Bev Harris: The Election Center and R. Doug Lewis
The Election Center and R. Doug Lewis
Saturday, August 9, 2003
By Bev Harris – blackboxvoting.org
Why the fuss? Everyone wonders why, when it costs only about $15 to have the touch screens print out paper ballots that voters can verify, that can be kept in a ballot box for use if needed as evidence and an audit trail, the Election Center quietly passed around a letter to the election industry advocating against the paper trail.
Now, people are beginning to question the money trail on these machines. Who gets lobbying money? Who gets contributions? Does anybody get kickbacks? How are people getting paid? Why did San Diego decide, right in the midst of the exposure of very serious questions about Diebold touch screen security, to hurry ahead and buy 10,000 machines? Why did Maryland do the same, purchasing 11,000 machines for $55 million?
How did the flaws get through certification? Why are the most critical group of people, the secretaries of states, organized by a private firm called "The Election Center?" The Election Center, run by an individual named R. Doug Lewis, also organized and trains state election officials, and, through NASED (National Association of State Election Directors) selects the certifiers of the voting machines.
As more people ask how Diebold machines got through certification, more scrutiny is applied to Wyle Labs (which quit certifying the software in 1996, but through its voting machine specialist Jim Dearman, is said to have certified the firmware examined by the Hopkins/Rice scientists). An even more unusual certifier is Ciber, who certified the GEMS program that was the subject of the Harris report http://www.blackboxvoting.org/access.diebold.htm. This firm is the latest in a series of four software certifiers for voting machines, each of whom dropped certification duties after a short time, each of whom hired Shawn Southworth to do the certification. Who chose Shawn Southworth? NASED, under the guidance of R. Doug Lewis.
Who hired Lewis? Who started The Election Center? What are his credentials? R. Doug Lewis holds perhaps the most powerful position in the United States when it comes to election security. What we do know about him: Prior to running The Election Center, he owned a used computer parts store for about eight years. It went out of business and he then took over training and organization of the United States election industry.
His resume before this is murky. He claims to have been "an assistant to a president in the White House" (but he doesn't say which president). He says he was the head of the Kansas and Texas Democratic Party (but he doesn't say which years).
On his own forum, someone has asked those simple questions.
Who Is R. Doug Lewis
What are his credentials?
Is there a biography of him and how he came to his current position at the Election Center?
Has he isssued a statement on the recent Diebold security disaster where their source code for GEMS being left on a wide open FTP server with no passwords or security for anyone to download?
Will anyone answer the question posed on his forum? Will R. Doug Lewis provide an answer? Or will the question be removed?
- Bev Harris
[Scoop Editor's Note: It appears that the Election Center site is back up and working now. At the time Bev Harris posted this to her website it wasn't. The post in question can still be viewed, and at the time of posting this on Scoop can be viewed by clicking on the image above. While powerful it may be, the Election Center has a distinctly amateur look about its website and anyone having a look at the discussion forum will discover that they haven't even got the $6.99 a month it would take to make their communication system advert-free.]
Black Box: Response to Diebold records request: Sorry, it's secret
In response to Jim March's request for records in Alameda County, California pertaining to Diebold: http://www.equalccw.com/alamedaprarresponse.pdf
"Please be advised that the county will not provide the information you requested...
"The County will not allow access or disclose any information regarding the Diebold election system as any information relating to that system is exempted from the PRA (Public Records Act)...The system provided by Diebold Election Systems Inc. ("DESI") is a proprietary system that is recognized as such in the contract between the County and DESI...
"...The County contends that the official information privelege in section 1040 of the Evidence Code is applicable because the information requested was acquired by the County in confidence and the County is required to maintain its confidentiality. Any copying or disclosing of such information would violate the license agreements..."
Original Public Records Act request: http://www.equalccw.com/voteprar.html
background and live news links on this news subject see also
Scoop's Special Feature – A Very American
Pre-Order your copy of Black Box Voting today…
For more background and live news links on this news subject see also Scoop's Special Feature – A Very American Coup…