Attorney General Stumbo Questions Reliability of Ky. Electronic Voting Machines

"We must act promptly to ensure the Kentucky Constitution's guarantee of free and fair elections."

by / August 8, 2007
Attorney General Greg Stumbo today called on Secretary of State Trey Grayson and the State Board of Elections to immediately reexamine electronic voting systems to determine whether they are "defective or unacceptable" because of their vulnerability to tampering.

In a letter sent today to Secretary Grayson, Attorney General Stumbo questioned the reliability of the Hart InterCivic Direct Record Electronic ("DRE") Precinct Voting Systems and the Diebold Accuvote-TSX DRE and Optical Scan ("OS") Voting Systems, which are used in 96 of Kentucky's 120 counties, including Jefferson and Fayette.

"Any voting systems subject to manipulation and corruption should be reexamined and decertified," Stumbo said. "Faulty electronic voting systems jeopardize the public's confidence in Kentucky's elections."

Stumbo's concerns are based on serious security flaws identified by experts in California, which led to emergency decertification of the voting machines by California.

The California Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, ordered this review based on public concern over electronic voting systems. Secretary Bowen stated, "the Help America Vote Act [HAVA] ... pushed many counties into buying electronic voting systems that...were not properly reviewed or tested to ensure that they protected the integrity of the vote."

Experts with the University of California at Berkeley and Davis recently issued reports identifying serious security vulnerabilities in all the voting systems they tested, including the Hart and Diebold DRE systems. The researchers determined that these vulnerabilities could affect the accuracy of voting and compromise ballot secrecy.

On August 3, 2007, California legally decertified these systems finding them "to be defective or unacceptable." The specific reports with detailed analysis of the vulnerabilities identified are available online at:

"Ensuring the integrity of elections is one of my primary responsibilities," said Stumbo. "I want to make it clear that the county clerks have done a fine job with the available equipment. But experts have now found these machines to be subject to manipulation, hacking, and fraud. We must act promptly to ensure the Kentucky Constitution's guarantee of free and fair elections."

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