Archive for the ‘Cybersecurity’ Category

News coverage on HAVA complaint: Linn County Auditor v Iowa Secretary of State

January 17, 2020

A hearing on the motion to dismiss my HAVA complaint began at 10am this morning (1/17/2020). On a 2-1 vote, the Iowa Voter Registration Commission (the Presiding Officer) dismissed my complaint, ignoring Federal law, which required a hearing.

Unfortunately, this decision by the Presiding Officer set a precedent that any complaint filed against the Iowa Secretary of State can be dismissed without a hearing on the complaint.

“If you see something, say something.” I did that and never got my “day in court.” We all lost something today.

Here are the online news stories thus far:

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/investigations/2020/01/17/iowa-linn-county-auditor-complaint-voter-registration-vulnerable-dismissed/2774034001/

https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/government/joel-miller-voters-commission-shoots-down-linn-county-auditors-complaint-over-election-security-20200117

Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

The saga of my HAVA … complaint

January 16, 2020

If you want to listen-in on the motion to dismiss hearing on my HAVA complaint on the Iowa Secretary of State, please dial-in the conference call number below before 10am on Friday, 1/17/2020.

Sound quality and phone line availability are not guaranteed, but it is a public hearing and ALL ARE WELCOME TO LISTEN, but not speak (there is no public comment period on the agenda).   Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

From: Widen, Molly [SOS] [Molly.Hammer@sos.iowa.gov]
Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2020 3:06 PM
Subject: Conference Call Information

Good Afternoon,

Please use the following information to call in to tomorrow’s meeting. I will stand the line up a few minutes before 10:00 AM.

Conference Call Number: 866-685-1580

Conference Code: 0009990334

Sincerely,

Molly M. Widen – Legal Counsel – Office of Iowa Secretary of State Paul D. Pate

HAVA hearing rescheduled

December 20, 2019

The hearing on the Iowa Secretary of State’s motion to dismiss my HAVA complaint has been rescheduled for 1pm on December 30th in the Iowa Secretary of State’s Lucas Building Office in Des Moines. For details on the complaint – see https://lcauditor.wordpress.com/?s=hava

Until then,

Happy Holidays!

Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

From: Widen, Molly [SOS] <Molly.Hammer>
Sent: Friday, December 20, 2019 9:49 AM
Subject: VRC Hearing

Good Morning:

This email is being sent out on behalf of the Voter Registration Commission. Any questions about the content of this email, or the hearing generally, should be directed to Commissioner Charlie Smithson. Therefore, DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL.

The Voter Registration Commission has rescheduled their hearing for Monday, December 30th at 1:00 p.m. The hearing will take place in the Secretary of State’s Lucas Building Office, in the Large Conference Room.

Sincerely,

Molly M. Widen
Legal Counsel
Office of Iowa Secretary of State Paul D. Pate
Office: (515) 281-5864

Mobile: (515) 210-4634

Email: molly.widen
SERVICE · PARTICIPATION · INTEGRITY

sos.iowa.gov

Iowa Secretary of State not transparent

December 17, 2019

On 12/13/2019, I filed a complaint on the Office of the Iowa Secretary of State for failure to comply with Chapter 22 of the Code of Iowa.  The hearing officer in Case #19FC:0144 will be the Iowa Public Information Board.

Unfortunately, my track record with the SoS is poor.  On 7/1/2019, I mailed them a public records request for information regarding IVoters development from January 2018 to the present.  They allegedly complied with my request by sending me one December 2017 email and classified everything else as confidential.

The SoS did not even bother to acknowledge or respond to the five public records requests in my complaint.  That is brazen of them.  If they are not complying with public records requests from other elected officials, how are they treating John Q. Public?  – Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

HAVA complaints, every commissioner’s duty

December 9, 2019

Some people may think I filed a HAVA complaint on the Iowa Secretary of State (SoS) for partisan reasons.  Some may think I am just seeking publicity.  You will think what you want, but I will tell you that I have a duty.

I have a duty under Iowa Administrative Code (IAC) Chapter 721-29 to report possible cybersecurity incidents I have identified, which could potentially jeopardize “the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of an information system (e.g., IVoters) or the information (e.g., your voter registration records) the system processes, stores, or transmits ….”  In Iowa, the IAC carries the same force of law as statutes.

The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 is Federal law and says a complaint can be filed for a violation that has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur in connection with a federal election (e.g., the upcoming 2020 primary and general elections).

Federal law says that any person can file a HAVA complaint.  The State of Iowa says county commissioners have a duty to report anything that could jeopardize IVoters.  It is as simple as that, except I want the items I have identified in my HAVA complaint addressed/fixed before the June 2020 primary election.  And you should, too.  Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor (LCA)

Latest legal filings re HAVA complaint:

Final Motion to Dismiss by SoS; and

Final Reply to the Motion to Dismiss by LCA.

News coverage of HAVA complaint

December 5, 2019
In anticipation of the Iowa Voter Registration Commission holding a hearing to determine whether to dismiss or proceed on my HAVA complaint – see previous posts – I compiled a listing of the news coverage on this topic. 
PLEASE NOTE:  At 3:15pm on 12/5/2019, I received an email indicating a family member of one of the commissioners passed away this afternoon; therefore, the hearing will likely be postponed to a later date in December.
Please contact me if you have any questions.  Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor & Commissioner of Elections
Des Moines Register – 11/24/2019 – Iowa’s 2012 election problem a window into ongoing voter dysfunction, county auditor contends
The Gazette – 10/30/2019 – State hearing set for Linn County auditor’s complaint
KFI AM 640 – 10/23/2019 – Is Iowa’s aging “I-Voter” system vulnerable against 2020 attacks?
KCRG – 10/22/2019 – Preventing election attacks paramount for state in 2020, but some want better assurance of security
Government Technology – 10/22/2019 – Linn County Auditor Raises Concern About State Voter System
The Gazette – 8/22/2019 – Linn County Auditor Joel Miller concerned about security of voter registration database
The Advocate – 8/12/2019 – At Def Con, hackers and lawmakers came together to tackle holes in election security
Des Moines Register – 8/12/2019 – Iowa election system prone to hacks, Iowa auditor alleges in complaint. Secretary of State’s office calls complaints ‘ignorant.’
The Gazette – 8/3/2019 – Miller: Saying I-Voters is secure is not enough
The Gazette – 7/29/2019 – Pate: Iowa offers a model for election security
KGAN TV – 7/22/2019 –  Linn County auditor considers legal action against state over voter security
Siouxland News – 7/21/2019 – Iowa will keep voter registration system for 2020 elections
Associated Press – 7/19/2019 – Iowa will keep voter registration system for 2020 elections

 

Answer to motion to dismiss HAVA complaint

November 27, 2019

Today (11/27/2019), I filed my answers to the arguments made by the Iowa Secretary of State (SoS) in his motion to dismiss my HAVA complaint.  As the banner on my home page indicates, I wear many hats.  I am the author of the answers, but I am not a lawyer.  My brief is functional, but it is not lawyerly.  It is 128 pages long and includes 18 exhibits.

To save you from having to scroll through 128 pages, I embedded the links to my online sources into the exhibit numbers.  If you want to see an exhibit that does not have a link, please reach out to me via the contact form.

Next steps.  The SoS has until 12/5/2019 to respond to these answers and the resistance I filed on 11/26/2019.  Unless the SoS and I decide to settle before 12/9/2019, the Voter Registration Commission, in its role as the Presiding Officer, will hold a hearing at 10am on 12/9/2019 in the SoS conference room on the 1st Floor of the Lucas State Office Building on the Capitol Complex.  The hearing will be open to the public.

In the meantime, feel free to use the contact form to reach me.  Happy Thanksgiving!  Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

 

Resistance to motion to dismiss HAVA complaint

November 26, 2019

On 8/12/2019, I filed a HAVA complaint on the Iowa Secretary of State.

Today, 11/26/2019, I filed part one of my Resistance to the Secretary of State’s Motion to Dismiss my HAVA complaint.

Tomorrow, 11/27/2019, I will file part two of my resistance, i.e., an additional complementary, stand-alone document containing detailed answers to the Arguments in the Motion to Dismiss.

If you are a legal geek, you may find today’s filing interesting.  If you are an elections or cybersecurity geek, then save your reading for tomorrow.  Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

Secretary Pate files motion to dismiss HAVA complaint

November 13, 2019

As expected, the assistant attorney general representing the Office of Iowa Secretary of State Paul D. Pate filed a motion to dismiss my HAVA complaint. Assuming my complaint is not resolved in the next few days, I will be filing a response to the motion to dismiss, which I will post on this blog. Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor & Commissioner of Elections

 

VRC to discuss how-to-proceed on HAVA complaint

October 25, 2019

The Iowa Voter Registration Commission (VRC) will take up my HAVA complaint at its 10am meeting next Wednesday. Details of the meeting are at VR Agenda 10-30-2019.pdf

Here are some events that have occurred since I filed the HAVA complaint on 7/17/2019:

7/19/2019 – Iowa Secretary of State’s Office (SoS) confirms to Associated Press that Iowa’s 14-year-old voter registration system (IVoters) will not be upgraded prior to the 2020 Presidential Election.

7/20/2019 – Published “HAVA complaint filed on Iowa Secretary of State” on this blog.

7/22/2019 – SoS responds to Linn County Auditor’s (LCA) public records request (PRR) seeking correspondence on IVoters development from 1/1/2018 to the present by providing one email from 12/26/2017, and nothing for all of 2018 or 2019. SoS indicates all other records are considered confidential (secret) under Iowa law.

7/22/2019 – Published “Feds trust Pate. Why doesn’t he trust us?” on this blog.

7/26/2019 – LCA requests Auditor of State (AoS) investigate SoS’s usage of $1.05M in FY2019 State funds and $4.8M in Federal funds to determine if the funds have been spent on IVoters upgrades, enhancements, replacement, or security; and to determine how those expenditures benefitted taxpayers.

7/31/2019 – Published “I-Voters: Anyone looking for APTs?” on this blog.

8/1/2019 – Emailed SoS asking for the names of the county auditors assigned to the Cybersecurity Working Group touted by Secretary Pate in a 5/4/2018 press release. To date, no response from the SoS.

8/5/2019 – Published “Saying I-Voters is secure isn’t enough” on this blog.

8/9-11/2019 – LCA and Johnson County Auditor attend DEFCON Hacking Conference in Las Vegas. While there, both host a discussion group on Iowa’s voting system with ethical hackers.

8/12/2019 – Des Moines Register publishes story on my HAVA complaint and my concern that IVoters is vulnerable to hackers. SoS calls me “willfully ignorant”.

8/19/2019 – Director of Elections for SoS “accepts” HAVA complaint and notifies VRC (the presiding officer) of the Administrative Rules requirement that a schedule be established to resolve the complaint.

8/23/2019 – Secretary Pate and others attend a statewide county auditors conference in Des Moines. Pate says he came up with the $7M proposal to replace IVoters by “calling around to other states” to see what they spent to replace their voter registration systems. SoS confirms IVoters will not be upgraded prior to 2020 Presidential Election, and further indicates that no RFI (requests for information) or RFP (requests for proposals) have been issued to replace IVoters.

10/3/2019 – LCA sends PRR to SoS requesting a copy of all contracts related to IVoters since its inception through 12/31/2020.

10/18/2019 – Published “Where are your voter records stored?” on this blog.

10/22/2019 – Assistant Attorney General representing SoS indicates SoS is working on my 10/3 PRR, and they may require longer than 20 days to complete it.

10/22/2019 – Published “Iowa’s voter registration system not designed for today’s technological challenges” on this blog.

10/23/2019 – LCA sends PRR to VRC requesting documents related to IVoters status, updates, and revamp; and provides samples of VRC records containing those items.

10/24/2019 – LCA sends request for information to AoS to answer the question: How can a vendor perform work for the SoS and store voter registration records without being paid by the State?

10/30/2019 – VRC holds meeting on HAVA complaint and other topics.

By Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor & Commissioner of Elections

 


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