Bev Harris: GOP, Dems, Libz Request Diebold Docs

Published: Mon 11 Aug 2003 03:17 PM
Libertarians, Republicans, Democrats all requesting Diebold docs
Georgia Libertarians request Diebold docs; Calif. Repub. does too; so do Ariz. Democrats
Thursday, August 7, 2003
By Bev
Aug 7 2003 -- The Libertarian Party in Georgia filed a formal request for records pertaining to the Diebold voting machines used in the November 2002 general election. In Alameda County, California, a Republican filed a Public Records Act Request, also seeking documents pertaining to the Diebold voting machines. And the Pima County Democratic Party, in Arizona, has also launched proceedings to investigate the use of Diebold optical scan machines.
Diebold machines are used in 37 states. Maryland has just purchased machines statewide, and Ohio will make a decision on whether Diebold will be the preferred vendor by Aug. 15. Utah is also considering the touch screen machines, and San Diego County committed to buying 10,000 Diebold touch screens last week.
In Georgia, unexamined program changes were made to all 22,000 voting machines shortly before the Nov. 2002 general election. State officials claimed there was no need to look at the “patches” because they made changes only to the Windows operating system which underlies the voting software. However, Bev Harris, author of Black Box Voting: Ballot-Tampering in the 21st Century, wishes to differ.
“I have a copy of two of the program patches,” says Harris. “One of them is called ‘’ and in this is a folder for the GEMS voting program that says ‘replace GEMS files with these.’ Another folder instructs technicians to overwrite Windows operating system files. Harris says the Windows files were significantly altered from the original Microsoft version, a violation of FEC regulations unless specifically disclosed and examined. Windows changes can affect security, especially changes in the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) functions.
1) Was the Windows Operating System, as used on voting machines certified for use in the 2002 Georgia general election, represented by Diebold/Global as being unmodified commercial off-the-shelf software?
2) If not, was the Windows Operating System, as used on voting machines certified for use in the 2002 Georgia general election, represented as being modified by third parties such as Diebold/Global, or BSquare Corporation or any other organization?
3) If not, was the Windows Operating System, as used on voting machines certified for use in the 2002 Georgia general election, itself specifically certified for such use?
4) Did any Georgia certifying authority conduct tests to independently verify whether any modifications were made to items represented to be commercial off-the-shelf software?
5) Did any Georgia certifying authority certify whatever modifications may have been made?
Please provide written certification documents, pertaining to all of the above questions. Please include the precise names and version numbers of the software involved.
The purpose of the California records request is “to evaluate the logistics of doing an on-site inspection of the Diebold software and data handling at the County Registrar's office.
Pima County actions focus on evaluating the appropriateness of Diebold machines in view of the security flaws found by Harris.
Related news:
1. Federal funds promised under the HAVA act may not be fully realized, making mandatory purchase of voting machines into another unfunded mandate.
2. True cost of a voter verified paper trail: All major touch screen manufacturers already sell machines that have a printer in them. The issue is simply putting paper in the printer. A large precinct may have as many as 3,000 voters. The cost of paper for a precinct this size may be as little as $15.
3. The state of Maryland has hired defense contractor Science Application International Corp. (SAIC) to conduct a review of the Diebold voting system. SAIC is also involved in electronic voting, SAIC was hired by Diversified Dynamics, another defense contractor, to make voting machines. (Yet another defense contractor, Northrop Grumman, has also entered the electronic voting business.) SAIC has also marketed electronic voter registration systems, and has had two board members who are now on the board of VoteHere.
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Bev Harris is author of Black Box Voting: Ballot Tampering In The 21st Century … See and it's activist arm

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…

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