LPNC to Conduct Independent Election System Source Code Review


RALEIGH (Dec. 28) – The Libertarian Party will conduct the first-ever independent review of the state’s election system software. State Chair Joseph Garcia invoked his authority under state law in a Dec. 21 letter to the State Board of Elections requesting to review and examine all source code for an electronic voting system made by vendor Election Systems & Software.

ES&S has systems in use in 93 North Carolina counties.

“This is not about litigating the 2020 election,” Garcia emphasized. “It’s about election system security. Cybersecurity experts worldwide have warned of the vulnerabilities and inconsistencies of electronic voting machines. Voter confidence in those systems has been steadily eroding. These systems must be evaluated independently and tested regularly,” he said.

Garcia appointed Dr. Duncan Buell, recently retired from the University of South Carolina Department of Computer Science and Engineering, as project lead for the code review team. Dr. Buell is also a former election official for Richland County, S.C.

“Software is hard to get right. Programmers often get too focused on the details of what they are doing,” Dr. Buell noted. “One way to ensure that things have not been overlooked is to have a source code review by other experts to ensure that the code does exactly — and only — what it is supposed to do.”

As chair of a recognized political party, Garcia is one of a handful of key stakeholders with the authority to conduct an independent security review and source code examination of the state's electronic voting systems. ( N.C.G.S.163-165.7(f)(9)). Under the law, he can also review the state’s evaluation reports of electronic voting systems currently under consideration for certification.

“Moving forward, we need elections that are transparent, trackable, robustly audited, and publicly verified,” said Lynn Berstein, founder of Transparent Elections NC, who is supporting the LPNC’s effort. “That begins with an independent security and source code review of the proprietary software counting our votes.”

Garcia understands the value of these independent reviews. He served as a New York City Police Department and detective for 20 years. His last seven years were in the computer crime squad, where he investigated computer-related crimes and conducted digital forensic investigations.

As a digital forensic examiner, Garcia was responsible for recovering, analyzing, and reporting digital evidence related to criminal investigations.

In 2019, NCSBE Executive Director Karen Brinson-Bell, administratively approved the ES&S voting system, circumventing the stringent security and source code reviews required by law.

The secretary of the state elections board, Dr. Stella Anderson, objected to the approval because of a letter she had received from Kevin Skoglund, chief technologist at Citizens for Better Elections, strongly advising against foregoing the N.C. Elections Systems Certification Program.

“The changes introduced by EVS substantially alter the voting system,” Skoglund said in the letter. “The changes are not merely enhancements. They are major modifications. It is my opinion that it should be subject to full examination and testing and to review and approval by the State Board prior to use in North Carolina.”

Despite several experts’ warnings, the state elections board did not conduct an independent security and source code review.

Showing 3 reactions

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  • Joseph Garcia
    commented 2021-12-27 08:41:40 -0500
    Mr. Thomas,

    The 2005 NC Public Confidence in Election Act (SL 2005-323) added security and source code review requirements. Legislators wanted North Carolinians to have confidence in our elections, and they decided to give key stakeholders the authority to designate independent experts to review the security reports that the state conducted. It also allows the party Chairs to designate experts to perform a source code review on systems that are certified and in use in NC.

    So, I as Chair of one of the recognized political parties in NC, have requested to review the source code as authorized by NC law (See: NC GS163-165.7(f)(9)).
  • Mark Thomas
    commented 2021-12-23 20:01:06 -0500
    I am from NC, so, I want to believe this is good news.. BUT,,, Who the Hell is this guy, and why all of a sudden can he get access to the Source code, when Everyone in the Country has been trying to get ahold of it,, and they are EVEN Refusing Court Orders in at least 2 States to get access to them.. Never would give the passwords to AZ.. So,, how is this guy just happening to get Free Access to the Source Code??? Much less the Actual Election Data..
    I think he needs some help from Independent Contractors.. So many of them, that they Can’t Possibly pay them all off, or, Kill them all.. Let Mike Lindell give the Source Code to his hackers.. And make sure that CodeMonkeyZ gets involved.. And, send a copy to Edward Snowden and Julian Assange.. Because, unless they find some serious problems that would allow the vote to be manipulated,, NO ONE who knows what is going on is going to believe this crap..
    Sorry, but, this SMELLS LIKE BULLSHIT!!!
  • Jonathan Hopper
    published this page in News 2021-12-21 14:13:37 -0500
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