AUDIT USA has received a cease and desist letter from the largest voting system vendor in the US, Election Systems & Software (ES&S).
Read all about it at Alternet in this excellent article by Steven Rosenfeld.
Here’s the letter we received from ES&S, followed by our commentary about it:
We find it ironic that ES&S is threatening us now, when our purpose in posting their manuals is to show how their system can actually be used to make elections more secure.
We’ve spoken out against electronic vote counting for years because we believe elections rightly belong to the people, not to candidates or political parties or private voting system vendors. ES&S’ digital scan election systems, and similar systems produced by other vendors, actually make it possible for communities to provide meaningful election oversight.
We still advocate for hand-marked and hand-counted paper ballots, but even when that goal is achieved across the country, a product like ES&S’ digital scan system could reasonably be used to double-check the hand counts.
The newer digital scan systems, like the older optical scanners, count votes cast on paper ballots. But the digital scanners have a feature in them that, according to the manual we posted, is designed for “auditing and adjudication.” This excellent security feature is called “digital ballot images.” A lot of elections officials don’t understand it, and we’re finding that many are even disabling it. So we often help elections officials see how this feature works, why it’s important and how to use it. ES&S could see that as helpful!
We plan to continue doing our education and advocacy work. The nation is finally paying attention to the vulnerabilities in our elections systems we’ve been talking about for over a decade. If ES&S shares our goal of having all votes counted accurately, they should be applauding our work, not interfering with it.
If you’d like to support our work, we welcome your donation.