By Parke Bostrom and Brad Friedman
On Tuesday, April 21, we gave Humboldt County, CA Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich a public records request for the two letters she read aloud (but declined to otherwise disclose) at a March 24 public meeting of the ad-hoc Humboldt Election Advisory Committee.
As The BRAD BLOG previously reported the two letters were from Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold Election Systems). The primary purpose of both letters was to terminate all contracts between Premier and the county. The letters were dated March 17 and 18, the day of, and the day after, the CA Secretary of State's hearing regarding serious flaws found in Diebold/Premier's GEMS vote-tabulation system.
At that hearing, a Diebold/Premier spokesperson admitted that all versions of their GEMS systems --- as used in 20 counties in CA, and 34 states across the nation --- feature such flaws. Some of those flaws, including the wholesale deletion of ballots without notice to the system operator, were discovered to the surprise and dismay of Crnich and volunteers working on the Humboldt County Election Transparency Project following the certification of the November 2008 election. Crnich was subsequently forced to re-certify the election with new results. [Disclosure: Parke Bostrom is one of the volunteers on the Humboldt ETP.]
Last Tuesday, at the next monthly meeting of the ad-hoc committee, Crnich presented copies of the two one-page letters and allowed examination of the originals (copies of which are posted at the end of this article.) The letters' legal language is very plain, straightforward and troubling. The contracts' termination clauses are being executed, and those clauses specify the necessary steps and required time frames...no matter how it may adversely affect upcoming elections in Humboldt County...