The Voting News Daily: NYT: The Voters Will Pay. IA Senate blocks election audits. Alberta may test internet voting

The New York Times has an oped on how ES&S’s near total domination of the voting systems market in the US will impact voters and taxpayers…The Iowa Senate has halted an election audits bill, House File 682… Some Canadian municipalities have already adopted internet voting. Now the province of Alberta is considering testing it. Brian…

The Voting News Daily: Iowa needs post-election audits. Internet voting spreads in Canada local elections, Closing in on the Google hackers

Maryland might not have enough money to conduct the November election?…..Upshur Co TX will pay $30K to Hart InterCivic program machines, print ballots and tally results for the March 2 primaries. The county clerk would have charged $2K…Wisconsin U state senate rejects internet voting, cites i-vote fiasco in 2008… Sean Flaherty asks fellow Iowans, and…

The Voting News Daily: Aspen tries to stop deposition of TrueBallot, US DOJ showdown over GA voter verification, No ballot mulligans

No mulligan rule in elections – The wrong name will be on a ballot for a school board race in St Louis MO and can’t be corrected because the voting machines are already programmed and ballots printed..…The Georgia bill to have troops vote over the internet has passed the house and heads to the senate…

The Voting News Daily: WA military email voting clears house, Cyber War Wake Up Call, More trustworthy voting systems

Election Equipment Certification Delivers Poor Results says the Champaign County Clerk, Mark Sheldon. Sheldon says: “If we want a system that earns the trust of every voter we need to institute post election audits, more extensive testing, and a certification process that is more open and flexible.” In Washington State, two bills of note: a…

The Voting News Daily: Responsible tech use for Overseas Vote,VT rejects email voting, Dominion sues over NY ES&S contract

Just in from Verified Voting: “Responsible Use of Technology for Overseas Voting”. From the report- “The security challenges posed by the electronic transmission of voted ballots are too formidable to allow the use of such systems at present. Before experimenting with voted ballots transmitted through cyberspace, we must together create a transparent public process to…

Verified Voting Blog: Responsible Use of Technology for Overseas Voting

Last November, the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) contacted each State with recommendations for meeting the new requirements established in the MOVE Act with the goal of bringing the absentee voting success rate for Uniformed Service members, their families and citizens residing outside the U.S. in line with that of the general population. Verified Voting strongly supports FVAP’s specific recommendations: providing a 45 day period for ballot transit, removal of notary and witnessing requirements, participation with the Uniform Law Commission efforts towards regularizing rules for overseas voters, and the responsible use of technology to aid in providing voting materials to military and overseas citizens. As an active participant in the Alliance for Military and Overseas Voting Rights (AMOVR), we agree with the principle that “transmitting blank ballots electronically does not risk voters’ privacy while improving the process in all States.” Through these recommendations each state can meet the requirements of the MOVE Act without undue risk to the integrity of the electoral process, and greatly facilitate the voting process for the citizens serving our nation in uniform and others living overseas.

However, some States are considering going beyond these recommendations in ways that could be harmful. Experts in technology such as NIST, the GAO and internal reviewers of Department of Defense projects cite significant concerns with respect to the electronic submission of voted ballots. Such systems would rely on computers, servers and/or networks outside the control of election officials, for which criteria for testing and secure operation have yet to be established. Attacks on such systems could significantly threaten the integrity of elections or the ability of voters to cast ballots. Even minor phishing and spoofing attacks could trick voters into giving up their voting credentials to an attacker.

The Voting News Daily: Groups warn ES&S merger is security threat, Future of CA Voting comments posted, VA officials sued over voter files

The news is fairly light today so be sure to read the public comments on the Future of Voting in California now posted at the CA SOS website. The comments come from experts, advocates, interested citizens and also voting vendors including internet voting vendors…ES&S Diebold Purchase: Groups Endorse Remedies for Unlawful Concentration of Market Power……

Florida: Groups and Election Officials Warn Department of Justice that Voting Machine Vendor Merger will Inflate Costs to Taxpayers, Threaten Election Accuracy and National Security

Experts propose remedies to prevent U.S. monopoly of Voting Equipment and Election Services

In a letter to Attorney General Holder, election administrators, computer experts and fair election advocates warned that last year’s merger of the largest and second largest voting machine manufacturers has “broad-based detrimental public impact.”  They outlined serious threats to national security and election accuracy. The experts cautioned the merger produces greater capacity for predatory pricing and coercive contractual terms that raise costs to taxpayers and harm other commercial vendors. The letter suggests actions the Department of Justice Antitrust Division should take to correct major market injuries and fortify election and national security.

In September 2009, Election Systems and Software, Inc. (ES&S) announced it had purchased Premier Election Solutions, Inc. (formerly known as Diebold Election Systems, Inc.), consolidating over 70% of the U.S. voting system market into one private company.  In December, the Florida Attorney General announced its office was investigating the merger over concerns it constituted anti-competitive behavior that may seriously harm consumers. In their letter, experts cite a record of anti-competitive market practices by ES&S that include contract clauses which prohibit ES&S governmental customers from hiring other vendors to service, program or administer ES&S voting equipment and predatory pricing of goods and services to drive other vendors out of business. They claim taxpayers and election offices have been harmed by Election Eve threats to cut off services if local governments did not accept higher prices for previously contracted Election Day services.

The Voting News Daily: TX court: only disabled to e-vote in Webb Co., IL undervote law shames some voters

A Reminder: You Don’t Want Voting Controlled By One Company…Kansas SOS Issues New Instructions About Interestate Database Matching…The 49th District Court in Texas ruled that only disabled voters will use the touchscreen voting machines….Election integrity expert Dr. Charles E. Corry hopes to administer elections and is running for El Paso County Clerk and Recorder. Corry…

The Voting News Daily: Fla. justices uphold Sarasota election law, More internet voting in Canada

Congratulations to the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections – the Florida Supreme Court upheld two amendments to Sarasota’s county charter, one requiring voting systems to have a voter verified paper ballot and the other requiring a manual audit….In New York – “Federal prosecutors have opened an investigation into how the city’s Board of Elections awarded…

The Voting News Daily: Virginia touchscreen voting tug of war, an Indiana County limits ties to voting vendor

Some Virginia Registrars are pushing state lawmakers to let them keep buying touchscreen voting machines. This goes against the 2007 law meant to phase out touchscreen voting machines and replace them with paper ballot systems… Hawaii considers law to keep voting vendors lawsuits from delaying next voting machine purchases…How will Citizens United affect your state’s…

The Voting News Daily: NJ Star Ledger:Verify our votes and stop delay, NM not enough funds to conduct 2010 elections, CA group: ditch e-voting

At today’s public hearing about the future of voting in California, when the issue of new voting machines was brought up, some citizens urged the officials to get rid of electronic voting, period. Tom Courbat with the Sacremento group “Save Our Vote” said: “We’re not convinced there is enough security in these voting systems to…

The Voting News Daily: NY new voting machines overvote concerns, Judges initials may impact IL GOP governor election

New York’s new optical scan machines, the ES&S DS200 and Dominion ImageCast will treat overvotes in a way that threatens the voting rights of millions of New Yorkers. The machines do not automatically return overvoted or otherwise erroneous ballots to the voter for correction. A recent Florida study showed that “the ES&S DS200 (the only…

The Voting News Daily: Understanding Citizens United, Murphy’s Law on Voter Interface, Automatic Voter Registration

The S.D. Legislature eyes pilot of ‘precinct-less’ voting for school board elections…A Technologist in Philippines considers the impact of Murphy’s Law on the Voter Interface of the Automated Election System and how to avoid problems…The Champagn County Clerk in Illinois writes about automatic voter registration and what goes on behind the scenes… “Understanding Citizens United:…

The Voting News Daily: Hawaii has 3 election bills, Coalition urges WA lawmakers to reject online voting, IL law violating voter secrecy condemned

In Washburn’s World, Election Records Would Be Public…In Palm Beach FL, cartridges for some machines used in Fl District 19 GOP primary special election could not be read and the paper ballots were later counted at a tabulating center….In an Illinois Primary Race, Victory Is Self-Declared… Hawaii to consider 3 election bills – vote by…

The Voting News Daily: WA email fax voting bill opposition, Ill election probs, NJ voting machine ruling half right

Opposition to emailing and faxing ballots builds – See Jason Osgood’s letter to Washington state representatives in opposition to email and fax voting that would be made legal by the Overseas and Service Voters bill (HB 2483 / SB 6238)… Lots of news about the Illinois primary, with some reports of machine malfunction and some…

The Voting News Daily: IL undervote fix creates new bug, Judge orders new review of NJ voting machines, Internet transmission of ballots insecure

McHenry Co. IL. Clerk Kathy Schultz discovered that a state mandated software “undervote warning fix” can sometimes cause the county’s voting machines to forget all the preceding votes they’d recorded… New Jersey judge orders re-evaluation of voting machines by experts, says disconnect machines and tabulators from internet as well, but stops short of decommissioning them….Pam…

Verified Voting Blog: Judge Orders Expert Review of Voting Machines in New Jersey

A judge in New Jersey has ordered a new review of New Jersey’s voting systems, this time by qualified technical experts, in a partial victory for advocates challenging the systems’ constitutionality. State law requires that voting systems be “accurate and reliable.” From our vantage point, these systems don’t meet that standard; because they cannot be audited, there’s no way to check for accuracy. A recent report from researchers at UCSD illustrated a stunning new kind of vulnerability in the type of voting system in widespread use in New Jersey (AVC Advantage), where code could be inserted, modify results and vanish without detection. An author on that study, and expert witness in the New Jersey case, Prof. Edward Felten, said preventing such attacks “requires an extraordinary level of security engineering, or the use of safeguards such as voter-verified paper ballots.”

While other requirements from the Judge address some security measures, including criminal background checks on personnel working with the voting machines and all third party vendors who examine or transport them, and protocols for inspecting machines to ensure they have not been tampered with, such checks have no impact on any tampering that may have occurred in the past (such as during the extended periods of time in which they were left unattended at polling places before and after past elections), and provide no failsafe that would ensure reliability. Voting systems can no longer be connected to the Internet, which we trust means New Jersey will now provide a more secure way to allow for the return of voted ballots from overseas voters.