Updated: Sep 20, 2022
Questions About Election Machine Certification? Read on.
To follow is a discussion about free, fair, and transparent elections, specifically addressing the laws regarding certification of networked voting computers such as electronic poll books, ballot counting devices, and all software and peripherals that require certification. Although this template uses Virginia as the example state, you could adapt this letter by researching your own state laws that fall under the federal guidelines for certification of voting equipment. Our understanding of why certification is a requirement is to assure all voters that the elections will be free, fair, and transparent. Despite the certification requirements, our research indicates that NOT ONE voting computer is certified in any county in the United States, at this time. This is a serious issue that needs to be fixed prior to the 2022 elections.
More specifically, the discussion is focusing on potential election malfeasance, maladministration, and breach of contract by election officials who may, or may not be, aware of the issues with their voting networks—being out of certification. Of the 800 counties that have been investigated thus far besides Loudoun County, all counties seem to operate elections from the exact same Democracy playbook. I would remind my fellow Americans that we do not live in, or need to save our democracy, because we do not live in a democracy, we live in a constitutional republic. The constitution provides for all citizens free and fair elections. The fact that so many voters are uncovering anomalies on such a massive scale, and in the exact same pattern, eliminates the argument that stolen elections is a “conspiracy theory.”
The concerns addressed in this discussion shed light on the danger of losing our constitutional republic due to rigged elections and nefarious leaders being elected against the will of the people. These concerns are expressed on behalf of all voters, regardless of party affiliation or political philosophy, who value free, fair, and transparent elections, with special emphasis on following the US and State Constitutions and the rule of law.
Congress passed the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), which created the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) with the responsibility of setting voting system standards, performance testing, and certification of voting computer systems. HAVA requires that the EAC certify and decertify systems per Section 231(a)(1) of HAVA. The standards specifically require the EAC to “… provide for the certification, decertification and recertification of voting system hardware and software by accredited laboratories.” The federal requirement was thus established for states to implement the EAC guidelines codified in the US Code Title 52, §20508.
The EAC's accreditation and certification program is specified in the EAC Voting System Testing and Certification Program Manual Version 3.0, which provides procedures to vendors to perform testing and certification in accordance with the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG), consistent with the requirements of HAVA Section 321(a)(1). The EAC testing manual lists Virginia as being required to follow the Federal EAC certification requirements. Participation by states in EAC's certification program is voluntary, although Virginia has voluntarily codified the EAC requirements into the Virginia Department of Elections — authorized by Virginia Code 24.2 which sets forth the general duties and administration of elections in Virginia.
The Virginia Code specifically mandates the Duties of the Department of Elections in Virginia Code § 24.2-404. The Virginia voting computer systems are legally mandated to be tested for certification as a requirement of use. The certifications are mandated to determine if the systems provide all of the basic functionality, accessibility, and security capabilities required. In other words, certifications verify that the election equipment is secure, certified, and accurate. Our findings indicate that the voting computer equipment does not meet certification standards, and therefore should not be used in any elections.
National Voting Infrastructure Under Attack
The national voting infrastructure (enterprise) standards are set forth by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). NIST provides the cybersecurity specifications to defend the national voting infrastructure from intrusion attacks, deemed critical infrastructure by DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson in January 2017.
Since then, the standards have evolved, but not nearly as fast as the ability for foreign enemies to conduct sophisticated intrusion attacks on the United States elections, causing major disruption.
For those who claim the election machines are not connected to the Internet, or believe there is no evidence of election fraud, look no further than the dire warnings of the US Government prior to the November 2020 federal elections Officials have known and have announced through bulletins to state and county election officials that the security of the national voting infrastructure has been compromised, sources saying the US has suffered multiple intrusion attacks to “exploit state election websites” since 2018 (See AA20-296B: “Iranian Advanced Persistent Threat Actors Threaten Election Related Systems”).
In fact, FBI, DHS, and ODNI reported several hacks just prior to the November 2020 elections (See Alert (AA20-304A) “Iranian Advanced Persistent Threat Actor Identified Obtaining Voter Registration Data.”) The enterprise has been hacked and compromised by foreign actors to affect the outcomes of US elections since the mid-2000’s, but has become more insidious since 2016.
If these threats are real, why would election officials not do more to secure elections?
Non-certification of Election Systems Nationwide
In 2022, according to our research, NOT ONE voting computer is certified in the United States, or in any county in Virginia, at this time, in accordance with federal law US Code 52, HAVA, EAC, the EAC'S Certification Standards; or the national standards such as the VVSG, or NIST. Nor is any voting computer equipment certified in Virginia per Virginia Code 24.2, the Virginia Department of Elections certification standards. The voting computer equipment should therefore be declared "inoperative" by a Commonwealth Attorney, per Virginia Code 24.2-642. This declaration would apply to all voting computer equipment used for the same purpose: to conduct free and fair elections securely, safely, and accurately in Virginia. It is unacceptable to consider the use of voting ballot scanners, electronic poll books, or peripherals. The citizens demand voter-verified hand counts of "official paper ballots" to validate any computerized or digitized vote counts.
Even our own Virginia State Legislature has given the Virginia Department of Elections a poor report card, but nothing has been done to rectify the situation—it is very serious. See the "Report to the Governor and the General Assembly of Virginia Commonwealth of Virginia September 10, 2018 Operations and Performance of Virginia’s Department of Elections"in which many recommendations to make elections more secure, certified, and accurate are suggested but little was accomplished to achieve the objectives of the report.
For example, the findings in the performance report recommended elimination of the Governor's "Confidential Policy Advisor" position. If this had been accomplished, the DemTech ePollBook would have likely not been certified. For validation of this claim, see the DemTech Electronic Pollbook Certification document, page two, a letter from James Heo, unilaterally recommending the certification of the DemTech voting computer equipment. Stunningly, Mr. Heo bases his recommendation for "certification" on a "mock election" conducted by Richard Keech, Deputy Registrar of Loudoun County (see page 38 of the report). It appears they colluded to certify equipment that was uncertified, by a certifying organization that was uncertified, yet passed unanimously by the Virginia State Board of Elections just prior to the November 2020 elections. This is one of many considerations when decided to investigate the matter of certification in Virginia elections equipment.
An informative link will help you navigate why certification of equipment is required by law. A great place to do that is here. An End-to-End Protocol, which is supposed to help election officials evaluate voting equipment, accomplishes little in terms of change. Another document, the "EAC Chain of Custody Best Practices" can be found here, but there are no clear legal requirements to follow best practices.
At minimum, we believe Virginia local election officials, regardless of jurisdiction, and whether they are aware, may be in violation of:
§ 24.2-1015. If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, intimidate, prevent, or hinder any citizen of this Commonwealth in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the provisions of this title, or because of his having so exercised such right, they shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony."
§ 24.2-1001. Willful neglect or corrupt conduct. [Not all registrars and election boards are aware of nefarious activity in their election equipment]. A. If any officer of election, member of an electoral board, or other person on whom any duty is enjoined by law relative to any election, is guilty of willful neglect of his duty, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. B. If any person listed in subsection A is guilty of any corrupt conduct in the execution of his duty, he shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.
§ 24.2-1005.2. Interference with voting. Any person acting under the color of law who, contrary to an official policy or procedure, fails to permit, or refuses to permit, a qualified voter to vote, or who willfully fails or refuses to tabulate, count, or report the vote of a qualified voter, is subject to a civil penalty in an amount not exceeding $1,000 for each affected voter. Such civil penalties shall be payable to the Voter Education and Outreach Fund established pursuant to § 24.2-131. B. Any person who furnishes a ballot to a person who he knows cannot understand the language in which the ballot is printed and misinforms him as to the content of the ballot with an intent to deceive him and induce him to vote contrary to his desire is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Any person who changes a ballot of a person to prevent the person from voting as he desires is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. This subsection applies to any election and to any method used by a political party for selection of its nominees and for selection of delegates to its conventions and meetings.
§ 24.2-1008. Selling, giving away, or counterfeiting ballots. Any person who (i) wrongfully sells or gives to any person an official ballot or copy or a facsimile of or device or plate used to reproduce such ballot or (ii) counterfeits or attempts to counterfeit the official ballot or the seal used on that ballot, shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.
§ 24.2-1019. Complaints and allegations concerning election law offenses. Any complaint or allegation concerning unlawful conduct under this title shall be filed with the attorney for the Commonwealth of the county or city in which the alleged violation occurred. In the case of a complaint or allegation concerning the filing of a false statement in a voter registration application, the violation shall be deemed to have occurred in the county or city where the applicant sought to be registered.
This article shows all American voters concerned with election integrity the critical issue of complying with federal law and state law that requires networked voting computers to be certified. This article shows an example of non-certification of Virginia voting computers but applies to every piece of voting equipment used in federal and state elections. The conclusion is NONE OF THE EQUIPMENT IS CERTIFIED in accordance with the law. The American voters in Loudoun County, Virginia, demand that all networked voting computer equipment and their use in 2022 elections must be stopped by the Commonwealth Attorney or the Sheriff in 2022:
all voting computers should be deemed "inoperative" equipment due to the equipment's failure to perform as specified, to provide secure, certified, and accurate election results (§ 24.2-642)
The citizens of Loudoun County, Virginia, need help from the Commonwealth Attorneys and the Constitutional Sheriff’s Office to uphold the rights and freedoms of the people, especially regarding the right to demand free, fair, and transparent elections in accordance with the rule of law. You have ultimate jurisdiction and responsibility to the people and are our last line of defense against the tyranny of a rogue government.
The help we need is dire, and we must rely upon our constitutional officers to at last uphold the law: to require a constitutional mandate to allow the citizens to conduct voter-verified hand counts of the “official paper ballots” to determine the winners of elections. Elections must be free, fair, and transparent. Today, they are none of these.
Thomas Kasperek, Citizen of Loudoun County, Virginia
Sworn Election Officer, Algonkian District, Lowe’s Island Precinct
Chair, Loudoun County Committee of Safety