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Major Victory for Transparency in Elections

The District of Columbia has obtained an agreement from Sequoia Voting Systems to review a vast amount of information about one of their voting machines, which somehow recorded thousands of extra ballots during the September primaries.  Investigators assembled by the council will have access to the source code and documents related to its creation, as well as blueprints for the machine hardware.  The company had initially balked at releasing any information, refusing to comply with a council subpoena last fall.  The company then tried to demand a $20 million bond insuring the secrecy of the information.  They relented just prior to being sued by the council.  "It is certainly going to serve as a precedent not just for further investigations in the District of Columbia, but around the country," said John Bonifaz, legal director for Voter Action.

This investigation follows California's recent investigation into irregularities in Sequoia voting machines, which revealed that the machines actually had a delete button, with no safety features, to erase the supposedly unalterable vote tally.  This shocking feature is on voting machines in over a dozen states.  Now with the phantom DC votes we are getting another look inside a machine, and given the track record of electronic voting machines, no one is expecting it to be a model of security and reliability.  What happened in DC just reinforces the fact that paper ballot elections are the only reliable and secure alternative for our elections.  And the fact that private companies have repeatedly thwarted attempts to investigate irregularities in the votes tallied on their machines makes clear that privatized elections are a direct threat to our democracy.

Resources:
Progressive States Network - Preventing Election Privatization
Progressive States Network - Paper Ballots
Washington Post - Firm to Give DC Information About its Voting Machines
Voters Unite - Vendors are Undermining the Structure of US Elections
Voter Action