New Jersey Court Says Independent Investigators Can Review E-Voting Machines

from the protect-the-vote dept

Last month, e-voting firm Sequoia threatened both independent researchers and New Jersey election officials if those independent researcher were allowed to inspect Sequoia's e-voting machines. This seemed like a very odd threat for a variety of reasons. Why wouldn't Sequoia want its machines inspected? The very fact that it was threatening legal action seemed like grounds to simply never use Sequoia e-voting machines. Sequoia claimed that existing inspections were enough, despite a history of problems in those inspections. Furthermore, Sequoia's own explanations for the problems with its machines in the primary elections this year were wrong. Ed Felten found that Sequoia's explanations didn't actually explain many of the problems. Unfortunately, though, with the threat of legal action, New Jersey agreed not to have Felten test the machines.

However, a New Jersey state judge has now ruled that it's perfectly reasonable for independent inspectors to review the machines. Unfortunately, she pushed back the date for such inspections until September, meaning that it won't affect this year's presidential election -- which will still use machines that may have problems. So while Sequoia didn't succeed in stopping independent examination of its machines, it did stall the process long enough so that the existing machines will stay in use for this year's elections -- despite the long list of problems that have been discovered with them. Apparently, we're still in beta when it comes to democracy.

Filed Under: e-voting, ed felten, inspections, new jersey
Companies: sequoia


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  1. identicon
    The Foot, 28 Apr 2008 @ 7:25am

    Anyone actually believe in veracity of voting process?

    Interesting...
    - Electronic voting machines result in big money contracts for the companies producing them - and be guaranteed that the company is politically connected.
    - The state government and independent researchers were threatened and backed off - there is a message here. Once again, the private politically-inspired backroom deal trumps the interest of the voters.
    - Why didn't the judge force the issue to be resolved sooner? Paper ballots are still used and have replaced use of voting machines in some states (e.g. FL) - go to paper now instead of allowing a tainted election to occur.
    Ah, this is all nuts!!! Time to clean House, Senate, Congress & start over.

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