Saturday, January 28, 2006

Election system manipulated by officials?

There will be no public input and no public oversight for Colorado elections.

Secretary of State Gigi Dennis(R) and Boulder County Clerk Linda Salas(D) are both expected to be on the ballot during 2006.

As insiders, they should be taking steps to assure the public that there will be no insider manipulation.

Instead, both officials are blocking the public from ensuring that elections will be secure, accurate, verifiable and transparent.

Click to read some disturbing correspondence.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Boulder County - anti open government

From: Al Kolwicz
Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 10:25 AM
To: 'Bailey, Shelley'
Cc: 'Liss, Josh'; 'Salas, Linda'; Boulder County Commissioners
Subject: RE: CORA denial - BC Voting Equipment RFP

Ms. Bailey,

We are in receipt of your January 18th denial of our request for records.

What your client is doing may be legal, but it certainly does not seem ethical, and is definitely not in the best interests of the people of Boulder County. As you know, Boulder County people place a high value on open government.

  1. We are unaware of any law that prevents your client from conducting public business in a transparent fashion. We find no law that prevents your client from including interested members of the public in the election requirements development process. We ask again to review a copy of any of the subject material as soon as it is no longer shielded by the laws that your client is using to prevent public oversight.
  2. Are we to understand that your client does not use responsible management practices? According to your reply there are no plans; no checkpoints; no procedures; no particular individual(s) accountable for the content of the final RFP. This is very disturbing. As soon as your client has a plan, a checkpoint, a procedure, or a person(s) accountable for any of the subject material we ask to be receive a copy of same.
In our January 12th Open Records Request we asked, “Because the requested information will likely be changing daily, we would like to be updated daily as new information becomes available. Or we can work out with you a schedule for regular updates to the material.”

Is it your client’s intention to honor this request?

Is it still the case that there are no plans, schedules, procedures, and that no particular individual(s) accountable for development of the requirements and the RFP?


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

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

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Would this qualify as a “conspiracy”?

It is very clear that there is a coordinated effort to disallow paper ballots in Colorado. This might be illegal. At a minimum, it should be reason enough to replace every elected official and candidate who is working to suppress the wishes of the people. Would this qualify as a “conspiracy”?

Click to read the facts.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Colorado plots to block paper ballots

When vote marking devices record votes on paper rather than digital ballots, elections can be verified. One of these paper ballot vote markers is the AutoMARK.

Colorado's Secretary of State has been working to block adoption of the AutoMARK. Why?

Call for certification

The AutoMARK is already certified by the Federal government and by most of the following 20 states: CA, WA, OR, NM, AZ, MT, WY, ND, SD, KS, NE, TX, MN, IA, MO, AL, IL, OH, FL, WV. More states are pending.

The Secretary of State has refused certification of the AutoMARK claiming that a blind voter might require assistance. This is Colorado's trumped up excuse not a reason for refusing to certify the device.

The federal government and 20 states are satisfied with the AutoMARK. Disabled voters who have used the equipment are satisfied. Every device certified for use by disabled voters will encounter some circumstance where the voter might require assistance.

Colorado should come clean. Certify the AutoMARK if it is secure, accurate, verifiable and transparent.

Call for competition

Colorado has disallowed competition between paper and digital ballots. The Secretary of State excluded paper ballot vote marking equipment from the state's omnibus RFP for voting equipment. The requirements are anti-paper ballot. State has discouraged the vendor, ES&S, from responding to the RFP.

There is no room in Colorado for anti-competition in our choice of voting systems. Voting systems must be judged on whether they are the most secure, accurate, verifiable, and transparent.

No more sunshine in Boulder County

Using legal loopholes, Boulder County officials have taken new steps to block public oversight of its scheme to control the ballot box. They don't care who votes as long as they get to count the votes?

Boulder County has refused public inspection of its voting equipment draft RFP. In response to CAMBER's Open Records Request the county has slithered behind the law to hide its intentions and block the public from participating in voting equipment decisions.

Colorado law does not require that public officials keep plans secret. Public officials who believe in transparent government engage the public before making decisions.

By blocking public participation the county can manipulate the process and force an untrustworthy voting system on the voters.

In addition, the County is operating with no written records and/or plans. There is no accountability.

The voting equipment "requirements" decision is a multi-million dollar decision. It will affect the voting rights of each and every Boulder County voter.

To make this decision without a written plan is reckless.

Boulder County commissioners should tell the Clerk that they would like to see a plan for including the public in the development of the voting system "requirements".

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Clerk's Office RFP On-Hold

We just received a press release from Boulder County.

The Boulder County Clerk has decided to place her Voting Equipment RFP on hold.

We are delighted to learn that the clerk will not purchase voting equipment without public support.

However, we are very concerned that the announcement does not mention a public process for setting the rental equipment requirements.

If the clerk goes forward with her plan, as disclosed in the draft RFP, the 2006 Primary and General Elections are at risk.

What's needed is a PUBLIC PROCESS to develop requirements for the voting equipment to be rented and a plan for the 2006 elections.

We ask people to do what they can to ensure that the clerk embraces this public process.

Resolve voting system differences, first.

In response to Boulder County Clerk Linda Salas’s invitation, more than 200 people filed written objections to her plan for a new voting system. Her plan was disclosed in a draft Request for Proposal (RFP). It includes the elimination of traditional precinct voting and introduction of unverifiable digital ballots.

Hopes were dashed that the overwhelming rejection of her plan would cause Salas to meet with the public and work out differences.

On January 10th, a small delegation of people went to the Boulder County Clerk’s office to participate in a 9:00 AM Pre-Proposal Conference. Although the draft RFP specified the time and date of the meeting, there was no such meeting.

It appears that Ms. Salas intends to publish the contentious RFP with no public meeting, and no resolution of the fundamental issues dividing the public and the clerk’s office.

According to Al Kolwicz, executive director of CAMBER, "Ms. Salas may indeed have the authority to do this. However, it would be very unwise to do so.

  1. It would insult those who spent hours responding to the clerk’s invitation to comment.
  2. It would alienate those members of the public who are rightfully concerned about the trustworthiness of the Boulder County election system.
  3. It would provide ammunition to those who believe that the clerk’s office is out of step with the community.
  4. The public’s requirements need to be addressed before an RFP is released. The differences between what the public wants and what the clerk wants cannot be resolved after the equipment is purchased.
  5. This community has already suffered through the problem created when RFP requirements conflict with public requirements. In 2003 Ms. Salas failed to bring the public into the RFP process until after she had developed and released a secret RFP. That RFP was also incomplete and incompatible with what the public wanted.

We encourage Ms. Salas to meet with the public and resolve differences -- before the RFP is released."