Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Lawsuit to Decertify Diebold Optical Scan

Washington State Lawsuit Seeks to Decertify Diebold Optical Scan System


By Bev Harrisblackboxvoting.org
Friday May 14, 2004
(Note court hearing began Friday morning at 10:00 a.m.)


http://www.blackboxvoting.org
Read The Book…Support The Cause - Order Your Copy Today

In the first pre-emptive lawsuit against voting machines filed by a candidate, Andy Stephenson -- a candidate for Washington Secretary of State -- has filed for an injunction to decertify Diebold GEMS central count software used in four Washington counties. The suit alleges that current Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed improperly certified the voting system. Stephenson is also suing King County over the use of uncertified optical scan software.

Today's hearing will decide a motion to dismiss, filed by Sam Reed's office. Of interest: Reed has asked the judge to deem the formal report by California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley to be inadmissable hearsay, and in a more bizarre response, seeks to have Diebold's own "release notes" -- the document which lists changes made in the software -- to be deemed inadmissable. Washington's laws regarding admissability of evidence are more liberal than many other states, allowing the use of reports, and even news articles, to be submitted as evidence.

Reed's objection to the Diebold release notes is interesting because these release notes are required to be submitted to the defendant -- the Secretary of State -- in order to certify the GEMS software.

The release notes submitted by Stephenson demonstrate that the software had over 600 changes, including many new features, requiring it to undergo certification according to Washington state law. The state has not provided its own copy of the Diebold GEMS 1.18.18 release notes, so Stephenson obtained release notes via the state of California. The release notes are a critical document, and it will be interesting to see whether Reed's office refuses to provide their own copy, or attempts to claim that the Diebold GEMS release notes for Washington differ from the same document submitted by Diebold to the state of California.

Today's hearing should be a simple one; upcoming actions may become more contentious. One material witness, Washington State Elections Director David Elliott, took an indefinite personal leave of absence at about the time the lawsuit went its into discovery phase; at the same time, the King County Elections Office issued a directive to its employees to destroy records over 90 days old, a directive that appears to invite employees to remove evidence.

The GEMS central count software used in Washington State was certified on August 12, 2004 by Steve Excel, the assistant secretary of state in Washington. Washington state law requires use of the software in another state election before it can be certified, but this software had never been used elsewhere at the time it was certified. In March 2004, GEMS software miscounted 3,000 absentee ballots in San Diego, which Diebold admits was caused by a program error. In the state of Washington, as many as 60 percent of all ballots are absentee, so this flaw is a genuine concern for a candidate who must depend on the accuracy of the vote count for his election.

Also at issue is the firmware inside the Diebold optical scan machines in Washington State. Documents provided by state elections director David Elliott earlier this year indicate that this firmware has never been certified at all in Washington state.

- Bev Harris

NOTE: You can donate towards Bev Harris's costs via Paypal at http://www.blackboxvoting.org/

# # ENDS # #

Bev Harris is author of Black Box Voting: Ballot Tampering In The 21st Century … See http://www.blackboxvoting.com/ and http://www.blackboxvoting.org/


http://www.blackboxvoting.org
Read The Book…Support The Cause - Order Your Copy Today

For more background and live news links on this news subject see also Scoop's Special Feature – A Very American Coup…


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Globetrotter: The Geopolitics Behind Spiraling Gas And Electricity Prices In Europe
The current crisis of spiraling gas prices in Europe, coupled with a cold snap in the region, highlights the fact that the transition to green energy in any part of the world is not going to be easy. The high gas prices in Europe also bring to the forefront the complexity involved in transitioning to clean energy sources... More>>

Julian Assange: A Thousand Days In Belmarsh
Julian Assange has now been in the maximum-security facilities of Belmarsh prison for over 1,000 days. On the occasion of his 1,000th day of imprisonment, campaigners, supporters and kindred spirits gathered to show their support, indignation and solidarity at this political detention most foul... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Mauling Of Novak Djokovic
Rarely can the treatment of a grand sporting figure by officialdom have caused such consternation. Novak Djokovic, the tennis World Number One, has always had a tendency to get under skin and constitution, creating a large following of admirers and detractors. But his current treatment by Australian authorities, and his subsequent detention as an unlawful arrival despite being granted a visa to participate in the Australian Open, had the hallmarks of oppression and incompetent vulgarity... More>>


Off To The Supreme Court: Assange’s Appeal Continues

With December’s High Court decision to overturn the lower court ruling against the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, lawyers of the WikiLeaks founder immediately got busy... More>>


Forbidden Parties: Boris Johnson’s Law On Illegal Covid Gatherings

It was meant to be time to reflect. The eager arms of a new pandemic were enfolding a society with asphyxiating, lethal effect. Public health authorities advocated various measures: social distancing, limited contact between family and friends, limited mobility. No grand booze-ups. No large parties. No bonking, except within dispensations of intimacy and various “bubble” arrangements. Certainly, no orgies... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Question Time Is Anything But
The focus placed on the first couple of Question Time exchanges between the new leader of the National Party and the Prime Minister will have seemed excessive to many but the most seasoned Parliamentary observers. Most people, especially those outside the Wellington beltway, imagine Question Time is exactly what it sounds... More>>