The software utility, eVote and the eVote clerk, injects true democracy and deliberation into our real-world landscape.

Monday, November 28, 2005



in cooperation with


Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives, Rayburn House Office Building - Room 2141, Washington, DC

Monday, December 5, 2005, 9:00 am - 12:30 pm

Regulatory policymaking has entered the information age. The federal
government has launched a regulatory portal called Regulations.Gov and is
currently developing a government-wide on-line regulatory docketing system.
New information technology creates potential opportunities for regulatory
agencies to improve the rulemaking process. This symposium will examine
new developments in e-rulemaking, their implications for administrative law
and procedure, and the research and policy issues raised by the application
of information technology to the rulemaking process.


Welcome and Introductions: Cary Coglianese, Chair, Regulatory Policy
Program, Harvard University

Opening Speaker: Karen Evans, Administrator for Electronic Government and
Information Technology, Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

Session 1: Current Progress on E-Rulemaking
Don Arbuckle, Deputy Administrator for Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB
Oscar Morales, Director, eRulemaking Initiative, US Environmental Protection Agency
Rick Otis, Deputy Associate Administrator, US Environmental Protection Agency

Barbara Brandon, University of Miami
Orice Williams, Government Accountability Office

Session 2: Current and Future Research on E-Rulemaking
Steve Balla, George Washington University
Stuart Shulman, University of Pittsburgh

Cornelius M. Kerwin, Acting President, American University
Jeff Lubbers, Former Research Director, Administrative Conference of the US

Closing Speaker: Sally Katzen, Former Administrator for Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB

Friday, November 18, 2005

King calls on Allegheny County with voting concerns

Allegheny County Council and Board of Election
Public Comment Hearing: Allegheny County Voting Machine Selection Process (HAVA)
County Court House, Gold Room,
436 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15217

Richard King, Ph.D.
1236 Malvern Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
(412) 400-3773

November 17th, 2005

Thank you, Allegheny County Council, for voting to hear these concerns…

Request for Council to Consider a Resolution of Support for V-VPRs

Voter-Verified Paper Records provide safeguards for electronic voting in:
1.) Reliability
2.) Security
3.) Audit-ability
4.) Robustness/Recovery of voter intention
5.) Transparency
6.) Voter Confidence
7.) HB2000/SB977 compliance without additional expense

(Statements preceded by a star * are fact based, not theory or opinion based)

Voter Verified Paper Records (V-VPRs):
* V-VPRs provide an independent audit trail of our votes… there is no other independent audit trail
* More 26 states already have V-VPRs
* The vast majority of computer technologists supported V-VPRs in a survey of the ACM.
* Votes lost due to software failures and electronic glitches will be recoverable with V-VPRs.

Precinct Based Optical Scan (PBOS):
* Optical scan is used throughout the country and exclusively in Arizona, Oklahoma and Rhode Island.
* One PBOS machine can serve seven times as many voters as a DRE machine on election day.
* With PBOS only two devices would have to be purchased for each polling place
* PBOS machines have greater longevity than touch screens.
* The savings from having to buy only two devices per polling place, versus four, six, ten, or more, will more than make up the expense of printing paper ballots for at least 10 years, probably more. The operating costs turn out to be lower because fewer poll workers are needed, less storage, less vendor support, shorter testing time, fewer resources all around are needed for opscan than for DRE systems.

RELIABILITY: Certification and Standards
Many experts agree: The standards for voting machine software are inadequate and allow for software failures every 136 hours. The PA computer voting state examiner has stated that “I am here today to offer my opinion that the system we have for testing and certifying voting equipment in this county is not only broken, but is virtually nonexistent” (M.Shamos, testified before the Environment, Technology, and Standards Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Science on June 24, 2004
Show the map of election day e-voting problems … all these problems were on federally certified machines.
* All machines are not inspected by the National Testing Labs and the State Examiner, only a handful are examined and only for standards, not for security.

*This summer, Diebold Election Systems presented a DRE for examination in Harrisburg. Twelve votes were cast in a mock election. Six of the twelve ballots were mis-tallied for the wrong candidate. (PA DOS video tape documentation. July 18th-19th) This machine and this software were qualified by the national ITAs

* Errors in Ballot Definition Files have only been found in optical scan systems. (See Page 21). BDFs are not more difficult to program in op scan systems, but they are more obvious and discoverable. With DRE voting, such problems may never become apparent to either the division of election staff or the voter. And the lost votes are not recoverable. Consider 134 blank ballots cast in Broward County or an 11 point swing between the tallied state wide DRE vote and a poll two days prior to the Georgia 2002 election. If errors in ballot definition files are involved, only V-VPRs will recover the intent of the voters.

* All ballots get manipulated by people whether they are electronic or paper, and all are susceptible to manipulation. The difference is that procedural safeguards and observation can protect against manipulation of paper, but no amount of procedural safeguards can ensure manipulation won't
occur -- or hasn't already occurred -- with e-ballots.
* You can watch a poll worker handling paper ballots. You can't watch the programmer that set up your
balloting software before you ever got the machine. *It is essential to guard the chain of custody of vote data -- either on paper or on electronic media -- it is a lot harder to guard it on the latter than the former.
* Paper ballots are a “write once” and tamper evident medium. E-votes are undetectably re-writable.

* V-VPRs provide an independent audit trail of our votes… there is no other independent audit trail

Robustness/Recovery of voter intention
* For lost electronic ballots, V-VPRs provide a back up, a recoverable record of the voter’s intent

HB2000/SB977 compliance without additional expense
* HAVA funds will be available for initial machine purchases, adding printers may cost more.

Transparency/Voter Confidence
* Voter-Verified Paper Ballots increase voter confidence in our system of elections. Public observation, public scrutiny and audit-ablity increase not only the integrity and robustness of election procedures. They increase the confidence of the voter in our system of participatory democracy. Thank You !

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Slated to speak on Thursday

I am slated to speak at the public hearing on Thursday.
This Thursday (11-17) at the Westin Convention Center hotel from 1 to 6 pm, four companies will display their voting machines. The public is invited to try the machines and give their opinions to county officials.

Audrey Glickman about the voting machine issue:

Don't forget about the voting machine issue. Look at This matter is also eminently important, due to the potential of stealing votes. I firmly believe that the Republicans stole the votes in the last two major elections. We have to encourage our state legislators to support H.B.2000 and S.B. 977, because we don't want to be able to buy any smarmy voting machines.

The counties have to choose before the end of this year, in order to get the money that the state is redistributing from the feds under the Help America Vote Act. The money likely won't pay for the whole thing, but our current machines are not good under HAVA, mostly because of the accessibility issues. They are, however, reliable, counting-wise.

My personal favorite machine is the AccuPoll machine, which is made by a company that started itself to address the questionable practices by the other machine companies. Its code is open for all to see, and it runs on UNIX. (It does not need hackable Windows to tally.) The company is open and honest, and the machine produces a paper report which the voter can check his votes and then deposit the paper into an official ballot box for recounting. (You don't recount the bits and bytes.) It's also highly handicapped-accessible.

Besides, it's supported in the eastern United States by local company UniSys. We need the business, on top of everything!

Time to start lobbying that, too. Please spread the word. There is a public display of voting machines on the 17th, and a hearing by the county officials at 5:00 that day (not well-scheduled with the public display, it seems).

- Audrey

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Free Press -- Independent News Media - Election 2004

The Free Press -- Independent News Media - Election 2004 In our HOW THE GOP STOLE AMERICA'S 2004 ELECTION & IS RIGGING 2008, we list more than 180 bullet points on how this theft was perpetrated. It was a brilliant, cynical and masterfully executed campaign of death by a thousand cuts.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Voters have pulled levers for last time

Dave E. serves as an election judge, so he wrote that he was a little miffed that the only notice this was in the Post-Gazette.

On Thursday, four companies will display the next generation of voting technology during an event at the Westin Convention Center Pittsburgh hotel. From 1 to 6 p.m., members of the public may try different machines and give their opinions to county officials.

At 5 p.m., County Council will hold a public hearing in the Gold Room of the county courthouse to discuss the issue.

The county will spend about $20 million next year to replace 2,800 lever machines; the federal government is likely to cover $12 million of the cost. New equipment needs to be in place by the May 17 primary.

The Pennsylvania Department of State has certified one company's machine. It uses a touch-screen system which displays one ballot question at a time on a computer monitor. Officials are likely to approve competing systems within the next few weeks.

The bottom line given the history of electronic voting machines being deployed and then found to be totally untrustworthy is that this decision should be made very very carefully. This is especially true in Allegheny County because the existing gear & lever machines are very reliable--there just plain is no emergency here.

Instead what's in progress is a monumental screw-up. The state requires the county to buy state-certified machines and the federal government has required the county to act by the end of the year, but the state STILL hasn't finished certifying machines.

If you can grab an hour or two Thursday to look at the machines, please do. But I think we need to think about more than that. I guess I'd like to see Congress extend the federal deadline until we can get some assurance that our votes won't be hijacked. Or maybe the county needs to sue the state to recover the federal funds it should forfeit in order to do the job right. Is it possible to interest Russ Diamond's group?

Dave Eckhardt

The solution -- in my not so humble opinion -- is to use "open source software." Who is going to certify the open-source software solution?

Friday, November 04, 2005

E-Democracy Workshop

E-Democracy Workshop The Center for Interdisciplinary Law and Policy Studies (CILPS), along with the Department of Journalism and Communication, the Department of City and Regional Planning, and the Ohio Supercomputer Center, invite you to join us November 17-18 for a hands-on workshop to introduce government personnel and other interested citizens to the emerging world of web applications...