Long article - The tiny circle of certification of the nation's voting systems
The Small World of Voting Machine Certification
November 20, 2020 by Jeff Carlson, CFA
An understaffed tiny federal agency and 2 private testing labs responsible for certification of nation’s voting systems
The fallout of the Nov. 3 elections has put the spotlight on the integrity of electronic voting machines used in the United States. In response, authorities have pointed to certifications of the machines as a safeguard against potential systemic problems with the voting machines and their software.
A deeper look into the certification process used for the machines, however, reveals that the main certification agency in the United States, the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC), maintains an unexpectedly small staff, and one of its chief employees is a former executive of Dominion Voting Systems.
Furthermore it appears the bulk—if not all—of the testing of the election equipment is conducted by only two companies, Pro V&V and SLI Compliance.
Electronic voting systems have become increasingly incorporated into the election process, raising concerns over their security, reliability, and accuracy in the process. Lightly-staffed federal agencies who appear to maintain overly close ties to the companies they are supposed to be monitoring raises additional questions about the thoroughness and integrity of the verification process.
Dominion Executive Joins Federal Certification Commission
Kathy Boockvar, just two weeks after she was appointed as Pennsylvania’s Secretary of the Commonwealth, concluded in a Jan. 17, 2019 report (pdf) that Dominion’s “Democracy Suite 5.5A” voting machine “can be safely used by voters at elections,” and certified the Dominion voting systems in Pennsylvania.
Representing Dominion in that process was Jessica Bowers, director of certification for Dominion. In addition to Pennsylvania, Bowers appears to have been responsible for the implementation of Dominion Systems into a number of other states, including California, Colorado, Nevada, and Tennessee.
However, after enjoying a 10-year career at Dominion, Bowers would find her way into a new career path at the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC).
The EAC, which describes itself as “an independent bipartisan commission,” is responsible for adopting voluntary voting system guidelines and provides for the accreditation of manufacturers’ voting systems and voting system testing laboratories.
[Moar at website]