From The Tri-Valley Herald:
Californias elections chief is proposing the toughest standards for voting systems in the country, so tough that they could banish ATM-like touch-screen voting machines from the state.For the first time, California is demanding the right to try hacking every voting machine with red teams of computer experts and to study the software inside the machines, line-by-line, for security holes.
The proposals are the first step toward fulfilling a promise that Secretary of State Debra Bowen made during her 2006 election campaign to perform a top-to-bottom review of all voting machinery used in California.
County elections officials balked at the proposed standards in a letter Monday to Bowen and hinted broadly at the same conclusion reached by several computer scientists: If enforced rigidly, the standards could send many voting machines, especially touch-screens, back for major upgrades. Local elections officials argued that there isnt enough time to fix any deficiencies before the February presidential primary.
When they moved that election up 119 days, I think the door closed on any significant changes to election systems for the presidential cycle in 2008, said Steve Weir, president of theCalifornia Association of Clerks and Elections Officials, and chief elections officer in Contra Costa County.
Advocates for stronger security in voting machinery applauded Bowens standards and said it marked a refreshing change from regulating voting systems based heavily on what manufacturers were willing to sell.
This is the best news I’ve heard about electronic voting machines in quite some time, and a long time overdue. I find it particularly hilarious that county election officials are balking because none of the machines will pass this sort of stringent checking. Um… hello? If the machines can’t pass, doesn’t it stand to reason that they ought not to be used as the foundation of the democratic process?