Dear ACT Electoral Commission,

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2016, I apply for access to documents held by the Commission in relation to the design, implementation, and approval of electronic voting for the 2020 legislative assembly election.

The specific documents I request are:

- Documents related to the following determinations:
1. Electoral (Computer Program) Approval 2020 (No 1)
2. Electoral (Computer Program) Approval 2020 (No 2)
3. Electoral (Electronic Devices) Approval 2020
which were relied upon by the commissioner to determine that Computer Programs and Devices used for the 2020 election satisfy section 118A 2(d) of the Electoral Act 1992:
"the program will… not allow a person to find out how a particular elector cast his or her vote".

- Documents (including internal and external correspondence, procedures, software requirements, designs, and code) regarding electronic vote secrecy in the 2020 election, concerning:
1. any decisions or changes to electronic voting made by the commission in response to the vote secrecy issues disclosed by T Wilson-Brown in 2018, or any other voting secrecy issues disclosed to Elections ACT from the 2016 election to the data of this request,
2. the collection, transmission, and storage of detailed timestamps of individual voter roll mark-offs
3. the collection, transmission, and storage of detailed timestamps of each individual vote cast
4. limiting the number of people who have access to the detailed voter and vote data in 2. and 3., limiting the risk of data breaches, and ensurIng that any accesses are discovered and reported (excluding designs and code)
5. the publicly released summary voter frequency data
6. any publicly released detailed vote preference data, including any shuffling or randomisation of that data, and any analysis of data fields which would allow members of the public to restore the original order, or otherwise link this data to individual voters

I ask that the documents be supplied to me in electronic form by reply email to this address.

Disclosure of the information requested is in the public interest due to:

- the general public interest in maintaining election integrity and confidence in the results of elections

- the general public interest in maintaining confidence in the security of Australian government information systems in light of increasing domestic and foreign cybersecurity threats which have targetted a number of politically-sensitive Australian institutions

- the specific interest of the computer security research community in security vulnerabilities in electronic voting systems, including the NSW iVote system and a number of comparable systems used overseas which have been formally studied by academic researchers and covered in technology industry media:
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/exclusive-ns...

- the specific interest of the of the computer security research community in security vulnerabilities in the ACT's electronic voting systems, which have been covered over multiple years by multiple media outlets, for example:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-14/v...

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6...

I thank you for your consideration of this request and look forward to your response.

Yours faithfully,

T Wilson-Brown

Ekin-Smyth, Evan, ACT Electoral Commission

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL

Good morning

Please find attached a letter of acknowledgment for the FOI request you've submitted below.

Regards
Evan

ACT Electoral Commission
www.elections.act.gov.au | facebook | twitter | youtube
Level 6, 221 London Cct, Canberra City ACT 2601

show quoted sections

Dear Ro, Evan,

Thank you for your response.

Like you, I wish we'd done this much earlier.

This request concerns vote privacy issues which Elections ACT has been aware of since at least January 2018.

In the past, your agency has publicly acknowledged bug disclosures, and published the relevant source code (and patches) online. So I had hoped you would confirm the fixes, and release the source code, long before the 2020 election started.

I only became aware that you had made significant changes to your processes a few weeks ago. I assume you've been planning this for some time, and have budgeted for the extra costs of keeping the code and documentation secret.

Given the short timeframes available for dealing with any issues in the 2020 election, I am unable to agree to an extension. I also think it's in the public interest to resolve this matter as quickly as possible.

I note that you've raised concerns about the wide scope of the request. Please feel free to contact me to clarify the scope of this request via email.

In particular, if it would reduce your workload to release the entire source code or audit report, I would be willing to search for the specific details myself.

I understand that some of these FOI costs may be new to your agency, as the code and audit report from previous elections are freely downloadable by the public from your website. If these costs are larger than you wish to incur, I can search those documents myself.

I also see no need for you to duplicate any FOI work on the audit report. If the full audit report is made available via another FOI request, I would be willing to exclude it from the scope of this request.

Yours sincerely,

T Wilson-Brown

3 Attachments

Our ref: AFOI-ER-20-10019

 

Dear T Wilson-Brown,

 

Please find correspondence relating to your application for access to
information, lodged with the ACT Electoral Commission, attached to this
email.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tobias Campbell

Review Officer
ACT Strategy and FOI

ACT OMBUDSMAN

Phone: (02) 6198 9449

Email: [1][email address]

Website: [2]http://www.ombudsman.act.gov.au/

[3]cid:image001.png@01D5CBA4.41C740B0

 

I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT. I acknowledge &
respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the
life of this city & region.

[4]Signature block - Rachelle Kelly 2

 

The Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman acknowledges the traditional
owners of country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to
land, culture and community. We pay our respects to elders past and
present.

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.ombudsman.act.gov.au/

T Wilson-Brown left an annotation ()

The response has been delayed until 13 November 2020:

"The Commission applied for an extension of time under section 42 of the Freedom of Information Act 2016 (ACT) (FOI Act) on the grounds of exceptional circumstances, namely, a critical time for the Commission in delivering the 2020 ACT Legislative Assembly Election outcome."

"The ACT Ombudsman has considered the information provided by the Commission in support of its application and has decided to grant the Commission extension to process your access application to 13 November 2020, being nine business days."

Spence, Rohan, ACT Electoral Commission

21 Attachments

OFFICIAL

Dear T Wilson-Brown

Please find attached, in relation to your access application, your Access application decision notice and the accompanying Reason for decision notice and schedule of documents.

Also attached are 18 of the 19 documents relevant to your access application. The final document I believe will be to large to email with these documents. I will attempt to email it separately, however we may need to discuss how to get this document to you if email does not successful. The document is question is a database file listing elector IDs and roll mark off timestamps.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions in relation to this matter.

Ro Spence | Deputy Electoral Commissioner
ACT Electoral Commission
Phone: 02 6205 0224 | [mobile number]
[email address] | www.elections.act.gov.au | facebook | twitter | youtube
Level 6, 221 London Circuit, Canberra City

show quoted sections

Dear Ro,

Thank you for providing 18 of the 19 documents via email.

> The final document I believe will be to large to email with these documents. I will attempt to email it separately, however we may need to discuss how to get this document to you if email does not successful. The document is question is a database file listing elector IDs and roll mark off timestamps.

I'm willing to receive the final document by any convenient method.

Has the final document been posted online as part of an FOI disclosure log?
Or can it otherwise be made available for download online?

I would accept delivery of that document via an email to this email address, which contains a URL that allows me to download the document.

If that's not possible, how would you suggest we transfer the document?

Yours sincerely,

T Wilson-Brown

Spence, Rohan, ACT Electoral Commission

Hello Tim. Apologies, I was actually on leave yesterday.
So I assume the second email didn’t make it through. So yes, on Monday
I’ll publish the docs on the disclosure log and that should make the doc
available to you. Apologies for this issue. The doc is over 5,000 pages so
it makes it difficult to share.
The upload to web should solve this, but if not, in the interim I could
provide a cut down sample of the doc.
I’ll get on this first thing Monday.
Ro
Regards
Ro Spence
Deputy Electoral Commissioner
ACT Electoral Commission

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: T Wilson-Brown <[FOI #6776 email]>
Sent: Friday, November 13, 2020 4:03:07 PM
To: Spence, Rohan <[email address]>
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - Vote Secrecy in 2020
Election
 
CAUTION: This email originated from outside of the ACT Government. Do not
click links or open attachments unless you recognise the sender and know
the content is safe.

Dear Ro,

Thank you for providing 18 of the 19 documents via email.

> The final document I believe will be to large to email with these
documents. I will attempt to email it separately, however we may need to
discuss how to get this document to you if email does not successful. The
document is question is a database file listing elector IDs and roll mark
off timestamps.

I'm willing to receive the final document by any convenient method.

Has the final document been posted online as part of an FOI disclosure
log?
Or can it otherwise be made available for download online?

I would accept delivery of that document via an email to this email
address, which contains a URL that allows me to download the document.

If that's not possible, how would you suggest we transfer the document?

Yours sincerely,

T Wilson-Brown

show quoted sections

Spence, Rohan, ACT Electoral Commission

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL

 

Hello again Tim,

 

I am still having issues with publishing the final file in relation to
your access application. The file seems to be too large to upload through
our usual means. I am discussing this matter with the ACT govt ICT section
to see if there is another means to upload the document.

 

In the interim, please find attached a cut down version of the same
database file. This will allow you to view the content of the file, just
not every row.

 

If you have any ideas on how to get the full file to you please advise. It
is around 30 mb.

 

I’ll keep you updated on how we are progressing with getting this file to
you from our end.

 

In relation to the publicly available preference data from the 2020
election, we are finalising the preparations for this product now and it
should be published on our website sometime this week. The voter frequency
data, as I am sure you know, is available on our website at:
[1]https://www.elections.act.gov.au/electio...

 

The disclosure log for all other matters is now updated and live on our
FOI webpage.

 

Ro Spence | Deputy Electoral Commissioner

ACT Electoral Commission

Phone: 02 6205 0224 | [mobile number]

[2][email address] | [3]www.elections.act.gov.au | [4]facebook |
[5]twitter | [6]youtube

Level 6, 221 London Circuit, Canberra City

 

From: Spence, Rohan <[email address]>
Sent: Saturday, 14 November 2020 9:35 AM
To: T Wilson-Brown <[FOI #6776 email]>
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request - Vote Secrecy in 2020
Election

 

Hello Tim. Apologies, I was actually on leave yesterday.

 

So I assume the second email didn’t make it through. So yes, on Monday
I’ll publish the docs on the disclosure log and that should make the doc
available to you. Apologies for this issue. The doc is over 5,000 pages so
it makes it difficult to share.

 

The upload to web should solve this, but if not, in the interim I could
provide a cut down sample of the doc.

 

I’ll get on this first thing Monday.

 

Ro

 

Regards

Ro Spence

Deputy Electoral Commissioner

ACT Electoral Commission

------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: T Wilson-Brown <[7][FOI #6776 email]>
Sent: Friday, November 13, 2020 4:03:07 PM
To: Spence, Rohan <[8][email address]>
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - Vote Secrecy in 2020
Election

 

CAUTION: This email originated from outside of the ACT Government. Do not
click links or open attachments unless you recognise the sender and know
the content is safe.

Dear Ro,

Thank you for providing 18 of the 19 documents via email.

> The final document I believe will be to large to email with these
documents. I will attempt to email it separately, however we may need to
discuss how to get this document to you if email does not successful. The
document is question is a database file listing elector IDs and roll mark
off timestamps.

I'm willing to receive the final document by any convenient method.

Has the final document been posted online as part of an FOI disclosure
log?
Or can it otherwise be made available for download online?

I would accept delivery of that document via an email to this email
address, which contains a URL that allows me to download the document.

If that's not possible, how would you suggest we transfer the document?

Yours sincerely,

T Wilson-Brown

show quoted sections

Spence, Rohan, ACT Electoral Commission

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL

 

Hello again Tim,

 

I’ve now resolved the upload issue and the final document is now available
from the disclosure log. I’ve also attached the disclosure log document to
this email.

 

Ro Spence | Deputy Electoral Commissioner

ACT Electoral Commission

Phone: 02 6205 0224 | [mobile number]

[1][email address] | [2]www.elections.act.gov.au | [3]facebook |
[4]twitter | [5]youtube

Level 6, 221 London Circuit, Canberra City

 

From: Spence, Rohan
Sent: Monday, 16 November 2020 1:02 PM
To: T Wilson-Brown <[FOI #6776 email]>
Subject: HPE CM: RE: Freedom of Information request - Vote Secrecy in 2020
Election

 

OFFICIAL

 

Hello again Tim,

 

I am still having issues with publishing the final file in relation to
your access application. The file seems to be too large to upload through
our usual means. I am discussing this matter with the ACT govt ICT section
to see if there is another means to upload the document.

 

In the interim, please find attached a cut down version of the same
database file. This will allow you to view the content of the file, just
not every row.

 

If you have any ideas on how to get the full file to you please advise. It
is around 30 mb.

 

I’ll keep you updated on how we are progressing with getting this file to
you from our end.

 

In relation to the publicly available preference data from the 2020
election, we are finalising the preparations for this product now and it
should be published on our website sometime this week. The voter frequency
data, as I am sure you know, is available on our website at:
[6]https://www.elections.act.gov.au/electio...

 

The disclosure log for all other matters is now updated and live on our
FOI webpage.

 

Ro Spence | Deputy Electoral Commissioner

ACT Electoral Commission

Phone: 02 6205 0224 | [mobile number]

[7][email address] | [8]www.elections.act.gov.au | [9]facebook |
[10]twitter | [11]youtube

Level 6, 221 London Circuit, Canberra City

 

From: Spence, Rohan <[12][email address]>
Sent: Saturday, 14 November 2020 9:35 AM
To: T Wilson-Brown <[13][FOI #6776 email]>
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request - Vote Secrecy in 2020
Election

 

Hello Tim. Apologies, I was actually on leave yesterday.

 

So I assume the second email didn’t make it through. So yes, on Monday
I’ll publish the docs on the disclosure log and that should make the doc
available to you. Apologies for this issue. The doc is over 5,000 pages so
it makes it difficult to share.

 

The upload to web should solve this, but if not, in the interim I could
provide a cut down sample of the doc.

 

I’ll get on this first thing Monday.

 

Ro

 

Regards

Ro Spence

Deputy Electoral Commissioner

ACT Electoral Commission

------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: T Wilson-Brown <[14][FOI #6776 email]>
Sent: Friday, November 13, 2020 4:03:07 PM
To: Spence, Rohan <[15][email address]>
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - Vote Secrecy in 2020
Election

 

CAUTION: This email originated from outside of the ACT Government. Do not
click links or open attachments unless you recognise the sender and know
the content is safe.

Dear Ro,

Thank you for providing 18 of the 19 documents via email.

> The final document I believe will be to large to email with these
documents. I will attempt to email it separately, however we may need to
discuss how to get this document to you if email does not successful. The
document is question is a database file listing elector IDs and roll mark
off timestamps.

I'm willing to receive the final document by any convenient method.

Has the final document been posted online as part of an FOI disclosure
log?
Or can it otherwise be made available for download online?

I would accept delivery of that document via an email to this email
address, which contains a URL that allows me to download the document.

If that's not possible, how would you suggest we transfer the document?

Yours sincerely,

T Wilson-Brown

show quoted sections

Spence, Rohan, ACT Electoral Commission

OFFICIAL

Hello Tim,

 

I would like to advise that preference data for the 2020 ACT election is
now available on our website at
[1]https://www.elections.act.gov.au/electio...

 

Ro Spence | Deputy Electoral Commissioner

ACT Electoral Commission

Phone: 02 6205 0224 | [mobile number]

[2][email address] | [3]www.elections.act.gov.au | [4]facebook |
[5]twitter | [6]youtube

Level 6, 221 London Circuit, Canberra City

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. https://www.elections.act.gov.au/electio...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.elections.act.gov.au/
4. http://www.facebook.com/ElectionsACT
5. http://www.twitter.com/ElectionsACT
6. http://www.youtube.com/user/ElectionsACT

Dear ACT Electoral Commission,

Can you help me understand why the following documents weren't provided in response to this request:
* internal emails
* file or meeting notes
* source code

I'm happy to put in another request for these documents. But if they don't exist, or they're exempt, I don't want to waste your time in a fruitless search.

Yours faithfully,

T Wilson-Brown

Elections, ACT Electoral Commission

OFFICIAL

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for both of your emails dated Saturday 19 December.

I have forwarded these to executive staff who will respond as soon as they are able.

Kind Regards,

Marie

Marie Sinstead-Reid | Education and Information Officer
ACT Electoral Commission
Phone: 02 6207 1294
[email address] | www.elections.act.gov.au | facebook | twitter | youtube
Level 6, 221 London Circuit, Canberra City, ACT 2601

show quoted sections

Elections, ACT Electoral Commission

OFFICIAL

Dear Mr Wilson-Brown

The Deputy and the Electoral Commissioner are both on leave at the moment. We will discuss this matter when the Electoral Commissioner returns early next year.

In the meantime, best wishes for the festive season.

Regards,

Jiv Sekhon | Elections Operations Manager
ACT Electoral Commission
Phone: 02 6205 0046 | [mobile number]
[email address] | www.elections.act.gov.au | facebook | twitter | youtube
Level 6, 221 London Circuit, Canberra City

show quoted sections

T Wilson-Brown left an annotation ()

I suspect that the answer to my question will be similar to this one - they've listed all the documents they hold.

https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/t...