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Employee who certified voting machine unqualified

In violation of state law, expert didn't have required education. Machines used in primaries in two counties don't meet standards.
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Written by Richard Koman on

When you're under the gun to get voting machines certified for November's elections, and you think no one's looking, you might just say, 'Sure, it's good.' Essentially, that appears to be what John Gardner - appointed by the Colorado secretary of state to certify the machines - did.

In a deposition for a lawsuit aimed at stopping the use of electronic machines in Colorado's elections, Gardner testified that he has no formal training in computer science or evaluating security of data processing systems, the Denver Post reports.

As a result of his certification, two Colorado counties used machines that didn't meet state standards.

In his deposition, Gardner said he and Dennis decided to certify the ES&S Unity machine even though the audio and video functions for the visually impaired didn't work at the same time, as required by law.

"I made a value judgment on that," Gardner said.

Plaintiff's attorney Paul Hultin of Wheeler Trigg Kennedy then asked, "You were in a big hurry to certify the ES&S Unity system 3.0 because Jefferson County and Mesa County wanted to use it in the primary election?"

"Yes, that's sort of true," Gardner replied.

He also confirmed there were "complications."

"And that's because there were a number of areas where the system did not meet the requirements of the statute. ... Isn't that right?" Hultin asked.

"Yes, that is correct," he said.

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