TrueVoteMd Files Open Records Request
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Records Raises Questions - TrueVoteMd Files Open Records Request
- Accurate Statewide Information Sought on Costly System's Election Day Failures Independent Audit Needed
Montgomery County, Maryland. Public statements made by State Elections Administrator Lamone yesterday conflicted starkly with official Montgomery County records of machine failures. This prompted the election integrity group TrueVoteMd to file an Open Records Request with the State Board to clarify the scope of computer malfunctions in each of Maryland's 23 counties and Baltimore City. (The request is included below.)
The Montgomery County Election Board's official report, "2004 Presidential General Election Review: 'Lessons Learned,'" on page 11 documents a 12% failure rate - a level considered unacceptable by the Federal Elections Commission (http://www.truevotemd.org/Resources/Lessons_Learned.pdf). Specifically,
* 189 units (7%) of units deployed failed on Election Day, and of those, 106 units experienced screen freezes
* 122 additional (5%) units [were categorized as] suspect because few votes were captured compared to other units at the precincts Ms. Lamone who told the Maryland Gazette that "26 (less than 1%) had problems directly related to voting"; -- while the County reported 106 (4%) of machines had problems from screen freezes alone.
"Somebody is wrong. Ms. Lamone should make those records public - not hide from them," said Kevin Zeese an attorney who filed the request with the SBE on behalf of TrueVoteMd. "An informed public and legislature will make better decisions on pending legislation - rather than decisions confused by conflicting information." County Boards have been required by Lamone to submit detailed reports on Election Day machine performance.
Four months after the November 2004 election, at a March 3, 2005 meeting the Montgomery Board openly discussed Diebold's continuing effort to explain failures in Montgomery County raising questions about whether the state's entire voting system will be ready in time for the 2006 elections. "It's time to look at the facts. The public needs accurate and complete information -- a full audit by independent investigators. Don't take my word for it but if Diebold is still struggling to explain problems four months after the election -- in the first of 23 counties plus Baltimore -- we may be looking at a statewide recall," stated Linda Schade co-founder of TrueVoteMD.org.
A Campaign for Verifiable Voting
7711 Garland Ave. * Takoma Park, MD 20912 * 301-270-9150
March 10, 2005
Maryland Board of Elections
P.O. Box 6486
Annapolis, MD 21401-0486
Request for Records Related to Election Day 2004
Dear Ms. Lamone:
This is a request for records relating to the performance of the Diebold voting machines on Election Day 2004.
This request seeks all information, reports, lists, and other documentation of overall performance and any problems of any type with the Diebold voting machines for the November 2004 election; also all correspondence with the Diebold corporation regarding the operations, maintenance, deployment, checking, troubleshooting, and help desk tickets; any other communications with Diebold regarding performance troubles and issues for this election and any correspondence or records related to any tests that might have been conducted to determine the causes of problems.
We are also interested in knowing if the state has any record of the machines and the memories ever having been tested to IEC 61000-4-2 (for electrostatic disruption).
This request also includes all correspondence with county election officials concerning problems of any type with the Diebold voting machines for the November election and any reports they have provided to the state Board of Elections on this matter.
This request is made on behalf of TrueVoteMD.org a non-profit educational organization and therefore we request that all copying costs be waived. This information is intended to inform the public about the reliability of voting machines used in Maryland and thus will be used in the public interest.
Kevin B. Zeese