Sunday, October 09, 2005

Colorado is up to new mischief

Colorado’s election division is up to new mischief. It has opened the door for election officials to purchase voting equipment that is not secure, accurate, verifiable and transparent. The administrative gimmick being used to authorize this travesty is Emergency Rule 45. ACTION is needed to prevent this travesty.

September 15th, the Secretary of state announced an October 31st rulemaking hearing on the subject of draft Rule 45 -Rules Concerning Voting System Standards for Certification.

October 3rd, the Secretary of State approved and enacted as an Emergency Rule, an identical Rule 45 -Rules Concerning Voting System Standards for Certification. There was no hearing announcement, no draft, and no public hearing on the emergency rule. It was done in the back room.

What does this mean? It means that the Secretary of State may legally use the October 3rd emergency rule to get around public opposition to the September 15th rule. If public opposition were to delay adoption of the September 15th rule, then the identical, October 3rd emergency rule is the law. The public is shut out.

Emergency Rule 45 can be used by election officials to purchase voting equipment that does not meet the standards sought by competent Colorado professionals and does not conform to Federal Guidelines. The emergency rule can be used by the elections division to help equipment vendors sell untrustworthy equipment and lock up the Colorado market for the next decade. Rule 45 is a bad deal for Colorado.

Analogous federal standards are currently under development by the Election Assistance Commission. These standards have been heavily criticized by computer and security professionals for many of the same reasons as is rule 45.

Along with experts in security, privacy, computing, software and quality, CAMBER has recommended a major redirection of the approach being taken by the EAC – see CAMBER recommendations to the EAC.

Interested members of the public should review the draft Rule-45 and make comments to the Secretary of State well before the October 31st hearing. Demand that officials provide complete answers before the hearing is closed.

CAMBER is develping comments for the October 31st hearing. So that we may track what is happening, please send a copy of your comments to .

Regarding the October 3rd Emergency Rule, CAMBER filed the following objection:

  • October 8, 2005

    Dear Ms. Dennis:

    We are in receipt of your October 3, 2005 “Notice of Temporary Adoption” of Emergency Rule-45 – Concerning Voting System Standards for Certification.

    We wish to file the strongest possible protest and beg that you withdraw this rule before it adversely affects the people of Colorado.

    Aside from the fact that we were not notified of this pending action and aside from the fact that the rule can and surely will be used to disadvantage the people of Colorado, the rule is not competently formed. If implemented, it would deprive the public of equal protection under the law. It would legitimize actions that are not in the best interests of, and would cause irreparable injury to, the public. It would result in excessive cost to the taxpayers.

    We ask that you immediately rescind your temporary adoption order until you have had an opportunity to hear and respond to the public’s concerns.

    Al Kolwicz, CAMBER