A company that sells vote counting machines is facing a class action lawsuit that alleges its voting systems are subject to unnecessary monitoring and vulnerable to manipulation. Plaintiff Anthony I. Provitola filed the election class action lawsuit on Monday, claiming that this vulnerability in the voting system sold by Election Systems & Software LLC may put the outcome of the 2016 election at risk. According to the vote counting machine class action lawsuit, Election Systems has sold certain vote counting machines and election management systems to many jurisdictions since 2014. In addition to providing the mechanism by which to count and tabulate votes, Election Systems also provided software for the voting systems along with any software updates. “The principle/premise upon which this action is based is that no person or organization, directly or through software or device, should have or be allowed to have any opportunity to either monitor, observe, or have any other contact with the data representing votes in an election, other than persons and/or organizations specifically authorized by law to conduct the election,” the voting system class action lawsuit claims. Provitola states that Election Systems has made assurances online and through advertisements about its responsibility to safeguard democracy through the manner in which its software counts votes.
The Election Systems class action lawsuit states that the voting systems must be connected to a communication device (such as a modem) in order to receive software updates and to report the vote count.
Provitola asserts that the requirement to have the voting systems connected to a communication device is unnecessary for the functioning of the voting system, and makes the voting systems vulnerable to monitoring or manipulation.
According to the Election Systems class action lawsuit, someone with knowledge of the software could benefit from the monitoring and/or manipulation of the voting systems by: 1) learning about the voting results and recruiting additional voters to counter the results; 2) alter the votes that have been recorded; and/or 3) by altering the transmissions about the votes that have been cast.