Fwd: Senator Feinstein letter to the EAC

From: Arthur Keller <voting_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Sat Jan 13 2007 - 14:27:42 CST

>From: Joseph Holder <conquip@mac.com>
>
>We need to thank Senator Feinstein for starting to push this issue.
>The entire certification process has been secret for too long.
>Jody
>
> By U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein
> January 12, 2007
> U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA, pictured at right), Chairman of the
> Senate Rules Committee, today sent a letter to the U.S. Election
> Assistance Commission seeking answers as to why the Commission failed to
> notify election officials or the public about a serious problem with
> Ciber Labs of Colorado, one of three major labs that tests much of the
> nation's software used in voting equipment.
>
> Senator Feinstein also asked for information regarding what went wrong
> at Ciber Labs to warrant its loss of accreditation.
>
> According to recent news reports, the U.S. Election Assistance
> Commission refused to accredit one of the three major voting equipment
> test labs in July or August, but did not notify the public, election
> officials, or Congress that it had significant reservation about the
> lab. The certification process to accredit these test labs was
> established by the Help America Vote Act.
>
> The following is the text of Senator Feinstein's letter to Donetta
> Davidson, Chair, U.S. Election Assistance Commission:
>
> Dear Chair Davidson:
>
> As the incoming Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and
> Administration, I am writing about the failure of the Election
> Assistance Commission to provide timely information to election
> officials and the public about your Commission's decision to withhold
> accreditation to Ciber Labs.
>
> Until the New York Times published an article on January 4 about the
> denial, election officials and the public were generally in the dark
> about the apparent failure by Ciber Labs to properly test electronic
> voting systems. This raises questions about the security and accuracy of
> our nation's voting equipment.
>
> I request information from the Commission that answers the following
> questions:
> *
> COMMISSION LAB ACCREDITATION PROCESS*
>
> 1. Would you please identify any communications to the Commission based
> on lab recommendations from the National Institute of Standards and
> Technology (NIST)? What was the process that NIST undertook to evaluate
> the independent, non-federal laboratories, as specified in Section
> 231(b)(1) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002(HAVA)?
>
> 2. What were the efforts the EAC undertook to investigate the labs for
> either its "interim accreditation process" or the accreditation process
> specified by HAVA? Please explain the Commission's activities with
> regard to:
>
> a) general review of the recommended labs;
>
> b) hiring and qualifications of government-paid contractors assigned
> to assess the labs;
>
> c) the type of documents requested by the Commission in
> consideration for accreditation;
>
> d) the dates that the Commission received information it requested
> by the labs;
>
> e) any communication, preliminary or otherwise, regarding the
> contractors' assessment of the labs; and
>
> f) any communication from the Commission to the labs indicating
> accreditation decisions.
>
> * CIBER LABS INVESTIGATION PROCESS*
>
> 1. What are the problems that emerged with Ciber Labs that led the
> Commission or staff to determine not to accredit (interim or otherwise)
> Ciber Labs? Please explain the Commission's actions, including, but not
> limited to:
>
> a) information that Ciber labs had erred in testing procedure or
> protocol;
>
> b) information that Ciber labs had not followed proper procedures or
> failed to properly document testing or test results;
>
> c) reports, letters or other communications (preliminary or
> otherwise) from Commission employees, contractors or consultants
> that assessed problems and made recommendations regarding Ciber
> Labs, Wyle Labs, and SysTest Labs;
>
> d) the identity of who received these materials and when they
> received them; and
>
> e) responses from Ciber to the Commission's determination not to
> accredit Ciber labs.
>
> 2. What was the basis for the decision(s) to withhold accreditation to
> Ciber Labs, formally or informally? What was the rationale or
> explanation for not accrediting Ciber labs when the Commission
> determined to provide interim accreditation to the other major test
> labs, Wyle and SysTest? Could you identify the individuals that
> Commission or staff informed of the problems at Ciber?
>
> 3. Which jurisdictions' electronic voting systems and software has been
> tested by Ciber Labs (under both the Commission's and the National
> Association of State Election Director's certification process)?
>
> 4. Can you provide the test report(s) Ciber submitted to the Commission
> or the National Association of State Election Directors on testing of
> systems running "Unity" software (that the Commission has in its
> possession)?
>
> 5. Did the Commission or staff have knowledge that states, under their
> state certification processes, were using Ciber Labs for review of
> voting system software? If the Commission knew that states were using
> Ciber for state certification testing, did the Commission inform the
> state(s) of the reservations it had granting accreditation to Ciber? I
> would appreciate your personal attention to this matter, and look
> forward to your response. I expect this will be a significant issue in
> upcoming Rules and Administration Committee oversight hearings about
> electronic voting and the role of the Election Assistance Commission in
> helping to ensure that every vote is accurately counted.
>
> If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact the Rules
> Committee. I also look forward to meeting with you personally in the
> near future so we can work together to address these issues.
>
> Sincerely,
>
> Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Senator

-- 
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Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
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Received on Tue Jan 1 14:12:44 2008

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