Thursday, August 16, 2007

Voting Machine Shutdown in Northampton, Wayne & Lackawanna Counties

Yesterday, I told you that federal testing of needed changes in Advanced Voting Solutions (AVS) software has been suspended. That's the voting system used in three Pennsylvania counties - Northampton, Lackawanna and Wayne. Both The Express Times and Morning Call have detailed accounts of this crisis.

Among the problems - a possible bait and switch. At a February 13 meeting of the citizens' task force, voting rights activist Dr. Alan Brau told the panel about this allegation, originally made at BlackBox voting. After getting its hardware certified, AVS is accused of shipping a cheaper internal hardware system, manufactured in China. AVS has denied this to federal testers, but pretty much ignored the elections panel.

This morning, the Office of Legislative Affairs at the Pa. State Dep't told state lawmakers what's going on. I'll share their explanation with you.

The following information relates to voting systems currently being used in Lackawanna, Wayne and Northampton Counties:

Advanced Voting Solutions (AVS) is having issues getting approval from federal testing agencies of a new software release. Any changes to an electronic voting system must be submitted for review to federal testing agencies. Under Pennsylvania law, federal approval is a pre-condition of state certification of voting systems.

The issue at hand is that AVS developed new software for its voting systems which are used in the above mentioned counties. Before AVS can put that new software on the voting systems, it must be tested by a Federal Independent Testing Authority (ITA) under the jurisdiction of the Untied States Elections Assistance Commission. The ITA has recently notified the Federal Elections Assistance Commission that AVS has not paid their testing fee and that ALL testing will cease until the balance is paid in full. The ITA also indicated that AVS changed the motherboard component of the hardware previously tested and certified. This is a matter of disagreement between AVS and the ITA. If the monies owed are not remitted and the testing does not resume, it is highly likely that the state certification of all AVS voting systems in the Commonwealth will be suspended.


J. Spike said...

as Gomer Pyle would say... "Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!"

Another corporation whom got a sweatheart law passed by the Governemnts newest lobbyist freindly legistlation has bite us on the ass again.

Gee wonder why for profit bussiness DOSN'T belong in governemnt services contrary to NEO-Libertarian members of the GOP.

Many of whom may have sucked the breath out of the original owners bodies they now walk in.

Ironicly the BEST system is still a pen, a picece of paper and a box with a lock!

Thats what the electric system is supposed to do why have the complicated middle men. Oh thats right I'm a socialist how dare my red, pinko, commie, marxist ass DARE Challenge Capitalism. Oh I forgot thats what "Freedon" is.

Larry Kisslinger said...

J. Spike 4:56 PM said: "Ironicly the BEST system is still a pen, a piece of paper and a box with a lock!"...I disagree as I've said before! zero was wrong with flawless mechanical machines used for decades in Northampton County!
Mechanical machine was a "step up" from a pen, piece of paper and a box with a lock but just as reliable, in my opinion!

LVDem said...

there was just something cool about the ticks that the mechanical machines made. I would be more impressed if the touch screens made little "beeps" and "boops" when you pressed the screen. Then again, I might be tempted to start playing around so perhaps that's a good thing.

J. Spike said...

Maybe they can have a pong feature if you pick enough points in your votes.

Wait are we talking voting or PS2?