Florida Department of State
Kurt S. Browning
Secretary of State
For Immediate Release
August 10, 2007
Diebold Corrects Security Flaws; Secretary of State Issues Certification
~Optical Scan and AutoMARK Systems Certified in Florida~
Secretary of State Kurt S. Browning announced today that the Division of Elections has issued certification for the Diebold Accuvote OS and the AutoMARK systems designed to solve the recent potential security compromises found in a review by the Security and Assurance in Information Technology (SAIT) Laboratory at Florida State University. Diebold has committed to assist with statewide installation of the upgraded software. The new certified version will be installed statewide immediately.
"I am glad that we were able to work with Diebold and that they agreed to respond to the SAIT report expeditiously to correct this security issue," said Secretary Browning. "While I do not believe that conditions exist in an election day environment for the machines to be compromised, it is my responsibility to take every possible precaution to ensure that Florida voting equipment is safe and secure. I am confident that this is the case."
As Florida's chief elections official, Secretary Browning is responsible for ensuring that Florida's elections are conducted with the utmost integrity and ensuring that the elections process is secure, reliable and accurate using certified voting systems. Upon learning of about potential security vulnerabilities of the Diebold optical scan system, Secretary Browning was the first Secretary of State in the nation to take the unprecedented step of working with the vendor to allow them to correct the flaw so that the Diebold system could be certified for use in Florida by August 17, 2007.
Based on security discrepancies found and reported in national publications, the Division of Elections contracted with the SAIT Lab to determine the vulnerability of the Diebold optical scan system. The most widely reported issue of making modifications - without being detected - to the memory components of the optical scan systems was fully investigated by the SAIT Lab. Diebold has made the necessary detection modifications in the upgraded version.
The Division of Elections will be issuing a technical advisory early next week outlining additional election and security procedures to mitigate the administrative issues outlined in the report.
The process for certifying voting systems in Florida is among the most stringent in the nation. The Bureau of Voting Systems within the Division of Elections of the Department of State is responsible for certifying voting systems. The procedures involved in certification can be found at http://election.dos.state.fl.us/rules/adopted-rules/pdf/DSDE101Form.pdf. Currently, there are three voting system vendors that hold certifications for use in the state of Florida: Diebold, Sequoia and ES&S.
Additional information including a letter from Secretary Browning to Diebold and the certification certificate is available on the Division of Elections website at http://election.dos.state.fl.us/.