Hunter Walker – White House Correspondent,Yahoo News•February 13, 2020
WASHINGTON — While the Democratic National Committee over the past 10 days has tried to distance itself from the troubled app that threw the results of the Iowa caucuses into disarray, a copy of the contract and internal correspondence provided to Yahoo News demonstrates that national party officials had extensive oversight over the development of the technology.
The Democrats’ Iowa caucuses took place on Feb. 3, but the outcome is still in question following a series of issues related to the failure of an app that was supposed to be used to submit results. In the days since the debacle, DNC Chair Tom Perez has criticized the Iowa Democratic Party, which ran the caucuses, and the developer of the app, Shadow Inc.
An unaffiliated Democratic operative in Iowa provided Yahoo News with a copy of the contract between Shadow and the Iowa Democratic Party. The contract, which was signed on Oct. 14, 2019, and refers to Shadow as the “Consultant,” specified that the company had to work with the DNC and provide the national party with access to its software for testing.
“Consultant agrees to work with the DNC Services Corporation / Democratic National Committee (‘DNC’) on an on-going basis as Consultant develops the software,” the contract reads.
The contract also specifies that Shadow agrees to “provide DNC continual access to review the Consultant’s system configurations, security and system logs, system designs, data flow designs, security controls (preventative and detective), and operational plans for how the Consultant will use and run the Software for informational dissemination, pre-registration, tabulation, and reporting throughout the caucus process.”
A Des Moines, Iowa, precinct captain shows the Iowa Democratic Party’s caucus reporting app in November. (Charlie Neibergall/AP)
An email provided to Yahoo News also appears to show that Seema Nanda, the CEO of the DNC, and Kat Atwater, the national party’s deputy chief technology officer, were involved in drafting the contract and requested the addition of the provision that gave them access to Shadow and the app. In the email, dated July 30, 2019, Atwater provided an IDP official with draft text for the provision detailing the DNC’s access to the app. Atwater, in the email, said the provision was specifically requested by Nanda.
CALIFORNIA: Bernie needs to file a federal lawsuit in California seeking court intervention to correct the very high probability of poll worker negligence, failure-to-properly train issues, system failures and potential election fraud in the California system; and here’s why: An L.A. poll worker was interviewed on 15 February, 2020 by the Convo Couch and here’s what he said about the training he had just received that day:
California defines a “new voter” as a first time voter or anyone who has changed their voter registration. You must bring an ID that exactly matches your registration information or you will be given a provisional ballot.
There was a very hostile environment with the trainers. When I brought up the subject how this could affect millions of voters. But this information is nowhere on your website. The voter has no way of knowing they have to bring their ID to the polls. There’s about 30 different IDs you can show, but it must match the name and address on your registration exactly.
The computer decides who gets which ballot. There are two buttons: one says ID PROVIDED or NO ID PROVIDED. If you do not provide an ID, there’s a big red bar that goes across the screen that says “provisional.” When your ballot is printed, at the voter check in, it’s the same ballot for everyone, except there’s a little QR code up in the corner.
When you check in it will be blank with no QR code in the corner; once you check in, the poll worker will put the blank ballot into their printer and will print this QR code; this QR code will tell the ballot-marking device – WHICH IS A SEPARATE COMPUTER THAT YOU VOTE ON – whether or not it is a regular ballot or a provisional ballot.
THROUGH THIS QR CODE, THEY CAN IDENTIFY WHO THE VOTER IS.
They admitted that back at the county clerk office, they can identify the voter with the QR code. There are two QR codes that go on this ballot: the first QR code identifies the type of ballot and links that to the specific voter; the second code is printed on the ballot underneath; with how you voted. You put in your selections, you put your ballot into the computer – it prints another QR code. Through this they are able to identify both the voter and how they voted.
The voter will be told there will be a provisional ballot and you will have to fill out the pink envelope to put the ballot in. When they try to vote, that vote at the ballot-marking device, the machine will reject that ballot at the end and you will be forced to vote provisionally. There’s another problem with the ballot-marking devices: they are very fragile.
We were instructed that you must put the ballot into the slot WITH BOTH HANDS – to make sure that it doesn’t jam. The voters will be the ones handling the ballots. The poll workers will not be handling the ballots. So the voter who has no training on these machines, will have to carefully put these ballots into this device and they are very prone to jamming. We had one out of three poll workers jam the machines at our training.
It’s technically illegal. The maximum allowed is one jam out of 500 insertions; these jam at a 1 to 103 rate.
They will be counted by the machine that does the QR code. Each machine will hold 200 ballots. It will need to be emptied and changed at every 200 ballots, but it will jam far before it counts 200 ballots. Throughout the process, whether it’s opening the poll center, whether it’s midday checks, whether it’s closing or whether it’s jamming and resetting the machines, you need to scan bar codes, security codes for change of custody so there’s no tampering with the machines or ballots. The problem with this is, the poll workers are not trained on how to use the scanners; only the lead receives training. When the question was brought up about we had not received training on to use the scanner itself, the response was, “Are you a lead? If you’re not a lead you don’t need to use it.”
The votes will be put into a cardboard box and taken to a tally station.
There are three types of poll centers: large, medium and small; large center will haves 50 machines; a medium center will have 30 machines and a small center will have 10 machines.
Depending on which center you are at, will determine how many poll workers will be there. Jamming could cause long delays and more problems.
The whole system is designed for human error. It feels as if the system was intentionally designed for error. I have more concerns now than when I walked in the door this morning.
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Ashley: NH In 2016 I was doing a lot of phone banking to California. I can’t tell you how many people told me that their ballot did *not* include the presidential primary and as such were not able to vote for Bernie. I called an election integrity hotline and they could barely talk to me — they said their phones had been ringing off the hook about this.
In the end, I talked to hundreds of people — many of which were berners who ultimately were unable to vote for Bernie.
Using the same procedures as used with vote-by-mail envelopes, the county elections official compares the signature for the provisional ballot with the signature on that voter’s affidavit of registration. (Elections Code, § 3019.) If the signature does not match, the county elections official must follow specified procedures to notify the voter and allow the voter an opportunity to verify his or her signature before certification of the election.
If the signature matches, the county elections official checks the voter registration database to verify whether the voter is properly registered to vote. Once the signature on the envelope has been verified and the voter’s registration is confirmed, the ballot is separated from the envelope and counted as a regular ballot.
Only the votes for contests for which the voter is eligible to vote are counted. If the voter’s registration cannot be confirmed, the ballot is not counted, and the reason for not counting the ballot is recorded; however, beginning in 2019, by virtue of completing a provisional ballot envelope, voters may be registered for future elections. (Elec. Code, § 2160.)
Similar to HAVA, California law also requires the establishment of a Free Access System so the voter can find out if his or her provisional ballot has been counted. (Elec. Code, § 14310(d).) Information about how to access each county’s Free Access System can be found on the Secretary of State’s website at: www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-status