Verified Voting Blog: Developing Standards for Election Data


One of the challenges faced by advocates of election audits and transparency is that current voting systems each record and store election file data in unique ways. This is no surprise given that vendors have long claimed that their systems are proprietary. But the current model of storing election data in ways that prevent easy sharing and analysis is proving difficult for election officials, statisticians, election integrity advocates, and even voting systems vendors. Because of these problems, serious discussion is taking place about what can be done about standardizing election data.

Often, within a single state there are many different voting systems from multiple vendors. At the same time, many elections, including most federal and statewide races, cross election jurisdictions so that votes for the same race are reported in different ways, depending on the system type used in each district. Even a single polling place may have different types of equipment – an optical scanner and a touch screen device for accessible voting for example – which report results in incompatible ways but which must be combined after the polls close.

New Zealand: Questions over Waitakere vote | NZ Herald News

Evidence of dodgy voting has emerged in the battle for Waitakere. A judge has found nine people voted twice and 393 people voted despite not being on the electoral roll. The result has changed twice: National’s Paula Bennett won by 349 votes on election night, then Labour’s Carmel Sepuloni inched ahead by 11 after the special vote count, only to have Bennett reclaim victory on Friday by nine votes after a judicial recount.

The Herald on Sunday has obtained a copy of Judge John Adams’ initial judgment. It shows Bennett gained eight votes after the recount while Sepuloni lost 12. Labour bosses will meet on Tuesday to decide whether to accept defeat or pursue an electoral petition. Former president Mike Williams, who was a scrutineer in the recount, did not favour an electoral petition as he thought it unlikely Sepuloni would win.

The Voting News Daily: The Dangers of Man-in-the-Middle in Voting Machines, Real Solutions Needed on Voter Deception

National: The Dangers of Man-in-the-Middle in Voting Machines | The Election Day is fast approaching in every state in the country. Security experts and researchers from Vulnerability Assessment Team or VAT at Argonne National Laboratories made a video that demonstrates a simple and non-cyber man-in-the middle or MITM attacks on the voting machine –…

National: The Dangers of Man-in-the-Middle in Voting Machines |

The Election Day is fast approaching in every state in the country. Security experts and researchers from Vulnerability Assessment Team or VAT at Argonne National Laboratories made a video that demonstrates a simple and non-cyber man-in-the middle or MITM attacks on the voting machine – the Diebold AccuVote TS Electronic Voting Machine. The researchers Jon Warner and Roger Johnston inserted customized hardware costing only 10 dollars into the Diebold AccuVote TS.

They were able to read the touchscreen vote using it and they were able to alter the information that was stored within. Changing the electronic votes isn’t really new; however, with the addition of a 16 dollars, the team was able to have a remote control that can operate and perform the MITM attacks even if they were miles away from the machine.

It was even stated that the levels of sophistication needed to accomplish the deed was comparably easy; even starters can accomplish it without any hardships. The same multi-disciplinary team of Argonne National Laboratories that is composed of physicists, digital computer forensics experts, computer engineers, white hat hackers, security researchers and also social scientists has demonstrated the same flaws on the machines of Sequoia Voting Solutions.

Florida: Voter registration groups sue over new Florida election law | Tampa Bay Times

Florida’s new election law attracted more legal attention Thursday with a lawsuit from a trio of civic groups that contend the new rules are too burdensome on their voter registration efforts. The groups — League of Women Voters of Florida, Rock the Vote and Florida Public Interest Research Group Education Fund — are plaintiffs in a lawsuit that asks a federal court in Tallahassee to block the registration restrictions in the elections overhaul, which is in effect in 62 of 67 counties.

Attorneys argue the law is unconstitutional and violates the “motor voter” law by imposing burdensome regulations on volunteers and steep penalties for mistakes, such as not turning in voter registration applications within 48 hours. The window used to be 10 days.

South Carolina: Atlantic Beach in court Thursday over voting machine issue | SCNOW

Attorneys for Horry County vs. Town of Atlantic Beach argued their case before the Horry County Magistrate Thursday and they will meet again next week. Judge Brad Mayers did not rule on the case and decided to continue it until next Wednesday morning. The court will hear from someone at the State Election Commission and Atlantic Beach also plans to call a witness.

Attorney for Atlantic Beach Kenneth Davis filed a motion for the county to return its property to Atlantic Beach for use as evidence. The judge took it into consideration. This comes after Horry County Sheriff’s deputies seized county-owned voting machines Tuesday which the town held in its evidence room for weeks a month and a half after its Nov. 1 municipal election.

Mayor Retha Pierce said Atlantic Beach police confiscated $7,500 worth of machines to do an investigation into fraud and abnormalities during the elections. “My understanding is when a crime is committed that authorities have the right to deal with that crime,” Pierce said. “You’re sending my people here a mixed signal in Atlantic Beach when all of the sudden you say that when a crime is committed and the property belongs to the county and you can overlook the crime.”

Wisconsin: Walker, GOP sue state elections and ethics agency over recall effort | JSOnline

Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign and the state Republican Party director sued the state’s elections and ethics agency in Waukesha on Thursday over its handling of duplicate and bogus signatures in the ongoing recall effort against the governor. The top GOP lawmaker in the Assembly also took a shot at the Government Accountability Board – which he voted to create – saying it had strayed from its nonpartisan mission and might need to be replaced.

The lawsuit filed Thursday in Waukesha County Circuit Court asks a judge to order the accountability board to look for and eliminate duplicate signatures, clearly fake names and illegible addresses. The lawsuit can be brought in one of the most conservative counties in the state because of a change in state law earlier this year by Republican lawmakers and Walker that allowed lawsuits to be brought against the state outside liberal Dane County, the seat of state government.

Congo: Supreme court upholds Joseph Kabila’s election victory |

Congo’s supreme court has upheld President Joseph Kabila’s victory following a contested election, raising fears of more violence in sub-Saharan Africa’s largest nation because the main opposition candidate has already rejected the results. The November election was only the second democratic vote in Congo’s 51-year history, and the first to be organised by the Congolese government rather than by the international community. Observers have expressed concern about irregularities, saying voter turnout results were impossibly high in some districts.

Kabila, Congo’s incumbent president, faced 10 candidates, including Etienne Tshisekedi, a 79-year-old longtime opposition leader who is enormously popular with the country’s impoverished masses. Observers fear unrest if Tshisekedi orders his supporters to take to the streets. So far, Tshisekedi has called for calm, telling his supporters to await his instructions.

Another opposition candidate, Vital Kamerhe, appealed to Congo’s supreme court to annul the presidential vote, but the court said late on Friday that his complaint was groundless and lacked sufficient evidence. The decision was announced by Justice Jerome Kitoko, the court’s vice president.

Congo: Top court declares Kabila president | ABC News

Democratic Republic of Congo’s Supreme Court has confirmed Joseph Kabila as the winner of a disputed November 28 presidential election, rejecting demands by the opposition for the vote to be annulled over fraud allegations. The court’s president, Jerome Kitoko, said Mr Kabila had won 48.95 per cent of the vote. “In consequence, Joseph Kabila is proclaimed president-elect of the republic with a simple majority,” he said at the justice ministry.

The court said the opposition had failed to provide proof of their allegations. Congo’s election commission last Friday declared Mr Kabila winner of the vote which observers said lacked credibility and was marred by irregularities and violence.

The opposition reacted immediately to the court’s decision saying they “totally rejected” the ruling. “The supreme court is just an instrument of Mr Kabila, just like the electoral commission,” said Alexis Mutanda, campaign president of veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi.

Belgium: Brussels Raises Election Concerns At Russia Summit |

The European Union used a summit with Russia today to highlight concerns over claims of massive fraud during this month’s Russian parliamentary elections. Russia’s December 4 State Duma elections and their aftermath — including the detention of demonstrators — were not officially on the agenda of the summit, which otherwise focused on economic and visa liberalization issues.

But the EU made clear in the run-up that it would raise its worries with Dmitry Medvedev during his last summit with the bloc as Russia’s president. EU President Herman Van Rompuy told a news conference after the summit that the EU had been perturbed by election monitors’ reports of irregularities and lack of fairness in the December 4 vote, and about the detention of protesters.

Russia: Russians Out In Force Against ‘Election Fraud,’ More Rallies Threatened |

The Russian opposition has called on the authorities to annul election results marred by alleged violations and threatened more anti-Kremlin rallies as tens of thousands demonstrated across the country.   Officially, police estimates put the crowd on Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square on December 10 at 20,000, although organizers cited much higher figures of up to 100,000. The event went off without significant incident and police say no one was detained.

Many media outlets said it marked the largest protest since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In a resolution laid before demonstrators in Moscow, the opposition also demanded the release of opposition leaders Aleksei Navalny and Ilya Yashin and others who were jailed in protests this week.

Editorials: Still no voting rights in UK for British expats | Expat – My Telegraph

A year ago I wrote about one man’s crusade to force the UK government to allow British expats to vote in parliamentary elections after a 15 year absence from the country. Recently James Preston, a British fund manager living in Madrid, took the matter to the High Court with the assistance of a legal firm working on a pro bono basis but his case was summarily dismissed. He intends to appeal.

In effect this ruling means that current legislation continues to penalise Britons choosing to live abroad, and could disenfranchise 5.5 million British expats from voting in UK parliamentary elections in the future. Other countries in the EU such as France and Germany and those such as the USA do not treat their citizens with such derogation.