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Voting Rights Grp Seeks Federal Diebold Inspection

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

VOTING RIGHTS GROUP CALLS ON FEDERAL ELECTION OVERSEERS TO RE-INSPECT ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEMS

Demand Follows Rejection of Diebold Election Systems by California, North Carolina, Florida and Missouri Election Officials and Diebold’s Admission of Security Breeches

CHICAGO, IL – (January 2, 2005) – VoteTrustUSA, a national non-profit, non-partisan organization founded by e-voting experts, is calling for the immediate de-certification and re-inspection of all Diebold Elections Systems Inc. software and source code. In an open letter to the federal Elections Assistance Commission which oversees the inspection and certification of voting systems, VoteTrustUSA and a wide range of election integrity organizations across the country also urged the federal body to initiate the re-inspection of other brands of election software, which also may include software that is expressly forbidden by established standards. VoteTrustUSA has also issued an Action Alert for concerned citizens to email the EAC commissioners, at

http://www.congressweb.com/cweb4/index.cfm?orgcode=VTUSA&hotissue=4

Groups co-signing the Open Letter to the EAC include: www.VoteTrustUSA.org" target="_blank">Arizona Citizens for Fair Elections, Broward Verified Voting (Florida), California Election Protection Network, CASE Ohio, Citizens for Election Integrity (Minnesota), Coalition for Peace Action (New Jersey), Coloradans for Voting Integrity, Count the Vote (Georgia), Florida Fair Elections Coalition, GuvWurld (California), Illinois Ballot Integrity Project, Las Vegas Peace & Justice Center (New Mexico), Mercer County Citizens for Better Elections (Pennsylvania), Missourians for Honest Elections, New Yorkers for Verified Voting, North Carolina Coalition for Verifiable Voting, Oregon Voter Rights Coalition, Palm Beach Coalition for Election Reform (Florida), VelvetRevolution.us, Verified Voting New Mexico, VotePA, VotersUnite and www.VoteTrustUSA.org.

In December, computer experts in Florida demonstrated that the “electronic ballot box” in Diebold optical scan vote counting systems could undetectably alter the results of an election. Within days, California’s secretary of state reported that the banned software is in use in Diebold’s touch-screen voting system as well. Diebold officials acknowledged that they use “interpreted code” in their AccuBasic software and it may be used elsewhere in their code.

The interpreted code found in Diebold optical scanners and touch screens is prohibited by the Federal Voluntary Voting System Guidelines of 1990 and 2002. The code exploits an insecure feature and presents the opportunity for altering election results. The Federal Election Commission Voting System Standards were written by experts in the field of computer sciences and elections and adopted in 2002.

According to Joan Krawitz, VoteTrust executive director, “The ITA overlooked an obvious violation of federal standards when certifying Diebold voting systems. We have similar concerns that prohibited code may also be found in voting systems produced by Diebold’s competitors.”

“The EAC is on notice that voters will not tolerate violations of federal standards by the Independent Testing Authority, which it oversees. We are requesting that the ITA reinspect all source code and software used in Diebold Optical Scan and Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines to determine the presence of interpreted code.”

VoteTrustUSA is a national coalition and support network for 50 state-based election integrity groups. Their mission is to ensure that future elections are free, fair, accountable and accurately reflect the intentions of the voters. For more information visit VoteTrust at www.VoteTrustUSA.org.

###


CONTACT: Joan Krawitz, VoteTrust USA
847-869-5025
jkrawitz@VoteTrustUSA.org


John Gideon
Executive Director www.votersunite.org and
Information Manager www.votetrustusa.org

VotersUnite! is a national non-partisan organization dedicated to fair and accurate elections. It focuses on distributing well-researched information to elections officials, elected officials, the media, and the public; as well as providing activists with information they need to work toward transparent elections in their communities.

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