Washburn's World

My take on the world. My wife often refers to this as the WWW (Weird World of Washburn)

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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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Monday, November 28, 2005

WI SEB staff taking a dive

The staff of the Wisconsin State Election Board is taking a dive on voting machinery. Here is the staff report. The last 2 paragraphs summarize the document well.

Using these questions as a guide, Elections Board staff recommends approval of the Diebold and AccuPoll voting systems. Each system completed the mock election and were able to accommodate the ballot style and voting requirements of the Wisconsin election process. In addition, each system includes several accessibility features which will allow individuals with disabilities to vote.
Elections Board staff recommends approval of the [AutoMark/ES&S system] contingent on a successful staff test of the November general election.

I will deal with the ES&S exemption first. AutoMark blended with the ES&S unity system only has a 1990 qualification number, N-1-16-22-12-001 (1990). The system is not qualified under the 2002 Voluntary Voting System Guidelines. No HAVA money for you!! What the staff is recommending is this: because ES&S has gotten some weak-minded municpal clerk to agree to buy a system which is unqualified at the federal level, the Board should approve ES&S anyway. Inablility to get federal certification and bamboolzing municipal clerks being "Good Cause" under ElBd7.03(5). This is manifestly unfair to AccuPoll, Diebold, Populex and other vendors who have abided by Wisconsin's fair but rigorous approval process.

With regards to Deibold and AccuPoll, the staff report looks objective. It is not. It is biased in its ommissions.

AccuPoll Ommissions:
AccuPoll uniquely identifies EVERY ballot receipt with a 34 character aphabetic code. This 34-character ballot identifier is then time stamped to the minute on the the audit log report. I will bet on the raw database record in MySQL, the time stamp is to the second or fraction of a second. If the sequential nature of the Diebold system is a problem under WI 5.91(1), then time stamping to the minute or better is moreso a violation. I personally made Kris Frederick of the WI SEB staff aware of this. Why is this not mentioned in the staff report? Also, on the demonstration of November 17, 2005, it was pointed out the AccuPoll system does not meet requirement WI 5.91(18) because there is no guarantee the paper ballot receipt will not walk out of the polling place. This is because the scrap of paper is not a ballot. It is a ballot receipt. As such it can printed in an absurdly small font and on any flimsy paper available. But, also a ballot receipt is in the same category legally as other election day souveniers (e.g. “I voted” stickers and sample ballots).

Diebold Ommissions:
I cannot say it better than Seven reason not to Certify Diebold TSx. The staff is aware of all of these issues and has not investigated a single one.

On the specific Wisconsin front Diebold has yet to complete an application for certification. ElBd7.01(1)(c) clearly states ALL manuals are to be delivered. As of Friday November 25, 2005. The following manuals are still to be delivered:
Express Poll 4000 Election Administrators' Guide Rev 2.0
Express Poll 4000 System Acquisition Rev 2.0
Express Poll 4000 Training Programs Rev 2.0
Gems 1.18 Client Security Policy Rev. 3.0
Gems 1.18 Server Administration Guide Rev 3.0

ElBd7.01(1)(e) clearly states ITA reports for ALL software are to be delivered. As of Friday November 25, 2005. The following ITA reports are still to be delivered:
ITA report on VCProgrammer and JResultsClient. The VCProgrammer a piece of PC programming and requires a report from a NASED/EAC approved software ITA. The report from the hardware ITA is void for the PC program, VCProgrammer. The ITA report for JResultsClient is still missing as well.

ElBd7.01(1)(b) clearly states states a complete defintion of the system is to be delivered. This is still missing as well. There is no documentation detailed enough to identify what system Diebold delivered to the Staff, let alone to a municipal clerk. This vendor lost a $2.6 million dollar lawsuit for delivering the incorrect software version. For Diebold system specification is critical.

No mention of these omissions, even though I have been in email conversations with the staff since Octoer 31, 2005 on these and other specific issues.

The security defect identified by Harri Hursti not only exists but exists in the current verison of both the optical scanner and the DRE touch screen. This defect invalidates this system under the 1990 NASED standards. Specific to Wisconsin this prevents this system from meeting the requirements of 5.91(11) [correctly and accurately admin elections].

I recommend NO to all 3 systems and urge the board to join with the growing pressure on congress to delay the January 1, 2006 selection deadline for HAVA.


Blogger Warren Stewart said...


Thank you for the excellent work you have posted on this blog and thank you for the excellent testimony at the hearing on Wednesday (Ellen filled me in). I would like to repost this article (and others) on the www.VoteTrustUSA.org website. May I have permission to do so?
Thank you!
Warren Stewart
Director of Legislative Issues and Policy

Fri Dec 02, 02:41:00 PM CST  
Blogger Warren Stewart said...


My email is warren@votetrustusa.org

Forgot to include that in the first comment.


Fri Dec 02, 02:53:00 PM CST  
Anonymous Pam Smith said...

Coincidentally I was just reading the report from the E-Board. It is helpful to see your fill-in here... has a final decision been reached on these systems? or will the recommendations as written stand? Cheers and thanks for your good work - Pam@verifiedvoting.org

Fri Dec 02, 06:21:00 PM CST  

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