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Redistricting on the radio today, Voting software flaw discovered

March 06, 2009

Hi Folks,

In this edition of CVF-NEWS:

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Redistricting Reform on Capital Public Radio today

Today on Capital Public Radio (90.9 FM in Sacramento, and online at the program "Insight", hosted by Jeffrey Callison, will take on the topic of redistricting reform. I'll be appearing as a guest on the show, to talk about what's been happening in Sacramento since voters passed Proposition 11, a redistricting reform initiative that shifts the power to draw political district lines from the legislature to a citizens' redistricting commission. Tim Hodson from the Center for California Studies and Kathay Feng with California Common Cause will also appear as guests. The show is on the radio from 2-3 p.m. today and a live webcast is available from the web site.

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Secretary of State Hearing on March 17 to examine software vote counting flaw

The Humboldt Transparency Project ( uncovered a serious flaw in the vote counting software produced by Premier (formerly Diebold). The group found that the software erased 197 votes. California Secretary of State Debra Bowen has sent a report to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission summarizing what happened and providing evidence that the vendor was aware of this flaw for years and did little to inform its customers, the counties of California using it. She is also convening a public hearing, to take place March 17 at the Secretary of State's auditorium in Sacramento. The report is online at .

To me, this all feels a lot like a deja vu. It was just about five years ago that another California Secretary of State, Kevin Shelley, held a series of public hearings to examine the same company's practice of distributing uncertified software to California counties, in violation of California statute. Hundreds of people showed up at the Secretary of State's office. In that case, Diebold was found guilty in court and was fined. Electronic voting machines were decertified.

For more on the recent episode, see Kim Zetter's Wired article, at, a synopsis by Mitch Trachtenberg (the Humboldt volunteer who created the software that detected the flaw) at, and today's Electionline story by Kat Zambon at .

Have a great weekend,

-- Kim Alexander


Kim Alexander, President & Founder
California Voter Foundation

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This page was first published on March 8, 2009 | Last updated on March 10, 2009
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