Secretary of State Debra Bowen Withdraws State Approval of Premier Voting System
Legislation to Require Disclosure of Product Flaws Clears First Hurdle
SACRAMENTO - Secretary of State Debra Bowen today announced she has withdrawn state approval of Premier Election Solutions' Global Election Management System (GEMS) version 1.18.19, which contains serious software flaws. Premier GEMS 1.18.19 contains the "Deck Zero" anomaly, a software error that can delete the first batch of optically scanned ballots under certain circumstances without alerting elections officials to the deletion.
In addition, the system's audit logs fail to record important events and "clear" buttons permit deletion of key records, both of which violate federal standards. The Secretary of State's office conducted an independent investigation into the GEMS 1.18.19 system and held a public hearing on the matter March 17, at which a Premier representative said the company had no objection to discontinuing the system's use in California.
Secretary Bowen reached her decision after analyzing the investigation findings and evaluating the written and oral public testimony on the system. "Clearly, a voting system that can delete ballots without warning and doesn't leave an accurate audit trail should not be used in California or anywhere," said Secretary Bowen, California's chief elections officer.
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The examples of the "Zero Deck" failure and audit override switch illustrate a fundamental problem with computerized voting: The federal certification process that is supposed to assure the safety and reliability of voting machines, doesn't work.
The fraud-prone GEMS ver. 1.18.19 voting system passed multiple federal and state certification reviews with its audit kill-switch and vote-dropping memory flaws fully intact, and remains in use by electoral jurisdictions across the nation.