Friday, February 16, 2007

Petition to the California Secretary of State

The following is the executive summary from a complaint and petition to be filed with the California Secretary of State by Ken Simpkins. The complaint covers many of the problems with recent elections in San Diego county, and requests that Debra Bowen investigate the situation. Please give it a look, and if you're from SD region, sign the petition. Let's show that citizens ARE concerned about the process and the security of our elections.

The complete complaint can be found here, and there are copies of the petition that can be printed out for signatures, and forwarded to Ken Simpkins. You can write to sospetition at for further details.

Executive Summary

The conduct of elections in San Diego County has raised significant concerns for the electorate. This complaint is meant to address some of the most serious concerns raised by the November 7, 2006, election, and to request that the Secretary of State’s Office investigate and report on the issues raised.

The perceptions of citizens are that the requirements for the certification of the Diebold election machines used in San Diego County have not been complied with. Requirements for acceptance testing and logic and accuracy testing have not been fully complied with. Requirements for maintaining a strict chain of custody for securing memory cards (ballot boxes) put in place to address vulnerabilities to tampering revealed by public and private studies have been violated. The requirement for removing election machines from service when security seals are discovered to be removed was ignored. Voting machines without seals were allowed to continue in service without regard to the risk that votes cast on the machines could be deemed illegal and discarded. The requirement that all available reports are to be printed from each machine at the end of the election and before the memory card is removed from the machine was not complied with. In San Diego County, all of the available reports are not printed, or are printed after the cards are removed from the machine.

While the People own their elections, elections officials in San Diego County appear to view the public as an adversary to an official agenda that seems more aligned with partisan and corporate interests than with democratic values. Citizens attempting to observe the conduct of the November election report interference by poll workers and elections officials in a way that undermines citizens’ rights. Attempts to document problems at the polls were subverted by poll workers and elections officials by misinterpreting and misapplying election protocols.

The Secretary of State’s Office issued a requirement that paper ballots be available to voters. A policy to undermine the paper ballot requirement revealed itself through the conduct of elections officials. Poll worker training included instructions to promote the machines and not to inform voters of the availability of paper ballots. Poll workers who raised questions about the machines were dismissed from their jobs for failing to prove their loyalty to the machines. A request made in court that notice be posted at polling places informing voters about the availability of paper ballots, and that an adequate supply of paper ballots be ensured, was opposed by officials. At least one poll worker who attempted to inform voters about paper ballots on election day was forcefully instructed to stop advising voters of their rights by her colleagues and was ostracized from the group for doing so. Elections officials refused to count regular paper ballots until after electronic ballots were counted.

The value and the intent of the one percent audit of the canvass were defeated by the manner in which the audit was performed. Election officials were informed of the precincts to be audited prior to performing the canvass. The audit results suggest that a statistically significant difference between the machine count and the paper count exists. When discrepancies in the audit were reported, the Registrar of Voters refused to explain the discrepancies prior to certifying the election.

more here....

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