Modems in Tabulators? Part 1

Modems in Tabulators? Part 1
Modem found in trellis of a DS200 during investigation in Antrim County, Michigan

ES&S EVS and certificates compared with SLI Compliance and Pro V&V test lab test plans

While many have rightly shifted their focus to the electronic pollpads and their software, which could function for bad actors as the eyes, ears, and even the sleight of hand in an ongoing election, it's worth considering a bit of the history of perhaps why the potential for cheating has migrated there.

In Part 1 of Modems in Tabulators?, we'll look at the certificates for the DS200 tabulators, used in most of Minnesota's 87 counties.

While the electronic pollpads are not certified by the EAC, the tabulators are. But what is this certificate worth?

To begin with, may I ask: Why do the DS200s, a Digital Scan tabulator from ES&S, known to some as the Deep State 200s, have modem capability and modems installed, starting at least by the 2020 election, if not prior?

I first started wondering about this when Rick Weible pointed out to me in early 2022 the odd phrasing on the EAC certificates, highlighted in the image from page 1 of the 2018 certificate below:

NOT an endorsement? NO warranty expressed or implied?
"This certificate is not an endorsement of the product by any agency of the U.S. Government and no warranty of the product is either expressed or implied."

What is this certificate for?

On the surface, it is to certify, from the perspective of the EAC, that its chosen voting system test lab, SLI Compliance in this case, has run the components of ES&S's products through a test plan, and that the EAC finds them in conformance with the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines 1.0, from 2005.

In other words, that the hardware, software, and firmware comprising equipment such as the tabulators or the laptops which house the Electionware software, are up to snuff.

Why then, on the cover page of this certificate, state clearly there is not only no endorsement but no warranty expressed or implied?

Things get worse, and a bit more humorous, when we dive deeper.

Have a look a page 4 of the certificate

Versions 1.2.1 and 1.2.3 both include modems.

Both versions 1.2.1 and 1.2.3 include cellular modems.

Cellular modems, based on how they function, are indeed connected to the public internet.

Why have modems in tabulators? The benefit is saving a few minutes or possibly up to an hour in transporting the election results from precincts to county offices. The risk is remote access.

To close out Part 1, let's take a quick look at the test plan from SLI Compliance.

Have a look at page 36.

DS200 1.2 and 1.3, but what is missing? (1.2.1 and 1.2.3)

Does this mean that the test plan from SLI Compliance, which the EAC based its certification on, did not even test the DS200 1.2.1 and 1.2.3, which were modem-capable and equipped?

Having discussed this, we are one step closer to understanding why the EAC certificate calls attention to its non-endorsement and lack of warranty expressed or implied.

Stay tuned for Part 2.