Sequoia Voting Systems has become entangled in several incredibly serious election integrity & fraud scandals in the last decade alone. The Corporation’s executives knew about some of these issues beforehand and chose to not address them – implicating Sequoia in not just negligence but also corruption and deliberate subversion of the integrity of the voting process.

     In 2007, a CBS investigative report by Dan Rather further revealed that more than 50,000 votes in the 2000 Presidential Election in Florida had not been counted because of problems with the voting punch-cards – and the managers of Sequoia Voting Systems knew about the problem and deliberately chose to do nothing about it.[2]

     Also in 2007, a “review of the voting machines certified for use in California” found “significant security weaknesses throughout the Sequoia system” and “pervasive structural weaknesses” which raise “serious questions as to whether the Sequoia software can be relied upon to protect the integrity of elections.”[1] This report was prepared at UC Berkeley under contract to the California Secretary of State, by a team of eight researchers affiliated with UPenn, UC Davis, and UC Berkeley.


     How did Sequoia respond to this report, published by the highest-ranked public university in the world, finding that there were significant & pervasive structural weaknesses in their voting systems? In 2008, New Jersey election officials announced that they planned to send one or more Sequoia voting machines to Professors Edward Felten and Andrew Appel of Princeton University for analysis – computer scientists interested in security issues, especially in regard to electronic voting systems. Sequoia responded to this move by sending an e-mail to Professor Felten asserting that allowing him to examine Sequoia voting machines would violate the license agreement between Sequoia and the county which bought them, and also that Sequoia would take legal action “to stop… non-compliant analysis… publication of Sequoia software… or any other infringement of our intellectual property.”[3]

     Another study carried out by the Vulnerability Assessment Team at the Argonne National Laboratory in 2012 confirmed that this was still an issue; they were able to hack the Sequoia Voting Machine in just a few hours, and noted that while it would be possible for outsiders to carry out such a hack, it would be incredibly easy for insiders. Their report noted not just that the machines were hackable but that they were so easy to hack that someone with practice could carry out such a hack in 15-60 seconds.[4]

     In short, there is not simply a “security problem” with Sequoia’s voting machines, the problem is that these machines have virtually no security at all to prevent insiders from hacking them in less than a minute and subsequently rigging an election. And that’s not even the full extent of the issue – Sequoia has repeatedly shown that it is unwilling to address election fraud & security issues and has knowingly allowed them to take place. Our campaign demands better from the machines, corporations, and people which are supposed to safeguard the democratic process.

[1] Matt Blaze, Arel Cordero, Sophie Engle, Chris Karlof, Naveen Sastry, Micah Sherr, Till Stegers, Ka-Ping Yee, “Source Code Review of the Sequoia Voting System”

[2] [http://www.votetrustusa.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2560&Itemid=51]

[3] Ed Felten, 3/17/2008, [https://freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/felten/interesting-email-sequoia/]

[4] [popsci.com/gadgets/article/2012-11/how-i-hacked-electronic-voting-machine]

Sequoia Voting Systems

BERKELEY CAMPAIGN CENTER