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12 Feb 2007 *** Published every Monday
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Blogger and DUer FogerRox has a chate with Congressman Rush Holt, D, NJ on the most important voting legislation before congress. Reproduced with permission.
Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 00:13:51 AM EST
|(This is important legislation and the author of this posting is knowledgeable on the subject. This is the third incarnation of this bill, which was not able to get out of committee in its two previous incarnations because of the makeup of the House, not because of the need for legislation. - promoted by DBK)|
Already brewing a firestorm in the election reform cummunity, HR 811 is called the "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007". Introduced on Febuary 5th, HR 811 was posted @ Thomas earlier today, but preceding the posting @ Thomas were numerous scathing reviews. But the news is not all bad. HR 811 does not allow a voting system to have any WiFi:
No voting system shall contain, use, or be accessible by any wireless, power-line, remote, wide area, or concealed communication device at all.The Diebold TSX touchscreen is available with a wireless option.
HR 811 does not allow a voting device to be connected to the net.
No component of any voting device upon which votes are cast shall be connected to the Internet at any time.More below the fold:
|FogerRox :: Rush Holt introduces replacement to HR 550, ... HR 811 |
|That makes the ES&S iVotronic touchscreen voting machine illegal, the iVotronic must be connected to the mainframe via the net for it to even work.|
The rights of a voter are protected if equipment breaks down and emergency ballots are used:
Any emergency paper ballot which is cast by an individual under this subparagraph shall be counted and otherwise treated as a regular ballot...
And Holt does deal with Proprietary Source code:
PROHIBITION OF USE OF UNDISCLOSED SOFTWARE IN VOTING SYSTEMS
But there is more to HR 811 that that. Some of it does not exactly thrill me.
First off a letter from Ron Baiman:.
. A) I'm not sure if you're aware of the fact that much of the clearly documented large scale corruption in 2004 in Ohio occurred on optical-scan paper ballot systems. .
Remember that Harry Hursti hacked a Diebold optical scanner in Volusa county FLorida last year. It would seem if you want a Voter Verified Paper Ballot printer on your touchscreen voting machine, you wold want the same on an opscan. Since both are vulnerable to hacks, both should have the same protection. Holts HR 811 has a specific opscanner exemption, no audit of paper:
SEC. 2. PROMOTING ACCURACY, INTEGRITY, AND SECURITY THROUGH VOTER-VERIFIED PERMANENT PAPER BALLOT.
(a)(1)(A)`(i) The voting system shall require the use of or produce an individual voter-verified paper ballot of the voter's vote that shall be created by or made available for inspection and verification by the voter before the voter's vote is cast and counted. For purposes of this clause, examples of such a ballot include a paper ballot marked by the voter for the purpose of being counted by hand or read by an optical scanner...
Dr. Baiman continues:
. This is not to say that this did not occur on ETS or "punch card" systems (still in use then), but the point is that optical scan machine miscounts and rigged or biased "recount" corruption are an evident and real danger to a trustworthy voting system - see: http://www.freepress...
B) The corrupted precents were targeted for detailed on-the-ground poll book, absentee, early, and provisional, vote investigation, by analyzing statistical anomalies in vote returns, not because races were close in these counties. Exit poll evidence (Ohio was the only state where precinct level exit poll data and matching election results were released, after this data was used to ostensibly rule out fraud!) was also key to alerting analysts to potential vote corruption in 2004. ( see
video of We Count Presentation at: http://www.wecount20... / and http://www.freepress... )
C) These facts point to a need for regular uncorrupted and objective recounts and audits of sufficient quality and power to ensure corruption detection (even with op-scan machines and paper ballots) and for public (or at least publicly transparent and available) exit polling data and detailed precinct-level analysis of election return data (that needs to be available to the candidates and to the public before results are certified) regardless of the closeness of the election.
D) They also raise concern about the following reported provision in HOLT 2 (discovered by election integrity attorney Paul Lehto):
"In states with automatic machine recount provisions based on winning percentage, no paper "ballots" will EVER be counted if the race is CLOSE. This provision (if it is in the bill), which seems to suggest that [b]"automatic machine recounts" can replace paper ballot counts (even when the race is close)[/b] defies logic and common sense, and appears to vitiate the entire intent of the bill!
Ron Baiman, Ph. D.
Center for Urban Research and Learning
Loyola University Chicago
Sorry Rush, an exemption for the touchscreen machine style recount is BS. It must be spelled out that said state do at least a Holt style audit of paper.
Election attorney Paul Lehto: on proprietary source code in HR 811.
. The Holt bill, while seeming to have a very broad duty on the part of state and local government officials to "disclose" source code and object code (etc) to the federal government, has very weak langage on how the local or state government officials are going to get their paws on all this source code in all jurisdictions in the first place.
Remember Chris Jennings running for House in FLorida? Remember the 18,000 votes that went missing? Lets say FL-13 happens again...I wanna complete post mortem, forget about the open/closed source code. If your equipment does a FL-13, You lose, you do not pass go, you do not collect $200. I use any tool at my disposal to open those suckers up. At that point the vendor has like.... NO Effin Proprietary RIGHTS, as to their source code. Thats the law I want.
~no Internet connections.
~Emergency ballots get counted like normal.
~ No paper trail for opscans.
~ Weak language on source code.
~ No paper audit for a state auto recount, Holt says machine recount is good enough. Remember the machine recount FL-13?
I think Ms. Mulder & Mr. Holt have some more work to do. Though, if thats the best we get, I will likely support this bill, ~sigh~ .
HR 811 can be read in full here.
It is my understanding that the future of Holts new HR 811 is out of his hands, Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald who chairs the Committee on House Administration (CHA) looks like she is control of any future rewrites of
HR 811. And I have been told she is not anti-DRE.
Here is her contact page
Here is more contact info