New Jersey Clerks Want Sequoia E-Voting Investigated


The records from the voting machines -- tapes similar to cash register tapes -- indicate that the number of ballots cast does not agree with the machines' printouts.

Last week, the New Jersey association of county clerks called on New Jersey's Attorney General to investigate possible discrepancies in e-voting machines used in February's presidential primary election. The clerks in six counties reported discrepancies in the tallies generated by some 60 Sequoia devices during the Feb. 5 election, according to the Constitutional Officers Association of New Jersey. Sequoia maintains the discrepancies were the result of human error.

However, Sequoia informed the county clerks that such an independent analysis would violate the licensing agreement between the provider of voting machines and software, and the county. The company's position is that the voting machine software is a trade secret and cannot be handed over to any third party. Union County had planned to have an independent study of the machines conducted by Edward Felten, a professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University. The threat of legal action has resulted in the third-party investigation being dropped.

On his blog, Felten has photos of the voting machine records, and notes that the vendor's explanation is insufficient.

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"The bottom line is clear. An investigation is needed -- an independent investigation, done by someone not chosen by Sequoia, not paid by Sequoia, and not reporting to Sequoia," Felton wrote.

Sequoia said in a statement that it has commissioned an independent source code review of the software version currently in use on the AVC Advantage voting equipment used throughout New Jersey. "We are confident that the review will show that Sequoia's product bulletin issued recently to our Advantage customers does indeed explain how the reporting issue that occurred during the February 5th Primary Elections happened, and how it can be prevented," the statement noted.