I was able to work in attending some of the November 30, 2005 meeting of the Wisconsin State Election Board.
The final results of interest to election integrity activists are:
Diebold: Not approved at this time.
AccuPoll: Approved for use in Wisconsin
ES&S Automark: No exception to the requirement to get a 2002 NASED nubmer first.
The issues I raised regarding AccuPoll were considered by the Board (after some discussion) to be no worse or problematic than present with the processing of paper absentee ballots today. So, while the concerns are valid and noted the board ruled they do not rise to a leve to prevent approval. I disgree, but the Board did fairly and thoroughly consider my objections. It is difficult to ask for more.
On ES&S The board agreed it would be unfair to grant an exception to ES&S to sell AutoMark with the ES&S unity system without a 2002 NASED qualification nubmer. ES&S did get a sort of exception. If the municipality already
owns a BRC/ES&S/Sequoia OptiTech III Eagle, then the municipality can by ES&S Unity 2.4.3 and without AutoMark with municipal monies. HAVA monies cannot be used under this situation as the resulting system is not disabilities accessable. But, the municipality can upgrade the 1990 NASED/EAC qualified system to windows software instead of the current MSDOS software.
Also speaking were representatives from Voting Technologies International
(VTI) of Milwaukee Wisconsin and Command Center the distributor/representative inWisconsin for Sequoia. Command Central also sought a execption in oder to sell Sequoia without a NASED/EAC 2002 number. VTI request for exception was more nuance. VTI wanted to be able to sell in Wisconsin after the ITA testing is complete and the ITA reports are in the review period by NASED/EAC. If the review goes well a NASED/EAC qualification nubmer would be issued. No on both requests for exeception
Also, speaking was Ellen Theisen from Vote-PAD
a novel ballot marking device to meet HAVA disabilities requirements for those 900+ municipalities which use paper ballots which are hand counted. I think a non-electronic approach to HAVA compliance is so unexpected both the staff and the board are uncertain how to proceed with approval on this item. I hear there will be a mock election with Vote-PAD and hopefully up for approval on January 18, 2006.
There was a representative from Populex there as well.
Lastly, I think the 3 adminstrative problems for Diebold were the reason for Diebold's failure to win approval. There are 6 of 22 manuals missing. There are 2 of 5 ITA reports missing. The date of the ITA reports which were
delivered had a date more than 1 month later than the date on which the NASED/EAC number was issued to Diebold. The staff confirmed all three problems were still without resolution/explanation. The Diebold representative stated: "This is the first I have heard of these problems. But if you contact our compliance officer, Ian Piper, he should be able to correct any of these problems.
" The gentleman in charge of election systems, Kristofer Frederick, then informed the board that he and Ian Piper had been having an extended email conversation for nearly a month. All 3 matters were still without resolution. I think this cinched the vote to not approve Diebold AccuVote TSx.
I was unable to impress on the board the seriousness of the Hursti and Thompson defects. If the administrative details (manuals, ITA reprots and explanation of date descrepancy) are resolved, I think the Board would likely approve the Diebold AccuVote TSx.
The board does now have some questions on this whole NASED/EAC process and whether the process is corrupt or not. But, the board sees the pressure it can bring to the federal level as limited (better than any I
can bring though) and currently the board has nothing better for the technical details. <%sigh>