FROM:

Teresa Hommel

Chair, Task Force on Election Integrity, Community Church of New York

 

TO:

New York State Board of Elections

40 Steuben Street

Albany, NY 12207-2108

 

Comment on Draft Voting Systems Standards

Section 6209.5 Submission of Voting Systems Equipment

 

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SBOE DRAFT

Section 6209.5 Submission of Voting Systems Equipment

 

HOMMEL SUGGESTED REPLACEMENT

Section 6209.5 Submission and Escrow of Voting Systems

 

REASON

The title should be descriptive.

 

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HOMMEL SUGGESTION -- REPLACE THE ENTIRE SECTION WITH THE FOLLOWING:

 

A. Each voting system considered for certification by the State Board shall be delivered to the State Board or its designee. Items delivered shall include:

 

††††††††††† 1. All hardware including auxiliary components, supplies, equipment used to program ballot layouts, vote tabulating equipment, and any other hardware needed for the operation of the voting system.

 

††††††††††† 2. A complete copy of the source code for all programming, whether software, firmware, or any other kind, for the voting system including its equipment used to program ballot layouts, vote tabulating equipment, and any other equipment that contains or uses programming. Such source code shall be delivered to the State Board on a CD, flash memory device, or comparable commonly-used removable memory device.

 

††††††††††† 3. A complete new, unopened, never-used set of all commercial-off-the-shelf software products used in the voting system, including operating systems, compilers, assemblers, installers, database software, spreadsheet software, and any other products.

 

††††††††††† 4. A detailed and complete set of instructions for installing all commercial-off-the-shell software products and for compiling, assembling, and installing all voting system programming in executable form.

 

B. Each specific voting system delivered to the State Board or its designee for certification shall be known as an Escrow System and shall serve as the Escrow System of its type, and the State Board or its designee shall perform the Escrow Procedure describe in subsection C. below on such system and shall create an Escrow Component List for such system.

 

††††††††††† 1. The Escrow Component List shall contain a complete list of all components in the Escrow System, including all items specified under subsection A. above.

 

††††††††††† 2. The Escrow Component List shall contain the name and a brief description of each component sufficient to identify the component and its purpose or use.

 

††††††††††† 3. The Escrow Component List shall contain a diagram of all file system hierarchies in the voting system, and the name and file system location of every file stored in the voting system, regardless of whether the storage used for such file system is firmware, disk, or any other type of storage, and regardless of whether the file contains programming, data, documentation, fonts, or any other contents.

 

C. Escrow Procedure.

 

††††††††††† 1. The source code submitted by the vendor shall be examined in comparison to documentation supplied by the vendor as required by Section 6209.6 to determine that the source code consists of documented modules only and that all source code and documentation has been supplied.Examination of the source code shall confirm that these modules contain code that appears to be of professional quality and workable, and does not contain malicious code.

 

††††††††††† 2. All source code may be independently examined by any registered voter and by representatives of each recognized political party in New York State after each such voter or representative signs a non-disclosure agreement, provided that each such voter or representative does not work for any vendor or manufacturer of voting systems. Such source code shall be made available on a CD or in another computer-readable form.

 

††††††††††† 3. The State Board or its designee shall clear all computer storage other than firmware in the Escrow System and then shall install in the Escrow System all commercial-off-the-shelf software products and shall compile, assemble, and install all programming in executable form in the voting system according to instructions provided by the vendor. The vendor shall supply complete and detailed instructions for independent and meaningful comparison of the contents of the Escrow Systemís firmware with newly-prepared executables.

 

D. After the Escrow System has been loaded with all programming by the Escrow Procedure and the State Board or its designee has confirmed that the contents of firmware are exactly the same as newly-prepared executables, and the Escrow Component List has been made, the Escrow System shall be submitted for certification testing for security, functionality, and conformance to all applicable standards.

 

E. All reports and documentation of certification testing for security, functionality, and conformance to applicable standards shall be available for examination by any registered voter and by representatives of each political party recognized by the State of New York upon written request, provided that each such voter or representative signs a non-disclosure agreement and does not work for any vendor or manufacturer of voting systems. Such reports and documentation shall be made available on a CD or in another computer-readable form.

 

F. If the Escrow System is certified by the State Board, the Escrow System shall become the property of the State Board for as long as voting systems of that type are for sale or in use in the State.If an Escrow System is denied certification, it shall be disposed of pursuant to the vendor's direction.

 

G. In each county where certified voting systems are to be used, within five business days after delivery of such voting systems, ten percent of such voting systems shall be chosen by random selection process and these selected voting systems shall be compared to the Escrow System of their type.

 

††††††††††† 1. If any county receives delivery of fewer than ten voting systems of the same type, one system shall be chosen by random selection process from those delivered.

 

††††††††††† 2. The County Board shall post public notice at the office of the County Board for a minimum of five days prior to the random selection process. The County Board shall provide notice of the random selection process a minimum of four days in advance by mail, telephone, and email to the heads of all political parties in the county that are recognized by New York State.

 

††††††††††† 3. The random selection process shall be conducted in public before any member of the public who may wish to attend and observe.

 

††††††††††† 4. The State Board shall compare the selected voting systems to the Escrow System of their type with regard to all components on the Escrow Component List to determine that the voting systems delivered for use are identical to the Escrow System of their type.

 

††††††††††† 5. If any selected voting system is not identical to the Escrow System of its type, the State Board shall immediately rescind certification of that voting system.

 

H. On the day following each election, in each county where certified voting systems have been used, five percent of such voting systems shall be chosen by random selection process and these selected voting systems shall be compared to the Escrow System of their type.

 

††††††††††† 1. If any county uses fewer than five voting systems of the same type, one system shall be chosen by random selection process from those used.

 

††††††††††† 2. The random selection process shall be conducted in the office of the County Board before any member of the public who may wish to attend and observe.

 

††††††††††† 3. The State Board shall compare the selected voting systems to the Escrow System of their type with regard to all components on the Escrow Component List to determine that the voting systems used in the election are identical to the Escrow System of their type.

 

††††††††††† 4. If any selected voting system is not identical to the Escrow System of its type, the State Board shall immediately rescind certification of that voting system and shall require the vendor to pay for a hand-to-eye count of 100% of paper ballots scanned by such system if it is an optical scan system, or 100% of voter verified permanent paper records cast on such system if it is a DRE.

 

I. Any service or maintenance performed on the Escrow System after certification shall be performed by the State Board or its designee, under direction of the vendor.The vendor shall provide such direction and supply all components that may be required at no cost.

 

J. If any modification is made to the Escrow System, whether for upgrading of any feature or any other reason, the Escrow Procedure shall be performed again, a new Escrow Component List shall be created, and the modified Escrow System must be submitted again for certification.

 

REASON

The Standards must ensure that each voting system submitted for escrow consists of the same components that are (1) tested for certification, (2) delivered to the counties for use, and (3) used in elections.

 

The Standards must also ensure that each system submitted for escrow consists of only of those hardware and programming components that are necessary for use as a voting system, and contains no additional hardware or programming, and no hardware or programming with malicious purpose.

 

Allegations have been made in other states that systems submitted for certification testing have been "souped up" models, that systems delivered for use after purchase have been both different and flawed, and that systems used in elections had been modified by vendor technicians by installation of uncertified, unexamined, and undisclosed software modifications after delivery and prior to use in elections.

 

Evaluation of software in a voting system requires a disk image consisting of all files of any kind (whether data, documentation, and programming) and all directory hierarchies, as well as a copy of all contents of firmware that have been made independently by the State Board.

 

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Relevant section of the Election Reform and Modernization Act

 

24††† S 8. The election law is amended by adding a new section 7-208 to read

25as follows:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

26††† S7-208.ESCROW REQUIREMENTS. PRIOR TO THE USE OF ANY VOTING MACHINE

27OR SYSTEM IN ANY ELECTION IN THE STATE, ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER FIRST, TWO

28THOUSAND SIX, THE STATE BOARDOFELECTIONSANDTHELOCALBOARDOF

29ELECTIONS USING SUCH VOTING MACHINE OR SYSTEM SHALL:††††††††††† ††††††

30††† 1. REQUIRE THAT THE MANUFACTURER AND/OR VENDOR OF SUCH VOTING MACHINE,

31SYSTEMOREQUIPMENTSHALLPLACEINTO ESCROW WITH THE STATE BOARD OF

32ELECTIONS A COMPLETE COPY OF ALL PROGRAMMING, SOURCE CODING AND SOFTWARE

33EMPLOYED BY THE VOTING MACHINE, SYSTEM OR EQUIPMENT WHICH SHALL BEUSED

34EXCLUSIVELYFOR PURPOSES AUTHORIZED BY THIS CHAPTER AND SHALL BE OTHER-

35WISE CONFIDENTIAL.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

36††† 2. REQUIRE THAT THE MANUFACTURER AND/OR VENDOR OF SUCH VOTING MACHINE,

37SYSTEM OR EQUIPMENT FILE WITH THESTATEBOARDOFELECTIONSANDTHE

38APPROPRIATELOCALBOARDSOF ELECTIONS A WAIVER, PREPARED BY THE STATE

39BOARD OF ELECTIONS, WHICH SHALLWAIVEALLRIGHTSOFTHEVENDOROR

40MANUFACTURERTOASSERT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OR TRADE SECRET RIGHTS IN

41ANY COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION HEARING A CHALLENGE TOTHERESULTS

42OF ANY ELECTION AND REQUESTING THAT PROGRAMMING SOURCE CODING, FIRMWARE,

43ANDSOFTWARE ASWELL AS VOTING MACHINES OR SYSTEMS BE TESTED BY INDE-

44PENDENT EXPERTS UNDER COURT SUPERVISION AND AT THECONCLUSIONOFSUCH

45PROCEEDING SHALL BE SEALED.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

46††† 3.REQUIRE THAT THE MANUFACTURER AND/OR VENDOR OF SUCH EQUIPMENT FILE

47WITH THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS AND THE APPROPRIATELOCALBOARDSOF

48ELECTIONSACONSENTTOHAVINGAND COOPERATING IN THE TESTING OF ANY

49PROGRAMMING, SOURCE CODING, FIRMWARE, OR SOFTWARE, PURSUANT TO AN ORDER

50OFANYBOARD OF ELECTIONS OR COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION. ANY SUCH

51BOARD OR AGENT THEREOF SHALL BE REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN THE CONFIDENTIALITY

52OF ANY PROPRIETARY MATERIAL.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††