Company that Certified Diebold Voting Machines in California Loses Federal Certification Because of Lax Procedures

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The San Francisco Chronicle has a story just out that Ciber, a leading company that tests software used in voting machines has been temporarily barred from certifying new machines because of lax procedures.

Ciber is the same company that refused to testify in California Senate Elections Committee Hearings in March of 2006. Two other companies voluntarily agreed to testify at hearing chaired by Senator Debra Bowen, who has since been elected California Secretary of State.

At that time we reported:

Officials from Wyle Laboratories and SysTest Labs, two of the three ITAs in the country, will appear before the committee at the hearing. The third ITA, CIBER – which recently certified the Diebold TSx machine for use in California even though it relies on programming code banned by the Election Assistance Commission and California law – has declined for the second time to appear before the committee. The four largest voting machine vendors – Hart InterCivic, Sequoia, ES&S;, and Diebold – have also declined for the third consecutive hearing to appear before the committee.

According to the most detailed account on the web at the moment, the New York Times has reported that: “federal officials found that it was not following its quality-control procedures and could not document that it was conducting all the required tests.” The Times article goes on to state that: “Experts on voting systems say the Ciber problems underscore longstanding worries about lax inspections in the secretive world of voting-machine testing. The action by the federal Election Assistance Commission seems certain to fan growing concerns about the reliability and security of the devices.”

Expect to hear a bit more about this as the story unfolds.

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