During a March 10th hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on the controversial election bill titled SB 180, Representative Greg Nibert asked the Secretary of State directly, “Is the election system connected to the internet?”
“No,” responded the SOS.
This representation by the SOS to the legislature is patently false. The truth is that the SOS has gone to great lengths and spent almost $3 million of taxpayer money to get almost the entire election system centralized under her control and exposed to the internet. The clerks and SOS are also working with Dominion Voting Systems to destroy all original electronic election data.
Previously, we established that the post-election canvass reports in all 33 New Mexico Counties are being illegally prepared. Complete election records are being uploaded to an uncertified, centralized software under the control of the SOS called SERVIS, which is then used to create the official election results. Use of any uncertified software for this part of the election process is a violation of federal and state law. And according to state law, the SOS is not to have access to the complete election record from any county until the election has been certified.
But the story gets much, much worse: When the illegal canvass process is complete the SOS is having counties download election data from internet-connected SERVIS onto their “secure” election computers, and then Dominion comes in and wipes out the original election data. This is a blatant violation of state and federal law that require all election records to be kept for 22 months after any election with a federal candidate on the ballot.
Further, if SB 180 becomes law, all paper election records will be hidden from the public, leaving no way for the people of New Mexico to verify anything about their own elections. We will just have to take the word of a corrupt SOS that the election turned out the way she told us, no matter how at odds the results were with pre-election polling data.
THE ORIGINS OF “SERVIS”
To understand how almost our entire election system was put on the internet, we need to understand the timeline, source, and questionable events surrounding the creation of SERVIS.
For some important background: the 24th Secretary of State was a Republican named Diana Duran. Duran was elected as SOS in 2010 and reelected in 2014. In 2012, Duran attempted to do a statewide cleaning of the voter rolls, which she abandoned after being roundly criticized by Democrats.
Duran’s top priority as SOS was to get a voter ID law passed in New Mexico. In 2015, a voter ID bill easily passed the Republican-controlled house, but died in the Democrat-controlled senate.
In May 2015, Duran entered a sole-source $60,000, one-year contract with a South Dakota company called BPro, Inc. The contract states that BPro was “gifting” their software platform called TotalVote valued at $1,000,000 to New Mexico. The contract was to create a custom software interface called IRIS (Integrated Reporting and Integrity System) to “integrate with an election night reporting system and canvassing system, so that vote totals can be obtained for each precinct from each voting system tabulator within a voting convenience center.” It was provided for “ease of use by county clerks and designated election officials.”
In other words, BPro “gifted” their TotalVote software to New Mexico, in exchange for a series of what would turn out to be very lucrative, sole-source contracts to develop a customized interface between the SOS, clerks, and TotalVote that they called “IRIS.” IRIS was renamed “SERVIS” (Statewide Elections, Registration and Voting Integrity System) in 2017.
At the time Duran signed the original contract, vote tabulation was provided by ES&S, and ballot printing was provided by AES, Robis, ABS, and Runbeck. AES and Robis are still providing ballot printing services to New Mexico, but ballot tabulation has since been turned over to Dominion Voting Systems.
According to the BPro website, TotalVote is a “centralized voter registration and election management system that securely captures and manages voter, candidate, and all election information. It is the only software system that encompasses the entire election process into one system.” (emphasis added). TotalVote has no Election Assistance Commission (EAC) certifications whatsoever. Meaning it does not comply with the Help America Vote Act and it has never been tested by any accredited third-party. However, as previously established, it is certainly touching parts of the election that require certification.
Shortly after signing the contract with BPro, Duran was charged by the Attorney General, Hector Balderas, for crimes involving the use of campaign funds for gambling. In October of 2015, Duran entered a plea deal and resigned from office.
Mary Quintana was Acting SOS for about two months before Brad Winter was appointed by Governor Susana Martinez on December 18, 2015. Winter served as SOS until a special election held in November 2016 resulted in Maggie Toulouse-Oliver’s election.
Immediately after the ouster of Diana Duran, Mary Quintana, renegotiated and extended the contract with BPro according to documents signed by Quintana on December 2, 2015. The contract value was tripled, and the scope of work was expanded to include multiple additional items that were not in the original contract signed by Duran.
THE ALL-INCLUSIVE SCOPE AND QUESTIONABLE PARTICIPANTS OF THE SERVIS PROJECT
The goals of the new contract included integration of the BPro TotalVote software into New Mexico’s voter registration management, election management, election night reporting, and general public portal access. Some of the individual objectives in the expanded scope of work raise questions as to the intent of the Acting SOS. Here is an example:
Automate Voter Registration Records via Public Portal, County Portal and direct integration with Motor Vehicle. Develop data exchange and integration with the…Department of Motor Vehicles, Voter Registration Agents, the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), the Voting Information Project (VIP).
“Voter Registration Agents” are typically partisan people employed by various non-government operations who go door to door and ask people to register to vote. It is unclear from the scope of work exactly how much access to the state’s databases these agents have been given, but it is in the same list with the Department of Motor Vehicles, which has full write-access to the election database.
The same concerns exist with ERIC and VIP, which are both private, leftist organizations. ERIC charges states to give them their data on their populations in exchange for “cleaning voter rolls” and identifying eligible, but unregistered people. At its peak, more than 30 states were members of ERIC, but states have recently been jumping ship as election officials fear that their data is being misused, and voter rolls are not getting “cleaner” in any state that is a member of ERIC. In recent months, Louisiana, Alabama, Missouri, Florida, and West Virginia have left ERIC. Texas has signaled it will shortly be leaving the failed program as well.
It was recently reported that ERIC’s offices are nonexistent by the Alabama SOS, Wes Allen, who attempted to visit the office:
“I was in D.C. for a meeting of the National Association of Secretaries of States and, since I was in town, I went to see the ERIC Headquarters,” Allen said. “What I found was that there was no ERIC headquarters at that address. There were no employees. There were no servers. There was no ERIC presence of any kind.
“A lot of personal data and taxpayer money has been transferred to ERIC. Where is that data? Where are the employees? Where are the offices? Where are the computers?”
AN EXPENSIVE GIFT
To date, New Mexico, has paid BPro a total of $2,722,939 for the development and upkeep of SERVIS necessary to utilize their “gift” of TotalVote.
From reviewing the contracts, it appears that SERVIS took several years to fully develop. The online voter registration was launched in 2016, but the integration with the Motor Vehicle Department wasn’t functional until 2018. It is unclear when SERVIS began handling the entire post-election canvassing process.
In 2017, Toulouse-Oliver hired yet another contractor, an IT services company called CSW, to facilitate “the…testing and implementation” of SERVIS software. CSW was paid $60,000 for these services over one year. It is assumed that BPro was unable to provide sufficient IT support, and local help was needed. Internal emails also reveal that notoriously corrupt Senator Daniel-Ivey Soto also aids county clerks in their use of SERVIS.
The contract history with BPro shows that presidential election years were the most lucrative for them. BPro received a contract valued at $713,025 in 2016, and two contracts with a combined total of $845,881 in 2020. In 2020, Toulouse-Oliver expanded BPro’s scope of work to include geolocation of registered voters. There is no obvious reason from the contracts why presidential election years happen to be windfall years for BPro.
SERVIS/TOTALVOTE EXPOSES THE ENTIRE ELECTION TO THE INTERNET AND HAS WRITE ACCESS TO COUNTY SERVERS
The previous article established that all 33 county clerks are uploading all their election data to SERVIS. Internal training documents indicate that limited election night data is uploaded on Election Day, but all of the election data from the electronic tabulators is uploaded the day after the election. Then SERVIS is used to create the canvass documents against federal law, and the SOS is given full access to the entire state’s data before any county has certified, against state law.
Further, state and federal law requires that only aggregated data—and not data from individual ballots—be used for election night reporting that appears on the SOS’s website. Also, there can be no access path from the election night reporting to any storage device used for official data. We know that the complete election reports are uploaded to SERVIS the day after the election. We also know that frequently races are not called on election night, but sometimes a day or two later. The SOS can’t honestly maintain she is keeping these data sets separate, when they are being uploaded to the same program before all races are called.
Excerpt from Voluntary Voting System Guidelines which are incorporated into state and federal law
The most disturbing discovery by far was this slide, titled “Protecting the Dominion Server Air Gap,” from internal training documents. It shows the clerks how they are to transfer their data from their Dominion Server to the SERVIS system and back again:
Slide from SOS’s internal training document teaching clerks how to use SERVIS during an election
As the figure shows, USB memory sticks in “read-only” mode are being used to move data from the Dominion server, which houses the official digital election results for each county, to the internet-connected “SERVIS” computer. As soon as the results are uploaded into SERVIS the day after the election, the entire statewide results are accessible by multiple parties and could be manipulated and changed. The instruction for downloading data from the “SERVIS Computer” back to the “Dominion Server” is to use USB memory sticks in “read-write” mode. This instruction is mind-blowing, and literally the opposite of “protecting the air gap.” What data does the SOS need to transfer to the counties since she is not supposed to have any part in finalizing a county’s election? We asked local information technologies professional, Destry Hunt, his opinion of this slide. Mr. Hunt has experience in business intelligence analysis, website development, and coding. He stated:
The USB procedure is an insult to the intelligence of New Mexicans. No serious IT person will believe the same removable drives can be used securely in that way. Removable drives are so notoriously insecure that they are banned from many government agencies. They can upload or download a lot of information, quickly, and without leaving a trace. You cannot audit the data transfer when the drive is removed.
The obvious vulnerability? If election results needed to be changed by the SOS or anyone with authorized or unauthorized access to SERVIS, they could be. Then those corrupted results could be loaded onto the county’s servers, overwriting the original data and no one would ever know.
DOMINION VOTING SYSTEMS CONTINUES TO DELETE RECORDS, WHY?
If that wasn’t bad enough, we also discovered blatant disregard for the law being carried out by the county clerks in concert with Dominion Voting Systems. The following screen shots are emails from county clerks announcing that Dominion has already erased the 2022 Primary Election off their servers. They are mandated by state and federal law to maintain all election records for 22 months following an election. Daniel Ivey-Soto was aware the clerks and Dominion are erasing data as these conversations took place on his list serve.
Email from Cibola County Clerk announcing Dominion has wiped her serverEmail from Union County Clerk announcing Dominion wiped her server
If Dominion has wiped data in these two counties, it is likely they have done so across the state in blatant violation of state and federal law. This is not the first time Dominion has been caught deleting records – during the Otero County Audit of the 2020 election, national vulnerability expert, Jeff Lenberg, discovered that the 2020 election project had been wiped after the audit had commenced. An emergency County Commission meeting was held on May 9th, 2022 to alert public officials to this fact. The Otero County Sheriff failed to act, and Dominion is still deleting records.
To sum up: it appears that the SERVIS is being used to overwrite counties’ official election data per processes imposed by the SOS, and Dominion Voting Systems is then deleting remaining records on the County’s server, destroying the audit trail.
IS SERVIS COMPROMISED?
The SERVIS program is internet-connected, uncertified, and accessible by all county clerks, the SOS’s office, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and potentially others such as ERIC, VIP, and “registration agents” according to the BPro contracts.
The public, who has paid for its creation, has no way of knowing whether SERVIS can be trusted since it has never been tested to EAC standards, even though it handles parts of the election that are subject to federal oversight.
We do know the SOS lied to a sitting New Mexico representative last week when she stated the election system was not connected to the internet. If we can’t trust her, why should we trust the program BPro built for her?
The data suggests that we should not.
As stated, the Motor Vehicle Department was given full access to SERVIS in early 2018. The Otero County Audit of the 2020 Election cited inexplicable, and unnatural changes that took place in the voter registration data at the beginning of 2018, corresponding with the merger with SERVIS. The report states:
Staff at the Otero County Clerk’s office indicated that they noticed a strong uptick in registrations and changes to registrations when the MVD was given write‐access to the rolls. The canvass performed as part of the audit revealed that there are people who are listed on the rolls who were unaware that they were registered, including a non‐citizen who knew he was not eligible. There is evidence that people are being registered without their knowledge by the MVD, or bad actors have compromised one of the multiple electronic access points to the rolls granted to the MVD in recent years. “Audit of the Otero County November 2020 General Election and Vulnerability Assessment of the Election System Used in New Mexico”, published August 11, 2022.
Figure showing daily registrations in New Mexico over a two-month period, from Audit of the Otero County 2020 General Election
The report went on to describe odd patterns that appeared around the beginning of 2018 in the rolls when considering the number of registrations that were being added or changed in the rolls: “The extremely regular and obvious weekly pattern of the total registration count in the figure is not consistent with random, human behavior. The consistent ratios between the parties is also alarming.”
This unexplained correlation between the parties appears to have arisen only in recent years and now exists at the state, county, and even precinct level. In almost all counties, the majority party out registers the minority party every day, and the DTS voters consistently register in almost equal numbers with the minority party in almost all the counties. “Audit of the Otero County November 2020 General Election and Vulnerability Assessment of the Election System Used in New Mexico“, published August 11, 2022.
The expert audit team overseeing the Otero County Audit concluded that a source of this apparent manipulation may be BPro. With what we now know about BPro and SERVIS, we would tend to agree with the Otero County auditors that the system is compromised and by the design of policies imposed by the SOS.
WAS BPRO A TROJAN HORSE?
The SOS’s custom software SERVIS is being used outside state and federal law meant to protect our elections from bad actors. The SOS’s lie about the election system not being connected to the internet to Representative Nibert during last week’s hearing for one of her election bills suggests that her credibility does not warrant public trust.
Taken together, the facts would suggest that the “gift” of BPro’s TotalVote software could be a Trojan horse that is being used to subvert New Mexico’s elections. And this issue affects more than just New Mexico. The BPro platform is used in at least 15 other states, including Arizona and Nevada – two states that “stopped counting” in the middle of the night and took days to report their election results in 2020, with Arizona repeating the exercise in both the primary and general 2022 elections.
New Mexicans must demand that their election data be held entirely within their counties as the law requires. The SOS cannot touch any of the data until each election has been certified at the county level. And law enforcement must investigate this matter and provide justice for New Mexicans who are being abused by a weaponized, lawless government. If a New Mexico Attorney General prosecuted a former SOS for misusing campaign funds, surely the crimes being committed against our election franchise by the current SOS deserve his attention.
The next article will cover how the federal government and private companies have been given undue access to New Mexico’s election data.
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