Re: Fwd: Colorado:VotingMachines:"The card activators that plagued Denver primaries were bought secondhand from Chicago after that city's own election issues. "

From: Edmund R. Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Tue Sep 26 2006 - 17:42:44 CDT


    They look very similar to a toy cash register my son once had.

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----- Original Message ----
From: Joseph Lorenzo Hall <>
To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list <>
Sent: Tuesday, September 26, 2006 11:19:02 AM
Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] Fwd: Colorado:VotingMachines:"The card activators that plagued Denver primaries were bought secondhand from Chicago after that city's own election issues. "
Sequoia DRE-based systems use smartcards (like DESI's) to tell the DRE what ballot style to present to the voter and to allow the voter to vote.  In polling places that serve multiple precincts or that have multiple ballot styles, the poll workers have to "encode" the ballot style identifier onto the smartcard with a small device... Sequoia's looks like this:
best, Joe
On 9/26/06, Jerry Lobdill  <> wrote:  Are "card activators" storage devices for transferring ballot definition files to machines and for reading tallies off of individual voting machines? They seem to have only 50 of them--much too few to be one per voting machine.  And the statement that they have a system that "transmits" tallies to the central tabulator fro meach machine sounds ominous.
 Also, in Colorado, how do cities get involved in the voting? I thought things were handled at the precinct, county, and state level without city governments being involved.
 denver & the west | election 2006
 Voting equipment not new
 The card activators that plagued Denver primaries were bought secondhand from Chicago after that city's own election issues.
 By George Merritt 
 Denver Post Staff Writer
 The voting equipment that caused problems in Denver's primary elections last month was purchased secondhand from Chicago after that city's well-publicized election issues.
 But Denver Election Commission spokesman Alton Dillard said Monday that the voter "card activators" Denver bought are reliable and purchased at a cost savings for the city.
 "The card (activators) work just fine," Dillard said. "This is just part of somebody's wild conspiracy" to affect voter confidence.
 The equipment, however, will not be used in November's general election because a pattern of Denver voters getting the wrong ballot was blamed on the activators, which program the proper ballot for voters.
 That the equipment was purchased used came as news to Denver City Council members, who signed off on $1.4 million worth of federal grants for Sequoia Voting Systems machines in May - weeks after problems in Chicago.
 "I definitely have never heard that," Councilwoman Carol Boigon said of the pre-owned equipment.
 She said she plans to ask Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper's administration to allow the city's information-technology employees to work with the Election Commission - a departure from protocol, given the commission's independence from the city.
 Councilwoman Rosemary Rodriguez said she too was surprised.
 "I kind of wish we had known that as we were making decisions," she said.
 In Chicago, voter tallies were not completed for as much as a week, according to Associated Press reports.
 The city replaced its activators with a system that transmitted tallies from every machine to allow the vote count to come in quickly, Dillard said.
 Denver bought 50 card activators for $35,000.
 Dillard said the commission saved $10,000 on the purchase. The actual voting machines were brand new.
 He said Denver made a choice not to transmit voter counts from each machine to protect against hackers.
 Questions about the equipment came last week when City Auditor Dennis Gallagher sent a letter to Election Commission executive director John Gaydeski saying that if the activators do not work, "proper restitution" should be made.
 Staff writer George Merritt can be reached at 303-954-1657 or .
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Joseph Lorenzo Hall  
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