June 29, 2012

Electronic Voting: Command Central

There's an excellent article by the Wisconsin Citizens Media Co-op about one of the major suppliers of electronic voting technology in Wis., Command Central:

Forty-six Wisconsin counties and 3,000 voting machines are being controlled by a two-person company operating out of a strip mall in Minnesota.

* * * * *
In his report of his experience with the November 2010 gubernatorial election for Scott Walker, John Washburn, an election integrity investigator and professional software tester for almost 20 years, states, “I have been to dozens of voting system test sessions and have never seen any of this faux ‘testing’ actually test the voting system software correctly. This is the professional opinion of a software tester testing software since 1994.”

* * * * *
Last September, Election Integrity investigators discovered that . . . Command Central sent those 46 districts an offer: trade out your old Optech Insight Scanner for two DRE Touch Screen models, at no charge. The Optech machine is the one that paper ballots are fed through to read and register the votes.

While these machines are also susceptible to hacking . . . it is possible to physically monitor the paper ballots as they are fed through the machine to see if they match the machine totals.

With DRE Touch Screens, however, one’s vote could be flipped and one would never know because there is no receipt or paper trail voters receive to confirm their vote was counted as voted. . . .

And according to John Washburn, this swap-out two-for-one offer violates the statutes issued by the GAB for State approved system as described on the Government Accountability Board’s website that requires the inclusion of an Optech Insight Scanner.

On January 13, 2012, Washburn emailed the GAB about this situation. When he did not receive an answer, he submitted an Open Records request to the GAB, with no reply. On May 2, he submitted another, again to no response. On May 4, he turned the case over to Dane County Attorney, and on May 14 he kicked it up to the Department of Justice.
Much more at the link. Similar situations now exist not only in other states but around the world.

(Earlier companies supplying electronic voting technologies, such as Diebold and ES&S, are gone, or at least their names are.)

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