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NASED


Testimony on Voting System Testing and Cerification PDF  | Print |  Email
NASED
By David Wagner, Computer Science Division, University of California, Berkeley   
May 08, 2007

The following written testimony was submitted for the public hearing of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives on May 7, 2007.

 

Summary

We have seen dramatic changes in election technology over the past decade. This new technology was introduced for laudable reasons and has brought important benefits. However, it has come at a cost.

Many of today’s electronic voting machines have security problems. The ones at greatest risk are the paperless DRE voting machines. These paperless machines are vulnerable to attack: a single person with insider access and some technical knowledge could switch votes, perhaps undetected, and potentially swing an election. With this technology, we cannot be certain that our elections have not been corrupted.

In my research into electronic voting, I have come to the conclusion that the federal certification process is not adequate. The testing labs are failing to weed out insecure and unreliable voting systems. The federal certification process has approved systems that have lost thousands of votes, systems with reliability problems, and systems with serious security vulnerabilities. Over the past four years, independent researchers have discovered security vulnerabilities in voting machines used throughout the country — vulnerabilities that were not detected by state and federal certification processes. Unfortunately, the standards and certification process has not kept pace
with the advances in election technology over the past decade.

One of the most promising directions may be to reduce our reliance upon software. With today’s paperless voting machines, flaws in the software can potentially cause undetectable errors in the outcome of the election. That places an impossible burden on vendors and testing labs, because it requires perfection: a single overlooked defect can be enough to render the whole system insecure, unreliable, or inaccurate, and experience has proven that it is common for even the most capable experts to overlook flaws and defects in software. It is unreasonable to expect perfection from vendors or testing labs given the complexity of modern election technology. If the system is completely reliant upon software, failures and security flaws are inevitable.

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House Subcommittee Holds Hearing Voting System Testing PDF  | Print |  Email
NASED
By Warren Stewart, VoteTrustUSA   
May 07, 2007

The Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a field hearing on voting system testing and certification at City Hall in New York City this morning.

 

Statement of Rep. Carolyn Maloney 

 

The following witnesses testified:

 

Panel I

The Honorable Donetta Davidson, chair of the Election Assistance Commission (Testimony)

Mark Skall, Chief, Software Diagnostics and Conformance Testing Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology

 

Panel II

Douglas A. Kellner, Co-Chair, New York State Board of Elections (Testimony)

David Wagner, Associate Professor, Computer Science Division, University of California, Berkeley (Testimony)

Lawrence Norden, Brennan Center for Justice, New York University School of Law (Testimony)

John Washburn, VoteTrustUSA Voting Technology Task Force (Testimony)

Mac J. Slingerland, President & CEO, CIBER, Inc.

 

Submitted Statements:

John Gideon, VotersUnite.org 

Teresa Hommel,Wheresthepaper.org 

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NASED Chief Blows Smoke Re: E-Voting Machines PDF  | Print |  Email
NASED
By John Gideon, VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA   
September 17, 2006

Kevin Kennedy (pictured at right) is the Elections Board Executive Director for the state of Wisconsin. He is also the present President of the National Association of State Elections Directors. Kennedy has been respected for the fact that Wisconsin is one of the few states that still allows hand counted paper ballots in some areas. He, unlike Linda Lamone of Maryland and Cathy Cox of Georgia, did not force every county and township in his state to go to Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines. Wisconsin is also one of the only states to have certified Vote-PAD for use by its voters with disabilities.

 

However, Kennedy must have gotten pressure from above as he has joined the campaign to put all blame for elections failures on the heads of poll workers and voters. Kennedy had a visitor during the Wisconsin state primary this week in the person of Paul DeGregorio, Election Assistance Commission Chairman and a man who will tell everyone he meets that there are no problems, everything's fine; while the 'train wreck' occurs all around him. Did "Nero" DeGregorio have a talk with Kevin? Just today Kennedy was quoted in the Washington Post:

"We know the equipment works because it's been qualified to federal standards," said Kevin J. Kennedy, executive director of the Wisconsin State Elections Board and president of the National Association of State Election Directors. "The real challenge is to make sure our poll workers are trained and make sure voters have been educated so that we don't have an experience like Maryland had."

Two sentences; the first the same disinformation used by elections officials across the country over and over again and clearly false. The second statement is made to cloud the issue and put all the blame, before November, on the people and away from the machines.

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Freeman, Craft, McGregor Group, Inc. - New Information about Paul Craft and Kate McGregor PDF  | Print |  Email
NASED
By Susan Pynchon, Florida Fair Elections Coalition   
June 23, 2006

Download this report in PDF Format 

 

Florida Fair Elections Coalition has obtained the employment records for Paul Craft and Kate McGregor from the Florida Division of Elections (DoE). These employment records include disturbing information about the lack of credentials for both Craft and McGregor, two of the three partners in Freeman, Craft, McGregor Group, Inc., a private consulting firm that is in the powerful position of advising states (including California, Illinois and Maryland) about the accuracy, security, certification and purchases of their voting systems.

Freeman, Craft, McGregor Group, Inc. (FCM) is a Florida corporation and was formed March 23, 2006 when the name was changed from Paul Craft, Inc. to Freeman, Craft, McGregor Group, Inc. (The corporate papers were originally filed for Paul Craft, Inc. on October 3, 2005).

Paul Craft

Until his resignation from the Florida Division of Elections (DoE), effective November 30, 2005, Paul Craft was Chief of Florida’s Bureau of Voting Systems Certification. He continues to be one of 8 members of the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) Voting Systems Board and one of 3 members of the Technical Sub-Committee of that board. He is also a member of the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) for voting system standards for National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST).

We believe it is a conflict of interest for Craft to have a private consulting firm and to remain a member of the NASED Voting Systems Board, which puts its stamp of approval on voting systems, and on the TGDC Committee. (Many states require a system to be NASED approved before those systems can be purchased or used in any
election). Craft is in the position of approving testing by the so-called Independent Testing Authorities (ITAs) which are paid to do the testing of voting systems by the voting system companies themselves. The ITAs have shown on a number of occasions that their first loyalty is to the voting machine vendors.

Craft has been a vocal and ardent supporter of certain voting machine companies, particularly Diebold and ES&S. He appeared to speak on their behalf during the creation of the 2002 Voluntary Voting System Standards. When he was Chief of the Bureau of Voting Systems Certification in Florida, he frequently appeared to act for their benefit, rather than for the public good.


The great irony is that Craft appears to have no real credentials to be providing any technical information to anyone. The one technical designation we are aware of, “Certified Information Systems Auditor,” pertains to information system auditing and is quite different from a technical qualification such as systems engineer. The CISA designation is to electronic voting systems what a librarian is to a library – a librarian may know that all the books in the library are catalogued properly, but that doesn’t mean that he/she knows what information is in the books themselves. The CISA designation involves checking, or auditing, to see if specified procedures are being followed but does not require the expertise to determine if the software itself is accurate or secure.

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NASED Certifies Voting Systems They Know Must Be Modified And No Longer Be Certified PDF  | Print |  Email
NASED
By John Gideon, VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA   
May 26, 2006
This open letter was sent to the National Association of State Election directors and the Election Assistance Commission.

It has recently been made public that NASED has been certifying, and continues to certify, electronic voting systems, with the full knowledge that when those systems are used in an election, they will inevitably be running different software than the software NASED certified. Those who certify the systems admit that the ES&S software actually used in an election is unique to that election, and therefore has not been examined by any independent tester, and cannot have been certified either by NASED or by the state.

This information was obtained via Public Records Requests from the Secretary of State of California. The emails that reveal this information can be viewed here.

In an email to Bruce McDannold and Paul Craft dated December 29, 2005,  Steven V. Freeman paraphrases what he has heard from Paul Craft that "...every election gets a new copy [of the ES&S firmware] installed with slight differences in the actual executable code due to the active linking to the election definition tables."

In a response dated December 30, 2005, Paul Craft makes it clear that the problem exists, not just for ES&S optical scanners, but also for the DREs:

"[ES&S products] are annoying because, as with the DRE's, you cannot really directly and easily validate the firmware once it is loaded on the chip with an election definition."

This means that every jurisdiction using ES&S voting equipment is using unique, unexamined, uncertified software to record, count, and tabulate votes. The participants in the email thread are uncertain whether or not this is true for the other vendors' products.

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