[Seth-Trips] Heat on Diebold: Certification hearing May 19

Seth Johnson seth.johnson at RealMeasures.dyndns.org
Thu May 5 19:25:21 PDT 2005

Apologies folks, but it seems to me Seth-sub-1 would likely find
this of import, worthy of a trip.  Plus people on this list would
probably have good ideas where else to forward this alert.

Seth Johnson

Begin forwarded message:
From: Jim March <jmarch at prodigy.net>
Date: May 4, 2005 10:38:38 AM PDT
Subject: Diebold hearing, Sacramento, May 19th - BE THERE!

On May 19th 2005 there will be a meeting regarding the
certification of a whole slew of Diebold voting products. You can
refer to the SecState's agenda here:


This hearing is our golden opportunity to throw Diebold out of
this state once and for all. Back around April of '04 the
Shelley-era VSPP came close but then pressure seems to have
triggered a "back off on Diebold" effect...culminating in some of
the SecState's office's documents damning Diebold getting
*purged* as active links on the SecState's site.

WE NEED BODIES. We need mass public protest of the level we
achieved January through April of '04. We need to come back and
"background material" below.

Even if you're not going to speak, we need you as a "time waiver"
You fill out a speaker card but yield your two minutes of time to
Bev Harris, myself, or some other key speaker.
We need to organize this ahead of time outside. Look for
organizers with black armbands if you can help out in this
critical area -- two minutes isn't enough time to discuss the
crimes committed by Diebold Election Systems!


Office of the Secretary of State
1500 11th Street
1st Floor - Auditorium
Sacramento, California 95814

This is at the "Archives Plaza" light rail station -- the station
is literally right at the front door of the place.


10:00am but show up a bit early so we can organize.



* A few days before the meeting, the "staff report
recommendations" for the major agenda items will be posted at the
SecState's website next to the agenda.

It's not there yet but look for it and read it over as it's an
important guide to "where their heads are already at," what their
concerns are, what they're glossing over...
It will be posted at:

The BlackBoxVoting public comments on this meeting as prepared by
Jim March with the assistance of Bev and other members of the
board of directors of BBV is available at:

[Another agenda Item of Interest]:  Instant Runoff Voting has
been approved by public vote in Berkeley but is being wrongfully
held up in Alameda County.
See also:  


Issues in brief:

Just looking at the SecState's meeting agenda linked above
http://ss.ca.gov/elections/voting_systems/vsp_agenda_0519a.pdf ,
at least one bit is brand new:

 a Diebold "paper trail version" touchscreen.

There's also the obligatory "update du jure" to GEMS.

But MOST surprisingly, three items of software that they've been
distributing all along and illegallywithholding from
certification are now supposedly "Federally certified" and are
being run through the state certification process.

These three bits are all connected to the smartcards and are
items complained about by Bev Harris and myself as far back as
late 2003/early 2004:

"Spyrus voter card encoder", "Key Card Tool software", "VC
Programmer software"

Three problems:

1) How come nobody at the state or Fed certification systems
noticed these needed certification before?

2) How is it that these "newly federally certified pieces" are
certified to 2002 standards yet are closely integrated into
everything else which is certified to 1990 Federal Elections
Commission standards? How can two different security process
standards be used to evaluate two different parts of one overall

3) Why is it that ONLY those pieces of custom code Bev and I
caught them at are the ones being "brought into the light" now?
  Did Bev, myself and the rest of the activist community spot
EVERY problem? It doesn't seem likely since we can't get full
access to this stuff to check them out!!!

There are numerous other problems with continuing to rely on
Diebold. The legality of the certifications of all their products
are in question in part due to the individualized login
requirements (a security *basic*) found in the FEC standards from
both 1990 and 2002 and functionally missing from GEMS.  (It's a
"one password fits all" system 

Details are in:


There will yet more damaging revelations on Diebold prior to the
May 19th meeting that I can't go into right now. Let's just
say...Bev has been VERY busy :).


--Jim March
from Marc Keenburg:

Debarment of Vendors for Violation of Election Laws, Standards
and Regulations

This is an actual CA Election Code Section, which gives it much
more validity. See:

 Just click the section code numbers on the right and that will
bring up the whole section

19214.  The Secretary of State may seek injunctive and
administrative relief when a voting system has been compromised
by the addition or deletion of hardware, software, or firmware
without prior approval.

19214.5.  (a) The Secretary of State may seek all of the
following relief for an unauthorized change in hardware,
software, or firmware to any voting system certified or
conditionally certified in California:
   (1) Monetary damages from the offending party or parties, not
to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per violation.  For
purposes of this subdivision, each voting machine found to
contain the unauthorized hardware, software, or firmware shall be
considered a separate violation.  Damages imposed pursuant to
this subdivision shall be apportioned 50 percent to the county in
which the violation occurred, if applicable, and 50 percent to
the Office of the Secretary of State for purposes of bolstering
voting systems security efforts.
   (2) Immediate commencement of decertification proceedings for
the voting system in question.
   (3) Prohibiting the manufacturer or vendor of a voting system
from doing any elections-related business in the state for one,
two, or three years.
   (4) Refund of all moneys paid by a locality for a compromised
voting system, whether or not the voting system has been used in
an election.
   (5) Any other remedial actions authorized by law to prevent
unjust enrichment of the offending party.
   (b) Prior to seeking any measure of relief under this section,
the Secretary of State shall hold a public hearing.  The
Secretary of State shall give notice of the hearing in the manner
prescribed by Section 6064 of the Government Code in a newspaper
of general circulation published in Sacramento County.  The
Secretary of State also shall transmit written notice of the
hearing, at least 30 days prior to the hearing, to each county
elections official, the offending party or parties, any person
that the Secretary of State believes will be interested in the
hearing, and any person who requests, in writing, notice of the
   (c) The decision of the Secretary of State, to seek any relief
under this section, shall be in writing and state the findings of
the secretary.  The decision shall be open to public inspection.

19215.  (a) The Secretary of State may seek injunctive relief
requiring an elections official, or any vendor or manufacturer of
a voting machine, voting system, or vote tabulating device, to
comply with the requirements of this code, the regulations of the
Secretary of State, and the specifications for voting machines,
voting devices, vote tabulating devices, and any software used
for each, including the programs and procedures for vote
tabulating and testing.
   (b) Venue for a proceeding under this section shall be
exclusively  for Sacramento


More information about the Seth-Trips mailing list