Sunday, December 26, 2004

Voting Standard should be rejected

December 26, 2004

Memo To: Election Assistance Commission (EAC),
EAC Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC),
Chairs IEEE SCC 38 and P1583

From: Al Kolwicz, IEEE P1583 committee member, Executive Director CAMBER- Citizens for Accurate Mail Ballot Election Results.

Re: IEEE standards project P1583 Standards for Voting Equipment

Occasionally committees produce a great work product. More often they do not. The work product of the IEEE P1583 project is not suitable for adoption as a national standard consequently, it should be rejected.

Implementation of this draft standard would not move our nation toward secure, accurate and verifiable elections. In fact it would do the opposite.

Methodology - A voting system consists of numerous components. Each of these components must work correctly in order to achieve a trustworthy election. One way to do this is to perfect individual components and then try to glue them together. A more successful way is to first perfect a framework and then develop components.

Requirements - Before considering the P1583 component a precise and comprehensive statement of requirements for the entire voting system must be developed and adopted by the public – not just some insiders. From the legislative process used to create election laws and rules, to the canvass procedures used to verify results of each election, the system needs wholesale reform.

System Architecture – Given the requirements, the nation should adopt an abstract architecture of a voting system, a tight set of requirements for each element of the system, a specification of the primitive functions, a set of metrics, and a set of acceptable methods to prove compliance. The architecture and primitives should be used to construct two or three reference implementations (at the high level) and include complete tests that verify each implementation.
Resources - This is a task that takes motivation, time, talent and money. It cannot be accomplished by amateurs – no matter how motivated and good intentioned. It cannot be accomplished by lawyers or typical legislators. It cannot be accomplished by the sitting Secretary of State and/or staff. And it cannot be accomplished by the county clerks and their people. It should not be accomplished by voting system vendors.

Recommendation - The P1583 draft should be rejected. A project should be authorized to develop the requirements and architecture of our voting system.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

St. Vrain has not yet called for a recount.

From: Wurl, Nancy Jo []
Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2004 4:37 PM
Cc: David Leeds (E-mail); Hillary Hall (E-mail);
Subject: RE: Will there be a recount? If so, under what rules?

Mr. Kolwicz:

Apparently there is going to be a recount of the St. Vrain Valley School District issue. The combined results from the counties involved fall within the one half of one percent that mandates a recount of St. Vrain Valley School District Ballot Issue 3A.

We have not communicated with you regarding this issue because the School District has not (as yet) called for the recount. The ball is in their capable hands and they will notify the counties (Boulder, Broomfield, Larimer, and Weld) in the required time frame. As noted, St. Vrain Valley extends into four counties so this recount has and will continue to require coordination between the District and the involved County Clerks. The District, not the Secretary of State nor the County Clerks, must call for the recount.

As prescribed in 1-10.5-107 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, when the recount is called by St. Vrain, we will notify the representative Canvass Boarad members and the hands-on workers. Because of Boulder County's paper ballot system, it will be necessary for the participating Canvass members to work full 8-hour shifts to accomplish the recount of the St. Vrain issue. All absentee, early voting, provisional, and duplicated ballots will need to be counted as well as the issue on all precincts containing the District's ballots.

The recount will be conducted per instructions from the Secretary of State, the statutes, and the Rules related to our voting system. The recount shall be completed on or before the December 10th statutory deadline. Only the St. Vrain issue will be counted.

Nancy Wurl

Friday, November 19, 2004

It's not over in Boulder County

Boulder County’s Canvass Board arrived at a split decision regarding approval of the canvass of election results. The board’s report is attached.

Now, according to the Colorado Daily, Boulder County will conduct a recount in the St. Vrain School District contest.

The official Republican canvass board member submitted a letter to County Clerk Linda Salas asking her to verify that there will be a recount, and under what rules the recount will be conducted.

The news story suggests that the clerk is proceeding with a secret recount conducted by the administration and the vendor. This does not follow Colorado law which says that the recount will be “made by the canvass board who officiated in certifying the official abstract of votes cast.”

Also, specific provisions are written into the election rules for the equipment used by Boulder County. The news story suggests that there will be an attempt to violate these rules. For example, 14.8.3 (b) says, “Scan and resolve all recount ballots following original election procedures, including the examination of ballots (Rule 14.3; C.R.S. 1-10.5-108). Use the Audit Trail Report and original Scan Batch Reports with notes to ensure resolution action follows original resolution.” Whereas the news story quotes Jim Burrus as saying, “People from Hart will be here to set up that process so we can auto-resolve any damaged ballots that slowed us down before." While we disagree with the rule, we disagree even more with a violation of the written rules.

This recount is very important. It opens an opportunity to determine how precisely the ballots are being counted by Boulder County’s vote counting system. About ½ of one percent of all of the ballots voted in precinct were not correctly accounted for. Where did these ballots go, or come from? What happens in a recount when it is discovered that the equipment or the resolution board incorrectly interpreted the voter’s intent?

The rules are contradictory. On the one hand they say, “review the ballots to assure they were counted properly.” On the other they say, “ensure resolution action follows original resolution.” You cannot have it both ways.

We are awaiting a response to the Friday morning inquiry.

Al Kolwicz
Executive Director
Citizens for Accurate Mail Ballot Election Results


Sent: Friday, November 19, 2004 11:19 AM
Subject: Will there be a recount? If so, under what rules?

Ms. Salas,

I have read that there may be a required recount of St. Vrain.

Is this true?

If true, will the recount be conducted according to the following statute and rules?

C.R.S. 1-10.5-107. Canvass board to conduct recount.

Election Rules: 14.8 Counting of Ballots using the “Ballot Now” Voting System

Al Kolwicz
Canvass Board Member
Boulder County Republican Party


Nov 19, 2004

County readies for recount

By RICHARD VALENTY Colorado Daily Staff Writer

The Boulder County elections team completed one long, arduous election process Thursday when they sent certified results from about 160,000 ballots to the Colorado Secretary of State.
But it's back to work again Friday and next week to begin conducting Boulder County's part of a multi-county recount.

As of Wednesday, the St. Vrain School District Ballot Issue 3A tax increase proposal was trailing by 127 votes out of more than 60,000 ballots cast. Recounts can be requested if ballot issue results are closer than a 0.5 percent difference, and St. Vrain has requested a recount.

The St. Vrain district lies within parts of Boulder, Broomfield, Weld and Larimer counties, and Boulder County counted roughly 47,000 ballots with the St. Vrain issue included.

Jim Burrus, county media information officer, said the county will begin the process by locating the boxes containing paper ballots from precincts in the St. Vrain district.

"They haven't gone through and segregated the boxes yet, but they'll probably start on that tomorrow (Friday) or Monday," said Burrus.

The recount must be completed by Dec. 10, and Burrus said representatives from election system vendor Hart InterCivic will work with Boulder County to make sure the recount is done well before deadline.

County officials said the Nov. 2 general election results were released several days later than most other Colorado counties in part because some of the paper ballots were improperly printed. County high-speed scanners could not read the ballots properly, and county officials needed to individually resolve the improper ballots, slowing the process down dramatically.
Burrus said the county will be using the same ballots and the same scanners used for the general election during the recount, but will only be evaluating one question instead of the entire general election list of candidates and referenda.

"People from Hart will be here to set up that process so we can auto-resolve any damaged ballots that slowed us down before," said Burrus. "The only thing we'll need to look at is the St. Vrain question."

Meanwhile, county officials and Hart are working together to complete additional data from the general election. Burrus said Elections Manager Tom Halicki was working Thursday on compiling payroll information for some 150 people who worked on processing election results, not including precinct election judges.

Also, Burrus said Hart employees will be working on a report detailing the status of damaged ballots or ballots containing overvotes and undervotes. He said the report would contain information on how the questionable ballots were resolved, and said results could be available in "a week or two."


C.R.S. 1-10.5-107. Canvass board to conduct recount.

(1) Any county clerk and recorder or governing body required to conduct a recount shall arrange to have the recount made by the canvass board who officiated in certifying the official abstract of votes cast. If any member of the canvass board cannot participate in the recount, another person shall be appointed in the manner provided by law for appointment of the members of the original board.
(2) Any canvass board making a recount under the provisions of this section may employ assistants and clerks as necessary for the conduct of the recount.
(3) The canvass board may require the production of any documentary evidence regarding any vote cast or counted and may correct the abstract of votes cast in accordance with its findings based on the evidence presented.
(4) At the conclusion of the recount, the canvass board shall make the returns of all partisan, nonpartisan, ballot issue, and ballot question elections to the designated election official and provide a copy to the persons or groups requesting the recount or notified of the recount pursuant to sections 1-10.5-105 and 1-10.5-106. The canvass board shall meet and issue an amended abstract of votes cast for the office, ballot issue, or ballot question that is the subject of the recount and deliver it to the designated election official.
(5) The designated election official shall notify the governing body of the results of the recount.

======================== PAGE 30

14.8 Counting of Ballots using the “Ballot Now” Voting System
14.8.1 In the case of a recount, the designated election official shall identify all precincts with the contest(s) designated for a recount using the following procedures:
a. Using the Ballot Now Scanned Ballots by Precinct report from the original election database, locate the batches containing any ballot type (Election, Absentee, and Provisional) for the recount.
b. Remove ballots from each batch and label them as “Recount”.

14.8.2 Required scanner testing shall be performed using a test deck from a randomly chosen precinct with at least 50 ballots as prescribed by statute, following testing procedures outlined in the State of Colorado Procedures for the use of the Ballot Now Voting System. A Recount Test spreadsheet shall be created based on the chosen precinct in the same fashion as the ballot options test spreadsheet.
14.8.3 Ballots for the recount shall be processed following the State of Colorado Procedures for the use of the Ballot Now Voting System in conjunction with the following procedures:
a. Open Ballot Now with an unused MBB (Mobile Ballot Box) from the election and create a Ballot Now recount database;
b. Scan and resolve all recount ballots following original election procedures, including the examination of ballots (Rule 14.3; C.R.S. 1-10.5-108). Use the Audit Trail Report and original Scan Batch Reports with notes to ensure resolution action follows original resolution.
c. Save all recount CVRs (Cast Vote Records) to the MBB (Mobile Ballot Box) after verifying that the number of ballots processed matches the number of ballots cast in the recount contest(s).
d. Open a new recount election in “Tally” and process the recount MBB following the tabulation procedures above.
e. Compare recount results to original results and document any differences.
f. Backup the test database and the official recount database following the “Archive” procedures.

14.3 The purpose of a recount is to review the ballots to assure they were counted properly. Unless directed otherwise by the Secretary of State, all procedures of election night shall be followed as closely as possible during the recount, including an examination of the ballots.


C.R.S. 1-10.5-108. Method of recount.

(1) The recount shall be of the ballots cast, and the votes shall be recorded on sheets other than those used at the election.

(2) Unless otherwise directed by the secretary of state, the ballots cast shall be recounted utilizing the same procedures, methods, and processes that were utilized for the original count of the ballots cast.


Sunday, October 31, 2004

Is Boulder County violating election laws?

Boulder County’s new vote counting system consists of 8 systems used to scan ballots, interpret the voter’s intent, and export the votes to portable media. One additional system is used to import the votes from the portable media and calculate the election results.

Each of the 9 systems can be easily modified by keyboard input or by loading data into the computer. Data include computer programs, files that define the election to the system, and files for storing scanned images of each ballot and the votes that were interpreted from each ballot. The smallest change in any of these elements can result in undesirable side effects.

By law, before and after a system is used for processing live ballots, the system must be tested. Colorado statute C.R.S. 1-7-506 says, “The designated election official shall have the electronic vote-counting equipment tested at each counting center in the manner prescribed in this section to ascertain that it will accurately count the votes cast for all offices and ballot issues. The electronic equipment shall be tested at least three times, once on the day before the election, again just prior to the start of the count on election day, and finally at the conclusion of the counting.”

Also, whenever maintenance is performed on a system, the system must be tested. Colorado statute C.R.S. 1-7-506.5 says, “The tests shall be sufficient to determine that the system is properly programmed, the election is correctly defined on the system, and all of the input, output, and communication devices are working properly.”

Boulder County is violating both of these laws. They have not performed the tests required by C.R.S. 1-7-506, and they have not performed the tests required by C.R.S. 1-7-506.5.

A set of test ballots was prepared by the political parties. The vote counting system failed to correctly count the test votes.

After days of secret discussions, Boulder County Clerk Linda Salas made an unbelievable decision. She decided to make changes to the systems and, without testing the modified systems, she began processing early and absentee ballots. After processing thousands of ballots, she decided to perform maintenance on the systems and, again without testing, resumed processing the real ballots. Not one of the required tests was performed.

Salas turned down requests by the Republicans to test the systems being used to process the real ballots. Republicans are not satisfied running tests on systems other than the ones actually doing the processing of the real ballots.

Republican Party representative Al Kolwicz is horrified saying, “Ms. Salas is being irresponsibly reckless with our votes. She is breaking the law. Anybody with a tiny bit of common sense would test these systems before using them to process real ballots.”

An election complaint has been filed with the Secretary of State.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Colorado’s voting system has crashed.

Colorado’s voting system has crashed.
  • The Secretary of State’s office is operating as a shield that protects election officials and hardware suppliers.
  • The Legislature is totally ignored – as if it never existed.
  • The Courts are refusing to find election officials guilty of violations – no matter how flagrant.
  • The Political Parties have been neutered, and are no longer providing independent oversight of elections.
  • There is no accountability, no security, no verifiability, and no rule of law.
If you had fleeting hope for a trustworthy election – I suggest that you forget it.

Read the email below if you are can stand it. Basically, Boulder County has started the vote counting process using equipment with many known defects. Officials are abusing their positions to cover up their bad decision to purchase HART InterCivic vote counting equipment – despite intense citizen pressure against doing so.

For refusing to perform their duties to protect our election, shame on Boulder County’s Commissioners, the Boulder County Clerk, and the Secretary of State – shame, shame, shame.

Al Kolwicz


Sent BY FAX: 303-869-4861

Dear Secretary Davidson,

Boulder County is violating C.R.S. 1-7-506. Electronic vote-counting – test, and Colorado Election Rules 11.4.5(b and c), and 27.3.3(b).

After terminating an unsuccessful part 1 of the Logic and Accuracy Test, Boulder County:
  1. has not corrected the cause of discrepancies,
  2. has performed maintenance on the equipment,
  3. has augmented the test deck without political party oversight, and
  4. has violated the county’s own plan for testing the electronic vote counting equipment.
Scanning has commenced before the second part of the LAT has been run.

Problems discovered during part 1 have been documented and filed with the Boulder County Clerk Salas.

When I discussed this with Clerk Linda Salas, this afternoon, she told me that they were going to run the second part of the LAT on Election Day. If in fact the logic and accuracy test is testing the actual vote counting system, and not a fake vote counting system, then it will be impossible to run part 2 of the LAT.

What shall we do to ensure that the vote counting system is correctly counting votes?

Al Kolwicz

Boulder County Republican Party
Election Representative

Friday, October 22, 2004

Suit filed to protect secret ballot

Voters file suit over privacy,1713,BDC_16316_3273101,00.html

A non-partisan group of public-spirited voters has filed suit to protect the secret ballot.

Despite months of objections by voters, Boulder County has refused to comply with the Colorado Constitution. The Constitution strictly provides that “no ballots shall be marked in any way whereby the ballot can be identified as the ballot of the person casting it.”

Contrary to the law, every Boulder County ballot contains a unique serial number. The number can be recorded by the voter or somebody can compile a list of who voted which ballot.

A scanned image of every ballot is recorded in computer files including offsite backup files. Someone with access to the physical ballots, or the computer files, can see the votes and the serial number.

Valuable computer files have been “stolen” from "almost secure" places like Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Given a list of who voted which ballot and access to a computer file of ballot images, it is an easy task to know how a particular voter voted.

There is a market for this information. Knowledge of how a voter voted can facilitate vote selling and voter intimidation. Knowledge of how lots of voters voted can facilitate highly valuable demographic information linked to voter choices. Additionally, courts might demand access to a voter’s ballot.

The suit asks the court to issue an order requiring Boulder County to comply with the secret ballot provisions of the law. The co-plaintiffs believe that the Colorado Constitution strictly provides that “no ballots shall be marked in any way whereby the ballot can be identified as the ballot of the person casting it.”

A hearing is scheduled in Boulder for Monday, October 25th at 1:30 PM, and will be presided over by Honorable Morris W. Sandstead Jr.

Students registered without ID will be permitted to vote using honor system


Colo. limits number of poll watchers,1713,BDC_16316_3272984,00.html


Thursday, October 21, 2004

County Republicans file complaint with SOS

Boulder County Republicans filed the following complaint with Colorado Secretary of State Donetta Davidson.


Boulder County Republican Party
Designated Election Representative
2867 Tincup Circle
Boulder, CO 80305

October 20, 2004

Ms. Donetta Davidson BY FAX: 303-869-4861
Secretary of State
1560 Broadway, Suite 200
Denver, CO 80202

REF: Boulder County - Instructions to political parties – October 9, 2004
Boulder County - Logic & Accuracy Test instructions – October 9, 2004
Boulder County - Canvass instructions –October 9, 2004
Boulder County Republicans - Response to Salas – October 10, 2004
Boulder County Republicans - Test objectives – October 20, 2004
Logic & Accuracy Test - part1 – October 20, 2004

Dear Secretary Davidson:

This is a formal complaint regarding the conduct of today’s Logic & Accuracy Test – part1.

Because the next stage of this Logic and Accuracy Test is scheduled for Friday, October 22nd, we request immediate and independent investigation of this complaint. For your information, there were two non-Republican poll watcher witnesses to today’s activities.

The Boulder County Republican Party and the Boulder County Clerk & Recorder fundamentally disagree on the meaning of:

CRS 1-7-506. Electronic vote-counting – test.

(1) (a) The designated election official shall have the electronic vote-counting equipment tested at each counting center in the manner prescribed in this section to ascertain that it will accurately count the votes cast for all offices and ballot issues. (Emphasis added).

This disagreement has made it impossible for the Boulder County Republican Party to comply with its duty under that same section:

(2) The designated election official shall give to the county chairpersons of the major political parties or their official representatives and to the county chairperson or official representative of any minor political party who notifies the designated election official no less than sixty days before the election of the party's desire to participate in the testing, at least twenty-five official ballots that are clearly marked as test ballots. The county chairpersons or their official representatives shall secretly vote the test ballots and retain a record of the test votes. (Emphasis added).

For several months, the Boulder County Republican Party has attempted, in good faith, to engage the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder, Linda Salas, in a meaningful negotiation of Logic & Accuracy testing procedures. The clerk has not responded to our many, many attempts to develop mutually agreeable testing procedures. The Republican’s most recent attempts to communicate with the clerk are summarized in the October 10th and October 20th items referenced above.

Instead of discussing the issues with us, the clerk has unilaterally dictated unreasonable restrictions on the political parties and has turned the Logic & Accuracy Test into a pending hoax. The consequence of this hoax will be total loss of public trust in the general election results. The clerk’s directives are documented in the three October 9th items referenced above.

Proceeding under the clerk’s directive will serve no purpose, other than provide the clerk a document which could be used to communicate the false public assurance that the vote counting system has been verified by the political parties and is trustworthy.

Nothing is further from the truth. Under the procedures mandated by the clerk, this test procedure will not verify the ability of the vote counting system to correctly count votes. Furthermore, the procedure will create documentation which can be used to perpetrate a massive public deception, and humiliate the Boulder County Republican Party.

For example, of 228 precincts, the Republicans were permitted to test only 15. Of 57 ballot styles, Republicans were permitted to test only 15. At least one ballot style includes five ballot-faces, and Republicans were not permitted to test any ballot with five ballot faces. [These facts are relevant because Boulder County printed and distributed sample ballots that contained the wrong candidates for the U. S. 4th Congressional race, demonstrating that errors in fact do happen with this system.]

By working within the clerk’s mandated procedures, instead of our test development tools (which we were prohibited from using), we made several errors in creating our test. We did not document the number of over and under votes by contest by precinct by voting method. We did not distinguish between “voter intent” and “vote counting experiment expected outcome”. We did not summarize votes by contestant by precinct by voting method, as are reflected in the results of the election. While not explicitly required by the law, these data are required to verify the accurate count of votes. The clerk denied our request for photocopies of the voted test ballots.

We have documented evidence that the Boulder County vote counting system tested by the primary election Logic & Accuracy Test was not the same as the vote counting system used to count the live votes. Votes are interpreted differently by the real system and this fact is hidden from test personnel by the clerk’s procedure.

The vote counting system does not comply with Rule 27 - Rules Concerning Uniform Ballot Counting Standards.

We can find no legal basis, and no professional basis, for the procedures dictated by the clerk. In fact, we believe the procedures do not comply with the law and know that the procedures violate professional testing standards. We believe that the procedures will guarantee creation and execution of phony tests that are totally inadequate to ascertain that [the voting system] will accurately count the votes cast for all offices and ballot issues. [CRS 1-7-506]

If the Republican Party does not comply with the clerk’s unilateral dictates, the Republican Party will not be permitted to perform its legally mandated public oversight responsibility. [CRS 1-7-506] Furthermore, the clerk has demonstrated a propensity to demagogue such a refusal by the Party, and to intimidate the Party and their representatives by calling upon the County Sheriff and the District Attorney. The only way for the Republican Party to participate in the test is for the Republican Party to agree to engage in this repugnant public deception.

The clerk is abusing her position of public trust by refusing to permit effective oversight of the vote counting system, and as a consequence the clerk is interfering with the conduct of this election.

The clerk is forcing the Republican Party to choose between (1) aiding the clerk to perpetuate a hoax upon the public, and (2) withdrawing from performing the Party’s legally mandated election oversight responsibility.

In addition to the above, the clerk authorized a Libertarian Party candidate to mark test ballots. Since candidates may not serve as watchers, we question the suitability of a candidate to mark test ballots. Also, Green Party representatives were denied their request to mark test ballots. [The Republican Party permitted the Green Party representatives to suggest a few tests which the Republican Representative marked onto some Republican test ballots.] Test participants were required to choose between (1) refusing to sign, (2) waiting around with nothing to do for an additional two hours, or (3) committing possible perjury by falsely signing a seal log.

Investigators should be advised that this complaint is associated with four unresolved election complaints:

  1. July 28, 2004 – Multiple items including: non-secret ballot, no poll book, negligence in providing timely data, denial of access to independent oversight
  2. August 27, 2004 – Falsification of canvass report.
  3. September 8, 2004 – Colorado Open Records Request
  4. September 13, 2004 – Decertification of HART InterCivic vote counting equipment.

We depend on your urgent attention to this complaint.


Al Kolwicz
Boulder County Republican Party
Official Election Representative


Linda Salas, Boulder County Clerk & Recorder
David Leeds, Chair, Boulder County Republican Party
Ted Halaby, Chair, Colorado Republican Party
Scott Russell, Political Director, Colorado Republican Party
Senate President, John Andrews, Colorado Senate
Robert J. Corry, Jr., Esq., Law firm of Corry and Fellows, LLP

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Principal functions of an election system

Principal functions of an election system



Refer to October 16, 2004 - Voting System Standard needs work.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Clerk interferes with election


Release: October 17, 2004
Contact: Al Kolwicz, Election Representative 303-494-1540

Clerk interferes with election

Just before the August primary, Boulder County Republicans (BCR) were prevented from using real-life test ballots to test the county’s new vote counting system. Since then, BCR has tried to work out a plan with Clerk & Recorder, Linda Salas, so that similar problems will not interfere with the November election.

It appears that there will be no such agreement. On October 9th, Salas issued a directive to the political parties which, according to the Republicans, violates and oversteps the law, and prohibits a meaningful test of the counting system. On October 10th, the BCR challenged the directive.

According to Al Kolwicz, the official Republican representative for 2004 elections, “Salas has not provided the data needed to conduct the logic & accuracy test, and has not responded to BCR’s October 10th challenges of her directive.”

Logic & accuracy tests are supposed to prove that votes are counted according to the law. Salas has refused to provide a specification of what constitutes a vote that will be counted. Federal and State laws attempt to make sure that the voter’s intent is honored when votes are interpreted, and that votes are interpreted consistently. Without a written guideline, or specification, a vote might be counted on Monday, but rejected on Tuesday – counted in the original count, but rejected in a recount.

Salas has refused to permit BCR to verify that the votes on a particular ballot are interpreted and counted correctly. “One might call this”, says Kolwicz, “a things will average out philosophy.” This is not what the law requires. Each and every vote must be interpreted and counted correctly.

The clerk has decreed that the political parties must provide two persons to work on the logic and accuracy test. The law does not require this, and the clerk has not answered BCR’s question as to why two persons are required. Could it be that the Salas is trying to neutralize Kolwicz?

Salas has decreed that the ballots must be developed and marked at the clerk’s office, without the use of any computer assistance. BCR testers use computer software to design and check out their test cases.

The clerk has decreed that there will be only 25 test ballots per political party. Considering that there are 228 precincts, ____ ballot styles, and five ways to vote, the 25 ballot limitation makes a hoax out of the logic & accuracy test.

“More to the point,” says Kolwicz, “the clerk’s decrees are not legal. She is interfering with the legal rights of the political parties to verify that the vote counting system correctly interprets and counts every vote.

The two representatives from the parties, and the jurisdiction representatives, will meet in the Election’s office on October 20th at 10:00 a.m. Each party and jurisdiction will be presented with 25 ballots, which they will be required to vote on-site.

Members of the general public will not be allowed into the room where the test decks are being scanned. Only properly designated members of the political parties and the local jurisdictions will be allowed to attend.

Strict reading of the clerk’s directive suggests that poll watchers, the press, and video recorders will be prohibited from observing the test preparation.

* * * END * * *

Sunday, October 17, 2004

More problems than voter registration

NEWS RELEASE -- October 17, 2004
Contact: Al Kolwicz, Executive Director 303-494-1540

More problems than voter registration

The public has learned that Colorado’s voter registration process and its voter registration files have been spoiled due to lax voter registration standards and negligent compliance with Colorado laws. See October 13 list of questions. While major, these are not the only problems.

Besides registration, other complaints have been filed with County Clerks and Secretary of State, Donetta Davidson, and have not been resolved. For example, in Boulder County:
  1. In violation of the Colorado Constitution, voters are forced to use a non-secret ballot.
  2. New vote counting equipment does not count votes correctly.
  3. In cooperation with the Secretary, the county has silenced legally appointed political party representatives who attempted to document and disclose problems.

Election complaints have been buried in a morass of bureaucratic stalling, mumbo-jumbo, and non-response. The Boulder County examples listed above are very serious, and have gone unresolved for more than two months. No public hearing has been held.

Poll watchers are being denied access to the data needed to challenge ineligible voters, to monitor ballot security, and to verify that every vote is correctly counted. Colorado Open Records Act requests have been stalled and denied, and clerks and the Secretary are covering up problems and refusing to produce the data needed to detect them.

Also, no independent entity has the responsibility to protect the people’s right to a trustworthy election. Complaints that are filed against the clerk or the Secretary are reviewed and decided by the clerk or the Secretary. They serve as defendant, judge and jury and operate above the law.

Attorney General Ken Salazar does not protect the people’s rights. He says that his job is to protect the Secretary of State. County Attorneys say it their job to protect the county clerks. The Secretary of State covers up for county clerks and the clerks protect the Secretary of State.

The courts do not help. Judges do not like to interfere with elected officials in an independent arm of government. People detecting the problems do not have the resources to bring charges, and campaigns do not wish to appear to be cry-babies.

To salvage this election requires that officials acknowledge the problems and take immediate and aggressive action. CAMBER suggests twelve things that can be done.


To salvage the November election, several things can be done:

  1. Authorize a $100.00 bounty for each ineligible elector and each violation.
  2. Issue an order reminding election officials they’ll be held accountable for errors and fraud, and violations of the law – including violations committed by officials.
  3. Governor, Senate President, and House Speaker appoint a competent independent oversight body with authority to receive and log, publish and resolve all election complaints. Encourage submission of problems.
  4. Secretary of State issue an order prohibiting absentee ballot “duly authorized agents” from collecting absentee ballots.
  5. Do not open any provisional ballot until (a) all provisional ballot envelopes in the State have been qualified and (b) the ID of all qualified provisional voters have been entered into a statewide database, and (c) the complete list of provisional ballot voters has been searched and duplicate provisional ballot voters have been identified.
  6. Do not open any absentee ballots until after all provisional and in-person ballots have been counted. An in-person or provisional ballot must cancel an absentee ballot.
  7. Do not use any DRE voting equipment. These machines are not verifiable, cannot be recounted or challenged, and do not have the trust of those who understand the risks of voting using these machines. Print additional paper ballots to be used instead of DRE voting equipment.
  8. Do not use any vote-counting equipment that does not produce a verifiable record of votes. To verify a record of votes from a ballot requires the ability to compare each record of votes from a ballot with the original ballot. Instead, hand count votes using a standard process and form.
  9. Open all election processes to poll watchers. Encourage as much transparency as possible, short of interfering with election judges and workers. Provide up-to-date copies of computer files and access to poll books, ballot stubs, ballot controls, batch controls, absentee and provisional ballot qualification processes, and vote counting.
  10. Document and enforce strict canvassing procedures.
  11. Document and enforce strict and meaningful logic and accuracy testing procedures.
  12. Fund and authorize a full scale, independent, statewide post-election study of Colorado’s election process using the November 2004 election data, procedures, systems, and complaints.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Voting System Standard needs work

My IEEE P1583 Voting System Standards friends at,

In my professional opinion, it will take much more time and effort to try to live with this poor specification than it will to fix it before it is released.

What the document needs is an abstract architecture of a voting system, a tight set of requirements for every element, a specification of primitive functions, a set of metrics, and a set of acceptable methods to prove compliance.

The document should not be wedded to any implementation. Technology evolves too quickly. The doc is currently wedded to DRE voting equipment that will by my guess be outmoded within the five to seven years it will take to repair this document once it becomes approved by the EAC, incorporated into state statutes, learned and implemented by vendors and independent testing authorities, embodied in test scripts, and so on and so on … The document is totally inadequate when it comes to paper ballots, and does not address classes of existing, new technology such as that of Vogue Election Systems. The document addresses device-level concepts rather than system level concepts. To be useful, all of the elements of the election system must interoperate and be tested as a system to prove secure, accurate and verifiable functionality.

This document, to be useful, must speak to high level rather than implementation level ideas. The architecture and primitives should be used to construct two or three reference implementations (at the high level) and include complete tests that verify each implementation.

Short of this, I believe that we will have failed.


Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Questions for Colorado Secretary of State Press Conference

Colorado Secretary of State Donetta Davidson has scheduled a press conference for October 13th. We think that the public deserves answers to the following questions:

A. It has been said by Mr. Kolwicz, Executive Director of CAMBER, that your office has created a massive opportunity for fraud, error and disenfranchisement. How do you respond to this charge?

  1. People have been registered without identification.
  2. What have you done to ensure that every registration accepted by an independent agent is delivered to the clerk? (For example, is every form serialized so that they can be tracked?)
  3. Records, needed by poll watchers to verify voter eligibility, are being withheld – such as did the voter supply ID?, where did the registration originate? (in clerk’s office, in driver’s license, by mail, by independent voter drive, etc.)
  4. Absentee ballots are being picked up by independent agents. What are you doing to ensure that every ballot picked up actually makes it into the ballot box?
  5. Since every ineligible vote cancels the vote of an eligible voter, what are you doing to protect eligible voters from being silently disenfranchised?
  6. Boulder County is using a non-secret ballot. How do you explain this clear violation of the Colorado Constitution? (Every ballot contains a unique, non-removable serial number, and every cast ballot is scanned into a ballot image file that could be looked at or stolen by insiders or hackers.)

B. What have you done to ensure that only U.S. citizens are registered to vote? How many non-citizens does your office estimate are registered to vote in Colorado? If you do not know, who is supposed to know this?

C. In addition to the voter registration problems, what other problems have been brought to your attention, and what are you doing about them?

  1. Boulder County threatened criminal charges against a legally appointed representative of a political party because he refused to falsify test data. The District Attorney found no basis for these charges.
  2. Why did you approve Boulder County’s falsification of the Primary election Canvass board results. The County created a document which did not represent the opinion of the Republican Party and you accepted it. Why?

E. You recently signed a multi-million dollar contract with Accenture to develop a statewide voter registration system. Are the registration system problems we are discussing here today solved by the new system, and how can people verify that these problems are resolved?

  1. Why was Accenture selected, considering that they are in multi-million dollar disputes with other governments for non-performance? Considering that they were associated with the ENRON scandal?
  2. Why was the contract developed and negotiated in secret?
  3. Why have responses to Open Records Requests for information about the contract been delayed?
  4. How much money will this system cost? Does Colorado own the results of the work? Will all of the data contained in the new voter registration system public, and will poll watchers and researchers be able to gain access to ALL of the data? Currently, Counties have refused these requests claiming that the data is proprietary information belonging to the Vendor.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Group asks to observe emergency meeting

Secretary Davidson:

We would like to observe the emergency meeting you described in the Denver Post article of October 10.

6,000 felons on voter lists,1413,36~23827~2457832,00.html?search=filter

Move to purge felons from voter rolls,1413,36~64~2460975,00.html?search=filter

More weaknesses in state's voting system,1413,36~73~2461251,00.html#

Felons will get to cast special ballot,1413,36~64~2461551,00.html#

In addition to felons, we hope that you will also discuss how clerks are planning to implement the laws regarding citizenship, and any other voter eligibility requirements.

We believe that clerks have inappropriately accepted recent registrations with no voter Identification. Consequently, verifying the eligibility of voters when they are issued a ballot is vital. Therefore, at the emergency meeting, we ask that you also discuss how watchers will be provided with the information that they need to challenge ineligible voters. Boulder County has told us that watchers may not see if a person requesting a ballot had provided Identification when they registered, and where the person’s registration came from (e.g. drivers license, elections office, authorized voter drive by source, etc.).

Please notify us when and where this emergency meeting will take place so that we can observe.

Thank you for your prompt reply.

Al Kolwicz
Executive Director

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Colorado - 6,000 felons on voter lists

Check out the front page of today’s Denver Post. Colorado’s Secretary of State and County Clerks have made no attempt to enforce voter registration rules. Who knows how many ineligible people are registered to vote?

This is yet another illustration that election officials are not protecting our votes. Registration office rumors say that officials are registering people who have provided no identification. It’s also reported that nobody is checking to ensure that registrants are citizens.

Every ineligible elector that votes cancels the vote of an eligible elector.

We cannot trust officials. We must protect our own votes. Voters must volunteer to serve as poll watchers during the absentee, early, provisional and vote counting processes. Political parties must appoint knowledgeable people to conduct the Logic & Accuracy testing, and serve on the Canvass Board.

We can trust election results ONLY after we verify them.

To read the article online, click:,1413,36~64~2457832,00.html#

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Boulder County violating Colorado Open Records Act

Boulder County is working hard to prevent the Boulder County Republican party from checking the new HART InterCivic vote counting system.

The Colorado Open Records Act requires that public records be made available to the public. This protects the public from officials who would hide public information in order to cover up errors or wrongdoing.

Republicans want to access the August Primary computer files needed to verify that votes were correctly interpreted and counted.

Independently, a local computer consultant and member of Citizens for Verifiable Voting, Paul Walmsley has made repeated offers to the County Commissioners and the County Clerk, to check the new equipment using statistical sampling. The commissioners and the clerk have repeatedly refused his offer.

The Republicans made their request on September 8th and the law requires that the county comply within three days.

“The clerk has offered a series of bogus arguments to avoid compliance with our request,” said Al Kolwicz who is representing the Boulder County Republicans on election matters.

The clerk has claimed that the files are company confidential information belonging to HART InterCivic. The clerk made a similar claim in 2001 when it tried to block public access to the files stored in Diebold equipment. Diebold corporate attorneys finally agreed that the records were not Diebold proprietary information.

The clerk claims that exporting a flat file of vote records would disclose the HART table structures. The GOP says that this is not true. It is common practice to export flat files in order to protect confidential data structures.

The clerk and the Secretary of State argue that a court order is required to access “voted ballots.” But in fact the law is explicit and uses the term “voted ballots” to refer to the paper ballots marked by the voter.

Republicans do not want access to the paper ballots. They want access to the file of scanned ballot images, and the file of interpreted votes from each ballot image – to ensure that each vote is correctly interpreted.

The party today sent the clerk another (the fourth) appeal that the clerk follow the law and provide the records.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Colorado election system is out of control

No matter how bad things seem, it only takes a short visit to the Secretary of State’s office to discover that things are really far worse than they first appeared.

The Rules Change meeting gave each speaker 5 minutes – not even enough time to list the names of the problems. About 200 letters and e-mails were submitted regarding the proposed changes. The proposed revised rules are at

The hearing gave the Secretary of State the opportunity to drop another bomb. She is going to allow people to vote AFTER Election Day. This is outrageous.

Our September 27 objections and our September 30 supplemental objections are below.

The Colorado election system is out of control.


September 27, 2004

We just discovered that the Secretary of State is making election rules changes on September 30th.

Some of the planned modifications are objectionable. For example, the proposed rules authorize voting by FAX machine (rule 25).

  1. In our quick reading of the Statutes, we found no Colorado Statute authorizing voting by FAX machine.
  2. The rule does not address the federal statement, “Faxing may be an option, but the ballot must be mailed as well.” How does this work with a recount?

Some of these rules are inadequate. For example the rules for RECOUNT:

  1. The proposed recount rule (14.3) does not start the recount at the raw cast ballots (including absentee and provisional envelopes). This means that ballot qualification errors will not be detected.
  2. The proposed recount rules (14.4.4) appear to transfer the statutory authority for conducting the recount from the canvass board to the Secretary of State.
  3. The proposed recount rules (14.5.4) require that paper ballots be RE-counted in groups of 25 (GOOD) but the rules do not require that the original count be done in batches of 25 (BAD). The consequence is that there is no way to verify batch counts.
  4. The proposed recount rule (14.5.5) for how counts are recorded is incomplete and inadequate.
  5. The proposed recount rule (14.7) for re-counting optically scanned ballots does not require that the votes counted for each ballot image be verifiable against the original ballot.
  6. The proposed recount of Ballot Now equipment does not require a verifiable vote record, and does not prescribe statistical sampling.
  7. The rules for recount of Direct Record Electronic voting equipment are missing.

And the rules for WATCHERS:

  1. Fail to provide process-specifications and process-training for watchers.
  2. Fail to require that all processes be identified, and that a schedule of operation for every process be published in advance of the election.
  3. Fail to address the rights of watchers to actually read what is happening.
  4. Fail to permit multiple watchers for the same candidate as long as the watchers are observing different processes.
  5. Fails to require that all electronic data be instantly available to watchers – such as electronic poll books and vote interpretation records and electronic voter registration books.
  6. Fails to require that all election workers be identified with a badge containing very legible badge identification of their role, who they represent, and their name/number.

Some rules are missing:

  1. There is no rule requiring that the version of each piece of equipment and software (including operating system, PROM, and utility applications) be verifiable.
  2. There is no rule requiring that the certification documentation be available.
  3. There are no rules regarding the operation of the canvass board.
  4. There are no rules regarding the conduct of the Logic and Accuracy Test.
  5. There are no rules describing what happens when an error/deviation is detected – for example absentee ballots that were erroneously not counted.
  6. There is no rule creating an independent oversight of issues where the Secretary of State or a County Clerk is the subject of the complaint.

September 30th is an inappropriate time for the Secretary of state to be conducting a rulemaking hearing on a 100 page document. Is it intended that these changes would be retroactive to the November 2004 election?

What process will be used to reconcile the differences between the proposed changes and the problems and omissions that we have outlined above?

Thank you for your prompt reply.


September 30, 2004

This is a supplement to our September 27th objection to the proposed Election Rules.

1. The Rules do not prohibit the use of non-secret ballots. As you know, Boulder County is requiring voters to vote using a non secret ballot. This violates the Colorado Constitution, Article VII, Section 8, and several Colorado statutes. We believe it is the duty of the Secretary of State to promulgate rules that follow the law. These rules do not do so. Please make revisions to secure voter’s right to vote using a secret ballot.

2. At your suggestion, we have reviewed C.R.S. 1-8-103.5(2a), and found the following:

(2) (a) The eligible elector may return the voted ballot to the designated or coordinated election official by electronic transfer. In order to be counted, the returned ballot shall be received in the office of the designated or coordinated election official by 7 p.m. on election day. Once the ballot is received by the designated or coordinated election official, a bipartisan team of judges shall duplicate the ballot, and the ballot shall be counted as all other absentee ballots. Duplicating judges shall not reveal how the elector has cast his or her ballot.

The term “electronic transfer” was meant to mean “secure electronic transfer” as in the transfer of cash using encrypted telecommunications within the banking industry. As you know, the plan for Internet voting, to which this paragraph originally applied, was cancelled because it was not secure.

It was never intended that the term would refer to totally insecure FAX transfers of voted ballots. Using your liberal interpretation, a touch-tone telephone application would be permitted, and I think you know that this is not true.

The Boulder County ballot is said to be 11” X 17”. Many FAX machines do not accommodate this form-factor.

Rule 25 must not permit the transmission of voted absentee ballots using insecure FAX transmission.

3. We are extremely distressed to hear you announce that you intend to count votes on absentee ballots cast after Election Day but received before 10 days after Election Day. Was this disclosed in the draft rules?

Post-election-day voting must not be permitted because it would open a new opportunity for fraud. Qualified voters could obtain an absentee ballot and hold it until Election Day has passed. They can then sell this ballot to the highest bidder. Bidders would know whether it is worth buying, because the preliminary election results would have been announced before the bidder commits funds.

Colorado law is designed to ensure that no voter has the opportunity to know the preliminary results of an election before the voter casts their ballot. Your proposed rule would violate the letter and spirit of the law.

One possible way to remedy the problem would be to delay counting all ballots until after the last day that a ballot can be legally cast.

We hope that you will take these and our earlier comments seriously. We are very concerned that Colorado’s election system is out of control.

Al Kolwicz
Executive Director

Monday, September 27, 2004

Do you want to win this election? Stop lost votes!

There are two distinct types of poll watching: (1) get out the votes, and (2) stop lost votes. Simply getting your voters to the polls will not win an election. It is also necessary to organize the oversight needed to make sure that ALL of the votes that you get are accurately counted, and NONE of your opponent’s votes come from errors or fraud.

Errors can be (1) simple mistakes or they can be (2) arbitrary interpretations of potentially ambiguous situations or (3) arbitrary actions taken when there is a choice. An ambiguous signature can be accepted by an election official – if the signature is of a voter who is of the same affiliation as the person making the judgment. The same signature can be rejected if it is for a voter of the opposite party. Rules for voter ID can be strictly or loosely enforced to fit the interests of the judge. And the judge might not even know that this is what they are doing. There are many examples of where these situations come up in an election. Only by keeping your eyes and ears on the election processes can these lost votes be prevented.

The first thing to know is that most County Clerks and their elections manager are seeking a different objective than are the voters and the candidates. They want a smooth election that requires minimum time and effort, and that lays no blame at their feet. They are shielded by the Secretary of state, the Attorney General, and the courts. They hire temporary workers who do exactly as they are told – who exercise NO independent judgment. They also hire and train the judges who also do exactly what they are told and exercise ALMOST NO independent judgment. The officials work to hide problems and bury complaints and complainers. The officials want everything done in secret.

Voters, candidates, and issue committees (at least the honest ones) want en election whose outcome they can trust. This requires that the election be secure, accurate and verifiable. These people want everything done in the open.

Many election contestants are vaguely familiar with the role of the poll watchers who work in the precinct. These watchers are appointed by the contestants and have traditionally served to GET OUT THE VOTE. Voter ID requirements, as well as early, absentee and provisional voting and late voter-registration file updates create a situation inside the precincts where things can go wrong. Votes can be lost or overridden. A knowing set of eyes and ears can challenge and prevent these losses. Even one or two votes at each of hundreds of polling places add up.

Most election contestants are not familiar with the other role of the poll watcher – STOP LOST VOTES. Colorado law has created several mechanisms for independent oversight. All of them should be used to the benefit of the Party and the Candidates and Issue Committees. These mechanisms must be staffed with trained and skilled workers. If the party and/or contestants fail to appoint people to serve, then either (1) the clerk will appoint someone to fill the position (bad) or (2) the position will be left unfilled (bad).

It is possible to prevent the loss of hundreds, perhaps thousands of votes by effective central poll watching. The key positions are canvass board, logic and accuracy test, and centralized-election- processes. A summary of each follows:
  1. Canvass board – appointed by each major political county party. Duties are prescribed by law and are to verify that the number of ballots counted does not exceed the number of ballots cast, and to verify the accuracy of the (count) abstract of votes. The canvass board is in charge of any recount. Canvass members require knowledge of the law, the county election system, and basic auditing techniques. In the case of a recount the members must know (or learn quickly) a lot about the various ballots and the Colorado statutes.
  2. Logic and Accuracy Test – appointed by each major political county party. Create test ballots and calculate the number of votes, under votes, and over votes for each race/candidate. Approve the vote counting system – after verifying that it works correctly. This is tricky and requires technical know-how.
  3. Centralized-election-process poll watchers – these folks are appointed by the county parties and by the individual candidates and issue races. There can be a lot of watchers, and there are awkward rules that must be followed. The clerks will attempt to be difficult. There are many processes that take place in multiple places over a period of about six weeks. Somebody should to be “watching” everything all of the time. Multiple processes can be going on at the same time.

    a. Master ballot preparation
    b. Central ballot control
    c. Voter registration
    d. Absentee voting
    ... i. Absentee ballot application and fulfillment including post office
    ... ii. Absentee ballot qualification including voter ID and signature verification
    ... iii. Absentee ballot poll book administration
    ... iv. Absentee ballot opening, verification of correct ballot, and batching
    e. Early voting
    ... i. Early ballot voter authentication, eligibility verification, and ballot issuance
    ... ii. Early ballot poll book administration
    f. Emergency ballot application and issuance
    g. Provisional voting
    ... i. Provisional ballot qualification including voter eligibility authentication, signature verification, and proper forms completion
    ... ii. Provisional ballot opening, verification of correct ballot, and batching
    ... iii. Provisional ballot poll book administration
    h. Duplication board
    i. Vote interpretation and counting
    ... i. Precinct ballot
    ... ii. Early ballot
    ... iii. Absentee ballot
    ... iv. Provisional ballot
    ... v. Emergency ballot
    ... vi. Duplicated ballot
    j. Consolidated reporting

    Getting out your vote is not enough. You must also work to staff the independent oversight positions with skilled people. Watchers can make sure that every voter you bring to the polls will have their vote accurately counted and that no ineligible votes will override one of your good votes.

    Remember, to overcome an overridden vote requires that you get out TWO votes – your original vote (that was overridden) and the replacement vote you need to win the race.

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

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Use a provisional ballot instead of a DRE

Pete Klammer and I have had extensive offline discussions on the topic of provisional vs. absentee ballots for DRE voting situations.

Pete has definitely convinced me that voters in DRE situations should use a provisional ballot instead of a DRE. We verified with the Secretary of State that voters have this right (see below).

Pete has done an excellent job of analysis, and his arguments are solid. He plans to publish them for all to see.

Al Kolwicz
Citizens for Accurate Mail Ballot Election Results

From: Bill Compton [mailto:Bill.Compton@SOS.STATE.CO.US]
Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2004 7:39 AM
Cc: Public Administration
Subject: RE: Please confirm

Dear Mr. Kolwicz:

This is to confirm that an eligible elector who does not present ID at an early or precinct voting place is legally entitled under both state and federal law to vote a provisional ballot.

Bill Compton
Director of Elections

Friday, September 17, 2004

GOP appeals its rejected election complaint


The Boulder County Clerk dismissed the legally appointed Republican representative from the canvass board and appointed her own “Republican representatives”.

The Boulder County Republican party filed a complaint with the Secretary of State, August 27th. The Secretary of State rejected the election complaint, September 9th.

Boulder County Republicans filed a formal appeal of the Secretary of State’s ruling. The Republican Party does not believe that the law permits county clerks to unilaterally dismiss legally appointed political party representatives. The canvass board is a part of the checks and balances which are intended to protect elections from error and fraud. Members are appointed by each of the major political parties to ensure independent verification of election results.

Boulder County Republicans had a similar problem with Boulder County in 2002.

Al Kolwicz, the dismissed canvass board member said, “The Secretary of State's office is collaborating with the Boulder County Clerk to deprive voters of trustworthy elections.”

In part, the appeal says, “It cannot be permitted for county clerks to arbitrarily “replace” a legally appointed canvass board member because the canvass board member properly refuses to cover up missing election data and falsify a report. What has happened here is wrong, and those responsible must be removed from positions where they can do further harm to the people.”

Appeal of rejected election complaint

September 17, 2004

Ms. Donetta Davidson BY FAX: 303-869-4861
Secretary of State
1560 Broadway, Suite 200
Denver, CO 80202


Our election complaint, dated August 27, 2004
Rejection of complaint, dated September 9, 2004
Our disapproval of the Boulder County Canvass, dated August 25, 2004
Our proposal on rules, materials and methodology, dated August 20, 2004

Dear Secretary Davidson:

We believe that Mr. Compton is incorrect in his letter of September 9, 2004.

  1. There was never a vacancy that permitted the Boulder County Clerk to make a vacancy appointment. In fact the Boulder County Republican Party explicitly “declined to approve the Canvass.”
  2. The Republican representative was not asked to participate in the canvass to “certify the abstract of votes cast.” In fact the Republican representative was legally appointed according to statute, and the duties are described below:

    Duties of the canvass board. CRS 1-10-101.5.
    The canvass board shall reconcile the ballots cast in an election to confirm that the number of ballots counted in that election does not exceed the number of ballots cast in that election.

    The canvass board also shall certify the abstract of votes cast in any election.
  3. The Republican representative did not “refuse to sign off” because the “canvass was not being conducted according to [his] demands.” In fact the Republican representative “declined to approve” the canvass because the data needed to perform the duty of the canvass board was not provided, and because data needed to certify the abstract of votes are missing.
  4. There is no basis under law that would authorize a county clerk to create a vacancy because a canvass board member, while performing CRS 1-10-101.5 duties, identifies problems with the election records and refuses to approve the canvass. In fact, the Boulder County Republican Party, the voters of Boulder County, and our system of representative government have been harmed by the action of the clerk.
  5. It is not true that “reconciling the number of ballots cast in an election ... may, by necessity, be done at a later date.” In fact there is no such provision in the law.
  6. It is true that the county executive committee refused to accede to the demands of the clerk to replace the official Republican representative. The executive committee concluded that the representative was properly performing his duty.
  7. It is not true that [in order to get the canvass approved] “the county clerk and recorder [had] no alternative but to appoint another person to the canvass board pursuant to C.R.S. 1-10-101(1)(b).” In fact it was and remains the duty of the county clerk to produce a verifiable count of the ballots counted and a verifiable count of the number of ballots cast, and to produce the records needed to verify that the votes reported in the abstract of votes were correctly counted.
We disagree strongly with your assertion that “the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder acted correctly pursuant to state law, therefore, we consider the matter resolved.”

This matter is by no means resolved. As you have read above, the basis for your conclusion is entirely false. We demand a thorough investigation of this matter, and prefer that a mutually agreed to third party conduct the investigation.

It is our understanding that the duty of the Secretary of State is to oversee elections in order to ensure election integrity. We believe that the Secretary of State does not have the legal authority to cover up egregious actions and wrongdoing by local county clerks.

It cannot be permitted for county clerks to arbitrarily “replace” a legally appointed canvass broad member because the canvass board member properly refuses to cover up missing election data and falsify a report. What has happened here is wrong, and those responsible must be removed from positions where they can do further harm to the people.


AI Kolwicz
Designated Canvass Board Member
Boulder County Republican Party

David Leeds, Chair, Boulder County Republican Party
Ted Halaby, Chair, Colorado Republican Party
Scott Russell, Political Director, Colorado Republican Party
Robert J. Corry, Jr., Esq., Law firm of Corry and Fellows, LLP

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

"No," to mail-ballot-only election

Dear Boulder City Council,

We hope that you will carefully review the City’s past experience with mail-ballot-only elections. You will find that the City has documented that mail ballot elections are much more expensive than traditional precinct voting elections.

With a little effort, you will also find that mail ballot elections are not secure, not accurate, not anonymous, and not verifiable. In other words mail-ballot-only elections are not suitable for conducting public elections.

More than 60 percent of Boulder County voters recently voted against Amendment 28 which would have mandated the exclusive use of mail ballot elections. The people do not trust voting by mail ballot. Voters understand that in a traditional precinct voting election they are allowed to choose to vote early or vote by absentee ballot – at their own discretion.

Boulder voters should not be forced to vote using the defective mail-ballot-only voting system that is not secure, accurate, anonymous and verifiable, and that costs more than precinct voting, and deprives voters of their choice of which method works for them.

Elections are not about cost or convenience to election officials. They are about trustworthy results. Trustworthy results require that elections be secure, accurate, anonymous, and verifiable.

I am among the many voters who do not trust mail ballot elections. The following article from Today’s NY Times contains some thought to contemplate. There are many more.

While it is true that Council has the power to force voters to vote using mail ballots, we hope that you will not exercise this power.

Give us an election that we can trust.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Election Complaint filed against HART

Colorado Secretary of State Donetta Davidson:

This is a formal complaint against the HART InterCivic electronic vote-tabulating equipment and the HART InterCivic election administration equipment.

  1. The equipment appears to not be certified, CRS 1-5-601.5, CRS 1-5-614, CRS 1-5-615, and see attachments.
  2. The equipment relies on ballot serial numbers that violate protections given by the Colorado Constitution, Article VII, Section 8, CRS 1-5-407(7), and CRS 1-5-615(1)(a).
  3. The equipment fails to count votes correctly, CRS 1-5-615(1)(l).
  4. The equipment fails to legally treat defective and incomplete marks, CRS 1-7-508(2).
  5. The equipment contains software which enables it to use different rules for tabulating votes during the Logic & Accuracy Test from the rules used to tabulate votes during the election.
  6. The equipment fails to save and produce the records necessary to audit the system, CRS 1-5-615(1)(p).
  7. The equipment fails to provide a secure and verifiable means to reconcile the quantity of ballots produced for the election by the ballot processing method used by the voting system, CRS 1-5-407(1.6).
  8. Although we have not seen your records, we are concerned that software failures were not reported to the Secretary of State, 1-5-621(2).

In an effort to expedite a resolution of these matters, I briefly discussed the issue with Drew Durham and he recommended that I submit a formal complaint. We understand that you will investigate this complaint, CRS 1-5-621. Because this complaint is of highly technical matters, and because Secretary of State’s personnel are involved in some of the problems, we recommend appointment of a mutually agreeable third party to conduct the investigation. We are prepared to discuss details in a fair and open investigation.

Because of the nature of the problems identified above, we ask that you, as Secretary of State, immediately order Boulder County to not use ballots containing non-removable serial numbers, and to not use the HART InterCivic equipment for vote-tabulation or election administration.


Al Kolwicz
Elections Representative, Boulder County Republican Party
Eligible Elector, Boulder County, Colorado
Executive Director, CAMBER


David Leeds, Chair, Boulder County Republican Party
Bill Eckert, Vice chair, Boulder County Republican Party
Robert J. Corry, Jr., Esq., Law firm of Corry and Fellows, LLP
Drew Durham, Colorado HAVA Director


1. Follow up communications, September 10, 2004
2. Follow up communications, September 7, 2004
3. Follow up communications, September 3, 2004
4. Follow up communications, August 31, 2004
5. REQUEST procedures to consider revocation of certification, Kolwicz to Davidson, August 27, 004
6. REQUEST procedures to consider revocation of certification, Kolwicz to Davidson, August 26, 004
7. Potential certification problem with HART InterCivic in Colorado, Kolwicz to Davidson, August 10, 2004
8. Certification Notice, Kolwicz to Davidson, August 10, 2004
9. HART Certification Analysis, Kolwicz to Davidson, August 10, 2004

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Election watchdog won't face charges

Prosecutors say they don't have a good case against Kolwicz

Under pressure from election officials to charge a legally appointed election-equipment test-designer with interfering with government officials, the Boulder County District Attorney decided there is no case to prosecute.

Click to read the story,1713,BDC_16316_3167194,00.html

Friday, August 27, 2004


August 27, 2004

Ms. Donetta Davidson BY FAX: 303-869-4861
Secretary of State
1560 Broadway, Suite 200
Denver, CO 80202

Dear Secretary Davidson:

We need your help.

The Boulder County Republican Party, in accordance with CRS 1-10-101, legally appointed Al Kolwicz to serve as the sole Republican member of the Boulder County Canvass Board.

The Boulder County Clerk, Linda Salas, has selected and retained Republican and Democratic temporary workers that she claims are members of the canvass board.

We have reviewed the Colorado statutes and believe that the Boulder County Republicans did in fact make their appointment within the legal requirements of the law. Further, we do not find any provision of law that would authorize the Clerk to override our legal appointment, or to make additional Republican canvass board appointments.

We ask for your immediate clarification of this matter. If you find that our interpretation of the law is correct please consider this letter as a formal election complaint.


AI Kolwicz
Designated Canvass Board Member
Boulder County Republican Party

Cc: David Leeds, Chair, Boulder County Republican Party
Robert J. Corry, Jr., Esq., Law firm of Corry and Fellows, LLP

PRELIMINARY recommendations for improvement

The following recommendations are listed in no particular order, and are offered as suggestions to improve the process. They do not include recommendations by the other election officials.

  1. The computer systems used for the 2004 primary election should not be used for the general election unless they are first design-reviewed, repaired and certified.
  2. The procedures, forms, reports, and training used for the primary should not be used for the general election unless they are first repaired and tested.
  3. The ballot cast by voters must be 100% anonymous (secret). The counting system may record a unique identification number on the ballots AFTER they are marked, made secret and cast.
  4. All election records and computers must be secured before, during and after the election.
  5. The canvass board should have immediate access to the raw election records, not just a “touched up” version of the data.
  6. Election records should be made available to the canvass board in an electronic form suitable for importing into database and spreadsheet programs, and suitable for reviewing online.
  7. The canvass should convene before Election Day, not ten days after.
  8. Security procedures must be developed, tested and implemented before the November election. For example, computers were not functioning, software was loaded into the vote counting machine, and the Longmont facility was down, yet no record of these events was made available to the canvass board. Voting equipment is being operated by elections staff and by vendor personnel after the election, and there is no record of who is doing what or why. We are told that votes from the Longmont facility were transmitted by modem to the vote counting site, however, Logic and Accuracy Testers were assured that the votes were moved to the counting machine via MBB devices, and that no data communications or modems were involved.
  9. The counting system must be revised to collect and report proof that votes on ballots are correctly interpreted and counted.
  10. Forms, reports and training must be revised to use a common glossary. Currently different titles are used to identify the same thing, and near identical terms to identify different things.
  11. There is a question as to whether the HART system is legally qualified, certified and tested. There must be proof that voting systems are unmodified copies of certified systems.
  12. Logic & Accuracy testing must not use different procedures than the live election, and the testers should not be intimidated or removed for testing the system. When running the LAT, “under vote” decisions were made by people. However, during the live election, “under vote” decisions were made by the computer. This is an unacceptable change in procedure between the LAT and production work. We know of at least one class of ballot where the computer made an incorrect decision, and we do not know how many time this occurred. The LAT was blocked from testing the capability of the computer to consolidate votes from the seven stand-alone ballot scanning and interpretation computers. This is a fundamental function of the vote counting system and must be tested during the LAT.
  13. Boulder County has not conducted a professional acceptance test of the new voting system. Such a test, including both computers and all procedures, must be completed before the system is used again. The County failed to fulfill its public duty to protect the election when it used this system in production before verifying that it works.
  14. Boulder County must not deprive voters of a fair election.
  15. Federal and State laws protecting the interpretation of votes must be honored, and the computer must not be used to circumvent this obligation. A formal description of what constitutes a countable vote must be negotiated and published. Steps must be taken to minimize the number of situations where a vote will be treated differently based on who or what counted or rejected it.
  16. The election must be as open and transparent as permitted under the law.
  17. Watchers and media observers must not be barred from any election process with the exception of when the voter marks their ballot. Before this, ballots are unmarked and there is no risk of a secret ballot violation. After this, the marked ballots are anonymous, and again there is no risk of a secret ballot violation.
  18. The data needed by poll watchers, candidates, and the political parties must be provided when it is needed, not after it is approved by the Secretary of State.
  19. Judges, staff, and watcher procedures and training must be revised significantly and all personnel must be re-trained.
  20. We detected conditions that demonstrate that the voter registration system is insecure and inaccurate. It appears that the system cannot detect when a person registers to vote more than once. The system appears to lack data integrity controls – some of the records do not have an affiliation date, and this is needed for a Primary Election.
  21. The voter registration file used for the actual election is not the same as the file provided to the Republican Party, dated July 16, 2004 and identified as: “”*** PRIMARY CLOSE DATABASE ***”
  22. A formal chain of command must be published, and every person working on the election must be identified at all times by a tag that includes an easily readable number, a color code for the tasks the person is qualified and authorized to perform, and the person’s political party and name.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Board could not verify numbers of ballots cast and counted

Progress day-4

The canvass board was not provided with a count of ballots cast.

One Republican and two Democratic temporary workers and I attempted to tabulate the count of ballots cast for each of the three elections, Republican, Democratic and Libertarian.

The canvass board and the temporary workers failed to tabulate the count of ballots cast, as described below.

Number of ballots cast

Earlier attempts to determine the number of ballots cast by counting precinct sign-in slips failed. Sign-in slips do not accurately record the party affiliation and precinct of the voter.

Earlier attempts to determine the number of ballots cast by inspecting the signatures in the registration book failed. The registration book does not indicate to which party an unaffiliated voter affiliates. Further, the registration book does not indicate which ballot (REP, DEM, or LIB) the voter was issued.

Boulder County did not maintain a poll book, so there is no easy to use, verifiable source for the number of ballots cast.

  • CRS 1-1-104 (27) "Pollbook" means the list of eligible electors to whom ballots are delivered or who are permitted to enter a voting machine for the purpose of casting their votes at an election conducted under this code.
  • CRS 1-7-109 (1) The election judges shall keep a pollbook which shall contain one column headed "names of voters" and one column headed "number on ballot". The name and the number on the ballot of each eligible elector voting shall be entered successively under the appropriate headings in the pollbook.
  • CRS 1-8-108 The designated election official shall keep a list of names and precinct numbers of eligible electors applying for absentee ballots, together with the date on which each application was made, the date on which the absentee ballot was sent, and the date on which each absentee ballot was returned. If an absentee ballot is not returned or if it is rejected and not counted, that fact shall be noted on the list. The list is open to public inspection under proper regulations.

We are told that the Secretary of State waived some aspects of these laws for Boulder County.

To determine the number of ballots cast, we chose to find out for each election:

  1. How many ballots were printed?
  2. How many ballots were unused, replaced, or duplicated?
  3. How many absentee ballots were mailed to electors but not returned to the clerk?
  4. How many ballots (net) were cast by the voter, but were not qualified to be counted?

From these facts, the number of ballots cast might be calculated by the formula:

BALLOTS CAST = (1) – (2) – (3)

This formula is helpful because it is based on verifiable facts -- printed ballots, ballots that cannot have been cast, and absentee ballots that were verifiably sent and not returned to the clerk. All remaining ballots must have been cast and must now be in locked ballot boxes or rejected ballot stacks.

No printed-ballot control

There is no report that consolidates the number of ballots printed by election, precinct, and voting method. Such a compilation is needed to help verify that votes are counted in the correct places.

To make forward progress, we attempted to calculate/estimate the number of ballots printed for each party’s election, but we discovered that data was either missing, not verifiable, or not in a form that can be used for the canvass.

In addition, we discovered serious functional and security problems with the HART ballot printing system. Multiple ballots were printed with the identical serial number.

Separate logs of ballots printed are not linked together so it is not possible to determine if any are missing, and the log entries do not identify what type of ballot is printed (party, style, precinct, etc.). There is no summary report showing the number of ballots printed by type. The ballot numbering and tracking system is not secure or verifiable.

We also discovered a security problem with the administrative system. Some judges were directed to issue sample ballots when the stock of real ballots ran out. We are told that these sample ballots were duplicated and counted, but there is no provision for tracking the effect of these sample ballots on the accounting system.

In addition, the HART system does not provide a verifiable report of ballots that were withdrawn from the inventory. Some ballots that were printed for use in early voting were counted with the precinct ballots. Voters who applied to vote in the Republican Primary appear to have been given a ballot for the Democratic primary, or a ballot for a different precinct.

Apparent violation of Colorado statutes and constitution

Ballots used in the election were pre-printed in batches for use in precincts, and printed on demand for use in early voting. It is unclear if ballots were printed on demand or pre-printed in batches for absentee voting.

The ballots pre-printed in batches did not contain a removable stub, as required by statute. The quantity of ballots printed on demand cannot be reconciled, as required by statute.

  • CRS 1-5-407 (1.6) No ballot stub is required for a ballot produced on demand, so long as the quantity of ballots produced for the election can be reconciled by the ballot processing method used by the voting system. Such ballots may contain printed and distinguishing marks, so long as secrecy in voting is protected.

In addition, the use of ballots with non-removable serial numbers appears to violate Article VII, Section 8 of the Colorado Constitution. Secrecy in voting cannot be protected due to the “printed and distinguishing marks” called serial numbers.

Number of ballots counted

The number of ballots counted is printed on a report by the HART system. We were provided with an early version of the report, but never saw the final.

We know that there is a difference between the version of the report that we examined and the final version because at 2:45 PM the clerk announced that some additional ballots had been discovered, and had to be counted for the final report. I am unaware of any request for a Republican Party representative to observe the count.

Abstract of votes

There was no document identified as “abstract of votes”. A high level summary report and a more detailed report were offered as what might be the abstract of votes.

  • CRS 1-1-104 (1) "Abstract of votes cast" means a certified record of the results in each election for candidates for any office, ballot issue, or ballot question that the county clerk and recorder certified for the ballot.

The two reports do not contain the data needed to verify that votes are counted correctly.

  • Over and under votes are not reported, so it is not possible to verify that every vote is counted.
  • There is no way to verify that a counted vote has been counted for the correct candidate and in the correct precinct.
To certify the abstract of votes, data must be available to verify that every vote is counted and that every vote is counted correctly.

Republicans ask Clerk to repair damage

Ms. Linda Salas
Boulder County Clerk
1750 33rd St.Boulder, CO 80303

August 26, 2004

Dear Ms. Salas,

Today’s Colorado Daily contains the following statement:

“According to Halicki, a number of Democrat and Republican members of the canvass board signed the report, but Al Kolwicz, Republican Party appointee, refused to sign.”

As you were legally informed, the Boulder County Republican Party legally appointed Al Kolwicz as the only Republican member of the canvass board. Temporary workers selected and paid by the clerk’s office do not represent the Boulder County Republican Party and are not authorized to sign the canvass report for the Republican Party.

If you know of a legal provision that empowers you to pick your own Republican members of the canvass board, please identify this provision.

Otherwise, please take necessary steps to repair any damage that you have caused by incorrectly asserting that “a number of Republican members of the canvass board signed the report.”


Al Kolwicz
Republican Representative to the Boulder County Canvass Board

cc: Donetta Davidson, Secretary of State
Paul Danish, Boulder County Commissioners, Chair
David Leeds, Boulder County Republicans, Chair
Bill Eckert, Boulder County Republicans, Vice Chair
Robert J. Corry, Jr., Esq., Law firm of Corry and Fellows, LLP

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Republicans decline to sign

Ms. Linda Salas By FAX: (303) 413-7750
Boulder County Clerk
1750 33rd St.Boulder, CO 80303

August 25, 2004

Dear Ms. Salas,

As of the time you set for the Boulder County Canvass Board to reach a decision, 3:00 PM today, August 25, 2004, the board has not been provided with the following election data:

  1. Numbers of BALLOTS COUNTED
  2. Numbers of BALLOTS CAST
  3. Final copy of the ABSTRACT OF VOTES

Despite a sincere and rigorous effort to discover them, I do not know the final numbers of ballots counted or even a close approximation to the number of ballots cast. Since I cannot compare the two numbers I cannot “confirm that the number of ballots counted in the election does not exceed the number of ballots cast in the election.”

At 2:45 PM, I was told that a final abstract of votes would be printed, but I never saw it. Since I have not verified the final abstract of votes I cannot “certify the abstract of votes.”

Even if I had been provided the final abstract of votes at a reasonable time, I know that there are data missing from the system that I would need to certify that the votes were correctly counted.

Therefore, the Boulder County Republican Party declines to approve the Canvass.


Al Kolwicz
Republican Representative to the Boulder County Canvass Board

cc: Donetta Davidson, Secretary of State
Paul Danish, Boulder County Commissioners, Chair
David Leeds, Boulder County Republicans, Chair
Bill Eckert, Boulder County Republicans, Vice Chair
Robert J. Corry, Jr., Esq., Law firm of Corry and Fellows, LLP