INDEPENDENT NEWS

Sludge Report #162 - Sequoia Voting Code Released

Published: Fri 2 Apr 2004 05:41 PM
IN THIS EDITION: Sequoia Vote Counting Code Released - Why This Software Is Being Released In This Way


http://www.blackboxvoting.org
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Sludge Report #162
Sequoia Vote Counting Code Released
Earlier today Scoop published a report from Blackboxvoting.org's Bev Harris about holes in the Sequoia vote tabulation software.
Arguably this is the biggest new development in the black box voting saga since this column announced the release into the wild of the full contents of the Diebold FTP website. The Diebold FTP site contained the source code tree for the Diebold touchscreen software, numerous installation versions of the GEMs vote counting software, and manuals for numerous Diebold Election Systems programs.
Bev Harris's latest report details not only how insecure the Sequoia vote tabulation software is - and it appears to be if anything worse than Diebold's offering - but also asks specific questions about the conduct of Sequoia staff and election officials in Riverside County California during the March 2 election this year.
Click on the book cover below to read the story in full…


http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0404/S00024.htm
Bev Harris: Inside Sequoia's Vote Counting Program
The story can also be read on Bev Harris's activist website:
http://www.BlackBoxVoting.org
This column contends that, like the Diebold software, the Sequoia WinEds ssoftware clearly requires extensive academic examination. The download address for the file is:
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/WinEDS200.zip
This column does not know how long this address will remain live however. Therefore Look for other mirror URLs here - http://scoop.co.nz/mason/features/?s=usacoup. And please send advice on any mirror URLs to editor@scoop.co.nz.
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Why This Software Is Being Released In This Way
Following a review by protected sources who showed us significant flaws, we believe it is imperative to have it studied in public by academics or groups willing to put their name to it. The best way to do this is to release it into the wild, which frees some of these groups to study the software without having to remain anonymous
Up till July 8th 2003 Bev Harris, Scoop and others who had been highlighting this very serious issue had experienced a almost zero success in getting either the mainstream media or political officials to even ask questions of the vendors of what is now shown to be clearly toxic technology. A handful of dedicated academics had been working hard in this area but they too had found extending the debate extremely difficult.
Following publication of the files on July 8th at the urging of Dr. David Dill from Stanford University, a team of researchers from Johns Hopkins and Rice Universities, led by Avi Rubin, downloaded and examined one section of the code, the source code for the touch-screen terminals, and published a damning report that was covered in the New York Times on July 24th.
That report led in turn directly to:
- a damning official report commissioned by the State of Maryland by SAIC;
- a second damning official report commissioned by the State of Ohio by CompuWare;
- a third damning official report commissioned in Maryland from RABA.
Since then the story has gone from strength to strength to strength and is now the talk of political activists from coast to coast some highlights of the media coverage include:
- The New York Times has now launched a series of articles on the subject;
- extensive media coverage of the dangers of paperless electronic voting has appeared on every major US TV network;
- A comprehensive series of features on Wired.com
- Vanity Fair publishing an indepth investigative article on the subject as the lead feature in its April 2004 issue.
Another source document release, the Diebold Memos, a set of 15,000 internal emails and other files released on September 5 to Bev Harris, and posted here and much more extensively on her Web site simultaneously on September 12. This release triggered another chain of events which played a major part in fueling the subsequent media coverage of this issue, both in the New York Times and elsewhere. Critical to the second document release was the work of a group of students at Swarthmore College.
These two releases demonstrate that the "open sourcing" of materials has been very important in order to have an informed public discourse on this issue.
Ongoing efforts by dozens of leaders in this field, including Dr. Dill's organization ( VerifiedVoting.org), Dr. Rebecca Mercuri, Lynn Landes, Dr. Doug Jones, Jim March, and many local citizens groups have dramatically increased support for legislative efforts in Washington to require auditable paper ballots to be produced by all machines
On December 16, it was revealed in two states, simultaneously, that Diebold was using uncertified software. In the State of California, an audit was performed, and the result was the discovery that not a single county had properly certified software installed. On the same day, at the same time, in the State of Washington, Andy Stephenson and Bev Harris released a 10-page document showing that uncertified software was being used in 10 states. This was backed up by the release of the Diebold Memos in public.
All of which shows clearly that there is great public interest value in publicly scrutinizing voting company documents. And it follows therefore that the release of the Sequoia Code into the wild is an equally important development in this story.
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/WinEDS200.zip
This column therefore requests that everybody who is able to - please post links to this story. Please also post links to Bev Harris's latest story about the Sequoia files. And most important of all, please download the file and if you can host it on your own website and send us the mirror URL.
# # ENDS # #
Bev Harris is author of Black Box Voting: Ballot Tampering In The 21st Century … See 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…


Anti©opyright Sludge 2004
C.D. Sludge
Scoop Publisher
Alastair Thompson is the co-founder of Scoop. He is of Scottish and Irish extraction and from Wellington, New Zealand. Alastair has 24 years experience in the media, at the Dominion, National Business Review, North & South magazine, Straight Furrow newspaper and online since 1997. He is the winner of several journalism awards for business and investigative work.
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