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Black Box Voting Alert: Vendor Nondisclosure req. block EVERYTHING

By Black Box Voting  Posted by Joan Brunwasser (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 4 pages)     Permalink

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Voting system examiners in several states have reportedly
been prohibited from revealing voting system flaws to the
public due to nondisclosure agreements they signed with the

With the future of democracy is at stake, just what agreements
were signed by examiners like Steve Freeman (CA), Brit Williams
(GA, MD, VA), Paul Craft (FL), Doug Jones (IA), and David
Jefferson (CA)?

Black Box Voting has learned that vendors have been requiring
nondisclosures to block release of information of critical importance
to the public. Secretaries of state have failed to protect their voting
system examiners, reportedly requiring administrative rules that
prevent proper analysis and evaluation of voting systems by state

Black Box Voting has filed public records requests to obtain all
nondisclosure agreements signed by Paul Craft, David Drury,
David Jefferson, Steve Freeman, Doug Jones, Brit Williams, Merle
King, and Michael Shamos.

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We have already obtained one of the Diebold nondisclosure
requirements. Diebold attempts to block everything that should
be revealed -- even if the contractor is served with a subpoena
or court order!


1) Whether voting system examiners have been provided
with indemnification. Failure to provide indemnification allows the
vendor to sue the examiner for damages if the examiner happens
to discover or expose something harmful to the vendor.

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2) Whether voting system examiners were protected by their
secretaries of state. It appears that secretaries of state have
left it to the scientists who examine voting software to negotiate
their own terms of engagement with vendors. Some scientists,
who understandably are not experts in intellectual property law,
have signed the agreements provided by vendor attorneys. These
agreements can later prove to be unduly restrictive, preventing the
examiner from revealing what he knows even to the secretary
of state.

3) Whether state voting system examiners were prohibited from
examining the testing reports provided by Ciber and Wyle, the
federal testing labs. Documents provided to Black Box Voting
by Joan Quinn, a citizen in Sacramento, Calif., indicate that
California examiner Steve Freeman may not have had access
to key portions of the federal testing reports when examining
voting systems for the state of California.

4) Whether examiners were prohibited from examining the
source code and/or testing the equipment themselves.

5) Whether examiners were prohibited from asking the vendors
follow up questions by rules or administrative procedures .

6) Whether examiners were ever prohibited by rules or administrative
procedures from communicating with others on voting system
panels or certification boards during deliberations over certification
recommendations, or during/after voting system examinations.

7) Whether examiners are ever allowed to examine escrowed
information -- source code and/or "penetration analysis"?

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Black Box Voting has requested copies of the rules, escrow
procedures, and any indemnifications, nondisclosures or administrative
procedures that apply to the certification, examination and deliberation
process in Florida, Pennsylvania, Georgia, California, and Iowa.


- Citizens are urged to gather evidence independently of Black Box
Voting, through Freedom of Information and public records requests,
to determine exactly what procedures, nondisclosures, restrictions,
rules and guidelines are in place for each state's voting system
examiners and certifiers.

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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

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