Testimony of Diana
New York State Board
of Elections Hearing
Dec 20, 2005
name is Diana Finch, I am a resident of the Bronx, NY.
am a literary agent working with Greg Palast, investigative journalist and
author of THE BEST DEMOCRACY MONEY CAN BUY, as well as investigations of
Florida and Ohio election irregularities published in Harper's Magazine and by
the BBC. I also work with Professor Steven Freeman of the University of Pennsylvania
who is co-authoring a book on the discrepancies between 2004 exit polls and
official vote counts And I work with Blair Bobier, lawyer and media director
for The Green Party's 2004 Presidential Campaign, whose legal pursuit of a
recount after the 2004 debacle in Ohio will go to trial in August 2006.
three of these expert authors are deeply familiar with and hugely concerned by
the dangers to trustworthy, secure, verifiable voting posed by DREs without
Computer security is
impossible to control.
all know this is true when the most secure installations in the world are
broken into. American financial companies have had millions of accounts
compromised and even our Department of Defense has been hacked.
break-ins are possible because of the communications capability in the
capability is as simple as adding a wireless card to one of the slots in a
computer. Computer manufacturers are now making display screens with wireless
capability in the screen itself, as in IBM and Toshiba laptops. You'd
never even KNOW your voting machine was communicating wirelessly; nor would
By the time we vote again, many more wireless networks will be in use. Partly in response to Hurricane Katrina, the Department of Homeland Security has announced that the Justice Department will build a nationwide wireless communications system for federal law enforcement agencies, the Integrated Wireless Network, a program worth an estimated $2.5 billion. http://www.govexec.com/story_page.cfm?articleid=32649&sid=28
reported in the January 20, 2004 issue of New
Scientist, a voting machine manufacturer, Diebold, did try to get a DRE
machine with wireless capability certified in California for the 2004
Presidential election. Diebold spokesperson Mark Radke told New Scientist that wireless capability
could be implemented "if required” simply by inserting a card and
configuring the machine.
as computer experts explain, "Wireless capability is almost ideally suited
Says Avi Rubin of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore:
"They no longer have to get physically close to the machines to tamper
the highly competitive atmosphere of electoral politics, we can’t just assume
that everyone involved will always be a saint.
NY State law should
have banned communications capability in all computerized voting and vote
tabulating equipment, should have required inspections by candidates and
parties before and after elections, should have stipulated felony penalties for
violations, and should have required money bonds from voting machine vendors in
case elections need to be held again.
NY state legislature has not protected us, leaving decisions to Boards of
Elections under intense sales pressure by powerful lobbyists with long strong
ties to top partisan politicians in the State, and Boards of Elections that are
not beholden or responsive to the public.
the eve of the Iraq elections last week, a US Marine gave his life in Ramadi,
trying to secure the country for voting. We all watched as our federal
government praised the voting, with paper ballots and ink-stained fingers, as
democracy in action. We saw, on tv news and in our newspapers, voting officials
counting those votes, carefully and in the open. I am here from the Bronx today to ask for the same public and
transparent democracy for the great state of New York.