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Location: Germantown, Wisconsin, United States

I am a simple country boy transplanted from the Piehl Township in northern Wisconsin to the Milwaukee metropolitan area who came down "sout" in 1980 for college and have stayed in the area since.
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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Diebold open records request is denied in part

Here is the e-mail I recieved today regarding my OR request for the Diebold certification paperwork, especially the physical configuration audit (PCA).

Mr. Washburn:

I apologize for not being able to respond to your inquiries about the status of your open records request. Faith has gathered the information in items 1, 2, 3 and 5.

With respect to item 4, Diebold has informed us that they take the position that the entire ITA report is exempt from your request. We are working on a response to them that states that we do not accept this position and that we will expect them to defend this position if litigation ensues. We hope to get them to provide a redacted copy of the report.

We do not have a copy of item 6, since it was submitted to the ITA and not submitted to us.

We have not developed a test plan that addresses your concerns in issue 7.

As you know we have several staff vacancies and several administrative obligations that have delayed our response. I will provide you with more information on Friday after I am out of a series of hearings.

Here was my response:

Dear Mr. Kennedy:

I appreciate the constraints of time for this week as I will be in Portland, OR this weekend with several hundred other election-integrity advocates. There is much to do to in order to complete the paper I am presenting to the conference, complete 40 hours of programming work for a client by Thursday, harry vendors peddling un-certifiable equipment, and still keep a wife happy at home. Busy though is better than bored.

As to the OR request:

The conditional phrase you are looking for is WHEN litigation ensues, not if.

Item 4 is required by ElBd7.01(1)e. My understanding from Faith is that you have the ITA report, buy cannot release it because of the Diebold claim of exemption under 19.36(5) [trade secrets]. Is this a fair assessment of the status of item 4?

As to item 6, without the PCA no one (not the SEB staff, not the county clerks not the municipal clerks, not the poll worker, not the poll observers) will know if the system delivered is the system paid for. Diebold has a documented and (losing) litigation record on this exact practice of bait and switch. Am I to understand the PCA (Physical Configuration Audit) is NOT part of either of the 2 the ITA reports? How can either ITA report state this system is qualified under these standards when there is no description of what exactly THIS is? This would be similar to you purchasing a car and the dealer not giving you any description of the engine type, coolant requirements, wheel requirements or number of seats. I doubt you would buy a car under those conditions. You have to understand software testing and software certification is what I do for 8 hours a day. Any testing or certification done without a description of the system under test is worse than pointless because you may think you are doing useful work. Is this a fair assessment of item 6: Neither the ITA report from the hardware ITA, Wyle, or the ITA report from the Software ITA (Ciber or SysTest) contains a PCA by which you could confirm or deny the system delivered is the system submitted for qualification?

As to Item 7, I guess if you trust Liebold, and don’t have a description of what is a certified system, any plan to verify the system delivered is covered by the certification number, FEC- N-1-06-22-22-001 (2002) is indeed moot. No description and no suspicion do obviate any need for verification.

As the original request was by e-mail, I will consider this the response to my original request as defined in WI statutes 19.37. I will begin the mandamus court proceedings tomorrow or Thursday.

Can I pick up Items 1,2, 3, and 5 tomorrow at the SEB meeting in Madison? It looks as if it will be another Scott Walker media day in the morning.

Thank you for your time on this matter.

3 Comments:

Anonymous steveegg said...

This is not encouraging. For those coming in late, here are the changes from the interim response:

- Item #6 (the Physical Configuration Audit) went from a trade secret with a copy in the possession of the State Elections Board to an item never sent to the SEB. That in itself is enough, IMHO, to disqualify Liebold (nice name) from any certification.

- Item #4 (the documents generated by the Independent Testing Authority that led to its recommendation of the 2002 certification) went from something that was going to be released to a trade secret. More of a "trust us; we know what we're doing" attitude from a company that has proven that it can't be trusted. Redacting isn't confidence-inspiring.

- Item #7 (the SEB's plan to make sure that the system that has the 2002 certification is the one that's going to get the SEB certification and the one that's going to be used after SEB certification) went from something that was going to be released to vaporware. Guess the push to "certify" ANYTHING is still on.

Wed Sep 28, 01:50:00 PM CDT  
Blogger John Washburn said...

Thank you for the interlinking of the interim response.

In fairness to the SEB and Faith Edgren of the staff, I may have misunderstood the status of item 6 or Ms. Edgren may have been co-mingling/confusing the contents of item 6 (the PCA) as containing in item 4 the ITA report(s).

With the departure of D. Richard Rasmussen and others, the board staff has been hard hit in the Election Administration 3 vacancies among 6 positions. Ms. Edgren had my OR request dropped on her as Mr. Rasmussen's departure was 2 days after I made my OR request. (I sincerely hope the events are coinincident and not related).

As you can see in my response, I am trying to clarify the points of disclosure and the points of denial.

I freely admit I stole the monicker, Liebold, which Diebold Election Systems, Inc has so diligently earned thes last 4 years.

Quite frankly, I am most disturbed that both Mr. Kennedy and Ms. Edgren, use the singular; ITA report and not the plural; ITA reports. The only way for there to be a single ITA report (a hardware ITA report is required) is if the software ITA report is optional. This can only be optional if NONE of the software used in ANY part of the Diebold system is loaded dynamically or loaded onto or from a dynamic or removeable media. This would include any of the following: RAM, PCMCIA card, smart card, USB drive, hard disk, floppy disk, etc. This is not how I understand the AccuTouch TSx system to be constructed.

But, without the physical configuration audit how would anyone know? :-)

Wed Sep 28, 04:05:00 PM CDT  
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