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Company that audited Dominion machines in Ga. has for years overseen testing of its voting software

Pro V&V has been "testing lab" of Dominion, according to federal records.

Updated: December 9, 2020 - 2:39pm

The technology company that last month performed an audit of Dominion Voting Systems machines in Georgia has for several years overseen testing of Dominion's voting software, federal records indicate. 

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced in mid-November that the results of a forensic analysis of Dominion voting machines in the state — ordered in the wake of controversies involving the nationwide election equipment vendor — revealed "no evidence of the machines being tampered."

To perform the audit, the state contracted Pro V&V, which Raffensperger identified as "a U.S. Election Assistance Commission certified testing laboratory." (The Election Assistance Commission is an independent agency of the U.S. government created under the 2002 Help America Vote Act. Among its functions is the certification of election equipment and accreditation of election system testing labs.)

Pro V&V is "qualified to test voting systems to Federal standards," the secretary of state's press release said.

Yet Raffensperger in that announcement failed to disclose that Pro V&V has a several-years-long relationship with Dominion, one in which the technology laboratory has served as the tester for much of Dominion's software. 

U.S. Election Assistance Commission records show that Pro V&V has for multiple years served as the "testing lab" for Dominion's Democracy Suite voting software. Records from 2020, 2019 2018 and 2017 all list Pro V&V as the tester for several successive iterations of Democracy Suite. 

Lab director has some prior work history with Dominion

The full extent of that relationship is at present not clear. Dominion had not responded to requests for comment as of press time. 

Pro V&V offers relatively little information about itself on its own spartan website. It states that it was founded in 2011 "by individuals possessing a combined testing experience of over 30 years" and that it was accredited by the Election Assistance Commission in February, 2015. It appears to operate out of a single suite in an office building on the outskirts of Huntsville, Ala.

A 2011 Securities and Exchange Commission filing for the company lists Ryan Jackson Cobb as its president that year. There is a Facebook page for an individual named Jack Cobb who appears to be the same person — that man is listed as the laboratory director at Pro V&V, and his Facebook URL identifies him as "Ryan Cobb." A LinkedIn page for what appears to be the same individual also identifies him as having worked at Wyle Laboratories until 2011.

Wyle Laboratories, also based in Huntsville (and currently operating under the name NTS Huntsville) performed testing on Dominion software several times in the past, per EAC records. Alhough that testing appears to have occurred after Cobb's departure from Wyle, Cobb's signature is on at least one "certification test plan" from Wyle prepared for Dominion. 

After multiple queries from Just the News, Cobb responded following the publication of this article. 

He told Just the News that Pro V&V first contracted with Dominion in 2015. 

"Each contract is contract specific," he said, saying the company has not engaged in "long term contracts" with Dominion. As far as payment goes, he said: "Each project varies by the work needed to perform." 

Regarding his work with Wyle, Cobb said: "I was a senior test engineer at Wyle before starting Pro V&V in the third quarter of 2011. I performed [independent verification and validation] work on voting systems." 

Jordan Fuchs, Georgia's deputy secretary of state, meanwhile, told Just the News on Saturday that it was unsurprising that Pro V&V has also handled testing for Dominion prior to the audit. 

"Pro V&V is a federal Election Assistance Commission lab authorized to review election equipment," she said. "They do testing on all vendors' equipment." 

"That is their job," she added. 

Though Raffensperger's announcement of Pro V&V's audit last month was widely cited in the media as evidence that the Georgia election was free of suspicion, the scope of that audit appears to have been narrow. 

In its audit, Pro V&V confirmed that "all of the software and firmware on the sampled machines was verified to be the software and firmware certified for use by the Office of the Secretary of State," the Secretary of State's office said last month.

Cobb in his response to Just the News confirmed that characterization of its investigation.

"We pulled a ICX, ICP, and ICC at random from six counties provided by the SOS office," he said. "We pulled the firmware/software off the device and verified it was the firmware/software certified for use by the SOS."

"All 18 devices we saw were running the certified software," he added.