Common Cause/New York
New York Public Interest Research Group, Inc. (NYPIRG)
League of Women Voters of New York State
New Yorkers for Verified Voting (NYVV)
Task Force on Election Integrity of Community Church of NY
General Principles Regarding the State Board of Elections' Implementation of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
§ All working documents, RFPs and drafts concerning HAVA implementation should be shared with the public and posted online immediately.
§ A draft outline of the Board's plans for the timeline and finalization of the voting system regulations and statewide database parameters should be distributed to the public and posted online by the end of February.
§ Draft outlines detailing the timeline and specifics for the certification, contracting and acceptance testing phases of HAVA implementation should be distributed to the public and posted online by the end of February.
§ A line item budget detailing how the State Board of Elections plans to spend any and all HAVA moneys for voting system procurement, public education, poll worker training and other components of HAVA. This shall include a set of detailed criteria outlining allowed expenses for money distributed to counties for the purpose of HAVA implementation.
§ All documents, contracts and working drafts from consultants such as Cyber concerning implementation of HAVA shall be distributed to the public and posted online.
The Board should invite and consider comment on each of these documents and any other pertaining to HAVA implementation.
6. In discussions with DOJ, the State Board must protect the rights guaranteed to New Yorkers under current state law. For instance, specific safeguards were enacted which ensure that voter registration applicants whose names and identifying numbers do not trigger a match in the state's verification system are not left off the voter rolls for that reason. This and all other guaranteed rights must be preserved and protected.
It is difficult to comment on the regulations without having had sufficient time to review the current working draft. We make the following recommendations, anticipating more once we have had time to review current language.
Whatever new voting systems are chosen across the state, the State Board of Elections must ensure stringent security safeguards as well as develop measures to guarantee public testing procedures that are open and transparent. To that end, we make the following specific recommendations:
The State BOE must be required to commission a Professional
Hacking Test ("Red Test.")
One example is the RABA Technologies test commissioned by the Department
of Legislative Services, Maryland General Assembly, the results of which were
published in a "Trusted Agent Report" on January 20, 2004. Vendors shall be required to pay the costs
of such tests.
14. The State BOE must be required to conduct a Public Hacking Test. An appropriate model is the test sponsored by Leon County, Florida, Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho and Harri Hursti, the computer security expert from Finland.
The State Board of Elections shall establish a challenge
system under which a security expert who believes they have found a shortcoming
in the voting system, can petition the Board to perform a test to see if said
shortcoming is real. Said challenge
system shall be open to the public and the Board must give a detailed answer in
writing regarding the granting or denial of the request.
16. The State BOE must be required to obtain or make an easily-verifiable inventory list of all system components, including hardware, programming, files, file system structures, documentation, training materials, accessories, and all other components. While we believe the Board recognizes the value of such an inventory, provisions for routine auditing to determine that the system, as deployed, conforms to what the inventory identifies must be established.
17. The usability and accuracy of the system must be demonstrated to the public. Each system must be required to pass a multi-machine Public Mock Election Test. We urge a test similar to that conducted in California before any voting system is used in an election. Criteria to be tested shall include:
§ Vendor documentation, training materials, and ability to train county staff – vendor must train county staff, and county staff must independently perform all tasks to prepare the test machines for the mock election test including ballot programming, and train the election inspectors for the mock election test, and all post-election tasks.
§ Ability of election inspectors to perform appropriate tasks with the machines and voters.
§ Ability of voters to enter votes via every interface, meaning the touch screen, ballot marker, by hand or pushbuttons, use of the VVPAT and ability to see/read the printing on it, every device for use by voters with disabilities, and every language display.
§ Ability of election inspectors to extract end-of-day tallies and other information.
§ Accuracy of the votes displayed on the DRE screen and voter verified printout, tallies, DRE activity logs and optical scan printout tallies.
§ Accuracy of associated tabulating equipment results.
regulations should require DRE systems to use document-quality paper for their
voter verified paper audit ballots, not heat-sensitive paper that could fade
before audits are conducted.
For More Information Contact:
Neal Rosenstein, NYPIRG (212) 349-6460
Bo Lipari, NYVV (607) 351-2314
Aimee Allaud, LWVNYS (518) 482-2617
Rachel Leon, CC/NY (212) 691-6421
Amy Ngai, Citizens Union, (646) 339-4938