Monday, November 1, 2010

Vote411.org — All You Need to Know to Vote on Tuesday

Posted by Will Moredock on Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 10:39 AM

There is an incredible new site created by the League of Women Voters to answer all — and I do mean all — questions you have about voting laws and related issues in South Carolina. I am talking about Vote411.org. Have a question about absentee ballots, early voting, voting eligibility, location of polling places? It's all right here on one site, and much more. Please check it out and tell your friends about it. This is one-stop shopping for the voting citizen.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Frank Heindel's Report on South Carolina Voting Machines

Posted by Will Moredock on Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 9:32 PM

As promised in my Sept. 29 column, here is Frank Heindel's record and analysis of his ongoing efforts to find out what the hell is going on with South Carolina's voting machines. This is a devastating critique of both the machines and the state and local bureaucrats who manage and defend them. Look for another column on this matter within a couple of weeks. But for now, see Heindel's site at www.scvotinginfo.com.
Go to the site and check out the links.

Citizen's Audit of South Carolina's Voting System October 2010

My name is Frank Heindel, I am a resident of Mt. Pleasant and a South Carolina voter. For the past several years, I have been interested in the voting process in South Carolina, especially the ES&S iVotronic electronic voting machines and the South Carolina State Election Commission. Our democracy depends on public participation and confidence in the electoral process.

After Alvin Greene's unusual win over Vic Rawl in the 2010 Democratic Primary for the US Senate, my interest in our voting system intensified. I must state that I am not and have never been affiliated with either of the above named candidates. I am convinced that the ES&S iVotronic electronic voting machine is suspect at best and completely faulty at worst.

The body of this website documents the efforts I have made with the State Election Commission(SEC), the Charleston County Election Commission and others to obtain answers to my questions. I found my previous experience with the Freedom of Information Act to be helpful, but should point out I encountered major resistance obtaining certain documents and data. Since our current voting system lacks a verifiable paper trail, voting machine performance and system security were the two most critical items to examine.

Audit Logs of iVotronic machines-June 8, 2010 Primary in Charleston County, SC
E-mails obtained under FOIA-June 2010-September 2010
E-mail to Charleston County Election Commissioners-September 14, 2010
iVotronic machines-background
Legal issues
Media coverage-"Those aren't palmetto bugs in our voting machines", Charleston City Paper, September 29, 2010
"Gambling with Democracy-Experts Question Quality of South Carolina Voting Machines" Columbia Free Times- Corey Hutchins October 5,2010 10/13/10 Eleanor Hare letter to editor
Upcoming media - SC ETV "The Big Picture" airing October 14, 2010
Dan Rather Reports - Scheduled for late October
SC election officials hindering the release of public information.
SC's voting machine certification process lacks credibility
Security Flaws
Why is the Palmetto Project the only vocal group to support our iVotronic machines? Let's follow the money.....

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

New Poll: Haley 45% — Sheheen 41%

Posted by Will Moredock on Sun, Oct 3, 2010 at 10:59 PM

It ain't over yet. In fact, it is a long way from over in the S.C. gubernatorial race. Latest poll has Vincent Sheheen closing the gap on that crazy GOPer Nikki Haley.

Read more: http://www.indigojournal.com/2010/10/01/new-sc-polling-haley-45-sheheen-41/

See full poll results at www.scdp.org/files/docs/SC Gen Election - Gov Tracking.pdf

A new poll completed just last evening shows some significant positive movement for Vincent Sheheen, with the race a virtual dead heat. Nikki Haley leads Sheheen 45%-41%, within the poll’s margin of error of 3.9%. Thirteen percent remain undecided.

The poll was conducted by South Carolina pollster Crantford & Associates. The survey involved 634 active registered South Carolina voters. Data collection occurred Thursday September the 30th between 6:00 PM and 9:00 PM.

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Scary Video: Who Builds South Carolina's Electronic Voting Machines?

Posted by Will Moredock on Sun, Oct 3, 2010 at 10:22 PM

Ever wonder where South Carolina's iVotronic touch screen voting machines are made? These machines, so important to our democracy and our governance, are ground out in Third World sweatshop factories in the Philippines. Dan Rather did a report on them a few years ago for HDNet's "Dan Rather Reports." It's depressing and alarming. See it at http://blip.tv/file/343141.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Election Officials Drag Their Feet on FOI Request

Posted by Will Moredock on Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 1:30 AM

Addendum to my Sept. 29 City Paper column on Charleston County voting machines:

Here is one of the long email exchanges citizen investigator Frank Heindel had with state election officials Marci Andino and Chris Whitmire about fulfilling his FOI request. Heindel was trying to get answers to what went wrong with Charleston County voting machines in the June 8 primary. These emails explain a lot about the attitudes of election bureaucrats and they conclude with the one at the top of the list, in which Whitmire of the state Election Commission essentially says he has more important things to do than fulfill Heindel's FOI request.

Start reading from the bottom and the picture will become clear.



——- Forwarded Message ——-
From: "Chris Whitmire"
To: "fheindel@xxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: xxxxxxxxx@postandcourier.com, mbowers@charlestoncounty.org
Sent: Monday, September 20, 2010 11:39:06 AM
Subject: RE: June 28,2010 FOIA- Refusal to release certification report and transparency issues

Thank you.

Please understand that SEC staff, particularly those with the most knowledge of the voting system, are currently engaged in preparing for the 2010 General Election, which is their first priority.

I cannot provide you a date on which this information will be provided, but it will be provided as soon as possible.

I notice that your list includes “Terminal -opening state” with the comment “32 machines had this event after 7:00 a.m. indicating machines not ready for voters.”

Please keep in mind that one machine not being open at 7:00 a.m. does not mean there were no machines available for voters. Most polling places have five or more machines.

Chris Whitmire
Public Information Officer

South Carolina State Election Commission
Post Office Box 5987
Columbia, S.C. 29250
Tel: 803.734.9070
Fax: 803.734.9366

Every Vote Matters_LogoXSmall
This message originates from the South Carolina State Election Commission. If you have received this message in error, we would appreciate it if you would immediately notify the South Carolina State Election Commission by sending a reply e-mail to the sender of this message. Thank you.

From: fheindel@xxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Monday, September 20, 2010 11:23 AM
To: Whitmire, Chris
Cc: xxxxxxxxx@postandcourier.com
Subject: Re: June 28,2010 FOIA- Refusal to release certification report and transparency issues

Chris,

Below are the events I am interested in .
Frank

Vote cancelled -terminal problem -33 events on 20 machines
PEB access failed- 2351 events on 211 machines
Terminal shutdown- IPS exit- 822 events on 199 machines
Election ID data mismatch -PEB vs. CF 88 events
Failed to retrieve EQC from PEB- 816 events
Failed to get PEB ballot header block- 10 events on 10 machines
Failed to get PEB EQC block- 16 events on 13 machines
Failed to get PEB revision- 4 events on 4 machines
Failed to get PEB type - 228 events
Failed to get PEB vote header block - 43 events
Invalid PEB for procedure- 7 events
Set terminal date and/or time- 19 machines reset after 7:00 a.m.
Zero tapes printed after votes have been cast- 16 machines
Terminal shutdown (after 7:30 a.m. and prior to 6:30 p.m.) - 800 events on 255 machines
Select calibrate screen -33 events on 18 machines
Terminal touchscreen recalibrated -21 events on 14 machines
PEB block CRC error- 73 events
PEB not prepared for polls- 4 events
Terminal shutdown -DIE exit - 7 events on 7 machines
PEB pulled during PEB block read - 30 events on 26 machines
Close terminal early - 7 events on 7 machines
Warning - I/O flag set - 20 events on 4 machines
Warning- can not read terminal screen- 1 event
Terminal -opening state - 32 machines had this event after 7:00 a.m. indicating machines not ready for voters

——- Original Message ——-
From: "Chris Whitmire"
To: "fheindel@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: xxxxxxxxx@postandcourier.com
Sent: Monday, September 20, 2010 11:19:20 AM
Subject: RE: June 28,2010 FOIA- Refusal to release certification report and transparency issues


Frank,

What specific event messages are you interested in?

Thank you.

Chris Whitmire
Public Information Officer

South Carolina State Election Commission
Post Office Box 5987
Columbia, S.C. 29250
Tel: 803.734.9070
Fax: 803.734.9366

Every Vote Matters_LogoXSmall
This message originates from the South Carolina State Election Commission. If you have received this message in error, we would appreciate it if you would immediately notify the South Carolina State Election Commission by sending a reply e-mail to the sender of this message. Thank you.

From: fheindel@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 7:48 AM
To: Whitmire, Chris
Cc: xxxxxxxxx@postandcourier.com
Subject: Re: June 28,2010 FOIA- Refusal to release certification report and transparency issues

September 14, 2010

Chris,

Is there anyone employed by the SEC who knows the meanings of all the event messages on the Ivotronic machines as well as understands what is causing these messages? If so, would you please send me that person's email address?

Also, would you please send me the email addresses of the five commission members?

Thanks for your help.

Sincerely,
Frank Heindel

——- Original Message ——-
From: "Marci Andino"
To: fheindel@xxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: "Brandon Gaskins" , xxxxxxxxx@postandcourier.com, "Chris Whitmire"
Sent: Monday, September 13, 2010 3:36:25 PM
Subject: RE: June 28,2010 FOIA- Refusal to release certification report and transparency issues

Please continue to use Chris Whitmire as your point of contact. Chris is responsible for public information requests and will coordinate with others in the agency.

From: fheindel@xxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 11:46 AM
To: Andino, Marci
Cc: Brandon Gaskins; xxxxxxxxxx@postandcourier.com; Whitmire, Chris
Subject: Re: June 28,2010 FOIA- Refusal to release certification report and transparency issues

September 8, 2010

State Election Commission

Dear Ms. Andino,

I can not think of a scenario in which South Carolina voters benefit from having a voting machine manufacturer pay for the certification report and the SEC refuse to make the report available to the public.

Would you please let me know who is your in-house expert that can be contacted about questions regarding the specific messages generated by our Ivotronic voting machines during Election Day? I have asked some questions of Dave Faust and Marilyn Bowers in Charleston County, but they do not seem to know what is causing the voting machines to shut down so many times during the day. Dave Faust said someone else higher up would know the meanings of all the messages. I have attached a few examples of these messages to this email so you can see what I am trying to understand .

Thanks, in advance, for your help in directing me to someone at the SEC who has the knowledge of all of these terms.

Regards,

Frank Heindel
Mt. Pleasant, SC

——- Original Message ——-
From: "Marci Andino"
To: fheindel@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: "Brandon Gaskins" , xxxxxxxx@postandcourier.com, "Chris Whitmire"
Sent: Tuesday, September 7, 2010 3:52:34 PM
Subject: RE: June 28,2010 FOIA- Refusal to release certification report and transparency issues

Mr. Heindel,

Please see the letter attached.

Marci Andino

——-Original Message——-
From: fheindel@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Friday, August 27, 2010 7:11 AM
To: Andino, Marci
Cc: Brandon Gaskins; xxxxxxxxx@postandcourier.com; Whitmire, Chris
Subject: Re: June 28,2010 FOIA- Refusal to release certification report and transparency issues

August 27, 2010

State Election Commission

Dear Ms. Andino,

Since the State Election Commission has been unwilling to make available the certification report as per my Freedom of Information Act Request, I have been in contact with the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) about their interim accreditation program.The EAC supplied me with all the information they have regarding the interim accreditation program that began in July 2006.

According to the June 22, 2007 SEC board minutes: "Ms. Andino stated that after requesting this opinion it was discovered that Systest laboratory that certified version 3.0.1.1 was operating under an interim accreditation from the EAC. Chairman Hudgens stated that this would seem to open the door for the SEC to certify the system."

SysTest was granted interim accreditation with the EAC in July 2006. However, the interim accreditation was only for testing voting machines to be used in the November 2006 elections. Interim accreditation was specifically not to be used for testing a new system for use after the 2006 elections.The EAC's full accreditation program did not get underway until February 2007 and SysTest was not EAC accredited to test new voting systems until February 21, 2007.

Therefore, based on Attorney General McMaster's June 22, 2006 opinion, since SysTest certified our voting machines in August 2006 without having the necessary EAC accreditation, our current voting system is illegal and needs to be de-certified prior to the November 2010 elections.

What documentation does the State Election Commission have that states SysTest had the necessary EAC accreditation as required under Section 7-13-1620(A) of the South Carolina Code to test and certify a new voting system in August 2006 that was installed in August 2007 ?

Sincerely,

Frank Heindel
Mt. Pleasant, SC

——- Original Message ——-
From: "Chris Whitmire"
To: "fheindel@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: "Brandon Gaskins" , xxxxxxxxx@postandcourier.com
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010 9:48:51 AM
Subject: RE: June 28,2010 FOIA- Refusal to release certification report and transparency issues

1. August 31, 2006

2. The SEC did not pay for the report. This testing is the responsibility of the vendor. I don’t know the cost.

3. 37 pages

Chris Whitmire
Public Information Officer

South Carolina State Election Commission Post Office Box 5987 Columbia, S.C. 29250
Tel: 803.734.9070
Fax: 803.734.9366


This message originates from the South Carolina State Election Commission. If you have received this message in error, we would appreciate it if you would immediately notify the South Carolina State Election Commission by sending a reply e-mail to the sender of this message. Thank you.

From: fheindel@xxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010 6:29 AM
To: Whitmire, Chris
Cc: Brandon Gaskins; xxxxxxxxx@postandcourier.com
Subject: Re: June 28,2010 FOIA- Refusal to release certification report and transparency issues

August 26, 2010

Chris,

Obviously, I don't agree with the delay and the lack of transparency .

Here are 3 quick questions that won't infringe on SysTest or ES&S's privacy and confidentiality concerns and will only take a minute or two to answer.

1. What is the date of the SysTest certification report?
2. Who paid for the SysTest certification report and how much did it cost ?
3. How many pages is the SysTest certification report?

That will help shed a little light on the process for me.

Thanks, in advance, for your help .

Sincerely,

Frank Heindel

——- Original Message ——-
From: "Chris Whitmire"
To: "fheindel@xxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: "Brandon Gaskins" , xxxxxxxx@postandcourier.com
Sent: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 1:20:55 PM
Subject: RE: June 28,2010 FOIA- Refusal to release certification report and transparency issues


Mr. Heindel,

I cannot provide a date on which the redacted report will be ready. A couple of factors lead to this uncertainty:

· It’s not a matter of simply redacting the report and sending it to you. It requires this office to work with two other entities, SysTest and ES&S, in order to determine what information may be proprietary, and therefore what to redact.

· Also understand that this is currently the busiest period of the two year election cycle for the SEC. Preparation for the General Election is our primary focus, and the agency is currently understaffed with 13 employees (normally 18).

With that said, please know your request is active, and this office will provide the report as soon as it’s ready.

Thank you for your understanding.

Chris Whitmire
Public Information Officer

South Carolina State Election Commission Post Office Box 5987 Columbia, S.C. 29250
Tel: 803.734.9070
Fax: 803.734.9366


This message originates from the South Carolina State Election Commission. If you have received this message in error, we would appreciate it if you would immediately notify the South Carolina State Election Commission by sending a reply e-mail to the sender of this message. Thank you.

From: fheindel@xxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 3:24 PM
To: Whitmire, Chris
Cc: Brandon Gaskins; xxxxxxxxx@postandcourier.com
Subject: Re: June 28,2010 FOIA- Refusal to release certification report and transparency issues

August 24, 2010

State Election Commission

Dear Chris Whitmire,

It has been over 3 weeks since Mr. Gaskins asked you to redact the certification report and send it to me.

The Freedom of Information Act allows me to have this information in a timely manner.

Would you please tell me when l will have the certification report?


Sincerely,


Frank Heindel
Mt. Pleasant, SC


——- Original Message ——-
From: "Chris Whitmire"
To: "fheindel@xxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: "Brandon Gaskins" , xxxxxxxx@postandcourier.com
Sent: Thursday, July 29, 2010 4:16:07 PM
Subject: RE: June 28,2010 FOIA- Refusal to release certification report and transparency issues

Mr. Heindel,


Thank you for your response. I plan to address the issues raised in your email in due time, but I wanted to let you know that we are presently working to identify and separate or redact any exempt materials from the report in question to make it suitable for release.

I will let you know as soon as it is ready.

Thank you.

Chris Whitmire
Public Information Officer

South Carolina State Election Commission
Post Office Box 5987
Columbia, S.C. 29250
Tel: 803.734.9070
Fax: 803.734.9366


This message originates from the South Carolina State Election Commission. If you have received this message in error, we would appreciate it if you would immediately notify the South Carolina State Election Commission by sending a reply e-mail to the sender of this message. Thank you.

From: fheindel@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Thursday, July 29, 2010 10:35 AM
To: Whitmire, Chris
Cc: dhatch-walsh@gov.sc.gov; xxxxxxxx@postandcourier.com
Subject: June 28,2010 FOIA- Refusal to release certification report and transparency issues

July 29, 2010

State Election Commission

Dear Chris Whitmire,

Regarding item 1 of my FOIA request, you have denied releasing a copy of the SysTest 2007 certification report stating it contains information proprietary to both ES&S and SysTest Labs. Based on the information below, I respectfully request you to reconsider the importance of the report and publish it on the SEC website so the voters can understand more about the certification process our state officials approved.

The Federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has stated the importance of having this type of certification information available for public viewing.The EAC seeks to make its Voting System Testing and Certification Program as transparent as possible. The agency believes that such action benefits the program by increasing public confidence in the process and creating a more informed and involved public. As such, it is the policy of the EAC to make all documents, or severable portions thereof, available to the public consistent with Federal law (e.g. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Trade Secrets Act).
Section 10.2 http://www.eac.gov/assets/1/Page/Quality%20Monitoring%20Program.pdf

The EAC's willingness to allow the public the opportunity to view the testing methods and the companies involved with the testing on their website has proven to be an invaluable benefit to voters. For instance, the EAC's July 2008 letter to SysTest regarding their work with ES&S states, " EAC has concerns that SysTest is allowing and inviting manufacturers to play an inappropriate role in the development of test plans. While VSTLs may need to make technical inquiries to manufacturers, it is not appropriate for a manufacturer to be directly involved in creating plans for testing their own system. In addition, the email contains language in which SysTest sets a goal “to ensure certification” of manufacturer’s system. http://www.eac.gov/assets/1/Page/EAC%20letter%20to%20SysTest%20Labs%20July%2025%202008.pdf.

The EAC website details the October 2008 visit to the SysTest site.

"As a result of this on-site monitoring visit, NVLAP has serious concerns about SysTest's performance of voting system testing. These concerns were supported by observations of testing where the test methods being used were not fully developed, validated, mapped to the requirements of the applicable standards, and controlled under SysTest's document control policy.

From the team's observations it was unclear who at SysTest had the ultimate responsibility for test method development. During the observed tests, it appeared that the testers were running the tests for the first time. Changes were made to the test procedures to address items that should have been caught during an initial run-through of the test. Basic tests, such as the system readiness test, were not conducted successfully. Three test methods failed due to problems with the procedure, tester error, or unfamiliarity with the test set-up. Some anomalies or potential problems during testing were not reported by the testers but were pointed out by members of the on-site team."


On October 31, 2008, the EAC sent a letter to SysTest Labs stating, Pursuant to Sections 5.4 and 5.5 of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC)Voting System Test Laboratory Program Manual (Program Manual), you are hereby notified that the EAC is suspending the accreditation of SysTest Labs, Incorporated (SysTest) for failing to comply with program requirements.
http://www.eac.gov/assets/1/Page/EAC%20Suspension%20of%20Accreditation%20Notice%20to%20SysTest%20Labs1.pdf

Another reason for closely examining the SysTest methods employed during their certification process is the EAC August 14, 2007 notice of non-compliance to ES&S regarding ES&S's failure to mention that the manufacturing and initial quality control testing for our Ivotronic DRE terminals, PEB's, and the PEB readers were all done by a company SC voters have never heard of called Teletech Telesystems in Pasay City, Metro Manila,Philippines. From the little information that is available about the company's quality control at their manufacturing plant, which some have referred to as a sweatshop, I have very little faith that the 12,000 voting machines we have purchased are anywhere near a top of the line product.
http://www.eac.gov/assets/1/Page/Election%20Systems%20&%20Software%20Response%20to%20EAC%27s%20request%20for%20information.pdf

I also want to point out some of Attorney General McMaster's responses to Ms. Andino from June 22, 2007 regarding this SysTest certification report.
You informed us that “the certification of a new version of software and firmware is before the Commission. The software was certified by a testing laboratory that is now accredited by the Federal Election Assistance Commission; however, the software was certified prior to the EAC taking over
administration of the certification program on 1/1/2007.” Thus, we assume you inquire as to whether the Commission may approve a voting system for use in South Carolina under these circumstances.
http://www.scattorneygeneral.org/opinions/pdf/andino%20m%206-22-07%20os-8407%20certification%20of%20electronic%20voting%20systems.pdf

Section 7-13-1620(A) of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2006) is so clear regarding the necessity of EAC approval, I am surprised the SEC would ask for a legal opinion in the first place.A voting system may not be approved for use in the State unless certified by a testing laboratory accredited by the Federal Election Assistance Commission as meeting or exceeding the minimum requirements of federal voting system standards.

Furthermore, from the SEC May 2007 minutes, ES&S does not have any plans to test Unity 3.0.1.1 against the 2005 Voting Systems Standards and therefore will not receive an EAC certification on this version. In 2007, South Carolina had the opportunity to have a much more stringent voting system process by being EAC certified under the 2005 Voting Systems Standards, but instead chose the more lenient 2002 voting standards. http://www.scvotes.org/files/ElectionReports/Election_Report_2008.pdf page 101 and 102

Compare South Carolina's 2007 hurry up and keep the voters in the dark approach to voting system certification to a state like Colorado. Colorado requires over 1,200 pages of documentation, video and audio documentation, and an independent panel is required to review all documentation prior to certification of a voting system. Colorado voters would not accept the notion of not being able to see how their voting machines were certified.
http://www.elections.colorado.gov/Content/Documents/Voting%20Systems/Certifications/cert_at_a_glance.pdf

I hope you can see, from a voter's perspective, there is little, if any, documentation available to give voters confidence in the certification process undertaken by the SEC. South Carolina voters paid for the Ivotronic voting machines and the Unity 3.0.1.1 software and we should be able to see all the papers and reports that came with it. The SEC can make a few redactions in the SysTest Labs certification report relating to the secret source code, but aside from that, there is no reason for the report not to be published on the SEC website. By withholding the report from public view, the SEC appears to be acting more like an agent for ES&S and SysTest Labs than a watchdog for the SC voter's election system.

Regarding item number 2 of my FOIA request, I asked for:
2. A copy of the written confirmation from ES&S stating they have their secret "source codes" placed in escrow as per SC law as stated: F) Before a voting system may be used in elections in the State, all source codes for the system must be placed in escrow by the manufacturer at the manufacturer's expense with the authority approved by the Federal Election Assistance Commission. These source codes must be available to the State Election Commission in case the company goes out of business, pursuant to court order, or if the State Election Commission determines that an examination of these source codes is necessary. The manufacturer shall place all updates of these source codes in escrow, and notify the State Election Commission that this requirement has been met.

You provided one letter dated Feb 16, 2006 from ES&S to Ms. Andino which states, "ES&S has placed in escrow with Iron Mountain a copy of its voting system firmware and software source codes which are the same versions as currently installed in the voting systems used within the State of South Carolina." In 2006, South Carolina was using Unity 3.0.1.1 software . Today we are using Hardware Revision 1.1, Firmware revision 9.1.6.0.
ES&S is required by law to "place all updates of these source codes in escrow, andnotify the State Election Commission that this requirement has been met."

Apparently, you are telling me ES&S is not abiding by our State law by maintaining the up to date source codes.

The following is a news release dated June 21, 2007 from California's Secretary of State.
Secretary of State Debra Bowen has taken the unprecedented step of pursuing access to a voting system vendor’s source code located in escrow
after the vendor —Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S) — refused to provide it to the Secretary of State’s office as part of the top-to-bottom review of California’s voting systems.“I’m not going to stand by and watch ES&S ignore the State of California and, in particular, the voters of Los Angeles County by refusing to abide by the certification conditions that were imposed when ES&S’s InkaVote Plus Voting System was certified last year,” said Bowen.
https://www.sos.ca.gov/voting-systems/oversight/ttbr/db07-029.pdf

Regarding item number 4 of my FOIA request, I asked for "A copy of any and all report(s) sent from ES&S to the SEC that detail any de-certification, ethical, or technical violations against ES&S's voting system in any state from May 2007 through June 25, 2010. " You replied, "There are no such notices."

ES&S is required by law to notify the SEC if its voting system is decertified in any state.
SECTION 7-13-1620. Voting system approval process.
(C) A person or company who seeks approval for any type of voting system in this State shall file with the State Election Commission a list of all states or jurisdictions in which that voting system has been approved for use. This list must state how long the system has been used in the state; contain the name, address, and telephone number of that state or jurisdiction's chief election official; and disclose any reports compiled by state or local government concerning the performance of the system. The vendor is responsible for filing this information on an ongoing basis.

(I)(1) A vendor of any voting system that has been approved by the State Election Commission shall report in writing to the Director of the State Election Commission any decertification, ethical, or technical violations against the voting system in any state within ninety days after the decertification, ethical, or technical violations are issued by the other state. If the vendor does not provide evidence to the State Election Commission's satisfaction that the voting system deficiencies have been corrected to comply with the provisions of South Carolina law, then the voting system may be decertified.

On December 17, 2007, Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman decertified the ES&S Unity software version 3.0.1.1.
http://www.elections.colorado.gov/Content/Documents/Voting%20Systems/certifications/2007/Election%20Systems%20&%20Software%20%28ES&S%29.pdf

The Ohio Secretary of State recommended the elimination of the use of DREs such as the Ivotronic based on the December 7, 2007 report referred to by voting machine experts as the Everest report. Clemson University has detailed many of the critical issues of this report.
On page 30, in the Executive Summary: “The security failings of the ES&S system are severe and pervasive. There are exploitable weaknesses in virtually every election device and software module, and we found practical attacks that can be mounted by almost any participant in an election. For this reason, the team feels strongly that any prudent approach to securing ES&S-based elections must include a substantial re-engineering of the software and firmware architecture to make it ‘secure by design.’”

The following quote is from page 29: “Our analysis suggests that the ES&S Unity EMS, iVotronic DRE and M100 optical scan systems lack the fundamental technical controls necessary to guarantee a trustworthy election under operational conditions. Exploitable vulnerabilities allow even persons with limited access — voters and precinct poll workers — to compromise voting machines and precinct results, and, in some cases, to inject and spread software viruses into the central election management system. Such compromises render the election result subject to subtle manipulations — potentially across election cycles. These vulnerabilities arise from several pervasive, critical failures of the ES&S system:”
http://clemsonarea.sc.lwvnet.org/files/OhioReport.pdf

There are two more serious concerns the SEC needs to address as we rapidly approach our November 2010 elections.

Due to the serious vulnerabilities of our voting system, the SEC needs to publish its security plan online so voters can have some comfort that all is being done to safeguard our election process. Here is an example of the EAC's security plan published online. http://www.eac.gov/assets/1/workflow_staging/Page/259.PDF

Also, the SEC needs to begin to adequately document and inform the public regarding the incidents of problems with our voting system.

SECTION 7-13-1655. "Voting system" defined; State Election Commission duties. (A) As used in this section, "voting system" means: (1) the total combination of mechanical, electromechanical, or electronic equipment, including the software, firmware, and documentation required to program, control, and support the equipment that is used to:. ..(c) maintain records of system errors and defects;

Currently, South Carolina counties keep written logs documenting issues or problems with the voting system on Election Day. The SEC is also keeping logs of issues and problems with our voting system, specifically as counties call in on election day with problems. Yesterday, I received my first round of rover reports from Berkeley county. I have attached several of these rover reports to this email. The SEC should be acting as a clearinghouse to gather these logs from all the counties and publish them online as soon as possible after each election.This type of detailed information will help SC voters be better informed as to the performance of our election system.

In summary, the SEC needs to be much more transparent in all aspects of our voting system. I would hope the SEC shares the view that our current Ivotronic voting machines "lack the fundamental technical controls necessary to guarantee a trustworthy election under operational conditions. "
The SEC's failure to recognize and admit these severe security flaws in our existing system is not in the best interest of South Carolina voters.

I sincerely hope you will reconsider your FOIA response and publish online the SysTest certification report, the security plan, and all the incident logs from our recent June 2010 elections.

Sincerely,

Frank Heindel
Mt. Pleasant, SC

——- Original Message ——-
From: "Chris Whitmire"
To: "fheindel@xxxxxxxxxx
Cc: "RBehre@postandcourier.com"
Sent: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 4:46:39 PM
Subject: RE: FOIA -June 28, 2010

Frank,

Please see the attached letter and associated document regarding your June 28, 2010, FOIA request.


Thank you

Chris Whitmire
Public Information Officer

South Carolina State Election Commission
Post Office Box 5987
Columbia, S.C. 29250
Tel: 803.734.9070
Fax: 803.734.9366


This message originates from the South Carolina State Election Commission. If you have received this message in error, we would appreciate it if you would immediately notify the South Carolina State Election Commission by sending a reply e-mail to the sender of this message. Thank you.

From: Whitmire, Chris
Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2010 9:23 AM
To: 'fheindel@xxxxxxxxxx
Cc: xxxxxxxx@postandcourier.com
Subject: RE: FOIA -June 28, 2010

Frank,

The response letter you received was intended to apply to your total request, not just item 1.

We have a lot of files. It will take some research to determine if we have some of the documents in your request, and it will require some searching to locate these specific files.

FOIA requires a response within 15 days, not that the information be provided within 15 days.

I don’t know how long it will take, but it won’t be an unreasonable amount of time. You will be notified when the documents are located.

Thank you.

Chris Whitmire
Public Information Officer

South Carolina State Election Commission
Post Office Box 5987
Columbia, S.C. 29250
Tel: 803.734.9070
Fax: 803.734.9366


This message originates from the South Carolina State Election Commission. If you have received this message in error, we would appreciate it if you would immediately notify the South Carolina State Election Commission by sending a reply e-mail to the sender of this message. Thank you.

From: fheindel@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2010 5:54 AM
To: Whitmire, Chris
Cc: xxxxxxxx@postandcourier.com
Subject: Re: FOIA -June 28, 2010

July 22, 2010

Chris,

You mention that number 1 of my request is being researched. I don't see any need at all for anyone to do any researching. I find it hard to believe there isn't a readily available copy of the SysTest report in your office. After all, this is the only report documenting our South Carolina voting machines have been certified.

Also what about number 2, 3, and 4 of my request? You do not mention any of those items in your FOIA response as to why you can not locate them or have failed to be able to provide the information in 15 business days as required by law . Those 3 items are required by law for you to possess.

When will I receive ALL the information I have requested regarding this FOIA request?

Regards,
Frank Heindel


——- Original Message ——-
From: "Chris Whitmire"
To: "fheindel@xxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 10:11:40 AM
Subject: RE: FOIA -June 28, 2010

Mr. Heindel,

Please see the attached letter regarding your June 28, 2010, FOIA request.

Thank you.

Chris Whitmire
Public Information Officer

South Carolina State Election Commission
Post Office Box 5987
Columbia, S.C. 29250
Tel: 803.734.9070
Fax: 803.734.9366


This message originates from the South Carolina State Election Commission. If you have received this message in error, we would appreciate it if you would immediately notify the South Carolina State Election Commission by sending a reply e-mail to the sender of this message. Thank you.

From: fheindel@xxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Monday, June 28, 2010 3:09 PM
To: Whitmire, Chris
Cc: fheindel@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: FOIA -June 28, 2010

June 28, 2010

South Carolina Election Commission

Dear Chris Whitmire,

Pursuant to the SC Freedom of Information Act, I request the following information:

1. A copy of the complete certification report done by SysTest that was mentioned in the May 30, 2007 meeting minutes as follows: " The ES&S Unity 3.0.1.1 Voting System was tested by SysTest Labs, an Independent Testing Authority (ITA), accredited by the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED)."

2. A copy of the written confirmation from ES&S stating they have their secret "source codes" placed in escrow as per SC law as stated: . F) Before a voting system may be used in elections in the State, all source codes for the system must be placed in escrow by the manufacturer at the manufacturer's expense with the authority approved by the Federal Election Assistance Commission. These source codes must be available to the State Election Commission in case the company goes out of business, pursuant to court order, or if the State Election Commission determines that an examination of these source codes is necessary. The manufacturer shall place all updates of these source codes in escrow, and notify the State Election Commission that this requirement has been met.

3. Any and all written notices sent by ES&S to the South Carolina Election Commission(SCEC) prior to May 30, 2007 notifying the Election Commission of any de-certification, ethical, or technical violations of the ES&S voting system which had been issued by any other state(s).

4.A copy of any and all report(s) sent from ES&S to the SCEC that detail any de-certification, ethical, or technical violations against ES&S's voting system in any state from May 2007 through June 25,2010.

I will pay up to $50 dollars for finding and emailing me this information electronically.
If you have any questions, please let me know.

Sincerely,
Frank Heindel
Mt. Pleasant, SC

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