Friday, February 17, 2006

Secretary of State grants conditional certification for Diebold voting systems

Today California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson issued this news release announcing he has granted conditional certification of Diebold's optical scan and touchscreen TSx voting systems. This news will bring some relief to counties using Diebold equipment which are anxious to upgrade their systems to meet the state voter verified paper audit trail requirement and federal disability access requirement.

The certification of this system was controversial because the Secretary of State discovered that there was interpreted code featured in these two voting systems that was written by Diebold and not evaluated by the federal testing authorities. The Secretary of State sent the code back to the federal testers and asked them to look at it; so far that request has not been fulfilled.

The Secretary of State also asked his Voting Systems Technology Assessment Advisory Board to look at the code in question. This committee is made up of computer scientists, including David Jefferson (one of CVF's board members) and David Wagner of UC Berkeley. The advisory board's report is not yet available online but the Secretary of State's announcement today summarizes the conditions that must be met by counties that will use the Diebold systems.

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