I love it that so many of my friends are rabblerousers… Give ’em hell Jon! Show ’em who’s boss, Adina…. This takes quite a bit of guts… but I suppose that makes the fringe a bit more interesting. Huzzah!

Sunshine Sought for Texas Election Systems Examiners

Lawsuit Attacks Secrecy of Meetings Where E-voting Machines Are Evaluated

Austin, TX. — The ACLU of Texas and Jon Lebkowsky, a Texas voter, today
filed a lawsuit demanding that the meetings of the state?¢?Ǩ?Ñ¢s voting
examiners be held in public.

The voting examiners are responsible for studying electronic voting
machines and other voting technologies and recommending to the Secretary
of State which systems should be certified for use in Texas. In the past
few years, the Secretary of State has routinely adopted the
recommendations of the panel, yet he has rebuffed efforts by the public
to observe the proceedings, claiming that the panel is not subject to
Texas?¢?Ǩ?Ñ¢ Open Meetings Act.

Recently, the Texas Safe Voting Coalition obtained videotapes of
previous meetings, including one involving Diebold, that suggest a lack
of rigor and failure to properly address security and certification
compliance issues.

?¢?Ǩ?ìTexans deserve secure, reliable voting machines, and they deserve to
see that the officials charged with certifying those machines are
conducting a rigorous evaluation to ensure the systems are secure and
effective,?¢?Ǩ¬ù said Adina Levin of theTexas ACLU. ?¢?Ǩ?ìAll aspects of the
voting process in a democracy should be open and transparent, to give
citizens confidence in their vote. The evaluation process should not be
hidden behind closed doors.”

The case, which will be handled by lead counsel Renea Hicks, seeks a
ruling opening up the meetings prior to the upcoming August meeting of
the examiners. The lawsuit comes on the heels of a letter filed with the
Attorney General in July by Consumers Union that also argued that these
closed meetings violate the Texas Open Meetings Act. ?¢?Ǩ?ìThe public?¢?Ǩ?Ñ¢s
interest in the state?¢?Ǩ?Ñ¢s certification of electronic voting equipment is
high,?¢?Ǩ¬ù noted Kathy Mitchell, Open Government Policy Analyst for
Consumers Union. ?¢?Ǩ?ìThe meetings of the examiners represent the critical
point of deliberation during which key issues of interest to the public
are discussed and debated.?¢?Ǩ¬ù

?¢?Ǩ?ìThe country is beginning to look under the rug of election
certifications and testing processes and the scene is not pretty,?¢?Ǩ¬ù added
Cindy Cohn, Legal Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation which
is serving as co-counsel in the case. ?¢?Ǩ?ìOpening up Texas certification
processes should send a signal to testing and certification authorities
nationwide that they must perform rigorous, public review of the systems
that count our votes.

The Complaint is available here:


Texas Safe Voting Coalition (including clips of a January, 2004 examiner