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Orly’s next lawsuit?

I might want to join this one (if it had a better attorney). She’s talking about a class action lawsuit to open up the electronic voting process. When I voted this week I noticed some duct tape covering the iVotronic logo on the voting machine, a brand that has had its share of problems.

Faith in vote counting is essential for our system, and the closed and proprietary voting systems trouble me.

Orly said in an email to supporters:

Ten months ago, Smartmatic, a Venezuelan-owned company, purchased Sequoia Voting Systems, Inc. for $16 million (U.S.). Sequoia Voting Systems is one of the leading manufacturers of electronic voting systems purchased in the United States. Public access to the company’s vote-counting software is prohibited by trade secret laws.

She didn’t mention Obama even once.

4 Responses to Orly’s next lawsuit?

  1. avatar
    Dave June 10, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    Any idea what she’s talking about? I was under the impression that Smartmatic sold Sequoia a few years ago. Did they recently buy it back? And the 16 million figure sounds like it’s missing a couple zeros.

  2. avatar
    Dave June 10, 2010 at 11:34 pm #

    OK, from looking at her blog, she’s quoting a post from 2005 on At that time Smartmatic did own Sequoia, but I think in 2007 they sold it.

  3. avatar
    Jules June 11, 2010 at 5:23 am #

    Dave: OK, from looking at her blog, she’s quoting a post from 2005 on At that time Smartmatic did own Sequoia, but I think in 2007 they sold it.

    Yes, Smartmatic did sell Sequoia to American owners. However, some of Sequoia’s systems continue using Smartmatic’s intellectual property under licence. The problem isn’t so much the country where the intellectual property is owned as the fact that the mechanics of democracy are often trade secrets, meaning that the system is not transparent.

    It is funny that Orly Taitz only now worries about electronic voting systems. I have written to my representatives in Congress for years with concerns about the security of voting systems. I am of the opinion that electronic systems that do not leave a voter-verified paper audit trail should be banned.

    I would ideally like to see the re-introduction of the old mechanical lever voting machines. Any tinkering with such a machine would be easy to detect, as the mechanics of the machine will be the same during testing immediately before polls open and actual voting after polls open. (This is not the case for computers, where code can be written to apply only at certain times.) Lever machines can easily be checked under public scrutiny to ensure that all counts are zero when the polls open.

    I don’t suppose that many states will ever change their laws to massively reduce the number of offices that are elected. That would be necessary for it to be practical to copy the UK and go with the simple process of hand-counting ballots on which voters put an X in the box of their candidate. (I consider electing dozens of minor positions as useless from a democratic standpoint. The vast majority of voters neither know nor care much about minor officials. For this reason, their practical influence on the position is often less than if the minor official were appointed by a Governor or Mayor whose views and actions were well understood by the public.)

  4. avatar
    AnotherBird June 11, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    Election voting systems should be open to auditing.