Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Diebold Knew of This Serious Software Error No Later Than October 2004

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Election Reform Donate to DU
 
Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-03-09 11:46 PM
Original message
Diebold Knew of This Serious Software Error No Later Than October 2004
'Daily Voting News' For March 03, 2009

Yesterday the California Secretary of State released a letter to the Election Assistance Commission and a report of their findings with regards to the problem discovered in early December in Humboldt Co. with Diebold GEMS v. 1.18.19.

The letter actually challenges the EAC to take action in requiring that, for every voting system certified by the EAC, the voting system vendor report any and all flaws and problems with the system to the EAC and to the elections officials in the states where the system is used when such flaws are discovered. And Secretary Bowen has taken the action herself by sponsoring legislation in California that will do what she has challenged the EAC to do. The report is an amazing report that tells why our voting systems are failing.

The issues with the GEMS software go much deeper than just the fact that the system may lose votes. The state also found readily apparent violations of the voting system standards. These violations seem to have been ignored by the test labs, by NASED and their consultants who qualified the voting system, and by past CA Secretaries of State and their consultants.

The big question, is will the EAC, staffed by people who were involved in the NASED rubber-stamp of GEMS 1.18.19 take any action? Will they post the letter and report in their clearinghouse? We certainly hope so.


http://www.votersunite.org/article.asp?id=8333


California Secretary of State Debra Bowens Report to the Election Assistance Commission Concerning Errors and Deficiencies in Diebold/Premier GEMS Version 1.18.19

March 2, 2009

The miscount of votes caused by this software flaw greatly exceeds the maximum error rate permitted by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA).

Diebold knew of this serious software error no later than October 2004. The company, however, did not notify the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) or the California Secretary of State. Instead, the company sent a vague email to elections officials in the 11 California counties using GEMS version 1.18.19 with the Central Count Server at the time. (Six other counties used GEMS version 1.18.19, but did not use it with the Central Count Server.) The email, reproduced below, advised the county officials to create and immediately delete an empty Deck 0 before scanning any real ballots, but did not explain why this new procedure was necessary.

~snip~

The email and attachment did not inform the elections officials that failure to follow these instructions would likely result in deletion of tallied votes by GEMS without any warning or notice to the system operator. The email and attachment also failed to inform counties that it was a programming flaw in the GEMS software that made the special instructions necessary.

~snip~

A second set of serious problems related to electronic audit logs was discovered during the Secretary of State Offices investigation of the Deck 0 software programming flaw. First, GEMS version 1.18.19 fails to record in any log important system events such as the deletion of decks of optical scan ballots after they have been scanned and entered into the GEMS election results database. Second, it records the wrong entry date and time for certain decks of ballots. Third, it permits deletion of certain audit logs that contain or should contain records that would be essential to reconstruct operator actions during the vote tallying process.

~snip~

The 1990 VSS, like its 2002 and 2005 successors, requires that the software in a voting system automatically create and permanently retain electronic audit logs of important system events during tallying of the votes cast in an election. As detailed below, GEMS version 1.18.19 fails to meet these requirements.

snip

Full Report:
(.pdf) http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting_systems/sos-humb...

Refresh | +15 Recommendations Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
tblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-03-09 11:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. I love Debra Bowen! I gotta hand it to my state, which elected her.
Diebold is just plain criminal! Someone from there should be tried for treason.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
MarjorieG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-04-09 12:04 AM
Response to Original message
2. Thanks for all your voting postings!
Did you ever post a votersunite about how states and counties everywhere can't upgrade or hold elections because of the budget. That means the first generation paperless DRE is still out there, and the DoJ still wants to come after NY's dollars, which already has a HAVA compliant lever system that works.

Yes, we could audit with paper ballots with op-scan, but we wouldn't have the will or money to audit. All we have anyway is 3% spot check, and the advoccy groups aren't pushing hand count audits as condition for replacement.

Sinister to think that the EAC certified DRE will now allow all those really bad machines to be grandfathered, the ones that were never, ever tested for security?

While we may win the Holt Bill recognizing the paper ballot, not record, the bill undermines us in bigger, more everlasting bad ways.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
flyingobject Donating Member (324 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-04-09 12:07 AM
Response to Original message
3. They designed the machines this way, it wasn't a surprise
Diebold work around the database crap.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-04-09 01:30 AM
Response to Original message
4. Off you go.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-04-09 01:50 AM
Response to Original message
5. Vote counting should be so simple and visible that my old mum,
born in the horse and buggy age, could easily understand it. And people, old or young, who have trouble using a VCR control, but can read and count perfectly well. And, in fact, people like me, computer savvy in a limited sort of way, but not a programmer. Every voter is important, no matter how computer savvy they are. Every voter should be able to EASILY understand what is going on, when their vote is counted. And the following is not acceptable!

"A second set of serious problems related to electronic audit logs was discovered during the Secretary of State Offices investigation of the Deck 0 software programming flaw. First, GEMS version 1.18.19 fails to record in any log important system events such as the deletion of decks of optical scan ballots after they have been scanned and entered into the GEMS election results database. Second, it records the wrong entry date and time for certain decks of ballots. Third, it permits deletion of certain audit logs that contain or should contain records that would be essential to reconstruct operator actions during the vote tallying process."

What would my old mum--not long ago departed--make of this?

"...the Secretary of State Offices investigation of the Deck 0 software programming flaw."

or this?

"GEMS version 1.18.19 fails to record in any log important system events such as the deletion of decks of optical scan ballots...".

We have excluded whole classes of voters, right there. This is gobble-de-gook to most people! We should be ashamed. We should horsewhipped for tolerating this corporate assault on the rights of technically ignorant voters.

And, of course, even very technically proficient voters, even Ph.D's in computer technology, are excluded from actually observing what the fuck these machines are doing with our votes.

I just wanted to make this point again, because it makes me so mad. We have turned voting into a religious ceremony, in which only the "high priests" of Diebold know the secret of the gobble-de-gook voodoo by which they anoint our public office holders, and they're not telling!
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Ellipsis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-04-09 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
6. Diebold System sported "delete" button
Edited on Wed Mar-04-09 10:04 AM by Ellipsis

snip

"But the most startling information in the state's 13-page report (.pdf) is not about why the system lost votes, which Threat Level previously covered in detail, but that some versions of Diebold's vote tabulation system, known as the Global Election Management System (GEMS), include a button that allows someone to delete audit logs from the system."

As for the missing ballots, Wayne Hanson at govtech.com notes that the report indicates a "Deck Zero software error -- which can delete the first group of optically scanned ballots under certain circumstances -- caused 197 ballots to be inadvertently deleted from Humboldt County's initial results in the November 4, 2008, General Election. The results were corrected when the error was discovered."

more...

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Diebold_voting_system_spo...
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-04-09 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Here's the "Wired" link. Kim Zetter is a really good journalist.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Tue Jul 22nd 2014, 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Election Reform Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC