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Colorado Voting Machine Lawsuit Update

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Message Holly Jacobson
Dear Friends,

Today is the second day of the Voter Action-sponsored trial for the Colorado voters' lawsuit to halt the use of electronic voting in that state. Voter action Co-director Lowell Finley is on-site in Colorado, and is cautiously optimistic about the proceedings so far.

Regardless of the outcome of this case, one thing is clear; a light is shining on the lack of checks and balances in the voting systems that we rely on for our most basic democratic right- the right to vote and have that vote counted as cast.

Computer security expert and professor Doug Jones appeared yesterday as an expert witness for the voter plaintiffs and delivered thorough testimony on the inadequacies and high security risks of the electronic voting systems approved by the state.

The state voting machine expert , John Gardner, also took the stand yesterday. A previous deposition of Mr. Gardner taken in the case revealed that he has no technical expertise with electronic voting systems, but relied on the vendors to provide the systems' certification requirements.

The lawsuit in Colorado also exemplifies the inadequacies of the federal certification process, and that the "federal testing" touted by the Secretary of State's office is actually conducted by private labs whose customers are the vendors that manufacture the machines.

Today, testimony is being heard from plaintiff's experts Noel Runyan, a disability access technology engineer with over 30 years professional experience and Professor Dan Wallach from Rice University. Below please find today's article on the trial from the Rocky Mountain News.

Thank you for your support, and we will provide another update by the end of the week.

Holly Jacobson
Co-director, Voter Action www.voteraction.org

Court hears challenge to new voting machines
By Ann Imse, Rocky Mountain News
September 21, 2006

The Colorado Secretary of State's Office was in chaos when it certified four types of computerized voting machines, according to testimony Wednesday in a lawsuit seeking to ban the machines from being used in the November election.

A bipartisan group of voters is suing the office, saying the certification procedure was shoddy and the machines are vulnerable to tampering. Voters across Colorado used the equipment in the August primary, marking their choices on a computer screen.

The state responded that most of the machines show each voter a printout of the ballot, and that the printouts can be used to spot-check the electronic totals after the polls close.

Should Denver District Judge Lawrence Manzanares agree with the plaintiffs and pull the widely used machines just seven weeks before the general election, counties statewide would have to scramble to find alternatives for a legal election to proceed.

According to Wednesday's testimony, the Secretary of State's Office was in chaos in late 2005 and early 2006. Former state Sen. Gigi Dennis, who became secretary of state in September 2005, brought little experience to the office.

Patti Frederick, a former employee in the office, testified that Dennis found delays in certification of voting equipment, required by Jan. 1 under a new federal voting law.

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Holly Jacobson is the co-director of Voter Action, www.voteraction.org.
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Colorado Voting Machine Lawsuit Update


Press Release from Voter Action: CO Update - New Standards, Testing for Security to be Required

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