Audit Arizona (AUDIT AZ) Articles

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 ::