General Counsel to Governor
Dear Counselor Mike Lee:
I am writing to request an investigation into the fraud that appears to have been committed against the state of Utah by Diebold. Please see that Diebold is immediately denied access to Utah's voting machines until after an independent, fair, unbiased investigation is conducted. I also request a meeting with you, Emery County Clerk Bruce Funk; a local Utah PhD computer scientist; and myself, so that we can learn from each other and help Utah to find the best way to resolve this problem.
Please contact constituent services and obtain a copy of my prior March 28, 2006 letter to Governor Huntsman on this subject.
The evidence indicates that Diebold has:
** sold to Utah, used voting machines and voting machines which were rejected during other states' acceptance testing, as if they were new, well-functioning voting machines;1
told Utah legislators and Utah Lt. Governor's office that it had “about 20” office locations in Utah, and advertising 16 phony office locations in Utah white pages that never existed;2
sold to Utah flawed voting machines which pose electrocution hazard to voters and poll workers due to exposed bare 110 volt wires, and would be recalled if it were any other product;
sold to Utah voting machines with a nonstandard printer design that lacks any paper guides and are designed to jam and malfunction during elections; and
charged Emery County $40,000 to re-examine two voting machines claiming that world-renowned well-respected security experts may have rigged them to fail3.
It seems, based on their behavior, that Utah Lt. Governor's office is helping Diebold to cover up the evidence of a fraudulent sale of used voting machines to Utah and is giving Diebold access to voting machine warehouses in order to hide the evidence. The motivation may be to hide the evidence that the Lt. Governor's office made a bad decision to purchase inauditable electronic-ballot voting machines, after rejecting the advice of Utah's computer scientists from BYU and the University of Utah and rejecting the advice of the overwhelming majority of citizens who spoke at public hearings, many of whom had extensive technical expertise. In addition, there has been much misinformation [about the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) law of October 20024, about Utah's voting system options; and recently about the Emery County Diebold investigation] emanating from the Lt. Governor's office5 since January 2005. This has resulted in inaccurate reporting in Utah press and misinformed county officials.
In order to conduct a fair unbiased investigation, it is necessary to physically examine the voting machines with the assistance of computer scientists with voting system expertise and county or state technical staff.6 We need a real investigation by independent experts, not a sham.
Upcoming June elections are a pressing concern for Utah election officials who may feel that there is no time for an investigation. However there are two options available for meeting HAVA requirements that would relieve this time pressure:7
Utah's former voting systems could be used in upcoming Utah elections, and all HAVA requirements still met, by placing one Diebold e-ballot touchscreen in each polling location for the disabled to use if they choose to. Posters in each polling location and a few radio ads would suffice to meet the remaining HAVA requirement to educate voters to avoid over-votes that would spoil their ballots, or
Utah can defer the requirement to meet HAVA for two years by simply making a request to the Justice Department like Connecticut did. Such a deferment has been awarded to other states and would be a routine matter to obtain by the Lt. Governor.
Background on Diebold voting machines: Diebold is currently being sued for fraud by its stockholders and was recently sued by the state of California for fraud and settled out of court for $2.6 million.8 Diebold voting machine security flaws have been widely studied and reported since early 2003, more than any other company's voting machines. Diebold voting machine design is basically inauditable. Like similar voting systems of other vendors, Diebold voting machines do not employ widely-known technical methods to detect, unalterably log, and correct problems. Several scientific studies of Diebold voting machines, including some by a scientist who was recently funded by the NSF to study voting systems, and a recent one done by California show that its design includes several ways to undetectably rig vote counts, including one method that any 12 year old could use (reported first in early 2003, but still not repaired!)9 Numerous highly improbable and impossible election results have been produced by Diebold voting machines, including one which recently caused the Attorney General of New Hampshire to impound several of Diebolds' voting machines.10
Back to the Present: Irrefutable high-resolution photographic evidence of Emery County, Utah Diebold voting machines flaws are available at http://utahcountvotes.org/BBV-Diebold-images.php A report will be released soon regarding the security and design of Utah's Emery County voting machines by Hari Hursti and professional(s) at Security Innovation.
Utahns' right to correctly select candidates in primary and general elections could be compromised. I expect to see a more responsible response to Bruce Funk's Emery County investigation than we ve seen from the Lt. Governor's office.11
A valid design for a voting system would “trust no one” and provide routine independent audits the same way that banks do.12 Electronic-ballot touchscreen voting without a voter-verified paper ballot13 is analogous to asking voters to cast a ballot by telling a man behind a screen what our votes are, without ever seeing our own ballot, and trusting that the man will not cheat or make mistakes and will accurately record and count our votes. In the case of Diebold, the man behind the screen even has a known history of committing fraud against Utah. This is not a rational voting system, even if Diebold had not defrauded Utah by selling it used voting machines as if they were new and had not lied to Utah decision-makers during the voting equipment selection process.14
I am posting this letter publicly on the UtahCountVotes web site and releasing it to the press because we are a public interest group. I would be happy to post your response there as well.
Kathy Dopp, Founder of
Utah Count Votes & President of the National Election Data
P.O.Box 680192, Park City, UT 84068 435-658-4657
p.s. My prior letter of March 28, 2006 contained an error. The Republican Governor of Maryland Robert Ehrlich and the Maryland House did unanimously decide to ditch their Diebold touchscreens and use ES&S optical scan hand-countable paper-ballots which are auditable, but Maryland's Senate has not yet voted on it.15
Utah State Attorney General's Office, Utah State Purchasing Office, Utah CIO J. Stephen Fletcher
1The evidence that Diebold delivered old used or rejected voting machines to Utah includes:
Not enough memory to conduct elections on some voting machines due to:
election data from other states which require a code to remove,
Chinese or Japanese fonts installed which were not ordered by Utah,
old failing memory,
yellow stick-on dots that were used by Diebold to mark machines which failed during other states' acceptance testing;
Diebold's admission that fonts would explain the 22 MB difference in available memory and the fact that only Asian fonts are large enough to explain the difference and were not needed by Utah
Diebold's admission during an Emery County Commission meeting that it delivered three different versions of the voting machines to Utah rather than the one certified version.
2Diebold appears to have similarly advertised fictitious office locations in the white pages in perhaps 20 other states. When the fictitious white page listings were discovered, Diebold at first claimed that it still had “about 20 offices in Utah, but would not tell us where those offices were; then it claimed that the “phone company made a mistake”.
3Hari Hursti and Security Innovations, whose clients include Microsoft and the National Security Administration examined two machines. Two new voting machines would cost only $6,000 to replace; and at Diebold's $1200 daily rate, it would take them 33 days to examine Emery's machines; at this rate it would then take Diebold over many years to examine the 10,000 voting machines in San Diego County, CA. This charge is preposterous.
4The HAVA law did not provide enough time for the normal technology development cycle for its implementation timeline. Its text is found here: http://www.fec.gov/hava/law_ext.txt
5The misinformation seems primarily to originate from Diebold sales persons misinforming our election officials and also from the Lt. Governor's Chief of Staff Joe Demma.
6A group of U.S. computer scientists were recently given grants by the National Science Foundation to study voting systems and these scientists are irrefutably qualified. Utah should avoid employing any of the only 3 or 4 U.S. computer scientists who publicly support unverifiable inauditable paperless electronic ballot voting because they are outside the mainstream; thousands of U.S. computer scientists have publicly disagreed with them; and their work has been irrefutably rebutted, despite one of these rogue scientists having a position with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. However, these three rogue computer scientists are well-known and popular among election officials who desire to have their favorite voting systems rubber-stamped. Utah needs a real investigation.
7Both options would require that the Lt. Governor temporarily re-certify the systems (punch-card, etc.) that he de-certified in order to force Utah's counties to use the Diebold electronic ballot voting machines.
8Other suits against Diebold for voting machine issues may be found at EFF.org
10Unfortunately, attorneys may not be aware that, due to design flaws, no evidence of any vote tampering, or even a ways to recover from errors, are available on current generation e-ballot voting machines, so it is useless to impound them, and the only way to detect and correct errors is to hand-count randomly selected voter-verified paper ballots.
11The Lt. Governor's office flew down to Emery County with Diebold and has done everything that Diebold asked them to, including strong-arming Bruce Funk out of an office that he was elected to; convinced Emery County's Attorney to refuse to represent its own County Clerk; and acquiesced to Diebold's fraudulent charge to Emery County!
12Banks are somewhat easier to secure due to the secret ballot and bank account-holders monitoring their own accounts, yet the payoff for election rigging is control of budgets in the millions, just at the county level.
13Diebold touchscreens create a paper ballot; but the state of Utah has not bought paper roll advancers and has no plans to use them to check electronic count accuracy.
14A majority of election officials are grossly under-educated in the computer science knowledge required to evaluate voting systems and gullibly imagine that “logic and accuracy testing” (known as functionality testing in other industries) or guarding the voting machines, would prevent vote fraud or innocent errors from corrupting election results.