Only Three-Quarters Of the Review Reports Have Been Released
Is The Secretary of State Hiding Something?
By John Gideon on 9/11/2007, 4:31pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, VotersUnite.Org

The California "Top-To-Bottom Review" of state certified voting systems was to include four investigations; Security (Red Team), Accessibility, Code Review, and Document Review. All of the reports were released soon after they were presented to the Secretary of State, Debra Bowen; all but the Document Review.

Why has the Document Review been kept from the public? What is contained in those reports that we should not know? The Secretary of State's Press Office will only say, "We don't know when they will be released."

In his "Not Quite a Blog 2.0" Joseph Lorenzo Hall, one of the members of the document review team, reveals that each team member had to agree to the following secrecy:

No Principal Investigator, UC Senior Reviewer, Associate Reviewer or accessibility expert shall make or release any comments or other information about the processes, procedures, progress or findings of the voting system review or any draft or final report to any third party via any medium for 45 days from the submission of the final report to the SOS, or until the final report is made public by the SOS, whichever is sooner.

On Sept. 6 those 45 days of confidentiality had passed and Joe spoke about some of the basics with regards to the reports. He did not go into any specifics. In his blog he revealed the following...

The ITA [Independent Test Authority] test reports are completely inadequate and do not provide the level of detail that one would need to assess whether or not the voting systems were tested to the letter of the VSS [Voting System Standards]. They also do not provide the level of detail needed to replicate the testing in a laboratory environment. In many places, it is difficult or impossible to tell what types of testing methodologies were employed and under what conditions systems were tested. In some cases, the division of labor between two ITAs resulted in serious deficiencies where certain pieces of the VSS were not tested at all or where it is unclear to what extent certain features were tested.


We don't believe that the documentation with which we were provided would be sufficient for the State-level certification of these systems. The inadequacy of the ITA reports and the documents that would be needed by reviewers beyond the voluminous technical data packages provided to the ITAs put state-level certifiers at an information disadvantage.

In his summary Joe points to the following "Implications" of the report:

The implications of the document review reports aren't markedly different than those of the other reports. The common theme is that the national qualification process overseen by NASED [National Association of State Elections Directors] was completely inadequate at judging whether or not these systems met the 2002 VSS or, more importantly, if they could be used safely in typical elections environments. Deficiencies in voting systems often fell victim to something we call the "leaky pipeline" where the deficiency would be noted in one or another part of the process but not be carried forward into the next part of the process or even cured before the system was fielded in actual elections.

That's all pretty powerful stuff. So, Debra Bowen, where are those reports? Why are they being hidden from the public? It's been over 6 weeks now. What are you waiting for?

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