Kevin Collins has responded to the Four Ballot Privacy Concerns that I raised
previously. Kevin humbly describes himself as "volunteer, humboldt
county election transparency project", but I prefer to think of him as
the inventor of the idea of the Election Transparency Project. I
believe it was Kevin who originally conceived of publishing digital
images of every voted ballot. Eventually, other volunteers such as
myself (and far more significantly Mitch Trachtenberg) assisted Kevin
and Registrar Carolyn Crnich with the technical implementation of the
I apologize to Kevin for taking so long to respond to his comments.
On Tuesday, Kevin jokingly said that by delaying in writing a response
I was "controlling the flow of information", a charge I have
occasionally levelled at Registrar Crnich. However, for me to present
Kevin's comments here without my own response might create the
impression that I considered Kevin to have successfully laid my
concerns to rest.
First, Kevin's comments in exactly
the format he provided them.
At the California
Secretary of State's public hearing regarding the possible
decertification of GEMS 1.18.19 related to the Deck Zero covert
deletion of 197 ballots in the November election, the audit log's
magical "clear" button, and the GEMS's audit logs failing to show when
ballots were manually deleted by the operator, Diebold/Premier
representatives tried to shift blame for the 197 deleted ballots onto
Humboldt County Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich.
Crnich responded, "If you're saying that your system needs to be
checked every damn time we turn it on, I agree with you."
Crnich's use of an expletive seems to have pushed Diebold/Premier's
legal counsel over the edge, causing them to reach for and firmly
press the "nuke" button.
Early this morning, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisor's
approved Registrar Crnich's voting modernization plan, phase
II. I had hoped to speak before the board, but the item was moved
from dead last on the agenda to dead first. I therefore arrived
minutes after the item had been approved. Below are the comments I
Four Ballot Privacy Concerns
Related to the Humboldt County Election Transparency Project
by M. Parke Bostrom, 2009.03.22, http://parke.dreamhosters.com/s9y/a/2
This article introduces and discusses four ballot privacy concerns
related to the Humboldt County Election Transparency Project. The
article does not attempt to establish the significance of any of these
concerns; it merely recognizes their existence.
Quote: "The switch from one system to another is really mandated by
the federal government's Help America Vote Act."
Fact: The purchase in 2006 of accessible voting equipment was
required. The currently planned purchase of replacement equipment is
not required, nor is there a mandated deadline for implementation.
Quote: "A couple of people who were on the committee who basically
failed to show up at these meetings are now crying foul two years
later when these things are going to be implemented... this doesn't
sound like a bad process, it sounds like a couple people who failed to
take advantage of their seat at the table are now crying foul."
Fact: The "Humboldt Election Advisory Committee" has no charter, no
rules, no by-laws, no fixed membership, reports to no one, does not
know what constitutes a quorum, does not publish minutes, and does not
keep written records of its proceedings. Crying foul when there are
no rules is obviously a logical impossibility.
Fact: A month before implementation of the currently proposed plan,
Registrar Carolyn Crnich asked several "committee" members to keep the
plan secret, presumably from other "committee" members.
It is clear to me that the "Humboldt Election Advisory Committee" in
its current form fails to deliver the transparency and integrity we
expect in our elections.