Letters to the Editor

Vendor slows voting machine review

I strongly support state Secretary of State Debra Bowen's actions in decertifying voting machines. She had a legal duty to review the voting systems, which was delayed by the vendors and elections officials. In particular, Elections Systems & Software, the vendor for Stanislaus County's voting system, delayed longer than the other vendors. As a consequence, their review has not been released yet. It is premature for The Bee to state ES&S meets federal and state security requirements.

I take strong issue with The Bee's characterization of the review as being conducted by "hackers" recruited by the secretary. That is a serious misrepresentation of the facts. I would urge readers to go the secretary's Web site and read the reports. Computer security experts from around the country, each team working independently, conducted the studies.

This review confirmed the findings of every other independent study of electronic voting systems, of which there have been many. Electronic voting systems are inherently vulnerable to hacking.

Do not blame the secretary for the crisis of public confidence. Blame local officials who have followed the vendors' Pied Piper tune. The secretary did her duty; now it is time local election officials did, too.