May 21, 2024

California Decertifies Touch-Screen Voting

Looks like I missed the significance of this story last week (by Kim Zetter at Wired News). California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley decertified all touch-screen voting machines, not just the Diebold systems whose decertification had been recommended by the state’s voting-systems panel.

Some counties may be able to get their machines recertified if they can meet a set of security requirements: the machines must be certified by the Federal government, provide a voter-verified paper trail, have a security plan that meets certain criteria, have source code disclosed to the Secretary of State and his designees (subject to reasonable confidentiality provisions), have a documented development process, no be modified at the last minute, have no network connections (including Internet, wireless, or phone connections), and a few other requirements.

Shelley condemned Diebold’s actions in California, calling them “despicable” and “deceitful tactics”. He referred evidence of possible fraud by Diebold to the state Attorney General’s office.

In a related story, Ireland recently decided not to use e-voting in their next election, due to security concerns.


  1. Touchscreens are out in California

    Freedom to Tinker: California Decertifies Touch-Screen Voting. Hat tip to Ed Felton Touchscreens particularly by Diebold are in trouble over there for security reasons…

  2. I fully support SoS Shelley in this action. He is putting the brakes on the headlong “rush to touch” without proper controls and validation.

    Those counties already successfully using the touch screens should be fine, as long as the conditions laid out by SoS are met. At worst, those counties with stable touch screen voting (like Riverside) can be given a waiver, some time to get their systems to spec, and some special attention come election time.

    That said, I still don’t see what is wrong with a Canadian style pure paper system.

  3. Note that Riverside County and 5 others are planning to sue the SoS to get around this order… more here:,1,1569551.story