Rebecca Mercuri, Ph.D
office: Park 246A  phone: 610-526-6502   e-mail: 
Research Interests: Electronic voting.

The MAIN reason why there are no documented cases of voter fraud (yet) using computers is because there is no availability of INDEPENDENT inspection of voting systems by experts (even when cases have gone to court) because the vendors are allowed to protect their products under restrictive trade secret agreements making it costly, time consuming, and unlikely to obtain a court order to look at the evidence. It is much akin to having a murder trial and prohibiting the plaintiffs from getting an autopsy or even reviewing the autopsy REPORT.

Last year we attempted to get Palm Beach County to just "wind" a single impounded voting system back to where it was at the start of election day so that we could cast votes on it to see if it had malfunctioned or was programmed incorrectly. The plaintiff was willing to pay for the machine (though we had no intention of "breaking it with our screwdrivers" as the County attorney asserted in court). The response was basically "no, sorry, you can't do that, it's a secret." We also presented a 2-page list of materials that were supposed to have been archived for the voting system by the State of Florida and Palm Beach County according to the Florida State Election Law.

We received ZERO of these materials (so why bother having laws that say such should be archived if nobody is going to get to see them) and the response was again "no, sorry, you can't review these, it's a secret." It would certainly have been possible to sign a non-disclosure agreement for the materials, but we weren't even allowed to do that. If there is voter fraud going on, the States, Counties, Courts, and vendors have made sure that nobody is going to find the evidence. But the fact that it's a secret, though, is not a secret.

Here's a reply that a colleague recently received to a letter of inquiry regarding the security of voting systems being deployed in Fairfax County VA, where he lives (and works, as a computer security expert) and also votes: "Your many detailed questions generally pertain to the security systems used to protect the machines and the software used by those machines. While we appreciate that interest, to the extent that the County has any information that may be responsive to your request, I am advised to decline to provide it since such information is protected form disclosure by Virginia Code 2.2-3705(A)(18) and 2.2-4342(F) because of its proprietary nature and/or because nondisclosure of this information is permitted by Virginia Code 2.2-3705(A)(25),(45) and (69) and for the reason that release of that information could jeopardize the security of that voting equipment. " Hey, it's certified! Guess what, you can't check it out, see it says so right here in our laws! If you have a problem go away, you're a Sore Loserman! Is this any way to run a Democracy? Maybe in Cuba, or Iraq. Sorry, it's a secret, Rebecca Mercuri.

Here is Dr. Mercuri's webpage about E-voting

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