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Election Security Encompasses the Equipment, People, Processes & Voting Technology

 

Sequoia Responds to Questions Regarding Voting System Security

 

OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to the recent

issues raised about Direct Record Electronic (DRE) voting equipment,

Sequoia Voting Systems seeks to raise public awareness about the process

and procedures in place today to ensure secure elections.

"Election security encompasses people, processes and voting technology.

And all of Sequoia's voting systems have numerous safeguards to detect any

attempt to tamper with a machine or election results -- as true security

demands a combination of features," said Jack A. Blaine, President of

Sequoia Voting Systems.

Specifically, Sequoia's machines are equipped with the following safety

mechanisms and, in addition, we advise clients to employ these security

procedures:

-- Intrusion Detection: Robust security features and alerts that detect

any attempt to tamper with the voting system and alert election

officials to potential criminal activity or voting fraud;

 

-- Physical Security Procedures: Election officials must document and

control the physical access to voting systems and the facility where

the systems are stored;

 

-- Tamper Evident Seals: To ensure only authorized officials have the

access necessary to design and install ballots;

 

-- Auditability: Voting machines are equipped with numerous ways to

retrieve and audit records under any circumstance to confirm the

accuracy and integrity of unit.

 

Locks: only one of many features to prevent hacking

A recent newspaper story reports an academic researcher tampered with

the mechanical locks on Sequoia's AVC Advantage voting machine and could

"hack" into the system. Every Sequoia system has multiple and robust

security features to prevent or detect such tampering.

In addition, the Election Assistance Committee (EAC), established by

the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to administer Federal elections, laws,

and programs, provides comprehensive recommendations and procedures to

ensure the integrity of voting systems. One such important suggestion from

the EAC to election officials nationwide is:

-- "Develop chain-of-custody procedures, use tamper-evident seals, and

implement inventory control/asset management processes to ensure that

voting units and associated equipment are properly and securely

controlled and accounted for at all times throughout the election

administration process." http://eac.gov/docs/EAC%20Security.pdf

 

Robust security: ensures Hacking is detected

The integrity of election equipment is comprised of many security

features -- the lock on the door of a voting machine being just the

outermost layer of defense.

"Locks are merely a deterrent -- the first line of the robust security

features that make undetectable hacking impossible. And attempts to alter

or change the memory cards are highly detectable as each voting machine has

a myriad of safeguards that alert officials to any irregularities," said Ed

Smith, Sequoia's Vice President of Compliance, Quality, and Certification.

AVC Advantage: Proven Track Record

The AVC Advantage has been in use throughout the United Stated since

the late 1980s. It is a proven, reliable and auditable system with unique

hardware and a very complex and proprietary operating system and firmware

design -- providing substantial protections against tampering.

In addition to the Advantage's security features, jurisdictions using

voting equipment in the field should be employing physical tamper evident

measures such as seals on the CPU cover. Sequoia has recommended three

approaches to our customers: placing a wire seal through the hole in the

CPU cover, using security screw covers, or employing security tape.

"Making a claim is far from proof and should not be considered as such

in any instance. This is a great disservice to our nation's election

officials and needlessly attempts to erode confidence in voting equipment

and the elections process," said Jack Blaine.

About Sequoia Voting Systems (http://www.sequoiavote.com)

Sequoia Voting Systems is an American company, based in Oakland,

California with over a 100-year history of providing accurate, reliable,

secure and accessible voting solutions dating back to the nation's first

lever-based mechanical voting equipment in the 1890s. Sequoia provides

election technology, services and support to state and local government

including precinct-based optical scan ballot readers, high-speed central

count optical scan ballot readers, ballot layout and printing services, and

full-face and paginating electronic voting equipment with optional printers

that produce voter verifiable paper records. The company has hundreds of

customers throughout the country in 16 states and the District of Columbia.

Sequoia has been providing electronic voting equipment for more than

twenty-five years and leads the industry with our AVC Advantage full-face

push button electronic voting system and the AVC Edge touchscreen system.

Sequoia is the U.S. pioneer in VVPAT technology, successfully implementing

electronic voting with VVPAT throughout the State of Nevada in November

2004 -- the first large-scale implementation of VVPAT in the United States.

 

SOURCE Sequoia Voting Systems

 

Related links:

# http://www.sequoiavote.com

# http://eac.gov/docs/EAC%20Security.pdf/

 

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