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