The Tampering of Electronic Voting Systems on November 2nd

In-depth Report:

Freedom of Information requests at have unearthed two Ciber certification reports indicating that security and tamperability was NOT TESTED and that several state elections directors, a secretary of state, and computer consultant Dr. Britain Williams signed off on the report anyway, certifying it.

Black Box Voting has taken the position that fraud took place in the 2004 election through electronic voting machines.

We base this on hard evidence, documents obtained in public records requests, inside information, and other data indicative of manipulation of electronic voting systems.

What we do not know is the specific scope of the fraud. We are working now to compile the proof, based not on soft evidence — red flags, exit polls — but core documents obtained by Black Box Voting in the most massive Freedom of Information action in history.

We’re awaiting independent analysis on some pretty crooked-looking elections. In the mean time, here’s something to chew on.

Your local elections officials trusted a group called NASED — the National Association of State Election Directors — to certify that your voting system is safe.

This trust was breached.

NASED certified the systems based on the recommendation of an “Independent Testing Authority” (ITA).



What no one told local officials was that the ITA did not test for security (and NASED didn’t seem to mind).

The ITA reports are considered so secret that even the California Secretary of State’s office had trouble getting its hands on one. The ITA refused to answer any questions about what it does. Imagine our surprise when, due to Freedom of Information requests, a couple of them showed up in our mailbox.

The most important test on the ITA report is called the “penetration analysis.” This test is supposed to tell us whether anyone can break into the system to tamper with the votes.

“Not applicable,” wrote Shawn Southworth, of Ciber Labs, the ITA that tested the Diebold GEMS central tabulator software. “Did not test.”

 Shawn Southworth “tested” whether every candidate on the ballot has a name. But we were shocked to find out that, when asked the most important question — about vulnerable entry points — Southworth’s report says “not reviewed.”

Ciber “tested”whether the manual gives a description of the voting system. But when asked to identify methods of attack (which we think the American voter would consider pretty important), the top-secret report says “not applicable.”

Ciber “tested” whether ballots comply with local regulations, but when Bev Harris asked Shawn Southworth what he thinks about Diebold tabulators accepting large numbers of “minus” votes, he said he didn’t mention that in his report because “the vendors don’t like him to put anything negative” in his report. After all, he said, he is paid by the vendors.

”Shawn Southworth didn’t do the penetration analysis, but check out what he wrote:

Ciber recommends to the NASED committee that GEMS software version 1.18.15 be certified and assigned NASED certification number N03060011815.”

Was this just a one-time oversight?

Nope. It appears to be more like a habit. Here is the same Ciber certification section for VoteHere ; as you can see, the critical security test, the “penetration analysis” was again marked “not applicable” and was not done.

Maybe another ITA did the penetration analysis?

Apparently not. We discovered an even more bizarre Wyle Laboratories report. In it, the lab admits the Sequoia voting system has problems, but says that since they were not corrected earlier, Sequoia could continue with the same flaws. At one point the Wyle report omits its testing altogether, hoping the vendor will do the test.


Computer Guys: Be your own ITA certifier.

Here is a copy of the full Ciber report (part 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 ) on GEMS 1.18.15. Here is a zip file download for the GEMS 1.18.15 program . Here is a real live Diebold vote database . Compare your findings against the official testing lab and see if you agree with what Ciber says. E-mail us your findings.

TIPS: The password for the vote database is “password” and you should place it in the “LocalDB” directory in the GEMS folder, which you’ll find in “program files.”


Who the heck is NASED?

They are the people who certified this stuff.

You’ve gotta ask yourself: Are they nuts? Some of them are computer experts. Well, it seems that several of these people suddenly want to retire, and the whole NASED voting systems board is becoming somewhat defunct, but these are the people responsible for today’s shoddy voting systems.

If the security of the U.S. electoral system depends on you to certify a voting system, and you get a report that plainly states that security was “not tested” and “not applicable” — what would you do?

Perhaps we should ask them. Go ahead. Let’s hold them accountable for the election we just had. (Please, e-mail us their answers) They don’t make it very easy to get their e-mail and fax information; when you find it, let us know and we’ll post it here.


Thomas R. Wilkey, Executive Director, New York State Board of Elections

David Elliott, (former) Asst. Director of Elections, Washington State

James Hendrix, Executive Director, State Election Commission, South Carolina

Denise Lamb, Director, State Bureau of Elections, New Mexico

Sandy Steinbach, Director of Elections, Iowa

Donetta Davidson, Secretary of State, Colorado

Connie Schmidt, Commissioner, Johnson County Election Commission, Kansas

(the late) Robert Naegele, President Granite Creek Technology, Pacific Grove, California

Brit Williams, Professor, CSIS Dept, Kennesaw State College, Georgia

Paul Craft, Computer Audit Analyst, Florida State Division of Elections Florida

Steve Freeman, Software Consultant, League City, Texas

Jay W. Nispel, Senior Principal Engineer, Computer Sciences Corporation Annapolis Junction, Maryland

Yvonne Smith (Member Emeritus), Former Assistant to the Executive Director Illinois State Board of Elections, Illinois

Penelope Bonsall, Director, Office of Election Administration, Federal Election Commission, Washington, D.C.

Committee Secretariat: The Election Center, R. Doug Lewis, Executive Director Houston, Texas, Tele: 281-293-0101

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Articles by: Bev Harris

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