SMART Elections, a non-partisan project dedicated to “Elevating Election Reform to an Urgent National Priority,” is submitting the following public comments to the California Secretary of State.
Dear Secretary of State Alex Padilla,
We do not understand how the SOS office can state that the Los Angeles County Voting Solutions for All People System has met "all applicable California and federal laws" when the system violates so many of California's security and secrecy requirements.
Below are screenshots of some of the concerns that were listed in LA County's own Functional Test Report.
According to the diagrams available on the VSAP website, the ballot passes by the printhead after the voter casts their ballot. Security experts say that this is extremely risky because if the machine comes under the control of malware, then the voting machine can be instructed to print on the ballot and potentially change how the voter has voted.
Despite these clear violations to security and secrecy requirements, the Secretary of State of California is reporting that, "The VSAP Tally 2.0 voting system ... meets all applicable California and federal laws."
We do not see how given the reports above, the statement below that the system is "safe from fraud or manipulation" can be accurate.
This is extremely troubling. We cannot recommend that you use a system with so many security risks.
Election security experts are in agreement that hand-marked paper ballots are currently the best way to ensure a secure, accurate and transparent election and have confidence that every vote is counted as cast. For voters who cannot mark a ballot by hand, they recommend secure non-tabulating ballot-marking devices with a separate path for printing the ballot.
The current VSAP system offers neither of these options. It does not give voters a chance to mark a ballot by hand, and it is not a secure ballot-marking device with a separate printer path.
We do not recommend using the VSAP in the upcoming primary. There are too many issues to resolve. We believe the best option currently available to LA is to use a vote-by-mail system and encourage voters to drop those hand-marked ballots off in person at a vote center; and continue to use their previous ballot-marking devices for voters with disabilities.
The VSAP must not be certified and put in use until it either meets all security requirements, or is determined to be unable to meet them, in which case other options must be considered.
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