Global Election Management System

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Global Election Management System (GEMS) is the election management system for Premier's AccuVote OS and AccuVote TSx voting machines. It provides an interface for setting up an election (defining candidates and races), programming it onto the voting machines, and tabulating results from the individual machines. GEMS can transmit data to/from the voting machines through removable AccuVote memory cards or over a network (dial-up or local intranet). The program is a Windows NT-based successor to Premier's VTS application, an EMS for the AccuVote that runs on Unix.

As it controls the election for an entire jurisdiction, GEMS is an enticing target for election tampering. It contains a host of vulnerabilities that make it easy to manipulate election results, even on a large scale, and hide the evidence. Many computer scientists have concluded that this is the result of GEMS being poorly designed. However, the evidence actually shows that GEMS was purposefully designed to allow local insiders to rig elections.

Technical details


MS Access backdoor


Double set of books


Fractional vote counts




Suspect elections

2004 Washington primary


2006 Pima County RTA

Main article: 2006 Pima County RTA election

2006 Shelby County TN


2010 Shelby County TN

Main article: 2010 Shelby County TN election

See also


  1. Ken Clark, "RE: alteration of Audit Log in Access", 2001/10/18 - GES email discussing the Access backdoor, which says how frequently it is used locally: "Being able to end-run the database has admittedly got people out of a bind though. Jane (I think it was Jane) did some fancy footwork on the .mdb file in Gaston recently. I know our dealers do it. King County is famous for it."
  2. Bev Harris, "Diebold GEMS Central Tabulator Contains Stunning Security Hole", 2004 - double set of books
  3. Jim March's demo of the double books
  4. Bev Harris, "Fraction Magic — Part 2: Context, Background, Deeper, Worse", 2016/05/12 (TODO: Which California law says that weighted races must use whole numbers?)
  5. Bev Harris, "Fraction Magic – Part 3: Proof of code", 2016/05/12
  6. Bev Harris, "Fraction Magic – Part 6: Execution Capacity", 2016/06/14
  7. Ken Clark, "Weighted elections", 2001/06/20 - GES email about weighted races
  8. California Proposition 218
  9. GEMS 1.18.14 release notes
  10. Global Election Systems, press release on signing a deal with five CA counties to use Spectrum software, 2000/08/17
  11. California voting systems from 2002-2017
  12. Sacramento cost estimate for Diebold products in 2004
  13. Email correspondence with Sacramento County Assistant Registrar of Voters, March 2017
  14. Sacramento Bee, "Ballot results may be tossed: Placement of 'yes' and 'no' boxes may have confused voters on a streetlight fee hike, supervisors say", 2001/08/15 - news article about 2001 Sacramento Prop 218 election (TODO: Get more info on this election)
  15. Bev Harris, "THREE HOURS MISSING FROM KING COUNTY ELECTION LOG: We now have what everyone keeps saying no one can come up with. We now have evidence that certainly looks like altering a computerized voting system during a real election, and it happened just six weeks", 2004/10/30 - King County WA 2004 tampering

External links