Tuesday, July 24, 2007

California test evote systems

Michael Geist also points to a report about California Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, facilitating "testing for vulnerabilities in touch-screen voting machines ... part of an unprecedented "top-to-bottom" review ... to ensure that the state's voting systems are secure - and whether they should be certified for use.

She is expected to report Aug. 3 - six months before the Feb. 5 presidential primaries, a timeline that is making election officials nervous.

Bowen is fulfilling what her supporters and voting security advocates consider to be the mandate she received from last year's election, in which she clashed with her predecessor, Bruce McPherson, over how much scrutiny the state's electronic voting and tabulations systems needed. She won in November amid a national outcry over fears of hacking, vote flipping and election rigging with suspicions squarely aimed at touch-screen voting systems.

"Voting machine companies are quaking in their boots," said Brad Friedman, the author of BradBlog.com, which is devoted to voting security. "She's doing exactly what she was elected to do. I will be stunned if they find systems that don't have enormous, gaping vulnerabilities."

Three vendors - Diebold Election Systems of Texas, Sequoia Voting Systems of Oakland and Hart InterCivic of Texas - are awaiting the outcome of the review, as are county registrars, who worry that any decertification could lead to chaos on Election Day."

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