Computer Glitch on the AAMVA Servers, HAVA and the November Elections

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  • Posted on: 11 January 2008
  • By: Roxy

-- originally posted 2008-01-10 06:48:07 -1100: - bumped so folks can post related info that they find note Avahome's additional comment below about Homeland Security and tightening requirements for getting a driver's license-- cho

by avahome and roxy

A little article in the Toledo Blade gives one pause ... The article is not long, but though sparse on words it speaks volumes. On Monday it seems there was a little "glitch" with the server at the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. This server is actually a service allowing states to access federal databases as part of the verification process when issuing any state ID cards.

This little "glitch" apparently reduced the number of applications processed in Ohio, from a normal 10,000 per day to 35.

It seems this is not a new problem. A report in the Daily Journal back on Nov. 25th 2007 reports the same type of issue, but which mainly impacted Missouri.

The national registry, through which all driver license applications must be checked, has been experiencing delays and temporary service outages. This problem is affecting all Missouri Department of Revenue license bureaus and others throughout the United States and Canada.

"We have had a few problems with slowdowns in the computer system," said Amanda Glover, office manager for the Bonne Terre license fee office. "People have a choice to stay and wait, or leave and we will give them a call when the computer system comes back."

Fast forward to Monday of this week, and Networking World also weighs in with an article:

On Monday a computer network glitch caused some states to stop issuing driver’s licenses and other identification cards. At the heart of the problem sources said was a server or servers running at the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) location.

So all this begs the questions ... (1) Who are the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) and (2) what kind of impact can a nationwide "glitch" have?

Avahome and I spent some time perusing the AAMVA's website, trying to determine the answer to these questions.

We discovered that the AAMVA is a non-profit organization which "serves as an information clearinghouse" for motor vehicle administration, law enforcement and highway safety.

AAMVA maintains relationships with key congressional and legislative staff and is regularly called upon to represent the membership's views at legislative hearings and other public forums. Members often testify on behalf of the association.

They offer a range of "Application Specific Services", including:

  • CDLIS - Commercial Driver License Information System
  • CSTIMS - Commercial Skills Test Information Management System
  • Digital Image - Digital Image Access and Exchange
  • DVD - Driver and Vehicle Data Online Access
  • EDL - Electronic Driver License Project
  • EVVER - Electronic Verfication of Vital Events Records
  • FEWS - Fraud Emergency Warning System
  • HAVV - Help America Vote Verification
  • PDPS - Problem Driver Pointer System
  • SR22/26
  • SSOLV - Social Security Online Verification
  • SSR - Selective Service Registration

HAVV -- or Help America Vote Verification

According to their website, they currently have this service in place in 41 states.

HAVA (Help America Vote Act)has previously been reported on in the ePluribus Media Journal and requires states to keep a database of registered voters. The Supreme Court began hearing arguments on January 9th to decide whether states can require voters to provide photo ID before being allowed to vote. This is a contentious case and the results could impact the November elections.

But, what impact could an Voter Verification portal housed on an unreliable server system have on the November elections? If photo ID becomes a requirement in some states, how many times would a person return to the DMV to get an ID if he or she were turned away because the system was down?

Comments

when a person goes to their local Department of Motor Vehicle office in their city/county..to apply/revise/process an application for drivers license, state ID, etc....all information entered by the local DMV office must go thru the servers of AAMVA to verify/complete the process.

I guess I never before gave my drivers license a second thought. For my son to get a work permit when he first began working, he had to go to the DMV to obtain a state ID...he didn't have a drivers license at the time. And now I am thinking if an elderly person is told by their doctors that they can no longer drive and revoke their drivers license.....
how many of them would know to get a state ID?

This system is very worrisome to me ... For a state to have an integral part of their ID system go down could have a very big impact on voting processes ...

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ePMedia ... get the scoop with us!
If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little. ~ George Carlin

Putting all ones eggs in one basket? Can you image when all the proposed programs go online what the numbers will be.
This seems like a huge endeavor for a non-profit handling our personal information!

http://www.networkworld.com/community/comment/reply/23608
excerpt:

According to a Daily Journal report, this isn’t the first time the AAMVA system has coughed up a hairball. Missouri had problems in November and added that since more states have started using the AAMVA network problems have been occurring. Transactions over the past three years have grown from 40 million per year to 80 million per year, which has strained the system, the report said. (my emphasis added)

They Stopped issuing and renewing drivers lisenses the other day, now this is what one local station has:

DMV back to issuing driver's licenses after hiccup

A 'hiccup'??

I didn't even think about voting when I heard it but did think of other circumstances that a computer glitch might cause in other area's of this growing dependancy on Machines, programmed by Human's, just might cause!

If they were sent to fight, they are too few. If they were sent to die, they are too many!

Is 'Funding' Really For Troops?

What Happened To Funding and Oversite For Military/Veteran Care In Previous Congresses?

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

Why would these two states out of all the states that use the service be shut down?

can ya say "battleground"? Could be just a coincidence ... but cause for some thinking.

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ePMedia ... get the scoop with us!
If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little. ~ George Carlin

Um, so the system went down from large volume on... Monday the 7th. Ok, anything special happening? How about the NH primary?

I believe NH allows same day registration changes. It makes me wonder if this wasn't related to either Voter Vault or NH registration nonsense.

(They probably don't have much provisional voting... So can you even purge NH voters..)

I'm sayin.

EDS Awarded $76 Million Contract to Modernize Applications for California DMV January 8, 2008

EDS = Electronic Data Systems Corporation

EDS Agrees to Acquire Saber Corporation, a Leading Provider of U.S. State and Local Government Software and Solutions
November 13, 2007

Saber's current product line includes market-leading software and services that underpin essential, federally funded government functions such as voter registration, election management, public retirement programs, human services, public health services, motor vehicle registration and unemployment insurance.

I don't feel so good.

feeling a little sick over this ...

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ePMedia ... get the scoop with us!
If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little. ~ George Carlin

This is exactly one of those thingies 'investigates' excelled at looking into.

going to do a little digging and see what we can find ... I agree -- bears further scrutiny!

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ePMedia ... get the scoop with us!
If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little. ~ George Carlin

Is there ANY area of a private citizen's life in public that AAMVA doesn't have some administrative control over the record of it?

There must a central database of birth certificates and passports.

OK, I see EVVER would cover birth certificates and probably some element of health care history, according to its name. Might passports fall under SR22/26, perhaps? ... No, but maybe it's there somewhere.

[I'd started developing some of this earlier when called away to another task but, I agree that this is worth digging into more deeply.

Check out the variety of functions listed among the staff, for example.]

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"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." - Thomas Jefferson

I just saw this article....funny how the timing coincides with the Supreme Court case regarding Voter ID in Indiana.here

excerpt:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans born after Dec. 1, 1964, will have to get more secure driver's licenses in the next six years under ambitious post-9/11 security rules to be unveiled Friday by federal officials.

The Homeland Security Department has spent years crafting the final regulations for the REAL ID Act, a law designed to make it harder for terrorists, illegal immigrants and con artists to get government-issued identification. The effort once envisioned to take effect in 2008 has been pushed back in the hopes of winning over skeptical state officials.

-snip-

In order to make the plan more appealing to cost-conscious states, federal authorities drastically reduced the expected cost from $14.6 billion to $3.9 billion, a 73 percent decline, according to Homeland Security officials familiar with the plan.

The American Civil Liberties Union has fiercely objected to the effort, particularly the sharing of personal data among government agencies. The DHS and other officials say the only way to make sure an ID is safe is to check it against secure government data; critics like the ACLU say that creates a system that is more likely to be infiltrated and have its personal data pilfered.

avahome always seems to have a prescience which escapes me until that news breaks the next day:

search of AAMVA for "Real ID"

And the LA Times reported Chertoff's comments today,

"This is a very good way to prevent illegal immigrants from pretending to be citizens," Chertoff said. "Identity fraud among illegal immigrants is a serious problem. It harms workers and deceives employers."

He predicted three categories of people who would be "very unhappy" with the regulations: "Terrorists, illegal immigrants who want to work and con men."

which ran counter to thoughts out of the ACLU

Steinhardt argued that the changes do nothing to tame the costs of Real ID or the difficulties people will face in obtaining the original documents, such as a birth certificate, needed to get a Real ID license. He also said the proposed network of databases constitutes an invasion of privacy.

but maybe with AAMVA in the middle, some of those extra documentation needs can be taken care of on the fly?

hmmmm....Good eye, avahome, good eye!

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"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." - Thomas Jefferson

that girl has a "nose for news". This mess just boggles the mind.

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ePMedia ... get the scoop with us!
If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little. ~ George Carlin

past a rooster! We can't let that happen. NO FEAR!

DEVLIN BARRETT of the Associated Press writes in New ID rules may complicate air travel

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who was unveiling final details of the REAL ID Act's rules on Friday, said that if states want their licenses to remain valid for air travel after May 2008, those states must seek a waiver indicating they want more time to comply with the legislation.

[snip]

So far, 17 states have passed legislation or resolutions objecting to the REAL ID Act's provisions, many due to concerns it will cost them too much to comply. The 17, according to the ACLU, are Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington.

*A tip-o-the-hat to Sparrows at BuzzFlash
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ePMedia ... get the scoop with us!
If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little. ~ George Carlin

be a good show...to see who's talking loud and drawing a crowd!

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-01-23-voting-court_N.htm

This is a good source of info covering the poor and elderly.