No access to code in eVoting case

Summary:A district court of appeals has upheld a lower court ruling that denied access to the source code of he iVotronic touch-screen systems made by Elections Systems & Software in a contested election for a Florida U.S.

A district court of appeals has upheld a lower court ruling that denied access to the source code of he iVotronic touch-screen systems made by Elections Systems & Software in a contested election for a Florida U.S. House seat.

Christine Jennings, who lost the race by 369 votes claims that the iVotronic machines caused nearly 18,000 votes to go uncounted. She'd asked that the machines source code be made available for examination to determine whether a technical malfunction had caused the undervote.

The ruling of the lower court was that Jennings wanted access to ES&S trade secrets "based on nothing more than speculation and conjecture" and that allowing access to the source code "would result in destroying or at least gutting the protections afforded those who own trade secrets."

It's unclear how a third party examination would, on the face of it, cause those trade secrets to be lost. The appeals court merely ruled that the plaintiffs had not met the "extraordinary burden" of showing that the lower court had "departed from the essential requirements of law."

A three-member task force appointed by the U.S. House Committee on Administration is continuing to look into the undervote and what might have caused it. Since the disputed election, Florida has banned touch screen voting machines.

Topics: Hardware

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