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A Call to Arms

By California State Senator Debra Bowen  Posted by Joan Brunwasser (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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It looks like Secretary of State Bruce McPherson must have already left for his holiday vacation. Either that or he's just not willing to step up and make a decision when it counts.

How else do you explain the letter that the Secretary of State's office sent to Diebold yesterday? Instead of making a final decision on whether or not to re-certify Diebold's electronic voting machines for use here in California, the Secretary of State effectively punted the decision to the federal government and "independent" testing authorities.

One thing's for sure: your personal lobbying efforts have made a huge difference. More than 2,000 people -- including you -- have already visited my campaign website to email Secretary of State McPherson, urging thorough testing of Diebold machines before they're recertified.

But we've still got a lot of work to do. Yesterday's "decision" doesn't move us closer to a final resolution, and it doesn't meet the objective, public testing standards we're asking for.

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Invite your friends & family to urge Secretary of State McPherson to require Diebold to satisfy rigorous, objective testing requirements -- here in California!

The problems with Diebold's electronic voting machines continue to mount. Just last week, two Florida counties decided to eliminate Diebold voting machines from all their polling places due to security concerns. Diebold has a long history of problems here in California as well, from the thousands of voters who couldn't cast their ballots during the March 2004 election, to the discovery that Diebold illegally installed uncertified software on their machines before the election, and the 30% failure rate on Diebold's touch-screen machines during certification testing this past summer.

Given Diebold's history in this state, the bar for certification has to be higher. Simply punting the decision to the federal government and the vendor community lowers that bar, it doesn't raise it.

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There are a lot of problems with the path that the Secretary of State has chosen, sending Diebold to the federal government and the Independent Testing Authorities for more information before deciding whether to re-certify the company's touch-screen machines for use here in California.

For one thing, the federal testing process is notoriously weak and it's done in secret. Plus, these supposedly "independent testing authorities" the Secretary of State wants to rely on are financed by the voting machine industry and conduct their tests in secret as well.

That's why California shouldn't be relying on proprietary software that uses secret code to count ballots. If we want to ensure we have voting systems that are reliable and secure -- and that voters have confidence in -- we need to be moving toward an open source software structure.

Urge everyone you know to forward an email to Secretary of State McPherson today!

Yesterday's "decision" from the Secretary of State simply postpones a final resolution on the Diebold question. I'm certainly glad he didn't decide to re-certify these Diebold electronic voting machines outright -- but at some point, he's going to have to make a final decision.

It's a decision that should be made after a rigorous testing process, using objective standards, here in California.

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Invite your friends & family to tell Secretary of State McPherson to schedule a series of rigorous, objective, public tests for Diebold here in California!

Thanks for your continued help and support on this critical issue. I wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season!

Peace, freedom, and democracy for all,

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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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