The U. S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) censured the nation’s largest voting machine manufacturer Election Systems & Software (ES&S) for falsely advertising its voting machines with wireless modems as federally certified by the EAC. None of the ES&S systems with wireless modems have passed federal certification.
The issue was brought to the attention of the EAC in January in a letter from Free Speech For People and the National Election Defense Coalition which detailed evidence indicating ES&S was deceptively marketing its voting machines that include wireless modems as federally certified by the EAC.
ES&S has sold its voting machines with wireless modems to States across the country including Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin. The wireless modems are used to transmit unofficial election results from the polling places to the county headquarters via the Internet, exposing the voting devices to remote attackers anywhere in the world. ES&S has also frequently and inaccurately claimed that its machines are never connected to the internet.
“We’re very pleased the EAC took action to rebuke ES&S for its false claims, but this is just a part of a larger pattern of duplicity from the voting system vendors that operate with little to no oversight and without meaningful regulation,” said Susan Greenhalgh, Senior Advisor on Election Security for Free Speech For People. “Our election infrastructure is still under attack by adversaries of democracy. As this is a national security issue, there is an urgent need for Congress and State election administrators to scrutinize these vendors and exercise oversight of the industry.”
The EAC recently took the unusual step to publish a press release explicitly stating that two online voting systems were not EAC certified after the vendors had made similarly false claims.
The EAC letter directs ES&S to recall all misleading marketing materials in circulation and contact its customers to inform them that systems with modems are non-EAC certified.
“Failure to comply will result in the EAC publicly announcing that the voting system no longer complies with its original certification, and could include initiating decertification actions and/or suspension of manufacturer registration,” wrote Jerome Lovato, director of the EAC’s testing and certification program.
Read the EAC’s letter in response to the call for this investigation here.