Friday, October 28, 2005

Secretary of State asked to withdraw proposed election rule

Colorado Secretary of State Gigi Dennis has been asked to withdraw a proposed election rule scheduled for hearing on Monday, October 31st. The proposed rule, Rule 45, would establish standards for the certification of voting equipment.

Security and computer professionals who criticize the rule say they have identified illustrative problems and described specific actions that they would like to see taken.

“Voting systems certified under this rule will disenfranchise voters, prevent transparency, and produce untrustworthy elections,” according to Al Kolwicz, executive director of CAMBER, Citizens for Accurate Mail Ballot Election Results.

Public comment on the rule is solicited at Monday’s 1:30 p.m. hearing. Hearing materials are published on the Secretary of State’s website.

CAMBER’s comment letter to Secretary of Stae Dennis follows.


Gigi Dennis
Colorado Secretary of State
1700 Broadway
Denver, CO 80290

October 28, 2005

We have reviewed the revised Rule-45, published on the Internet as of October 28, 2005 11:20 AM, and identified as “8 CCR 1515-1 Proposed Election Rules of the Colorado Secretary of State - Redline - 10/24/05”. We have also reviewed the Regulatory Analysis dated October 13, 2005.

We strongly recommend that the Secretary of State (1) withdraw this Rule-45, (2) cancel the October 31st hearing, and (3) withdraw Emergency Rule-45 which was adopted October 3, 2005. All three of these steps are required to stop the implementation of this inadequate certification procedure and the purchase of untrustworthy equipment.

It is not meaningful for us to submit line-by-line recommendations. The rule is grossly inadequate. Known problems are not addressed. The regulatory analysis is superficial. It is vital, to the voters of Colorado, that the proposed rule be scrapped.

We have identified illustrative problems, and described specific actions that we would like to see taken, in letters to the Colorado Secretary of State, October 8 and 9, 2005, correspondence with the Elections Division, July 25 – October 4, 2005, and with the federal Election Assistance Commission, September 29, 2005. We have attached these communications and include them as a part of our official comment.

Illustrative commentary, addressing only some of the more recent concerns, is published at see:

Voting systems certified under this rule will disenfranchise voters, prevent transparency, and produce untrustworthy elections. It is vital to the citizens of Colorado that this rule be withdrawn, the hearing cancelled, and Emergency Rule 45 be withdrawn. It is vital that the Secretary of State immediately establish an open and bi-directional process to create a secure, accurate, verifiable and transparent election system to serve the people.

Al Kolwicz

Citizens for Accurate Mail Ballot Election Results
2867 Tincup Circle
Boulder, CO 80305

CAMBER is a dedicated group of volunteers who are working to ensure that every voter gets to vote once, every vote is counted once, and that every ballot is secure and anonymous.