As reported on NBC, Free Speech For People and National Election Defense Coalition urge U.S. Election Assistance Commission to investigate voting machine manufacturer ES&S for falsely advertising the security certification of its voting machines with wireless modems

Two leading national advocacy groups are calling on the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to investigate ES&S, one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of electronic voting machines, for falsely advertising that a key component of its voting system has passed federal certification.

Free Speech For People and the National Election Defense Coalition charge that ES&S is claiming its DS200 ballot scanners with wireless modems are federally certified when they are not. The groups argue that, until ES&S successfully submits the scanner plus modem configuration for federal inspection and approval, its marketing must not depict the uncertified machines with modems as having received federal certification.

“ES&S routinely advertises the DS200 with modem configuration as an upgrade to the DS200, without disclosing the fact that the modem-configured DS200 is not federally certified,” said Courtney Hostetler, Counsel at Free Speech For People. “Although it initially submitted the DS200 with modem for certification, it later withdrew the machine from its proposed system before testing could be done, leaving the rest of its voting system to be tested and certified with only the modem-less DS200.”

Based on EAC guidelines, vendors may not advertise a system as meeting EAC guidelines unless all components of the system have met that standard. If any one component has been certified to a lesser EAC standard, then the vendor may only attach the lesser EAC standard

certification seal to the entire system. Due to the complex nature of voting machines and software, an error in any one component can jeopardize the integrity of the entire system and therefore the election itself.

“The EAC is very clear that vendors must not misuse the EAC’s certification credentials or misrepresent uncertified voting systems as federally certified.” said Susan Greenhalgh, Vice-President for Policy and Programs at the National Election Defense Coalition. “The EAC needs to promptly conduct a thorough investigation into these concerns and take corrective action.”

The EAC is a bipartisan commission that tests voting systems and certifies they meet federal security guidelines. While receiving EAC certification is not a legal requirement for voting machine manufacturers, many states’ statutes require their voting systems pass federal certification.

Read the letter to the EAC.