election workers don’t understand even when they are supposed to have been trained. Most Election officials clearly don’t understand what is happening so they blindly take the word of the vendors. The single county with the most problems last year seems to have repeated its poor record. Marion Co (Indianapolis) Indiana has a real problem with elections administration and the machines.

The DVN covers all sorts of election news but it is primarily focused on election integrity and voting machine issues.

Alex Keyssar on “How Not to Choose a President”

Alex Keyssar (professor of history and social policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government) recently published an op-ed called “How Not to Choose a President” for the LA Times.

The article was originally titled in a misleading way by LA Times editors (as “Dump Winner-Take-All”) that incorrectly suggested the Keyssar was a supporter of the Republican proposal to distribute CA electors by congressional district. Keyssar is not a supporter of that plan as is clear from a careful reading of the article.

The article discusses the history of electoral college shenanigans through the US’s history.
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Revived attempt to ‘fix’ CA electorial college votes

I guess that I spoke too soon. The partisan Republican attempt to change the way that California distributes it’s electoral votes is back in action.

The Ballot Access News reports:

According to this story in the Riverside, California Press-Enterprise, wealthy Congressman Darrell Issa of San Diego County has agreed to pay to get an initiative on the California June 2008 ballot. That initiative would provide that each U.S. House district elect its own elector. The initiative already collected 100,000 signatures in August, then had been abandoned for lack of funding.

Here is Jack Santucci’s take on this development (Jack was an analyst at Fairvote.org and I’ve disagreed with him frequently on other matters. Here I am nearly full agreement with him.):

CA Congressman Darrell Issa (R-49) will help bankroll the effort to split California’s Electoral College votes by congressional district (CD allocation). And he’s defending it as a move to “proportional representation.”

“This is about making people’s votes count,” he said. “It’s about proportional representation.” […]

Issa insists that he has not endorsed a candidate for president and said the effort is not motivated by politics, but by a desire to increase voter turnout in the state.

“If Florida had proportional representation [in 2000], Al Gore would be president today,” he said.

In another post I highlight some problems with CD allocation. The biggest (in my opinion) is that doing so would drastically raise the stakes of redistricting wherever the system were implemented. Bluntly, gerrymandering would affect presidential elections.

Colbert’s presidential bid

Colbert running for president

Comedian Stephan Colbert (host of fake personality-driven pundit shows ‘the Colbert Report’ on Comedy Central) had announced that he was running for president.
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transcript for Texas legislature clip

Regarding the remarkable clip of rule breaking Texas legislators voting for their colleagues, here is the transcript, including a statement from Alexis DeLee, Spokesperson for House Speaker, Tom Craddick:

There’s been a lot of debate at the State Capitol on bills relating to voter integrity. Some lawmakers are pushing for measures such as requiring voters to show a photo identification before being allowed to cast a ballot.

Another bill would criminalize anyone who delivers a ballot for someone unable to drive to the polls.

With so much emphasis on one vote for one person, you’d think lawmakers would make sure they follow the rules, too.

In this CBS 42 Investigates, Nanci Wilson found many don’t.

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