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Team of Computer Scientists To Review ES&S iVotronic Source Code PDF  | Print |  Email
By Warren Stewart, VoteTrustUSA   
December 22, 2006

Download the FSU Review Team Statement of Work


The Florida Secretary of State has assembled a team of computer scientists, led by Florida State University, to review the source code of the ES&S iVotronics used in Sarasota’s disputed election last month. These machines failed to register a vote for either Congressional candidate for over 16% of the voters that used them in early voting and on Election Day. After initially refusing to allow any review of their source code, ES&S has relented and agreed to the Florida State review.

The review team, led by FSU computer scientist Alec Yasinsac, includes David Wagner of the University of California Berkeley, Ed Felten of Princeton Univeristy, Michael Shamos of Carnegie Mellon University, Matt Bishop of the Univeristy of California Davis, along with two other Florida State professors.


Republican Vern Buchanan has been declared the winner of the election by an official margin of 369 votes. In addition to the legal challenge in state court, Democrat Christine Jennings has filed an election contest with the U.S. House of Reporesentatives. A separet legal challenge on behalf of Sarasota county voters has been launched by VoterAction, People For the American Way Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida.

At a hearing in Circuit Court in Tallahasse earlier this week MIT political scientist Charles Stewart testified that Jennings would have won the race by as many as 3,100 votes if there had not been an "excessive" undervote in Sarasota County. Based on his analysis, Stewart estimated that of those undervotes, as many as 14,000 were excessive, meaning they exceeded what would normally be expected in such a race.

According Sarasota Herald-Tribune article, Miguel DeGrandy, an ES&S lawyer, said Jennings' academic experts were only advancing their opinions on why there was such a large undervote.
"The opinions they set forth are mere academic speculation," DeGrandy said. "These experts do not provide a specific theory as to why the equipment may have malfunctioned."

DeGrandy said ES&S did not specifically object to a review of the so-called "source code," which is used to run the machines and is considered a trade secret by the company.
If the Florida State University review is not satisfactory to Jennings, ES&S said that it would not object to a second review by an "independent" expert selected by Judge William Gary, who is presiding over the case.
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