A federally appointed election advisor filed suit on Tuesday alleging that the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) held secret meetings with vendors of voting machines, revising the security standards of the election process.
The complaint was filed by Free Speech For People as well as EAC advisor Philip Stark in the D.C. District Court. The suit alleges that the EAC had secret meetings between July and August of 2020 with manufacturers of voting systems, discussing a revision of election security standards. On February 1, 2021, the EAC published the revisions. The steps taken allegedly benefitted voting system manufacturers by reducing compliance costs and was done in a way which skirted “the proper notice and comment procedure” that is lawfully required.
The standards which were revealed in February, titled the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines, fails to include language which bans devices that can connect the voting machines to the internet wirelessly, instead it simply requires that such devices be disabled.
The complaint argues that the half-measure is insufficient, citing that “reliably, consistently… effectively disabling… is complex and difficult.”
The claims that the guidelines still prohibit machines from internet connection.
The prosecuting group claims that the “back-door meetings” permitted “secretly developed revisions” to be made to the machines in favor of the machine’s manufacturers.
The complaint also claims that the EAC has not allowed the prosecuting group to participate in such discussions, and refused to hand over information about the meetings.
Free Speech For People is an advocate non-profit group that seeks to improve election fairness and security, opposing political corruption and the presence of “big money” within politics, according to the group’s website.
Senior advisor for Free Speech For People, Susan Greenhalgh, explains that guidelines for voting systems must “be developed [with] a completely transparent… public process” according to law. She added that the EAC “flouted its legal obligation” by holding “private meetings” which she claims compromised “basic cyber security” in exchange for cost and convenience on the part of manufacturers.
The EAC’s responsibility is to develop security standards for national elections, as well as certify voting machines and create guidance that brings voting systems into line with the 2002 Help America Vote Act.
BREAKING NEWS: @FSFP & @philipbstark have sued @EACgov for unlawfully weakening proposed federal voting system guidelines after repeatedly meeting privately and improperly w/the voting system vendors. https://t.co/qxSjAEsDTw
— Susan Greenhalgh (@SEGreenhalgh) July 13, 2021
Author: Cedric Reeves
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