Subject: Letter to Sec. Cortes

 

Dear Secretary Pedro Cortes,

 

I'm writing to ask your office to put in writing a very simple and obvious statement for our County Council Meeting scheduled for 5PM, Tuesday June 17th.  At the meeting council will vote on a "Sense of Council" asking our division of elections to verify our voting software prior to this November's presidential election.  

 

Enclosed is a transcript from Allegheny County's Board of Election Meeting in which it appears that Mr. Tim Johnson, Director of Administrative Services for Allegheny County, places the responsibility for software verification at the state level.  Clearly some collaboration with the SOC's office will be necessary to achieve 

the task, however, at the BOE meeting, Tim Johnson laid the responsibility with your office.

 

In a subsequent meeting that you held with Paul O'Hanlon, Marybeth Kuznik, and Celeste Taylor I understand you were asked if the responsibility for verifying the software was at the state level and, my understanding is that you said the counties are responsible for verification of the software.

 

We are asking that Allegheny County verify the software...  I have been told that County Council will need something in writing from your office, clearly stating that the counties are responsible for software verification, not the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

 

Will you state in writing that: "Counties are responsible for managing secure and accurate elections..."

It would be helpful to have this by Tuesday at 5 PM for the next Council meeting... I believe an email to either At-Large Councilman and BOE member:

 

 Chuck McCullough

 

or

 

Councilman Chuck Martoni would be wonderfully sufficient.

 

 

Sincerely and Appreciatively,

 

Rich King

 

 

 

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*** START TRANSCRIPT OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY BOE MEETING: APRIL 28th, 2008

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Richard King:  Has the software ever been verified and will this be done prior to November?

 

John DeFazio: On that question, Mark or anyone?

 

Tim Johnson: Iíll address Richard. We are working with the Commonwealth of PA on the verification of the software.  We believe that thatís the proper level at which that security review should occur Ė not only because it benefits Allegheny County but it benefits any county in the Commonwealth that would be using those machines.

 

We began that discussion before this election and there has been communication between the manufacturer and the Commonwealth of PA.   Now whether it will be done in time for November I canít tell you.    We are not driving the bus on this one.     But it is something that is on our radar screen.

 

Richard King: Thank you very much.

 

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***END TRANSCRIPT

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Richard King, Ph.D.