(Original article: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/04/washington/04voting.html
reporting the recent revelation that Ciber,
Incorporated was barred by the Elections Assistance Commission last
summer from testing new voting systems calls into question all NASED
and state approvals since then that used Ciber, Inc. reports as their
basis. It also raises serious questions regarding the validity of all
testing performed by Ciber during the critical last two years when the
latest generation of electronic voting machines were supposedly tested.
That would include Election Systems and Software, Sequoia, and the
Diebold TSx, including the special testing requested by the California
Secretary of State and NASED in December 2005.
The California SoS Staff Report, issued August 4, 2006, for the Hart
Intercivic 6.2 voting system states:
"III. TESTING INFORMATION AND RESULTS 1. Federal Testing We have
received a copy of a letter from Wyle Laboratories, dated June 30,
2006, stating that they have examined the hardware modifications to
the eSlate voting booths and determined that no additional testing is
required of those modification. CIBER Inc. has reported successful
completion of federal qualification testing of the HART Intercivic
System 6.2 to the Federal 2002 Voting System Standards. We have
received a copy of the draft report from that testing, dated June 9,
2006. A final report must be received from CIBER upon report
acceptance from NASED or the EAC and prior to consideration for State
certification of this system. Federal qualification of the system by
NASED is still pending and must be issued before the Secretary of
State can consider this system for certification for use in
Yet the federal Independent Testing Authority (ITA) reports and the
resulting NASED Qualification number were issued on August 7, 2006,
three days after the issuance of the California SoS Staff Report. The
California SoS then signed a certification for approval of the Hart
Intercivic voting system on September 22, 2006. This permitted various
counties in California to then use this voting system in the November
2006 General Election.
This raises several questions that need to be addressed:
1. What was the date established by the EAC that required EAC
certification of ITAs prior to subsequent approvals?
2. What was the date when NASED issued Qualification numbers would no
longer be valid as an imprimatur of HAVA required compliance?
3. When did Ciber, Inc. submit its application for EAC certification?
4. When did the EAC inform Ciber it was deficient in its qualification
5. When did the EAC inform NASED and State election officials that
Ciber was not a certified ITA?
6. When was the California Secretary of State, his Office of Voting
Systems Technology Assessment (OVSTA), or the state hired technical
consultant (Paul Craft) informed that Ciber was not certified as an
7. Was the NASED Qualification number issued subsequent to the official
transfer of compliance certification to the EAC from NASED?
8. Were NASED Qualification number(s) issued after the date that the
EAC assumed responsibility for certifying voting systems as compliant?
9. If so, under what authority?
The certification of Conditional Approval for use of the Hart
Intercivic required that the voting system be in full compliance with
all federal and state laws and regulations, including HAVA and the 2002
Voting System Standards in order for it to be approved for use in an
election. If answers to the above questions establish that the voting
system was not in compliance, then any election conducted using that
voting system was conducted contrary to law.
More importantly, this entire issue raises serious questions regarding
the legal and ethical responsibilities of those officials entrusted by
the public to insure that our votes are recorded and counted
accurately. That would include the Election Assistance Commission,
National Association of State Election Directors, and state election
officials. When did they know there were serious questions regarding
the validity of any testing by Ciber, Incorporated? Did they allow
states and local jurisdictions to purchase and use voting systems that
were not legally in compliance with the requirements of federal law?
Did they intentionally suppress important information in the interest
of expediency or special interests? We as citizens deserve and demand