Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New voting system standards

From: stds-scc38@IEEE.ORG [mailto:stds-scc38@IEEE.ORG] On Behalf Of Al Kolwicz
Sent: Sunday, September 16, 2007 10:10 AM
To: g.robinson@computer.org
Cc: stds-scc38@IEEE.ORG; w.ash@IEEE.ORG
Subject: RE: SCC38 meeting announcement Oct 29 and 30

Mr. Robinson,

Two items that I would like to have included in the agenda are (1) scope of effort, and (2) governance. Neither of these items can be resolved at the meeting, but the committee can form a common understanding of what is meant by each, and can create subcommittees to address each.

Regarding "scope of effort", in my opinion this committee's prior efforts and the current EAC standards are both incomplete and misdirected. Incomplete, because the focus of the effort is on the EQUIPMENT and not the SYSTEM. Misdirected, because the work product is focused on mechanics rather than outcomes. A VOTING SYSTEM must meet certain functional requirements and do so within precisely measured performance specifications.

Voting System requirements deal with topics like districts/jurisdictions, eligibility (contests, contestants, and electors), anonymity, accuracy, verifiability, security, transparency, accountability, accessibility, poll watching, canvass boards, auditing, testing, etc. To date, the work of this committee has ignored most of the important functional elements of a voting system. If this committee does not choose to address these elements, then the committee should at a minimum declare in a set of "assumptions" that specific elements are to be addressed elsewhere. At a very minimum, we must have a voting systems diagram with each of the functional elements identified with standard nomenclature.

By focusing on minutiae, the volume of the standard is so large it becomes ineffective. No county clerk or judge in a court of law will ever read or understand the work. Re-focusing the effort will enable the standard to incorporate all of the functional elements, and do so in a manner that is durable over time and technology.

Regarding "governance", in my opinion this committee's work-in-progress should be available on the Internet - at no charge - including copies of drafts and committee correspondence. To my knowledge, there is no document of understanding detailing how this work will be used by government, and this needs to be negotiated and documented. Further, I cannot help but feel that the prior work product was misused by the prior leadership. Rules should be set to establish maximum transparency and to prevent misuse of the work.


Al Kolwicz
Colorado Voter Group
2867 Tincup Circle
Boulder, CO 80305

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Absolutely reckless election planned

Check out the article -- Voting Equipment Recert Delayed, Lawsuit Likely.

We support Paul Hultin’s position, as we have previously written to the Colorado Department of State.

CDOS is trying to fabricate distinctions where none exist when they attempt to justify their position that the Nov 2007 election is not subject to the recertification court order. No such distinction was mentioned (or even conceived of?) during the trial.

The people of Colorado rely on the State Certification process for their local decisions. That’s the way the law is designed. If county commissioners had been informed that the equipment was not certified, they would not have authorized its purchase, and public pressure would have “encouraged” commissioners to deny the purchase request.

We have provided specific evidence that the equipment is not trustworthy, and will likely produce an inaccurate and unverifiable election in November 2007. CDOS must immediately issue guidance to the County Clerks informing them of the facts.

At present the facts are being wrongfully withheld.

It would be absolutely reckless to use uncertified DRE and optical scan equipment that is known to suffer serious defects.

Any close contests will surely wind up in court.

Al Kolwicz