David PowellChair, Libertarian Party of Allegheny County924 Chislett St.Pittsburgh, PA 15206(412) 661-1135
Mr. Mark Wolosik
Manager, Division of Elections, Allegheny County
604 County Office Bldg., 542 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2953
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Dear Mr. Wolosik:
I have been informed that on Monday the 22nd the Division of Elections carried out a procedure to verify the integrity of the software contained within the iVotronic DRE voting terminals employed in Allegheny County. Though many members of my organization would prefer a voting system enabling voters to be sure their votes are recorded as cast, as long as the voters of our County must use paperless electronic voting machines we would certainly hope for any available assurances that they may be operating properly. So it is good news that the County is pursuing this matter.
Unfortunately, I have also been informed that the individual designated by our party to observe the process, Ronald Bandes, was not permitted to participate. Mr. Bandes is a graduate student studying Information Security, Policy, and Management at Carnegie Mellon University and has also served as a poll worker. As you may recall, in the November 2008 general election our party fielded candidates in the state-wide races for President, Attorney General, Auditor General, State Treasurer, and also for the 35th district of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. We of course wish votes for our candidates to be accurately counted, and were looking forward to the informed observations which Mr. Bandes volunteered to provide.
I am not an attorney, nor otherwise intimately familiar with the Pennsylvania Election Code. As a layperson, it would seem only natural that all parties with candidates on the ballot in the November general election would be entitled to observe election procedures on an equal basis, in accordance with the requirement in Article 1, Section 5 of the Pennsylvania Constitution that elections be “free and equal.” So that we can plan appropriately for upcoming elections, could you please provide me with your understanding of which provision(s) of law govern who may appoint observers for firmware verification events?
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Dave Powell, Chair
Allegheny County Libertarian Party
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Firmware Verification - DRAFT letter
I'm going to send my own letter. This is a draft from David Powell, my party's chair. I'm the vice-chair. As such, I can be more of an attack dog. I hate it when a bureaucrat plays gatekeeper and closes volunteers, taxpayers, voters, citizens and experts from a watchdog opportunity.