Saturday, February 20, 2010

Two Legal 'Situations'

These news items aren't directly related to the Humboldt County Election Transparency Project, but may be of interest to those who are interested in election integrity.

First, New York state recently awarded a voting machine contract to the nation's largest voting machine supplier, ES&S. According to Dominion, another bidder, New York originally ranked Dominion's solution higher. Dominion was also a substantially lower priced bidder. But New York then raised ES&S' ranking after the company added an "ease of use" feature that would, according to Dominion, be illegal in New York due to its compromise of security. Information can be found at Bo Lipari's blog --

Also this morning, news from Clay County, Kentucky, where, according to the Lexington Herald Leader, a former precinct worker has testified in court about how she stole votes from voters using voting machines. She testified that she was instructed in her technique by County Clerk Freddy Thompson, the chief election officer in that county.

The vote-buyers took advantage of some confusion caused by new voting machines the county had that year, White said. The machines had a "Vote" button that people could push to review their choices, then a second button they had to push to record the choices and finish voting.

Meanwhile, here in Humboldt County, CA, we use optically scanned paper ballots with no helpful "Vote" buttons to push but not vote. And, with the cooperation and assistance of County Clerk Carolyn Crnich, the Transparency Project has made available independent scans of every ballot cast in the last three elections, enabling independent recounts.