Audit Arizona (AUDIT AZ) Articles

Thursday, January 25, 2007

AZ Democratic Party Passes Holt Bill Resolution



Saturday, January 20, 2007 - Phoenix Arizona

Submitted by: Ted Downing; Chair []





WHEREAS: The Arizona Democratic Party - Election Integrity Committee “ADP-EIC” conducted a comprehensive campaign to observe and document the 2006 election, asserting rights granted political parties under Arizona law, publicly advocating for the fundamental right of every Arizona citizen to vote and to have each vote counted as intended in a secure, transparent, impartial, and independently audited election process; and

WHEREAS: EIC members locally, statewide, nationally and collectively realize that security maintained through obscurity doesn’t work! Only by the full light of transparency can the system be secured, audited and made democratically reliable as our votes are processed to our satisfaction; and

WHEREAS: The New York Times reported on its front page January 4 2007 that Ciber, one of three companies selected and paid for by voting machine companies to secretly test their electronic voting systems failed to receive interim accreditation from the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission six months ago for failure to follow quality control procedures and an inability to document that it was adequately testing to federal voting systems standards. Ciber tested AND certified machines were in use for the November election around the nation and in Pima County and 12 other Arizona counties; and

WHEREAS: Legislation that will be introduced by Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), would require all voting systems used for federal elections to produce or require the use of a durable voter verified paper ballot to serve as the vote of record in all audits and recounts by 2008; and

WHEREAS: Mr. Holt's bill would establish a nationwide mandatory random manual audit for federal elections, would require that notification be posted in each polling place informing the voter that the voter verified paper ballot will be the vote of record in recounts and audits and warning them not to cast their ballot before verifying the accuracy of the paper ballot; and

WHEREAS: The proposed legislation would force the public disclosure of voting system source code, software, firmware, and ballot programming files and prohibit partisan and corporate conflicts of interest in the testing and certification of voting systems, with an eye towards letting America's huge technically proficient population perform the “honesty checking” that the Federal bureaucracy and laboratories have thus far failed to accomplish; and

WHEREAS: Mr. Holt's legislation would require that voters be provided the opportunity to vote on an emergency paper ballot in the case of voting machine malfunction, prohibit the presence of wireless communications devices in voting systems, ban all Internet connectivity and prohibit the unsecured storage of voting machines prior to elections.


  • The Arizona Democratic Party, the Central Committee of party re-affirms its commitment to a transparent, impartial, and independently audited election process.
  • We fully support the efforts of our Election Integrity Committee to achieve those goals and we applaud the tireless and effective work of U S Rep Rush Holt, VoteTrust USA, and other Election Integrity Groups in Arizona and nationally.
  • We support a requirement that all voting systems produce or require the use of durable, hand-countable and separate voter verified paper ballots.
  • We support a mandate that in audits and recounts, the voter verified paper ballot is the vote of record.
  • We support the complete elimination of paper roll and thermal paper use by direct recording electronic voting systems.
  • We support a requirement that notification be posted in each polling place informing the voter that the voter verified paper ballot will be the vote of record in recounts and audits and warning them not to cast their ballot before verifying the accuracy of the paper ballot.
  • We support a requirement that voters be immediately provided an emergency paper ballot in the case of any machine failures, and a requirement that the emergency paper ballot be counted as a regular and not provisional, ballot.
  • We support a requirement for disclosure of source code, object code, executable representation, and ballot programming files for inspection by any person.
  • We support security standards including documentation of secure chain of custody for the handling of all software, hardware, vote storage media, and ballots.
  • We support standards for prohibiting conflicts of interest between testing laboratories and vendors
  • We support the establishment of a Testing Escrow Account, so that financial transactions between labs and vendors will pass through a government agency and a requirement that test reports be publicly disclosed.
  • We support funding that can be used by any DRE jurisdiction to purchase scanners and ballot marking devices to replace their DREs, whether of not they have already purchased paper roll printers.
  • We support the preservation of the private right of action for voters and parties.
  • We support all of these vital reform efforts at both state and national levels, and applaud Mr. Holt for taking up this important cause in Washington DC.

Posted by Protect Democracy :: 1/25/2007 11:50:00 AM ::

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Video Links To Show Ease of Changing Votes

Gallup: Only 1 in 4 Americans Very Confident Votes Will Be Counted Accurately Oct 27th 2006

HBO Nov 2, Hacking Democracy

Posted by Protect Democracy :: 11/02/2006 01:14:00 PM ::

RECAP (Hacking Protections & Audit):

1) The “6:59pm report” can catch early vote manipulation, especially if it is outside interference not controlled by the elections department staff.

2) The 2nd chance of catching any misdeeds is the SB 1557 2% audit, which is especially effective at catching precinct-level manipulation as per Hursti. Also will need luck if the races hacked are picked (one in 4 races are picked by lottery).

3) The 3rd chance is the Audit Board that makes up the canvas. Anything that slips past the above two steps may be caught here. Coconino Election Director Patty Hansen said; “It wrong, we should not be auditing ourselves and performing the canvas”. The Audit board should be able to verify the election results by matching the precinct results with the GEMS report. This can’t be done with the mail-in ballots that were run on central count scanners. But with the backup of the 6:59pm pre-modem report a comparison now could be made of the mail-in votes comparing before and after the key vulnerability point when the modems are active and the county has enabled outside interference for the sake of results expediency. Small counties do not need central count scanners. We must push into sorting and using precinct scanner that produce a tape, but that won't happen this election. See also SOS PROCEDURES MANUAL pages 153/154 - audit board instructions. Larry Bahill, former Pima County Election Director knows better than anyone else how this works.

4) And only if our A CANDIDATES PLEDGE OF TRUST TO VOTERS--NO EARLY CONCESSION (letter attached) will we have the time needed to sort this out. The post-election audit boards may not start their work for up to 10 days post-election. That may be the first time the 6:59pm reports are looked at, if the elections officers delay public records reporting of that data. They cannot withhold that data from their audit boards.

We ask your assistance in making all these things happen. We want a formal request to every election official in the state asking them to make a backup of their election data just before they turn the modems on at 7:00pm election night, and print a vote summary at the same time to be held until after 8:00pm.

We need to coordinate SB1557 recount efforts in each county and get notified immediately by county Party people if the any party try veto, so we have enough time to coordinate with the LP. We need audit boards in every county containing trustworthy party-appointed people whom we can advice and mentor on the use of best-practices audit tools such as the 6:59 reports.

And we must get the message across to candidates: don't concede until the process and our votes are completely inspected. This isn't “being a sore loser”, it's protecting our votes and must be spoken of in exactly that fashion: finish the process, protect our votes, protect our Democracy.

Thank you in advance for your kind support of this ground-breaking effort here in Arizona, and for helping make this state a model for the nation in intelligent party oversight of the Democratic process.

John Brakey

Jim March

Posted by Protect Democracy :: 11/02/2006 01:12:00 PM ::
Hacking The Precinct Vote

Problem TWO: “Hacking The Precinct Vote”

We know that the Diebold precinct optical scanners do have “interpreted code” in use, a type of programming banned under the FEC rules concerning voting systems.


“This is code that is readable by humans and modifiable by humans. This is kind of code that is often used by scientists and engineers …because it is easily modifiable, and should be used only in an experimental environment.

It should never be used in any device or system that requires security and [it] is explicitly prohibited by the 2002 Federal Election code.”

Confirmation comes from University of California, Berkeley report on the Security Analysis of the Diebold AccuBasic Interpreter Voting Systems Technology Assessment Advisory Board of 2/14/2006.

HBO starting tonight will show “Hacking Democracy” on how this was done in Leon County, Florida. This incident is often referred to as the “Hursti Hack”. Finnish security expert Harri Hursti proved that field editing of the interpreted code by a semi-sophisticated hacker could produce a faked paper tape audit trail, or a pre-stuffed “electronic ballot box” memory device containing negative and positive votes to throw the election in any conceivable direction.

Solution to protect precinct votes:

Fortunately SB1557 audits (when performed effectively and comprehensively) are better set up to catch “precinct vote hacking” than they are early vote auditing. SB1557 must therefore be aggressively implemented and if any Party tries to sit out the process to “veto” it, we must make rapid connections with the other parties to end-run obstruction. Pima County did this successfully in the post-primary recount, going so far as to recruit extra volunteers and loan them to the Libertarian Party as counters approved by the L.P. county chair. This model can be replicated. We get effective auditing out of it.

We believe that working with elections staff per Arizona Revised Statutes, a visibly transparent and fair election can be presented to the public. We intend to accomplish this in accord with the procedures manual created by the Arizona Secretary of State as of August 2006.

This publication is available in PDF:


Election Night Reporting............................................................................156


Election Night Reporting

Upon initial tabulation of election results, and additionally as new results are tabulated, the counties will communicate election results to the secretary of state in an agreed upon electronic format using an application supplied by the secretary of state. The results shall not be released before 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, or until all polls are closed, whichever occurs first. (Page 156)

Posted by Protect Democracy :: 11/02/2006 01:11:00 PM ::
Hacking the Early Vote

We must bring to your attention possible vulnerabilities in our voting systems, especially as they relate to counties running Diebold Election Systems products.

Problem ONE: “Hacking The Early Vote”

There is a 1 hour window for a hacker to change the votes. The early ballots are an especially tempting target for manipulation.

Early ballots on paper are scanned and processed generally before 7:00pm on election day. A few “straggler ballots” trickle in after but the numbers are not generally very large.

The phone modems are turned on at 7:00pm on election day allowing the precincts to report totals. This phone communication method is fundamentally stupid. It opens the “crown jewels” (the central database of votes) to outside manipulation by anybody who has that phone number, often NOT changed between elections. Diebold's software protocols allow standard personal computers to make an incoming connection, not just voting machines. Elections officials would never know that this “rogue” slipped in and manipulated the database.

At 8:00 pm the totals are tabulated and the first report is generated and released.

The mail-in votes in a Diebold environment are a target because Diebold's “central count” scanners (firmware 2.0.12) do not keep an independent paper record of the vote. They have their own printer, but it is basically disabled. Diebold precinct optical scanners print a ticker-tape of vote totals. The “central count” scanners used to do the same thing; Diebold disabled this in late 2002. With no independent audit trail, anybody manipulating the central database of early votes would not be caught without massive hand-counting in excess of the counting available under SB1557.

In Pima County, literally 1 box of 900 ballot could hold over 400 different precincts in one box. This makes it impossible, per the laws of Arizona, to scrutinize that paper effectively unless the results of the race are within 1/10 of 1 percent (ARS 16-661). There is no other state that has this low of a recount threshhold in our country.

If this HACK was to happen, there is nothing we could do with out evidence!

We did not know until our “roadtrip” that Coconino and Mohave counties also have these scanners in addition to the Pima and Yavapai systems listed with this dangerous gear. There may be more Diebold counties that have these audit-crippled scanners.

Solution to protect votes by mail:

Before the phone modems are turn on the Election Director MUST DO two things:

1) Before phone modems are turn on backup the central database of votes to a non rewritable CD the data and call it the “6:59pm report”. NOTE: election officials regularly make backups of their data, so we're not asking for anything unusual or difficult.

2) Print a complete report that gives the totals of all early votes cast and also done by precincts and place in envelope and do not released till 8:00pm to media and political parties. (The date and time is on the top right of report.)

Together these steps preserve a record of the vote from just before the counties open their systems to outside interference. We have tried and failed to stop this practice; making an audit record specific to this issue is our only remaining hope of catching outside manipulation if it happens.

John Brakey
Jim March

Posted by Protect Democracy :: 11/02/2006 01:05:00 PM ::

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Conflict of Interest: Corporate Control of Elections

The Elections Center leads industry attack on computer scientists
Promotes insecure DRE machines at public’s expense

Summary by Sandra Spangler

  • It has come to light that Diebold, through Jack Abramoff’s firm Greenberg Traurig, paid $275,000 to Robert Ney, Republican Chair of the House Administration Committee who has not allowed Rep. Rush Holt’s HAVA reform bill HR 550 that would require manual audits and voter verified paper records to be voted out of committee. Ney stepped down from the chairmanship and is the subject of a widening investigation that is bringing him closer to indictment.
  • A powerful tightly knit closed private network operates secretly to influence Secretaries of State and Election officials in every state to enforce discipline that keeps officials accountable to vendors, not to the public. Election Directors who tell the truth like Ion Sancho, Election Director in Leon County FL and Bruce Funk, County Clerk of Emery County Utah have been demonized and threatened with loss of their jobs and pensions.
  • This private network is coordinated by The Election Center that initiated a PR campaign in cooperation with an industry trade group, the Election Techology Council (ETC) within the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) funded by $100,000 contributions from each vendor member to malign the reputations of computer professionals who point out flaws and security risks of electronic voting.
  • Attacks on the credibility of computer scientists continue as Diebold tries to defend itself against revelations of massive security holes that Harri Hursti in a Black Box Voting report shows were engineered into the Diebold TSx by design. Michael Shamos, PhD, a Pennsylvania computer scientist who examines and certifies machines in that state who generally has supported paperless touch screen voting, acknowledges the severity of the the national security risk. Avi Rubin, PhD a computer scientist from from Johns Hopkins who worked as an elections worker in Maryland in 2004 knows that insufficient control of chain of custody of voting machines and their smart card ballot boxes leaves these machines open to tampering. Rubin says he almost had a heart attack when he learned of the newest revelations that showed the security holes engineered into the Diebold TSx.
  • The Elections Center is run by R. Doug Lewis, a political operative who reports no special expertise in voting systems security, management or risk in a skimpy biography.
  • Lewis, through the Elections Center coordinates professional organizations of Elections Directors and Secretaries of State that have power over the federal and state certification of voting machines. Vendors are ex-officio members of these organizations and ply their wares through face time purchased through the corporate affiliate program.
  • According to the American Prospect article Don’t Count On it “The Election Center’s members include approximately 1,000 dues-paying state and local election-administration officials, as well some voting-machine vendors. The center provides a host of services for its members, informing them of new developments in election law, sponsoring professional development conferences, and offering training workshops for new election officials. In advance of the last election, the [Elections] center also performed a quasi-oversight role over the machine-testing process.”
  • The National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) was commissioned by the Federal Election Commission over a decade ago with the authority to select which private labs would test new voting-machine technologies.
  • The vendors pay so-called Independent Testing Authorities to test their hardware/firmware and software. Two labs, Wyle and Ciber did not report any of these security flaws discovered by Harri Hursti and validated by the Callifornia Voting System Board. Lab directors, Shawn Southworth and Jim Dearman have served on the NASED Voting Systems Board.
  • The NASED with the involvement of the Elections Center federally certifies voting systems. Most states, including Arizona, have a closed non-transparent system that rubber stamps federal certification with no performance or security tests. Only California, and perhaps Pennsylvania, have rigorous procedures to independently examine voting systems. Ironically, the Arizona SoS tested the AutoMark in an actual primary election, but did not publicly demonstrate or test the Diebold TSx
  • HAVA authors mandated that the Elections Assistance Center (EAC) pass a new set of recommendations for state guidelines by 2006. The EAC passed on the responsibility for standards to the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). According to Rebecca Mercuri, PhD from Harvard University, the IEEE voting standards working group has been “hijacked” by industry representatives who place profit above security. A long-time ES&S employee, Herb Deutch chairs this working group.
  • The Elections Assistance Commission chartered the National Institute of Standards (NIST) to form a committee, the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) to establish standards by which voting machines would be tested. The charter requires by law that there be no conflict of interest in the decision makers.
  • According to a Report from VoteTrust USA TGDC committee members Dr. Brit Williams and Paul Craft who have ties to the Election Center and vendors, intervened when vendors objected and wielded their power to compel the TGDC to delete new standards requiring voter verified paper audit trails in order to allow existing voting systems to comply with standards.
  • A “revolving door” between former regulators and industry reinforces vendor influence over state certification of voting machines. A report by TrueVote Maryland calls attention to a “Whitewash in the Making.”Maryland State Elections Director Linda Lamone, current NASED President hired a firm closely linked to vendors, the Craft Freeman & McGregor Group Inc., to “independently test” Diebold voting machines after massive security holes were reported. GOP Maryland Governor, Bob Ehrlich has repudiated the DRE machines. Paul Craft, formerly head of the Florida Bureau of Voting Systems Certification who has no credentials to evaluate voting machine security formed a partnership with former state voting machine certifiers Steve Freeman and Kate McGregor. Craft has been linked to purges of voter rolls in Florida.
  • As industry has acquired power and influence by establishing a professional network coordinated by the Elections Center, the American election system has become increasingly privatized, undemocratic and unaccountable to public oversight.
  • has posted a list of organizations that organize and maneuver U.S. Elections. BBV points out that these organizations share a:

o Privatization ethic

o Pay to play (swap contributions for face time)

o The Elections Center plays a major role in training (propagandizing).

o These organizations (NASS) (NASED) etc. consider themselves to be private entities, not public, and may claim that they are not subject to public records laws. They sometimes claim that their meetings are not subject to public meetings laws. In other words, these organizations provide a way to conduct The People's business in private.

Posted by Protect Democracy :: 6/08/2006 10:45:00 PM ::

Saturday, February 25, 2006




Phoenix, AZ Saturday, Saturday, February 25, 2006

Submitted by:

Gerry Straatemeier, State Committee Member

District 26 – Pima County

Authored by; Sandra Spangler, PC LD 26 and

John R Brakey, PC LD 27 also both members of AUDIT-AZ


Resolution to Recommend that the Democratic National Committee Establish a National Election Integrity Clearinghouse

WHEREAS, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) reporti released October 21, 2005, and endorsed by the Chairs and Ranking Members of three House Committees found that "some of [the] concerns about electronic voting machines have been realized and have caused problems with recent elections, resulting in the loss and miscount of votes." Some of these machines "did not encrypt cast ballots or system audit logs, and it was possible to alter both without being detected" and,

WHEREAS, two vendors provided electronic voting machines that counted 80% of the national vote; flawed voting systems were certified by a federal vendor-financed testing authority; states do not routinely perform their own independent inspections of voting systems before certifying voting equipment; prohibited interpreted code was found in the removable memory cards capable of changing vote data in Diebold optical-scan systems by two independent computer experts retained by nonpartisan Black Box Voting at the request of Leon County FL Supervisor of Elections, Ion Sancho. The experts easily penetrated the county’s election system and were able to flip votes in a mock election. All Diebold op-scans and touch screen machines have subsequently been found to contain prohibited code and,

WHEREAS a troubling pattern of lost votes on both optical scan and touch screen voting systems validates the GAO findings. Iowa State University computer expert Dr. Douglas Jonesii who examined optical scan machines used in a disputed LD 20 Maricopa County, AZ primary election, found that if voters followed the ballot marking instructions, there was a 1 in 12 chance that their votes would not be counted. In New Mexico Sequoia Edge touch screen machines recorded up to a 37% undervote in some Hispanic and Native American precincts; iiiand,

WHEREAS machines equipped with voter verifiable paper audit trails (VVPAT) that store votes invisibly on hidden memory cards and print out paper records on continuous rolls of thermal paper that cannot be recounted, are neither reliable or accurate. The significance of what has come to be known as the “Harri Hursti Hack” reported in the Washington Postiv is that valid verification through random manual audits based on statistically significant norms that trigger automatic manual recounts of legal voter-marked paper ballots to reconstruct elections are the only effective checks upon computerized voting that will restore public confidence in elections, and

WHEREAS the Arizona Democratic Party is the first state party in the nation to respond to the demonstrated security vulnerability of electronic voting and the specific problems identified by the GAO report by forming an Election Integrity Committee composed of citizen experts to restore public oversight and accountability to elections. The Committee has set up seven Mini-Task Forces to monitor, investigate, identify problems, propose solutions and hold election officials accountable for: Equipment Certification, Tabulation, Voter Registration, Absentee/Early Voting in Polling Places, Election Administration, and Law, Legislation and Initiatives and,

WHEREAS: without national regulation private vendors are allowed to wield enormous financial power to apply unequal and unfair standards when they negotiate contracts with counties and states and often collaborate to enforce proprietary rights. Ability to undermine the authority of state and county election officials to administer fair elections by arbitrarily restricting choice by threatening lawsuits for patent infringement, reserving the right to whom they will sell, willfully canceling contracts in some states while honoring the same terms in others must be restrained vand,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED Arizona Democratic Party recommends that the Democratic National Committee establish an Election Integrity Information Clearinghouse and database within the DNC to coordinate and mobilize a national action network to defeat the erosion of public oversight of elections caused by private vendor control. The Arizona Democratic Party recommends that states set up Election Integrity Committees based on the Arizona model to:

  • Collect and analyze data to identify patterns common to more than one state to share that information quickly through the network.

  • Quickly detect changing tactics and technological exploits that threaten election integrity/security and abuse voting rights

  • Hold regional or targeted problem area summits that assemble the best legal, technical and government professionals to educate citizen experts on how to improve skills to evaluate election systems.

i “ELECTIONS:Federal Efforts to Improve Security and Reliability of Electronic Voting Systems Are UnderWay, but Key Activities Need to Be Completed

ii STATEMENT OF DOUGLAS W. JONES Regarding the Optical Mark-Sense Vote Tabulators in Maricopa County

Ballot Box Breakdowns” by John Dougherty, Phoenix New Times

ivAs Elections Near, Officials Challenge Balloting Security In Controlled Test, Results Are Manipulated in Florida System

Posted by Protect Democracy :: 2/25/2006 10:15:00 AM ::