NIST RECOMMENDS SCRAPPING DRE VOTING MACHINES!
Says Machines Should be Decertified! Also Says So-Called
'Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails (VVPAT) Should Not Be
Used' in Voting Systems!
Posted By Brad On 29th November 2006 @ 14:37 In Election
Reform, Voting System Certification | 15 Comments
Huge news. Michael Hickins of InternetNews.com has the
scoop . Here are the highlights…
A federal agency is set to recommend significant changes
to specifications for electronic-voting machines next
week, internetnews.com has learned.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology
(NIST) is recommending that the 2007 version of the
Voluntary Voting Systems Guidelines (VVSG) decertify
direct record electronic (DRE) machines.
According to an NIST paper to be discussed at a meeting
of election regulators at NIST headquarters in
Gaithersburg, Md., on Dec. 4 and 5, DRE vote totals
cannot be audited because the machines are not software
In other words, there is no means of verifying vote
tallies other than by relying on the software that
tabulated the results to begin with.
The machines currently in use are "more vulnerable to
undetected programming errors or malicious code,"
according to the paper .
The NIST paper also noted that, "potentially, a single
programmer could 'rig' a major election."
This is a tremendously important development!
To be clear, the National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST) is the group that oversees the
formulation of the so-called federal "Voting Systems
Standards". Those are the standards, such that there are
any, which are in effect today at the federal level to
determine federal certification of voting systems. NIST
hosts the Technical Guidelines Development Committee for
the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and they are the
body who developed the current standards now in use. This
report will likely have an enormous impact in shaping
whatever may happen next concerning any upcoming Election
Reform or legislation in DC.
But wait, it gets even better!…
Apropos of an article here at BRAD BLOG earlier today
, in which we tried to make clear that paper trails on
touch-screen machines (versus paper ballots as used with
optical-scan or hand-counted systems) are not an adequate
solution to the nation's — or even Florida 13's — current
voting dysfunction, NIST agrees that paper trails don't
The NIST is also going to recommend changes to the
design of machines equipped with paper rolls that provide
Currently, the paper rolls produce records that are
illegible or otherwise unusable, and NIST is recommending
that "paper rolls should not be used in new voting
…And, of course, BRAD BLOG  Guest Blogger and
erstwhile election watchdog/champion John Gideon of
VotersUnite.org  — previously a supporter of the
so-called Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)
"solution", such as the one which would be standardized
by Rep. Rush Holt's HR550 election reform legislation —
now concurs that VVPAT on touch-screen and DRE systems is
no longer a viable option.
Joining a growing group of folks who have changed their
view on this point in the wake of the various disasters
of 2006's Election Meltdown, he's quoted by Hickins
Many former advocates of VVPAT, including John Gideon,
executive director of VotersUnite, now favor requiring
that all votes be recorded on paper ballots.
"DREs are unacceptable as voting devices and … the
addition of a VVPAT on a DRE is only a placebo to make
some voters feel more comfortable," Gideon said in an
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they
fight you, then you win…?
URLs in this post:
 InternetNews.com has the scoop:
 Image: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=3857
 article here at BRAD BLOG earlier today:
 BRAD BLOG: http://www.Bradblog.com
 VotersUnite.org: http://www.VotersUnite.org