Election Defense Alliance
March 31, 2009

CA Decertifies Premier (Diebold) GEMS 1.18.19

State investigation, prompted by citizen audit,
finds voting software loses votes, allows audit log erasure

Source: California Secretary of State
Secretary of State Debra Bowen Withdraws State Approval
of Premier Voting System
Legislation to Require Disclosure of Product Flaws Clears First Hurdle

SACRAMENTO - Secretary of State Debra Bowen today announced she has withdrawn state approval of Premier Election Solutions' Global Election Management System (GEMS) version 1.18.19, which contains serious software flaws.  

Premier GEMS 1.18.19 contains the "Deck Zero" anomaly, a software error that can delete the first batch of optically scanned ballots under certain circumstances without alerting elections officials to the deletion.

In addition, the system's audit logs fail to record important events and  "clear" buttons permit deletion of key records, both of which violate federal standards.

The Secretary of State's office conducted an independent investigation into the GEMS 1.18.19 system and held a public hearing on the matter March 17, at which a Premier representative said the company had no objection to discontinuing the system's use in California. 

Secretary Bowen reached her decision after analyzing the investigation findings and evaluating the written and oral public testimony on the system.   

"Clearly, a voting system that can delete ballots without warning and doesn't leave an accurate audit trail should not be used in California or anywhere," said Secretary Bowen, California's chief elections officer.

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The examples of the "Zero Deck" failure and audit override switch illustrate a fundamental problem with computerized voting: The federal certification process that is supposed to assure the safety and reliability of voting machines, doesn't work.

A handful of inept test labs, paid for by the E-voting vendors, perform no actual security testing, yet routinely issue meaningless rubberstamps of approval enabling riggable voting machines to be foisted on the voting public.

The fraud-prone GEMS ver. 1.18.19 voting system passed multiple federal and state certification reviews with its audit kill-switch and vote-dropping memory flaws fully intact, and remains in use by electoral jurisdictions across the nation.

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