. Open Voting Newswire | Open Voting Consortium

Open Voting Newswire

Hart InterCivic Agrees to Comply

9560 Windrose Lane
Granite Bay, CA 95746


Subject: Hart InterCivic Agrees to Comply with Future Open Source Mandate
Contact: Alan Dechert
Phone (916) 791-0456

SAN MATEO, CALIFORNIA -- Hart InterCivic became the second voting machine vendor to agree to comply with any requirement to publicly disclose technical information about how their voting machines work should that become a requirement of state or federal law. At today's San Mateo County Board of Supervisors meeting, where the contract was approved, Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder Warren Slocum stated that the contract was worded to make it clear that Hart InterCivic would comply with any future voting system requirements that become law including, "open source."

ANNOUNCEMENT: OVC on CNN Lou Dobbs Tonight - TODAY 6pm EST, 3PM PST!

AUG 16 UPDATE: Watch this segment on line [click here]

Announcement: Open Voting Consortium CEO Alan Dechert will be on CNN with Lou Dobbs this evening at 6PM EASTERN, 3 PM Pacific. He will discuss the recent security problems uncovered by OVC and other organizations in the past few months.

Worst Flaw Ever in Diebold Touch Screen Voting Machine Revealed by Open Voting Foundation

9560 Windrose Lane
Granite Bay, CA 95746
Phone (916) 295-0415


Contact: Alan Dechert
Reference: PICTURES
(Click on thumbnail. Click again on lower half of picture for high resolution)

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA -- “This may be the worst security flaw we have seen in touch screen voting machines,” says Open Voting Foundation president, Alan Dechert. Upon examining the inner workings of one of the most popular paperless touch screen voting machines used in public elections in the United States, it has been determined that with the flip of a single switch inside, the machine can behave in a completely different manner compared to the tested and certified version.

Sequoia Agrees to Comply with any Open Source legal requirements

Opposition to our open voting bill AB 2097 (Goldberg) was predicated on vendor non-compliance. They said our law would cost the state huge sums because vendors would refuse to go along.

We have proven this to be false. At the Alameda County Board of Supervisors meeting last week (Jun 8), the registrar of voters, Dave MacDonald described the contract with Sequoia. He said that the agreement includes a provision that says the vendor will comply with any state or federal law that requires open source. You can listen here. Here is page 12 from the contract (see last part of section E).

Bowen-Ortiz Debate

California State Senator Debra Bowen won the Democratic Party endorsement for the office of Secretary of State at the convention last weekend. In the debate with Senator Deborah Ortiz, her opponent in the primary, she condemns Diebold and says, emphatically, "we need open source voting software that is publicly owned and not proprietary...." Click here to listen to that part.

Or, you can listen to the whole debate. Willie Brown is the moderator. Senator Bowen received over eighty percent of the delegates' votes!

No Opposition

I've said it a few times in public. There's "no opposition" to the OVC project. The challenge is in gathering together the support needed to accomplish steps toward our ultimate goal.

So when Jackie Goldberg's office (of the CA Assembly Member that's carrying our bill, AB 2097) informed me that lobbyists were showing up saying that industry is making it a priority to kill our bill, I had to re-think that just a bit.

There is some opposition. We ran into that. Tom Umberg's staff didn't seem to like the bill. The American Electronics Association (AeA), a large industry association was represented at the hearing. Deborah Seiler (former Diebold salesperson) of Solano County and Jill LaVine of Sacramento testified on behalf of the California Association of Clerks and Elections Officials (CACEO, Conny McCormack of Los Angeles, president). There was also opposition from another large industrial consortium, the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), which had sent a long opposition letter signed by representatives of ES&S and Sequoia. Two of McPherson's senior staff members represented the Secretary of State's office, explaining his position.

Support AB 2097!

Latest News about AB 2097:

We were successful in our first test. Our opposition received no votes. We received five votes and there were two abstentions.

Now we need 41 votes in the Assembly (80 members). Keep up the support! Thanks!

This bill is sponsored by Open Voting Consortium, and carried by California Assembly Member Jackie Goldberg (D-Los Angeles).

Here is Secretary of State McPherson's letter in opposition. Here's an outline of my testimony.

You can also mail or fax a letter of support. For some ideas for what to write, click here for our fact sheet. Here is a sample letter from the Grey Panthers:

March 26, 2006

The Honorable Jackie Goldberg
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814
FAX: 319-2145
Attn: Bob Reid
RE: AB 2097 (Goldberg) Open Source Software for Elections

Dear Assemblyperson Goldberg:

Gray Panthers California is pleased to express its support for your measure AB 2097 which would require that all technical details, including computer source code, of computerized vote tabulating systems be publically disclosed by June 30, 2007.

We have watched the efforts all across the nation to come up with voting machines that we believe relay true and accurate results of our votes. To date, we are unsatisfied with what we've learned. As you have pointed out, experts cannot to date find systems to assure accuracy. Part of our concerns are based on the fact that programers input instructions about which we are unaware and have no way of studying. This is the source of our concern - that computerized voting machines can be made to reflect the vote in any way they are manipulated, unless there is a truly transparent disclosure of their programs. Vendors should grant us the right to public inspection and testing of their programs. Further distribution of that software and its specifications should be handled by the Secretary of State within the state voting system certification system.

We are pleased to join in this effort with you and to forward our intentions to all coalition members with whom we advocate.


Joan B. Lee
Legislative Liaison


Alliance for Better Business CARA Legislative Committee Town & Country Democratic Club Sacramento Stonewall Democratic Club
Joan B. Lee
Legislative Liaison
Gray Panthers California
FAX 916-332-5980
5313 Fernwood Way
Sacramento, CA 95841

Keepin’ it Real with Will & Willie

I'll be on Keepin’ it Real with Will & Willie tomorrow morning at 7:30a. That's Will Durst, the comedian/satirist and Willie Brown, former San Francisco Mayor and former California legislator. It's 960 AM on the dial or you can listen via Internet. http://www.quakeradio.com I'll be talking about the upcoming San Francisco Elections Commission forum this Wednesday evening. http://www.sfgov.org/site/electionscommission_page.asp?id=38123 Also, I'll talk about how industry folks like Diebold are trying to kill the bill we are sponsoring, AB 2097 (D-Goldberg, Los Angeles). This bill would require full public disclosure of all technical details (including source code) for voting systems as part of the certification process.

How to Steal an Election

The Washington Post has a great graphic that details the differences in regulation between Vegas slot machines and proprietary electronic voting machines.

The State of Nevada has access to all of the software that runs slot machines, and it's illegal for casinos to use software that's not on file. Meanwhile, Diebold, Sequoia and other vendors aren't required to disclose software code for their voting machines because it is a "trade secret."

Tell McPherson Diebold is No Good for California!

From California State Senator Deborah Bowen:

In just the past seven days, more than 2500 people have emailed Secretary of State Bruce McPherson through my website, urging him to reverse his decision to re-certify Diebold voting machines.

The people of California deserve a full and transparent process for managing elections, a process that welcomes their participation and input -- not backroom deals and secret studies that only see the light of day after final decisions have already been made.

Apparently, email messages from 2500 concerned citizens aren't enough to make Secretary McPherson change his mind -- so we need to make sure he hears from thousands more people, like you. That's why I'm asking you, urgently, to forward an email to the Secretary of State as well.

Urge Secretary of State McPherson to reverse his decision on Diebold -- email him today!
Email Signup
$10,000 Challenge Grant
OVC Supporters

Nancy Matela
Alliance for Democracy
Click here for more
OVC supporters
Upcoming Events