Thursday, December 20, 2007

Board says "do not certify any voting equipment".

The voting system certification board report says none of the voting equipment passed the tests. The reports for each vendor can be found at:

Certification Overview - Premier
Certification Overview - ES&S
Certification Overview - HART
Certification Overview - Sequoia
A court ordered re-certification of voting equipment in Colorado has concluded that none of the voting equipment supplied by Premier, Hart, ES&S, and Sequoia should be certified for use in elections.

The reasons for decertification vary, they focus on security and accuracy, and they include some of the problems identified by Ohio and California.

Despite Secretary of State Mike Coffman’s hand-picked certification board’s conclusions and recommendations, Mr. Coffman granted conditional certification to Premier’s voting and counting equipment. He also granted conditional certification to HART DREs and Sequoia optical scanners. His override of the board’s determination is an illustration that the process is not independent. Until the certification process is independent, it should not be trusted.

Colorado voting integrity advocates are very displeased with Mr. Coffman’s decisions, although they are relieved to be proven correct in their years long efforts to discredit the equipment. According to them, the certification process itself is fatally flawed. It is not independent, it is not comprehensive, and its factual determinations can be overridden by political expediency. And there is no test to verify that voting equipment components work when they are combined into a system.

There is a massive flurry of activity in Colorado as county clerks and vendors try to come up with a plan to get around the certification decisions. Mr. Coffman has announced his intent to request legislative changes that would enable him to get around the laws designed to protect the election system. He wants to shop around for a state that has certified this equipment, and use their positive certification results instead of Colorado’s negative results. He also wants legislative permission to bypass required testing of changes to the equipment and software.

Voter integrity groups and local systems experts who advocate for verifiable and transparent elections are fighting to break thru the wall of secrecy thrown up by officials. The public is being excluded from even observing meetings of election officials. This raises the question, are officials overtly violating Colorado’s open government laws?

This is a story that needs to be told. Colorado press on Monday and Tuesday was filled with the story.

Key points are:

• What are the implications for other states that are using this equipment?
• What does this decertification mean for the results of past elections that used this unreliable and insecure equipment?
• Is Colorado violating open government laws?
• What will Colorado do for 2008?

For more information see:

Colorado Voter Group