Disgraceful: Discredited E-Voting Vendor VP Appointed to U.S. EAC Advisory Panel
Federal body tasked with overseeing U.S. certification of e-voting systems appoints scammer Edwin Smith, VP of e-voting companies Sequoia, Dominion, Hart-Intercivic...
Cross-posted from The BRAD BLOG
Note: Brad Friedman, proprietor of The BRAD BLOG, is a co-founder of Velvet Revolution.
Incredible. This would be the equivalent of appointing the sitting Vice President of Exxon Mobil to an EPA advisory committee, but Ed Smith has now been appointed to the disastrous U.S. Election Assistance Commission's (EAC's) Technical Guidelines Development Committee as one of their new "Technical and Scientific Experts."
From the EAC's email announcement on Friday (posted in full at end of article):
So Smith went from voting machine company Hart Intercivic to voting machine company Sequoia Voting Systems and is now at voting machine company Dominion Voting Systems, where he is a VP, selling e-voting systems to jurisdictions around the country that receive federal money doled out by the EAC. And now he'll also sit on an advisory board at the EAC helping to advise which one of those companies sees their systems certified for use in U.S. elections by the EAC. Just amazing.
But that's not even half the story of why this is just incredible, and another huge black eye for the EAC. (How many eyes do they have left to blacken at this point?) If you're not a long time reader of The BRAD BLOG reader, and don't recall who this Ed Smith is, read on. It's simply stultifying...
Smith is the guy who, after years of paying a crackpot contractor named Mike Gibbons to do this and that for Sequoia with loads of federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) tax-payer cash, assigned him to do an "independent" analysis of Sequoia's touch-screen machines after they failed in NJ's 2008 Super Tuesday election. That was just after Smith had sent a letter threatening two Princeton computer scientists with legal action "to stop any infringement of our intellectual properties, including any non-compliant analysis," if they performed the actually independent analysis of the machines as they were tasked by NJ election officials to do. (Addtional outrage/irony shortly thereafter uncovered by The BRAD BLOG: Sequoia didn't even own the Intellectual Property rights to the machines in question. Rather, the IP rights were, and are still to our knowledge, owned by Smartmatic, a Venezuelan firm tied to Hugo Chavez. Sequoia lied to both federal investigators and state election officials about that relationship.)
After The BRAD BLOG exposed who Smith's friend Mike Gibbons actually was -- a Sequoia insider, as well as a drunk and a philanderer with an obnoxious Facebook page seeking a "well endowed blonde nymphomaniac," only to change the page after we'd outed him to feature a photo of him and George Bush Sr. and a professed love of Jesus Christ instead -- Gibbons was fired. (He would be found dead a few months later, the actual cause of which we've never been able to ascertain.)
Smith was severely reprimanded at Sequoia for the embarrassing incident, and has now been rewarded by moving on to Dominion, which is in partnership with his old friends at Sequoia to supply the new, failed e-voting systems recently deployed, disasterously, for the first time in last November's election -- the one where the results of the NY-23 Special Election for U.S. House will now forever be in question. The Sequoia/Dominion contract to supply faulty, secret vote counting machines to NY-23 is worth some $20 million federal tax-payer dollars.
And now Smith's been been named to advise the EAC, the actual federal body tasked with overseeing, testing, and approving voting systems for federal approval -- the very body that is supposed to oversee the very scams that Smith attempts to pull off with his worthless, broken, easily hacked, often-failed, computerized secret vote-counting systems. And, in the case of the NY systems, they're being used even though they are neither federally nor state certified yet.
This isn't just the Fox in the Hen House. This is the Fox who has already devoured every Hen in the House, in the Hen House. With feathers in his mouth and a sub-machine gun in his hands.
The EAC is an absolute disgrace, and should long ago have been disbanded for one failure after another -- including the approval of virtually every e-voting system in use today, virtually every one of which has failed spectacularly, even as the EAC has refused to decertify any of them. Enough is enough.
The complete Friday press release from the EAC, announcing Smith's appointment, and others, follows in full below...
For Immediate Release
December 11, 2009
New Technical and Scientific Experts Appointed to EAC's Technical Guidelines Development Committee
WASHINGTON- The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) today announced the appointment of four new technical and scientific experts to its Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC), which is charged under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) with assisting EAC in developing federal voluntary voting system guidelines that are used to test and certify voting systems.
The following new members were appointed jointly by EAC and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST):
Steven M. Bellovin, professor of computer science at Columbia University. Dr. Bellovin's research focuses on networks and security. Before joining the Columbia faculty in 2005, he spent many years at Bell Labs and AT&T Labs Research, where he was an AT&T Fellow. He holds a bachelor's degree from Columbia University and a master's and doctorate in computer science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Diane Cordry Golden, program coordinator for the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs. Dr. Cordry Golden has 30 years' experience providing training and technical assistance on disability policy implementation and assistive/accessible technology service delivery to government and nonprofit organizations at the local, state and national level. She has a doctorate in special education administration with an emphasis in disability policy, a master's degree in audiology, and a bachelor's degree in speech-language pathology.
Douglas W. Jones, associate professor of computer science at University of Iowa. Mr. Jones served on the Iowa Board of Examiners for Voting Machines and Electronic Voting Systems for 10 years, where he helped examine and approve voting systems before they were sold to the state's county governments. He testified at the U.S. Civil Rights Commission hearings in Tallahassee, Fla., on January 11, 2001, and was involved in reviewing the federal 2002 Voting System Standards.
Edwin B. Smith, III, vice president of compliance and certification at Dominion Voting Systems. Before joining Dominion Voting Systems, Mr. Smith was vice president of manufacturing, compliance, quality and certification at Sequoia Voting Systems. He also served as the operations manager at Hart InterCivic and the senior director of operations at K*TEC Electronics. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Science in engineering technology from Texas A&M.
"We welcome this distinguished group of experts to the committee," said EAC Commissioner Donetta Davidson, the designated federal official of the TGDC. "We've just concluded our first two-day meeting with our new members, and it was filled with spirited, thoughtful and productive exchanges. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated and knowledgeable group of professionals working with us on federal voting system guidelines."
HAVA established the TGDC to support the EAC by providing recommendations on voluntary standards and guidelines related to voting equipment and technologies. The TGDC's first task was to draft the third iteration of federal voting system standards, known as the voluntary voting system guidelines, which EAC issued in December 2005. The TGDC continues to work on future iterations and revisions to the guidelines for consideration by the EAC Standards Board and Board of Advisors, and for ultimate consideration and adoption by EAC.
HAVA requires that members of the TGDC be made up of representatives from the American National Standards Institute, the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Architectural and Transportation Barrier Compliance Board (commonly referred to as the Access Board), the EAC Standards Board and the EAC Board of Advisors.
These organizations nominate new members to serve on the TGDC. Recent appointments include Access Board member Phillip Jenkins, senior software engineer of the IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center; NASED member Ann McGeehan, director of the elections division, State of Texas Office of the Secretary of State; and EAC Standards Board member Donald Palmer, director of elections, Florida Department of State.
Other members of the committee include Ron Gardner, director of field services, National Federation of the Blind; Linda Lamone, administrator of elections, Maryland State Board of Elections; Paul Miller, voting systems manager, State of Washington, Office of the Secretary of State; Helen Purcell, county recorder, Maricopa County, Arizona; Russ Ragsdale, city and county clerk, City and County of Broomfield, Colorado; and David Wagner, associate professor, EECS Department, University of California-Berkeley. Patrick Gallagher, director of NIST, chairs the committee.
For information on TGDC resolutions, meeting minutes and related information, visit vote.nist.gov. Information about EAC's voting system testing and certification process, including the federal 2005 Voluntary Voting System Guidelines, is available at www.eac.gov.
The EAC is an independent commission created by the Help America Vote Act. The EAC serves as a national clearinghouse and resource of information regarding election administration. It is charged with administering payments to states and developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines, and accrediting voting system test laboratories and certifying voting equipment. It is also charged with developing and maintaining a national mail voter registration form. The three EAC commissioners are Gineen Beach, chair; Gracia Hillman, vice chair; and Donetta Davidson. There is one vacancy on the commission.
There's a lively discussion in the comments thread over at The BRAD BLOG. You're invited to join in with your comments.