Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Action Alert: Reject Illegal Diebold Certification
On Friday afternoon, CA Secretary of State Bruce McPherson granted conditional certification (.pdf) for use of Diebold voting machines in 2006 "elections." McPherson's decision was based on a security analysis (.pdf) conducted by the Voting Systems Technology Assessment Advisory Board (VSTAAB).
Among the many significant findings of the security analysis is that Diebold equipment is currently out of compliance with state and federal law based on the presence of interpreter code. The analysis also confirms many known security flaws, and mentions finding 16 new bugs. This leaves readers wondering how such a document could be used to justify granting certification rather than denying it.
For more details, see this GuvWurld report; also visit BradBlog.com, BlackBoxVoting.org, and VoteTrustUSA for more coverage. Citizen engagement is now needed at every level throughout California to confront the lawlessness of our state's top elections official.
In Humboldt County, last April, the Board of Supervisors approved a proposal (.pdf) from the Elections Department indicating the intent to purchase approximately 110 Diebold TSX machines once certification has been granted. I hope to learn early on Tuesday whether Humboldt's top elections officials still think that's best. If so, there will certainly be a lawsuit challenging the illegality of the machines, despite the state's certification.
The cities of Humboldt, which rely on the County for their election equipment and administration, will likely be caught in the middle, potentially unprepared or unable to conduct an election. For this reason, I have been calling City Councilmembers in Eureka and Arcata to request that they contact the Board of Supervisors ASAP to encourage them not to go through with the purchase immediately simply based on the certification.
And one final bit of background is the story of last Thursday's hearing on voting systems testing. It was chaired by State Senator and Candidate for Secretary of State Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach) who writes: "It was an extremely informative session" even though Secretary of State McPherson and the voting machine manufacturers all boycotted the session." Bowen now wants to subpoena McPherson and the machine manufacturers to compel them to appear before the Elections, Reapportionment and Constitutional Amendments Committee, which Bowen Chairs. To get the subpoena, she needs a majority vote from the Senate Rules Committee, of which she is one of five members.
Action #1 (mostly copied from e-mail circulating heavily over the past 48 hours):
On the state level, call Rules Committee members. What to say:
Be quick, be polite, be professional. Here's your message: ask for "Rules Committee support for subpoenas of election industry and certification insiders who won't otherwise inform the Elections Committee as to what's going on".
The key people: Diebold head programmers, federal testing labs (Ciber, Wyle) that repeatedly certified this stuff, voting system examiners who took taxpayer money, spent hours on "security exams" on systems your 12-year old sister can hack, then repeatedly recommended for certification.
This is about volume of calls logged/emails received. Not only should YOU make calls, but this needs to go out to your list.
Polite, professional, short clear message, FIRM is what works. Read background info above.
Senator Don Perata (Chair) - D (916) 651-4009
Senator Jim Battin (Vice-Chair) - R (916) 651-4037
Senator Roy Ashburn - R (916) 651-4018
Senator Debra Bowen - D - (Senator Bowen requested emails only)
Senator Gilbert Cedillo - D (916) 651-4022
Action #2 (Humboldt specific but appropriate and easily adapted everywhere in CA)
No Deal With Diebold! (.pdf)
Let County Supervisors know that it is unacceptable to spend more of our money on more equipment that is illegal and not secure. Let them know we will not accept the results of future elections held on our current illegal machines. If you are willing, tell them you will be a party to the legal action that is coming against Humboldt's election machines. Supervisors' credibility and legitimacy, going forward, can only come from their dedication to restoring a basis for voter confidence.
Let City Councilmembers know that you are concerned about the status of our voting system and the possibility that the City could get in a jam because of the County. Ask Councilmembers to contact Supervisors with the same message we have above.
Humboldt County Board of Supervisors: http://www.co.humboldt.ca.us/board
Jimmy Smith, District 1: email@example.com, (707) 476-2391
Roger Rodoni, District 2: firstname.lastname@example.org, (707) 476-2392
John Woolley, District 3: email@example.com, (707) 476-2393
Bonnie Neely, District 4: firstname.lastname@example.org, (707) 476-2394
Jill Geist, District 5: email@example.com, (707) 476-2395
Eureka City Council: http://www.eurekawebs.com/cityhall
Peter La Vallee, Mayor: firstname.lastname@example.org, 707-441-4172
Mary Beth Wolford, Ward 1: email@example.com, 707-441-4169
Virginia Bass-Jackson. Ward 2: firstname.lastname@example.org, 707-441-4168
Jeff Leonard, Ward 3: email@example.com, 707-441-4170
Chris Kerrigan, Ward 4: firstname.lastname@example.org, 707-441-4167
Mike Jones, Ward 5: email@example.com, 707-441-4171
Arcata City Council: http://www.arcatacityhall.org/gov.html
Michael Machi, Mayor: firstname.lastname@example.org, 707-269-0394
Dave Meserve: email@example.com, 707-441-9846
Paul Pitino: firstname.lastname@example.org, 707-522-0387
Mark Wheetley: email@example.com, 707-269-0332
Harmony Groves: firstname.lastname@example.org, 707-522-0463
Of course we need to be the media...
Local Media Contacts:
Arcata Eye: email@example.com, 707-826-7000
Eureka Reporter: firstname.lastname@example.org, 707-476-8000
Eureka Times-Standard: email@example.com, 707-441-0500
HSU Lumberjack: firstname.lastname@example.org, 707-826-3271
Humboldt Advocate: email@example.com, 707-825-9400
Humboldt Beacon: firstname.lastname@example.org 707-725-6166
Humboldt Sentinel: email@example.com, 707-407-9212
KHUM: firstname.lastname@example.org, 707-786-5104
KMUD: email@example.com, 707-923-2513
Mainstream Media Project: firstname.lastname@example.org, 707-826-9111
North Coast Journal: email@example.com, 707-826-2000
Redwood Times: firstname.lastname@example.org(707) 923-1396
The Independent: email@example.com, 707-923-4205
Finally, public notice has been served (why can't I find this at the Secretary's website?) that a hearing will be held in Sacremento on 3/1/06 concerning certification of machines from several other vendors.
Note: media list updated 3/9/06 with thanks to anonymous comment poster #1.
Your media list is a little dated. There is no "Life and Times" anymore, it was bought out by the Times-Standard and changed to the "Redwood Times" years ago.
The Times-Standard also bought out the "Humboldt Beacon" last year and they print letters through firstname.lastname@example.org and their number is 707-725-6166.
Also, you forgot the "Humboldt Sentinel," their number is 707-407-9212 and their letters are evidently printed on-line via email@example.com.
By 1:02 PM, at