Category Archives: E-voting

Federal Spending Bill – What’s in the ‘Cromnibus’ for Tech Policy?

The House last night released the $1 trillion “Cromnibus” bill to fund the government through September 2015. It combines an omnibus spending bill for 11 of the 12 annual appropriations bills for FY 2015 and a continuing resolution (CR) for DHS funding through February. The omnibus bill includes provisions on cybersecurity, cyber theft of intellectual [...]

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Heading Into Midterms, USACM Re-emphasizes Role Of Technology In Elections

With mid-term Congressional elections fast approaching, USACM released a statement to emphasize the importance of voting technology in elections.  It echoes past statements from USACM on voting, including its 2013 remarks to the Presidential Commission on Election Administration.  In the statement USACM outlines seven principles needed to effectively protect the accuracy and impartiality of elections: [...]

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Presidential Commission Issues Recommendations on Improving Voting Experience

On January 22, the Presidential Commission on Election Administration issued the report requested of it by President Obama.  Formed after reports of long lines and other voting difficulties in the 2012 election, the Commission was charged with identifying best practices in election administration and recommend steps to improve the voting experience.  The Commission held several [...]

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Presidential Commission on Election Administration Continues Listening Tour

The Presidential Commission on Election Administration, established by Executive Order earlier this year, has held two official meetings and been present at other meetings of election officials. While the first meeting, held June 21st in Washington, D.C. was a brief affair, the June 28th meeting in Miami was a full day affair, listening to elected [...]

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USACM Notes Technology In Letter to Voting Commission

On Friday the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, established earlier this year by Executive Order, will hold its first public meeting in Washington, D.C. As part of the public comment period prior to the meeting, USACM sent the Commission Co-Chairs, Robert Bauer and Benjamin Ginsburg, a letter. In that letter USACM reminds the Commission of [...]

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New GAO Report on Voting Accessibility

Almost all polling places had an accessible voting system during the 2008 elections, according to a new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). That’s the good news. The bad news: At nearly half of the polling places with an accessible voting system, voters with disabilities still faced barriers to voting independently and privately. [...]

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Congressional Forum on Voting Accessibility

National Council on Disability’s Congressional Policy Forum on Voting Access “The Help America Vote Act Ten Years Later: Has the Law Accomplished Its Aim?” Tuesday, April 23, 2 – 4:30 p.m. Dirksen Senate Office Building – Room 608 (Senate Budget Committee Hearing Room) This Congressional Policy Forum will help inform the National Council on Disability [...]

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President Establishes Voting Commission; Focus Will Include Voting Technology

As Renee mentioned, President Obama issued an Executive Order establishing the Presidential Commission on Election Administration. The Commission was a promise made in the President’s State of the Union address this year, and responds to concerns over long waiting times for voters in the 2012 elections. The Commission is charged with identifying best practices and [...]

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Accessible Voting Technology Research Workshop, April 1-2

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission and the National Institute of Standards and Technology will be holding a two-day workshop on April 1-2 to explore current and future research in accessible voting technology. The two-day workshop will be available by live webcast. The Workshop comes just days after President Obama’s Executive Order creating a new Election [...]

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USACM Releases Issue Brief on Military and Overseas Internet Voting

The U.S. Public Policy Council of the Association for Computing Machinery (USACM) has developed an issue brief on internet voting as it relates to military and overseas voters. This issue brief is part of a series, which includes briefs on REAL ID and Electronic Employment Verification Systems. The brief focuses on the challenges of voting [...]

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Technical Guidelines Development Committee Meets After Two Year Hiatus

The Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC), responsible to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) for the drafting guidance for voting system standards, met last week for the first time since 2007. Since the last meeting of the TGDC, there have been several changes in membership, including the chair (now new National Institute of Standards and Technology [...]

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USACM Comments on New Electronic Voting Legislation

USACM recently sent a letter to Representative Rush Holt commenting on his new electronic voting legislation. The bill, H.R. 2894, is similar to Rep. Holt’s earlier electronic voting bills. The emphasis is on providing voter-verified paper records to ensure that voter intent can be captured even if there are problems with electronic voting machines. As [...]

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CFP Panel on Voting and the Internet

Yesterday, during the Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference (CFP), USACM coordinated a panel to speak on voting and using the internet. It was chaired by Ed Felten of Princeton, who is also Vice-Chair of USACM. The panelists where Amy Bjelland and Craig Stender from the State of Arizona, Susan Dzieduszucka-Suinat of the Overseas Vote Foundation, [...]

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EAC Announces Proposed Revisions to 2005 Voluntary Voting System Guidelines

On Monday the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) released a draft of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) Version 1.1 for public comment. This version of the VVSG is an update of the current version of the VVSG, approved in 2005 and in effect since 2007. The comment period will close in late September, and the [...]

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NIST Presents Research Status on Voting Systems

In response to a request from the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), the National Institute of Standards and Technology conducted research on six specific areas in connection to voting systems. We posted about that request earlier on this blog. The goal of this research was to focus on the state of some very specific technical issues [...]

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Election 2008: E-Voting Poses Problems, But No Meltdown

While some federal races remain too close to call, or are headed to runoffs, the 2008 election is notable for the lack of a dispute over election machines that may affect the outcome of an election. USACM members and ACM staff were observing activity throughout the country and noted the problems and issues with electronic [...]

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George Mason University’s E-mail System Compromised: Sends Students Fraudulent Election Information

Early on Election Day morning (at 1:16 AM) George Mason University’s e-mail system sent out a message to students under the Provost’s name stating that the Election Day had been moved to November 5. Here is the text of the message: To the Mason Community: Please note that election day has been moved to November [...]

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Washington Post Cites Growing Voter Database Issues

Saturday’s Washington Post detailed growing concerns and political battles over the implementation of new voter registration procedures as states use newly constituted statewide voter registration databases. One of the most difficult issues to resolve is the “no match” problem when state voter registration databases are compared against federal databases (such as the Social Security Number [...]

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GAO Criticizes Certification Program for Voting Testing Labs

In a recently released report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) criticized the voting system testing lab accreditation program administered by the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). You can read the report online. The voting system testing lab accreditation program is intended to certify the processes [...]

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ACM E-Voting Expert Named to Key Federal Advisory Committee

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) recently appointed USACM-EC member Barbara Simon to the Board of Advisors for the Election Assistance Commission. USACM had nominated her along with three other USACM members to serve on the board in the positions reserved for technical and scientific professionals. Our release on Simons appointment is below, and you can find [...]

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VVSG Update: Possible Next Steps by the Election Assistance Commission

Last week the Board of Advisors of the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) met over two days to discuss pending and new business. While this meeting (and most meetings of the EAC and its boards) covered many topics, the items having to do with the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) are worth passing along. The staff [...]

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Innovation Class and Voting Standards

Last week we started a series of posts highlighting our high-level comments on the the Election Assistance Commission’s Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG). Our first post focused on the important new concept — Software Independence. Today’s post focuses on a related new concept — the Innovation Class.

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Software Independence and Voting Standards

Three weeks ago, USACM filed detailed comments with the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) on its draft of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines. (Quick Review: These are proposed Federal standards for voting equipment, which are voluntary in nature but some states require manufacturers follow them.) Realizing that many people will not be able to read through [...]

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USACM Applauds New Voting System Standards

We are doing a bit of catchup as we are behind on posting to the blog. On Monday USACM filed detailed comments with the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) on the draft 2007 Federal Voluntary Voting System Guidelines. Calling the standards a welcome step forward, USACM supported several important concepts in the draft — including software [...]

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Holt Bill Loses House Vote, Future in Doubt

HR 5036, a bill that would provide resources for jurisdictions to purchase paper-based voting systems for the 2008 elections, was voted down in the House on Tuesday. The bill was considered under suspension of the rules, which requires a two-thirds majority to pass. It fell short, 239-178. Bill opponents criticized the cost of the bill [...]

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National Academies Releases Interim Report on Voter Registration Databases

The Committee on State Voter Registration Databases of the National Research Council released an interim report last week. An ad hoc committee under the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, and sponsored by the Election Assistance Commission, this committee is charged to identify and address issues and concerns associated with operating statewide voter registration databases. The [...]

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E-Voting Legislation Approved By House Committee

Last week the Committee on House Administration marked up HR 5036, the Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act of 2008. The bill, introduced by Representative Rush Holt (D-N.J.), would provide reimbursement for jurisdictions that would purchase paper-based voting systems for the 2008 elections. USACM commented on the legislation in a letter we sent to Rep. [...]

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USACM Chair Interviewed about Electronic Voting

Last night on the Chicago Fox affiliate, USACM Chair Eugene Spafford was interviewed as part of a story on the State of Illinois’ progress – or lack thereof – in complying with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). You can watch the story online. Dr. Spafford appears near the end of the piece. The Illinois [...]

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VVSG Comment Period Extended

In November the EAC began a 120 day comment period on the next iteration of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines, which are the Federal standards for all voting equipment. Today the EAC extended that deadline by another 60 days, pushing it to roughly May 5. USACM plans to file comments. To review and comment on [...]

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Task Force Recommends Dismissing Florida 13 Contest

As noted in a previous blog post, this morning the Task Force on the contested Florida 13th District election met briefly to hear the final report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO was asked to review the election machines (and previously conducted tests of those machines) used in Sarasota County in order to [...]

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USACM Submits Letter Commenting on New Holt Legislation

Yesterday USACM sent a letter to Representative Rush Holt commenting on his newest piece of electronic voting legislation, HR 5036. The bill, the Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act of 2008, provides money to jurisdictions that rely on DRE voting machines to purchase paper trail systems in time for the general election. At the same [...]

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Final Report Due on Florida 13th Election Contest

Congressional Quarterly is reporting that the Committee on House Administration’s Task Force on the Florida 13th Congressional District contested election will meet this Friday at 10 a.m. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) will present its final report on the election, and the Task Force will make its recommendation to the full committee. The contest of [...]

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New Voting Study Addresses Usability Concerns

In the debates about the use of electronic voting machines there is a refrain that direct electronic recorder (DRE) voting machines are much easier to use and much more accurate in capturing voter intent than other voting systems. A new comprehensive usability study of five commercial e-voting machines (published by the Brookings Institution) finds that [...]

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’08 Tech Policy Outlook: E-voting

We are starting a series of weekly posts taking a high-level look at some of the hot tech policy issues in Congress for 2008. The first is an area that we’ve already covered extensively — electronic voting reform. Last year three big stories dominated e-voting issues: 1) controversy over how e-voting machines preformed during the [...]

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NY Times Magazine Gets E-Voting Right

This past Sunday’s New York Times Magazine has a great piece on the dynamics of electronic voting issues in the United States. The article gets a number of things right and is well worth a read. First, it discusses the relatively recent trend of local election officials asking much tougher questions about the reliability, security [...]

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Online Comment Tool Available for Voting System Guidelines

Yesterday the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) released it’s online comment tool for commenting on the next iteration of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines. Released in August by the EAC, this version is the first full rewrite of the standards in some time. The current version of the guidelines (sans commenting capability) is available online. The [...]

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USACM Comments on Senate E-Voting Legislation

With the House of Representatives e-voting reform legislation stalled, we’ve turned our attention to the Senate. Senator Feinstein (D-CA) is leading the effort to reform e-voting systems. USACM sent the Senator a detailed letter noting that her legislation largely gets the big things correct, but there are some important details that should be addressed. From [...]

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Sarasota Update: GAO Investigation Continues

We have tracked the progress of the disputed election in the 13th Congressional District of Florida for months now. In short, the race was decided by fewer than 400 votes, and there were several thousand undervotes (no vote recorded for that race compared to others on the same ballot) in Sarasota County, only one of [...]

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On Again, Off Again: E-voting Reform Stalls

Update 9/18: Apparently the title for this post is still apt. This legislation made it onto the calendar for House consideration earlier this week, but it looks like, once again, it has been pulled. We don’t expect to see action this week. The delay apparently still revolves around claims of whether the legislation unduly burdens [...]

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TGDC Completes Draft of Voting System Guidelines; Long Review Process Awaits

Early this afternoon, the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) formally approved its draft of the next edition of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines. After some final editing and adjustments, they will forward this document to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC). The current draft is available online. Running at 578 pages and approximately 1170 requirements, this [...]

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TGDC to Meet This Week on Next Voting System Guidelines

On Friday, August 17, the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) will meet by teleconference. This will be the Committee’s final meeting on the next generation of voting system guidelines. The meeting is scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time and run until approximately 5:30 p.m. A rough agenda is available one the same page [...]

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California Secretary of State Changes Certification of Several Voting Systems

Following the top-to-bottom review we posted about earlier, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen has changed the certification status of the voting systems subject to the review, as well as one system that was not submitted for the review. Bowen’s decision gives affected jurisdictions six months to adjust before the February 5, 2008 Presidential Primary. [...]

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California Top-to-Bottom Review Complete; Early Reports Outline Vulnerabilities

Update – August 1 – Senator Feinstein (D-CA), Chair of the Senate Rules Committee, has announced she will hold a hearing on this report sometime in September. This report *may* also come up in tomorrow’s scheduled hearing of the Elections Subcommittee of the Committee on House Administration, as the chair and ranking member are both [...]

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Key Senate Committee to Hold E-Voting Reform Hearing

With news that Representative Holt’s e-voting reform legislation has stalled (reported in New York Times) attention turns to the Senate this week as it holds a hearing on Senator Feinstein’s e-voting reform legislation. On Wednesday at 10:00 AM, the Senate Rules Committee will hold its first hearing on the Senator’s legislation S. 1487 — The [...]

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TGDC Meeting Rescheduled for August 17; EAC Commissioner seeking public input

According to the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) website, the plenary meeting originally scheduled for July 3 (and subject of an earlier post on this blog) will now take place on August 17. It will still take place by teleconference, from 11:30-5:30 Eastern time. Further details will be available by July 30 at the TGDC [...]

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Final Technical Meeting to Take Place on Next Voting System Guidelines – Postponed

Update – As noted by one of our readers, the meeting has been postponed. Per the TGDC Website: July 3, 2007 Plenary Meeting — CANCELLED — Due to open issues related to the next VVSG that require further review, this plenary teleconference has been canceled. This meeting will be rescheduled in the near future and [...]

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New York Times Reports on Military Overseas Voting

An article in today’s New York Times (registration required), describes the current status of military voting overseas. In brief, the systems in place to help service members stationed overseas to vote remain “slow, confusing and plagued with security and privacy problems.” Meanwhile, Americans serving abroad continue to be frustrated with the inefficiency of voting while [...]

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Committee Refines Next Set of Voting Standards

On Monday and Tuesday, the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) held their 9th plenary meeting at NIST headquarters in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Responsible for advising the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) on the next edition of the Voluntary Voting Systems Guidelines, the TGDC is working hard to make sure they can present their draft to the EAC [...]

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E-Voting Reform Clears House Committee; ACM Applauds Congressional Attention

I apologize for overloading the blog today, but this has been a busy week so far. Late yesterday afternoon the Committee on House Administration passed, on a partyline vote, Representative Rush Holt’s legislation — The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007. (Here is the amended version that passed out of committee. For background [...]

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E-Voting Update – House Markup and Investigation

The Committee on House Administration has acted within the last week on both the Holt e-voting legislation, H.R. 811, and the contested election for the Florida 13th Congressional District. First, we must note the passing of the Committee’s Chair, Representative Juanita Millender-McDonald, on April 22nd from cancer. She had just started a formal leave from [...]

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House Administration Committee Looks Into Sarasota Vote

This morning a Task Force of the Committee on House Administration held a closed meeting regarding the voting irregularities in Sarasota County’s election for the 13th District seat. The Task Force is headed by Representative Charles Gonzalez of Texas. The Task Force was formed in late March, as noted in the committee press release currently [...]

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A Deeper Look At E-voting Reform: Testing Labs and Audits

We are continuing (regrettably after some delay) to take a deeper look at Representative Holt’s proposal — The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007. In my last post, I discussed his central proposal, which is to mandate that all machines produce voter-verified paper ballots that preserve privacy and are durable. Today I’m going [...]

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Flurry of Voting Activity

Readers of Hill Tech Happenings will have noticed the recent string of voting related hearings in Congress. It’s just one sign of the continued interest in voting reform expressed both in Congress and the Executive Branch. Once the flurry of hearings end (for the moment) tomorrow, we can give you a more in-depth analysis of [...]

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A Deeper Look At E-voting Reform

For the past few Congresses Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ) has taken the lead on legislation to reform electronic voting. Each year his efforts have garnered deep support from the Democratic party, but each year the legislation stalled with no Congressional action. With the Democrats now controlling Congress, Representative Holt reintroduced his legislation — the Voter [...]

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Chronicle Prints USACM Response to E-voting Brouhaha

Last month the Chronicle of Higher Education ran a story (subscription required) about the unique relationship the State of Georgia has with Kennesaw State University. The State contracts with KSU to assist with all of Georgia’s e-voting machines, including inspection, ballot databases and training of poll workers. The article generated quite a bit of controversy [...]

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Sarasota Audit Report Complete

The State of Florida has released its audit report for the contested election in Sarasota County. You can see the report from the state and the report from the SAIT lab at Florida State University online, along with the Secretary of State’s statement. Regular readers know we have posted on this subject before. And while [...]

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Election Reform Picks Up Steam

Election reform was an active issue during the past ten days. Legislation was introduced, a hearing held on electronic voting, and the Election Assistance Commission decided to implement its full testing and certification program for voting systems in early March. Two pieces of electronic voting legislation have been introduced in the House. HR 756, the [...]

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E-Voting Update

While the first session of the 110th Congress gets underway today, here are a few notes on recent electronic voting activity. First, the New York Times (registration required) is reporting about a recent disclosure that a testing lab has been temporarily barred from approving new voting machines. The company, Ciber Inc., is also having trouble [...]

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Q&A With USACM’s Chair on E-voting

Happy New Year! We usher in 2007 with a continuing story from last year — security and e-voting machines. Computerworld has a good interview with Eugene Spafford, USACM’s Chair and Director of Purdue’s Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) on the security of e-voting issues. The focus of the interview [...]

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Uncertainty and the Florida 13th

Update – December 21 The court hearing over access to the voting machine source code ended yesterday, with the judge in the case requesting written briefs to be submitted by Friday, instead of oral arguments. While one voting expert testified that it was highly unlikely for the undervote to be a result of voter choice [...]

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The Duck Quacks, New House and Senate Chairs Are Named

Congress’ very short lame-duck session came to an end early Saturday morning wrapping up a largely unproductive 109th Congress in the technology policy space. In the waning hours, Congress did pass a few tech-related measures, but left almost all of the funding and competitiveness bills on the table — including funding for the President’s American [...]

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Election Assistance Commission Reviews 2006 Elections

The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) met yesterday in Washington, to handle regular business and hear testimony on the mid-term elections. The EAC was created as part of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) to assist states and localities in the administration of elections and to administer the funds designated by HAVA for states to update [...]

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TGDC Reverses Course, Finishes Meeting

Update – December 12 Materials from the meeting, including the webcast and text of the resolutions considered at the meeting, are now available on the NIST website. Original post – December 5 As I suggested in yesterday’s post the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) did revisit the software independent proposal during today’s session. It was [...]

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TGDC Decides Against Software Independent Systems

As Cameron posted to the blog yesterday, the Technical Guidelines Development Committee is meeting today and tomorrow at the NIST Gaithersburg facility to discuss its advice to the Election Assistance Commission for the 2007 Voluntary Voting System Guidelines. The meeting is being webcast and will be archived for later viewing. Presentation slides should also be [...]

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USACM Urges Feds to Adopt Software Independent E-voting Systems

Update: The TDGC rejected NIST’s and the security subcommittee’s recommendations for software independent systems on a 6-6 tie vote. We’ve got a story about the meeting posted here. Update 2: The TDGC reversed course and adopted a compromise resolution that embraces the software indepence concept. David posted a story about it here. Last Thursday we [...]

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Post-Election E-Voting News

Two items of e-voting interest – aside from the ongoing audit in Sarasota County, Florida. Electionline.org has released its report on the 2006 election. It outlines the various difficulties experienced across the U.S. and notes that while there were no widespread problems, it would be hard to characterize the first widespread use of electronic voting [...]

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Audit of Sarasota County Voting Machines Starts This Week

Update – November 29 All the area papers have reported on yesterday’s parallel test in Sarasota County. There were some small discrepencies between the results and the scripts they had election workers run during the test. The video will be reviewed today. One item in the press coverage grabbed my attention. If I understand this [...]

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Election Problems in Florida — Again

Update – November 22 The major event since the last update is the filing of a second lawsuit on Tuesday contesting the election – this one by voters and poll workers, supported by several voting rights groups. I do want to note a couple of useful items put out by local press: Interactive map of [...]

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Meet the New Boss: Outlook for Technology Policy in the Next Congress

Update 11/16/06: One of the problems of doing a laundry-list type post like this is that you miss some issues, and some nuance when trying to summarize complex policy issues. Notably missing from this list are issues such as patent reform and reviving the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). We don’t follow patent reform very [...]

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Election Day and E-Voting, A Running Blog

Today is Election Day across the United States. The main story is who will control Congress when the polls close, but of equal interest (at least to us) will be the experience of voters’ using e-voting equipment, considering that approximately one-third of voters will be using new, electronic, voting equipment today. In an effort to [...]

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Next Big Electronic Voting Test 11 Days Away

Election Day in the United States – November 7 – is approaching fast. Issues with electronic voting, whether it’s the voting machines, the voter registration databases, or other problems with the process, continue to crop up in the press. This has led to some concern on the part of members of the Election Assistance Commission [...]

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Election Assistance Commission Seeks Comments on Voting Systems

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), formed as part of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), is taking responsibility for administering (among other things) the testing and certification (including re-certification and de-certification) of electronic voting systems. They have recently developed a draft procedural manual for testing and certification of voting systems. The EAC is seeking [...]

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ACM Security Experts Urge Paper Trails For Electronic Voting

Today the Committee on House Administration held a hearing titled “Electronic Voting Machines: Verification, Security, and Paper Trails.” Two USACM members testified. Barbara Simons and Ed Felten. Their testimony can be found here and here, respectively. Below is a press release on the hearing. Association for Computing Machinery Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession [...]

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USACM Members to Provide Expert Congressional Testimony on E-Voting Security and Paper Trails

This Thursday at 10:00 the Committee on House Administration will hold a hearing on security, verification and paper trail issues related to e-voting machines. Two USACM-EC members have been invited to testify — Barbara Simons, past president of ACM, and Ed Felten, professor of Computer Science at Princeton University. The hearing will be webcast.

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E-Voting Machines Vulnerable to Viruses

Professor Ed Felten at Princeton University (also a member of USACM’s Executive Committee) and two associates (Ari Feldman and Alex Halderman) released a new study today confirming the security vulnerabilities found with a popular model of Diebold direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines by many previous studies and exposing new, potentially more serious ones. Professor [...]

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NIST Report on Audit Trails Released

Update – September 12 While audit trails are important, proper planning works wonders for successful voting. Today (9/12) is a primary election day in my local jurisdiction – Montgomery County, Maryland. Arriving shortly after the polls opened this morning, I found that the smart cards necessary to use our DRE machines were not there. In [...]

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Fall Outlook: Congressional Tech. Policy Agenda, Part I

Congress ended their summer recess this week with just three short weeks left before heading home again to campaign for the November elections. On the technology policy front, things will likely be busy as several initiatives will wind their way through Congress, but we don’t expect many, if any, on the President’s desk before October. [...]

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National Academies: Jurisdictions May Not Be Ready for Election Day, Certification Process Generates Skepticism

July has seen a lot of attention focused on e-voting issues. First, the Brennan Center releases a major report on threats to e-voting systems. Then Congress holds a much-needed hearing on e-voting (USACM offered testimony). And this week the National Academies released an interesting new report discussing emerging problems with e-voting systems and making recommendations [...]

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Congress Looks into E-Voting Issues, USACM Calls on Congress and the EAC to Close Gaps in Current System

Facing a steady stream of reports about e-voting machine failures and security vulnerabilities, yesterday Congress tackled the question of whether new federal standards will improve this technology. The short answer from the witness and the Members of Congress seemed to be that the standards, while a good first step, were far short of what we [...]

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Brennan Center report on voting system security

In late June the Brennan Center for Justice, located at the NYU School of Law, released a report on voting system security. The report, The Machinery of Democracy: Protecting Elections in an Electronic World, was compiled over the course of a year by a task force of government, academic and private sector experts and is [...]

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Computer Scientists Warn Significant Security Vulnerability Exists In E-Voting Machines

With so much happening in the technology and technology policy fields, it is a rare day that computer experts focus on one particular issue. So it seems pretty significant that several blogs and news reports with quotes from well-respected computer scientists are focusing on a new report by Harri Hursti for blackboxvoting.org outlining several new [...]

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Computerworld: Cali. Registration Database Rejecting Voters

Friday’s Computerworld has an interesting article about problems with the new California statewide voter registration database. According to the report, in the past three months about 43 percent of voter registration forms in Los Angeles County were rejected. Alademda County’s rejection rate was about 10 percent. Although the article is a little vague, the likely [...]

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Maryland’s Governor Endorses Paper-Ballot Voting Machines

The Washington Post reports that Maryland Governor Ehrlich (R-MD) wrote a letter to the Chairman of the State Board of Elections calling for the board to replace touch screen voting machines with optical scan machines. According to the Post, his letter states: “Maryland’s lack of a paper trail means we are no longer a national [...]

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USACM Releases Major Study on Voter Registration Databases

Update 2/17/06: Declan McCullagh wrote a nice story about the study for CNET News.com. Original Post 2/16/06: Citing the danger of voter fraud and disenfranchisement from poorly implemented databases, a committee of experts commissioned by USACM released a report today making almost 100 recommendations to state and local officials charged with creating and managing statewide voter [...]

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E-voting tensions rising in North Carolina

North Carolina’s State Board of Elections created quite a stir recently when, surprisingly, it decided to certify Diebold e-voting equipment for use in the state despite a still-running debate about the state’s new source code “escrow” rules and the company’s compliance with them. The requirements call on companies to deposit the source code for their [...]

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USACM writes to policymakers in Virginia on e-voting

Yesterday, USACM sent a letter to Virginia Delegate Tim Hugo, chair of the Joint Subcommittee Studying the Certification, Performance, and Deployment of Voting Equipment, regarding the issue of voter-verified paper records and electronic voting machines. The subcommittee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Monday, November 21, 2005, to address the issue (an agenda for [...]

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Carter-Baker Commmission gets it partly right

Update (Sept. 26) — Carter and Baker have issued a response to some of the criticism their report has received — their comments appeared in the NY Times on Sept. 23 and are available here. As pointed out in today’s Washington Post, the Federal Commission on Election Reform (led by former president Jimmy Carter and [...]

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Policy Makers Return to DC With Full Agenda

After a quiet August things are really picking up in Washington. Congress’ attention is squarely focused on the suffering and hardship caused by hurricane Katrina. ACM’s President Dave Patterson issued a statement to ACM members with suggestions on what the technology community can do to help. While dealing with this disaster will likely remain Congress’ [...]

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More scrutiny of e-voting in Ireland

EDRi’s latest newsletter informs us about a recent article in the Irish Times [subscription required] describing the Irish government’s plans to subject their e-voting machines to additional security and risk-related scrutiny: The Government has initiated a new round of assessment and testing of the controversial €60 million electronic voting system currently in storage. An advertisement [...]

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NYT, EFF, and others push for more support for Holt e-voting bill

The NY Times is running an editorial today urging House members to support Rep. Rush Holt’s electronic voting bill (H.R. 550): There are many problems with American elections, but none more serious than the rise of paperless electronic voting, whose results cannot be trusted. Grass-roots reformers are in the middle of a two-day lobbying blitz [...]

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