Thursday, January 26, 2006

Progress Report on CA Unity Campaign

About six weeks ago, GuvWurld launched a campaign to unite California election reformers. Earlier this week, posted this endorsement of the effort. I've also teamed up with VR co-founder Brad Friedman at to present this exclusive footage (Video in Windows Media format...) of a press conference held this past Monday when CA Secretary of State Bruce McPherson visited the office of Humboldt County Clerk/Recorder Carolyn Crnich. McPherson's appearance walked, smelled and shat like a re-appointment campaign, despite assertions to the contrary by his handlers.

There are no major revelations in the video though we did get confirmation that the hack test tentatively scheduled last month did NOT actually take place. This lays to rest a controversy spurred by this erroneous Wired article. According to McPherson, the hack test was not performed because Diebold's equipment was instead referred back to the federal testing labs. That referral came in this letter from McPherson to Diebold citing the presence of interpreter code.

If there is anything worth seeing in this video it may just be McPherson's eyes as I asked him how previously certified machines could still be usable if we now know they contain the interpreter code forbidden by the 2002 Voting System Standards/Guidelines. McPherson easily squirmed out of the obviously loaded question leaving me wishing I had asked it differently.

Perhaps I should have said: Will you inspect Humboldt's election machines today and enforce the state election code by decertifying them when you find interpreter code? That would have been a better way to establish the frame. Still, the message came out clear enough that the Eureka Reporter printed it as a quote. The Eureka Times-Standard (archive) also covered the event.

As I've written on this topic previously, I have been talking with several lawyers about making a direct attempt to prevent continued use of previously certified Diebold machines. There is an interest and an appetite for using this particular issue and angle. The point of the campaign to unite California election reformers is to use the same tactics in each of the 17 CA counties using Diebold equipment. This would include calling for investigations of local election departments to determine how Diebold was able to install uncertified software.

As a result of my complaint, the Humboldt Grand Jury interviewed me earlier this week. I am not permitted to discuss or write about the meeting but I want to encourage you to submit your own complaint in your county on these same grounds. Is it possible Diebold installed uncertified software in your county's election machines without the knowledge of anyone in your election department? Was there complicity or negligence or what?

I believe, at this time, that it is even more important for us to require and obtain personal accountability from our local government than from our federal government. At least consider for a moment, which is it even feasible to strive for? To resist an illegitimate and out of control federal government, local government is going to come increasingly upon a hot seat. For how much longer can city and county officials cooperate with the feds, so often at the expense of the community? Non-violent revolution is necessary, NOW! If you are ready for a serious conversation about how we will do this, come to the town hall forum on Saturday Feb. 11, 2pm, at the Eureka Veterans Hall on 10th/H St. If you are revolted, revolt!



Good job!

In talking to lawyers, I would concentrate on the fact that while the
DRE (direct recording electronic) voting machines McPherson is considering
for certification have paper trails, none of them have accessible
paper trails as specified in section 19251 of the Elections Code::

19251 (a) "Accessible" means that the information provided on the paper
record copy from the voter verified paper audit trail mechanism is
provided or conveyed to voters via both a visual and a nonvisual
method, such as through an audio component.

Current DREs do not provide the information on the paper via nonvisual
means. Thus these DREs do not have accessible voter verified paper audit
trails, and can not be bought or used in California. For more info,

As for DRE systems certified in the past, they do not have paper trails
so they can not be used anymore without adding paper trails and
recertification, so I wouldn't talk or worry about them.

Am I correct in that McPherson says that Diebold must go through another public
hearing before being state certified?

By Blogger Jerry Berkman, at 10:23 AM  

The fact that this is even still an issue is criminal. Diebold machines flunked hack tests performed by Black Box Voting and the major anomolies in election results, especially the blatant ones in Ohio, critical to the result of the last presidential election. Ohio had a gigantic number of these anomolies and they were, without exception, in Republican's favor. They included precincts with more votes than voters among other things. Far more votes than voters.

By Blogger noel adamson, at 1:15 PM  

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